Five Symptoms of Writer’s Syndrome

Think you’ve come down with a bad case of Writer’s Syndrome? Check out these five signs that’ll help you diagnose yourself….

1) Do you fantasize about writing? 

About what your characters could get up, about their pasts and futures, love interests and enemies? Do you gaze off into the distance with an evil smile on your face as your antagonist does something deliciously cruel in your mind? Do you lose yourself so completely that you literally cannot remember what you were just doing? And, most of all, do you answer people’s questions with “hmmm?” Or “huh?” As you’re dragged out of your reverie? 

   
2) Are you emotionally attached to the imaginary people in your mind?

Do you laugh, cry, feel angry, embarressed or sad when something happens to your characters? Have you decided on a character’s death only to reach that scene and almost/do back out of killing them because you just can’t bear killing off the fake person who you’ve grown to actually love? (And post-death have you sobbed into a pillow the  eaten a barrel of chocolate to help yourself cope?) Are you genuinely excited about what’s going to happen in the story you conjured from nothing? And can you honestly say you’ve never wanted to actually be friends with some of your characters? (Like the fictional people in your head you created – those people!) 

  
3) Do hours seem to slip away as if time has somehow sped up?

Do you settle yourself in to writing early in the morning then you look up and it’s lunchtime? Do you forget about mealtimes and are only reminded to eat because of your tummy rumbling so loudly it drags you back to reality? Does it get to midnight and you think “five more minutes” then suddenly it’s 4am and you have to be up in a couple of hours to do actual real life things?  Do you feel like there isn’t enough time in the world to get your writing done?

  
4) Do you ever worry that even if you lived for two hundred years you’d never be ‘done’? 

Do you feel that no matter how much you wrote, no matter how many hundreds, thousands or millions of words you got down you’d never reach a maximum? Is writing something you’re compelled to do like it has become as important to you as eating or sleeping?

  
5) Do you sometimes have to force yourself to be social to make sure you don’t become a hermit that lives in the hills?

When in writing mode do you have to make a conscious effort to put the story away and just be in the real world for a while? Do you plan social events in advance so you can keep that time aside for being away from your writing? But do you also, when being out, think about writing when you get back home later and find yourself being inspired for events that could happen in your book while you’re out?

  

If you answered yes to any of these questions (especially if it was more than one…) I’m afraid you just got diagnosed with Writer’s Sydrome!

Congratu-miserations?

Writing a blurb…..seriously sucks…

So I have spent many many hours trying to come up with the best blurb possible for my upcoming YA fantasy novel Creeping Shadow! And what have I learnt?

Writing a blurb suckssss!!

I can write thousands of words to make a novel but apparently summing it up in a few hundred is just anout the most impossible thing ever. But after a lot of moaning, sighing, deleteting words and swearing at my cat I have come up with a blurb! And now I need some feedback!

So here it is the blurb to Creeping Shadow (Book One in The Rise of Isaac Series) that will be available to by December 2015 (woo!)…………….

A man waits in Vale, a world void of humanity.
A mother vanishes, her disappearance concealed by the police.
A girl falls from her bed, black veins encircling her heart.
And a boy linked to them all must fight to save his family.

Earth is just one of seven worlds. Gateways divide the realms and those who pass through must earn a key for each one, participating in challenges that will separate the fearful from the brave, the weak from the strong, and the witless from the cunning.
Meet sixteen year old Oliver Knight. He knows nothing of the other worlds or his family’s dark past. But when his adopted sister succumbs to a deadly curse the truth is revealed and he is plunged into an unknown land in a desperate plight to save her. Though Oliver soon discovers that not everyone is on his side and he must choose who to trust, who to believe and, ultimately, who to run from.
The journey begins with a devastating truth, whispers of a rising cult, a race against time, and an enemy that lurks in the shadows…

image

Are you a member of the grammar police? (Five examples that will make you mad!)

I think I’m asking for it with this post so hopefully I don’t make any mistakes haha!
But I’m not really talking about accidental mis-spellings (everyone makes mistakes!) but what really grinds my gears is the wrong use of….

There, Their and They’re,  it’s, its, and its’ …and don’t get me started on the wrong use of apostrophes…

So here are my top five examples of bad grammar that will get right under your skin:

5)

  

 They got the last one right! *bangs head against wall* They got…the last one…right…
4)

  

  If that’s what she finds inspiration in I think we’d better avoid this woman…

3)

  

If there’s one certain way to undermine an insult…
2)

  

That is literally tattooed on your skin for life.
And for my handpicked number one…it had to be this…

1)

  
Correcting bad grammar with bad grammar. Need I say any more?

Day Two of the Three Days, Three Quotes Challenge!

Hey guys so it’s day two of the challenge and I realised I forgot to tag people in it yesterday to pass it on haha woops! So I’ll tag extra people today (aren’t you lucky! You’re just rubbing your hands together hopin’ I’m gonna nominate you – aww now I feel bad if I don’t…)

Today’s quote is from the late Robin Williams. I love it and think it says it all so I’m shutting up now and giving you the quote!

image

And here are my tags:

1) susannevalenti

2) S.W.Lothian

3) Candice

4) Josephine

5) Doug

6) Paperback Discovery

300 Followers!! This is SPARTA!

Okay so that was the only 300 reference I could think of haha šŸ™‚

I wanna say a MASSIVE thank you to everyone who has followed me and I (of course!) always endeavour to follow back as you lot are such a bunch of interesting people and I’ve met (cyber-met?) so many amazing people that way and found some brilliant blogs!

And in honour of this I’ve created my own award! That’s right! It might not catch on but so what!? It’ll be fun while it lasts haha!

So you might not be suprised to hear what I’ve called this award…..drumroll….

The Sparkling Unicorn Award!

  
This award is designed to celebrate your individuality as a person and fellow blogger. If you think about it a unicorn is just a horse with a horn and YOU are just a person with a blog and yet both equate to something special and unique!

So as part of this award I challenge you to write a four hundred word maximum blurb about your life as if it were a novel on the shelf in a bookstore!

As example… 

Here’s mine:

After a stint at university, aspiring author Caroline Peckham discovers her passion as a writer and longs to fulfill her dreams. But, when summer hits, her fulltime job begins to consume her time and she struggles to juggle her passions with everyday life. And things are about to get a lot more crazy when a trip to the other side of the planet literally turns her world upside down…
And finally! Nominate five bloggers for the award. So to get started here’s mine! Go for it blogging friends! Share this award far and wide!

1) Hope to Read

2) PhantomWriter143

3) The Fiction Fairy

4) Shannon Noel Brady

5) KasimsKorner
I highly recommend you check out these blogs they are fantastico!

Maybe one day farrrrr in the future someone will nominate me for The Sparkling Unicorn Award and I’ll be sitting in my rocking chair puffing on a pipe and I’ll say “Hm! Well, well…how the tables have turned….”(I’ll be super senile by the way but it’ll be totally worth it!)

I’ve been nominated for the Versatile Blogging Award (I can’t believe it!)

the-versatile-blogger-award

Thank you so much to Christine.B for nominating me. Check out her blog here – you won’t regret it! Her musings are passionate, funny, inspiring and quirky and you might even catch a glimpse of her gorgeoussss dog in a photo or two!

So! What’s this versatile blogging malarkey all about? Telling you seven things about myself of course – what? Wasn’t it obvious? (It really wasn’t…)

So here are seven things about me you probably didn’t know (and if you did you must be psychic or a mindreading stalker – ooo a mindreading stalker that’s a scary thought!)

Just for the hell of it I’m gonna number each one in spanish (don’t ask me why…)

Numero Uno – I love to run! I run 4 miles at least three times a week! It’s my favourite exercise because I can get up into the hills, run off road through the fields and just be completely alone with my thoughts. It’s a fantastic way to work out kinks in my book and also time to just escape from the world for a while. #bliss

Dos – I was brought up as a vegetarian and have never eaten meat! I bet that one made you pause haha. I get a lot of questions about this one because many people simply can’t believe I’ve gone my whole life without tasting the meatyness of meat but oh well! Doesn’t bother me XD

Tres – I live in the most quaint, quintessentially English town you could ever imagine! It’s famous for being the home of Winston Churchill and tourists flock here all year round! The town hosts all kinds of old fashioned events on the green from wartime fairs with a real life warhorse descendent called Hercules who pulls his own carriage (including bringing santa to town at christmas!)

The view from my window
The view from my window

CuatroĀ – I’m an adventurer and thrill seeker at heart. Every year I jet set off on my own to a foreign land and pack as much sightseeing, hiking, and adrenalin activities in as I physically can. I aim to see the world one holiday at a time!

So far I’ve trekked the great wall of china, skydived, scuba dived, bungy jumped and rode an elephant bareback in Thailand, crossed the southern states of the USA from LA to New York camping all the along the way from winning in Vegas, trying my hand at a shooting range in Texas (apparently I’m a natural!), riding in a helicopter over the Grand Canyon, horse riding on a ranch in Utah, dining with the native americans in Monument Valley, lived it up in New Orleans, cycling around Washington DC in a desperate plight to visit every museum, white house and monument in town, running up the Rocky steps in Philadelphia and sightseeing in New York. This year I’m flying to Australia where I will be travelling alll the way round woohooo! Adventure is in my soul! And that’s why I love to write it too!

Me on the Great Wall of China
Me on the Great Wall of China

Cinco – I drive a Mini Cooper (I know, I know I’m the most english person that ever lived right?) I love driving and have actually been congratulated on my parallel parking by several onlookers on various occassions! ( If you saw where I have to park every day and seen the pubload of afternoon drinkers in front of me while I do it, I think you’d agree I cope pretty damn well under pressure!)

Seis – I’ve been single for four solid years! *gasp* – No, seriously! And I’ve loved every minute of it! I’ve learnt to become independent, live on my own, travel alone and be comfortable with just being alone. One of my favourite quotes that sums up a period of singledom is this:

“Appreciate being single because that’s when you grow the most. And with that growth, you come to know what you’re looking for.” Ā – Daniel Goddard

This just says it all...
This just says it all…

Siete – And last but not least I’m a bit of a zombie fantatic! I often have intense dreams (nightmares???) Ā about surviving a zombie apocalypse! My favourite tv show is The Walking Dead and I recently bought tickets to the first ever walkerstalker convention coming to London and the cast are all gonna be there! (For fans of TWD – Norman Reedus just signed up and I’m peeing my pants with excitement!) and to give you an idea of how crazy I and those I’m going with are….we are dressing up – oh yes! I have literally seen every zombie film and tv show ever made and like to think I have a pretty good idea of what to do if zombies come to town…

So there you are! I may have put you off me for life or (hopefully) given you a bit of reasonably interesting info about me that momentarily distracted you from that paint drying on the wall!

Thanks for reading!

Here are my sevenĀ nominees:

1) Phantomwriter

2) Candice

3) S.W.Lothian

4) Jacobmet

5) Tasha

6) DileepSankhla

7) Miss Benison

Here it is (*drumroll*)…the Prologue to Creeping Shadow (Book One in The Rise of Isaac Series)

It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for (actually it’s the moment I’ve been fretting about and preparing for all day!) here is the prologue to Creeping Shadow. It’s 2261 words in length so grab a biscuit or a mcmuffin (or something of the equivalent) and pleeeeasseeee have a read! Everyone who does will win the unicorn award (though this may not be an actual, physical award you’ll know deep down that you’re a beautiful unicorn and that’s surely award enough?) It also has it’s very own page on my website so you can also find it here. Enjoy!

The Girl in the Road

Ten Years Ago

Alison gripped the steering wheel tightly, her wedding band pinching her skin as it caught on the

leather. A stream of headlights briefly illuminated the beaded droplets hitting the windscreen and

the view beyond was momentarily distorted before a squeal of wiper blades cleared the glass.

Heavy clouds curtained the sky, casting the world into dismal tones of blue and grey. The

traffic trundled along at a painfully slow rate and the glaring red of brake lights intermittently

punctuated the gloom. Alison leant her cheek against the window to see how far she was from the

turning.

Thump.

She ignored the noise and squinted in an attempt to improve her vision.

Thump.

She gritted her teeth in concentration and slowed to a halt as the car in front of her stopped

dead.

Thump.

Oliver, that’s enough,” she said, resting a hand firmly on her son’s knee as his dirty

wellington boot kicked out towards the glove compartment once more.

He grinned and she raised an eyebrow at him before releasing his leg.

Alison turned her attention back to the road, digging her nails into the soft material of the steering wheel. Sirens cut through the monotonous hum of idiling engines and flashing red and blue lights caught her eye in the rearview mirror.

A fire engine blared its horn as it passed on their left and Oliver sat bolt upright in his seat,

watching it go by. An ambulance followed it closely and stopped a few hundred feet up ahead of

them.

Alison edged forward as the traffic began to move once more. She spotted the turning and

keenly pressed her foot down on the accelerator.

The car in front swerved onto the other side of the road, revealing a chaotic scene beyond it.

An overturned vehicle lay in the middle of the tarmac surrounded by the emergency services. A

police officer was guiding the traffic around the devastation.

“What happened to that car Mummy?” Oliver asked quietly.

“Someone’s had an accident,” Alison said softly, catching a glimpse of a man on a stretcher.

A sick feeling stirred inside her stomach as she indicated and quickly turned the car down a

narrow lane.

Trees crowded over the road, casting the lane in darkness so she flicked on the headlights to

banish the shadows. They drifted along the winding lane until the sound of sirens faded into the

distance and they left the main road far behind.

The rain suddenly gave way to a heavy fog and Alison braked, causing the wheels to skid on

the mess of dead leaves that littered the ground.

Her heart fluttered and she took a shaky breath to calm herself.

“You okay?” she asked, glancing at Oliver but he was distracted by something ahead of

them.

“There’s someone out there,” he whispered, leaning forward in his seat and narrowing his

eyes.

Alison snapped her head back to face the front. She watched as the fog lifted, revealing a

solitary figure beneath the bowing trees that encaged the road. The woodland swayed and leaned

from a blustery wind but the person remained perfectly still, watching, waiting.

“Who’d be out in this weather?” she mumbled as she manoeuvred the car away from the

roadside to give them a wide berth.

The mist descended once more so that a swirling cloud of white swallowed the road and the

figure disappeared behind it.

“I think he’s waiting for us,” Oliver said in a quiet voice.

Alison went to respond but was silenced by a flash of purple light. It radiated throughout the

mist, momentarily illuminating the curling tendrils of the fog as they moved across the road.

She slowed the car to a halt with a low squeal of the brakes, thumbing her wedding ring

instinctively. She swallowed in an attempt to dislodge the lump that had risen in her throat.

“Mum, what is it?” Oliver asked in a hushed voice, a look of fright registering in his eyes.

Alison worried at her bottom lip with her teeth and didn’t answer.

“Perhaps we should go back,” she whispered after a moment, not removing her eyes from

the road.

Just as she pressed her foot to the clutch, the fog swirled and the figure emerged. The man

strode toward them; he was tall, dark and shrouded by shadow. The headlights cast an eerie glow in the

mist around him but his face remained obscured beneath a hood. He raised his hands towards the

car and purple fire ignited within his palms, flaring at them threateningly.

A breath caught in Alison’s throat and she lifted a trembling hand to her mouth, her fingers

brushing her parted lips. He closed his right hand, extinguishing the flames that flickered in his

palm, and beckoned for her to exit the car.

Alison tentatively reached for the door handle.

“Where are you going?” Oliver asked in alarm.

“Just lock the car when I get out,” Alison said, her voice shaking as she undid her seatbelt.

Every fibre in her body advised against it, but she was drawn toward the man with a

desperate and hopeful longing that she couldn’t ignore.

She fumbled to tuck her long, blonde hair into the hood of her raincoat and exited the

vehicle.

“Mummy don’t leave me!” Oliver cried, scrambling after her across the driver’s seat.

Alison shut the door firmly and pressed the button on her key before he could follow. A click

sounded as the car locked and she fumbled the keys into her pocket.

The mist clung to her skin as she turned towards the road and a gust of wind flung her hood

back so that her hair whipped around her face in a flutter of blonde strands. The rain drummed

against the tarmac and the trees creaked and groaned as the wind bent them to their limits.

She blinked out into the darkness, her eyes falling on the figure. The man turned and walked

away causing the mist to snake around his body as he cut a path through it.

Wait,” she called urgently, hurrying forwards.

She glanced back, not wanting to stray far from Oliver but the man’s presence drew her

onwards. He stopped at the side of the road and waited, his stance hauntingly familiar to her.

Her heart hammered as she approached him. “William?” she asked quietly, her bottom lip quivering.

She could sense his gaze on hers, though his features were still concealed beneath the

shadow of his hood. The man turned abruptly and strode into the trees. He pressed his palms

together to smother the last of the flames and was instantly swallowed by darkness.

“No,” Alison breathed then bolted after him.

She stumbled as her foot caught on something. She looked down and a gasp escaped her

throat.

It was a child. She must have been around six years old, the same age as her son.

Alison dropped to her knees beside the girl and pushed a mop of blonde hair away from her

pale face. Her eyes were heavy with dark circles and her lips were a worrying shade of blue. She

wore only a thin, summer dress that was soaked through to the skin.

Alison pressed two fingers to the girl’s neck and found the steady beat of a pulse. She

glanced back to the road, hoping to see the pinpricks of headlights heading towards them. She

cursed when she saw none and rummaged in her pocket for her phone. It was dead, though she was

certain that it had been fully charged.

“Dammit,” she hissed, staring at the girl as she decided what to do.

Alison gritted her teeth and lifted the child into her arms, sparing a last, hopeful glance back

toward the trees as she turned to her car.

She hurried over, awkwardly retrieving the keys from her pocket and opening it with a click.

She wrenched the back door open and laid the girl across the seat. The child groaned and Alison

relaxed marginally. She was still alive.

Oliver was craning over the passenger seat to look at her. “Is she okay?” he asked, his eyes

wide in alarm.

“I think so, but we need to get her to a hospital,” Alison said, keeping her voice as calm and

level as she could manage.

Alison shut the back door and returned to the driver’s seat. Oliver was still looking around at

the girl.

“Get your seatbelt back on,” she instructed, pulling him around to face the front.

He strapped himself in and she accelerated down the road.

***

Alison sped into the hospital car park and stopped outside Accident and Emergency,

throwing Oliver a quick smile.

“Here we are. Let’s go. Put your raincoat on,” she said.

Alison scooped the girl off of the back seat and rushed towards the entrance whilst Oliver

splashed his way across puddles behind her. She sprinted through the hospital doors, nudging

people aside as she went. She skidded to a halt at the front desk, her wet shoes squeaking on the

floor.

The receptionist sprang to her feet and pressed a button on the console in front of her. “What

happened?” she asked as a shrill buzzing sounded in the ward behind her.

“I found her in the road. I don’t know if she was hit by a car o-or,” she stuttered, thinking of

the man who had led her to the child. “She’s unconscious!” Alison blurted, adjusting her hold on the

girl.

The woman gave a sharp nod and turned expectantly at the sound of a squeaking wheel. A

short man appeared, hurrying towards them with a hospital trolley.

“Lay her down here,” the man instructed.

Alison gently placed the girl on the mattress. She leant over her, brushing the wet mop of

hair out of the girl’s face. She stepped aside as the man pushed the trolley back into the ward.

Alison gripped Oliver’s shoulder firmly and gave him a half smile. She felt tears spring to

her eyes and wiped them away with the back of her damp sleeve.

“Are you alright, Mummy?” Oliver looked up at her.

“I’m fine, Olly.” She sniffed then lifted Oliver into her arms, kissing his cold, wet cheek.

“Where can we wait?” she asked the receptionist.

“Down the hall and to the left.” She gave them a sympathetic smile as Alison nodded and

walked away.

***

Alison hadn’t had to wait long before police had shown up to question her. At first they

seemed suspicious but, once she had taken a breathalyser test and answered their questions, their

attitude had softened towards her. She had neglected to mention the figure in the road. In hindsight,

she wasn’t sure whether it was right to protect a man on the assumption that he was her husband.

Just over an hour had passed and they had heard nothing.

She was unable to keep Oliver occupied any longer and his boredom was beginning to show.

His damp clothes were sticking to him which was only contributing further to his already

aggravated state.

Muuum, when are they going to let us see her?” he moaned.

“Not much longer, Olly,” she said with a sigh, running her fingers through his hair.

“We’ve been waiting for hours.”

“Don’t exaggerate. I’m sure we’ll hear something soon,” she said. “Why don’t you draw a

nice picture for her?”

“Mmm, okay!” he said with renewed enthusiasm and returned to the table in front of him,

reaching for a pencil.

Alison sat back in her chair and anxiously picked at the pink nail varnish on her fingernails.

The once-busy waiting room had diminished to a sparse few who were slowly called away until

only one remained. She picked the last stubborn flake of varnish from the tip of her index finger and

brushed the remnants from her knees absentmindedly.

“Would you like to see her now?” a voice spoke.

Alison looked up to see the receptionist smiling at her kindly.

“Yes,” she said, jumping to her feet.

Oliver grabbed his picture and hurried to keep up as the receptionist led them down a

corridor.

When Alison opened the door, the girl was lying in bed. Her eyes flickered open as they

entered the room and Alison’s gaze locked with the child’s bright green irises. Something instinctive

stirred inside her and she sensed an attachment to the girl that she couldn’t explain.

“Hello, sweetie. I’m Alison, how are you feeling?” she asked.

She moved to the chair beside the bed and took the girl’s small hand in her own. She

blinked at Alison but didn’t answer.

Oliver climbed up onto the bed, knelt next to the girl, and offered her the picture he had

drawn. She sat up, reached for it and unfolded the page then a smile pulled at the corner of her

mouth. Alison stifled a laugh as she caught sight of the drawing; it was a pink unicorn with a machine gun

for a horn.

“I’m Oliver. What’s your name?” her son asked the girl.

“May,” she said quietly.

“Is that your name? May?” Oliver asked excitedly.

“May,” she repeated, looking up at Alison with a wide-eyed gaze.

She smiled and the little girl smiled shyly back at her.

“What else do you remember?” Alison asked gently.

May shook her head. “Nothing.”

“What about your parents?” Alison tried.

May shook her head, tears gathering in her eyes.

“That’s okay.” She squeezed her hand reassuringly.

“Where’s your family?” Oliver asked.

“I don’t know,” May whispered. “I can’t remember anything.”

 

Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think (I’m dying to know!) If you like my writing maybe you would like to subscribe to my mailing list? You will be the first to receive updates on my series as well as cover reveals, blog tours, publishing dates, tips, tricks and much more! Click here to subscribe

Ā© Caroline Peckham and http://www.carolinepeckham.com, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this siteā€™s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Caroline Peckham and www.carolinepeckham.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Two Hundred Followers!? (Does that make me like Joe Carroll from The Following?…hopefully I’m a little less murdery)Ā 

Thank you all for following!!!!

I always aim to follow everyone back who follows me because I love you all! (And if I haven’t yet I will find you….and I will follow you…)

I’ve loved joining the blogging world more than I ever anticipated! I appreciate all the support so much and love finding new bloggers every day who adore writing and reading as much as I do. 

Thanks again to each and every one of you. To show my appreciation here’s a two hundred word story (one word for each of you!) enjoy!

The Three Of Us (The title doesn’t count towards the two hundred words! So there!)

There are three of us inside four grey walls. That’s the first thing I know is true. The second is that I am the only girl.

“Where are we?” one of the men speaks. His voice is deep, his eyes dark.

With a whirring, grinding noise the walls begin to move. Not just move, but close in.

The second man runs, no sprints, to press his hands firmly against a wall. He pushes hard and I know this because I see the veins in the muscles of his arms, pulsing and straining against the pressure. 

“Help me!” he shouts desperately to us. He’s blonde and blue-eyed with a complexion that speaks of long hours spent in the sun.

A wall presses into my back and I stumble forward, bumping into the man with the dark eyes. I see panic in those eyes, then fear, and finally acceptance. He has accepted his death. That scares me more than the closing walls. 

We are pressed into a space so small that we are forced together into a triangle.

And all I can think is that there are three of us inside these four grey walls. And I am the only girl.