Happy New Year!

It’s officially 2024 when you read this blog, but its still 2023 when I’m writing it.

It’s been a hectic week with Christmas, travel, more Christmas, then more travelling, so I’m now looking forward to a week at home, relaxing and doing, well, fun stuff. Like visiting the Brook Sanctuary (a bird Sanctuary over in Nelsun), and perhaps a game of golf, if my arms allow me.

And it’s that time of year, where I start setting some goals for my writing. And last year, I nearly accomplished all my goals. I wanted to write 3 new books last year (2023) and I wrote two (Finding Sam Healey and Carol’s Christmas). I also wanted to start on my dragon series, but ran out of year.

This year – I’m starting it with writing the dragon story – and continuing to edit Secondhand Daughter, because I write in the mornings, and edit in the afternoons. I think this will be the most efficient use of my time, until apple season starts anyway.

I also have a goal of achieving my first $1000 in sales this year. I haven’t had any money from my books yet, but I am focusing on advertising this year, and if you feel inclined, do purchase one of my books.

I plan on writing three books this year, and editing three, and publishing at least two – Secondhand Daughter being the first, then Compromising Positions. So here it is people, my goals for 2024

😊 Write Dragon’s Lore, first story (approx 75k words)

😊 Write Faith Hart’s story in my Racing Harts series (approx 60k words)

😊 Write another story, either in my dragon series, or another story. (Approx 60k words)

😊 Edit Secondhand Daughter, and get ready to publish before June 2024

😊 Edit Compromising Positions and get it ready to publish before December 2024

😊 Do first draft edits on Finding Sam Healey

😊 Do first draft edits on Carol’s Christmas

Wow, looking forward to this year already! I’m planning on doing the apple packing in the evenings again this year, to pay for my plate, my gums are healing nicely, and its surprising just how much pain I was in prior to having the teeth removed. Looking forward to being able to smile confidently again.

I also plan on taking the Friday’s off over Winter again, in order to get some writing done while it is quieter at work.

That’s my plan for the year, what’s yours?

Take care everyone, and happy new year!


And Onto Something New

I’ve finished writing Carol’s Christmas, well, almost, there isn’t a lot more to write. So, what am I up to next?

I have editing to do on a project, a super-secret project that will be revealed in December, and I have three books that need editing, and a third that needs writing. Decisions, decisions.

As I have already started editing, I will finish that, it’s a short Historical romance based in 1920s United States. It is a present for my newsletter subscribers, and I’m excited to get it finished, because its been rattling around in my laptop for about ten years.

I also have a super-secret project; I’m getting together with some other authors to do a Christmas giveaway. I’ll give you more details nearer the time but suffice to say that I have a small bit of writing to do for this. It wasn’t hard to choose which book to promote, but its proving to be a little harder to come up with the secret project. It will come together though, I hope.

Two books that need editing – Secondhand Daughter, Compromising Positions and Finding Sam Healey (aka Finding Sams Family) all need a round of edits. But, I hear you say, you’ve already editing Secondhand Daughter and Compromising Positions. Yes, I have, but I often self-edit a few times before I pass it onto an actual editor, because I want to send the most polished version I can. And I like to take a break from each book before editing / drafting, because I can look at it with fresh eyes.

And I also have Dragon’s Lore, which is shaping up to be rather…Epic. I have at least five stories for the series all rolling around inside my head, and on my laptop and notebooks in various places, so I am happy to start with writing that. But I think I’ll do some editing first.

So, I’ll dive into Secondhand Daughter again, and I have my editor booked for the end of January, so I have a deadline to work to, although I hope to have it finished well before then.

What plans do you have for this week?

Kia kaha everyone.


Work, work, work, work, write.

After last week’s epic dental visit, I can confirm that all stitches have fallen out (they were dissolvable, as I later found out) and everything is healing nicely. I have graduated from soft food to slightly more textured food. Now I know how a baby feels!

So, I thought I would take you through my writing process. I work fulltime, so every morning I get up, have breakfast, clean up and then sit down and write for ten to thirty minutes (sometimes longer, but not always). I often get between 200 and 1000 words written in that time.

Then I head off to my day job, and garden. All day. Then I get home, shower, watch some videos and hopefully do some study, because I’m studying organic gardening.

And that is my day. Sometimes I might write at night, but not often. My best thoughts flow in the morning, and during the day, my mind is busy thinking about what I can write the following day.

At present I’m writing Carols Christmas, a modern version of the Christmas Carol. I’m loving this story, but it isn’t going to be novel length (50,000 words plus), probably more of a novella (35 to 50k). I honestly don’t mind, as it is going to be for release next Christmas. It’s a christmas story, but to be honest, it would fit any time of year. The whole thing happens over one calendar year, but it has elements of Christmas Past, present and future in it.

And I have just received the edits back for Whiskey Rose, which is a 1920s mob prohibition romance. This is a novelette – its 27k long. I think this will be a gift to my newsletter members and as a freebie for people who sign up to my newsletter.

On Sunday, I plan my facebook posts for the week, and I started up Why Wednesday, where you can ask me anything about my writing. Last week I started with when did I start, this week I’m going to tell you why I write.

Anyhoo, hope you guys have a good week, and see you next week.

Kia kaha

Catherine x

Making Time to Slow down

Its been a hectic couple of weeks. Things are quiet at work, but we’ve had a big job that we’re doing at the moment, one day a week which isn’t working at a rest home.

My Mum was over from Wineborough last weekend, and I was over her way this weekend for my Dad’s 80th Birthday. It was nice to catch up with my dad, Step mum, and my uncle that I haven’t seen in a long time. So long in fact, that we think it was when my son was about 18 months old, and at a funeral. It was nice to see the family at an event other than a funeral. He also got to meet my son officially and catch up with my brother that he hadn’t seen since my bro was 11.

And next Friday, I have the dreaded dentist, and a massive appointment to remove eleven teeth from my mouth. So I am planning for next weekend to be very quiet, and peaceful.

So how do I make time to slow down? In the evenings. I generally write in the mornings before work, and for about half an hour in the weekend mornings (or evenings). Then the evenings are free for me to study, or gather information for my other writing projects, or researching my markets. This might sound like I’m still busy, but it is considered my downtime. I also go to a stretch (yoga) class and a pole class once a week. These are my relaxing times, time for spending with the girls and having a laugh. Downtime for me is spending time doing things I enjoy doing. And when daylight savings kicks in next weekend, I’ll be able to spend some evenings out in the garden.

I’ve been quietly ticking along with Carol’s Christmas and have reached 21k, and I’m about halfway through the book. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but I’m also aware that I am leaving a lot out at the moment, but that’s okay, because that is what the editing process is for.

And at the end of the month, I’m expecting to receive back the edits for Whisky Rose, a novella I wrote based on 1920’s prohibition and the mob. I’m looking forward to getting these back and seeing what my editor thinks. I hope to have this available by the end of the year, provided all goes well. Not sure whether to make it a sign on gift to my newsletter subscribers, or to put it out on the market. I still need to think on it.

Anyway, what big plans for you have for the week?

Hope you have a good week.

Kia Kaha


3rd vs 1st Person Point of View (PoV)

I’ve started writing Carol’s Christmas, and while I was writing on Friday night, I discovered something. I don’t like 3rd person. I used to love writing in it, but I’ve been writing in first person so much lately, that to write in third person feels… awkward.

Now many of you will be saying, what on earth are you talking about? So here is my definition of third and first person.

Third person is where you are outside, observing the person you are reading. You can see their reactions, but you can’t see what they’re thinking. Example:

“She also needs her Mum to be there and listen to her.”
Her heart pumped hard in her chest, “I am here for her.”
“Really? Where were you when she rang me?” She opened her mouth but Noah beat her to it. “In your office.” Carol felt her heart plummet to the bottom of a deep pit.“Our little girl is growing up and you’re missing it. You’re too focused on money and success, don’t lose her too.” He hugged her and then left. The noise of the door shutting echoing through the silent house. Here she was, standing in a large modern three bedroom place, and all on her own. On Christmas Day.

First person is where you are inside their head. You can see their thoughts and feelings and you can feel like you are that person when you are reading. Example:

“She also needs her Mum to be there and listen to her.”
My heart pump hard in my chest, “I am here for her.”
“Really? Where were you when she rang me?” I opened my mouth but Noah beat me to it. “In your office.” I nodded. My heart was now plummeting to the bottom of a deep pit. “Our little girl is growing up and you’re missing it. You’re too focused on money and success, don’t lose her too.” He hugged me and then left. The noise of the door shutting echoed through the silent house. Here I was, standing in a large modern three bedroom place, and all on my own. On Christmas Day.

Which do you prefer? I’m now going to go back and make corrections to change what I’ve already written (close to 3k) and put it into first person, because it feels more personal to me.

This is an unedited version too, so this isn’t going to be the final story. If you want me to post up on facebook, like I did on Finding Sam’s Family, let me know.

Hope you all have a good week.

Kia kaha

Catherine x

A Dilemma or Two

I didn’t blog last week, because we had been in Wineborough, and it was a late trip home. I didn’t feel like blogging when I got home. So, I’m doing it now.

And I have a problem. I was going to start writing Carols christmas this week, but I kind of haven’t. Not because I don’t want to, its because I have been reading and editing what I started writing a few years ago on my Dragon shifter story. And I kind of got caught up in the story, so now I want to write both stories, at the same time. Which isn’t a bad thing…except they are both dark kind of stories. The dragon shifter has a storyline about fighting factions, and a deteriorating situation in which all of the factions need to come together to actually succeed in protecting humanity. Carols Christmas is about a battle with cancer, all told within the Christmas Carol storyline. I really need a light and fluffy story to write while writing either of them, but I don’t have one in planning, and I really don’t want to overcommit myself.

My partner was really lovely and helpful, and stated the obvious to me. Just start writing the dragon story. Which I want to do, but I also want to write Carols Christmas. I know that I have 4 more months to write in, and I don’t have anything written in stone, just that I want to have two novels written this year. Would you be terribly disappointed if I focused on writing the first dragon story?

I have got Carols Christmas all set up in my writing program (Scrivener), I guess I just have to go with the flow and see what happens.

Hope everyone has a great week, and don’t have too many dilemmas in your week ahead.

Kia kaha


Planning and Plotting

It’s been a week. Work, Monday to Thursday. Friday was Matariki, which is Maori New Year, an opportunity to remember those who have left us, plan ahead for the future, and celebrate those who are around us. My Partner, Mr H and I took his daughter back to Christchurch. He brought her up two weeks ago. She was supposed to drive herself, but she broke her collarbone, and so Mr H went down and picked her up.

It was a lovely drive, and a great opportunity to get some photographs for inspiration around the Murchison / Maruia area. I won’t share them here, but I did share a photo of the Maruia falls on my instagram page.

So, writing / planning / editing wise – I am slowly working through a second edit of Second Hand Daughter. I’m taking my time on this, which I probably shouldn’t be but I’m enjoying reading this again, plus I didn’t really plan to edit this month, it was a planning month.

And planning I have been. I have planned out most of Carol’s Christmas, and have 4 main characters, Carol Sawyer the main character, Emma Thornton, her daughter, Noah Thornton, her ex husband and Iona who is her best friend and business manager. I like the story plan I have in place for this, and will start writing next month.

I’m also still ticking along on my Dragon series. I have a couple of ideas that I can work with. The original plan is to write 5 stories relating to the series, however with a major idea I’ve had, this could expand. I can’t wait to introduce you to some of the characters in this series. Keep an eye out on my facebook page for some introductions.

I’ll keep working on the dragon series for now, and see what else develops. I started writing one of the stories a couple of years ago, so I will have a read through and work out what I want to keep and what I don’t, and I hope to use November to write this novel – or at least complete it.

Anyhoo – I hope you’ve had a good week, and I’ll catch up with you next week.

Kia kaha peeps