Posted in My Journey, News & Events, The Notepad

Last Call for Submissions!

So with lockdown drawing to a close and the transitional phase of the world trying to get back to normal well under way, I thought it best I give a final call for submissions to my lockdown time capsule. (You can read the launch post here.)

Thank you to all of the submissions I have received so far. I’ve enjoyed going through them, despite their sometimes darker tones. You have been heard. 💕

However, I still feel I’m missing some important voices. Especially with the end goal to be a real depiction of life in lockdown. So I’m giving out one last call.

Art, photography, poetry, short stories, streams of consciousness, crafting, gardening, sign writing, articles, case studies, diary entries, even lengthy social media statuses. If it’s raw and real, I want it!

To submit your piece attach it an email, in any format, and send to brionymarshallauthor@gmail.com along with your preferred name.

My plan is to create a downloadable PDF that will be available from this blog. Something that we can download on many devices and share in the memories of this time. Taking forward with us the strength and creativity of the human race, even in extreme circumstances.

Thank you in advance for taking part and I hope to hear from you soon.

– B xo

Posted in My Journey, News & Events, The Notepad

How will we remember this time?

Hello everyone. 👋

I hope you’re all keeping well and doing whatever you can to keep yourself going through these crazy times!

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking recently. Mostly on a bigger scale. Some days, when I can push past the fear and anxiety I realise that I am in fact living through history. Experiencing a time that will be talked about and even taught about in schools for decades to come.

And then I wonder, but how exactly will this time be captured? And will that capsule, whatever it’s form, resonate with me?

And then I had a light bulb moment. 💡

As an author I write about my own feelings and experiences as an inspiration for my works. Especially feeling what I am right now, the obvious idea would be to write a novel about all of this. But that is only from one perspective…

My experience won’t be the same as your experience, or your neighbour’s experience or your friend’s experience or your friend’s friend’s experience and so on and so on…

Writing for me has always had an element of catharsis to it. It’s one of the reasons why I originally started writing as a young confused teen. Without my angsty emo poetry Unravelled would most likely not exists. 😂 But I digress…

What I’m trying to say is that I’m know I’m not the only one that turns to their creative muse when the emotions hit.

Here’s a little taster of my lockdown so far….

So I want your creations! Your poems, your short stories, your streams of consciousness, your art, your excerpts, your monologues, your scenes, your letters, your doodles, your haikus. I’m really setting no limitations with this. Anything! Any creative splurge is welcome here.

My hope is to make our very own time capsule of these unprecedented times. I’m not making any promises. All I’m working with at the moment is ideas, passion and a good feeling. But depending on the success of this launch I’m hoping to have a new project on my hands.

So whether it’s isolation, rainbows, grief, community spirit, financial uncertainty, new found freedom, nature walks, PE lessons, clapping at 8pm or singing along to You’ll Never Walk Alone. I want to read all about it and who knows what we could achieve.

If you’d like to submit a piece to my Lockdown Time Capsule. Please email brionymarshallauthor@gmail.com with your piece attached and include your preferred pen name. I look forward to seeing what you guys come up with.

So there you have it. May your ideas flow like water and your pens drift across it’s ocean.

Happy Writing! ✍️

– B xo

Posted in My Journey, News & Events, The Bookshelf, The Notepad

World Book Day, What I’m Reading & More!

Hello everyone and Happy World Book Day! 🎉🎉🎉

On a day focused on books and reading and all the good stuff, I wanted to take the opportunity to celebrate by doing a little update post.

Last week I visited the Warner Bros Studio’s in London: The Making of Harry Potter Tour for a friend’s hen do. It was my third time visiting however, so much had changed since my last visit, it was like a totally new experience!

I’ve also started taking my 2020 reading goal a little more seriously! 😂 I’ve opted for only six books this year. A small goal, I agree. But I also don’t want to neglect any of my other projects or get a bit deflated when my goal seems waaay out reach come November. (Plus, remember I’m planning the most DIY Bride wedding of the decade! 😂) So six it is!

Last month I finished Sophie Kinsella’s sequel, Shopaholic Abroad. I love Kinsella’s work and this was no disappointment. Cute, cosy and a buddy in book form is always how I’d sum up her words! Moving on to book two of 2020and I’ve decided to go for something completely different. I’m currently reading Milk & Honey by Rupi Kaur. I’m only one section in and I’ve already learnt so much. Kaur’s words are powerful. But don’t take my work for it, check it out yourself! This is my edition, kindly gifted to me by my bestie. ❤️

However, the biggest news in my world at the minute is that I’m editing again!!! But the story in question might come as a surprise…

Since my last meeting with my publisher there’s been a few projects we’ve been tickling away at. One of which was sending over some raw drafts I’ve had saved on my computer for a while for Diane to have a look at. The highlight of last month was that, after I’ve put in places some suggested edits, we have a green light! 😍

Some of you may remember for my first ever win of NaNoWriMo I wrote a chick-lit named Rags to Richie about a movie star falling for the coffee runner? Well buckle up guys, because that draft just got a thumbs up! 👍

(P.S: Don’t fret, Hooked is still definitely in the works too. I have my first draft of it in fact! But why only stick to one current project when you can have two?!)

So there we go, the secrets out, your girls editing again! Chick-lit lovers watch this space! 👀

– B xo

P.P.S: What have you guys been reading today? Drop me some TBR recommendations in the comments! 😘

Posted in The Notepad

The Only Streak of Colour

I was the only streak of colour,

Within the blackened room.

And although people may not have thought it appropriate,

She knew I didn’t like the gloom.

*

Although the flowers fulfilled their duty,

They brought some colour,

Some life.

They are expected to in these circumstances,

But in context, they were not so bright.

*

Like I have been for so long,

I carried her.

And eventhough my steps were solemn and slow and everything became a blur,

My violet flag waving,

And I knew I could do this for her.

*

And as we left that place,

Free in the open air,

I felt the wind embrace me,

And I knew that she was there.

*

Because ever since she parted,

When the world became cold and chill,

I have felt the wind around me,

And I know she’s with me still.

*

Sometimes a decade doesn’t change a thing…

In Loving Memory of Violet Irene Carnell, Nan. ❤️

Posted in My Journey, The Notepad

I did it!!! 🎉🎉🎉

Guys, I completed NaNoWriMo!

I wrote a 50k novel in a month! 😱

I am a NaNoWriMo winner!

After years and years of attempts, I finally passed the finishing line and wow! There’s still a part of me that can’t believe I did it. A novel in a month. A novel that is longer than Unravelled and I wrote it in a month. Wowzers.

In November I nailed the art of writer discipline. The only reason I won is because I wrote every day. Even on days where I had plans, I mapped out my time and wrote something. Even if it was only a couple of hundred words, I added something to my word count and it paid off. I’ll be honest, on the 29th I had to play catch up. But I managed it because I planned and persevered and believed. I also learnt to silent my inner editor. This one was most certainly a hard one to crack and took me some serious pep talks from cheerleaders. 😂 But I got there.

Don’t get me wrong, the manuscript needs a lot of work, I cannot wait to read some of the hot mess of words I was writing late at night through tired eyes! 😂, but the story is there. It just needs improvement and that’s the point. So I can’t make any promises for when or how this story will make it’s way into the world. But, for those of you who are interested here is the mock cover, synopsis and excerpt from my NaNoWriMo profile:

Synopsis:

Richard Clarke, or “Richie” as he’s known in the industry, is an actor in his prime. At the age of forty one, he’s been on his journey through arthouse and low budget. He’s played corpses and extras then gradually moved up to evil villains and romantic leads. He’s dabbled in almost every genre, and recently his career has taken an all-time rocket boost and he’s four times winner of The People’s Magizine’s ‘Sexist Man Alive’ Poll. But if only someone could have told that to his soon to be ex-wife…

Penelope James, or “Penny” to her friends, has always loved fashion. That’s why she’s devoted her life to it… or as much as she can. A Levels, University, Apprenticeships, she’s done it all. But the fashion world outside of the comfortable four walls of institutionalised education will eat you up and spit you out in seconds. So Penny currently works in her Auntie’s boutique selling glamourous fashion to the over fifties in a small little town in the middle of nowhere. However, when Penny’s Dad has a friend who knows someone, who’s heard that the big boys are looking for new talent; a very small job role in a huge television production. It might not be exactly what Penny’s after but it would be a foot in the door.

And then Penny meets Richie.

This could be Penny’s big break in more ways than one. It’s a risk, but then isn’t all things in love, and fashion, a risky business?

Excerpt:

“Ready?”

I nodded slowly, was now too late to start feeling a little uneasy about this situation? Next thing I know Win has opened the door and is leading me into the biggest office I have ever seen. At the far end of the room two men are sat opposite each other. On the desk an open decanter and two glasses of whiskey, on the rocks.

Win cleared her throat as we made our way over to where the two men were seated, “Penny this is Carl Wright our Executive Producer, I don’t think you’ve met yet.” The older of the two men turned to face me. He had a kind but stern face. The laughter lines around his mouth and eyes were deeply set, but by the way he owned the chair he sat in  he made you know that he was not the kind of person you would want to cross. He extended his hand to me, showing me a full pearly white smile.

“Hello Penny, lovely to finally meet you, welcome to FBW Productions.” I took his hand, his grip was firm, the practiced handshake of a well accomplished business man.

“Thank you.” I barley whispered. Where had my voice gone all of a sudden?! But luckily Win came to my rescue with a second introduction.

“And this is Richie Clarke. Our star.” She added the last part with a grin, which Richie himself tried to shrug of with a half laugh as he got to his feet to take my hand.

Richie Clarke. I was shaking the hand of Richie Clarke.

My knowledge of popular culture outside of fashion was rather limited, (Remember my current favourite band is Queen?!) but even I knew this guy’s name . The definition of tall, dark and handsome , Richie Clarke has been a household name for a few years now, his specialities being television and romance. If there was a cop show that needed a heartthrob or a romantically challenged criminal mastermind, Richie was your guy. Popping up in many lead rolls across the different television channels for the last five years. Being in his early forties, his wall calendar was the kind of thing you’d buy your Mum for Christmas but secretly something that you, personally, would want on the wall all year round. He was always a firm favourite in the “Sexist Man Alive” polls but also at the TV award ceremonies too. And the last I heard he was happily married, with a baby on the way and breaking a lot of ladies hearts.

“Hey.” His voice was as smooth and as rich as cocoa.

For those of you who don’t know, NaNoWriMo is such a beautiful, kind, loving and inspirational non-profit organisation that help and encourage writers of any ability to write a novel in a month. The main event is November. (National Novel Writing Month.) But they do other things throughout the year that you can be a part of. Please take a look at their website and, if you can, help them by donating to their cause and give more people a chance to realise their dream. 💫

I’m off to print my winner certificate now and hang it on the wall along with my Christmas decorations. 😂 I can’t believe it’s that time of year again already?!

Happy Monday everyone.

– B xo

Posted in My Journey, News & Events, The Notepad

I’m a judge! 👩‍⚖️

Hello again,

Bit of a blogging overload coming from me at the minute! 😂 But I’ve just got so many exciting things to share with you all.

So today’s news is that I have been picked to be the judge of three_hundred_words on Instagram’s Flash Fiction Competition! How cool is that?

There’s £50 up for grabs and the chosen topic for the fiction is cake! 🍰 It’s a 300 word count too, so nothing too daunting and a great opportunity to flex those writing muscles. 💪 So what are you waiting for?

Head over to @three_hundred_words‘s page now for the full details and I look forward to reading your entries!

Happy Writing! ✍️

– B xo

Posted in My Journey, News & Events, The Notepad

Nanowrimo 2018!

Happy November 1st Everyone and welcome to National Novel Writing Month. For those of you who have followed my blog for a while, you’ll know that Nanowrimo is a challenge I’ve always dreamed of winning but never quite managed it.

Well, after finally finishing a novel length manuscript and with my first draft of book two on the horizon, I thought what better opportunity than to give Nanowrimo another go.

Soo… I thought I better post this here, right now and commit.

I am officially a 2018 Nanowrimo participant! I’ve updated my Nanowrimo profile and I’ve already wrote 500 words. So that’s it, I’m in!

If you’re joining me on this crazy yet amazing journey of words, I’d love to be buddies! You can find my profile and the details of the novel I hope to write here. And… I’m also currently taking applications for cheerleaders! 😂 (I’m gonna need the support!)

If you want to follow my Nanowrimo journey I’m sure I’ll be mentioning it over of my social media. Which you can find here, here and here.

Oh and don’t forget! It’s my e-book launch party tonight where I’ll be answering questions on my FB & Instagram lives, any Nanowrimo questions very welcome!

See you then!

B xo

Posted in The Notepad

The day we went conker hunting.

You took my tiny hand,
Wrapped it in the fortress of your own,
Safe, Sturdy, Protective.

I saw the wonder,
In the oranges and the yellows,
In the browns and the reds,
I felt the excitement,
All the way down to my toes. 

The bag rustled as we walked,
Crunch, Crunch, Crunch,
Across the bed of fallen leaves.

We finally made it to the patch where the shiny brown pebbles fell,
And the giddy feeling began to bubble in my stomach,
This was it,
Autumn was here,
Right in front of me. 

These are the golden moments,
The ones that form like polaroids in the mind,
Captured, stored and treasured.
And all it took was that moment with you, 

That glimmer of excitement in your eye,
As you looked down to the ground and grinned,
To bring all those memories flooding back,
With such force it almost knocked me off my feet.

The joy of discovery,
Transcending years,
That day we went conker hunting. 

Posted in The Notepad

Walkies

When we started our journey together my path was unclear. It was overgrown with brambles and thick shrubbery. To be honest, I hadn’t really given much thought about what lay ahead at that point, I’d just been happily bumbling along before, taking each day a step at a time. So when she joined me, we didn’t really know where we were going. But what we did know was that our whole future lay ahead of us, so of course an instant partnership was made and we started walking. 

At first it was easy, all about putting one foot in front of the other. Everything was new for her. Everyday was an adventure. We explored many new places on our journey; saw so many sights, shared so many delights. She chased pebbles on the sand. I got more cuddles and kisses than I could count. We shook hands, we high fived. She felt the wind in her ears and covered me in fur. We’d rough and tumble. We’d snuggle up and cuddle. When I wasn’t looking I’d either be pounced on or have a ball launched at me from a great distance. We’d sleep together, eat together, play together. She’d defend me. I’d always be looking out for her. We were a perfect match. The greatest team. It was a love like no other I had ever experienced. A sisterly love perhaps? It made the journey all that more pleasurable knowing she was by my side. 

Sometimes I’d have to stray away from our path. But I knew she’d always be there, waiting for me. Tail wagging excitedly every time I returned. Sometimes she’d even decide to run on ahead. But she’d never completely leave my eyeline, even if she was just a blip on the horizon. 

As the years rolled on we both changed, we both grew. But we supported each other through it all, our bond as strong as ever. I’m definitely not the same person I was when our journey began, but then neither was she. One time along the path the forest crept up on us so thick and fast that I didn’t really know how we were going to carry on. But she lead the way and helped to pull me from the darkness. She caught every tear in her fur. She knew when a paw was all that was needed. I couldn’t have asked for more of a best friend. 

As time wore on though her pace started to slow. We had to climb a few hills. In fact one was so gigantic, I had never been so glad to see the other side. But we overcame it, we plodded on. Her ability to keep heel started to waver. I’d have to walk a few paces ahead and wait for her to catch up. Days turned into months until one day we couldn’t ignore it anymore. 

“This is where I have to get off”, she said with a kiss of that little pink tongue. “This is me. This is my stop. But you’ve got to promise me you’ll keep walking.” I’d scooped her up in my arms. We were cuddling on the tarmac. “I can still see the path. It stretches on for miles. But it’s for you now, not me.” And that was where her part of the journey ended. 

Right now, I’m still walking the path, but it feels cold and empty without her. It’s so strange walking alone when you’ve had company for so long. We’d been journeying together for over half of my lifetime. Silence now is just too quiet. I’m trying to keep going, carry on ahead like I was told too, like I have too. But currently it feels like my feet are stuck in quick sand. I haven’t moved far from the spot where she left, a very large part of me doesn’t want to either. 

In life sometimes you have to be brave and I wish I could be just half as brave she was. But for her I was as brave as I could be. And although now the walkies may be over she’s still walking with me, inside my heart. 


Goodnight Daisy-Do, love you always. ❤️

Posted in My Journey, News & Events, The Notepad

Keeping The Bugle in the Black Country. 

Today I’m going to write  about something rather unusual for me, but with my personal connection to this matter it seems only right. Today I’m going to write about politics. But not the gritty, EU referendum kind of politics. More so an MP has made a stand about something I personally agree with. So I’d like to bring it to my readers’s attention. 

Ian Austin is the MP for my area and he recently made a petition against Trinity Mirror’s wish to move their paper, The Black Country Bugle, out of the Black Country. 

The petition was set up by Dudley MP Ian Austin to show the strength of local opposition to plans that would see the Bugle moved to Tamworth.

(Source: ww.ianaustin.co.uk) 

Now this may not sound like such a big deal on the surface. But let me just tell you about the Black Country Bugle. The Bugle is a paper wrote for Black Country people, by Black Country people about the Black Country. It’s light hearted and nostalgic, the perfect pick me up any day of the week. My Mom, Black Country born and bred, loves it. 

And I love it too. The Bugle is the place I had my published debut. I entered one of their short story competitions and won myself a full page spread in one of their issues. It was one of those defining moments in my timeline that led me to where I am today. Moving The Bugle would take away the core of what the paper is all about whilst also leading to a number of job losses for the local journalists involved. Therefore as a writer, and local author, this is a matter that is close to my heart.

Today it was annouced that over 1,000 people signed the petition and now Trinity Mirror have dropped there plans to move The Bugle. 

In celebreation of this fantastic news, I’m going to post the scanned copy of my short story from The Bugle, ‘The Promised Return’.

I will also leave a link to today’s article on Ian Austin’s website below. incase you’d like to read anymore about it. 

Let me know in the comments your thoughts on ‘The Promised Return’. I’d love to read them.

Thanks for reading and thank you to anyone who signed the petition.  Together we made a difference. 💪🏻

(Source: The Black Country Bugle (2010) & D.Green for the illustration.)

Campaign Pays Off as Bugle Stays in Dudley.

– B xo