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Sunday Coffee Reads | Apr 6

6 Apr

Welcome to Sunday Coffee Reads which, if you’re not familiar, is my occasional sharing of the most interesting thoughts and links to things I’ve come across on Twitter and marked as favourites to read later, later being Sunday morning when I’ve the first of many cups of coffee in hand…suncoffeepic

I’ve actually been out of the office (read: away from the desk in my living room) for the past week, as Andrea Summers was here and I took her on a very rainy trip around Ireland. Well, a few bits of it anyway. Highlights were breakfast with a view at the Lake Hotel in Killarney, the absolutely wonderful library at Trinity College, pulling pints (and bonus: drinking them) at the very impressive Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, and introducing Andrea to Downtown Abbey with the help of the newest love of my life: my Google Chromecast. As my cousin Aisling said, you’ll never know how you got nothing done without it. We also ran into a couple of very nice vintage typewriters…

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Anyway, onto this week’s tweets.

I experienced a moment of writing-related disappointment this week, but thanks to (a) a good sleep, (b) good coffee at the end of that sleep and (c) the level-headed advice of writerly friends, it was only a moment. Still, I’m so glad I came upon this blog post by Mark Edwards this week. If you need a pick-me-up, read it. (And gasp at the line about the non-deleted e-mail!)

Until next time…!

Sunday Coffee Reads | Mar 23

23 Mar

Welcome to Sunday Coffee Reads which, if you’re not familiar, is my occasional sharing of the most interesting thoughts and links to things I’ve come across on Twitter and marked as favourites to read later, later being Sunday morning when I’ve the first of many cups of coffee in hand…suncoffeepic

So, behold! This week’s tweets:

Also this week, while catching up on Hannibal, Crisis and Resurrection on Hulu, I came across a trailer for a movie called Authors Anonymous. Now of course there’s a risk that they’ve put all the good bits in the trailer, but the scenes they have stuck in there cut real close to the bone.

A writers’ group is all for supporting each other until one of them – the young, beautiful blonde one with breasts – someone manages to get a 6-figure deal for her first attempt, even though she struggles to name a published writer she likes. Meanwhile the eldest of the bunch proudly announces that he’s “inked a deal” with U R The Publisher, but he quickly goes from waving around their pamphlets to complaining that they’ve stuck a picture of a dog on the cover of his novel The Roaring Lion.

It’s out in the US now, apparently, but who knows when it’ll reach European shores. In the meantime, enjoy the trailer:

Until the next Sunday that doesn’t have a F1 grand prix…

(The Return of) Sunday Coffee Reads | March 2

2 Mar

*knock knock*

Hello? Real World? Are you still there? I want to come back now…

Lovely blog readers, you may have noticed I’ve been uncharacteristically quiet on the old blogging front since the start of the New Year. That’s because the one thing I swore I would do in 2014 is get into the habit of writing every day, and I’m glad to say that my dastardly plan has worked.

The problem is it worked a little too well and the thought of doing the things that used to be my go-to procrastination fodder (i.e. blogging, tweeting, ignoring BuzzFeed ‘Which [INSERT NAME OF MOVIE/TV SHOW/NOVEL] Character Are You? quizzes on Facebook) started making me want to indulge in some old-timey procrastination (i.e. staring out the window) instead of doing them.

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I know: it was a confusing time. But now that I’ve set a limit on the words I’m ‘allowed’ to write down a day, it’s time to get back to wasting my time* in the most enjoyable way: blogging!

I’m starting with the return of Sunday Coffee Reads which, if you’re not familiar, is my once-weekly sharing of the most interesting thoughts and links to things I’ve come across on Twitter and marked as favourites to read later, later being Sunday morning when I’ve the first of many cups of coffee in my hands. (I mean, in one hand. Because my phone is in the other. You know what I mean.) Look, I’ve even made a fancy new graphic and everything.

And there may even be a new blog post from me this week.

(Maybe. Baby steps and all that jazz. Plus I still haven’t finished House of Cards. TELL ME NOTHING.)

So, behold! This week’s tweets:

This week’s Give Me A Break corner is reserved for that last link, to an article from the Guardian (above). It whinges and moans about how some writers are making less money than they ever did since the digital publishing revolution dawned. My thoughts:  (i) no writer is entitled to be financially compensated for the hours they spend writing—writers are only entitled to be compensated if/when a reader chooses to consume what’s been produced, (ii) I love how no one ever says, ‘Shame I didn’t write a book that the majority of readers wanted to read…’ and (iii) I look around at my writing buddies, both self and traditionally published or a mixture of the two, and we’re ALL generating income from our writing in ways that wouldn’t have been possible for us five years ago. I personally think this is a good thing. I have sympathy for people who wish the game could revert to when it was played by rules they were familiar with, but I also think that to survive in any situation, you need to be prepared to change and adapt. What are yours? Let me know in the comments below…

And a bonus tweet, for the day that’s in it:

Obviously I had to make a prototype.

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It went well.

*SLURP*

*Not really. Doing something fun is never a waste of time, especially when you can do it make-up-free and in your PJs. Yay for blogging!

Sunday Coffee Reads: August 11

11 Aug

As I said in my Plans and Goals and Stuff post, Sunday mornings is when I read my way through all the interesting tidbits I’ve come upon during the week: tweets I’ve marked as favorite, Google Reader posts I’ve starred and articles I’ve mailed myself links to while waiting out an ad break. Then I add the ones I think everyone else might find interesting to Buffer, so they get tweeted during the week. (Note: I tweet what I think is interesting, not necessarily what I agree with.) But I thought that this year, I would pick the cream of the crop for a little Sunday morning link fest, so you have something to read with your coffee too…

So I have managed to do Sunday Coffee Reads two weeks in a row but, alas, there’s no post in-between them. Still, we’re getting places. Progress and all that jazz. This week’s coffee pic is brought to you by the Lido Cafe Bar in Hyde Park, London, where I stopped for an Americano back in June. (Not pictured: gale force breeze, pigeons, threatening rain clouds—let’s just remember the good times, eh?)

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Onto this week’s tweets…

Until next week!

Sunday Coffee Reads: Week I Don’t Even Know Because It’s Been So Long Since I Did This

4 Aug

Ah, yes. Sunday Coffee Reads. Remember those? I barely do, because it’s been soooo long since I actually pulled my socks up high enough to get around to doing them. I’m in the throes of a spurt of motivation though, so let’s see how this goes. Will there be two (TWO!) continuous Sunday Coffee Reads posts? Tune in next Sunday to find out…

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I realize that this is not the traditional Sunday Coffee Reads picture of a coffee-cup from which I have slurped the sweet, sweet taste of Thing With Caffeine In It. But it’s something far more important: I finished a draft of The Dreaded Novel!

[Pauses for applause.]

Actually, no, this doesn’t deserve applause, because it’s taken me so long to get around to doing it, and it’s basically a pile of poo. Hence, The Discovery Draft. (Not first draft. Not even sh*t draft.) It’s that crappy. The first act is a bit first draft, yeah, but then the second one is like a stream-of-consciousness action sequence with no description, and by the third, we’ve reverted to bullet points. That’s because this draft is all about finding out what happens, i.e. what goes on between the start and the middle, how we get from beginning to end, can we even get from beginning to end, etc. etc. It’s  so much about finding out what happens that if I knew exactly what was going to happen in a chapter, I just typed it in a sentence and moved on.

It’s a thriller so there’s a lot of plot twisting going on, which is why my next step is to take this raw material and write a chapter-by-chapter outline so I don’t accidentally drive 25,000 words off a cliff in the middle of the next draft. Hence, the fresh, smooth new legal pads. I just realized they color co-ordinate but that was an accident: I always print out different drafts in different colors and the stack of yellow was the cheapest in the store yesterday. Hooray!

Anyway, onto this week’s tweets…

Don’t forget: you can download the PDF of Self-Printed directly from me for just 99c (normally $4.99) for a limited period, to celebrate my return to the Land of Blogging.

Have a good Sunday!

Sunday Coffee Reads: May 26

26 May

As I said in my Plans and Goals and Stuff post, Sunday mornings is when I read my way through all the interesting tidbits I’ve come upon during the week: tweets I’ve marked as favorite, Google Reader posts I’ve starred and articles I’ve mailed myself links to while waiting out an ad break. Then I add the ones I think everyone else might find interesting to Buffer, so they get tweeted during the week. (Note: I tweet what I think is interesting, not necessarily what I agree with.) But I thought that this year, I would pick the cream of the crop for a little Sunday morning link fest, so you have something to read with your coffee too…

I hate doing two Sunday Coffee Reads back to back, but things are a little hectic here at Catherine HQ. Remember when I said that I was soooo looking forward to May because I had absolutely nothing going on during it and I was excited to finally have some Time To Get Stuff Done? Well, that went out the window when due to competition for the apartment I wanted to move into (don’t get me started) I had to move a month earlier than planned, and now I’m still waiting for broadband to be installed there (they have to activate the phone line, except ten days later they still haven’t even called me to arrange someone coming out to open the line, and the modem has to be sent out after that) and then loads of other things came up so at the end of the day, May has been the busiest month of my year so far. Hopefully by this time next week I will at least be living in a place that has internet access and getting into something resembling a routine, but I thought that last week, so…

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This week’s coffee pic is a large coffee at one of my favorite places, the Market Street Cafe in Celebration, Florida. (And yes, I did buy one of those mugs!)

Onto this week’s tweets. Amazon have gone and done something very interesting indeed (although perhaps not done it right…?), one of my favorite authors writes an open letter to pirates (the kind who steal books, not the Jack Sparrow kind) and I think the person who wrote the ‘Signs You’re Addicted to Books’ post must have been inside my head…

 

 

Until next week…

(P.S. Travelled, my new book, is out now. I’ll be blogging about this in more detail tomorrow but you can pick it up now, if you like.)

Sunday Coffee Reads: May 19

19 May

As I said in my Plans and Goals and Stuff post, Sunday mornings is when I read my way through all the interesting tidbits I’ve come upon during the week: tweets I’ve marked as favorite, Google Reader posts I’ve starred and articles I’ve mailed myself links to while waiting out an ad break. Then I add the ones I think everyone else might find interesting to Buffer, so they get tweeted during the week. (Note: I tweet what I think is interesting, not necessarily what I agree with.) But I thought that this year, I would pick the cream of the crop for a little Sunday morning link fest, so you have something to read with your coffee too…

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This week’s photo, as the very observant among you will undoubtedly have already noticed, is not of coffee, but of books. Specifically my books, and the mess they spent Friday in as I sorted through them. I’ve finally moved into a place where nowhere else lives too—hooray!—and so was able to take all my books out of storage and see what I had for the first time in years. (Turns out I bought a couple of Harlan Coben’s twice, and presumably read them thinking they were new to me too. Erm…) Once my bookcases arrive I plan to have HOURS of fun with my Goodreads iPhone app, its barcode scanner and a new ‘Owned’ shelf, but for now, it’s onto this week’s tweets:

Also, Nick Thacker has a whopper of a post (4,000 words long!) that’s also available as a free download: The Official Self-Published Book Marketing Plan. You can read it/download it here.

Until next week…

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