Only been trying to finish it for two years so no pressure right?! Maybe it's a bit too soon to say this, but I feel like I may finally be getting back in the game. After a year of heartache and fleeting bouts of anxiety which threw me way off course, I think that maybe now I am finding my equilibrium again. Of course, it could be a 24 hour bug of creativity and happiness but I will attempt desperately to parlay this mini break from the greyness of 2016 into something more substantial.
At least if I'm quiet for a while, it will be because I am writing and not crying sadly into my coffee mug.
October 26th 2016 - October 26!! Really!? 3 whole months and nothing to update?! Shame on me! No wonder my site views are down, I am the lone doughnut in the bakery, the one sad bystander at the party.... Just sad!
If I had a defense, I would say I have been busy. But busy being sad is not an excuse. No writing for me at all recently. No books, no blogs, no intros. The creative heartbeat that fueled me once in now in a catatonic state and threatens to do a Sunny Bulow and never wake up. God, I hope this isn't so.
So my writing? Nada. Nothing to report. Plenty of things in the pipeline and not one ounce of inspiration. And my life, even more pathetic.
As Thomas Wolfe said once, "You can't go home again". I hope for my sake and my creative process that he was lying.
July 26th 2016 - Having spent the last four days writing, websurfing and playing far too many computer games, it's back to work tomorrow. Seems funny to me that all of my favourite past-times ultimately lead to a serious case of RSI (Nudge nudge wink wink).
At least now it's cool enough to sleep at night. As any Brit will tell you, we can not cope with extremes of weather. Too hot = Everyone wears flips flops, denim cut offs, vests, all of which make us look less Giselle and more like Hulk Hogan, and we fan themselves with whichever newspaper is to hand. We complain... a lot. If you don't have a fan in your house when the heatwave begins, you will not get one as all of the shops, both online and in store, sell out in minutes. The London Overground is lovely, a cool breeze as you zip along. And the new continuous trains are the bomb! One long snake that you can walk the length of if you so wish (I don't! I stand on escalators - to walk up or down one is to take away the very meaning of their blessed existence. But I digress). The new trains have sealed windows but blissful air conditioning. On the platform, you feel like you are going to die but as that train pulls in you can practically hear the swoon of gratitude as you clamber on and that air con hits. Hmmm, makes me glad to get back to the train... erm, I mean work.
And if it's too cold, many many layers of mismatched woollens that you have to shed and unravel like a mummy as you reach your destination. I have seen people shrink 2 or 3 dress sized by this practise alone. And the roads, if you are like me and live near a main road, you are golden as Councils always make sure these roads are salted, but heaven forbid you live somewhere off the beaten track, or say Edmonton. Salt becomes rarer than saffron and twice as expensive. So Spring and Autumn are the best.
Although I personally prefer Autumn, always have done. Now even more so based on my manicurist's observations about Spring colours. Yes, I know, I don't seem like a Manicurist kind of gal, and in truth, I've only been twice, each time for a Gellish-Shellac manicure that should last up to four weeks but that I manage to gnaw off within two. At £26 a go, that's a pricey snack. Essentially my friend and I go once a month and chose our lurid/vibrant shades, both secretly wanting black, and we both know that our manicurist will frown and shake her head. "That's not a Spring colour!" she will announce in that condescending tone that suggests we are idiots. I almost imagine her throwing bottles of pink polish at our heads whilst shrieking out the word pink much as Lola (the divine Chiwetel Ejiofor) does for red in "Kinky Boots" (Which is also in my #365DaysofStuff where I recommend music, books, films and tv - Jus' sayin'!) .June 26th 2016 - So I don't know if you heard, but the UK took part in an EU referendum and the overall result was that we voted to leave. So be it. For the last 48 hours I have watched people I once considered intelligent vent copiously about how political they are and how much they know. And it makes my arse twitch. Social media should be fun, it is not a forum for you to spew out mind crap and if you think I will read your posts and agree, you can just bog off. Politics, religion and sexual orientation are all subjects that should be private. Share with those you know and keep the rest behind closed doors. If you are happy I am happy. Just don't spam my feed with your nonsense.
Off now to delete and block the idiots.
Enjoy your weekend
June 11th 2016 - Lots to do and lots has been done. It always amuses to me to read back over my posts and see my state of mind at the time. Talk about swings and roundabouts... I'm like an emotionally saturated Alton Towers! Yay I'm writing! Sob I'm not writing! All variations of the same theme.
Lets start with the fact that I am writing. I did go back to my European romp (See May 22nd) but beyond that I'm now cracking out something that is completely different for me. And weirder still, it's a collaboration... with my Mother. She had an idea for a story but has neither the patience nor the inclination to write more than 6 lines of a brief and hand over the reins. So each weekend I write like a mother and hand over my pages on Sundays for reviews and critiques. On the first weekend, I braced myself for the volley of criticism but amazingly, it never came. She just said it was brilliant. And once I pried myself of the floor and calmed down I went straight back to the keyboard. Now Brilliant is a little strong but it's a great idea (Thanks Ma!) and so far it's writing itself so for now, I'm backing away from sex and passion and delving into the world of crime and thrillers... with only a small amount of nookie, because hey, you have to write what you love :)
And when I need to step away, I have the new Kitty French novel, Melody Bittersweet and The Girls' Ghostbusting Agency to review. Received as an ARC from NetGalley.com via Bookouture, it's a departure from her previous novels, primarily the hot hot hot Knight stories but written with the same deft hand. Halfway through and loving it so far. Keep an eye out for my full review on my Blog as well as Amazon and Goodreads.
It's what weekends were made for
May 22nd 2016 - So 2016 was going to be my year. New job, new start and all that jazz. Thought I'd write lots and unleash my creativity into the world. Thus far... Nada.
But that's okay. I would rather not write than write something I didn't believe in. My mojo has taken an overlong sabbatical, hence the lack of intro or blog posts and I just have nothing to say at this point. Except I do. Something exquisite has happened and I am now in writing mode. It all started with a dream....
So a while back I started writing a story after being inspired by the gorgeous Jasinda Wilder. Delilah's Diary. A tale of a BBW starting over again and finding love with a sexy Italian. Only me being me, I decided to write a tale of a woman flirting and fucking her way across Europe... as you do. Started it, created my characters, plotted it out and then.... sage brush silence. Couldn't get into it, didn't care. Just had no hint of a f&*% of where I was going and even if I wanted to. And then last night. Last night I dreamt of Luca. Of the fictional paramore I had created all those long months ago. I dreamt of his words, his passion, his masculinity. Damn, I woke up aroused and confused this morning. So here I sit, pounding the keyboard in an vain attempt to bring even a fraction of what I dreamt to the page.
It may take a while but I am now back in the game. Enthused and invigorated. Primed as it were.
Life is good.
March 17th 2016 - So three days into my "New" life. Being a commuter does not exactly fill me with joy. In my "New" life rose tinted imagination, I pictured dreamy journeys spent sitting reading my Kindle and plotting new story ideas. In reality, I spend 45 minutes nose to armpit with other equally disgruntled persons unknown, counting the number of stops until I can breathe clean air again. And then I disembark and smoke a cigarette?! I did not envisage 6.30am as a humane time to get up, I never imagined I would smile so much and I never... NEVER thought I'd wear a dress and smart shoes ANYWHERE.
For three days I have not sworn, or argued, or threatened a single human being. I have seen men in three piece suits and spats and fedoras walking dogs dressed better than me; the most glamorous older ladies imaginable popping into M&S, as perfectly coiffed and adorned at if they were attending a Society wedding, just like most mortals use the corner shop (Which I do frequently in my PJs). I have walked for miles, seen architecture and history and sat munching sandwiches (From M&S, because that's blatantly who I am now!) whilst sitting in a beautiful clean green park space in the centre of Hampstead Heath, surrounded by know-it-all pigeons with a taste for the finer things (They turned their beaks up at my smoked ham and coleslaw sandwich) and quotes from some of the greatest names in literature.
My current favourite is John Keat's "Ode on a Grecian Urn" "Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all, Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know." I do not yet belong. I am still Maccy D's and Gregg's sausage rolls, a swearing, feisty argumentative ball of bile, suddenly transposed to a world that does not mesh with who I am. Or who I was. Or who I shall become...
Which brings me to another honoured voice, one of my idols, the fiercly spiky and intelligent Janeanne Garofalo, a comedienne, actress and activist who never seems to give a shit, “Taking into account the public's regrettable lack of taste, it is incumbent upon you not to fit in.”
So here I go, not fitting in, and trying as hard as I can, not to care. Here's to not fitting in.
March 12th 2016 - Today is the first day of the rest of my life. Yesterday I left my job. Five and a half years and three weeks notice worked and I am about to embark on a whole new big adventure. Am I scared? Am I excited? Neither really, but I am female and welsh and between the two, as a product of breeding, I have been taught to keep my expectations low. Seriously though, I can't wait. As I sat in my exit interview, I kept repeating "I just want to go" like I was on auto pilot. So a huge life affirming change. Go me!
Weirdest part(s): Firstly I have cried for about a week. Every time someone said something nice, I cried. Tears spilled like rain, unbidden and unwanted. I DO NOT CRY. For five years, I have been stoic, an unfeeling, uncaring bastion of WTF. I left a legacy. And that legacy was H²0.
Secondly, today I started writing again. Properly. After three months not being able to write more than a paragraph I have started something new. Full of verve and ideas. It may be rubbish but I feel like I want to do this again. The shackles of what has been are gone and I feel like me again. That makes me think that whatever happens from here on in, that it is the right thing to do. That circumstances have been out of my control and I have been subdued. And a subdued me is an unhappy me.
So in summation. It is okay to cry, after five days you don't have anything left to spill from your tear ducts so just be strong. You will never know what you truly mean to people until you say goodbye, and that will make you sob. You will find out who the people are who really matter. And you will find out who you really are. How strong you can be. Like Nike, just do it. Don't let fear hold you back.
Looking forward and feeling creative. #NoMoreTears
February 21st 2016 - So it's been a while... For those of you unfortunate to read my NYE diatribe, be grateful I spared you the Valentine's version. That shit is twisted and bleak. It's been too long... too long without an update, too long without writing. My sense of self is suspended, swimming in a sea of self doubt, worried that I can't do it anymore, that I don't want too, that I shouldn't...
Turns out, I'm fine. Just frustrated. Frustrated at work, my personal like isn't exactly sparkling and my mojo is a no-go. The last few weeks have been major... changes are afoot and I for one can't wait. Look forwards my friends, not back. No-one can tell you what to feel or what you are worth. Tears may be shed, some of them yours but those too shall dry. Hopefully in the next few weeks I shall be myself again. Time to look forward. To new experiences, new words and just new. Life is an ever evolving cycle of experiences, some scary, some great.
I'm excited. Are you?
January 17th 2016 - Finally back at the keyboard. After a month off, overwhelmed with a Christmas deadline that I never had a chance of meeting despite my wonderful editor's help and support, a slump which saw me turn my back on writing in a fit of pique, I am back. I dreamed of it, ideas forming in my slumbering brain, continuing to grow and blossom during my waking hours, much to the detriment of my job. But who cares about that, I'm a creative sort :)
Back doing what makes me happiest. This year I am not setting myself goals. I tried it last year and failed to meet them, making myself feel like crap. This year, I'm just going to see what happens and take off the pressure. As an amateur writer, it doesn't really matter what I do or don't write. It is just really for me so no sense in making myself crazy.
On a positive note, I've now started seeing feedback come in through Lit and Goodreads and it's almost all overwhelming positive. That alone has been crucial in my attitude. There are people out there who like what I write and because of them, I want to write more, to see if I can create something they will like. Of course, if they hate it, I shall probably retreat to my bed and sob for a month but that's a chance I have to take, a risk that all writer's take on a daily basis. So no deadlines, no NaNoReMo, no pressure.
Feeling positive. Long may it continue
January 11th 2016 - "'In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”
Attributed to Daniel Defoe, Margaret Mitchell and Benjamin Franklin. Pretty deep but nonetheless true. We are made, born, if lucky live, and then die.
Today, I saw a phenomenon I have not seen since the death of Princess Diana (Cision peeps – you feel me?). My FB feed was 98% about the sad passing of a musical scion.
An outpouring of emotion and love and grief; a vast myriad of people sharing stories and memories about a man who shaped and elevated our lives. David Bowie. A visionary, who shocked many, elicited devotion from others. A man who lived his life as he saw fit. Breaking barriers, stereotypes, taboos. For all of the hype today about gender fluidity, Bowie was the forebearer, making people question themselves about what was and wasn’t sexually acceptable. Because of who he chose to be back then, of the characters and personas he adopted, we are more accepting of others now. Let this be his legacy. His music, and his creative freedom. His desire to live a normal life. To wander the streets of New York searching for books and culture. To just be. To be a husband, a father, just a man living his marvellous life.
We feel sad beyond measure that such a cultural icon should leave this planet yet it is a truth that will befit us all. Whether said by Defoe, or Franklin, or Mitchell, nothing is guaranteed. Alas, we all walk the same road.
Some of us have felt great loss. Some of us are lucky enough to not yet feel that particular emotional burn. It does not, and should not matter. But still it hovers above us all.
Personally I adored him. Loved his Je Nais Sais Quoi. How he just did his own thing. Plus I am of the generation when Jim Henson’s Labyrinth was released, creating nightmares far beyond the norm for a legion of Bowie newcomers. Jarrod was just mind-blowing, the hair, the vibes, the scowl. Shivers.
Things happen. Life alters. People pass. Whether celebrities, family or friends. Personally I think the best thing we can do to celebrate a life is to live our own. Shit happens. People leave, whether intentionally or not. We are still here. Don’t be sad, not wallow in the melancholy. Do both me and yourselves a favour, celebrate NOW. Be joyful, laugh loudly, take those small ideas and make them vast adventures. Take those risks, be that person. Just do those things that scare you.
It’s just as simple as this. Just be. Realise that you can’t control it. Enjoy it, revel in it, sing along loudly. And remember. Pass the torch. Our Gods will soon enough become the Gods of another generation.
Torch passed. Just let that shit go. I promise, you’ll feel better.
God speed. And love and luck to your family, the same as I would wish to everyone who has struggled and battled with loss.
January 3rd 2016 - Oh the joys of waking up on the last day of your Christmas hols with a head full of cold and a chest full of infection. Woop woop! Now teetering on the knife edge of calling in sick tomorrow which will look off even though I feel like dirt or going in and being all martyr-ish and typhoid ridden.
On the plus side, at least I got it now and not on the first day off so it's all swings and roundabouts.
Love Cate xx
December 29th 2015 - Finally thrown out the remnants of the turkey. After 4 days of festive food, I am now gagging for a pizza, or a chinese, or anything that doesn't go well with cranberry sauce and sprouts. I ate, I drank, I attempted Merry. Got my arse kicked multiple times at Trivial Pursuit and vegged out in velour PJs steadfastedly ignoring the final episode of Downton Abbey. So a pretty awesome holiday, especially by my standards. All I have to do is survive New Year's Eve and I'll be golden.
I . HATE. NYE.
Just everything about it winds me up. Why should I pay an entrance fee to get into my local (if I had one still) just because it's NYE? And once inside, crammed against the dank dreary walls like a human sardine, jostling for air against a hoard of under-dressed, underage patrons, if I do manage to finagle a space at the bar, why in the name of all that is holy, should I have to pay at least double for a drink that would have cost far less 24 hours previously?! Bars, clubs, pubs... it's the same everywhere. How about going into London you say? Go to Trafalgar Square and watch the festivities? Right.... It's cold, liable to rain, transportation will be a more intense version of the human sardines of earlier and invariably you will need to take a leak at some point and end up queuing at the local MacDonalds along with the four thousand people in a similar predicament. And after getting neck strain trying to see anything at all, you have to try to get home, you and the myriad of fellow cold, pissed off and knackered souls pushing and squeezing into a tube train that smells vaguely of urine.... Pass!
Considering NYE is supposed to be a time for New Beginnings I don't know of one single soul who has a positive NYE story to tell. Wallets lost, hearts broken, wardrobe malfunctions, urrgggh. The New Year where the only person who would kiss you was your dad. The New Year when the only man who would kiss you had literally just been sick and descended upon you like a shark sensing blood. The New Year where you ingested far too much gin, passed out at 4pm and woke on on January 1st (yeah, that one was me!). Maybe I'm just an old fart, but these days, I watch the Year in Review, start to watch the fireworks, have a rant at the amount it costs the tax payer to pay for the aforementioned fireworks and how they aren't as good as they used to be like I'm 80 and then shuffle off to bed. Usually I then cover my head with a pillow as the remainder of my usually quiet postcode set off enough fireworks to blow a small country to smithereens. Finally by about 1.30am they are done and I can remove the pillow and slowly slide into slumber... Wait, there is still one prick out there who thinks NYE is a licence to behave like a total blowhole at 3 o'clock in the morning.
Auld Lang's Syne? Should old acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind? I saw a film which covered this exact topic, only I can't recall anything who was in it, or what it was called, absolutely nothing other than the gist of this.... Should we remember that we forgot someone, although how are we meant to do that if we forgot you in the first place. Or if we forgot you, and there is probably a great reason we did, should we then be forced to remember that we forgot someone and the heinous thing you did that made us expunge you from our memories just so we can relieve the awful deeds and then feel smugly self satisfied that we did indeed, forget you for a large parcel of time and for very good reason. IT MAKES NO SENSE. AT ALL.
And finally, Resolutions. WTF!!! Why wait until January 1st to start something you want/need to do?! If you know you need to go on a diet in March, why wait?! Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today. Resolutions in general are just hokum, lies we tell ourselves to get through the holidays. Yes, I'm going to take up running/crocheting/bonsai topiary. Please. Just admit that you are going to be the same things in 365 days that you are currently swearing to give up. The only Resolution I have ever kept is the one to never make resolutions. I have no staying power and I happen to love all of my vices. I'd rather take up something on December 26th just so I could give it up 5 days later... if you told me I absolutely had to make a resolution... and I liked you... a lot. So not happening dude!
Happy New Year :)
December 20th 2015 - At Christmas, we think of a) all of the things we are grateful for and b) all of the things we want. So here goes...
I am grateful for the following:
1) Those gorgeous creatures in my life who show honesty and realness with every word, emotion and reaction of their very souls... i.e my friends and family... the people I don't ever show my Bitchy Resting Face to. The people I care about, that I engage with, who talk to me about things beyond work or play, those who think and worry and have a life beyond X Factor. I love and salute you. Keep doing what you're doing because I for one, love you.
2) The Nice Bus Driver who on occasion lets me ride for free when my fat lazy arse can't be fecked to walk to the Oyster top Up Shop.
3) The Fish and Chip shop in Southgate that delivers the best Haddock in North London and gives me free buttered rolls occasionally. Fish&chips@
4) Wine. You have got me through more than you can ever know. The laughter, the tears, the inevitable weight gain... Hmmm, maybe you are on the wrong list.
5) Coffee. You gorgeous creature, I owe you my all. I may be short but at least I'm hyper and usually extremely awake. Because of you I shall ever be Caffeinated Cate.
6) Wikipedia. My knowledge is mostly wrong but always varied.
7) My readers. Those who love me, like me and loathe me. Although less those who loathe me... Kidding! All writers need readers, you are the reason we exist. Writing is 90% writing and 10% being read so Thank You! And feedback is always important. Without it, how can we know whether what we are writing is any good, or believable or interesting. Although I could live without some of the insults!
8) My editors. Eric C, SoCalCynic and now the brilliant Gorza. Thank you for your time and patience and talent. I know that I am practically beyond redemption but I appreciate everything you do. Gorza, if you ever read this, I hope we continue to work together but seriously dude, you need to write more! You are far superior to me and say more in three pages than I can in a lifetime :)
9) Cats. Mostly my own two, but cats in general. Furry, purring bundles of scornful love. You may hate my affection but I still give it gladly. Snuggles and scratches forever. And that's just me.
10) Writing. Some have said I suck, but I try to ignore them. A creative outlet keeps me sane in a world full of madness and lets me create my own little worlds and just be something more than I ever thought I could be. It may come to naught, but at least on my deathbed, I can say I tried, and that once in a while, I made someone happy with something I wrote.
And here's what I want, or politely, would like:
1) For people to judge people as people. Not as a caste, or a country, or even a religion. Do unto others... We are all blood and flesh and bone. The rest just comes down to good or bad decision making and good judgement is a personal, individual state of mind.
2) To find a pizza that makes me burn calories instead of gaining a double chin, and a bottle of wine that does not make me bloat like a goddamn zeppelin.
3) Youth. Oil of Olay can only go so far. But if I may, I'd like to retain the knowledge I have now with the face I had then. If that can't happen, I'll stick with what I have.
4) For good deeds to become part of every day life and not something that makes headlines. Shock News! Someone did something nice for someone they didn't know for no reason other than they just could. Oh the humanity!
5) For Starbucks/Burger King/Costa to make home deliveries to my postcode. I am never loosing that double chin am I?
6) Read. Just read. Be informed. Learn. Absorb. Ask questions. Just one a day if necessary. The brain is an important organ... challenge it every day. No one will ever think less of you for asking... I promise.
7) For people to accept that my Bitchy Resting Face is inherent. Yes. I usually look like this. Don't take it personally. It really isn't you, it's me.
8) World Peace. Said in the style of Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality. That hair. That sash. That makeover. But truly. Just be nice to each other.
9) For more sleep. It's my own fault, if I'm writing at 3am I'm not sleeping, but I can't help it. And if I'm not writing I'm thinking about it. So it's a vicious cycle that I may never break. Farewell ZZZs.
10) For everyone reading this to have a happy, healthy and love filled holiday. All the good, none of the bad and a year of goodness to look forward to. For the sun to shine, the beer to not hinder you and for those you love to prosper and grow without fear or hurt or sadness. Life is hard enough.
If you read this, you are far better than I gave you credit for, but thank you. And I am as shallow as a very shallow thing. Obviously. A puddle of shallowness disguised as an ocean of something. Think about what you want and make it happen. Life is already a series of mini challenges/battles/wars, believe in yourselves to overcome them. I believe in you.
Over and Out
December 13th 2015 - Pre-Lit tree arrived. Still in Box. Not feeling it at all this year. Not even Mariah Carey warbling at the top of her lungs can save me now. I am the Shane MacGowan of Christmas. With marginally better teeth.
On the plus side, the Editor has resurfaced. Glad he is not dead. On the negative, he has picked up on all of the lazy writing I've done and the generic terminology I spouted as I raced to complete Part 5. I knew it was bad and really shouldn't have sent it. It needs a full rewrite not a few minor punctuation changes. And I knew it. And he found it, and told me and showed me how to make it better, God bless him. Which just makes me feel uplifted and dismayed. Emotionally bipolar. Shows how good an Editor he is and how not good a writer I am. (Even that sentence blows!) Joy on top of joy, with added sprinkles. My Christmas story may well have to wait for next year as I have neither the time nor the inclination to finish it now. Instead I have started a Regency menage romp... why wouldn't I? I'm thinking it's great that I'm still writing at this point. I just wonder if anyone other than me will ever read it. As ever, I face a stumbling block in one direction and turn a full 180 and trot merrily along, foisted by my own petard. Back and forth and back and forth and never really getting anywhere. Which I think, makes me a grown up. Christmas should be about hopes and happiness and boundless joy. The glee on a child's face, the excitement of one's dreams realised. Log fires and chestnuts and all that crap. Bah humbug! Right now I feel like battening down the hatches and turning on the gas. Not literally of course, you have to remember that I am an aspiring writer and prone to the melodramatic. I am quite alright, sane, healthy, rational. No desperate cry for attention here. Just not feeling the Christmas spirit... Not one jot.
Surrounded by happy people, couples, kids, love. Tis the season of good cheer and good will to all men. I feel like Bill Murray in Scrooged, only less hang dog.
Blah blah blah.
Off to watch Die Hard, the only Christmas movie I can stomach. Is it wrong that I find Alan Rickman sexy as hell?
December 6th 2015 - Time flies when you are having fun. When you are suffering for your art, less so. Found myself a gem of an editor, someone who could mould me, help me, make me see the possibilities. Things were going well and now I'm two weeks into radio silence. Maybe I work best alone a la Greta Garbo, or maybe I'm too stuck in my ways. No-one likes criticism but I'd like to think I'm able to see that other people have opinions too. So maybe it's me, maybe I'm not that good, maybe I'm too stuck in my ways and words. Urrrggghhh... feels lousy. Even ordered a new pre-lit Christmas tree in the hopes of galvanising my spirit. Twinkle lights make everything better. I hope. Fingers crossed.
September 26th - Despite the best of intentions, life has a habit of kicking my arse. So since my last update, I have finally finished Fish Out Of Water and re-edited and re-submitted it to www.literotica.com. My first draft got battered, quite fairly as it was terrible and thanks to SCC and his awesome editorial prowess I have a better constructed story and a new list of words I can use and abuse at will. Had you ever heard of Stygian?
I also started and completed another story, Mrs Robinson, which is as you can probably guess is a Cougar tale but with a twist. Voting wise it's been battered as I have a few trolls who seem to live to give me 1s but the comments have been overwhelmingly positive. Not that I write for scores, I loved it, loved writing it and even if it sounds like ego in stereo I think it reads well. And if I can annoy an Anonymous on a daily basis it gives my life direction x
So writing is going well. IRL, I visited the Dentist for the first time in forever and await my next appointment with trepidation. Two fillings and two wisdom teeth to be pulled. Yay! Not! Pain like I have never encountered and I'm pretty hardcore about things like that so it's pretty bad. The compressed nerve in my back from a few years back doesn't even begin to compare. Going to cost a boatload but on the plus side, I won't be able to eat or speak for a while which should please my co-workers no end.
Aaaah and work... a new colleague and a new overwhelming bombardment of insecurity. Mine, not theirs. Nothing to make you doubt yourself more than meeting someone who just does everything better. More professional, more composed, far more ladylike and more... just more. I hate to admit it but my Regina George rose to the surface and I went a bit Mean Girls for a week or so. Potentially this may run and run but I'm trying to tamp it down.
Just goes to prove that no matter how old you are, or how together you believe yourself to be, we all have kryptonite. Rise above it, be the better person and blah blah blah.
This too shall pass
August 29th - Bank Holiday Loveliness. Four days of nothing to do but be... So in my case, Procrastination City. Updated my Spotify, Pinterest and Facebook page. Tweeted a little, a touch of online shopping and catching up on my emails. The housework is beyond redemption and despite having 4 WIP to complete I am contemplating starting something new. So essentially nothing doing :)
If anyone has any ideas on how I can motivate myself... please email!!
July 27th 2015 - Ooooo Blog Neglect :( No excuses I'm afraid and not much to report on the writing front. Work A.K.A Real Life has taken over of late and even now, Day One for my first week off this year, I have spent most of it working. I love technology as much as the next person but receiving work emails whilst wearing pjs may be a step too far!
But onwards and upwards. The wonderful SCC sent me back my first ever officially edited story - First draft and I'll admit to almost wetting myself in fear. The document seemed littered with corrections and comments, just a sea of blue, and I felt as if he had written more than I had! Turns out all is better than ever expected on the story front but I have no clue when it comes to punctuation at all!
So nothing new there! So between work and rest, I shall play. Editors note will be taken, and hopefully I'll finish my Christmas story way ahead of deadline.
Wish me luck and whatever you are up to, enjoy!
June 27th 2015 - He said yes!!! I'm assuming it's a guy but who knows. Ultimately anyone who wants to help me is a winner regardless. Better stop fannying about and write something huh?
Whatever you are doing this weekend, enjoy!
June 13th 2015 - So today I stepped up to the plate. Today I enrolled into an Editor's programme, baring myself totally to someone else's whim. Right now, all my eggs are in SoCalCynic's basket and I hope that he/she takes pity on me. I need help! And I am not above asking for it! No man should wander through life alone and whilst it is hard to ask for help, it doesn't make us weak to do so. I believe that admitting vulnerability is the ultimate show of strength. So far this week, I have spoken to two friends who have galvanized me, had two conversations that made me think "Damn! You are more than the sum of your parts!" and that was beautiful. People can surprise you, and elate you and sometimes deflate you! Don't let them. Do you! People may not get me or like me, but I'm confident enough now to not care. Stand taller, be brighter, no matter what blows you take, and there will be many, shrug them off. YOU are doing something and that is extraordinary. So do your thing, and if you get a free moment, wish me luck. But true friends, they will support you, hold you up and make you feel invincible. Pay it forward. Show them the respect they gave you. And be gracious.
I need help! And soon!
May 26th 2015 - If you suffer numerical blindness, the next few lines may not be for you. 53,433 - the number of words I've cranked out creating my own little tale of passion, sex and possibilities. 227 - the number of days from the very first word to the last, from a tiny bud of an idea to the final sentence. 5448 - the numbers of hours I've pontificated, dreamt and plotted, typing away until I got wrist sprain. 113,397 - the number of times my little story has been read. 11 - the number of hours since I typed those pivotal two little words... "The End"
I'm lucky, I found something I love to do and lord knows, if the feedback is anything to go by, E.L James can eat my shorts. I've learnt, I've edited, I've created the kind of characters that I wish I'd been and met and... screwed. Some may consider this endeavour a waste of time but for me, it's been liberating. I have literally and figuratively created the perfect man. Okay, maybe not mine, but judging by the number of posts, he's someone's!
And now... now I sit here, bereft and more than a little sad. Yes, I cried as I uploaded the last chapter and if I didn't have that epilogue tucked away I'd be a blubbering mess. And now, common sense tells me to take a break, re-enter the real world and become functional again but the other side of me, the "desperately wants to be creative" side is already pruny having swam in the rivers of possibility. What I write isn't for everyone, hell, it may not even be for you. but I did that! I made that happen. And you can too. Write, paint, draw, learn a language, undertake that project that you've been putting off. It doesn't matter if anyone else cares, or even notices although it does help :) I can honestly say that whilst I feel genuinely sad to have finished this project, I feel a thousand times more proud that I actually did finish. So in summation, do it! Face that demon and break it, change - don't let a lifetime of one thing stop you entering a different realm. You can change, you can do it, you can evolve. I never thought I'd ever amount to much but I always knew I had something inside, just bursting to come out. As it happened, it was a desire to write badly phrased erotica but damn, 113,397 people can't be wrong.
Carpe diem and fuck the naysayers
May 4th 2015 - And May the Fourth be with you. Sorry but it had to be done. Right now I have the En Vogue song, "Free Your Mind" in my head, specifically the opening line, "Prejudice, wrote a song about it". Not so much a diatribe about prejudice, which is always wrong, but more a comment about criticism. As a writer, however amateur, I have become well versed in receiving criticism. I should point out that I don't give it, if I truly dislike a story I just stop reading because as much as I may dislike it, another reader may love it, it's all just a question of taste. I actually welcome critiques and have actually found online writing buddies through well constructed breakdowns of stories and comments about my work. It helps us evolve as writers and whilst it can sting, it ultimately improves our writing and hopefully makes for a better end product for the reader. What really sticks in my craw is anonymous criticism. So you don't like my stuff.... why go to the trouble of sending me a post, ripping apart days of my life in the process, entering the security code and then pressing Send? If you dislike what you've read why not consider it ten minutes wasted and move on, or better yet, let me know who you are so I can email back asking you why you disliked certain aspects and you could help me improve? There is a certain cowardice about anonymous posts, as if you believe in what you are saying but not enough to actually stand by it. It's the 21st Century equivalent of Knock Down Ginger, bothering someone and then running away, leaving your victim confused and vulnerable. Not that I'm either, trust me, the slagging offs I've had previously make this latest comment pale into insignificance and have truly have made me care less. It just angers me a little that we live in a time where it's considered acceptable to knock people down for trying but that the aggressor is allowed to be anonymous. Like we are protecting them yet allowing them to spew forth. I probably wouldn't have minded as much if they had backed up their comment but they didn't and or couldn't. I don't expect you to like me, or love me, although it would be nice. But you can at least respect me enough to tell me the truth, with conviction and properly constructed sentences. Good grammar wouldn't hurt either.
So yes, I am totally not bothered in the slightest :)
April 19th 2015 - Officially back on the writing horse. Damn it feels good. Okay so not writing what I should be (Sorry Operation Corset, you're just going to have to wait!) but writing nonetheless. Not much beats sitting down on a Saturday morning to start and finishing Sunday afternoon and thinking "Hmmm... that's not bad!"
Word count reached, no erroneous spelling mistakes, continuity running nicely. So the dishwasher hasn't been unloaded and my ironing pile rivals Mount Everest at least my brain has been engaged and I've sent another little chapter out into the universe. And sometimes people even read them!
So happy times in Thomas Towers. The sun may be hiding but I'm better by the glow of candlelight anyway... far more flattering
March 19th 2015 - Passion. As an amateur writer of "erotic" stories, I'd like to think I have passion nailed. Sex, lust, anatomy... so far, so simple. Peg A fits into Slot B and along the way you hope the brain gets engaged. Only passion isn't just about lust. In the last few days I have seen seemingly normal people get worked up and twisted about something far less salacious than physical love. I'm talking about work. Grown men and women spewing theories and ideas about the proposed changes in the workplace. What is going to happen? Where do I stand? Truthfully no-one knows. Do any of us us really know about what the future holds in any way, shape or form? I certainly don't. But what interests me is the triggers for other people's ire. I know what makes me see red (Check out the Blog posts, specifically Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Sooner) so there is no interest personally in finding out what makes me crazy. What does interest me is how other people react to seemingly contentious situations. All too often we think of passion as a physical manifestation but in most cases it is a state of mind. Angered, pushed, lost... we all find ourselves in a state of animated suspension where the mind tells you to act in one way and the psyche another. What is acceptable? What is appropriate? Who really knows. We all have kinks and quirks and as long as no one gets hurt and all participants are of the appropriate age, I don't really mind. Seeing grown ups lose their shit over seemingly innocuous office memos has given me hours of entertainment and has given me more than a few ideas. How far is too far and what happens when passions explode... Hmmmm, maybe I'll see where that takes me.
March 15th 2015 - Well my well intentioned quasi New Years Resolutions came to nothing. Upload stories monthly - so far nothing written let alone ready to be seen. Update this page every few weeks - erm, that would be a no. Blow up my Twitter page with deliciousness - can you guess what happened there?! I'd like to say it's because I've been ridiculously busy traversing the globe and being fabulous but that would be a lie, and I would hate to lie to you, dear Reader. Being generous to myself, I'll call it a Creative Hiatus, in plain lingo, I've been lazy. The last few months when I should have been writing I've mainly been addicted to YouTube and catching up on my reading. Not exactly living the dream, but living my own small dream anyways. Revisiting my youth with an abundance of Indie tracks, John Hughes movies and classic novels. But all good things must draw to an end. So here I have sat for the last few hours, Nirvana T-shirt on, Radiohead and The Pixies in the background (Not literally, although that would be AWESOME!) redesigning my pages and gearing up for a new wave of creativity. If that works out well, I may consider unwrapping my copy of "The 30 Day Shred" and possibly even watching it! Hot damn, it's a new beginning! I haven't been completely out of the loop, my Twitter idea can now be viewed in its entirety on the above page #365DaysOfStuff, where I've listed (Can you guess?) 365 tracks, books, films and tv shows that I happen to like very much. Every single one has a link to either the video, trailer or Amazon page where you can feast your eyes and ears on thousands of hours of goodness. And I have started drafting 3 short story ideas and updated the Blog page. So not a total feast of sluglike behaviour. Now I am rested and relaxed and ready to start a new chapter. Haha writer humour :) Sometimes you have to just stop for a while, even with something that you love and take it all in. So deep breath, exhale and crack on. But I'm not getting my hopes up about watching the exercise dvd.
January 3rd 2015 - 2015!? I remember watching "Back To The Future 2" back in the day and thinking 2015 seemed like a world away. And here we are! Read an article recently that proved some of the BTTF ideas are already in place, but dammit, still no hoverboards! No self lacing trainers and thankfully fax machines don't rule the world. But videoconferencing is rife and Google glasses look here to stay. So it's all okay. What it does mean is that I've gotten old. Michael J Fox hasn't aged but I have. Not that that's a bad thing. I now know who I am and what I want. What I like and what I'm willing to put up with. And as a writer, that is a gift! 2014 was a benchmark for me, my first real year of writing properly. Of Online sales and web submissions. I got my first competition placement, my first cheque and my first taste of trolling. I found someone willing to be my editor and met several people who have helped me no end. Eric, Keith... Thank you! I've learnt that nothing is too much and that if you can imagine it, you can write it. And unbelievably, people will read it! Almost every day I get favorites and messages from people who have read and appreciated what I've done and that makes me so proud. The time spent creating and writing is completely validated by these small messages of support, that anyone would take the time to message is just awesome!
So this year, my challenge to myself is this: 1) I will finish my novel. "Slaker" will be done by the end of 2015 (Any wannabe beta readers apply now!) 2) I will submit something on www.literotica.com every month, no matter how short it may be. 3) I'm planning on blowing up my Twitter account. Every day I'm posting a song that I love, one different artist for every day of the year. I'm anticipating silence but what the hell @cate_thomas if you're interested or check out About/Twitter above. And 4) I am just going to be me. If you aren't keen, it's not going to upset me. I've spent too many years worrying what people think that I'm prepared to let it go now. Tolerate fools more gladly, provided this does not encourage them to take up more of your time. Well, that's what I think anyway x
December 27th 2014 - Hoping you all had a lovely and satisfying Christmas and got everything you wanted. Me, I gave up the Christmas gift tradition and just blow a boat load in the sales. Interesting fact - If you mis-spell Christmas it gives you Masochist as an alternative! Delivery men are my new best friends. Heading into New Year brings to mind two things. One, that resolutions at this time of year are pointless. I have never stuck to anything I resolved to midnight on NYE. And Two, I hate NYE in general. All those people, crammed into sweaty clubs and bars like sardines, surreptitiously looking for someone who may deign to kiss them as the clock chimes 12. If I can't get anyone to kiss me, dressed in usual Seattle grunge wear during the rest of the year I'd feel insulted if they wanted to once I made an effort! But that's me. I shall usher in 2015 with a glass of Yellow Tail Big Bold Red, a sleeping cat on my lap, a stomach full of cheese and a head full of story ideas for the next 12 months. Stories will be finished, new ones will be started and this time next year I shall look back and hopefully feel like I did something. Sure, I won't be thinner and I'm certain I'll still be smoking and regretting the weekly pizza deliveries but I will have done what I want to do. Wishing you all an amazing New Year. Keep checking back in from time to time, and feel free to comment.
Happy New Year!
November 2nd - Wow! So no sooner did I combust with pride over winning an Amazon Voucher I found myself on the receiving end of a fair few anonymous emails. I love the juxtapostion of these people who think it's fair game to rip you a new one for doing something, in the privacy of your own home yet don't have the balls to supply their email. The first one really upset me, although I couldn't work out why I was being called an Alt and a gameplayer. The second was so full of hatred that it was obvious the sender was a nutcase and the third... apparently I am like the Taylor Swift of erotica. I think it was meant as an insult but considering her record sales, I'm going with that. Turns out they thought I was someone else and whilst my story was considered average to good, I am not the contemptible bitch they originally thought I was. Which is nice to know. Shame though, I'd never been put on anyone's shit list before, made me feel all rebellious. I think the lesson learned here was that whoever you are and whatever you do, there will always be people out there looking to cut you down. The best revenge on these idiots is to delete the message and just keep on being you.
October 30th - So I wrote a story for a Halloween competition of www.literotica.com. Full of nerves, I churned out 14000 words over 4 days and hoped at least one person would like it. Turns out, a few more than that did and I just won 2nd place overall. Cue happy dancing and much drinking of Sauvignon Blanc. Hop over to http://www.literotica.com/s/the-best-kind-of-magic to see what all the fuss is about! I like it but then I'm totally biased! And even more exciting than that, I darn thinks I've found myself an editor. I wish I hadn't drank that second glass of Sauvignon because if I dance now, I may fall over. Thanks E - to plagurise Renee Zellwegger - You complete me!
October 4th 2014 - So in deference to the fact that not everyone has a Kindle or a Kobo (I have both and love them more than chocolate) I will be posting and uploading chapters both online here and at Literotica. Mainly because I desperately want feedback but also because I genuinely think that writing should be freely available. Books are wonderous, but extremely expensive and frankly I'm amazed people are willing to part with their hard earned cash to buy mine. So click over to my blog tab to get the first chapter of "Room Mates" - an ongoing story about Sammie and Jake, teenage crushes who decide to take their new found relationship to a different level or go to www.literotica.com to snag some free reads x Have a look around, there are some ridiculously talented writers there.