just me

#MilesofSmiles – My list of things that make me smile

 

Most people think “ewww, Monday”, so Kyra Lennon and Clare Dugmore thought of a great way to brighten up our Mondays.

The aim of the challenge is on June 12 (today) those taking part post their lists of things that make them smile/ make them happy/ cheer them up when things are crappy. The obvious things like family, friends etc. are excluded. What we’re looking for is the little, almost trivial things, that brighten your day.

Here’s my list of things that make me smile:

 

1: Louis Tomlinson

This is a bit of a double edged sword because he’s so pretty and small, but I hate him for being all of those things. So, whenever he posts on Instagram, I smile and die a little bit inside. It’s hard being a fangirl sometimes!

2: Shadowhunters

Again, fangirl issues. The books and the TV show are literally an obsession for me, and Netflix enables it but giving us a new episode every Tuesday. One that myself and a few friends analyse in minute detail until the following week. Then, the Shadowhunters official Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram post multiple times a day – teasers for the following week, BTS photos, and snippets of episodes aired… It’s tough, but oh so good!

3: Books

Whether it’s reading them, collecting them, writing them, or talking about them, books will always be my escape. If life is getting me down, I will pick up an old favourite that I know will make me smile and laugh. There are also books that make me cry and rage, but I still love them just as much. I’m slowly running out of space in my house for the books I keep buying, and my Kindle is filling up, but I will be buying books until my dying day!

4: Music

Music In The Heart

My music taste is rather eclectic, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. My writing playlist on Spotify goes from One Direction, to Oasis, to The Dubliners, to Linkin’ Park. I literally listen to anything and everything (Not a huge fan of metal or gangster rap though). If I’m in a specific mood, I listen to certain tracks, but if I just want to get the inspiration going, I put a mix on.

5: Alone time

time for me concept clock closeup on white background with red and black words

I love my family and friends, but every now and then I need space to be alone. To just be me. This is when I curl up on the sofa, crack open a good book, and listen to music. I can sit for hours doing nothing, but by the end of it, I feel pretty accomplished. It saves my sanity when real life gets a bit overbearing, yet it cemets the pleasure I have in the choices I have made in my life so far.

So, these are just a few things that make me smile. I’d love to hear yours!

The Girls and Boys Cover is FINALLY HERE!

It feels like I’ve been working on Girls and Boys for forever, but it finally has a release date. Before we get to that, I need to reveal the cover.

 

Here it is…

 

 

How amazing is it? J.C. Clarke of The Graphics Shed has blown me away once more with her graphics. I ADORE this cover.

Now, down to brass tacks.

Girls and Boys will be released on 4th July 2017 – I will be getting a pre-order sorted over the next few days, but for now, you can add it to your TBR list over on Goodreads.

And, to whet your whistle a little, check out the playlist I have created for the book over on Spotify. It certainly takes me back to my mid to late teenage years.

I hope you love the cover as much as I do!

F is for…

 

Another day, another letter. Today, F is for…

 

 

Flirting…

Most of the time, flirting happens naturally. We see someone we’re attracted to, and try and get their attention and to get them to like us back. Sometimes, flirting can be quite calculated; a way to get attention transferred from someone else to yourself. But, this is very often noticed and ignored.

I really like writing flirting, particularly the awkward first meeting kind of flirting. In It Started in Texas, Charlotte and Gage bump into each other in a bar – literally. I really had fun writing their interaction. Usually, I worry when I’m writing dialogue that it reads as wooden and bland, but I never had that with this scene. It was flirty and awkward, plus they were seen by Charlotte’s friend which added something extra.

Whereas the flirting between Heidi and Shane was very different in The One That Got Away because of their history. It was more personal and catered to them specifically in trying to turn the other on – especially at the reunion. Both of them were saying things to get a reaction from the other, seeing how far they could go with it. That was fun to write too because it came across as a little naughty and pushing limits of flirting almost into foreplay.

The flirting in Mile High was different again, because it started off as an intense dislike on Tarryn’s side of the ‘relationship’, and it eventuually let to a very different place to anything else I’ve ever written.

Flirting can also be very embarrassing. I’m a voracious people watcher, and once watched a guy trying to flirt with a girl in a pub, and fail dismally.

So, in your comments, I’d love to hear about your flirting disasters!

E is for…

 

Day… I actually think I messed up yesterday, and now I’ve lost count. That sounds just like me. Let’s just get down to business…

 

 

Most people I know (and it’s common in books, films, TV show, etc), wen they have a relationship break up, there’s a lot of animosity between them, and their now, ex. I can understand if infidelity or some form of abuse is involved, that someone would want nothing to do with that ex, but what about those relationships that simply drifted apart?

I’m lucky. I don’t think I’ve ever fallen out with an ex, and am still in contact with some twenty years later, albeit, distant friends via the interwebz.

In books, there’s always that ‘I need to show my ex what s/he is missing’ and I sometime quite enjoy that, but when it’s been overdone, it can be very cliche. Second chance romance are some of my favourite books, and when I was writing The One That Got Away, I loved diving into the dynamics of a couple who already knew each other – sometimes intimately, finding one another again.

The word ‘ex’ doesn’t always need to equate to ‘enemy’, especially if a split isn’t acrimonious. An ex can still be a friend, someone with a shared history, even if you have gone down different paths later in life.

In the comments, I’d love to hear about your relationship with an ex, especially the positive ones.

D is for…

 

Day 4, and I’m still winging it on the day… So, shall we get started?

 

 

Dates… something I haven’t done in years considering myself and my partner have been together sine 2001. Even when we do get a rare night out, just the two of us, it’s not really a date, it’s us being able to be adults and not worry about getting up with the kids the next morning.

Everyone has a story about their best and worst date, especially in books. When I was writing Right Click, Love – which is all about dating, I read a lot of articles about bad first dates. I wanted Louise and Jodie to experience some Gd awful dates in their quest to find their ‘Mr Right’. While I was reading, some of the bad dates I read about made me laugh uncontrollably, while others actually made me sad. Why is it that people feel like they can treat someone they have never met like crap the first time they meet?

Every now and then, I post a short over on Wattpad. I follow a Romance account which often posts contests. I saw one for Valentine’s Day. Well, an ‘un-Valentine’s Day’. My short was about a first date that ended up in A&E (The Emergency Room for my non-UK readers).

Dates in books and movies tend to go from one extreme to the other. They’re either absolutely perfect, or downright terrible, but what about those dates that are a bit… bland? Why do they never get attention? Maybe I’ll write one in a book. Dates can be fun to write. The nerves, the build up, and the expectation are fun, but the date itself can be harder to write. It’s not easy to write and get across the awkwardness that so many people feel when the date is getting started.

So… in the comments tell me about a first date that sticks out in your mind, or any date. It can be good, bad, or meh.