Writing Prompt: Mid Point State Of Your Year? #reflections #inspiration

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I pulled out my writing prompt book, one prompt for every day of the year. Under today’s date this is the prompt, write up your mid- year  “state of year”... well all-righty then. Hmm, this prompt has really made me stop and think, pull out a bar of chocolate from the fridge (I’m not kidding). Sit back, listen to the rain beat down on my window at a silly hour of the early hours of  Sunday morning, and reflect. I can’t believe we are half way through 2017. For me the year has been a  year of personal growth in a lot of ways. I’d say if I were to sum it up this is what I’d say “growth” as a person, human being, mother and woman.

I took a lot of s*it personally over the last few years. This may surprise you, as I may come across as probably a no nonsense kinda girl. You’re not wrong. But I think sometimes we do things because we feel obligated to, so I did.  I got to a point where I stepped into the last half of 2016, and start of 2017 singing a different tune. It served me well, I’m in a complete new head space. This is personal growth.

So far this year, I’ve knuckled down in what I wish to achieve. I remember I did a writing prompt asking romance writers what their dream would be? Mine is to have a large collection of works our there in the world! So, I’m taking steps toward writing more seriously. As in completing my novels and novellas. I actually can’t believe that in almost one year of signing my first publishing deal, I have six books under my belt. That makes me smile. I’ve also decided to start submitting my work to publishers again. My  full completed romance thriller has been requested by a publisher in the USA, a different one to my last one. They liked my three chapters I sent, all I need to do is write it! With my contemporary romance/ suspense stories I’m browsing publishers that seem to work with romance authors mainly. No more random publishing places, I’d like somewhere I can call home long term for my works. Until I find it, I’ll happily keep self- publishing.

I think the first half of 2017 has been about hard work  and learning too, it’s now I feel like I’m seeing the fruit of this. This fruit has put me on a path to write a whole romance series, of stand alone novellas. Now three books in the hard work has put me on a nice track. Don’t get me wrong it has pulled me away from what I was working on, before this creative idea came to me. I was working on the romantic thriller that got called up from a publisher. It happens to be my first ever real serious idea for a novel before I wrote A Stranger in France!

As a mother I have grown into this role so much and I love it so much. My son is now at an age where his personality is blooming.  I feel like I know who my son is,  and what he will and won’t do as much as I can at this small age. Sounds strange, but I’m sure any parent understands what I mean when you look at your child’s personality. At just three years old he’s a handsome ball of fun, laughs, caring nature,energy and sometimes tantrums.  This first half of the year has allowed me to bond differently with my boy due to his age, and awareness of the world around him. We can do different things now he is a little older and can understand, he can understand what we read in the picture books a bit better now too. He is a true mama’s boy. But not a push over.  A few months ago  his nursery school reported to me one afternoon when I went to collect him ” errm we had an incident today Blake had a fight, yes, yes hmm, we caught him sitting on another boy’s head. The young boy called for help, that’s when we realised Blake got him down on the floor, pinned him down and would not let him go.” Now most parents maybe upset by this or disapprove. My poker face said nothing, inside I was like ” that-a-boy Blakey, hold your own in that playground.” Why? because I  know my boy he is no bully, he is an loving boy, the kind that will come and kiss and hug you and say sorry after a tantrum, he won’t fight unless he is provoked. I’m glad those other boys now know Blake is no push over in the playground, if you provoke him. Did I tell him off? Nah what for? Standing up for himself? That said, if I get poor behaviour reports that’s another story.

This year I’ve also completed a goal I have had for so long! I finally sat three exams in FRENCH back in May. Yep, speaking, reading and writing and listening. My results will be out in August. I swear if I get a B grade or above I’ll be so proud of myself.

Overall, my mid point year review is growth, hand work and learning, a clear direction of where I’m going as a writer and human being. How’s your mid year review? I’d love to read it?? Blog it let me see and link in below if you want.

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Motherhood & Writing! Oh Boy… #writerslife #motherhood #amwriting #kdsuspense

Firstly I love both my jobs as writer and mum. Sometimes it’s a challenge to do both!  Take today for example, and the crazy situation I’m in now… Last night I was up late working on book #3 of my Romance Set In Paradise series.  I fell into bed at the same exact time,  our editor sent back the proof read manuscript of The Suspenseful Collection Volume One . I didn’t see the email as it was the second I was in bed, reading an email from my partner in crime Didi   basically saying ” go to bed what are you doing up?” Argh!! I wish I had stayed up a little later! I could have done one of two things. One set to work on the final book for The Suspenseful Collection Volume One, then send it over to Didi, so she can work on her parts while I slept. Or two send it straight to her, so she can work on it while I slept. Then work on my parts  tonight when the house is quiet. Either one of these options would have allowed us to meet the deadline we both agreed, (today) to have it finalised and uploaded on all platforms this weekend. Then we’re free to enjoy the weekend with our children.

In a lot of ways the seven hour time difference between us works to our advantage, when writing stories. One works while the other sleeps, then she wakes up to something to work on while the other sleeps.

Thursday and Friday I don’t work at the “day job” anymore. I love to have quality time with my three year old son, these early years are important. We also have the whole weekend together as a family when I’m off. It’s all about work  life balance now for me, at this stage of life I’m at as a mum and writer. I’m so glad I’ve reduced my working hours. That said since I went to bed the second the manuscript came back, when I woke up I called my son’s nursery for an extra day today to meet deadlines.  He loves that place! I dropped him off,  then raced home so I can set to work. Today’s goal is to perfect my parts of the manuscript before Didi wakes up, that will be around late afternoon  London time. So she can then juggle her day as mum and writer and meet deadlines too.

Here’s breakfast to set me up to edit, rewrite, and create a bangin’ set of eight suspenseful stories for y’all! A bacon sandwich with a coffee. Mmm my favourite.

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Here’s the last song I heard on the radio, as I drove home from my son’s nursery. I love Outkast what happen to them? I remember buying the album this song is on. Throw back Thursday was yesterday but hey, music always puts me in the mood to write. So I’m throwing it back all the way to 2013 on Friday with Outkast’s song “roses”. The lyrics make me die with laughter!

 

Are you a mum and a writer? Or a carer for someone else and writer? How do you juggle all the demands? Let me know I’d love to hear your stories.

Have a great day all ! I better set to work the clock is ticking. Didi will be up soon.

Romance Writer’s Challenge Week #18: Boy You’re Just Too Funny! – What Makes Me Laugh Out loud#MFRW

It’s week eighteen, well it was last week. Forgive my lateness. I am as always fashionably late with the Romance Writer’s fifty two week writing challenges. Anyway, week eighteen all about what makes you laugh out loud. This writing prompt response is dedicated to a special person, the most handsome boy in the world! My three year old son…. He makes me laugh so  much here’s just a few examples of why.

Bath time:

What is it with little boys and their willies? Fast forward twenty years and I guess nothing changes, as  a grown man for him there will always be a  fascination with his willy! Every night, I ask my son when I undress him for bath time ” do you need to go wee wee?” He shakes his head “no mama ” jumping up and down eager to get in the tub. “Okay son, let’s get in the tub.” I place him in and he stands there  as soon as he gets in, hips thrust with his you know what thrust forward  and pees in the bath! Swirling his hips around for the perfect aim :). Then he has the cheek to say ” ta-dah!”  Look at me and laugh.  I do chuckle, no matter what I do he saves that bath-time pee especially for his ta-dah moment.

High Heels:

I have a pair of gold gladiator heels, I also have them in black too. They have a good say four and a bit inch heel. ( I’m only five foot five). I love them, so does Blake my son. My son is obsessed with walking in these heels, but only the gold pair for some reason. And to my surprise he can walk well, he trots around heels clicking on the wood floor happy as Larry. ” Mummy shoes, mummy shoes.” Every time I hear this I know he’s on about my gold heels he wants to wear them. I’ve tried to  put them away out of sight. Hoping he will mess around with a pair of my flats…. nope! He wants these gold heels. It makes me chuckle.

 

Learning to talk:

I think as a mother you learn to understand your child’s words even when to others they sound like baby babble. Some of my son’s words are so unclear. Fifished = finished. founded-it= found it. vashin’mach-in= washing machine and  mata-toes= tomatoes. It’s so cute when toddlers talk and learn to express themselves. His words often make me chuckle. Especially when he says tomatoes lols 🙂 .

Learning & imagining my future son:

Bless him, he is well house trained already. I watch him pull the hoover out and try to plug it in, try to sweep the floors, unload the washing machine when he hears the click of the end of a load of laundry. To see him do as I do is so heartwarming. The way toddlers learn is entertaining. I do catch him trying to fold himself into the washing machine now and then, the first time it was funny. Now I’ve learned to keep it closed!

Recognising who and what his mama is:

I encourage my son to read a lot, well look at the pictures in books he’s only three. We read together every night. He makes me laugh when he pulls a novel off my bookcase and opens it , then pretends he’s reading. My heart melts…. the best bit, is when he recognises the covers of my books on the case. He’ll pull them down and say “mama book.”  Or he will pick up my notepads I use for creative writing ideas ” mama book” he’ll scream. He’s so cute. He may have little words but he is very aware emotionally.

Kids…. you’ve gatta love ’em 🙂 They’ll always put a smile on your face.

 

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Writing Prompt: What Would You Do If … #amwriting

I’ve been playing around with some of the 100+ writing prompts I shared with you earlier this week. I’ve had a really good time with the  one line generator, especially the random situation generator. Here’s one that got me writing.

Writing prompt: What Would You Do If… You Had No Money To Feed Your Children?

It’s really sad, but I think in this day and age this is not an uncommon thing in society, I’m not talking third world countries I mean built up society. I can’t speak for elsewhere but here in London, the cost of living is ridiculously high. I have spoken about this before so I won’t rant again, but take rent for example if you rent from a private landlord the prices are sky high in some of the more “nicer” parts of London. Here in the UK we have a system that does offer help with rent payments to those on low incomes or out of work, under the current government we have, when they first came into power the amount of support offered was capped. The result of this was many of those on lower incomes were pushed out of the ” nicer” areas of London they were renting in, and had a struggle to find more cheaper homes to rent. Really sad. Then there’s the average salary vs things like rent costs, food costs, and transport. All very expensive outgoings in London- not to mention child care. 

Parents ( especially women) are often faced with the tough decision of staying at home or reducing their working hours as the cost of full time child care in London, easily eats up a huge part of your income- trust me I know! Just while children are under school age a woman’s career may be set back. Some how here in London economically in some cases it can make more  sense to stay at home rather than work, as the living wage just won’t not cover  all the bills and childcare. This is a blog post for another day! It’s a big subject.

So with these points in mind, I saw this writing prompt and thought this is something a lot of parents may (at one point) have been faced with. The extent of it will vary but we’ve all been there. I have decided not to pay a bill in order to survive, I have no shame in saying that! LOL just life and real, London is expensive!

Luckily, I’ve never been put in a position where I could not at all feed my son, but let me tell you if I were ever in this situation here is what I would do. He is my king and he always comes first. Let’s assume I had no mum, sisters, support system  etc and I was totally on my own…

  1. I’d ask my local shop keeper (really nicely) if he will help me out and explain my situation. I’d like to think after going to the same corner shop (as we call it here in the UK) for almost ten years where I live, he’d help me out with food. Just until I can repay him.
  2. I’d steal it- I tell you no lie I would. This is my son we are talking about. Yes I know this is wrong but I would actually steal food from the store, if the shop keeper said no. I don’t know if I should confess this but oh well! I would probably head to one of the larger food chains. The major ones who can afford to miss the cost of one meal as their profit turn over is ridiculously high. 
  3. I’d try to find a food bank. Here in London or actually around the UK they became very popular when the recession hit back in 2007. I’d turn on the news and see news reports on how much local charity aid  increased in demand, due to job loss vs the need to feed a family.
  4. I ‘d look in my cupboard and see what I can possibly russel up for dinner from what I have. One thing I learned from my mum is keep emergency supplies of things like pasta, tuna, rice etc. To this day I always have these tucked away – just in case.
  5. I’d go out and swallow my pride and ask strangers for help. I really would for the sake of my son. About two weeks ago, I was  outside a cafe, I just stepped out onto the pavement and started to debate what errand to run first on a Monday afternoon. A young girl approached me she looked around her mid -twenties. She said to me ” excuse me miss, do you have any cooking , cleaning or babysitting work for me?” I was quite shocked  and politely I said ” no I’m really sorry.” She then continued  to explain ” I have just come here from my country and it’s really hard, no work for me so I can’t eat or survive.” My heart strings were tugged, I asked her where she is from, it turned out  imagine this from  Greece! Of all the countries. I’m sure you all kept up with the crisis that country experienced when it went bankrupt and residents were limited to just something like sixty euros per week to withdraw from the bank, as there were no funds!  The country and its people were left high and dry. I could not believe what she said to me. While I had no cooking or cleaning jobs I did give her some money for food, just my luck I had no change so I ended up giving her a full £5.00 note. Before I handed it over, I thought to myself what is £5.00 in this day and age? It can just about buy lunch, or a travel card for the day this is not a large sum of money I’m parting with. She was so grateful. All I asked from her is that she did not spend it on drugs or alcohol, I watched her walk into the Wimpy cafe and take a seat ready to order. I walked away feeling like a better person for that charitable deed that day. If I ever have no money to feed my baby, I hope if I stop a stranger on the street and explain they will feel no ill feelings about parting with £5.00 just as I did.