Blog Archives

As February meets March …

February started fabulously. Much cheering and dabbing of eyes upon hearing that my lovely eldest nephew and his equally lovely fiancee had set their wedding date for next year. Cue lots of “it hardly seems possible” speak, whilst gazing at photos of said nephew aged three years old and genuinely wondering where the years had scampered off to.

ucy

 

Ten days in and I’d been hoping my faithful, toasty sparkle boots and fleece might not be required quite so much but then as I sat there mithering on about the smattering of snowflakes fluttering past my window, I reminded myself of the weather we’d had three years previously.

Eeek!

Now that’s what I call snow!

Our neighbour at the time was a born prankster and caught me out good and proper with his ‘alternative’ snowman. I kid you not, I almost fainted when I walked up our communal steps and saw the image on the right staring at me. Good times for sure 😀

 

Feb continued to bring much needed and much appreciated cheer when I learned that As Weekends Go was on my fave author Lisa Jewell’s list of books she’d read and enjoyed in 2016. A proud moment for sure.

books2016

The pic that accompanied Lisa’s blog post. There I am, second from top, middle column! 🙂

 

The writers’ group I belong to  ~ The Romaniacs ~ celebrated five years of blogging this month. A supportive, loving, super-talented bunch of gals I’m proud to call my buddies.

 

On Valentine’s Day, Mr B cooked me a beautiful meal. I love him with all my heart.

img_0979

 

Three weeks in, I had a lovely message from a lady on Facebook to say she’d spotted my book in Bexleyheath Library, promptly borrowed it, and later reported back that she thoroughly enjoyed it.

The last week of Feb/beginning of March proved a little challenging as I pulled a muscle which seemed to affect my rib, shoulder blade and chest wall – ouch – and left me lying on the sofa for the best part of four days, frustrated and forlorn, especially as my Dad was in hospital following an operation and I couldn’t get to see him. Happy to now report that both Dad and my muscle are on the mend.

Pancake Day came and went with a whimper at Brigden Towers. Probably just as well as last years’s efforts were woeful . I don’t know what I did wrong, given there’s not much you can muck up, but me and pancakes are definitely not a winning team …

Following the ‘Bexleyheath’ sighting of As Weekends Go, a friend of a friend spotted my book in the Hilton Chennai, snapped its picture and kindly sent these over via email.

Talk about brighten my day!

 

Finally, I’m steadily moving on with my sequel/standalone to As Weekends Go and feel much happier with it, more passionate and excited which is such a relief as I’d seriously worried that the ‘want & the will’ had packed their bags and waved me off for good. Now, instead of beating myself up for not writing as many words in a day as I’d like, I tell myself that any words on that page are another step towards the finish. I’m loving the way the storyline is progressing, so long may that continue. Well, not too long … I actually want to submit it at some point. You get my drift though. 😉

 

February Reads ~ This delightful duo definitely get the thumbs up 🙂

The Breakthrough Experience by Dr John F. Demartini ~ I confess this was a re-read and as intriguing second time around. It’s about breaking through barriers in different areas of your life, balancing the positives and negatives and can be quite intense at times, scientific, even,  but it definitely changed my perspective on a few things. Some good exercises to follow too. It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea (what book is?) but will certainly make you think.

The Thief’s Daughter by Victoria Cornwall ~ a terrific romantic ‘against all the odds’ tale of 18th century Cornish smugglers, fraught with dangers, temptation, heartache and brilliant characters and dialogue. A top debut.

 

* I couldn’t end this post without paying a little tribute to Jo Skehan, a lovely lady who sadly passed away on March 1st. Jo and I were firm frends on Facebook and although we never actually met one another in person, we shared many a laugh (Jo’s jokes were legendary!). Jo was a superb writer too. She will be sadly missed. 

jan-promo-pic-6

Rest in peace, Jo x

 

 

Thank you February (and a little slice of March!)

Love Jan x

A month of mixed emotions …

It’s been a funny old February.

Fun versus fear in equal measures.

50-50 (1)

 

Fun because it has brought back such lovely memories from last year; my debut As Weekends Go being shortlisted for Choc Lit’s Search for a Star competition, on Valentine’s day no less, and the whole buzz of the following few weeks when I learned I’d won and was offered my contract.

Fear, because fast forward a year and I’m sitting here in the midst of what some of my writing colleagues have hinted could be post-publication blues.

Sound familiar?

I do hope so, as I’m beginning to worry that there’s something wrong with me. I mean, I’m hugely grateful to be published, so too for the tremendous support I received from everyone on  launch day and beyond, and have had some fantastic feedback on As Weekends Go and some cracking reviews.  I’m also very much enjoying the eyebrow-raising research I’m doing for Book 2.

So why do I feel a little flat?

I think it’s partly down to something  I knew I’d have to face head on, particularly after publication, yet  almost three months on, still brings me out in a cold sweat just uttering the words …

Self-promotion.   

I try to be positive in everything I do. I thoroughly enjoy chatting online with all my writerly buddies, being part of such a supportive ‘club’ so to speak , and am never more comfortable than when I am singing someone else’s praises. Yet, when it comes to tooting the horn for my own novel, I cringe. Even setting up my own blog was a massive step for me, which luckily a good friend helped me with. I love blogging with The Romaniacs but it’s a collective thing, so feels more relaxed.

romaniac-logo

I’ve  taken part in several Q&As with fellow authors and bloggers whom I can’t thank enough for featuring me, as it has given me more confidence. Joke is, I’ve conducted many author interviews, myself, over the years, which  I’ve LOVED. Then again I’ve been the one asking the questions…

It has made me quite sad at times as, like every other author, I poured my heart and soul into my book, and feel really proud that I finished it, yet can’t seem to fully celebrate promoting it.

I’ve been watching and learning, so perhaps in time it will become less scary, feel more natural.

I certainly hope so as it’s playing havoc with my mojo and if there’s one thing I love doing, it’s writing!

Any thoughts, dear friends? If not, chocolate will do! (Preferably buttons of the giant variety ;))

CRsG0y6WEAADKlg

 

Love Jan X