600 words to go, before completing my first Middle Grade book!

Yes you heard it peeps, I’m almost at the finish line of completing this Middle Grade book of mine.  It’s been drafted about 7-8 times, and I’m aware it will have to be drafted another couple of times, but I’ve been editing along the way and I’m just so glad to be at this point.

Listen, I still have niggles, and parts which I know I have to leave then return to, but the motors running, I’m trying to not let work get in the way, so that I can get this thing out of my head and onto paper. 

I reckon, the next stop is to share with the critique group and see what they think, then go from there, I’m half way through the sequel too so feel reasonably on track. What else? Oh I found a place guys, I’ve been looking for months and am super excited about having my own digs. If anyone’s had to search for a room, they’ll know how hard it can be to pin a good one down, I’ve seen some hardcore dives, like serious atrocities, so couldn’t be happier :-]

The view from my new window….

Don’t forget to write in the comments below, or tweet #captainbling to be in with a chance of winning Rebecca Colby’s new fabtabulous Christmas picture book! [It’ll be one less pressie to think about, and a good one at that!]

I’ll also taking any questions from writers for an interview, I hope to be uploading with the wonderful Rebecca Colby in  conjunction with announcing the winner of the book giveaway, on the 30th Nov 2017. So please get in touch with me by the 26th Nov 2017, and hopefully she’ll be able to answer any questions you may have, how she got started, her method, inspirations etc. Your welcome to Tweet, Facebook me within this time frame. 

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How far along are you with your current writing tasks?

 

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Winter reads and goodies!

The weather has changed considerably in the last few weeks in London, and I’ve had to run out and get a few winter warmers, books included.

Isn’t it great when you find a bargain, I love it, this black and white woven coat is from Primark, that’s ‘Primada’ to me and you, only £25!
The shoes are from H&M at a steal too £29.99 [the link to shoes are leather not canvas like mine, couldn’t find them soz]. I love these shoes, they are nice and high just right for a pip squeak like me, and black to go with anything in my wardrobe- although I don’t have one of those at the moment :-]  

However as a book lover, I don’t mind scrimping occasionally so that I can buy more books!
I’m reading a couple of teen and mid grade books at the moment, can’t wait to share what I’ve found. In the way of adult books, this’ll be my first Zadie Smith read, so I’m super excited to get started, I’ll let you know all about it after I’m done!

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What books and other bargains have been catching your eye?

Happy changes!

 

The person you took the pictures for this blog is an amazing photographer, the fact that, that person Chantel King is my sister has nothing to do with it lol!! Anyhow sometimes when she does a cool shoot, she’ll get a few freebies and her sisters- if she’s feeling generous, also get to benefit. I don’t usually wear much make-up, but recently I’ve been having a good old play, and realised it’s not as traumatic as I once thought.Let’s just say I would never have worn red lipstick back in the day, look at me now lol. Those of you with any make-up tips out there, drop a comment below and please share, I need your help!

The picture above is of me and my cousin who recently graduated, he did fantastically well, his mum did a surprise gathering for him to celebrate, and he was totally taken a back when we all flew out. New things await this young man, and I couldn’t be prouder!

Since being back in London after living away in Spain last year, I have to say I’m enjoying it soooo much, I feel like I’m seeing it with fresh eyes -if you know what I mean. Book ideas are coming to me daily, and I’ve decided to buy a note-pad dedicated to just that. London really is a fantastic city, and you never know what may spark those writery senses! 

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What ‘happy changes’ are occurring in your life, and is it affecting your writing?

Bank holiday was a blast!

 

Did I feel as sick as a dog through most of bank holiday yes, yes I did, Did I complain? Of course! Did I care noooo, because I was with friends and family that could somehow put up with such odious behaviour, so there lol.

So on Thurs my mum came over to watch the new version of ‘Anne a green gables’, she was telling me and my sis about this new cat of hers Zachary, who apparently has been duping all the neighbours into giving it food. We told her that that’s what all the fat cats do.

This is mum back in the day, couldn’t find a more recent photo for some reason. I love this pic of her.

Friday

Me and my sister watched a load of classic movies ‘Calamity Jane, Easter parade, Seven Brides for seven Brothers’ Gotta love Howard Keel. 

greatest movies- blogger

Sat

Ok so were off to a good start, but yeah, felt really yuck, but I reckon the worse was over so I was definitely going out. I met up with some dancer friends in Hyde park- I’ll tell you about that former life some other time lol- We made a gorgeous picnic by Diana’s memorial, and lapped up the sun. Beautiful!

Bank Hol Monday

We went to celebrate sports day! #gmdc Where GMFA-the gay men’s health charity UK was raising money to help improve health, and well being in the gay community.

There was everything from one legged racing, hand bag throwing, to tug of war, even one of my sisters got involved- Pulllllll!!!

Wish I could have gone Nottinghill carnival as well, but time wasn’t on my side. It felt quite calm on the trains on our way to Vauxhall -where the charity event was, I thought they’d be more crazy drunk revellers around, but it all seemed quite civilised. What I’m most pleased to hear about was that for the most part it was a brilliant success, and of course the minute silence, for the victims of Grenfell towers.

Image result for Grenfell towers carnival silence

belfast telegraph

It’s hard to shed any light on such an awful catastrophe, especially at Nottinghill carnival which is all about joy and laughter, but I can only hope it helped to strengthen the community, bring them closer together, and know that the public hasn’t forgotten about the horror they’ve been through, and instead are willing to show their love and support when they need it most.

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What did you get up to on the bank holiday?

 

 

 

 

Writing between the day job

I usually get up around 5:30 to teach the first class at 7-7:30am, yes peeps, if you didn’t know already, I’m a Pilates instructor.

Then from this early morning session-depending on the schedule- I’ll either go teach another class,  go home for a cheeky nap, or write. I can’t complain I have a varied week, but sometimes I get so busy the only time left to scribble, is in the early hours of the morning. I love what I do, as it compliments those times when I find myself desk bound. For a start I’m engaging in physical activity, blood is circulating, muscles are strengthening, and my mind and body connection is frequently being exercised. But some weeks especially if I’m on a writing roll, I find my energy almost diminish, it’s like I’ve got all fires burning simultaneously and I just want to stop. I have sooo much respect for those single parents out there, honestly holding down a job, bringing up a little human being, getting time for yourself must be difficult, but of course it’s achieved every single day.

The odyssey on-line

It’s not impossible. 

So here are my Top THREE places to write, when on the run. First up….

The Loo

Yes, toilet talk is not very appealing, and with the little time you may spend in there, you could produce a bunch of crap-excuse my french, but trust me leave a note book hanging around the area, and you might be surprised what emerges, pure gold. 

Trains

How many times have heard ‘We are being held by a red signal’ Or ‘signal failure! These are the times more often than not ideas come to me, so I always have a pen handy.

Queues

Did you know, that apparently we spend around two years of our life waiting around in queues? Can you imagine how many books you could write in this time???

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What’s your day job, is it a challenge to make time to write?

 

 

Happy Birthday to moi!

Shocking out at a Micheal Jackson night in Peckham, a few days after my birthday was great, but it was only when I sat down [Above] in the toilets by an unused but very much mutilated tampon that I knew, it was time to go home.

Birthdays can fly by, or let you know that in that momentous moment ‘Time waits for no man’ so you better keep on moving. For me it’s totally the latter, for instance, this time last year was so very different for me, I had more than I could’ve ever dreamed of, but for some reason I didn’t feel wholly content with what I had.

This time around I have much, much, less…Much less lol, but I’m feeling ok with that, and somehow my heart feels rested…

For better or for worse I can only go forward

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What did you do for  your last birthday? Anything interesting??? Feel free to comment below :-]

 

 

 

 

Pushing forward…..

Last week sometime I’d gone for my 3rd book shop job, and didn’t get it, in fact I didn’t get that, the vintage retail thing, or the job selling saucy hoisery- which is probably a good thing, as it consisted of donning a cake full of slap everyday and wearing heels Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! Yep, that’s the imaginary me running for the bus, after a long day of convincing a customer that the ‘peep hole’, isn’t only a phrase used for the open toed shoe. 

So you if you hadn’t guessed already I was feeling a little **** but my luck has somewhat changed, I’ll tell you more about that soon.

Tues

My birthday, well I taught a few classes in the morning- I know this doesn’t quite co-inside with the whole job hunting, but  I teach only a couple of classes a week, looking for part time stuff- ok seriously BORING myself now loooolllll!!!

Back to birthday, I saw in ‘Time Out’ that Polo Bar were giving out FREE meals from 9-6 OMG Just look at this! My breakie, Roll me outta ‘ere please!!!!!

Wed

Went for a run in and around London Bridge, beautiful, I even took a quick pic to prove it lol…God, time really does fly doesn’t it? But I’m good, I feel very much human right now, I’ve no super powers, no enforced meme to be greater than I have the strength for, no rush….I’m just cruising trying to get by, with a minuscule plan to get ahead and that’s….

To keep the **** going without looking back.

Hip hip hooray, and one for luck!

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See you soon, with updated competitions post ;-]

 

What’s this? Your book queue is decreasing!

Yes Peeps! My book queue is lessening, and it might be to do with the fact that I’m beginning to READ them at long last haaa!!!

Giphy

Having read a fair few young adult stuff recently, I’m trying to hit the Chapter book market -with a tinge of Mid Grade thrown in- as this is the type of reader I’m writing for at present. I think if you’re writing in a particular genre, age group etc reading kind goes hand in hand of what you’re trying to achieve as a writer, and to get your manuscript reasonably bang on, you’ll need to do your homework.

For me, I’m starting to understand more about who this type of reader is, what’s appropriate, what isn’t, which themes are being explored? All the while, keeping abreast of what’s currently out there on the shelves.

It’s definitely proving useful, from analysing varied use of POV, plot, and how a relatively short story -like that of a Chapter book- can unfold- yes, reading a bit of everything is great- but I’m finding this way I’m less distracted, and more focused on what’s important -or not- to a kid of that age. 

manyhatsblog

It’s funny, prior to streamlining my reading like this, I found that my 10 yr old protagonist was slipping into some very weird adult territory, and the voice was getting waaay too muddled. So I decided to stick it in a draw for a couple of weeks, re-read it, then scrap it, then start over, and let’s just say were all the better for it.  

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What are you learning about reading other peoples books?

Elvis ain’t dead, he’s dancing with me.

I’ts boiling today, but I believe it was even hotter over the weekend. I went to the FREE summer festival at Alexandra palace with my beautiful sister. Oh, did I mention it was a beer festival? Haaaaa!

The food was sweeet! She had halloumi fries, and I had this Thai thingymejig which was tasty as, and of course we had to try the beer.

We heard some great bands play, and got to watch some live graffiti…

And then we had a dance- well I did while my sister laughed her head off. Look, I was just an innocent bystander, when out of nowhere I was thrust- quite literally into a Mike Myers movie, where Elvis was the star of the show, heeelp!!! 

Phew! And then y’know what? Because it was so much fun, we went back the very next day!

Cheers! And happy writing x

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What will you be getting up to next weekend? 

Oh yeah, it’s the Stoke Newington Literary Festival!

Why didn’t you stop me huh? Why didn’t anyone STOP me? I had it all planned out, to sit and have lunch on this sunny Saturday afternoon- after of course, lapping up as many scrumptious literary events as I could. But nooo you let me loose, and I ended up buying more books, with only enough cash to buy a doughnut at the end of it! GRRRRR

Here’s me talking in a calm, and mellow kind of way about today’s events lol!

Please ignore what looks like a drunken thumbnail of me under the influence of a jug of tequila, and possibly the shocking site of Nigel Farage’s bottom, it may get better when you press play- but I ain’t making any promises.

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If you were there, tell me what you enjoyed the most :-]

A weekend to remember

Weekends are over waaay too quickly for my liking, which is why making most of the time is paramount.

Whether it be sitting around in your sweats all day watching Game of thrones, or running across Hampstead heath like your life depended on it…Or, or you could hang out with friends, drink a cold one, and eat lots of cake. Then try your very best not to say goodbye, to one of the most incredible people you know.

Miss Peroni you are insanely amazing, when people talk about following their hearts….

When they say believe in yourself…

To not care about what others think

To be themselves…

I believe you are that every single day. You have been my mother, my confident, my sister, and my rebel in the most raucous way possible. You have undeniably challenged me at every turn, and I have hated you for it, you have pushed me creatively and emotionally, and if I had a blade I would have fought you tooth and nail about it…You made me look in the mirror a hundred times over but…

I’d only bury my head in your shoulders, and that’s why I can only love you for it.

And I guess, that’s why you my dear, are the reason I am no longer a Three.

Now you’re going on to pastures new, to spread your shining light over all that will surround you, sure it won’t all be jamon y olives- but if you play your cards right, it’ll be close.  

This is a completely selfish post I know, there’s no advice, or witty book charm to reveal,  no devastating writers block, or other shocking writery news. No, This is just about me and my mate, the type of person everyone should have in their lives, because laughing at nothing, is pretty much everything.  

 

 

 

 

 

The aftermath of distraction

Is a complete and utter loss of the plot, in my case lol!

So much has happened these past few months,  I’m just trying to keep it together half the time. Job hunting sucks, it really does, I’ve never had so many C.V’s, which is why I’ve had to bite the bullet and take a few steps back *Shot through the heart and you’re to blame, you give loove a bad name!!!!* Sorry that song just popped into my head….Where was I? Jobs, backtrack, Jovi….

So while I’ve been rolling out that optimistic ball of energy everyone knows me for, I’ve been distracting myself with crap TV- The bad stuff, Running the good stuff, Meditation the best stuff, opening up to the odd ‘Stranger’- The sometimes dangerous stuff, Writing the crazy stuff, Reading the immersive stuff….Yeah, there’s a lot of stuff going on in my head at the moment lol!

The odyssey online

But predominantly I’ve got to push  forward, and let go of any kind of ego and/or embarrassment….That sort of, makes me feel like a failure-since the break up- There, I’ve said it. I know I’m not, but it just sometimes feel that way.

I hope I can do that…..

P.s I promise I’ll have a fun, and happy post for you next time. But there are times, when you can’t avoid the unavoidable, I could write something ‘nice’ in an everything’s going swimmingly kind of way, but you’d see right through that, I know you would :-]

Well, I don’t know about you, but I need a bit of Foo to cheer me up!

Dave Grohl GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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Can’t wait to share with you what I’ve been reading!

x

Last night was awesome!!!

When my sisters and I get together it’s great fun, yes there’s the little short lived squabbles, the occasional eyeball roll, and not to forget the pokes and jab sisterly code. But other than that, we get on incredibly well. 

So the middle sister has been trying to get my nose out of the books for a couple of hours, and show me her love for Swing-

Dancing guys, dancing, arr you are a dirty lot! Anywaaay, last night I did it, after 6 months or so of being nagged asked, I rocked up with my beginners ‘help me!’ gaze and tiny silver bow studded earrings and. it. was. goooood.

I had so much fun, there was a beginners class to start with, then a live band came out afterwards with brilliant singers, for a big sweaty heaving Swing patrol bash! Here’s a little bit for you to enjoy, just ignore me going mental for 5 sec’s of the film, I was so excited lol :-]

Do you remember I mentioned in my ‘Sitting next to Quentin Blake’ post that I thought it was not only important to work at crafting your craft, but also observe and live a little too, well, this was just the start of the latter.

My feet are still wiggling haaa!

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What have you been doing away from the books, that makes you happy?

Friends like these…

As some of you know it’s been a tough slog these last few months, and if I didn’t have friends like these, it would’ve been a whole lot tougher.

I mean, look what was waiting for me from one of my dearest friends, when she invited me over for brunch a few weeks back, mouth watering isn’t it?

Oh, and by the way it was as delicious as it looked!

We bathed in the sunshine and cackled like old women, laughing about nothing  imparticular- just how we like it. It was sooo much fun. [Above are the failed polaroid shots we took ;-[

Then I got a surprise visit from Spain yesterday, and boy did we have lots to catch up on, got so much love for this girl, seriously :-]

 

Then in the evening, it was out on the town to the stunning Lauren’s birthday party, at a wonderful vegan place in Oxford street. I can’t believe I ran out of the house, and forgot her present!  http://www.oxfordstreet.co.uk/dining/ethos/

To my sisters- which include Amirah and Lizzy- Pam, Grace, & Lauren love you to the max, thank you for being there. Always.

Just like Pizza lol

That’s it, bloomin ‘ell I’ve gone on a full saccharine overdrive-Someone please stop me!!! Er… Can I just say a big thank you to all the Facebook crew as well, all your positive comments likes, encouragement, have been truly lovely. I had no idea the writing community would be this supportive. :-]

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Wait-Did you notice I refrained from putting anything book related in this post. Although I was thinking, with all the stories my friends and I have between us, we could easily fill a paper back no worries. Ok, so it would probably have to have a parental guidance sticker on it, but I’d definitely be up for reading that. 

x

 

When writing is good…

Tues

I’m ecstatic!!!!!! 

After coming back from my writing class I was spinning off the ceiling, why? why? I don’t know why I just love it, I could speak about children’s books for days. I love the discussions we have even the irritable ones, the problem solving, the listening to other peoples work, the group, arrrrh the group is so lovely and yes I am happy peeps, I am well and truly stoked for that very reason.

I’ve finally found a place where I belong, and guess what they haven’t kicked me out yet. Tequila anyone???

Wed

Sat down to write an idea that came to me in the middle of crossing the road, I totally could’ve killed myself. But who care’s when I managed to plot and write that sucker down in about two hours! Inevitably it needs a good edit and clean but c’mon, that doesn’t happen often.

The words were furiously coming out of my pores and I just had to get it out of me, and the BEST thing was, even though I knew what I wanted to write, there were all these pockets of surprises popping up from nowhere, like little furry mole heads taking a peak into the outside world.

Bustle

Don’t worry Dumbledore I’ll definitely be sharing a post about the dark side too, but for now can’t I go at this thing as if I’ve eaten a unicorn of marshmallows, and don’t know any better….Pleeease.

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Where’s the strangest place you’ve ever come up with a book idea?

 

Writers: All Coffee and Turkish delight, I don’t think so…

Wednes

I’ve been at the desk all this week throwing myself into researching, jobbing, writing, soon to be submitting…..And it’s hard work. Feel a bit worse for wear today though, watching Eat Pray Love yesterday probably didn’t help matters; but yes, if you’re wondering I am enjoying it, in a weird ‘Shut off from the world’ kinda way….I really am. 

Last Thurs

The girls-my sisters- bought me this pad for Christmas, I got it out for the first time last week…Haaa Think I may have to draw in it at some point.

Right now…

Don’t you just hate plotting when it’s going wrong, and love plotting when it’s going right?  Oh the POST ITS!!!!

I wrote Three picture books last month, in total there’s now four in the series. An idea for a chapter book series has been worming around in my head, so want to get started on that tomorrow, and I’m doing the last proofread on my current book before it flies its wings. 

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What do you reckon have I earned a coffee and a chalky piece of delight yet?

HELP! He didn’t tell me what was INSIDE the sandwich

FRI
img_20170222_092744

As a sign of appreciation for me waiting in a long line of Horrid Henry fans *If you don’t stop tugging me I’ll- How many times I AM NOT YOUR MOTHER* Sorry, erm…For a signed copy of his favourite book. My nephew decided to say thank you in various ways, y’know, to show me how much he loooves me. It all started with…. 

Spongebob square pants

….Completely ignoring me when I went to pick him up from school last week, next, he practically bubble snot laughed at me when I ate the pancake which was left on the side in the kitchen, only to later find out it had fallen on the floor. Nice…

The slightly warped website

‘Auntie you’re gonna get soooo sick!’ he’s now holding his sides in hysterics.

And last but not least he shares his latest Masterchef concoction, jam a la scrambled egg sandwich which I know, you’ll all want to run home and try. Yep, Any second now…

No, he’s definitely not at all Horrid like Henry himself, but I’ll bet money on them going to the same cheffing school!

SUN

It’s time to not Homer Simpson read, but ACTUAL read Lol

The Simpsons Giphy

And Two YA books later I’ve zipped through ‘Brock’ by Antony Mcgowan and ‘All my secrets’ by Sophie Mckenzie. Check them out below!

http://www.barringtonstoke.co.uk/books/brock/

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24323043-all-my-secrets

Both very different books, but definitely a good decent grip of a read for their age groups. If you’ve read either of them I’d love to hear your thoughts. 

Anyone else hungry?

Peanuts

‘Hello, yes can I get a a chicken shish please…What do you mean you’re all out, but you can make a mean egg and marmite sandwich instead.

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Which books will you get stuck into this weekend?

 

Part two: World book day 2017!

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‘It was the most embarrassing day of my life…’ grumbled Hagrid Sorry my nephew when I went to him pick up from school today, yep you heard right, and in addition to that he apparently kept his coat on for most of it after having *ahem* a slight wardobe malfunction- which was a too big at waist trouser, trouser not staying up, trouser slipping down trouser leg type of thing.

img_20170302_173250

 

Hmm This type of behaviour doesn’t bode well for taking part next year, unbeknown to his fanatical border line crazy competitive mother- my sister, who I can easily say that about as I’m pretty much the same bracket. Yes ‘Best dressed costume’ is up for grabs and we have had high hopes! Lol   

 

 

 

 

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These pictures posted are some that we took before he had a chance to pull off his costume, and play a game in the hallway he liked to call ‘Burn, fire burn’. 

He’s growing up what can I say, I mean I’m totally fine with it… Totally

Actually can you leave me now…..I need to go bawl in a corner.

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In keeping with the wizardy witchy theme, here’s the book that I read at his school today beware one and all ‘Winne The Witch’ by the brilliant Valerie Thomas and Korky Paul is on the loose!

Hope you had a fab world book day peeps!

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Winnie-Witch-Valerie-Thomas-x/dp/0192726439

Did you dress up if so who did you go as, I’d love to know, pop a comment in the show off box below ;-]