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Friday, 25 November 2016

NaNoWriMo Day 25 - I'm a Winner! (Spoiler alert)

Dear Scribblers


I think you can guess from the title, but I'm a winner! I finished my novel with 55646 words!



My word count for my final three days was

Day 23 - 2047 words


Day 24 - 2379 words


and Day 25 - I pushed on through today, to finish the story with 3758 words
 

So happy to be finished with 5 days to go. I'm going to leave this story alone for a month or so, before I go in and edit it.

I've used NaNoWriMo to help me get into the habit of writing every day again, and I'm still going to carry on with this from now on, but at a lower word count than I've attempted to achieve this month. My aim was to try and hit 2000 words a day, and I achieved that most days, even thought I've enjoyed  my writing sessions, it's been far too exhausting, even though I've paced myself, as I described in my last post, it has actually been quite tough to keep going. I think my regular word count aim from now on will be between 500 and 1000 words, depending on what I'm writing. Obviously, this will be a lot lower if I'm writing poetry. I think sometimes quality is more important than the quantity.

I'm so glad I entered the competition this year, I've proud of my achievements, and I've also learnt a lot about myself. Although I know that most of this month's writing may be trashed, I hope that there is something within that 25 days of writing that I can expand, edit and refine.

If you are still writing, keep on going, don't give up yet. It does matter if you don't hit the 50000 world finish line, it's about the fact you are actually writing something. If I can do this, anyone can! The most important thing is that you enjoy your experience.

Whatever you are doing, Live Life to the Full, Keep Writing and Enjoy!

Happy Scribing!




Blog Important Notes

Important Notes

1. Please note that I am not connected to any companies mentioned in this post. I do not receive any products, funding or gifting from these businesses. All products shown have been bought by me, or gifts from family or friends. I mention the items because I like them or have my own private opinion about them. It's just little old me talking about ma stuff! ;-)

2. If you would like to see more of anything in this series, please write a comment below, or 'like' and leave a comment by my latest Instagram photo, letting me know what you would like me to post photos and write about.

3. If you like what you read, don't forget to bookmark this site, and please share it with your friends.


4. You can also follow me on Twitter and Instagram - @TheCraftyScribe which I update regularly with all things crafty, scribbling, beauty, fashion, the cats, sci-fi, fantasy, and the ephemera of 42*...................
*42 = Life, The Universe and Everything
!


Tuesday, 22 November 2016

NaNoWriMo Day 22 - Seeing the First Draft through the Word Count, with Hints and Tips

Update and Tips for Bad Days, Ill Days and The Invisible Bully (Writers Block) Days



Dear Scribblers - Hello!


How's your NaNoWriMo experience? Are you still hanging on to that glider, buffeted by the tough high winds, flying high and enjoying the view, or have you decided to stay grounded?

I must say, I'm so pleased that I've stuck with it. To carry on my metaphor, I'm no way an experienced pilot, most definitely still a novice. Some days, it's been so difficult, I haven't even wanted to get into the seat, touch those controls and start writing, and the thought of hitting my word count, seems as far away as the horizon. Whilst other days, my ideas have been the warm air currents that have lifted me up where I'm whooping with delight at the freedom it gives me.

Want Help with Writers Block? WRITE away!

To anyone struggling, just write. Don't keep thinking about how many words you've got to hit or how far behind you are. I know. That's my problem! I spend more time wasting time and then, I've lost the day. I don't have trouble once my fingers are on the keyboard. My problem is getting there in the first place. It's the anxiety of the thought of writing, but once I begin, it's far more enjoyable than the time I've spent worrying about it. Before hand, I try and keep my mind off all the baggage that comes with writing, and if I do think about it, I try and focus just on the stories and ideas, but sometimes I try not to even think about that, as it will often bring it's negative invisible bully along with it... Writer's Block!

Did you see what I called it? An invisible bully - it's the opposite of the invisible friend. It's not your playmate, and it's only as real as you make it. Remember, it doesn't exist. It will only appear to you if you let it, and you'll notice, it generally only makes an appearance when you aren't writing, only when you are thinking about it. The best way to overcome it? Write!

The best way to start, is either, leave a sentence unfinished from your previous session, so you've got something to get you rolling. Another way of doing this, is just to repeat the last two sentences you wrote in your previous session, and that can help you pick up from where you left off. If you do have a complete blank sheet in front of you, don't stare at it. Whilst you are looking at the expanse before you, you aren't writing. What I do is, look away, either look at the keyboard, or if you are handwriting, look at the nib of your pen. Then write down the first sentence that comes into your head, and you'll see your fingers flying over the keyboard, or loop-the-looping over the page. Remember, it doesn't matter what you write - WRITE NOW - EDIT LATER - just keep producing those letters. Once you've removed those chocks from the wheels and cogs in your mind, you'll find that the breaks are off and after a while, the air will be beneath your wings, and you'll have lift off!

That's what I think NaNoWriMo is all about, you are a trainee pilot experimenting and creating pilot projects, and each day you'll learn to soar a little bit more.

Update

So here's how the last four days have gone for me:

Day 19 - 2232 words


Day 20 - 2001 
(Well, after getting to day 20, I was a bit Spaced out, and it's all an Odyssey, isn't it?)


Day 21/22 - 5537
(Joined the two days together, as it was a piece of the story, I wanted to keep as a whole.)



I actually had wanted to write in a more focused way on Sunday, but didn't find a long enough block of time in the day. Instead, I wrote whenever I found a chunk of time, be it 10 mins or if I was luck, an hour. I don't especially like writing like this, but I find the word count increases quicker than you expect. There's lots of stopping and starting, but I find, if I use the trick of leaving part of a sentence half finished or rewriting the last sentence or two, it's quite easy (well, it does become easier) to carry on and write your next paragraph or so, depending on how much time you have.

What to Do on Poorly Days - On Your Marks... Get Set... Pace!

I write like this on the days when I'm not feeling too well, in pain or tired. I'll set myself a timer, usually 10 or 15 minutes, get myself into a comfy spot and write. If I find, I can't focus for that long, I don't beat myself up, I just stop the timer early. If I find I'm coping well, I may increase the timer to 20 minutes for the next session. I may do this once every hour, giving myself time to rest. Pacing like this, means that I can write and get my word count rising throughout the day without over exerting myself. It will tire me, but at least I have control over my actions.

Times that have worked for me in the past are:
10 minutes writing every 1 hour (10 minutes to 50 mins rest). If you stuck to this during a day, in 5 hours, it add up to 50 minutes worth of writing time.
10 minutes writing every 30 minutes (10 mins writing to 20 mins rest). This can also be blocked as 20 minutes writing every hour (20 to 40 minutes). In 5 hours, both produce 1 hour 40 minutes of writing.
15 minutes writing in every hour (15 mins writing & 45 minutes rest) or every 45 minutes (15 mins writing & 30 minutes rest). 5 hours = either 1 hour 45 mins or 1 hour 15 mins.
If you have a little more energy, 20 minutes writing then 20 minutes rest, will give you 2 hours 40 minutes worth of writing during 5 hours.

Of course, you can alter this as you go along, checking the writing and rest times, and shortening or lengthening the amount of hours you'll include. It's an interesting to chart your progress as well, keeping a note in your journal to map your daily writing input. I've often made a note of time spent writing, along with word count, health and mood. You can definitely see the correlation between them all. Good days equals high word count of a better quality. Even the weather can be a factor!

They'll also be days when writing will just not happen, when this happens, don't panic or beat yourself up. It's just a small section of time that you can't write, focus on something else. Enjoy what you can do, instead of worrying about what you can't. In fact, even on some horrid days, a story idea or a gleam of a sentence will pop into my mind.

If you, can't face, or aren't able to pick up a pen, or switch on the computer, there are other ways of capturing your thought. When I've really struggled, I've still had my iPhone beside me, and I can either tap that idea into notes, Pages or the Scrivener app.
Adding Ideas to Notes on the iPhone,
either type or dictate
Type & dictate in the iPhone
Scrivener App

If I can't focus on using the keyboard, I've either asked Siri to write a note or reminder, or I've used the little microphone button to dictate the sentence into one of the apps for me. I've also kept a voice memos of various story ideas, and even recorded myself a quick video, so I can literally remind myself later! There's plenty of ways to write, without actually writing.
Siri on the iPhone can add to
notes and reminders for you.
iPhone's Voice Memo.
Leave yourself a message.


I'm sure there's a number of apps for phones and pads which can help you. If you are using a particular app I haven't listed here. I'd love to know how you 'write' on days you can't write normally. See, even on days you're too busy, or too ill, or too exhausted, there's always something you can do to be creative. Even if you just leave yourself a voice memo of line of dialogue for your story, or an idea for a future chapter, it's still considered writing, and it will all add up to your word count.

Only 8 days of NaNoWriMo to go. Whatever you do, I hope you keep on writing and keep on enjoying it!

Happy Scribing!


Blog Important Notes

Important Notes

1. Please note that I am not connected to any companies mentioned in this post. I do not receive any products, funding or gifting from these businesses. All products shown have been bought by me, or gifts from family or friends. I mention the items because I like them or have my own private opinion about them. It's just little old me talking about ma stuff! ;-)

2. If you would like to see more of anything in this series, please write a comment below, or 'like' and leave a comment by my latest Instagram photo, letting me know what you would like me to post photos and write about.

3. If you like what you read, don't forget to bookmark this site, and please share it with your friends.


4. You can also follow me on Twitter and Instagram - @TheCraftyScribe which I update regularly with all things crafty, scribbling, beauty, fashion, the cats, sci-fi, fantasy, and the ephemera of 42*...................
*42 = Life, The Universe and Everything
!




Friday, 18 November 2016

NaNoWriMo Day 18 - Writing in a Busy Week

Dear Scribblers,


Here we are, another five days gone since my previous post. I think mentioned that it was my birthday this week, so I tried to make sure I pushed on a little longer on the days that I could make more time for NaNoWriMo. In the end I was able to write more than I was expecting.

So, to keep it real and to show you my actual word count in the Scrivener programme, and for those of you who like statistics and breakdowns, here's how much I wrote on each day:

Day 14 - 1836 words
  

Day 15 - 1411


Day 16 (My Birthday!) - 1362
 

Day 17 - 2327


Day 18 - 3059
 

As you can see, there was a dip in word count on the 15th and 16th. Obviously, I was expecting not to write at all, and had sort of planned for it. In my previous blog, I contemplated whether I'd be able to spend time whilst travelling to write, and that's exactly what I did.

As we made our journey up to London on Tuesday, and back home on Wednesday, I was able to tap out some sentences on my Scrivener app on my iPhone. I was so pleased that this time was so well spent. Normally as a passenger, I would be listening to the radio, or generally playing on my phone, or chatting to the driver. Luckily, I have a very understanding husband, who knew what I was doing, and got that I wasn't just ignoring him! Who'd have thought that travel and traffic jams could be so productive.

Taking a break from my Scrivener iPhone app
to take this photo of the beautiful morning and clear roads,
just before the A3 Hindhead Tunnel.

I was pretty exhausted on the 17th, so as my body rested up, I was able to include a few segments of writing time. I'll discuss more about writing like this as I go on.

Today has been a massively successful day, word count wise and the story fell from fingertips to keyboard and onto the screen at great rates. It's left me feeling pretty energised and raring to go for the weekend writing.

How about you? I hope you've had a fabulous week, and can't wait to get the next chunk of your story onto the page this weekend. Whatever you do, I hope you are enjoying NaNoWriMo and keep writing.

Happy Scribing!


Blog Important Notes

Important Notes

1. Please note that I am not connected to any companies mentioned in this post. I do not receive any products, funding or gifting from these businesses. All products shown have been bought by me, or gifts from family or friends. I mention the items because I like them or have my own private opinion about them. It's just little old me talking about ma stuff! ;-)

2. If you would like to see more of anything in this series, please write a comment below, or 'like' and leave a comment by my latest Instagram photo, letting me know what you would like me to post photos and write about.

3. If you like what you read, don't forget to bookmark this site, and please share it with your friends.


4. You can also follow me on Twitter and Instagram - @TheCraftyScribe which I update regularly with all things crafty, scribbling, beauty, fashion, the cats, sci-fi, fantasy, and the ephemera of 42*...................
*42 = Life, The Universe and Everything
!

Sunday, 13 November 2016

NaNoWriMo Day 13 - The Up's and Down's

Dear Scribblers


It's been a tough time, for a couple of days, you'll see my word count dropped as I wasn't particularly well, and so I've been fighting over the last two days to recover, and I've done it.

My total word count at the moment is 27657! I'm pretty pleased with that.

Here's how it's been broken down.

Day 8 - 2669
 

Day 9 - 2443
 

Day 10 - 1250
 

Day 11 - 1318
 

Days 12 and 13 - written together as it was a section of the story, I didn't want to separate - 4392


As you can see, it's been a far old up and down, with that major drop in the centre. It goes to show though that you can recover it, if you want to. Having a block of time of at least two or three hours, to sit and churn out the sentences really helped.

I know that this up coming week will probably go the same way, as I'm going to be away from my computer for long periods, as we won't be at home, and I also won't have time to write. I'll be out for two days celebrating my birthday! I'm glad I've got Scrivener on my iPhone, as I'll try and get some writing done whilst we are travelling. Oh, that note, I must remember to take my phone charger and power bank with me! Thanks for the reminder, Scribblers!

Happy Scribing!


Blog Important Notes

Important Notes

1. Please note that I am not connected to any companies mentioned in this post. I do not receive any products, funding or gifting from these businesses. All products shown have been bought by me, or gifts from family or friends. I mention the items because I like them or have my own private opinion about them. It's just little old me talking about ma stuff! ;-)

2. If you would like to see more of anything in this series, please write a comment below, or 'like' and leave a comment by my latest Instagram photo, letting me know what you would like me to post photos and write about.

3. If you like what you read, don't forget to bookmark this site, and please share it with your friends.

4. You can also follow me on Twitter and Instagram - @TheCraftyScribe which I update regularly with all things crafty, scribbling, beauty, fashion, the cats, sci-fi, fantasy, and the ephemera of 42*...................
*42 = Life, The Universe and Everything
!

Monday, 7 November 2016

NaNoWriMo Day 7 - I'm still here!

Dear Scribblers

Don't worry, even though I didn't post an update yesterday on the blog, I did keep my promise to write every day. Here's the "scores on the doors" (big brownie points to anyone who knows which old television programme that's from! ๐Ÿ‘)


This is from yesterday (Sunday), I was able to hit 2006, more that I expected, as I wasn't very well, which has actually carried on, into today...

 
However, I still reached 2275 words. It's been quite surprising, and tough to get through, but I sort of knew in what direction I was taking the story, so it pretty much wrote itself today.

Once I'm back feeling a little more energised, I'll tell you my tips on how I carry on writing on day's like these, along with the information I promised you on day 4, on how I cope on the days when there's a barrier where you can't achieve your word count, because of a disagreement between you and your story.

Hope your Monday has been an influx of inventiveness, ideas, and impressive inscribing.

Happy Scribing!

Saturday, 5 November 2016

NaNoWriMo Day 5 - Remember, Remember to Write Even on the 5th of November!

Dear Scribblers


Today has been a busy day, and we've got a fun evening a day of us, as here in the UK, it's Bonfire Night! So I knew I had to get a couple of writing hours done, so I set a timer and cranked out the chapter, knowing that once the alarm sounded that was it for today.

I did it... !

So pleased, I'm sure if I didn't have you keeping an eye on me, I would have decided not to bother. So, thank you!

Now I'm off for an evening of fireworks, bonfires, hot dogs, jacket potatoes and sprinklers!
Hope you are having a fun weekend, too!

Happy Scribing!

NaNoWriMo Day 4 - Protecting Your Words

Dear Scribblers!


I'm keeping on keeping on!

2,212 words written today, with a total of 9,026 words to date, and I am loving it! Really truly loving enjoying every single moment I'm directing my fingers across the keyboard in an almost free rhythm jazzy alphabet tap routine. In a blog post coming soon, I'll tell you how I feel when I forget the 'steps', and how I get back into the dance.

However, today I want to ask you a question. How are you protecting your electronic written word count? I don't mean saving it from the negativity of the on-line trolls who live under the ethernet bridge, or from the purple prose punches of the bully critics, I'm talking about backing up your writing.

It's so easy to lose your writing due to computer problems or viruses, or corrupted apps, and dropped phones and pads. There are a myriad of reasons why the words you wrote yesterday could have disappeared today, so there's two sentences I'd like to share with you.

1. Remember To Save Your Work.

Luckily, most programmes which you'll probably find yourself writing on these days will automatically save your sentences as you go along, but always check that this is set to your liking. You don't want the accidental disappearance of a day's worth of writing because you thought it was saved when it wasn't. It's best to check your settings before you start and hit save anyway.

2. Back Up Your Writing.

It's obvious, we all know we should be doing it, but how many of you have done this since starting NaNoWriMo 2016?

Call me over cautious, but I'm backing up... three separate ways! Mainly via the Apple iCloud Drive which automatically backs up my documents without me even thinking about it. Then I also back up to Dropbox, this is so I can access my Scrivener file to use in their iPhone app, I can continue to write without the need to be in front of my computer. (The app is a recent purchase from the Apple App Store, especially bought for use for NaNoWriMo. I'll let you know what I think of it later in the month.)

As I'm especially wary, I also backup to a USB stick every few days - as shown in the picture below.

The key-shaped stick holds 4GB, and I'm using it just for NaNoWriMo 2016's writing and any accompanying documents I might pick up during the month, such as any research materials I might accumulate, and the official website jpegs, etc.

Unfortunately, I can't remember where the stick came from, but if you'd like to know more about the other items in the photo, please see my corresponding Instagram photo.

There's many USB sticks and similar out there, over many different price points to chose from, along with other methods of backing up, such as independent companies cloud systems, programmes to assist with the process (e.g: Apple's own Timeline) and a variety of sized external hard drives, including my own where all my computer files are regularly stored as back up.

Whatever your preferred method, remember to protect your words. They're precious!

If there's anything you'd like me to discuss during NaNoWriMo, please let me know.

Happy Scribing!


Important Notes


1. Please note that I am not connected to any companies mentioned in this post. I do not receive any products, funding or gifting from these businesses. All products shown have been bought by me, or gifts from family or friends. I mention the items because I like them or have my own private opinion about them. It's just little old me talking about ma stuff! ;-)


2. If you would like to see more of anything in this series, please write a comment below, or 'like' and leave a comment by my latest Instagram photo, letting me know what you would like me to post photos and write about. 


3. If you like what you read, don't forget to bookmark this site, and please share it with your friends. 


4. You can also follow me on Twitter and Instagram - @TheCraftyScribe which I update regularly with all things crafty, scribbling, beauty, fashion, the cats, sci-fi, fantasy, and the ephemera of 42*................... 
*42 = Life, The Universe and Everything!

Thursday, 3 November 2016

NaNoWriMo 2016 - Day 3

Dear Scribbler!


O... M... G...! ๐Ÿ˜ฒ๐Ÿ˜ฒ๐Ÿ˜ฒ


2821 words! 

2821 words!!! I can not believe I've written this much! It's been one of those days that what I thought I was going to write, wasn't what I ended up writing. It's ridiculous! The story just ran away with itself, and what I actually ended up writing was the back story to the main story, but the characters and their situation became so interesting that they needed a story on it's own.


If you can actually read the tiny writing at the top, in three days I written 6809 words. I'm so proud of myself. I'm trying to prepare for those days when I know I won't be able to write, or when it's the opposite of today and the ideas won't come. (It's my birthday in the middle of the month, so I know I'll be loosing a couple of full days there.)

So, what's planned for tomorrow? I'll be writing the part of the story, I thought I was going to write today. It's the first day when I know I have a full structure to work with, which is nice! ๐Ÿ˜œ

How are you experiencing your first three days of NaNoWriMo? I'd love to know. Haven't joined up yet? You've got plenty of time to catch up. Come along and join in the fun.

Tomorrow, I plan to not only tell you how day 4 has gone, but also give you a little insight into how I'm making sure all those words are being saved.

See you on Friday!

Happy Scribing!



Important Notes

1. Please note that I am not connected to any companies mentioned in this post. I do not receive any products, funding or gifting from these businesses. All products shown have been bought by me, or gifts from family or friends. I mention the items because I like them or have my own private opinion about them. It's just little old me talking about ma stuff! ;-)


2. If you would like to see more of anything in this series, please write a comment below, or 'like' and leave a comment by my latest Instagram photo, letting me know what you would like me to post photos and write about.

3. If you like what you read, don't forget to bookmark this site, and please share it with your friends.


4. You can also follow me on Twitter and Instagram - @TheCraftyScribe which I update regularly with all things crafty, scribbling, beauty, fashion, the cats, sci-fi, fantasy, and the ephemera of 42*...................
*42 = Life, The Universe and Everything
!


Wednesday, 2 November 2016

NaNoWriMo Day 2

Dear Scribblers


I told you that you're going to keep me honest! Completed day 2 -
 

Look at me! So proud of myself. This is my running total -



Not far off 4,000 words! I can't believe I'm here already, although I must say it's not easy to begin with, and there's time I'm sitting there with my fingers poised over the keyboard when the right word won't appear from the ether. I realise with this, it's not about getting the right word down, just to get the words written and the gist of the idea or sentence, then going back after this initial run of first draft to refine and edit. That's what writing is all about.

Happy Scribing!

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

NaNoWriMo 2016

Dear Scribblers


Hello! Well, I bit the bullet and I've joined NaNoWriMo 2016!


I've completed my first day writing 1,848 words! I'm pleased as I wrote over the daily recommended 1,667 words required to hit the 50,000 word target on 30th November.



I'm writing on my MacBook Air 11in, using the fabulous Scrivener programme, which is made for writers. They also make a sister app for iOS iPhone and iPad which I'm hoping to get soon, too. If you'd like a review on the programme, please let me know.

Now, I'm hoping you will keep me going with this and on track to completing it by the end of the month. By telling you, I'll keep honest and keep writing. If any of you are also a participant, please let me know and I'll follow you on NaNoWriMo. Please follow me, too - I'm thecraftyscribe

Btw, I had no idea what I was going to write, nor have I written a synopsis or anything! I just put my fingers on the keyboard and started typing, not knowing where I was going to go with it. However by the end of it, I had a general idea where I'm going to go, what's going to link it, plus the title - 'The Night Chronicles.' It's going to be supernatural/horror... I think. I'm going to let it flow and see what ideas I come up with each day. This is totally not me! Normally, I have a complete synopsis and chapter break down with what I want to accomplish each day, along with character and setting analysis. It's exciting, but extremely scary doing it this way. You need to remember that NaNoWriMo is a bit of a game, and writing this way is so much fun!

Hope you'll follow me on this journey.




Happy Scribing!



Important Notes
1. Please note that I am not connected to any companies mentioned in this post. Unless I mention it, I do not receive any products, funding or gifting from these businesses. All products shown have been bought by me, or gifts from family or friends. I mention the items because I like them or have my own private opinion about them. It's just little old me talking about ma stuff! ;-)
2If you would like to see more of anything in this series, please write a comment below, or 'like' and leave a comment by my latest Instagram photo, letting me know what you would like me to post photos and write about
3If you like what you read, don't forget to bookmark this site, and please share it with your friends
4You can also follow me on Twitter and Instagram - @TheCraftyScribe which I update regularly with all things crafty, scribbling, beauty, fashion, the cats, sci-fi, fantasy, and the ephemera of 42*...................
*42 = Life, The Universe and Everything
!

Friday, 21 October 2016

Lulu Guinness Stationery Review - Part Two!

Dear Scribblers

After yesterday's review of the Lulu Guinness Custom A5 notebook and the Lulu Icons Set of 3 A6 notebooks, the review continues...

50:50 Lip Diary for 2017 ๐Ÿ’‹
Here's the review that most planner addicts have been waiting for, which you'll find is my most disappointing of all 3 items, but it's not all bad!
I love the design and A5 size. The cover is made of a study hard card with gold foil lettering and recessed black cloth blinding - allowing it to lay fairly flat. The pages are stitched in sections and glued.
There's a stripy silky ribbon bookmark, triangle card inside slip-pocket in the back cover, and 6 top-loading card pockets which are all useful. Although, I wish the top-loading files were spread out a bit more evenly throughout the book than they are. They appear at 3 weeks into the year, then one at a further 8 weeks, then we wait for another 16 weeks! Followed by 8 weeks, 16 weeks then the last one appears in the address book section 8 pages later. Obviously, there's a pattern here to the layout, which must be to do with how they are glued in, but it doesn't make a lot of practical sense. 2 have the multiple red lip design on one side and plain black on the other, and 4 are black and white stripes with plain red on the other side.

The main bulk of the diary is taken up with the layout of a week a page with notes opposite. This has always been one of my favourite styles to work with.
The diary begins with the usual personal information page, followed by a spread of blank red pages declaring the following page is 2017 Year at a Glance, and low and behold, it is! Next, there's the multi red lip design over two pages, stating that the next set of pages are a Month at a Glance... and you guessed it, they were right! I think you may be getting the idea that I think there's a lot of wasted space. I'm sure I can think of ways of using all this superfluous real estate.
I must say, I do really enjoy how they have drawn the monthly layouts. Each month is on a single page, but you turn the book to landscape to use it, and you don't lose out on writing space, so much easier to use than the month across 2 pages.
This is followed by stripy pages separating the month from the main Week at a Glance. I love that all the days have the same amount of space, unlike some diaries that squash poor old Saturday and Sunday. All the main UK holidays are listed, along with the dates of the main international fashion weeks. A chic touch! As is the little red lips at the bottom of each notes page.

An address section (12 pages - a few too many for my liking) is next. Followed by notes and doodles - which has plain lightly patterned pages, sections entitled "museums, galleries & exhibitions", "films & books", 4 sides of numbered to-lists, 2 for shopping lists and 27 sides of lined note pages.
 Both of these have the ubiquitous patterned double page separator. It ends with a page of international dialling codes, and page listing international holidays for 13 'major' countries.
Unfortunately, it loses points for a couple of reasons - the last two pages, on my copy, were stuck together and ripped. A little disappointing, but I can overlook it.

The main reason I feel disheartened is due to the poor quality of the paper. It feels rough, yet thin, which lets the 'designer' style down.

 It's so different from the notebooks reviewed yesterday. This paper is a world away in look, touch and how the pen feels when writing.
I also wanted show you a pen test, and you can see what it's like for yourself.

I'm not going to be able to use my fountain pens in it at all, and even though the other pens do not necessarily seep through, the depth of indentation of my writing is quite astounding! I know I'm not the lightest writer, but my hand isn't that heavy. I also gave it a quick wash of watercolour, the paper pilled immediately, but I knew that was a tough task. I think I'd only trust ball point pens, and pencils on this paper.
I know now that I couldn't use this as my main diary, as the limitations of pens would drive me insane. I love writing with my fountain pen, so I know I couldn't put up with that. However, it won't go to waste, as I'll be using it as my social media planner for the new year, along with my multi-coloured ball point pen!
If you love the Lulu Guinness aesthetic and her colours, this is a must... as long as you can look past the paper quality. There's much more going for it than not.

Happy Scribing!


Price & Codes
50:50 Lip Diary 2017
Style: 50125135
ISBN 978-1-84949-861-6
Lulu Guinness website - £18:00
Amazon UK - £13:06

Made by Quadrille (Hardie Grant) for Lulu Guinness - www.quadrille.co.uk - www.quadrille.com
Prices shown as listed on www.luluguinness.com and Amazon Prime UK - 19 October 2016. For all these items, a quick search on the net brings up alternative stockists, too
Also in the range - A5 luxury notebook, and notecard set.
Important Notes
1. Please note that I am not connected to any companies mentioned in this post. I do not receive any products, funding or gifting from these businesses. All products shown have been bought by me, or gifts from family or friends. I mention the items because I like them or have my own private opinion about them. It's just little old me talking about ma stuff! ;-)
2. If you would like to see more of anything in this series, please write a comment below, or 'like' and leave a comment by my latest Instagram photo, letting me know what you would like me to post photos and write about.
3. If you like what you read, don't forget to bookmark this site, and please share it with your friends.
4. You can also follow me on Twitter and Instagram - @TheCraftyScribe which I update regularly with all things crafty, scribbling, beauty, fashion, the cats, sci-fi, fantasy, and the ephemera of 42*...................
*42 = Life, The Universe and Everything
!

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Lulu Guinness Stationery Review - made to be stopped and stared at!

Dear Scribblers


Have you seen the gorgeous new Lulu Guinness stationery? As an owner of a few pieces of her stunning handbags and accessories line, I was so pleased to hear the fabulous British designer was bringing out a stationery range, too. So as soon as I could, I hopped on-line, and bought 3 out of the launched 5 items. I picked mine up mid-August from Amazon UK, which was quite a chunk cheaper than her website. See pricing and full product details at the end of this post.
Here are all three of the covers:
Top left: notebook with 2 sticker sheets.
Bottom left: 2017 diary - a week a page with notes.
On the left are 3 mini notebooks with box.

And an overview of the paper in them all:
Top 2 show the 2017 diary layout and close-up of one of the top-loading envelopes.
Bottom left - notebook showing tabs and stickers.
Bottom right - 3 small books w/ different style paper

They couldn't be more perfect for me, my favourite colours: red, black and white, with some of my most chosen design elements: stripes and lips, with a little bit of a cat illustration, all by one of my top 5 fav designers. (If you'd added diamond quilting and stars, and it would have been perfect. ๐Ÿ˜‚)
A5 'Custom' Notebook ๐Ÿ’‹

The item I've used the most has been the A5 notebook. There are 2 notebooks this size in her range: a hard-backed one called 'Dare to Be Different', and this one called the 'Custom' notebook. It has an old-style 'school exercise book' cardboard cover. There's 30 doubled-sided sheets (60 pages) - lined at the front of the book and plain in the second half, all tabbed into 8 sections printed with her signature lip, hand and eye logos. The 'custom' part probably refers to the 2 sheets of stickers, at the centre of the notebook, of 2 of each of the designs above along with 2 cats faces and 2 'Lulu Guinness London' logos.

The paper is high quality, almost card quality, (don't ask me about gsm as these are lost on me, although as a stationery addict, it's something I should definitely learn about!)
It's a dream to write on, even taking fountain pen and light watercolour washes. Please note that the book is stapled together and doesn't naturally lie flat, it can stand some manipulation.
We had a number of home renovations in recent months, which a list of jobs still to be completed, and this has been my house workbook to keep a track of it all. The front lined section for to-do lists and contact details with a separate tabbed area relating to a separate area of the house. Even though there's logos on the tabs, there's still plenty of space to write your own heading. The back plain pages are used for calendar layouts (so I can track on-going projects), sketches of floor plans and mini-mood boards of items torn from magazines, brochures and paint swatches. (If you'd like a separate post of the used pages, please leave a comments.)
There's plenty of Lulu design elements - I especially like the lip book plate on the cover for writing in the project. I can imagine a very stylish teen or college student with 3 or 4 of these containing their important revision notes. I also like the faux turned back corner on the cover, showing the glimpse of the little red lip, along with the signature gold foil logo on the back cover.
My only wish is that the stickers were smaller, and that there were more of them. At around an approx of minimum of 3 cm to 6cm max (1 X 2in), they certainly pack a punch. Not your average planner sticker.
A delectable designed notebook for all your notes, to-dos and doodles.
Lulu Icons Set of 3 A6 Notebooks ๐Ÿ’‹
If pocket and handbag jotters are more your style, you'll love this set of 3 mini Notebooks which come a cute slide-in black box to, all with different design looks and papers. Each has 48 sheets - 96 sides.
The black and white stripe cat print has plain paper, with pale pink cover lining and the quote "Kooky Cat" on the inside front cover.
The multiple red lips and half black and white stripe cover carries the stripes inside and reads "A little lipstick never hurts." This comes with .7cm lined paper.
Finally, the half red/half black and white lips cover is lined in red with a quote of "Don't forget your lipstick" and is filled with .7cm square grid/graph pages.

Once again, the paper is high quality, but not as thick as the notebook above, which would actually be too much for books of this size.
I've been dabbling in these, but not used them as much as the notebook. I could see myself dropping these into a fauxdori/travelers notebook sort of cover and using the plain book for sketching/mini art journal, the lined one as a common place book or for jotting down storylines, poetry and blog ideas, and of course, the grid would make a great bullet journal. Although, the graph squares are quite large, so if you're anything like me, you might find yourself filling up the book pretty quickly!
If your intention was to use all three, it would make for a very chunky set to carry around with you. There's another reason why the 'fauxdori' route may not work, as the papers are stitched in groups and then these sections are glued into the spine, so there's no defined centre to the book. It's also a worry, as the book doesn't lie open, once you begin to manipulate it as you attempt to create an easy working surface, will these sections fall out? I hope that the binding glue is strong and holds them together. I'll let you know as I use them.
My aim is to use the grid book as my bullet to-do list, along with the diary - as their covers match! Then the other two as discussed above, but not to carry around together.
If you look at them, for what they are intended for, as little pocket notebooks, then they are fun to use, gorgeous to look at, and will certainly be a talking point when you bring it out of your bag.
I hope you've found these reviews interesting, as they ran a little longer than I expected, I've decided to split it, so there's not too much information coming at you. I hope that you'll return again tomorrow for the full review on the 50:50 2017 diary.
Please see all pricing and details listed below.

Happy Scribing!


Prices & codes
Custom A5 notebook
Style no: 50125173
ISBN 978-1-84949-863-0
Lulu Guinness website £8:00
Amazon UK £8:00
Lulu Icons A6 Set of 3 Notebooks
Style: 50125166
ISBN 978-1-84949-864-7
Lulu - £15:00
Amazon - £10:00

Made by Quadrille (Hardie Grant) for Lulu Guinness - www.quadrille.co.uk - www.quadrille.com
Prices shown as listed on www.luluguinness.com and Amazon Prime UK - 19 October 2016. For all these items, a quick search on the net brings up alternative stockists, too
Also in the range - A5 luxury notebook, and notecard set.

Important Notes
1. Please note that I am not connected to any companies mentioned in this post. I do not receive any products, funding or gifting from these businesses. All products shown have been bought by me, or gifts from family or friends. I mention the items because I like them or have my own private opinion about them. It's just little old me talking about ma stuff! ;-)
2. If you would like to see more of anything in this series, please write a comment below, or 'like' and leave a comment by my latest Instagram photo, letting me know what you would like me to post photos and write about.
3. If you like what you read, don't forget to bookmark this site, and please share it with your friends.
4. You can also follow me on Twitter and Instagram - @TheCraftyScribe which I update regularly with all things crafty, scribbling, beauty, fashion, the cats, sci-fi, fantasy, and the ephemera of 42*................... *42 = Life, The Universe and Everything!

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

I'm Back... Back Again... Again!


So... Hello!
(waving frantically)
Hello?
(taps the screen - knock knock knock!) Anyone out there?
(sigh!)
Probably not.
It's been about a year since I pounded at the keys and flung words at this page. I'm so, so sorry. I really don't know what happened. Where has the year gone??? For anyone still around...

Hello Scribblers!

I've missed you! I know, I know. I've said all this before. If we were in a relationship, you would have broken up with me already. I deserve it. But here I am, back again, saying I'm going to try better, and I will. (Even though I haven't even brought flowers!)

My aim is to get my blogging game together, and post various wonderments and thoughts upon this here space. I hope you'll have enough faith to stick around and give it a go, and if I prove my blogger badge again, you'll let your buddies know too.

If you want to see what I dabbled at in the past year, you might want to take a long look on Instagram and Twitter to see my past postings there - @TheCraftyScribe (original, ain't I? ๐Ÿ˜œ) ((I also tried Snapchat, but I'm not keen. I've posted a couple of Instagram Stories. Still unsure. What do you think? Is it worth it?))

As well as photos of 42 (see intro on photo), on Instagram, I often write mini-reviews of 'stuff', but I think most people skip over the verbals to lay their orbital seeing vessels on the filtered-to-the-hilters pics. So I'd like to expand those reviews, plonk 'em here to tell you what I really, really think.

Plus there's other reviewing thoughts which often don't have a pretty still life to post on the Instas, such as thoughts on websites, stores, courses, history, clouds* and all forms of writing, which would fit perfectly within the lovely lines for posting right here.

I'm sure that many of you will be entering your mind palaces and bringing out great literary - as yet undiscovered - works of art for NaNoWriMo - the fabulous (Inter)National Novel Writing Month, and creating your first drafts of 50,000 words in 30 days. I'm sorta, maybe, ya'know, considering, thinking about, taking part again this year. Although, as of yet, I'm totally unprepared, and haven't even thought of what to do. It would be 100% flying-by-the-seat-of-my-knickers! If I do, I want you to keep me honest, and I'll write a daily progress and pre-November planning (if there is any) article here. If that's something you'd like to read about, please let me know.

Talking of planning, I'm also going to write a little about various planning techniques I've used in the past, and how I'm tackling it all now, along with favourite products and stationery. Think about it as more, 'How I Do It' rather that teaching you how to do it. Maybe, you might see a tip or one, but I think there's some great organisational peeps out there (including YOU! Yes, You. I can see you. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘) that it might be a case of teaching granny to suck eggs ๐Ÿ‘ต๐Ÿป๐Ÿ˜™๐Ÿฃ or planneraddicts to stick stickers, might be a better phrase here!

I'll bring out some of my old journals and scrapbooks, along with showing you my present style, but I think much of the last paragraph applies here, too. Same goes for photography.

I'd like to get a little more personal with you, if that clicks your pen top. I'll show you stuff I normally post on Instagram (cats, travel, handbags and accessories, fashion and beauty) but in more detail, along with other aspects of my life that I don't show on Instagram. Such as my home including my favourite place to sit and write, recent home renovations, where I do my make-up, my wardrobe and study. Then there's mindfulness and spirituality, favourite television, movies, theatre and music. I'll delve even deeper and explain to you some of the more difficult life experiences I've been through, and the health issue I deal with every day.

If I can sort it out, I'd like to post a couple of quizzes to answer some questions about the look of my site, and also the frequency of posts you'd like. I'll shout out on Twitter and Instagram, once I've created them.

So what do you think? Does it sound like your mug of Rosie Lee**?

If so, please meet me back here... and also, let me know what you'd like me to write about. I love getting your feedback. Looking forward to seeing this blog active again, and in the words of Oscar Wilde's 'The Importance of Being Earnest' -

"This suspense is terrible. I hope it will last!"

Happy Scribing!

(and I've remembered the flowers!)

* I don't necessarily have much to review about clouds, except I love all the different types - except the heavy grey one which covers the sky and causes rain, I don't like that one.
I also love to play the game where you find different shapes of faces, animals and objects in the white fluffy clouds. Next time you get the chance go out side, lie down and look for the shapes. Take a photo and post it to Instagram with #TheCraftyScribeClouds and link me in. If you do, I promise to follow you on your social media (if, you want me to! ๐Ÿ˜‰)

**Rosie Lee - TEA! ☕️ (That's London Cockney Rhyming Slang, that is! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ‘)

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