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Laughing at Myself

Laughing at Myself are the fascinating and compelling stories about all the times that life conspires to make you look like an idiot. Stories include: Wheel of (Mis)fortune, Cataracts Toilet, Death by Frisbee, First Driving Test, Put Them Away Love, and Nice to See You

“the type of book you want to read on a rainy day, with a cuppa and a biscuit (or three)”

Down With Frogs

Follow Eden’s funny, dark, smart, occasionally tragic stories about the frogs you have had to kiss before you find your Prince or give up looking.

A different view of dating and break ups, Gruger writes women’s stories in the way their might speak to their closest girlfriends.

With stories including Fishing Socks and Sexy Boots, Meeting the Parents, Why On Earth Are They Single? The Reason I Don’t Eat Pork Chops and Day Out At The STI Clinic

“I laughed…I cried…a great read, thoroughly recommend”

“A fabulously funny read”

“I couldn’t put it down”

“Five star”

How to start writing

 

https://youtube.com/shorts/M-iVnL72Mlw?feature=share

Secret writers are the people who squirrel away numerous ideas in notebooks, or on their laptops. But never share what they write, or they might tell anyone about their author dreams, they write a few sentences a paragraphs or five, and then stop.

What they have in common is they haven’t started the serious business of writing yet This is super common and there are lots of things that we tell ourselves about writing that are not exactly true including;

You need to know the whole story before you start writing

You need to be great at spelling and grammar to be a writer

You need fancy software to be a writer

There is a perfect time to start

I dispel all those myths and quite a few more on YouTube and on my social media with my Frequently Asked Questions videos just like this one.

I love to answer new writers questions, share insider tips and tricks of the trade.

When you are ready get your free copy of the How To Finish Your Book Checklist. Followed by a weekly email of encouragement (if you want it).

subscribepage.io/jkhFdu

Covering Your Design

I have spoken before about the controversial nature of book cover design, popping into any online writers forum will show you the discussion between people’s differing opinions on what makes a good cover. “Definitely option 1”, “can you do a combination of option 2 and option 3?”, “option 3 without the red lines” etc. As every new book cover is a different challenge Out of Your Head and Onto the Page has a whole session on this very topic.

Cover Your Design talks you through what your cover needs to convey, what will appeal to your ideal reader, and how to stand out in an overcrowded market. You’ll also learn how to get reliable focus group and beta reader feedback, and what the benefits of handing cover design over to a professional are.

How do I know this stuff? Because of the big mistake I made on my first cover, excitement and impatience got to me once Down with Frogs was ready to go. So, much so that it didn’t seem a big deal to skip the focus group part of the process. BIG mistake, I ended up with a basic cover that appealed to no-one (not even me!). It said nothing about the modern, quirkiness of the stories within, and if anything, it put prospective readers off – which is not a good look.

When it started to feel embarrassing to show people the book, I knew a change was needed. So, one designer, one focus group, one set of feedback later we arrived at the cover Down with Frogs has now. I love it, I feel proud that this is my book - and I want you to have that same feeling when you get to hold your book in your hand.

For my second book I had two covers designed around it's themes and ran a Facebook poll for the one most loved. However, because of the pandemic there was a delay in going to print, and the publisher suggested an update was needed. It was a bit of a blow after living with the cover that I thought we were using for eight months. The designer’s suggestions went to the focus group made up of my ideal readers, their comments and feedback eased my concerns. I was able to go back to the publisher, give them constructive feedback, and get the (small) changes made, in line with the constructive criticism of the people most likely to buy my book, enjoy it, recommend it, and buy a copy for their friends.

Just another lesson in the author journey, and one that reminds me why cover design needs a masterclass all of it's own.

Don’t be scared – Editing is your best friend – yes really!

I have lost count of the number of times I have seen people on writers forum ask – “Do I really need a professional editor?”, “Can anyone recommend a good editor?” “Can my friend be my editor?” “How much does an editor cost?”

And this is usually followed by twenty something posts of people saying, “I’ll do it”, “I charge $5” and a barrage of their links etc. This is of no help whatsoever and should not be taken as any sort of recommendation. No offence but who are these people? How do you know the quality of their work? Their reliability? Or even if they are a story thief? If you are a newbie it is easy to be caught out.

Let’s face it writing your manuscript and working through the process to turn it into a successful book, can be quite stressful enough, without worrying about whether people can be trusted with your work.

My advice, and you really need to listen to it, is do not ever start editing until you have got the whole story as you have it down on paper. I mean it, and here is why; if you finish chapter one and edit that, redraft it, edit again until you get it just right the chances are you won’t make it passed chapter three. You must get the whole story down on paper (or screen).

Once it’s all written down give yourself a couple of weeks to learn about the five types of editing and editor there are, and then you will be ready to ask the right questions to find the right editor for you.

Stage one and two are the types of editing that need to you do yourself, when you get to the point that you do not feel that you cannot self-edit anymore, you are into Stage three, this is where the professionals come in, you will need at least one type of editor, and you will need to pay for their service (what type of service are providing will determine this).

The only people I can recommend you using are those recommended by the Writer’s and Artists Yearbook or The Alliance of Independent Authors, as these have been, and are frequently checked for quality and reliability. You don’t want to send your manuscript off, to worry over whether the editor will meet deadlines, have to chase them if they don’t, or deal with people who overcharge and underdeliver.

My ALLi affiliate link is here https://www.allianceindependentauthors.org/?affid=8022

That’s enough to keep you busy for the next few weeks, but if you are ready for the next stage, I share all about how to achieve all three stages in the Out of Your Head and Onto The Page audio masterclass ‘Interior Designing’ which has nothing whatsoever to do with soft furnishings and furniture placement!

Ready to write?

Are you ready to make your book a reality? To get your ideas out of your head and onto to page? Are you one of the 83% of the world who wants to know how to write your own book? has started writing? Wants to know how to finish your book. Or feels they have a book ‘in them’?

Publishing is a niche industry, but a business like any other which means there are things that you need to know.

Having been this person, and now being a published writer (six books in at time of writing), I love to help other people fulfil their writing dreams.

Make Your Book A Reality is a series of classes that answer the questions you will have at every stage of the process. From writing tips, how to get out of block and stay inspired, to editing, through to publishing, marketing and building a fan base.

The biggest thing I can assure you at this point is that if you really want to do this, then you can. So why not enlist the help of someone who has already done it? made mistakes they are willing to own up to, so that you get the benefits of their twenty plus years experience?

Make Your Book A Reality won’t teach you to write, it’s only practise and lots more practise that will help with that. But it will explain everything else to get you started.

To get you started I have created the How To Finish Your Book Checklist, it’s free and is followed by a regular boost of encouragement by email.

subscribepage.io/jkhFdu

 

If you are ready to get started and want all the insider whats, whys and hows then look at my Masterclass Membership, there is no fixed contract, your monthly fee of £37 gives you access to the classes and workbooks for as long as you want to stay.

Book Writing Online Masterclasses | Eden Gruger

5 year plan check in

On the 12th June 2019 I wrote a post about a woman I had met, who had a list of 50 things she planned to do in the next five years, and how this inspired me to create my own list. One year on seemed like the perfect time to check in with where I am.  Here’s little reminder of what was on my list 12th June 2019.

1-3. Achieve the Bronze, Silver and Gold Kennel Club Good Citizens awards
4. Had my nose pierced
5. Crocheted a wearable garment
6. Own and use a camper van
7. Get a door on my greenhouse
8. Be a pescatarian
9. Have been on a river cruise
10. Have my own study
11. Have gone on a scenic railway journey through Canada
12. Have read all the books on my to be read pile as of today
13. Have gotten toned and fit
14. Have been accepted to open my garden for the NGS or similar scheme
15. Have kept in touch with the good friends that I have now
16. Still to be a regular (weekly) blogger
17. To have gone on a retreat
18. Have made a blanket with 100 of the 200 motifs in the 200 crochet blocks book on my shelf  

Now I am not sure how much thought was put into my list (I cannot remember, thank you perimenopause),  but the first thing that stuck me, which I am sure you will question also, is that I only managed to think of eighteen things to put on my list, naturally there are a few seriously personal things that are on a special just for me to know list, but only eighteen shareable things, that doesn’t seem many. Anyhoo, three hundred and sixty six days on I have done three of the things on the list.

I got my nose pierced, which went well, and wasn’t nearly as bad as when it was pierced by someone else eighteen years previously, and nearly drown us both in my blood.  This time it didn’t bleed at all, so it just goes to show you that I put off getting it done after it closed up before for no good reason other than being scared.  Which is a handy revelation as it turns out, when I was on holiday four weeks in after piercing, I washed my face a bit vigorously, and the new stud came out and slipped down the plug hole. By the time I got back home the hole had closed up again, so although it came off the list, it has now gone back on, and as soon as lockdown is over I will be making an appointment with the man who did it last time.

Eden and big dog

I am a very pleased and proud dog mummy to say that myself and big dog achieved both the Kennel Club Good Citizens Bronze award and the Kennel Club Good Citizens Silver award, yay big dog and many thanks to Claire and David of Homeward Hounds, seriously amazing trainers, at least 50% of their work is aimed at the human part of the team) http:/www.homewardhounds.co.uk/

I managed to crochet about a third of a baby cardigan, but then got stuck as the pattern was just gobbled gook for my Dyslexic brain.  If I can get someone to sit and translate it for me I may well have gotten finished and Emilee would have had a lovely little cardy for her first birthday, otherwise it will get done at some point just not for Emilee.

Other than that there is still no door on the greenhouse, although I rigged up an old shower curtain over the winter, lucky it is unheated anyway. You all know that I didn’t manage to maintain a regular blogging schedule.  Hopefully I am back on track with that now… 

Going over it, I am really surprised that there wasn't anything work related on the list, as after my family work means so much to me, but maybe that was the point I was trying to make to myself, to think outside of my work goals, I guess that was where my brain was at last year.  And my work goal list is pretty much never ending especially now I have started out of your head and onto the page…..

TTFN Eden :-)

Resting after overwhelm

Not going to lie, the first five weeks of lockdown have been a well deserved rest for me after a February full of overwhelm, I won't forget (losing my mum just as I was finishing my second book 'Laughing at Myself').  The whole of March was spent just taking each day as it came, and doing lots of not a great deal, meaning that April has started with a boost of energy I had enough energy to go through my house like a 'dose of salts' (not exactly sure what this is, but suspect it is some sort of old purging medicine, for ahem clearing the bowels.  Although I don't know this for sure).

So the bathroom has been decorated, as has the kitchen, the garden fence, shed and outside furniture have all been given a coat of weather protection (only five years late in the case of the fence).  The greenhouse was cleaned inside and out, and old broken pots sorted and put to one side.  Some trellis was mended, plants that were in the wrong place, were moved to the right place, the shed was cleared out, and we discovered that most of the stuff we had been storing was rubbish.  The pile of recipes I cut from magazines over the last 17 years finally made it into a ring binder.  My craft boxes were sorted into actual crafts so that if I want more cadmium yellow acrylic paint, or a cross stitch bookmark kit, then I will know where to find them (for a change).

I have really enjoyed getting some things done, after weeks after just sitting or lolopping around.  But, like virtually everyone else I have no idea what day of the week it is, or the date (although I am quite shaky on dates anyway).  Reading this you now get why I get overwhelmed, when I have the energy I am a little dynamo, and then poop, it's time to power down.  My overall plan for a brighter and healthy Eden is to use this time to get up to date with all those things that were hanging around on the to do list - check, take time to rest - check, and look really carefully at how I am going to manage my work life moving forward; and yes that probably, (defiantly) means I get to make a new spreadsheet *sigh*

Keep well everyone, and remember what I said yesterday, only do what you can do;  and now, it's very definitely time for me to have another rest.

TTFN Eden :-)

New subscribers gift

I mentioned it on Facebook etc, but it is always worth reminding people here on my very own blog.

All new subscribers to my blog by the end of Sunday 19th April will be given one of the all new and sparkly stories from my new book Laughing at Myself, which isn't even out yet.

And it comes with an added little surprise

TTFN Eden :-)

Cheeky preview

Just because, here's another little cheeky preview from my second book Laughing at Myself

On the day I booked in my regular hairdresser was away, but I wasn’t worried, these ladies were all professionals, I sat in the chair, took off my spectacles, and settled into a very soft focus world. Three hours later I put my glasses back on to find I had the tightest perm that anyone has ever had, reducing my hair to about a half an inch fuzz all over my head, it was also dried out and crunchy to the touch, two qualities that hair should never really have.

It couldn’t have looked more ridiculous if I were wearing a joke wig, in shock I paid, stumbled home and was greeted with my mum’s tactful “what the f**k have you done to your hair?”. This surprisingly did not help me to feel better about my hair monstrosity, and I phoned the shop to complain.

“It just needs a deep condition”, said the lady who wasn’t my hairdresser, “perms can be ‘a bit drying”. She suggested a wax conditioner, (which I attempted to buy in several shops without success, deciding it must be the hairdressers equivalent of tartan paint). I suggested coming in to see the manager. The next day I went into the manager who said she thought it looked really ‘nice’ funny then that she didn’t have the same hairstyle herself then wasn’t it.

They didn’t offer to do anything, even when after explaining I had asked the ladies to do a light body perm, and they had told the trainee which rollers to use (the smallest rollers invented, the sort that would make pencil look on the flabby side).

At the point when I was almost immune to people’s sideways looks of horror at work, in shops, cafes, and on the bus frizz ease was invented, and although it took two hours to apply and blow dry straight, it turned my hair from crunchy poodle, to Lego helmet hair. Which at least gave me another option.

Let me know what you think

TTFN Eden :-)

Apologises to you –

Hi all, many apologises, I know it's been so quiet you could hear a pin drop around here lately.  Straight after Christmas I was working hard on getting my second book Laughing at Myself through the editing and publishing process (more about that later).

Personally it's been a really tricky time, as my Mum died very suddenly at 5am on 9th February, after falling ill on 5th February.  I cannot go into too many details just now, but will be sharing my experience when the dust settles a little.

How I have kept going I don't know, luckily I have inherited my Dad's ability to compartmentalise, and my Mum's ability to say 'b******s to it' when things get too much.

With the support of my lovely editor Ruth Howard, my very patient IT expert Abbie Akinfenwa and my very supportive husband, Laughing at Myself the eBook is almost out now.  It still has about six weeks to got through global distribution protocols, but it can be ordered direct from my publisher.

TTFN Eden :-)

Sneak peak

Here's a sneak peek of Catarracts Toilet from my second Laughing at Myself, which is (I promise) on it's way...

Being the fabulous daughter in law that I obviously am, what else would I do when mum in law needed to get to a check-up before her cataracts operation but offer to drive her to the hospital? she was having her first check up with a specialist to see whether her cataracts were ‘ripe enough’ to operate on (I think this expression is gross, but it is the real one, so there we go). We arrived with plenty of time to spare before the appointment so that she had time to ‘settle in’, which translates into had time to take her coat off, pop to the toilet and then chat in the waiting room for a bit. The chatting part is very important, although her husband is still around, she tells me that after 46 years you really are in need of some fresh conversation.

If you want to hear the rest of the story I'll be reading it for you very soon :-)

TTFN Eden :-)