Wednesday, 27 July 2016


July is, unbelievably, reaching an end, which means it's time for Previously! Come and share your writing and reading month.

Previously in Writing

Well, I definitely wrote this month. I wrote lots, actually. Except the words were for three different ideas, none of which fully grabbed me and demanded I dedicate all of my time to them. I like all the ideas, but there's not quite enough to them.

And then Star Trek Beyond came out, so now I'm writing fanfiction to my heart's content. When you're stuck with your own ideas, there's nothing like using another universe to keep your creativity ticking over. 

Previously in Reading

I'm currently reading Broken Heart by Tim Weaver, one of my absolute favourite writers. He is so damn good.

Next Time in Goals

My goals right now are pretty personal. Something along the line of sort your life out before the end of 2016. I've been trying to change my career since Spring, and while I have a new qualification, I haven't been able to put it to any use yet. *sigh* Looks like my goal for August will be the same as July's - endure and survive. 

And at least I can go see Star Trek to keep me going :) That film made me so happy. So, so happy. I can't recommend it enough. 

A Word of Advice

Do what makes you happy.

Join in Previously! Leave your link in a comment below ^_^ Apologies for the lack of a better link system. It didn't want to work today.

Friday, 22 July 2016

Miss Cole's (Slightly Belated) Tea Time - Ceylon Supreme from Char

Apologies for not posting this sooner, but what with the weather being so lovely earlier in the week, and me working a lot more hours, I just didn't have time to sit down for a good cuppa until now.

I chose this tea not only because it's a Ceylon, probably my favourite type of tea, but because of the words "mellow" and "soothing" on the label. I am very happy to report this tea lives up to expectation. I've had it with me while editing in the evenings and it's so relaxing. Just what I need after a long, hot day of childcare.

I love the lightness of this tea. It's strong but not overly weighty. Again, if you're so inclined, it'd be perfect without milk. I brewed it for three minutes, sat back and enjoyed. With every sip, I felt the stresses of my day flow out of me.

Tea reviews will return to Wednesdays the week after next. I certainly hope you'll join us for Previously next Wednesday. Yes, the end of July is rapidly approaching O_O

Monday, 18 July 2016

Friday, 15 July 2016

Battling With Hope

Today, I’m gonna talk to you about a thing called hope. It’s one of the best motivators we’ve got going for us, and it’s also a complete and total bitch. It's invigorating, but after a while it becomes utterly exhausting. Empty promises can wear you down.

I write this in a state of hopefulness (please, please, please let an agent say yes) and a state of being sick of relying on hope. It’d be great if my writing dreams could cross over from the realm of ethreal hope to this very solid, very real world. Right now, hope is kicking me in the teeth. “Don’t give up!” she bellows, her boot connecting with my jaw. “You’re gonna get there! Don’t!” Kick. “Give!” Slam. “Up!” Smack. “On!” Crunch. “Hope!”

And there I am, spitting blood and wavering on my feet, knowing that as worn out and hurt as I am by the constant barrage of disappointment hope brings, I’m gonna keep taking the beating because I want an agent. I want to see my books on shelves.

Hope will be pounding me into the ground for a while yet.

So, how do you keep doing it? How do you keep taking the beatings hope dishes out? You do. You just do.

Total cliche, right? But that's all there is to it. You keep going because you want something so badly and sometimes bravery is about pushing onwards even when all you want to do is run away and quit. You can take a break. You can catch your breath. You can go away and get your head together, rebuild the energy resources it requires. But one way or another, hope's gonna take you right back to where you started - sending your book off to agents and hoping one of them loves it.

Look for other things to do, distract yourself. Take a break. Find new inspiration. Have a Netflix marathon. And if something has to give, something can give. Go have that epic meltdown you’ve needed to have for roughly a year (check!). If you’re miserable, find a way out of it. You can and you will, even if it doesn't happen immediately. I know, okay, how crap it is to have to wait on others to give you a yes or a no. I am a pro at it, alright? I hate it, but it motivates me to do better. Try harder. Write better. Being unhappy a lot of the time is not fun. I am definitely relying on the sweet, sweet taste of hope to keep me fighting.

Even though hope keeps kicking me in the teeth.

But someday I'm gonna block that kick. Because hope will become reality. I will sign with an agent and my books will find their way to bookshop shelves.

And so will yours.

Keep up the battle. Don't give up on hope, but don't let hope beat you into the ground. Keep fighting. You're gonna make it.

I'm gonna make it.

(Best. Inspirational. Speech. EVER)

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Miss Cole's Tea Time - The Grand Blend from Kent and Sussex

Thanks to the lovely Emma Maree for sending me this tea. It was delicious! And definitely perfect for afternoon tea. Look, some teas are just meant to go with cake, okay? This is one of them.

The Grand Tea Blend is a tea specially blended for afternoon tea at the Grand Hotel in my hometown of Brighton. And it was as delicious then as it was when I drank it at home. So smooth and soothing. Officially another hug in a mug tea. Exactly what you need when you want to sit back and relax. It really takes your cares away, which can be incredibly handy when you're trying to brainstorm a few ideas or solve a tricky plot issue.

Friday, 8 July 2016

Rejection - The Lowest Low (Sprinkled With Hope)

Rejection sucks. Sucks, sucks, sucks. But if you don't find a way to keep going even when nothing is going your way, it's really going to drag you down.

And sometimes rejection is gonna drag you down no matter what. Your coping strategies don't work, the rejection stings that little bit more, the silences hold a promise that's never realised, and all you see is a bleak future for that particular project.

All it takes is one yes, so why can't you get it?

It happens. It's okay. Sometimes, you are going to be miserable and nothing's going to make it better. And let's get one thing absolutely perfectly straight:

You are allowed to be upset.

Cry if you have to. Scream. Have a rant about how unfair it is that such and such has a career and their book is THE WORST in your opinion but you can't get past the goddamn querying stage IS THERE NO JUSTICE IN THIS WORLD AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!

Oh, but don't do that last bit in a public forum. Don't. Private messages or real life only. Don't be that writer. No one likes that writer.

It is awful to be constantly rejected. But as hard as it is, and as miserable as I've been, I know I'm going to pick myself back up and keep sending my book out. No one else is going to do it for me, and the torrents of rejections are not going to stop me from sending my book out to agents. Because even at my lowest, there's still the hope that it's all going to work out. And hope is a powerful thing.

I'm going to ride out this low point, because I always do. I want to be published too much to quit. To quote Lara Croft, I can do this.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Miss Cole's Tea Time - Ceylon from Kusmi Tea

I picked this up in Paris at the end of May and, wow, what a unique flavour! This Ceylon (or should I say Ceylan?) was so sweet and light. Plus the teabags were made of muslin cloth, which was a really nice touch and allowed the leaves to really move in my mug.

One thing I got used to when drinking tea in France was doing so without milk. This Ceylon is as delicious with milk as it is without, so be sure to try it both ways. I recommend a minimum of three minutes' brewing if you are going to put milk in. You don't want to drown out the lovely taste.