The story continues…

Emerald and Lime | Eco-friendly stationery Hey there,

I hope you are well today and that you are enjoying your summer so far. 🙂

I’m just checking in quickly to let you know that I’m shifting the blog over to my website for Emerald and Lime. (It’s an SEO thing *snores* 😉 ). For us to keep in touch from now on, you’ll find me on Emerald and Lime instead of here.

Actually, the VERY best way for us to keep in touch would be if you sign up for Em and Lime updates. When I send these out, I tend to include, and link to, the blog, so it’s probably the easiest way not to miss anything. If you’d like to do that, you can pop over to Em and Lime here and I’d love to see you.

It’s not the end of this site, but it will be quiet for a while. Thank you for all your support, likes and comments over the past few years if I’m leaving you here, but I REALLY hope to see you over at Emerald and Lime so we can continue to chat about all things journaling, planning, stories and, of course, stationery!

Much love,

Elle xoxox

There’s a new post waiting for you on Emerald and Lime, so hop on over now!

Emerald and Lime | Eco-friendly stationery

Do you think about the author?

Hey there,

Hope you are well today.

I have a quick question for you:

When you are reading a book, do you think about the author?

The reason I ask is, I was speaking to a friend recently who said she always thinks about the author when she’s reading a book. She wonders why they wrote the story they wrote and what parts of it are true to their real life.

That’s not something I’ve ever really done.

When I’m reading, I think of the characters, the story and I’m in that world (if it’s a good book). The thought that someone wrote it rarely comes into my head. Even if it’s a book I’m not enjoying, I’m thinking more about the writing or the story, I’m not thinking or wondering anything about the author or their life.

The only caveat to this is, when I read books by online buddies whom I feel I know, I occasionally get a jolt of, ‘Ooh, X wrote this,’ but that’s more just pride in their achievement/excitement on their behalf, because I know what it takes to write a book. In the generality, I don’t do what my friend does.

I’d love to know your views on this, so please get in touch either here or on Twitter and let me know!

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.

Me – mushy and amazed

Hey there,

Hope your day is going well so far.

As you may know, at the end of September I published Tapestry, a collection of twelve short stories. It was my first foray into the world of self-publishing and my first major effort to get my fiction out into the world. I have been overwhelmed with the support I’ve received, both online and in real life, so I wanted to tell you some of the things that have happened over the past couple of months.

This is going to be a bit of an uncharacteristically mushy post, so look away if mushiness upsets you. I think I will. 😉

Not only did people take the trouble to buy Tapestry, they read it (I wasn’t fully prepared for this, which I know sounds ridiculous) and then they told me what they thought. I have been very touched by the reviews and comments and definitely feel it was worth taking the plunge.

Thank you so much, blog buddies, for your contribution to my Tapestry-happiness (shall we call it Tappiness? No? OK).

This was COMPLETELY unexpected, but some of my friends in real life actually gave me presents to celebrate Tapestry’s release. How kind is that? I was at pains to let people know that I didn’t want them to feel pressured to buy the book, so it never even crossed my mind that anyone would give me anything else. I mean, that’s not necessary, is it? They know me well, though, because notebooks and fizz were their presents of choice!

IMG_1507 IMG_1510 IMG_1544

I’m really lucky with my friends, they got on board without exception and made the whole nerve wracking process much easier than it could have been. My family near and far have been amazing too. I’ve kept a lovely answerphone message from Hobs’ mum and I’ve been FW emails and texts from friends and friends of friends. A friend of my mum’s even took the trouble to write me a letter. A real letter. How lovely is that?

And Tapestry has been borrowed too under the Kindle Select/Kindle Unlimited/Kindle Owners Lending Library thingy (one of these is right). Borrowed. From a library. Like a real writer’s book.

If you’re still with me, thank you! A couple of final things – to mark the occasion, my Hobs got me a lovely Pandora charm for my bracelet. I chose it because it kind of looks like the heart on the Tapestry cover, don’t you think?

IMG_1516

I’d like the final word to go to my Twin 1, though. Tapestry came out on the Tuesday. On the Saturday I said, ‘Let’s go to Starbucks and celebrate.’ His response?

‘Milking this a bit are you not, Mum?’

I’ll take my leave now and you can decide.

Much love and gratitude,

Elle. 🙂 xx

ps: I still think #Tappiness could catch on, you know.

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.

My writing – an update

Hey there,

Hope your day is going well so far.

It’s been a while since I’ve done a update about where I am with my writing, so I thought I’d check in and let you know how things are going.

I recently finished the first draft of Book 4 and have scheduled a programme of edits up to the end of June. Even though the NWS deadline is August, I’d like to finish the bulk of the work by June because, as you’ll already know if you’re in Scotland, the school summer break begins then. I will have some time, but the priority then will have to be teenager wrangling. Eep.

Book 4’s working title is What you want to see and the elevator pitch goes something like this:

Mark and Jenna’s ten year marriage is failing. When Mark receives a note threatening suicide from a woman he believes he doesn’t know, he’s certain this will end his marriage for good. Can he can find the woman in time to prevent her death and discover why she has implicated him in her choices? Can he do so without Jenna finding out, or is she already more involved than either of them know?

I think I’m at the point in the process I enjoy the most, although I do like all of it (except proof reading. We’ve discussed before how I eventually get the comma blindness). Anyway, this is the point where I have the bones of the story, but there are so many holes and possibilities that where it’ll end up is still open. In a few weeks, though, I will have fallen down one of these holes and will be in how will this ever work? territory, so I’ll be coming back to you for tea and sympathy then.

I was in the same position this time last year with Book 3, but it did come together. I received *coughs and shuffles feet* a very positive NWS report, so I decided to get Book 3 to stick its nose into the agent world to see what happened. Nothing is the short answer, but it remains a priority this year to have it nosing about some more. Just for completeness, this is Book 3 – working title Sins of the Mothers.

Three generations of women are affected by the past in ways they don’t even realise.

Ashley Burton’s dysfunctional relationship with her mother is surpassed only by the generation above. Pregnant and questioning her own ability to be a parent, she believes she must mend the rifts in her family to stand a chance. Why is her grandmother Jeanne so unwilling to talk about her life as a young woman in occupied France? Will Ashley find out or will the Sins of the Mothers live on?

Although I would like to have an agent and pursue the traditional publishing route with my books (the reasons for this I can give you another day if you would like to know them – just let me know in the comments) I am keen to experience the business of self-publishing too. I like the idea of being in control of the process and I think it will be beneficial confidence wise to JUST DO IT, so I’m planning to self-publish a collection of short stories, hopefully later this year. I say hopefully, not because I’m being a wuss, but because I have a tangentially related adventure to tell you about later that is going to take up time this year. Both ventures will need my full attention and I don’t know yet which will come first. I heard someone say recently (not to me) If you’re going to be half hearted about something, make it something else which I think is a good philosophy to live by and I’ll be deciding on my initial focus soon.

I think that’s it for now. How goes it with you? I’d love to know, so please get in touch either here or on twitter. Oh, and, elevator pitches can always be improved upon, so if there is anything bugging you about the ones above, let me know! Feedback would be much appreciated – thank you in advance. 🙂

Much love,

Elle. 🙂 xx

How do you know when you’ve done enough research?

Hey there,

Hope your day is going well so far.

This post is a plea to all you writers out there. How do you know when you’ve done enough research?

I’m currently editing book three. It is set, in part, in World War II France. I’ve read books about the period, watched newsreel footage, videos and read newspaper articles. Although I researched a bit at the beginning, most of it I did after the basic plot of my story was in place, so I was able to think how my characters would have fitted into what I was reading and watching etc.

My trouble is, I don’t know if I’ve done enough.

My temptation is to keep going, in part because it’s interesting, but also because I don’t know when to stop.

How do you decide when you’ve done enough research? Any advice you can give would be much appreciated. 🙂

Thank you!

Elle 🙂 xx

It’s the way I spell ’em

Hey there,

Happy Friday! Hope you are well today. 🙂

When it comes to spelling and grammar, I’ve always considered it my thing. It was always my forte at school, I’m often the one others will ask if they’re unsure and it’s usually something I’ve found quite straightforward.

That is, until I started writing seriously. Perhaps it’s because I’m more aware, perhaps it’s because I’m using more words ( 😉 ) or perhaps I feel more scrutiny of the How does she think she can write a book if she put that apostrophe in the wrong place* variety. As a writer, I feel I should know ALL the rules of English grammar, be able to spell and understand ALL the words in the English language and never make a mistake with any of them.

But that’s not really feasible is it? And, providing I make sure work is correct before I submit it anywhere, does it really matter? If there’s a rule or word I’m unsure of I can look it up and then I’ll know. It’s a bit like anything else – you need to learn it. And as we know, the fewer less fewer mistakes you make the less fewer less you learn 😉

However, sometimes you learn, sometimes you know and some words still get you, don’t they? Here’s my top five:

  • Cinnamon (I don’t get it wrong, I just need an extra think.)
  • Broccoli (C and L confusion. So much C and L confusion.)
  • Gauge (It’s the positioning of the A and the U. Particularly embarrassing because it’s such a short word.)
  • Humorous (Always tempted to go for an extra U.)
  • Chocolate (No, I don’t know what my problem is with this one. This is the most embarrassing one yet because no one gets it wrong. Even babies can spell it.)

I’d love to know which words or language rules have you stumped. Come on, be brave and let me know either here or on twitter!

Let’s doo thiss thang.

Elle xx

*itll ne’ver happen