Back and Forth

I think this is something which applies to everyone, whether you’re a writer, blogger or artist. How do you overcome mental barriers?

Alina's Corner

When you do something for a long time, unsurprisingly you get better at it. Thus the old adage ‘practice makes perfect’. But there are often times when we stop practicing something for one reason or another and our skill level drops, which is often frustrating when you return to it.

It’s not a matter of inspiration or lack thereof that I’m referring to. That may be why we stop, but it’s not why we don’t start again (although we may use that as an excuse). For me it’s not being able to do things to the standard I was able to do them before. For example, painting, sketching, drawing, all the things I used to do (mostly because I had to for my GCSE/As level course work) without thinking. It was a matter of sitting down and drawing something as the alternative was getting a poor grade. Now, after a…

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2015 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 14,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Let’s Play A Game!

World Map

So, you’re planning to write a story set in Europe or the US? How well do you really know those places? Let’s play a short game to find out!

All you have to do is write up a list of every state in the US you remember and see how many you get. Then do the same for countries in Europe.

To make it more interesting, you can time yourself and try to finish in under 6 mins. Here’s my score…

US states: 27/50.

European countries: 36/51.

And then it got silly…

English counties: 0/48 (Hampshire/Lampshire/Crampshire/The Shire?).

UK countries: 4/4 (Olde England, Cold England, Jolly England, Foggy England).

But in all seriousness:

  1. Hampshire
  2. Warwickshire
  3. Bedfordshire
  4. Gloucestershire
  5. Pembrokeshire
  6. Lancashire
  7. Hertfordshire
  8. Yorkshire
  9. Oxfordshire
  10. Cambridgeshire
  11. Shireshire (sorry, couldn’t take it seriously)

Share Your Story!

A while ago I made a post asking you to Tell Me Your Story. I got lots of responses and you seemed to benefit from getting news about your writing or blogging out there. We’re a third of the way into NaNoWriMo, so I thought this would be the perfect chance to do another, similar post.

Answer one or more of the questions below (feel free to provide a link):

  1. For authors, what is your novel about?
  2. For all writers, what are you writing at the moment?
  3. What are you reading right now?
  4. Why did you start blogging and what is your blog about?
  5. If you could have written any famous (or not) book, which one would it be? I’d go back in time and write Lord of the Rings before Tolkein, but make Sauron win (for purely sadistic purposes).

Two Blogging Questions

Two Blogging Questions

I have two questions for you.

Firstly, how and from where do I get a custom domain name? Are there any benefits to having one?

Secondly, I’ve noticed that a few bloggers are somehow making their posts re-publish themselves. I’m not talking about reblogging an old post. This is the same post with all of its comments and likes included, but it’s back in the news feed. How is this happening? The publishing date shows as today, but there are comments dating back months. Have you noticed this? Is it a poor trick or a useful tool? How does it work?

Don’t worry, I’m not asking you all of these questions (I realise I exceeded my two question quota) and giving nothing in return. Successfully answer these riddles and I will… well I guess I’ll just check out your blog a lot today. Until they invent e-pints so I can buy an e-round, that’s the best reward I’ve got!

Tell Me Your Story

Tell Me Your Story

Hi there!

I’m looking for stories to read. If you’ve written something in historical fiction, fantasy, crime (or any other genre you think I’d like) then leave a link to your story in the comments. I’ll drop in and have a read. Maybe others will too!

If you’ve got the time, tell me about you or your writing as well. It doesn’t even have to be fiction, I’m in the middle of reading a seemingly endless novel and in dire need of a break!

Are you a story in your own right? Then just tell me about yourself!


The First Covenant Release!

Useless Book Club

Cover final

Exciting news! The First Covenant is now available on Kindle. It is a high fantasy novel set in an imagined world drawing on influences from Europe, Asia and medieval/prehistoric history.

I’ve already written an introduction to The First Covenant here, and you can find teasers here or here. So I won’t give too much away.

My favourite aspect of writing this book were the characters. There is a diverse cast of personalities, people with different traits and flaws. You can expect to find powerful heroes and twisted villains, with the distinction between the two sometimes becoming blurred.

Follow this link to find the novel on Kindle.*Version*=1&*entries*=0

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