Book Review: While My Eyes Were Closed by Linda Green

While My Eyes Were ClosedWhile My Eyes Were Closed by Linda Green

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I thoroughly enjoyed this “read” (I listened to the audiobook). I was concerned that the subject matter of a four-year-old going missing would lead to a dark and horrible ending, but I had no reason to worry. This book is my favourite balance of Thriller and Women’s lit. It’s full of emotion and pain, but also, there is strength and love within these pages. I’m not talking romantic love, but family love.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good thriller. Also, I would encourage those who are concerned about the subject matter of a missing child to give it a go, because they won’t be disappointed.

View all my reviews

Goodreads: I’m Looking for Friends

Would anyone like to be my friend? I haven’t asked that question since I was a child, and I have to say I feel quite vulnerable asking it. Even though I’m asking for Goodreads friends, it’s still quite intimidating. But yes, I would love some friends!

To say I love reading is an understatement. I ADORE it. I’m looking for friends on Goodreads who are particularly interested in either Thrillers or Romance novels. I love books like Gone Girl, The Girl on The Train, etc. I have a kindle, which I love, but I struggle to identify which books on amazon to read. It’s not quite the same as having a beautiful bookshelf of novels to browse through in a bookshop. I’d love your recommendations.

So, yes, if you would like to connect me I would be overjoyed! This is the link to my page, alternatively you can add your link in the comments and I will add you.

Have a lovely day all you reading fans!

 

One Simple Way to Increase Writing Productivity (but you probably won’t like it)

If I told you there was a magic pill that increased your concentration, sparked the imagine and improved perseverance, would you take it? I bet you’d do it, I certainly would!

What if I told you that exercise could do all those things for you? I can hear your groans, and feel your annoyance. Irritating isn’t it? 

Most of us would rather not need to exercise. We’d rather eat what we want and have the perfect, slender, magazine ready body, without having to slip on our trainers. What a wonderful world that would be. The sad fact is that to keep our bodies healthy we need to exercise. It’s a non-negotiable (trust me I tried to negotiate my way out of it for years).

I never loved exercise, couldn’t catch without shutting my eyes and was hopeless at running. I hid in the shower room during PE. However, after avoiding exercise until the age of twenty-four, I was diagnosed with a chronic illness where the primary treatment was exercise. Every time I stood up the room span, and I almost fainted. The only option for me was to start exercising lying down until I grew strong enough to stand and exercise without fatigue. It was hellish, to begin with, but now I am the fittest I have ever been and have found whole hosts of benefits I would like to share with you. (Also my condition is completely managed, and I can live normally again – Hooray!)

Exercise increases your energy levels – It’s counter-intuitive isn’t it? I previously assumed that since you expend energy during exercise, that you are tired out from it. While that is true in the short-term, in the long run, you are more energetic. Early mornings are easier (potentially late nights for others). Finding time to write gets easier if you have more energy.

Exercise improves your sleep quality – Perhaps one of the reasons you have more energy is that you sleep better. Tiring out the body helps sleep and sleep produces a clearer mind. Hello clarity, nice to meet you, please come and assist me in my writing.

Exercise allows imagination to flow – When you are peddling away on an exercise bike or stomping your way on the treadmill your body is occupied, but your brain can wander. You are a captive audience. You can’t remember that urgent chore and go away and do it. You can’t phone that friend you’ve forgotten to contact. Your mind can soar into the realms of creativity and imagination, and your practical body is occupied – it can’t drag you away.

Exercise gives you confidence – I’m actually not talking about body confidence here, but confidence in your own mental strength. There is something incredibly satisfying in achieving something you never thought you could. It takes dedication, commitment, and, let’s be honest, pain to get physically fit. We need all those things in writing, and the skills learnt in exercise do translate over.

Exercise prevents “Writers Neck” – Is it writers neck or back for you? I get neck pain when I type for too long. Exercise keeps our backs healthy (especially pilates) which is a real bonus for those of us who write for extended periods of time. The pain may be manageable now, but we want to write long-term, don’t we? Exercise is one way to secure our future as writers.

The most important thing I would like to say is that this post is not meant to guilt trip anyone. I would hate for anyone to read this and leave feeling condemned because they don’t want to exercise. You be you, and what works for me may not work for you. There may be some out there, however, who are missing something and may want to give exercise a try. 

I would love to hear from you in the comments section whether you agree or disagree. I love a good discussion!

Mystery Blogger Award Nomination

How exciting! I’ve been awarded for a Mystery Blogger Award, quite what for, is a mystery to me I have to admit, but I love it anyway. Thank you Rosemarie Cawkwell for your kind nomination, you’ve made my day. Thank you also Okoto Enigma for creating this award.

Award Rules

  • Put the award logo on your blog.
  • List the rules.
  • Thank whoever nominated you and link to their blog.
  • Mention the creator of the award (Okoto Enigma) and provide a link as well.
  • Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
  • Nominate roughly 10 – 20 people for this award.
  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blogs.
  • Ask your nominees five questions.
  • Share a link to your best/favorite post that you’ve written.

Three Things About Myself

  1. Once, on an aeroplane to Spain I read all of the three novels I’d bought at WHS Smiths that were supposed to last me the week.
  2. As a child my favourite game was “libraries” where I laid all my books out on the bed and my poor Mum used to have to chose to borrow them and pay imaginary late fines.
  3. As a baby my parents would pop me a cardboard box (too young to sit up yet) and give me a picture book – I’d be happy for hours. I was a book geek from the get go!

Five Questions from Rosemarie Cawkwell

  • When did you start writing?

I started writing my current WIP in August 2016 but have written a diary most of my life (I think that’s helped me get into the swing of novel writing oddly enough).

  • Pluto: Planet or not?

Poor Pluto – planet all the way, even if he’s not, just not to hurt his feelings.

  • Favourite place to write?

At my husband’s desk before he wakes up. I then sneak all his papers back in place so he doesn’t notice I’ve been there!

  • Pen or word processor for the first draft?

I would be lost without my word processor. I’m in awe of those who write their first drafts on paper.

  • If you were a mythical creature, what would you be?

I would be a mermaid, because how cool would it be to breathe underwater?!

Nominees

There are so many blogs that have helped me on my writing journey, here are ten of the top blogs that inspire me.

Rachel Poli

Lonelyboy1977

MLadenR

Inky Pen

How not to Writte

Alvarado Frazier

TheFakeRedhead

ChasingtheCrazies

Nerdy and Wordy

15th & Oxford

My Five Questions

  1. Kindle or Paperback?
  2. Milk chocolate or Dark Chocolate?
  3. Funniest typo ever found in a WIP?
  4. Which famous Author would you like to meet (dead or alive)?
  5. Top piece of advice for aspiring authors?

My best Post

I’m not sure if this is my best post, or simply my most honest. Either way I am proud of putting out there What I Hate about Writing. I hope it encourages other writers to carry on when it gets hard.

Thank you so much for reading, and for the nomination Rosemarie 🙂 you’ve made my day!

Creative Writing Secrets from Professional Writers

This post is brilliant, funny, knowledgeable and welll worth a read!

15th & Oxford

Any professional author will tell you, there’s no trick to good creative writing but rather a battle between the brain and the soul. Still, that hasn’t stopped many famous writers from sharing a tip or two for the aspiring wordsmith.

Check out some of our favorite writing tips from authors throughout history…

1)


mark_twain“Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.”
-Mark Twain

Mark Twain was clearly not a fan of the word “very,” but for good reason. There’s almost always a better word to use than simply putting very. For example, instead of a very beautiful sunset, perhaps it was a magnificent.

2)


Robert Frost“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.”
-Robert Frost

The famed poet Robert Frost left us with…

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Writing a Book: Overview

I found this article incredibly helpful. Through it I was able to put my writing into perspective. I hope you all enjoy it too.

I’ve been a book coach for 19 years, working with people all over the world on memoir, novels, self-help books and even film scripts. I began my career as an international journalist (in newsrooms like London’s Financial Times).

People come to my company, Art of Storytelling, wanting to write and publish a book. Few understand the stages involved. I’m creating an outline of the stages here, and expounding upon them on my YouTube Art of Storytelling stream. Subscribe to both blog and stream to keep posted on more on the publication process. We assist people wherever they are at in the book writing process, from rough draft to publication.

Rough draft

Duration: On average, a rough draft takes a new writer one to two years to complete.

Skill sets: In this phase, you’ll be learning to develop characterization, setting, plot and theme.

Biggest Lesson: The greatest lesson you…

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How to Create a Consistent Writing Habit

Writing seems so easy when we start out, doesn’t it? When an idea hits you square in the forehead, and you are in awe of your imagination. You picture yourself tucked up in the corner of a cosy cafe, latte steaming, and with pages of magnificent prose on the laptop before you.

I wonder how long it takes the average writer to realise their idealistic views will not materialise? We all reach the point where our coffee sits beside us, stone cold, and we despair at the task ahead.

When this happens, it is so easy to let our motivation wane and to put our writing on the back burner. Stopping when writing gets hard is pure folly. Think of writing like building muscle in the gym. If you were to stop exercising the moment you felt a prickle of sweat, there’s no growth, no improvement, and no point even starting. It’s the same with writing. You will never write a novel if you give up when it’s hard. 

So how can we keep our motivation levels high and build a consistent writing habit?

Set aside dedicated time – If you only write when you fancy it, eventually you will stop altogether. Let’s face it, sometimes an hour watching Netflix is preferable to an hour spent writing. You can generally find something else you’d rather do than write (sleeping in for instance), so you need dedicated time which is devoted to writing and nothing else.

Celebrate mini victories – Celebrate when you hit a word count milestone, or when you’ve written every day in a week. Reward your hard work, and don’t let progress go unnoticed.

Push through the wall – When you sit down to write, and everything you attempt to write seems wrong, keep going. Just write the rubbish that comes to mind and keep going, after all, you can fix things later on. If you push through, most of the time the words will start to flow in earnest.

Ensure you have enough fun in your life – If your whole life is writing it might just kill the joy of it. Personally, I have to ensure I spend time with my friends on a regular basis, because I am an extrovert and writing is quite an introverted activity. For others, it may be running, or painting or computer games. Just make sure that you plan in fun time. Not only does it energise you, but it also gives you more ideas about what to write.

Make yourself Accountable – Find someone who will ask you how your writing is going, and then answer them honestly. This could be a spouse, or a writing coach, perhaps even another blogger. Just make sure that someone is keeping you accountable.

Best of luck fiction writers, I hope that this post has helped you. I would like to leave you with some wise words written in a comment on my blog earlier this week by Stephen R Gann

“Consistency builds connection, which leads to a strong, concise completion.”