Love it

I am working hard and I am ahead of the crazy deadlines I have looming this side of Christmas! Yay! So yesterday I popped to a local town with the man in the afternoon for a spot of Christmas shopping! I hate it when the shops are too busy so mid-week works well and we plan to do the same next week and finish the shopping!

What is your favourite thing about Christmas? For me it’s the magic, the expectation and the choosing of just the right gift for someone!

Happy Thursday folks!

Think Positive

 

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Bottled Magic

Christmas is the time of year when my sense of expectation is higher than any other. No, I don’t mean about my presents; I don’t mind what I get which is never anything big or fancy because I don’t need anything like that. I get more excited abut choosing the right thing for loved ones. But not even that; it’s that sense of what will come. It’s that sense of magic and hope and expectation in the air and I think that’s why Christmas Eve is my favourite day of the year.

That feeling of things to look forward to; of hope and love and excitement is how we ought to live every day. And in some ways we do because I always have work out there and writing to do and lots of dreams! And it’s not just the big things but the smaller ones too; looking forward.

So my message for today and for every day is this: always have things to look forward to; even if it’s that slice of cake your promised yourself … always have a little of Christmas Eve inside every day.

That is all🙂 Happy Wednesday❤

excited

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Being The Writer

One of the things we writers have to work on is confidence when it comes to sharing our work. The first time I did this was at a writing group meeting. I had just joined the year or so after I lost Lee. So personally I have to say I was lacking in my usual drive and some of that came from grief. Some of that also came from never really knowing if the writing was any good. But in the end I did read out, I was receptive to feedback and that in the end led to success.

I think the first time I had to read at the launch of my first publishing success (Making Changes, Bridge House Publishing, 2008) I was pretty scared because now there were a lot more people than in the writing group meetings. But you know, only you know how your work should really sound and therefore you know how it ought to be read.

The more successes I had, the more I was able to share and read my work until that day when my novel was launched and there was I having to read (just me in the spotlight) and in an African Amercian accent don’t ya know! Now I do enjoy reading and have done so many times and with a microphone! The more we do it, the easier it becomes. But I know one or two writers who still suffer with nerves, but they are also at the beginning of the journey and it will get better🙂

So let me share some photos of the fab writers who read from Baubles and The Best of CafeLit at the launch in London this past Saturday… and brilliant they all were… I have not used the word brilliant for a long time I have to say!!!

 

Gallery… not in the order they read…

chris

Chris Bowles

dianne-stadhams

Dianne Stadhams

margaret-bulleyment

Margaret Bulleyment

mary-bevanMary Bevan

mike-olley

Mike Olley

paula-r-c-readman

Paula R C Readman

penny-dale

Penny Dale

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Waiting for the guests…

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Buy our books!

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Don’t be scared, Paula…

photo-4

Yvette Gyles greeting writer, Clare Weze

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What is a collection of writers called?

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Dad… with writer Elizabeth…

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Writing Tweets and sharing tips!

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Thanks to all those who came to celebrate the launch of our books!

And the theme for next time is Gliterary Tales! Opens for submissions January 1, closes March 31st

www.bridgehousepublishing.co.uk 

Also check out www.cafelit.co.uk always open for stories!

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Baubles, Bangles and… Book Launches!

Well, what a wonderful weekend it was and many many thanks to all those who came along to the launch of the new Bridge House collection Baubles and The Best of CafeLit 5! And this year no stolen handbag! That always helps!

The event took place in the Prince of Wales Pub not far from Chalk Farm tube and we had the room upstairs. It was altogether a much better venue than last year and everyone agreed we ought to book it again for next year!

A HUGE thanks to my business partner and friend, Dr Gill James, for organising it, and for the input from daughter, Yvette Gyles, who did a great talk on marketing!

The speed dating at the start that makes you move table, and talk to other people was a great idea again. We also shared news, tips, wrote dynamic tweets and had some fab readings which I live-tweeted photos of!

So here are the books for you to rush out and order online and please please post reviews to raise the profile of our little books!

baubles-cover

Buy me

best-of-cafelit-5

Buy Me

And tomorrow some photos of the event!

And I will tell you more about the Bridge House theme for next year!

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Let’s get Festive

I always know that Christmas is finally on the way when I download my Jacqui Lawson Advent Calendar to my desktop and find myself in a Victorian festive scene. Day 2 decorating the snowman was FUN!

So as I gear up for another working day and the launch of the new Bridge House and CafeLit anthologies in London tomorrow I will give you my snowman!

Guaranteed to make you smile!

snowperson_1

Looking forward to seeing some of you tomorrow!

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Colleagues

One of the downfalls of working for yourself, from home, is a distinct lack of colleagues to bounce ideas off. Thankfully I have a lot of writer friends. But it is rather nice that I do take some of my work from Cornerstones, the big literary consultancy group, and last night I got to meet the team at last!

I had a consult with a client who I had worked for via Cornerstones and so I managed to arrange my meeting with him first at the Grange Hotel near Fenchurch Street for some interesting discussion. Then I headed over to Hammersmith and the Brook Green Hotel to meet with some of the other Cornerstones editors and the team I have been emailing for the past three years.

Always nice to put faces to names!

Helen was telling us how the agency started with six of them in a room and now they have sixty editors as part of the team and this year launched Cornerstones USA where they have sixteen editors.

Check them out! http://cornerstones.co.uk/uk/

So I kicked off the Christmas season with drinks with the team and this Saturday we have the launch of the Bridge House Anthology Baubles and The Best of CafeLit 5. And Gill and I have the one payment we ever get from BH that comes in the form of our annual Christmas meal afterwards. Whoop!

People last night were asking me about the private work I do and the way I built my business, because in truth most of my work is private, although I have done a lot more with Cornerstones over the past two years and am currently mentoring two writers and have two novels to work on this side of Christmas for them! I love to tell people how I feel like I created the ideal job and I am so lucky to do what I love every day. I knew when I was first invited to  work for Cornerstones that it was a good fit as their in-depth and very detailed analysis was exactly the kind of thing I was already doing; so all I had to do was the same kind of reports but on Cornerstones letter-headed paper and change some of my headings. Now, in fact, I use the same ones in my reports (having now added a useful section on ‘Marketability’ so where work sits in the marketplace) and so I don’t even have to change headings, only the paper, when I work on one of their reports. The nice thing is the work is proofed and checked by them before it goes to the client. You are paying more to work through them; they do have a vetting process and they do scout for leading agents, so they can really help to get you noticed.

There are a lot of people out there doing what I do and if you really want good feedback on your work then do check then out or come to me direct. If you’re serious it pays to have one detailed critique at least once in your life. What thrills me is that people keep coming back to me🙂 And I see the people who have success; the ones who were prepared to put in the work — time and time again. The message has to be: DON’T GIVE UP.

Have a great day everyone!

Love what youdo 2

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Being busy

I love that I have a lot of work, although my own writing has to wait when that happens. I suddenly have a lot of work this side of Christmas; from both private clients and Cornerstones, but that is all fab! It is, after all,an expensive time of year!

Tomorrow I finally get to meet my Cornerstones colleagues when I am off to London for a little drinks evening; although I have a consult with a client first! As you do. So tomorrow I will not be in the office even though I have a lot of work to get through! Anyone would think it’s Christmas! But when I think about having colleagues who do what I do for a job I can’t help thinking about how I created the ideal job. I think back to when I would sit in the open office at work; all discussing pharmaceutical technical things and wishing we were talking about character motivation and the like! And now, well it is only me in the office, but I do have phone calls and I do spend my afternoons doing just that! I have indeed created the perfect job! And I will forever be grateful because I am quite sure I could never go back now! How could I do anything else or work for anyone but me? I couldn’t!

Tomorrow morning I also have to be at the gym early to be put through my paces by my lovely friend and one of the trainers as she has her final assessment to become a fully qualified personal trainer. So later I get to be trained by the man and then in for another session tomorrow for her and him again Thursday! I will feel it! I will not blog in the morning as I need to be up and editing at 5 so at least I get some work done before my busy day! But I will be back on Thursday to report on meeting my Cornerstones’ colleagues!

Have a fantastic day folks, whatever you’re doing!

happy-writer

Create the life you love…

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