A Typical Saturday….A.K.A I get mushy about my writers group

I’ve been part of a writers group for two and a half years now and it’s probably one of the best things that I’ve ever done.


Before I delve into a typical Saturday, maybe a bit of back story might help. I met my lovely friends Catherine, Ellie, and Emma through a NaNoWriMo meet-up back in 2012 (yet another thing I have to thank NaNoWriMo for). We met up with the ML and a few others throughout November, in this awful pretentious cafe that was always freezing and where the staff were always telling us to be quiet. It wasn’t great, but I loved being in the same space as other writers. There’s just something about being around other writers, maybe it’s the sound of other keyboards that spurns me on to write more, or maybe it was because the four of us had a lot in common and we had a laugh. Either way, when NaNo ended, I didn’t want to stop meeting up with people, so I suggested started a weekly writing group.

Luckily for me, Catherine and Ellie seemed to like the idea (Emma joined us a year later). It took us a few tries, but eventually we found this awesome cafe in our area. I remember the first couple of weeks were a bit weird, we got a lot of stares and a lot of questions, but the staff didn’t seem to mind having three (and later four) people take up one or two of their tables for the whole day, just to stare at their laptops and occasionally write a sentence. Now, two and a half years later, we have a really good relationship with the guys that run the cafe (so much so that I’ve promised to name them in the acknowledgments of my first novel, it’s only fair!)

In that time, Catherine, Ellie, and Emma have become my closest friends. They are wonderful people who I have a lot in common with, and most of the time we spend hours talking about everything but writing. They listen to me whine when my characters aren’t doing what I want them too, and they push me to finish my novels. I owe my sanity and a lot of my words to them.


Me, Catherine, and Ellie on holiday in Prague!

Since I moved, I don’t get to go to writer’s group every week, but I try and head there at least twice a month. I miss everything if I’m away too long.

So, here’s what a typical Saturday looks like:


I spend a lot of my weekend on trains lately. Trains mean three things for me: A good book, music and coffee.


The cafe is amazing. It’s cozy and we have our favourite spot in the corner which we take over every week. The staff are great and know our regular orders off by heart now. Plus there’s cake, and that’s always a bonus.


You have no idea how much diet coke I go through in one session.


And here we are. I asked Tony to take this after convincing Catherine to keep her laptop open just a little bit longer before getting cake. I’d like to say we were all writing at the time, but I’m pretty sure Emma was on Tumblr.

The thing is, I don’t always write a great deal at writers group (sometimes I barely manage 500 words, other times I manage 5,000) but that’s not really the point of it anymore. I know, it probably sounds weird, it’s a writers group so the point should be about writing, but it’s evolved into something more. Yes, we’re all writers and we are all attempting to write novels, but we’re also friends. We support each other, we bounce ideas off of each other, we push each other and encourage each other when we’re convinced every single word is rubbish.

If there is one thing I am thankful for, it’s the fact that I suggested starting this writers group. It gave me three of the best friends I can ever ask for.

Are any of you guys in writers groups? Do you find that it helps you with your writing?

Writing Spaces: My ‘Desk’

It’s only been in the past year that I’ve had a desk for me to write at, well it’s actually a fold down dining table that came with my flat, but that’s not really the point. The thing is, I’m not used to writing at a desk. Sure, I have one, and when I didn’t I always wanted one. I think I had grand thoughts of a beautiful wooden desk with fresh flowers and a lush chair, where I would sit every day and work on my masterpiece. My desk isn’t like that. It’s a bit messy and a bit cluttered and a bit small.


And I don’t really like it.

As you can see, I’m not really one of those people that has a lot of stuff around my desk (mainly cause there’s no room). I’ve seen these cool pictures of white boards and post-it note boards for notes/planning, or an actual inspiration board (instead of just having one on pintrest). Mine pretty much consists of two folders, each holding a copy of a current MS, some stationery, and the ever growing stack of notebooks. Maybe it’s cause I don’t use it very often, but my desk seems kind of bland in comparison.


I wanted a desk like this, but there’s no room for it at the moment. (That’s from Ikea by the way, they’re office room ideas gallery makes me want to buy ALL the things).


When I started writing, it was on a laptop, and I’ve been using a laptop ever since, so I never really had the need for a desk. I could write anywhere, which I loved. If I’m honest, most of my writing takes place on my sofa or in my bed. They are both of superior comfort to the tiny wooden chair that came with my desk (sometimes to the point where I fall asleep if I’m exhausted, maybe not the best idea).


The bonus of writing in bed I’ve found is that there are infinitely less distractions in my bedroom (except, obviously, the distraction of sleep). My desk is in my living room, which is also where my TV, PS4 and books are. There is also the large stack of notebooks that I have on my desk, which just reminds me of all the other novels I am still yet to write (and that leads to no amount of stress). By writing in bed I can grab the notebook for the novel I’m working on, grab a can of diet coke, and shut my door to any procrastination opportunities. It makes me so much more productive.

Where do you guys write?

I was tagged to do this post by my friend Cole (who’s desk is awesome and has definitely given me some ideas) and my friends Emma and Sophie have also shared their desks with the world. I love seeing how creative people can get and what tools they use for plotting/inspiration.

Before I leave, I’m going to tag my friends Catherine and Sarah to do this!

What’s Up Wednesday!

WUW Winter Flake

Hello lovelies and welcome to another What’s Up Wednesday! In case you don’t know, What’s Up Wednesday is a brilliant weekly bloghop set up by Jaime and Erin, where we get to talk about writing and books!


I’m currently reading Amy Poehler’s book YES PLEASE and I absolutely love it! I’ve only recently started watching PARKS & RECS (I know, what took me so long?!) and I knew I wanted to read Amy’s book before I finished watching the first episode. She’s incredibly funny and the book is so much more than I thought it would be. Honestly, I thought it was going to be a funny memoir, and it is, but it’s also full of essays and amazing insight, and a lot more feels than I was prepared for.



I’m still working on the new chapters for my YA contemporary THE MOMENT TO LIVE FOR (which basically means I’m re-writing the last third of the book for the third time). It’s going well, although writing has been pretty slow this week since I’m exhausted from work, but I had a great writing weekend. I’ve also got a few ideas circling my head atm, so I’ve been jotting down notes here and there.

Writing goal for this week: Continue drafting these new chapters (I’m aiming to have them finished by the end of the month).


Having a soundtrack.

I love having music on when I write. It’s not all the time, sometimes I’ll have a favourite movie or TV series on in the background, but most of the time I have music. I can’t write in silence, it freaks me out and I get distracted easily, music helps drown everything out. It especially helps if the music goes with the novel I’m writing, whether that means creating a playlist or (if I’m lucky) finding that one perfect album that just seems to fit my novel.

For THE MOMENT TO LIVE FOR that album is DIRT by KIDS IN GLASS HOUSES. Whenever I’m stuck or struggling to get back into the novel, I put on that album and it’s pulls be right back in.


Not much really. I’ve been pretty tired from work and everything, so I haven’t had much time for anything else.

What’s Up Wednesday!

Bench Button (Final)

Hello lovelies and welcome to another What’s Up Wednesday! In case you don’t know, What’s Up Wednesday is a brilliant weekly bloghop set up by Jaime and Erin, where we get to talk about writing and books!


I’m currently reading DEMON GLASS, the second book in the HEX HALL trilogy by Rachel Hawkins. I’ll admit, I have a little obsession with Rachel Hawkins’ books at the moment, I can’t get enough of them. As I’ve said before, they remind me a lot of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (which is obviously an amazing things) as they’re a great blend of paranormal and contemporary, with lot of action but incredible dialogue. Honestly, I can’t praise them enough.



I may, just may, have worked my way out of my writers slump! YAAAAAAAAAAAAY! I’ve actually managed to write nearly 2K in two days and I’m gonna start writing the second I’m finished with this post. Honestly, I’m so happy I can’t even tell you. I’m currently drafting some new chapters for my contemporary novel The Moment To Live For. It’s a bit weird, making changes,  because the story is so integrated into my mind now, but I know these changes are for the better (and I hope my CPs agree!).

Writing goal for the week: Continue working through these new chapters.


Small goals.

For the past few months I’ve been piling a lot of pressure onto myself, both reading and writing wise. If I did well one month, I would up my goal the next month, and so on. It worked for a little while, but then the writing/reading slump happened, and those goals stopped being achievable. Instead of being something to work towards, they became this daunting thing that I would just shy away from. I would think to myself, well there’s no way I’m going to get that done today so why even try, thus ending up with no new words, instead of something. I stopped thinking of 100 words as an achievement, 100 words felt like a failure, even though they were 100 more words than I’d had the day before.

So last week I gave myself a small goal, I said I simply wanted to write something. And I did. Without the looming word count goal hanging over my head, it felt like a weight had been lifted almost. And once I’d started writing, I couldn’t stop :P


Tiny blue sticker of awesome! (aka: my first writing sticker in weeks!)


I just started playing THE LAST OF US [REMASTERED] this week and I absolutely love it! It’s a game that I’ve wanted to play for ages but just haven’t gotten around to it, now I can see what all the fuss is about. It’s so atmospheric and genuinely quite horrifying. And as an added bonus, it has a beautiful soundtrack.

PS: I’m considering starting a new series on here about music, perhaps highlighting an album/song that I’m loving, maybe once a week? Would anyone be interested in something like that?

The Great TBR Challenge: February Edition!


I had a pretty good reading month in January (despite the end of the month slump) and I’m hoping to keep that up in February. This month I’m hoping to read at least six books (and eliminate a few more of those challenges off of the 2015 Reading Challenge) and perhaps get through some of my ever mounting pile of comic books.

Here are the books I’m hoping to get to in February:


I was hoping to read this in January but sadly didn’t get to it. This month for sure!


I read the first book in the series last month (after reading and adoring REBEL BELLE) and I’m actually reading the second book right now. I’m loving the series so far and am hoping to finish it this month. Seriously, Rachel Hawkins sates my Buffy cravings like no other author can.


I became a massive fan of Gayle Forman last year after reading IF I STAY and WHERE SHE WENT, so I’ve been looking forward to the release of I WAS HERE for ages now. Not only does this book sound incredibly moving, there has been an awesome campaign running on Twitter (#IWasHere) all the way up to release and some of the things that people have been sharing are beautiful.


This is another book that’s on my most anticipated list (are you spotting a pattern here?) I absolutely love Holly Black’s writing style and who doesn’t love a dark, twisted fairytale?

A Darker Shade final for Irene


My MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK OF THE YEAR! I literally cannot wait to get my hands on this book and devour every single word.

What are you reading this month, lovelies?

The Great TBR Challenge: January Wrap-Up!

January wrap up 1


Challenge: A book you can finish in a day

This was a quick read, perfect to curl up with on my day off from work. As always, Neil Gaiman’s writing was beautiful and I found myself reading the story aloud more than once (am I the only one who does this?). The book itself is glorious, with stunning accompanying illustrations by Chris Riddell. I liked the twist on the Sleeping Beauty fairytale, but I must admit I didn’t feel like it was the Sleeping Beauty/Snow White mash-up that I was expecting. While I loved Snow White as a character, it wasn’t really her story. Overall, I gave this book 4 stars.


Challenge: A book by a female author

I adored this book! While I was reading it, I described it to someone as what Buffy would have been like if it had been Cordelia who had gotten superpowers instead. It was funny, snarky, and full of action. I loved how it took something quite mundane like cotillion and blended it superbly with an ancient sect. I wasn’t a massive fan of the somewhat love triangle in this book, but it wasn’t overly in your face and I couldn’t help but fall in love with David. Overall I gave this book 4 stars (probably more like 4.5). I’d highly recommend it to anyone suffering for Buffy withdrawal and I can’t wait for MISS MAYHEM to come out later this year.


Anyone who’s been reading this blog for a while now will know how much I love Victoria Schwab’s writing and THE ARCHIVED series is one of my favourite series’ ever (if you haven’t checked it out yet, I would highly recommend it), so I’d been eagerly awaiting this short story. Unsurprisingly, I loved it! It’s written from Wesley’s POV and takes place directly after the events of THE UNBOUND, and it was simply perfection. My first 5 stars of the year.

You can read the short story here and check out what THE ARCHIVED series is about here.


Challenge: A book a friend recommended

If this book has been recommended to me once, it’s been recommended to me a thousand times! And I can’t believe I waited so long to read it! I really enjoyed Open Road Summer, even though it wasn’t quite what I was expecting. I loved the unconventional road trip setting (the eternal wanderer in me loves a good road trip story) of the tour bus and the concert halls. Reagan and Dee’s friendship felt very real and I loved how supportive and protective they were of each other. I liked the development of the relationship but it got a little over the top for me by the end, I kind of wanted to shake Reagan and beg her just to listen. Overall, I gave this book 4 stars and I’m really looking forward to Emery Lord’s second book THE START OF ME AND YOU.

January Wrap-Up 2


Challenge: A book set in high school

This was a re-read for me. It’d been a few years since I first read it and I had the urge to revisit it after seeing the trailer for the movie that’s coming out this year. I enjoyed the book just as much the second time as I did the first, though I can see how much they’ve actually changed when it comes to the film. One of my biggest problems with this book though it how quickly a lot of big issues (no spoilers) seem to be resolved, I kind of thought there should have been more to it. Overall, I gave this book 4 stars and I’m still really excited about seeing the film when it comes out.


This was a tough book for me to rate. I went into it with high expectations but I was deeply disappointed all the way through if I’m honest. I struggled with the writing style and how the POV switched constantly. I had a hard time connecting with the main character, or any of the characters for that matter. The ending seemed a little bit misplaced. Maybe I just didn’t get it, or I missed something, I don’t know, but this book really wasn’t for me. I gave this book 3 stars, I could see the potential of the story but I just struggled to connect.


Challenge: A graphic novel

This was another difficult one for me to rate as well. First off, I loved the idea (a demented Wizard of Oz, what could be better?) but it was carried out in a way I wasn’t expecting (I mean we didn’t even get to OZ until right at the very end). The past events that took place before the graphic novel starts didn’t really add up to me. And what’s worse, the story ends on a massive cliffhanger and there doesn’t seem to be a volume two available (?!) All that being said, I did like the characters and the art work was grotesque and fantastic. Overall, I gave this graphic novel 3 stars.

Hex hall


After enjoying REBEL BELLE so much I knew I had to read RACHEL HAWKINS’ other books (especially since MISS MAYHEM is soooo far away) so I downloaded HEX HALL and proceeded to devour in within a couple of days. It was fast paced and funny and I was constantly trying to keep up with the twists and turns of the story. Again, I loved how this story had quite a contemporary feel to it, it reminded me of a mix between Mean Girls and The Craft. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars and I can’t wait to finish this series.


I’ve only just started this but I’m loving it so far. Will hopefully be finishing the trilogy in February.

So that’s what I read in January, what did you read?

What’s Up Wednesday!

WUW Winter Flake

Hello lovelies and welcome to another What’s Up Wednesday! In case you don’t know, What’s Up Wednesday is a brilliant weekly bloghop set up by Jamie and Erin, where we get to talk about writing and books!

Sorry that I missed last week but I’ve been ill and out of sorts lately.


Honestly, nothing. I am in a serious reading and writing slump right now. I don’t even know why, I’ve got a ton of books I want to read and at least three projects I want to work on, but I just can’t focus on anything. Maybe it’s cause I’m tired, or because I’m still recovering from this illness, I don’t know. I do know that it sucks and my calender is looking pretty sad right now.


Writing goal for the week: Write something! I’m aiming for 3.5K but at this point I’d be pretty happy with anything.


Taking a break.

As I already mentioned, I’ve been ill recently which meant I was (and still kinda am) completely lacking focus. I didn’t feel like writing or reading, all I wanted to do was play PS4 and watch copious amounts of Parks & Recs. So that’s exactly what I did. I’m usually one of those people that feels guilty if I don’t write everyday, but I’ve come to realise that that’s not always possible, sometimes I just need to take a break. My friend Cole wrote this great post the other week called ‘Stow the Guilt‘ and it really helped me out (the timing was uncanny, I swear she’s kind of psychic).

The truth is, if I had forced myself to write, I might’ve managed a few thousand terrible words that I would have had to re-write eventually anyway. And if I’d forced myself to read, well I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed the book. In the end, I realised that taking a break can be helpful and is often necessary to stop myself from burning out. We all need to rest and relax every once in a while after all.

Anyway, I’m starting to feel better now and after my restful week I’m eager to get back to writing.


Not much. I’ve been toying around with a new idea but it’s in very early stages at the moment. I did start a weheartit collection & a Pintrest board for it though, so I can share a few teaser inspiration pictures.

abandoned libraryholevincent