Sunday, 30 March 2008

A Topsy week.

My Topsy day has turned into a Topsy week. I found that once I settled on doing just that it was all that I wantedto do. I'm probably going to finish the first edit today.
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

Thanks MotherX

I'm trying to follow motherx's advice about doing one thing one day/week and another thing another. Today is a Topsy day. I chose this to start with because
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


I have been asked from time to time what I write and my standard answer is usually something along the lines of "Whatever I feel like at any given time."
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

Three out of four aint bad

Three out of four of the short stories that I have written in the past few weeks have now been edited and submitted. The fourth one is the one that I could remember writing it but couldn't remember what it was about (see a couple of weeks ago.) My theory is that as I couldn't remember it the day after I'd written it then it probably needs a bit more work.
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

Waiting Game

I've submitted 20 odd things this year ( my rate had sadly dropped in March) and as yet I have only heard about one of those things and that was the story that was rejected as soon at it had been read. (I have to believe that they did actually read it otherwise why are we bothering) I have had no hits this year - not one. I also have stuff that was submitted towards the end of last year that I haven't heard about.
Maybe all my acceptances will come at once - hopefully.

Happy Easter

Happy Easter everyone!
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

Opinions sought

I'd be interested to know what you think about simultaneous submissions. I'm reluctant to try it but sometimes it is months before you get an answer from an editor and if that answer is negative it's time wasted. I'm not sure what the protocol is these days. I know that it used to be frowned upon.

Sunday, 16 March 2008

2 stories.

I've written two short stories this week. One of them is a ghost story which I have never written before so that was fun and the other one be honest I don't remember what the other one was but I do remember doing it. It's still in the pocket of the jacket I wore to work that day so I'll need to go and have a look to remind myself. I'll do it later though because I'm very comfortable where I am with my feet up on the end of the sofa and the laptop on my knee.
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

Doing it for the love

How many of us want to give up the day job and write full time? Show of hands please. I thought so, quite a few of us.
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.

Must try harder

Its been a quiet sort of week writing wise. I did submit a story on Monday that was promptly returned on Tuesday. That's always a disappointment.
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

Quick turn around

Tuesday morning - short story submitted by email
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

Wonderful writing community

One of the things that never ceases to amaze me is how friendly and helpful the writing community is (or at least the one's I know.)
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.


Happy Mothers Day to mothers everywhere. To those of us that are still lucky enough to have our mothers with us love them and treasure them because she is special - even when she treats you like a two year old. You always will be two years old to her so accept it.