Tapestry – the stories

It’s almost Tapestry’s first anniversary! This post originally appeared on the blog on 23 September 2015 and was the first time I’d said anything about each of the stories. You can tell I was pretty nervous about sharing it!

Hey there,

Hope you are having a good day so far.

Well, I’ve been banging on about Tapestry, my collection of short stories, for a few weeks now and I’m conscious that although you’ve read the blurb:

In hope, in pain,

We lose, we gain,

but always and forever

the human heart braves life

in light and in shade

and know the strapline:

A collection of twelve short stories exploring the complexities of life and love

I’ve not said anything much about the individual stories. So here goes. *hides behind curtains*

Never-ending

Imogen is unhappy in her brief marriage. She feels guilty because there is no “acceptable” reason to leave her husband, but she still wants to go. One day when Neil leaves for work she resolves to make her decision once and for all. Can she break free or are the ties of her marriage too strong?

Crush

Gemma’s love for Nicky is unrequited, but everything she does, she does with him in mind. Her feelings for him have ruled her life for years, any happiness she feels is short-lived because she recognises and is ashamed of her predicament. What will it mean for Gemma when Nicky finds out how strongly she feels?

The Letter

Maggie’s life collapsed when her daughter, Mia, was sent to prison. Her marriage crumbled under the strain, she was unable to face Mia or deal with her guilt. But when she receives a letter from Mia explaining she is due for parole, Maggie cannot hide from her daughter any longer.

Fifty pence for the first step

Gemma turns to her boss, Andrew, for advice when she needs direction. Despite much soul-searching she finds that, sometimes, the most insignificant event can be the catalyst for positive action.

Never Let Go

Andrew may have given Gemma good advice, but he is unable to recognise the obsessive love his ex, Leanna, feels for him. Leanna is determined to get Andrew back from his new girlfriend, Merin, but what lengths will she go to?

Not Everybody hurts

Nilbreaks is a fast acting wonder pill that cures and prevents broken hearts. Violet despairs that, as a result of taking the pill, no one actually cares about anyone anymore. She resolves to get Nilbreaks taken off the market but meets resistance from her friends and colleagues.

Again

After the end of her marriage, Freya finds love unexpectedly with Aidan and feels her life has begun anew. Everything is perfect until Aidan’s ex-girlfriend, Melody, returns to his life leaving Freya’s future uncertain. Again.

I hope you get your rabbit

A teenage mother makes a heart-breaking decision about her new born baby. This is her opportunity to tell him why.

Meeting Eric

After years of waiting, Kate nervously prepares for the day she will finally meet Eric.

Lost

Gerry is the love of Chrissie’s life, but they didn’t stay together. She thinks of him a lot, her past is always in her present and she expects it to stay that way. That is until her friend turns up with news of Gerry. What happens to the future when your past isn’t there anymore?

Living Without

Claudia starts to become her own person after years of living in her parents’, then husband’s and children’s shadows. She has her own flat; her professional life is going well, but is her newfound independence all that she expected it to be?

The Beginning

No matter how hard life gets, there is always hope and the memory of what love can be like, especially what it’s like in the beginning.

So there we have it. *nervously peeps out from behind curtains* What do you think? I hope you like the sound of the collection.

If you do, it will be released on 29 September (Eeek). It’s available for pre-order now (Pre-eeek).

I’ll be posting soon about the inspirations both for Tapestry as a collection and some of the individual stories. I’d love you to pop back if you’re interested.🙂

In the meantime, enough about me and my book. How are you? If you’d like to share with me one fun thing you’ve done this week so far I’d love to hear about it, so please do so either here or on twitter.

Much love,

Elle.🙂 xx

TAPESTRY_front150dpi copy Amazon and websites

In hope, in pain,

we lose, we gain,

but always and forever

the human heart braves life

in light and in shade.

Tapestry, available 29 September 2015. To pre-order, click here.🙂

Tapestry – how it all began

At the end of September, it’s the first anniversary of when I published Tapestry. How has it been nearly a year already?

Tapestry is a collection of twelve short stories exploring the complexities of life and love. This post from my blog archives first appeared on 8th September 2015 and explains how it all began…

Hey there,

I hope your day is going well so far.

Last week I posted that my short story collection, Tapestry, will be making its way into the world towards the end of September. (Eeep!) I made the decision to take the plunge just over a year ago. This is how it all began…

I first started to read short stories when I had my twins and found reading a whole book in any reasonable timescale went out the window. (A few pages every three weeks does not help you keep tabs on the plot, does it?) When I started to write seriously, it seemed natural to try short stories first. It seems natural too, therefore, that my first foray into self-publishing is of a collection of short stories. (Did I say eeep already?)

I decided that, for the collection, I wanted to write stories about love – love in different guises, whether romantic love, familial love or obsessive love. I found it was an opportunity for me, in some stories, to explore the darker sides of the emotion. By and large my novels are “hopeful ever after”. It was very freeing to take an “anything goes” approach (plot-wise) in my stories and interesting to explore how people react in more difficult situations.

When I started writing the stories, I wrote more than I knew I would use for the collection so I could see which ones sat together best. I’d previously completed the London School of Journalism’s short story writing course by distance learning, so I’d had some positive feedback about my stories and writing style in this medium. A couple of the stories I produced for the course are actually included in the collection.

I’ve chosen twelve stories, a mix of happy and less happy tales. Some of the characters appear in more than one story – I wanted to see what happened to them before or after their first story in the collection. I hope, if you read it, you find you wanted that too!

So, I had my stories and that’s all very well, but it was only the first step in the process. Cue the search for an editor, someone I’d never worked with before. What if it turned out that my stories weren’t good enough to see the light of day when a professional editor looked at them?

If you’d like to know how I went about finding an editor and my experience of the editing process, I’ll be posting that next week, so please come back and join me!

How do you feel about short stories compared to novels? If you have children, did you manage to read novels when they were small? If so, HOW?

I’d love to hear from you, so if you’d like to comment, please do so.

Much love,

Elle.🙂 xx

TAPESTRY_front150dpi copy Amazon and websitesIn hope, in pain,

we lose, we gain,

but always and forever

the human heart braves life

in light and in shade.

Tapestry. A collection of twelve short stories exploring the complexities of life and love. Available now.

 

 

Where did the month go? – August 2016

Hey there,

Hope you are well today. As I write this, London is basking in a wee heatwave but up here in Edinburgh it’s grey and quite chilly. I think it’s nearly time for me to break out the Scottie dog onesie and be surgically removed from it some time next April.

How has your August been? Apart from catching the lurgy mid-month, I’ve been grand. I finally got my submission off to the NWS (phew) and am awaiting the critique with ever-shortening finger nails. I’ll let you know how it goes.

I’ve been lucky to catch up with lots of buddies this month. I met up with fellow business start-up friends, writing and blogging buddies, and my best friend from school. It was great to chat and hear everyone’s news. As so often happens with these things, though, the catch ups coincidentally all happened on the same day! That’s a month’s worth of chat crammed into 6 or so hours! I completely failed to take any photos, so I’ve borrowed this one from my school friend who was “home” briefly with her husband to include their business selling extremely good dairy free toffee in the Vegan festival.

IMG_2068 (2)

Talking of business, (subtle, no?😉 ) Emerald and Lime is launching on 1 September. That’s this September. This week. This Thursday. Eep. I posted an update yesterday so I’ll not bang on, but I’m SO looking forward to being able to say we’re up and running!

I’d love to know what you’ve been up to this August, so please get in touch either here or on Twitter!

Much love,

Elle🙂 xx

TAPESTRY_front150dpi copy Amazon and websitesIn hope, in pain,

we lose, we gain,

but always and forever

the human heart braves life

in light and in shade.

Tapestry. A collection of twelve short stories exploring the complexities of life and love. Available now.

 

Emerald and Lime update

Hey there,

Hope your day is going well so far.

Emerald and Lime is opening its virtual doors on 1 September (that’s this Thursday! Eep!), so I thought I’d give you a wee update on where we’re at.

Emerald and Lime

If you don’t know already, Emerald and Lime is my new business! We’re an earth-friendly stationery company, initially selling notebooks, note cards and prints. Our mission is to brighten your day in a guilt-free way! Emerald and Lime is allowing me to combine my love of stationery, colour and, of course, writing fiction. I’m so excited that we’ll be up and running soon, so I thought I’d share some pics with you.

Notebooks

Notebooks

 

Note cards

Eight card story note cards

 

Just because

Just because…

 

I’ve posted on the Em and Lime Facebook page about why I’m starting the business and, if you’d like to join us on Twitter or Instagram too, we’d love to see you there!

Much love,

Elle🙂 xx

 

 

Where did the month go? – July 2016

Hey there,

Just checking in to say I hope your summer is going well so far and that July was kind to you. In Scotland, we’re more than half way through our school holidays! Once again they’ve flown by.😦

As well as working towards the launch of Emerald and Lime, this month I’ve been editing and proofreading the book I’m submitting to the RNA’s New Writers’ Scheme. I’m hoping to send it off within the next couple of weeks. Eep. At the beginning of the month I went to the RNA’s annual conference, held this year in Lancaster, where I met up with writer buddies old and new and attended some really interesting sessions. It was lovely to be steeped in a writing environment again, even if only for a couple of days, and helped me refocus my efforts for the NWS submission.

Family-wise, July was a big month for us as my mum turned 80!

80th birthday decorations

We went away for a weekend to Center Parcs to celebrate with other family members and had a lovely time. If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you might recall me saying that, when I was little, my mum said she would like three things – to go on the Orient Express, to have a book dedicated to her and to have a rose named after her.

For her 70th we went on the Northern Belle, I dedicated Tapestry to her when I published it last year and this year, for her 80th, we got her the rose.

She’s now decided she wants a yacht.

*sighs*

And the Pokemon app.

*dies a little inside and is proud in equal measure*

I suppose I better go and get on with some work – it appears I have a yacht to buy. I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to, so please get in touch either here or on Twitter!

Much love,

Elle.🙂 xx

TAPESTRY_front150dpi copy Amazon and websitesIn hope, in pain,

we lose, we gain,

but always and forever

the human heart braves life

in light and in shade.

Tapestry. A collection of twelve short stories exploring the complexities of life and love. Available now.

Summer posting schedule

Hey there,

Hope you are well today. Just checking in to say have a lovely summer! Posting might be a little erratic around these parts over the next few weeks as I grapple with the school holidays and starting the business, but I’ll be around and about.

I’ll be around a bit more on the Emerald and Lime accounts, so maybe see you there?

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

In the meantime, here’s the tiger in the sombrero again.

By Keith Pomakis (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons

By Keith Pomakis (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons

Much love,

Elle.🙂 xx

Tiger photo from Wikimedia Commons under the following licence:

[CC-BY-SA-2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)]

TAPESTRY_front150dpi copy Amazon and websitesIn hope, in pain,

we lose, we gain,

but always and forever

the human heart braves life

in light and in shade.

Tapestry. A collection of twelve short stories exploring the complexities of life and love. Available now.

Where did the month go – June 2016

Hey there,

Happy summer! School’s out even if the sun isn’t!🙂

June started well as I met fellow Authors and Bloggers for a lovely lunch in Edinburgh organised by Joanne from Portobello book blog. There were about 30 of us and we spent a happy and noisy few hours getting to know each other and talking about all things writing and books. I’m very grateful to Joanne for her efforts getting everyone together as I had a fab time and met some great folks.

The book-related joy continued as the Edinburgh International Book Festival programme for 2016 was announced. The festival is running from 13 to 29 August and I’m so lucky to have GAZILLIONS of events happening so close to home. I’m still choosing what to try to book, but there will definitely be more on this in future posts.

I’m working hard in the run up to the launch of Emerald and Lime, my new business. (Still feels a bit funny saying that, but you can find out more about it here if you like.) I’m about to take the plunge and place my first stock order with the printer, so expect lots of photos and whooping in the near future! Most of the whooping (and photos) will happen on Emerald and Lime’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, so please do the Follow and Like thingies if you’d like to keep in touch with the updates!

Emerald and Lime

Writing-wise I’m almost ready with my submission for the NWS. As I mentioned before, this year I decided to edit book one again to see what I’ve learned over the last few years. The main thing I’ve noticed is that I had some very peculiar turns of phrase when I wrote it first time round. Very peculiar. Some of it was kind of irritating. Hopefully this means I’ve learned a bit since, though. Watch this space as I’ll find out when the report comes back. Eep!

That’s more or less it for this month. How has your June been? Are you coping with the Corrie timings being messed about for the football? I’m hanging in there.😉

I’d love to hear how you’re getting on, so please get in touch if you’d like to either here or on Twitter!

Elle🙂 xx

TAPESTRY_front150dpi copy Amazon and websitesIn hope, in pain,

we lose, we gain,

but always and forever

the human heart braves life

in light and in shade.

Tapestry. A collection of twelve short stories exploring the complexities of life and love. Available now.