Sunday, 28 December 2008
The Chairman (the dog) has asked that I (the only person in the company that can type) "do something about it." (Please note the non specific nature of the Chairman's instruction so that if it doesn't happen he can deny all blame.)
The Chairman also asked if I had a theory on why the company had endured such a bad year and I told him that I felt that the reasons were threefold.
1. I didn't submit as much as I should have or hoped that I would.
2. What I did sub wasn't good enough.
3. I didn't write enough
Okay so that's the self pity over for another year and this is what really happened.
1. There were huge parts of 2008 when writing wasn't my number one priority. Okay, so as a year it wasn't as bad as the one before but it certainly had it's moments. So sometimes, writing and subbing were the last things on my mind.
2. I subbed some things to the wrong market at the wrong time or before they were ready.
3. Can't argue with number three - it's true.
After listening to my argument the Chairman nodded like the wise old sage that he is before knocking me to the floor and licking me ferociously for five minutes. That concluded the Board Meeting and we went for a walk to devise a plan to have a better year next year. Said plan will go before the Board at a later date.
Tuesday, 23 December 2008
I'll be spending mine with my menfolk all four of them which makes me very lucky and I am so looking forward to it.
Have a good one everyone but spare a thought for those out there that are having a hard time making their Christmas happen for them.
Monday, 22 December 2008
Thanks to Annie who gave me this writing cave dragon to take care of. I have called her Georgiana and discovered that she likes to sleep late and spend the afternoons playing with my dog. The two of them have become great friends.
Sunday, 14 December 2008
Okay, so I'm thinking that I'll plough on for now. I'm thinking that I should work my way through the entire book because it's been a while since it was finished and I'm interested to read on and see how I developed the idea. (This book was finished before the bad stuff that happened last year so was stuck in a metaphoric drawer for a long time.)
Yes that's what I'll do...decision made...maybe.
Thanks for listening. I knew that you'd help me see sense.
Thursday, 11 December 2008
I wanted to go back and read the article again so that I could clarify a few things but I can't find it and I can't remember who the author was so I can't look them up. Thinking about it they may well have been just referred to as "a freelance writer". Anyway couldn't find it - what a shocker!
Then I thought that maybe the whole December thing had just been said for effect because as a freelancer their income is not guaranteed so they must make loads in the other 11 months.
I wanted to submit so I did and I wanted to tell you so I have.
Now I'm off to make fish pie (insight into my domesticity.)
Tuesday, 9 December 2008
I while I still maintain that Jill writes great rejection emails, she writes even better acceptance ones.
Yes, you've understood me correctly. I've sold a story. It seems like ages since I was able to say that (I'd need to check my WW file to give you the exact length of time but it's been too long.)
I could barely keep the smile off my face all afternoon. And there's nothing like a bit of success for spurring you on.
Monday, 8 December 2008
Sunday, 7 December 2008
Of them there's one non fiction that I think I can forget about. It's with a magazine that is notoriously long at getting back to you and they have had it just over a year. I'd forgotten about it anyway so maybe I shouldn't count that. I only noticed it because I scrolled too far.
Then there's the story that has been with someone for 8 months. They asked that I give them 6 months so I have queried that one this morning.
There's one that People's Friend have had since May, another with Best since August and one with The Weekly News since later in August.
That leaves two with the magazine that rejected a story I sent them in November. They have had the two that they still have since October. I also have one fiction and one non fiction with editors I have never worked with before and they have had these particular works of genius (I am laughing you realise) since November.
There are also a couple of stories with a foreign editor who I have been warned never gets back to you sometimes not even when they want your story. I didn't know that when I submitted and I won't submit to them again so maybe I should just forget about those and out them down to experience.
So that, in a nutshell is my WW file. It is small but it is mine and just like my bank balance I will try and improve it in the coming months.
Sunday, 30 November 2008
1. Work on my Topsy project
2. Develop an idea from my work in progress folder.
3. Come up with an ending to a half written story that I had come across.
One year on I can report that:
1. The Topsy project still isn't completed.
2. My WIP folder grows bigger by the day.
3. That story still doesn't have an ending.
Wasn't a very good week writing wise was it. Personally it was terrific and that's what really matters.
I think that this wa sthe week when my attitude to writing and what it actually means to me changed.
Friday, 28 November 2008
Thursday, 27 November 2008
The lovely Annie gave me this Marie Antionette award last week for which I am very grateful. I'm supposed to name 7 people that I want to forward this on to and add a link to their page. I have to tell you though that I haven't a clue where to start with the adding a link thing. But I was so pleased to get it that I had to put it here. Sorry for breaking the rules Annie.
Also if I could add a link I would struggle to find 7 blogs that I read on a regular basis that haven't been nominated already. I think that I could come up with 3 and they would be
I would love it if someone could give me an idiots guide to adding a link.
Sunday, 23 November 2008
I'm trying to remember what I've written since the last time I blogged and I've not completed anything new although I've pottered a bit with a couple of new ideas and I've submitted two short stories and an article. That's not so bad.
Himself and I went Christmas shopping on Thursday and got almost everything apart from each others which was very satisfying. I can't bear Christmas shopping. Well not so much the shopping as the queues.
I have my customary couple of hours free today (Sunday) for writing but before I get to that I have something else to work on. My good friend J (I won't mention her full name - you know, privacy and all that) has asked me to produce a piece of art for an exhibition that she is in charge of. It's all to do with "peace" and "lines of communication" and I have to say that I'm quite excited by it. It's still creative but totally different from what I would normally do. I will point out to you all though that I am not a visual artist in any way, shape or form. J knows this and still wants me to do it.
I'll try not to leave it so long next time.
Thursday, 13 November 2008
I just wanted to say here, publicly on my blog that I am really happy for you calistro and your success gives hope to the rest of us. It really can happen if we work at it.
For those of you that aren't familiar with calistro's blog follow the writing about writing link.
I'm now off to check the other places that I haven't bee to in a while. Who knows what's been going on.
Here is my conundrum.
My book has passed it's second draft phase and is now being edited/polished etc. You may remember that following the advice given to me by my friend after she had read the first few chapters I decided to make a few changes.
My editing process is basically going through the whole thing from the start and correcting typo's, continuity errors or whatever as I go along and making changes to the storyline. The problem is that I find that I'm constantly going back over what I did, changing it.I think that I am striving for perfection too much which is very odd because I never do that in any other walk of life.
So, what I would be interested in is how you go around the editing process, especially of longer pieces of writing and how do you stop yourself becoming neurotic?
Wednesday, 12 November 2008
PS Just out of interest where should that last full stop go? Should it in inside or after the bracket?
Sunday, 9 November 2008
I should point out that I have no idea what I am going to write now. I just know that I wanted to blog about this but haven't really thought about it. Regular visitors may know that once it's written on here I don't change it because in normal conversation you can't unsay (possibly not a word) something that you have said. So here goes.
I've been writing semi seriously for just under 2 years. By semi seriously I mean that I have a day job that takes up the bulk of my day, a family that take up another chunk and writing gets fitted in half an hour here and there. I don't have the success rate that some of the people writing the blogs that I read have. Maybe that's because they commit more time and effort to their writing or maybe they're just better than me. Either way I don't begrudge them their success.
In my two years of writing I've been published probably a dozen or so times. I haven't actually counted it but it will be somewhere around there and almost all of those hits came in the first year. 2008 hasn't been a tremendous success for me but maybe that's because my priorities changed at the end of 2007 when I realised that in the grand scheme of things being a successful writer wasn't the most important thing to me. But it must still be important to me or I wouldn't still be doing it. I could write for pleasure and tuck it away in a drawer if that was the only reason I did it. But I don't. I still submit things even if it is on a not too regular basis so I must still want the recognition that someone likes what I have created. And if that is the case, am I trying hard enough? The honest answer to that one is probably not but like I said before it's hard to give something all your attention when you know that at the end of the day it doesn't matter. Maybe if I depended on the money I earn from writing to pay the gas bill I would give it more time. But then, if I depended on it to pay the gas bill I would be writing as a job so I could give it more time.
So I asked myself a few questions.
Q. Why do I write?
A. Primarily for pleasure.
Q. What is the other reason.
A. I get a buzz out of getting an acceptance.
Q. In an ideal world, how would your writing world work?
A. I'd still have a job because I actually like my job (and the regular income that comes with it) but I would find more time to write. I would have more hits than misses and earn the odd bob or two for the retirement fund.
Well that's as far as my thinking got because my mum rang and I was chatting to her and then got on with other stuff.
But basically I have accepted that my opportunities may be limited but I can make the best of them - if I really want to - and I do.
Maybe I need to remember what a former boss of mine who turned out to be a great mate used to say.
"Work smarter not harder." It used to annoy the hell out of me when he said that but he was right.
I have only a small amount of time that I can give over to writing so I need to make sure that I make the most of the time that I do have. That will include studying the market more which is something I know I don't do enough of.
So in conclusion to this very random blog I would say something that I have seen written on dozens of my school reports. "Must try harder."
It's a liitle surprising that I have 28 stories that could be worked on. I had no idea that it was so many.
This doesn't include the stories that are still in longhand form on various bits of paper or in notebooks.
I know that all of these stories probably won't get published. Some of them aren't very good at all as they are but might lead to something, some are okay but need a polish but some of them are ready for submission.
I need to sort them out into what catagory they fall in and decide what's to be done with them.
I know what I'll be working on today.
Thursday, 6 November 2008
I've only been submitting for two years so I don't have a lot of experience to base it on but I did wonder what those of you with more experience thought.
Tuesday, 4 November 2008
Monday, 3 November 2008
Sunday, 2 November 2008
Friday, 31 October 2008
Thursday, 30 October 2008
Well they weren't rejected straight away - it's been a couple of weeks. But they weren't accepted immediately either though they never have been before from this magazine. So I guess they're still in with a chance.
Sunday, 26 October 2008
I also wrote a short story yesterday. I haven't had much published in 2008 and what I've earned would hardly pay for a good night out but it's full steam ahead with 2009 in mind.
Thursday, 23 October 2008
Wednesday, 22 October 2008
Monday, 20 October 2008
I am happy to report that I feel like I have accomplished such a lot in the last couple of hours. I decided that I would carry on where I left off yesterday with my book and okay there may only be 300 or so extra words than there were yesterday but I have written a lot more given that I have chopped chunks out here and there. The plan for this morning was to make the relationship between my two central characters more interesting from the start and I hope that I've succeeded at least a little. I have decided that I need to get the reader to connect straight away with my central character and then see the secondary one through their eyes.
This afternoon I think I'm going to type up some of the short stories that I have written in long hand with a view to getting them submitted in the next week or so. And then I'm going to make a goulash. I know it's not writing but it's food and that's important too.
The only annoying thing is that apart from Sunday I'm not going to get chance to have a day like this for another two weeks and I've enjoyed it so much.
Sunday, 19 October 2008
I did manage to add 1000 words to the three chapters that I looked at. Not that more words mean a better story but I think in this case it is.
I'm also going to ask one of my dearest friends to have a look at it. And I can hear it already, some of you are saying that she will only say good things about it but I can assure you she won't. She is a commissioning editor for a major art company in America so she is used to being objective. i'll just ask her to put her "work" head on when she reads it. The three agents that I have sent it to have all said that the writing is good so I guess I need to make the story more interesting.
I'll let you know what my friend says though it may be a while before she gets back to me and also keep you abreast of how the re-write is going. maybe I should have one of those widgety things that calistro has to show how it's going.
Must go, the laptops about to run out of juice which must mean it's time for a cuppa.
I've got a few hours on my own now so I'm going to look at the opening chapters of my book with a view to looking at G through slightly less rose tinted glasses. I'm going to look at how he can be changed and what effect that would have on the dynamics of the book. You all know that I am actually in love with G so I don't want to change him but I'm going to try and be objective.
I di have other things that I want to do but this will do for starters. I'll let you know how I get on.
Thursday, 16 October 2008
1) Where is your cell phone? On the kitchen table.
2)Where is your significant other? Out with his mate.
3)Your hair color? Brown with grey highlights.
4)Your mother? In bed I expect.
5) Your father? With my mum
6) Your favorite thing? When I read this question I immediately thought "family" but I guess it has to be something that I own in which case it's a pair of earrings that Himself bought for me in Prague 2 years ago.
7) Your dream last night? I don't remember dreaming last night.
8) Your dream/goal? To be happy and healthy for as long as possible.
9) The room you're in? The living room.
10)Your hobby? Apart from writing, cooking.
11) Your fear? Going through again what I did last year.
12) Where do you want to be in 6 years? Retired from the day job.
13) Where were you last night? Exactly where I am now.
14) What you're not? A size 10
15) One of your wish-list items? A rocking chair.
16) Where you grew up? Yorkshire
17) The last thing you did? Had a bath
18) What are you wearing? Beige joggers and blue t-shirt.
19) Your TV? Silver. If you meant the make I have no idea.
20) Your pets? A staffie/boxer cross that we rescued in April. He is gorgeous.
21) Your computer? A Dell Latitude D600. That doesn't mean anything to me. I don't know if it's good bad or indifferent. It was a present from Himself.
22) Your mood? Content.
23) Missing someone? Not really but I do wish Himself was here.
24) Your car? A Ford Ka
25) Something you're not wearing? Anything on my feet.
26) Favorite store? I don't actually know what it's called I've never looked above the door but it's a tiny little shop run by an old Italian man and sells all sorts of yummy stuff. I was in there the other day and it's always a pleasure.
27) Your summer? Wet.
28) Love someone? Lots of people with Himself at the top of the list.
29) Your favorite color? Whenever I'm asked this question I always say red without hesitation. I don't know why because I don't have much that is red. I guess I'm just a red sort of girl. maybe it's the Aries in me.
30) When is the last time you laughed? Yesterday but I don't remeber why. I was on the phone with my friend and had to wipe tears away because I was laughing that much.
31) Last time you cried? I had a tear in my eye earlier tonight when I watched the news about the soldier who had been buried in this country 60 years after he was shot down over Germany. The last time I properly cried was the other day when I was watching a film and the dog died. I hate it when the dogs die.
I have to pass this on so I pass it on to anyone who hasn't done it.
Sunday, 12 October 2008
I have returned full of vim and pep and the urge to get on with writing projects. (If anyone knows what vim and pep is I'd love to know.)
Before my holiday I'd sent off a query email to a magazine that have had two of my stories since the beginning of the year, asking them if they were still under consideration. To my dismay when I checked my eamils yesterday there was one from them saying that neither story was in their system and would I submit them again. I did that but I fully expect to get a standard rejection email from them this week. I think that some sub editor forgot to do that before they deleted my stories. I'm not being defeatest about it just realistic.
Wednesday, 1 October 2008
Sunday, 28 September 2008
Oh I don't know.
maybe I'll make a cup of tea and read a book instead.
Friday, 26 September 2008
Wednesday, 24 September 2008
The response wasn't the one that I had been hoping for but she did say some good things about it. She said "You can obviously write well" (direct quote) and liked my main character. However she wasn't enamoured with the secondary character. She didn't say anything bad about him but she said that she didn't know if the public would be that interested in him. Sadly without him there is no story so he has to stay.
All the agents that I have sent it to have all said good things about my writing but none of them want to take the story on. The melodramatic part of me thinks of saying "maybe I should take the hint" and then wait for all you lovely people to say nice things to me to massage my bruised ego. And while I don't want to stop anyone from doing that if they want to I'm not ready to give up on it yet and I will be sending it again.
Sunday, 21 September 2008
It's hard to write at the moment. In two weeks time Himself and I are taking the special trip that we should have taken last year but had to cancel because of the dark cloud business and I've already got my holiday head on.
I am going to be unbearable for the next two weeks - especially at work but I know that they'll make allowances for me. They always do.
Thursday, 18 September 2008
I think I told you recently that I had put my second attempt at a novel in a drawer and had started working on novel number three which I am happy to report had started to take shape. Then one day last week I remembered novel number one which was also languishing in a drawer. BTL (novel number one) has been out to two agents and one publisher and all of them had good things to say about it . I realise it couldn't have been that good as non of them wanted to take it/me on but I grasp comfort wherever I can. Anyway, to get back to the point, I remembered BTL and the good things that had been said about it and I realised that without meaning to I had given up on it. It was like I had tucked it up in bed and forgotten to get it up in the morning. So even though she might be late for school I got her out of bed and sent her on her way.
I have sent a synopsis and some sample chapters out to an agent that was recommended to me so I'll be keeping my fingers crossed.
Sunday, 7 September 2008
Maybe I should change my name, it's clearly far too common.
Sunday, 31 August 2008
I ask this question in the hope that I can try and work out what makes an editor tick.
Thursday, 28 August 2008
I have started with a premise and I have known where I wanted to end up. I also have my central character. Then I start to write. Sometimes, especially in the second novel things develop in a way that I hadn't anticipated but when the pen was in my hand it just felt like the way it would be.
The odd thing is that when I'm at my day job things are planned with military precision and I have to be in control of any situation that I am responsible for. But then, I suppose when the pen is in my hand I am in charge in tat situation too.
My most recent efforts is at an early stage but i am trying something slightly different. Normally i would write in long hand and then type up in sections of 5000 words or so and edit as I go along. This time I plan on writing the whole thing in a first draft before starting to type it. Thats the plan at the minute though I just finished a passage last night that I've been writing for a while and have found quite difficult to do and I was tempted to put it to one side and start typing on more than one occasion. However that's done now and I can move on to the next part. However, and this goes back to the planning thing. When I first started writing the passage I didn't like the character that I was wrting about but last night when I put the last full stop in place I found that I sympathised with them and they really weren't hat bad. Thw whole book took a different direction.
So I don't know if working in a more structured way would work for me.
Sunday, 24 August 2008
I came back from taking the little fella for a walk almost an hour ago and decided to check my emails with a coffee before getting down to some writing in the spare time that I have this morning. Yet here I am, still logged on. It's Sunday morning for goodness sake. Who did I think was going to have emailed me since I checked them late yetsreday afternoon? My good friend Tuesday Moon might have as she lives in a different time zone but no-one else. Well nothing that I would want to read anyway.
Then once you're actually on the internet you might as well do a bit of surfing.
But can anyone explain to me why time seems to go faster when you're living in the virtual world of the internet? Why is it that what felt like 10 minutes was actually nearer 40?
I think that's a question for Captain Black. It's probably something to do with the vibes given off by computers.
However with that said I am going to spend the next hour and 40 minutes writing. I am turning the computer off now. Well I might just look at one more website first.
Thursday, 21 August 2008
Remember that I told you last week that I chased up on a story that had been with an editor since December? In my experience this magazine either reject a story within 10 days or accept it after 6-7 months. As they had had this particular story for almost 9 months I just queried the state of play. Bearing in mind the length of ime it had been with them I have to say that I was hopeful of a sale. However this morning, a week after my query I received an email saying no thanks so to speak. It was the standard curt email rejection that I have had several times before but like I say it has always been within 10 days before.
So my dilemma is, should it have been rejected before Christmas but the message either wasn't sent or didn't arrive or have I hacked off the editor by querying the story?
I do hope it's not the latter because she is sitting on two more of my stories.
Thursday, 14 August 2008
This week I've submitted two stories to magazines, entered one competition and chased up on a story that a magazine has had since December.
Said magazine has published three of my stories before and I'm used to them taking a long time to decide but they've never had one of my stories for eight months before. They've actually had two more stories for five and six months respectively but they bought my first story after seven months so I'm not chasing up on those two yet.
Even though it feels great to submit again and be full of expectation I am of course risking rejection but we won't dwell on that. We'll just keep our fingers crossed.
What a nightmare!!!
I go through the text looking for errors in spelling and grammar and correct them. I change the odd word or phrase. I'm on the look out for any inconsistencies. Then I go through the whole process again and I might change something else. God help me if I go through it a third time because I guarantee that I'll find something else to tinker with.
When do I stop???
I think that if you keep going over a piece of writing there is always something that can be changed. It's hard to know when you are fiddling with something just for the sake of it.
Sunday, 10 August 2008
I've had a lot of thinking/relaxing time over the past two weeks and I have spent some of that time thinking about my writing, why I write, what I want from it yada yada yada.
I thought about what I had written here in the last week and I asked myself "Do I want it enough?" Well I clearly think that wanting it more than life is a little excessive so maybe I don't. Maybe not wanting it enough will be my downfall.
But those of you that have been visiting for a while might remember the dark time that I went through last year. That darkness started a year ago yesterday so I have been thinking about it a lot. While I am happy to report that the world is bright again I think that remembering last year is what makes me feel the way I do about "wanting it more than life." There are so many more things that are more important than writing - for me anyway. If I was offerred the chance to be a best selling author OR some of the things that I know are really important I know which I am going with everytime.
So after accepting that I am unlikely to succeed in the best selling author stakes because I don't want it more than life , will I stop writing. DEFINATELY NOT. I enjoy writing, I enjoy seeing my name in print from time to time, and I certainly enjoy the odd payment that I receive. Nothing will stop me from doing that.
If there is anyone reading this who is likely to be asked to give advice on how to be a successful writer can I ask a favour? Please tell us something that will really help like, how to make our submissions stand out from the rest or how to impress an editor or ( and this is a problem for me) the mother thing. Is it M or m?
Anyway enough of this. Like they say in Russia - Moscow.
Friday, 8 August 2008
Anyway, just to follow on from what I posted last week.
I was reading a magazine earlier in the week which was published a few months ago. I found it and realised that I hadn't finished it. There were still a couple of stories to read. There was also an interview with an author who's books are regularly found on the shelves of all good book shops. Anyway they were asked what advice they would give to any would be writers and they said and I quote, "You've got to want it more than life itself."
OH COME ON!!!!
It's not the sentiment that I'm on about. Obviously we all want it, maybe not as much as life itself, but we do want it. But this is someone who earns their living from writing and I would have hoped that they could have come up with something less cliched.
Sunday, 3 August 2008
I haven't really written anything at all apart from an hour or so editing yesterday morning which I spent editing when everyone else was still in bed. The same thing this morning but instead of editing I thought I'd check out what was happening in blogland.
I thought that I'd have a muse while I was here.
I have often heard/read people say that they just "have" to write. At the risk of offending some people which is not my intention I would like to challenge that.
As a person you "have" to breathe, you "have " to eat, you "have" to sleep etc etc but you don't "have" to write. I know the point that they are trying to make but I just think that its a bit OTT.
I personally love to write and would love to earn a living doing so. I say earn a living not necessarily my living. Lots of best selling authors still have jobs that they do in the real world. And people that do write for their living don't just write and write all day, every day even though that is what I fear many would be bestselling authors aspire to.
No, as I said, I love to write and if my lottery numbers came up last night and I didn't have to go make to work a week tomorrow I would still write. I would have more time so I probably would write more but I wouldn't "have" to. I would be doing it then for the same reason that I do it now and that is because I enjoy it.
What brought all this on was something that I read recently where a woman said (I am paraphrasing here as I no longer have the article to refer to.)
"I just have to write every day, I couldn't live without it. It is as vital to my life as anything else in it." I actually wanted to shake this woman and tell her to get a life. Writing is great but living is better
She also went on to say that she was certain that her perseverance would pay off and that one day she would be a best selling author. She said that she would like nothing better than to sit at her desk and write all day long. Where would her new ideas come from? What would be her inspiration? How would she ever have clean clothes?
Sorry if I have offended anyone. Sorry if one of you recognises your words in what I paraphrased and feel that I've been unkind. I wouldn't hurt anyone's feelings for the world.
I just wanted to share my opinion on something with you all. It is of course only my opinion.
Must go - very busy day ahead.
1. Take coffee back to bed and read for an hour or so.
2. Walk the dog.
3. Eat breakfast.
4. Read for another hour or so.
5. Make lunch.
6. Eat lunch.
7. Have a nap.
8. Have a bath.
9. Share a bottle of wine with Himself.
Its all go!!!
Thursday, 31 July 2008
Tuesday, 22 July 2008
Friday, 18 July 2008
I also need to work out how to work smarter.
Sunday, 13 July 2008
Monday, 7 July 2008
It all started after I spent some time trying to come up with an idea for a short story. I hadn't managed to think of anything and I reflected on how good I am at short stories. I have had limited success in this field and last year only managed to sell 4 or 5 short stories. However I do have about half a dozen that have been with magazines for a long time so I am hopeful that I might sell at least one of those. I seem to struggle to come up with ideas and without that I'm stuck.
So I started think that maybe I should give up on that form of writing or at least not give myself such a hard time when I'm struggling to come up with an idea. Maybe I should stick to longer stuff.
You just watch, now that I've said that I'll have ideas popping into my head every few seconds.
Sunday, 6 July 2008
My first novel was finished about 4 years ago or maybe 3 I'm not sure. I sent it our to an agent or two but with no joy. Then an author of dozens of novels under 3 different names who clearly has more knowledge of this sort of thing pointed out that there would be a problem with the book that I won't bore you with. She was by the way completely right, I just hadn't seen it before. I thanked her for her advice and we agreed that I should concentrate on another book which I had just started and we thought would have better prospects. That book was finished a couple of years ago. That too has been sent out but still with no joy. Everyone I have sent it to has been very positive about the writing but say that they're just unsure of where they would place it. I still really like that book and hope to see it in print one day. Then I started my third book which was I thought an even better idea than the second one. But when the dark stuff was happening last year it got neglected and as yet I've still not found my way back into it. This week I started my fourth book and I think this is the strongest idea yet.
I'm only a few thousand words into the first draft but I do believe that this will be my best so far.
So as each one gets a bit better than the one before, presumably as I get more experience and learn the craft, how many do you reckon I will need to write before one is good enough to be accepted?
Just out of interest I'd love to know how many books you have written or on the go.
Monday, 30 June 2008
Thursday, 26 June 2008
Sunday, 22 June 2008
I thought I hadn't done much this week but on reflection its been okay. I've written a couple of articles, submitted a story and come up with a couple of ideas to be developed. That's not bad.
I was just thinking yesterday how great it would be to have a writing mentor. A bit like a driving instructor, someone to tell you what you are doing wrong until you get it right. It was just a random thought that I had and anyone who has been with me since the beginnning knows that once its written on here it stays on here.
Speaking of which, thanks to womag I looked up when I started this blog and it will be a year old on Thursday 26th June. I'm nearly one year old.
Sunday, 15 June 2008
Thursday, 12 June 2008
I have had three rejections (it might be four but I don't want any more misery so I'll stick to three if it's all the same to you.) On top of that I've discovered that I didn't win three competitions that I entered. So much rejection. AAARRRGGGHHHH!!!!
I know that you have to risk rejection to gain acceptance but does it all have to come in such a short space of time?
If this is not a cake afternoon I've never had one. Actually it's nothing like that at all. I don't feel the least but like heading to the cake tin. It's just one (or six) of those things and I've already put it behind me.
I know that one of these days I will make get more success with my writing and this is all part of the learning curve.
Monday, 9 June 2008
I was paid £50 today for a 2000 word story. Some might think that this is derisory but I was quite happy with it. First of all that might be because I knew what the fee would be before I submitted. Also, when I thought about it, it took me about three hours in total to write, edit and submit that story and as an hourly rate thats darned sight better than the day job pays.
Friday, 6 June 2008
Regular visitors will know that my Topsy project was started to get me through the worst time of my life last year which is hopefully behind me now. Writing generally but writing this in particular helped me get through. So if for no other reason, this project has been a huge success. When I recently decided to pitch the idea to publisher I wasn't sure why I did it but it did seem like the right thing to do and I was thrilled when they wanted to see more. They decided that they didn't want to persue it but I'm okay with that. I was in a bit of a panic that they would want to see the full manuscript because as I went through it again I realised that there was more work on it that I wanted to do.
So I'd just like to say thanks to Dan (the publisher) for his encouragement and his kind words both when he delivered the bad news and afterwards. I now know what I need to do and I'm thinking that it is something that I will do.
Wednesday, 4 June 2008
Sunday, 1 June 2008
As well as my early start on Wednesday which saw me getting a lot done I was up early yesterday, long before anyone else got up and wrote about a thousand words or so. I also wrote a short story, well the first draft anyway. Then there's the publisher interested in my Topsy project. I'm not sure how much further their interest will go but even if this is it at least it's made me finish it. I submitted a couple of stories to magazines too.
I think that was all.
Wednesday, 28 May 2008
I'll send the synopsis off tonight probably. I'll go over it a couple more times first. I don't know what will come of it because the publisher said that their list was full for the next 18 months anyway so it wouldn't be an imminent project and they're not quite sure if the subject matter is right for them. But tey asked to see it so that's encouraging.
Anyway, as it's getting on for 8.30 now I should maybe think about the day job - or at least about putting the kettle on.
Monday, 26 May 2008
I also came across a poem that I wrote about a million years ago but which is missing one line. I'm going to try and come up with that line this week and get that tatty bit of paper out of the WIP folder. And I found an address that I'd meant to send something to so I'm going to check that out too.
I haven't gone through the rest yet. I wonder what else is in there. Hopefully the nugget that's going to make me a household name. Having said that I don't know if I would want to be a household name.I'm quite a private person and I don't know how easily I would deal with mega success. I'll not worry about that until it happens though.
Friday, 23 May 2008
I wrote a story a while ago which I submitted to a magazine on 4th April. I duly recorded on my submissions list that I had sent it to the magazine. However when I was going through some letters I see that the covering letter for that story is for another editor at another magazine AAAGGGHHHH!!!!
I'm hoping that I've recorded the wrong magazine on my list because if I've sent it with a covering letter to the wrong person I'll be black balled forever. I've had a look at my list and in the past the magazine that I think I sent it to have taken 2 - 3 to get back to me with a rejection so I'll have a while to wait until I find out.
On a brighter note I did receive a nice fat cheque the other day from a magazine that's had a couple more of my stories for over three months which is promising.
I'm still kicking myself though.
Sunday, 18 May 2008
I'm going to try and get my head around some serious writing this week. What's happening at work will continue to happen regardless of me so I may as well take my mind off it by doing something that I enjoy.
I am pleased to tell you all that the other thing that occupied my mind this week, namely the surgery to the dogs nether regions has turned out okay. he was back at the vets on Friday for a post op check and they were happy with the way that it is healing. the vet said "They're still a bit red," which made me laugh. What does he think his would look like only 3 days after surgery?
Tuesday, 13 May 2008
Hopefully it will post properly this time.
Sunday, 4 May 2008
Thursday, 1 May 2008
The article is related to the Topsy project that I was working on which is a bit weird as I've said before that that was something I initially started just for me. I guess I was meant to share at least part of it.
All three things were very different which is good because it started me thinking that maybe I'm not the one trick pony that I thought I was. I think that if I want to make even a small second income from this I have to be able to turn my hand to lots of things.
Sunday, 27 April 2008
Thursday, 24 April 2008
Sunday, 20 April 2008
Friday, 18 April 2008
Thursday, 17 April 2008
I know that self publishing is different but I still don't see it being for me (sorry captain black) How many times have we been told that people should pay us to publish our work and to run away from anyone who asked for money from you. Also I've never looked into it but I would assume that it is expensive and I don't think that I can justify the expense.
I would be really interested to hear your views. Has self publishing worked for you? Maybe if I was better informed I could make a proper judgement.
Wednesday, 16 April 2008
I guess what's beating me up is the realisation that my work isn't good enough. I'll get over this I know because I have before but right now it feels bad.
Tuesday, 15 April 2008
Sunday, 13 April 2008
I sometimes get annoyed with myself when I read other blogs and see how much more prolific some of you guys are and I am looking at ways of fitting more writing into my schedule. I read on one blog the other day of someone who has already submitted over 50 things this year. I'll be lucky if I do that in the whole year.
But relatively speaking it was a busy week for me and a good week for me on the writing front.
In fact, I've just realised that I've done myself a dis service. I submitted 2 short stories this week. Go me!!!
Friday, 11 April 2008
Sunday, 6 April 2008
On a writing front I've written two short stories this week. Well if I'm being honest I've written
1 3/4. I need to finish the second one but it's almost there.
The stuff that wasn't to do with writing did make me realise that I HAVE to focus (I know I've said it a million times before - well maybe not a million but a few) With that in mind I made a list yesterday of things that I need to do. I have yet to attack that list but I'll make a start on it later today.
With the financial year ending the other day I made a list of everything that I'd been paid for last year and I regret to say that I didn't worry the tax man. Maybe next year.
Sunday, 30 March 2008
On a more disappointing notea story that I sent to Take a Break at the beginning of the year was returned yesterday. Oncemore I have failed to impress Norah. Not to worry, I'll have another look at it and send it out again.
There are a couple of competitions that I entered ending tomorrow so I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for them.
Thursday, 27 March 2008
a) like I've said a million times it needs to be put to bed.
b) I learn something about writing because it's not a style I normally use.
c) I learn something about me.
Although I thought I would just be putting the final touches to this project, I find as I'm working it that Topsy is still growing.
I'm looking forward to getting on with it after lunch. Food must come first.
Tuesday, 25 March 2008
What I mean by that is that I like to write lots of different things. I am not a novelist, or a short story writer or a poet etc etc because I am all of them. However, and I know I'm harping back to something that I've mentioned before, I want to focus more. I have so many things on the go I can't possibly be doing justice to any of them. I was pleased yesterday that I'd submitted 3 short stories but it's ages since I worked on my novel. And surely if I'm going to do that properly I need to concentrate on it. Then there's my topsy project. I really want to put that to bed but that's a personal project. It's all very confusing.
Do I concentrate on short stories in the hope of selling a few and making a name for myself or do I work on my novel which could ultimately, possibly, maybe bring greater rewards if I'm in the right place at the right time and the wind is blowing in the right direction.
Monday, 24 March 2008
One of them is I believe one of the best that I have ever written (there's my neck on the line.)
The other two are as good as I could get them but one of them is a bit experimental for me and so I don't know if I've got it right. But if it's as good as I could make it even if it's rejected I'll have learnt something. I try to learn from all my rejections but I find that it's sometimes hard to be critical about something that you've sweated over (metaphorically speaking that is.)
So I have to be honest and say that I'm pleased with what I've achieved this week. My submission rate has fallen off in the past month or so and it has been good to get some things sent off.
Sunday, 23 March 2008
Maybe all my acceptances will come at once - hopefully.
And to those of you who like me woke to a covering of snow - keep warm and upright.
I wrote two more short stories this week. I even worked one of them as far as getting ready to submit it but I couldn't get out to buy stamps and I'd run out so that will have to keep until Tuesday. It's probably better to wait until after the bank holiday anyway.
I love that particular story. Unusually for me I planned it from beginning to end before I started writing and then it just sort of flowed off the pen. When it was finished I really liked it. I just hope that my chosen editor likes it too.
I also edited the other story that I wrote this week but I'm not happy with it yet. I need to work on the word length as its not right for my chosen market yet. I haven't done anything with the stories that I wrote last week yet.
I guess that's how I'll be spending my bank holiday - oh and I will enjoy it it.
Thursday, 20 March 2008
Sunday, 16 March 2008
I've also been working on my screenplay experiment and I believe that the first planning stage is now completed. It's proving more difficult than I thought it would be.
On a different note I have just realised that it is 6 weeks since I invoiced a magazine for some work that they published and I still haven't been paid. I think I'll give them this week and then politely send them another one. It is quite a lot of money so I could certainly use it.
Just going back to the two stories that I wrote, I was thinking the other day that I don't think I edit as much as a lot of you out there do. I tend to write the first draft in longhand with a pen and paper. Edit as I type it up and then maybe tweak it a bit before sending it off. maybe that's where I'm going wrong.
Sunday, 9 March 2008
Well, according to an article I read the other day and sadly for us (me included) apparently there is no money in writing and the chances of being able to being able to write all day long without another means of supplementing our income are remote. So what of the six figure deals that we all dream of? It seems they are very rare and are exaggerated.
I guess we'd better carry on doing it for the love.
The screenplay experiment is still in its planning stage. I'm pleased that I stoppped myself from racing in head first because the plan has changed more than once. At one point I had the first 9 scenes planned but as of yesterday I was back to scene 5 (again) and the only scenes that haven't changed are 1 and 2 which run for about 3 minutes. I think its safe to say that progress is slow.
Apart from that I don't think I've done anything else but I can't really say why. This week has just sort of passed me by. I can't even say that I've been particularly busy at work but I did have to use my day off doing other stuff.
Therefore, I find myself with very little to say other than I will try harder next week.
Wednesday, 5 March 2008
Tuesday afternoon - offer of short story politely declined - also by email
Why is it that I've never had an acceptance as quickly?
I have to assume that the story was read and in a way I'm glad they were so quick to tell me that they didn't want it. At least this way I'm not hanging on and hoping.
Sunday, 2 March 2008
I had a question the other day about a story and knew of someone, a very successful writer who would be well placed to advice me. My only link to this person is that we have twice appeared in the same publication. I figured that I had nothing to lose and sent of my email. I had a reply from them within ten minutes telling me everything that I needed to know and suggesting what I could do.
I'm not going to mention names here but to that person and you know who you are and you were familiar with me blog (which did my ego the power of good) thank you. I'll be resubmitting the story tonight.
Thursday, 28 February 2008
You see I'm trying to write this idea as a screenplay which is something that I've never done before and I think I need to approach it in a more structured fashion. I forced myself to put down the notebook and come away from it. I need to tackle this project differently, I need to plan.
Sunday, 24 February 2008
I have officially given myself the day off writing.
So, since returning I've had a cuppa, a bath and put the dinner in the oven. Now I'm going to watch Dancing on Ice and then hang out with Himself this evening.
I feel so relaxed today - its fab.
Saturday, 23 February 2008
- My topsy project is now 12,500 words through it's second draft. For those of you that don't know I call it my topsy project because it just sort of grew out of nowhere.
- I found some very old ideas/notes in the back of a cupboard which I've added tp my WIP folder.
- I've worked on some of the old ideas, finished one and submitted it.
- I've had fun
Plus away from writing I've got some really yucky jobs thatI've been putting off for a while done.
Like I said, the weather was really bad yesterday and the power went off last evening so the clock in the bedroom wasn't set. I woke up and thought it was later than it really is ( I thought it was about 6.30 it was 4.15) but I was wide awake and thought I might as well get up. I spent a while writing an email to a friend who has sponsored me to do The Race for Life. It was just going to be a quick thank you but then I realised that there was loads of stuff I hadn't told her so that took over half an hour. I've also done a couple of other things but it's still only 5.50. Once I'm awake I'm awake but I'll suffer for it later. I think I'll go and put the coffee pot on and then do a bit more of topsy
Thursday, 21 February 2008
I've spent an hour or so working on my topsy project and thats coming along nicely. I've got twelve and a half thousand of the words typed up already but I have come to the conclusion that it won't be finished this week but its moved on a long way and I'll finish it soon.
Himself is taking the day off tomorrow and will probably want to go out for the day so I can't imagine there'll be much done then. I'll get more done on Saturday and Sunday but then it's back to work ya boo hiss!!!
Wednesday, 20 February 2008
This particular project as some of you will know is one that probably won't ever be seen by the public at large but will rather be a record of how I felt at a particular point in my life. But like I said last week it's something that I'm ready to put to bed now. Then I will concentrate on some other stuff.
Tuesday, 19 February 2008
I have also this morning typed up a story that I finished last night so I am feeling like I have achieved something today already and its not even 10 o'clock yet. Imagine what I could have achieved if I hadn't spent half an hour trawling the internet and checking emails for acceptances that weren't there. Well you never know, I have a few pieces submitted in other countries in different time zones, there might have been an email that I needed to see.
In all seriousness though, I wonder how much time I waste surfing the net and checking emails./ Do I really need to do that every day? I was reading an interview with a prolific author who said that they never check their email on a writing day. I suppose the difference is that they have made it and I'm just hoping that a short story is accepted an a paying magazine.
Monday, 18 February 2008
It is just a tatty old notebook but it was like finding something precious. It was full of things that I was thinking and planning at some point in the past and now I get chanceto develop them.
Sunday, 17 February 2008
There are 2 things I have had to learn as a writer.
1. Patience becuase editors can take a long time to get back to you.
2. Not to take rejection personally, they are rejecting my work not me.
One thing that I did do this week though was sign up to do Cancer Research UK's Race For Life in July. At the moment there's just me and one volunteer from a Cancer Research UK shop doing it but by the time I've finished badgering them I hope that a few more volunteers will sign up too. It's a cause that I firm;y believe in and am passionate about. It's just a small thing but it's something.
I still haven't decided what to concentrate on this week but I am determined that by the end of it I will feel like I have achieved something.
Tuesday, 12 February 2008
I'm feeling a bit in the same boat as Sally (see her recent post) in that I'm struggling to decide what best to do.
I have next week off work and much as I would like to spend the whole week writing that's just not going to happen because there are so many other things to do. Like I said in my last post there are some short stories that I want to place or polish. I would also like to work on my novel although I haven't totally reconnected with that yet, maybe because I've been neglegting it to write short stories and try to get work published. Then there is the topsy project that filled up so much of my time last autumn. I really feel like I want to work on that because it's time to put it to bed. Oh, and didn't I say that I wanted to sort out the writing drawers. Everytime I pick up a notebook or a piece of paper there's an idea or the start of a story written on it. Oh yes, amd wasn't I going to try and produce one non fiction article each month. AARRRGHHH!!!
What to do - where to start.
I need a plan because otherwise I'm going to spend so much time doing so many things yet doing any of them properly.
I think that I mentioned the other day that I need to do some tidying up and get a bit of structure into my writing so, I decided to look at my short story folder just to see what was hanging around.
In my SS folder there are 22 stories of which 4 are not finished, 14 are submitted to various places and four are just sitting there. Therefore, if I do nothing else next week when I am off I will try to place those four lost souls and maybe finish at least one of the stories.
Must go, it's not quite stew but goulash is calling.
Sunday, 10 February 2008
Wish me luck, the winner is announced in May.
I was about to say that I haven't come up with an ending yet for the story I started two weeks ago, and it's true that I haven't. However that implies that I've actually tried to come up with one and that's not true. To be honest I haven't actually looked at it even though the story is written on three sheets of paper that is still in the pocket of the jacket that I usually wear to work. Okay, here's the deal, I'm going to look at it tomorrow lunch time at least and try to come up with a suitable ending.
When I got home from work yesterday I found out that we had lost the broadband connection. I knew that there would be security information that I would need when I rang up about it and I knew that the piece of paper that said information was on was in one of my writing drawers. It took me a while to find that piece of paper because of all the stuff that is in those drawers. they are full of bits of paper, note books etc. And when I say full, I mean full, choc full to the top, all three of them. I'm on holiday the week after next and I think that one of my projects during that week will be to sort through those drawers and get them into some sort of order.
I'm still working my way through the to do list that I started last Sunday and I have added a few more things to it.
So much to do - so little time to do it.
Tuesday, 5 February 2008
I love to make a list becuase there is something very satisfying about ticking things off the list when they have been completed.
Have all my men together.
My boys are men now with lives of their own so we don't spend as much time together as we used to. I love it when we are all in the same room at the same time and I'll do anything I can to make it happen.
Walk my dog.
She is the daughter that I never had (completely spoiled of course) and I love walking with her in the woods or through the feilds.
Curl up with a good book.
This one is possibly a little cliched but I don't get the chance to read as much as I would like so if I get a spare afternoon and can curl up on the sofa with a good book and a cuppa I'm in Heaven.
Have a "stew" afternoon.
One of my work colleagues and I have this thing that if ever we have the afternoon off work we call it a "stew" afternoon i.e. we are going home to make stew. If I do have just the afternoon off I do tend to go home and cook although it's rarely stew. I don't like having the morning off and then working in the afternoon but I do like it the other way round and try to arrange it from time to time. I had a "stew" afternoon last week and it was great. It was like bunking off school early but without the dentists appointment.
Thanks for tagging me Moondreamer. With apologies if you've already been tagged, I tag Sally Q, Womagwriter and Captain Black.