Thursday, 29 November 2007

Will hopefully hear in March

I submitted another story to Thats Life (Australia) today. Hopefully I won't hear anything (apart from the acknowledgement that Mary sends out) before March. Anything less than that and it will probably be a rejection. I've not subbed much recently so this is another step in the right direction.

Something to ask Santa for

I was just working on my Topsy project which hopefully will be finished in a week or so (fingers crossed.) I was doing actual writing rather than editing and as I've said before, my preferred method for a first draft is with a pen on paper. I was looking at the words as they formed or rather the shapes of the words and I have to say that today I liked my handwriting. Unfortunately that's not always the case, sometimes I think that its scrawl. But today it was really rather pretty. It must be down to the pen I was using. It wasn't mine though, it was one that I borrowed. Maybe I'll have to ask Santa to bring me my own.

The Right Title

I had a story published recently called "What's in a Name?" and when it comes to short stories, the answer is probably a lot.
Finding the right title for a story is a constant challange for me. Afterall the first part of your story that an editor sees is the title and they have to be grabbed by it. The last thing that I want for my story is a bland title. If you see a dull title. If they see dull title they might assume dull story.
The title isn't everything but it is plenty. I have had previously rejected stories accepted and the only thing that I have changed is the title. I guess that speaks for itself.
sally had an entry on her blog about this the other day so if you haven't already seen it pop over there.

Sunday, 25 November 2007

What happened next?

I chose something from my WIP folder to work on. It's a short story written on the back of some A4 sheets of paper that had sales figures on the back. So clearly I had got this idea when I was at work and grabbed whatever I could to write it on, probably during my lunch break. But that break must have ended too soon because the story is almost finished. Unfortunately it stops mid sentence. I guess the phone must have rung or something and I never got back to it. As first drafts go it's not bad, but what on earth happened next? I don't know how I meant to finish this story. I've just typed it up, trying to get a feel for it again, hoping that the ending would come to me. sadly it didn't. I'll be going to work tomorrow, maybe it will come to me there.

Pitching again

I sent a letter to a publisher trying to sell myself and my novel to them. It's a new approach because for me I thought that if I could get a publisher to agree to look at it, my mss might not sit on the slush pile quite so long.
I'll let you know what happens.

Thank you...

to everyone who visits this blog. When I first started it I didn't imagine that anyone would. I don't know what brings you here but I hope that you like what you find. You are very welcome here - and if any of you would like to get a duster out and tidy up a bit please feel free.

w/c 25/11/2007 This week I will...

  1. Continue to edit Topsy.
  2. Develop at least one piece from my WIP folder which is now bulging thanks to my clearing out the top drawer of my desk.
  3. Think about what I want from 2008 and plan how I'm going to get it.

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Old habits don't die

I always write the first draft of anything (apart from emails and this blog) with a pen on paper. I love the way that words form on the paper. I know it's probably a bit old fashioned but I don't see myself changing my habit. The second and any subsequent drafts are written/edited on my lap top but for a first draft it has to be a good old fashioned pen on paper. Sometimes I even like my handwriting - but not often.
The reason I mention this is that I was clearing out that top drawer at last and I came across a zillion bits of paper with the first draft of lots of things written on them. I think I made sense of most of them and as a result my WIP folder is now bulging.
Best get on with it.

The elusive person

I'm going to pitch BTL at a publisher this afternoon. Like I said the other day all three agents that have seen it have said good things about it so I know that it has some merit. I believe in it and not just because it's my baby. I just have to find someone who believes in it as much as I do. I know that they're out there I just hope that I live long enough to find them.

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Targeting Markets

I've been working on non fiction projects more recently. I think that there are two reasons for this. Firstly I tend to write about whatever takes my fancy on any given day and sometimes that is something other than what goes on in the fantasy land that is my brain. And secondly the market is much greater. So if I want to earn a second or better still primary living from writing I have to target that greater market as well. I've only had a couple of successes in the past in non fiction but there was a time when that was all I'd had in fiction. We all have to start somewhere and if you're at the bottom of a ladder there is only one way to go. I don't expect and don't aim to be a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist but it would be nice to be able to see a few bits in print. When I setting myself targets for 2008 (is it really only 6 weeks til Christmas?) I'm going to have a non fiction section for the first time.

w/c 18/11/2007. This week I will...

  1. Continue to edit Topsy.
  2. Work on another non fiction idea that I had yesterday when I was at work.
  3. Clear at least the top drawer of what I euphamistically call my writing desk

Monday, 12 November 2007

Free verse - poetry or not?

You may or may not have noticed the verses that appear on my blog. I am reluctant to call them poetry and don't pretend that they are because I'm afraid I can't get away from the theory that poetry should rhyme. It's probably a generation thing. I read a lot (or see the articles at least) in writing magazines about free verse and it confuses me. Isn't free verse just a series of thoughts written on seperate lines rather than just a normal sentence? That's the way I see the stuff I write anyway. But maybe that's just me.
I'm not saying that its wrong - just that I don't understand it.

Sunday, 11 November 2007

A crumb of comfort and rave refusals

Remember I said that if I didn't hear from the Australian agency about my book by Thursday tea-time (their time) that meant that they weren't interested in it? Well, like I said I didn't hear from them so that was a bit (lot) disappointing. I did however get this email from the agent on Friday.

"Thanks for your submission.
Though your writing shows many strengths, I wasn't quite captivated enough by the material you sent to proceed any further.
Very best
L T" (she obviously wrote her name but I don't know if I'm allowed to put it on here.)

Okay do I know it's not much but I'm taking some comfort from the fact that she took time out of her day to send me a message.

Sadly she is the third agent who has had at least one good thing to say about my book but didn't feel that they could take iy any further. Relatively speaking, my rejections have been great.

w/c 11/11/2007 This week I will...

No "Last week I ..." entry because it has just occurred to me that I write everything I have done on here anyway so I would just be repeating myself and run the risk of being boring (me boring? Perish the thought!.) So from now on, or at least for this week because by next week I may have forgotten, there will only be what I plan to do this week. And that is as follows:
  1. Start to edit the Topsy project.
  2. Edit and prepare to submit the non fiction piece that I wrote yesterday ( okay I just realised that I didn't mention doing that before.)

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Mixed day

Bad news from Australia, or rather no news which amounts to the same thing. They said that if I hadn't heard from them by Thursday tea time they wouldn't be taking the matter any further. As they were sitting down to tea in Melbourne while I was asleep and there was no email waiting for me this morning I'm guessing that'll be a no. C'est la vie, it's all part of a writers life. However I have just heard from the publishers of the erotic stories that I have written in the past (or rather the one's Roxie wrote) that they are going to be available on audio download. So I will get paid twice. Hoorah!!! If there's one thing better than getting paid once, it's getting paid twice.
I was thinking about what I wrote here yesterday and I thought it was a little depressing. However when I thought about it I realised that I am experiencing things and feeling emotions that I never knew existed so at least when it's all over I'll have lots of new things to write about.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Better things to come?

The ugliness that I've been mentioning for the past few weeks (or is it months?) is at it's ugliest. And let me tell you it is way uglier than I thought life could be. When my life is pretty again maybe I'll explain more. I've been happy with the amount of writing I've produced over the past few weeks but I fear I won't be able to say the same this week. Thank goodness I had a good Sunday.
Last night I dreamt I was looking in a mirror and I liked what I saw (not generally the case when I'm awake.) I'm choosing to take it as a sign that there are better things around the corner.

Sunday, 4 November 2007

Thank God for Sunday

I did about an hour and a half of writing this morning and I've just done the same now. But today is Sunday so I had the time to do that, fitting it around making lunch, washing up etc. But the rest of the week I work 9 - 5.30 so by the time I get home and do the stuff that I need to do there's not a lot of time left for writing and that's assuming that I have the energy. My dream of getting the big break may be some way off given the amount of time that I can give it each week.
It's times like this when I wish that I had spent more time writing when I didn't work. But the kids were little then and they were my priority.
But then, I guess nobody said it would be easy.

Unopened emails

True to my word, I haven't checked my emails before I wrote this (blogging doesn't count does it? No it can't today because setting out my plans for the week here is part of my writing regime.) It was relatively easy though because the chances of THAT email arriving between the hours of 5.40 on a Saturday evening and 6.20 on Sunday morning have to be remote. But hang on a minute, it's been day time in Australia while I was asleep. You can rest assurred That if there is anything of significance in my mailbox you will hear about it later.

w/c 03/11/2007 Next week I will....

focus on the following 2 things.
  1. Getting the Topsy story to it's present completion point. It will go further but only after more reserach which can't be done for a few weeks.
  2. Edit and type up Roxie's story.

w/c 28/10/2007 Last week I

  1. did way over 3000 words on Topsy.
  2. Sent BTL to Australia
  3. Submitted a total of 6 pieces out, one of which was accepted.
  4. Edited and typed a short story written ages ago.

I think that was it but I am happy with what I achieved last week as it was my most productive week in ages.

Friday, 2 November 2007

Easily distracted

Why is it that before I can start doing anything on my computer be it write, edit or anything not connected with writing (I mean literally anything) I check my email. Maybe it's because I'm hoping that there's going to be the email I'm waiting for to be there. From next week I'm going to try and get into the habit of doing what I switched the computer on for in the first place before I check messages. Maybe that way I'll do more work and less chatting/surfing/all the other distractions the internet offers because God knows I take precious little distracting. I don't know how well I'll manage because that email might be there but I'll give it a go.

Thursday, 1 November 2007

New approach a success

I've just emailed my book off to the Australian agency. I figured that there would be nothing lost in trying to pitch it down under. Nothing ventured - nothing gained as they say.
I'm feeling really good about the amount of actual writing that I have done this week rather than just thinking about it. (I think about it a lot.) My new approach to setting myself targets has definately worked for me. I guess that's what it's all about i.e. finding what works for you.