Chick Lit

Ever been talking to Mr Gorgeous into the late hours of the night? Uh-huh! 
Ever had a booty-call and shut it down or followed it through? Eurgh, who hasn’t!

Pillow Talk is a new and exciting chick-lit series about love on the line, whether that be on-line or on the phone.

But wait there’s more, this is where you come in! Yes, ooh!

If you are a chick-lit author or just love the genre and want to have a go at writing then we want to hear from you!

All you have to do is write a story of up to 10,000 words (easy peasy), edit it and email it to me at jord.ashleyann@gmail.com. Don’t worry! All copyright stays with you and you get all the credit on the blog for your work!

Sound good? 
Then I look forward to hearing from you! x

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My Lab

a little celebration

I have been away from my blog once again, but it has been for a fabulous cause, because… I have amongst other brill projects, officially finished the first draft of my first novel Both Sides Now. It has taken me eight months and a total of 25 chapters and 85,232 words to get here. There has been giggles, wine and some incredibly invaluable advice and encouragement from so many loving and caring people along the way of this journey so far that I feel blessed. I am also extremely proud that I actually managed to get through this draft and not a) throw my laptop accross the room when I couldn’t get the words right, b) given up and started on a new idea, c) put myself into a caffeine coma. But I have learnt a few things along the way, so here we go:

1. The first draft was always going to be shit but if you can do it, then do it! Get it done!

2. Laughing to yourself when you read your own work back is not strange, it means you are bloody hilarious.

3. Staying up until four am to get a chapter finished isn’t bad, just don’t have plans the next morning. But if you are a full-time writer you won’t have plans, writing is your plan!

4. It’s okay if you read one of your favouite author’s books and suddenly secretly hate them – you wonder how they are that fabulous? They wrote a fabulous book, that’s how! And so will you! This is how fabulous you are…

5. Reward yourself with wine and treats whenever you reach a goal. 2000 words – deserves one glass, unless you’re struggling to create then just go for it anyway. Oh hell, just take the whole bottle and don’t stop until that bottle’s empty. (Drink responsibly though.)

6. Be perpared to boil the kettle five times and still not even make a cup of tea.

7. Interestingly enough even though said tea won’t get made, you will actually bizarrely drink a lot of tea (or coffee if that’s your thing) right into the early morning until you look like this guy…

If you look carefully I’m sure he’s saying the words, “Must finish chapter.” Non? Just me then.

8. Your bladder will also not thank you for those copious cups of tea and you will be in complete cba mode and not go to the toilet for ages. Sorry bladder.

9. Drinks and bladders aside. Don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s very easy to tell yourself that what you’re writing isn’t any good, but it doesn’t have to be, that’s why there’s such thing as editing. As Shannon Hale said, “I’m writing a first draft and reminding myself that I’m simply shoveling sand into a box so that later I can build castles.”. Think of the sandcastles!

10. HAVE FUN. The great thing about writing a first draft is that while it is bloody hard it is also the time for you to experiment, be creative and let loose, the fab news is, nobody will ever have to see whatever you choose not to keep.

So those are just a few things that I’ve learnt. Next up for me is the luscious editing part where I am sure I am going to cry, whinge and get destracted by pictures of Kit Harington, mmmm… Before I head into this unchartered territory I am scurrying back to my hermit hole to revise for my upcoming English Lit exam and finishing off my Creative Writing Assessment plus other things. So I will be away for a while but I hope you enjoyed the update! Thanks everyone who has come along on the journey so far! Lots more to come!

Ciao,

J x

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Publishing Kitt

Publishing Kitt: You don’t have to be alone.

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And you’re not alone!

Yesterday I attended an inter-generation event called ‘Bridge the Gap’ and a poet/writer that I have recently met was there also. We had a fantastic conversation about the road to getting published and just by talking to Nina I realised something, publishing is not something you have to be alone in and you are not alone! Just like any new journey the path can be daunting, unexpected and long; throw in a mass of rejection letters and emails and it becomes very harrowing. But,  not only is there hope at the end of the tunnel but there there is help, support and an array of understanding people there every step of the way.

So talk to fellow authors and writers. Even bloggers have to submit their work to get it published on a reputable site. The point is that those who are also on the same road as you know what you are talking about and how you feel, regardless of their genre, age or status, they are still on that same road. So talk to them, they might have some valuable tips and ideas for you and you might even find that have some advice to share with them.

Talk to the ones who have been there and done it! At the beginning of this year I sent a message to my literary idol Jill Mansell. I had asked her for advice about writing and connecting with your characters and whether it’s wrong to stop writing one novel and begin another, honestly I was not expecting a reply. However a few hours later she messaged me back with probably the most precious advice I’ve been given to date and it’s stuck with me ever since. So do reach out to your idols, I’m not suggesting you hound them with messages but even if they are John Grisham, they might reply, they might not. They will most definitely be busy working on a new bestseller but, once you send your message out into the cosmic void, it is there for them to pick up. But most importantly they have been through the exact same journey as us and they know precisely how you are feeling.

So talk to your writing peers, tell them how it’s going, tell them if you’re fed up and worried you’ll never be successful; address those fears and let someone help you. A few words of reassurance, encouragement and inspiration can go a long way when you’re wishing on stars and praying to the gods for your dream career!

Don’t be alone!

Jx

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The Bookroom

The Bookroom

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This is my trunk, currently, it holds over fifty books – last time I counted (last year) it was around fifty-odd – I kept losing count.

My collection of books just keeps growing and growing and I think that maybe I’m a hoarder, or book materialistic, or simply just a book lover who refuses to buy an e-Reader and so will have to find space for books like in the good old days with book shelves, cases and units. But for now, I have my trunk. And I do actually dream about having a lovely home with this beautiful room in it, my own paradise, my own book room. My book room should assume the position of my favourite place in the world, which for the last six years has been Waterstones, and anyone that knows me can honestly agree that I am a book-a-holic, I will smell the pages of a book before I buy and read it, I’m not weird, I just love books in that way. So until the dream of all four walls and trunks, chests and tables being filled with books materialises I have this… my own book room on my blog where I get to share all the books and stories that I love (and the more than occasional poem).

I have a lot of favourite authors, books, poems and stories and a lot of them have inspired me in many different ways because of course, as a writer books and stories are, for me; a huge deal in what I do and what I love. But it’s not just us writers and authors that are inspired by books and stories. Everyone around the world will have read or been told a story as a child, and usually these stories stay with them for the rest of their life, whether they loved them or not, they remember them and refer back to them later on in life. The magic of stories are that they are everlasting and easy to fall in love with. Not because of the words, many stories are retold over the years, the words may have been changed but the message, the essence and point always remains; the pith of a good story always translates, a bit like love.

Welcome to The Bookroom…

J x

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