Blog Archives

Reading and writing

Hi

I’ve been kept very busy recently with freelance work so thanks everyone, I think I’m becoming not quite expert in an expanding number of areas, but I love information and trivia so my brain is happy.

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Excellent news is that I’m still kicking OCD’s butt, THANK GOD! Had an appt. with my therapist last week for the first time in a while and (not to tempt fate) my brain is mending and it’s definitley more recovered than recovering.

Funny isn’t it, how when you’ve been ill for a long time that when you are reminded that you’re ill it is almost odd? As I’ve been focusing on other things the realisation that my brain is still a little bit poorly actually felt strange…I’m more normal these days and less beseiged by OCD rituals and safety behaviours!

Excellent book – and no, I don’t know him, owe him or get paid to say this! but Matt Haig’s book is brilliant. Titled, Reasons to Stay Alive, it is worth reading whether you’ve been through depression, are going through it or want to understand what someone goes through. It’s got a ton of celeb endorsements too if you like reading those!

My Mary Queen of Scots book is still a work in progress but it will be out before the next millenium, honest!

Have a fab week and please remember to be kind to yourself.

Joanne

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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

 

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

 

Working!

Hiya

 

smile-737278_640I have to admit that I love the feeling when you start writing and it flows as if there’s an electrical inspirational charge from brain to fingertips as you type away.

I wrote a short story out of nowhere after I finished another project, there was still an hour or so until I wanted to finish work and so I thought OK, let’s see what happens…

What happened was an 1800 word short story and it looked like a miracle when it arrived on the page! I get amazed when it happens.

It’s easy to take things for granted, the “I’m writing this today and tomorrow and the day after it’s…” but I don’t think that the magic involved in a creative piece arriving from the ether will ever diminish for me…and I don’t want it to. EVER.

I am very lucky to be able to write each day and some of it may be cringeworthy when I look back at it pre-edit but just to be able to have the freedom and the brainpower to do what I love is totally fab.

Hope you’re doing what you love to do, have a great day.

 

Joanne X

PS please keep your fingers crossed that the freelance job I bid for earlier gets a big fat YES from the client! THANKS!

 

 

Don’t Miss Out!

 

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Titles
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Thanks and have a great rest of the weekend, Joanne.

PS If you want to reblog this post, please do!! Or you can buy 100 copies, you know, if you want to!!

Big thanks. 🙂

Tornado and the weekend

Hi

snowy

Here we are at another weekend, another cold one here in the UK and I’m yearning for Spring, I love to see nature coming back to life and to feel the sun getting warmer.

It’s a hibernating weekend for me, reading fab books by the fireside and indulging in some edible treats.

I won’t be wearing a snowman onesie though, that would be a step too far!

I’ve spent most of today placing my recent books on to online retailers. I can only hope that the right cover has been uploaded with the correct text each time. Fingers crossed or I may get an e-mail asking why my Charles Dickens book only contains information on Tolstoy. Uh oh:-)

I’ve also taken a piece of flash fiction and turned it into a poem. It’s not based on reality, thankfully, although someone who read it did suggest an appropriate place to stick the door handle if it was real – Cheeky!

I hope you enjoy it.

Tornado

In my head structures torn down, a tornado

Monoliths had been embedded moments ago

He’s not dedicated to us, a lost cause, no hope found

Twenty odd years of history razed to the ground

With his cologne filled air of self satisfied finality

I’m stunned, powerless, cut down cruelly

 

He tells me that I can rebuild my new life with zeal

Find love with someone who has more appeal

I try to believe that I’ll be better without him

As he insists it will be so I try to submit to his whim

He opens the door and goes without looking back

My name isn’t etched on his heart, it’s on the rack

He worships and loves her, Helen.

I’m the discarded ruin, Katherine.

Have a great weekend.

Joanne

Bit excited!

Hi

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As the title says I’m a bit excited!

I pitched an idea to a local publication and they are mulling that over for their website.

I was pleasantly surprised and grateful when the editor suggested that I write an article about myself and life with O.C.D./P.T.S.D. for inclusion in their print magazine in a couple of months time.

I realised as I was writing the short piece that:

1. It means a lot to be living my writing dream.

2. The mental disorders didn’t hijack my life or my goals forever and I’ve come a long way in the last year or so.

3. It’s an opportunity to write about my life as I do on my blog, reach and inform even more people which can only help to banish the misconceptions about mental issues.

I’d call it a fabulously welcome early Christmas present!

I  feel amazed when my work is accepted or gets published somewhere and I don’t ever want to lose that astonishment, it’s good for my soul!

A flash fiction piece made the grade the other day too!

I wrote this poem recently for my anthology It’s Christmas!  I hope that you enjoy it.

 

Tommy Turkey: Legend

Scared Thanksgiving Turkey

Farmer Jones had once had a kindly look

About his cheery self when they’d first met

But frankly, he’d blotted his copybook

When he’d mentioned their weights to the vet

 

This morning he’d told Tommy and his friends

That they were wonderfully plump, fat enough to go

As they had no pocket money for a day out to spend

They reasoned it was to Old Grisly Gobble & Co.

 

Tommy thought no chance! They’d taken a vote

Agreed to a mass exodus, they wouldn’t be Christmas dinners

Tommy had written Farmer Jones a firm farewell note

He was sure that hats would be doffed to the great turkey winners

 

In his turkey crown and cape Tommy had left the farm

He’d seen The Great Escape he well knew what to do

That night he started an “Eat Sprouts and do turkey’s no harm!”

Campaign with pigs in blankets on the evening news

Poor old newsreaders looked utterly bemused.

 

 P.S.

The note read:

Dear Farmer Jones,

Ho ho ho and off we go! With the ‘snips and sprouts we’ll not pout

With free flowing gravy fresh from the spout

Love (Yeah right) Tommy and  his turkey heroes! 

 

 

Happy “it’s nearly Christmas!”

Have a fab rest of the week.

 

Joanne

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grab the reader!

Hi

I’ve spent a lot of this week looking at markets, marketing and the business related aspects of being a writer.

Books won’t sell themselves (boo) and not everyone is a born sales guru.

Although in a previous life I was a travel agent selling “your dream two weeks in the sun” that requires a slightly different approach to book sales even though you can still work with a features and benefits base. e.g. This hotel is on the beach so you’ll only have a couple of minutes walk to get there or this book was written by a travel agent so you can be sure that you are receiving expert advice.

It’s interesting to learn about how certain phrases/writing devices/cover designs can affect how someone responds to your book.

I read something that is both obvious and yet often forgotten so it resonated with me: Don’t use passive language.

Example:

I posted a blog is an active sentence. 

A blog was posted by me is a passive sentence.

The writer won an award is active.

An award was won by a writer is passive.

It makes sense to grab people’s attention if you want/need them to say “Wow, this looks like a great book, I’d love to read it,” rather than “blah, blah, blah,…oh, this other book looks much more interesting.”

I was reminded that no one is obliged to read a word that you or I have written, no matter how much blood, sweat and tears we’ve poured in to producing the work our precious books need as much help as they can get.

I shall edit even more carefully from now on!

I’ve been planning projects for 2015, which led to an odd train of thought…OCD – you gotta love it! – I was thinking of ideas for fiction and non fiction books when this ran through my mind. What if I run out of ideas? What will I do? Nice bit of OCD scaremongering, don’t you think?!

My answer – when I’d stopped “oh no, that would be awful-ling”…the world is full of stories, people, subjects, news, memories, anniversaries, inspirational events and inventors.

The list of things to write about should therefore be endless, not that my OCD liked that answer, it’s a bit of a doom and gloom monster so it forecasts that the end of the world will have to occur the same day that I don’t have fresh inspiration!

Besides, if I place pressure on myself to come up with a ton of ideas on the spot I can still only write one at a time so why not go with the flow instead and allow my mind to be open to inspiration as I amble along?

It’s a tough lesson but I’m sure that my brain will agree with me one day.

I saw a fantastic observation on writers block the other day…nurses don’t get nurses block, surgeons don’t get surgeons block, pianists don’t get pianists block…so why do writers sometimes cling to the myth of writers block? A great point!

Have a fabulous weekend.

Jo Penguin

It started me thinking…

Hi

It’s odd but sometimes ideas or suggestions seem to throw themselves at you until you notice and act on them.

I’ve had a bit of that this week.

My new tablet has the app for Google Play/Google Books preloaded on it. I also had to set up my mum’s new tablet…so I had the app staring me in the face the next day too…In recent months I’ve been Amazoning 100% but I took a look at Google via their app.

Two days later I was reading a 2014 published book which told authors that they’d found that diversifying had worked for them and that increasing the number of marketplaces had been a beneficial step.

Google Play and Google Books appeared as suggested markets (among others) and this made me investigate as this was the third day in a row that I’d seen the words!

I now have placed one of my novels on Google Books and Play and a German site, Xinxii, as well as my normal outlet, Amazon, to see how it performs in all these areas.

I find that reading other writers guides and helpful advice can be a fantastic way to get me out of a particular train of thought or encourage me to keep going along a particular course of action.

They can also illustrate why certain activities or approaches can prove time consuming for little return when tested.

Prompted by a theory I read month or so ago I placed an advert for my books on a free UK online advertising/selling site.

I’d read that customers find clicking from an ad (third party) site to the book retailer site a pain…and I can tell you that after a week my ad had been viewed over 1500 times and clicked on for more info 65 times.

So, it could just be me, I could be ridiculously hopeless at pricing, marketing etc. (hope not!!) but from my sales stats I can conclude that whilst It wasn’t a lost cause to place the ad it also wasn’t a hugely productive promotion activity.

Who knows? Someone out there could have found it a wonderful exercise to increase sales. Maybe. At least I’ve tested the theory.

It started me thinking that many books advise to do all the online and social networking that you can, to throw yourself in to the public eye and be noticed and there are others that state that online outlets will promote you insite and that the product will still sell if you do no third party advertising.

It’s too simple and limiting to say A is correct, B is incorrect.

I read other writers and publishers books to learn – what to do, what not to do, to challenge their findings, to acknowledge that they’re right and that in some cases what works for one writer might not suit another.

I think that it’s important NEVER to think that you know all that you need to know or assume that nothing changes.

It does, all the time, whether it’s market share, new outlets, styles, management, publishers, agents…the list goes on and on.

Whether in the world of writing or any other business sphere there is always something new to learn, Always.

It pays to keep your knowledge base topped up so that you can make wise business decisions that can aid creativity and productivity.

Happy Thanksgiving to those who are celebrating today and Happy Day to everyone.

Joanne

Rosalind Frontcover

Article, poetry and busy busy me! ;-)

Hi

A brand new follower asked for the link for the OCD article that I was working on in June this year…only my daft brain cell jumped to the Christmas related one (see more recent post) so I responded that it was on hold.

I am pleased to completely contradict myself! and say that the OCD article is alive and well and I’m pitching it to magazines so stay tuned! Fingers crossed, toes crossed, eyes crossed…you get the idea!

I did use part of my research for a book I’ve placed on Amazon How to write, heal and grow.

The basic overall message that came back to me was that people know what they SHOULD do but they don’t necessarily feel that they can.

e.g. People look at someone with a mental health problem and would not openly say “I’m a bit freaked out/don’t feel confident/don’t fully undertstand” and this makes them awkward so human nature being what it is, people avoid the discomfort and stigma lives on. More information is desperately needed for people to set aside misconceptions. (Any comments welcome.)

Hopefully as I write I can help in a teeny tiny way!!!

Big thank you’s to all followers – I do appreciate that you could be reading something else instead!

Great news yesterday – Poetree Org http://poetreecreations.org/  uploaded some of my work on to their site, feel free to take a peek! Fab site!! 

Anyhow, yesterday after a few days I wasn’t thinking of Christmas…I was thinking poetically about time…today? I’m Little Miss Edit. It’s a mystery short story. The Mystery of Billy Burrows…out soon! (Or more precisely when I finish editing the little darling amongst other projects – I LOVE being busy!)

Have a great day and remember to smile, if only to make someone mad wondering what you’re so happy about!!

Joanne

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