Sunday 31 July 2011


I've started many projects over the years, some of which I have finished but a lot I haven't.

This time round, I decided to make a storyboard after The Jellyfish came home with one she had done at school. I'd planned books before, ranging from a simple outline to a chapter by chapter plan but I'd never tried a storyboard.

The Jellyfish's storyboard had pictures with a small space for text underneath but I decided to skip the pictures part. I jotted down the jist of the story on pink post it notes with a sentence or two on each one and stuck them down on pieces of A4 paper. It was a good job I had bought a new pack of post its as I ended up with 40 something.

Now I can see where I am in the story at a glance and know where I am heading next and further down the line. As I write and things change (as they do), I stick blue post its over the pink ones with the new information.

Not only does this help me while writing the first draft, I'm hoping it will help when I have to write the synopsis, which I always struggle to do. But that's another story for another day...

Friday 29 July 2011

Week 1 of the Summer Holidays

We survived a whole week! All of us!

Surprisingly, the weather has been fantastic all week. Usually we get the good weather in the run up to the school holidays and then it pours it down for six weeks but the sunshine has been good to us this year.

In the last week, we have:

  • Had a walk down to the library to read books and colour pictures
  • Been to messy play sessions to play in the sand, paint with vegetables, made different scented dough and had tantrums over the bubble-blowing bee
  • The Jellyfish has had a movie night with The Partner
  • The Jellyfish and The Partner went to the cinema to see Harry Potter and eat ice-cream and popcorn while Boo and I did some more messy play
  • The Jellyfish attended her first non-family sleepover to celebrate one of her friend's birthday
  • We all had a walk down to the bigger park and I resisted tripping up a Gobshite Kid, who was being a gobshite in front of his grandmother who thought such behaviour was acceptable (or was too busy nattering away to notice her dear grandson being a terror)
  • Had breakfast in the cafe around the corner
  • Braved the opening of a new Asda near us. It was bedlam.
  • And best of all, we haven't had to be and out of the house for 8:30!
Let's hope the weather is as nice over the following weeks so we enjoy the rest of the holiday.

Thursday 28 July 2011

Favourite Authors

This is my bookcase (in two parts because I took the photo with my phone). I recently cleared it out and gave a small box of books to my sister (you do not want to know what it looked like before - where did all those books go?)

The books I have left, apart from a few loners, are grouped together by author:

Mike Gayle
Melissa Nathan
Lisa Jewell
Marian Keyes
Jane Green
Adele Parks and
Josie Lloyd and Emlyn Rees

These are the books I have kept hold of. They represent my 'favourite authors' with books I have enjoyed enough to keep hold of.

In a dream world, I'd have a house with a library with floor to ceiling bookshelves (and a ladder like the library in bedknobs and broomsticks - but I promise not to sing and dance while I look for books). I would keep every book I purchased but back in the real world, I live in a small terraced house with the worst storage known to man. We have two bookcases in the house - one for my books and one for The Partners and there isn't room for another so I am forced to cull the collection every now and then.

But of the books I always keep hold of (and add to the collection), which is my favourite author?

I've been a fan of Lisa Jewell since I read Thirtynothing (I was late into reading her books too). I have all of Lisa's books apart from the latest, which I WILL buy as soon as cash flow allows. I think that Lisa Jewell is probably my favourite. But wait. Can I have two? Because I can't leave Marian Keyes out. I love her books and she is another authors whose books I am still excited about, despite reading many already. Rachel's Holiday is my favourite 'grown up' book.

So yes, I am going to be greedy and have two favourite authors:

Lisa Jewell & Marian Keyes.

Who is your favourite author?

Wednesday 27 July 2011

Current Project - Work or Hobby?

Word Count: 37, 000

The title of this post is 'Current Project' rather than 'Work in Progress' as I was orignally going to call it. It seemed wrong to refer as my book as 'work' as I see it as a hobby at the moment. I'm not getting paid to write and nobody is going to see it for quite some time.

I would love to be a writer but I don't see myself as one and won't until (fingers crossed) I am published. I enjoy writing but that doesn't mean I'm any good at it. I can bash out numbers on a calculator but it doesn't make me a mathematician.

It isn't like I don't take writing seriously. It has always been a dream of mine to be a writer and I put time and effort in, writing around 2, 000 words a day. This isn't a 'meh' project but it will remain simply a project until I see my book, with a cartoon cover, in Waterstones.

Or WH Smiths, Asda, Poundland. I'm not fussy.

Monday 25 July 2011

Babyville by Jane Green

As I don't have any pennies spare for new books at the moment, I have been rereading the books on my bookcase. I have just finished Babyville by Jane Green so thought I would review it here.

Babyville tells the story of three women; Julia, Maeve and Sam. The book is split into three parts, with one of the women taking centre stage in each part.

Julia and Mark have been in a stale relationship for a few years, made worse by the fact they are struggling to conceive.

Maeve is single and that is the way she likes it until a one-night stand leaves her pregnant.

Sam and Chris were happily married until their son came along and changed everything. With sleepless nights and the pressures of raising a baby, Sam's and Chris' marriage starts to crumble, especially when Sam develops a crush on another man.

I first read Babyville in 2002, when I was pregnant with my first child so it couldn't have come at a better time. I consumed anything remotely touching on the subject of babies and childbirth. But how was it now, 9 years later?

I found it just as enjoyable, even though I knew exactly what was coming up next (I have read this book many times in between). It's an easy read that you can pick up and put down as you please and it doesn't interrupt the flow, which is useful when you have two kids running about the place, demanding care (selfish beings that they are).

I like the story and how they weave into one another, though I would have liked more attention on Maeve as her section was my favourite part of the book and seemed to be over too quickly. There were a couple of flaws that I noticed this time round, for example Johnny being in the bar when two pages previously he'd gone home after not feeling too well but he wasn't a major character so you can overlook it.

Also, in Julia's part there were a couple of cringe-worthy moments when she and Jack first get together (apologies if this is a spoiler) - "You could tell me whether or not I could kiss you"? Vomit-inducing cheese. "Is it..." Smooch. "Ok to do this." Vom, vom, vom. But it's only a small portion of the book so you won't be chucking your guts up all the way through :-P

Overall, I found the book a brilliant read and would recommend it to anyone who hasn't yet read a Jane Green book.

Verdict: My cup of tea - definitely give it a go