Sunday, May 19, 2019

Weekly Goals 20-5-19

I got some more writing done over the weekend, although not as much as I would have liked.  I'm still struggling to figure out the ending for this story.  There are so many possible ways it could go!

While I try and figure it out, I'm taking a look at one of my older books that's still sitting idle on my hard drive because it could, potentially, be the next one I submit to my publisher.  I've worked and re-worked this one a number of times, and I queried it quite widely a few years back.  It got a lot of interest, but everyone seemed to think it was perhaps a little too quiet to stand out in the market.  I'm wondering if the market might have shifted somewhat, and this book might now have a place in it.

Guess we'll see, if I like it enough to actually send it anywhere.

It was my birthday last week and I got some new cycling shoes, so I have added motivation to get on the bike more often.  Going to try and up my gym game a little too.

What are your goals this week?

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Celebrate the Small Things 17-5-19

This post is part of Lexa Cain's bloghop, Celebrate the Small Things. Head on over there to join up!

What am I celebrating this week?

It's the weekend!

After another extremely busy week at work, I'm looking forward to a couple of days off.  I don't have anything in particular planned, but I hope to do some reading, some writing and get the house into some kind of order.

My oven, which has been broken for a month is fixed, so I may even do some baking!  I will certainly make a few things we can eat during the week without me having to think to much about cooking when I get home from work.

What are you celebrating this week?

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Books I've Read: The Secret Ingredient of Wishes

With the main library closed, I've been going to one of the local branch libraries to find books to read.  The branch libraries are small and don't seem to have a lot of new books on the shelves.  Maybe they are all out with readers, or maybe they just don't get a lot of new books.  Whatever the case, the last time I went, I struggled to find anything I hadn't already read, or that I wanted to read.  So I picked up this book on a whim.

It wasn't a bad book, but it felt very superficial.  Rachel has an unusual ability: she can make peoples' wishes come true.  Unfortunately, they don't always work out the way people want.  After spending much of her childhood in institutions after accidentally wishing her younger brother out of existence and trying to convince people around her that he had once lived and breathed beside her, Rachel has learned to ignore the wishes floating around her.  Mostly.

But when her best friend's daughter's birthday wish somehow comes true, Rachel decides to leave.  She has no destination in mind, just packs her things, jumps into her car and drives.  Until she runs out of gas in front of a house in a small town called Nowhere, North Carolina.

She is taken in for the night by a feisty old woman called Catch, and is soon eyeing up the handsome neighbor, Ashe who seems almost too good to be true.  The longer she stays in Nowhere, the more she feels she belongs, that the town itself is holding her there for its own reasons.  And she becomes more certain that maybe this is the place she's meant to have been all along.

I liked the way this books wove magic into what is basically a romance novel or 'women's fiction'.  Both Catch and Rachel have unusual gifts that need to be controlled to be useful.

The character development wasn't great though.  Ashe never seemed anything other than too good to be true, and his ex-wife, despite the little twist in who she actually is, was just an archetypal bitchy ex-wife unwilling to let go of the man who loved and trusted her.  Only Catch, the outspoken, fiery old woman who takes Rachel in seems to have a real life inside her.

So while I enjoyed reading this to some degree, it didn't really change my life in any way.  Rachel's traumas were not explored or dealt with in any depth, and there were a few too many convenient coincidences to be truly believable.  It was a little like the pies Catch makes - flaky, sweet and tasty, but not enough to sustain you for any length of time.

But don't just listen to me.  Here's the blurb.

26-year-old Rachel Monroe has spent her whole life trying to keep a very unusual secret: she can make wishes come true. And sometimes the consequences are disastrous. So when Rachel accidentally grants an outlandish wish for the first time in years, she decides it’s time to leave her hometown—and her past—behind for good.

Rachel isn’t on the road long before she runs out of gas in a town that’s not on her map: Nowhere, North Carolina—also known as the town of “Lost and Found.” In Nowhere, Rachel is taken in by a spit-fire old woman, Catch, who possesses a strange gift of her own: she can bind secrets by baking them into pies. Rachel also meets Catch’s neighbor, Ashe, a Southern gentleman with a complicated past, who makes her want to believe in happily-ever-after for the first time in her life.

As she settles into the small town, Rachel hopes her own secrets will stay hidden, but wishes start piling up everywhere Rachel goes. When the consequences threaten to ruin everything she’s begun to build in Nowhere, Rachel must come to terms with who she is and what she can do, or risk losing the people she’s starting to love—and her chance at happiness—all over again.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Weekly Goals 12-5-19

After not writing much last week, this week's goal has got to be about writing.  I'm so close to finishing this book, but for some reason I keep procrastinating.  Partly, I think it's because I'm not entirely sure how it ends...  Which is really unusual for me.  I tend to write my endings very early on in the piece usually so I have somewhere to aim.

This time...  Nothing.  And I know I have to give my MC something positive at the ending, something that will give him hope that he has a future and that it might be a happy one.  I'm just not sure what that thing might be.  The possibility of a real relationship with Megan, the hot receptionist who has a crush on him at work?  Or maybe someone new?  Someone his own age?  Or maybe it's not a relationship that he can look forward to.  Maybe it's an opportunity?

The problem is, I don't know.  And I can't write what I don't know.

So I think I'll have to write a couple of different scenarios to figure out which one rings true for this story.

What are your goals this week?

Friday, May 10, 2019

Celebrate the Small Things 10-5-19

This post is part of Lexa Cain's bloghop, Celebrate the Small Things. Head on over there to join up!

What am I celebrating this week?

It's the weekend!

I've had a tough week at work, so looking forward to a bit of R & R this weekend.  My partner is away on a little tour, so it's just me and the kids.  I plan to read a lot, maybe write a bit, but basically just relax.

I had some old friends over for dinner last night which was fun.  A little too much wine was drunk and the kitchen is something of a bomb site this morning, but it was great to catch up with people I haven't seen for a long time.

I haven't written a lot this week (in terms of my book - work writing, I've done a ton of), so I'm hoping to address that this weekend.

What are you celebrating this week?