My Writing Space
This is a picture of me writing in one of my favourite places, the Winston Churchill Memorial Park in St Brelades Bay where I live in Jersey. The park has several tiers with a magnificent waterfall, fountain, flower borders, and incredible views through the huge pine trees across St Brelades Bay.
If you don’t wish to sit on one of the benches, there’s the lawn, overgrown patches of wild grasses, old tree stumps where trees have come down, leaving comfortable seats. Despite it being a favourite place for people to walk, or sunbathe, there’s always a quiet spot with an incredible view where I can sit and lose myself in my work in progress, or gaze out across the beach if I need inspiration. A pretty beach with cafes and restaurants is just below the park, and occasionally I’ll arrange to meet friends for coffee after a few hours writing, or go there to enjoy an ice cream, lunch, or simply for a quick dip in the sea – this usually means going no deeper than my knees, because the sea is usually far too cold for me to actually swim in it.
I’m lucky that I live in such a beautiful island, it’s a never ending source of inspiration for my romances and there are so many gorgeous places to set scenes. Jersey might be small – only 9 x 5 miles in size – but there are many hidden coves, beautiful cliff paths for walks and endless reminders of the history that has played out here over the centuries - perfect inspiration for writing. I suppose my writing space is where ever I choose on a particular day.
Amazon.com – A Jersey Affair & A Jersey Kiss:
Amazon.co.uk – A Jersey Affair & A Jersey Kiss:
Blurb – A Jersey Affair:
When shoe designer Paige Bingham is jilted she decides to enjoy her honeymoon-for-one in Sorrento. What she doesn’t expect is to meet a mysterious entrepreneur, Sebastian Fielding, when she gets to Italy. He helps ease the sting of rejection as he introduces her to the beautiful sites he knows and loves.
Unfortunately, not long after Paige returns to her small island home off the coast of France, she discovers that not only is this charismatic man’s company taking over the struggling store where her business is based, but that her concession is probably surplus to his requirements.
How can Paige stop her fledgling shoe design business from going under? And what can she do to fight the gossip now that the paparazzi have published their untruths about ‘A Jersey Affair’?
Georgina Troy lives in Jersey near the sea – well, most people do in an island only 9 miles x 5 miles in size. She’s always wanted to write and being an impossible romantic is always falling in love with heroes both real (hopefully), in fiction (definitely) and those of her own creation (absolutely).
A Jersey Affair is the second in a series of stand-alone romances based in Jersey, which Georgina hopes you’ll read, enjoy and maybe tell your friends about. The first book, A Jersey Kiss is out now.
Anyway, back to the reason I am here—music. If it hadn't been for music, my first novel, Good Intentions, probably never would have been written. I'd had the idea for the story in my head for quite a while and there it was staying. Then, a radio station switched formats to playing all 90's music (it has since switched again and I'm devastated). You see, for me, the 90's are my favorite music. It is the music of my high school and college years. Hearing a song can bring me right back to those carefree days. And so it did. Listening to that music, I decided to set the story idea in the late 1990's in Boston, which is where I was at that time in my life. And viola, Good Intentions came to be.
Music plays a large part in the story. There are various scenes with specific songs listed in the book. I could not imagine the story taking place without the music in the background. I wrote the whole book listening to 90's music. As a result, I have quite the playlist for the book. I like to think of it as a soundtrack.
However, when I was writing my second book, Hold Her Down, the tone of the book was much more serious. I could not listen to music while writing. As a result, there is very little music in that story. I shifted gears again for my third novel (which will be released in September). I had music going the whole time. Music so influenced my writing in that one that I was able to come up with not one but two playlists for it. Perhaps I can stop back in a few months and share those songs with you then.
So, without further ado, here is my "soundtrack" for Good Intentions.
Sometimes I think my efforts to keep my blog interesting and on topic leave it not that interesting at all.
I thought I'd introduce a new "Thoughts on Thursday " feature so I can ramble a little more freely on less bookish topics.
Of course the first thing I'm going to tell you completely flies in the face of that because it's about a writing workshop I went to yesterday. It was given by the wonderful Australian author Kate Forsythe. It was two hours of her discussing plot and character, pace and structure and I found it very inspiring.
As I often do I came home all enthused to be a better writer. I mean this in the sense of better of the craft but mainly better at the job of writing. When I see how methodical, how systematic, how stinking disciplined some people are it puts me to shame.
I'm not really a competitive person in the pure sense - I don't think in terms of winning and losing (probably why I'm not a business wunderkind ), I don't look at someone else succeeding and think I must have failed and I don't even get envious much these days of other people's success - but I do often say to myself "For goodness sake if they can do that, then surely I can."
In the case of a writer who sets them self a neat routine and sticks to it I often think "Well if she can do it, why can't I?"
I got up and hit my desk today fuelled by a positive attitude and that can do feeling and then the page stared back at me and nothing came. It was one of the worst days I've had in a long time.
What can you do? Keep trying I guess. Get up tomorrow and do better. I attended the workshop with friends from my writing group and I text one friend who said her day was just like mine. She tried and did not get her word count up either. It didn't make me feel any better to hear that - I always wish my friends success.
In other unrelated news it is now Autumn and I am really not a fan. I like sunshine and beaches and balmy nights. I dislike Autumn because it's a prelude to Winter which I detest. My husband loves Autumn - "Great for fishing and the water temperature is still warm." Then again he fished through a cyclone when we were in Queensland earlier this year so his credibility is shot.
I might need to download some books set in the tropics to warm me up over the next few months.
I'm also pondering my writing future (as I often am) this week. What direction should I take, where should I focus my energy and does anybody but me really care? (I know the answer to that last bit by the way, no need to respond). Maybe that's the problem with both the character in my book and myself - too much thinking and not enough doing.
It is now just on two years since I started this blog. That's pretty amazing. The last two years have been a wild ride for me. There are lots of things I would have done differently if I had known back in 2012 what I know now. (As I don't own a time machine that's just bad luck isn't it?)
I know people who regret their publishing journey and I don't feel that way. There are certainly things I regret (choices, actions and of course lack of action) but not the whole journey.
I thought I'd make this post not about the publishing but about the blogging. What have I gleaned over this time period?
1. Consistently coming up with content is hard.
2. Many more people read blogs than comment on them - you do very often feel as if you're chit chatting to your self.
3. You can lead people to your blog, you can even get them to comment but if you have something to sell (eg books in my case) that doesn't mean they will do so.
4. Lots of people who you think in the beginning will read your blog do not.
5. Having regular memes (eg Musical Monday, Writers on Wednesday) makes it easier for you to generate consistent content.
6. As a writer hosting other writers, reviews or industry people is a great way to create blog content and hopefully draw new audiences to your blog. I am sure this is true for cooking, mothering and fishing blogs as well. Be generous and welcoming to others and they will reciprocate.
7. Even though you may not think your blog impacts your business (see point 3) when you don't blog you will see a downturn in sales. (I do).
8. Don't take yourself too seriously.
9. Try and be consistent. Even if you only blog once a week do it regularly and like clockwork. (OK I don't always do this but I have learned that I should :) )
Any other bloggers out there what do you think are the key rules for success?
And for Musical Monday the lovely Norah Jones singing a song that was integral to the writing soundtrack and the story of my first novel Mr Right and Other Mongrels now celebrating it's 2nd birthday.
5/6/2014 2 Comments
Today for ChickLit Month we have a character Interview with Dorsey Bing from THE DIVORCED NOT DEAD WORKSHOP by CeCe Osgood
Body wise, I’m five-sixish with butterscotch hair and I’m a tad overweight at the moment. Too much stress eating after getting dumped, which I’m not talking about, well, not much. Mentally, I’m on a quest to get my, um, crap, together, which includes trying to put together a workshop to “desuckify” guys.
2. Do you have any pets?
Right now, I’ve got one bossy cat I rescued who counts me as his minion. When I lived in San Antonio, Spotty McSpotty, my neighbors’ Dalmatian used to come over to my house and keep me company after I had a car accident. We’d watch movies together. His favorite was 101 Dalmatians, of course. Mine was, um, is Bridget Jones’s Diary.
3. What was high school like for you?
Well, I wasn’t popular or a prep or a jock or a cheerleader. More of a geek and a loner I guess. I liked history and literature and my mother got me interested in psychology. I did help out with a few musicals for theater class, mainly dancing in the chorus line.
4. What was your first job?
Caring for tomato and pepper plants for Mrs. Chapa, an elderly neighbour we met when Mom and I first moved to L.A. She paid me to plant and water and weed her tomato and pepper plants since she couldn’t bend because of bad knees. She paid me three dollars a week, if the plants lived and grew. During a heat wave one week, I lost quite a few and my mom made me return two bucks to her.
5. What are your flaws and your strengths?
I have too many flaws to count. Seriously. I can over react to things and say stuff I should keep to myself. Sometimes I’m a candy-ass people pleaser, and boy does that get me in trouble. I jump to conclusions when I should take a few deep breaths and cool off. As for strengths, I’m an idea person. I get them all the time. I’m glad I do. The problem is I have zero follow through. I don’t take action and then my ideas drift away. I’m learning how not to do that now. I learning how not diminish my idea so I don’t have any energy left to go forward with it.
6. What scares you?
Getting stuck in a rut scares me and I’m beginning to think I’m a commitment phobe, and why not since my love life had been so disastrous. I’m also really scared of being an idea person who never, ever acts on her ideas. That could be an epic fail, and a very sad life.
7. Tell us about your love life.
I believe there’s only one word to describe it at the moment: sucks.
Right out of college I married Evan and thought it would last forever. It didn’t. And that experience kept me from getting seriously involved for five years with anyone else. Then I met Theo and It really seemed to me like we were ready to connect and take it to the next level, and then he walked out on me without a word. Arrgh. Men. They drive me crazy.
8. Okay, well then how about this one. Have you ever broken the law?
I’ve gotten four speeding tickets driving through Texas. In LA, I once rolled through a stop sign while looking at this beautiful Australian shepherd and a cop nailed me for a moving violation. My friend Pilar and I had a quarrel during a shopping trip and I ran after her, forgetting I hadn’t yet paid for the sweater I’d tried on. Security came after me and I was sure I’d be arrested. Luckily, I’d dropped my purse on the countertop during the quarrel and when I ran after Pilar so I told the cop. Then Pilar assured the shop’s owner that leaving my purse meant I was coming back to pay for the sweater. She can talk anyone into anything, that girl.
9. She sounds like a great friend. How long have you known her?
We met freshman year in college and have been buddies ever since. We shared classes in psychology and have gone through some tough times together, especially during my divorce and the birth of her son Todd. I think those tough times made us even closer.
10. What the worst thing you’ve done while drunk?
During my freshman year in college, Pilar and I drove to Rosarito Beach to spend spring break week in a condo with two other friends. The first day we had sangrias at breakfast and margaritas at lunch. Then we decided to order the diablo margaritas while we stretched out on beach towels under the blazing sun. When we woke up we were both crispy bright orange and howling in pain. For the rest of the week, we stayed in our darkened room, lathering aloe vera lotion on and listening to the party going on all around us.
11.Do you cook? If so, what’s your favorite meal to make?
I go for simple food for the most part. Tacos are easy, so is grilled cheese but for a special treat I’ll make shrimp curry. It’s not as good as the curry I’ve had in Thai and Indian restaurants, but it hits the spot, especially when I use coconut milk and lime.
12. Who is your favorite villain on TV?
That little twerp King Joffrey in Game of Thrones made me want to throttle him. Eli Gold in The Good Wife isn’t really a villain but I love his deviousness, and, of course, there’s Olivia Pope’s mother and father in Scandal...yikes what a marriage that must’ve been.
13 .If an actress played you in a movie who would it be?
Emma Stone. Those big eyes and that great throaty voice. My own voice pitches too high, so I’d love a deeper, sexier voice.
14. Bellini or margarita?
I love both, but I recently had a Bellini that won me over. Super-fantastic.
15. Do you prefer boxers or briefs?
Depends on the man but I gotta say boxers do turn me on.
16. Swimming or volleyball?
Swimming because I like the zone you get into if you’re in a lap pool.
17. Who do you share your secrets with? Pilar and my other BFF, Mimi.
We’re the three musketeers... without swords or candy bars.
18. Are you ready to fall in love again?
That’s a tricky question. I think I am. But until you’re out there in the world and being open to the vibes, well, you don’t know for sure. I’ve learned that even though you might say you want something, your actions tell the real story. Don’t you think?
Divorced five years and recently dumped by Theo, Dorsey Bing brainstorms about a dating workshop for divorced people. Too bad she’s an idea person with zero follow-through. That changes when her pal, Pilar, sets up the workshop, puts herself in charge and gets Dorsey to be her “gofer.” Dorsey’s widowed stepfather Ralph, and his bride-to-be, Audrey, ask Dorsey to join their wedding cruise to Cabo, which will be held on the same weekend. Dorsey and Pilar nip that problem by holding the workshop during the cruise. But do things ever work out as planned. No. No, they don’t.
Everything goes topsy-turvy with a startling mishap, rebellious workshop attendees and the arrival of Audrey’s good-looking but wily nephew Finn. More trouble comes with the unexpected re-appearance of Theo. Will Dorsey and Theo revive their relationship or will she discover Finn isn’t who she thinks he is? Facing failure and heartbreak, Dorsey must tackle her biggest challenge if she’s to win the love, and life, she’s always desired.
About CeCe Osgood
CeCe Osgood lives in Texas after many years in LA working in the film industry. Her writing career includes magazine articles and screenplays as well as being a freelance script analyst (main client HBO). She also has had two screenplays optioned.
Being a novelist has been her lifelong dream, and now it’s becoming her reality. Her debut novel, THE DIVORCED NOT DEAD WORKSHOP, a romantic comedy with a whopping side dish of chick lit aka lighthearted women’s fiction, is about dating after divorce. She loves red wine and hates pretzels. See more about her at http://www.ceceosgood.com
Did you know that May is Chicklit Month? No, well you do now and to celebrate there are lots of cool things happening.
For example there is a sale starting Monday (US time) where a wonderful collection of authors are all selling their books this week for #99c.
This is the official blurb for the promo (but I have to just shout out to my Australian and NZ readers who have seen our temperatures plummet this weekend and acknowledge it is a tad off the mark for us...nevertheless we're an adaptable group who knows that the rest of the world rolls a little differently to us.)
May is finally here! The weather's warming up, your cute new bathing suit's all ready to go, and you've got the kitchen stocked with fixins for your favorite fruity cocktails. The only thing missing is the perfect book to read while you're soaking up some Vitamin D at the beach or pool. Good thing May is also International Chick Lit Month! To celebrate, some of the genre's funniest and most talented authors are offering their lighthearted, romantic reads for $0.99 each! So, load up your eReader and slather on the sunscreen, because your new book boyfriends are waiting for you under the umbrella . . .
Here is a list of the books up for sale (remember from Monday US-time) and if you're on Pinterest you can go follow our Pinterest board and see all the gorgeous covers.
A Heat of the Moment Thing by Maggie Le Page http://www.amazon.com/Heat-Moment-Thing-Maggie-Page-ebook/dp/B00BUCJV70
A Questionable Friendship by Samantha March http://www.amazon.com/Questionable-Friendship-Samantha-March-ebook/dp/B00II9EDR6
Another Saturday Night and I Ain't Got No Body by Jennie Marts http://www.amazon.com/Another-Saturday-Night-Turners-Novel-ebook/dp/B00AQPJ924
Blogger Girl by Meredith Schorr http://www.amazon.com/Blogger-Girl-Meredith-Schorr-ebook/dp/B00EDTLDSW
Breaking the Rules by Cat Lavoie http://www.amazon.com/Breaking-Rules-Cat-Lavoie-ebook/dp/B008UZYPLW
Dangled Carat by Hilary Grossman http://www.amazon.com/Dangled-Carat-Hilary-Grossman-ebook/dp/B00F55HITQ
Divine Moves by Ellyn Oaksmith http://www.amazon.com/Divine-Moves-Ellyn-Oaksmith-ebook/dp/B00H1ZC8UW
Exactly Where They'd Fall by Laura Rae Amos http://www.amazon.com/Exactly-Where-Theyd-Fall-Laura-ebook/dp/B008OWGPI2
For the Love of Cupcakes by Anita Kushwaha http://www.amazon.com/Love-Cupcakes-Anita-Kushwaha-ebook/dp/B00DW7WGTG
French Twist by Glynis Astie http://www.amazon.com/French-Twist-Glynis-Astie-ebook/dp/B00EUF203Q
Good Intentions by Kathryn Biel http://www.amazon.com/Good-Intentions-Kathryn-R-Biel-ebook/dp/B00D4KMJ8O
Hard Hats and Doormats by Laura Chapman http://www.amazon.com/Hard-Hats-Doormats-Laura-Chapman-ebook/dp/B00H7OME88
Here, Home, Hope by Kaira Rouda http://www.amazon.com/Here-Home-Hope-Womens-Fiction-ebook/dp/B004YKTEHC In Need of Therapy by Tracie Banister http://www.amazon.com/In-Need-of-Therapy-ebook/dp/B008N6Z36Y
Let's Be Frank by Brea Brown http://www.amazon.com/Lets-Be-Frank-Brea-Brown-ebook/dp/B00IE7LW12
Lila's Choice by Laura Brown http://www.amazon.com/Lilas-Choice-Laura-Brown-ebook/dp/B00IA6IKV2
Mail-Order Groom by Cindy Flores Martinez http://www.amazon.com/Mail-Order-Groom-Cindy-Flores-Martinez-ebook/dp/B00IBD5THC
Mr Right and Other Mongrels by Monique McDonell http://www.amazon.com/Right-Other-Mongrels-Monique-McDonell-ebook/dp/B0086L8NBS
Open My Eyes by Jennifer Collin http://www.amazon.com/Open-My-Eyes-Jennifer-Collin-ebook/dp/B00JJNWIV8 Reframing Emma by Missy Kierstead http://www.amazon.com/Reframing-Emma-Missy-Kierstead-ebook/dp/B00J0B7V7K
Speaking of Love by Ophelia London http://www.amazon.com/Speaking-Love-Perfect-Kisses-Entangled-ebook/dp/B00BFQDFZA
Tear Stained Beaches by Courtney Giardina http://www.amazon.com/Tear-Stained-Beaches-Courtney-Giardina-ebook/dp/B00BIP6CQW
The Accidental Prophetess by Michelle Lam http://www.amazon.com/Accidental-Prophetess-Michelle-Lam-ebook/dp/B00IMRDZJG
The Bad Girls' Club by Kathryn O'Halloran http://www.amazon.com/Bad-Girls-Club-Kathryn-OHalloran-ebook/dp/B00ASACHNU
When Girlfriends Collection (Books 1-3) by Savannah Page http://www.amazon.com/When-Girlfriends-Collection-Books-1-3-ebook/dp/B00D3LX456
Whiskey and Gumdrops by Jean Oram http://www.amazon.com/Whiskey-Gumdrops-Blueberry-Springs-Contemporary-ebook/dp/B00GCDODSE
The China Doll By Deborah Nam-Krane
Hypocrisy, half truths and lies...
Sick of being treated like she's going to break, Jessie Bartolome is back to her old ways and calling everyone on their hypocrisy. Sheesh! One little breakdown and even easygoing Martin Shepard thinks she's too fragile to handle their age difference. Good thing her older and equally yummy teaching assistant Robert Lester thinks otherwise…right?
After spending so long cleaning up after everyone else, Jessie's cousin Richard has never had the time to start a life of his own. However had he managed to find his girlfriend Zainab? So what is Richard going to do now that everyone else has grown up? Marry Zainab and start a family? Things have never been that easy for a Hendrickson…just ask his cousin Michael.
Richard's mother, Lucy, is one of the most powerful women in Boston... so when is she going to put a stop to the blackmail ruthless Alex Sheldon has been holding over her for years? And if Richard knows more than he's letting on, why hasn't he gone after Alex himself? The question is, how much does he- or anyone else- really know? Welcome to the Bartolome/Hendrickson family. The China Doll is Book Three in The New Pioneers Series
“My dad drowned. My mom died in her sleep.” “How old was she?” “About twenty-six.” Jessie shuddered just a little bit. “Just a little older than Miranda is now.” “That’s awfully young to die in your sleep.” “Heart condition, they said.” “Who’s they?” “Richard and Lucy.” Jessie shook her head. “No. Just Richard.” “What did your aunt say?” “Nothing,” Jessie said quietly. “She just let Richard do all the talking.” “How old was he?” Jessie sighed. “Thirteen, I think.” “And how old were you?” “Four.” “So how do you know you remember it correctly?” Jessie looked at him square in the eye. “Because you know when you’re that age. When you’re a little kid, you don’t have to go through the apologetic BS you do when you’re older. When you’re eight, even. You just get it. And people think you’re crazy or in the way or rude because you get it and then you say it. So then no one wants to talk to you or they send you to your room. Then you start making up excuses for why they must be right and you must be wrong. Then you grow up, and you realize that you had it right back then, and if your world seems messed up, it’s because you bought into someone else’s lies. So don’t lie anymore, and everything will be just fine.” “And when did you come to that nugget of wisdom?” “When I was fifteen,” Jessie said quietly. “And I’ve been very happy ever since.”
About the Author
Deborah Nam-Krane is a writer living in Boston proper who has been storytelling since she was a little girl and writing those stories down since she was eight. Any given day will find her reading, writing, reviewing, editing and, just for fun, homeschooling her three school-aged children (she’s very grateful the fourth is now college-aged).
The China Doll is the third installment of the New Pioneers series, the sequel to The Smartest Girl in the Room (March 2013) and The Family You Choose (September 2013). While her long-suffering editor works her magic on the fourth installment Let’s Move On, Deborah is working on the fifth. That book will be set in the world of Boston and Massachusetts politics, and her job will be to tone down the true stories she’s heard so they seem believable.
Deborah is all over the place on the internet- no, really- but the best way to keep in touch is to follow her blog Written By Deb and subscribe to her newsletter (only publishing news, never spam).