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 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.

Monday, 13 April 2009

The perfect writer

Writers should......

Answers on a postcard please.

My only excuse for this is that it's 6.20am and I've already been up for two hours. That said I would be interested to know what you think.

Sunday, 12 April 2009


I don't often check how many hits my blog has had possibly because it's right at the bottom of the page and I forget that it's there. However just a couple of minutes ago I thought I'd have a look at it and where the hits had come from (Thanks womag, a lot seem to come to me via your blog.) Anyway, one of the referrers was a google search and the thing that had been searched was "gonna be a writer blog." Why would somebody search for my blog so specifically? I'm confused but hey that's me default state most of the time anyway so what's new.

More advice required please

Okay so the editing of BTL is coming along and I hope that in a few months time and certainly by the end of the year it will be in it's finished form and ready to be sent out to agents/publishers. I did send it out a couple of times about a year ago and the agents I sent it to were complimentary about the style of writing but declined to take it on. Okay that's their opinion and that was before it was changed and polished etc. I know that I went about it the wrong way before and this time I am determined to do it right.
I sent it out to each agent individually one at a time and had to wait for their reply before sending it to someone else. I read somewhere of an author (can't remember who but then I read about so many of them) who sent their book to about half a dozen different agents at the same time. Is it really okay to do that? What if three if them love it?
What I would be really interested to know (if you don't mind sharing) is, those of you that have agents, how did you find them?
By the way, Happy Easter!

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Post Script to "Why I keep a secret"

In a comment on my last post Captain Black asked what a fake writer was. I wasn't sure what my colleague had meant by that comment but I took a guess. I now have a difinitive answer.
They said that you can sing as long as you like when you're cleaning the house but it doesn't make you a singer. So by that same token unless you are paid for what you write you aren't a writer. Phew! I haven't been paid a lot but I have been paid so I guess I'm not a fake writer afterall.

Monday, 6 April 2009

Why I keep a secret

I know that I've told regular visitors this before but for newcomers writing is my secret. People that I work with don't know that I do it. Even my family beyond my husband don't know that I do it. I think Son Number 2 might knows that I'm often writing stuff down but I don't think that he has any idea that I've ever had anything published.
I was having a conversation with someone at work today about a couple of people that I used to work with who both described themselves as writers. One wrote short stories and poetry and the other was writing a mystery/thriller novel. You'd think that they would have given each other help and support but nothing could have been further from the truth. They couldn't abide each other and on the rare occasions that they did speak it wasn't about writing. In fact when they spoke to me they were each very dismissive of what the other was doing.
Anyway getting back to the conversation I was having today with someone who didn't know either of them they said that the reason these two people didn't get on was because they both recognised the other for what they really were. As a fake.
That started me thinking about why I don't tell people that I write.
Just for the record I don't consider myself a fake (writer or anything else) but do you know what sometimes a girl (okay quickly approaching middle aged woman) has to have something that she does just for herself and for me that's writing. So I'll not be telling anyone other than those I want to tell thank you very much.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

My mum

A couple of weeks ago I told you all that I had started something for a Harper Collins competition around the subject of "Mothers."
I chose to write about an experience that I'd had with my own mother many years ago and in the process of writing I learned a lot of things about both myself and her. They were things that we have never said to each other but writing about it made it all so clear to me.
This piece of work is not going to be submitted to the competition or anywhere else. It is not for public consumption.
Now I finally really appreciate just how much my mother loves me and I hope that she realises that the feeling is totally mutual.