Motivation Monday

 

New Monday = New Week!

Monday’s are for fresh starts! Who is with me?

Not to mention all the new goals and new plans waiting to be unveiled.

So, what did you accomplish? Good things I hope.

Currently, I have Pendragon awaiting further edits, A Rueful Equinox sitting at just over 2700 words and… A Curse of Thorns & Roses is in the planning stages. And that’s just my writing projects. I’ve also been editing short stories, creating various content which I hope to share with you soon. As for my little Monday ritual it usually involves coffee and cake.

I’ll be sharing future progress and if you happen to have made any of your own, please do share in the comments… no matter how big or small it was!

And don’t worry if you didn’t make much progress today is a new day and the start of a new week.

Just work the steps from this post and you’ll be on your way!

Motivation Monday

 

New Monday = New Week!

Monday’s are for fresh starts! Who is with me?

Not to mention all the new goals and new plans waiting to be unveiled.

So, what did you accomplish? Good things I hope.

I did a lot this past week and I’ve got a lot of balls up in the air to get on with over the next week.

We’ll see how productive I am next week.

What’s your Monday ritual? Did you make one? 

I did!

What about you?

I’ll be sharing my ritual along with weekly progress reports in subsequent Monday blog posts.

Share the progress you made in the comments no matter how big or small it was!

And don’t worry if you didn’t make much progress today is a new day and the start of a new week.

Just work the steps from this post and you’ll be on your way!

Motivation Monday

 

New Monday = New Week!

Monday’s are for fresh starts! Who is with me?

Not to mention all the new goals and new plans waiting to be unveiled.

So, what did you accomplish last week?

Did you make your Friday more productive? Or did you struggle with it like I did?

What’s your Monday ritual? Did you make one? 

Did you set a weekend routine? If spending both days writing counts, I totally nailed it.

As for Monday’s not sucking… well I’m still working on that. 

How about you?

Share the progress you made in the comments no matter how big or small it was!

And don’t worry if you didn’t make much progress today is a new day and the start of a new week.

Just work the steps from last week’s post and you’ll be on your way!

Motivation Monday

New Monday = New Week!

Monday’s are for fresh starts! Who is with me?

Not to mention all the new goals and new plans waiting to be unveiled.

I’m not the biggest fan of Monday’s to be honest but I’m looking to change that. And I thought what better way than to bring you guys along for the ride with me and maybe see some positive changes in your lives as well.

So, how can you fall in love with Monday’s?

1. Make Friday Productive.

Have a slower start to the working week by preparing the best you can on Friday. Put in a lot of work on Friday. So you don’t have that much on your to do list for the new week. Get the most difficult tasks done on Friday so that Monday doesn’t have to be crazy and full of stress.

2. Create a Monday Ritual.

To start loving Mondays find a habit, a treat, or a ritual – something that you really love and look forward to and make it happen.

3. Stop derailing yourself on the weekends.

Most of us love to sleep in on the weekends but it isn’t always practical. You’ll find yourself getting exhausted fast. To avoid that keep your weekend sleep schedule similar to your weekday schedule and you’ll soon find yourself ready to take on Monday.

4. Change your mindset.

Stop telling yourself that Monday’s suck. The truth is they don’t. It’s just that for some of us the weekend never lasts long enough. Instead think of Monday’s as a fresh start. A new chance to go after things that matter most to you.

I hope this gives you a much needed boost to take back Monday and mould it into something you can learn to love.

The #1 Thing That Will Make a Difference to Your Writing

Want to know the one thing that will make a difference to your writing?

Well I’m about to share it.

Get ready.

It’s reading.

Yes. READING.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. It can’t be that simple, right? Wrong! It really is that simple.

Immersing yourself in the genre you’re writing in not only helps you with language and style but also with finding your writing voice and it also helps with grammar and spelling. Something every writer at any stage can benefit from.

I don’t know about you but my grammar is often weak, especially in my longer works. But I’m working to improve it, and reading helps me to recall certain grammar rules.

It also helps your mood by helping you relax and centre yourself. Plus if you’re anything like me, reading a paperback book can aid in helping you fall asleep.

So, what are you waiting for? Go on and grab yourself your next favourite read and get cracking.

Paperback books are still my most favourite thing to pick up and read, but kindle is a close second.

What’s your favourite? Paperback or eBook?

Comment below!

Bonus points if you share the title of the last book you picked up and read or are reading!

How to Make Writing Fun!

Whether you’re just starting your writing journey or you’ve been writing for years, you may have found the excitement has died down some and the lure of words on the page just isn’t as strong as it used to be.

Well… here are 4 ways to make writing fun again!

1. Use a writing prompt. Check inspirational images or word prompts on Pinterest.

2. Engage the world around you. What’s out your window? Write about it.

3. Flip the pages of your favourite novel. Draw inspiration from the page you land on.

4. Illustrate the last thing you wrote. Even if it’s bad. The drawing not the writing.

I hope one or all of these help inspire you to write something great.

And when in doubt… RELAX! The words come easier when you stress less!

Lest We Forget

Today is Anzac Day.

It’s a national day of remembrance held every year on April 25th.

It stands for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps And commemorates all the Australian and New Zealanders who served and died in all wars, conflicts and peace keeping missions and was originally devised to honour those who had served in the Gallipoli Campaign, the first engagement of World War 1. (1914-1918)

But for the first time in over a century, there are no official services. COVID-19 has changed how we celebrate things.

So, today I got up and paid my respects from my driveway at 5:55am.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

As we won’t be participating in an official Dawn Service this year, as like last year, I am sharing a recipe for Anzac Biscuits. Yes, I said biscuit not cookie.

ingredients

 

1 cup plain flour

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup coconut

125 g butter

2 tbs golden syrup

1 tbs water

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

 

method

 

Sift the flour into a bowl. Add sugar, rolled oats and coconut.

Melt butter in a saucepan, then add golden syrup and water.

Stir the bicarbonate of soda into the liquid mixture.

Add liquid to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.

Place walnut-sized balls of mixture on a greased tray and bake at 170 degrees Celsius for 12 minutes.

Biscuits will harden once cool.

For those of you reading this blog post and thinking: but I don’t have/can’t get my hands on any golden syrup there are substitutes, like honey, corn syrup and molasses.

Click here for more information about those substitutes and others that you can use in place of golden syrup.

 

New Years Resolutions

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Well 2020 is upon us and I had exactly four goals last year. So, for those of you wondering how I did, here’s a recap.

1. Write 300 words a day.

I did it! Over the last year I averaged 386 words a day.

2. Publish… something.

No, I didn’t publish any of the novels in my series. But I did manage to publish a few shorter works and get a bunch of short stories and poetry accepted, as well as publish four anthologies under Iron Faerie Publishing.

3. Write weekly blogs.

Yes! And sometimes daily blogs.

4. Read more.

I’m not sure I read more but I read. So… yes?

So, what am I embarking on this year?

Well for 2020 I’m going to…

1. Write 500 words a day.

2. Publish Book One of the Eldritch Series.

3. Finish Books 7, 8 & 9 of the Eldritch Series.

Now that my goals are out of the way, what are your goals? Writing or otherwise… feel free to list some or all of them in the comments.

And… HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I hope 2020 brings you everything you wish for!

300 Followers

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Thank you all so much. You guys are beyond awesome! It’s been an incredible nine months since I hit my last milestone of 200 followers and it’s so humbling to find myself at 300 followers. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sticking with me. It means the world.

I love seeing the numbers grow because I love sharing my success along with writing tips and story prompts along with other random tidbits.

Here’s to the next 100 followers in the next nine months.

 

 

Goodbye Autumn

It’s Friday… finally. The end of another working week… for some and for others like me it’s the end of the school week which means… for me that my kids will with absolute certainty steal the computer out from under me to play whatever PC orientated game they can find while I concoct devious ways of luring them away from the PC so I can write.

Oh, the life of a mum of four. It’s hell I tell you. Send wine and chocolate. Actually scrap the wine and send Chardonnay, cause I hate wine and beer. Actually most alcohol. Unless it’s Baileys or Writer’s Tears. Yes! Look it up that stuff exists. Cost a small fortune. But it was worth it.

Because… Writer’s Tears… enough said.

I digress.

Winter is coming and truth be told I love Winter. I get to pile on the blankets without apologising. I’m always cold.

And with Winter comes birthdays along with anniversaries of things that I’d sooner forget because no matter how hard I try I’m almost always a wreck by July 24th.

Life is fleeting and I’m trying to not let it pass me by. I’m trying to get my words out into the world.

It’s really all I’ve got tonight.

Oh, and this rose from my garden.

Isn’t it pretty? I’ve been promising myself a red rose for years, partly because I loved the rose garden in my parents backyard and partially because I just love red roses.

Lest We Forget

Anzac Day. It’s a national day of remembrance held every year on April 25th

It stands for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps And commemorates all the Australian and New Zealanders who served and died in all wars, conflicts and peace keeping missions and was originally devised to honour those who had served in the Gallipoli Campaign, the first engagement of World War 1. (1914-1918)

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

As we won’t be partaking in the Dawn Service this year, I have decided to share a recipe for Anzac Biscuits. Yes, I said biscuit not cookie.

ingredients

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut
  • 125 g butter
  • 2 tbs golden syrup
  • 1 tbs water
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

method

  1. Sift the flour into a bowl. Add sugar, rolled oats and coconut.
  2. Melt butter in a saucepan, then add golden syrup and water.
  3. Stir the bicarbonate of soda into the liquid mixture.
  4. Add liquid to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  5. Place walnut-sized balls of mixture on a greased tray and bake at 170 degrees Celsius for 12 minutes.
  6. Biscuits will harden once cool.

For those of you reading this blog post and thinking: but I don’t have/can’t get my hands on any golden syrup there are substitutes, like honey, corn syrup and molasses.

Click here for more information about those substitutes and others that you can use in place of golden syrup.

5 Reasons Why You Should Write Daily

5 reasons why you should write daily

There is a lot of conflicting advice surrounding this topic of why you should write daily or why you shouldn’t. Some, compare it to exercise by saying that you wouldn’t exercise daily so why would you want to write daily?

Well this is one mum of four who does exercise daily. Yes! And by exercise I don’t mean lifting weights or anything that strenuous… once upon a time I used to be able to do pull ups with absolute ease, but my upper body strength is not what it use to be, but I do walk up to forty-five minutes a day. I listen to music, I clear my head, and I inevitable plan out various scenes in my head.

Then I come home and I sit down and write what’s been flowing through my head for those forty-five minutes.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise. I’ve talked about this topic before. But I think it needs to be mentioned again.

If you don’t write daily, you can’t hope to hone your skills as a writer, can you?

But what about writer’s burnout? Yes, it’s real and its completely different to writer’s block. But here’s the secret to surviving writer’s burnout.

DO NOT STOP WRITING!

I know, you think I’m crazy. I promise you I’m not.

Writing is hard. It’s often slow and painful. You think you’re never going to get to the end of the story or novel you’re writing. But I promise you, you will. If you keep at it. It’s not a race. It’s a marathon and in a marathon you have to pace yourself. If you don’t you won’t be able to keep up. And yes, sometimes I fall into a pit of anxiety worrying over deadlines and if I can actually write those 5,000 words that some anthology calls ask for. It’s scary and mind numbing. I tend to shy away from sci-fi for this very reason.

But at the end of the day, all you can do is try. Strive for those high possibly unattainable goals and maybe, just maybe you might get lucky enough to reach a few of them.

Publishing is harder. Trust me. And you do need a thick skin. I confessed to a friend in the early hours of this morning that I still feel as if my writing isn’t worth a damn. And yes, publishers keep taking a chance on me, and I do – often – pinch myself being able to consider myself a published author. Both in paying and non paying markets.

Self doubt can cripple authors. Old or new. But it’s no reason to give up.

So here’s 5 reasons why you should write daily.

  1. It’s habit-forming. And while I don’t know how true it is, I’ve heard it said that it only takes 21 days to form a habit.
  2. It’s cathartic. Keeping a journal, for instance is a way to release stress and tension. Getting lost in the creation of a fictional world can help take your mind of day-to-day worries because you’re getting involved in someone else’s.
  3. You’re practicing a skill. It’s like learning a language. If you don’t immerse yourself in the language you’ll soon forget it. The same can be said about the technical aspects of writing.
  4. It eliminates writer’s block. After a while you’ll find yourself tapping into that well of ideas because the words just flow and because the words are flowing the ideas do too.
  5. It will make you more organized. You might not think it but once the habit forms you’ll want to write. I actually feel anxious and frustrated if I can’t get even ten minutes to sit and work on a project that isn’t my blog.

Now, I don’t write a lot as I usually aim for 300 new words a day. Not much at all. Take this past week for instance… not a lot of words of fiction written but quite a lot was accomplished on my blog. And let me tell you, when I first decided to pick up my blog a year ago and get serious with active blogging, I sucked at writing lengthy blog posts. I still suck at writing lengthy blog posts sometimes. But I stick with it.

Writing fiction is no different. Now, there was a time where I didn’t write daily. And my heart and soul suffered for it. You see, writing for me is an escape. It’s cathartic and it’s taken a while, but as much as the self-doubt still grips me, I love the feeling of getting that sometimes elusive acceptance email in my inbox.

But it’s not all about the stories I’ve had published. I do more often than not write for myself. I write what I want to read or about topics that resonate. I put my characters through hell because real life isn’t always easy and fiction is no different.

 

 

Gargoyles and Grotesques

In the light of the fire that destroyed part of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, I spent the day following the story and try to figure out a way to reflect on it while at the same time not rehashing everything that had been shared through all the various news services.

And as I was trawling through Pinterest an idea came to me.

What better way than to take a look at one of the iconic symbols of the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Gargoyle and share a writing prompt.

Gargoyles are a popular choice of architectural design on churches because of the long held belief that they warded away evil spirits, and to divert rainwater.

The word “Gargoyle” originates from an old French word “Gargouille” meaning “throat” but it also describes the gurgling sound of water as it comes down the down pipe.

Technically architects call a waterspout on a building a gargoyle. If a stone carving does not carry water and has a face that resembles a creature, it is technically called a grotesque. And a strange beast which combines several different animals is called a chimera.

As I looked up, I caught sight of a gargoyle.

Happy writing everyone!

200 Followers

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Thank you all so much. You guys are beyond awesome! It’s been an incredible nine months since I hit my last milestone and so humbling to find myself at 200 followers. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sticking with me.

I vowed back in June 2018 that I’d share more about my writing journey and my kids. I think I’ve succeeded in sharing more about my writing but not so much about my kids.

So, I thought I’d use this post to share a bit about the other side of my life, as a mum to four kids. Yep, four… crazy, right? It comes as a shock to some, actually. In fact, I’m asked a lot how I keep my sanity. Sometimes, I don’t. But sleep helps, that and copious amounts of coffee.

I love my kids to pieces, but they do at times drive me up the wall. My husband too, at times, but I guess that comes with the territory.

My eldest son is thirteen… a teenager, and it hasn’t sunk in yet. He’s outgrown me. (That hasn’t quite sunk in, either) I still find myself thinking of him as the same kid who surprised us all by reading at three and a half. He received Harry Potter at seven and devoured the books in quick succession. He’ll still pick them up and reread them to this day. He hates having to clean his room.

My daughter is quite a bit like me. She came into the world incredibly early, at not even a kilo and has left her mark every day since. At eleven she’s an absolute riot. Loves cats, horses and origami and hates the colour pink. Which according to her brother is the weirdest thing ever.

My next eldest son is ten and insanely smart and sometimes frustrating bundle of energy. I think he learnt to run before he learnt to walk, because he never stops. He loves Lego and minecraft and anything and everything space related and is slowly getting into fantasy books. He hates stir-fry and homework.

My youngest son is eight and has never quit trying to keep up with his older siblings. He loves trains, Peter Rabbit and Groot from the Marvel universe. His favourite colour is green. He’s broken bones and had stitches but I can’t think of a single thing he hates right now, when I do, I’ll be sure to share.

And that’s pretty much the snapshot into my kids and each of their very different personalities.

 

New Years Resolutions

Every year I set goals and every year I just don’t quite make it. Do, this year is the year I will. (Remind me to look back on this post on January 1st 2020)

So, what are my New Years Resolutions?

Well…

1. Write 300 words a day. No I don’t care that the word count is minuscule because it’s all that I can realistically handle without burning myself out.

2. Publish… something. Okay, this one is vague for a reason. Simple because I’d like to see the first three books in The Eldritch Series out before December 31st but I’m realistic and sometimes editing just isn’t in the budget.

3. Write weekly blogs. I’m open to ideas, do leave a comment about what you’d like to see.

4. Read more. Self explanatory, I think but I have quite a few books on my to be read pile that I didn’t get to in 2018, so I’m going to get to them in 2019.