Help! I’m now on Facebook and Pinterest!

I finally did it. I created a Facebook author/blog page! I even figured out how to put the widget in my right sidebar here on the blog, although at time of publishing this it still wasn’t showing up properly in Firefox (although Chrome is fine… weird) and I don’t that’s something you see if you’re viewing the blog on your phone… But hey, I still managed it! 🙂

Claire Huston author Facebook page and pinterest

I’m still working out what I’m doing with it, but I’m getting there. In the meantime, if any of you would be kind enough to drop by and “Like” my Facebook page I would really appreciate it. It’s a bit lonely over there at the moment… *tumbleweed rolls past as the wind howls*.

If you have a Facebook page, please leave me a link in the comments below so I can return the favour 🙂

Also, if any of you have any Facebook wisdom/insight of the “if only I’d known this when I started using Facebook” kind, I’d really appreciate you sharing it with me! Are there any groups I should join, for example?

Pinterest Claire Huston book covers board

And as if that weren’t enough, I finally got onto Pinterest too. So far I only have a few boards, but it would be nice to have some friends on there. If you have an account, please let me know in the comments below so I can find and follow you 🙂

You’ll see I also put together a little bookish social media graphic to put at the bottom of my posts. Clicking on the appropriate button will take you to my pages on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and Pinterest. Looking forward to “seeing” you there. If I’m not yet your friend on Goodreads or Twitter, leave me the links for those too so I can put that right!


Claire Huston / Art and Soul

New pages to make my blog easier to navigate

Holidays are a good time for some blog housekeeping (cue brilliant comic from Fowl Language Comics…)

Christmas clean up from Fowl Language Comics

I’ve recently created a few blog pages to keep my blog content organized and make posts easy for visitors to find (I hope!).

Now under Sweet’s Cakes on the top menu (see screen-grab below) you’ll find:

  • A new Recipes Index. I’ve listed all my recipes in alphabetical order under headings such “Cakes” and “Biscuits/Cookies”. Creating this page was also a great excuse to use this cute cupcake clipart:Cupcakes images cartoon for blog
  • Baking. The archive of all my baking posts, appearing in reverse chronological order.

Screengrab of new Art and Soul recipe index page cakes muffins brownies biscuits cookies and desserts with links

And then under Reading (see screen-grab below):

Continue reading…

One Lovely Blog Award

One Lovely Blog Award

Thank you to Deanna at a novel glimpse, Clare over at Dual reads and T.K. Lawrence at Read It or Not Reviews for nominating me for the One Lovely Blog Award. Please visit their blogs for great book reviews and recommendations.


The Rules:

  • You must thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog.
  • You must list the rules and display the award.
  • You must add 7 facts about yourself.
  • You must nominate 15 other bloggers and comment on one of their posts to let them know they have been nominated.

I know I was nominated three times, but I’m just going to do 7 facts, not 21!


1. I love Pixar films. My favourite is WALL-E but I still haven’t seen Inside Out, so that could change.

Wall-E Eva and Wall-e kiss

 

2. When we lived in Spain I used to run (the weather was more conducive to it as a hobby). My greatest achievement was finishing a half marathon without stopping or vomiting.

3. My knees are now rather creaky so I don’t run anymore.

Running for normal people cartoon

4. This isn’t too bad because although I can drive, I don’t have a car, so walk everywhere pushing my son in his buggy. When you live in a hilly place, this is darn good exercise.

5. I find TV talent shows like The X Factor rather addictive although my interest usually wanes once we’re past the audition and knock-out phases.

Continue reading…

Editing your own writing. Can you ever be “done”?

When is a book finished? And other writerly ponderings…

I finished the first draft of my first novel, Art and Soul, back in November 2014. I spent two months editing, then sent the manuscript to my first two readers. While they were reading, I read a couple of books on self-editing and realized I’d committed a lot of glaring errors.

I used my readers’ feedback and what I’d learnt from the books to do another complete manuscript “fix”. I then sent this draft to more readers. Their feedback resulted in more re-writes, particularly to the beginning of chapter 1, which I freely admit I’m still not 100% happy with.

The writer funny by Tom Gauld cartoon writing problems

Continue reading…

Short NaNoWriMo 2015 wrap-up

writing is difficult writer's problems cartoon

A couple of weeks ago I did a NaNoWriMo 2015 mid-point update.

And I know you’ve all been losing sleep wondering if I managed to stick to my target to write an average of 1,000 words a day in November. Haven’t you? 😉

The good news is… *insert drumroll*

Calvin and Hobbes dancing

I did it! As you can see from my stats here below, I reached my goal by the skin of my teeth, but I did it.

Continue reading…

The Real Neat Blog Award

 

Thank you to Charley at booksandbakes1 and Deanna at a novel glimpse for nominating me for the Real Neat Blog Award. As is becoming a bit of a theme here, it’s taken me a while to get round to responding to these nominations. Sorry. Please check out Charley and Deanna’s lovely blogs to help make up for my tardiness.

Thank_you cat gif


The Rules:

1. Thank and link to the blogger who nominated you.
2. Answer the 7 questions the nomination has provided.
3. Nominate 7 other bloggers.
4. Create 7 questions for your nominees.

I’m going to “bend” the rules. To stop this post becoming ridiculously long, I’m going to answer the first 4 of Charley’s 7 questions and the last 3 of Deanna’s.


1. What is the best book you’ve ever read?

Continue reading…

#NaNoWriMo 2015: mid-point update

For those of you who’ve seen NaNoWriMo popping up all over the place the past couple of weeks and are wondering what it’s all about, the following cartoon gives a neat summary:

nanowrimo cartoon funny will write for chocolate @inkyelbows 3

I decided writing 50,000 words was an unrealistic goal for me. Instead I decided to use November to write an average of 1,000 words a day on my work in progress, my second novel. This project has been stalled for the last three months. Back in July I hit 47,000 words and the difficult “middle section”: not as exciting as the start, not as thrilling as nearing the end. I think it may be the writing equivalent of “the wall”.

And… so far, so good! As of last night I have written 15,421 in fifteen days 🙂

So although I won’t write 50,000 words in November and “win” NaNoWriMo, it looks like I will be 30,000 words further towards “The End” and hopefully closer to the original plan of having a first draft written by Christmas.

To everyone else doing NaNoWriMo and those having to live, work or interact with anyone taking part: keep going! You can do it! 15 days down, only 15 to go. Oh, and I find chocolate helps…

nanowrimo cartoon funny will write for chocolate @inkyelbows 2

If you’re taking part in NaNoWriMo 2015, how’s it going? If you’d like to be writing buddies, you can find me on the NaNo site under my Twitter handle: ClaraVal 🙂

 Claire Huston / Art and Soul

The Encouraging Thunder Award

Thank you to Felicia Sue Lynn for nominating me for the Encouraging Thunder Award! Please check out her lovely blog about “books and whatnot” 🙂 She is also taking part in #NaNoWriMo at the moment, so be sure to give her some words of encouragement to keep writing!

Although how long it takes me to accept/do them might suggest otherwise, I honestly do appreciate being nominated/tagged. It’s so nice when other bloggers think of you.

Rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • Post the Encouraging Thunder logo.
  • Talk about your purpose in blogging.
  • Nominate others for the award.

Why I blog:

Initially this blog was something for me to do after I finished writing my first novel, Art and Soul (hence the name of the blog!). I still wanted to write, but I didn’t want to start on a second novel straight away. And I wanted someway of connecting with other writers and readers while I was submitting my novel to literary agents. Basically, I needed a distraction! 🙂 And maybe, one day, I might be able to use the blog to tell you all I’m getting published… *sigh*

I’ve been amazed by blogging. Mostly by how friendly and supportive the community is. All you seem to hear about in the media are trolls and other unpleasant characters lurking under the virtual bridges of the internet. But I’ve been lucky enough to “meet” some genuinely lovely people. You’re all funny, creative, witty and eloquent.

you are awesome doctor who gif

And I’ve also been surprised by just how much I enjoy blogging and that I’m still doing it! I wasn’t sure how long I would stick with it. I might have to scale back the amount I post if I ever want to finish my second novel, but I wouldn’t stop entirely. Besides, blogging is a great excuse for searching through Dr Who images… 😉

Nominations:

I’ve tried hard not to nominate anyone who has already accepted/been nominated for this award. So apologies in advance to:

Sarah @ The Country Bookworm

Tori @ Book Dreamer

if you’ve already done this one. Feel free to ignore the nomination! 🙂 But, if you have time, it would be great to hear more about why you blog.

Thanks again to Felicia Sue Lynn for nominating me!

 Claire Huston / Art and Soul

The Confessions of a Writer Tag

Michelle at Sidereal Day tagged me for a new tag: The Confessions of a Writer Tag! I always feel like I’m the last blogger on earth to get round to doing tags, so it’s lovely to be in on the ground floor for once. Thank you, Michelle 🙂

the-confessions-of-a-writer-tag

The Confessions of a Writer Tag was created by Nicolette at A Little Bookish, A Little Writerly. It is a ‘get-to-know’ the writer interview tag, dedicated to spotlighting the creative process, works in progress, and connecting to other writers.

Rules of the Tag:

  • Please link back to A Little Bookish, A Little Writerly’s post, so that the original rules are always accessible to anyone who is curious and wants to participate!
  • Acknowledge the person who tagged you in your post.
  • Tag your friends and fellow writers – it’s up to you how many!

The Questions:

  1. When did you first start writing? Was being a writer something you always aspired to be?
    I recently found lots of short stories I had to write for English classes in high school. A couple of them were ok! I’ve always enjoyed writing but never aspired to write as a full-time job until recently.
  2. What genre do you write?
    My finished novel and novel in progress are both contemporary romances. Think more Pride and Prejudice than Mills and Boon though! My short stories all seem to be sci-fi/fantasy/magic realism. All the more unusual and fun stuff that doesn’t make it into the novels 🙂

Wait! There’s more. Click for the rest of my answers and pics of cake!

The Creative Blogger Award

The Creative Blogger Award badge

I was delighted to be nominated for The Creative Blogger Award by Calliope The Book Goddess and Tori at Book Dreamer. It’s taken me ages to write this post. Please help me make up for my uselessness by visiting their wonderful book blogs! 🙂

The Rules:

• Thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog.
• Share 5 facts about yourself.
• Nominate some bloggers in return and notify them about their nomination.
• Keep the rules in your post to make it easy for everyone to know what to do.

5 Random Facts about Me:

  • I love a bargain. Any kind of bargain. Finding great books in charity shops for 99p or less is a particularly enjoyable one.
  • I’m definitely a tea rather than coffee person. If I drink coffee it has to be so full of milk and sugar it doesn’t taste of coffee. Which is ridiculous. Easier to have tea!

Tea Rex cup of tea cartoon

  • While I usually like to receive quite impractical gifts, this year I’ve asked for a stand mixer as a joint birthday-Christmas present. Sounds dull, but it’s going to make baking a lot easier. I might start trying to make bread…
  • I’m not very good at Twitter. I’ve only been using it a few months and I’m still not sure I’m using it properly! That said, if it weren’t for the BBC’s breaking news feed I would probably miss out on most of the big things going on in the world.

Twitter Cartoon funny

  • Wednesday is my new favourite day of the week. Partly because I take part in WWW Wednesday (hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words) and get recommendations for future reading from lots of brilliant book bloggers. If you enjoy reading, please join in! And also because of #1lineWeds on Twitter. Each week writers share one line of their work in progress (it has to fit in a tweet) following a theme (which changes each week and is announced in advance). If you’re a writer, I encourage you to take part. Everyone is really supportive 🙂

That’s it! Thank you again to Calliope The Book Goddess and Tori at Book Dreamer! I won’t nominate anyone in particular, but if you fancy receiving this award please consider yourself nominated and let me know when you publish your post 🙂

 Claire Huston / Art and Soul