Friday, March 27, 2015

The Most Important Day Of My Life

My wonderful readers, the time has finally arrived! 

Today, after over two years of blood, sweat and tears, my novel entitled, The Other Woman, has finally flown the nest. 

My pride and joy has been sent off around the world, across the seas and will land on an incredible literary agents desk soon!

I am a bundle of nerves - I feel sick to the stomach but so excited at the same time!

I've never had the courage to send my manuscript off before, but after brutal editing and many, MANY hours of re-writing, pulling my hair out, fiddling with layouts and copious amounts of black coffee I finally did it!

Please, please wish me lots of luck and keep me in your prayers - this is the biggest day of my life and hopefully the start of my career as a published (and best-selling) author.
I have never wanted something so badly, nor have I ever worked harder. This is my life dream and destiny. So fingers and toes crossed!

The rest is now up to fate.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Glamorous (Double) Life of Isabel Bookbinder by Holly McQueen | Book Review

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This could quite possibly be (OK, most certainly is...) THE most annoying fictional character that I have ever 'met.'
The story-line is actually pretty great! But Isabel Bookbinder infuriated me throughout all 400+ pages. There is absolutely no one in the world that unfortunate - and absolutely no one that has that little sense of the world.
And the procrastination!!!! Urgh!!!! As a novelist myself - I get some of what the author is trying to portray - but what angers me is that it's like Isabel doesn't really even want to write a book... she's too caught up in her own lala land to do so!

I got this book because I've been missing London (a lot) recently and the closest I could come to it was to live vicariously through a book. It mentions places like The Wolsley (which is a place I have been lucky enough to dine at before,) and it was so good to read bits about London.... but for the most part this book was a bit of a let down. I hate saying that because I can only imagine just how shit it must make the author feel. I know one day I'll publish my work and I'm petrified for the negative reviews! They will be there.
Your work will never be everyones cup of tea....

On that note, just know that this book does have a glamour and sparkle to it and delightful splashes of humour that DID have me laughing out-loud more than once..... the downfall, first and foremost, was the key character. She literally made me want to chuck the book against a wall at LEAST 27,000 times. No exaggeration.

I've never really done a book review where I don't explain the book before - but I just had to let that rant out before I did so.

SO! Basically, this book is ALL about Isabel Bookbinder... a dreamy no body who lies to her family about what she does for a living. She just wants to make them proud of her and wants to be better than her lifelong enemy, Gina, who always seems to be one step ahead of her.
An accidental slip leads all of her lies she has built up to tumble out on the front pages of newspapers no less. Distressed and confused, Isabel finds her way into even further lies by telling everyone INCLUDING top literary agents (who are drool worthy, sex Gods) that she has a complete manuscript.
She gets taken in by a best-selling author. Gets offered a live-in position in her gorgeous home in Kensington where she can just write all the time - an absolute bloody dream job so it seems!! Problem is - Isabel actually NEVER gets around to the actual writing part and that doesn't really go all too well for her in the end... or maybe it does in its own way... because she isn't the only one that's secretly mucking everyone around!
I'll avoid spoilers because the twists and turns in this book are excellent - but just know that you're in for a bumpy ride here!!!

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Monday, March 16, 2015

Go Pro Hero 4 Silver: Review

I finally put my Go Pro Hero 4 Silver to use yesterday when I went out for a surf. They are such cool little inventions! I had a good laughing playing back to videos it captured of me getting absolutely pummeled (repeatedly) by waves. 

I haven't used it enough to give it a proper review just yet but I CAN say that they are finicky little things!!!!!! I got incredibly pissed off with it because no matter what I tried, I couldn't get it onto Video and Photo setting. It only took videos so the pics above are all crappy screenshots I managed to get when watching the videos later. I did have it on video and photo mode but then I took it to a shop to buy the 'floaty back door' accessory and the annoying know-it-all behind the counter fiddled with the settings.... so I don't know if I was more annoyed with the shop assistant or the bloody camera. I've reset the camera to default settings and everything, but I just can't get it to do what I want!! Highly irritating - not to mention my near heart attack when I first plopped it into the water. It's a very expensive oopsy if water somehow leaks into the casing! Seriously, the little gadget has just caused stress in my life so far!! But they ARE cool.... once you get used to them!

I'll get there eventually. I've got about 100 days to figure it out before my journey to Southeast Asia - that's where I'll be putting the camera to full use! 

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Friday, March 13, 2015

Every Writer Should Have One

I want to take some time today to share with you a bit about the life of a writer. It's really not as glamorous as people make it out to be.

It's manic.

It's messy.

It's chaotic.

It's cluttered. 

There are copious amounts of coffee mugs scattered around every available counter-top and crumpled up papers litter almost every corner. 
Notebooks crammed with notes pile as high as skyscrapers. 
Pens... pens everywhere! The worst part is that most of them have been sucked dry of ink when you find you need them the most!!! 


To help that stress, some delightfully clever person came up with something I like to refer to as: 
'The Writers Bible.'

Mine may not be the most recent copy but it has helped me out SO much.

Not only does it hold names and contact details of countless literary agents and publishers but also how to contact them. 
It also has info about self-publishing (if you would rather go that route..) as well as explaining legal issues and copyright laws.
It helps you to gain a better understanding of the editing process and offers advice on writing in any genre from romance (my personal fav!), fantasy, thrillers... you name it. 
It caters for plays / poetry and non-fiction writers too.

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The book also holds advice on writing things like your dreaded synopsis and cover letter which you need to supply when plucking up the courage to send your manuscript to an agent.

This is why I call it The Writers Bible. 

It's just everything... 
I treasure my copy with it's broken spine and falling out pages from being read so much. 

The year of 2015 brought about the 108th edition of 
The Writers' & Artists' Yearbook!!!!

Ending on a quote Terry Pratchett said about this book, who finally met Death yesterday:

"Much, much better than luck."

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Monday, March 9, 2015

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail | Book Review

Meet Cheryl, 5 years ago her mother died of cancer. Once upon a time she'd been the one that seemed to have it altogether, but as she battled through her grief, she went off the beaten track (figuratively and literally). 
Before she makes the wild decision to hike the Pacific Crest Trail (a 1.100 mile hike), Cheryl loses sight of herself as she dapples in adultery, sex and drugs. When the divorce with her husband is finalized, she sets off on her journey, hoping to get back to being the woman that she once was. 
There's one slight hitch though.... she's never backpacked or hiked before. Nor had she trained for this trip. She was not prepared for what she was about to get herself into at all!

Wild has gotten so many mixed reviews and mine is a combination of both good and bad. 
I enjoyed this book. I found the writing excellent, the descriptions beautiful, the honesty and raw quality brutal yet addictive. Yet I found that the book droned on... seemingly never-ending and skipping between the actual story of her hike through the Pacific Crest Trail and her story before it. The story of her failed marriage and heroin addiction, sleeping around with anyone with a penis and the grief over the death of her mother... 
It meshed together well because it helps you to understand how she got to where she is, but I must say that the book was far from what I was expecting.
But that's just the thing isn't it? Judging a book by the cover is one of the biggest crimes in the book world. I walked into my local bookstore and saw a book with a roughed up hiking boot slapped on the front cover and thought, 'Wow! This looks like something I'd love to read!'
And for the record I did love reading it. I related SO much to Cheryl throughout the course of the book. By the third page I was actually convinced this book was written about me! Even with her silly decisions that make you want to shout down into the pages at her... it was just brilliant. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant!

This is a REAL book about things that can and probably will go wrong if you decide to venture out into the wild by yourself. It is a book of mistakes and life lessons, of reality and hardships! It is a book about being independent and brave. 

It is a book that will resonate in me for a very, very long time. 

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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

How to Make Your Ponytail Look Longer Than It Is

My hair is not long...

2 years ago I chopped it ALL off into a pixie cut.

Here's a picture as evidence:

In the 2 years since then, my hair has taken its sweet time to grow back to this:

So HOW do I get a ponytail to look this long without the use of extensions or clip in hair pieces???? 

It's SO simple I have no idea why I hadn't thought of it before to be honest!

* All you do is scoop your hair into two different sections. 

   * Tie each section into a ponytail: one on top and one below. 

(Make sure the top ponytail has enough hair to hide the elastic for the below ponytail... you need to try and make it look as natural and as sneaky as possible :)

It takes less than a minute to style your hair this way and gives you so much extra length.


Do you have any awesome hair tricks? 

I'd love to read all about them in the comments below!

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