Monday, December 27, 2010

The Christmas Spirit

I love this time of year, I love the lead up to Christmas. Not the frenzy of shopping, the baking, the decorating in the house, the tree, the parties, cooking the dinner on Christmas day. The general good will to all men. The old movies, Scrooge, and a Wonderful life . Welcoming the need to slow down unwind, and generally enjoy what we have been blessed with. Spending time with our loved one's, and reflecting on the past year,and  all that has been achieved. This year has been an exceptional challenge living away from family, I miss them so much, however we make it work, and make it special. The Christmas services here, are without doubt, unique, and instill in me the belief in Jesus Christ . So much goes on around us, but I believe he is my biggest, and brightest light throughout all adversity, and I cling to him . I welcome the new friends who hold him close, and thank them for their friendship, and prayers. Christmas, for me is about the possibilities, renewing our belief in something powerful, wonderful, and more important that anyone of us. It is the reason we exist, and I believe each and every one of us has a purpose, a dream we must follow, as it is God's wish. I believe he helps us every day, if we are open to his help, and guidance .

This is a quick blog in between the kids wanting to be fed, taking turns on the Wii Fit , which is hysterical or shovelling the snow. Needless to say not much is getting done in the way of real writing . I did connect with someone who is willing to help me in my research into music and recording and will give me some insight into forming a band and what goes on with rehearsals,creating music etc . So very excited about that . Also, need to follow up on another contact , a music teacher !!!! I have also decided that at the end of the school year I will look at attending some courses either on line or in community college in the fall of 2011. My youngest will be in first grade, and the money we have previously spent on full day kindergarten can be used to kick start my career and to help in my pursuit of becoming a novelist. Not much else to write, so I thought I would include a sneak peak, a part of my prologue, just to see what you thought !!! 


"As I stand next to him watching, and waiting, looking at this great expanse that is the sky, with a sense of utter dread. I know this has been a vision, a recurring one for as long as I can remember. Only this time it is real! Night time, is somehow magical, mysterious, evoking a sensation of endless possibilities. Many things that happen at this time when the darkness takes over from the light are done so for that very reason, to remain hidden, clandestine or secret .We stand looking, as the glorious sun sets, the sky ablaze of deep bold colors, from strong violets, translucent fuchsia’s, bright oranges and dusky golden hues. It sets such a majestic painting that the old masters would be proud to name their own .This painting seems particularly special as we stand alone, it is just for us! Perhaps, to serve as a reminder of what we leave behind. Maybe, to give us courage to believe in what we are about to do. For what good is all this wondrous beauty, if there is no one here to appreciate, and enjoy it. "

Let me know what you think?  Does it make you want to know more ??? I will get back to it, when there are no distractions. I am going home for a couple of weeks as I need to visit my family, and so envisage a somewhat haphazard pattern of writing  over the next several weeks, writing when I can. When the soul and spirit combine making it possible. Merry Christmas and Happy New year

  • While there is infection in disease and sorrow, there is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humour.

  • Read more at Suite101: Dickens Quotes From A Christmas Carol: Ebenezer Scrooge, Bah Humbug and the Victorian Xmas Story

    It is the greatest medicine I know, having a good old laugh cures many ailments. it is good medicine for the heart and soul. So have a laugh xxxx

    Sunday, December 12, 2010

    Family Matters and pleasant distractions

    The last week has left me feeling as if I have been on the fast forward button it is good to have distractions.   I have been carrying on with the normal activities that are planned for this time of year buying presents, hosting a children's Christmas party, baking cookies for the cookie swap, and attending an ornament swapping party. All crazy but fun it is so good to laugh. However, all the while knowing I am getting nothing done with my writing . I have not written anything new now for 2 whole weeks .

    Life takes over in so  many ways I am not the bubbly extrovert that are some of my many wonderful friends but I do love to get out of the house and have needed to have a change of scene as some of what life throws at you can be unbearable and stressful.  There is nothing you can do except go through this time.Try to stay sane and deal with what is thrown at you. You get through  but not without a few rough days that was last weekend . Living abroad it is an amazing experience, but when there are concerns about your family it is difficult to navigate the minefield . There is a constant yo/yo of  feelings, guilt and responsibility. You want to be there, do all you can, logistics get in the way. You cannot hug someone over the phone.

    Anyway, when real life takes over, the writing stops.  I cannot sit and write when there are so many things to think about, my focus, my drive to create has literally been sucked out of me .I feel like a deflated balloon .I have not thought about the story for the last week at all . I have resigned myself to the fact, that it is an incredibly busy time, and refuse to add not writing, to my list of stress, so I let it go . Next week, I do plan to spend a couple of days at my desk, as I would like to try to achieve another chapter before Christmas takes over . I feel calmer this week, having decided to go home and visit my family in January. knowing that this life vest is there, helps to regain some sense of control and inevitably makes me feel better.

    I love this quote I hear it mentioned many times and I feel it is particularly relevant to me at this time and I wanted to share it with you ,

    "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."
    Reinhold Niebuhr ( American Theologian )

    Wednesday, December 1, 2010

    The Promise

    The above is the title of my fictional book and it encapsulates many meanings to me. I have chosen it for this weeks title as a reminder to myself of the promise I made ,many months ago, which was to complete the book I had started to write over a year ago.I have been trying to follow my personal legend ,broaden my horizons, push myself to the limit, and endeavour to achieve something creative and wonderful.It is a process of learning at times painful, and emotionally challenging. But no matter what life throws at you, I realise you have to keep going, ignoring what ever else is going on or being said and just finish the task in hand.

    With the Thanksgiving holiday, and my son's sixth birthday time has been limited to write so I have spent some time gathering research. I had a lovely evening with a group of teenagers, where we discussed several issues concerning the High school experience. It was a very interesting session, and very helpful, thanks so much for your time and input. I would like to do a follow up probably by email. I may  also have another avenue to explore for research into the area of music and in particular, experience with creating and the setting up a band, which I need to follow up on. This would be so beneficial to have.

    Several years ago I had  ideas about writing a non fiction book, it was going to be based around the teenagers experience in high school and the pressure that is placed upon them,. How they deal with this, and the desire of the child / parent to conform to what is expected in today's American society. I have observed children from a young age being so regimented by sports after school activities that they don't get the chance to experience a normal childhood not the kind that I had. Times have greatly changed  and their are many arguments for a great debate on childhood and adolescence which I don't want to get into. I never started to write that book. maybe one day I will.

    However the book I am currently writing deals with teenagers it is a love story that looks at the issues that are relevant to them and I hope offers another opinion it is fictional and so has the element of the incredible and unbelievable woven in but also touches on real issue's of sex, respect, and the choices they face at this age.My work maybe not as productive as I would hope over the next couple of weeks with Christmas,  but I will when I can continue to work as hard as possible to complete my book. I continue to have faith and the belief I can finish my .journey. Again I would like to say a big thanks to those who offer me support and encouragement .

    Saturday, November 20, 2010

    Reality bites

    Okay, so week by week I am writing this journal to record my progress, the highs and low of attempting to create and complete  a fictional book. Well I have to report that  Friday was a hard day, when faced with comments that make you wince it is easy to want to give up. I need feedback wanting to know whether the story is appealing, makes sense, is interesting, captivating. However, when someone gives you the low down and it is bad news, when their comments are not what you had hoped or wished for. Your heart just simply sinks like the Titanic.

    I felt completely drained. Wanting to throw the towel in, worried that after writing over 50.000 words it is complete and utter rubbish. Pondering whether I am just completely wasting my time. When writing you have to have such tremendous personal strength, and commitment to keep going. As forlorn as I felt my husband is a great support to me, when I least expect it. Even though he laughs at me, and makes jokes I guess as most husbands would, when he is genuine I realise why I chose him as my life partner. He puts up with my moods, impatience and  offers encouragement. Which you need,.because as strong as you think you are, when the feedback is not good, you feel bloody awful. 

    It doesn't take long for me to admit that the comments are true, I need to add more detail,  improve the grammar, rewrite and rewrite. After a lot of reflection which I do, I rise above the hurt, forget  the huge dent in my pride, and take on board what is said . I have to get better work harder and undertake more research. I swallow the comments  aware I am not JK Rowling or Stephen King, or any other prestigious well known author. I am an amateur ! A beginner, I have so much to learn but they must have started somewhere. Maybe, it will take me years to get published  I never really started out with that as my ultimate goal. I just wanted to be able to write a book, to finish what I had started. I hope it doesn't take me years to finish it.

    Good or bad please continue to send me comments, and let me know your thoughts I am grateful I have people I trust to read through my work, as it is hard to lay it out there for someone to pick holes in.Particularly as it is all completely new to me. This is a journey of self discovery, I get to use my imagination, which I love, it makes me laugh and cry. I feel excited when I have a good day of writing, I feel scared as hell that I am not good enough, but feel blessed that I am able to do what I love, and for all that I have, as reality is harsh and it bites..      

    Tuesday, November 16, 2010

    Women are amazing

    I love being a woman I am so biased because to be one is all I know, but I think that women are so strong, courageous, talented, and capable of anything that they so desire. We are fascinating as a species ever evolving, when you think of men from the beginning of time they were the provider, the cave man I really don't see an awful lot of change, whereas for women we are now capable of being anything and everything the mother ever nurturing, and providing for the family.We do not have to compromise our sexuality for the role of the modern day women I just admire and greatly appreciate being a woman.

    This week as my exploits as a novice writer continues I find I am at the hardest point yet in writing my story I have reached a climax only to find I am not sure of how to continue. I find I am dodging writing the next chapter as to put pen or finger to the keyboard is difficult. My mind throbs after a days writing but it also pains me to know I have reached a stumbling block, and I not sure of how to proceed. I have  changed the name of my main male lead and I feel slightly better about the choice. However I really feel I need a proof reader someone who can read my work and see if it makes sense to the average American. My husband as ever my greatest support told me after I described my book so far, "Bloody hell I am never ever going to be able to give up work , do you really believe that @@%&@.".So I am on my own as far as belief in my abilities to produce a book at the end of this quest.

    I know I could do more to improve my skills as a writer, go on courses to learn to write, enter short story writing competitions. But to choose to do this deviates from the sole task which is to complete a fictional book. A quest that I am convinced many think is impossible for me to achieve. Anybody that  know's me well, will know I never give up and  I always rise to the challenge. To give up is failure and I dont believe in that. My dad was a true inspiration he was a small man in stature but a man with a big heart, although like many men he did not know how to show it, he never gave up trying !

    As much as I like to think I need no help this week I encountered the Computer jungle. I am so lost when it comes to technology if I press the wrong button I freeze afraid I am going to erase all my work or send it somewhere I can never retrieve it from ever again. I hate this age of technology it makes us so dependant on these electronic devices that do not always work as they should.The other day I worked on the computer for 45 mins trying to change the setting fearing that I had lost 2 days worth of work even though I had pressed the damn saved button countless times. My pages were enlarged and spread all over the place what was 162 pages of work showed as 50 pages I was dying ... no really dying that was the point when I wanted to chuck the god damn computer out the window until  my ever so wonderful husband walked in and within I would like to say hours, mins, but it was seconds fixed the problem.

    Which brings me full circle as much as women have progressed , we still need men every now and then.
    I am ever learning, ever grateful , onwards and upwards.

    cheers Jen xx  

    Thursday, November 11, 2010

    Only Human

    Time is going ferociously fast at the moment with Thanksgiving just around the corner, the pressure is on for me to make progress whilst I can. This week has been really great I have to admit that for the last couple of weeks my feelings have been on the downward slope doubting my abilities to create something worthwhile.  Breaking away from the story and having the occasional coffee morning with a friend or two really helps. However, when I feel like this, I feel the need to write even more and have continued,carrying on immersing myself in this work, pushing all my fears to the back. I am so loving the story, I feel so eager to get it all down that it is still my greatest frustration. Whilst I am being somewhat productive I am happy I am on the right course for me, the quality of my laborious efforts are not the best at first, but when I go back, rearrange the words I feel it is getting stronger and closer to the way I want it to sound. The essence of the story I find captivating I hope eventually others will to. I am only human and this is my first attempt at writing a book, hopefully it will not be my last.

    My husband, is eager for me to be successful, already making his wish list as to what he plans to buy, and to be able to name the day he can retire, and live off me. Yes, he makes me smile, and laugh, one can dream !!!! Anyway as he jokes I carry on. I find I am mainly pleased with My main female lead Mia I am happy with who she is and what she stands for, however my male lead Declan a name I recall from when I was nursing, he was  a doctor I once worked with,he was Irish and lovely. But I am less convinced at this point, whether indeed I even like the name. A name means so much, do you remember how hard it was when it came to choosing a name for your child. Well this is even harder ! I can make a mental picture of how he is meant to look, and how I want him to be, just need to feel happy with this name ? What do you think ? Even though my book is a fictional one there are moments in it  where real events are mentioned,  there are also elements of science fiction mixed into the mix of this story. Having plotted out my story board and having reached approximately half way, I believe I have the potential for at least a second book within this format, which I have very, very loosely started to write down, bits of scribble!!

    Talking abouts names I have used some of my families names in the story line, they are just so familiar to me,  easy to add, and picture certain qualities I like.Other names I have used, as there are so many that you can find, when you are searching, one site was baby names, there are so many, but I have used names that are in my circle of friends or acquaintances. Whilst writing my book I am also trying to continue to read as many books as possible to observe as many styles of writing and improve and broaden my range of vocabulary it is so important, anything that adds to developing my creativity  is essential. I would love to have opinions  from other writers as to how they began,their  triumphs, and failures, difficulties, after all we are only human!!! We make mistakes,we just have to learn from them, and improve. I am writing a book because I have a story I want to share with everyone,it comes from within  and a desire to get the story written and published, this is my journey and I am totally committed, no matter what anyone thinks, this is my dream, my quest. At the end I will have created something I can keep,this is my record of that journey. 

    "Don't aim for success if you want it,just do what you love and believe in and it will come naturally"  David Frost.

    Thursday, November 4, 2010

    Time of the month

    Over coming challenges is part of the course in any new job, its what makes it so exciting to start with, writing creates many challenges especially for someone who has not written for over ten years .Knowing when to stop and call it a day, is as important as knowing when to carry on with the flow. I cannot work if I haven't had enough sleep, the weekends are out of bounds, I work through lunch but still need to eat. Being organised and not getting stressed is vital the greatest  pressure sometimes coming  from yourself .  Adapting to changes in circumstances is something as mothers we learn and practice all the time, so I take lots of deep breaths, try to stay calm, get as much sleep as my youngest will allow, and acknowledge that tomorrow is another day . Last week I felt frustrated at not being able to spend as much time as I would like writing. Because of the numerous interludes that having a family and life in general gives you. This week I am concentrating on the belief within myself, to continue to remain strong and positive believing this will see me through to the end.Realising that also only by working hard and improving will I ever realise this dream is possible, that it is not a race and it is within my grasp.  As I walked through Borders yesterday to get my son his latest Rick Riordan book I am gripped by this overwhelming desire and exhilarating feeling now to see my name on a shiny glossy book cover, but there are so many!!!!

    Anyway, this week I have changed the heading somewhat,  as when I started out back in September, my reason for the blog may have seemed somewhat unclear, maybe even vague. I feel the above title now acknowledges what my intention is right from the start.My hope is to attract other writers to join this expedition so we can all learn from each other, I know I have so much to learn and would welcome great advice and help. It would also be so good to share our experiences. we all have such different ideas, view points and life can be quite solitary when you spend so much of your time writing. I would write all the time if I could! Another, discovery is the fact you spend so much time sat down, something that is so alien to me as a mother always on the go, my back is killing me, it is stiff, and aching at the end of the day. I have yet to find a good comfortable chair from which I can type my work into the computer, any ideas?  My Blog as always is open to all for thoughts and queries and to share a little in my world. It is my record of my trails, and tribulations during this year of writing.

    It has been a good week for writing I am on chapter eighteen on the computer now, and my story board has several more ideas for chapters that need to be developed so lots to do. I have 132 pages so far, I am not sure if that is a good amount, average? What I do know is that some chapters are longer than others, some I love more than others,  most need a lot of refining. At the moment I feel I have climbed up a hill only to realise it is the first of many. I love where the story is at the moment I would say about half way, the main characters are closer, getting to knowing each other, discovering things about themselves and the plot is starting to be peeled off layer by layer, gradually getting a little bit more exciting and interesting as the sub plot comes into play. However, to tantalise, to tease , to want more ,and pull it out of the hat, to make it sing, make sense, become a page needs more finesse .  !!!!   

    I still feel excited and happy everyday to be able to do what I love, some days are more productive than others, some days  I need music and some just the stillness. Sitting in my sun room looking out at my chaotic messy garden I talk my plot through until it makes sense. My husband frequently stops by and enquires how am I doing,only to get promptly yelled at. I would like to say I have only become moody since my writing began but it would not be true. I am driven, and beholden sometimes to my hormones, it is that time of the month when the hormones fluctuate and cause all manners of mood swings and fights. However to be asked the same question over an over, is driving me insane, he is eager for me to finish and hence I feel under pressure. As politely as I can, I tell him to bugger off and leave me alone to finish my work, but as he is taking a coffee break I end up feeling as if I need one, and so the disruption goes on. There are days when I have the house to myself and those are the best, I write until my head throbs, my neck aches, and then I get up and read my words out aloud to see how they sound.Some days I have been extremely lucky mainly on a Friday when apart from the obvious drop offs and pick ups I have been able to continue to write into the evening oblivious to anything other than writing as my husband has taken charge of the boys.  My husband is my rock, and he knows me well,god bless his patience.

    This week I leave you not with a quote but my horoscope for today, I do so believe in the little signs that pick you up and keep you going ,

    If you get a hunch about something possessing much greater potential than anyone thought dont ignore it. Check it and follow through on what could be very promising.

    It is all about belief and being positive !!!!!

    Friday, October 29, 2010

    Panic, frustration and school daze.

    Hi fellow readers  sorry I am late, busy week. Maybe you can sense my feelings by this weeks title. I could add more, back ache, head ache and sore throat. It is amazing how many emotions you feel in one week, how many tiny things that you must get done, these  seem to creep in one by one so that you end up feeling as if you are always running. Anyway, even with the week being cut so much shorter than normal because of the two half days for teacher conference, reason for my sense of my fear, panic, and frustration. I realise that from now on, the rest of the year is going to pass by in a blur too. Most weeks in November have a day set aside for the kids to be off from school, taking into account curriculum days or inset days, holidays.We will be into December before we know it, and with all the frenzy that month brings of school activities, parties, buying presents and family visiting I feel I am getting an ulcer at the thought of how I am going to fit any work in !!!! No really part of me is joking I will fit it in!!!!

    Believe you me, any time I have I spend glued to the computer, I am having to be very strict with my routine, my gym has been put on hold this week, which although I love going , I love writing more. However I did make it out for a walk, and coffee with some friends, which was my treat to myself, and a delight thanks, ladies!!!!Working my way through my manuscript I can now empathize with such author's as the great  Stephanie Meyer, and as to why and how she only took three months to complete hers . Because it is consuming, it is difficult to focus or give attention to anything or one else, so to get it finished as quickly as possible must be top  priority, when you have family. I feel this strongly for two reasons, 1. When you are in the throws of the story to stop break away means it is so much harder to get started again and you just want to keep going. So it is, work, work, work, it takes dedication, commitment, and a passion to see it through.I have them all. 2. Don't want to miss out with all the things that the kids are doing or want your attention for . The family needs to be so patient, and supporting during this time, as they are for the most part !!!!!

    With the teacher conferences I am the one who goes, my husband working and at meetings so it is impossible for him to attend. I know the issues, know the teachers and love the kids getting excited as they manage the conference, and show me their work, as they are student led meetings, they want your admiration, need your support, so I am there. I am there cooking their tea or dinner as my friend would scold me, I am there to ensure they study, read their books, and do their homework. I have three at home that need this time, and attention.I help to organise crafts for the school Halloween party and arrange play dates for the kids so they are Happy, take them to their Art classes, and pick them up from their Ultimate sports events, drag them to their Basketball camps, and sign them up for a variety of Fall activities to further keep them, and in turn myself busy. Deal with the friction that is caused by having siblings who argue over who is in their seat, or who has had their candy, ipod, money, toothbrush sweatshirt?? You get the idea! Does, this happen in your house at 6am 2,30pm and anytime we are all in the car together. My boys punch each other to say hello, my voice is hoarse with telling them to be nice and not mean to each other argh!!!! Yet at the end of the day they settled in together in one of their rooms reading listening to music, they can be nice...sometimes I even got 2nd choice from my son who came home with his first ever bowl from pottery, guess who got 1st ????  This is my week to vent my frustrations sorry !!!!! Sorry then there was the day that Luke was sick and my back ached from the uncomfortable seat etc !!!!!

    Having said all that I am writing, trying to stay calm, knowing it is my first attempt at such a project, so not to be too hard on myself. Yet I want to get to the end of the story so I can feel as if I have achieved that and then I need to go through everything and change things around until I am happy it is ready. Generally it is coming along fairly well, my husband did have to reinforce that I needed to save my work on the computer as I had been writing for so long and just closed the file. However, I must have automatically just pressed save, because if I hadn't I would not be here, but in some loony bin. However  he is good like that, telling me to do something after the horse is bolted!!! I do love him. I have now saved it onto a memory stick as I was concerned I would lose everything, which would not be my finest hour.I am about 5 chapters away from starting on the new work which is about where I thought I would be, so  with everything going on, this is great. I have called my next chapter the Sunday roast I took that name from my brother in laws radio show so I just wanted to let him know I am always thinking of them in many ways, and appreciate their help xxxx and input xxxx .

    When you are writing for sometime it is funny how you begin to analyse the plot and the way it is going and the little things that you can add to it .For example in one part Mia the main female character has a necklace stolen  this piece has  quite a significant part to play.The necklace has more meaning that it seems, they have to  discover this, and then get it  back to help them in their quest. I love this, I had it in my  head that she would have this necklace,  the design and everything I wanted it to stand for, so I have used that into the design.Then I wanted to use the actual necklace to somehow be something they could use as a tool so I have written that as well .This I find so exciting and exhilarating, as I find it is in the details that the story seems more alive and real to me.

    Anyway I know this week is a bit all over the place, letting you into my sometimes crazy world, but I love it. Time does go so quickly and there is not enough of it I try not to lose sight of what is important which is my family, they are my first concern, this comes a very close second . Also I came across an almost new copy of the idiots guide to getting published ... just fate!!!! .. it is quite a funny read, anyway had a brief look, through any publishers out there ??? In time, all in good time .Have to finish the book first !!!!

     "There are good days and there are bad days and this is one of them"
    Lawrence Welk.
    "Drama is life with the dull bits cut out"
    Alfred Hitchcock.
    That's all for now cheers Jen xx

    Thursday, October 21, 2010

    Hard work

    "The power of change is always in your hands"   Barbara J.Hall

    Life is funny sometimes just as you settle get into a routine and feel confident that you have chosen wisely what it is you want to do .Life throws you a curve ball .This week I had a phone call from a school principal offering me a job .At the beginning of the summer I had applied on line for a noon time attendant position within the elementary schools in my town.I love being around children and I was hoping to get a job at my youngest school so I could be involved and see what went on .Perfect start back into the work force school hours local holidays perfect .However there were no vacancies .Now middle of October there is a full time position .I really had to think of how to decline the offer so committed now to my writing that I cannot consider such a break in the routine knowing I would never finish the book .So as I returned the call to the Principal I spoke very carefully,hesitantly  thinking maybe next year I will be regretting this ...... I hope not.Needless to say my husband reaction was "He offered you the job and you turned him down" he was gutted! .

    Anyway another point I wanted to share this week is my complete ignorance of technology.Since the beginning of writing this story "The Promise" I have written every word, thought by hand .Going through reams and reams of paper I have it in my office, on my shelf, in my drawers,and on my bed side table .My ever supportive partner,husband has been telling me to put it all on the computer it is so much easier blah blah blah.I resisted not just because he mentioned it but because I was worried I would somehow lose everything .However one day last week I started typing it in and OH MY GOD I have been there ever since .Of course all I get from my wonderful husband is I told you so but it really is making life so much easier although whereas I was getting to start on Chapter 20 .I am now going through and typing out Chapter 8 and as I do this I am making amendments ,changes so  I reckon it will take me about 2 weeks to get up the point where I can work on the latest chapter again.

    I have however sent out my prologue and Chapter one for my sister and my oldest son to have a peek at hoping for some much needed feedback.Really wanting an opinion as to whether I should just chuck it all in now or do I have a chance at creating something other people will be interested in ? I am going to ask for my oldest son to become an advisor as well as my brother in law to help with the music/band side of the book offering to name them in the credits as I will for all who help me in my research.
    There are still so many gaps I need to fill and I have a plan to find the information I need.

    The more serious  I have become  the better I feel about actually visualising the end of the book .Each day my kids come home and enquire how many pages today mum ? Oh also I asked my middle child would you read my book his reply was "A.depends how many pages it had B .If everyone read it then so would I" . I guess he doesn't quite understand the unconditional love part or does that only apply to us as mothers and not when it comes to how our kids feel about us !He made me laugh and the fact they are curious about what I am doing gives me some hope they may read it sometime.

    Everyday day I am still eager, and excited to get to the writing and not to miss any time I could use to develop the story.Some days I have brilliant inspiring music other days I just prefer the absolute silence.

    Until next time,

    "I am a great believer in luck,and I find the harder I work the more I have of it "
    Thomas Jefferson.

    Thursday, October 14, 2010

    Dont give up

    This week has been a bit of a big dipper of weeks .The first weeks of anything new is exciting, challenging you know that honeymoon feeling .As things settle, and take shape it becomes harder to maintain the original feeling of euphoria.You begin to doubt how far you can go, whether you will ever finish ,will it be good enough for anyone other than yourself .Self doubt creeps in .

    As the chapters before have been relatively easy to create so now the story gets more challenging to sustain .Trying to bring in the sub plot ,and maintain the original sense of romance ,and develop the story further, is really scary .Then trying to make the characters seem real ,and come alive before your eye's is a major concern .I find myself dreaming of how they look, how they sound ,what kind of sense humour they  would have , their quirks, their sense of fashion, music, oh my God what have I done, it goes on  .It is truly endless .Creating someone that seems authentic, real, someone people will  be drawn to and interested in ,one can only try .

    I found myself avoiding the next couple of chapters not sure of how I could put the message I wanted across so instead I went back ,and rewrote the first chapter which was difficult anyway ,and in doing so found I could then carry on ,and just wrote .I read somewhere I think it was in the, "Idiots guide to writing a novel", that it is important  to write something , anything , it can be amended, improved upon , altered , rewritten but if there is nothing on the paper, there is nothing to change or redo .This is so true .

    Writing has become an  addiction ,which once you have that craving ,you just want to spend all the time feeding it .This week has been so productive I am so pleased with how organised I can be when necessary .I need to work on feeling less guilty about not doing other things like being more social or volunteering in the school .However ,this is my  job now, my career that is how serious I am about this .I am not published ,and so  will not call myself a writer until I have something that I can tuck under my belt namely a book, but I feel I am on my way .,

    I leave you with this thought as I need to finish the chapter I am on ,
    "Never be afraid or hesitant to step off the accepted path ,and head in your own direction if your heart tells you that it's the right way for you ."
    Edmund O'Neill .
    This is what I have to do right now, and go wherever it takes me and I just love it !!!!

    Bye for now Jen xx

    Tuesday, October 5, 2010

    Live the dream

    I have discovered on my venture of becoming a writer, that most must live very reclusive lives. Maybe not  always but  certainly whilst in the throws of  writing their best selling books .You find yourself saying," No" to so many social events ,coffee mornings, lunches ,school volunteering .It is even difficult to manage the desire to go food shopping apart from the fact there  is no food in the house and the kids are starving .Ironing is out the window, my house is still a mess even though  I am home all day .God forbid the kids should be ill !!!!  I have not even gone shopping for anything ,clothes ,Halloween decorations ,birthday presents, and I need to go !!!My husband is very pleased with this though,  I wonder why .

    However , I find I need to stay ,and get on with the writing whilst my story is going along so well .
    Therefore I am so curious as to how other writers manage with anything outside of their writing, do they stop to eat ,what about the kids , homework ,school activities ,any kind of social life etc .Or does all of that just freeze for the time it takes to write a book .You see I am trying to dictate, that I write whilst the children are in school but it is difficult as sometimes you don't want to stop but have to .I know for example, Stephanie Meyer did not cook ,they ate out a lot .I wonder how Jodi Picoult manages ? I love them , and admire them ,how do they manage, they are mothers too . So I wonder if they all have it set up so that every day activities ,the normal run of the mill things would be done by someone else , so they are free to research and write but is this every day, and for how long ??

    This might make my husband flip his lid ,"Honey I am at home all day but I think we need someone to do the laundry, ironing,cooking and a child minder for the kids. " Also , when the kids have been gone all day they want, crave your attention how can you ignore that ,well  I cannot  so I have to work within those hours of school or at night which is tricky in the week as by 9.30  I am ready for bed . Sad I know. 

    Writing consumes you . When it starts to flow you have to keep going whether it is going to end up a train wreck or not I am not quite sure yet .I read one chapter to my ever patient husband ,and he seemed fairly intrigued , he stated that it sounded really good ?? I remembered very quickly though that I am the one who checks his work emails , as his grammar is worse than mine ! It makes me question therefore , who would be a good judge of the standard , and quality of what I have written so far At one point I thought maybe to include part of my book in the blog ,and see what feed back I received .However, being such a novice in this area I am also very protective of my work ,and I am not sure I could take too much criticism when the work is still very rough .Maybe later when I have refined it to such an extent I deem it worthy of such an audience we will see , what do you think ???

    Therefore , I am tempted to try my sister as she will be honest ,and I can take it from her better than my hubbie .  I have 14 really rough chapters so far ,I am probably on my way to being about half way through the story .This is where is gets tough, the chapters I have had been working on I had previously  written  last year ,and it had taken me 4 months then .Now I am starting new chapters .I find when you write initially it is very scanty so it is only with rereading ,and rewriting that the real words take shape , this can be laborious .I don't know how a book can be written in 3 months but that is how long ,"Twilight "  apparently took , believe you me I am going to need my entire year to finish my book .Selling it will be another story let's finish this one first .  

    Alice Laughed ."There's no use trying ", she said ."One can't believe impossible things".
    "I daresay you haven't had much practice,"said the Queen."When I was your age ,I always did it for half an hour a day .Why , sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast ".

    Lewis Carroll ."Through the looking glass"

    Keep living the dream ,and make it reality .

    Monday, September 27, 2010


    " Life is a roller coaster ride " by Ronan Keating , this is how I am feeling  most of the time at the moment .Each day is challenging ,and I am trying to write something every day to give me a routine . Some days are more productive than others .Last Wednesday I felt charged ,and so excited  I made huge progress  I could have gone on writing all day apart from the obvious restraints that is the life of a housewife .

    Then the next day, it felt as if I was pulling teeth just trying to get started . I laughed as I realised how our children are so like ourselves.When faced with a difficult piece of homework they  will find a million other tasks to complete before the one in hand .There fore I gave into this distraction realising  that perhaps I needed the mental break so as to recharge . Music, really gives me a huge boost ,and I find I day dream more easily, then the creative side pours out .My frustration at the moment is trying to stay focused ,and not feeling in a rush to get the writing done. I would rather write one  amazing chapter than several mediocre one's  .Also I find I have to write things down as I am scared I am going to forget brilliant songs ,quotes I have read or thoughts that just creep into my head .So I am taking pen and paper with me where ever I go .

    Exercising is becoming a joy to me I look forward to going to the gym ,and when I am there I am in my own world listening to the music on my Ipod , smiling to myself .God help the person next to me as I have been known on occasion to start humming my particular favourites . I find it so therapeutic I feel so good afterwards, and I am sure it is contributing to keeping me so excited about my writing .I feel so more alive .

    I do love this life ,and even though I hate roller coasters they make me feel sick ,light headed , and dizzy . I am used to stress , and it's challenges so I take the ride on ,enjoying the butterflies ,and feelings of euphoria well aware of the lows lurking not too far away .This is when I will call on you all to help keep me going , share a glass of wine with my hubbie or indulge in some lovely  chocolate . My one weakness !!! No matter what ,  I will finish what I have started .

    Finally to end  this weeks instalment , I would like to say a big thank you for the lovely  words of encouragement from my friends , and family . I love that ,and need that to keep me going. Please keep them coming . Any  thoughts / ideas for music would be such a help as would any constructive criticism I can take it I promise .Thanks for looking, enjoy your life ,and make the most of it each day ,

    "If music be the food of love , play on ." Shakespeare Twelfth Night
    I cannot be in a world without music ,it is truly inspirational xxxxx

    Wednesday, September 22, 2010

    What Now ?: New Day

    What Now ?: New Day: "I ,started this blog in an effort to record my experiences and discoveries about myself as I face an empty nest in the day and what implica..."

    What Now ?: Inspiration

    What Now ?: Inspiration: "So the kids are back in school ,my oldest is working and I had imagined that my time would be free ,and that the day would be looming in fro..."

    Monday, September 20, 2010


    I decided to write this blog to record my trials and tribulations of attempting to complete my first fictional book ,which I had started to write last November. Since , April of this year I have been at at stand still ,with the summer, and family visiting ,well  I have not put pen to  paper .Therefore , I thought it would be interesting to give myself this challenge of working to a deadline , giving me incentive to be organised and to ensure that I would finish what I had started .

    With the kids all in school or away, the perfect opportunity seems to have created itself , and after spending a lot of time worrying ,and debating about what to do next , I decided to take the risk, and follow the dream .My dream is to be able to write a book that I am happy with ,one that I can get published ,and hopefully enable myself to create a new career , and a new me .Hopefully the new me  can bring something to the household table other than dinner .

    Anyway, today I felt great. I was up, and feeling wide awake having had a good sleep, the kids were all in school by 8am .At 8.20 I was in the gym for my first session of the week ,and listening to Madonna's "Confessions on the dance floor " which is brilliant for taking your mind off the fact you are doing a workout .So time passes quickly ,and before you know it , I have been there an hour , legs aching but I can walk .I feel amazing either the endorphins are kicking in or it is the fact that some men at the gym look like the men off  the "Coke Break" advert , it is okay to look, right !! !! .Needless to say I leave the gym with a large grin on my face .

    I feel really excited today I have my plan ,hours of free time before me ,I have rearranged to write my blog in the evening so now after my shower ,and tidying up I can get to it, my writing  .Well ,I get home have a cup of tea ,realise I haven't eaten breakfast so I am starving ,I quickly make some special K cereal ,and feel better ,shower ,wash my hair, and get ready to sit to write .When writing I find you can sit for quite a while before you can think what to say , and then you need to read ,and re-read to see where you are ,and where you are headed .

    My story is a romance ,and I love trying to develop my characters and to see how I can make the people  seem real .Once ,I get started I feel I don't want to stop it takes a while to get to that place and it's frustrating when you have to stop.However, it is physically hard to sit for too long, your bottom gets quite sore ,and your back aches so I find I take Lot's of short breaks where I get up ,and walk around thinking my story through .I wonder how on earth Stephanie Meyer could manage to create such a wonderful story ,and complete her trilogy of books namely  the "Twilight Saga" with 3 young kids under her belt . I certainly do not have her academic background of a degree in English Literature but I loved her books ,and she is an inspiration to me ,and partly the reason I decided I should have a go at trying to create a wonderful story one that comes to you in your dreams .

    I love the sun I smile so much more when it is out don't you ,and today has been full of glorious sunshine it makes you feel all is good in the world .I have worked hard today ,and I feel as though I am getting back in touch with my story , but the day of my writing is short as the kids come trundling in through the hallway ,and I know my quiet time is done for now .I wish I could write when the kids are in bed but I am too tired by then so until tomorrow .

    I will leave you with this  :
    "The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched .They must be felt with the heart ."
    Helen Keller
    We could all do with a bit more love in the world .

    Cheers .

    Friday, September 17, 2010

    New Day

    I ,started this blog in  an effort to record my experiences and discoveries about myself as I face an empty nest in the day and what implications that has for me .Trying to find what I really want to do for myself now that I have more time .After considering my options of looking for employment anywhere ,or going back to college to re-register as a nurse /midwife I have  chosen to follow a dream .I  believe if I do not give it a go now then I never will and for that I can only blame myself. God bless my husband who is happy that I am happy !!

    Having said that, every day is new I find that even my reasons for this increase. As a stay at home mum, I strongly believe that  the day I took off my midwife's uniform , and  I stayed at home to take care of my children full time I changed completely .It's funny when I was first introduced to a man that my husband had been talking at a BBQ , he said to me ," Oh, so you are the Midwife " .

    I had not delivered a baby in 9 years ,so it felt  funny that this would be called upon to describe me I am many things why this ? I think people like to put everyone  into tidy little boxes , when at the end of the day , no matter what I do I am always  Jennie with many titles to my name you know them .Mother, wife ,daughter ,sister, nurse,midwife, cook, cleaner ,taxi driver, teacher, counsellor friend ,it goes on .

    Anyway, I am not the person I was when I worked on the wards of a busy labour ward ,I had confidence in my skills , I could communicate with a variety of people from Dr's to social workers to Mr&Mrs Jones who had just walked in off the streets ready to deliver. I was used to developing a rapport instantaneously  talking with complete strangers gaining their confidence in me in a very short time. Today, I find communication a lost art for me, especially dealing with people I hardly know .Not only do I find it uneasy talking to people I don't know but what I actually end up saying is questionable .

    I am not sure exactly why this is ,I suspect many things spending  the majority of my day with toddlers your conversational skills are on a basic level , you forget long words  .The topics you tend to talk about when socialising with other mums revolve around the children naturally . This is my experience, mum's are busy and are days full ,we are caught up with the daily rituals that are our children, and we share our experiences with each other it is what brings us together and it is what gets us through .Only now as they are getting older I need to rediscover my confidence and my speech ,this blog helps .

    Therefore, this year I need to become reacquainted  with the English language ,and the art of conversation ,to improve  my grammar ,increase my vocabulary ,and understand  the skills involved in writing .I understand that communication is a powerful tool and it has many interpretations so to use it wisely . I am hoping this blog ,your feedback ,and comments will help me in my journey .Today was a long day but a good one .

    "Courage is daring to take that first step .Courage is refusing to quit even when you're intimidated by impossibility .Courage is thinking big ,aiming high,and shooting far ,and stopping at nothing to make it a reality."

    Thanks for listening
    That's all for now
    Cheers Jennie

    Thursday, September 16, 2010


    So the kids are back in school ,my oldest is working and I had imagined that my time would be free ,and that the day would be looming in front of me with nothing to fill it .However ,the opposite seems to be true I seem to spend more time tidying up than ever !!!Now I find myself being up early ,getting all the children off to school making sure they have had some  breakfast and made their packed lunches to take with them .Then there is the cleaning to be done ,this is never ending also the washing to be put on the drying to be sorted .This goes on ,there are  general household chores to be done and then I am off to the gym.

    In the 9 years I have been at home my day has revolved mainly around arranging playdates and  activities for the boys  to be kept busy and entertained . As a result , I know I am not as fit and healthy as I need to be this is important to me as I try to discover what it is that I am going to do with the rest of my life . It is important  to recapture my energy to be able to make the most of the day and still be able to carry out all that is necessary when the children come home .Namely , cooking tea ,doing homework taking them to their sports , reading with my youngest, and then getting everyone to bed .

    Although  , the boys are all in full time school, the day is really not long , the older boys are home off the bus by 2.30 starving ,and demanding attention with cries of ," I need your help with my homework " times two .My window for writing my blog and actually doing the writing that I love is very short  .Being a novice to creative writing I can appreciate that even when you have time, sometimes you cannot get started . So with that in mind  I already feel a sense of panic knowing I have to fit my desires into this  short window of opportunity .However ,what gives me a sense of belief in myself comes from within and I try to focus on doing things one step at a time believing as I do that it will all come together  once I establish a good routine .I will be fine !!!I will be !!!

    So, I head off to my local gym for the first time in over 6 years I am unfit I get breathless walking up a small incline .I am  over weight by at least 1 stone so this step for me has many implications  . I hope ! I want to get fit to increase my stamina and to lose some very necessary extra curves and bumps .Previously when I was a member of the YMCA I used to exercise whilst the boys were swimming or undertaking  classes and I used to love the feeling I had when I could work out . I am not co-ordinated at all and even though I had tried different programmes   such as Step , I just never quite got it .I would be going the opposite way to everyone else. My friends would say the more you go you will learn the routine but seriously I just couldn't get it .In the end I would hide in the back out of embarrassment so I stopped going . The tread mills ,the bikes I can manage, I get to choose my time and the  incline plus  there is a stop button if it all gets too much . I love it .I do get a bit nervous as I am walking quite fast ,and  feel tempted to run which causes me to think I may  have a heart attack  or to think that I will  be very unceremoniously  catapulted off the thing .So I take it slow and I hope to build myself up so one day you will see me running on those machines looking like the lady who is next to me .She is very slim her legs are long and lean with a  small bottom and very flat abdomen .That will be me one day  apart from the long bit as I am only 5ft so I will  never be described by anyone as having long lean legs . 

    My work out does inspire me .I feel good coming out apart from the fact that I cannot stop shaking and that I spent an incredible amount of time just trying to get my Ipod working .  I could not hear the music , and kept playing with the buttons increasing decreasing the volume getting it tangled into the handles as I am trying my hardest to keep up with the conveyor belt . Eventually ,I realise that the connection is loose not that I am going deaf ! I come home with a smile ,and cannot wait to get back to the gym now I know how it works .

    Inspiration comes from everywhere and you need to be inspired to be creative in anything .I am learning so I am excited .However with the challenge I have set myself I know I need to be super organised .I know I need to get better with my time if I am to achieve what I want .Even with boys in school , and after going to the gym  and a quick shower ,  I come home prepare tea in advance. Only then do I allow myself to sit and begin the process of creating my blog . Prior to starting this I had it set in my mind that I would spend 1 hour for this and then the rest of the time which is 3 hours now would be spent on my actual book .

    Well all I can say is the best laid plans I spent 2 1/2 hours composing the blog and when all was said and done I only managed around 30mins for rereading my serious work and jotting down some background research .So my discovery for today is that the blog has to be written at night when the day is done and my writing has taken off this is  where I want to focus my attention or I will never get into it .

    I will try not to be a  recluse , I will still be going out with the kids early in the morning and then off to the gym but  then my day of writing will start .  Or will it ?

    "Love your life .Believe in your own power ,your own potential .Always believe in miracles"
    Vickie m . Worsham
    Until tommorrow  Jennie