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.


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.