Friday, 15 August 2014

Things they are a-changing...

This blog is about to undergo some dramatic changes.

Being comparatively new to all this blogging stuff, I know I have made some colossal mistakes along the way, due mainly to my technophobia.
Overall, I was quite pleased with what I was doing, although something always nagged at me whenever I looked around at other people’s blogs.
The first thing I did wrong, I think, was trying to run a blog for and by two people, and it wasn’t long before I was almost as confused as everyone else. No one seemed to know who they were talking to.

I am still not sure what this blog should look like. I mean, should there be a landing page with an introduction? It is important, I feel, that everyone knows who we are and what we are about.
So, from now on, this blog will be run solely by me, Jaye. Anita doesn’t like computers, preferring to write her books longhand, so this arrangement should work well.
This also means I will now have full control over what material I use and hopefully this blog will be all the better for it. Along with all the book promotion for Anita and myself, I want to share more of the things I enjoy, like photography and bonsai and various arts and crafts.

The one thing you will not see, unfortunately, is a photograph of me. Unless a miracle occurs and I stop breaking every camera that points in my direction, you will only see something that could be me. (see below) 
I mean, I am trying to make this blog more interesting, not send you all running for the hills!

I think this is what I should look like...

 Anita’s Facebook page will remain, but I have a page of my own somewhere there…

Of course, your input would be welcome. Please tell me what you think, I would welcome any and all blog related suggestions…

This is Jaye, signing off for now…

Friday, 8 August 2014

Lest we forget...

Lest We Forget…

I have been finding the commemoration of the start of WW1, one hundred years ago this week, very moving. Didn’t think I would, as it all seems so long ago and you wouldn’t think many people would remember that far back. But it would seem that it is still in a great many people’s minds.

There have been many gestures of remembrance, from brass bands to fly pasts all over the world, but the one that affected me most was watching the creation of hundreds of tiny ice figures, each one the artists representation of a fallen soldier. There was something very poignant, seeing so many tiny figures sitting in rows, knowing that one by one they would all gradually melt and be gone forever.

Then there was the display of ceramic poppies at the Tower of London, such a lovely idea. There will be 888,246 of them in the end, each one representing a soldier who never came home. I loved the way the display was designed, a river of blood red poppies pouring out of a window into the moat below.

And then there was the candlelit service at Westminster Abbey. So many moving prayers and hymns as the lights were slowly turned off, leaving the cathedral in the gloom. When the last candle was extinguished, you could have heard a pin drop.
You could be forgiven for thinking that all this remembrance of war was not a good thing, even though we don’t want any more of them. Terrible things are usually best forgotten, aren’t they?

But it suddenly dawned on me in my emotional state, that we are not honouring war, we are honouring and remembering all those who gave their lives so we could live in peace…

This is Jaye signing off…see you soon…

Friday, 1 August 2014

Now it can begin...

The day I never thought would happen has finally arrived. I have actually typed the words ‘the end’ on the last page of my manuscript.
I have never written a book before, just short stories and the odd poem; but this one idea for Nine Lives would not let me be and I just knew I had to write it down.
It is nowhere near ready to publish, I know that; but I am so pleased to have arrived at this day. They say this was the easy bit, but I am not so sure about that. Some days were very hard going and I nearly quit so many times, but when you put something on your bucket list, you feel obliged to finish it if you possibly can, don’t you?
So now I have to put it away for a few days before the process of proofreading and editing can begin.
For the best part of a year I have tried to learn how to write a book, how to construct a style sheet and create a workable plot with likeable characters.

I did this...

I thought taking part in CampNanoWriMo this year would be a good way of knocking  Nine Lives into some sort of shape, for up until now it has consisted of a huge unruly pile of scribblings. Never thought it would be so hard, despite many people telling me it would be and I nearly gave up on several occasions, but now it is finished, I'm glad I stuck with it.  Now I have to learn how to polish and groom what I already suspect will not amount to a hill of beans.

I have been a proof reader/editor for my sister Anita’s books over the years, and consider myself to be reasonably adept, but none of this prepared me for the joy (and sometimes not) of creating my own book. It was so hard, at times quite impossible and you will never know how many times I nearly quit. How did Anita make it look so easy?

Editing is one of the most interesting and valuable parts of writing. It gives you so many opportunities to change, remove or enhance what you have just spent months putting down on paper. Some people say that good editing can take longer than the initial writing and I can agree with that.
Just when you think it will be easy, it gets more and more complicated. There are so many points to go over, far too many typo’s or missing words to find. However, you only get one shot at turning a good book into a great one and I will not be one of those writers who do not even bother with the spell check!

See you all soon,