Tuesday, 27 December 2011

This year

My writing (sounds rather grander than it really is) has been a bit hit and missy this year. I started it with a nice little earner (not huge but fairly regular) that supplemented my income very nicely thank you very much and I have to be honest I concentrated on that rather than what I might choose to write. However when the company went belly up in the summer that came to an abrupt end. With that non fiction gig gone I decided to go back to my first love which is fiction. I submitted half a dozen things in October but so far have heard nothing back but wasn't that always the way. I did manage to sell a small non fiction piece at the end of October but that is all since the summer.
So I still have BTL sitting in a metaphoric drawer alongside the non fiction book that I wrote several years ago which needs quite a specialised market that I haven't managed to discover yet. And then there is my Nice project which is currently about 22,000 words long. Oh and there are about a dozen short stories sitting in various folders too.
Hopefully I will do better next year. I may even com eup with some resolutions.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Bad Blogger

Oh I have been a bad blogger again. Sorry. Its this Christmas thing - and work of course which always seems to get in the way of spending the day doing things that I enjoy.
Well first and forwmost, Merry Christmas everyone. I hope that you get to spend the day with the people you love and that your heart is full of happiness.
Spare a thought if you can though for all of those who are having a hard time making their Christmas happen. I have while I've been sitting here on my own waiting for everyone else (including the dog) to wake up and I thank God that I'm lucky enough to have my menfolk around me. I've also spent a moment looking at the two angels and the one red bauble amongst the silver ones on my Christmas Tree that represent those that we have loved that aren't with us any more.
Now, its time to enjoy my day and I hope that you all do the same.
Merry Christmas everyone.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Thinking on paper

I'm thinking out loud really or rather on paper/screen whatever but I'd be interested in anything anyone wanted to say. You see, the thing is that for a while I have been thinking of self publishing BTL, given that I can't get an agent to "love it" enough to take it on. Obviously these days digital is the way to go and so I have been thinking about that too. But my dilemma is that I am the only one that has ever read BTL all of the way through so how do I know that it is good enough and that anyone else will want to read it? How do I know that I'm not just kidding myself? I always said that I would never self publish but after reading an article by Giles Brandreth the other week I realised that unless I am a celebrity, my chances of getting a book published are just about nil and he mentioned self publishing. Of I don't know.
On a different note, my "Nice" project has just hit 20,000 words. I have revised my deadline to say that I want the first draft, second draft and a bit of a polish done by April.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Nicely nicely....

is how my "Nice" project is coming along. After the initial problem that was discovered after 7,000 words I am now back on track. The current word count is 15,020 (to be exact) and I am quite happy with that as I have managed to write at least a couple of hundred words almost every day and for me that is good going. I find that I really enjoy the days (like today) when I can sit down and have a good crack at it but I'm even enjoying the times when I can only fit in half an hour. Considering that this project is a complete change of tack for me I am quite happy.
On a different note, that Christmas thing is creeping up awful quick isn't it.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Not such a Nice project

Bit of a setback I'm afraid in getting 50,000 words written for my Nice Project before Christmas because 7,000 words in I have decided that I don't like the way that the story is going. I like the characters and the setting just not the direction so it will be going in a totally different one on Monday. The only consolation is that its better for it to happen after 7,000 than 17,000.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Nice new project and other stuff

My "Nice" project started 12 days ago and has to be 50,000 words long by Christmas. Well obviously it doesn't have be, I mean they aren't going to come and cart me away to prison if its not but I would like it to be.
As of this morning it is 5,400 words long thanks to a 1,200 word spurt this morning, ably assisted by 2 cups of tea and a Wagon Wheel. Don't know what possessed me to buy the Wagon Wheels - don't even like them - but it has to take at least some credit for this mornings efforts.
On a different note, I woke up the other day to an email saying that I have had an article accepted. It's only short so the pay isn't great but it's something else for the resume and it's the first thing in a few months. Still not heard back from anyone regarding the fiction that I sent out a few weeks ago but a few weeks is a short time in this game.
Other than that there's not a lot happening in either the writing or the real world.
That Christmas thing will be upon us shortly. How come, when we were little Christmas never came around this quick? Does time travel faster the older you get?
Oh one of my old boss's (should that be "es"?) caused a stir the other week by ringing my new place of work and when he was told that I wasn't in left his name as Mr Such and Such and said that I would know who he was and why he had rung. Yeah, course I know who he is and he rang to see if there was any gossip. I was actually very touched because he was my boss about 5 years ago and we kept in touch but when I changed jobs we sort of lost it. I'd tried emailing/ringing him a couple of times but when I got no response thought we were just drifting apart as people do. But no, he tracked me down though God knows how thinking about it because I work in a very obscure location. Turns out his phone was nicked and of course he had no back up of his contacts and he had to change emails for some reason that I didn't quite understand. Anyway I was touched that he'd made the effort. He was always more like a little brother than a boss. When I was asked at work who he was I just said that he was an old boss and let them wonder about the rest. Gotta have a bit of mystique. Me and mystique there's a laugh.
Anyway, I can tell that I am starting to waffle - must be giddy from the success of 1,200 words down today so on that note I'm off to make Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Soup (gotta do something with it) and bake biscuits.
Ta ta

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Just curious

Just wondered if anyone was signed up to NaNoWriMo this year? Or have you done it before? Or generally what your thoughts are about it?

Sunday, 9 October 2011

In the water

So that's it, my toes are back in the water and I have sumitted my first piece of short non fiction since (I checked my records) 15th October 2010. It feels kind of new and exciting and a little bit strange. The piece that I submitted was something that I wrote before my "sabbatical" but I hope to start something new later today.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Guilty as charged

I believe that I am guilty of not following one of my own rules of engagement, namely the one about not messing about because it gets you no-where. Indeed I think that I have spent a lot of the last year "messing about" and not being terribly serious about what I was writing. I was, I think, pretending that I was trying to be a writer, going through the motions as it were. They say that confession is good for the soul - so there you go. I confess I am guilty as charged - it's a fair cop. but the good thing about realising what I have been doing means that I get a chance to do something about it. I know that I said a couple of weeks ago that I was thinking of writing short fiction again but as yet I have done nothing about it. But that changes this afternoon. I start getting serious again this afternoon. It is in fact already afternoon. It's not like I'm putting it off for a couple of hours.
On a different yet similar note. I had a conversation with the dog this morning about BTL. I explained to him about how I loved it and I thought that other people would too - if only they got the chance to read it. I also told him that in this current economic climate publishing houses were taking on fewer and fewer new writers because it involved quite a big risk with their somewhat limited financial resources. He was of course absolutely riveted by this conversation and was hanging onto my every word. So then I asked him for his opinion on self publishing which is something that I said that I would never do. I mean, people are supposed to pay you to publish your work. Anyway, he didn't really have an opinion and chose that moment to fall asleep. So I wondered what you all thought. Is it something that you have considered or even tried and what were your experiences? Is it something that I should consider?
Anyway, serious head going back on now.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Thinking of paddling again

I'm seriously thinking of dipping my toe back into the short fiction water and I wondered if anyone knew if Best were still taking submissions. I think that I read somewhere that they were only doing fiction again for the summer. I'd appreciate any info anyone has because I have a story that I think might interest them.
I've been away from short fiction for about a year now and haven't really kept up with much gossip. Is there anything that anyone thinks that I should know?

Wednesday, 21 September 2011


... for the whinging earlier on. It has just been one of those days. I think the basic problem was that I was feeling a bit down about who knows what and decided that I woul dbe happy if BTL was read by millions but to get to that stage I need it to be read by one.
Feeling a lot better now and remembering that happiness is not being a success at what you do but rather about being a success at who you are. Think I'm ready for a holiday.

Just can't say goodbye

I am working on NMBK and I am excited by it especially as I'm getting to the part where I actually feel that I have got to know it again so I can start new writing. However I keep thinking about BTL. I know that there is a market for it but I just need to find someone who is willing to look at it all. When I have sent it to agents I get really good coments about the writing though some of them do want me to get rid of one of the main characters but others say they like him so I guess its just a matter of opinion. I know that if I could get someone to read the whole book they would see how vital he is to it.
But agents only want to see the first three chapters which I have polished to death so I guess I should just get over myself and get back to NMBK. However I do feel better for getting it off my chest so thank you for that.
If anyone is wondering why I didn't just delete his its because I view this blog as a conversation and, as I have learned too often, once you've sais something you can't take it back.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Flying time

How can it be a month since I was last here? What have I done? Not a lot that I can remember.
Work has been a bit stupid because of sickness so that has taken up a lot of my time and energy, plus I have been feeling a bit under the weather so maybe time has flown by without me realising it. Well clearly it has.
I did have a conversation with an editor re the comma which apparently I don't use correctly sometimes. She/he (not sure which because they went by their initials) wanted me to put them where I didn't feel comfortable putting them but hey ho, c'est la vie and all that. In the end I put it down tio the fact that it is an American publication and they might use commas differently.
So that's what I've been getting up to and now I'm off to check what the rest of you have been doing. I've got a tenner that says its been more inetersting than what I've been doing.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Productive morning

Today is an unusual day off from the day job as in one where I don't have to do grocery shopping or go anywhere so I could sit myself in my chair with my feet up and laptop on lap (where else would it be?) relatively early and I am happy to report that it has been productive.I
1. Wrote 500+ words on NMBK which I know is not a lot but I am still feeling my way back into the project and although the word count wasn't high, if they were the right words - that's fine.
2. Wrote a short article which after polishing will hopefully be submitted this week.
3. The dreaded self assessment. Yuck! Hate doing it and for what its worth to the tax man it is a lot of effort but knowing my luck if I didn't do it I'd be the one that the courts made an example of. But its done now and that is the main thing.
All in all a good mornings work and now that noon approaches I might do a bit of ironing or who knows - I might even bake. Decisions decisions.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Number 3 update

Well, as decided upon by the majority, I am now working on the number 3 option which was NMBK which is currently just shy of 26,000 words down on the page. Where I left it was probably about half way through the book but there is a lot of developing to do so 26,000 words does not constitute 1/2 a book.
I gave the first chapter to my best girlfriend (its a girl rather than a bloke book) and asked her what she thought. She said that she liked it and wanted to know how the characters developed but as the first chapter is only about 2 1/2 pages long she didn't have a lot to go one.
So far so good.
Good choice everyone.
One more thing. What should I do with BTL? That's the book that had agents interested but not interested enough. I'm thinking stick it in a metaphorical drawer and forget about it but would that be the right thing to do?

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

The question to the answer

Please don't be annoyed by how uninteresting the question was but the question was:- What (if any) major project should I concentrate on. Should it be
1. DC
2. BTL
5. GU
All of them are a WIP in some form or other and I didn't know which direction to take.
DC is complete in its current form but only 45,000words long and several years ago an author who has been really helpful to me suggested that as it stood it wouldn't easily fit into a genre. I totally agreed with her and decided to give it up to concentrate on BTL. I have however recently thought of returning to it and developing it.
BTL is complete at 67,000 words and although several agents have been interested one of the very interested no-one has taken it up. So I have to ask myself that despite the fact that I love it do I give up on it and try something else. That will of course depend on which number got the most votes.
NMBK is about 20,000 words or so but not finished. I left it alone while I tried to get agents interested in BTL.
NRIMH is also about 20,000 words and not finished. There is however a lot of scope for development with this one.
GU was simply "give up." That is to say give up the idea that I will ever write a book that will interest anyone enough to want to publish it.
When I asked the question I was perfectly prepared to go with the majority decision even if it was number 5.
So I asked some other people including my best friend what number to pick and I can now say that the option that got the most votes was number 3 so NMBK is the winner (lucky thing)
Thanks for all your input

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Answers please

Without knowing the question I would appreciate a few answers. Is it
1, 2, 3, 4 or 5?
Thank you very much in advance for any answers provided.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Work, flu and the Tour de France

Sorry to have not popped over for a few weeks but life has a way messing up what you'd really want to be doing sometimes. I was on holiday from the day job last week but "proper poorly" though thankfully I am on the mend now. I know for a fact that I have only ever had colds before because this week I had flu. I thought I was dying on Tuesday. Then the two weeks before that I was working flat out (at the day job) without a day off which probably explains why I was so low that I caught flu.
Anyway, not to worry, like I said I'm on the mend now and have another week off from the day job to look forward to.
I haven't done as much writing as I would have liked since last we spoke but hopefully that will be remedied when the batteries are fully recharged after another week's R & R. I have one article that needs to be with the editor by tomorrow night and that will be it until the end of next week as we are taking off for a few days. I'll have the obligatory notebook in my bag so there might be a few ideas jotted down but that'll be about it next week and after that it'll be full steam ahead. I had to buy a new hoover on Friday so I need to get a few bits accepted somewhere to pay for it.
After watching the Tour de France from a prostrate position on the sofa this week I have added the Loire Valley to the list of places that I want to visit before I die. I've never really watched the tour before but I have become quite a fan though what possesses grown men to race up a mountain on a bike is beyond me. and then there's the even sillier racing down a mountain. Madness!
Well thats about all I have to report. Nothing very exciting I'm afraid.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Whats wrong?

With Blogger that is. At first I thought it was just me that was having a problem commenting on certain blogs (even my own) but then I have read that others are having similar problems. Did I miss something when I was away from Blogland?

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Working out where to start

So, I have read everything that I have for NMBK and I must say that i was a little surprised where I had left it but there you go - thats life. Like I think I mentioned before, it does very much read like a first draft but that's probably because that's what it is so I'm not too worried about that. My problem - not that it is one really is how to start again. How do I write the next sentence? How do I get the ball rolling again? But hang on a minute, didn't I just say that it is a first draft so whatever I write next will not be written in stone and can be changed so what does it matter what I write next as long as I get things moving again. I think I will start with "Michelle gave up the effort of trying to sleep." That'll work I think and if it doesn't that's what the delete button is for.
Thanks for listening.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

First drafts and short memories.

After enjoying 2 days off its back to the salt mines this morning (ya boo hiss and all that) but before I go up the mountain I thought I'd read more of NMBK as part of the getting to know you again stage. As a first draft it is okay but there is a lot of polishing to do before it ever sees the light of day. Having said that the premise is good (I believe) and the emotion is there but the writing just needs to be tighter. Its full steam ahead though with the reading. I'm changing nothing and I'm going to get the whole of the first draft down before I go back and start tweaking.
Talking of work, some of you will remember that I was made redundant in March but was lucky enough to find another job in the same field but with a different charity. It surprises me to realise that sometimes its hard to remember that I ever worked for another charity or on another location. I am so pleased with the way my brain has just adjusted to my new situation. Maybe this was how I got over being dumped by whatever that very tall lad was called that I used to go out with when I was a teenager (sorry can't remember your name if you're reading this which is possible if HIGHLY unlikely). Sometimes having a short memory span comes in very handy.
Mountain here I come.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011


I'm off to the hairdressers shortly for a couple of hours pampering but I thought that I read a bit more of NMBK before I went. While I was reading chapter 3 I had a ? moment followed by an aaarrrgghhh one when i realised that T's dad has a different name from the one he has later on. I thought that I'd changed all of them when I decided change his name (after about 10k words) but clearly not. Of well, changed now so all's right with the world again.
So shopping and hairdressers here I come. This is the first of two days together that I've managed to wrangle off from the day job in the world of charity retail and I aim to enjoy them.

Full steam ahead

Well not quite full steam but certainly steamier than it was. No, not in that sense. I just mean that it is moving again.
What is? I hear you cry.
NMBK - that's what. You remember - novel number 2.
Its been on the back burner for a few months while I anguished over what to do with BTL (so far unpublished first novel but will be one day) but now that that's sorted in my head at least I can go back to NMBK which is currently around 25k words. Also as some of you know I struggle sometimes with fitting everything in but I have at last come up with a way of
a)working on the non fiction which while not my day job does help to pay the bills and makes me work to deadlines
b) having time to work on my novel on a regular basis.
So everyone is happy - well me at least.
Fiction is my first love, though I still don't have my mojo for writing short stories back yet. I do however love working on my novel - you know on this world that lives in my head.
There is a lot of conflict in the world in my head though so I am currently reading through what I have already written to get back into the heads of the people that live there and remember how they were feeling when I left off. As I recall, T was angry, M was scared and R was just the arrogant so and so he's always been.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Hurry up Smudge

I know that I should be working on the assignment that I need to finish but its one of those days when something else is on my mind. I had a call from a friend earlier saying that their cat (Smudge) had gotten out through an open window and, as it is a house cat they were naturally worried. I had hoped to have heard by now that it had turned up but no such luck. I know how much this cat means to my friend and no matter how much I try and concentrate on the job in hand I just keep thinking about the cat. I'm sort of clinging to the hope that she has turned up but my friend has just not called on account of it being late. Hopefully I will get a call in the morning. She'd better turn up soon because I only have 2 days before this has to be on the editors desk.

Final decision

What a job I had logging on? Talk about going around the houses - which we won't so I'll leave it there.
However, I did have something to say so I went around those houses I wasn't going to talk about and here I am.
I have made a final - yes I repeat FINAL decision about G - that is to say George, for that is his name.
Remember how I have always said that I love George and how I didn't want to get rid of him even though others had suggested that I should? Well you know that I already decided not to but I was going to try and give hime a back seat. Well not any more!!
I love George and he is what make BTL the book that it is which is a book that I love. I have read it several times and while its not Dickens or Shakespeare I enjoyed it. And it is only the way it is because of George and his relationship with E (not ready to reveal their name yet)
And how did I come to this decision? I read it again.
I decided this morning and I'm not sure why to read BTL in its original form. The one where George appears half way through chapter one as a voice rather than the rejigged version where he is the character in the retro clothing at the end of chapter two, and do you know what? I smiled . And despite what I might have been trying to convince myself of over the last few months E felt better for having him there right from the start. Sorry if I'm talking as if they are real people but they are real in my head.
What made the decision for me though was when, at the end of chapter 2, he utters the immortal words "Yes Love, I'm afraid you are."
So now its time to be honest about most of what I said here over the last months regarding the rijig making my MC a stronger character. I was trying to convince myself that I was doing the right thing and I now know that I wasn't.
A writer of dozens of books (who I will not name because its a personal relationship and they haven't given their permission) told me a few months ago, after reading both the original and the rejigged version told me to stick with the original and I should have listened to her. She said that George made it interesting.
So that's it - the rejig is over - the original stays.
Now, as my writer friend told me, I just have to find someone who loves it as much as she I do.
Can't tell you how much better I feel now.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Renewed vigor

So another week has passed without me coming over. My blog is perhaps starting to feel the same way that my mother does.
Anyway - done now - got to make the best of it.
As I have mentioned ad infinitum I started a new job in March which took/takes up a lot of my energy and time. But it is essentially the same job that took/takes up so much time as I did before but in a different and (has to be said) better environment so I should be used to it. However I did go from one to the other without a break - not even a day - and I think that took its toll because I was kn... very tired. But I had last week off work and I feel a zillion times better.
I had a lovely week of finally doing some chores that I've been putting off for ages (a fact that gets me down by itself) baking, cooking, taking the dog to the beach and visiting sleepy market towns for shopping and pub lunches. And, while that was all good, the best bit was that there was no alarm and I slept until I woke up which was such a treat and absolutley fantastic.
Back to reality tomorrow though but at least I can face it with renewed vigor which is something that I hope to apply to me writing too. It has sufferred, I have put it off but the fact fact that I haven't even looked at a piece of writing for a week means that I want to now. Having just said that though, does that mean that I'm not really writer material because I have often read that writers "have" to write and frankly I didn't last week.
Here we go.

Saturday, 14 May 2011


How can it be nearly a month since I was here? That's ridiculous - where is the time going?
Well as you can see I am still alive and kicking. I have spent the last month writing non fiction as the short fiction bug has still not returned and tinkering about with BTL. Which brings me to the reason I am here.
An update.
To be honest I haven't done much on BTL in the last month either. Seems that making a living is getting in the way - again. However I did delve into it a few minutes ago and realised that my MC wasn't speaking in her voice. Remember how I said after chapter 1 that she had finall found her voice and I like it. Well I have had to admit to myself that in my haste to get through it (remember I did set myself a deadline) I wasn't being thorough enough at pruning. I think the first chapter is fab possibly the second too but the following three have probably been rushed and I think that I will have to go back and have another look at them and make sure that MC is still speaking with that voice.
So that's the plan anyway.
Right so I'm off to see what the rest of you have been up to in the last month.

Monday, 18 April 2011

The wanderer returns

Just a quick note to say that G has finally returned to BTL. He hasn't had a speaking part yet but as the enigmatic stanger with the retro clothes watching the policeman walk away from the scene of an accident. I don't think he's going to be quite so cocky this time round but who knows because like I said he hasn't opened his mouth yet.
Have had such a productive morning. I worked on some articles as well as BTL, I baked some cakes, made a pie and even got to the bottom of the ironing pile. Not quite sure what has come over me but I wish every day could be so productive.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Starting Officially

So it is "officially" April which means that the rejig of BTL has "officially" started. When I gave myself a six month deadline it seemed such a long time but I know from bitter experience that it is not anywhere near as long as you think it is. So, I'd best get on with it and not bleat on about it. I have a couple of things that I am committed to writing this morning so I will get on with chapter 2 at some point this afters. Or at least that is the plan unless number 1 Son should turn up showering me with Mother's Day gifts. I'm willing to wager that I'll be rejigging this afternoon.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Still no sign

I managed to do both things. I caught up on a bit of sleep and I also did some rijigging. I have now completed chapter 1 (round of applause) and guess what? There's still no sign of G. I have however decided on the perfect place for us to get our first glimpse of him and I believe it will towards the end of chapter 2. I'm thinking that his introduction will be brief and fleeting which of course both mean the same thing but I'm sure you catch my drift as it were. We and MC will see him briefly and maybe at this stage not pay hime too much attention, only later will his importance become apparant. This idea only dawned on me about five minutes ago and I am very excited about it.

Best laid plans

Thanks to the workings of my internal clock which somehow managed to take the loss of an hour into consideration I still woke up at the normal time. So instead of the usual 6 hours sleep I managed to get 5. Yay!!!! However I was awake and bright eyed so I've got on with the day and will hopefully catch up with the sleep later. That means that I did a couple of hours writing which is as we speak winging its way towards Editorland (wherever that is) and this afternoon I'm planning another hour on BTL. That is not written stone however as I may well be snoozing on the sofa this aternoon.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Weird week

It has been such a weird week.
I started it as the employee of one charity and ended it as the employee of another and have worked everyday inbetween. In a way its a good thing that I didn't have a break because it didn't give me time to dwell on what was happening but boy am I tired. The three day induction that I have had with my new employers has involved a 40 minute drive morning and night which is way more than I am used to. Luckily for me, from Monday its a 10 minute drive well 15 probably to my new place. So while I would normally have fitted writing into the few hours that I'll have spare in the morning something tells me that I will probably be asleep.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

1st report

Okay so I spent almost an hour tweaking BTL and I thought I would report on progress. Well, considering I haven't touched any fiction writing since the October it went alright. It felt fine.
There are now 66 more words than there were before and none of them refer to G - he hasn't reappeared yet. However my MC has finally found her voice. The interested agent from last year said that she liked the voice of the MC but now it is perfect - just right for her - and me.
I have to say that there have been times in the last few months when I wondered if I would ever touch fiction again because the non fiction is ticking along nicely but after making the committment in Blogland to do it and actually making the effort to find the time, I really enjoyed it.

Rejig starts today

Remember that rejig of BTL that I said I would start in April and give yself 6 months to do? Well, alright, I know its not April but I'm starting it today and I am giving myself until the end of October to complete it. I don't anticipate getting much done before April though mainly due to a bungle on my part which means that I'll be working at my current job (apart from today and Sunday) until next Wednesday and starting my new job on Thursday. Also an appointment this afternoon means that I won't get more than an hour to look at it today. I just wanted to make the public commitment to doing it (hence the post) because I'll be more inclined to do it then. I still don't know where I'm going to find the time to do it but I will - from somewhere. I hear that sleep is very over-rated.

Sunday, 13 March 2011


My head has been all over the place since January. Although I never said the word, I know that most of you probably realised that I was losing a job that I loved and being made redundant. I've been there a long time (9 years) and its a job that I've enjoyed. During February there was a chance that I could stay with the organisation but it would involve an hours commute in the morning and another one at night. I considered that for a while though I wasn't looking forward to the drive. Then I was offerred the chance to do the same job for a different organisation only 7 1/2 miles away from where I live so I snatched their hands off.
Needless to say, writing has not been a priority for me in the last three months.
So here's the situation at the moment. I have one more week of actual "work" which won't be easy because to see a place dieing on its feet is not nice and I work with volunteers who are going to find the process particularly hard so I'm going to be doing a lot of "picking up" this week. Then after that there are 3 days of actual closure. Then , and I know this was bad planning on my part, I start my new job the next day.
Hopefully when that process is out of the way I can start getting back to normal.
Also as some of you know, I used to write fiction with varying amounts of success but after a particularly unsuccessful early 2010 decided to concentrate on non fiction which I have been doing since October. That is going okay and I will still continue with that but from April I want to work on fiction again - or at least some of it.
My novel BTL had some interest from an agent last year but there were some twaeks that they wanted, Sadly after the tweaks they still didn't "love" (their words) enough to take it on. Personally I think that the tweaks requested were too harsh but they did make for better writing. So, from April I am going to give myself 6 months to tweak BTL again - not going as far as the agent wanted (they made me get rid of G and as those of you that have lived through this with me know - I love G, nay maybe even a little in love with him) but making the writing more of the style that the agents tweaks created, Sorry if that last sentence makes no sense but on here I write as I think and once its said, its said, just like in a proper conversation between friends.
That's the plan anyway.

Thursday, 3 March 2011


I start a new job in at the end of the month (Yay!!!!) but it means that I've moved here to Frugal City. I'm sure that it will be a lovely place to live but I'm on my own over there so if anyone fancies popping over with their own words of wisdom now and again that would be great. If anyone would like to come and live in Frugal City I'm sure that there are places to stay at a reasonable price.
On a serious note I'm really looking forward to the challenge of the new job but the initial rewards will not be financial - hence the move to Frugal City. Actually its a place that I've tried to visit from time to time in the past but somehow stark economics have a way of focusing the mind.
Anyway now that the day job has been sorted maybe I can settle down to writing again.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

A mixed bag

Writing went well earlier today and I achieved what I wanted to do. The Editors (I think of them as a life form like The Klingons) weren't so happy with something that I did the other day but thats a rewrite not an outright rejection so that was alright too.
Tonight though the article I wanted to research has fallen flat and I have achieved nothing but that could well be down to one of two things:
1. The fact that I spent an hour crying for no reason - must be my age
2. When I decided that A glass of Port would cheer me up, I drank too much of it and now all I want to do is go to sleep.
Oh, and if that wasn't bad enough, I've lost a follower. Hope they're not under the ironing pile because if they are they are lost forever.

Friday, 18 February 2011


... for being such a bad and infrequent blogger. Goodness knows what my new followers must think. I used to have things to say once upon a time - and now and again some of them were interesting.
My only excuse is that things are still up in the air regarding the day job and as I'm sure at least some of you will know that occupies pretty much every waking hour of the day. Well that's not my only excuse actually, the other one is that I haven't really done anything that's worth mentioning. Maybe that is connected to my first excuse though.
Since I stopped writing fiction I'm not struggling with word counts or rejigging plots and I just seem to get on with it. I'm still not as prolific as I was before Christmas but that may also be connected to the first excuse. if only I didn't need a day job life would be so much easier. Some of you may remember though from the full time writing experiment earlier in the year I cannot support myself through writing and I do need a day job. Plus, for me personally (and this could prove a problem if I do get my fiction mojo back and get a book deal which means I have to write full time) freelancing is a bit too unstable for me. I like to know that there is going to be monet going into the bank once a month and that it will be enough to just about cover the bills. I know its not very adventurous but I'm not prepared to see my family go under so that I can follow a dream.
Talking of fiction mojo - I haven't got it back yet but I am building up to revisiting a project in a months time or so. I am going to knuckle down to it and see what happens. Its not coming back on its own so maybe I have to force the issue.
I'll try not to be away so long next time.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Not such a good start...

..to the new year writing wise but not so bad either so what am I moaning about? It has been "okay." January wasn't as prolific as December but it had a few successful days. February has got off to a slow start but then it is only the 3rd so there's time to improve.
I was on a roll before Christmas but then I sort of lost the momentum and never picked it up again. Well I guess I have had a lot on my mind - and yes its still whizzing round the space between my ears.
And a quick note about the "full time writer" experiment. It was relatively successful but it taught me that I'm not really at the stage in my writing where I can afford to give up the day job and rely on what I can earn from writing.
Heres to the rest of 2011.
BTW Its dear old Ma and Pa's 60th (yes I said 60th) wedding anniversary today. Go them!!!

Friday, 21 January 2011


Just thought I would pop over and give you a quick update on this week's project. So far I am 2 days into the 3 day project of writing "full time" and I have to tell you that I found/am finding it quite difficult. Not the writing part which is fine but the discipline. Actually sitting at a key board for hours on end researching and writing meaningful stuff may sound idyllic but it is so tempting to make another cup of tea or eat another bit of cake.
I was delayed on the first day by a computer problem when I thought that I might have a virus and so had to run some anti-virus software. That stopped me doing what I wanted to at that time but it did allow for reading a bit of BTL and deciding what I was going to do there. So technically I suppose it wasn't wasted time but it just stopped me from getting all the writing that I wanted to do done. Then before you know it, it was 2pm which was my designated stop time (I did start just after 7) so I didn't get the prep done for the second day. Yesterday I didn't get everything done that I wanted to either mainly due to the fact that I spent a while on the phone to a lovely bloke at Dell because I had lost my wireless Internet connection and as everything that I am submitting this week is via email, a connection is sort of vital. Turns out I'd caught a button so it was easily remedied but I did feel a twit. Also the fact that the prep wasn't done the day before held me up. Nil desperandum I thought I can catch up on Friday (3rd day) which I might except that I'm going to knock off early today because Himself has bought tickets for "The King's Speech" (lovely man, can't wait.)
So if anything these few days has taught me that if I were to do this on a regular basis I would have to be more disciplined but I think that I knew that already. I have to say though that I have been so impressed with myself for not surfing the net and actually getting on with the job in hand.
I guess the success of this experiment will be in how much of the stuff that I have written is picked up by editors because as someone who is not independently wealthy and does actually need to make a living unless someone buys the stuff that I write when I do it as a "job" then we're not going to eat much.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Plan for tomorrow

The plan for tomorrow is to put a full shift in writing - that is at least 6 hours. I'll let you know a) if I manage it and b) if I achieve what I want to.
Night all.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Time for a change

I wasn;t going to blog about this but I was sitting here lap top on knee, dog's head on feet writing an article and I thought what the hec, things are always better when you talk about them. So here goes.
The result of the meeting I had last week (remember I asked for good vibes) was that the job that I currently do is coming to an end in March so it's going to be a time of change for me. The job is gone at least in its current location and probably all together but there are still some negotiations to be entered into (so I believe - daresay I'll be the last to know.) Anyway, nil desperandum and all that because I believe that it will be okay in the end and that I am being moved into another phase of my life. I've faced worse and come through it and with God and good friends on my side I will do again.
So let me get to the point of the post. It is a time of change and for change and as luck would have it I'd booked this week as a holiday from work so I'll have lots of time to think about it. I think that I have a drastic idea for BTL but I'm going to give it some thought before I commit myself to anything.
Anyway must go I've got an article that needs to be submitted by noon and its currently 10.15am with barely a word on the page. Wonder if I've got time to make a cuppa? What am I saying - there's always time for a cuppa.

Monday, 10 January 2011


I see that I have some new followers so I just wanted to say hello to you, thank you for choosing to follow my antics and welcome to the merry band. Blogging has been a little lax in the last month or so and depending on how today's meeting goes I can't promise what it'll be like in the weeks to come but I will try to keep you updated with what is going on in the Land of the Pink Pen.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Good vibes please

Its getting on for midnight and I know that I should go to bed because I'm tired but I'm a bit scared that I won't be able to sleep when I get there. You see, I have a meeting at work tomorrow that I'm really not looking forward to and I don't want to spend all night thinking about it. Sorry I haven't blogged this week but my mind has been elswhere - sadly.
If you're not doing anything tomorrow around 11am (GMT) please send me good vibes.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Time warp

According to my phone it is 23.59 in the year of Our Lord 2100 which freaked me out a bit when I saw it at half six this morning. It still says that by the way. So I'm not stuck in the past but 90 years in the future which. Well let me tell you it looks pretty much the same as 2010 did when I was there yesterday except we must have developed some sort of super flash anti aging device because I've just seen Dave and Nick on the news and they haven't aged a day since I last saw them. Maybe it wanlt the news - maybe it was the History Channel.
Happy New Year to you all - whatever year it is.