Thursday 29 July 2021

Book Review: "Allies: Real Talk About Showing Up, Screwing Up, And Trying Again" by Shakirah Bourne and Dana Alison Levy

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ out of 5

All the books I read and review start off with the full 5 stars and I'm always hopeful that I'll finish the book with all 5 stars firmly in place.

I'm already confuzzled about who this book is aimed at - it sounds like adults who are looking for someone to support them through their difficulties standing up to people who are showing prejudice against them for whatever reason, but the publisher is a children's publisher and those who are sharing their stories are authors who write for teens, so I'm not sure what sort of headspace I need to get into - the disabled grown-up or the children's author?  I'll find out as I read I suppose.

Ah right, it's for teens 'cos the top of page 16 mentions "reading in school" so I know which headspace I'm in now  :-)

I'm about to put what  the first essay offered into practise with being a quiet ally... the second essay is an open letter addressed to "the young black queer" - the Q in LGBTQIA stands for "questioning" not "queer".  There, I'm already practising being a better ally!

This book is really good and all five stars are still firmly in place.  Up to section four now.

Oooh!  A child needing an ally because of his wheelchair... I'll be paying particularly close attention to this bit 'cos I use a wheelchair too!

The child in the wheelchair in this section has just opened my eyes into what happens in telethons like Comic Relief and Children in Need... the people that are featured are being used as tools to get money!  I've no doubt that the money *does* help those it's intended for, but like this writer has just said, instead of aiming to cure the incurable, they should be focussed on improving their lives too!

The writer who was wheelchair-bound and in need of transport after their accessible vehicle was crashed into, managed to raise the money her family needed to rent a vehicle while hers was being repaired.  She set up a Go Fund Me page to raise the money and tapped into her poster-child experiences to raise the money... what an incredible girl!

Oooh!  Maybe I was wrong at the start of this review when I said that the Q stood for "questioning" instead of "queer"?  A J Sass has just used both words on the same page, so maybe they are suitable for use interchangably?

Now they're talking about NaNo too... even more reason to love this book!

I'm exactly half way through the book now and the eighth section was amazingly different, in a good way, from the previous seven sections.

I dunno where the last several hours have disappeared to, but this book is incredible and I'm so glad I was able to get an ARC of it from NetGalley via the publisher!

Each and every one of those 5 stars are still firmly in place at the end of the book.  I reckon it's a must-read for everyone, teens and adults alike.

Monday 26 July 2021

WIP now officially finished and moved to my

..."To Edit" folder.


I'm gonna celebrate with a glass of water and early night - I really know how to push the boat out don't I lol


Sunday 25 July 2021

7 chapters aka 5,250 words written today

After a pretty late start and stopping for lunch, I've achieved a pretty decent amount of writing today and I've only got 3 chapters in a total of 2,250 words left to write tomorrow.  I'm hoping to get the first draft written before lunchtime, then have my lunch and sort out our groceries, then the synopsis in the afternoon.  I think I'll deserve a reward then lol

As always, it's the getting started that I find toughest, but when I've managed to persuade the MC to take over, I'm merely the scribe to their words.


Thursday 22 July 2021

Just updated the writing ideas software with...

...something different to the normal updates I make, so if you're a member who has bought the software, just email me using the email address in your welcome email and let me know you want the updated version and I'll be more than happy to send it across to you.  Only my members who have bought the software get this and all the other updates to the software for the entirity of their membership.


If you're not a member, what are you waiting for?  The prices won't go any lower, only higher, so grab your membership now and you will have access to the members section, the members shop and me whenever you want!

That's my next early chapter book planned out

Just finished planning out my next ECB.  Not sure I'll ever submit it, but it's helped to be able to plan out something and the research for it has put my mind at rest too, which is what I wanted.


It's not exactly what I'm going through 'cos the MC fell off the bottom of a slide and banged their head as opposed to having memory problems, but having something totally different to concentrate on for the last couple of hours was what I was hoping for, so I'm gonna totally forget about it all weekend, then start writing it next week.


Might crack on with the editing this afternoon cos there's two ECBs and a lower MG in there, we shall see though.


Monday 19 July 2021

Monday 12 July 2021

Just discovered something that could help my members...

If you're a member of the Stories 4 Children site, just log in and it's at the bottom of the first page, under the bit where I've stopped the press lol  It's free and potentially really useful to you if you're in the process of submitting to publishers.

I'm pondering on rejigging the first page slightly so that it's easier to see what's new and/or important straight away without having to scroll down each time.  If you're one of my members, let me know what you wanna see on the first page if I re-do it?  Please?


That's my NaNo novel planned out already... I can use the time between now and 31st October to forget about it so that I can start NaNo with a clear head and let my characters do the writing instead of me.


I emailed Childline for research at the start to get their permission to use their trademark but I'm hoping they will be willing to have a read through the planned chapters too, so that I can be sure I'm supporting children instead of making them feel worse.

Saturday 10 July 2021

Managed to plan out...

...6 chapters since I had my lunch and I'm really into Jayden's head now and I've decided to deliberately not put an age on the twins other than that they are still at Secondary School so that it's definitely a YA novel, but other than that I'm leaving ages up to the reader.


I've messaged Childline on Facebook to ask for their permission to use their trademark in the book 'cos it's a name that the majority of Brits recognise and it might help them to get donors to support them too, as well as helping the young people I'm gonna be writing it for.

I don't suppose there are any transgender teens reading this that would be happy to help me with my research are there?  If there are, please set up a throwaway email address with Google or Hotmail or Yahoo or your free email hoster of choice then email me at and remind me that I'm researching my NaNo novel and that you're happy for me to pick your brain about your gender identity.  


Could you let me know your preferred personal pronouns in every message so that I don't offend you by addressing you in a way that you don't feel a part of pretty please.

Thank you so much.