The Winner Takes It All……….

Mid July finds me still locked in a writing slump and, while my newly erected Argos shelves strain under the weight of my eclectic library, I have yet to make it to the end of a single book.

It’s not all doom and gloom though. Some rather important competition wins recently have given me the slightly surreal feeling that fate (or whatever you wish to call it) is handing me a wake up call.

First up is the Indie Author Guide by April L Hamilton which is described as a ‘roadmap to success’  and offering

 ‘an exclusive insight to the latest technology and step by step instructions for making the most of it’

Sounds very impressive, especially to a complete novice like myself.  Check out this link. http://aprillhamilton.com/iaguides.html

The next prize came for Tony Eldridge in the form of a e-book Conducting Effective Twitter Contests which, presumably is a good way to promote your books by basically giving a few away. I suspect though that there is more to it than that as  Tony is himself a published author. I could write more but I feel a link to his site would do more justice. Feast your eyes on this. http://blog.marketingtipsforauthors.com/

My next prize came from Roger Parker over at the impressive http://www.publishedandprofitable.com/ 

It’s (wordy) title #Book Title Tweet: 140 Bite-sized Ideas for Creating Compelling Article, Book, and Event Titles  by all accounts, does exactly what is says on the tin.

Three months free subscription to BookBuzzr was the next gift.  BookBuzzr technologies can be used to engage with Facebook fans, create buzz on Twitter and generate interest through contests and giveaways. With over 7000 subscribed authors to date,  BookBuzzr is a powerful tool for writers. Find them here http://www.bookbuzzr.com/

My final win is a Blackberry Bold iPhone from a random Twitter competition. It wasn’t apparent to me at first that this would be useful as a marketing tool as well, but I have been assured by my more technology minded friends that it will be a useful ‘bit of kit’. So it’s goodbye to my Nokia Pay-as-you-g0 (£10 from Tesco) and hello 21st Century gadgets and gismos.

Now with this kind of arsenal at my disposal how can I not succeed?

By not actually writing anything….that’s how.

Time to wake up and smell the coffee (and brioche).

 

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Not A Very Festive Ramble Regarding Cheap Bread And Procrastination

Like many others I have decided that a new direction is in order for 2011. I wont dwell on the travesty of a year that was 2010. The past is the past and requires no post-mortem. It’s the future that deserves my undivided attention now. The following may read like a list of well-worn clichés however I make no apologies. They are relevant to me at this juncture.

I am a writer, I am a writer, I AM A WRITER!!! Fear and procrastination be damned, write every day. There are excellent resources out there. USE THEM!!!

http://writeordie.com/

http://www.writelink.co.uk/community/

http://sixminutestory.com/

http://www.mywriterscircle.com/

http://www.mywriterscircle.com/

Just a tiny selection of all the resources you could want (I’ll be adding more along the way).

Secondly, (is that a word???), sod the housework. As long as there’s always a clean cup for coffee and a selection of tinned products for the kids you’ll be fine. As for personal grooming, take a few tips from a seasoned writing professional here

 http://alisonwells.wordpress.com/2009/11/21/10-recession-beating-personal-grooming-tips-for-writers/

If, like me, you have found yourself at the mercy of the welfare state then your finances may be the stuff of nightmares. This can unleash an unending supply of procrastination excuses but, fear not, there are resources for that too. My shopping list usually comprises of cheap coffee, cheap bread, cheap milk, cheap….well you get the drift. Check these links out for starters (and main course, and pudding).

 http://rebeccawoodhead.blogspot.com/2009/03/recession-expression-guide-to-writing.html

http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/

My final bit of advice is get on the competition trail. Done properly this can be a good source of extra income. OK, I’m not promising millions of pounds here and some prizes are bizarre. However, it’s a nice feeling when the postman delivers you a package (even if it is another eyeliner). I recently won a voucher for a free litre of milk which, in my case, was useful, but I’ve also won various electronic gadgets that have bagged me a few hundred pounds on eBay.

http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/forumdisplay.php?f=72

http://www.loquax.co.uk/

http://www.ukcompetitions.com/

Some of these links may prove useful (they have to me). Or they may not be useful yet lead you to other links that are useful……(oh do shut up Kate).

Anyway, have a great 2011 whatever your aspirations be and feel free to leave me any comments or links that you see fit. Unless they’re for Viagra or dating sites….. or selling me a timeshare in Bognor Regis.

TTFN

Kate XXX

Confessions

I’m beginning to think I am rubbish at this blogging malarkey. I even missed my own 1st anniversary in July.

Saying that, it has been a busy time for me. You may be pleased to know that I’m back on the up with regards to the emotional rollercoaster. My ex-husband and I finally ‘sacked the judge’ and are arranging all contact between ourselves inclusive of our daughters. I also got a job which has injected some routine and self-esteem into my life (and hopefully my bank balance).

Writing is still proving a little irksome. I’m not as productive as I’d like to be despite my new-found ‘talent’ for the erotic genre. I have been doing a lot of research though (interpret that as you wish). 🙂 I’m also struggling to keep my comping up to date but these annoyances are due more to my lack of organisation and innate procrastination than any major outside influences.

On the whole I’m in a happier place than I was a couple of months ago so expect some chances in the tone and content of this blog. Right, who’s up for another slice of filth…err I mean erotica? Keep your eyes on Latte Nights. More coming soon (pun totally intended).

Kate

XXX

Oh….you thought you were going to read a Confession did you? Like I said, keep your eye on Latte Nights. 😉

Part III (unedited)

As I climb the steps to this majestic wall I hear the sound of conversation. My ears are pricked, my notebook is poised. Unfortunately it’s all in German. I walk on regardless, my optimism not yet diminished and find myself overlooking my old university Right over the spot where, one drunken, first year night, I became William Wallace. I ran I crawled up the embankment, placed my hand upon that historic stone and cried ‘FREEDOM’ before being escorted down by two policemen. Luckily they had a sense of humour and I wasn’t charged with any terrorist activity.

That was so many years ago before a friendship became a relationship and a relationship became a breakup. The only evidence of our mutual love being our surviving son and painful memories of the two we lost along the way.

On to Monk Bar and the Richard III Museum

See full size image

It’s an interesting place. You can sit and listen to a mock trial where the cases for the defence and prosecution are delivered by audio. Having studied history I have always felt that Richard was the victim of Tudor propoganda and that the death of  The Princes in the Tower may well have been at the hands of other high-ranking characters. Of course that is assuming they were murdered, but that’s another story.

To learn more about this intriguing mystery I suggest you visit this site http://www.richardiii.net/

I realise that I have a natural affinity with the ‘underdog’ which also explains why I champion the corner of Anne Boleyn who lost her head due to trumped-up charges of adultery and incest. http://www.theanneboleynfiles.com/

Perhaps I feel a bond with them having been misunderstood and falsely accused at times in my own life.

Ah….now I descend into self-pity. Onward.

And so I spent a pleasant hour with Richard III but my notebook remains empty of snippets. I haven’t managed to steal one sentence of conversation on my travels. However, I will not give up. On reflection perhaps my failure is down to choosing the wrong places or perhaps I don’t listen enough. Perhaps that’s where I went wrong with us. Who knows?

Kate

XXX

Part 1 (unedited)

I’m about to go into York Art Gallery to eavesdrop on an unsuspecting public. A little project to distract me from thoughts of you. I left our son playing happily at nursery, the sun is beating down and I’m trying to ignore the barbed sting of psoriasis skin. 

The heat reminds me of the story of the Sun and the Wind who challenged each other to remove the man’s coat.

 (kidsfront.com)

It’s my story too. I’m trying to find my way back to you, not by force but through warmth and peace. To rekindle the love you once held in your heart but got lost in the storms that blighted our four short years together.I must be patient, I must push my fears down.

But.

What if you find another? Someone else who will set your heart alight….someone without the baggage? I wear my newfound single status like a hair shirt, invisible to the world yet silently and constantly pricking me. Why am I not comfortable in my own skin?

ENOUGH!!!

Onwards to the Art Gallery.

http://www.yorkartgallery.org.uk/

The Longest Day

I decided to have a mini tour around my home city of York. The idea was to eavesdrop on the unsuspecting public. Before you think I’ve finally lost the plot let me assure you I haven’t. It’s the cunning plan of Jo Bell and David Calcutt who are encouraging as many people as possible to participate in some Creative Eavesdropping on July the 1st. You can check out their blog here and find out more. http://buggedblog.wordpress.com/

So for four hours I wandered, notebook in hand, in the scorching heat to practice the art of being nosey. What follows is the totally unedited result of a free writing exercise that became something of an open letter to N.

Stop messing about…..

I decided to read my blog in its entirety and, much to my dismay, discovered a few things.

A) It’s miserable. I suspect that calls to the Samaritans have doubled since people started reading this.

B) What started out with promise has fallen by the wayside due to my unbeatable talent for Procrastination.

C) Errr….where did the bloody humour go???

D) I need counselling. No, seriously….not a joke.

So where do I go from here?

First of all I’m going to give my sorry self a kick up my large arse. I need to be writing. Anything is good as long as it’s (sort of) coherent. Life has taken me to hell and back but it didn’t take away my ability to type, to think or to make rubbish jokes.

Secondly (is that actually a word?) this whole blog needs a serious makeover. It’s a bit bland don’t you think? We need a serious injection of hip, hop, happening, jazzy blingtastic stuff. (Please feel free to insert your own naff/ clichéd/ eighties speak words at this point).

My idea is to pop over to some of your blogs and basically ‘utilise’ some ideas. They do say that imitation is the best form of flattery don’t they? So be prepared for big changes in the forthcoming weeks. Any useful comments or ideas would be gratefully received as would the number of a good (free) counsellor.

Onwords And Upwords

Kate

XXX

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