Saturday, 31 October 2015

October Review

Another quiet month for me book wise sadly. Here's what I managed to get through over the past month.

Books Read in October
Royally Obsessed by Meg Cabot (4 stars)
Tonight the Streets are ours by Leila Sales (3 stars)
Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone: Illustrated edition (5 stars)
Life and Death Twilight Reimagined by Stephenie Meyer (3 stars)
Prom Princess by Meg Cabot (4 stars)
After Iris by Natasha Farrant (4 stars)
The Hollow Boy by Jonathan Stroud (4 stars)

Book of the Month

Yes this is cheating but the pictures throughout this book are so beautiful that it couldn't not be my book of the month this month.

Events Attended
None sadly.

On the Blog

Blog Tours
Zeroes Blog Tour
Railhead Blog Tour
Monsters Blog Tour

AWOL series
A series of posts from me catching up with reviews
AWOL intro post
Activity books
Books I wished I'd DNfed
TV and film tie ins
Books I loved

I also blogged about the 2016 releases I am looking forward to.

November's TBR pile
Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard
The Boy who drew the future by Rhian Ivory
The Luxe by Anna Godbersen
Beetle Boy by MG Leonard
Monsters by Emerald Fennell
The Boy who sailed the ocean in an armchair by Lara Williamson
The Book of Memory by Petina Gappah
The Honours by Tim Clare
When I was me by Hilary Freeman
The Icarus Show by Sally Christie
Confession of an Imaginary Friend by Michelle Cuevas
The ACB with Honora Lee by Kate De Goldi
Anything that isn't this by Chris Priestley
When everything feels like the movies by Raziel Reid
Whisper by Chrissie Keighery
Waves by Sharon Dogar

Monday, 26 October 2015

Can't wait to read

Another month and another set of books I cannot wait to get my hands on. I'm mostly focusing on 2016 releases this month ready for the new year.

Jolly Foul Play by Robin Stevens - Out March 2016

Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong have returned to Deepdean for a new school term, but nothing is the same. There's a new Head Girl, Elizabeth Hurst, and a team of Prefects - and these bullying Big Girls are certainly not good eggs.

Then, after the fireworks display on Bonfire Night, Elizabeth is found - murdered.

Many girls at Deepdean had reason to hate Elizabeth, but who might have committed such foul play? Could the murder be linked to the secrets and scandals, scribbled on scraps of paper, that are suddenly appearing around the school? And with their own friendship falling to pieces, how will Daisy and Hazel solve this mystery?

I  love this series. I cannot wait for this to be released.

How Not to Disappear by Clare Furniss - Out January 2016

Hattie's summer isn't going as planned. Her two best friends have abandoned her: Reuben has run off to Europe to "find himself" and Kat's in Edinburgh with her new girlfriend. Meanwhile Hattie is stuck babysitting her twin siblings and dealing with endless drama around her mum's wedding.

Oh, and she's also just discovered that she's pregnant with Reuben's baby...

Then Gloria, Hattie's great-aunt who no one previously knew even existed comes crashing into her life. Gloria's fiercely independent, rather too fond of a gin sling and is in the early stages of dementia.

Together the two of them set out on a road trip of self-discovery – Gloria to finally confront the secrets of her past before they are wiped from her memory forever and Hattie to face the hard choices that will determine her future.

I loved Clare's first book. I cannot wait for this.

Never Evers by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivson - Out January 2016

Kicked out of ballet academy and straight into a school ski trip, Mouse knows certain classmates can't wait to see her fall flat on her face. Meanwhile, Jack looks forward to danger and girls, but hasn't a clue about either. That's until French teen sensation Roland arrives in the resort - who Jack's a dead ringer for. When Roland persuades Jack to be his stand-in for a day, Jack, in disguise, declares his feelings for Mouse. But what happens when he's no longer a pop star - will it be music and magic on the slopes?

Another book by authors whose previous books I loved. I am hoping it is as brilliant as Lobsters.

 After the Last Dance by Sarra Manning - Out December 2015

Two women. Two love affairs. One unforgettable story. Kings Cross station, 1943. Rose arrives in London hoping to swap the drudgery of wartime for romance, glamour and jiving with GIs at Rainbow Corner, the famous dance hall in Piccadilly Circus. As the bombs fall, Rose loses her heart to a pilot but will lose so much more before the war has done its worst. Las Vegas, present day. A beautiful woman in a wedding dress walks into a seedy bar and asks the first man she sees to marry her. When Leo slips the ring onto Jane's finger, he has no idea that his new wife will stop at nothing to get what she wants. So when Jane meets Rose, now a formidable older lady, there's no love lost between them. But with time running out, can Rose and Jane come together to make peace with the tragic secrets that have always haunted their lives? After the Last Dance is an extraordinary story of two women, separated by time but connected by fate, that will make you believe in the redemptive power of unexpected love.  

I love Sarra Manning. I love Historical Fiction. I cannot wait for this.

Whisper to Me by Nick Lake - Out May 2016

"I love you. I'm sorry for what I did to you. I'm going to write it all down, explain everything that happened, why I broke your heart, and then I'm going to email it to you. I will be waiting for you at 5 pm Friday by the windmill hole at the crazy golf at the Pier where we played once. If you still want me then, when you're done reading this, come and get me. OK? Consider this the most screwed up love letter ever."

So begins Nick Lake's brilliant tour de force romance which introduces readers to Cassie, a New Jersey shore teen who, over the course of one summer, experiences the exhilarating highs of new love, the frightening free-falls of personal demons and family tragedy, and the bumps along the way to forgiveness, acceptance, and self-discovery. Told entirely through flashbacks, readers will savour every moment of Cassie's relationship with a boardwalk boy and race to the last page to discover how it all ends.

I want to try some Nick Lake and this seems a perfect place to start.

When Everything feels like the Movies by Raizel Reid - Out April 2016

School is like a film set. There's The Crew who make things happen; The Extras who fill empty spaces in rows of desks; and The Movie Stars, who everyone wants to tag in their Facebook photos.

But flamboyant Jude Rothesay, who lives for Louboutins and celebrity magazines, doesn't fit into any of these categories. Jude is the boy who wants to burn the whole damn set down . . . but not until he gets Luke Morris to be his date to the Valentine's Day dance.

Inspired by a true story, When Everything Feels Like the Movies is an edgy, extravagant novel full of gender-bending teen glamour, dark mischief and melodrama. A boy who smells like Chanel Mademoiselle, calls Blair Waldorf his biggest childhood influence, and reads Old Hollywood star biographies like gospel doesn't have the easiest path to travel in life, but somehow, Jude paves his own yellow brick road and makes us all wish we could join him over the rainbow.

I know very little about this but I am really keen to get a copy asap to read.

How hard can Love be by Holly Bourne - Out February 2016

All Amber wants is a little bit of love. Her mum has never been the caring type, even before she moved to California, got remarried and had a personality transplant. But Amber's hoping that spending the summer with her can change all that.

And then there's prom king Kyle, the guy all the girls want. Can he really be interested in anti-cheerleader Amber? Even with best friends Evie and Lottie's advice, there's no escaping the fact: love is hard.

I loved loved loved Holly's last book and I cannot wait to read this too.

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson - Out May 2016

Andie had it all planned out. When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future. Important internship? Check. Amazing friends? Check.  Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks)
But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life. Because here’s the thing - if everything's planned out, you can never find the unexpected. And where’s the fun in that?

This sounds brilliant and I always love Morgan's books.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Monster Blog Tour

Today I have been offered an extract from Monster by CJ Skuse to share with you all as part of the Monster Blog Tour

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Mini Reviews: Books I loved

I wanted to review this books separately because I loved them all. It didn't happen because of life so I want to at the very least give them an airing on here so you all know how awesome they all are.

All of the above by James Dawson

This is a funny and moving love story about friends, first loves and self-discovery by Queen of Teen 2014. When sixteen-year-old Toria Bland arrives at her new school she needs to work out who her friends are in a crazy whirl of worry, exam pressure and anxiety over fitting in. Things start looking up when Toria meets the funny and foul-mouthed Polly, who's the coolest girl that Toria has ever seen. Polly and the rest of the 'alternative' kids take Toria under their wing. And that's when she meets the irresistible Nico Mancini, lead singer of a local band - and it's instalove at first sight! Toria likes Nico, Nico likes Toria, but then there's and friendship have a funny way of going round in circles.

I've been waiting for this book for a long time having chatted to James about it almost a year and a half go. It is very very good and shows how versatile James is an author. It is a realistic portrayal of what it means to be a teenager and how crazed it can be as you are trying to work out who it is you want to become. It covers friendships, sex and sexuality in such a funny and poignant way. I really loved meeting the various different characters and would not hesitate to recommend it to others.

George by Alex Gino

BE WHO YOU ARE. When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she's not a boy. She knows she's a girl. George thinks she'll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte's Web. George really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can't even try out for the part . . . because she's a boy.  With the help of her best friend, Kelly, George comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte -- but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all.

George is just a perfect read. Every child and parent should have to read it to open their eyes to how important it is that children should be allowed to be the person they want to be. Words can't do justice to just how good it is.

Counting Stars by Keris Stainton

 Big city, big dreams, no money, no problem...

Six 'friends', one flat, big dreams... what could go wrong? When eighteen-year-old Anna leaves school and moves to Liverpool, she feels like her life is finally beginning. She's landed her dream job at a theatre, and she's moving into an exciting (if not slightly run-down) flat on a buzzing street lined with shops, bars, and buskers. Best of all, her new flatmates are kind, welcoming and a lot of fun - what more could she ask for?

But although her new life is fun, it's also a little overwhelming. Anna's job quickly falls through, and then she realises that although her new friends are great, they're also a little mixed-up... and it's not long before Anna starts using her blog to talk about her experiences, from the hilarious to the ridiculous to the little-bit-scary. But when Anna spills a bigger secret than she can handle, suddenly the consequences are all too real. She'll have to prove she has the mettle to make it in the big city, or risk losing everything she thinks she wants

There was no doubt that I was going to love this book. I adore Keris and her books and this was just as awesome as I had hoped it would be. I loved how it portrayed that time in your life when you move out of home and have to learn to stand on your own two feet and deal with all the crap life throws at you. It did take a little bit to get my head around who everyone was but once I'd got that down it was all good and I wanted to know about what was happening to all of them .

Pugs of the Frozen North by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre

The Race to the Top of the World! It comes around once in a lifetime, and the prize? Your heart's desire. Shen and Sika can't resist the chance to win, but competition is fierce. The path to victory is littered with snow trolls, sea monsters, and a gang of particularly hungry yetis. But Shen and Sika have something the other contestants don't have. Actually, they have 66 other things; pugs to be exact. That's a 264 paw-powered sled. Let the race begin!

This book is so cute. Pugs. In snow> What more do I have to say? Oh the story is pretty cute too. I really liked the message it had to say and the artwork throughout is awesome.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Mini reviews: TV and Film tie ins

I received these two books in the last month to dip in and out of

Buffy: Demons of the Hellmouth

Demons of the Hellmouth is a fully licensed guide to the vampires and other demons that flocked to the Sunnydale Hellmouth in Joss Whedon’s cult TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This in-universe illustrated guide is written by Rupert Giles, and also contains handwritten notes from Buffy and Willow. This unique book promises a diabolical romp through the highlights of the beloved show.

I love Buffy and was therefore excited to read this. However I must say it didn't really do it for me. There was nothing in it I didn't already know and the 'notes' from Buffy and the gang didn't feel like them enough for me to buy it which put me off sadly.

Harry Potter: The Character Vault

Unlock new information about your favourite characters from the Harry Potter movies with this definitive coffeetable book profiling the good, the bad, and everything in between within the Harry Potter universe. Dive into the personal journeys of beloved Harry Potter heroes, and an insightful look at the motivations and actions of the films’ most notorious and complicated villains.

Concept art, behind-the-scenes imagery, and film stills track everyone from Harry, Hermione, and Ron to Dobby, Mad-Eye Moody, and Dolores Umbridge, telling their complete stories as they evolve throughout the film series. A comprehensive collection of the movies’ beloved characters, this beautifully designed book is the ultimate Harry Potter character overview.

This isn't the sort of book I read cover to cover. This is the sort of book that sits on my coffee table as I dip in and out of it which is exactly what I have been doing and I have to say I am fascinated. Loads of interesting snippets which I am really enjoying.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Mini Reviews: Books I wish I'd DNFed

These are the books I've read over the last few weeks which I wish I'd given up on. In some cases it was definitely as case of it's not you it's me with the state I've been in. In other cases, based on reviews from my blogger friends, it definitely isn't just me.

Silence is Goldfish by Annabel Pitcher

My name is Tess Turner - at least, that's what I've always been told. I have a voice but it isn't mine. It used to say things so I'd fit in, to please my parents, to please my teachers. It used to tell the universe I was something I wasn't. It lied. It never occurred to me that everyone else was lying too. But the words that really hurt weren't the lies: it was six hundred and seventeen words of truth that turned my world upside down. Words scare me, the lies and the truth, so I decided to stop using them. I am Pluto. Silent. Inaccessible. Billions of miles away from everything I thought I knew. Tessie-T has never really felt she fitted in and after what she read that night on her father's blog she knows for certain that she never will. How she deals with her discovery makes an entirely riveting, heart-breaking story told through Tess's eyes as she tries to find her place in the world.

Urrggh this book. I've loved Annabel's previous books and I was so so so excited for this and I was so disappointed with it to the point where I kind of wish I hadn't bothered. I found the main character so so so so irritating that I actually hated her a little bit. It also featured one of my pet peeves in YA which didn't help.

Fans of the Impossible Life by Kate Scelsa

 Ten months after her recurring depression landed her in the hospital, Mira is starting over at Saint Francis Prep. She promised her parents she would at least try to pretend that she could act like a functioning human this time, not a girl who can’t get out of bed for days on end, who only feels awake when she’s with Sebby. Jeremy is the painfully shy art nerd at Saint Francis who’s been in self-imposed isolation after an incident that ruined his last year of school. When he sees Sebby for the first time across the school lawn, it’s as if he’s been expecting him. Sebby, Mira’s gay best friend, is a boy who seems to carry sunlight around with him like a backlit halo. Even as life in his foster home starts to take its toll, Sebby and Mira together craft a world of magic rituals and impromptu road trips, designed to fix the broken parts of their lives. As Jeremy finds himself drawn into Sebby and Mira’s world, he begins to understand the secrets that they hide in order to protect themselves, to keep each other safe from those who don’t understand their quest to live for the impossible.

The blurb for this sounded so good. Unfortunately it wasn't. I didn't like the characters and it wasn't at all like the blurb and therefore no what I was hoping for at all.

Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead

Bridge is an accident survivor who's wondering why she's still alive. Emily has new curves and an almost-boyfriend who wants a certain kind of picture. Tabitha sees through everybody's games--or so she tells the world. The three girls are best friends with one rule: No fighting. Can it get them through seventh grade?  This year everything is different for Sherm Russo as he gets to know Bridge Barsamian. What does it mean to fall for a girl--as a friend?  On Valentine's Day, an unnamed high school girl struggles with a betrayal. How long can she hide in plain sight?

 I hated the way this story was told. Part of it was in second person which was just weird. I didn't connect with any of the characters. I just wish I hadn't. Definitely a me thing though because I passed it onto Keris who loved it.

Dangerous Lies by Becca Fitzpatrick

A teen is forced to make a fresh start after witnessing a violent crime—but love and danger find her anyway. Stella Gordon is not her real name. Thunder Basin, Nebraska, is not her real home. This is not her real life. After witnessing a lethal crime, Stella Gordon is sent to the middle of nowhere for her own safety before she testifies against the man she saw kill her mother’s drug dealer. But Stella was about to start her senior year with the boyfriend she loves. How can she be pulled away from the only life she knows and expected to start a new one in Nebraska? Stella chafes at her protection and is rude to everyone she meets. She’s not planning on staying long, so why be friendly? Then she meets Chet Falconer and it becomes harder to keep her guard up, even as her guilt about having to lie to him grows. As Stella starts to feel safer, the real threat to her life increases—because her enemies are actually closer than she thinks…

I don't know why I picked this up.  I really don't after I read Black Ice. The main character was an irritating and ungrateful bitch who I hated for most of the book. I get that she had issues but she was such a self entitled brat that I wanted to scream. I literally only kept reading for the hot cowboy.

Tonight the Streets are Ours by Leila Sales

Recklessly loyal. That’s how seventeen-year-old Arden Huntley has always thought of herself. Caring for her loved ones is what gives Arden purpose in her life and makes her feel like she matters. But lately she’s grown resentful of everyone—including her needy best friend and her absent mom—taking her loyalty for granted. Then Arden stumbles upon a website called Tonight the Streets Are Ours, the musings of a young New York City writer named Peter, who gives voice to feelings that Arden has never known how to express. He seems to get her in a way that no one else does, and he hasn’t even met her. Until Arden sets out on a road trip to find him. During one crazy night out in New York City filled with parties, dancing, and music—the type of night when anything can happen, and nearly everything does—Arden discovers that Peter isn’t exactly who she thought he was. And maybe she isn’t exactly who she thought she was, either.

I wanted to love this book. I love Leila Sales but I think this fell victim to me being in a rubbish mood at the moment. I didn't like Arden all that much and I really didn't care what happened to her in the end.

Monday, 12 October 2015

Mini reviews: Activity books

The first in my series of mini reviews are for a variety of activity books. I haven't read much of late so these books have been a godsend for me

Secret Garden: Artist's Edition by Johanna Basford

I actually loved this colouring book. It has a variety of really sweet drawings and I loved that you could take the pages out completely. I doubt very much I'd be framing them because it's not really something I'd be interested in doing but the fact that you could is a really nice idea

DC Super Heroes Origami

I was so excited to receive this book. I started out making wonder woman's tiara which worked out fab but everything else I tried was rubbish. The instructions were unclear and fiddly and pretty much every item ended up being screwed up and flung across the room

Colour me Mindful series by Anastasia Cartis

I really love this series and these little colouring books. The thing I like most is the size. That are smaller than most colouring books and therefore an easier size to handle and cart around in your handbag. The designs are nice and fun to colour and the paper is a lovely quality.

Pierre The Maze Detective

I've only just started to look at this book but I already love it. Each double spread has a maze to follow along with things to look out for. The drawings are really intricate and every time I look I find something else to look at.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Catch up since I've been AWOL for so long

You might have noticed over the past six weeks or so I have been rather absent both on here and on Bookish Brits and twitter. Things have been stupidly busy at work and I've not been in a brilliant place as a result of being completely overwhelmed with work stress which means I really haven't read much at all and not felt like reviewing anything. I've also managed to backlog myself and it has meant I've not wanted to blog anything because it just seems like another mountain I need to climb.

So the next few posts to follow are going to get me caught up with several little reviews of the bits and pieces I've been reading of late and to let you know that between now and the end of the year I might not be about much. If I do read anything I've keep goodreads updated but I'm hoping to give myself a bit of time without much pressure to get everything sorted. As a rule November / December tend to be quieter month for review copies now is a perfect time for me to get myself ahead reading any January titles that come my way and back into my routine of reading ahead so when work stuff hits the fan it doesn't make much of a difference on here.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Railhead Blog Tour: G is for Guardian

G is for Guardians

There is a garden where the gods meet.
          It is not a real garden.  Everything here, from the topiary yew hedges to the snow which drifts down from the dark grey sky to cover the lawns, is made of code. But that does not matter, because the gods are not real gods. They are ancient AIs, computer intelligences which live as tides of information in the Datasea. It amuses them to think of themselves as gods, and to treat human beings as the gods once did, in tales from Old Earth. And it amuses them to meet here, in this virtual garden, when they need to discuss the wayward ways of humans.

The Guardians arrived early when I started writing Railhead. How had human beings come by this incredible hyperspace railway? I had no idea how it worked, so I decided that maybe nobody in the book knows how it works, either - its based on maths which is beyond human abilities, and must be the work of all-powerful Artificial Intelligences. But all-powerful Artificial Intelligences are best kept off-stage, I think, so they remain a background presence throughout most of Railhead. (This bit of text is from my notebooks, it didnt make it into the finished story.)

There are twelve of them. Each has a million copies, versions of themselves running in the data rafts of every inhabited world in human space, and on uninhabited worlds, too, downloaded into the minds of probes and research stations. Somewhere, other facets of themselves are plummeting into the mantles of suns, or riding the fearsome weather systems of gas giants, or drifting in the void between the stars. But when you get right down to it, there are twelve, the same twelve intelligences brought into being by human scientists on Old Earth in the brief period between the invention of Artificial Intelligence and the moment when the Artificial Intelligences became wiser than their creators, started calling themselves the Guardians, and decreed that no more intelligences like them should ever be made. (Like the gods in those old stories, they are jealous. They do not want to share the universe with too many others like themselves.)
The Guardians are useful, too, from a world-buildingpoint of view. Left to our own devices, I think human beings will evolve all sorts of new social structures, so that a hi-tech society of a few centuries hence will be nothing like our own. But a society thats nothing like our own isnt all that interesting to read about: I needed plenty of points of similarity, so the Network Empire is still organised in ways that are familiar to a 20th Century boy like me. How can this be? Well, dont blame me; its the Guardians who have arranged it that way. And why? Who knows? They have whims and motives which mere humans cant even guess at.

Some of the Guardians appear in the garden looking the same as they looked in the days when they cloned bodies for themselves and walked in human worlds. Anais Six is a tall blue person, vaguely female, antlered. Mordaunt 60 is a golden man. Others have created more imaginative avatars for themselves - the Twins have arrived as shimmering school of rainbow-coloured fish which dart along the paths between the yew hedges as if they are swimming through water, not air (they are swimming through neither, of course; they are just code, swimming in more code). Out on the white lawns the peacock avatar of Shiguri minces to and fro, stopping now and then to spread the fan of its tail and turn a hundred watchful eyes upon the others.  Something small and busy rustles through the heart of the hedges like a supersonic field mouse, scattering snow and dead leaves and making the topiary figures tremble - the avatar of shy, eccentric Vohu Mana.*

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Zeroes Blog Tour: Our Writing Spaces

Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan & Deborah Biancotti is published by Simon & Schuster, priced £7.99

Margo's writing space:

In the picture you can see my new standing desk arrangement, made using an Ikea step stool. Just to be meta, on the laptop screen is a picture of my rented Writing Room, which I'm in the process of moving out of in favour of the new Writing Shed that's nearly built in my back yard. Right now I split my writing location between my kitchen table and the spare room with the standing desk.

My writing habits, when I'm drafting, are to write as early as possible. Fall out of bed and start, before doing anything else and especially before eating breakfast.

Then eat breakfast. Then get back on it. For Zeroes, write (on the laptop) a chapter (max 2000 words) in a day, maybe two on a good day; for solo work, write (longhand) ten pages (roughly 3300) in a day. Finish with a note about what to tackle tomorrow.

Then drop the writing and get some oxygen into the brain, with a walk or a swim. Speaking to another human is an excellent idea too, at this stage.

And read someone else's words before I go to sleep at night, to inspire me either with admiration or with irritation for the next day's work.

Deb's writing space:

This desk is time-shared with my partner (hence the certificate for fly angling on the wall!), so it looks kind of bare because it has to be multi-purposed.

There's not a lot of natural light in my house—it's a historic 1870s terrace built in the British style—so consequently I buy a lot of bright things, like bright red ergonomic chairs. We just bought those awesome lights on swivel arms. Today, you can see daylight through the staircase on the left, which is a bonus. Reflected in the monitor, you may be able to make out the wall behind the desk, with its shiny gold wallpaper and framed print.

I'm not a morning person, so my typical day is customised to suit. I start off usually by feeding cats and then completing whatever business needs don't require my full attention. Like, answering email and checking social media. Lately I've also moved my gym sessions into the morning.

After whatever morning duties I have, I'll start in on the most pressing writing tasks. I try to track what I'm working on daily, but I haven't perfected the whole scheduling of work and rest yet.

Around lunchtime I do some exercise—usually I go to the gym for some weight training and cardio. Then the afternoon is back to writing. If I need the mental break, I might also try some meditation (I say 'try' because I'm terrible at meditation, but I've heard it's good for you, so . . . )
I've noticed that my mental acuity picks up around 2pm. In fact, I can usually tell when it's 2pm because there's a sensation like my brain is powering up. It's quite distinctive. I work until my boyfriend comes home, around 7pm. I usually try to stop work in the evenings & pick up something relaxing, like knitting—because that's how I roll! Evenings are also my fiction-consumption time: reading and watching.

Most of my life, I've had to squeeze writing around whatever else I've been doing. I worked full-time for twenty years, but in the past couple of years I've managed to live on a part-time salary, which has helped my productivity. The real problem, though, isn't how much time I have for writing, but how much energy. Now that I get to be a full-time writer for a while, I'm trying to develop different (and even more productive) habits. I'm a bit of a work in progress that way.

Scott's writing space:

I have many different writing spaces. Have laptop will travel and ergonomics be damned, that’s me. I’ve written at desks, sitting in chairs, on the floor, on the bed, inside, outside, in Argentina, Australia, Canada, Italy, France, Mexico, Thailand and the United States. I’ve written on boats, on land and in the air.

However, my favorite writing space is my chair in Sydney. It's upholstered with vintage coats from the 1940s and 50s, which gives it a tweedy look and feel. It's kind of like someone stitched a bunch of college professors together into one piece of furniture. And really, that's what we all need in a writing chair, right?


I write between caffeine and alcohol. That is, I get up early and have coffee and take a long walk, sometimes almost two hours. Then I work pretty much until dinner time. Then I start cooking, which cools down the brain. As does wine.

I'm pretty sure that the most important thing in any writing schedule is the ritual itself. When your body and brain get used to a certain pattern, they don't fight the work as much. Your butt hits the writing chair, and it's time to write. So whatever your schedule is, the important thing is to be consistent.