I Think I’ve Cracked it!… Well Sort Of

Bonjour from the south of France! My family and I are on a mini trip. I recently wrote this writing prompt response on the word “successful” you can read it here if you missed it, I expressed my desire to move from what I feel is a real basic level of  French, and feel more confident in talking. I can read and write much better I feel. Well, I kid you not today I got us from the airport to the hotel via taxi, changed some money,  checked us in, asked for directions and got us to the city centre by walking , and even understood when someone in Mcdonalds told us ” there is extra seating on the floors above, please move up there”  all in French !  I understood the native speakers well, and thankfully they understood me. In addition to this standing in the line at the supermarket I had a conversation with a lovely French lady, who thought maybe we were American …. oddly.

I am over the moon I had to updated this blog post with my “success”

Writing Prompt & Thriller Novel Teaser: “The Voices in Her Head”. #amreading #thriller

Sound

Today, has been such a productive day writing my  current thriller! I will explain why in the next post. In the mean time today’s WordPress writing prompt word is, “sound”. So here’s an excerpt/teaser from my current story, showing Charlotte’s  experiencing first date nerves with Joseph and her voices return. If you’ve not read the first excerpt I posted, to tie it all together you read it  can here.  and here Charlotte is a thirty-five year old woman, with mental ill health, sadly she has been found guilty of a murder she says she did not do…She is on a mission to prove it.

Saturday

 It’s  6:00 a.m. I can’t sleep. Working shifts as a nurse your sleep pattern becomes erratic. Add that in with my paranoid state and it’s an explosive mix. After a week of early shifts at the paediatric ward this week, my body clock is still on early wake up times.

Sitting in the kitchen wrapped up in my fluffy dressing gown and slippers, I wait for my Chamomile tea to brew.  For the last hour, I’ve been thinking about my date with Joseph today, at first it was all happy thoughts. I had butterflies, just like any woman would, at the thought of a first date with a guy she really likes.  

 I’m now gripped with panic and fear, the voices have come back. Not the kind pleasant voices I sometimes hear. The dark spiteful voices, that kick at my self-esteem, appearance, and intelligence. I wish she’d go away. Sometimes it’s a male voice I hear. This morning it’s female, a bitchy female warning me that “Joseph’s really is not that into me, he’s just using me, there’s no way someone like him would be interested in a girl like me.” I stand up and light a cigarette, then start to pace the kitchen floor.

“Go away! Go away leave me alone, not today please. Today is important to me

argh!!”

 I can hear her, loud and clear bitching and cursing me. The usual process starts, with me looking like a crazy woman, having an open argument with the thin air. Begging and pleading with the voices to stop. There have been times where I’m going about my usual business walking down the street, on the buss, or at the supermarket and they plague me. Randomly  I start, ranting at the voice in my head, that no one else can hear. People stare, they move away from me. Kids even laugh at me.

“He is not using me! What the hell do you know anyway? You’re just a voice you

don’t know anything.”

I pull harder on my cigarette, then fill my lungs with smoke.

“Go away! Go Go!”

Then it all comes back to me, the first time my parents noticed something was not quite right with me. That there was more to my “odd teenage behaviour”. I was just eighteen at the time. Trying to focus on my A-level studies at college when it all came spilling out … My first experience of a mental institution, my first real mental break down.

June 1998

“She’s done it again Paul, I just went up to her bedroom she’s lying on the bed zoning out, her windows are completely blacked out with paper; I can’t understand what’s got into her.”

“Me neither darling, let’s just hope it’s a teenage thing that she’ll grow out of.”

“I think we should get some help for her. She’s been acting out of character for  

months”

 Susan stares blankly at her husband of twenty years, his dark eyes look sad, as he runs a hand through his thick chocolate coloured hair, now with signs of grey around the temples.

 “What kind of help?”

 “Maybe we should see the GP first.’’

 “Do you really think Charlotte will agree to that? Every time we ask her how

she’s feeling she says she’s fine.”

 “She probably won’t but, it’s getting to the point where I’m worried Paul. She’s

up all night, spends all day in her room, barely eats, misses college. How is she

ever going to achieve the grades she needs for university if she carries on like

this? What sort of future will she have?”

The question hung in the air as Mr and Mrs Price- Smith   stare at each other.

Bang!

The pair look up at the kitchen ceiling, as they hear Charlotte’s screams and banging from above……

Writing Prompt Challenge week 7: Music to Write By #amwriting #MFRWauthor #writerslife

It’s week seven of the romance authors fifty two week writing prompt  challenge, this week it’s music we write to. Oh boy! Where oh where do I even start with this. My musical taste is so diverse ( just how I like my characters in my stories). I listen to pretty much anything but heavy metal, mainly as I can’t dance to that- who can? Show me how?!

I Like

  • 50s-70s soul and motown.
  • Modern music from today.
  • Hip hop ( old stuff)
  • French soul and hip hop
  • 90’s stuff
  • Pop
  • Soft rock ( like P!ink)
  • Classical
  • Jazz
  • Everything!

When I write it depends on the mood I’m in and what scene I’m writing, I’ll be honest and say as a romance writer I don’t actually listen to love songs when I write ( weirdly). When I wrote A Stranger in France I listened to a lot of French soul singers, motown, soul and classical piano music. Music really features in the book. When I wrote Not Just for Christmas it was actually summer! No where near Christmas and I remember listening to a lot of upbeat summer music from the modern times, mainly the radio. For Code Redhead- A Serial Novel, my contribution story I wrote  mainly while I listened to the sound track from Fifty Shades of Grey * wink, I had fun with that story!

When I’m behind schedule, like maybe I’m in a panic that I won’t meet a deadline agreed with a publisher, or I just have not focused myself well for whatever reason. I don’t suffer writer’s block I’ve found a way to beat it, you can find out how I have done that by clicking here, but sometimes I sit down to write and I “faaf” around reading other blogs, watching Youtube or just browsing the internet,  looking at God knows what, and before I know it, it’s time for bed. When that happens and I fall behind my target, I need to listen to classical music as it will focus me, mainly piano classical does the job really well. I found a sound track on Spotify Player that really focuses me.

When I’m on track and feeling good, I go with the flow I just load up Spotify and let it do it’s thing, but I always write with music, I find it hard not to.

 

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Kim’s Blog Hop….. #amwriting #bloghop #valentines

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Afternoon guys,

Just a reminder that all are welcome to join in, we’ve had one link submitted so far. An interesting read on an experience with gay marriage. I’m a big supporter of gay rights , rights for all in fact! It’s an interesting read. See the original blog I did here for full details on how to participate, and the link submitted. The go ahead and submit your own,  sit back and find some new readers.

 

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Writing Prompt Challenge Week 6: Is it Possible For A Writer To Have Other Hobbies??- Passion for #fashion #amwriting #MFRWauthor

I’ve  just discovered a really cool new blog for romance writers, they are doing a fifty two week writing prompt challenge for romance authors. Each week a different prompt for the whole of 2017. So of course I’m on board, you know I LOVE a writing prompt so here goes… I’ve joined at week six- hobbies.

I have a lot of interests, and a few hobbies. At times I wish I could turn all my interests into hobbies and  have time for everything! But my one true passion that will never die, outside writing has to be fashion and beauty. Reading about it, practising it, watching it on You Tube it does not matter to me. When I comes to fashion I like to customise clothes, I can sew clothes (well) and read dressmaking patterns ( well), and I like to draw pictures of clothing designs (I wish I could draw better!). Below are some pictures of dresses that I have made. I made these while pregnant with my son three years ago, I stopped sewing when I was too pregnant to fit behind my sewing machine LOL. I have spent my free time mainly writing  since, so I have not made anything for what feels like forever. My last project was an abandoned blazer.

 

 

To be fair I look back at these dresses and know I could have done a bit better, but I’m proud of them still. I was pregnant and my patience was not that great!

So how did this hobby start? Well, I learned to sew mainly from school I took textiles in high school ( secondary school) as my creative /art subject as an option. I loved learning how to use a machine,  and all about fabrics, making projects along with English it was my favourite subject. I was fourteen at the time when I picked the option. After two years of study, at sixteen I finished high school with a GCSE in Textiles. By the time I was sixteen I was dead set on pursing a creative career either in fashion or as a make-up artist. I still enjoyed writing, but funny back then I never saw myself as an actual published author. My eye was on the fashion and beauty world.

My nana, when she was alive also sewed A LOT she never used patterns she would just create, I remember spending time with my nana and I’d  just watch her and how she used the machine. I must have been about ten or maybe younger as she passed away when I was fourteen by the time I picked this as a qualification at school.My dressmaker’s stand, above in the picture is actually called Lucinda after my nana in her memory.

Over the years I have collected so many patterns for dresses, tops, trousers, blazers. My favourites are the vintage Vogue patterns my mum bought me. I like to use patterns from other designers ( eg shop bought ones) and adapt them to my liking.

I did a make-up course when I left school at sixteen, and a few years ago I did another one just for fun like a “hobby”. I am yet to complete it, but for all the practical assignments I did on a model I passed with 100%, for recreating the look specified by the teacher. I will carve out some time to complete it.

So yes, authors do have other interests but writing, and they do do other things but write … but it does not mean we have time for all of them, as writing always comes first. 🙂

 

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Haiku Horizons Writing Prompt: Rain Poem #sunday #inspiration

In response to this week’s Haiku Horizon’s writing  prompt: Rain I’ve come over all poetic.  I imagined how the rain can compare to some kind of heartache…Not often  that I even see this side of me! Thanks for the prompt Haiku Horizons. I’m way over the word limit for Haiku but, hey oh well .. I was in the zone.

 

 

Realistically, it was over before we even got started, I never thought I’d feel this broken hearted.

Apart from this broken heart, where do I start? What have I gained from our time apart? Some perspective, strength,better health and a couple more dollar bills to add to my wealth.

Intuition, I should have listened to it, I should have followed it, when  just like the rain it beat at my door. Finally, my intuition inside of me, forced me to stand on my own two feet, forced me to say there must be a better life for me.  At one point I was too weak, so chance after chance was yours to reap.

Now in solitude I feel peace.  And just like the rain slowly I’ll wash you away.

Daily Writing Prompt: Let’s Keep Love Simple #amwriting

via Daily Prompt: Simple

Simple

In response to a WordPress writing word prompt posted a few days ago… the word simple.

Is anything ever simple? Life, money, work, sex… love? Nope it never is. But somethings should be more simple than others in life… love should be one of them.

I’ve used this song above  as part of my response to this writing prompt, as the song by Alicia Keys is called ” Simple” and it is one of my favourite songs from the album  ” The Diary of Alicia Keys.” The lyrical content is clever.  If you have read my blog for some time you know I’m a massive music fan. It inspires me when I write, I use it in my writing and I listen to it when I’m writing. In fact, I can’t actually think of a time apart from when I’m asleep, that I don’t have some form of music on.This album might be maybe about nine or ten years old, but I still love it and still listen to it.

 The song (the lyrical content) is about a complex relationship that is never simple, but needs to be simplified in order to work. Which is my point.  People in general may think that relationships and love are complex things, and never simple or  shy away from them. Or if they are in a hard relationship walk away as it’s too much hard work. One thing I have learned over the years, is that relationships and love are actually not complex things, they  could be one of the most simplest things in life that bring you as a person the most joy in your day to day life. What makes them complex are PEOPLE and their  wants, needs , desires and sometimes there can be mismatch  in expectation which creates a feeling of a complex /hard work relationship, that is never simple. Have you ever had a non -simple relationship?

  I have and it took me in all honestly about almost seven years to come to this conclusion on relationships/love and that really they should be quite simple. It it’s hard work, it’s toxic.  I learned by looking back at the relationship, and realising love should never be this hard/complex. Loving someone and being in love, should be a simple, easy feeling. 

As a romance writer, I like to write about complex relationships and show how two characters over come their complex difficulties, with a happy ever after. That’s what romance  and love is about, a happy ever after feeling, not complexity and hard work.  Romance and love should be simple. And most importantly, I have learned it can be. If you just keep it simple.

How?

  1. Listen   2. make an effort 90% give 10% take 3.compromise  = simple.