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.