Author Journal 24th – 30th June 2021

Better late than never. Having wrestled with the site after changing plans and dealing with backend editor issues, I can post my journal for last week. Here’s the original entry:

It’s been another good week workwise—a wee bit exhausting on the physical front (see Jez’s post on our latest bike ride)—and I couldn’t be happier with the progress.

Review 17th to 23rd June 2021

My Writing Goals for Last Week

How Did It Go?

As you can probably guess, I achieved my goals. Woohoo! 🥳

Last week I predicted that AS 40 would be a complex and time-consuming beast. AS 40 is a seven-item tracking agenda, and I was dealing with the final item: time, seasons, timing, etc.

The Beast

The reason it was such a beast comes down to me. The information I was tracking was fascinating and lead me down a bottomless and twisty rabbit hole. You see, 99% of my story is set in Marseille, France, and the other 1% takes place in Glasgow, Scotland.

For the Glasgow stuff, I’m set, and if needs be, I can just jump on Kali (my bike) and cycle into the city. Marseille, on the other hand, is a might more difficult.

Rabbit Holes

You see, I’ve never been to Marseille. And that’s where the fun and games began. I needed to do enough research to layer in just enough detail to give readers a taste of the area.

Knowing that I have a rabbit hole problem (Pinterest et al.), I decided to lean on my meteorological training from the navy. A basic climate brief (a guide to weather, politics, people, and culture of an area) would be plenty to get me going. But, alas, the “basic” turned into an epic Street View and YouTube fest.

It was an innocent enough search. The weather I wanted for the story isn’t typical in spring there, so I moved everything to June. Then I checked for any local public holidays that could impact the timeline, and that’s when it happened. That’s when I got sucked into checking other months—for no reason at all. That’s when I struck story gold!

Story Gold

I found Quatorze Juillet or Bastille Day in English speaking countries. An idea struck me. The climax of any story is meant to be huge, and that includes a dramatic setting.

The celebrations for the 14th in Marseille block off streets for a massive military and police parade. The streets in question are vital to the story and will cause absolute chaos for Adam (hero) and his team.

And, there’s an insane fireworks display (4500kgs of pyrotechnics for 11500 fireworks) at night over the Old Port that will be the perfect backdrop to a particular scene—nope, not telling. As you can probably guess, that all lead to YouTube.

The Apple Maps and Google Street View rabbit hole was the worst. It started when I looked at apartments, safe houses, boatyards, and commercial properties for my cast. And then mapping out their routes to work etc. I don’t even want to think of how much time was spent on that.

This Week’s Goal

  • Complete Editorial Pass #7 (of 7): Odds and Ends (Sparkling Story Drafts) for Working The Asset.
    • AS 41b


ThursdayAS 41b
FridayAS 41b and Blog post
SaturdayAS 41b
SundayAS 41b
MondayAS 41b
TuesdayDay off–bike ride
WednesdayDay off–bike ride

Have you ever been to Marseille? Do you have any anecdotes of time in France? If you do, just drop them in the comments section.

Until next time, thanks for stopping by, and take care.


Author: Susan T. Braithwaite

Royal Navy veteran from Scotland. My journey into writing started with a screenwriting certificate program at UCLA Ext. Since then, I've worked as a freelance content writer, erotica author, proofreader, professional beta reader, and content editor. I'm now working hard on my dream writing career: romantic suspense author. When I'm not writing, I can be found drinking too much coffee, obsessing over yarn, and planning world domination with my husband,, and our squirrel army.​

13 thoughts on “Author Journal 24th – 30th June 2021

  1. Good work, Sweetie 👏 Impressed with what you got done 😃

    1. Thank you! 😍

  2. Chris Hall says:

    Great progress, Susan! Very much looking forward to visiting Marseille in your book – I love the south of France. I’ve not been to Marseille for years, but I remember one strange thing very clearly. There was a man in the town centre one evening and he was juggling cats! I kid you not. When I say juggling, he was moving 4 or 5 cats (yes, they were alive) from hand to head to shoulders to an upturned foot. Crazy! It was before the days of camera phones so I doubt I have a pic. Mind those rabbit holes now… 🙂

    1. I can’t stop laughing about the cats. That must have been so fun to see. Your description was brilliant, I can see it so clearly in my head. They must have enjoyed being tossed about in the air–our cats (now gone) would have loved it.
      Thanks for sharing your experience of Marseille, it goes with the vibes I was getting while I was rabbit-holeing.

      1. Chris Hall says:

        Luna would rip my arm off!

      2. Hmm, probably not a good idea to try it. Unless you like living dangerously.

  3. Cheri: @SusanB I love how organized and intentional you are. via

  4. bushboy says:

    Well done Susan. I’ve been to Marseille. The waterfront is the action place. Some street that can lead to the railway station can be seedy. 😀

    1. Thanks, Brian! And thanks for your input! So, when you say seedy, do you mean it’s a bit dodgy (dingy bars/crime/sex trade) or a bit rundown? Or both? I’ve got my fingers crossed for dodgy! 😄

      1. bushboy says:

        A few people who are there are a bit suss and it’s not overly clean in places. The streets we walked down were mainly full of men and didn’t see any women. It was a Muslim area I think Nothing happened that we were made feel uncomfortable as there was a lot of people walking about.
        The harbour is quite picturesque with the boats in the marina and harbour front.

      2. Thanks for the follow up, Brian. That’s really great information and definitely something I can use to give a better, more realistic, flavour to outdoor scenes in the area. 🤩

      3. bushboy says:

        You’re welcome Susan 🙂 🙂

  5. SusanB: @Cheri Thanks. I try, but honestly, somedays it feels more like organized chaos. 😜 via

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