Yes, yes, yes, It’s been a while… but I’m going to try and update this blog as much as possible, starting today… So in the name of utter laziness, I am posting a very lovely article from someone else. I found it yesterday whilst researching (procrastinating) and it’s called ‘How to Write Your First Novel…’ and I just HAD to share (on Facebook, Twitter and now here). I luv the fact that an array of successful authors are letting you into their own stories, thoughts and experiences. It’s great and I hope that any budding authors out there get something out of it. Read it here NOW!
Okay back to my blog… so what’s coming up soon?Articles-(again from other people) including a new author on her road to that first publication and a wonderful writer, who after a ten year hiatus, is back in the publishing game- and shocked at how much it’s changed. Plus, much, much more!
So, yes, admittedly, I’ve been rather lackadaisical when it comes to this blog, BUT NO MORE! I am back.
Do not stand at my grave and weep; I am not there, I do not sleep. I am a thousand winds that blow. I am the diamond glints on snow. I am the sunlight on ripened grain. I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush I am the swift uplifting rush Of quiet birds in circled flight. I am the soft stars that shine at night. Do not stand at my grave and cry; I am not there, I did not die.
It’s been a while folks.
Hardly any social media and NO blogging (after I promised to be updating my Blog regularly, how rude of me!)
A lot can happen in a few months.
2012 has been life changing, heady, happy, dream making, nightmare forming, an absolute heart breaker of a year. Bookwise, I published my beloved novel BEING LARA in April of 2012 in the whole of the United States. Seeing it displayed in stores like Barnes and Noble and Target and at the airport as I was just about to catch a flight felt AMAZING. Another dream came true in 2012 – a wonderful book review appeared in Ebony magazine for err… MY BOOK!! – and that too felt absolutely amazing.
Add in a few crazy occurrences in between (good and bad) and it had already been a ‘different’ year. Then in September of 2012 I lost my beautiful Mama.
As I said, 2012 has been different.
As Mary Mary so beautifully sang; ‘I survive’.
Thanks be to God
Thanks to my WONDERFUL family and friends (the ones who are also your family, regardless of blood) who have been ace (you know who you are).
For a while there, it was hard to write, hard to breath but I am still here. Nothing will ever feel normal again, but perhaps it’s time to embrace a ‘new normal’.
Time will tell.
So for now… I’m all about resuming with the novel I had started writing in July. That part at least feels… normal… (now I just have to figure out how to stop starting sentences with ‘But’ and ‘ And’… any ideas?)
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OF YOU AND NEVER STOP CHASING THOSE DREAMS OR REACHING FOR THE STARS… NEVER STOP BELIEVING!!
Whilst researching ‘the next big scene’ online- you are instantly captivated by fascinating Youtube clips of twin cats singing along to Jay Z
You just HAVE to watch another episode of Real Housewives of Atlanta… or any other reality show which has ZERO to do with any scientific book research
One of the chores you used to detest, suddenly becomes ‘the most important task in the world’. Basically, the toilet MUST be cleaned- TODAY and RIGHT NOW
You ask yourself over and over again, ‘Do my fingernails need paining?’ You sometimes answer: ‘Yes, of course they do- this cotton candy pink will look so pretty against the keyboard…’
The following old faithfuls constantly appear in your head: ‘I’m just not in the mood/I have yet to really feel the characters/I just can’t visualise the storyline yet/I need to brainstorm/I must plan the story first
If all this sounds annoyingly familiar, here’s my scientifically studied remedy… Plonk yourself in front of the computer or traditional notebook (if you are one of those long-handers I secretly envy) and JUST GET ON WITH IT!!
And that’s it.
(Oh actually, you’ll also need to switch off the Wi- Fi, mobile phone(s), TV, MP3 player…)
And if you do manage to squeeze out 500 words and they only look mildly better than the musings of a five year old – never fear; ‘It’s better to edit ‘rubbish’ than a blank page.
Basically, it’s pretty impossible to edit NOTHING.
… and meanwhile we have changed seasons (sort of) and the Olympics have arrived in my city!!
I’ve come to the conclusion that time is just moving too fast… or I’m just not updating my Blog enough. *clears throat*
Well, still buzzed from the Olympic opening ceremony last night (I could even hear the fireworks from my home) I thought I’d give you all a treat by updating not once but TWICE in one day! The second post is entitled ‘5 Ways to avoid writing that book’ and I’m sure the writers among you will know about the lure of procrastination. But if you’re like me, once you start writing your novel NOTHING can stop you.
The discipline, belief and hard work needed to fulfil the task just takes over.
So, enjoy the Olympics everyone! (plus my SECOND post of the day!)
This month, Nadine Adrian Alice (currently in canada but soon to hit UK shores) fills in for me by talking about a few things which helped heal her broken heart. These include books… and cupcakes (wow, two of my favorite things!). This is a real treat and a piece some (if not all of us) can relate to!
Take it away Nadine….
I started last year asking anyone and everyone this two part question: Have you ever had your heart broken; how did you get over it. I was determined to get over he who I love loved.
In my search, I was running away from the truth that I still loved him. What to do? Well I listened intently to all those who said yes to the question. Guys, girls, straight couples, same sex couples. They all had experienced severe heartbreak. And they all agreed getting over it was difficult and that I couldn’t escape the hurt and feelings.
I thought not living in the same country as him would help so I moved away. Wrong.
I baked a ton of cupcakes. And I can’t lie – this did help some.
I read a bunch of books to help me escape, including While You Were Dreaming, by the faboosh Ms. Jaye herself. Oh how I wished I would wake up from this hurt and have my own Michael waiting for me. I did learn one thing though – part of me was mourning an ‘imagined version’ of the relationship I had just exited.
These imagined moments were hopeful moments I had conjured up in my mind. For example – weekend getaways; waking up in his arms and snuggling Saturday mornings away, dancing to Bob Marley’s “I Don’t Want To Wait In Vain For Your Love” on a grey and drizzly Sunday afternoon.
I soon realized that I was mourning a lost HOPE, not necessarily the real lived experience of the relationship. A big difference. This realization put my heartache into perspective. So here I am mourning a hope unfulfilled. But if hope is eternal – I can put my trust in the faith that Hope will bring love again.
The backstory of my heaviest heartache reads like the perfect chick flick. We met in primary school aged 4, lived on the same council estate. He was on the climbing frame.
Dialogue as follows:
Him: Let me see your knickers
Fast forward 29ish years later via an email from him:
Him – Nad’s I fancied you the whole of primary school
Me: Shut up. I totally crushed on Craig Geddes. (a.k.a. Not you).
Him: Do you remember showing me your knickers?
Me: Eh. I’m not that kind of girl – my milkshake ain’t for the boys in the yard.
Him: I remember your cornrows and skinny arms
Me: skinny arms – sure you got the right girl.
Him: I know I do… you’ve always been my Nad’s
And it was from here we both agreed we had found the ONE. So how could it end with so much brokenness?
In my quest to get over him I read the book, “ It’s Called A Break Up Because It’s Broken”. I was so proud of my proactive, getting over hurt self. But by page 53 – I’d had enough of the book – it was reminding me of what I knew – I was hurting – and by focusing on the break up I was focusing on him and the sadness too much. I wanted to free my mind of him and get over him. The only successful advice I carried out from the book was not to contact him for 60 days. I called on the 61st however.
It is now a whole year later. Recently, I wrote the DO NOT SEND letter. You know the one where you pour out your truth and heart to him and then burn it. Unfortunately I sent it.
But – this letter turned out to be my breakthrough. When I read that letter back to myself I learned that in trying so hard to get over him I have been lying to myself and this is preventing me from moving forward. I am not over him. I still love him. And this is okay to admit. The relationship ending is not a failure on my part. I was fortunate to experience love. The hope I experienced during this relationship proves that I want good things for me.
Now I can say yes, I love him but it’s over. This opens me up to love – and the hope that the gift of love will come again.
And when it does I will let you know.
In the meantime here is the super yum recipe for my feel better cupcakes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (gas mark 4)
1cup unsalted butter (not margarine)
1cup sugar (not quite filled to the top)
Mix butter and sugar together for 3 mins (no less) until fluffy and creamy
2 eggs – mix again for 30 sec
1 cup of self – raising flour – and a 1/ 4 cup more
Almost ½ cup of carnation milk (evaporated milk) and then add vanilla extract – enough to fill the ¼cup to the brim
Mix together on slow until all mixed in.
Pour into cupcake holders and bake in centre of oven for 12 mins – or until knife comes out of the cupcakes clean.
Cool and eat warm or add frosting.
½ cup unsalted butter
Mix butter on high until creamy
Add 2 cups of icing sugar
Add ¼ cup carnation milk
Mix until well blended.
Add more icing sugar and vanilla extract until desired consistency and taste.
Add pink colouring – because pink is best.
Top with silver balls – (because looks really pretty and will make you smile)
Well, those of you who didn’t know, my fourth published book, ‘Being Lara’ was released in America! So, the events and stuff that followed (plus just being a bit worn out in general) may have prevented me from updating this Blog… So erm.. here’s a quick rundown of Lola’s World over the last few weeks…
My book at Atlanta airport!!
Book launch dinner
My Book in a Target store Atlanta!!
Reading lots of reviews including one from the influential Publisher’s Weekly. Receiving a lovely review from ‘the industry’ is just as special as from a reader as it means your colleagues also respect what you have written.
And I finally bought a copy of Ebony magazine! Opening it up to see my book right there inside of a publication I have admired for years- priceless.
The emails from readers have been so very touching and lovely. As I have said before, when I write a book, I’m sort of writing it for me… so to then have people read it (that always shocks me) AND to feel compelled to take the time out to write to me..? That just takes my breath away.
So thank you.
And then I went to Atlanta this month and well…. I SAW MY BOOKS IN THE STORES. TOUCHED THEM ON THE SHELVES AND POSED GORMLESSLY WITH THEM!
That was fun.
Most notably, were the stores Target and Barnes and Noble. I also got to meet the author Eric Jerome Dickey whose review just happens to be on the same page as mine in Ebony magazine this month. It felt nice to hand him over a copy as he hadn’t yet seen it. And the biggest shock of all? Seeing my book in Atlanta airport! I was on my way back to England and decided to browse the books and I SAW BEING LARA ON A TABLE JUST ABOVE SIDNEY SHELDON’S.
Deep breath, deep breath.
The lovely sales assistant took some photos of me ‘posing’ with my book and this was a fitting end to a rather lovely stay in sunny Atlanta.
So apologies for going back on my promise to update this Blog a little more regularly (but posting this today means I at least get one post in for April – tee hee).
The Guest Blogs will be coming back next month so stay tuned and if you haven’t got a copy of Being Lara yet… what are you waiting for?
“But we can’t buy it in England yet!” I hear some of you cry…
Being Lara is my 4th book and you know what? The excitement of release day/week/month never fades. This feeling NEVER get’s old. Those of you who have followed me from Day One on my unpublished author blog,will know the ‘struggles’ I went through to get that first publishing deal which started with By The Time You Read This… (that book was my first PUBLISHED book but by know means the first I’d written.)
It really gives me joy when I receive an email or a Twitter post from a newly published author saying; ‘I read your Blog and it gave me hope…’
What a joy. Because authors like Lisa Jewell and Lolita Files gave me hope when I was unpublished.
Now, Lolita has written a quote for Being Lara and Lisa Jewell wrote one for By The Time You Read This…
Has all this really happened?
Yes It has and I thank God, my agents, publishers, my family, readers everyone!!!!!!!!!!
Being Lara is out TODAY. Available in all independent book stores, Barnes and Noble, Target, Amazon…
UK readers: may be able to purchase a copy at The Book Depository and of course, it’s also available as an e-book wherever e-books are sold.
Now, I’ve just finished a radio interview with the lovely Dr Alvin and I may have a celebratory cupcake… or two… after I change out of my dressing gown!!!!