My songs of the week:
I’m a big fan of Miranda Lambert so was really excited to hear her new song Automatic. Hopefully, an album is on its way!
‘I don’t have money on my mind, I do it for the love’ – all writers can relate to Sam Smith’s song about getting his record deal. Money On My Mind:
I can’t stop playing Haim’s album and this is the latest song from it. If I Could Change Your Mind:
This is a gorgeous country ballad from Kellie Pickler. Closer To Nowhere:
The final song from My Chemical Romance – Fake Your Death:
What have you been listening to this week?
Posted by Victoria-writes on March 2, 2014
I’m in the midst of editing and I keep seeing people sharing funny pictures to show what editing is like. Seriously it’s such a relief to know you’re not the only one staring at your laptop wondering why a chapter that seemed amazing yesterday now needs a complete rewrite.
I feel like my inner voice is yelling at me for making stupid mistakes sometimes. It sounds a bit like Ross:
Editing can be a painful process but when you step back back and see your work start to improve and become closer to what you set out for it to be it’s exciting too.
I just make sure I have a plentiful supply of chocolate biscuits to see me through it
Do you enjoying editing?
Posted by Victoria-writes on February 28, 2014
The internet is full of responses to this article that calls for JK Rowling to stop writing for the adult market because her books end up dominating the market and that means she is stopping other books from being read. There will always be ‘star’ writers whose new book heads straight to the top of the charts and sells based on their name. But should these writers stop and let others take their spot?
All writers start off at the bottom (I’m not talking about celebrities who then publish books as this is a very different issue). JK Rowling had many rejections and when she got her book deal just 500 copies were printed with no marketing. It was her words that brought her success. Harry Potter became publishing legend. It also got people reading. The article says it’s a shame that adults read the books and I have to disagree with that. I think getting people reading is a brilliant thing and people should never feel guilty about what they like to read. Hopefully people who read and loved Harry Potter went on to read other books as well.
If JK Rowling is like other writers then she loves to write and has a need to write. Just because she had a massive amount of success, does that mean she should let her passion go? I don’t think so. She has tried to use her success positively – her charitable donations are well known, and she tried to keep her crime books way from the name that breeds success. Of course, we know that didn’t work but again, credit to her for trying to avoid the books selling on just her name and for her trying to be like other writers who have to just rely on their words. She didn’t have to do that. She was guaranteed sales based on her name but I think trying a pseudonym showed that writing was more important than money to her.
Everyone has an opinion about publishing. Sure, it’s really hard for debut writers out there but ‘star’ writers were debuts once too and you really can’t tell someone to stop writing just because they’ve had success at it. We all want success. There’s always a joke that when you tell people you’ve written a book they ask if you’ll be the next JK Rowling. Yes, it can be frustrating and annoying. But let’s face it, we’d love to be able to answer “YES”
Do you think a writer should ever stop writing because of their success?
Posted by Victoria-writes on February 24, 2014
Valentine’s Day got me thinking about reading and writing romance – when it comes to love is it about the journey or the destination?
For me, it’s the journey. I actually like romances where you meet the main character and the love interest and it’s clear that they belong together but you know it’s not going to be a easy road. I love seeing their ups and downs, their missed opportunities and lack of communication, the obstacles that get in their way and how they ultimately resolve them. I like knowing a happy ending is on the cards because for me the joy of the story is in how they reach that point.
It’s pretty easy in fiction, especially if you read a lot of love stories, to work out who people are meant to be with. In real life though it’s never as easy and let’s face it, it’s rare for there to be a happy ever after. This is exactly why I enjoy it in fiction so much. I want things to work out. I like it when there’s drama and I like stories that have dark and gritty angles but I’m still a sucker for seeing it all work out in the end.
My favourite love stories have a happy ending or at least an ending where you can interpret that they are happy. I like the twists and turns of the story as long as it’s leading to the resolution I want. So far I have ended up writing what I like to read as well – all of my endings have had at least hope if not happiness and I imagine that’s what I will always lean to.
I suppose some people find some romances predictable and to some extent they all are but I’m perfectly happy with that because when it comes to love, and life, it’s about the journey, not the destination.
Do you like happily ever afters?
Posted by Victoria-writes on February 14, 2014
I’ve noticed people on Twitter and Facebook taking part in #100happpydays, noting things each day that make them happy. Most of the time what makes them happy are small things, simple things even that often cost little or nothing but really brighten the day – spending time with family and friends, comfort food, a glass of wine, curling up with a book etc. Sometimes you have things to look forward to and you have a great time doing them like a going on a holiday but on other days, it is the simple things that can make you happy.
The other day, I sat in my living room and the sun poured in through the window as I read a book and listened to music. It has been raining here for what feels like two months straight so I took a photo of the sun and realised in that moment I was happy. The week before I was in London at the Taylor Swift concert having a great time but that small moment made me just as happy and content.
Yesterday morning, I spent time reorganising – sorting out my many CD’s and books and storing them neatly and putting new photos in frames and hanging up pictures and I felt so satisfied afterwards, recognising what I had achieved and how much better my room looked.
Both of these things cost me nothing but they made me feel good.
Yesterday, I shared this photo because so often I turn into Anxiety Girl, worrying about things out of my control or focusing on a negative thing rather than the many more positives. Actually, a lot of writers agreed they had this problem so perhaps there’s a link but I want to try and not turn into her as much because it serves no other purpose than to make me unhappy and stressed out, which is no fun at all.
I want to pay attention to the moments that make me happy instead.
How good are you at recognising your moments of happy?
Posted by Victoria-writes on February 11, 2014
I love YouTube for randomly suggesting this band – We The Kings. I love the lyrics to this song and such a catchy, need-to-sing-along chorus. Just Keep Breathing:
It seems to have been raining here in England non-stop for over a month so this new song from The Strange Familiar is pretty timely. Rain:
This song makes me feel like I’m driving with the top down on a warm sunny day. The 1975 – Settle Down:
Diane Birch is back with a new song, she has such a distinctive voice. I’m looking forward to her new album. All The Love You’ve Got:
This isn’t a new song but I hadn’t heard it until this week and now I can’t stop playing. The Script – Millionaires:
This band followed me on Twitter and I’m loving their music. Crash and Burn:
I love The Pierces and they have gone for a more electronic sound on their new song Kings but have kept their lovely harmonies:
This song builds to a haunting finale, just gorgeous. Gabrielle Aplin – Salvation:
I thought I add a song every week that is either a favourite or one I haven’t heard in ages. So the Throwback Tune this week is The Killers – Mr Brightside. The Vamps who supported Taylor Swift sung this and it reminded me how much I love it!
Tell me what songs you’ve been playing this week in the comments!
Posted by Victoria-writes on February 9, 2014
After the Taylor Swift concert, my mum and I stayed the night at Claridge’s hotel in London. I’ve always wanted to stay there and we got a pretty good deal as it was a Sunday night. We had cocktails first in the bar – mine was called The Flapper and had apparently been served there since the hotel opened – it was strawberry and champagne, very delicious:
The hotel lobby is stunning with black and white marble floor and gorgeous roses and definitely makes you feel like you could be in the 1920′s walking past glamourous movie stars.
Our room was spacious and comfortable and really quiet so a good night’s sleep was had.
In the morning, we had breakfast in the lovely restaurant (above) and it was one of the best I have ever tasted! Ugh amazing and filled me up all day. Tea and orange juice with pastries followed by a full English.
Once we left the hotel, we had to hit the shops as Oxford Street was on our doorstep. It would have been rude not to really. A couple of tops caught my eye and followed me home
This vest from Forever 21 made me laugh as I am definitely an over-thinker! Maybe all writers are?!
Weirdly, when I buy more than one top I sometimes end up with similar colours even from different shops (a jumper from H & M and a cropped top from Forever 21) – plus the green-blue colours in both these tops also matched the colour of my nails this week so I will be super coordinated!
Now that I don’t work in London, I don’t visit that much so it was lots of fun to spend a couple of days there. Also very tiring though, my feet haven’t fully recovered yet I don’t think!
Posted by Victoria-writes on February 8, 2014
On Twitter, lots of people take part in Follow Friday, sharing with their followers their favourite people to follow. I just checked my blog stats and I have almost 900 followers but I haven’t had the time to check out all your blogs and follow back so let’s copy Twitter and do a blog Follow Friday. If I don’t already follow you, comment below with a link to a post I should read and I will follow as many as I can today!
Don’t forget to also follow me on Twitter, I love to connect with bloggers so wave to me over there: @Vicky_Walters
Also here’s Happy Goat because it’s Friday:
Posted by Victoria-writes on February 7, 2014
On Sunday night, my mum and I went to see Taylor Swift live at the O2 arena in London. I’ve been a fan of Taylor for years but this was the first time I’ve managed to get tickets for her concert. I’ve been to a fair few concerts but I don’t think I’ve ever been in a louder, more enthusiastic crowd before. You could barely hear Taylor sometimes because everyone was singing the songs so loudly. Everyone was standing up and the elaborate signs some fans had made lit the place up in gorgeous colour.
There was a lot of Red during the show – outfits, lighting and sets worked brilliantly with the theme but also some lovely black and white moments – old school Hollywood for The Lucky One and a ballet dancer theme for Treacherous and lots of moments where Taylor came out into the crowd.
Taylor talks more than any other artists I’ve seen live before, explaining some of the songs and their meaning. At one point, she said she could feel there were a lot of creative people in the room and creative people tend to connect with music, especially writers. She said she liked to write and thinks others like to write and people connect to what they write because we all go through things in life and have feelings and often we just want someone to say ‘me too.’ Obviously, she says the same thing every night but I completely connected to this and understood exactly what she meant.
Most of the songs were from the Red album but there were several oldies too, Mean got a great response, plus a guest singer (Sam Smith) and a secret song, which was Fifteen. Halfway through, she moved to a second stage at the back of the arena, which meant we were just a few feet away. I may have screamed a lot at this point
It’s hard to pinpoint a highlight – singing and dancing along to 22, having her sing Fifteen with just the guitar so close to me or the dub step Trouble, which raised the roof and saw her ripping off a long white dress like she did at the Brit awards but I loved hearing her sing my favourite song from the album All Too Well with the piano.
The end song just had to be We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together and it was a circus themed set for that. It ended in a burst of heart-shaped confetti that rained down everywhere in the arena. A wonderful finale to an amazing show. I had a great time and would definitely see her live again.
Posted by Victoria-writes on February 4, 2014
Tori Kelly’s Daydream has some wonderful lyrics. I love the line ‘it’s so worth the fall when you land where you want to’. I can’t find a link to just this song but her full ep is here and worth playing:
I first heard about this band when I randomly saw actress Emma Watson tweet about them. They sound like they are American but they are a British folk trio of sisters with some gorgeous harmonic songs. This is Winter Trees:
I love an angry rock song and this new single from We Are The In Crowd fits the bill perfectly. Explicit lyrics guys! The Best Thing:
Loving Foxes new single especially the rousing chorus. Let It Go:
I’m a big fan of Jenny Lewis, she’s always cool and quirky and I hope this new song for the series Girls means a new album is coming soon. Completely Not Me:
A random find now – indie band States. I Hope You Say Gone:
It always takes me a while to pick up new country music as it’s never played over here so these are two new finds for me but probably not to you guys in the US:
Danielle Bradbery: Heart Of Dixie
Maggie Rose: Better
A quirky return to music from Sophie Ellis-Bexter, this is lovely. Young Blood:
What have you been listening to this week?
Posted by Victoria-writes on January 26, 2014