Jilly: Kindle Full of Books

We don’t have a Thanksgiving holiday in the UK, but I’m delighted to join the 8 Ladies celebration. 2020 has been a shocker of a year (and we still have another month to go) yet despite everything we have much to be thankful for. I’ll gladly take this opportunity to pause, reflect, and take a moment to focus on what really matters.

For an engaging take on down to earth blessings, enumerated in joyously upbeat style, here’s a video of Scottish Italian singer Paolo Nutini jamming with vintage British skiffle musicians The Vipers. The song is called A Pencil Full of Lead and it makes me smile every time I watch the video.

The song inspired me to compile a list of my own everyday 2020 lockdown blessings. With apologies to Paolo, here goes 😉

Kindle Full of Books

I’ve got a Kindle full of books with some really great hooks
The characters are brave, they’ve got worlds to save
I’m wholly transported. That’s my leisure time sorted.
With a plot to unravel, who needs to travel?

Then it’s time to write and that’s a delight
Forget about votes, I’ve a book full of notes
I got functioning gray matter and friends for a natter
And time to polish my snappiest patter

My heroines are smart, I got great cover art
My heroes are heroic and all kinds of stoic
The baddies are bad, and often quite mad
They’ll stop at naught tho they rarely get caught
The good guys go through hell but it all turns out well
And nothing’s gonna bring them down

I got soap for my hands and a mask for my face
Groceries delivered as I remain in place
I’ve got airline pyjamas and a jigsaw with llamas
I’m a very happy loafer on my oversized sofa
I’ve got ink for my printer and heating for the winter
And nothing’s gonna bring me down

But best of all (best of all)
I’ve got my loved ones
But best of all (best of all)
I’ve got my loved ones
I’ve got a Happy Ever After
And a life full of laughter
And nothing’s gonna bring me down

It’s not high art, but I had fun writing it. Now I need Michaeline to arrange it for ukulele 😉

So… Paolo’s got a Pencil Full of Lead. I have a Kindle Full of Books. What do you have?

Justine: Celebrate Your Accomplishments

crossing finish lineIt’s the beginning-ish of October, and the start of a new month is a great time to share accomplishments. I, for one, am celebrating a goal I have never yet achieved in the six years I’ve been writing my book:

I sent my novel to my editor.

To be honest, I don’t think my husband ever thought I’d get there (there were days I was doubtful, too). But I had a flash of inspiration in September (read: I finally figured out how to end the book), and with some determination and focus, I got there. The feeling was euphoric. My mom happened to call a few minutes after I’d hit SEND on that email to my editor, and when I told mom, I started crying. It was an incredibly satisfying moment that had been a long time coming.

What victories are you celebrating, big or small? Did you finish a chapter? Figure out a plot twist? Type “the end” on your manuscript? Publish your first book? Get a contract? Let us know in the comments!

Jilly: Putting My Feet Up

Putting My Feet UpDo you know The Lazy Song by Bruno Mars? Then you’ll have a pretty good idea how I’m feeling today. For one whole 24-hour period I am officially going document closed, pen down, not even going to read through a single scene of the manuscript I think of as Not Rent & Cornflakes / Something McKenzie. Because – cue fireworks! – last Friday I finally got to the end of what I believe is my last major re-write.

And as an additional feel-good bonus, over the holiday period I learned that the opening scenes of said story, under its latest title Dealing With McKenzie, made it to the final of two RWA contests – Spacecoast Authors of Romance Launching A Star and West Houston RWA Emily. Double yay!

The job’s not done. I have Continue reading

Jilly: Celebrating the Serious Business of Romance Writing

Ladies and Gentlemen, please be upstanding ...

Ladies and Gentlemen, please be upstanding …

I’d like to propose a toast.

Tomorrow is Labor Day for many readers of this blog, though not for us here in the UK. I’ve spent most of my life working for US corporations, so I know the holiday falls on the first Monday in September. I know it marks the start of the NFL season (we love football, American-style, here at Casa Jilly), but beyond that, I never gave it much thought – until now.

According to that fount of all knowledge, Wikipedia, Labor Day is “… a celebration of the American labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of workers.

So today seems like the perfect day to reflect on and celebrate the social and economic achievements of romance authors.

If you’re still reading, chances are you already know Continue reading

Nancy: Changes Part 3 – The Career


This week, it’s time for the big reveal, time to announce the centerpiece of my plan to change up my life. I’ve been chomping at the bit to share this news, to shout it from virtual rooftops. So get your champagne glass, or coffee cup, or whatever is handy ready to lift a glass in toast. Today, I can finally publicly announce it: I am leaving my day job.

It will be a done deal in less than two weeks, at which time I will officially join the ranks of the self-employed. Note I said self-employed, not unemployed. I am not giving up a paycheck (at least not for long, I hope). And I’m not throwing myself headlong into the role of the fulltime writer, not yet. Not for a very long time. Possibly not ever. My change will be less drastic and dramatic as I move from employee to consultant in my chosen ‘day job’ field. But it’s still huge for me, as I will get to pick and choose my projects and make time for things other than work – little things like creativity and fun. Continue reading

Nancy: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back


Yes, I know the saying is ‘one step forward, two steps back’, but that indicates lack of progress, and today I want to celebrate progress! As you’ve probably noticed from the recent posts on the blog, several of the ladies (including yours truly) have been diligently been working toward the goal of writing a new and improved, shiny and updated draft of the first acts of our WIPs. Mine required writing some brand-new scenes, revising some existing scenes to be told from a different point of view, and tying it all together. Sure, stitching together all those disparate parts made it resemble Frankenstein’s monster, waiting for the lightning strike to spark life in it. Continue reading