Sunday 30 October 2016

How to Get Published conference

Yesterday, I went to a writing conference. For various reasons, I've written about it on my website, so rather than repeat it, click

to read all about it, and see yet another dodgy photo of me. Feel free to comment over there, or pop back and comment here. Or not at all... You know, being Sunday and all, you might be way too relaxed...

Sunday 23 October 2016

Well, that's that, then... (A NaNo confession)

I've just signed up to this year's NaNoWriMo event.

It's possible I've gone completely mad!

I'm not sure what happened. I came home from work this afternoon, made a cup of tea, checked my emails, signed up.

Okay, that's not strictly true - I've been considering it for a while, but coming up with some really very good reasons not to: I've got a two day course to go on for work in November, the kids will need me to be available for specific reasons in November, I'm already booking up my days off with hot chocolate dates with friends, I'm going to be an aunt and will want to see lots of the new baby.

But, there are some compelling reasons to give it a go:

  1. I'm staring at a novel that's just been rejected and wondering what to do with it - I'm not happy with it, but it's been through so many incarnations at this point, I've forgotten what the original point was.
  2. Because I've been working on the same novel for most of the year, I think I've forgotten how to write something new. I have no ideas, no characters, nothing even remotely like a plan, plot or vision.
  3. I've recently turned my 2012 attempt into a short story that's out on submission - even if I don't win, I might be able to salvage something useful.
  4. It's a really good excuse to be lavished with chocolate. I don't drink coffee, so I have to get my caffeine from somewhere, don't I?

So, who's with me? Who's already signed up? Who's thinking about it?
Is chocolate a good enough reason?
Do you have any advice for me?

Wednesday 19 October 2016

Another musical guest post

I'm really excited to be featured on Roz Morris's Undercover Soundtrack today. It's a fantastic series looking at how music has influenced the way a writer approaches their novel.

Being different, and not the author of a published novel yet, my post features the songs that inspired my short stories - each of my books gets a mention, so they don't feel left out.

I hope you enjoy reading more about me. I suggest making yourself a hot chocolate to drink while you read it, that's what I'm going to do!

Wednesday 12 October 2016

My 5 Reasons guest post

This is the scene I was greeted with as I rounded the hedge from one field to the next on Monday morning.

It was cold, and I'm starting to wonder where I put my gloves at the end of last winter. But, so glorious. Artoo doesn't like me to linger for too long - apparently, walking means just that to him!

I thought it was too nice a photo not to share.

Today I'm guest posting on Tyrean Martinson's blog, sharing my 5 Reasons to Write to Music. I hope you'll pop over and see what my reasons are.

I've got another music-based guest post on the cards next week. Details to follow.

Sunday 2 October 2016

Puts down pen and sighs...

... looks up and sees that it's October!

(I'm cheating with the photos - Hubby's just taken them for me on his walk with Artoo, while I write this, still in my dressing gown!)

About a month ago, I started writing and revising four stories for four very different short story competitions - one flash, one with a huge first prize, one with awesome additional publicity benefits and one with huge prestige.

It was brilliant to work on such a variety of different projects, and a relief to finish one and start the next. The flash was so hard because it was only 300 hundred words, and then I immediately set out to turn a 50,000 word NaNo project from years ago into a 5,000 word short story. I think it worked. I hope it did.

I love sending out submissions. I like the blank space that remains when the email has vanished. I sit and stare for a second, then I gather up all the notes and drafts for that project and file them away - and swap in the next thing.

I wrote a to-do list!

I don't do it often, but in August I wrote a to-do list, and last week I found it. Are you interested? Okay, here it is...
  1. Re-start my mailing list. It may surprise some of you to know that you're signed up to my mailing list, because I don't actually ever send it out. My goal was to resurrect it and make it fun. I have not done this... yet.
  2. Write or redraft two stories. Boom - wrote four!
  3. Work through all my old stories to submit them by the end of the year. Obviously, this is a follow-on from the previous point, but it makes sense, because I have a lot hanging around, and it's fun to re-work something to give it new life.
  4. Buy more bloggers books and review them. I realised that I love finding new reviews on Goodreads and Amazon, and figured my blogger friends love it too. So I've been doing this - slowly, but hopefully more when I get into the swing of it.
  5. Figure out what to do with my novel. I've submitted a particular novel to many agents, and no one likes it. I love it. Some beta readers said very nice things about it. I'm not going to give up on it, but I haven't figured out my next move yet.

Do you have a to-do list? How's it looking?
Are you getting prepared for autumn?