Monday Motivation and a GoodReads Giveaway

Happy Monday, all!

I know that it’s the Spring Bank Holiday here in the UK, but it’s just a normal Monday for me… I’m in my garden office, typing away on the latest book and trying to remember this:

Image Credit: Life at Number Five
Image Credit: Life at Number Five

[Free PDF printable of the image is available here]

I love this quote and I think it’s really important.

When I’m struggling with a creative project, it’s so easy to forget… I look at a finished book such as The Language of Spells or In The Light of What We See and, even though I wrote the darn things, I forget how hard I found it.

When I’m working on something new and it’s all difficult and messy and uncertain, I have a tendency to think that I’ve ‘forgotten how to write’ or that ‘I shouldn’t be telling this story because it isn’t flowing/isn’t good’, forgetting that I felt EXACTLY THE SAME WAY about my previous books!

IntheLightofWhatWeSee-NEWAlso, if you haven’t got your hands on In The Light of What We See, yet (or would like a spare copy to use as a gift – books make wonderful presents!), why not enter this GoodReads giveaway?

It’s for a signed copy of In The Light of What We See, and I will happily sign it to a particular person/with the personal message of your choice (within reason!).

Anyway, I hope you are well, and thank you for visiting!

 

Twitter Giveaway: Craft and Listen Pack With Exclusive Pattern!

CraftAndListen

My sister-in-law, Fay, has recently launched a craft company, Knit It Hook It Craft It and a podcast, The Crochet Circle.

Fay has a true gift for making things. Whether it is cooking beautiful food, tiling a bathroom or stitching a skirt, she achieves excellence in anything I have seen her try.

Imagine how excited I was when she turned her skills to making a shawlette/scarf inspired by In The Light of What We See!

As Fay knows I am a novice crocheter (and she wanted simple pattern that could be done while listening to an audiobook or watching television), the pattern is suitable for beginners. It has a geometric edge pattern, and I can absolutely picture Mina wearing it.

IMG_4203Plus, she found beautiful hand-dyed yarn (by Ripples Crafts in Scotland) in colours which match the book cover perfectly.

Yes, she’s a genius.

To celebrate my very first ‘bespoke book-inspired pattern’, I’m giving away the audiobook of In The Light of What We See, the exclusive pattern, and a skein of hand-dyed yarn (enough to make the shawlette). Just head to Twitter and RT/follow to enter!

You need to follow both my account and Fay’s – @ma_dashper and @SarahRPainter

Good luck! 

Terms and conditions:

To enter you must follow (or already be a follower!) of both accounts and have retweeted the competition tweet.

One entry per Twitter user.

One winner will be chosen at random. The prize: one skein of yarn, the crochet pattern and one copy of the audiobook (on CD).

Giveaway is open internationally and closes at 9pm (GMT) on Friday 2oth May 2016.

Friday Catch-up: Exams, writing and getting crafty

Hello, my lovelies!

I thought it was high-time I gave you all a personal update…

I’ve been trying to support my eldest with her first set of ‘big’ exams. In Scotland, these are called National 5s and they are roughly equivalent to GCSEs.

In truth, there hasn’t been much to do in practical terms (my daughter is one of the most hard-working and organised people I have ever met), but the subject has loomed large over the household and, being a soggy over-emotional kind of parent, I empathise with her deeply and will be very happy when they are over!

LandandSea
Land And Sea by Iona Mackenzie Laycock

I’ve also been trying to get a better work-life balance (ha!) and took a day off last week for a rare day out with my lovely mum.

We both love craft and have dabbled in a variety of different projects and materials over the years. We went to the Knitting and Stitching show in Edinburgh and wandered around in a happy daze, discovering interesting new things and stroking the beautiful yarn, threads and materials on offer.

We also took a workshop with textile artist Iona Mackenzie Laycock, which was brilliant. Iona showed us a technique involving a hot iron and pearlescent acrylic ink to make a ‘layered landscape’ picture. Iona was really nice and it was lots of fun to be in a real-life class (I do most of my learning online these days).

It also reminded me how important it is for me to do other creative things which are just for fun.

Speaking of fun, I finally sent the first draft of the new book to my agent, and have spent the last week happily writing on an old project. It’s a slightly different style and genre to my other stuff and feels like a wee holiday!

I also finished episode #15 of The Worried Writer. If you haven’t listened yet, all the shownotes and episodes can be found at worriedwriter.com or you can subscribe via iTunes or Stitcher.

elizabethbuchanI’ve been reading lots, too, and highly recommend Elizabeth Buchan’s I Can’t Begin to Tell You.

It’s set during WWII in Denmark and London and focuses on the SOE/Danish Resistance. I finished it at the beginning of the week and I can’t stop thinking about it.

I’m also looking forward to reading Catherine Ryan Howard’s, Distress Signals, which came out yesterday.

I have been following Catherine’s blog for ages and was thrilled to speak to her last year for The Worried Writer.

 

 

So, how about you? Read any good books, lately? Seen any wonderful films?