Monday 31 October 2022

Really looking forward to...

...writing this years NaNo novel 'cos I can be cheeky and naughty and mischievious in it and blame it on research lol  


It's not a feel-good novel or an emotional novel and there won't be any bullying in it for a change - it'll be my attempt at humour and making the reader chuckle or at least grin throughout it.  Just reading the plan lifted my mood significantly and brought a mischievious grin to my face, so hopefully I'll be able to offer that to future child readers too lol

I've even got the blurb sorted for it already too and I haven't even started writing it yet lol

No news today so...

...that's it for at least a week 'cos NaNo starts at midnight and I'm not gonna be doing anything other than writing and updating my NaNo stats at the end of each day.  It'll prolly be 8-10 days before I post again and that'll hopefully be to say I've won and then I can get out of the head of my fictional characters and back to reality.

Tuesday 18 October 2022

NaNo22 and JanNo23

Just got the header, footer and documents prepared for me to get straight on with the writing on 1st November and 1st January, so all I need to do now is to start writing and writing and writing until I hit the magic 50,000 words in 30 days.

My target for this year is to finish on 10th November and 10th January, although I would dearly love to finish before that.  I managed it in 8 days for this years JanNo and that's my challenging target for each of the competition things (never sure what to call them lol) but my aim is to write 5,000 words a day and be finished by the time I head to bed on the 10th so that I can have my celebratory second J2O.  If I can knock out 7,000 words a day, that'd be ideal, but too much pressure will get the writer's block out of hiding and I'll be totally screwed, so I'm aiming for 5k a day and anything else is a bonus.

I've got an added incentive to try for NaNo and JanNo this time around - have an additional motivational J2O immediately before I start writing on the first day, as well as my intended reward for hitting 5k a day and a celebratory one as soon as I hit my 50,000th word.  Not sure that my body will appreciate having such an early drink that isn't my usual tea, coffee or drinking chocolate, but if it doesn't work then that's totally OK and I'll know not to do it for NaNo23 and to just stick to what has worked up until now, but I won't know if I don't at least try!

Is anyone else doing NaNo this year or am I the only one I know who still does it?

Wednesday 12 October 2022

Book Review: "Bugs" by J.R. Tiedemann

⭐⭐⭐⭐ out of 5

If you've read any of my other book reviews, you'll already know that I start them all off by saying that every book starts with the full five stars and that I'm always hopeful that they will all still be in place by the time I finish reading.  You'll also know that I'm not averse about knocking of star for copyright/trademark usage potentially without permission.  If there's a note either at the start or end of the book that says the author has gained approval, then the star immediately regains its rightful place, but if there's no acknowledgement or anything like that then the star stays off.

Let's get going with the review now, shall we?

It's 180 pages long, so hopefully I'll get it finished and reviewed before I head to bed tonight.  I hope there isn't anything gross in it otherwise I'll lose whatever is in my stomach lol

I'm on page 1 and I'm already learning stuff... I feel sorry for the poor male ants though - that's a very short life expectancy by anyone's standards!

I'm not sure which age this book was written for, but I'm guessing it's maybe end of Primary school kinda age?  It's friendly and accessible, but I'm not sure that the reader would understand the reason for footnotes and how to read them, so maybe it's for lower Secondary school aged children?

Those poor ants!  The author has got it spot on though!

Flies next.

OMG!  I'm learning about flies' sense of smell now and it's amazing me how powerful it is!

Ewww!  That's so gross!  I understand why people wave flies away from food now though - it's not just because they are an insect, it's because of what they do!

This is a truly gross book that children will love and I'm learning so much about the insects that also inhabit our world!

This review is getting long again so like with all longer books, I'll stop commenting on each chapter/insect now.

I'm not sure a UK child would understand what a few of these insects are and it was obviously written for the American audience 'cos of how mum is spelt which could be confusing to the young audience this book is intended for so the first star is coming off unfortunately.

Urgh, spiders next, which is already sending a nervous shiver down my spine.

That's a relief... I'm up to little buzzy bees now.  I made friends with a bee in our back yard a couple of years ago and they are now my favourite insect, so it'll be interesting to see what the author has to say about my little friends!

It's good that mating is included, but I'm not so sure it should be quite so graphic for children who are maybe only just learning about human reproduction, let alone insects too!

OK, I've finished reading now and it's a good, well-written, informative book but I'm wondering if maybe the author should have thought about certain things a bit differently and rephrased certain parts so that it didn't scare or confuse such young readers.  It's a good book, but needs to be read by an adult before it's given to a child I reckon.

Tuesday 11 October 2022

Book Review: "Throw Away Teen" by Shannon Kennedy


⭐⭐⭐⭐ out of 5

If you've read any of my other recent book reviews, you'll already know that you can skip the first paragraph, right?  If this is the first of my reviews that you've read, I basically say that each book starts off with the full collection of 5 stars and I try to remain hopeful that they will all still be firmly in place by the time I close the back cover.

I'm guessing, based purely on the blurby description thing for this book, that it's gonna break my poor little stoney pea-sized heart and maybe even produce a few tears.  The sign of a fantastic book for me is having a hot drink go stone cold on me before I finish it.  I'm currently half way down a drinking chocolate... will the remaining half be cold as stone too?

I don't always remember to say that I'm a stickler for not using trademarks without permission and I don't hesitate to knock a star off if a trademark is used.  I read and finished reading an ARC of another book yesterday and for the first time ever I reinstated the fifth star right at the end of the review because there was an acknowledgements section so I'm hoping that if there are brand names used in this book, they will be acknowledged either at the end or there's something at the start about them being used fictitiously then the star will stay in place otherwise it'll come off, just like in other books I've read and reviewed that use brand names potentially without permission.

Let's get going with the review of the book, shall we?

Wowsers!  What a powerful first chapter!  BJ has got oneheckuva personality on her and the author has got it down to a tee already.  This is a definite must-read already and I hope the power continues throughout... maybe not the sort of thing that I should be reading so close to bedtime though lol

I'm already wondering if maybe the author should have given the main character a different set of initials to go by though, 'cos she's 15 so the reader would only be 13 and I can just see the conversation about this book over the Sunday roast lunch - when the teen innocently gives the initials that the main character goes by and then starts talking openly and innocently about the intimate act that they are the initials of... I can see a mouthful of half-eaten roast potato flying across the table in disbelief that such a young teen has read about it so soon in a book that is aimed at exactly their age.  The name of the act is written out in full too, so the parents and carers aren't even given the opportunity to rapidly come up with a different, more innocent phrase with those two letters.

Oooh, that similie has got me chuckling softly... maybe the main character isn't such a tough nut after all?  Maybe this really *could* work out for her this time?

Just finished reading the second chapter and it's a very, very, very good book.  The main character seems to be thawing and that gift she'd been given seems to be going a long way towards breaking down the barriers she'd put up around herself all of her life.

Nooooo!!!  Not again!  Not to this book!  The author has used a famous fast food restaurant, potentially without permission, so, like with other outstanding books, the five stars is gonna have to be four stars now which absolutely breaks my heart... if there's an acknowledgements section at the back then that star is rapidly being put back on and I'm seriously hoping that's the case for this book especially!

Other than the use of the brand names, potentially without permission, chapter 3 was awesome too.  I'm gonna stop commenting on each chapter now, unless something crops up that I feel needs to be mentioned - take it as read that my silence is a nod of deep approval to the author for their incredible writing.

Where on earth has the day flown by to?  I'm at 71% now and reckon I've got one more chapter before I go and make my hubby's tea for him.  This book is absolutely awesome and it doesn't matter that I've barely eaten or drunk today - this book is sooo worth it!  I rapidly gave up on hot drinks and have been reliant on fruit squash and water all day lol

I was so so wrong in my assumptions when I started reading this awesome book and I've got a big lump in my throat as I'm getting to the end of it.  It has been so different to what I expected and I'm sooo glad I gave it a chance!




I wasn't expecting the ending but I'm so glad it happened... I'm desperately trying to swallow my tears, but they are happy, relieved tears.  This is a must-read book by everyone.

Saturday 1 October 2022



That's every manuscript I've written in the last decade been edited into submission, so I can relax and prepare for NaNo22 for the rest of the month now.

I've just gotta find comp titles for the ones that I feel most confident about now, read (and review, of course) each of 'em and get 'em ready to go into my query email when I start subbing again.

I can officially get out of the editing headspace now, decompress and get ready for an intense November and January, ready to potentially start subbing again in February.

I've joined the Golden Egg Club now, so I'm gonna see what they think before I get too far ahead of myself and not start subbing until they've hopefully helped me to get my three strongest MSs into submittable standard.