I’m a published author!

Hello, Dear Reader! 

I finally put my head down and published my first book 11 days ago, 119 Style Boosts from the Size15Stylist.

I was responsible for everything from writing, drafting, editing and proofing, to technical details, pricing and marketing.

Yes, I published through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing programme.  And I feel elated; only a twenty year dream happening right before my laptop screen.

I can’t rest, though, book 2 has to be written (and edited and marketed) amongst my guest blogging and networking. 

But thought I’d share my fab news with you all!  What have you been up to lately?




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Just say Yes

Apparently, being a full-time writer/blogger means that the word no has cleared off from my vocabulary, for fear of missing out on an opportunity, whether a creative or financial one.

The Writing Cafe held a 24 hour writing event last month, which saw me donate novel-writing hours to the admin-ing of the event, and discovering twitter #24hourwriting  – I introduced tweets into our writing group last week, and we managed to rustle up a story in tweets, in between curses and damnations at the unreliability of technology.  Can heartily recommend the activity as an exercise in bonding.

And now, a few months on, back to the novel, which can’t be arsed writing itself.



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Last day of winter

From the longest month (January) to one very short month (February, for those with toddler-brain) Spring is officially here tomorrow. 

Perhaps Feb feels shorter because I’ve taken to writing full-time, but I wonder exactly when I had time to potter off to an office half the week.  Friday night and I’m still working – although I have wandered around the shops a couple of times this week, purely for inspiration. 

The nature of freelance is rather like a Spring-sort of hibernation; I’m taking on the work now so that when the sun hits the pavements my daughter and I will toddle off to the beach, and work can hang fire until Autumn.



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What full-time writing entails

This week I’ve:

  • posted notepads and cards for The Research Advisor, to promote my proofreading and motivating blog to students
  • edited, printed and displayed posters and cards around Plymouth University for the above blog
  • connected on social media to the Mumsnet bloggers network, fellow writers and readers on Twitter and caught up on Facebook
  • fended off a cold because I’m now self-employed and don’t have time or money for sick leave
  • woken up at five am with *too many “entrepreneurial ideas” on my mind
  • been genuinely excited that I’m responsible for every decision in my business

….and I enjoyed a cracking night out in dry weather with my IT expert (my dear Other Half)

What else can I look forward to as a freelance/free ranging human?

*there is no such thing as too many ideas!

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Full-time writer

I had my last day in work on Friday, and while I will miss paid employment, especially when new books are published or new shoes hit the shops, I am a full-time writer at last, in charge of my own density (thanks, BTTFs George McFly).

Scared? Oui.  Hard work looming? Most definitely.  Excited? Tremendously!  I can concentrate on my four blogs, my proofreading business, my consultancy work, and Writing. Capital W.

There will also, thankfully, be time for a spot of mothering to my gorgeous toddler-daughter, for a bit of reading and I may be able to accept visitors to the house, once I’ve grappled with the cobwebs that maintaining the above AND working in an office part-time simply didn’t allow for.

Here’s to February, and being a Free Range Human at last!

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February poem: Journey of the Magi

‘A cold coming we had of it.

Just the worst time of the year

For a journey, and such a long journey:

The ways deep and the weather sharp,

The very dead of winter.’


Taken out of context, slightly, as TS Eliot’s poem refers to the depths of December snow, detailing the Three Kings’ journey towards 25th December, but the words apt for such a long and wet and, frankly, miserable January.  February hasn’t started much better either, though I was able to contemplate setting foot outside without my waterproof jacket, for an hour or so yesterday (I live in the South West of the UK, would not have tried that had I still lived in Manchester).

What thoughts move you forward to Spring?

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Cursive writing classes

Do you remember learning to write joined-up, or cursive, writing in school?

fountain pen

Perhaps you had a fountain pen that you were allowed to use once a week, to practice writing copy neatly from the blackboard?

This was the topic of conversation in our writing group this evening.

We were tasked with exploring our writer autobiographies, and half of the group wrote about being aged 8-10 and learning this method, with varying degrees of success.  Leaky fountain pens, wonky writing that never looked as neat as your best friend, and rarely anything like the teacher’s handwriting. All our memories flooded back, including the rolling blackboards that were made up of half plain board, half lined board for cursive musings.

It makes me wonder what the students in today’s schools will remember in a few decades, about learning to write joined-up letters, particularly when everyone texts, and little marks are attributed to grammar and punctuation in GCSEs.

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