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Guest Post: Jane Cable - Business Plan or Butterfly Net?

Today I'm excited to welcome Jane Cable to the blog to share her journey chasing her dreams. Business Plan or Butterfly Net? I was amused a few months ago when I found a worksheet from a course I attended in 2001, and discovered I had written down that my life goal was to write a best-selling novel. At the time, like Elaina, I was working as an accountant. I had just started my own business and even finding the time to write a book seemed pretty much impossible. But three years later, I did find myself writing. There had always been stories in my head, but this one seemed to need to find its way onto my computer. And somehow I did find the time; first thing in the mornings, and when my husband was working late. Odd hours opened up around me and I was on my way. The phrase ‘chasing dreams’ implies a certain randomness, and for me conjures images of running around with a butterfly net. Yet hunting down your dreams sounds decidedly unromantic, although to the business strategist
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Guest Blog: Morton Gray - Chasing Dreams / Facing Fears

Today's guest is the lovely Morton Gray. Morton was the first person I met when I joined the Romantic Novelists' Association. We chatted on the RNA facebook group and in a strange coincidence it turned out she was also a member of the Birmingham chapter, so when I attended my very first meeting I already had a wonderful and supportive friend. I'm so happy to welcome Morton to the blog to share her amazing and inspirational journey: I am a firm believer that if you have a dream and are willing to face your fears you can achieve it. Acquaintances probably see me as a confident individual, who has changed direction at least twice in her life. Little do they know about the lurking insecurities. Rewind to 1990 and I was facing divorce and thus solo parenthood. I had worked hard at my career and earned a good salary, thankfully had a wonderful childminder to look after my son, but as you can imagine I felt pretty low and stressed with the juggling of parenthood, house and caree

Guest Post: Kim Nash - You Are Never Too Old To Follow Your Dreams

Today I have great pleasure in welcoming the talented Kim Nash to the blog to launch the first in my guest blog series on Chasing Dreams. You Are Never Too Old To Follow Your Dreams  I was 50 years old when my debut novel was published. I was the little girl who dreamed of being an author one day, but thought that to be an author, you had to live in a big house by the coast, and your writing desk had a delightful view over a beautifully tended garden with masses of vibrant, multi-coloured flowers and close-cut, emerald-green grass which looked out over the sea.   That’s where I thought the muse would strike.   When my Mom died, I wrote my things down. I found it cathartic and I wrote about my innermost feelings that I couldn’t share with my family at that time, because I didn’t want to upset them anymore than they already were. I wrote what I thought Mom would say to me if she could talk to me from heaven.   I kept it on my computer and years later I showed it to my sister.   It made h

Chasing Dreams: Part 1 – My Grand Debut

In 2016 I was proud and honored to be a 3 month guest blogger for Mslexia with my series on Chasing Dreams. Sadly the old blogs are no longer available on their site, so over the next few weeks I am going to be republishing them here, and inviting guest bloggers to come and share their own stories.  I hope you'll join me as I share my journey as a writer, with all the bumps and surprises along the way. Chasing Dreams: Part 1 - My Grand Debut I first discovered my love of writing when I was a child.  Like most kids I spent my time living in a fantasy world, and I loved to try and capture that exciting place in the pages of my pale pink notebook.  In addition to the frequent tea parties on my bedroom floor and the impromptu dance performances on an imaginary stage in our lounge, my parents were subjected to hearing random tales of buried treasure and magic houses. Aside from my parents and teachers, whose gold stars for imagination adorned my creations within my school books, no on

Book Review: A Good Match for the Major - Josie Bonham

This wonderful debut from Josie Bonham is a charming love story set against a backdrop of intrigue and suspense. Josie Bonham has a beautiful and captivating writing style and her thorougher research and knowledge of the era creates a vivid and enthralling setting. I loved Eliza's strong and feisty character and I was totally absorbed by her gripping story. Despite the hardships she has endured, Eliza, is outspoken and strong willed, yet lovable and compassionate. I loved the fantastic spark between her and Nat, an ex-army Major. There's an element of intrigue surrounding the past of both characters, which adds to the distrust and guarded nature of their relationship which creates an added layer of cautiousness and distrust.  I'll definitely be reading more from this talented author!

The Grown-Up Gap Year: Branching Out

So, I already told you about my plan . Now to tell you how I deviated from it... The problem with living somewhere so beautiful is the ability it creates for countless opportunities for procrastination. Why stay inside the apartment typing, when I could be out walking on the beach, or exploring new places? Okay, so technically my notebook did accompany on these outings, with the best of intentions of being used to jot down ideas sparked by the stunning scenery. However, the reality was that it was my camera that was firmly held in my hand, not my pen. A chance encounter with a film maker turned out to be the perfect remedy to my procrastination. Simply talking to Vahid reminded me what I loved about writing. His passion and determination for his craft lead to long discussions about books, films and the creative process which in turn reignited my own passion for story telling. Except instead of inspiring me to crack on with my partially completed novel, we deviated into writing

Thinking About Favourites

Whenever you meet new people standard 'getting to know you' questions crop up. I hate those questions. Possibly because my answers, the real ones anyway, tend not to be all that standard. If someone asks who’s your favourite singer I know what my friends would say: Elton John, Maroon 5 or Bon Jovi. The person asking the question would probably nod in approval, because even if they weren't their favourite artist they could understand the answer. They are all well-known great artists. These answers conform within the parameters of expectation. Mine answers… well, not so much. I love country music. Are you raising an eyebrow at me right now? Don't worry you're not alone. It's actually the standard response I get. Admitting to be a country music fan when you live in the UK is a little unusual. Don't get me wrong, I'm not alone, but I just have never found another fan in a work environment. However, my music tastes aren’t restricted to o