Finding Focus – #WeekendCoffeeShare

If we were having coffee, well first of all I’d have to offer an apology, this weekend seems to have gotten away from me. Sunday evening has crept up and before I really understood what was happening, the weekend is pretty much over. However, I feel like I’m ending on a positive note.

On Saturday I ordered a copy of Stephen King’s book The Gunslinger and today it arrived. I was surprised by how thin it was, curiosity led me to google, and I went in search of the exact word count of the book. Turns out that it only just breeches the 60,000 word mark.

Now, for the past six months I’ve been worry about the length of my book. The bulk of the fantasy novels that I own stretch into the 200,000 to 300,000 word mark and I was concerned that Shadow Dawn wouldn’t be a long enough book. However, it’s already longer than ‘The Gunslinger’ and I think I might be putting too much focus on word counts and chapter lengths. I already know that Shadow Dawn will be book one in a series, so instead of trying to cram in all the plot points I’ve listed down for this draft, I think I’m going to go back and narrow down the list. This will shift the focus of the book but in the end I think it will make it a better read and tighten up the plot.

There are seventeen days left in August and my hope is that if I get my head down and focus, I can have a rough draft of the remaining chapters done by the first of October. Then it will be a matter of going through the first 60,000 words and trimming out the chaff. I was going to try and finished this draft by the end of August but I can’t see a way of doing that without literally sacrificing all my free time to it and at the moment I’m pretty happy with the blogging routine I seem to be getting into.

This week I managed to publish my second post in a series that I launched in anticipation of my seventh blogging anniversary in October. The first was Seven Top Tips of Blogging and the second is How To Create A Blogging Schedule [working off what has and, perhaps more significantly, wasn’t hasn’t worked for me in the past.] Next week I’m planning a piece on guest posts and hosting guest posts on your site. The series is a little different from what I normally do but I’m really enjoying writing it and I’m reminding myself of some pretty useful things as well.

This week I also published two other posts a little outside the norm for this blog. One of which was on gender stereotypes. I had hoped it would spark some conversation but it didn’t seem to have gain much traction. The other was a piece where I went over an old poem and tried to workshop it in a blog post. I’m not sure it worked but it was an interesting challenge for myself. I’ll leave a couple of links below for anyone who’s interested.

What Are Little Girls Are Made Of?: Breaking The Stereotypes In My Head 

Confusion: How To Rewrite An Old Poem #ThrowbackThursday

As with every week, I’d love to know how you’ve all been. Do let me know how the week has gone with you in the comments below. If I don’t see you there, then until next week, here’s wishing you all the best. Happy reading and writing.


My chest has drawstrings.

Some days they pull so tight

my lungs cram up into my throat.

They stop words from forming,

keep me from telling you why

I can’t keep my hands still

or quite catch my breath.

They keep me trapped, alone.


Quadrilles are perhaps my favourite form of poetry at the moment. They’re short, sharp, and oh so punchy. Tonight’s prompt from the dVerse Poets Pub is to write a quadrille using the word ‘fear’ as your inspiration. Unfortunately this is a word I have a fair amount of experience with, I’ve let anxiety box me into corners more often than I like to admit.

If you want to join in then click the badge above and check out the pub and all its patrons. I’ve no doubt they’ll be overjoyed to meet you.

Make Way For The Blonde Bombshell Going For The Try!

I make no secret of it, rugby is about the only sport I’ll sit down and watch, and it’s probably the only one I actually have any understanding of.

And that is all because of one insane, wonderful person, Connie Morgan. You know those people you meet and just thing, yes, your mind works in the same weird, eccentric way mine does and we are going to be friend. Meetings in public places become an issue because your weirdness together actually stands a chance of freaking other people out and sending them running.


This amazing friend of mine has kindly agreed to run a feature here on Writing and Works in honour of the Rugby World Cup. [Yes I know we’re a little late to the game but we got here in the end.]

Connie will be joining us once a week to share with us her take on the World Cup and all that surrounds it. As a past player, coach and more importantly, a die hard fan, this girls has blagged her way into Scottish Team after-parties and proven herself a formidable sports writer when handed a pen.

Look out on Wednesday for her take on how the game has changed in recent years, right here on Writing and Works.


Connie Morgan: The Tartan Duchess

Connie Morgan by Antonia Brennan

6ft blonde stunner who is a fanatic about rugby and more importantly rugby players! Half Welsh Half Scottish babe who keeps anyone on their toes with her sarcasm and wit.


The grief felt guilty.

Clawing it’s way up, dragging lung and trachea with it, it seemed confused. Why now, why this loss, why not some other more easily explained? They had through the same trauma, felt their own grief and worry, dealt with it in their own way. They had not been there to see the way in which you dealt, the way in which you coped, the things that kept you grounded. Title explains it all, and my gosh is it fun and infuriating. No need to worry about the word count, instead you need to craft your sentences to perfection.

When my Grandfather was very ill a few years ago I stayed at my Gran’s to look after the dogs and my Great-Gran while she spent her time with Grandad at the hospital. My Grandfather’s accident was probably the most traumatic experience of my life so far, and he was very, very lucky to have pulled through. During that time at my Gran’s there weren’t many people to talk to, and instead it was the older dog Bessy who provided the most comfort and reassurance by simply cuddling up next to me on the settee or being in the room. Last night I found out that due to illness she’d passed away. She had a wonderful life with my Gran and was one of the softest, cuddliest dogs you could have met. I will miss the quiet reassurance of her presence.

Bessy Dog