Self Editing: Eveything you need to know

I had planned a post at some point similar to this, but when I read the talented Sharon Zink’s page I decided to share it.

Sharon is an amazing writer and I have had her on my blog. She also does the same job as me in that she offers manuscript appraisals; the same level of detail.

So I decided to share this link because it really is a masterclass in writing and everything on here is exactly the kind of thing I say to clients all the time when I assess their manuscripts…

Take heed fellow scribes!

I am now about to write the homecoming chapter on Pelicans… this is exciting, it’s the final chapter when we reveal the last of the missing pieces… and it’s raining so I am loving the sounds of rain on the roof as I write! The morning goes pitter patter… ❤

Have a wonderful day everyone!


Leave a comment

Filed under Acceptance, Acknowledging who we are and why we write, Back-story, Being a professional editor, being a successful writer, Being a writer, Believe, Change as a function of character, Character Arc, Character development, Character names, Characterisation, Cliches, Conflict, Copy Editing Quick Note Series, Copy Editing Quick Notes, credibility, Critique, Dialogue, Editing, Exposition, Fiction Clinic, Find a Publisher, Find an Agent, Flashback, Flawed characters, Inspiring Others, Learning to be a writer, Literary Fiction, Live your writing dream, Mainstream Fiction, making money from writing, narrative devices, Never Give Up, Novel writing, Passion for life, Passion for writing, Plot, Point of View, principles in writing, Proofing, Publishing, Publishing Contracts, Reach your potential, Reading, Research, Rules in writing, Securing an agent, Self-Publishing, Story, Story Arc, Story Arcs, Story hooks, Story Shape, Story Structure, Structure, Submission, Subplots, Subtext, Succeeding, Success, The Publishing Priocess, thoughts in fiction, Uncategorized

Let the excitement fill every moment

What a week it’s been since I sat here writing my message about the house in Wales and the wonderful news that it has found new owners. It’s been a week of whoops and happy dances and smiles. The feeling is tremendous and now all we need is to find the perfect little home here, which I know we will. I have sent my wishes out into the universe… pictured the house, and us living there ❤

I remember this same feeling of lightness two other times in my life. The first was when I was finally able to walk away from the day job that was holding me back. I didn’t realise just how much tension I was holding in my body until it was gone; over, none of it mattered anymore. I have the same feeling of liberation now 🙂 I was then free to write and be the ‘me I always knew I could be’. I always saw that as a tremendous blessing enabled (sadly) by tragedy… because if I had not had such a small mortgage I could never have afforded to take that big step and leave the corporate world to live the dream. A dream I am still living… thanks to Lee ❤

I felt the same wonderful feeling after the dream came true and I got the publisher for While No One Was Watching… that was the BIGGIE for me, a real reason to ‘do the victory dance’. It showed it had all been worth it 🙂 Thanks again Lee ❤

And now, well now it’s the time for new chapters. It’s a wonderful feeling and this one again, like the day I was free from the day job, feels as if a weight has gone and I had no idea how much stress I was feeling. I have another clean slate, debt-free, and planning, the home, a holiday and success. Lots of it. Working hard on Pelicans to make it happen. Now is the time for the next part and again, it’s out of sadness we finally find our happiness because once again it’s from the sale of our special home I can move on, with the lovely Mal, my angel ❤

Hold that feeling, hold it inside, how it feels to live the dream and make sure it happens. Got it.


Do the dance! Do it now! Punch the air!

Whoooop to life!


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Doing What We Love

I never take for granted that I get to do what I love every day.

We were talking this weekend about jobs and dreams and for me, the two come together: dream job ❤ I am indeed, as my coffee mug says: Living The Dream.

Someone was saying to me that goals need to be money-driven, to strive for more money and they guessed that was my aim with my writing, so we will be able to buy a house at some point. I put them straight. Yes, that is part of my intention to be able to buy a house, yes, but my goal is happiness every time. Some might say the two are part of the same, and indeed no money is a worry so, of course, it’s good to have enough not to worry. But really my aim is to remain happy, success makes me happy, love makes me happy and I think with success money will follow anyway.

I am happy!

That is all… have a wonderful Monday!


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Thinking Happy Thoughts

… makes a happy life.

It is always good to look ahead. Just as it is really important to take a moment out of your day, every day to be grateful for you what you have and how far you’ve come ❤

I have a nice busy day planned as I look ahead to a fabulous weekend… what about you?

Anything you want can be yours, as long as you believe. TRULY. ❤ ❤ ❤

That is all.


Dream the impossible

Be Inspired


Filed under Uncategorized

Just be happy

I had a wonderful day yesterday … it almost became a full day off (apart from writing in the morning) and that was not planned! After Mal’s yoga class had a lovely celebratory lunch with some of the gym ladies (so so nice!). And then after a visit to the bank, I found I only had enough time to get ready for phase two which was a celebratory dinner. This was followed by seeing 9 to 5 the musical at a local theatre… all with my bestie! Whoop to life and whoop to fun!

So here I am busy writing and ready for a fantastic new day!

What about you?


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Too excited!

Well, all I can say is I am buzzing with great happiness and excitement and I can’t wait for the next stage of life’s wonderful adventure!

Ready to write!

Have a wonderfully exciting day everyone!


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

More than just a house…


…time to close the circle…



In 2005 Lee and I were living in a rented cottage in the village of Bethesda, nestled in Snowdonia National Park. It’s a beautiful idyllic place and we lived there with our little cats, Cagney and Lacey, who we had rescued as kittens from the Cats Protection League in October 2004. We decided, at that time, to have our earnings assessed. We wanted to see, if and when we were ready (we assumed some time off), how much we could borrow if we wanted to buy a property. In the July of 2005, we were pre-approved for a mortgage, so for fun, on the Friday, some two days later, we both took the afternoon off work and we went ‘window shopping’ for houses! We saw three we liked, and in true ‘Goldilocks’ style one was the cheapest, one was in the middle and one was top of our budget (if they knocked some off!). We suddenly found ourselves with appointments to view all three that very afternoon… just for fun, you understand 🙂

The first one was too far from work.

The second one was too old and needed too much doing.

The third one… the most expensive but not too expensive… was just PERFECT.

Less than twelve hours later (and it would have been sooner had it not been evening and the agent was closed) we made an offer and they said YES! We just knew it was for us. We kept driving past it on our way home from work.

Of course, we had no idea then that a fall Lee’d had at a work fun day the weekend after the offer was accepted, an injury they said, was, in fact, masking a far graver issue: a cancer. A cancer that tragically took his life a matter of only weeks later: October 21, 2005. That was less than a month after the house was ours. In fact, his diagnosis came a week after completion while he was still in hospital being treated for his ‘injury’ that they said he would recover from… and was why we went ahead with the sale of the house.

But Lee never got to live in it.

That house is a very special little house and in spite of my heartbreaking start it wrapped me up in its comfort and I am so glad I didn’t run away then.  Oh, I thought about it, but I didn’t want to make those kinds of choices when I couldn’t even lift my head without crying. So I chose to stay and make happy memories there ❤ And I am so glad I did. I made such wonderful memories.

I enjoyed the cats, my lovely neighbours, five years later: my beautiful blue roan cocker spaniel, Rosie, who came into my life like another angel. I learned to write and that led to many successes. I did the victory dance many times in that house with my writing successes. Of course, that little house saw me grieve. It saw my very saddest and darkest of moments when the cats licked away my tears and were the only thing that stopped me giving up back then… and that house brought me great comfort. It is truly a blessed little house and like I think things and people come into our lives for a reason, like the cats, like Rosie…  so did that house. I truly believe that. I know some might say it’s only a house but I would say it is far more than that. Like it’s its own character in this story.

And so yes there were tears but there were also whoops and there was laughter and there was JOY. Much joy.

I spent close to nine years in that house and I look back with great affection. But I knew when the time had come to leave and I did try to sell it but at a time when nothing was selling.  Maybe it wanted me to hang onto it. Maybe our memories weren’t quite done yet. Maybe I was meant to find Mal first so it was easier to say goodbye? So I waited. If I have learned anything in this life, it’s wait, be patient, wonderful things are always within reach. I did move out in the end, back to the folks (sad to leave some wonderful friends but with wonderful new ones to make) and the house was rented for a year to a lovely couple and a baby came along! How lovely is that since that blessing was taken away from us.

And of, course, when I moved, I found Mal.

It was a journey that was not easy at times with it selling and falling through, so I gave it the TLC it needed and fixed some issues and now… finally… it has found exactly the kind of people I wanted it to. A wonderful couple who fell in love with it and made an offer right away on first viewing, as we had! So that was meant to be too.

That was five weeks ago, and when we went to the house last weekend it was to say goodbye. We had the perfect weekend and we met the buyers. I have the lovely plant they gave me in my office now as a wonderful reminder and I gave them a copy of my novel since it was written in that house. It is part of its history too. People pass away, babies are born, puppies bound, cats play, novels are written, right? Between those walls.

On my last day there I had a wonderful time with Mal. He helped me sort some bits I didn’t know what to do with and he listened to me read a really sad poem that was written back then in those early days that I have never shared. It expresses exactly how I felt about my life and losing Lee. He said I had to keep that, some of the things we knew I had to let go of, but that is part of me. How wonderful he is. I guess it’s true — angels come in many forms, don’t they? Even houses.

I also had the two great bits of writing news in that same day. I had never had two writing successes on the same day! I like to think was Lee and that wonderful house saying you made it, you did well — now open the next chapter.

We went onto the roof terrace where I had spend many evenings, some very sad ones wondering if I would ever meet anyone else like Lee again, and some writing and celebrating the wonderful life I have. So we went up there to toast our future — because I did find someone and I know Lee would approve.



So last Tuesday, a week today, I said goodbye. I was so excited, but, as I poked the envelope through the door with my key in it I felt overwhelmed for a moment because I knew what it represented — finally the closing of that chapter. I got in the car and Mal looked at me, “You okay?”

“Yes. I will be.”

A new chapter is opening now. It is time.

Then we drove away.


That house will always always be a part of me and my journey and in spite of the saddest memories of my life, it also gave me the happiest. I like to think years from now in its walls and in its memory it not only sees Lee and I falling in love with it that day we found it, it will find me dancing and drinking cosmopolitan (from a tin… so classy!), listening to Barry Manilow, the day I found out my novel would be published, and it sees Mal and I toasting to new beginnings. But something else too. It will see the new owners and all their memories, all yet to make. The house has someone else to look after now. And vice versa. ❤

This week we have been waiting for final paperwork and yesterday at 3 pm came the phone call. That little house was finally theirs — the new owners — and I could at long last ‘do the dance’. Am I sad? Of course, there is a tinge of sadness for the life that wasn’t lived and I will never forget Lee, ever. But there is also great hope. This feeling is where I left off, it’s how I felt back in 2005 when Lee and I found that house and couldn’t wait to move in and start our life together. Then all of that was gone. It took a long time to find any of that hope again. Sure I have it in my writing and I love my life, but now…

… well now I have someone and a new wish list and we are looking for a home to rent here so we can be together and, finally, that buzz, that feeling I lost, that wonderful hope is there again; the one that was taken away when Lee was.

So thanks for the memories little house; the good and the bad. Thanks for looking after me. I am so glad I was part of that house’s history and now it is someone else’s future and I wish them every happiness ❤ Truly xxxxx


We are there!





1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized