Wednesday, 15 July 2015


It's almost a month since UtopYA has passed. It's been one of the quickest and slowest months of my life. The first few weeks were really energised; lots of bonding over social media to ensure we made links we could all trace when needed later in the year - when UtopYA is just a distant dream and Utopia (note rename) is an exciting future.

Then came the crash. Oh, boy, I was warned but it has been HARD. I mean really hard. That whole feeling of standing in a crowded room and having nothing to say -  because everybody you really want to talk to and laugh with, and stroke book covers with, is not only hundreds of miles away, but thousands.

I'm missing the hugs. I'm missing the sound of my beautiful author/blogger friends' laughter.


The ticket for 2016 is booked. The writing schedule has been committed to an Excel spreadsheet - so it's official. I also now have an accountability partner in the lovely form and smiles and slightly amusingly aggressive (I asked her to be) Susan Burdorf. Carlyle Labuschagne and I communicate most days, usually with stickers, and we are looking forward to some exciting times as we keep each other feeling loved and understood.

So in the month that has passed since UtopYA I have;
  1.  Completed and published one of my NA novellas.
  2.  Written detailed, chapter by chapter, plans for the next three books of The Meadowsweet Chronicles. (approx. 50 pages of meticulously copperplate handwritten notes)
  3. Written an 8,000 words short story for an anthology, which I have also supported by being part of the editing and publishing team at Little Bird. (And which, BTW comes out today.)
  4. Created a detailed Excel writing schedule.
  5. Set up the BETA social-media sites for ChapterCon. The author, reader and blogger convention I am planning to host in London in 2017. You can find out more about that at (and join the Facebook page)
  6. Set about scouting for suitable locations for hosting Chapter Con and listing up sponsors.
So yes, UtopYA has changed the way I see things. It's also shook me up to get all serious about this writing malarkey.

You can get your hands on a copy of 'After The Scars' and my story, 'The Emergence of Julia Gray' for just $2.99 / £1.99 (with all profits going to the women's charity 'Refuge' US link and UK link


  1. Yes, it's been a boon to my productivity as well. I finished a novel that's taken me a sold year, and have started another. I finished reading your Vengeance novel and will soon post a review (though I read it out of order). I put your blog link on my blogroll as well as some other Utopia authors' blogs. I'm on blogger too as Catherine stine's Idea City. Cheers.

  2. Hi Catherine - I am so pleased that you finished your novel. UtopYA was clearly that last bit of engine fuel required. Thanks for swinging by and engaging. It was SOOO lovely to meet you at UtopYA and I hope I get to see you next year too? Thanks for adding me to the blog roll. That's something I've got on my social media to-do list in the next couple of months, so be sure to give me a nudge if I've not linked you by then.

  3. Writing schedule sounds like a good plan x

    1. It's essential at the minute as I have so many projects on the go and before you know it, the weeks pass by. It's a really good discipline although a little terrifying. I'm currently ahead by about three weeks; yeah, it's that broken down and compartmentalised LOL

  4. You are so amazing! UtopYA got my creative juices flowing, but when I crashed, I went through a short bought of depression, and didn't really want to do ANYTHING. But, luckily I have all of you lovely ladies (and a few gentlemen) to keep me slowly chugging along.

    And once I get to London, we MUST get together and talk about all these amazing things you are working on!

    1. Can't wait to meet up with you for a coffee in Kingston. It's going to be really exciting times and it's so nice to know that someone who 'gets' the whole author Utopia thing will be on hand for hugs and coffee :) Have a great trip and let me know when you get here <3

  5. Wow, that is amazing progress! So glad you clicked so well with the con and all of us <3

    1. Hi Angelica, thanks for stopping by and for the <3 It was so lovely to meet you at UtopYA and I hope to see you and your fabulous raven accessories next year at Utopia. Hope you are also riding the wave of creativity x