Category Archives: Blogging

On Writing: Blog Hop

A writer who I admire for many reasons such as the way she brings her characters to life with so few words, gets to the raw truth of an experience and most importantly gets her novels out there (rather than stalling an moaning like me), invited me to take part in a blog hop.  Thank you Katie O’Rourke.

The simple principle for this blog hop is to answer a question about what I am writing and why and to link to two other writers blogs whom I rate.

Why are you working on the project you are writing now? Why is it important? (to you, or to the world, or…)

This is a painful question to answer as I am still working on a novel I started seven years ago and can’t seem to move on from. I think I know why it is important to me, although knowing doesn’t necessarily help.

1) It is based on my sister’s experience and she asked me to tell her story before she died (no pressure then).

2) I have had a number of agents interested (based on the partial MS) only to turn it down once they had read the full MS. This make me believe it has something, if only I could tell it right.

Whether it is important to anyone else (the world) I am hoping to find out by publishing it in serial chapters on this blog (see tab in top right hand corner – Forever In-between). If nothing else I will at least have got it out there to succeed or fail (subjective terms I know) and I can move forward.

Now onto the nice bit, giving a shout out to other writers who have been there for me (despite my pathetic track record of actually getting anything completed).

First off I would like to introduce Anne Goodwin and her blog Annecdotal which in her own words

is the persona through whom I navigate that in-between space both here and in the comments boxes on other blogs, with mutterings about reading and writing peppered with snippets of psychology and a quiet rage at social injustice and stolen childhoods.

I first read Anne’s writing on Your Write On and was blown away by her ability. I am honoured she counts me as one of her writing friends.

Secondly is a writer I met through the peer review site, Authonomy. Juli Townsend and I were part of the Women’s Fiction Critique group, but Juli, unlike me, has gone on to get her novel, Absent Children, published and I admire her tenacity and self-belief and wish it would rub off on me.

I know I am only supposed to nominate two writers, but there is one more shout out I must do. Stephen Gallup has written an incredible memoir about his son with a developmental disorder and the fight he and his wife faced to get him help.

Nobody knew what hurt little Joseph, and no one was offering a way to help him. He cried most of the time, and thrashed about as if in pain. He wasn’t learning how to crawl, talk, or interact normally. Doctors told his parents to seek counseling, because nothing could help their son, and the quality of their own lives was at risk. Refusal to accept that advice changed their lives forever. WHAT ABOUT THE BOY? A Father’s Pledge to His Disabled Son chronicles a family’s rejection of hopelessness and their commitment to the pursuit of normalcy.

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On blogging: sex, drugs and George Orwell

fireworksToday is the one year anniversary of my blog.  In that year my daughter left home for Honduras and returned (in one piece), albeit speaking Spanish. I started the 5:2 diet and didn’t stop. Although I’ve recently found  6:1 (1 day fast, 6 eating as normal including treats) is enough to maintain ideal weight, improved and younger looking skin (so my husband remarked at dinner, although what he actually said was);

“Are you wearing much make-up?”

“No not much, why?”

“Your face looks different, smooth… umm….”

“Younger?”

“Yes. That’s it. I didn’t want to say because then you would think I thought you looked old before.”

“Did I?”

– aswell as keeping the ankylosing spondylitis under control, with minimum medication.

I wrote a novel ‘The Replacement Wife’, but have yet to secure an agent (I will not give up). A short story got short-listed in Mslexia. My son studied for and passed his A-levels (and is off to Warwick to study philosophy). We got a new dog called Fred, a rescue poodle mix (cockapooish) from Cyprus, who is cute, devilish and has a crock (as in ugly plastic shoe) fetish. And summer arrived and stayed (sort of).

I salute you.
I salute you.

But what of my blog? Who visited and why in the past year?

Nearly 12,000 people have dropped by. A lot of them repeat visitors (thank you).

Average visits per month has grown to over 1000.

The main search terms revolve around sex, drugs and George Orwell.

george-orwell-quotes-sayings-lies-truth-famousGeorge Orwell led 98 people here, not sure what they made of it.

Agnus Castus brings hundreds of people to my blog and dominates the top of the search terms as well as the majority of search categories. Quite rightly. It works.agnus castus flower

Lord John Shayler, who opened a strip club in Ampthill, which is no longer a strip club, came third in most searched term. Probably disgruntled Ampthillieans, the ones in the incongruous image below, posing outside the contested strip club for a charity calendar.

ampthill

And finally, 380 comments!! Thank you so much. One of the best things about a blog is getting a comment on a post.

I didn’t know if I would sustain my blog. I didn’t know what I would blog about. I didn’t know if anyone would read it.

I have sustained it. I still don’t really know what I blog about. But you do read it. Thank you.

Here’s to another year of sex, drugs and George Orwell!

A review: My top ten for 2013

Time to review my list for 2013, one month in:

  1. Get an agent- well, I jumped. MS is sent.
  2. Get a publisher – depends on 1.
  3. Fast twice a week – yup, still doing it. Still feel great. Husband starts it tomorrow.
  4. Meditate regularly- not once. I really must start doing it again. Make time.
  5. Enjoy the moment (live in the present) – always trying, but would help if I meditated.
  6. Worry less (see no. 5) – nuff said.
  7. Read more books – reading two at once, currently. Spent a great train journey, immersed in Sadie Jones, Small Wars.
  8. Write more (instead of procrastinating on the internet) – well I’ve sent the MS and my friend and I are challenging ourselves to write something new each month and put it in our shared dropbox.
  9. Keep blogging- love my blog.
  10. Accept change is part of being alive and embrace it – I’m getting on a plane to Honduras! And looking forward to it.

A list: My top ten for 2013

  1. Get an agent
  2. Get a publisher
  3. Fast twice a week
  4. Meditate regularly
  5. Enjoy the moment (live in the present)
  6. Worry less (see no. 5)
  7. Read more books
  8. Write more (instead of procrastinating on the internet)
  9. Keep blogging
  10. Accept change is part of being alive and embrace it

What’s your top ten for 2013? Please share.