Dreams can come true

This week I achieved one of my dreams. It’s one I’ve had since I was 6 years old.

When I was younger there was a national four day farming type show near where we lived. Every year they would attempt to send up hot air balloons. If we were lucky, and the wind was blowing the right way, we’d see the balloons, sometimes they’d even go over our house. I would wait for hours outside my house each night in case I got the chance to see these balloons.

Being young and not so full of wisdom I thought these trips would only be for professionals and that normal people would never go in a hot air balloon. Although I hoped it might be different at the time I never imagined that one day I might have the opportunity to go in one myself.

hot air balloon burnerBut dreams can and do come true.

And this week they did.

As the basket lifted and drifted into the sky I confess I got quite teary. But they were happy tears. Yes, you have strangers chatting and the burner going occasionally but if you can ignore that then you are in your own world in the blue of the sky. No one can get to you, no work calls or social media madness getting to you. It is only you and the world around you.

The experience was one worth waiting for. It was not only mesmerising, it gave me the opportunity to reflect on how beautiful and calming it is when you’re up in the skies. It was what I’ve always wanted.

balloon shadowAs we were heading to the skies lots of children waved us off. They jumped around excitedly, wearing their school uniforms. I’d like to think that as they watched us go they were having their own dreams and thinking of what their lives may be like in the future.

You may have your own dreams. Writing is another dream of mine. I confess I was thinking about characters who could have a balloon ride in one of their stories. Have you found yourself doing an activity and during it have attempted to remember what all your senses are experiencing so that you can use it in your writing?

For me all these things help my writing; whether it’s sitting in a coffee shop, going to a sports event or having a night in a club. I’ve written about all these things. Don’t underestimate the power of living as a writer rather than focusing everything on getting those words down.

Don’t forget to dream either; whether it’s about writing or other things in your life.

I’m going to go and whisper in the ear of six year old me now and tell her that it’s okay to dream big because 30-something Rebecca is making sure they come true. She’s going to be so happy.

dreams hot air balloon

 

Tell me your dreams too, either here or via my Facebook page or Twitter page.

Camp Nano Winner 2018 – Things I Learnt

I did it! I completed Camp Nanowrimo, I’m officially a winner.

You can find out more about Camp Nanowrimo here. Reaching my goal, i.e. writing 50k words in one month, was one of the most difficult things I’ve taken part in as a writer.

Camp Nanowrimo learnt

Let me tell you why:
  • I haven’t written more than 10,000 words on one project for nearly two years.
  • I chose to write a YA genre novel – I’ve never written a YA piece before
  • I had a ridiculously busy month in my day job, launching a project I’ve been leading on for 6 months
  • 6 months ago (i.e. when the day job changed) I lost my creativity

 

Why am I telling you this? Because I’ve learnt some things from my first camp experience, things that may help you too:

I can’t write every day

That’s not to say I didn’t but I found it difficult, nearly pushing myself to illness to make sure I was writing my set amount. I’ve read on twitter about how writers should write every day as it helps you create something. It doesn’t help me! I need time to think out the next section I’m going to write. By constantly writing I can’t find the space to think, tease out and then solve the problems. Which brings me to another point.

I need more than writing in my life

Shock, horror, did I say that out loud? I like to formulate plot, work out points, meet up with friends and discuss writing but I also like having a life that isn’t about writing. That’s not to say writing doesn’t filter through to the other parts of my day but the last month I ditched a lot of things to get the novel written; exercise, socialising, sleep. I’ll be spending the next month trying to lose the weight I gained during the month!

I can write more than I thought I could

I asked my boyfriend for his thoughts on what I might have learnt and this was his contribution. It’s easy for me to see the negatives but he’s right. After the first week I didn’t believe I could achieve the 50k goal, after the second week I didn’t believe I could achieve it, even up until a couple of days before I finished I knew it was touch and go. As a writer you might get negative reviews and lack of interest from publishers but ultimately for me no one brings my writing down like I do and I need to remind myself of my strengths and what I’ve achieved instead of what I haven’t.

Never underestimate the importance of chatting with other writers

There was one particular moment when I was sitting on a train, knowing that was my best time to write and yet the motivation had disappeared. I chatted with another writer on twitter, Anne Pyle, about needing to write and she gave me the energy and focus I needed. Within 10 minutes I was back on it. I wrote another 2,000 words that day. I don’t think I would have written another word if it hadn’t been for her.

I love writing

In the last year when my creativity left me I was unsure whether I should focus on my day job rather than writing. But this month reminded me that I do adore writing, even when it’s a struggle to get pen to paper. I love channelling things I see and imagine into writing. It’s a great place to work through my frustrations too.

And a last thing I want to share. The day after I finished my 50k novel an email popped into my inbox. A short story I wrote last year has been accepted into an anthology.  What a way to end the month!

What did you learn from either this or a previous Nanowrimo? Leave your comments here or on my Facebook page or Twitter page.

I’m Back aka What Happened to my Creativity?

creativity

I’m doing my first Camp Nanowrimo and I’m loving it… when I’m managing to find the time to fit it in and not get stressed!

For those of you wondering what I’m talking about nanowrimo refers to national writing month, although people from all over the world do it. Read more here.

The aim is to focus on a writing/editing project. You set your own target and get on with it. You also bunk with other virtual cabin mates and spur each other on. I’m in a cabin with lots of amazing people including Jolie Vines , (who I love tweeting with and has great book recommendations), Zoe Ashwood and ElleThorpe. But there are other fantastic people in

the bunk too

I didn’t join until a week before because I wasn’t sure I could fit it in and for another reason.

Over the last six months my creativity and ability to write has been as dead as a dodo. I’ve thought about writing, talked about writing, tweeted about writing but nothing has been written. And it has terrified me. How can I call myself a writer if I can’t write?

Dreams

Things started to change about a month ago. I started to dream again.

dreams

By this I don’t mean I developed goals and aims. At night I started to have dreams. I’ve always dreamed and remembered my dreams but for the last six months nothing. But then one night I had a vivid dream and then, a couple of nights later, another. The dreams started to come. Some were terrifying and sickening but yet brought a lot of happiness because that meant my creativity was coming back! It’s had some similarities to a tortoise but hopefully that means I will reach my writing goals too as we know the tortoise won in the end, even with his slow pace.

I’ll tell you more about what I’m writing in my next blog post but for now I wanted to share my fears from the last six months and say that things can change with time. If you’re struggling with writing or your creativity leave me your comments here or on my Facebook or Twitter page.

I always thought writer’s block meant not having ideas, which I’ve still had in the last six months. For me writer’s block was an inability to put words to page and develop an idea. Let’s hope that lull is gone for good. “I’m back, Baby”.

To read more of my writing blogs click on the Blogging category on the right of the page or read one entry here.

Ask Me To Stay

Love pagerLet me set the scene…

It’s nearly twenty years ago, a nineties pop ballad, that you’ve only heard in “remember when” radio shows (I mean you, B*witched), is playing as I sit in my bootcut trousers and strappy top. People are still recreating the famous Rose and Jack scene whenever they get near the bow of a boat and people relied on pagers on a night out.

More importantly than this my life is on the cusp of something new.

Two people, and by people I mean fictional TV characters, are about to come into my life and change it forever.

One will teach me about empowerment, kicking butt and that females can be and are hilarious. And not because they’re airhead bimbos who are the joke but because they’re fucking awesome. They can even be the protagonist in major television shows, books and life. Buffy Summers burst onto my television and changed everything.

But this post is about another nineties character. He taught me that I like bad boys – not the ones who set fire to things or damage lives – but the ones who underneath all the bravado have a heart. They make us laugh, they hurt when awful things happen, they struggle through the crap life throws at them and can be a bit useless. BUT they love with all they have and when the situation calls for it they step up and kiss the girl.

Step forward Pacey Witter

A man who has been number 1 on my list of guys I want to be with for nearly 20 years.

Pacey Love ninetiesLike Joey I didn’t appreciate him at first. I thought he was an idiot who’d had an affair with his teacher. It wasn’t until series 3 that I fell for him and I’ve never looked back.

When I write stories I can see that there’s a little bit of Pacey popping up all over the place. He comes through my writing in the humour, the cheeky glances and the teasing nature of many of my protagonists. Sometimes his character is revealed through the broken nature of those I write about, especially when they slowly redeem themselves and become whole, with little mistakes along the way.

I’m not ashamed of the impact the show had on my life; it taught me through it’s beautiful scenery and unnecessarily adult language about unrequited love, betrayal, death, prejudice, suffering and how the first kiss can be terrifying no matter who you are. This is something both myself and my characters can testify to.

This weekend one of my best friends, A, is getting married. She was my “rival” for Pacey’s love – I know how ridiculous that sounds but I was a teenager! At least I wasn’t weeping about my love for Brian Harvey from East 17… I know someone who did though.

The contest between myself and A brought us closer and I look forward to being able to share her special day with her. Also, it means Pacey is all mine now too!

So I owe a debt of gratitude to Dawson’s Creek, its creators and especially Joey and Pacey, for teaching me about love and giving me a best friend for life. Joey and Pacey got their happy ever after and in doing so let me see why romance is a key part of everything I write.

Happy 20 year anniversary to their first episode!

Don’t forget to tell me about your first TV love via my Facebook page or Twitter page. They don’t have to be from the nineties but they have to have been significant.

7 Facts About Me

A Girl in Islington, a lovely lady that I follow on twitter wrote an interesting blog post with facts about her love life. It makes for a brilliant read. Make sure you take a look here. I was lucky enough to be mentioned as one of her favourite 15 bloggers.

So strap yourself in because here are seven facts about me.

  • I’ve presented a couple of radio shows

That’s all it was, several one hour radio shows. It was terrifying, I made an ass of myself and unsurprisingly as a result I don’t have a career in radio. I vaguely remember singing along to Steve Harley’s Make Me Smile. It did wonders for my confidence though, once I stopped shaking. I’m sure the listeners could hear me trembling through their speakers.

  • I’m a vanilla erotic romance writer

before the slaughterThe stories I enjoy writing incorporate romance, a happy ever after (or happy for now), life issues and sexy times. I’m currently working on an erotic romance centred around a rugby playing artist who has a painful secret and a woman working for a children’s charity. I’m also completing an anthology that includes a story about a couple who’ve struggled to have sex due to problems with infertility. Life is a bitch at times and my stories reflect that. Don’t forget the sex though.

  • I’ve brushed Tinky Winky

Well, technically I brushed his costume and he wasn’t wearing it. I did work experience at the production company that makes Teletubbies. It was an eye opening experience that I remember fondly. I also learnt how to use a cafetiere. What a clueless 15 year old I was!

  • I lost my virginity after my mid-twenties

You don’t hear that one everyday. I used to be a good Christian girl who wanted to wait until I was married but then some significant things happened in my life and I decided that I might never get married. I wasn’t going to live without ever having had sex so I decided things had to change. Happily my first time was amazing although the guy broke my heart. I regret nothing.

  • Online dating inspired me

Online dating hook upsI haven’t always enjoyed online dating. However, without doing it I wouldn’t have met my boyfriend. I’m now trying to deal with “living with a boy” and his snake. I mean the reptile version. Online dating gave me ideas for my stories too. I have one coming out in an anthology soon about WAM (wet and messy play, aka sploshing). It’s not something I’ve ever done or want to do but I met a guy once who was a big fan and told me all about it. Online dating has also caused me much heartbreak – read about Mr Fumble here. Heartbreak offers excellent inspiration to a romance writer.

  • I’m 1 in 250 million

I have two rare medical conditions.  I’ve spent a lot of my life in hospitals being poked and prodded. Things are okay now but who knows what the future holds.

  • I once sexted a guy while I was in church

    sextingThe vicar’s wife nearly saw a picture of his penis. I was half way through a reply to him (or rather a photo of him) when she started talking to me after the service. I decided after this debacle that maybe I needed a break from going to church as my heart wasn’t in it.

I also have a dress up box and I’m obsessed with Pokemon Go, I’m leaving those facts there though because I’m not sure how interesting they are.

Those were my facts and I’d love to read yours too. There are many tweeters I think would have some fascinating facts including:

Stephanie Simpson

Jolie Vines

Everybodys Mate

Not So Sex In the City

Eliza

The Gif Queen

Kate

Basia

Not So Sadly Single

Jesse Stuart

Please tell me your facts, even if I haven’t mentioned your name. You can add them here or on my Facebook or Twitter pages.

Sunshine Blogger Award

Gracie Mae DeLunac asked me a few questions for the Sunshine Blogger Award.

Per Gracie Mae’s blogpost: “The Sunshine Blogger Award is a “get to know the writer better” type of blogging exercise, with a couple of rules attached:

  1. Answer all 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated you.
  2. Nominate eleven bloggers in return and write eleven (possibly fiendish) questions for them to answer.”

Sunshine Blogger Award Answers

Here are my answers to Grace Mae’s questions:

1. What is your favorite movie/tv show quote? What is it from? Why is it your favorite?

I love the television show Psych and they have some excellent but random quotes, including the title of one of their episodes, “Poker? I Barely Know Her.” But they don’t tend to translate well on paper. However, I do love “You were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off” from the film The Italian Job. I love that the film is full of charm, good British fun and the escape scenes are incredible. That said nothing beats a night in the pub spent quoting Anchorman quotes. Those nights are endless.

“I’m very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany.”

One day I’ll be able to tell people this.

2. What do you like to think about most when plotting (Characters, plotline, plot twists, villainous acts, etc.)?

Plotlines and the secrets that go with them. Why do people do what they do, what is their background and how will that affect the plot.

3. What is your preference of “apocalyptic” groups: zombies, aliens, or mutants?

It may sound foolish but I think the biggest apocalyptic group are humans with all their weird forms and dastardly minds. After that…maybe aliens.

4. What kind of food do you eat to feel decent enough to write?

I tend to binge bad food like chocolate and crisps when writing. But they’re not good for my energy levels and I think I need to find better foods.

5. Do you bring your own personal views (especially political and religious) into your tales?

I tend not to get political in my writing, it’s not the right place for it. However, my knowledge of Christianity, and my experiences of it, falls into my stories in ways even I don’t expect.

6. Would you say you “commune” better with nature when gardening [hands on], lounging outside [kinda near], or viewing it from inside your place [far away]?

I respect nature the most when I’m walking or sitting in it. Nothing like summer rain hitting your bare skin as you smell freshly wet grass, love it.

7. What is the strangest/rudest thing you have ever heard your written characters say?

One of my characters is crude to the point of vomit inducing, she says whatever she wants and mostly she wants to say dirty, liquid based, stomach churning things.

8. Paper or plastic or re-usable?

Re-usable. A close friend is an environmentalist and I’m scared of incurring her wrath.

9. What movie/book/show would you say has made the most impression on you? When? Why/how?

I’m not sure I’m proud to say this but Dawson’s Creek had a profound effect on me. It was the first time I cried at love and unrequited love. I learnt that bad boys aren’t necessarily bad (yep, I fell in love with Pacey) and their imperfections are what make them interesting. It showed me the power of humour in drama too and it helped me to believe that in the end you can “ride” off into the sunset. Sometimes the right guy isn’t the obvious guy, at first anyway, this has impacted my writing too. That was in my mid to late teens.

I also enjoyed things like Cagney and Lacey and X-Files as a child. Strong female leads are inspiring to a young girl.

The most significant books for my writing were those written by Karen Rose. Through her I learnt about building sexual tension. I also saw that sex in books doesn’t limit the characters but opens them up to explore the impact of their past while finding a new future. Also, they can have sex and fall in love, it doesn’t have to be sex just for the sake of it. I started reading these about five years ago and have now read every book she’s written.

10. What is your favorite color? [Monty Python reference? ? ]

Blue. I swear 80% of my clothes seem to be blue without any planning on my part.

11. If you were able to publish one of your tales and go somewhere to showcase it (author tour, opening night for the movie, etc.), where would you go? Why?

If it was my Trying Every Angle series (a sports erotic romance) then I would love to take it to the next location of the Rugby World Cup. In 2019 it will be Japan. Alternatively to America, maybe California, to an erotic writing event.

My Nominations

I nominate bloggers:

R.B. O’Brien Author
CK
Candace Khun, CandyKaBoom
John Dupree
Paul Jameson, Modquokka
R K Hawthorne
Sarah Correia, sarahguestperry
Lady Writer, Eva Deverell
Elia Winters
Kelly Sedinger, Jaquandor
Molly, Mollysdailykiss

My eleven questions are:

  1. What is your favourite song? Do you have a significant memory attached to a time you listened to it?
  2. Where do you love to blog/write the most?
  3. If you could make up a fear of something what would it be of and what would it be called?
  4. Italian or French? (in whatever context you decide)
  5. What do you think killed the dinosaurs? (can be as creative an answer as you like)
  6. What is the strangest thing you’ve ever had to research for your writing/blogging?
  7. What can you hear right now? What would you prefer to be listening to?
  8. What do you do when you feel you should be writing but are lacking in inspiration?
  9. What is your greatest achievement?
  10. If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life what would it be?
  11. Who is your favourite author and why?