Friday, June 7, 2013

Guest Post from Annalisa Crawford and Celebrating the Small Things

Today I'm really excited to be hosting Annalisa Crawford as part of her blog tour for her collection of short stories, That Sadie Thing. I've started the collection and love all of the stories I've read so far, and also loved Annalisa's novella Cat and the Dreamer.  I highly recommend Annalisa's work and it's a pleasure to be part of her tour. 

Take it away, Annalisa! :)

Thanks for having me today Julie. I'm going to tell you about Portrait of the Painter.

If you follow me, or even if you read the first post on my tour, you may know that I have a novel that I began writing when I was about 16 and rewrote it constantly until I was about 34. (It's still within reach, I may have another go...) Anyway, that story has been a short story, a novella, and a novel - several times over. Portrait of the Painter is one of those short story versions.

I had the character of Jo before anything, and Jo was a painter, and she didn't like to eat her crusts. In whichever version she's been in she's never liked eating her crusts. The other character is Simon. Originally he was Daniel, but when he was Daniel he was actually Jo's boyfriend and he was much older than her. In this short story version he's the same age and not her boyfriend. So when I went back to the novel, I had to change the name.

Technically, I suppose, I should have absorbed the story back into the novel once it became a novel again, but by then it had taken on a life of it's own. So I kept them separate and changed Daniel's name to Dominic then to Simon. I never find changing names easy - it's like naming a baby and then changing your name after a year; so the decision to change Daniel's name meant a lot of time looking through the baby name book.

Fun fact: I ended up naming the character after the friend who is sitting beside me as I type this. Spooky - especially since I haven't see this friend for a couple of years!!

Jo was different though, I couldn't change her name - she was perfect as she was. And besides, she had a whole paragraph about how much she liked her name!

About Annalisa
I live in Cornwall, with a good supply of beaches and moorland right on my doorstep. I live with my husband, two boys, a dog and a cat. Despite my location. I neither surf nor sail, and have never had any inclination to try. I much prefer walking along the beach and listening to the waves crashing over rocks. For this reason, I really love the beach in the winter!

Buy That Sadie Thing here (this link should take you direct to your local Amazon)
Follow Annalisa here, or Like her here
Read her blog here


Friday means it's time to Celebrate the Small Things with Vikki again. If you want to learn more about this hop and sign up to join in, click here.

This week I'm celebrating that I made it through a week of posting every day in the 2013 Word Count Blogathon. But I think this is where the daily posting stops for me, as I've come to the realization that I need to focus on some other goals right now. So I'm going to go back to normal posting for the rest of June, probably three times a week, and also work on getting my new animal rescue blog up and running. Thanks to everyone who stopped by here from the Blogathon and I wish all the participants the best of luck for the rest of June!

I'm also celebrating that I had a totally awesome vacation on Martha's Vineyard last week that really inspired me to whip my latest novel the The Ghosts of Aquinnah into shape so that it's ready for submission. For more on that, see Wednesday's post. I'm choosing to celebrate the fact that I enjoyed the vacation so much instead of being depressed that I'm back to real life now, even though that is the truth too LOL.

Happy Friday and weekend to all!


  1. Posting everyday is hard when you're not used to it - I have no idea how those people who do it as standard manage at all!

    Thanks for hosting me today :-)

  2. I just purchased your book, Annalisa. I think Cornwall's a slice of heaven, but I think someone who prefers walking along the beach to sailing has the right sensitivity. Plus, Julie's book is terrific. I know, weird logic, but it'll work. :))))

  3. Changing a name halfway through a story is difficult. Some just stick no matter what.
    Daily posting it difficult, Julie. I can only manage the near-daily posting of April's Challenge.

  4. I post when my schedule allows, which is never set in stone since my employer changes it from week to week.

    Loved the guest post. She's as funny as I am about names.

    Tweeted and shared.

    Hugs and chocolate,

  5. Yay for great holidays. Reality can be a bit rubbish, but you've got the memories of your holiday to keep you going :)

  6. I do the same thing with names. It's harder for me to name my characters than it was to name my kids!

  7. Love those stories that haunt us and won't let us forget them, even after years and years. I've got a few like that too that won't go away.

    And, Julie, you made it seven days! Woot. :)

  8. I've had to do the same thing - let a few things go and revamp/focus on my priorities. It really is cause for celebration when you do that! How many people never do, right? :)

    And I've got THAT SADIE THING waiting patiently on my Kindle app.... :)

  9. Changing a name you have got used to can sometimes be tricky.

    Glad you had a nice vacation :)

  10. Congrats, Annalisa! I agree, once the character adopts the name as their own it's impossible to change it.

  11. Love the cover of That Sadie Thing and the title.

  12. I have several writer friends who put great thought and meaning into choosing their characters' names. I like Jo too and can see how that would be perfect for the right, spunky character.

  13. @Annalisa, you're most welcome!

    @Kittie, thanks so much about my book!

    @Alex, yeah, I think the A-Z works for me because we have that Sunday break. Just the one day makes a difference for me.

    @Shelly, thanks so much, hugs back to you.

    @Rebecca, very true!

    @Dana, LOL.

    @LG, thank you!

    @Madeline, good point!

    @Suzanne, thanks so much.

    @Laura, I agree and it's still funny to me how that works!

    @Summer, me too, such a haunting cover.

    @Julie, agreed!

  14. Yay for Vacation!!!!

    And on the guest post - I have a tough time with character names, and if I change them it takes an entire shift in my thought process.

  15. Thanks for having Annalisa here today. I enjoyed reading her post.

    Your small things are wonderful!

  16. Kitty - thank you, I hope you enjoy it. Oh yes, Cornwall is a very special, beautiful place.

    Alex - I don't do it very often - finding a new name was really tough.

    Shelley - names for me are either easy or impossible!

    Dana - lol, it's just like naming your kids, isn't it? Because after a while you can't imagine them being called anything else!

    L.G - I'm sure I'll have another go at it one day. If nothing else, it'll be fun to revisit the characters.

    Madeline - I hope you enjoy it when you get to it. My Kindle app is exactly the same - so many titles!

    Suzanne - I think the character changed before I changed his name.

    Laura - yes, Jo definitely did that!

    Summer - thanks :-)

    Julie - my characters usually come fully named, I only change them when absolutely necessary.

  17. Hi Julie and Annalisa - Cornwall is gorgeous and I do hope the novel sorts itself out .. Portrait of a Painter is a good title ..

    Well Julie - posting every day is hard work .. more importantly Polar Night is out ..

    See you in a couple of days .. Jo sounds a good name! Cheers Hilary

  18. What an intriguing background about your story, Annalisa! Portrait of a Painter sounds cool.

    Kudos to you for succeeding so well with posting every day, Julie. And I'm glad you had a wonderful vacation. :)

  19. @Tyrean, seconding your yay. :)

    @Lee, thanks!

    @Hilary, no doubt that is most important right now, thanks.

    @MJ, thank you!

  20. Congrats on the blogathon posting, whipping your novel into shape and having Annalisa over to talk about her writing.

  21. Fun guest post by Annalisa, it was cute learning about Joe ;)

    Julie, knowing our limitations is worth celebrating. Yay for you completing a week of the blogathon and yay for knowing you need to stop so you can focus on your other goals.

    Glad you had a wonderful vacation ;)

  22. Animal Rescue blog? Is there a linky ?

    YAY to awesome vacation! :)

  23. Great post, Julie! And thank you, Annalisa for sharing great info. I was just telling my husband the other night that I'm really glad I write memoir. Memories and all kinds of things to write about do pop into my head all the time....but having characters "talk" to me and change things around would really freak me out! LOL

  24. I don't know how those daily posters do it either. I barley make it through the A to Z challenge and it's only once a year.

    A vacation that leaves you ready to go back to real life is one great vacation. Glad you enjoyed it.

  25. Hilary - I was pretty pleased with the title too. The novel's title, if you're interested, is Pictures, Fading (the comma is important lol)

    M.J - thanks, I think it's pretty cool too :-)

    Sheena-Kay - thanks for reading :-)

    S.K - thank you!

    Becky - I'm not sure I could write memoir, trying to stick to the facts and not wandering off into some parallel world would stifle me too much :-) Us writers are funny people, aren't we?

  26. I LOVED Annalisa's book. It's the best collection of short stories I've read in a long time.

    I don't blame you for backing off the every day posting, Julie. I started out blogging that often, but couldn't hack it. Not if I wanted to continue doing other things around here... like eating and sleeping.

  27. Posting more than a few times a week is too much... I learned in April. Some weeks posting at all is to much. :) Glad you enjoyed your vacation.

    Yay for Annalisa! I look forward to reading her stories. I loved Cat and the Dreamer. She's got oodles of talent.

  28. Smile because it happened, don't frown because it's over (as hard as that is) - glad you enjoyed your vacation!

    Brandy's Bustlings

  29. Congrats on posting everyday. It is not easy. I learned this from the A to Z. Three times a week is so much more manageable.

  30. @Sheena, thanks!

    @SK, that's a good point, thanks so much.

    @Vikki, oh, I don't have it up yet but I will share the link when I do, thanks!

    @Becky, LOL, you crack me up.

    @Jenn, I don't either, especially now LOL.

    @Susan, exactly, LOL.

    @Mary, thanks!

    @Brandy, so true, thank you!

    @Nana, definitely, I think I was nuts for a bit when I decided to try this LOL.

  31. I'm intrigued by Annalisa's story, and I love the cover.

    I totally understand returning to a regular blog schedule. I haven't quite recovered from A-Z yet.

  32. Hi ladies!
    Julie, congrats on posting every day for one week!
    Annalisa's collection of stories is a must-read!
    Character names is the one thing I struggle with. My characters normally remain Mr.X or Ms.Y for quite a while...
    Writer In Transit

  33. Oh my, I could never post every day!

    Congrats on having a nice, relaxing vacation, Julie

    Yahhy also to our Annalisa for her published collection :)

    PS. Thanks for stopping by to comment on my D-Day post.

    CSM Ryan was speechless when I told him there were more than 100 comments Thursday afternoon (There were 158 as of Friday evening.)

    For everyone to take a moment to comment really meant a lot to him, I'm sure. :)

  34. I couldn't do it, post everyday, but hats off to you and folks who can. Maybe if I took a year off of blgging to prewrite all my post for the following year, lol! Anyway, Congratulations Annalisa! I've had some issues with names in my wip, I've changed one character's twice and I think I'm gonna change it again. I just can't seem to find the right fit.

  35. Susan - thank you, your comment took my breath away for a moment :-)

    M Pax - thank you so much :-)

    Carol - I still find the cover a little unsettling :-)

    Mark - hello and thank you!

    Elise - I had to change another character for another collection. I had an Emma in one story and an Ella in another. Emma had to go, but changing it was so hard.

  36. @Carol, I don't think I have either LOL. And I just love the Sadie cover too.

    @Michelle, hi and thank you! :)

    @Mark, oh wow, how awesome is that? Your post was perfect for the Blitz.

    @Elise, LOL, I think I would need a year too.

  37. I have to get me a book of baby names! I always struggle to find the perfect names and when I do settle on one, I never have the heart to change it again. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  38. I'm looking forward to my holiday in July, but I bet once it comes it flies by really quickly! Glad you had a good vacation :)

  39. Murees - baby name books are brilliant for those moments when you know there's a perfect name but you can't think what it might be!

  40. @Murees, I like to use baby name lists too!

    @Laura, I hope you will have an awesome vacation too, thanks!

  41. I love that fact that Jo loves her name.
    Daily posting can be pain. Sometimes creating that blog post can be an uphill struggle.

  42. I had no idea this story had been through so any changes! I like the way it works as a short story. :D

  43. Rekha - I think that part of her comes from me, I love my name too.

    Kyra - it's a chamelion indeed!

  44. Really like how Annalisa has been writing and rewriting for so many years. I'm sure she's reached her 1 million words already!


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