Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Guest post by Misha Gerrick: My Favorite Writing Quote

Today, I'm honoured to have the lovely Misha Gerrick on my blog talking about her favourite writing quote, as part of her tour for her new book, 'Endless' - what better for a little Tuesday inspiration for us all? Take it away, Misha!

My Favorite Writing Quote

I think that all writers have the same insecurity deep down. That niggling thought that says that we really shouldn’t be writing. The idea that in reality, we suck at it. That we’re deluding ourselves and we should be giving up.

Personally, I’m almost constantly battling against this little voice in the back of my head that says ‘you can’t write.’ Sometimes, the voice becomes as loud as a hurricane if I let it. But I have one thing I try to do every day in order to keep it under control.

And it comes from my favorite writing quote, which, ironically, isn’t actually about writing.

If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced - Vincent van Gogh

I’ve always thought of writing as painting with words, so for me, the quote totally works. It also goes to show that not only writers are hampered by that stupid little voice.

But it is an inspirational quote and instruction for being a writer rolled up in one.

Doubting that you can write today? Then write and prove yourself wrong. No one says you have to be good at writing. You just need to get a few words down for now. And then a few more tomorrow. Every word you write is proof that the voice in your head is a liar. You CAN write. And if you do it long enough, you’ll discover that you’re actually getting better at it.

What’s your favorite writing quote? Care to share a bit of encouragement with other writers? 

Endless - Misha Gerrick
First, do no harm.” Blake Ryan swore that oath to become a doctor. Ironic, given that he spent most of his thousand year life sucking souls out of other immortals.

Things are different now. Using regular shots of morphine to keep his inner monster at bay, Ryan has led a quiet life since the Second World War. His thrills now come from saving lives, not taking them.

Until a plane crash brings Aleria into his hospital. Her life is vibrant. Crack to predators like him. She’s the exact sort of person they would hunt, and thanks to a severe case of amnesia, she’s all but defenseless.

Leaving Aleria vulnerable isn’t an option, but protecting her means unleashing his own inner monster. Which is a problem, because his inner monster wants her dead most of all.

About the Author

Misha Gerrick lives near Cape Town, South Africa, and can usually be found staring at her surroundings while figuring out her next book.

If you’d like to see what Misha’s up to at the moment, you can find her on these social networks:

Monday, 23 May 2016

The Full Moon Cinema and I

You may be aware that I moved back to Cumbria a couple of weeks ago - I'd be surprised if you didn't seeing as how I go on about about it at every opportunity! 

On one of my last visits up here before I moved back permanently, I saw a sign outside the village hall saying, 'FILM SHOWING ON SUNDAY: PAUL. 7.30PM.' I went home and asked my mum about it, and she told me that once a month the village hall runs a film night - you pay £5 for a ticket, and you can take in whatever snacks and drinks you like. This immediately piqued my interest - being a huge film lover, I knew that I had to go at some stage. Plus, I haven't been inside the new village hall since it was rebuilt a few years ago, and I was desperate for a nosy round. However, having seen 'Paul' before, I wasn't too keen to repeat the experience.

This month - a mere week after I moved back - posters and signs for this month's showing appeared around the village and it was for one of my favourite films of all time, 'Django Unchained'.

I immediately told The Engineer that he wasn't allowed to have any plans for Sunday 22nd May as we were going to the village hall for a film night. He went along with me, and last night at 7.15pm we walked down to the village hall. It was great walking to the cinema without having to pay for petrol or parking.

When we got there, I had a chat with the lady on the door who's lived in the village since before I was born; that's what I missed in Norfolk, up here, everyone stops to chat to you. After paying our £10, we went into the hall and I was pleasantly surprised. I was expecting a screen about the size you might see in a  classroom - big enough, but not massive. The projector screen they had was huge.  It practically blocked off one end of the hall! And they'd set out three tables with tablecloths and candles for you to sit at if you wanted to, which was a nice touch, as well as a row of chairs behind. 

There was a total of seven of us there. The people who run it told me during the interval (yeah that's right, we had an interval where we could go and make ourselves a cup of tea and have a biscuit - amazing!!) that the've had up to 30 people before, but since light nights/summer began, less and less people have been showing up. It costs them about £120 to run - you don't have to be good at maths to figure out they were definitely making a loss last night.

I've decided that I'm going to go along and support the film night every month if I can. To me, it just seems like such a great idea to get the community together, and it would be shame if they had to close it down due to lack of numbers. Next month's showing will be 'Birdman' - once again, a film that I've seen but didn't particularly enjoy. However, I'll be going along anyway with my bag of Maltesers and my pick 'n' mix to show my support; I've already informed my parents that they'll be coming with me.

Oh, and the 'Full Moon Cinema' name? Turns out they called it that because they have the film nights once a month when there's a full moon. I thought that was a brilliant idea. And sure enough, when The Engineer and I walked back home at 10.45pm, I looked up into the clear sky and there was a bright full moon hanging there. It was magical.

If you live in England and you want to find out more about these community run film nights, you can check out the Cine North website here - I'm sure there are others run up and down the country, but my local one is run by Cine North.

Have you ever been to/heard of community run cinemas? What did you think? Would you go to one if your local hall/community centre put one on?

Friday, 13 May 2016

Sunny Cumbria and Feelin' Happy...

Happy Friday, everyone!

It's hard to believe that this time last week it was my last day at work. This week has absolutely flown by, but I've loved every minute of it. Last Saturday, I drove back home to Cumbria with a car full of clothes and I officially moved back in with my parents. All this week I've been helping dad on the farm (there's not much to do now that we only have five cows to milk and we let all the stirks – teenage calves – out in the fields on Wednesday, so there's only seven calves to feed now too), writing out and sending my wedding invitations, applying for jobs and generally helping out my parents. It's been bliss.

I don't know if it's the fact that I'm finally home after eight years away, or the unseasonably good weather, or the beauty of the Lakes or the fact that I'm back with my family, but I just feel so...happy.

Who wouldn't feel happy waking up to this every day?

It's like a balm has been applied to my soul – I can feel something deep inside me healing, something that I didn't know needed to be healed until now. I feel like, for once, I'm exactly where I should be at this moment in time.

Bringing in our small herd for milking

Every time I wake up in the morning, I'm filled with a sense of wonder and excitement and gratitude (the gratitude is for my parents for letting me and the Engineer stay with them for a while until we find our feet – thank you mother bear and father bear!). Every time I go for the cows, or check the stock, or walk the dog, I look around in amazement – I found myself simply staring at the fells this morning when I went to check on the cows – it's almost as if I'm trying to drink in as much as possible, like I'm afraid one day I'll wake up the fells and lakes won't be there anymore (which is understandable, seeing as how I've lived away from home for the past eight years).

The stirks we let out in the fields this week

Like I said, this week I've managed to send out all my wedding invitations, which feels like a good job done, and I've managed to pick up a couple of shifts in the local cafe, which means I don't have to worry quite so much about money. I may not have found a full time job yet – but far from the crippling anxiety and fear I was feeling in Norfolk over this prospect, now I feel much calmer – what will be, will be, and I know something will come along eventually. In fact, I was just reflecting on this as I walked Bess around the village this morning; when I came back I got the post from the post box, and there was a letter inviting me for an interview for a job I applied for last week. So you see, the power of positive thinking :).

Also spending my time looking after this little menace!

The parents are away this weekend in London, so it's up to me to look after the farm while they're gone. Hopefully the good weather will last, so me and The Engineer can do some exploring when we're not milking!

Have a great weekend, folks!

Have you ever felt like things are gradually falling into place, or that you're exactly where you should be in life? Have you ever been to the Lakes? How's the weather with you?

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Guest Post: Birth of a Series by Chrys Fey + Giveaway!

The Birth of a Series

After I finished Hurricane Crimes and even after publishing it, I hadn’t planned on writing a sequel, let alone a series. But when readers started to ask what happened before the story and what would happen next, I sat back to think about the possibility. I had ended Hurricane Crimes in a way that I was happy about for a short romantic-suspense. Then I looked closer at the plot and realized something major. When Hurricane Crimes ends, Beth and Donovan had caught one of the killers who murdered Donovan’s brother, but one was still at large. How could I end a story like that with no real closure? I couldn’t!

(Technically, I did, but I couldn’t keep it that way.)

The moment I realized I had to continue the story, I immediately knew I would keep the disaster theme for the sequel. So say “Hello” to SEISMIC CRIMES!

The idea to turn this into several books came to mind a moment later, and I knew how to link each one with criminals and disasters. And there you have it: The Disaster Crimes Series was born.

Title: Seismic Crimes
Author: Chrys Fey
Series: Disaster Crimes Series (Book Two)
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Format: Digital and Print
Page Count: 282




An Internal Affairs Investigator was murdered and his brother, Donovan Goldwyn, was framed. Now Donovan is desperate to prove his innocence. And the one person who can do that is the woman who saved him from a deadly hurricane—Beth Kennedy. From the moment their fates intertwined, passion consumed him. He wants her in his arms. More, he wants her by his side in his darkest moments.

Beth Kennedy may not know everything about Donovan, but she can’t deny what she feels for him. It’s her love for him that pushes her to do whatever she has to do to help him get justice, including putting herself in a criminal’s crosshairs.

When a tip reveals the killer's location, they travel to California, but then an earthquake of catastrophic proportions separates them. As aftershocks roll the land, Beth and Donovan have to endure dangerous conditions while trying to find their way back to one another. Will they reunite and find the killer, or will they lose everything?


Amazon CA / NOOK / KOBO 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, 6 May 2016

Facing the future...

Today has felt like the first day of summer; it's Friday, the sun's shining, the birds are singing...and it was my last day as a teaching assistant.

Yup, tomorrow I'm moving back home to Cumbria. Do I have a job yet? Nope (more on that next week). But I'm feeling very optimistic - a huge change from a few days ago.

I didn't think I'd feel so sad today - when I left my last 'proper' job, I couldn't wait to get out of there and shut the door behind me forever. But even though this job has been stressful, reduced me to tears and had me internally screaming most days...there was still a part of me that didn't want to leave. To be honest, most days I loved my job - and I especially loved the people I worked with. Even though I'm socially awkward and I don't make friends easily, for the most part, I rubbed along well enough with everyone. In fact, it was reading through all their goodbye messages in my card that made me well up more than anything.

In fact, in the car on the way home, I started wondering if I'd made a huge mistake by asking my fiance to move back to Cumbria with me. Should we have stayed in Norfolk? Should I have kept my job for a few more years? Have I made a colossal mistake and I'll live to regret it to the day I die?

But then I remembered something - I handed my notice in for a reason. Just like there's always a reason that your ex-boyfriend/girlfriend is an ex and not your current boyfriend/girlfriend.

And that reason is the same reason that many couples end up breaking up - I simply didn't see a future there anymore.

I don't want to be a teacher - having seen first-hand all the effort, blood, sweat and tears that teachers go through every day, I know it's not the career for me - I'm just simply not passionate enough about education to justify spending thousands of pounds and getting further into debt to gain my PGCE and then quit after my first year. And even though I will be forever indebted to my school and it's team for giving me back all the confidence I lost after leaving my last job, and giving me so many opportunities and just simply for believing in me; I can't justify staying there if it's a) not the career I want and b) if I don't get paid enough for what my job title demands I do (note: that's not the school's fault; I know all school budgets are tight and I fully believe that TA's everywhere are seriously underpaid).

I don't want to take my next job just for the money though - I want it to be in something that I'm interested and passionate in (or at least, interested enough to put food on the table while I write at nights) - what's the point in life if you simply mindlessly work your way through your days with no interest in what you're doing?

So even though I don't have a job to go to yet, I'm not giving up. I firmly believe that everything happens for reason, and it happens in it's own time. So for now, I'm going to enjoy my time at home, get cracking on my job search, and wait and see what happens. Is that scary? Yes, it's bloody terrifying! But, to be honest, I won't have it any other way. I'm moving back home to be with my friends and my family, who live in a beautiful part of the world, and who I know will always have my back, no matter what.

Enjoy the sunny weather this weekend, folks! Here's to the future :)

My last day of school treat! Getting to ride my 
headteacher's tractor round the playground :D!

Have you ever regretted leaving a job? Or do you believe that everything falls into place for a reason? What are your plans for the weekend?

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

May IWSG: Wading through treacle...

I'm such a ditz. I've been lying on my bed since 6pm this evening, bored out of my mind - five minutes ago I just happened to be scrolling through Twitter on my phone when I saw someone's link to their IWSG post for this month. I can't believe that I forgot about it AGAIN - not only that, but I could've been crafting an amazing post all night (yeah, right), but instead, you're going to have to make do with this thrown together one. Sorry folks.

I'm actually glad that today is an IWSG post day, as the next blog post I was planning to write about was all to do with insecurity/fear - not to do with my writing, but in other areas of my life. I won't go into detail here, as I'm well aware the last IWSG post I did veered away from writing too, and I don't want to deviate from the the rules again. But at least today's post has got me up from out of bed and actually sitting down at the computer and writing - something I've been sorely lacking lately.

My insecurity this month does indeed stem from my lack of writing. I can't decide if I'm procrastinating in every way possible, or if it's just apathy. I'm kinda hoping it's the former. If I'm completely honest with myself, I've had such a long break from doing any serious writing, I can't justify it to myself anymore. I need to get back into the swing of it. But every time I think to myself that I'll sit down and write, it feels like I'm wading through treacle (both physically and mentally).

Here in England, we've just had a three day weekend to celebrate May Day. Oh, the luxury of having an entire extra day off work! When I woke up on Saturday morning, the weekend seemed to stretch out endlessly, full of exciting possibilities. And for the first time in months, I actually felt like writing. I even had an idea for the sequel to Synthetica, something which has been a long time coming.

But did I do it? No. Of course I didn't - because I managed to convince myself that other things were more important (actually, in all fairness, I do need a new job ASAP as I finish work for good on Friday, but apart from that, everything else could probably have waited). Housework, eating, playing the sims, more eating...all so much more important than writing - something I'm desperate to make a career out of.

I need to get out of this mindset. Like I said, there's no logical reason for me to put it off for so long. Yes, I am moving house and have a wedding to plan for July, but even so, if I really wanted to, I could write at least 100 words a night. But instead, I've spent the past two weeks watching Netflix and looking up funny cat videos on my phone (I wish I was joking, but I'm really not). And now, because my life just isn't complete without bouts of crippling anxiety and self-doubt, there's a part of my brain that feels like it's somehow too late to start blogging/writing again now - which is utterly ridiculous.

I'll admit it - I need your help, guys. I need someone to tell me to get my shit together and stop whinging and just do it. After all, the only thing that's holding me back is myself. Please send help...and cake if you have any ;)

How do you get back into writing after taking a long break? What are your insecurities this month?