Blogmas, Day 24: Festive wishes

Well, this is it. Muppet Christmas Carol’s been watched, the turkey’s been prepared, half the bottle of sherry is drunk, so it’s time to kick back and relax. No, really. I’ve not written a word of prose today. So on that note, a festive photo post vaguely inspired by the prompt on describing your writing space…

Continue reading

Blogmas, Day 23: Appreciation

Since I’ve been spending all afternoon entertaining the Twitterati on the #freelancexmasparty and consuming a great deal of mulled wine, a swift update for your Christmas Eve Eve, but one that is super-grateful for all the writing community that’s supported me this year. It’s been a funny 2016, but mostly one where I feel I’ve found my place as a writer. And that’s thanks to you lovely lot. You’re the BEST.

You might like to know that the Umbrellas of Edinburgh anthology has had a lovely review here and it specifically mentions me as one of the standout prose pieces. Honestly, I’m BLUSHING here. Here’s hoping 2017 brings more writing success!

No, thank YOU.

No, thank YOU.

 

Tomorrow is the last Blogmas, unless I’m somehow lucid enough to blog on Christmas Day itself, in which case you’re likely to get either some festive paranormal romance, or a YA-themed rhyme, depending on how much sherry I’ve had. BE WARNED.

 

Blogmas, Day 22: Sykdom

What’s the worst time to get a stinking cold? If you said ‘Christmas Eve Eve Eve’, you’d be correct! That’s why I’ve been stuck in bed, squeezing out a pitiful word count then giving up and bingeing on crisps and series 2 of Skam, instead of stoating about the New Town drinking cocktails with my long-suffering husband.

On the other hand, Skam is a good way to waste an afternoon. If you’re not aware of the phenomenon, here‘s a good introduction. Sadly, unless you want to wait for the (probably going to be inferior) US adaptation, you’ll have to search Tumblr for fan-made English subtitles. Unless you’re me, in which case those months on Duolingo learning Norwegian have really paid off, and you can appreciate William’s stunning cheekbones in the original language. Ahem.

 

Platonic ideal YA hero, here.

Platonic ideal YA hero, here.

 

But seriously, Skam is so well-made, it puts our YA TV output to, well, shame. (And that includes most of Class, in my opinion. SORRY, PATRICK NESS.) I just want our TV commissioners to be a bit braver, stop casting 30-somethings as teenagers (grr), and really tap into what teenagers want. Which, if Skam’s anything to go by, is sassy Muslim girls, honest explorations of sexuality, and floppy hair that’s making main characters, possibly even my own, run to the barbers and go ‘style me like William’.

Tomorrow’s Blogmas may be a bit earlier, so that I can clock off for the #freelancexmasparty at 3pm. Come join me on Twitter and we’ll all have a ball. I’ve got mini gingerbread stars in and everything.

Blogmas, Day 21: Christmas Kelpies

I’ll be honest: Blogmas is draining my energy a bit this week. But on the plus side, all of Christmas is organised. Literally all of it. And to celebrate, I’m taking the evening off to watch the start of the festive Eurovision qualifier season, as Albania kick off their selection and I flood your timelines with hot takes.

Meanwhile, I thought I’d remind you that if you’re struggling for present ideas, why not buy a copy of my book for a friend or treat yourself? You can get it in many ways:

  • Amazon as a Kindle ebook or paperback
  • Smashwords as an EPUB (and a variety of other non-Kindle formats)
  • Barnes & Noble as paperback
  • Kobo
  • Scribd
  • Apple iBooks, though I can’t find a link to it without downloading iTunes and I’d rather saw my own face off
  • You can also borrow it on OverDrive, an ebook lending service (not available in the UK yet, sadly – I’ll be poking libraries in the new year though!)
  • And finally, you can wander into Blackwell’s South Bridge in Edinburgh, where I’m stocked in the Scottish Writers section. Hurray!
It's almost as good as taking one of these home for Christmas.

It’s almost as good as taking one of these home for Christmas.

 

Thank you, lovelies! My writing gin fund will be grateful! And with that, it’s mulled wine and Eurovision time…

Blogmas, Day 20: Reading dens

Today got a bit rammed with wrapping the last presents, ordering £60 worth of Bucks Fizz and cheddar the Christmas shop, and failing to both write a new YA piece with a Thursday deadline and marzipan the Christmas cake – I know, I should’ve done it in August, right? So instead of something more longform, I’m answering the prompt ‘Describe (in words or photos) your favourite reading space’…

Continue reading

Blogmas, Day 19: Family

Today’s Blogmas is mostly brought to you by being grateful for my family. When preparations for Christmas start to swamp you, and your mental health takes a nosedive, it’s good to know that dearest papá can come round, help swear at weird-shaped presents and wrestle with tape and brown paper, and generally chew the fat.

 

We all need duvet days like this.

 

To be honest, I’d started the day grumpy (and sore, thanks to the dentist). But now, I’m feeling a bit more grounded, and I have a bunch of parcels on their way to friends, thanks to the post office’s resident Brooding YA Hero employee. (He was quite charming, which would’ve been lovely if I didn’t feel the laser stares of a hundred old ladies in the queue behind me. Ahem.) Granted, I haven’t done much writing today, but I’ll be up and at ’em tomorrow in some Rocky-style montage, I’m sure.

Tomorrow on Blogmas, there’s something I want to get off my chest, so expect some extending of brass necks and donning of flameproof clothes…

Blogmas, Day 18: Actual relaxation

Another day with two Blogmas posts, because I spent Sunday scampering round to festive shindigs: a carol service at a local church, and a traditional early Christmas dinner at a friend’s. The way this year has been, though, I’m grateful to pause and munch a few mince pies while gamely trying to sing the descant of Hark The Herald Angels Sing, despite the choir using a completely different descant to the one you learned at school. Awkward John Redwood moments all round.

 

 

 

There’ll be another Blogmas along later tonight, but until then a reminder that the #freelancexmasparty is this Friday at the new time of 3pm onwards. I even have more entertainment in the form of an early present, one of those crap 200-in-one games gadgets with badly spelled titles. Literally minutes of fun…