Wednesday 30 January 2013

YA Highway RTW: Road Trip!

It is time for Road Trip Wednesday at YA Highway and the question is: What's the most dramatic road trip you've ever been on?

I don't know about dramatic, but a Road Trip that sticks in my mind is a trip to Italy with three of my girlie friends from work, probably more years ago now than I want to add up.

We drove to Monaco, along the coast into Italy, and ended up at Lake Como. We were fairly new friends then, and that trip was a trip where we sang along loud to 'Can't Take My Eyes Off You', attempted to speak Italian to cute waiters, gambled in Monaco and lost, and generally giggled and laughed. We had to cut going to Pisa because we'd been COMPLETELY over-ambitious with how much driving we'd get done in a day. I have still never been to Pisa.

The four of us are still a tight friendship square now, among my very best friends (even though one of us doesn't live in the UK anymore).

One thing we did do, was take part in a Festival, which involved a torchlit procession. We discovered that giving clumsy ole' me a NAKED FLAME is a VERY BAD IDEA. I nearly set fire to the trees. To my friend's hair. To my own hair. My torch was eventually confiscated for my own safety. To this day if we are in a restaurant with a naked candle, they move it out of my way.

Which is probably a good thing.

So: the Girls in Italy. How about you?

Monday 28 January 2013

Re-Introduce Myself BlogHop

Today I am taking part in the Re-Introduce Myself Blogfest

Details and links of the other blogs taking part in the, well, link.

So. My name is Vikki.

Please allow me to (re-)introduce myself 
I'm a woman of (not much) wealth and (I’d like to think some) taste 
I've been around for (I’m not telling you how many) years
Stole (my boyfriend’s heart)
And I was round when …

Okay I can’t keep this up. Rolling Stones I salute you and your song lyrics.

How about...

I'm a writer, I'm a fish-keeper,
I'm a lover and I'm a bag buyer.
I write my words in the evening.....

This isn't working either. Steve Miller Band, I salute YOU.

I'm a Londoner, a thriller writer (mostly YA), a 9-5 worker. I enjoy Revenge and Supernatural and any TV Show with superpowers or aliens in it, pretty much. I'll be excited when the new Star Wars comes out, however foolish that may turn out to be. I like to chat about writing. I'm just getting into Twitter though I've been on it a while. I am part of the Writer Diaries.
This year I'm aiming to be positive. I'm Celebrating the Small Things on a Friday, because I think they're worth celebrating.
I like meeting new people, and getting to know more about those I do know, so please - re-introduce yourself in the comments!

Friday 25 January 2013

Celebrate the Small Things

Hello Everyone and it's time to Celebrate the Small Things! YAY.

Thank you to everyone who joined in last week and who signed up to join in this week. That is certainly a not small thing I am celebrating. :)

Full instructions including link to the badge are here but in a tasty nutshell: post something to celebrate, hop around and say YAY , WOO, TWIRL to others, feel cheery.

This week I am celebrating:

Starting to get over a bad cold - feeling a bit more human and am sure it'll soon be gone!
Going to my local writing group and feeling encouraged as ever by the company of some awesome writers.
Eating lots of chocolate! : ) (Can't cut it out every week after all.)

I have also spied around some of your blogs and seen these things to celebrate:

Julie's Cover Reveal - how beautiful is that? (And now we're veering into BIG THING to celebrate territory but I wanted to put it in!)
Tara going to an awesome Bookfest - Fun
Jessica going to a local writing group for the first time - YAY so worth it!
Julia not getting chickens - sounds like the right choice for her ;)

In other parts of the blogosphere:
Kyra Lennon and Clare Dugmore both celebrate one year blogaversarys! Not a small thing at all but a BIG THING.

I'm sure I've missed lots of ace celebratory things and apologies if I have.

Have a good weekend everyone!

Here's the list of all the participating blogs - please do visit and congratulate others! I'll be popping round later ;)

Wednesday 23 January 2013

YA Highway: Funny Business

Hello! Today am posting for YA Highway's Road Trip Wednesday.

The question is: who is your favorite comedian or funny book and/or movie?

I found this difficult. I clearly don't read enough comedy and so I ask you to rec me a funny book! For my part I think Meg Cabot and Kiersten White are people who write with a lovely, light touch and with humour present. My friend Ellie Phillips genuinely makes me giggle too and has a brilliant writing style.

Otherwise, I struggle to think. Please do rec me!

For my part, comedians I like include Eddie Izzard - I've seen him live and he was very funny. 

I went to see Chris Addison and he was also brilliant. The first part of his set was 'up to date' comedy - it was around the time the Chilean Miners were being rescued and he did a whole bit on them. I was impressed that he'd obviously had to come up with it quite quickly.

I'm going to go for a TV Show rather than a movie and say I love the stylings of The Big Bang Theory. It genuinely makes me laugh out loud and I think Jim Parsons deserves all the plaudits he gets.

I am now going to search out some comedy! What do you find funny?

Monday 21 January 2013

Do you keep a diary? Is that your blog?

This weekend a group blog I am part of launched called: The Writer Diaries.

I join a group of awesome ladies - all far more fabulous than I - and am excited to be part of it. Please do check it out, and let us know what you think. We aim to share our innermost thoughts on the journey to publication, we write for a mixture of age groups, and would love you to come join us.

There are several group blogs around, all of which perform a wonderful function and all I hope is that people will add us to their visits and that we can find our own wee niche.

Being part of this has made me wonder: do you keep a diary? Do you consider your blog your diary? Do you have a 'private' blog where you record your thoughts? I read lately that 83% of today's teenagers still keep a paper diary. I find that fascinating, because I'm sure if most of us were writing a 'diary style' book we might wonder if that should be a blog. But people still keep private thoughts, private.

So I ask you: do you keep a diary? Is your blog enough of an outlet?

I don't keep any sort of diary or journal. I'd like to, but between blogging/tweeting/facebooking/writing I don't know how I'd find the time.

Would love to know what you think. Would also love to know what you make of The Writer Diaries - anything you'd particularly like to see?

Friday 18 January 2013

Celebrate The Small Things

Welcome to the first

Celebrate The Small Things! 

Full instructions are here but in a nutshell:
Sign up. Post a small thing to celebrate, congratulate others via the linky list, and be congratulated!

This week I am celebrating:

Not having chocolate for the whole week (NO MEAN FEAT)
Revising 3 Chapters of my WIP (HURRAH!)
Catching up on my TV Shows (BECAUSE IT MAKES ME HAPPY).

Whatever you have achieved this week, be it tidying a drawer or getting a recipe right, or completing a critique for a friend, CONGRATS. BIG HUGS!


*Runs out of capitals*

What are you celebrating?

Wednesday 16 January 2013

News & Help & YA Highway: Road Trip Wednesday

Before I start YA Highway for this week, a quick piece of news and plea for help:

I have been asked to join a LOVELY bunch of ladies contributing to a blog about writing called The Writer Diaries (also tweeting here). It's not YA specific in case you are wondering, it's a group of fantastic ladies (I am by far the LEAST AWESOME of the AWESOME on offer) hoping to bring fresh ideas and some writerly secrets to the table.

It launches this Saturday so PLEASE come visit us / promote us - help us out ;)

Onto YA Highway's Road Trip Wednesday where the topic is: 

Imagine you get to open your own bookstore. What would it look like? What kinds of books would you sell?

Awesome question. Mine would have wooden bookshelves and comfy sofas. There would be a tea shop. People would be encouraged to browse, to sit and read, to put their feed up with a piece of cake and cup of tea. Experts in the genre would be available to help advise people, a walking talking 'if you bought ___ you'd like ____'. I'd sell all kinds of books, but of course have a great YA section.

 I'd have a 'bookswap' section where people could bring and leave a book. I'd run a book club.

I'd encourage people to write reviews on cards and leave them by books. I'd want people to chat about books. I want this bookshop now!

In the meantime, I'm making a tea and putting my feet up. Cheers!

What does your bookshop look like?

Monday 14 January 2013

Writing Chat: The Sound of Silence

Before I go into my writing chat for the day, if you are interested please go to my post and sign up to 'Celebrate the Small Things' on Friday. With new added badge. Cheers me dears.

I am envious of people who speak with excitement about their writing playlists. What fun it must be making them up, and putting them on to get you 'in the zone'.

See, I cannot listen to music while writing. Am I the only one?

When I focus on something, I REALLY FOCUS. If I am writing, Ryan Gosling (or say Jensen Ackles, or Jack off Revenge) could do the naked highland fling in front of me, and I would not notice. Half an hour later I'd be all 'Huh? Ryan, did you want something?'

If I put music on, I either:

a) won't hear it. This may be the point, you may say. You don't listen to it, but it helps get you in the zone. It's there, informing the words. The atmosphere. Perhaps, but it's more likely it's just annoying my neighbours, or that
b) I will listen to the music instead. The music becomes my sole focus, and I am not writing any more.

Therefore I tend to write in silence. Maybe the TV on SUPER QUIET, also not being paid attention to (Ryan, Jensen and Jack (Nick? I think the actor's called Nick) can watch it, while I'm ignoring them).

This doesn't mean music doesn't inspire me. Of course it does. I listen to a song and it sparks off an idea. Lyrics especially inspire me. I love songs which tell a story (Stereophonics 'Local Boy in the Photograph' gets me every time) or songs which inspire a mood (Florence and the Machine do this I find). I watch or read Twilight and I COMPLETELY SEE the influence of Muse. I can see that she listened to them.

Music inspires me, but I don't listen to it while I write. Maybe I could playlist for inspiration while out and about, but in the meantime the sound of silence accompanies me.

Am I the only one? How does music inform your writing?

Friday 11 January 2013

Celebrate the Small Things: Join Me

Thanks to all those who voted in my polls regarding a new feature.

I'd like to announce a weekly post to:

Celebrate the Small Things.

How it works:

1) Sign up on the linky list below.

2) Each Friday, post in your blog something you wish to celebrate achieving / doing that week.

It can be writing related: I finished a tricky chapter! I finished my outline!
It can be reading related: I read two books!
It can be life related: I tidied my sock drawer! My child finally ate something green! I cleaned the shed!

Whatever you like.

2A) Use the Badge! :)

3) Hop around other blogs and offer congratulations/a pat on the back to other people. If everyone visits at least a few other blogs, we'll all have some congratulations.

4) Feel warm and fuzzy inside.

I would also REALLY appreciate it if people could please advertise this, at least at first, so we have a few peeps joining in. It should be fairly low maintenance week to week, and feel free to include your celebration item within a post covering other topics.

This is the code for the badge.

Also: let me know how this is going. It was a toss up between weekly and fortnightly in the votes. I went for weekly as fortnightly leads to the 'is it an on or off week' confusion but if it feels better, we can always drop it down to fortnightly.

I have put the linky list as open for the whole year, but will revisit after a couple of months, see if anybody is joining in.

I vote we sign up this week, and begin next week!

Please do join in, let's celebrate those small achievements! :)

Here's the sign up:

Wednesday 9 January 2013

RT Wednesday: Goals for 2013

Today I am joining in Road Trip Wednesday over at The topic is: 

What are your goals for the new year---for reading, writing, or other?

My goal and word for the year is positivity. I refuse to sweat the small stuff.

My goals writing wise are to finish the revisions on this WIP and complete my draft/WIP of my YA Contemp + 1 other draft. We'll see how I go there. I usually write YA but I have an idea for an adult thriller which I may have to try and plan or draft at some point. We'll see. I want to focus on the YA in progress first.

I read quite a bit last year, so I want to carry on doing that.

How about you? What are your goals?

Monday 7 January 2013

New Blog Schedule incl. Plugging You and Celebrations

Hello Dear Peoples of the Internet.

As part of my blogging this year, I want to keep to a regular schedule. I will know when I'm posting, and hopefully people will know when to visit.

The aim therefore, will be as follows:

Monday: Chit Chat about Writing (including WriteMotivation in months where I have time to join in).
Wednesday: BlogHop posts for IWSG, YA Highway's Road Trip Wednesday and other bloghops which happen. Also joining in other people's launches etc.
Friday: Celebrate the Small Things Blog Hop: Weekly, launching this Friday) and thanks to those who voted.

I hope these posts feel like things people will read, and I hope they prove useful/interesting. This won't be a strict schedule - if an ace bloghop happens on a Monday obviously I'll join in that, and there may be some Wednesdays where I am not able to join in anything. However, I will keep to it as much as I can!

For the Wednesday bloghop, I like joining in IWSG and YA Highway, so will endeavour to do that but also: if you, dear reader, have a book launch, or new blog launch, or blog tour, or cover reveal, let me know. Even if it doesn't quite fit in with my Wednesday schedule I'd be happy to move that post for the week to help plug! Just drop me a comment and we can organise.

I hope this will be interesting for people to read, I'm excited to get started! I have seen people discussing their word for 2013 and mine is 'positivity'. I blogged about positivity for IWSG this week (here) and decided that will be my word of this year! Let me know yours.

Anyway I choose to be positive that this will be a good blogging year!

Thursday 3 January 2013

New Feature: Celebrate The Small Things

I am going to have a new feature on my blog: Celebrate The Small Things.

This was the winner of the poll to select a new feature - thanks everyone who voted. The idea of this is that we all celebrate the small achievements: finishing that chapter, or clearing out that cupboard!

This could work a number of ways, but I envisage that we post what we achieved this week, and congratulate each other so we share each other's joy. I would not have to be writing related. It could be I finished a tough piece of work at work, or got my child to eat something green at last. Any of the small achievements in life worth celebrating! :)

I would love it if you could help me decide how often this should be: every week, fortnightly (every two weeks), monthly.

Also is it best if it works in the comments to my post - so we all comment what we achieved and hopefully come back and congratulate others too, or bloghop around a few blogs congratulating each other? In which case we post what we achieved in our own blogs.

Please vote for what you think would work best below, if you think you'd join in...and thanks very much in advance if you think you might.! I'll be back next monday announcing my new schedule!

Celebrate the Small Things:

Wednesday 2 January 2013

IWSG: Positivity for 2013

The first posting of the year for Alex Cavanaugh's Insecure Writers Support Group.

This year I aim for positivity. I have my insecurities, and I accept them. I doubt that I'm good enough, creative enough, generally enough. Instead of kicking myself for those insecurities and trying to get rid of them, I am going to use these doubts positively. If I worry I am not good enough, I'll work harder. I'll write more. I'll take advice, give advice. The only reason to let those doubts in, is to let them fuel improvement and pushing me forward, not pulling me back.

That's my resolution for 2013: I'm going to be positive. I'm going to celebrate the small achievements (and I'll have a post about that as a regular feature on my blog tomorrow.) I'm going to celebrate when I make a chapter work, when I overcome a worry.

What are your resolutions? Are you going to join me in positivity and celebrating the small things this year?