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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

Mrs Santa – Fun Christmas Poem

Hiya

Tis the season to be jolly so here’s a fun Xmas poem…enjoy!

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Mrs Claus

The keen little elf said “Err, hello.”

In a tiny voice, not an elfin bellow

“Have you seen Mr. Santa Claus?

Is he in his office behind those doors?”

 

Mrs. Claus smiled her kindest smile

Newbie elves were sweet, just like a new child

For she and the toy making crew knew

That her husband was turning the air blue

 

Not in the office, paperwork amassing

But outside in the chill enduring a gassing

The poor beardy guy was again falling prey

To back drafts caused not by his sleigh

 

The reindeers were enjoying giggling fits

The mayhem was courtesy of Mrs. S’s titbits

She would insist on giving the reindeer molasses curry

Before their MOT’s she’d get cooking, all of a flurry

 

It’s a strange coincidence Santa thought

As some fresh air and his breath he caught

That it’s always somehow a curry dinner the night

I say the next day it’s MOT’s and practice flights

Dishing up for all, Mrs. S would sweetly smile at him

And say that she’d cooked up curry on a whim

Poor Rudolph’s nose never lost its glow

After the 1924 vindaloo went down below

“Daydreaming, Mrs. S?” Her sleeve was tugged by elf, Ed

“You’d better give it five minutes,” she knowingly said

“Or it won’t only be your clothes that are green.”

Ed frowned, “Whatever, lovely lady, do you mean?”

 

“Well, Santa’s doing reindeer MOT’s in the snow

With last night’s dinner he’s meeting ho ho ho!”

“Surely you’ve not indulged in foul play, Mrs. Claus?”

She folded her arms, grinned through the pause

 

“Ask the elder elves, they’ll tell you Santa won’t let me take flight

Or steer the lovely reindeers on any Christmas night

Always it’s a no ho ho when I ask but he’ll get the hint one day I’m sure

In the meantime for his Christmas roses there’ll be spicy manure

And for us an annual work day bonus of entertainment galore!”

 

Have a fab rest of the day and holiday season, Joanne :-)X

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.

 

 

Humanity

Hi

 

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I wrote this poem a while ago, thought I’d post it…It was written as a response to stress I’d experienced thanks to another person who should have behaved better.  God bless therapy and therapists! Unsung heroes in the land of brain cells and emotions.

 

Respect

Love emboldens souls to be free

Or it creates dreams disappointing

Love is like blossom on the tree

It needs warmth to set forth flowering

 

Respect is to be earned not glibly spent

It’s not a silver spoon birthright

Respect is a given as a compliment

Not after a series of supremacy fights

 

Trust is peaceful but the preserve

Of those who’ve never been burned

The rest of us hold back, reserved

Until we’re sure our hearts to stone won’t turn

 

Forgiveness can prove difficult

But once accomplished it releases us to calm

We’re often too keen to assign fault

But that offers no one a healing balm

 

The heart and mind offer advice we eschew

However emotions will implode if your soul you defy

With experience we should learn that to ourselves be true

Isn’t blanket permission to injure, deride or despise.

 

On a graver note…

I hope that everyone is safe and well and that peace, love and empathy reign over the world.

The good guys must defeat the bad guys.

Only a joint effort can do it.th2KD3LEGV

Take care

Joanne

Halloween Poem

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Hocus Pocus

Here it is again, that time of year

When spooks and horrors draw near

Sugar high kids in macabre costumes

Who cackle, howl and speak of doom

For those rare few who issue no tasty treats

Fear not, there is a way to trick and to treat

For a homeowner so ingenious and magical

Think of Harry Potter, Sooty and his pals

Whip out your old Paul Daniel’s Magic Set

And the kids’ll be tricked, thrilled in to defeat

As to applaud your conjuring skills they’ll be made

Before their hallowe’en debt has been classed paid

A word of caution, from a wise and ravishing witchy being

Give the kids sweets too or rotten eggs and slime you’ll be seeing.

 

 

I hope everyone has a happy and safe Halloween…try not to get too spooked! 

Joanne 🙂

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

Busy bee, that’s me

Hiya

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Just so you know I’m a really really really really wonderfully fantabuously busy bee writing at the mo…thank you brilliant clients!! Yippee and double yippee!

I just have to remember that brain overload/stress/spontaneous combustion is sooooo last season. Thankfully, I have helpful (indispensible) anxiety disorder busting techniques in place so if you see a firework going off soon it won’t be a U.K based writer exploding into a gazillion sparkly pieces!!

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Here’s a tanka poem that I hope you enjoy…

 

Nature’s Hand

Sprinkled rain diamonds

On a web’s silvery base 

Adorn nature’s hand

So in glory she displays

Majesty of which she’s fond.

 

Happy rest of the weekend and remember there’s always time for a smile and to count your blessings.

Joanne :-)X

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Made it to the weekend;-)

Hi peeps

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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.girl-308360_640

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.

Take care

Joanne