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

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 My Journey, News & Events, Unravelled, Woolly Wonders

I just can’t stop bleating about it! 😂

Yarndale
I’m just too excited to keep this to myself any longer, I’ve booked tickets for Yarndale 2018 and I cannot wait! 😁
Yarndale is a celebration of all things woolly! And a craft show I just could not miss again!
There are tickets still available if you’re interested. You can purchase them online at www.yarndale.co.uk.
Be sure to let me know if you’re going too, I’d love to know. 😎
– B xo
Posted in My Journey, The Bookshelf, Woolly Wonders

April Wrap Up 2018

April was a month I spent doing a lot of day dreaming. It was a very relaxed month and I didn’t really feel like I’d done much until I came to write this blog. 😅 However, it appears I was wrong to think that….

I booked a family holiday!

At the beginning of the year I wrote myself a little bucket list. On said list I included places I’d like to visit and holidays I’d love to book. In amongst was the dream of living in a cabin in the woods for a week, switching off from the world and just taking a breather. Well last month I took the bull by the horns and booked that dream escape for me and all those I love. It was rather spontaneous and the first time I’ve booked up a trip for a group of this size. But the website promises an amazing getaway and I literally cannot wait! 😁

I started knitting again!

I do truly wish there were more hours in a day. Actually let me rephrase that; I do truly wish there were more leisure hours in a day. 😂 I love my hobbies, all of them. But I do find myself having fads and flirtations with each at different times. (I’d love to be able to commit to a long term relationship with them all sometime. Maybe a few more years practice at allocating my time and I’ll get there! #goals). However this month I picked up my knitting needles again and loved it. Maybe it’s to do with the fact I’m wielding those Knit Pro Zings 😍😍😍 or maybe it’s my infactuation with the colour mustard. Either way, I’m back to knitting again and I’m determined to finish this project. 💪

I got very nostalgic over Pop-Punk.

The boyf treated me to this MTV Pop-Punk album in early April and it just gave me all of the feels. Although we grew up miles apart we were definitely meant to find each other purely because of moments like this. I ended up starting a full iPod over haul due to this. I’m a strong believer that music speaks to the soul. I also like listening to music when I’m looking for writing inspo, so it maybe it’s a sign…

I conquered my reading slump.

I suppose this is something I’ve been a little hush hush about, but given that it’s over now and also the fact that my plan has always been to be genuine with all, I’m going to say it. I’ve just not fancied reading these last few months. It wasn’t even like it was my choice of book, Throne of Glass is AMAZING!, or necessarily my schedule. I just didn’t want too, which was a very sad state of affairs. But that’s okay, because with a little motivation from one of my besties getting back into books, I’m back on that reading train and I’ve already finished that novel and started a new one! You see, it’s okay to be an writer and take reading breaks. I feel there is so much pressure on aspiring authors to be avid readers. Don’t get me wrong, you should definitely read, but it’s okay to have slumps and breaks. Nobody’s perfect.

I picked a pattern for my holiday.

I spent most of April trawling the internet for a knitting/ crocheted garment pattern that I’d want to make to take away with me on holiday. I must admit this took me ages. The spectrum ranged from huntress cowls to boho bikinis. 😂 In the end I settled for a granny square crop top by Beautiful Crochet Stuff. However, because it took me so long to decide I’m now having a race against time to see if I can get it done before we go away!

The Temperature CAL gained new colours!

April was a great month for my AIYSO Temperature CAL blanket. We had the introduction of not one, not two but three new colours! We seem to have very swiftly taken a hot tropical vibe and I love it! Here comes summer! 🕶👙🏝

What did you get up to in April? Let me know in the comments. (Oh and if you’ve ever stay in a cabin in the woods send me your tips and tricks! 😂)

– B xo