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Review reviews

Hiya

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I hope that everyone had a great summer/winter depending on where you are in the world. If your brain is misbehaving I sympathise and just keep going even when you really don’t want to/see the point. Keep walking towards sunrise. It’s beautiful when you reach it, promise.

First a brilliant quote I read from Joanne Harris, writer of Chocolat:

Depression is no more curable by saying it’s “all in the head” than cancer is by saying it’s “all in the cells.”

That lady talks sense…and writes great books!

I, unsurprisingly spent a lot of my time writing. I know, anyone would think I was a writer…oh yeah, I am! Lots of freelance work and regular work…happy, happy, on anti-depressants-happy! And grateful.

Also writing the next book:-)

Occasionally I look at reviews for my books on Amazon and Goodreads , not too often though because it can be a teeny weeny bit scary seeing what people think of your writing.

Guess what? There is no definitive rule about taste and reviews. For the same book I have had a 1* and 3* and a 5* so for any writers out there who get disheartened by reviews just remember that a review is someone’s opinion. That doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be respected but you can agree to disagree with someone’s opinion.

It’s very easy to read a review of your book that showers with praise and very tempting to kick the furniture when you see a less friendly one. A 1 star makes you want to shout “I put blood, sweat and tears in to this and you gave it a 1????” A 5 star lets you puff out your chest proudly in the knowledge that “someone appreciates talent/dedication/late nights and rewrites.”

 

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My 5* counsellor led me to devise a system where when I read reviews, good, bad or indifferent, that I spend no more than 30 seconds reviewing the review. I assess whether there are useful points which would enhance the book or if I should agree to disagree. Then I move on. This means my emotional state doesn’t fluctuate with the reviews. I can be objective. Just think if mood was dependent on reviews, it’d be like being attached to an internal unpredictable bungee rope!

Happily, my brain is still healing and the progress is promising. I just have to remember not to make myself too busy, too under pressure and too focused on work. Relaxation and rest are important too! Who knew?

I have also enjoyed more reading time lately, currently reading Sabine Durrant’s new book Lie With Me and it’s very good so if you fancy a psychological thriller you shouldn’t be disappointed with this one.

Of course, being the history buff that I am I have been looking at a book by Anita Leslie on her great aunt Jennie Churchill, Winston’s mum.  Interesting, inside view of the family.

Happy rest of September and as the seasons change try to find the poetry in the moment.

Jo

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PS: If you’re giving a review please remember that there is normally a hard working person behind the book/piece so please be constructive, think helpful!

 

 

 

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Brain drain

Hi

It’s been a while, time flies! I hope you missed me…what? you didn’t notice I’d been away…Charming!!

thJ7EILSRXAnyhow, I’ve been a busy bod freelance writing a lot of diet, fitness, superfood, exercise blogs and lifestyle articles…it’s amazing how you think you know a subject fairly well but there’s always more to learn! I’ve switched white bread for wholemeal and increased almond eating…apparently they are very good for you. I live, I learn.

It’s lovely when you get good feedback too, thank you to anyone who gives me a fab review, I appreciate the compliment and I know that you don’t have to comment. It’s great for the soul though.

What’s not good is that I’ve been naughty…slapped wrists time…I worked without taking a day off for almost two weeks and guess what? My brain and body kicked my butt! As much as I love a searing headache, feeling overtired and wrung out like an old dish cloth (NOT) I have to remember that my OCD, anxiety brain needs a rest or I’m playing double jeopardy with my recovery which thankfully has been very good these last few weeks. I’m fine now and lesson learned – the hard way. Hmmm.

I’ve also been working on a new book for my series Royal Rifts, this one is on Mary Queen of Scots and her marriages. Stormy! It will be out in the spring. Publication date to follow.

Well, that’s me, and my brain and writing life for the last few weeks so take care and remember to rest your brain cells. They’ll be glad you did!

 

Joanne

2016 is here already – Don’t worry

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I hope you have had a fabulous holiday time and I wish you a happy, peaceful, healthy, joyful new year!! (To those who overindulged, I hope your hangover has gone by now!)

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Our Christmas decorations are coming down today:-( and the holidays seem to have passed by in the blink of an enjoyable eye – but here we are already on day 2 of 2016 with the rest of the year like a huge blank page ready to be written on.

My aims for this year, apart from – spreading joy, love, positivity and hopefully a bit of helpful wisdom while appreciating my blessings – are to build on the progress that I made last year, both in my writing career – thanks to anyone who’s bought/read any of my books – I officially LOVE YOU! and also with my OCD/PTSD/anxiety which has improved miraculously over the last couple of years. In fact, talk about Christmas miracles and I can tell you that an OCD habit (or ritual as it’s known) that I wasn’t able to shake off on several attempts just magically disappeared on Christmas morning, I simply wasn’t doing it. See, miracles do happen. THANK GOD!!!!:-)

As I couldn’t stop myself from writing completely over the Christmas holidays I have got about 9000 words of a book about the Hanoverians written. Call me crazy but if I don’t write for a couple of days (which is rare) I get what I call itchy fingers – in other words I need to write, my hands are ready to spill what’s jumping up and down creatively in my brain on to my laptop and they can’t wait!

I have also indulged in a bit of poetry – I hope you like this one, it’s a reminder to me but will work for all!

 

Don’t Worry

This today will soon be yesterday

Let’s make it the best we’ve ever written

For each tomorrow is a chapter away

We often forsake our now for it, bitten or smitten

 

Try to live in the moment, savour each one

That’s a hard lesson to learn and maintain

But your mind wants to be in the present, having fun

Smell the roses, see sunsets, feel gentle rain

 

It’s not easy to be in the here and now

There are many invitations to fret, false clues

Tomorrow is a mystery, a tremor or still, for now

It will explain itself soon but it isn’t motivated by the blues

 

Tomorrow’s blank page betrays invisible ink what if’s and when’s

Willed for answers won’t always be found in our today

Questions unanswered, we take up our mental pens

Where we normally write a far too dramatic play

 

For when the dreaded tomorrow morphs in to today

Our fears quite often are found to never have in truth lain

Yet for hours, our eyes off course, they’ll have led us astray

A new merry dance for us to review on memory lane

 

Plus, being human, we flick back to see our faults

Liberally douse our life tomes in inner critic stress

Instead try to live in the moment without thunderbolts

Read each word you write and enjoy the ink blots, they’re heaven blessed.

 

Have a wonderful 2016 and remember to treat yourself well and kindly – everyone should feel special!

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Joanne

 

 

 

Quick Plug!


Hi

I hope everyone is enjoying December, so far it’s been writing busy, fulfilling and with lovely surprises for me so that’s all good. Great start to the day, a Christmas story of mine will be used on Bedtime FM soon – thanks and Yay!

And this lovely tome went on sale on Amazon in paperback and Kindle this morning too. Another Yay and a Thank God! Some people have already bought it!!! It can be borrowed too – shameless plug moment!!

CJ

Here’s a little present from me to you…a senryu poem! I wrote this last Christmas time but it’s just as, if not more so, needed this year…

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“Wrote to Santa Claus

Asked for wars and hate to cease

A gift of world peace.”

Have a great, safe and full of love and peace week,  Joanne

Bonus flippant Yay…I’m a Celebrity is OVER!!!! not a lover of it, as you can tell.

 

 

We made it!

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We made it to the weekend so chill out and think calm, lovely brainpower restoring thoughts, your brain will be soooooo grateful. You know what? You work too hard! It told me so.

I’m going to try not to do any work over the weekend…I’ve said that before though and normally I can’t resist! but I am reading a fabulous book at the mo, it’s by Victoria Holt who was really Eleanor Hibbert, sadly she died in 1993 but her  gothic thrillers ROCK. (By the way she also wrote as Jean Plaidy and Phillippa Carr and her books should all be brought back in to publication!)

If your clocks are changing this weekend enjoy the extra hour.

Happy weekending

JoanneTTC_TTTDay1

Work, rest, play

Hiya

Happy weekend! penguin

I’ve been a busy bee again this week (love it! Thank you God!!) so I’ve been tuned out of the world and tuned in to freelance work. A biproduct is that my trivia loving brain gets to learn lots of trivia that I didn’t know that I needed or wanted to ever know. I am going to be a “not quite expert” on lots of diverse subjects one day soon:-)

I’ve also been working on a new royal history quiz book. The ones I brought out last year went well so, as I haven’t done one this year yet, I’m doing one now in between the freelancing. It’ll make a fab Christmas present me thinks.

Yesterday my brain/body decided that it wanted to rest, it sent me back to sleep for an indecently long lie in – 10a.m. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it, just like I was “stuck” to my lovely warm cozy comfy duvet.

So, having written an article and now this blog, I’m off to work on some more quiz book questions before I officially switch mode to quiet chillax – Order me chicken jalfrezi, fab movies, a great book, yep, that’ll be me today just after 4pm.  Ahhh bliss!

Have a fab weekend.

Joanne

 

 

 

 

 

Wish I’d thought of it sooner:-)

Hiya

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I hope everyone is having a great Sunday a.k.a. Funday!

I’ve been editing like a ninja this week, less than 4500 words to go so take a guess what I’ll be doing Monday and Tuesday this week?! After this it’s back to childrens fiction. (Thanks to the lovely man that said yes to my pitch!)

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And now for something completely different…you know how on the news we keep seeing images, mainly tragic, of refugees fleeing from Syria and that area? Well, I, like most people I know, was whinging that the government needed to do more, that these people needed help. It was a couple of days before I realised that it’s fine to SAY that but 100% better to DO so I did something that I should have already done – I donated to a charity that is working on the ground with the refugees…so now I have helped in a tiny way instead of just decrying the powers that be from my nice warm and thankfully safe home.

While I know that my donation won’t make a miracle, if it gets added to another someone’s donation and then someone elses…and so on…just think what the human race could do for those that are suffering! Moreover, people find spare cash for a treat so why the heck shouldn’t they find cash to help repair a catastrophe?!

Life eh? It throws up some interesting questions.

Take care and remember to tickle your tum to make yourself laugh;-)

Joanne

 

Daylight!

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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,

 

Joanne

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All Change!

Hiya

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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!

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What Kind Of Reader Are You?

I love this too, fab to reblog…I’m a polygamist with a hint of atruist reader.
Enjoy your reading whichever category you fall in to! :-)X

Lynette Noni

I just saw this on TheLiterarySite.com and love it so much that I simply have to share it:

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So, what kind of reader are you? I’m a cross between a monogamist and an introvert—I stick to one book at a time and I identify with (aka: obsess over) the characters. I also love re-reading my favourites. Your turn!

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