Mile Stones…

2017-04-07 07.55.03Hacked Off has gone to NZ…

That’s a big milestone – not all of it has gone, but first three chapters and chapter ten. Funny to think that it is that book that is going first. It’s what I have been working on since Dec 16 re the revision course with Holly Lisle and teaching myself to apply a consistent punctuation style with since New Year.

I am about halfway with the third draft for Grammer, Punctuation and Style. I intend to finish that pass then finish writing Hacked Apart and Hacked To Bits to first draft level over the summer and then get going on Quest which has been on ice since the house rebuilt two and a half busy years ago 🙂

This last week I started Coaching with Nina Amir to help me step away from the writing and reintegrate my life with the farm and with the horses that the building works generally interrupted. I have lived in the Agricultural year all my life – a season to plant etc and with an intrinsic view of life is a wheel – or a plough – depending on what I am doing! Either way, many things have made up that life and each has had its time on the calendar or place in the day.

I am thankful I had my writing dreams to lose myself in this last two years as my home emptied and was pulled down and re-emerged as not identifiably my home, my garden has yet to return to productivity and is just neat and tidy – definitely not my garden! Give me productivity any day! My farm was de-stocked – so  I felt ‘not a farmer’ anymore and suddenly when I stopped to think about it I wondered Who Am I? Where Am I? I have hardly ridden the horses and Brin was lost to old age, Tash reduced in capacity by the same… All there has been as a constant from old to new is writing – even my friends and contacts have moved from face to face to online…

Now it is spring time and I finally made enough progress to be able to send an MS off – serendipity played a roll – when Eileen offered to read through for me I said yes even though I hadn’t planned to even look for an Editor for HO till summer. What is there to lose? Whatever she thinks of it I know it was a book I wrote before I even had the internet or a laptop or iPhone so the fact I still have it in play is down to hard work with long hours and that is very much what farming taught me in the first place.  Writing has taught me to sustain concentration over many hours and given me a focus when my identity seemed to disappear in front of me – I even feel a bit like a ghost at times around here – I will too until the house has furniture and the garden grows safely rabbit proofed vegetables again…

Nina has taught me already to question my excuses – this week I have taken action  and ridden Rufus off the farm – and handled Buddy and been out on the pier with Tash – I have attended live group calls which are a challenge – I am used to talking with strangers and friends in text boxes – not hearing the emotion in their voices or letting them hear mine.

The wonderful weather this week has helped,  I did edit a whole chapter and leave my files ready to go next week again. The challenge there will be to integrate the writing and the riding  – having pushed self this week  I don’t want to stop when I get back to work – Rufus may not mind me when I am tired and anxious but Buddy and Flax do – and Rufus deserves better. Next week I will have to pay attention to my sleep and rest and tighten my strategies for providing watershed between my work and the rest of my life. 🙂  Look between ears and allow it to move forward – or ‘get out of my own way’ – I reached the Mile Stone by sheer will at times now I need to let my heart take over again 🙂



Dog Day Chronicles…

Took A Week Off –

Well  worked on Open House Surgery  – but it turned out that  the week – 10 days  I had planned for – was only 5 days including the weekend.:)

Gave me a chance to play with sound recording on my dog walks – many reasons and it turns out to be Good Fun 🙂 I have never enjoyed walking much as I tend to chunder on about things and come back depressed – running doesn’t let me get away with that but neither the dogs or me are up to a lot of running right now..

The sound recording keeps my focus on ideas and constructive thoughts – now I VERY much doubt I will ever link this in to Dragon and be dictating my fiction – and any jokes about me being a Dragon and a Dictator WILL get The Finger. Anything that keeps the mental Black Dog from following us  on our excursions is good – I do all the mindfulness  Black Dog crap collecting techniques I can – but the fact is just like dog walking anywhere these days you come back home with a stinking bag of something you wish you didn’t have to deal with…

Been reading and listening to Joanna Penn ‘Successful Author Mindset’ – really good – but then I like her style. Still reading ‘Barkskins’ -Annie Proulx – that is a delicious long read in a ‘savour every word kind of way’. I thrashed through Lorelie James latest and much craved ‘Unbreak My Heart’ the conclusion of her Sierra and Boone story that fans were waiting for  – bliss 🙂

I have picked up the threads of my rewrite earlier than planned and am pleased with progress.

Bit Of A Dry Update…:)

Hell – This Time we are living through is interesting though – may we all survive long enough to see it through.




To Blog OR Not To Blog…

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I honestly don’t know…

This takes up a great deal of my time – takes an investment of time and money and right now provides no tangible return on either – intangibly it could be argued it is experience so somehow adding to my skill set.

If I spent the combined time on these three blogs  on creating my books, I would get on a lot faster and I could sub this out at the relevant time – by then things might have lent another way anyway in terms of marketing trends and advice – already folk are noticing that this format doesn’t work well for fiction from the get go… only may be later when established.


Do I get anything out of it? Um well it is different from the novel production, and studying novel production – and it is more immediate – the novel stuff is rarely Right Now’s views and reflection – It demands I say something about my experiences, but equally makes me stand back a little rather than just dump into a journal – makes me see balance where it may not feel like there is any. Is it worth the money? No probably not  -a free Word Press site would be more than good enough – if I am not running a shop from it – the editor is easier on the WP site than the self hosted one as well.

Lots to think about…

OF course the European Referendum  will be in the ballot stage and counting when this posts on Friday – how will our world have changed because of that? How will that affect my writing journey – let alone my blogs?  The VAT situation if we come out will be appalling for digital sales – with no threshold in place and no VAT MOSS to help UK  productive creatives but on the other hand other countries have to deal with it…

As I write this I feel as a Nation we should be flying Nelson’s ‘England Expects…’ from every set of flag poles in the land as it really is a DUTY to get out and vote on this – not to do so is a loss to us all – as a decision based on a low turn out will fester and cause trouble for years to come… which ever way it goes a decent turn out at least makes the result palatable for democrats – pragmatists will always find a way to make things work – and those who lacked a conviction either way will just have to live with it now – BUT don’t moan near me!!!

Truth To Tell…

I guess it is the storm clouds ahead which ever way the vote goes that give me most pause for thought – all other things being equal I would rather blog than not.



Doing Best…



Typed on today on my active project – Yea! As they say  – and got myself out to Chapter 9. Dropped back into the story better than I hoped I would – which always feels nice.

Spent week trying to find space to work either mentally or physically  – have moved  back into the house to write this today.

and  feel I have become a back packer again –

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Destination still being constructed

Destination still being constructed

No sign of new phone connection BT and Open Reach are diabolical to deal with but Mark Bede at Black and White Computers has set up my iPhone to act as a hub to include husband’s lap top as well as mine which is brilliant as so much of the official side of life is on line now – Vat, Tachograph records etc it is  very worrying to be off line for any reason – and their incompetence being the cause of this is particularly galling!

Doing best I can this week to do something on the writing every day – I have ‘shown up’  everyday and that is about all I can say…:)