Friday 30 September 2022

Plan for tomorrow is to...

...crack on with editing my JanNo22 novel as soon as I've had my breakfast tomorrow, hopefully finish by the early evening (possibly without stopping for lunch 'cos it's only a MugShot) then celebrating the end of my editing year with a me-friendly tub of salted caramel ice cream <drool>

Thursday 29 September 2022

It's starting to feel very real again now

I've just had my 8 bottles of J2O delivered to complete the reward stock-pile and it's starting to feel very real again now.

I've got enough J2O's to reward me for writing at least 5,000 words a day during both NaNo22 and JanNo23 as well as having enough for a "you can do this" drink before I start writing for NaNo and JanNo as well as a "woohoo!  You won!" when I've written the 50,000th word for each of the challenges too.

Not sure how my body will cope with a J2O as soon as I wake up on 1st November and 1st January, but I'm hoping to use J2O's to signal the start and end of both challenges this year as well as inspiration/celebration for finishing each day too.

If it works OK this year, I'll be stocking up every September/October to see me through both challenges, instead of having the bottles sitting there, potentially going off, for 10 months.

I can win again this year, just like I have for the last 11 lol  I've got everything in place and everything is ready to go - gonna meet the next 4 months head on and not get out of my character's head until I've finished each challenge and written at least 50,000 words before the end of the month.

I hope you're as ready to go as I am if you've signed up to NaNo22!  We can do this together!

Wednesday 28 September 2022

Totally sorted for...

...NaNo and JanNo now because I've still got 16 bottles of J2O left over from this year's JanNo and I've just ordered another 8 bottles of the gorgeous Glitterberry ones so I can have an encouraging one before I start writing on 1st November, then one every day that I write 5,000 words a day which would take me up to the 10th November when I'll have an extra celebratory one when I hit my 50,000th word which will complete NaNo then the same again in January.

I can sooo do this!

Monday 26 September 2022

I love being a Scoobie!

I've literally just seen an email about something that's going on in SCBWI-BI for the next month and I've got a place that I didn't think I stood a chance of getting.  I don't know what I said or did to deserve the place but I'm sooo grateful for it!  That's two in the last 6 months and they have both come with incredible timing!

I'm not sure how much I'm allowed to say so I'm gonna shut up now, but I've got a silly grin plastered to my face now lol

Sunday 25 September 2022

Just got... manuscript left to edit and then that is officially my editing year completed.

The only manuscript is this years JanNo novel so that's had the least amount of time to sit and be forgotten out of all of them, so I'm gonna give it until Wednesday before I even start to think about editing it and it also helps that there are a couple of things out of the ordinary happening tomorrow and Tuesday so that'll hopefully help to clear my memory of the last manuscript too.

I really enjoyed today's novel though, so that's 3 older manuscripts that I feel most confident about - just gotta make sure the first three chapters on each of 'em sparkle more than they do atm.  The first three chapters are the usually the only opportunity you get to convince an agent then a publisher to take your writing on, but they are always my weakest chapters unfortunately.

Gonna go and have a look around Amazon for comp titles for this manuscript then start working my way through my "to be read" pile.

Friday 23 September 2022

That's all my previous...

...manuscripts edited now, so I've just gotta whip my most recent NaNo and JanNo manuscripts into shape then that's my editing year completed 2 months early.

I'm hoping to knock my NaNo21 novel into shape tomorrow then my JanNo22 novel on Sunday with any luck.

Monday 12 September 2022

Book Review: "A Dog of My Own" by Richard Clark

⭐⭐⭐⭐ out of 5

If you've read any of my other recent book reviews then you'll already know that I start them all in the same way - by saying that all the books I read and review start off with the full 5 stars and that I'm always hopeful that they will all still be in place when I close the back cover.  You'll also know that I'm not shy about knocking off stars, especially for the use of brands potentially without permission.

Let's open up my Kindle and start reading and shall we?

Ooh, that's weird, it's all in italics which could make for hard reading!

Oh right!  It's a piece of media rather than real life!  That makes more sense then!

After the confuzzling bit right at the start, chapter 1 was good, but the author forgot to use italics when it was a media bit as opposed to the real world that Jonas lives in... a minor point that should have been picked up before publication, but it's forgivable, the first star is starting to wobble though.  Going by the age of Jonas, I can't see even a young teen wanting to read this though - should be a Middle Grade book rather than a Young Adult and there's no way that a 6 year old could understand some of the vocabulary used, so I'm thinking that the author has written and self-published a Middle Grade novella rather than anything else.

My heart is breaking for poor young Jonas in chapter 2 - I hope this novella has a happy ending for him!

Yaaay!  Jonas has got what he wanted - just temporarily - but they are going to learn so much for the rest of the book and I haven't found anything to complain about for 6 chapters - the battery on my Kindle is on its last legs though, so this seems like a good opportunity to charge it up... BBS.

I wasn't expecting chapter 13 at all!  How on earth are they going to keep up with the lies?!

Ooer... what's Chloe going on about in Chapter 20??  Is she talking about her or Princess??

Ah right, chapter 21 answered my question, but could there be another storyline just about starting too??

Oh dear... the first star is wobbling off at 54% because of the use of a well-known celebrity.  I always hate it when this happens, but as always happens, my sense of fair play is insisting that I take this 5 star book down to a 4  :-(

Rascal is such a clever little doggy... he's saved the day again!

Oooh!  I can see why they talked about the parents' jobs so early on in the book... at 65% the truth is starting to emerge.  A well-known graphics programme has been used semi-frequently, but I've already taken a star off for something similar so the star is staying on, but it's very wobbly.

Oooh!  Action stations at 74%!

There's still 17% of the book to go... what else is gonna happen?

Just finished reading and I'm slightly teary.  If it hadn't been for the famous actor and brand name usage, this would definitely have been a 5 star book.

As my mark of respect to...

...HRH Queen Elizabeth II and the Royal Family, I've chosen to do my little tiny part to show my respects for her and not do anything with any of my sites or blogs.  I've just finished reading a book that I'll review after this blog post, but out of respect, that'll be it until the 20th September 2022.  I'll continue to put up occasional book reviews, but out of respect, service will not resume properly until 20th September.

Wednesday 7 September 2022

Only got...

...less than 200k words left to edit before the end of the year then that's every single manuscript I've written edited and ready for submission after NaNo22 then JanNo23 are done and dusted.  


Got a sci-fi novel to tackle next that's 75k words and I can instantly see that it's another one that is in desperate need of a structural edit, so that'll be another loooong editing process, but the other two are my most recent manuscripts that I wanna save til last so that my eyes are as fresh as possible when I hit them with their first editing session.


Assuming that I manage to knock the final three manuscripts into submittable shape within the next month, I've just gotta find and invest in similar books so that I can read them and hopefully add them to my query for each manuscript.


I've archived my only trilogy 'cos it was all over the place and I put more emphasis on the mixed feedback I'd received from crit groups rather than my passion for the main characters and it wasn't my voice any more and the other one was a duplicate of one I'd previously written so I'm guessing the original one was written for NaNo and the duplicate for JanNo and I'd totally forgotten lol  I have no doubt that crit groups work for a lot of people and the right mix of authors can help rather than hinder the manuscript, they just aren't for me right now is all.  They might work for manuscripts that you genuinely need feedback on or that you don't feel so comfortably about, they just aren't for me atm unfortunately.


Maybe a well-matched crit partner rather than crit group should be what I'm looking for 'cos it's the first few chapters that are the weakest rather than the strongest for me unfortunately.


Tuesday 6 September 2022


...that manuscript is finally finished with the editing, so I'm gonna celebrate with a drinking choccie and get back into reality for a few days before I tackle the last OYA novel then the ones I've written in the last 18 months can go through their first round of edits too.

The end is in sight now and I'm hoping to get all the editing sorted before the end of September so that I can prepare myself for NaNo22.

It's been a long, hard slog at times but I'm just about to turn the final corner in my editing marathon and I've re-found a couple of manuscripts that I'm especially proud of, so 2023 is gonna be my year.

Saturday 3 September 2022

That's all the...

...short stories edited, so I've just gotta edit the OYA MSs now, then the newest two manuscripts that I wrote for NaNo21 and JanNo22 then that's them all sorted and I can breathe and prepare myself for NaNo22.

With short stories, are they set out in the same way as other MSs in TNR12 with DL spacing please?  It's just that all bar one short story is TNR12 with SL spacing and the only one that's double was a competition entry, so I dunno if that was just a requirement of the entry or if all MSs are set out in exactly the same way.  Any thoughts on that would be fantastic please!

Thursday 1 September 2022

Book Review: "Maya Makes Money" by Diya Garg


⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ out of 5

If you've read any of my other recent book reviews, you'll already know that I start each one in the same way and that is to say that each books starts off with the full shebang of 5 stars and that I'm always hopeful that they will still be stuck firmly in place by the time I close the back cover.

The cover of this book seems to show a girl of about 9-10 years old riding a bike, but the description immediately makes me think that it's aimed at teens - I don't know how many 9 year old girls would be interested in the financing of a new bike (or any toy) they would just want it.  I also don't know how many teens would even pick up the book showing a much younger child than them on the cover, even if they had started to get an interest in where money comes from to buy the things they want.

We shall see I guess!

Oooh!  I like the "This book belongs to..." bit and it's got me thinking that it's for the newly confident reader so we shall see how the author handles the finance part... so far so good though.

Oooh!  It's an illustrated book judging by the first page... it'll be interesting to see how it's handled and so far it seems to definitely for the newly confident reader as opposed to teens.

I'm not sure which country this book is set in, but over here in the UK it would be dangerous to send two children to buy vegetables at a market on their own.  Judging by the age of the children in the illustrations I'd say they were about 9-10 and maybe 6-7 years old which would be waaay too young to send children out alone over here in the UK and would get too-young children pleading to go to shopping alone "because the children in the book did, so why can't I?"

Ah right, the currency that has been quoted is Rupees so it must be set in India where it seems to be a lot safer to move around and could get the conversation about other countries and the currencies they use to buy things started.  Still a 5 star book in my eyes.

It's a great start to explaining budgeting and saving!  I'm hoping I was wrong at the start of this review when I said it might be too complicated for newly confident readers... if it keeps on like this, it'll be a wonderful way to introduce it to youngsters to gain more of an understanding of money!

Ah right, Maya has just said she's 12, so the illustrations look a lot younger than she actually is.  It makes more sense that she was able to go out with her brother to buy the vegetables now, but the illustrations need to show her as a few years older.

Ooh!  Great going Dad... it encourages children to work for their money to prepare them for their job, rather than being bailed out all the time by their parents - great going by the author!

Great way to explain bargaining - not sure a shop over here in the UK would be willing to bargain over their prices though!  lol

Great idea by Maya to make the snack at the school fete!  I hope her parents give her the ingredients and support she needs to achieve it!

I was soo wrong about financial things being too advanced for the age group - there are real life examples and then a very short explanation about what each term means at the end of the page - fantastic work by the author!

What a great book!  The last few pages were cut off mid-word, continued on the next page for another couple of words then you had to go back to the previous page to keep reading the sentence, which was a bit annoying and frustrating but still a well-deserved 5 stars.