I thought I'd share my Monday morning frustration. I'm at the beginning of writing a new book, so I like to have my dedication and quote in place for the entire writing process. Other authors leave this task to the end, but it's one of my quirks, which I have done with each book, barring one.
Anyway, I love a good quote. I like to signpost my readers, regarding where my muse was heading, prior to them meeting the first character. But there's a criteria to choosing a quote. Firstly, I have to love it. Secondly, it has to relate to the theme of my story - subtle or not, I don't mind. Thirdly, it has to be in the public domain - meaning out of copyright! Now, that final one has been a killer for a thousand quotes I would love to use! This morning has been no different. In two hours of searching, I have rejected beautiful quotes from John Steinbeck, Virginia Woolf and Natalie Goldberg. At one point, I was tempted to write 'Quote - every quote I can't use!' on page three of my manuscript. Not the right attitude, but still, the truth!
My editors pull their hair out, because despite my best intentions, some quotes which I choose slip through the net and result in lots of discussions and searches 'to clarify'. Such as a Wordsworth quote - who has some weird and wonderful extension to his copyrights - resulting in an instant delete! One book quote caused me sooooooooooooo much work as I badly wanted to use it but had to seek permission from the powers that be. Time, effort and many messages later - I got my wish. To me it was worth it, but I'm not sure others thought so.
Anyhow, I've now found this book's quote. It arrived via an error on a web search which quoted it as a personal comment but it turns out after further research to be a line from their book. And the best part, it is out of copyright! Yeah!!!!
Pages one, two and three of my new manuscript are now written!
Well, it had to happen at some point, folks! Life will probably never be the same again. The end of an era, so to speak but hopefully, another new brand-new, sparkly adventure venturing into the realm of meeting new book friends.
I've joined my fellow authors at TikTok!
See you there or not!
Link: TikTok - ErinGreenAuthor
My debut was published 1st August 2017 - making my dream come true! Since that day it has been non-stop writing to produce the others. I'm asked numerous times a week for the order of publication, so here it is ...
A Christmas Wish
The Single Girl's Calendar
The Magic of Christmas Tree Farm
The Magic of Christmas Tree Farm (German translation)
New Beginning at Rose Cottage
Taking a Chance on Love
From Shetland, With Love
From Shetland, With Love at Christmas
Sunny Stays at the Shetland Hotel
A Shetland Christmas Carol
Coming soon ...
Summer Dreams at the Lakeside Cottage
Christmas Wishes at the Lakeside Cottage
Being an author is my dream job. I get to immerse myself in my writing every day, drink as much tea as I can brew and choose the place, time and hours of work. One huge downfall is not having work colleagues. I don’t get to chat about last night's TV, or hear their good news whilst using the photocopier and no one ever surprises me with a cake on Fridays! Though I do take myself off to the local bakery, now and then. It can feel pretty isolating working in a tiny room, staring at a screen, despite the dog’s constant company.
Which is one reason why I frequently nip to local coffee shops or cafés to complete my work, simply to be surrounded by the buzz of human beings and ear-wig on their conversations, of course.
Thankfully, since November 2021, I have found another remedy which has worked wonders for me: London Writers’ Salon. Each weekday, this on-line community writes together, four times a day for one hour sessions, via Zoom chasing the 8am time slot around the world. As I write this blog spot, I am attending the London 8am session and there are 247 other writers busily working on their projects – ‘we’re apart but together’. In a typical day, I get to sit amongst 500-600 writers from around the globe and write!
London – 8am UK
New York – 8am ET (1pm in UK)
Los Angeles – 8am PT (4pm in UK)
Aussie – 8am AEDT (9pm in UK)
There’s two co-hosts on each session, a set routine regarding setting your intentions, moral encouragement and 50 minutes of dedicated writing. And the lovely thing is any writer is welcome, you might be published, unpublished, a student, business folks doing admin – if you need to write something – then you are welcome to attend. And, what’s more these daily sessions are free!
I literally think of the sessions as ‘the office’ where the time determines my attendance. Since joining I’ve changed my writing day to coincide with their time slots. My writing hours are now 8am till 2pm with a return session at 4pm, enabling me to catch at least three sessions each day. I attend the Aussie session if I’m working late, it’s NaNoWriMo season or there’s a deadline nearing. In addition, there are currently two weekend sessions, which are much smaller affairs that begin at 8:30am – which I sometimes attend.
It won’t be the answer for every writer, but for me – there’s something magical that happens within each session!
Link: London Writers' Salon sessions
As I finish writing a book, I find it difficult to read or focus on prose so opted to read poetry for the past few weeks. It provides a distraction from my work at coffee breaks and lunchtimes, so I opted for this collection by Wilfred Owen. I used to teach secondary school pupils, so was familiar with a couple of Owen’s poems. I knew of his ‘the war poet’ label and often wondered if such a clichéd title was justified or purely lazy categorising. I listened to a fantastic podcast from Melvyn Bragg and guests on ‘In Our Time’ and discovered a wealth of information which I hadn’t known whilst studying or teaching. It gave me an invaluable sight into his life prior to reading the poetry. I’ve listened to the podcast three times in fact, revisiting it whilst partway through the collection as certain aspects have come through in his poetry, as you’d expect. They don’t make for easy reading, there’s various descriptions which capture the suffering and true horror of war – several brought me to tears! Certain lines have lingered, as poetry does, providing an invaluable escape from my own work.
Apologies for being so quiet, but I've had a busy six weeks. The first week in February, saw me complete my manuscript for my September book, 'Christmas Wishes at the Lakeside Cottage' which I submitted to my editor. The completion of a book for me is quite frantic as my brain throws up last minute ideas, some of which are too good to ignore, but need a final reworking to accommodate them. After which, I dived straight into structural edits for my July book, 'Summer Dreams at the Lakeside Cottage'. I'll be honest, I thought my brain was going to fall out of my ear by completion. It's amazing how much information your brain retains during the process of writing and restructuring which you need to 'download' afterwards to clear your thoughts. Which is all part of the process, but still it took me three days of reading, sleeping and general interests before I wasn't revisiting the 'Lakeside cottage' in my head. The nearest thing I can compare it to is exam study and prep - you immerse yourself in the subject/process and afterwards have to readjust and rejuvenate.
Anyway, after a whole week of creative pursuits and dog walks - the little grey cells started to churn. I actually can't help it - its what my brain does and I love it! My brain is currently in the woozy stage of pure imagination! Last Monday, I began to jot down ideas for a new plot and character cast so hopefully come next week, I'll begin writing a synopsis and possibly, chapter one.