Tag Archives: life

MirandaWrites 57 – Almost here!

It’s less than a week until my very first Christmas novella, Christmas in St Ives, is published – eek! So in this week’s vlog, I’m going to tell you what you can expect from the story…

I’m so proud of this novella and I had an absolute blast writing it. I like to think you can tell as a reader when the author has enjoyed writing a story, so I hope you get that sense with Christmas in St Ives. It was also lovely to write a prequel to my next full-length novel, Somewhere Beyond the Sea, to be able to extend that world and really bring the characters alive. Both my novella and the novel are available for preorder now – Christmas in St Ives is published on 19th October, Somewhere Beyond the Sea will be published on 14th June 2018 (and we’ve included the first chapter of it in the back of the novella, so you’ll get a sneak-peek eight months early!)

Enjoy this week’s vlog – and ask me a question for next week by leaving a comment below!

M xx

Finding HOPE…

I’ve been trying to work out how to respond to recent events in the world and closer to home. I feel I should respond instead of simply being scared, which is how I felt last night. These are my thoughts…

I watched the news last night as MPs voted on Syrian air strikes and, like many people, I felt utterly devastated. Devastated that, once again, violence has been chosen to meet violence; fighting a war we haven’t asked to fight, for an unknown length of time with an unknown likelihood of victory. Whatever your views on the legality and rightful place of war against terrorism, it’s difficult to watch events unfolding in the news with a great deal of optimism.

The overwhelming feeling I encountered following reactions I saw across social media was powerlessness. We have no power over organisations or individuals who walk into our workplaces, cities, neighbourhoods or social settings intent on taking lives. We have no power over our governments’ responses – and certainly, it would seem, no power of influence over their actions. In a world so seemingly full of frightening things beyond our control, what can we do to make any kind of difference?

This is the conclusion I’ve come to: I am going to pursue HOPE, JOY and LOVE.

I can’t change what happened in Paris, or Garissa, or anywhere else terrorists have targeted. But in my life, and in my actions that affect other people’s lives, I can do something. I can pursue hopejoy and love. These are the things terrorists seek to target and destroy with fear. But the only way I can not allow them to win is to actively go after all the things they don’t want me to have. So I intend to encourage and help people, celebrate life, choose positive words over negative, choose to be optimistic and most of all, do everything I can to not be scared of what might happen in this uncertain world.

It’s a tiny personal stand from one life among a countless many. But I think it’s the only way I’ll feel I’m doing something to fight back in situations where I feel powerless. Peace lies in finding joy in terrifying times. I’d rather be doing something than just being scared. That’s all.

Miranda Writes 37 – The Importance of Daydreaming

All this year, I’m vlogging about writing and publishing my seventh novel, A Parcel For Anna Browne. This week, why being a daydreamer is crucial if you’re a writer and I answer more of your lovely questions!

At school, all of my reports said I would do better if I ‘did less daydreaming’. But today I’m proud to daydream for a living… In this week’s vlog I’ll explain why I think you have to be a daydreamer if you want to write and why, right now, I’m in my ‘daydreaming stage’.

Also this week, I have fantastic questions on the influence of childhood on my writing (from Simona Elena of Sky’s Book Corner blog) and my first three steps to writing a novel (from Katie Marsh). If you would like to ask me a question, leave a comment below this vlog, email me at: mirandawurdy@gmail.com, tweet me @wurdsmyth, or visit my author page on Facebook

Enjoy!

p.s. This week’s YouTube-inspired freeze-frame is entitled, ‘The Chin Rub of Thoughtfulness…’

Miranda Writes 35 – How do you write when life is tough?

This year, in addition to my regular vlogs, I will be posting a series of special vlogs, each focusing on a specific aspect of writing. For the first one, I’ve tackled something really personal: how do you write when life is tough?

This year has been a mix of highs and lows already. Right in the middle of doing a big edit on my seventh novel, A Parcel for Anna Browne, my beloved 93 year-old Gran suffered a massive stroke and passed away.

It broke my heart and stopped me in my tracks.

I didn’t want to write. I couldn’t think about my book – even though I loved it, even though I’m so excited to be getting to tell the story I’ve been wanting to write for a very long time. How do you write when something like that happens?

I hope this vlog gives some answers.

I’d love to know what you think. And if there’s a question you’d like me to answer in a future special vlog, please comment below or email me: mirandawurdy@gmail.com


 

Here’s a FREE short story for you!

You know I love to spring surprises on you… Well, here’s an exclusive short story as a Thursday treat with my love!

I wrote this story last year based on a character who was in the original first draft of Take A Look At Me Now. Originally, Nell went to her local coffee shop to mull over the news about losing her job instead of just walking around the car park as she does in the finished novel. I cut manager Tony and his branch of the Ben’s Beans coffee shop franchise out in the end because it slowed the pace, but I still wanted to tell his story.

A Nice Place to Sit is the result…

A Nice Place to Sit by Miranda Dickinson

It’s about the need to feel part of somewhere and something, even when life seems to suggest that there’s no longer a place for us. It’s about finding positives and meaning in bad situations. And it’s a story of hope.

I hope you enjoy it!

Click HERE to read and download the story for free…

 

Welcome to the world, Florence Wren!

On Wednesday 19th March 2014 at 2.49am, the most incredible thing happened to me…

I became a Mum.

Photo ©Miranda Dickinson 2014

Photo ©Miranda Dickinson 2014

Bob and I have been so excited since discovering we were expecting our first child in the summer last year. We deliberately didn’t ask at our baby scans about whether we were having a boy or a girl – to us, it didn’t matter. As a result, during the whole labour experience I was just so excited to meet our baby and that carried both of us through. To hold her in our arms at last was the single most profound moment of our lives. A beautiful, timeless happening that changed both of us for ever.

I never thought I would be a Mum. Married in my early twenties into what became a very difficult and emotionally abusive existence for nearly eight years, I was divorced by the start of my thirties and assumed that it was unlikely I would meet anyone else and, therefore, hugely unlikely that I would ever have kids. When I met Bob in my mid-thirties, I was blessed beyond measure to find a man who showed me what real love looked like. But while we talked about having kids one day, neither of us were sure we could conceive naturally. So last July we had the biggest surprise ever when we learned that we were expecting!

I’m blown away by the heart-stopping, all-encompassing love I feel for Florence Wren. I have never experienced anything like it. The only way I can describe it is that every day I feel my heart has to stretch a bit more to fit all the new love in for Flo. At the same time, I’ve fallen deeper in love with Bob, seeing how he loves his little girl and me. I could never have anticipated this or the enormous impact it is having on how I view the world.

I’ve always believed in the power of possibility – a theme that I return to in my books time after time – but now I’m determined to pursue it for our little girl. I want her to see that life is full of possibilities, that dreams are worth pursuing, that life is as beautiful as you make it, every day. That no problem is insurmountable, no situation irredeemable, no heartbreak irreparable. That hope is the flame that can burn no matter what happens.

We have so many dreams for Flo, but the ones that will matter – and the ones that  Bob and I will fight for the hardest – will be the dreams she dreams for herself. And to see her accomplish what she most wants in life will be the greatest privilege for us. This is the start of the most exciting adventure in our lives – and I   can’t wait to see where it takes us!

Take a Look At YOU now!

To celebrate the release of Take A Look At Me Now – and Nell’s story of making changes in your life when life lets you down – I asked my lovely Twitter and Facebook followers to share with me how much their life has changed. The stories that they told me are amazing: funny, witty, touching, courageous and downright brave. Read these and feel good about life!

For me, six years ago I was being escorted out of my former workplace with twenty-six colleagues, after we had just lost our jobs. It was almost Christmas, I had no way of paying my rent and was panicking about my future. Today, I’m a five-times Sunday Times Bestseller, have sold over 500,000 books worldwide and am finally doing my dream job of writing full-time. Life has a funny way of turning out…

Me with TALAMN book

@shoefiend1984 4 years ago I’d just been dumped by my fiancé via text and forced to leave my job & move back home, now I’m sitting in Sicily with a successful career, my own flat, my own car and happy with my life!
(Catriona runs a wonderful book blog, Fabulous Book Fiend!) 

@_shelovestoread 5 years ago I would do anything to please other people. Now, I live my life for me and do things that make me happy.
(Laura runs lovely book blog, She Loves To Read!)

@nealdoran Basically it’s been downhill since 2nd place in a Pontins Little Prince comp 35 years ago. Take a look at me now…
(Neal is now a brilliant author – check out his book!)

Neal TALAMN pic

Loretta Livingstone 15 years ago I was almost housebound, and had to rest in bed morning and afternoon. I am still almost housebound, but no longer confined to bed in the afternoons. And I have written 4 books. No way would I have been well enough to do that, even 5 years ago. Life looks good!
(Check out Loretta’s books!)

@minionsofbooks 5 years ago I was unhappy, quiet & hugely overweight. Now I smile a lot more! Live life, love life Xx
(Kirsty now runs brilliant book blog, The Love Of A Good Book!)

Kirsty TALAMN pic

@clareren 10 years ago I became the voice of my 2 year-old son to get him the support he needed. I’m still talking and won’t stop till he needs me to!

@alexalovesbooks I’m married! I’ve also got a stronger sense of what I’d like for my own future, and am building towards it. Take a look at me now!

@lizzie256 5 years ago I was 21 and looking forward to spending the first Christmas with my boyfriend. Today I am married to that boyfriend and we have two beautiful children!

@K8JohnsonAuthor 15 years ago I was a nerdy teenager who wanted to write books. Now I’m a nerdy grownup who does write books! Plus ca change…
(Kate is a brilliant author – check out her books!)

@welshhedgehog 15 years ago I had only just met my husband (to be). Now married 14 years and 3 children later.

@Feetpaintwords 20years ago I worked in accounts. Now I’m a qualified reflexologist, a water-colourist and a writer! Take a look at me now!

@Feetpaintwords Missy would like to say that, eight years ago, she was in Battersea Dogs & Cats Home waiting for a home. But Take A Look At Me Now!
(Could you make a dog or cat’s life better? Visit Battersea Dogs & Cats Home to find out!)

Missy TALAMN pic

@onemorepage  5 years ago I wasn’t a blogger! Take A Look At Me Now! 🙂
(Visit Amanda’s brilliant book blog, One More Page!)

@InessaS This year I decided to do something that I love and I stopped to do in 1994: WRITING stories!

@karamina 5 years ago I was wondering if I’d ever be brave enough to write the novel I’d been carrying in my head.
(Note: Rachael Lucas is now a bestselling author!)

@Lynsey1991 5 years ago I was sat in a college class, no idea what I wanted to do. Now I’m working on what will hopefully be my first book xx

@RS78 20 years ago I was bullied for being a lesbian. Now I’m married to an amazing woman and we’re expecting twins in Feb!!! 🙂

@dazd 5, 10, 15+ yrs ago I was fat n unhealthy, now I’m over 6stone lighter, healthy, slim, no illness and SO happy. Take a look at me now!

@ChickLitChloe 10 years ago I was 17, getting ready for A-Levels and applying to Uni. Now I’m living somewhere else, got a 7 year old+ I’m a TA!
(Chloe also runs a fab book blog – check out Chloe’s Chick Lit Reviews!)

@sam_smith73 5 years ago I was flying as cabin crew, and single today I’m married, a qualified teacher and loving it!

@MrsKRufus31  5 years ago I was in my final year at uni, now I’m married, have 2 children and I’m a qualified nurse 🙂

@Rachel_Fusion now I do a job I love, own my own wellbeing centre am living with the man of my dreams + am writing a novel (although not to be too Pollyanna I do still struggle with CFS but just don’t let it get me down anymore!!)

@MeganInTheSun 5 years ago I had a job I didn’t get on with & no direction in life. Now I’m married, we have exciting plans together & I’m really looking forward to the future 🙂 xxx
(Check out Megan’s lovely book blog, Reading In The Sunshine!)

Jackie Gallacher  10 years ago I was looking for work within the theatre industry and nowadays it’s the sport industry – so many exciting opportunities  xx

Rosemarie Sayer At 39 I’m now lucky enough to be fully congruent & self aware, comfortable in my own skin, yet more cynical!

Trish Tishylou Hills 15 years ago I was still living in Canada, working in a corner shop 20 hours week and had not yet discovered chick lit. 10 years ago I had only just met my partner and still lived at home with my Mum. 5 years ago, I was in a dark place that got even darker for a while but I pulled through it and am happy now. I run my own business and get to review the books I love!
(Check out Trish’s book blog, Tishylou’s World!)

Tara Hooper 15 years ago I left a really toxic marriage and moved back in with my patents. 10 years ago I went snowboarding for the first time discovered a passion. And 6 years ago I was about to marry my wonderful hubby on my 37th birthday!

Claire Fain 5 years ago I was about to start my new career with my current employer as an accountant, 10 years ago I was self employed with my own shop and internet site -craft shop, and 15 years ago I was 5 months pregnant, planning my maternity leave from my first career- bank clerk, and trying to start my own business, not knowing I was going to be giving birth to my beautiful daughter 3 months early(she will be 15 next month). Xx

Sophia Valentine I had attended college for 5 years studying Law, got my Diploma, worked in a Solicitors for 5 years, got a promotion, thinking it was all i ever wanted. Quit last year to work abroad, met someone and been in Ibiza ever since, learning Spanish and working toward getting published. I didn’t have a fro, but I had a dreadful perm at aged 16, which was apparently ‘in’ at the time! Lol!!

Sarah Mellor 15 years ago – 13 years old and 13 1/2 stones (Size 18/20 in clothes). Bullied to the point of needing counselling. Today – 28 years old and 10 1/2 stone (did get down to 9 stone at one point but was too skinny then!) Size 12/14 clothes wearer. Teacher so I can help other young people who may feel like they have no-one and nothing! The years really do make the difference – I may not have the promotion or relationship status I’d like, but I do have a job and family who I love dearly (especially my two Godchildren!) Sarah x

Abbey Ribena Liddle 5 years ago I had just completed my NVQ level 2 in hairdressing and was loving life  and as you can imagine being a hairdresser you have all wacky hair colours..I was 16 and brunette hair but bright pink underneath..crazy but it’s what hairdressers do! 10 years ago I was 13 and was becoming a typical teenager who thought was hard done by as always the one having to go in early while everyone was still out.. I thank my mum and dad every day now that they were strict as it could have turned out worse xx

Gail Ellen Parnell 15 years ago, I was working as an assistant to two managers in Dudley and getting to grips with writing, ten years ago I was zipping round town in my little car after almost giving up learning to drive – it took me give attempts and five years ago, I was working as a CCTV operator which proved to be one of the most eye opening experiences ever.

Julia Rich Was Wright 15 years ago I was in the early stages of a new relationship but had already worked out he was “the one”. 10 years ago I was dealing with redundancies at work (and can feel the tension in my shoulders again just thinking about it). 5 years ago I was adapting to becoming a mummy for the second time (best job in the world).

Louise Louby Skelding 10 years ago I was terrified of dogs, all dogs, and I didn’t like animals, now my whole world is an 11 month old Cockapoo and four little hamsters. Also Animal rights are a passion of mine! I’m a better person for this change.

If you’ve been inspired by these Take A Look At Me Now stories, why not add your own below? xx