Category Archives: Research
Enjoy your weekend and remember to relax, your brain works hard and it needs a break…give it a treat, make it smile.
I am forcing myself “Little Miss Workalot,” to take the rest of the weekend off, no popping on to the laptop for a “quick” write or plotting for the children’s book I’ll be working on next week, my brain is telling me it wants a short time out from work. In fact, I think it’ll probably ask for a lie in tomorrow morning!
The rugby world cup started last night so the TV and news is full of that and the Davis Cup tie of GB vs Australia is also happening as well as a gazillion football matches so if you’re a sporty bod you’ll be blissfully happy in Blighty…I’m not that sporty, don’t get me wrong, I respect the talent and appreciate the dedication of all concerned but I’d rather read a good book. (Or write one!)
Or should that be read two? Yet again, I am reading more than one at a time…a chapter of a history book followed by a chapter of a novel in rotation. That is unless a really page turning, “I can’t put this down unless you chop my hands off” good bit compels me to keep reading. Ahhh happy days! This is an embarrassment of riches I love.
I’ve finished editing my book due for release 1st October and have done some freelance work this week and learned stuff while researching that I didn’t even know that I didn’t know that I would ever want to know.
Oh yes, and to the client who asked me to write an article about football betting strategies I had to respond that “a newborn baby has a better concept”of all that…see, told you I wasn’t sporty (and I have the coordination of a cross eyed bat. No, really!) I hope that he found someone that knew what the heck they’d be talking about.
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I been so busy in the last week working on various writing projects that today was going to be a day off BUT I woke up wanting to write something so, here I am. This might give me my writing fix so that I can relax for the rest of the day! Or, knowing me, I’ll keep writing!
Apparently there was daylight during my week in writing hibernation, I think I saw the sun once or twice but I’ve been absorbed in writing and editing a childrens book, doing a couple of freelance jobs and researching for my new history book.
The childrens book, The Amazing Treasure Hunt, is sitting with a publisher now so fingers and toes crossed that all is well…I might cross my eyes as well – Feel free to join in!!
The history book is part written and I’ve been building up the data so that I can write like a ninja from tomorrow onwards!
Meanwhile, I think I’ve sourced an artist for my “coming soon” children’s story website and I’m waiting on news for another couple of freelance jobs.
I’m so grateful and I guess relieved too when the client says that they like what I’ve produced, it really energises me to tap away on my laptop and let my imagination run wild.
Have a fab day,
Posted in Books, business, Children's stories, Editing, history, indie author, inspiration, knowledge base, non fiction, poems, positive mental attitude, Research, website, work and leisure, Writing, writing blogs, writing online
OK peeps, step right up and call me a change-your-minder! (And no, this is not what I look like, well maybe it is before the first gallon of coffee a day!)
No, I’m not going to change YOUR mind, no need to hide behind the mouse mat, I have changed mine about my next book. (Some say it’s a woman’s prerogative)
Talking of changing minds, even with the “faulty” bits in mine I wouldn’t change my brain, I have far too much fun with it 😉 And intrigue and puzzlement and therapy!!
Anyway, I was going to write about Victoria, Prince Philip’s gran BUT despite writing the introduction and at least half of chapter one I was just not feeling it, the vavavoooooom didn’t fire up for this book so I’ve relegated it to the back burner for a future project. It’ll get written, just not right now.
A new history subject or person had to be found so I used up my brain energy thinking – sorry brain cells – and I’ve started a book called Charles II: The Merry Monarch, La Belle Stuart and The Uncrowned Queen about Charles, his most notorious mistress Barbara and Frances, the one that got away – a unique achievement given Charles’ reputation and zealous amorous advances.
I’ve even put this one on to pre-order on Amazon so it’ll make its debut on 20th October this year.
And I even managed to read about Florence Maybrick today too (google her!)…what a good day, hope you’re having a good one too, if not, tickle yourself on the tummy until you get the giggles!
I’ve been having fun researching for the book that I’m working on – The Royal Race of 1818.
I was so pleased to find books and information online BUT I practically did a jig of joy when I came across newspaper articles from 1818 that gave me contemporary reports of two royal weddings, who attended, what they wore, where they went on honeymoon…it was a real step back in to history and it was fabulous.
I found political records too and pages of wordy condolences from the various councils in Britain after the death of the Prince Regent’s daughter, Princess Charlotte of Wales.
All of these articles are obviously approaching two hundred years old but I could feel the reverence and duty, the sadness and uncertainty of the nation’s future.
I am still researching so who knows how many more historical gems I’ll find and marvel at.
Have a great rest of the day. If anyone wants me I’ll be in 1818 Regency Britain!
It’s a bank holiday weekend and it’s raining…I’m feigning surprise! but actually I don’t care about the weather because I have been in full on research and write a first draft mode since last Monday and the first draft was completed about two hours ago.
My brain loves to learn, probably things that most people would reply with “why do you want/need to know that??” but I seem to soak up information like a sponge. YAY! Particularly history, royalty and people facts.
I can spend hours reading about a subject and then from that write about it. Very few things make me happier in the world of writing non fiction that to translate aquired knowledge in to a Joanne Hayle book.
I realised that my “project approach” has been with me since I was a child, perhaps it’s innate, I didn’t have to develop research skills or force myself to learn.
Please love this fact and not want to hit me over the head with a book but in the long school holidays I would read up about something and then write about the subject. I remember one on Elizabeth I and another on the US states. This was as well as the playing, bike riding, visiting relatives etc. It was my normal.
I didn’t feel geeky either, I was too busy learning such fabulous things that I didn’t think that I needed to reproach myself if it wasn’t what other people did or thought was cool.
I guess that childhood attitudes stick in some areas of life because now I do what I love for a living and if people don’t think that’s great then they’re missing the point. I have writing projects that enrich me and sometimes make me reassess how things work.
The message being: Be true to yourself and be who you need to be not what other’s might say you should be.
Just think, if I’d stopped doing those projects as a kid then I would not have developed the passion and the work ethic that I have now and that is one scary thought!
Anyway, a quick plug for the work in progress:
Lord Byron and Lady Caroline Lamb: Mad, Bad And Dangerous To Know: The Passionate and Public Affair That Scandalised Regency England
OK, here goes…
This is an attempt at advertising on here and linking through to Amazon.com…If it works I may have to lie down in a darkened room to recover! 🙂
I thought I’d take a quick break from writing my aristocracy book and this is the result – I turned in to a link queen!
This is a project that I’m really excited about. The book will be released on the 31st March 2015.
Please excuse the plug, sales pitch etc. but I am super-enthusiastic so please indulge me – Oh, go on, you know you want to!
Book Description on Amazon:
The British aristocracy and titles are fascinating to me.
Have you ever wondered what the British aristocracy’s titles and forms of address are and how and when they were introduced?
Do you know if present day aristocrats live in fairytale castles or are some titled people now living in “normal” homes and working the 9-5 day with the rest of us?
Is there a hierarchy to the noblest titled families in the land and how can a prince be a duke or an earl or all three at the same time?
Find out about O.B.E’s, M.B.E’s and C.B.E’s, knighthoods, damehoods, the Order of the Garter, the Order of Merit and other medals issued by the monarch.
Enjoy this book about British history, heritage and social graces.
NOTE: The page count is ridiculously low on the data on Amazon.
This is because I’ve only uploaded a small part of the edited work. The finished product will be MUCH longer. I know this because my pinkies have barely left my keyboard lately 🙂 and my O.C.D. insists that I work hard on projects!
So, now you know what I’ll be working on for the foreseeable future.
Have a great week.
This week I turned my attention to researching the lives of George Eliot and Thomas Hardy as part of my 101 Interesting Fact series on writers.
Amidst the facts, figures, births, deaths and marriages the seven writers I’ve studied so far have something in common – Not one of them has had an uneventful life.
There’s political or social intrigue, many illegitimate offspring, unsuitable loves, mental health or spiritual crises and great acclaim. Roll their lives into one and we’d have enough material for an overly melodramatic soap opera – just add bad acting!:0)
It’s made me wonder if creative people are somehow destined to lead the lives that feed them with the inspiration they’ll need to write, paint etc.
Imagine how dull books could be if the writer led a drab life.
We use our imaginations and insist that they work for us but they have to be fed or the rot sets in, but happily or challengingly for the writers it seems that scenarios seek us out as we trundle through life.
Not that I’m suggesting that I’ll be taking off on some grand historically romantic adventure or torment to help my next fiction piece along but it was an interesting train of thought.
Here’s a poem I hope you enjoy. It’s been bitterly cold here in the U.K. and A Sense of Winter popped in to my mind…
A Sense of Winter
Just ice winged wisps
Dancing in air crisp
No scent of roses
Chilled leaves laden
Shivering like sweet maidens
No birdsong sung
Eaves and rafters
Home ‘til springs laughter
Breath bitter cold
Vapour in mist unfolds
Winter has its own taste
Devoid of summers grace
Nature waits to grow anew
No gentle touch will wake
Slumber for salvations sake
Have fun whereever you are and whatever you do.
Sorry, seriously bad pun in the title 😉
While I was researching Robert Burns I found out that Anton Chekov’s birthday is 29th January.
Intrigued, I investigated this Russian literary legend, reread The Cherry Orchard and as I’ve written about Jane Austen and Robert Burns it seemed perfectly rational to follow the A, B, C and write 101 Interesting Facts About Anton Chekov.
I learn so much by researching facts for these books. While we may know the literary works and believe that the tales are within the writing as the saying goes, truth is stranger than fiction.
These people who we respect and revere or choose not to appreciate have had lives – I know, it’s a revelation!!
All the good, bad and indifferent that causes light and shade in our lives affected these people too. Some of their experiences don’t make it into their writing but they’ll have been felt just as sharply as we feel loss, success, fear etc. now.
People are incredibly interesting, past, present or future and almost everyone has an extraordinary tale to tell.
If only I had time to write everyone’s life stories down!
Apart from Chekov I was really pleased that I made a shortlist again in a poetry competition and I am honoured that Children’s Stories Net (http://www.childrens-stories.net) have made my story Chuckles Nose their story of the week.
Believe me when I say that I’m not boasting but very grateful. It’s been a long journey from the OCD/PTSD grabbing my life and aspirations by the throat to here…that proverbial tunnel has light at the end of it.
Have fun and enjoy life.
Can you believe it? Today is the 8th January already and Christmas seems like a distant memory.
This week I’ve gone back to being a full time writer instead of the part time one that I’ve been over the last few festive weeks.
I know that a lot of people groaned at the thought of returning to work on 5th January but I found that all the relaxation time and reading that I’d enjoyed had enabled my brain to refresh itself so that I could hit the ground running on Monday.
This week I’ve produced two short books on Robert Burns, the Scottish songwriter, poet and legend for anyone who is interested in the Burns Night celebrations on 25th January and about his life.
I love history and I love finding out about people so these books have been a joy to work on.
Whilst researching and writing I’ve felt energised, invigorated and you know what? Writing can be really hard work but it’s a labour of love and an undeniable blessing to be able to do this each day.
I’ve been finishing my work days tired but eager to start again the next morning.
Eating meals, in the shower, when I wake up, the fragments of what needs to be written pull together in a magical process and then the laptop and I get absorbed and lose track of time.
Although it was good to be a part-timer for a while I enjoy being a full time writer more. I missed the buzz and the frenzy of brain activity.
Moreover, a year ago the OCD and PTSD were taking up a lot of my time but as the treatment has progressed I have been accruing more me time and my creative thoughts dominate the fear thoughts of the illnesses these days…that’s a gift that simply can’t be bought. It is divine and liberating.
Have a fabulous and productive week.
Also available via Smashwords: Robert Burns – A Mini Biography.