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

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter everyone! I know times might be hard and weird and just down right bizarre right now. With many traditions for today having to be thrown out the window. 😢 But we’ve got to keep strong.

Around this time of year we see nature come alive. It’s fought through the bitter cold and harsh trials of winter and now it’s blooming and growing, raising it’s head to the sun. In these crazy times I think we can learn a lot from nature as we watch it thrive.

I hope you all have a nice Easter, no matter what you get up too. Stay safe, eat some choccie and spread the love in any way you can. 🌸

– B xo

Posted in My Journey, News & Events, Unravelled

Thank you so much! ❤️

I have been absolutely blown away by the feedback from my publisher this morning regarding our eBook giveaway…

Guys! 164 downloads over 5 days… that’s incredible!!!

I’m lost for words…

That’s well over a hundred of you out there who now own my novel that didn’t less than a week ago! Wow… Thank you so much. ❤️

However the sad news is my free eBook offer has officially ended. 😔 But if you didn’t get a chance to take advantage of this fab offer do not fear! Because…

❤️ My paperback is still on sale for only £4.75! (And remember if you order through HallGoodBooks you get the free Adrian scarf knitting pattern too!)

❤️ The eBook is a still at a reduced price of only 99p! (So it’s still a bargain if you ask me. 😉)

Thank you again all for your continued support on this amazing journey of mine. To everyone who downloaded, liked, shared and commented on any of my content over the last 5 days… you’re all superstars. You make all the hard work and behind the scenes pedalling definitely worth while. ❤️

And finally, please remember that reviews feed authors! Just a few words from you could make such a difference to my visibility as an author and how my content and, more importantly, my novels are seen by the big big online world! So go on make my day, click here for my Amazon page. 🥰

And with that I suppose all that’s left to say is happy reading! I look forward to hearing what you think and if you have the eBook be sure to send me your selfies of you and your e-readers, I’d love seeing Unravelled in wild! ❤️

– B xo

(All images included on this post are thanks to Headshots & Hydrangeas. If you ever need a flat lay of dreams, make sure you drop Ginger a message. 😍🥰😘)

Posted in Hooked, My Journey, Unravelled, Woolly Wonders

New Year and New Adventures!

Hello everyone and welcome to 2020! 🎉 I hope this new year finds you all happy and healthy.❤️

For me, the end of 2019 went by with a bit of a blur. However, from then til now some pretty exciting things have happened. So I wanted to take a moment to fill you all in. I’m pretty sure some incredible things happened to you guys too. So please, let’s catch up in the comments, if you fancy it. 😘

First off I entered and won NaNoWriMo for the second year in a row! 💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻

I set myself the goal of getting my next novel draft out and down on paper and I only flippin went and did it! NaNoWriMo is such a test on a writer’s ability, resilience and dedication, but such a rewarding experience and my month’s efforts were no exception. Hooked is here! Admittedly in it’s infancy, but nonetheless, it exists and, as I’m sure many of you will agree, that is a huge part of the climb! 🎉

Also during November, amidst Wrimo-ing, I had a meeting with my publisher.

(That’s what I looked like half way through a month of extreme writing! 😂)

I love getting to see Diane. Living so far apart, most of our communication is done online, so getting to see each other face to face is a real treat. I love our energy during those meetings, so creative and exciting. I always come away raring to go with the next project and this meeting was exactly that. We discussed some very exciting things that I’ll be able to reveal more of as the year progresses. But stay tuned guys, it’s going to be a good un!

On the back of said meeting; I joined in with the Black Friday shenanigans by doing a Red Friday Giveaway on Facebook.

One lucky winner got themselves a copy of Unravelled along with one of my exclusive buddles and a copy of the Adrian’s scarf knitting pattern just in time for Christmas. It was certainly not one to miss! In fact it was one of a few giveaways that we’ve launched through Facebook and I think with the success they’ve had, it won’t be the last. So make sure you like my page so you don’t miss out! You can search for @brionymarshallauthor or click here.

Then moving on to December, the Christmas madness hit. However, not without me just about managing to squeeze in everything I wanted to get done. 😅

The most important being finishing the video diary of my best kept secret of 2019. 😂 Last year I set myself the challenge of crocheting my, then, boyfriend a jumper and testing “The Curse of the Boyfriend Sweater” (Something I learnt about early in 2019 by reading Alanna Okurn’s book of the same title.)

The idea was that if your relationship was meant to last, it would be able to out last the time it takes to complete a jumper for said loved one. Okurn documented the loss of many a boyfriend before the end of a first sock or snood. However, by the time I completed my jumper, I got myself a fiancé. 😂 For Christmas I gifted him the jumper along with a secret video diary I’d been keeping of the whole experience. The fiancé jumper went down a storm! Such a sentimental gift after such a crazy year. ❤️

And now here we are in the new year! The first of this month officially marked my fifth year on this amazing journey, which sounds unbelievable to say if I’m honest. But one book down and more on the way, I still feel all the love, support and fuzzies I did back then. Just in a bigger quantity! I still cannot thank any of you enough. ❤️ And to top it all off last weekend me and my fiancé went to view our first wedding venue together. 2020 is already coming up Millhouse! ❤️❤️❤️

So there we go, I’m up to date. Can’t wait to read what you guys have been up to.

Cheers to the roaring 20’s and the adventures they will bring! 🥂 Bring it on!

– B xo

Posted in My Journey, News & Events

Where did Briony go?

Hey everyone 👋, long time no see?

Sorry for the silence, I know I’ve been around, but no where near as much as I would like to and well long story short, times got tough and I completely lost my mojo. 😔

There was a poignant bereavement in my boyfriend’s family that took us all completely by surprise and that mixed with my own grief of my Nan’s passing, now a decade ago, it began a bit of a downward spiral. It’s amazing how many other things can also rear their ugly head at your worst times. It wasn’t pretty. I spent most of March just floating along. A shell of who I am.

But as time has passed I’ve managed to rekindle my passions with my hobbies one by one. Spurred on by the love of those around me, who are all worth their weight in gold. ❤️

However, I wanted to write about this today, because for anyone like me who just needs a bit of reassurance, if there is one thing this experience has taught me it’s that it’s okay to take a break. You will get back on track eventually, but take your time, recharge your batteries. Take care of yourself because there’s only one you. 💫

So, where did Briony go? Well…

There was my writing holiday, which I never talked about as it was the prelude to everything mentioned above. But, it was such a perfect trip, I didn’t want to let it pass me by on here.

My boyfriend and I took ourselves off to the beautiful town of Stratford-Upon-Avon. Where we spent a week in such a quaint hotel, right next to the river, where we wrote and wrote and wrote. We wrote at the hotel (aptly named Pen & Parchment!) in coffee shops, in the park. We ate good food, went for culture fulfilling walks in the surprising February sunshine. We even managed to catch to catch a show! I mean you, can’t go all the way to Shakespeare’s birthplace and not see one of his plays now can you? 😋

I came away with the beginnings of book two ladies and gentlemen. (I was even writing all the way back on the train home!) This author has a work in progress! 😍 A getaway like that is definitely something I will be doing again for sure. It’s made Stratford-Upon-Avon even more of a special place in my heart. I can’t wait to go back already.

I have had a couple of you asking me how I went about planning such a trip, so I am determined to give it it’s own post in due course too. So watch this space if you wish to find out more. 👀

In April, me, Momma and my good friend Ginger went to Wonderwool in Wales. These days out, just the three of us and a yarn festival, they’re just the best and if you don’t leave somewhere like this feeling inspired, I don’t know what will!

I treated myself to a couple of bits, which I am now obsessed with. For example, I now know kinda how to use a drop spindle to make my own yarn out of fibre. I also own a sterling silver crochet hook. 😍 What is life? 😂 I would definitely recommend a visit and they’ve just announced the dates for next year! (For more info on my purchases I did a haul post on my Instagram, for more info on the show visit their website.)

And this final one is a silver lining story, which at the minute, I really dig. So during all of this, my day job got rather stressful too. I ended up needing to commute around on trains a lot for a couple of weeks and with my head already swimming, it was enough to tip me over the edge. I needed a distraction, but something small and discreet as not to draw attention. (I’ll be honest, I haven’t felt much like talking over the last few months.) So I picked up a book and finished it within a week, so I picked up another.

I’d forgotten how much of a source of relaxation reading could be for me and it was mad to feel the stress just drain out of me for those few hours a day I was by myself with the world blurring by.

My current read is called The Curse of The Boyfriend Sweater by a lady called Alanna Okun, who I discovered on Instagram. It’s mini snippets of life writing, she’s disguised as essays, based on her own life and crafting experiences and I just love it! 😍 Can’t praise it enough in fact and even across the pond here in the UK, I can totally relate!

So book number two, woolly adventures and reading moving back home in my heart. ❤️ What’s next for me now? You’ll have to watch this space and see. 😉 (There’s a secret craft project for one, my draft from NaNoWrimo that everyone I’ve talked to about it wants to read for two. And some rather exiting plans taking shape for the future. But they’re all just glimmers of WIPs at the min.)

However, as a thank you to you all for being so patient with me over the last few months, I wanted to leave you with my first teaser for my next novel. 👏

I’m really only just getting to know the characters of this novel myself, but what I do know is it’s set in the same universe as Unravelled. It’s not going to be a direct sequel, but in keeping with similar themes and the general feel good vibe, so fans of the first book will still fall in love with the second. ❤️ Instead of knitting taking centre stage this time it’s going to be it’s sister craft crochet. Again, mimicking how the stories themselves are connected. This story showcases more of girl power! and friendship than romantic love and it nods towards our more internet age when it comes to crafting these days.

And…

I do have a title, but I want you to have a going at guessing what it’s called before I tell you. Just based on what I’ve just revealed above. Have some fun with it, yenno. Build the hype and all that jazz. 😉

Oh and here’s one more clue:

_ _ _ _ _ _ ? 🧶 (6 Letters)

Leave your guesses in the comments below and I’ll be back soon with the reveal.❤️

Thank you for being here and giving me light in the dark.

B xo

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