Monthly Wrap Up

Monthly Round-Up: June 2019

Monthly Round-Up: June 2019

Reflections and rambles:

Summer arrived with mild and indifferent weather. WriteMentor got real as I reached halfway through a major redraft and realised I had no idea how to go forward. Talk about cresting a hill to find a mountain. My blogging and creating mojo has been low, although admitting this to people made me aware just how normal these moments are and how they are almost always signals that it is time for self-care.

Out came some old favourite novels and I was soon scribbling away about techniques I wanted to apply to my own work.

That’s June. Sounds underwhelming but sometimes we learn more from those months than we realise.

There was one special moment. I was standing in the front garden and noticed the wildflowers which spring up around this time. They were vibrating. Looking closer, I saw huge numbers of bees gathering pollen. Bee after bee after bee. With numbers of bees in crisis and the environment generally in crisis, it was lovely to see nature hanging on in there. If we allow the wild spaces to thrive, and replace what has been destroyed over the past decades, nature will come back.

What have you been up to this June? Literary or otherwise, I want to hear it.


Review Round-Up:



The Wicker Light by Mary Watson

The Cantankerous Molly Darling by Alvy Carragher

Alex In Wonderland by Simon James Green

Maresi Red Mantle by Maria Turtschaninoff

The Paper & Hearts Society by Lucy Powrie

Spies In St Petersburg by Katherine Woodfine

Rumblestar by Abi Elphinstone

The Dragon In The Library by Louie Stowell. Illustrated by Davide Ortu. 

Milton The Mighty by Emma Read

When It Rains by Rassi Narika

There’s A Spider In My Soup by Megan Brewis

The Only Way Is Badger by Stella J Jones and Carmen Saldaña

The Big Stink by Lucy Freegard

I’m Not Grumpy! by Steve Smallman and Caroline Pedler

I thought I saw a … series by Lydia Nichols

The Unworry Book by Alice James

Edvard Munch Love And Angst. Edited by Giulia Bartrum



In other bookish news I … 


Watched the Mortal Engines film. 

The series I always wanted filmed and a bar of Dairy Milk Oreo. Happy night in. 

I had concerns about Peter Jackson as director (because the second Hobbit film is 2% derived from the book and 98% spinning it out. And even the road to Mordor can’t be that long) but the plot is relatively faithful to the original and any changes haven’t affected the pace. 

Every single character felt real to the story, especially Anna Fang and Shrike.

Tom and Hester look my age, and it took me until the end of the film to figure out that no, they really weren’t suggesting that actors close to thirty could play teens. In the original series, Tom and Hester are teenagers in the first book and adults in the remaining three. The film series cuts out the years between and presumably alters the timeline. 

The traction cities were everything I had ever dreamed of, and they way details from Old London [or London as we know it] have been incorporated into the great moving beast of a city is quite spectacular. Although I have wanted these films for more years than I can count, I am pleased they were delayed. Any attempt to create them with earlier CGI would have made them redundant pretty quickly.  

It is also a delight to see the books brought to a new generation of readers. 



Bought a storage trolley for my review books.

In the immortal words of the Toy Story crew: NEW TOY.


Just keep writing, just keep writing …

Dived into Writer’s HQ

At the very end of May, I had some exciting news. I was chosen for a Six Month Writer’s HQ bursary, which gives me access to online courses and writing forums.

I haven’t explored these as thoroughly as I would have expected, for various reasons, but I have logged in most evenings for a nose. Everything I’ve learned so far has helped my writing, and the material tells it like it is.  The team behind the courses understand that writing is a hard slog, that sometimes we just need to let it out, but at the end of the day, the only thing that makes it happen is maintained effort. And the odd biscuit.

I’m looking forward to getting into the serious business of working with Plotstormers and Plotstormers 2 to construct a new plot and to pull the two I have into the best shape possible.


What have you been up to this June? Any books stand out especially? Let me know in the comments below. Don’t forget to link to your June round-up post or reflections.












9 thoughts on “Monthly Round-Up: June 2019

  1. Gosh, you’ve read so many books! June was exam season for me so I couldn’t fit many readings in my schedule, but I was still able to find some pretty awesome books (Darius the Great is Not Okay is amazing). Also, I’m desperate to read Alex in Wonderland so I’m definitely checking that review later!

    See ya!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lovely to hear about your month. I’m pleased you fitted in some reading and I must check out Darius The Great. Alex In Wonderland is brilliant and I loved the mystery element.

      Have a great July. 🙂


  2. This all sounds lovely 😊. I’ve read and really enjoyed several of the bokks you’ve mentioned, and I can’t wait to get to others such as Paper and Hearts Society soon! My stand out books are the Garden of Lost Secrets and Begone the Raggedy Witches, both of which I think you’d also enjoy!

    Amy x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on Paper and Hearts. I reckon you would be a perfect member. Garden Of Lost Secrets sounds lovely, and I know you enjoyed Begone The Raggedy Witches. I must search for it at BB. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You’ve had such an action-packed filled month! Congratulations on your Writers HQ Bursary and good luck with re-drafting. I’ve just picked up the Paper and Hearts Society and although I am only five chapters in, I am really enjoying it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Hannah. The bursary is just what I needed to take my plotting to the next stage, and I hope it will help me with editing too. Paper And Hearts is a lovely, refreshing read. I wish I could hand it to my 14 year-old self.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m wishing that too, I feel like this book is something my 14/15 year old self could have done with.


  4. It must have been so lovely seeing all of those bees! At the moment whenever I see a bee I’m more concerned about stopping the dogs trying to catch and eat it so haven’t been able to enjoy them.
    I’m definitely going to give The Mortal Engines film a go, it sounds like an excellent adaptation.
    You read a lot in June, and some excellent books at that.
    Cora |


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s