July in review

July has been such a busy month! All through 2017, I’ve been getting that feeling that time is flying by, passing too quickly. July has been different. It’s the last day of the month now and the first day feels like it was forever ago.

This month, I had three major missions. The first was Camp NaNoWriMo. This is the second time I’ve taken part and I really enjoyed it. I now also have the first draft of my next novella, Car Thieves, and am looking forward to starting to edit it.

The second major mission was launching my first novella (written during April’s Camp NaNoWriMo), Stone Flowers Grow In Cold Places. This was a pretty scary thing to do, but over 200 people have read it in the last couple of days which is really exciting for an unknown author publishing their first book through their own little website and two online publishing platforms they’ve only been using for a few months! I’ve had some really positive feedback, both for the book itself and for finally publishing a thing, and it’s been trending on Tablo since a couple of hours after I posted it, which feels incredible.

The third big thing was launching my Patreon.  This was scarier than launching the book and even though I’m still very much at he beginning of my Patreon journey, I’m super excited that I’ve had some monthly pledges already. David, Peter, Spitfire, David and Roberta – thank you, you lovely, supportive people!

This month, I posted two things here on my blog that I was really nervous about posting. The first was ME and me: Living with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and the second was Five things I learned from living with a chronic illness. The reason for the nervousness was that I don’t talk about this stuff in detail online very often so it felt huge to open up about something that affects every area of my everyday life. The response to both of those posts was amazing and I am endlessly grateful to everyone who commented and shared the links on social media. As unnerving as it is to know that literally thousands of people had seen those very personal posts, it also feels really good to know that I’ve helped people to learn about an illness they either hadn’t heard of before or didn’t know very much about.

I also shared a second vlog on my YouTube channel, thanks to my wonderful friend Nicole who loaned me a camcorder so I don’t have to use the front-facing camera on my phone to make videos! I haven’t done much on YouTube since launching the channel a couple of months back, but I do intend to make more videos, hopefully when I don’t look completely exhausted and am talking a bit more coherently than I’ve managed in the two I’ve uploaded so far.

Final July thing – our back garden is almost finished! I take basically no credit for this because it’s all been my husband’s hard work, although I did do lots of driving around with a car full of wood and turf. All the raised flowerbeds are built, the lawn is an actual lawn rather than a patch of grass and a patch of mud, and we’ve started thinking about what plants we’re going to get. My strawberry plants finally got to move out of their pot on the bedroom windowsill and into their new outdoor home (see photo above). When my friend Robin gave me those plants, they were tiny stems with a couple of leaves, but they’ve grown up beautifully and I’m so excited about being able to eat my own strawberries grown in our garden.

The last day of the month feels like a new beginning. Yesterday, I was hit with a big blast of meh, the kind that happens when you finish a bunch of stuff you’ve been working on. This morning, the meh had mostly lifted and I felt excited and happy again. I spent some extra time at my altar this morning then smoke cleansed the entire flat and garden. As soon as I’d finished smoke cleansing, it rained for about five minutes – the perfect thing to wash away the last of the meh (and help the new turf bed in).

I’m looking forward to what August brings, beginning to edit Car Thieves, finding out more about how to promote my Patreon and enjoying the rest of the summer. I hope you’re having a wonderful summer (or winter, for my friends in the southern hemisphere) ❤


You can visit my Patreon here. If you’d like to make a one-off payment without a monthly commitment, or add a bonus on top of your existing monthly Patreon pledge, you can do that simply and securely through PayPal.

You can now support my writing on Patreon

With Patreon, you have the power to change the face of publishing by directly supporting creators and forging meaningful, personal connections with writers whose words inspire you.

Visit my page >>HERE<<  to find out more, including all about the awesome rewards you can get for becoming my Patron.

Why Patreon?

Anyone can read my books and short stories for free on any device. I’d like to keep it that way because I believe the joy of reading is for everyone and should never have fences built around it. It’s deeply important to me that my work is consistently accessible to people who can’t afford to buy books (I’ve been there) and that people can discover my writing without having to make an up-front payment before they know if they’ll get a kick out of my words.

Patreon allows readers who enjoy my work, would like to contribute financially and are able to do so, to support me as a writer. Viewing everyone I connect with as a sale-in-the-making and constantly bombarding people with repetitive selling messages on social media doesn’t sit well with me as a creator. Neither does begging people to read my work just so they can leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads so I can sell more things. With Patreon, I have the potential to earn an income without sacrificing my personal values, and without being that person whose endless “buy my book” posts turn your Twitter feed into one long, horrible advert. That’s not who I want to be and I’m pretty sure it’s not what you want to see.

How you can support me

There are two ways in which you can support me as a writer, detailed below. You are welcome to choose the one that suits you best, or use both in combination if you prefer. Patreon’s FAQ does a really great job of explaining how pledges work. You can read the section specially for Patrons here, so definitely check that out if you have any questions.

Become my Patron
If you don’t speak fluent Patreon yet, a Patron is something who pledges to support a creator while they create – much like any patron of the arts! Monthly pledges allow me to have a regular, reliable income while I write for you. By pledging a monthly amount, you can enjoy all the lovely things listed in the Rewards section (a bigger pledge means even more awesome rewards!) and bask in the warm, fuzzy glow of knowing that you’re directly supporting the creator of stories you love. To make a pledge, just follow these simple instructions, provided by Patreon to make the process super easy!

Make a one-off payment
If you’d like to pay for a short story, collection or book you’ve read without making a monthly commitment, or would like to add a one-time bonus on top of your existing monthly pledge, you can do that simply and securely through PayPal.

What do you get in return?

Depending on how much you pledge, you can get access to updates about current and future work, your name listed on my website and in books I publish, character profiles and other behind the scenes stuff that isn’t published anywhere else, exclusive question and answer sessions, early access to new work and even the opportunity to influence future writing projects!

Through Patreon, I invite you to join my community and share this creative adventure with me! ❤

Read online or download my latest book for free

My latest novella, Stone Flowers Grow In Cold Places, is out now. Read online or download to read on any device – all completely free!

When a robbery takes an unexpected turn, part-time criminal Andie Valentine is forced to make a difficult choice: dive deeper into a dangerous but lucrative world or escape to a new beginning, abandoning her home in Edinburgh and her last connection to the girl who changed her life and shattered her heart.

Read online for free on Tablo or Wattpad

Read on Tablo >>HERE<< | Read on Wattpad >>HERE<<

  • You can read on Tablo and Wattpad in any browser on any device.
  • Wattpad also has a fully-featured, completely free, Android and iOS app.
  • Tablo has a fully-featured iOS app and a more basic Android reader app. Both are completely free.

Download for free to read on any device

Download your choice of ebook file >>HERE<<

Simply click the link above to visit Ge.tt, a safe and secure file hosting service, and choose which file type best suits your reading app or device.

 

You can visit my Patreon here. If you’d like to make a one-off payment without a monthly commitment, or add a bonus on top of your existing monthly Patreon pledge, you can do that simply and securely through PayPal.

Keep scrolling for my latest blog posts! ❤

New vlog! Much excite! Much exhaustion!

A new video on my YouTube channel in which I ramble incoherently in a state of extreme tiredness about some cool stuff that I’m doing at the moment. It had been a long day and I’d basically reached the point of being wrapped in a blanket on the couch by the time I did this. I foresee “exhausted and wearing a blanket” becoming a recurring theme on my channel.

Summer Abstractions

Inspired by the beautiful colours in the garden, I combined two of my favourite creative tools – acrylic paint and my camera – to create these abstract pieces. The full-size painting is only A5, so still pretty small, and it was created specifically so that I could take close-up photographs of tiny segments of it. I forgot how much fun it is to do this! I took the photos under bright sunlight to capture the shine of the metallic acrylic paint and the vibrancy of the colours.

Mist and magic

A different kind of beautiful day ❤

Camp NaNoWriMo winner: I did the thing!

Today, I validated my July Camp NaNoWriMo project. For those of you who don’t speak fluent NaNo, that means I copied my novella draft into a little box on the Camp website and it checked my word count to make sure it was the same as, or more than, the goal I’d set myself for the month.

If you hit, or beat, you goal, you’re considered to be a winner. As I talked about when I finished my April Camp NaNo project, that terminology struck me as strange to begin with because it’s not a competition. But it is an achievement. It is a thing you work your ass off to do. Sometimes, it’s a battle with writer’s block. So when you complete it and hit your target, damn right you won!

I’m ridiculously excited to announce that the first draft of Car Thieves has a total of 20,092 words. Editing will begin within the next month or so, once I get Stone Flowers Grow In Cold Places published and launch my Patreon (within the next two weeks, for reals!).

I’m seriously considering doing NaNoWriMo in November. It scares the crap out of me because it’s 50k words, but I have this rule where if something terrifies me, I should at least try to do it. I have a concept in mind already (I know, shut up). In its current form in the back of my brain, it’s somewhere between a novel and an anthology, with chapters as a collection of connected-but-could-also-stand-alone short stories. That’s as much as I’m saying about it for now because it really is only a tiny little seed of an idea, but it’s growing 🙂