How Did ‘No Goal May’ Go?

So, I had a little bit of a break from blogging last month which, wasn’t completely planned but, I think, really helped me get things back in to prospective!

I lost my internet them first few days of May – which was not as liberating as some of you may think that it should be… It was just horrible!

But, it did give me time to game (which I forgot how much I love doing) and, it pushed me to go out and finally buy the MCU movies and binge watch them to my hearts content!

The rest of the month? I gamed some more, worked a lot and wrote loads! I’m still in the haze of fanfiction writing at the moment, but this month, I’m gonna dive back in to Tales of Monsters and get it ready for my very wonderful and patient beta-readers who are on the sidelines!

Also last month, I decided to end my subscription with the BookBoxClub! Its been a brilliant experience this last year, and if it wasn’t for them, I never would have found the Spellslinger series (aka. My favourite book series ever).

And, it’s also opened up the oppurtunity (mostly financial) to delve in to a different subscription box!

Anyways! I thought I’d just throw this little update out there just to say that normal posting shall resume shortly!

I think I’m gonna stick to my usual Wednesday posts – which will mostly cover all my writing wins and woes, and then, once I get back in to the swing of posting weekly, I’ll add a few more posting days here and there! Although, if inspiration does hit, expect a random post every now and then!

It’s good to be back!

And, until next time guys,

Just Keep Writing,

Jade x

‘No-Goals’ May!

Guys, its one heck of a rainy day in May, and, to add to it, this last month has been a bit of a world wind.

Work and more work has thrown me off completely, and my first camp nanowrimo experience just fell flat on its face…

I rewrote about 4k words of The Diary of a Child Zombie Killer and then, just, sort of, lost interest…

That’s not to say that I didn’t write though. I amounted about 24k words of a fanfiction peice and it’s still going!

It’s essentially to help me develop a couple of characters that I have. One whose very much at the forefront of my writing, and another whose been sat on the back-burner for a couple of years – who has been slowly getting back in to the fore-front these last couple days and don’t want to leave me alone. But, their both from completely different settings, and worlds, so, they’ll never actually meet. And, back-burner character has to stay there a little longer because working on another project right now is just out of the question for me.

This month though, I’m not gonna make any attempts at goals or give myself any deadlines.

I’m even considered just deleting instagram off my phone for the month. Cause, the procrastination is real, but, I’d miss seeing everyones posts, so, thats out of the question. Although, I am going to try and limit my use a tad! But like I said, no goals!

I’m also gonna try and work-out a better schedule for these blog posts! I’ve slacked the last week or so, and I shouldn’t have!

So, yeah, not much is happening this month in retrospect. I have more overtime at work next week, although, I do have a nice three-day weekend for May-day and, at the end of the month, I also have a four day weekend which I’m more than looking forward too.

And then, next month, I’m gonna go see Ed Sheeran!!! Yay!

And, also this month, before I forget, the third book in the Spellslinger Series by Sebastien de Castell comes out and I am just, ecstatic about it! Spellslinger and Shadowblack were easily my favourite books of 2017, and I’m just gonna assume that Charmcaster and Soulbinder will be this years!

Anyway, like I said, no specific goals this month!

I’m really hoping that it’ll help to take the strain and the doubt of a little bit and let me continue to enjoy all of this a little bit more than before!

I’d love to know what you guys up to this month? Have you got any goals or deadlines set?

Until then though,

Just Keep Writing,

Jade x

A Beta-Readers Experience

Before last year, I had never read someone elses novel in an unpolished state!

To be honest, I hadn’t really met any other writers who wrote novels, so, all in all, the whole of last year – writer community wise – was a first for me, but that’s another post for another day!

I’ve always been the one who my friends look to, to look over their work. I can be quite a good proofreader when I try, and pair that with a love of reading books, and helping out my fellow writers, I think beta-reading just appealed to me in a way I’d never expected it too!

The first time I beta-read – a retelling of both ‘The Little Mermaid’ & ‘Cinderella’ called ‘Melody’ by Penny Kearney (which should be out sometime this year) – I feel like I came up short a little if I’m honest. I wasn’t completely sure what I was doing, and, although, I answered all of the questions – and highlighted a few flow problems – I liked it too much to say anything bad about it!

textgram_15085046311483307572.png

If I looked back at it now, now I’ve sort of realised what my role actually is, I’m sure I’d find characters that need a bit more development, and maybe some more sections that didn’t make all that much sense, but, you have to start somewhere, right?

The next novel I got to beta-read was by someone I met whilst doing my #LetsWriteNaNoWriMo challenge! During the challenge, I learned all about the novel that ‘Andrew Henley’ was editing – called Hayley Soon – and when it came around to him needed beta-readers, I knew I had to take the plunge and see what it was all about!

I didn’t have a clue what to expect – not really – but I’m so glad I answered that question in his comments section! With Hayley Soon, I feel like I was able to give a lot more, and with my feedback, I just sort of ‘let loose’ a little and I’d question this and that, and I can be sarcastic as hell sometimes – which doesn’t come off too great in text – but I feel like I was actually able to help in that development, you know?

screenshot_2018-03-08-09-12-31-11267366099.png

And, I think, as you read more manuscripts, as you read more books, you do get better.

Much like writing!

And, I think, as a writer, you give something different to beta-reading than you would if you were just a reader, you know!

The next one I got to read was the first 20,000 words of an epic fantasy, and like Hayley Soon, I had my thoughts and opinions down. I knew what it was I should be looking out for, you know?

And I don’t think you can teach it to people, the more you do it, I think, the better you become. Practice makes perfect and all that, you know?

At the start of this 2018, I got to beta-read two more in January, one was about a cannibal, which was an experience in itself! And the second was from a total stranger.

You see. I had a message through instagram; this person asking me if I’d like to beta-read their book, and, after telling me what it was about and all that, I said yes.

It’s very unique, this manuscript, it’s a contemporary that looks at some very delicate aspects in the western world right now. It’s definitely going to make people think – and it’s definitely going to be one of those that people either love or they hate.

I love it, and Z, if you’re reading this, I’m still waiting for that chapter!

At the moment, I’m reading another fantasy – which is more nordic and viking like called Whispers of Savage Song by Ashley Earley and I have another Andrew Henley manuscript waiting in the docks called MIRI!

And, you know the best thing about this whole experience is when you see the books you beta-read get published! You were apart of something that means the world to someone.

Andrew Henleys ‘Hayley Soon‘ and Allen Dark’s cannibalistic novel ‘The Black Heart‘ can now both be found on Amazon, and I encourage you to go read them both! Completely different, but completely worth it!

And, until next time guys,

Just Keep Reading (Or even better; beta-reading),

Jade x

Week 10/52 Writing Update & Adding More Layers

So, this past week, it’s consisted of me writing up an extra chapter, adding some more bones to a character, finishing off a few more chapters for my beta document and writing up a bit of my beta survey!

I also had the chance to dive in to my main characters moms! The challenge #MYMCSMOM was something that both me and my friend, Andrew Henley, popped together at the beginning of the week! It was a great way for me to learn more about Lauryns mum, Willow, from my current WIP Tales of Monsters, and Mels mum, Jackie from my NaNoWriMo project ‘Diary of a Child Zombie Killer’, as well as allowing a platform for others to do the same!

textgram_1520106311746359769.png

Check out the #MYMCSMOM tag on instagram if you want to check out all the entries!

The challenge also allowed me to add a bit more depth to my story line – particularly with Tales of Monsters – and made some things a lot easier to understand.

It still sort of scares me though; the layers that this fantasy series might end up with! It might not live up to the whole complicated world that is Game of Thrones, but you know what, it might actually come close when it’s all finished and polished.

Diaries won’t be nearly as layered – its much more straight forward, Mel’s mum, Jackie, still surprised me a little! Mels mum, being a zombie for more time than we actually see her alive means that she doesn’t have that big of an impact on Mels story-driven-life (in a certain way), and I think the fact that Mels mum was always working anyway, and that her dad was Mels main care-giver, that not having her mum wasn’t that much of a big deal?

Or maybe, it was easier for her to adjust to the aspect – although, she does miss being taken cared off – but what kid wouldn’t? (Hell, what adult doesn’t every now and then?)

Concerning my beta-reader survey too, I also came across a load of helpful questions that you should ask critique partners, or readers of your manuscript, like it’s no one’s business! They’ve been absolutely everywhere on my IG feed, and I’ve even come across a few on wordpress without even looking for them!

I’ve picked out a few thatI think I’m gonna end up using for my more general questions, and then, I have a whole page in my bujo of things more specific and ‘spoilery’!

I’m really hoping to document my whole beta-reading process, for both myself and anyone who’s interested in knowing about it, and I’ll be sure to write up a blog post on the process of writing up a beta-survey once mines done (and whether it actually works the way I want it to).

Despite all this, half way through the week, it was looking very bleak! I thought it was going to be a little bit of a bust – I had only got that extra chapter written by the weekend, plus the MC’s mom challenge in action, and I’d been working too much to even comprehend doing much more than sleeping and eating!

However, I’m quite a ways in to beta-reading part one of a nordic fantasy novel for someone on insta, and I managed to get out three blog posts too!

And then, after a very busy Saturday morning, and mostly a lay-about evening feeling a little sick, I managed to do some writing! Followed by Sunday, and after work and a beef dinner, and one of those food coma naps, I woke up and did some more writing!

img_20180311_134506_636-11087341144.jpg

So, in all, the weekend sort of made up for all the crazy and got me that bit closer to sending out my manuscript to beta-readers!

For this coming week, I’m planning my usual Wednesday blog post, with maybe an extra on Friday if it all works out! But, I’m also planning a week-long series of blog posts – most probably for April when I’m not obsessing over Tales of Monsters anymore, but only time will tell for that one!

What are your plans for this week?

To finish this weekly update off, I’m gonna leave you guys here with my favourite quote from my writing this last week:

‘But to allow smaller men than you to take the applause, will only result in smaller men taking the lead’

Until next time guys,

Just Keep Writing,

Jade x

Slow and Steady Still Gets You There

As of right now, I have three chapters of 47 that I’m happy with. And, I’ve been rewriting my manuscript since December.

Now, I’ve rewritten about thirteen of them, but, as the books developed that little bit more, the plot has changed. For the better, yes, but it means that those rewritten chapters are just that. Rewritten.

It probably doesn’t help that I thought I would rewrite it backwards at first, but I was so sure that the plot was done with, that I thought I was safe.

I should have known really. These characters keep me guessing right down to the last word, and I created them!

Still though, as this week particurlarly has gone on, I sort of realised something.

And that is that even though, I’m making slow progress, its stilll good progress! I’m taking my time, I’m falling back in love with this story I’ve been writing for (probably) far too long. And, it’s the best feeling ever!

It gives me that little bit of hope I need!

So, yes, perhaps you only get one chapter done this week, whether writing, rewriting or editing, but thats one more chapter done for now. Progress, of any kind is always good.

And that simple little phrase can relate to everything in our lives, whether its writing, painting, reading, jobbing, weight-losing/gaining or anything. Progress means your still going forward.

You have to remind yourself -everyday – that writing is an art that you have to practice, and practice, and practice. It doesn’t come naturally, its hard work.

So, even if you don’t finish that manuscript this year, if you don’t get that agent this year or you don’t publish that novel this year, just know, that as long as you keep progressing, never mind the snails pace, you will get there.

(I’m not saying you won’t, I’m just saying its okay if you don’t. Unless you have the chance to do this as a full time thing, it can be made so much harder – but it can also make you that little bit more determined)

And, a book has to be something that’s written with love, and not just something you give to the world because you want a book with your name on it.

We often live our lives at a hundred miles an hour, but, it’s not the way to go.

And, you have to remember another simple little thing – You can’t rush art!

So, until the weekend,

Just Keep Writing!

Jade x

Finding Time Can Be Hard

If you love doing something, you’ll find the time to do it.

Of course you will, but that doesn’t mean you have to find the time everyday. Doesn’t even mean that you have to find the time every week. All it means is that you find time to do it somehow.

For me, lately, early morning and late evening work shifts have been zapping my energy completely! It started back in December, and next week, hopefully, I’ll be back to my early morning shifts and the evening shifts will be a past memory! Eventually, I’d like to change to the evening shift completely, but, that’s another story for another day!

Anyhow, although, I do write every day, whether it’s a little bit of story, it’s writing ideas or small bullet-pointed scenes in my notebook or on my phone, writing or bullet pointing blog posts, or writing emails reviewing and critiquing beta-reads! I’ve written, which I’m really proud off, but, more than not, all I can do is write down the ideas, and I can’t find the motivation to write anymore!

I have so many ideas for these blog posts, and I’ll start writing them, and by the end of it, I’m not even sure what I’m writing about anymore. Or my opinion changes because I write about it more, and then I feel like I need to look at in more detail and my brain just doesn’t want too!

I’ve only completed, maybe a chapter and a little since my last blog post for Tales of Monsters, but I have been doing a lot of beta-reading these first few weeks of the year, and I’ve really been enjoying it! It’s really helped me as a writer, as much as it’s helped the other person (hopefully), and the stories I have read, I think can really go places!

I’ve currently finished beta-reading two this year, one that was more of a novella, and the other which was a full-length part one of a novel which I can’t wait to continue reading because I need to know what happens! I also have one that I need to catch-up on!

Still, amidst that, I’m still trying to truck away at this rewrite of Tales of Monsters, and I’m really enjoying it! I’m enjoying what I’m writing and how it’s coming along, it’s just how slow it’s going that’s getting me.

At least I haven’t wanted to scrap it this week yet, although, I have decided to delete one of the characters completely, which means loads of fun for me that I really cannot be asked to deal with right now, and I’m sure I’ll change my mind when it’s all done and want to make his horrible face come back again.

Starting next week though, I’m really hoping that I can put a lot more in to my story writing, that I can get some blog posts done and scheduled, that I can read a bit more, and just finish up the rewrite so I can get it out to some beta-readers! It won’t be perfect, but I think the plot holes will all be fixed, at least.

I don’t know what I’m hoping for with it. I know there’s gonna be a load of flaws with it, I know there’s gonna be so many things people are going to be like, nope, nope, nope. But, I’m hoping it gives me that push to finish it. It’s such a big under-taking, and I’ve been stuck on this first book for so long now that I need to get on to the next ones. I’ll never give up on it, but, I know now, that, until I’ve drafted the whole lot of them, they won’t ever be ready, they won’t ever be fully plotted out until I’ve written the very last word.

Which I’ve come to terms with. I have other ideas I’m sure will make their appearance in the wider world much sooner than this one, but that’s fine, because I need to make sure this little baby is ready to go out into the big wide world, and, if that takes another few drafting and a numerous amount of beta-readers and opinions, that’s fine.

If it never get’s published, that’s still fine, because I started writing it for myself, and I’ll end writing it for myself too – if push comes to shove.

Diaries Of A Child Zombie Killer though, that’s something I think will be so much easier to get done, to get finished, and I’m hoping after this first round of edits (when TOM is out with betas), it’ll be readable enough that I can get it out to beta-readers before the end of the year! I already did it pretty good for NaNoWriMo, but, there’s just a chapter or two that I didn’t write in sequence that needs a quick fix before I’ll let other people read it!

I still swear that I will never write people as moany as Melanie and Al ever again! The word vomit, it worked so well for Nano, and it works so well for this book too.

Anyhow, this wasn’t much of anything really, was it… Just another little update I guess! I’m hoping though, on Friday/Saturday/Sunday (I’m not sure on the day just yet) will be a book review, what book, I’m not sure, but, it’s gonna be a review none the less!

Until next time,

Just Keep Writing (*even if it’s in your head as you slog away at that day-job*)

Jade x

Day 12: The Christmas Eve Wrap-Up (12DaysofBlogmas)

It’s Christmas Eve, the day before the day we’ve all been waiting for, and, wow, has it been a crazy week or what!

So, my morning was spent helping out my local dogs trust, and then, I came home, got in to my pajamas (at like 10.40am) and watched ‘The Santa Clause’, one of those classic films you just can’t miss out on! It’s one of those that really warms your heart, and is definitely one of my favourites!

However, following that, instead of watching HP & The Chambers of Secrets like I wanted to, the brother had to be picked up from work; and it was the last time I could get out to the shop before they all closed! The worst thing was, that it meant I had to get out of my pajamas!

Anyway, at the shop, a last minute present was bought, a pack of batteries for brothers ”mouse trap” present was bought and some chocolate, because, why not! I also got some baking paper, which, after yesterdays fiasco with the poor ‘thing’ I tried to create, it’s most certainly needed!

Back home, (and back in my pajamas) the presents were wrapped and put under the tree, and the baking commenced! Using the big old cook book, I created something that resembles a chocolate yule log!

A lot of breakages happened, but, with enough cream, and chocolate icing – the bit where it sort of broke in to three pieces, was fixed – and it actually came out looking like a log fo a tree!! A pale one, but still a log! It might not look completely right, but everything tasted good on it’s own, so I’m sure, that when it’s cut in to tomorrow, it’ll taste amazing!

Here’s hoping anyway.

I may have put a little bit too much chocolate in to it…

It’s Christmas, you can never have enough chocolate, right?

But, anyhow, the presents are done, the food that needs to be defrosted is being defrosted, the cheesecake set beautifully! And, I spent the day in my pajamas watching movies!

Anyway, the last twelve days of this Blogmas have been crazy! I had most of it planned out, but, the last few days got rough and posts got rambly! I guess that’s just Christmas for you though, right?

I had more plans and more blog posts for this whole thing, but, nothing really went to plan, and I guess, if anything, there’s still next year, isn’t it!

If anything, its been fun! I’ve enjoyed making myself write a little everyday, if anything, it proved to myself that I could do it!

Although, my book has suffered these last few weeks! I’ve worked on it in some way a little everyday, and I’ve even wrote two short stories about it! One, I posted on here for Day 3 of Blogmas, when Ryan met Rudolph, and another – that’s still in my drafts – and concerns Url and his want to runaway to bard school, both of which were inspired by my 12 Days Of Promptmas prompts! Which I think have been the funnest to do! It’s made some of these blogmas posts so much easier to do!

It’s also let me get to know my characters even more than I thought I could, and I think, if anything, it’s kept my mind on them when the reality of Christmas is trying to take me away from it!


Today Promptmas (and the last one) is:

My characters would most probably resent the fact that they had to invite me in the first place! I’m not nice to any of them, and they’d probably try to poison me with wine or something like that!

But, say I did survive the whole initial thing. I would see Derrick, Tobin and Rhys (who are the least likely to poison me with turkey, thank god) cooking the food, Mel would probably be trying to help, but most likely, she’d just be sat there scoughing her face with chocolate!

As for presents, apart from a knife in the back (or the front, depending on the character), I might get some that don’t include trying to kill me!

Lauryn – A story she’s written

Aran – A drawing of some animal

Harry – The ‘dagger’. (I’m sorry Harry, it’s not real if that makes you feel better, it’s just a story, you’re not real either)

Albert – A book, probably a memoir cause he likes them

Mel – A fruit bar, because it’s the only thing she’ll give up

Jerry – A cloak, a real nice, fine one as well, because he likes them little luxuries

Rhys – He thinks himself a story-teller, so I guess, he’d really enjoy telling me a story. (Whether this story includes my death is another post for another day)


And, just for the sake of it, here are the eleven other Promptmas prompts!


To end this off, I hope your all ready for Christmas, and that the rest of the eve is spent drinking hot chocolate, eating food and watching movies! Or, if it’s nice and hot where you live, that you’re sitting by some pool with a beer or a coke!

I’m gonna end mine with the Anchorman! The Legend of Ron Burgandy!

Until next time,

Just keep writing,

Jade x