Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Chin up and say "cheese."

Had a visit from the press today. Re the day job I'd organised for a press release to be sent to all the local papers and someone came to take pictures today. What a nghtmare. I actually felt sorry for the poor photographer because when he got into photography he probably hoped he'd be photgraphing Kate Moss or Angelina Jolie but instead the poor lad got me and Dave. When he told me to lift my chin up, Dave (the wag) asked "which one?" Oh he will suffer for that.
It better do the job I meant it to cos if I go through this public humiliation for nothing I will not be a happy bunny.

Monday, 28 December 2009

NRIMH going into storage.

NRIMH is going into storage - so to speak.
I've been struggling to move it forward for a while and this evening I was sitting curled up on the end of the sofa when something (or someone) told me that it's not working.
A few months ago I was full of enthusiasm for the project but I don't feel that any more. What I do feel is that I don't know where it is going and I don't see any way of working the problem out. Not at the moment anyway.
So for now it's going into storage and I'm going to concentrate on other things.
On a different note - Am I the only person who is getting heartily sick and tired of the snow. Well not the snow as such but the ice that the compacted snow has become. Any of you that are up at 6.45 in the morning please spare a thought for me taking my life in my hands to walk the dog before I go to work. God love him he can't understand my squeals when he pulls. He's not the sharpest tool in the box but he sure is pretty.

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Should have remembered number 13

I meant to make the most of my "writing morning" honest I did but just for a change the morning disappeared and before I know it, it's time to shuffle off into the kitchen and cook. Luckily for me I love cooking so that's not a chore. But I had intended to write and I haven't so I am a tad disapponted. I have looked up a couple of markets only to discover that they are both (might have been three) closed for submissions. Yah boo hiss!!! However having said that one of them is still open to competition entries and I think I already have a piece written that would fit it rather nicely, thank you very much.
Yesterday, in honour of the impending new year I tried to come up with 100 things that I wanted to do before 2011. This is not as exciting as it might sound and would have included things like finally get round to sorting out the cupboard under the stairs. However thinking of 100 was proving a bit tricky so I decided to bring it down to 50 and then to 20. Yeah, I know, I clearly don't have much ambition for the coming year. Anyway, I finally gave up on number 17.
Reading them back, I realised that everything as encapsulated in number 13. My whole life is right there in number 13. I should have had it in mind this morning.
Number 13 reads, "Stop thinking and start doing."
Amen to that.

Saturday, 26 December 2009

There went another one

So I guess that was Christmas.
Hope you all had a good one.
Mine was wonderful. The nest was full again and we laughed loads and there was a house full of happiness (sounds like an advertisers dream for a chocolate advert.) Christmas lunch was a triumph even if I say so myself and I do and everyone liked the presents that I'd bought them. Even Number 1 Son declined to take the receipt for the stuff he'd been given when it was offered. Whether he'll ever wear them is a different kettle of fish though.
I love Christmas but for me its over now. I've worked between Christmas and New Year for the last 8 years so its not a long break - though I do get 3 days off instead of 2 this year. But even before that once Christmas Day was over I was always ready to get back to "normal."
I don't mean to be a Scrooge but I'm just giving you all a little insight into the way my mind works.
Now that I've spread the Christmas Joy I think I'll make a cup of tea and have another handful of Quality Street.
For those of you still enjoying the Fetsive Season I insist that you continue to have a Merry Christmas.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Seasonal felicitations

It is 04.09am on the morning of Christmas Eve. As was pottering back from the bathroom about an hour and a bit ago I noticed that it was snowing heavily again. I've spent most of the time since then laying in bed wondering
a) will I get to work (the wheels of charity retail keep going right up til Christmas Day.)
b) will I get back.
c) MOST IMPORTANT will Number 1 Son make it for Christmas Lunch?
So in the end I decided to get up and do something.
I decided to come here and wish you all a very Merry Christmas (see got to the point eventually.)
I hope that the season is everything that you want it to be and that you enjoy it with those that you love around you. For those of you that are missing a loved one I wish you peace.
Hoorah I've started to yawn, maybe I'll be able to go back to sleep - as long as I don't look through the window at the top of the stairs and see that it's still snowing!
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY!!!

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Still here

Not much writing going on around here at the moment. There's too much going on with that Christmas thing that's just around the corner. I know that shouldn't be an excuse but it's a fact. I will try to do better next year.
I did do some planning during for the next section of NRIMH the week and I have a story for Womag2Weekly that is a work in progress so actually on reflection that's not too bad considering all the other things that are floating around in my head.
And on top of all those floating thoughts there's been the snow to contend with. We probably have 5 or 6 inches at the moment and the local roads aren't pretty but at least we're not snowed in as long as we take them very slowly and carefully. I had to go shopping (no I HAD to - we were running out of stuff) and it took me three times as long to drive the first mile and a half as it did the final three miles.
Anyway, just thought that I would check in and confirm that I am still alive and kicking.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Any ideas?

Please can someone help. I'm getting so annoyed with myself because I still can't comment on certain blogs - Olivia's and LilyS's to name but 2. The thing is that I have absoloutly no idea why. There's probably a very good chance that I've clicked something but God only knows what. Or does He? Does anyone else have any idea what I have done.
BTW Hope you're feeling better soon Lily.

Any ideas?

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Not a total write off.

Normally after I've walked the dog, Sunday mornings would be when I sit down with a cuppa and write because the house is quiet and I am on my own - even the dog normally disappears but today was different. I had to give today over to the day job and while I'd rather have been doing what I usually do on Sundays it wasn't so bad. I was on my own for the first 2 hours so I just pottered around doing things that needed catching up on.
So no writing today. I could be doing some now but as its after 11pm and like I said I was at work earlier I thought I'd give myself a break.
I actually want to write a story for a particular magazine and am currently trying to come up with an idea for that. Maybe I'll have half an hour brainstorming some ideas.
Wouldn't want the day to be a total write off.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

A message for Olivia

Is anyone else having trouble posting a comment on Olivia Ryan's Bolg? I haven't beed able to comment on the last 2 posts and I don't know why. Any ideas?
maybe I'm having computer trouble of my own Olivia.
And while I'm on the subject. Has anyone else's followers pictures disappeared mine have and I can't see any on other blogs but I fear it may be a problem with the geriatric laptop.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Congrats

I apologise for being late to the party but what with the day job and everything life's a bit manic at the moment. I just wanted to publicly add my congratulations to Karen on her great news of bagging an agent. I'm sure that the book deal is just around the corner and I for one can't wait to see it on the shelves.
Do you keep wanting to pinch yourself just to make sure you're not dreaming?
Couldn't be happier for you. You deserve it.

Answers on a postcard please

That would be a metaphorical postcard of course.
When writing a first draft do you
a) Get it all down as quickly as possible and worry about errors later
or
b) revise and review as your going along?

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Bless Him

I think that I've mentioned here before that I don't give what I have published to Himself to read as they're not his cup of tea - not enough murder, mayhem and intrigue.It's not something that bothers me and don't give it any thought. So imagine my surprise when over breakfast he picked up my contributor copy of The Weekly News which arrived yesterday and read my story. Better still, he laughed at the punch line. Bless Him.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Would be interested

I know that the Weekly News can sometimes be hard to come across (I haven't found a copy yet) so you may not have seen my story "Just the Job," that was in this weeks issue but if any of you have I'd be interested to know what you think. I don't show my writing to anyone but editors and occasionally Jan so I rarely get feedback.
Having said that, if it's not a publication you would normally get please don't feel obliged to buy it on my account.

Distracted again



I was sitting in my chair, laptop on my knee, coffee by my side looking out of the window instead of preparing the submission I should have been doing when look what popped into my garden (see top right hand corner of trellis.)
I nearly had a heart attack when it first appeared because it just leaped (I originally wrote "leapt" but the spell checker corrected it) out of the trees but isn't it cute. I'm not sure the birds would agree as they didn't get a look in for the ten minutes that it was there.
The dog wasn't as impressed as I was though. He never even opened an eyelid.
Fantastic! Just what I need - another distraction. Nonsense! life is short - enjoy the good stuff when it happens - even the little things.
It's not a great picture or even a good one but considering it was taken through 2 panes of glass and sleet its okay.
In conclusion I will just point out that I have completed the submission that I was working on and it will be posted in the morning. Who said you can't have everything.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Just the Job and Christmas shopping

My story "Just the Job" is in this weeks Weekly News. Yay!! I haven't seen it yet so I don't know if its been changed much but I'm told it's definately there.
On a different note, Himself and I did the bulk of our Chritmas present shopping today - presents that is. Just another couple to get. Hope they're not expecting much this year because I've (I'll not say "we" because I know I'm the skinflint) have cut back this year. I'm personally trying to reinvent the notion that its the thought that counts.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Is that the phone ringing?

I have to be honest and say that my mobile phone rarely rings especially when I'm at work. The Hogs used to ring it sometimes and tell me to get off the phone when I was talking on the land line but that's about it. So it was a bit of a surprise when it rang today especially as there's not a great signal in the basement. Anyway I digress - sorry. My mobile rang this morning and when I answered it, it was someone from Prima magazine saying that an article that I sent them has been shortlisted for a competition that I'd forgotten that I'd entered. Well it was April when I sent it to them after all.
I know it's only shortlisted but I've never got that far in a competition before so I'm feeling ever so slightly chuffed with myself. So now I just have to wait for someone to get in touch with the results.
Come on - fingers crossed everyone.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

This post over on Olivia's blog got me thinking (no wonder I've got a headache).
I think that writing is a casserole. You take the basic ingredients and then you add this or that to taste and you let it cook for so long or maybe a bit longer depending on your oven or the way you feel. Writing, like the casserole is an extension of you and the way your feeling on that particular day. The casserole is made up of what you've bought from the grocer or what you've got left over in the fridge. Likewise what you write comes from what's going in in your head and what research you've done or what it is that you want to say.
When the casserole comes out of the oven or the piece of writing is finished, it may be perfect it could be okay or maybe the only place for it is in the bin. Either way you'll have learned something. Perhaps you realise that you have found the secret to perpetual success in which case you carry on doing what you did or you try a new recipe.
Like the casserole writing is not a precise formula. It is not cake.

A bit more about me.

Those of you that have known me a while will know that in blogland I was originally known as "Gonna be a Writer" and all I talked about was writing and what I was doing connected to it. Well I have decided that the time has come to share a bit more. For a start the name of the blog has changed so maybe the content should expand a bit. Not that I think it will make the blog any more interesting because I am one of the most boring people on earth (officially) but I think that the time is right. So here are a few "interesting" (I laugh) things about me.
1. I work in charity retail though I probably shouldn't mention the charity. Suffice to say its a biggy.
2. As well as writing I love to cook. I'm more of a savoury girl but I can bake when the mood takes me.
Can't think of a third one so we'll have to stick at a couple.
Told you I was boring.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Postal strike over

Its good to know that the postal strike is well and truly over. On Tuesday lunchtime I submitted a story to a magazine that I won't name only to have it returned to me today - less than 48 hours later. Oh bottom!
On a happier note though at least we won't have to worry about the Christmas cards we post not getting there on time.
Every cloud has a silver lining as they say.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Some hope?

In my last post I mentioned that for a few years before I tried to get serious in 2006 I submitted probably a story a year without any success. One of those stories was recently accepted for publication and I have asked myself why.
The truth is that when I looked at it a few months ago I could see why it wasn't accepted the first time round. I don't remember who I submitted it to because I didn't keep records in those days but I can almost guarantee that it was sent to the wrong market.
But despite all the things that I could see wrong with it I still liked it which is why I decided to play around with it a bit. I looked at it and saw what it for what it was and decided on the "right" market for it. Then I tweaked the word length, took out the cliches, gave it a better ending and hey presto.
I think that a lot of the things that I wrote in the early days was cliched. I would say that was my biggest failing back then. But I can see that now so maybe there is some hope for the stories that were dumped unceremoniously into the "archived" file.

Best year?

This post over on womags blog got me thinking and prompted me to have a look at my own submission spreadsheet and I noticed several things that have also made me think. (Note to self - spend less time thinking.)
1. My first paid acceptance came in November 2006 (8th to be precise so i just missed the anniversary.)
2. In the first three months of submitting "seriously" (I'd sent out about 1 a year for a few years before 2006) I had 3 stories accepted. (God I must have thought I had it made - if only.) sadly the next acceptance did not come for another 10 months.
3. In terms of pieces accepted 2009 has so far been my best year - currently sitting at 4.
4. Since 2006 I have submitted 116 pieces of work which includes everything even poems and article pitches and of them 14 have been accepted = 12% success rate. In 2009 I have submitted 33 dfferent things and like I said have had 4 pieces accepted which oddly enough = 12%.
So much for it being my best year to date!!!

Thursday, 12 November 2009

All Russian to me

Anybody else getting comments left in Russian. It can't be good and God knows what they're offering me but I'm sure I don't want it.

Is 1 page too short?

I'm taking a leaf out of Karen's book and getting my own book ready to go out into the big wide world. I have gone over and over the synopsis and covering letter polishing them til you can see your face in them. However my dilemma and you knew that there had to be one is that my synopsis is only one page long. Am I really doing it justice in one page? But it says everything that needs to be said and gives all the relevant information about the story (I think) so I really should leave it alone - shouldn't I?
Anyway, I forgot to buy a padded envelope when I was out this morning so it will probably be off either tomorrow or early next week.

How very odd.

Can't remember who told me about the google alert thing but I thought why not and occasionally I get an email that someone has googled me. Except it isn't me of course - it's usually a doctor in Dakota. So when I got an email saying that there was a google alert I gave it a cursory glance as I usually do (just in case)only to find out that it was me afterall. Someone had googled this blog, the full address and everything. How very odd

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Problem solved

Remember the problem I had with the words I needed to find , well the answer came to me last night just as I was climbing into bed. I now know how to the story to the length I need. I'd just pulled the duvet up to my chin when the metaphorical light bulb went on and I knew what I needed to do. I had a note pad by the bed but sadly not a lamp so I had to hope that it was still in my head this morning. Luckily it was.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

A different editing problem

Normally I have to edit down. That is to say that I usually have to trim the odd word or phrase here or there to make a story fit a word count requirement. Just for a change I have the opposite problem today. I've typed up my first draft only to find out that I am 500 words short. Now that's a sizeable chunk. The problem isn't so much the padding out but padding out without waffling. This could be a problem.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

When oh when...

will I ever learn.
Picture the scene.
During the week I started to type up the short story that I had finished a day or two earlier wuth the plan of polishing and getting out a few days later. About 400 words in I hit a snag. There's something about the story that's not right. It's just a paragraph but it's an important one that's central to everything that comes after. So I tweak a bit here and then a bit there and I'm still not happy so eventually give up on it and go to bed. As it was about midnight then and my alarm goes off at 6.30 it seemed like a good idea.
However I digress. This morning when I am walking the dog I tell him my plans for the morning. I am going to check emails and see whats happening in blogland and be ready to get back to the story by 9am. It's a good plan. So at 10 o'clock (trivia and surfing got the better of me) I opened up Word and got to work.I have to be honest, I'd thought about how I was going to reslove this issue a lot and I hadn't worked it out. yet when I read through the 400 words that were already there 200 more flowed quite naturally from my fingers and hey presto they problem is solved in less than five minutes. And what do you know, I had to come right over here to blogland (now 10.10am) to tell you about it.
So in answer to my own question of when will I ever learn the answer is now.
A. Don't force it. If forty odd years of life have taught you nothing it should have taught you that you always work better on gut instinct. Give it time and the answer will come.
I should also try and learn to not be so easily distracted.
Back to the story.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Loses the raffle again.

This has nothing well very little to do with writing but I was here so I thought I might as well tell you.
There are 3 things that I need (okay want) to do today.
1. Write up a short story that I finished the other day.
2. Go into the kitchen and be a domestic goddess - cooking and baking for England.
3. Iron.
Decisions decisions.
After careful consideration I have decided that I can type up the story later when I'm on my own and won't be interrupted and cooking would be beneficial to everyone (in the house not the world obviously.) It would fell the house with (hopefully) nice smells provide (potentially) delicious things to eat and will fill the freezer. So cooking it is. Might even stick a bit of Il Divo on at full blast just for fun. Sadly once again the ironing fails to win the raffle.
Apart from needing to get on with stuff (as usual) there's not a lot happeneing on the writing front. A couple of editors promised to get back to me in a couple of weeks time but I'm not holding them to that cos we're all busy people and I'll hear from them when I do. This writing lark has taught me patience if nothing else.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

What will be will be

Thanks to everyone who gave me advice on what I should do about my facebook issue and I just wanted to update you on what I had decided to do.
Basically it is in the title of the post. I have decided that so what if certain family members get to "meet" some of the writers I know? So what if they find out that I keep a skeleton called Writing in the wardrobe? It's part of who I am and what makes me the person I am and I should embrace that.
I'm not going to announce over the family airwaves that "I write this that and t'other and have been published here there or wherever" but if it should come out over time then so be it. I think that the reaction from some will be why do you bother and what do you think you're going to achieve by it but you know what that's fine. I bother because I enjoy it and I'll achieve whatever I can.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

An award


Thanks to Jarmara for giving me this award, I really appreciate it. One of the rules is that I pass it on to someone whose blog I think is fab so I pass this on to Karen. Thanks for all your support - yours too Jarmara.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

What to do?

Is my secret life about to be disclosed?
A close family member who knows nothing about my writing "hobby" has invited me to become their friend on Facebook.
I don't use Facebook much but I have been told more than once that I should especially if I want to publicise myself as a writer.
It would cause massive offense if I didn't say yes.
Hhmmm, what to do?

Monday, 26 October 2009

A delay in submission

I've been working on revising my synopsis and cover letter and I think that they are just about there - wherever that is. But then I got to thinking that maybe I shouldn't bother sending it out yet because it's bad enough that they will be stuck on a slush pile for a while without it being stuck in a post office backlog as well. Maybe I'll just hang onto it - at least for now. Or maybe I should rethink the people that I was going to send it to and look out for agents that accept submissions by email.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

A Very Special Guest



So the "Heaven Can Wait" virtual book tour has made it to the North East. I'm happy to welcome all visitors to the blog and to those of you that haven't been here before, help yourself to tea and coffee and the cake is in the cupboard.
I wondered if the reality of getting a book deal was how Cally had dreamed it would be. So without delay please allow me to hand over to the very talented Cally Taylor and she can tell us.


The Reality vs The Dream
When Colette asked me to write a guest blog post about the reality of becoming a published author compared to the dream I scratched my head a bit. My journey to publication has been particularly lucky. I wasn’t rejected by hundreds of agents, nor was I rejected by hundred of publishers but the reality is a bit different to how I’d imagined it so here we go – my top 6 differences...
The Dream: #1
Writing and editing your novel is the hard bit, after you’ve got an agent/publisher you’re pretty much done
The Reality: Every agent worth their salt will ask you to make some changes to your novel before they submit it an editor. If you’re lucky, like I was, the changes won’t be enormous or require you to completely re-structure of your book, but you will have to do some more work on it. When you get a publishing deal the editing continues. My editor also asked me to make some changes, as did my paperback editor and once that’s done there’s the copyeditor’s edits to look at too...
The Dream: #2
When you get a publishing deal you’re instantly rich and can swan around all day in your dressing gown, maybe tapping out a couple of hundred words before bed
The Reality: Very few authors get the kind of six or seven figure advances you read about in the press (the reason they’re big news is because they’re so unusual!) and you’re unlikely to earn enough to give up your day job. Life continues just as it did when you were writing your first novel only now there’s even more stuff to fit in after work/at the weekends!
The Dream: #3
Writing your second book will be easier and quicker than writing the first one
The Reality: Unless you write a book using exactly the same structure and format as your first book it’s not going to be any easier. I decided to use a completely different structure and multiple points of view for my second book and it’s like learning to write a novel all over again! You also have less time because you have to balance writing your second book with editing and promoting your first one and doing all the boring author stuff like registering as self-employed and filling out lots and lots of forms for VAT, National Insurance and the like.
The Dream: #4
You’ll be invited to lots of glamorous parties/dinners/awards ceremonies
The Reality: In a year I’ve had one lunch with my agent, lunch and tea with my publishers, was invited to their annual author party and attended the RNA (Romantic Novelists Association) awards ceremony. The lunches were yummy, the party was glamorous and the awards ceremony was amazing but it’s not like you’re swanning down a red carpet every weekend, hobnobbing with celebrities and getting freebies left right and centre (I had to buy a ticket to attend the awards ceremony). The reality of being an author is plonking your bum down on your chair and putting your fingers on the keyboard, day after day, night after night. Sometimes, if I’m dedicating a whole weekend to writing, the only person I’ll hobnob with is the postman (and then I’ll be in my dressing gown rather than trussed up in some fancy designer frock!).
The Dream: #5
Because people say lovely things about your book you’ll be filled with inner confidence and all your writerly wibbles/wobbles and insecurities will disappear
The Reality: I’m sorry to say that writerly wibbles and wobbles don’t disappear. In fact they get worse! When people say lovely things about your debut novel you feel an internal pressure to make your next book as good, or better – and worry that maybe you’re a one book wonder and will never write anything publishable again!
The Dream: #6
Landing a publishing deal will make your life perfect
The Reality : The last year has been the most amazing, magical year of my life and I’ve laughed and cried with joy but I’d be lying if I said that landing a publishing deal has made my life perfect. I still have the same stresses and worries as I did when I was unpublished – bills, relationship/legal/property problems and bad hair days (the postman has witnessed a lot of them!) to name just a few - and saying “I’ve got a publishing deal” doesn’t make those stresses magically disappear.
But would I do it all over again given how the dream compares to the reality?
A million times, yes. Yes. Yes.
Cally Taylor – author of supernatural romantic-comedy “Heaven Can Wait” (Orion Paperback)
www.callytaylor.co.uk
www.twitter.com/callytaylor

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Keep 'em crossed

Okay, so I have just submitted the first of the ideas that I came up with on holiday. I have sent it to an editor that I have never worked with before so I hope that I have pitched it right. Fingers crossed because in my bid to earn enough from writing this year to pay for next years holiday so far we're having one night in a hotel (not including travel.)
I always hope that things I submit are accepted - what would be the point otherwise? But I really like this story.
So, fingers crossed everybody.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Just had to tell you

I just had to tell you what just happened.
As is my habit, most nights I spend between 10.30 and midnight writing. It's a bit of an odd habit but c'est la vie. Well I thought that I would check my emails before I started and I saw that I had an email from the lovely Jill Finlay. I had that butterfly thing going on in my stomach before I opened it and then the disappointment thing when I read that my story had been rejected. So I was feeling sorry for myself and three or four minutes later another email from Jill popped into my mailbox. This one said to ignore the first email and that in fact my story will be in the Weekly News at some point in the future. Yay!!! I'll let you know when I find out when it's going to be in.
One other thing, Jill will be starting maternity leave next week and Billy Higgins will be taking care of things in her absence.
Okay, so I've now only got 52 minutes to work on the short story that is my current project do best get on.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Progress report

I did indeed walk the dog once it got light and I have to say that was a very pleasant experience. It was just getting light, there was a gentle frost and mist in the valley - very atmospheric. And luckily for me I caught sight of the boxer from up the road before my dog did because he has an eye for the ladies and she is a particularly pretty girl and a bit of a flirt. If they'd managed to get together I'm fairly certain it would have had an embarrassing end for all of us. But I got him on the lead before he saw her so the worst that happened was that I had to drag him home.
Once home and with a cup of tea in hand I set about working on the story that I told you about earlier. I have to be honest and say that it was quite difficult to get started because I thought should I have a look to see if anyone else has blogged, should I check my email etc etc. It's Sunday morning for goodness sake and I'm not going to get any emails that can't wait so I forced myself to get on with it.
I am happy to report that I have had a very productive couple of hours and that all of the words for the story are now down on paper courtesy of the pink pen (not my real pink pen which ran out of ink before my holiday and the shop had to order a refill but the back up.) All that remains is to type those words up either later today or tomorrow, then leave it for a few days before applying a bit of spit and polish and then submitting hopefully by the end of the week but certainly no later than the end of the week after.
Sadly the pink pen has to go back in it's box now as I've got a pile of ironing higher than Kilimanjaro.

Something new

Remember the ideas I had when I was on holiday? Course you do - I've harped on about them often enough. Anyway, one of those ideas is what I would describe as sinister. I've never written anything sinister before so I was wondering if any of you out there that do write "darker" stuff have any advice. Any of you that have read anything that I have written will know that it will be totally alien to me.
I'm up early today because Himself had to be at work at 6am and by the time he'd finished banging and clashing around the bedroom (sorry sweetheart but you did) I was awake so I thought I might as well get up and so far I've answered 3 emails answered an online survey and commented on four blogs. It's still dark but when it gets light enough I'll take the dog for a walk. Then when I get back I'm going to work on that story that I started the other day. Who knows I might even finish it. I'll let you know.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

It can happen

I just want to add my public congratulations to Cally Taylor on the publication of her book Heaven Can Wait. I know that most of us aspire to one day be where she is today and I'm sure that Cally will be celebrating with us on that day. So lets all join in Cally's celebration today because she has shown us that it can happen.

1st idea under way

I am happy to report that I have started working on one of the ideas that I got when I was on holiday and what's more I am very happy about the way it is going. The first draft is only maybe a third of the way through so there's still a long way to go but so far so good.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Back from Heaven

Here I am back in the real world after a week in Heaven (not literally of course - my aspirations aren't that high) and I've come back with six or seven ideas written in my notebook. It wasn't a week for writing but these notions popped into my head so I made a note of them. Hopefully at least one of them will come to something. And then there's the synopsis rewrite of course which if I'm honest I had completeky forgotten about.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Eye opener

Yesterday I had a bit of an epiphany about lots of things (I realise that you can't have a "bit" of an epiphany because you either have one or you don't but you know what I mean) and one of those things was my book. I think that BTL is a good story and I'm happy with the way that it is written. Okay so it's not Shakespeare but then very little is. When was the last time that you saw any of Bill's work in the the Times best sellers list?
However the synopsis is weak.
During my epiphany I decided that I had to be honest about lots of things and while it would not be appropriate to bare my soul at this time about all the other things I need to be honest about, I can come clean about my writing. I should come clean about the writing, if I don't then what is the point in this blog?
So my admission is that the synopsis is weak. I can see that now.
It'll be something to work on after my break. I doubt I'll get chance to look at it before because I've not packed a thing yet - in fact most if what I want to pack is still in the ironing pile. And I must go shopping so that I can leave food for those that aren't coming with me.
Anyway, first job when I get back - make that synopsis stronger.
See you all in a week or so.

Monday, 28 September 2009

Oh no!!!!

Sacre Bleu!!!! Devastation. The pink pen has run out of ink. Lucky for me there's a little shop nearby where I work that sells refills.
In the meantime I'll have to use my back up pink pen which isn't half so pretty but still writes pretty well.
On an happier note, it's only 6 days and counting until our anniversary trip. I will be making a few notes when I'm away for research purposes and have got a new notebook especially for the occasion (I do love a pretty notebook) but it is a holiday and can't be written off against tax. Oh wouldn't that be fun!

Sunday, 27 September 2009

This that and t'other

I pink pen has formed around 1500 words this morning (go pink pen!) and I'm fairly satisfied with that for a Sunday morning. I'll do some more later.
After I'd walked the dog I made a pot of tea and set myself up on the end of the sofa with paper and my pink pen and worked for a couple of hours. In that time I drank the pot of tea, ate a few grapes and wondered if I could be bothered to go into the kitchen to get something with chocolate on it. I managed to talk myself out of the chocolate because I don't want to get into the habit of needing it to get the creative juices flowing. The hips are big enough as it is.
Anyway, I'd reached a natural break after those 1500 or so words so I put that to one side and have allowed myself a little time for answering emails and blogging before I go and start roasting potatoes.
I had a look back at archived posts wondering what I was doing this time last year and the year before that. Turns out it was pretty much what I am doing now except that 2 years ago was when I had all that rubbish stuff going on in my life. I read a few of the coments that were left to various posts and I noticed that people were visiting and commenting then that haven't commented for ages so maybe they're not around any more. Or maybe they don't visit here any more. Maybe I'll look them up and see that they're still around.
I've got a nice little break coming up in a weeks time so my head is full of that at the moment. I have to sort out a lot of stuff at work before I go and there was a lot going on there this week without the fact that I start my holiday on Thursday night. I have loads of washing and ironing to do (always a joy) and currently have no cases. They were lent to someone in February and I haven't seen them since. I have been told that I will have them by the end of the week. I'm really looking forward to it as I feel the need for a break.
We usually have a holiday around this time of year so I thought I might set myself the challange of paying for next years break from what I earn from writing. Good job I didn't do that this year because we wouldn't have made it to the end of the road and back. No to be fair to myself I probably earned enough to pay for a night in the hotel - maybe even a night and a half.
Yes, I'm going to do that. Right here and right now I challange myself to earn enough from writing to pay for next years holiday.

Friday, 25 September 2009

NRIMH Update

Just thought I'd let you know how the first draft of NRIMH is coming along. Not bad at all is how thank you very much. Well is it the first draft or the second? Mmmm good question. I write it in long hand with my pink pen and then I type it up. That is how I know that it is currently just under 15,000 words long. I'll be working with the pink pen for the next few weeks, well make that the next week, then I'll be having a week or so off doing anything at all other than relaxing and then I'll get the pink pen out again.
I'm working on a section of the story at the moment that concentrates on character J. Some of you may remember that J is the character that I wanted to dislike but found that I had sympathy for. I wonder if I'll still feel the same way when they have developed a bit more.
Maybe I'll get one of those widgety things that shows the world how it is coming along.
I know it's not much to post about but it's all I've been working on this week.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Not going to the wire

A month or two ago I suggested an article to an editor which they said they were interested in (always a good start.) However they had changed their requirements and my article would need a bit of tweaking to fit them. They said that if I was willing to do that tweaking they would like me to resubmit in the new year. Of course I was more than happy to tweak and that is what I have been doing this morning. I am happy to report that I have the word count where it needs to be and I think that the tone is right. And it's not even the end of September yet. Hows that for beating a deadline.
BTW well done to everyone running in The Great North Run today. JD I was there with you in spirit.

Any very short markets?

Are there any markets still out there for 300 - 400 word stories? I can't think of any. The reason I ask is that following the addition to the WIP folder that I made earlier this morning I thought that I should work on something that is already there. I chose something that was in one of my black note books because I could remember exactly where and when I wrote it. I was in a restaurant waitning for Himself to arrive and we were having an early dinner before we went to the theatre. Anyway, the crux of that matter is that I have typed up everything that I wrote in the note book and while it isn't quite finished it's only 246 words. I do like it so I would like to try and place it if I could but if not I'll regard it as a writing excercise.
Either way it won't be wasted. I mean apart from anything else it gave me something to do in the restaurant so that I couldn't see the faces of the people who I'm sure thought that I'd been stood up.

Light bulb moment

I was out in the fields early this morning walking the dog (pretty idylic scene actually, nature, sunshine etc) and talking to him (like you do) when I had a light bulb moment. You know one of those moments when something seems like the best thing you ever thought of in your life.
Not having a notebook with me (whyever not???) I had to keep the thought in my head until I got home. I managed to do that which isn't at all impressive when you consider that the field I was in is about 50 yards (sorry I'm an old fashioned girl and don't do metres) from my front door and we were on our way home when the lightbulb went on.
Said idea is now written in one of the four notebooks that I keep in my bag along with what I was thinking when the lightbulb illuminated itself. Note how I didn't say "lightbulb went on" twice in 2 sentences - didn't want to repeat myself.
So this brilliant idea is now in the WIP system (God help it) along with a few hundred other things. I just hope that it doesn't get lost in there.

Friday, 18 September 2009

The pink pen writes again

The pink pen went to work yesterday on a short story for the first time in a while. I've spent a lot of the recent months on BTL and NRIMH which has involved working with the computer rather than the pen. I'm not sure where the story will end up because it's different to my usual stuff. I do have a market in mind but I'll need to see how it turns out.
I must say that I enjoy words developing from the nib of a pen much more than them appearing at the tap of a finger tip. It was fun to get the pen out again.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Correct etiquette

Looking as I am at agents I am a little confused by how or rather to whom I should address my submission. When I look at a particular website to check adresses and such like it usually says something like "Submissions Dept." Is it okay to just send it to the submissions department or should I be trying to work out which agent would be most interested in it and address the submission to them?

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Just to clarify

The second sentence of my previous post should not have had the word "week" in it. Instead it should have read "year." I have sold three stories this year not this week.

Number 3

I sold another story today. I got the email this morning and it felt great. Its the third story that I've sold this week and my first in four months. Just as well we weren't relying on it to eat.
I mention the sale here for two reasons. Firstly because this is where I tell the world of whats happening with my writing and secondly because I believe that most of you will be happy for me.
I know that some may read this and think that three sales is nothing to boast about and there may be some truth in that because I know that it is way less than what some people have achieved this year. But by that same token I also know that it is three more than some others have sold and for that I am grateful and thank my lucky stars.

Way to learn a lesson

I have to confess that I'm not a great planner when it comes to writing. I know where I'm going to start and I know where I want to finish and how I get there is a journey. However today I have learned that I should make at least some notes as I'm going along.
My current project is in seven definite parts and I'm writing each part with my trusty pink pen and then typing it up, changing the odd word or phrase here and there as I go. This morning I have been working on typing up the second part.
I was typing away quite happily until my fingers tapped out a sentence. As I hit the full stop I suddenly thought, "Hang on a minute, that can't be right."
I thought that I had got a timing issue wrong. I thought that what I said had happened couldn't possibly have. So I had to spend half an hour trawling through what I had already written trying to work it out.
It turned out that my timing was right and I'm pleased about that because I thought that I must have worked it out before I actually wrote or at least hoped that I had.
So this morning I have learned two valuable lessons.
1. Trust myself.
2. Make more no make that some notes.
Time for a cup of tea I think.

Friday, 11 September 2009

An anniversary

Eight years ago today I started my first real attempt at a novel. It never really got off the ground and stalled at 45,000 words. Back in those days I wrote very infrequently and had never tried to get anything I'd written published apart from one thing a squillion years ago when I was 18. I'd gotten the idea when I was walking the dog in he morning and then emailed my American friend with a couple of questions to start the research. A few hours later two planes flew into the Twin Towers.
I still have the book (DC) on my computer and in fact looked at it fairly recently. You may remember that I commented that I'd found it and thought that it might not be totally dead in the water. A few years ago Catrin Collier very kindly had a look at it for me and said that she liked the writing but wasn't quite sure what market it would fit into (story of my life) and I took heart from that. It is thanks to that that I set DC aside and started BTL which as some of you may know was recently completed and is currently looking for a home.
Thanks Catrin.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

A new me!

I bought myself a diary today and in it I wrote the date that I need to resubmit an article that a magazine has shown some interest in and the deadline that I have set myself for finishing the first draft of NRINH. This is something that I have often threatened to do but up until now haven't got round to.
I find that my attitude to writing has changed since I stopped hiding behind "Gonna be a Writer." I am more organised and I'm doing more of it.
I'm enjoying being me.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Divided loyalties

When I first started to write NRIMH I sympathised with character S. They were my downtrodden Victorian heroine (so to speak - not set in Victorian times) they were the character that was going to evoke strong emotions from the reader. So why is it that 10,000 words in character J is now the one I want to put my arms around and hug? This is so wrong. Character J is the reason that character S is the she is. Character J doesn't deserve my sympathy or affection.
At least with BTL I knew where my loyalties lay.

Saturday, 5 September 2009

A very small crumb of comfort

I had a short story rejected this week which is always disappointing. They'd had that particular story for about 3 weeks but they still have one that I sent almost 3 months ago so I'm hoping for more from that. At least it was something back from an editor. I'd started to think that the post office were tossing everything in the bin rather than delivering them where I sent them. It had been ages since I heard about anything so I took small (very small) comfort from this.
I find the waiting very difficult and in some ways worse than rejection. Okay I know that no news is good news and while you're waiting to hear about something there's still hope for it but if something is going to be rejected I'd rather just know so that I can deal with it.

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Onwards and upwards

With BTL finally edited and ready to go it's time to move on to other projects. I have submitted the story from the W I P folder that I was working on and I'm now turning my attention to book number 2, NRIMH.
I want to get the first draft finished in 6 months. There are currently less than 10,000 words down on paper so here goes.

What to do now.

I am in a bit of a pickle about what to do now that I have discovered something. I had my list of agents that I was going to send my book to (lucky devils) but I have just discovered that one of them has just taken on a book that might be construed as "similar." So now I'm wondering should I even bother sending it to them. Will they think that it is too "similar"? By that same token thhough maybe that will mean that they are on the look out for this sort of thing. I mean I don't really know what they other book is about. By looking at what I saw on the "coming soon" section of their website my book and the other one have a similar setting but maybe that's all. They are also a similar genre well probably the same genre but that just means that they might be able to see where my book would "sit along side others." That was a comment before my book was vertually re-written, that they weren't sure where it would sit. Maybe these people would see that it would sit in the same section as the one that is "coming soon."
I think I should keep to the plan and send it.
Okay, so this has been another one of those posts where I'm using you all as a sounding board and once I get what's going on in my head out into the open I can see what I should do.
As always, thank you for listening.

Time for honesty

Okay, I would appreciate the truth here because it could ultimately save me a lot of pain and heartache.
I read in a magazine the other day that publishers are only interested in new writers that are "marketable" i.e. young, nubile, attractive, thin etc etc. If that is the case, then I may as well give up now or at least wait until I've dropped a few (lots) pounds and have a bit of work done.

Friday, 28 August 2009

W I P update

I have been working on one of the things that had been lounging in my W I P pile and I am happy to report that it is just about ready to be submitted. It was an easy one to work on because I could see straight away what market I would intend it for so I was able to write it accordingly. I'm not sure the others will be so easy but at least its a start.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

W I P

Some people have a Work In Progress file or folder. I have a W I P dresser. Well dresser might be a bit of an exaggeration - its more of a bedside cabinet sort of thing. It has three drawers and all of them are full of notebooks and bits of paper with things written on them. Sometimes its just an idea or sometimes a full story. On occasion it is a name.
Well this evening I decided to go through it. Well the top drawer at least. I'll need to have a lie down before I can go through the next.
This is something that I've been planning to do for ages and I'm pleased that I actually got round to it. There are at least 4 or 5 things that I want to work on straight away.
Who knows what I'll have by the time that I've gone through the other 2 drawers and then the big box thats sitting in the bottom of the wardrobe not forgetting all those bits of paper that are stuffed into the top of the wardrobe.
Looking at what I've just written it's a wonder that there's any room in my wardrobe for clothes.

I slept and I did

Welcome all to my new blog "With ink from the pink pen."
I'm sure I have mentioned before that I write all my first drafts in long hand and this is the pen that I write them with.
I love this pen. Himself gave it to me so that's reason enough to love it but it also writes beautifully and has written most of the work that I have had published.
This is my homage to the pink pen.
Also you will notice that I have come out of the closet and declared to the world that I am indeed Colette McCormick but I declined to post a photograph. Wouldn't want to scare the kids. No, a picture of my pink pen is much better because that is so pretty.
I don't think that you'll notice any other changes. I'll still be talking the same rubbish that I always did.
I feel a bit like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

The time is right

I'm going to sleep on it one more night but I think that I am going to change the name of my blog.
I have a name in mind which has a personal meaning to me and I think that I am ready for it. I think that it is time.
I feel like I am moving on to a new stage in my writing career so I think it is the right time to do it.
You can't hope to be a success as a writer and be a shrinking violet.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Time for a change?

Recently another "Gonna be a Writer" appeared on blogspot and they happen to be a follower of this blog. This causes a bit of confusion when the name is searched for on google so I was thinking that maybe it's time for a change.
What do you think?
Also is there a way that I'd be able to take all of you guys with me?
BTW I don't mean this as a slur against the other "Gonna be a Writer" I'm just thinking that maybe its time to make my blog a bit more personal to me.

Its done!

The editing of BTL is finished. Woohoo!
Now the hard part begins.
I'm going to start sending it out this week and I am fully prepared for a long road ahead. I mean if the first agent that I send it to wants to represent me I'm not going to say "no thanks I need to get rejected a few times," but if it takes a while I'm prepared for that. I'm in this for the long haul.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

More on "mf"

I thought that I would query the writers of the writing course that sent me the email about presenting the perfect script that included the advice to put "more follows" or "mf" on every page (about 4 posts ago.) If I get a reply from them I'll let you know.

A little bit scared

I got through quite a lot of editing today and there are about 40 pages of BTL left to go through. Just 40 pages and then it will be ready for the next stage. And I am more than a little bit scared by the prospect of sending it out to agents/publishers. But I don't know what I'm afraid of. Is it success or failure?

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Inspiration where are you?

In the past few weeks I haven't done a lot of writing. I've spent some time editing BTL but that's all. The last couple of days though I have started thinking about new stuff. I worked on an article last night that I'd had rolling over in my head for a few days. It still needs editing and tweaking but I'm pretty happy with the first draft. Then tonight I have been researching another article that came to mind as Himself and Number 2 Son were watching the football.
I'm struggling to come up with ideas for short stories at the moment.
Oh well, I always said that I wanted to write more non fiction.
I'm trying really hard to write every day because I think that I use the "I'm too busy/tired etc " excuse too easily. I mean I am busy and I am tired when I come home from work but didn't I say the other day that I wanted this to happen for me even more than I had before. Well it aint going to happen if I don't write.
I just hope that the fiction inspiration comes back soon.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Foreign to me.

So far I have only had work published in magazines or books that were written in English mainly in Britain and Australia. However I have come across people that have had stories published in foreign magazines from non English speaking countries and I am thinking of Sweden and Norway here and I am wondering
a) how you go about submitting to a Swedish or Norwegian magazine?
b) how do you stop them being "too English"?

"MF"?

Okay, as you may know I am in the process of editing my novel (I think I might have mentioned it) so when I received an email from the people that run the writing course that I didn't finish saying "the perfect manuscript" I had a look. There's the usual stuff about 12pt Times Roman Numeral, double spacing, good margins etc. Okay so nothing new there then. However there was one thing. It still preaches, as was the case when I did the course, that you put "mf" or "more follows" at the bottom of each page (apart from the last one of course.) I thought that I'd read somewhere that that was looked upon as the mark of an amateur these days.
Or am I just making that up?

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Fighting the urge

For reasons that I won't go into because they are slightly (very) petty and childish (not big and not clever) I REALLY want this writing thing to work for me now. I always wanted it to work for me but now I want it now, right now, yesterday would be better.
Anyway, that aside I have a bit of unexpected "me" time today so I've taken the opportunity to do some more editing of BTL and I'm just over a third of the way through. The urge that I am having to fight is the one to send it out now. I have barely change anything in the last four or five chapters and the editing process is coming along quite nicely thank you. I thought about twenty minutes ago and this is the one that I am fighting. "Why not send the first three chapters out now." The thought process behind this is that if (please God) someone wanted to see more I would have completed it before then.
But no, now that I've actually got that thought out into the public arena I realise how stupid that is. It has taken me longer than I had hoped to get this far mainly due to some problems at the beginning so the chances of me having gone through the rest any time soon are nil.
Stop it.
Stop it right now.
Step away from the computer.
Think I'll go and bake a cake.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

A couple of questions

I would very much appreciate advice on two things which are not connected to writing but they could be. What I mean to say is that I am asking the question in connection with the day job but any advice received could maybe apply to the writing world as well. Tell you what, why don't I just shut up and ask the questions.
1. I wouldn't say that I am hopeless because that would imply that I am without hope and lets hope that I'm not but lets just say that I am very bad maybe even extremely bad at time management. There is always a lot to do and more often than not I don't get it all done. So my question is what is the key to good time management?
2. My second question possibly answers my first but here goes anyway. What is the best way to get people to help me? No hang on I know the answer to that one it is to ask them. Simple! So maybe the question is how do I get people to come out of their comfort zone and help me? I don't like asking people to do things that I know that they aren't necessarily comfortable with.
Any ideas?
Okay off to do some writing now.

Friday, 7 August 2009

A bit repetitive

I was reading a short story in a popular women's magazine yesterday which the hope of getting published in one day forbids me from naming. The exact same three words were used to describe the hero's eyes three times. When you consider that the story was only about 700 words long I thought that was a bit repetitive. Without intending to sound bitter because this story was published and I have been rejected by this magazine more than once, isn't such repitition frowned upon?

Thursday, 6 August 2009

An old baby

Today I was looking at my first attempt at a novel. It was finished over 3 years ago and fizzled out at 45,000 words. I wondered how I had ended it so I skipped to the final page and had a look. Okay I know I wrote it but I couldn't remember. I remember pretty much everything else though. Anyway I digress - the ending started me thinking about the message behind the story and I think that maybe there is still room for growth there. A best selling author was kind enough to look at it for me and they said that although they had enjoyed it and it was well written they wouldn't be sure where it could be placed. They were unsure what other books it would sit along side. Anyway having read parts of it this afternoon for the first time in three years I'm thinking that it might be worth a bit more effort.
Of course I need to finish BTL first.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Editing update

I've just popped away from the Sunday morning task of editing BTL to share a few thoughts with you. Well one really.
This is such a massive task. Or at leats it feels that way.
I look at the page counter on the bottom of the sreen and I see that there are 304 pages. I am currently "happy" (so to speak) with the first 61 pages. I've been at this for 3 weeks! The trouble is that it's a job that I only seem to be able to do properly when it is quiet and Sunday mornings are the only time that I get that is completely quite. That is if you don't count the night but I'm usually asleep then.
On a brighter note though, I have edited almost as many pages in the last hour as I have in the past 2 Sundays put together.
The first three chapters were my real hurdle and they were the ones that I had previously thought were perfect.Maybe they were a bit too perfect though. I had worked so hard and grammar etc that I had missed the point on the story flowing front.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Which 3?

So my editing of BTL is progressing. I am now "happy" with the first seven chapters - only another 35 to go. Anyway, I am going through my list of agents/publishers that are going to get first crack at this epic and I see that one of them wants "three sample chapters." Is that the first three, the last three or a mixture of the two. My inclination would be to send the first three but I don't know if that's write. I'm trying to make sure that I send everyone exactly what it is that they require.
Just out of interest. Those of you who have had books published, how many times was the book rejected before it was accepted. That of course will have no bearing on the length of time that I will have to spend trying to find someone to take my book on, I know that. I am just curious.

update on more

Okay, so it's morning now and I've ha a chance to look through the bits of paper with ideas etc written on them that i found in a carrier bag that was stuffed under the bed. It was a mixed bunch. There were a couple of good starts to stories, one in particular that I liked. Sadly they aren't complete because I guess that I didn't know where I was going with them. Something to think about though. Some of the other bits are worth a thought or two. There are however a couple of things that are probably only good for the B file. That is B for Bin.
Oh well.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

More!!!

When I get an idea pop into my head (as long as it is day time because when it happens at night I rely on remembering it in the morning - bad move) I have the habit of writing whatever the idea is down on a piece of paper and stuffing it in a pocket or similar recepticle. I have dozens, nay hundreds of bits of paper all over the place. This morning a carrier bag caught my eye and when I pulled it from where it had been stuffed under the bed I discovered that there are about another 20 pieces of paper with this and that written on them. Some are ideas some are partial stories and it looks like there might be a complete story in there.
Note to self - sort them out.
Advise on how to be more organised would be more than gratefully received.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

A new plan

Okay, so the wait is over. Eight weeks have gone by and I can once again turn my eye to my novel, which I did this morning.
I was looking at it with a relatively fresh pair of eyes.
Imagine my horror then when I realised that I really wasn't happy with the first three chapters. I have always thought that they were perfect before but not today. I wondered if it was because I was reading it from a computer screen that it just didn't seem to flow properly.
I was so dejected.
But maybe it's because I know the story so well having gone through it about 5 times in the last couple of years.
Anyway, I've had a chance to think about it this afternoon and I have decided that i need to look at one chapter at a time. Like I said I pretty much know what is coming so I don't so much have to worry about plot but I do make to sure that it flows.
I am happy to report that I am now much happier with chapter one. There wasn't much to change to make it work better just the occasional "and" to "but" or similar. I took out the odd unnecessary sentence.
I don't know if it's the right plan but at least it is one.

Me by any other name.

I was reading Olivia Ryan's news about how she's been able to come out of the closet so to speak and declare that she is indeed Sheila Norton. I am happy to know both of them.
Anyhoo Olivia/Sheila got me thinking about pseudonyms.
Someone else asked me recently if I thought that they should write under their own name and I said that I thought that they should if for no other reason than to avoid confusion when an editor wants to send you a cheque (or other form of payment.)
As some of you know I have been known to write erotic fiction under a not very well hidden pseudonym which Himself chose for me. The reason I do that is just in case my mum ever came across one of them. I don't mind the world at large to know but not my mum.
Having said that, I have seen editions of magazines that I actually have work in sitting on the table in front of my family members and they have never asked if it's me. I think that they probably think that it's someone who shares my name. Like I said in one of my very first posts, writing for publication is not something that someone from my back ground did - in the eyes of my extended family anyway. How little they know me.
I once wrote a children's book which I still dream of getting published one day under a different name. I had the notion that there would be a whole series of them and I wanted them to be published in my grandmother's name.
Maybe one day.
Oh and just one mor ething. To the person that asked me about pseudonyms the other day, thank you. It made me feel great that someone actually asked my opinion on something writing connected.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Thank you editor

I proposed an article to a magazine last week and they replied very quickly saying that they were interested in it but that it would need adapting because they had recently changed they way that they were dealing with such pieces, The editor sent me three recent copies of the magazine to study so that I could adapt my article and asked me to resubmit around Christmas because they thought that it would be more suitable to a summer edition. Of course I am more than happy to do that and am studying the magazines so that I can hopefully get it right next time.
I'm sure I don't need to tell you how excited I was that the editor took the time to do this for me.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

I week to go

I have just one week left of my self imposed non touching of BTL. I haven't even opened a single page of it for seven weeks and now there is just one to go. To be honest I haven't even thought about it for about 6 weeks so hopefully by the time that I do read it again it will be with a fresh pair of eyes.
If there's not too much final tweaking to be done then I might even have it off to agents etc by the end of August. My plan for it was to have it off to agents/publishers by the end of the year so I've got a bit to play with.
But not much. Can you believe it's the middle of July already? There'll be Christmas cards in the shops in few weeks.

Friday, 10 July 2009

Where have you all gone?

I hope someone can help.
I noticed the other day that the pictures of my followers have disappeared from my blog and I don't know where they have gone. More importantly, I don't know how to get them back.
Can anyone help?
Okay now I'm confused. I've just visited s couple of blogs and their followers pictures are missing too.
Is this computer on the blink now?

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Elementary mathematics

There's a hec of a row going on over at womag's blog about one thing and another and one of the things is that "names" get published more than the rest of us.
That started me thinking.
The full time writers that I know say that being a "name" doesn't guarantee doesn't guarantee that every story they submit will be accepted. I believe them. I mean after all even the books that they write aren't right all the time. However I'm sure that their strike rate is better than mine. God help them if it's not because if they only get the % of work submitted/accepted (currently about 5% of submissions accepted) that I do they must write a million words a year.
I commented on womag's blog that maybe the reason that they appear more regularly in mags than the rest of us mortals is not only that they write/submit more but also because they have more experience their stories are better.
I think that the lesson to us all is that if we want to be published more, we submit more. If we are to submit more we must write more.
It's a simple equation
writing = submissions = possible publication. Even if you don't get to publication straight away at least it will be experience.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Batteries recharged

I haven't written anything as such other than the shopping list for two weeks now. As I was taking a break from the day job I thought that I'd take a break from the second job as well. Tonight I am feeling ready to get back to both
Watch this space.
On the different note of things already written, I did receive a contributers copy of a magazine the other day which is always nice and I have a story due for publication tomorrow. Yay!

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Another kick required

Are there ever times when you could kick yourself? Well I had one of those moments today.
Last night I had an idea which just popped into my head. However I am blowed if I can remember what the idea was. I know that I should have written it down and normally I was but I was so tired last night and it was so hot that I didn't. Well I'm regretting that decision now.
Maybe yesterday was just one of those days because when I was talking to Himself and Number 2 son I said "I think," I couldn't get any further. in the space of two words I had forgotten what it was that I thought.
Is there any hope for me?

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Does anyone know?

Does anyone know if "Woman's World" magazine in the USA still accept fiction submissions? I've had stories in magazines and books in Europe and Australia but I'm keen to break another continent. Sadly there aren't many magazines in the US that take fiction anymore or at least not many that I can find. I read in a recent copy of Writers Magazine that WW did accept fiction but when I checked out their website there was no mention of it.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Not a lot...

...to report as I don't think that I'v actually done any writing this week. Himself and I are on two weeks holiday from the day job and have basically just been taking time to be together (Big "Aaagghh" here would be appropriate.) Not being much of a sun worshipper we never go away to exotic places during our two weeks off. Instead we stay at home and enjoy lazy get ups, lots of coffee breaks and the occasional chore that we've been putting off.Actually this year we have started quite a major task in that we are decorating the living room. No need to rush these things though. So what if it's only half finished after the first week - that leaves the second week to finish the rest. Who needs to be able to sit on a sofa? Not me. The project was held up by the day that I insisted we go shopping for accessories and cam back with two cushions and yesterday when we went to visit Knaresbrough wich is a place that I used to see when I passed through it on the train when I used to travel more for my day job. It was great. Just as pretty close up as it is from a distance and very relaxing. Life moves very slowly there which was fine by me beause I wasn't moving too quickly myself yesterday (or any day.) I even got my backside nipped by a total stranger which Himself thought was hilarious as did Number 2 Son when I told him. The "stranger" was a big black sofa of a dog that must have been able to smell my own dog on my trousers, decided that she liked the smell him and thought she'd take a nibble. I felt sorry for the owner because she was clearly mortified. I just thought it was funny and gave the offending creature a bit of a fuss. She said she was embarrassed but hey - my dog embarrasses me most days.
So that's what I've been up to this week and I would imagine that there will be more of the same next week.
Sounds like the coffee pot has finished so I bid you all adieu and will retire to my bed again.
It's a hard life.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

A close shave

A word of warning to everyone out there.
Some of you may remember a few weeks ago when I apolgised to anyone who had received a very odd email from my personal email address. It was an email that I had never seen before and certainly hadn't sent. It was around that time that I lost all of my contacts in my address book. Himself worked in the computer business for over 30 years and always keeps our security up to date but just to be sure he gave it a thorough once over and I didn't think any more about it.
Then just the other day I was doing some online banking and noticed that the log in page was slightly different. It asked for slightly more information than it had done before. I had reached the website just as I have always done before but that little difference set my radar off.
And thank goodness it did.
I got son number 2 to try and log in on his computer and it was how it had been before. It didn't ask for the extra information.
I don't have a lot of money but what I have I have worked for and it is mine. However I was told when I reported it to the bank that had I put in that small piece of extra information I would more than likely have lost it all.
I know that this has absoloutly nothing to do with writing but I'm telling everyone that I know so that they are warned.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Confused

I've just checked my emails and got very excited when I saw one from the publisher that I sent my Topsy project to with the name of my book in the subject line.
I'm sure you can all guess what I thought.
Sadly no.
However she did say some lovely things about my writing. Unfortunately she said that they could not take it because they are currently only publishing for the professional market and as my book is aimed at the general public they felt that they would not be "able to do justice to the books potential." She said that she would be returning the material so that I could send it to another publisher which she urged me to do.
I know that I should be upset and maybe I am a bit but I'm not sure.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Still Alive and Kicking

An overactive firewall has caused havoc with the internet connection this week so I haven't been in cyber land much. However, I am happy to report that I am alive and kicking though I'm sure non of you thought that I wasn't.
Not much has happened on the writing front or any front come to that.
I had a story rejected the other day (boo!) by a magazine that has had two more of my stories since October. I queried them about a month ago but still haven't had a reply. The story that they rejected came back in a few days so I'm not sure what's happened to the other two. If they are still under consideration I would have thought that they could have dropped me a quick email. Who knows?
Also, Roxanne started a new story this week. She hasn't written anything for a while but the urge came over her this week. It's still in the early stages but I'll let you know how it goes.
I have just completed week three of leaving BTL alone - only another five to go. This week I'm probably going to start working on the final list of lucky agents who are going to get the chance to take it on. How many do you think that I should send it out to? Does six sound about right? And do I mention in my covering letter that I have sent it to others?
Oh there was something else that I did earlier in the week. I worked on the first part of NRIMH. I'm going to work on that some more this morning. That was the good thing about not having a reliable internet connection. At least it meant that I had to do some writing.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Almost but not quite

At the beginning of the year one of the things that I wanted to do was to submit "more than 29 pieces of work." Saying 30 seemed too rigid. Well I am happy to report that I have just submitted number 29 so I am almost there but not quite. Of those 29 pieces of work.
1 was accepted (Yay!)
11 were rejected (Boo!)
17 are still out there (Fingers crossed.)
Just wanted to keep you updated.

We are worthy

There is a very thought provoking post on Angel's blog about self worth.
I have to hold my hands up and say I'm as guilty as anyone of thinking that for one reason or another that I'm not worthy of any number of things. Why do we do that to ourselves?
When Himself and I took out special trip last year I found the most gorgeous notebook in a shop and my lovely husband wanted to buy it for me but I wouldn't let him. I said that I would never use it and I probably wouldn't. It was such a beautiful thing that it deserved beautiful writing and I didn't think no hang on I know that my handwriting would not do it justice.
Come to think of it I already have a beautiful notebook that's been sitting in a drawer for years. It has an angel on the front and the word "dreams." Does anyone else find the picture on the front of my book and the postee of the post that inspired this spooky. I think that I am meant to get that book out (I think I know which drawer it's in) and write in it. I won't beat myself up that my handwriting isn't beautiful as long as the thoughts are.
Angel also challenged us to come up with 10 positive things about ourselves which I am going to give that a go. Right here, right now.
1. I have hung onto the man of my dreams for nearly 30 years (Oh my God! how can it be that long?)
2. I have raised 2 strong, healthy independent young men.
3. I always say hello to the foreign bloke who I pass on the way to work. he plays the same tune over and over on the accordion and almost everybody ignores him.
4. I let my beautiful dog go when the time was right for her even though it broke my heart.
5. I make a wicked sponge cake.
6. When we all had to organise a fundraising "fun day" two weeks ago the one I organised beat the target we were given by 90% and was at least double that of any other in the area. (Sorry - that sounds like a boast but hey what's wrong with that? I worked bloomin' hard and I came up with a great idea so yes well done me.)
7. I held it together during the dark time a couple of years ago.
8. I passed my "speech" exam with distinction. I know that one might be hard to believe for anyone who has heard me speak but I swear it's true.
9. I can iron a shirt in less than a minute.
10. My Yorkshire Puddings always rise.
Good grief that was harder than I thought it would be. I know some of them are a bit feeble but it's all I can come up with.

Sunday, 31 May 2009

A busy morning

Its been all go this morning.
After I'd unburdened my soul to you all earlier about why I do this I set about some writing projects. You may recall that I'm not allowed to touch BTL for another 7weeks (self imposed leave alone period) so I had to turn my attention to other stuff.
Those of you that have been coming over for a while may remember what I used to call my Topsy project which I initially wrote just for me as therapy during a very dark time in my life a couple of years ago. Well I have decided that it is no longer just for me and I have put together a proposal which I am going to send to a publisher in the morning.
Also (oh yes there's more) I have set in motion my next book. Well set in motion might be the wrong term because there's about 10,000 in longhand on bits of paper but I decided that this is the one that I am going to concentrate on. It's actually what I have always referred to as book number 3 but after a conversation with my friend I have promoted it. This book just like the last one will be referred to by the letters that make up it's working title - so it is NRIMH.
Any guesses?
I have to stop all that now though as there are Yorkshire Puddings waiting to be mixed. It doesn't matter that the sun is melting the tarmac outside - it's Sunday and my men like a roast.

Why?

I came across something the other day that said when you set out to do something you should ask yourself why you are doing it. It said that you had to be specific about your answers and above all they had to be honest. So while I was walking the dog along the riverbank this morning (what a glorious morning it was too) I asked myself a question or three and tried to answer them honestly.
1. Why do I write stories and articles?
Because I enjoy the process - particularly the fiction. I fnd that it relaxes me and well yeah, I enjoy it.
2. Why do I try to get the things I write published?
Because when I get an email or letter from an editor saying that they want to publish what I've written it feels great. Of course the downside of that is the times that something is rejected but hey, if youo want the good you've got to risk the bad.
3. Why do I want to get paid for what I write?
While it is true that as a rule I don't submit to places that won't pay me for what I write the first story that I ever had published was for a charity anthology so if it's for a good cause that I believe in then I'm there. There's nothing wrong with submitting to non paying markets. Indeed I wasn't paid for what I have on the fiftybeans website. That was something that I wanted to do and if that's what anyone alse wants to do then good luck to them. The reason that I want to get paid for what I write? Okay well as I'm being honest (remember it said that you have to be honest) I want to be paid because it means that I can buy treats and not feel guilty about spending the housekeeping. It means that we might be able to pay the mortgage off a bit sooner. And while that might not be very noble it is true. Also though, if I get paid for what I write that validates what I write in the eyes of those that never believed in me.
Gosh that last sentence might have been a bit too honest but you can't take things back once they've been said.
Please feel free to ask yourself these questions and answer them honestly. If you wanted you could do that here because I'd love to know the answers.

Thursday, 28 May 2009

What now???

The payment that is due for the story that I sold last week - payment on acceptance so hopefully it should come through soon paid for Number 2 son's birthday presents and the family celebration meal out (including drinks) which was great - as long as it does come through soon. You may remember that the payment before that bought the road tax with a pound to spare. Well I've just heard that a story that I sold a couple of months ago is going to be published in July so I can expect payment at the end of that month. Can't help but wonder what's going to need paying for then.
Actually, last night when we were all sat around the table having a good time and Number 2 son was openeing his presents it was very satisfying to know that my writing efforts had been worth it.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

What now?

I've literally just completed the second draft/rewrite whatever you want to call it of BTL and now I don't know what to do. Do I go through it again? Or do I pluck up the courage to send it out to the six agents that I have on my list?
There may still be things that need changing/correcting but I think you could go on doing that forever. Should I trust that there will be enough there for someone to see it's potential or my potential or do I go through it again and change things for the sake of it?
Answers on a postcard please.

Monday, 18 May 2009

To anyone that has my personal email address

This is just a quick message to anyone that has my personal email address. I would just like to apologise for a message that was sent to everyone in my address book on 4th May under the title of secure shopping. I just came across it while I was checking when I sent an email. I only noticed it because the first name on the list that I sent it to was someone that I haven't emailed in ages. I have never seen this email before in my life. I lost my address book around that time and even though I don't know how I'm sure the two things must be connected.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

A beautiful day

When I was walking the dog along the riverbank an hour ago, the sun was shining the birds were singing, we had the place to ourselves and a said (yes I do talk to my dog) "what a beautiful day."
Now that I'm home the day is even more beautiful. At last I have heard about one of the many pieces of work that are out there circling the earth and I have sold it. YAY!!!
Like I said, it's a beautiful day.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Do I believe my ears?

I was browsing shelves of books at lunchtime when I overheard the conversation of the two women standing nearby doing just what I was doing. I swear this is true.
Woman # 1: "I think I'll write a book."
Woman # 2: "You should. You were always good at English."
Woman # 1: (nodding) "Yes I'm going to."
Woman # 2: "You'll need to get one of those whatsits before you start. Oh what do you call them?" (pause while she thinks and her friend looks at her) Agents! That's it. You should get an agent.
I thought about laughing (to myself of course) but I decided not to. She's probably one of those people who decides that they are going to be a novelist and it happens without much apparent effort.
Sorry, didn't mean to sound bitter.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

tadpoles and fish

I really appreciate it when anyone takes the time to leave a comment on this blog. I always try to reply to any comment because first of all it's a two way thing so generally there is something to say back and secondly I was brought up to be polite. Now, I know that I'm just a tadpole in the writing pond, less than a tadpole probably but I don't know what that would be called. But tadpoles have feelings too and I get cheesed off when certain fish that maybe believe they are bigger than they really are don't think that I am worthy of acknowledgement. Or should I say that they don't believe a comment I have made on their blog is worthy of acknowledgement. Yet they reply to thngs said to other commentors.
Hang on I get it. They don't speak tadpole. No that can't be it because weren't they tadpoles once upon a time? Really big fish remember that.

Crisis! What crisis?

Okay, before I go any further I just want to point out that I am NOT writing this in an attempt to get you all to tell me how wonderful I am. Apart from anything else I would want you to tell me thr truth and I know that I am far from wonderful.
Anyway, to get to the point of this post. i am having a crisis of confidence.
I've spent this morning editing BTL. Quick update - this is the second re-write so nothing big just tweaking etc. I have found myself correcting lots of little things that should have been spotted on the previous twice that I have read this book in recent months or should not have been made when I wrote it. Things like replacing capital letters with small ones and vice versa. Also there was one bit where the heroine's mother was looking into a room where there were a sink full of dishes only to have her looking into an empty sink in the next sentence.
Silly! Silly! Silly!
Also if I am honest I am starting to look at it and wonder if it actually as good as I thought it was just a few short months ago? Or am I just feeling that was because I'm reading stuff that I read just a few months ago and it's losing it's freshness to me?
I don't know.
All I do know is that I feel better for getting that off my chest. That's the problem when people don't know that you are trying to write a book - there's no-one to talk to about it. I could talk to Himself but he's not here plus I think he's got enough on his plate worrying about how the play-offs will turn out (come on you Blades.) I could try talking to the Chairman of the corporation but the last time I saw him he was digging a hole in the garden so clearly also has more important matters on his mind. Or I could talk to my closest friend but she lives in a different time zone and even though she probably wouldn't mind I don't think her husband wold be too pleased.
So that leaves you.
Thank you for listening (reading?)I feel better for setting out what's going on in my head and in the absence of another plan I'm going to put the kettle on. It'll look better after a cup of tea.

Moving it forward

I haven't posted all week because I haven't really had anything to say that I thought would interest you - but that's not to say that I haven't been doing stuff.
I don't remember what prompted this decision but at the beginning of the week I decided that every day I would do something no matter how small to move my writing forward. It's often been my excuse that I'm too busy/tired/anything else I can think of to write but I thought that if I did something, even a small thing every day I would feel better.
Well that is what I have been doing. Some days I have done more than others but I have done something every day.
I can't say it's got me very far but at least it's a step in the right direction towards becoming more disciplined (in my writing.)
I still haven't heard anything from any editors even though some of them have had my work for over six months. Maybe they'll all answer at the same time and if I could get a couple of acceptances in there that would be great.

Monday, 4 May 2009

To critique or not to critique

Someone told me recently that before I sent the first three chapters, synopsis covering letter etc out that I should get the book professionally critiqued. I just wondered if any of you could advise me either way on this one.

The type of writer I would choose to be

I would guess, but am possibly wrong, that if you are a freelance writer you will basically write about anything and for any publication. Within reason of course.
I suppose what they will write is what seperates the freelancer from say a novelist or a short story writer who by definition only write novels or short stories.
I think that I would prefer to be a freelancer. I think that it would suit my personality more. As I have lamented a million times I sometimes find it hard to concentrate just on one thing and I think that not narrowing your field would offer a lot more opportunities. Would that make me a hack? Maybe, but I've been called worse.
But as I haven't written a published novel(yet) and I don't have that many short stories to my name I suppose I don't need to worry about being pigeon holed.
Anyway, must go - that's the kettle boiled. Today is an unexpected day off thanks to my sadly soon to be departed colleague who even more sadly looks like she will be going sooner than expected. Sod this recession!!! So as today os a bonus day I want to make the most of it. After a cuppa that is - got to get your priorities right.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Feeling a twit

I feel a bit of a twit if I'm honest.
Let me explain.
In April's Writer's News (sorry to name names but it was) I saw a piece about a small publishing house that is fairly local to me and thought that I would submit to them. The remuneration wouldn't be much but I wanted to support them. The piece gave the name of the editor and both the postal and email address. I have just been and checked and it definitely says that they accept submissions by post and email. Except they don't - as the said editor has curtly just pointed out to me. Don't suppose there's much point submitting by post now either

Story update.

A quick update on the new story that I started the other day. You remember, the first new thing that I'd started in ages.
It was previously written in long hand in one of my many note books using my favourite pink pen (the ink is black).I love that pen though it does go through refills like there's no tomorrow. Anyway I digress - just for a change. This morning I decided that I would type it up as it needs to be submitted by the end of the week as it's for a competition. Anyway, I would just like to report that it is now typed and saved and comletely different from what I had in mind. Well maybe not completely different but certainly very. I'm now going to leave it until probably Tuesday and then have one last look at it to check for typo's etc and then it should be off.
Just wanted to share that.

Got a Buddy?

I was reading an article in April's Writer's News earlier (okay so I'm a bit behind) about how some writers have a "buddy", someone that they share their writing with. They offer each other support and feedback etc. I know that there are a lot of writing groups out there (sadly not near me) and online forums but this buddy thing seems a lot more personal.
As I read further it mentioned that usually buddies commit to a certain amount of writing in a given time, say a story a month or 1000 words a week or whatever and I know that there are groups out there doing this already.
I would be interested in any-one's experience of writing buddies.

Thursday, 30 April 2009

It's been a while

I've spent a lot of time in recent weeks editing BTL and at other times I've worked on old stories, you know re-working, re-submitting etc but it's been a while since I worked on anything that was completely new.
Until today.
Today I finally had a new story to tell.
And that felt great

Something for me

My new friend that I do it and my good friend Olivia Ryan has a post on her blog about why she writes. Well no-one has ever asked me why I write but I thought that I would tell you anyway.
I write because I have a story in my head. I do the writing for me. I try to get that writing published for the glory. It's a great feeling when an editor says that they like your writing and want to pay you for the right to publish it.
Olivia writes full time - for a living and she is lucky because that is what she wants. As I have just said in a comment on her blog sometimes I think that is what I want. Then I have a good day at work and I think "Nah." You see I actually have a day job that I enjoy most of the time and I work for something that I believe in which always helps.
I think my writing ideal would be that I earned a decent second living from it. I would like it to put me in the position that if the way that I currently feel about the day job ever changed I would have something to fall back on.
I guess I want the best of both worlds.
However, if it doesn't happen, it's no big deal because like I said, I do the writing for me and I wonder if that would feel the same way if my livlihood depended on it.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Another question

This was spawned from my previous question.
Do you prefer old or new? Pristine or creased?
I'm talking about books and spines.
Himself is so careful when he gets a new book not to crease the spine. I don't delibereatly set out to crease a spine but I don't mind if it happens. I think that there is something about a creased spine. It shows that the book has been read - prossibly more than once and hopefully enjoyed. I think that a crease or two gives a book a bit of character (a bit like a face.)
I also like an old book - again I think that it's something about character. There's something about the way that books used to be bound.
How cool would it be if in 50 odd years or longer someone was holding an eary edition of one of my books in their hands? That's always assuming that we still have books then.
Now there's another question.

Monday, 27 April 2009

A question.

Okay, I have a question for those of you that have a book published.
How do you feel when you see a copy of your book, the one you lovingly wrote sitting on a shelf in a charity shop for 99p or similar price.
If you see that the spine is creased and the the book has obviously been read, maybe more than once do you feel good? Or are you just narked that someone is going to buy a copy of your book and you're not going to get any royalties out of it.
I'm not sure how I would feel if it were me. A bit of both I suppose.
Of course this question isn't only for those of you that have actually had a book published. I'd be interested to know what any of you think.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

A barrier broken

When I'd finished the first draft of BTL it was just shy of 70,000 words which I know is a little short these days. But I also knew that there was scope for improvement as there were parts of it that I needed to develop. Well this morning i.e. about 2 minutes ago I broke the 75000 word barrier and I'm feeling quite happy about that thank you very much.
I just hope that when I give it the final revision I don't think "what the hell is that all bout" and take it out again.
Little things and little minds as they say.

Confused - just for a change.

i was reading an article earlier which was reviewing someones second book. The reviewer said that Miss X (as she will mysteriously be known) had like so many other wannabe's "trawled her book around publishers before being accepted by British publisher BeWrite.) This is what reminded me of the confusion that I have. Am I right in saying that BeWrite are a print on demand publisher? When I was much younger I remember being warned away from Vanity Publishers for very obvious reasons that are still valid today but how are POD publishers different?
Please forgive what is probably the stupidity of this question but I have very little knowledge of the POD business.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Number 4 in my head

I was in the cellar at work today (rememeber it's a workspace not a punishment area) and I was looking out of the window (it's a very odd very old building) when a sentence popped into my head. I wrote the sentence on a piece of paper and shoved it into the pocket of my jacket. Then I started to think about it. It could be book number 4.
The current state of play is:
Book number 1 - having a final polish.
Book number 2 - about 10,000 words so far
Book number 3 - Couple of thousand words in longhand in a folder that's shoved behind the sofa.
Book number 4 - One sentence.
It's good to dream.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Fiddling - but no violins

I'm currently working on chapter 16 of BTL and have just had to stop myself from fiddling for the sake of it. I was just going over a short paragraph when I decided to add a sentence. Then I deleted it. Then I wrote a different sentence and deleted that. After I'd written another half a sentence I deleted that too. None of them added anything to what was already there and I felt that I was changing things just for the sake of it. I have had to step away from it for a couple of minutes.
Okay, I'm going back in.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Nudge update

On Tuesday I emailed the magazine that have had my story for a year. I emailed the 3 times. When the email was undelivered 3 times I was a bit concerned. Maybe they'd gone out of usiness or something. That might explain things. Undetterred I looked on their website and found a way of contacting them through that. I had a reply from them saying that the story should come to the top of their list in a few weeks time.
That's some pile of slush!

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

20 years on

I don't often post about anything other than writing but today I'll make an exception.
I happened to be in Sheffield on 15th April 1989 and I remember seeing the police cars and ambulances flying towards Hillsborough and wondering what on earth was going on. Not for one second did I think that it was what was going on. My heart and thoughts go out to anyone that was effected by what happened that day.
As a football fan who has stood on a kop you can't help thinking there but for the grace of God.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Happy birthday to....my submission

What a surprise, no emails regarding any submissions that I've made - AGAIN.
Some of these pieces were submitted months ago. I decided that I would check my what to where list and see just how long some of them have been out there and I discovered that one of them was submitted on 14th April 2008. That is one year ago today. As I recall I had an email from them about six months ago apologising for the delay in getting back to me but I think it's about time that I gave them a nudge.
Okay I'm calmer now (deep breath and all that) I've had a look and of the 16 pieces that are currently under consideration only 4 of them were sent before the turn of the year. I have another piece that I need to submit but I have to send a recent photograph with it. They'll be lucky.