Camp NaNoWriMo

Yes that’s right, you read both the title and the header correctly… I’m doing NaNoWriMo in April.

Why on earth am I putting myself through that stress again? Especially as I only did it six months ago in November 2013?

Well to be honest, last time I didn’t really get to enjoy myself properly.  As always happens in November I had a load of social events to deal with, mostly to do with Brownies and Guides. I was also heavily pregnant and focusing on writing was difficult.

This time round, I’m on leave from Brownies and Guides because of Princess Wriggles (aka the baby) and I have my focus back. So I’m taking part in Camp NaNoWriMo with the aim of starting a new trilogy.


This is the book I’m going to be working on –

The Seven Towers: The Lost Princess

Do we ever truly know ourselves? When we ask, “Who am I”, do we ever actually find the answer?

Cha Dea, known to the rest of Xan’aki as The Kingdom of The Seven Towers, has lost their third King in a row, plunging the kingdom into unheard of chaos.

Duke Andrionae’s ambitions towards the throne lead him into plotting against his rivals. Ríonach’s future lies in magic. Sedaera is lost in a world of vice and Loreanna has to find out which world she belongs to. Only Ser Amerlyn knows the path, but even the Voice of The Gods does not know of the danger all Xan’aki faces.

Before peace can be made in Cha Dea, life is going to get a whole lot colder and darker…

* * *

I don’t actually have a cover for this one – while I have the world all planned out and the storyline plotted, the cover has been eluding me. But then again, there’s plenty of time for that once the book is written. I’m really looking forward to working on a new story. I’ll still be writing “The Secret of Arking Down” books during the November event; 2014’s title for that event is  “The Tree of Fate”. 

However I’m almost finished with of  “The Tower and The Eye” book #5:  Nightbringer and while I have several SF stories to be completed, I feel like doing something newish – working in a world that has been around since I first started writing seriously in 1996. It’s time to re-jig the world of Xan’aki and make it fresh and new.

It may even get published this time – I’ll be posting the chapters up as I write it on my Wattpad profile, so keep your eyes open and you’ll be able to experience it with me.

The End of The Financial Year 2013 – 2014

I hate this time of year.

I live in the UK so I don’t have to worry about the whole filling out of Tax forms etc that the US have to go through, but I do have to worry about my finances at this time of year.


Mostly because it’s been ingrained in me since childhood that even if you are on Benefits, you should try to manage your money properly. You know, save for things that you want, don’t get into debt, make sure you’re not spending frivolously so on and so forth.

The thing is, I am seriously bad at managing my money. I did an accountancy module in my degree and passed with flying colours, I know all the forms and can manage stuff on paper, but when it comes to applying the principles to my own income in a practical sense, I am officially useless!

Money is a major hang up for me. It makes me anxious and stressed to discuss with TOH who doesn’t have a problem with it – he’s more the “live in the moment” type when it comes to money. My anxiety comes from a teenagehood spent wondering if Mum would have enough money to buy food for us and how I could get some extra money for myself so that she didn’t have to pay me pocket money – I had a part time job of some sort from the age of 13 for that very reason.

It’s something that I don’t want my kids to have to worry about; unfortunately NOS is already worrying about it, but it’s a part of his Aspergers so I can’t affect the worry, all I can do is give him the tools to eliminate the worry for himself.

So every March / April, I make the effort to work out exactly where we are spending what, put together a household budget and present it to TOH with the intention that we are going to stick to it THIS YEAR…

Always before the intention has failed before the end of April because of Bank Holidays.

Why would a Bank Holiday cause that much hassle?

It causes so many problems simply because there are so many of them in the Easter period and they change the dates that the benefits are paid. This has a knock on effect on our finances because we are so dependent on them and have been since we lost our jobs in 2006.

The payments that fall on a Monday (always the day of a bank holiday unless its Good Friday or Christmas /Boxing Day /  New Years Day) get thrown back to the previous Friday and unless you are on the ball, it is easy to spend that money and then wonder where the money you were expecting to get in went… which is what tends to happen to me.

Wow. Eight years of having to scrape money together for the household expenses each month.

Eight years of trying -and failing- to keep to a budget that is dependent on several different payments from a Govt. that can’t even keep its own house in order. It doesn’t matter if its a labour, lib dem or conservative govt; nothing has really changed over those eight years…

Eight years of trying to work out if our family would be better off with me in work… especially as to get a full time teaching job would mean either me moving away and commuting weekly or  uprooting the whole family and moving back to England. Could I go back to never seeing the kids and always being busy with marking / lesson planning at weekends? Just to get a wage which wouldn’t be enough to live on without a benefit top up but is too much to get a decent amount of help?

Eight years of writing and publishing my own work for an average income of approximately £2.50 per month.  Yes, that’s right – over eight years I have made a £240… the whole process of budgeting etc can be sooo depressing.

Ah well. Back to the Keyboard. I’ve managed to get TTATE #4 out recently, let’s see if I can get another book out soon… keep your eyes open!



Grey and Grumpy day today – Help!

It’s Wednesday. Normally I’d be introducing you to a new writer or one that I really enjoy reading and there are several books that I’ve read recently that are worthy of the attention.

“Enchanted Glass” by Diane Wynn Jones for example. Her last published book , it is everything you expect from her and more. Or maybe Kristin Cashore’s “Graceling” or “Fire”; beautifully written and superbly built fantasy worlds that draw you away from the hum drum of this reality.

There are so many books on my “To Be Read” list. I’m in the middle of M Cid d’Angelo’s “Dark Running” and enjoying it immensely. I’m eagerly anticipating Terry Pratchett’s “Dodger”…

…but to be honest, today I can’t be bothered.

It’s halfway through the second week of September. The kids are back at school and the autumn weather is starting to appear. I’ve been writing and enjoying it, even though I’ve had a few bouts of vertigo and headaches.

Maybe it’s the rain? We’ve had some lovely weather over the last few weeks and now we’re starting to get the chilly winds and wet weather of a welsh autumn. The colours don’t seem as bright under the grey cloudy skies and I can feel myself drifting on that downward spiral.

I’m tired from having to get up earlier than I’m used to, now that NOS is going to high school and needs to be checked before he heads out to the bus. Maybe this is the beginning of the SAD season? It’s possible; I do have more problems with my depression in the winter than I do in the spring and summer. It’s the whole reason my desk is next to a window, so I can get natural light.

It could be my finances. I’m juggling the family’s needs against the little that we get coming in at the moment and finding that there is very little leeway. That’s enough to depress anyone, I suppose…

I want to write and help to support the family, but I’m so scared of mucking it up that I can’t concentrate on the writing enough to make it good!


It feels very much like I’m on a treadmill, running to try and stay in one place instead of dropping backward or moving forward. I know I should be pushing myself to go forward, but it feels like I am on a bungee cord, pulling against me.

So there is only one thing for me to do. Start pushing myself and pull hard enough on the bungee cord to make it snap and free me.
How am I going to do that? Well for a start, I am going to publish a few more things:

“The Heir of The Dragon” is currently in Beta Reading Stage. I’ve drafted and redrafted it enough to be happy with it, but I need to make sure it’s perfect before I put it out there. So hopefully that will be out in the next three months.

I have a collection of Horror Stories that I hope to get out by Hallowe’en, I just need to format and get a cover done for them. That will be under A.E. Churchyard. Watch this Space

I have moved into the last stages of editing for “The Angel’s Crown”, so that should be available in the New Year.

I’ve started writing the next story in the “Tales of Cassius” series. I’ve got my characters all built up, so that will be out there in January as well, or sooner if I can manage it.

I would like some help please though…

I currently have two books out on the kindle shelves:

The Necklace of Harmony

My first story collection… a gentle introduction to my mind.

One of the fun things about being a writer is responding to a challenge. This book is full of the results of such challenges…

From the wedding celebrations of Greek Deities, to mermaids, ghosts and superheroes, a whole gamut of creatures await your eager eyes.

Do you remember this? Well it is currently languishing at #393,998 on the bestsellers listing. I’d like to get it up the ranks a little and for that I will need help. How? Well here’s how:

  •  Have you bought and read it? No? Well please do so! I shall be doing a promotion to aid sales soon, but until then, please buy and read!!!


  • Did you answer yes to the above question? Have you written a review of the book on Amazon? No? Why not? It only takes a couple of lines to say if you enjoyed it or not, and if you’d recommend it or not. I’m not asking for an essay (unless you like writing them) just a tip of the hat to tell me if I’m getting it right.


  • Have you got friends with kindles? Have you loaned them your copy? You can do that you know… and once they’ve read it, asked them to tell me what they thought of it.

The other book I published was this:

Tales of Cassius: Statues of Justice

Cassius Longinus has a long memory. He can remember over three thousand years and in all those memories, he cannot recall an atrocity like this.

New Texas was supposed to be a peaceful place where Reiskinn and Human could live side by side. That peace is shattered by the greed of a few and Cassius must put things right.

Brought back to society by a slave raid on a nearby village, Cassius is sent on a quest to retrieve the tribe’s women and children by the Tribal Shaman.

What he discovers when he finds them is beyond anything he has yet encountered…

Poor Cassius hasn’t even made it onto the seller list… he has however garnered a 4 star review:

“Justice must be served even if you’re three-thousand years old. Having witnessed humanity’s atrocities for that long time the hero, Cassius, puts an end to horrible wrongs inflicted by Earth colonists on the new planet’s natives. Can he bring overcome his thirst for vengeance and build a lasting peace? Can he validate the faith of the one who so touched his heart three-thousand years ago? Be prepared to want to read more.”
– Paul De Lancey,

What can you do to help Cassius gain a foot hold? Exactly the same as the list for Necklace of Harmony:

  • Have you bought and read it? No? Well please do so!
  • Did you answer yes to the above question? Have you written a review of the book on Amazon? No? Why not? It only takes a couple of lines to say if you enjoyed it or not, and if you’d recommend it or not. I’m not asking for an essay (unless you like writing them) just a tip of the hat to tell me if I’m getting it right.
  • Have you got friends with kindles? Have you loaned them your copy? You can do that you know… and once they’ve read it, asked them to tell me what they thought of it.

I shall be sorting things out from my end, but please, if you enjoy my work or even if you only like my blog, then can you please go to the Amazon pages for both books and like them? Like the helpful reviews as well, and agree with the tags… It’s only a small thing, but if enough people do it, then I might actually be able to start pulling on the bungee cord, instead of fighting against the pull back.

The thing about the reviews is that we authors like getting them. I suppose that for us small independent authors, it’s a way of keeping score, of knowing how well you are doing and if it’s worth going to the trouble of publishing a new book. We write all the time – we can’t stop, but publishing, now that’s a different matter. As I said in my last post, there are hundred of words on my PC that will never see the light of day as a published book; I don’t feel they’re good enough, so they don’t make it out into the world.

Publishing something yourself, if you’re determined to make a good job of it, requires about ten times the effort of writing the story in the first place… so we keep score. We check our ratings and reviews and make daily decisions about our future as writers on them. It can get very depressing if you don’t have many readers…


The sun has come back out and I’m feeling slightly better than I did when I started this post. I’m going to go getAngel’s Crown” finished and ready for formatting…