Posted in My Journey, News & Events, The Notepad

How will we remember this time?

Hello everyone. ๐Ÿ‘‹

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

Iโ€™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 itโ€™s form, resonate with me?

And then I had a light bulb moment. ๐Ÿ’ก

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 wonโ€™t be the same as your experience, or your neighbourโ€™s experience or your friendโ€™s experience or your friendโ€™s friendโ€™s experience and so on and so on…

Writing for me has always had an element of catharsis to it. Itโ€™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. ๐Ÿ˜‚ But I digress…

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

Hereโ€™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. Iโ€™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. Iโ€™m not making any promises. All Iโ€™m working with at the moment is ideas, passion and a good feeling. But depending on the success of this launch Iโ€™m hoping to have a new project on my hands.

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

If youโ€™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 itโ€™s ocean.

Happy Writing! โœ๏ธ

– B xo

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

World Book Day, What Iโ€™m Reading & More!

Hello everyone and Happy World Book Day! ๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰

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! ๐Ÿ˜‚ 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! ๐Ÿ˜‚) 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. โค๏ธ

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! ๐Ÿ˜

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! ๐Ÿ‘

(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! ๐Ÿ‘€

– B xo

P.P.S: What have you guys been reading today? Drop me some TBR recommendations in the comments! ๐Ÿ˜˜

Posted in Hooked, My Journey, Unravelled, Woolly Wonders

New Year and New Adventures!

Hello everyone and welcome to 2020! ๐ŸŽ‰ I hope this new year finds you all happy and healthy.โค๏ธ

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. ๐Ÿ˜˜

First off I entered and won NaNoWriMo for the second year in a row! ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿป๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿป๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿป

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! ๐ŸŽ‰

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! ๐Ÿ˜‚)

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. ๐Ÿ˜…

The most important being finishing the video diary of my best kept secret of 2019. ๐Ÿ˜‚ 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 fiancรฉ. ๐Ÿ˜‚ For Christmas I gifted him the jumper along with a secret video diary I’d been keeping of the whole experience. The fiancรฉ jumper went down a storm! Such a sentimental gift after such a crazy year. โค๏ธ

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. โค๏ธ And to top it all off last weekend me and my fiancรฉ went to view our first wedding venue together. 2020 is already coming up Millhouse! โค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธ

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! ๐Ÿฅ‚ Bring it on!

– B xo

Posted in Hooked, My Journey, News & Events

Second Book Title News & Other Announcements! ๐ŸŽ‰

Hello my lovelies, I write to you today to reveal some very exciting news! ๐Ÿ˜

As you know, in my last post I asked you all to have a guess at what you thought my next novel will be called. I even uploaded a picture of my current crochet project to give you a clue. However, although some of you got very close, no one quite got it right. But that’s okay the wait is almost over… ๐Ÿ˜‰

I posted this all intially on an Instagram Live, which is a platform I quite enjoy sharing content on. However, insta lives and stories don’t last forever, so in case you missed it, I’m gonna post video below. Enjoy!๐Ÿ‘‡

So there we have it! Book Number in Two in the “Unravelled Yarniverse” will be called Hooked.

I think it perfectly captures this book’s new theme of crochet, whilst still making similar enough nods to Unravelled’s title to tie them both together. ๐Ÿ‘Œ

Thoughts?

And well, if that wasn’t enough excitement for you (!!!) I have a second, more personal, announcement to make! ๐Ÿ’–

Being a writer of romance, I have often daydreamed about how this particular moment in my life would come about. However, it’s always the unexpected things that can bring the most joy.

On his own birthday, my amazing man, my very own Adrian, asked me to be his wife and of course, I said YES! ๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ’•

Guys… I’M ENGAGED!!! ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–

And last week we had this super adorable engagement photo shoot and I feel all kinds of squishy and loved up. It’s so fabulous and exciting… I could burst! ๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿฅฐ Here’s one of my favourite shots that I just couldn’t not share with you all! ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ˜

(Shoutout to Subject to Status here for such a fantastic shoot and incredible shots! ๐Ÿ˜ And special mention to Ginger Galore too for all the model mentoring. Absolute powerhouse of a team! ๐Ÿ’ช I can’t thank either of you enough!!!)

So suddenly the future holds so many more exciting adventures that I cannot wait to share with you on this amazing/crazy journey of mine! When I say this year has been one hell of a rollercoaster, I’m certainly not lying!, but I’m fully ready to embrace this happiness and the excitement these announcements bring!

Much love! ๐Ÿ˜˜

– B xo

Posted in My Journey, News & Events

Where did Briony go?

Hey everyone ๐Ÿ‘‹, 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. ๐Ÿ˜”

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. โค๏ธ

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. ๐Ÿ’ซ

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? ๐Ÿ˜‹

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! ๐Ÿ˜ 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. ๐Ÿ‘€

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. ๐Ÿ˜ What is life? ๐Ÿ˜‚ 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! ๐Ÿ˜ 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. โค๏ธ What’s next for me now? You’ll have to watch this space and see. ๐Ÿ˜‰ (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. ๐Ÿ‘

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. โค๏ธ 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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Oh and here’s one more clue:

_ _ _ _ _ _ ? ๐Ÿงถ (6 Letters)

Leave your guesses in the comments below and I’ll be back soon with the reveal.โค๏ธ

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

B xo

Posted in My Journey

Happy Easter! ๐Ÿฃ

Happy Easter Everyone! I hope you all have a lovely day in the sunshine and enjoy a cheeky treat or two.

I’m off to partake in one of my favourite family traditions of a pub lunch and an afternoon spent at the amusement arcade. ๐Ÿ’• Plus, I’m chuffed to bits that all my Easter surprises went down so well! ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฐ

What’s your favourite thing about Easter Sunday?

– B xo

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 didnโ€™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 sheโ€™s with me still.

*

Sometimes a decade doesn’t change a thing…

In Loving Memory of Violet Irene Carnell, Nan. โค๏ธ