Posted in My Journey, News & Events

Where did Briony go?

Hey everyone πŸ‘‹, 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. πŸ˜”

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. πŸ’«

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? πŸ˜‹

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. πŸ‘€

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? πŸ˜‚ 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. πŸ˜‰ (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. πŸ‘

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. πŸ˜‰

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

Happy Easter! 🐣

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. πŸ’• Plus, I’m chuffed to bits that all my Easter surprises went down so well! 🐣🐰

What’s your favourite thing about Easter Sunday?

– B xo

Posted in My Journey, News & Events

End of Year Wrap Up, New Year’s Resolutions And Blogversary! πŸŽ‰

Hello, hello, hello and welcome to 2019 everyone! πŸŽ‰

I hope this new year finds you all well and raring to go with the adventures this year will bring.

However, before I get fully stuck into 2019, I want to tie up a few loose ends, let you know my resolutions and celebrate another blogversary! 😱 πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰

The end of 2018 was such a whirlwind of awesomeness that I ran out of time to do my wrap ups! πŸ˜‚ Therefore on reflection I don’t think they’ll be something I’ll be carrying on with in 2019. However, for those of you who have a good memory will remember, one of my resolutions from last year was the finish what I started. So here I am, doing just that…

SEPTEMBER

I went on holiday.

The annual family holiday was pure bliss. β˜€οΈ Taking little Bobby away with us too was just perfect. It’s lovely to get away just as summer fades to autumn.

I also managed to crochet a top in two days whilst on this holiday and I purchased a lot of wool. 🀫 (What can I say? My Mother is a bad influence. πŸ˜‰)

I went to Yarndale!

I know I’ve already blogged about this, but my wrap up wouldn’t be complete without mentioning it. What a wonderful day it was! I’m already planning my trip for next year. Who’s with me? If you’re a yarnivore and you’ve never been to Yarndale, I definitely recommend it!

OCTOBER

It was my birthday!

And I was treated like a princess! πŸ‘‘ Afternoon tea at the RSC, incredibly thoughtful gifts and lots and lots of love. Getting older isn’t so bad when it comes with days like that. πŸ’• Thank you to everyone who played a part in making my day so special.

I got my first tattoo!

Ever since I signed my publishing contract I knew I wanted a book tattoo. Books have always been a huge part of my life and Unravelled just sealed the deal. However fear had been putting me off for the best part of year. However, with some forward thinking from one of my bestest babes, I was booked in and well, I am utterly in love with the end result. It’s everything I ever wanted and more. ❀️

I finished my second pattern test.

The Grecian Top I crocheted for the lovely homemadebymarcie. πŸ’• Never have I had such lovely compliments about my body whilst modelling anything. πŸ˜‚ It was a definitely a confidence booster! You can purchase the pattern for this top now from Marcie’s Etsy store.

I went pumpkin picking!

I ticked another thing off of the bucket list last October by finally going pumpkin picking! It was fun activity gearing up toHalloween and I had a great time picking and then carving a ghost pumpkin!

NOVEMBER

I had my ebook launch!

Again, something I know I posted about already, but this was a fun one. I had a great time celebrating the launch of Unravelled as an ebook during our online party across Facebook and Instagram! Thanks again if you tuned in, we had such a giggle. And remember, if you haven’t got your copy already, Unravelled in ebook format is a bargain price of just Β£3.99. Available now from the Amazon Kindle Store!

I won NaNoWriMo!!!!

Again this is something I’ve already blogged about but it was such a personal achievement for me that I had to give it another shout out. I wrote a novel in a month. Yes it’s a mess, yes it’s no where near publishable but it exists. It’s on paper, I have a first draft and it’s longer than Unravelled. Now I know what the whole thing entails, I’m not sure it will be an annual affair, but for anyone wanting to give National Novel Writing Month a go I advise a month of dedication! You’ve got to be prepared to write every day. Because I know if I’d have fallen even just one full day behind, I would have been toast! If you fancy reading a bit more about my NaNoWriMo novel, the synopsis and an excerpt are still available on my NaNoWriMo profile.

I completed my Doctor Strange cosplay!

A year’s worth of crochet paid off on the 25th November as I attended the MCM Comicbook Convention in Birmingham in full Doctor Strange crocheted cosplay! I was so proud of myself putting it all on together and I had some really lovely comments on the day. πŸ’•

DECEMBER

December is always a crazy month for me. The Christmas madness kicks in and I always end up disappearing of the radar for a little while. This year was no different, however, I did try my best to fully embrace the festive season as best as I could so here we are…

I crocheted a peacock!

A bit of bizarre project for the time of year, but it was a special request. However, he went down a treat. The pattern I used was from Moji Moji Designs on Etsy, I definitely recommend checking out her store for super cute crochet!

I visited a German Christmas Market.

I had a lovely evening full of yummy food and drink and even picked up a really cute pair of mistletoe earrings. Which swiftly became my staple jewellery piece for the rest of the festive season!

I made a festive door hanging!

I took a couple years away from my annual festive foliage night, however I went back this Christmas, but was terrified I forgotten everything! However, apart from an unfortunate instance of the bottom falling out, I was proud as punch with the result. It’s actually still on the door! It’s just too pretty to take down straight away…

I went to see Elf on stage.

And I got so enthralled in it all that I forgot to take any pictures! πŸ€ͺ However, it was a magical experience and really helped me get into the festive spirit. I also got to watch Martine McCutcheon perform live during the festive season. Bonus.

Bobby thoroughly enjoyed his first Christmas and I got spoilt rotten.

Another tradition I’ll be skipping on the blog this year is my Christmas haul. I was absolutely spoilt rotten and a) I think I’d actually make my phone explode with all the pictures but also b) I had such a lovely quiet one that I don’t want to take away from anything by splashing it all over social media and having other people judge. (However, I’m sure inevitably things will crop up on my Instagram feed, so if you genuinely are interested, keep an eye out on there.) All in all it though it was a lovely, super cosy day and I’m actually kinda gutted it’s all over and done with now, if I’m honest. Again, thank you to everyone who played a part in making my Christmas a special one, you’re all angels worthy of sitting a top a tree. ⭐️

And there we have it, all up to date and ready for 2019!

And with the New Year came my 4th Blogversary! Honestly, I don’t know where the time goes. But it’s been amazing to look back and watch my journey unfold through these blogs. πŸ’• And with another exciting year ahead, I determined to keep it up.

So what can we expect from brionymarshallauthor in 2019?

Well…

As I mentioned earlier, I’m going to scrap the monthly wrap ups this year and instead just blog about something when it’s fresh and happening to keep you all more in the loop.

I also have two New Year’s resolutions that will most likely shape my content for 2019:

    Read more Chick Lit! – The hobby that suffered the most in 2018 was definitely my reading. Plus I definitely feel I could be more well read in my own genre, so I’ve given myself the aim this year of reading six chick lit books. Any recommendations? Be sure to send them my way!
    Write the first draft of book 2! – NaNoWriMo was definitely me joining the writer gym for a month. I knew a new manuscript was on the horizon but I was scared to jump right in after having such a long break from novel writing. However, after my NaNoWriMo success I’m ready to bring it on!

And there was go. I hope you enjoyed this mammoth post! And if you stayed with me all the way to the end then you definitely deserve a brownie point! πŸ˜‚

So once again Happy New Year everyone and if you have any resolutions of your own I’d love to hear all about them in the comments. πŸ₯³

– B xo

Posted in My Journey

July/ August Wrap Up 2018

It’s definitely been a summer of creativity for me. So much so, that pretty much everything that happened in July carried through to August. So I decided, again, to put my wrap ups together.

Double the fun!

Enjoy!

JULY

The UK heatwave continued throughout July. β˜€οΈ I loved it, spending most of my time out in the garden, wearing playsuits and sunnies. The only negative really was not having much motivation to work with wool! All my projects at the time were big, heavy and warm. However, what I did instead made me just as happy…

I did some writing in the garden.

I took my laptop outside and did some writing in the garden. This writing in particular was a synopsis for a chick-lit that has nothing to do with any of my current projects. πŸ˜‚ However, it was an idea I just couldn’t get out of my head, unless I wrote it down. And well, Nanowrimo is just around the corner…

I started reading Unravelled. ❀️

This is something I have wanted to do for a long time, but also something I absurdly kept putting off because of what it might look like to outsiders. There is so much pressure on people these days that derives from what other’s think. With social media literally being a window into our lives it’s easy to get caught up in it all. However, this July I decided to push that all to the side and sit down and enjoy my own work and be damn proud of it too! This book took me ten years to create, so what if my neighbour’s, brother’s, cousin’s dog spots me reading it in Starbucks and deems me self indulgent? More fool them.

I got a haircut!

Okay, okay, so I’ve had a couple of haircuts and hair changes over the years I’ve been doing brionymarshallauthor, however this one was a first… I went short!!! Never, to my memory, have I had short hair but well, the heat just got too much and I decided to take the plunge and …

I love it!

What do you think? Should I keep it short for Autumn/ Winter or let it grow back a little?

I started reading Patrick Melrose.

During the month of July I had a couple of solo train journeys to embark upon and if there is one thing I love about solo train journeys, it’s audiobooks. ❀️ After developing a little CumberCrush recently, I opted for the Patrick Melrose books. Plus, with the DVD on my birthday list, I wanted to try and get a head of the game. Edmund St Aubryn’s writing style is so vivid and his use of imagery is something I aspire to. Although at times his work is a little uncomfortable to digest, it all makes for a story I can’t leave alone.

I visited Northampton.

So about those solo train journeys… I travelled down to visit my friends in their new home in Northampton and what a wonderful couple of days I had. πŸ’• Not only was I treated to amazing food, shown some really cute places and visited every wool shop in the area, I also got to talk to a lovely group of ladies about Unravelled, after accidentally walking into their Knit and Knatter. The woolly community really is like a secret club, once you know the handshake your in, no matter where in the world you may be. 🀝

I had a day at the seaside and left Unravelled behind.

If you don’t know about the Book Fairies, then I think you better click that link I just left. I’ve loved this idea ever since I first heard about it, so when I was given the opportunity to do a similar thing of my very own, I jumped at the chance. Thus came the birth of #unravelledontour.

On a random day I will take a copy of Unravelled out into the big wide world and leave it somewhere as a present for a stranger to find. Using the power of social media, I will leave hints across my platforms as to where Unravelled may be, but really whoever finds it first will be a mystery to me. I hope that whoever finds it will carry on to document the books’s journey online and we get to see how far Unravelled will roam all using the hashtag: #unravelledontour

Drop number one was a great success! I left Unravelled in a cafe right on the sea front in Wales.❀️ The next day, I was connected with the lovely Michelle, who picked up my book the same evening and after reading my note, thought she’d give it a go. Her story was so lovely to read. It’s amazing what the gift of words can do. I believe she’s planning to pop Unravelled back out into the wild soon, so keep your eyes peeled for that. I’m also planning another drop of my very own, so watch this space. πŸ‘€

I became a pattern tester.

As the temperature started to cool, I threw myself back into woolcraft by applying to be a pattern tester. I got in touch with Becs of becspaddockdesign to test her Granny Square Bardot Jumper and she picked me! I was so happy to be picked as I fell in love with the jumper as soon as I saw it and well, it was a huge compliment to my own crochet skill to be picked for my first pattern test! I am so happy with my finished jumper, so much so, that I’m going to wear it to Yarndale later next month. 😁 Thanks again to Becs for picking me to be a part of this jumper’s journey. πŸ’• If you love the jumper as much as I do, you can now purchase the pattern from Becs’s Etsy Store.

I tired (and failed) to make another crop top.

Do remember the disaster crop top from my previous wrap up? Well it happened again guys! This time my top didn’t look all that bad. it just came out huuuuuuge! (Despite me using the correct brand of yarn and the right hook for my size!) I don’t know what’s going on. I’m definitely going to have to blog about this at some point though. It’s kind of becoming a running theme. πŸ˜‚

AUGUST

Unravelled went on holiday!

At the end of July/ beginning of August I received some lovely photos from you guys of Unravelled on holiday. On the back of my own #unravelledontour experience, it was great to see so many pics of Unravelled by the sea. The truth is out guys, Unravelled is the must-have holiday read!

Be sure to tag me if you take Unravelled away with you, I’d love to see how far it travels and I’ll be sure to share you pics on my social medias. 😊

I was part of The Quiet Knitter’s Celebration of Indie Publishing.

I did write a full blog post about this here. However, I just wanted to say, upon reflection, Kate wrote a wonderful review of Unravelled and I am so grateful for all of this beautiful, positive feedback. ❀️ I know the internet can be a scary place at times, but I’ve known nothing but love as of late and I’m so thankful. Thank you Kate, thank you everyone, for all your kind words, love and support on this beautiful, crazy journey of mine. ❀️

I celebrated my local wool shop’s birthday! πŸŽ‰

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; if you support a small business, then you’re supporting a dream! And having a wool shop practically on my doorstep has always been a blessing for me. Although I may visit wool shops across the land, I’ll always find my way back home to my local, my roots, the place it all began! So of course I headed on down to join in with the celebrations of Beacon Crafts’s Birthday. And really, do we need more of an excuse to have crochet, coffee and cake? I didn’t think so. πŸ˜‹ Congratulations Helen, nine years of keeping the local community knitted together. πŸ‘Œ

I was asked to pattern test another top!

After the success of my Granny Square Bardot Jumper test, I was so chuffed to be picked again to pattern test. This time it was for the lovely Marcie also known as homemadebymarcie. Currently on my hook is her very lovely Grecian Top. 😍 More on this as it develops.

– 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. πŸ˜… 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. πŸ˜‚ 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. πŸ’ͺ

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. πŸ˜‚ 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! πŸ•ΆπŸ‘™πŸ

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! πŸ˜‚)

– B xo

Posted in My Journey, News & Events, Unravelled

Competition Extension!

Hi guys,

Due to the high demand for stickers and the unpredictable nature of postage time scales, I am pleased to announce I am extending the deadline for my Unravelled competition!

The competition will now run until Midnight on Sunday 12th November 2017.

Which now means there is plenty of time to get in touch for your sticker packs, choose that unusual place and get those pictures up online!

As inspiration for anyone who is struggling, I thought I’d share a photo from my recent stay in London. Just across from where we were staying there was park with trees that had been yarn bombed and what better opportunity did I have than to yarn bomb a yarn bomb?

So there we go. All that’s left to do now is for me to upload that picture on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook with the #Unravelled and it’s done. It really is as simple as that.πŸ‘

So for your chance to win a SIGNED copy of Unravelled and a Β£25 of Amazon gift vouchers, get in touch!

(For more information and for the full T&Cs please refer to my original blog post. All entries made for the previous deadline will still be considered so thank you for taking part.)

I look forward to seeing your entries! Don’t forget to make them public and use #Unravelled so I’ll be able to spot them.

Good Luck!

– B xo