Sunday Write-Up – August 2015

Sunday Write Up HeaderIt’s back for the Bank Holiday weekend – the Aside from Writing Sunday write-up event. Today’s five words are:

idea     why     stupid     handsome     hello

Hmmm… now what to do with these…?

 

The cabin was in darkness as I trundled up the bouncing track that led to the front door. In the fast-falling twilight everything was shadows and hiding places for psycho killers.

Why had I thought that a weekend, alone, in a remote lakeside cabin was a good idea?

Oh, I remember. It was going to be a weekend of alone-time, space to get on with some productive writing…I was normally more of a glass-of-wine-with-Game-of-Thrones-box-set kind of girl; safe and sound well away from the grisly north and creepy white walkers, in the comfort of my own home. I was not outdoorsy at all. Sigh.

I turned off the engine, but left the headlights on, so that I could still see the front door of the little building. “How old are you?” I shook my head at myself, but made no move to shut off the lights. I felt a lot like a little girl who wants to keep the landing light on outside her bedroom door, to pretend that she’s not afraid of the dark.

With the keys in my hand, I looked around the shadowy clearing once more then got out of the car. I scurried to the porch and ducked close to the door, fumbling with the keys. A big part of me was wishing that I had some kind of handsome, Jon Snow man-shield with me, just in case there were any rogue monsters hanging around.

When I got the door unlocked, it creaked open – of course it would have to. I patted down most of the wall inside, without having some unseen creature grab my hand and finally found the light switch. ON.

I smiled – and blinked a bit – in the brightness. Whew. Everything looked a lot better now. The inside of the cabin was just as it had been on Trip Advisor: bright red, squashy sofas; lots of wood and walls lined with shelves of books. The wood burner in the corner was already laid, ready to light and as I peeped towards the kitchen area I could make out the ‘welcome box’ of goodies I’d added to my booking. A cup of tea was definitely in order.

Turning back towards the car I was about to head out to grab my bags, when my mobile rang in my pocket. I pulled it out and saw PRIVATE flashing up on the screen. It was probably work – might as well answer it before I get properly into relaxation mode.

Hello?”

There was silence on the other end of the line. Only the light hissing noise of an open connection – no sounds, no voice.

“Hello?” I asked again, pronouncing the word carefully, as if it were possible I had been misunderstood the first time. More silence and then an ominous click.

“Hello. We have made a number of calls to you regarding a non-fault accident you had recently – ”

I punched the red button on my mobile, disconnecting the call. Bloody leeches! Why do I get so many of these stupid calls, anyway?

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Sunday Write Up – Weird Acorns


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Aside From Writing’s Sunday Write up is back – and I just noticed that I’ve not blogged anything else in the last month, since I last wrote a piece in June. Hmmm. Well, my best excuse is that, along with fellow author Tony Talbot, we’ve both been busy putting together the posts and things for the Indie Author Event taking place over at Aside From Writing this month. It might not sound like much, but it takes a while pulling out all the right bits of information from everyone’s emails and loading it onto the blog, re-formatting bits and sending comms back to everyone. Anyway, enough of that – it’s time to get on with some Sunday writing – if you want to join in, check out the link.

http://asidefromwriting.com/2015/07/26/sunday-write-up-july-2015/

Using the words: forget weird acorn come need

 

 

Life can be strange – it gets a bit weird,

If only some formula for success could be bioengineered…

People go and people come, but they usually only hang around while it’s fun.

Sometimes those you love forget what you need, like a hug or a call, or to be let go and freed.

Whatever comes next, you might guess but no one knows – this is the only time you’ve got – so sow the acorn and see what grows.

 

 

You know, I’m not too sure on poetry and don’t normally go for it, but you know I’ve written it now and so I’m sticking with it as my effort for this month. I’m very easily distracted and when I was bashing this out got more interested in making the lines a little longer as I went along, so I hope that appears the same on the blog post – if nothing else, it looked pretty on the page when I wrote it! :)

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Sunday Write-Up ‘Outlanders’

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Aside From Writing’s Sunday Write up!

http://asidefromwriting.com/2015/06/28/sunday-write-up-june-2015/

Using the words: alone growing slowly life beautiful

(A bit of a cheat this time, I’ve only had chance to write a paragraph, but it does fit in nicely to a scene in a current WIP Outlanders, so that’s why I’m happy to leave it so short!)

 

    I woke early. It was cold and as I opened my eyes to the world around me I could see my breath floating slowly on the chilly air. For a few shorts moments I didn’t move or wake properly. Vaguely, I was aware of heat behind me: Zach in his own sleeping bag. Other than that, I was alone. Like a tired child, I snuggled deeper into my warm cocoon, hoping to hide from the morning for a few more minutes. With sleepy eyes I looked out at the dark carpet of leaves and soil we’d slept on last night, the small circle of trees and bushes disguising our make-shift camp and the silver-green morning light glimmering through the leaves above. It was beautiful, full of life and things moving and growing, right before me it seemed. It felt like you could lie here forever, never moving or speaking again, with life taking over you nonetheless. Nature reclaimed everything: the buildings and ruins of the world I’d spent the last few days walking through…and me. Nature had brought me back, when I thought nothing could. It moved forwards endlessly, just as time did, and showed you that everything could change.

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Just Finished…Stealing Phoenix by Joss Stirling

imageThis was a good follow up to book one and it was nice to come back to the series after a long break. Initially, I didn’t warm to Phoenix’s character as much as I had Sky and Crystal (I’d actually skipped this book when I read the others in 2013, thinking that the story in the third book sounded better than this one, so I read them out of order. Strangely, that isn’t an issue really with this series as each book is in a different location and comes as first person narrative from a different female lead each time).

Anyway, in the first few chapters it was the action and pace that kept me going. Phoenix’s world is not a pleasant one and her life is hard, so I think that’s why I struggled to enjoy her story. However, once she meets Yves and the whole ‘soul finder’ thing kicks in, you see the best parts of her character and strengths that she doesn’t see in herself normally. When you read a first person narration from someone who isn’t confident, I can see why they are hard to like…they don’t like themselves. It’s only when you begin to see the true character of Phoenix, reflected back into the story through her interactions with Yves that you get to see the best in her.

I will admit, I’m not sure what I think of the ‘soul finder’ thing in this book. It feels more forced than the other two I’ve read, where the characters have at least some interaction with one another, before the soul finder part happens. It’s quite like the ‘imprinting’ thing in Twilight (which I really didn’t like in that series because of the weirdness with age differences, etc.) Anyway, with soul finders, they have to be a Savant (magical person, of course) and be born around the same time, the idea being that they are two parts of a single whole, thus the drive to get together in the first place and soul mate importance of holding onto that person when you found them… It seems that not many Savants find their special person under normal circumstances. Anyway, if you hate ‘instalove’ this might put you off, although it’s interesting seeing how Phoenix questions the bond and impact it has on her for much of the book, so it’s not too cheesy on that side of things.

As with the other books in this series, the writing is good and action/twists abound as you go through the story. The savant/supernatural parts are good, but not over relied on for the action, and the relationship between Phoenix and Yves is interesting, very differnt from the pairings in the other books.

I really liked Yves…how his mind seems to work, his approach to life, and firey spirit, which contrasts strongly with the logical, academic, side of his personality. I’d really like to see a snapshot book from his point of view, like you saw in ‘Challenging Zed’, to see what he’s like when it’s not through the filter of Phoenix’s eyes.

Overall, a quick and enjoyable read, comparable to the others in the series. If you liked them, I’m sure you’ll like this :)

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Ten Ways to Promote Your Book

I’m a bit of a sucker for infographics (if you take a look at some of my Pinterest boards you’ll get the idea!) and when I saw this one, I thought it was worth sharing.

All of the tips sound simple and straight-forward enough – the most successful approaches usually are the easiest – I think success with these comes from consistency and doing them in a co-ordinated way. If you put the effort into a book launch, make sure your online presence reflects this and ties in…is it on your blog, Facebook and being promoted on Twitter with good links between them so your audience find the right feature? And rather than just pushing the event itself, think about sharing with people what it’s like organising the event – what has been fun and exciting, what has been challenging – is it what you expected? In general, people seem to like the human elements of what you’re doing, a lot more than a series of similar promoting tweets – your blog is a window for people to see into your life as a writer, it should be real.

Preparing yourself for a blog tour when you launch your book is a great way to get attention and readers – even if you don’t get a review at each blog, just posting with them will give you exposure. And a lot of bloggers seem to like having interesting, interactive guests – if you imagine how time consuming it can be for people to generate content for their blogs, if you can make it easy for them to feature you, they are a lot more likely to say yes :)

How to promote your book...

How to promote your book…

Originally featured on BookBaby – click the link to view alongside their article:

http://blog.bookbaby.com/2015/05/10-ways-promote-your-self-published-book-infographic/?utm_campaign=BB1523&utm_source=BBeNews&utm_medium=Email&spMailingID=48786448&spUserID=OTI1MTU2NjExMgS2&spJobID=700221908&spReportId=NzAwMjIxOTA4S0

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Why You Want to Be Findable on Social Media

mel:

Just came across this excellent post from Veronica Bale about Twitter, for writers or anyone who is looking to raise their profile using social media. From working on Aside from Writing and running events like the Indie Author Month, I can agree that some authors make it really difficult to link up with them on social media, through not providing their details, or having ‘sharing’ buttons on their posts. It’s like anything in life, the easier you make it for someone to do, the more likely they are to do it.

Are you making these mistakes and missing the opportunities to have people help you raise your profile? Possibly, so check out the post and make some changes to how you operate on social media. There are also links in the post to a couple of other excellent posts on effective tweeting and info sharing…

Originally posted on Veronica Bale's Blog:

Findability ( … if that’s not a word, I’m making it one).

As an author, you’re an entrepreneur. That goes double (or triple, or exponential, even) if you’re a self-published author. The success or failure of your career is directly related to the effort you put in to make yourself visible to potential readers.

Never miss an opportunity for attribution

We all know that social media is one of the best ways to increase your visibility. But simply having a Twitter account, or a blog, or a Facebook page, or all three and more, is wasted effort if you are not making yourself findable. What do I mean by that? Well, for example …

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Random Post – Sharing your words

A funny thing happens when you write a book and put it out into the world for people to read. Now and again, people will take your words and do something with them that you weren’t expecting. And that surprises you.

Not long ago, I was trying to update my website with blog posts I’d featured in and Googled my name to check I hadn’t missed any. (Side-thought: do you make the ‘G’ a capital letter, when you’re using Google as a verb? Dilemma…) A couple of things popped up that I’d never seen before: a quote from one of my books being used on a promo for a dating website ‘Meetville.com’:

Love is having someone to do nothing with

 

And it seems to be one of my more popular quotes, featuring in other places too…

Another dating service: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/568438784188184705/

Inspiration for a photo-blogger, which I thought was pretty cool! :) http://365.mollysdailykiss.com/day-180-marketing/

 

 

The thing that got me thinking about this today, was the tweet I accidentally ran across which features an image inspired by a quotation from the currently unpublished Outlanders (link to Twitter is below the picture). The actual quote from the book is: “Mad – empty – crazy – lost – dying… I was all of these things and nothing as well, because even though I breathed and moved, I was not alive.” The picture is based on the highlighted part…

beach

https://mobile.twitter.com/nicratwoman/status/563508039165046784/photo/1

Post by: Phoenix Rising @nicratwoman

What was a little freaky is that the picture used could be an absolute match to a major scene that happens later in the book – a scene that has not been published, or hinted at anywhere (outside my head) and which does not actually generate the quotation from the book that the person used to inspire the image.

Now that is random! :) Maybe even spooky…

Incidentally, the same quote was also used by Susan Noyes Anderson, inspiring her poem ‘Fade to Gray’, which you can read here: http://susannoyesandersonpoems.com/2012/08/30/fade-to-gray/

It’s really interesting to see what another creative person – the poet, photographer, musician – does with something that you wrote in a particular context, and how the same words turn into something new.

 

As a writer has this happened to you? What have your words or blog posts inspired? :)

 

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