Christmas Shopping Help -Journeygirl’s Top Five.

Hello fellow Children’s Writers and friends (or in this case Children’s Writers’ family and friends)

Yes it’s that time again when people wrack their brains to figure out just what to get their beloved writing spouse, partner, mother, father or friend. Aside from writing journals and  books to read (and gosh they can be fussy about those) what could they possibly want? Don’t despair, stop tearing out your hair, because Journeygirl’s annual Christmas shopping ideas guide is here! This year I’m listing my top 5 Christmas present ideas for the writer in your life.

Greenleaf Press’ Sunshine Writer’s Retreat

#1 An Experience- whether writing related e.g. a retreat, conference, festival or course as suggested last year, or something

non-writing related

completely non-writing related. The latter are great for two reasons; they provide a much needed break and two equally necessary inspiration.


#2 Tools- these can be paper related like the aforementioned journals, tote or other bags, stationery (always appreciated) or electronic both hardware and software.


#3 A Place to Write- Even, or perhaps especially if your writer works at home, finding a place where they can completely focus on their writing without out any distractions is difficult, if not near impossible. A ‘She Shed or Man Cave is the perfect place to lock themselves away for an hour or three. Not in budget? Fair enough, how about regular space/time in a writing room? The beauty of these is that going there is   exactly like going to work, which is bound to be good for productivity and  creativity.

#4 Storage- A place for everything and everything in its place is every writers dream, well the first part at least (for many mess and creativity are linked, but even this sort like to start off organised) pencil cases, pencil cases

also available at

trolleys, boxes, filing cabinets, bookshelves, desks, the list of possibilities is endless. You probably want to take your writing buddy with you for this one… and let them run amok in say, Ikea or Office Works or Temple and Webster or a quirky little country, or antique or online shop.

#5 Peace and Quiet… or not- This and the one above were the suggestions of my own writing buddy, my daughter Sarah; who uses noise cancelling headphones when she’s really focussed on creating and then puts on her favourite music when she’s editing. Again a writing retreat, or some noise cancelling headphones, or some great CDs or even cooler vinyl records are bound to put a smile on your beloved writer’s face.

So breathe a short sigh of relief now that Journeygirl’s got you sorted, then get out there, or on there if you’re going the online option, and make sure you’re number one on the writer in your life’s Top Five!

If you haven’t found quite the right thing here, never fear, be sure to have a look at these shops from last year’s post  Journeygirl’s Christmas Store Suggestions plus giveaway! or these gifts from 2016 Christmas Gift Ideas for the Writer in Your Life

Farewell and a very Merry Christmas fellow travellers,

Savour the quest and the Season,


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Writing, Life, Balance

Hello fellow Children’s Writers and friends,

As I sat down to write this post, I found myself somewhat conflicted. I had two burning questions. One, was it time to write differently? i.e. More generally, not specifically about myself and my experiences on my personal journey to publication. And two, regardless of which way I chose, what would I possibly write about? I felt as though I had nothing new to say.

The first one turned out to be quite simple. Although I was wary of writing ‘my’ and ‘I’ so much, I needed to go back to the beginning. Right back to the earliest intention of the blog, which was of course, the sharing of my journey to publication in the hope it might help others. This means that although my journey, like so many others has some really slow, quiet, writing times and some ridiculously fast and busy non-writing times, to be true to this blog and its intention, I need to continue this way

The second question was considerably more difficult as I found myself creatively drained. It took a little while to realise that there was a very real and physical reason for this. As well as doing my ‘writing in the cracks’, I have been busy with both work and family. At one stage over a couple of weeks last month, I held five different paid and unpaid jobs. I kid you not! Life!

Looking back further, I was in no doubt as to why I was unable to find the energy to create. This year, I have had the immense joy of celebrating my daughter’s 18th, my son’s 21st, my mother in law’s 75th and my own 50th birthdays, as well my husband and my 25th wedding anniversary. Top this off with the 50th birthdays of my three oldest and dearest friends and this little introvert has expended an awful amount of social energy this year. The last of these being celebrated yesterday. Thank goodness my Dad’s 90th is not till next year! While it would have been nice to have these events spread out over a couple of years, each and every one of them was of great personal importance and very necessary threads in the tapestry of my year. As far as writing is concerned, I haven’t sat idle and even had a go at applying for a grant this month, which also was not without (technological) drama. As well as this, the creative fodder this year will definitely provide once the holidays kick in and the exhaustion subsides.

I hope this has given you a snapshot in the life of this writer’s journey to publication.

Farewell fellow travellers,

Savour the quest,



P.S. Look out for an early post next month as I again scour the net, to find the best gifts for you, my fellow writers this Christmas. Be sure to leave the post open and lying around.

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