Sunday, 30 December 2007

New Year and all that

With the New Year just around the corner I guess thoughts turn to plans for the future. I know mine certainly do. Along with all the usual stuff (lose weight, excercise more, be kind to people you can't stand) there are things that I hope to do with my writing. In the past I have been pretty non specific about exactly what. It amounted to "I want to be a writer." But my writing has come on so much in the last year and now I need to be more focused. Or I should probably say that I want to be more focused. In 2007 I had my best year ever in terms of success and although that success is incredibly modest when compared to most people's it was my success and I am proud of it. So what if I only had 6 pieces published in 2007. That's 5 more than in 2006 which was 1 more than any year before that. I submitted 47 pieces of work so 12.7% of them were successful. So okay it's not great but it's a start. The first step.

So in 2008 I aim to
  1. Submit a bare minimum of 5 pieces of work a month. - That would take me to 60 which would represent an increase on 2007's output of 27.6% which any company would be happy with.
  2. Work on the WIP folder regularly. There are some ideas in there that just need developing.
  3. Finish the first draft of NMBK. It's been left alone for a while while the other stuff has been going on and I don't need to but would like to get back to it.
  4. Make a contract with myself to work a minimum number of hours each week on writing. Twelve and a half would take my working week up to 50 hours. That should be achievable especially if I can get a few hours in on Sundays.
  5. Continue to enjoy writing. Afterall, if the big break doesn't come in 2008 I've still got the day job to fall back on.

So there you have it. In a nutshell they are my New Years writing resoloutions.

Happy New Year everyone!!

Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Merry Christmas

Just wanted to stop by and wish everyone a Merry Christmas. Enjoy your day doing whatever it is that you do with hopefully people that you love. That's what I'll be doing.
Lots of love
Gonna B

Sunday, 23 December 2007

Santa's on his way

With just 2 more days until Christmas the day job shows no sign of slowing down - at least until 4pm tomorrow. At least the good thing about this time of year is that the public are generally in a good mood, or at least most of the time. However it also means that there's lots of work to do. In fact, I'll be working today and I have to tell you that doing the day job on Sundays is one of my pet hates. The only saving grace is that I work for a charity which does sweeten the pill slightly.
Anyway, my writing week. There wasn't a lot of it to be honest. I looked at a couple of stories from my WIP folder and even tweaked a bit but nothing substantial. I came up with an idea for a short story, or at least a title which I wrote down and shoved in the pocket of my jacket. Must retrieve.
I also finished something this week. I finished the first draft of the project that I've called Topsy. It was such an achievement because it means so much to me personally. Writing it helped me through such a difficult time. I don't think that I will try to get it published in the big wide worldbut I do intend to work it to the end and turn it into some sort of "book" just for me. Not everything I or any of us write has to be for profit or mass publication. Sometimes we need to do stuff just for us. This was/is one of those things.
As I sit here in my living room with my laptop on my knee and the Christmas tree a few feet away with presents under it I feel calm and to be honest a bit warm and fuzzy inside. When I was little I used to dream of writing something that was published and wanted to see my name in print more than anything else. I have achieved that now but the feeling is still there only now the goalposts have moved. Now, I want to see my name in print MORE OFTEN.
Anyway, that's about it really. I'm going to have a cup of coffee and walk the dog before I go to work. Or it would probably be more accurate to say that Himself will walk the dog while I follow him round dropping Christmas cards off at the neighbours' houses. Then after work it's going to be a long hot bath and then cook a ham. Tomorrow won't be so bad because I'll be working with a dear friend and we plan on playing the Chipmunks version of Jingle Bells for the last hour . If you've never heard this particular rendition of this festive classic you should because it is hysterical and the first thing I'll do at work this morning is play it a couple of times. Then on Tuesday I'm going to have a day with my menfolk and the dog and reflect on how blessed I am to be loved by some fab men. What more could a girl want for Christmas?
Hope yours is all you want it to be.

Sunday, 16 December 2007

This blog and other stuff

as you may know I have been thinking in the past couple of weeks about my writing and where its going etc. I was also thinking about this blog. I love making entries here because it's like catching up with an old friend. But sometimes it'll be Friday night and I'll realise that I haven't visited here all week. Sometimes it's because I've been too busy doing other stuff but other times it's because I've not had anything to say.
Sunday is a day when generally I have the time to blog and so I have decided that each Sunday I will tell you about my week. I know that it works for some people so I'm going to give it a go.
So let me tell you about my week.
As I mentioned the other day I sold a story this week which is always good. Yesterday I received my contributers copy of TL Fast Fiction (Summer Special) I always feel a bit odd seeing my name in print. Maybe I just haven't gotten used to it yet. Ginny Swart had a couple of stories in there and I also saw one from Sue Houghton so I'm in good company.
I'm still editing my Topsy project but that is therapy more than anything else. It doesn't seem like a real writing project any more.
That's my writing week in a nutshell. Not really a lot but it's been that kind of week.

w/c 16/12/2007 This week I'll..

nothing. Or at least to commit to nothing. In case you hadn't noticed it's Christmas in 9 days. It's the busiest time of the year in my day job and I'm working every hour God sends and then on top of that I haven't bought Himself a present yet. I've no doubt that I will do some writing but I'm not sure what.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

A second job

I have been thinking about what I want from my writing next year and trying to work out how I am going to achieve that. I have decided that I need to take on another job and that job is freelance writer. I have discovered recently how much can be achieved when someone puts their mind to it so if I'm serious about writing I need to make a serious commitment to it. What I need to do now is work out the minimum amount of time that I can commit to writing and contract myself to that time.
I hope that there'll be plenty of over time available.

Twice as nice

I sold another story today which is always a good thing to do. It was one that I wrote couple of months ago when I was writing as a distraction so it has now paid off twice. First there was the distraction value and then the hard cash that I'll be paid for it. Can't be bad.

Monday, 10 December 2007


I found these questions on DJ Kirby's blog and thought I'd give it a go. I'd be really interested to know your answers

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?

2. Real tree or artificial?
Both The main tree is artificial but we rescued a small real tree a couple of years ago. It’s rooted so has lasted a couple of years but if I’m honest it does look a bit ill this year.

3. When do you put up the tree?
Usually around 10th December

4. When do you take the tree down?
As soon after New Years Day as I can get away with.

5. Do you like eggnog?
Never had it

6. Favorite gift received as a child?
A doll with hair that grew, unfortunately I can’t remember what it was called

7. Do you have a Nativity scene?

8. Hardest person to buy for?
The mother-in-law

9. Easiest person to buy for?
My other half is pretty easy to buy for. We’ve been together a long time

10. Worst Christmas Gift you ever received?
A jumper bought by someone who shall remain nameless. It was polyester and powder blue, need I say more?

11. Mail or email Christmas cards?

12. Favorite Christmas Movie?

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
Around October

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?The whole roast turkey dinner. It comes as a package so you can’t pick out a single thing. It’s just all yummy.

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree?
Clear at the moment but there have been coloured

17. Favorite Christmas song?
Silent Night

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer?

20. Angel on the tree top or a star?

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
Morning. Himself and I open our stockings in bed and then we open the rest as a family after we’ve walked the dog.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year?
The greed and commercialism

Sunday, 9 December 2007

w/c 09/12/2007 This week I will...

  1. Evaluate what it is that I want from my writing and start to form a plan.
  2. Finish the first draft of Topsy.
  3. Continue to edit Topsy.

I'm still here

Like I said last Sunday, the week that we have just had was going to be a huge week for me away from writing. As a consequence of that I haven't thought about writing much (other than the short story that I subbed by email). But I am here, I am alive and I am well. A cloud that has been hanging over me for the last few months or so has lifted at least temporarily and at this moment life is good.

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Setting goals

I've given some thought this week to what I want from my writing in 2008. I've come up with a couple of things but one of the things I have to be realistic about the amount of time that I will be able to give to writing. Unless I win the lottery sometime soon or get a call from an editor who thinks that they made a mistake by turning down my novel I'll be earning my living from a full time job. That has to come first of course (unfortunately.) Then there are my family commitments.
I don't want you to think that I'm making excuses already because honestly I'm not. I'm trying to be realistic so that I don't set myself unachievable goals. There would be nothing more disheartening fo rme as a writer if I felt like a failure because I'd set my goals to low. On the other hand though I don't want to set them too low either.
I think I need to give it more thought.
Watch this space.

w/c 02/12/2007 This week I will

  1. Continue to edit Topsy (it's very slow progress)
  2. Develop another idea from the WIP

Won't commit myself to too much this week as I have a couple of big days pewrsonally this week. On these days especially Wednesday I don't see me doing any writing at all.

Just to add one more thing, I'm going to try and come up with an ending to the story that I worked on from the WIP folder last week.