Thursday 27 July 2023

News on 27th July 2023

Icons made by Freepik from

27th July 2023

MHS graduate writes new children's book

Chris Cochrane’s Children’s Book About a Whimsically-Named House Helper to be Displayed at the Printers Row Lit Fest 2023

The best children’s books for summer 2023

Weird, funny, dark children’s books that I can recommend (as an adult, however).

Proof that old-fashioned children’s stories still exist

The best children’s books for summer 2023

A fine balance

Thousands of children contributed to a brand-new national book award’s success

'I've written a book so my child - and others - can learn about their heritage'

BBC reveals cast and first look images for ‘Drive’ director’s reimagining of The Famous Five

Shipka grandmother releases first children’s book

For young readers: Verse books to introduce children to Indian clothes, wildlife, and music

Teresita A. Bartolome’s Children’s Non-Fiction Book Will Be Displayed at the 2023 San Diego Union-Tribune Festival of Books

Award-winning children's author visits Bettws Library

A mama’s chronic pain journey leads to a new Christian children’s book

Enterprise, AL Author Publishes Children's Book

‘Colonial mentality’: from the Caribbean to Kenya, Black people are challenging hair discrimination

Your Head’s Not The Place To Store Problems (Josh Pyke, illus Stephen Michael King, Scholastic)

Ramona Muse Lambert releases children’s book “Fest Friends” just in time for Hinterland

Barn Owl Books in Malmesbury announces opening date

Queen Camilla visits author of Black Beauty Anna Sewell’s house in Norfolk, know more about the famous writer

Friday 7 July 2023

Aaand...'s finished.  

I finished my first ever NaNo Camp in exactly 7 days and I'm now celebrating with my last Glitterberry J2O.  I've re-found my writing enjoyment and I didn't put my life on hold at all.

I've already got my NaNo23 and JanNo24 novels planned out, but I won't be putting my life on hold to complete them any more... I still want to keep winning, but I won't be writing 8-9k words a day from 3am to 10pm any more.  I'll get up when I wake up, write a chapter, get washed and dressed and eat my first meal of the day before I write again until I have my lunch, then write until bedtime, just like I did with my Camp MS - I'll be writing for the enjoyment rather than beating my personal best like I wanted to do for the last who knows how many.  From now on, I'm writing because I enjoy it, not because it's a competition.

I'm also not going to have a J2O for every 5 chapters I write in a day 'cos that's waaay too expensive, I'll be doing like I did with Camp and have a treat-sized bar of chocolate at the end of every chapter and a J2O when I've finished the entire thing.  I'll need a multipack of 4 to last both competitions rather than a box of 20 for each of them.

I'll still be a winner, it just won't be as fast or my sole focus every day any more.

It's the final...

...750 words of the entire manuscript coming up, so I've written 4 chapters today and it's looking like I'll be able to have my celebratory J2O before 5pm and I can't wait!

I've written 4 chapters but have only had 1 reward so far, so I'm thinking that calls for a brief pause while I devour my three owed bars... I can do this!

2 down, 3 to go

Just finished my second chapter of the morning but, like with yesterday (or whenever it was), I'm not gonna risk having my reward until after I've had my lunch 'cos knowing my luck, my carer would turn up just as I put the chocolate into my mouth lol

It's looking more and more likely that I'll be able to cross the finishing line with this manuscript before I head to bed tonight and I'm already drooling at the thought that I'll be allowed the last J2O when I type the final full-stop.  I've got 2 litres of chocolate soya milkshake in the fridge that I'm gonna devour when I finish too, as long as it's not too late.

I'm rounding the final bend of the race and the finishing line is in sight now!

1 down, 4 to go

I've just finished chapter 30 which was my first chapter of the day in about 45 minutes and I'm tying up all the loose ends now.  The children have just learnt the definition of 'compassion' and the rest of the MS will be planning and attending Paul's surprise leaving party.

First reward of the day now methinks, then I'll crack on with the second chapter of the day and hope that I can finish it and have my reward before my lunchtime carer arrives.

Thursday 6 July 2023



I've just finished writing my fifth chapter of the day, so that's the writing finished until tomorrow morning now.  Just got 3,500 words left to write and that's the novel finished in plenty of time for completing my first ever Camp.  I'm trying to remain hopeful that I'll write the final word tomorrow in exactly a week, including 2 non-writing days and a very interrupted day on Tuesday 'cos of the groceries as well as the two carer visits, but I'm feeling pretty proud of myself for what I've achieved and I'm gonna go and get myself a glass of water and my final reward of the day then check my emails for the first time today.

4 down, 1 to go

I've just finished writing my fourth chapter of the day and I'm feeling more hopeful that maybe I really will get the fifth chapter written before bedtime.

I'm desperate for a wee so I'm gonna use the bathroom before I we... I made it with literally 2 seconds to spare lol

Gonna indulge in 2 rewards 'cos I didn't have one for the previous chapter, but I've got nearly 2 hours before bedtime, so hopefully I'll smash it and still be able to check my email before I take my last pills of the day.

Only got 4,250 words left to write to win my first ever Camp and having written the whole thing with no plan at all... it's been a totally muse-written MS for the first time in a loooong time.

3 down, 2 to go

Just finished my third chapter of the day, which means I've got 2 chapters left to write before I head to bed and 5k to go to finish the entire MS and Camp.

Not gonna risk having a reward just in case it comes straight back up - it's my own fault for scoffing 350g of fresh strawberries at lunchtime lol

2 down, 3 to go

Just finished my second chapter of the day and taken my reward out of the fridge to scoff... will I be able to finish eating it before my lunchtime carer arrives?

1 down, 4 to go

It took just under 3 hours from starting to finishing the chapter, but as well as writing I got washed and dressed and had my breakfast too!

I'm up to chapter 26 of 34 though, so as long as I can knock out 5 chapters today and tomorrow, I'll only have one to write on Saturday and the manuscript will be finished in 8 days, including having two days totally free from writing, which ain't too bad at all.

Gonna enjoy my Fudge, log it into the app then do my medically approved laps before making myself a hot drink and cracking on with my second chapter of the day.

Wednesday 5 July 2023

That's my fifth chapter of the day...

...done and dusted, so I'm gonna go and get my fifth and final treat of the day and check my email for the first time today.

I'm 71% of the way through the challenge now, so as long as I can keep knocking out at least 4 chapters a day, I'll hopefully be finished by bed-time on Sunday.

Four down, one to go

Just finished my fourth chapter of the day and there's two hours before bedtime so the fifth chapter is pretty much in the bag.

Gonna go and get my penultimate reward of the day then write that chapter.

Three down, two to go

I'm doing well this afternoon!  I've written 2 chapters in about 3 hours and I'm well away now, just starting to tie up loose ends and get rid of one of my characters with an experience the main character has never had.  I reckon today's 5 chapter target will be pretty doable and it means that I'll be able to have 5 rewards too, which is even better.

Two down...

...hopefully three to go.

'Tis reward time methinks.

First reward of the day has...

...been earnt pretty easily in just over an hour.

I'm gonna leave it there until after lunch so that I don't have to stop half way through a sentence when my lunchtime carer arrives.  I'm back into my writing headspace now, so after I've had my lunch I'll be able to spend the rest of the afternoon writing uninterrupted.  According to the NaNo site, I'm 59% of the way to my goal of 25k words so I'm hoping that I'll be finished by bedtime on Saturday, as long as I can keep knocking out at least 4 chapters a day... I'm aiming for 5 but I'll be happy with 4.

Tuesday 4 July 2023

I've decided...

...against writing the third chapter of the day now - too much has happened since I wrote more of the MS this morning and I'm well and truly out of my writing headspace now, so I'm just gonna veg out with my decaff mocha until bedtime then make an early start on it tomorrow.

I'm signing off for the night now though... I'll see you all in the morning for another hopefully huge writing session like I managed yesterday.  I'd never have let myself off so lightly if I wasn't writing this MS purely for enjoyment but that's what I'm doing tonight.

2 chapters means two rewards

I finished my second chapter of the morning at just before 11am but my internet connection died so I've only just been able to update it.

Depending on what time my carer gets here for lunch, depends on if I'll be able to write any more this afternoon.

I've just had a phone call from the supermarket wanting to know if they could deliver my groceries at 11.30am so I said nope 'cos of my carer, so then she asked about 1.30pm and I had to say no again... I book that slot for a reason lol

I'm happy with having written 2 chapters today though 'cos I was thinking I might have to have another day free from writing but I've only got 11k left to write, so a couple of days like yesterday and I'll be finished.

Almost forgot... first, but hopefully not only, reward of the day for finishing chapter 18.  I'm hoping to get another chapter under my belt before my lunchtime carer turns up, then I'll do my medically approved laps, bring the groceries in and put them away then hopefully knock out at least one more chapter before bedtime.  I'm definitely back into my writing headspace now, thankfully.

Monday 3 July 2023

5 down and one last reward for today

I've just finished writing my 5th chapter of the day and it's pretty much pill-taking time, so I'm gonna have one last reward then take my last pills of the day and head to bed for an early night I reckon.  I'm officially at 51% and managed to write 5 chapters in the 6 hours since I had my lunch, so that's pretty good going.

I'm gonna sign off this blog for the night now and I'll be back again, briefly, after I've had my lunch then again after my groceries have been delivered.  There's no way I'll be able to knock out 5 chapters tomorrow, but I'm hoping for at least one, maybe two.

Keeep writing!

Four down... will I...

...make it to 5 chapters and 5 rewards before bedtime?

And that makes three!

I've just finished my third chapter in about 3 hours so I'm feeling really positive that I can hit the half way point before bedtime tonight.  I'm still writing for enjoyment and I'm not putting my life on hold for my writing this time.

Will I be able to finish the entire thing before bed-time on Sunday?  That's what I'm hoping for, but it's totally OK if I don't manage it.

Reward time now I think.  At this rate I'll be able to get 5 chapters written before bedtime tonight which'll be awesome now that I'm back into my writing headspace!

Second reward of the day has...

...been earnt and I'm within touching distance of being half way through the entire manuscript and therefore within touching distance of being halfway to winning my first ever Camp, which is an awesome feeling.  It's feeling doable now and allowing myself a treat after each chapter is really helping to motivate me to start writing and keep enjoying creating every word.  I'm not feeling under any pressure to knock out a certain number of words each day and I didn't even open the documents yesterday and it'll prolly be the same again tomorrow but I'm back to enjoying being creative rather than pressurising myself to complete each manuscript as fast as I can.

First reward of the day...

...has been earnt and it only took just over an hour to write that chapter, so I'm on track for writing hopefully at least two or even three more before I hit the sack tonight.

Time to go and raid the fridge for my first reward.

Saturday 1 July 2023

Only one...

...chapter and therefore reward today, which is disappointing but pretty normal for me 'cos the first day is always spent getting into my writing headspace and it'll be one chapter tomorrow 'cos of being elsewhere for a few hours tomorrow, but next week is clear (other than my carers coming in twice a day) so I'll hopefully be able to make pretty decent progress on it then.  

I'm hoping to be half way through by next weekend, then I won't be able to write much on the Monday 'cos of getting a couple of house repairs done but I'm not putting myself under pressure to get it finished by a certain day, I'm gonna take my time and enjoy the pleasure of writing again.

I've put myself under too much pressure over my writing and I'm using my first Camp to rediscover the enjoyment rather than focussing on getting it finished as soon as I can.  I'm gonna do an early chapter book after I've finished this, then editing then writing... I'm gonna rediscover the enjoyment that initially pulled me to write for children in the first place, rather than competing with everyone to see who can finish first.

This is my rediscovery of enjoyment year.

That's my...

...first reward of the NaNo Camp earned and devoured.

It's taken literally all morning from about 5.30am to write 750 words, but they are done and dusted now so I can wait for my lunchtime carer to arrive then spend the rest of the time this afternoon and early evening, continuing to write.

I'm hoping I'll be able to knock out at least 3 chapters today, but maybe only one tomorrow 'cos I won't be home for a good chunk of the day, but I'm gonna relax and enjoy writing rather than hammering out words as fast as I can like I have done every year for JanNo and NaNo.