Sunday, 31 January 2010

just some thoughts

today, I'm in a good place writing wise. I think that this can be attributed to two things.

thing one - my gorgeous, lovely and amazing boyfriend has bought me a very new, very shiny, very marvellous netbook for my birthday and has let me have it a whole three weeks early. it totally fits in my handbag. its IMMENSE

thing two - at my writing group yesterday, we did an exercise where we were given a formula to write a story in under an hour. I was sceptical but used the formula for a story thats been in my head for a while which I haven't been able to get out. and it worked! it worked so well, that I have just entered it into a competition that I didn't really think I had time to enter (I also entered Five Minutes, which is on this blog, as nowhere in any of the bumf does it say that stories should not have been published before, hooray!!) so that brings the grand total of stories sent of in January to (drum roll please ) four. thats about all I managed in the whole of last year. so, go me

earlier this week, I was not in such a good place, writing wise. everything I was doing was awful, why was I even bothering, there was no point and I was going to throw everything in the bin etc etc. so I put everything away and luckily had a session with my writing coach who, bless her, managed to convince me that it wasn't awful, and I came to the following conclusions

conclusion one - my internal editor is a picky bitch, who is made more evil when I'm tired, or if I've had a bad day at work, she uses my low moods to get her foot in the door and really stick the boot into my self confidence. so, although I admit she can be very useful (I would say essential but she'd probably just get a big head) I need to ignore her sometimes, or else I would just sit in a corner and cry

conclusion two - my narrative voices have a tendancy to come out with random phrases and observations that they have no business saying. this makes my internal editor go a bit mental and makes the narrative look a so I need to learn to look out for them

right, thats me done. nice as this is, it is not my debut dagger entry so therefore non-essential

Sunday, 24 January 2010

procrastination, procrastination, procrastination

I have lots to do, deadlines that are sneaking up behind me, ready to slap me on the back, shout boo or perhaps push me in the mud. I know they're there, and every so often, I peek over my shoulder to see where they are.

So what else do I do? You would think that I would work on my stories (synopsis and first 3000 words of the big story due 6th Feb, 2000 words on the theme of "Unity" due 12th). Because that would be the sensible thing to do. But thats not what I'm doing. I'm working on lots of other little things, writing stories that don't need to get written yet. At the moment, I feel like I'm overflowing, I'm having ideas left, right and centre and am almost at the end of a notebook started in September (to put this in perspective, I have always had notebooks, always carried them and written in them - never, ever finished them, I normally get bored of that notebook and start another one - story of my writing life). Having ideas is great, I just need to control them.

Right, must go and get on. Much as I like writing this blog, it is not on my immediate to do list...

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

organisation, organisation, organisation

January has been a defining month in the grand scheme of getting my act together. its official! I have a cats-in-hats calendar with DEADLINES on it, its just to the left of where I sit, in my study (not where I sit right now, I'm currently in bed, because I am LAZY)

my approach, so far, this month (bar today) has been quite business-like. I have written on a Friday night. I have dragged myself out of bed, in the rain no less, and been in town for 9.30am on a Saturday morning to go to a writing group. I have fixed the printer so I can print things at home (granted, they will only print in blue but thats ok when it is just for me) overall, it is all good. it appears to be working, at some point tomorrow I will send two stories off, taking January's total to three (which is exactly three times the New Years Resolution minimum), so if we could all just take a little moment and give me a round of applause, that would be nice. hooray! hooray!

one thing that helps is planning my stories. tomorrow, I enter the Mslexia competition (deadline is on Monday, ideally, as the year progresses, I will gain an increased sense of urgency and send things off well in advance). I have known for about three months which stories are going in, and I paid for them about an hour ago (paid to enter them, that is, not paid for the stories) thinking that once I had paid I would absolutely definitely make sure I got the last final things done and got them entered. and I will. they're emailed to work and I'm going to go in early and print them and re-check them and send them. but one thing I noticed, when I re-read them, for the first time together is that they are quite similar. well, they are and they aren't. one is a story of a woman going to visit her mother, and the other is a story about a teenage girl, but lets just say I definitely have a theme. which I didn't think I did before. I'm sending them anyway, as I think to deviate from the plan at this stage would be disastrous, and I do think they're both good stories, I just hope that they aren't read one after the other.

in other, non-writing news, the boyf sprained his ankle whilst running the other day and I've never known anything swell up as much but they were very nice down the general and we were seen quite quickly. it is an incredibly severe sprain and he's been off work since Thursday, the swelling is changing, like it has a mind of its own its quite disgusting and for a while looked like an old lady's foot and now (after he dragged himself to the match yesterday) his toes have turned black with the bruising. so, pay attention kids, jogging is dangerous.

we (I) also asked our landlord today if we could have a pet. I think the answer is going to be no, but if you don't ask, you don't get and he is having a think about it so I am keeping everything crossed and just thinking of kittens...

right, must go to bed (well, sleep, I'm already in bed). working full-time+playing nursemaid+writing=tired Bijou

goodnight xx

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

synopsis = pain and frustration

so, I might have mentioned once or twice that I'm battling through a re-draft. plod plod plod. anyway, I'm trying to shape and polish it and enter it into the Debut Dagger competition, for which I need 3000 words (check! have it, just need to make it better) and a synopsis. which I started yesterday and initially found quite cathartic. so this is what getting my thoughts in order feels like! me likey! well, I did likey, until I actually checked the rules and found out that aforementioned synopsis had a limit of 1000 words. 1000 words? are you sure? is that all? cue minor heart palpitations. note to self, check word limits before writing wantonly in future.

so I am just going to have to get it done and edit like I have never edited before. adjectives? no, sorry, no room for you here. nouns...hmmm...well, I suppose you're essential...I predict lots of ugly joined up they've/there'd/she'd and perhaps I can just do without some words altogether, no ifs/buts/the but instead lots of ellipsis's...-...-...-it'll be...written in morse code.

I'm just going to have to get it done. whinging about it won't get the thing written, let alone edited...

right! off I go...on a happier note, I advise everyone to listen to Frank Turner. I got his album from Santa (well, my bro, after giving him strict instructions to buy it for me) and I love him. so there

wish me luck!!!!!!!!!

Friday, 8 January 2010

publication, oh, how sweet you are

Ok, so, check me out!!!!

Not only am I in the magazine, but I am also on the website, and they've linked to the blog. This is almost exactly how the best case scenario dreams played out in my head (the only thing missing are the phonecalls from the prospective agents/publishers but hey, its only been on there a day)

Thank you Mslexia!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Happy days. I've been crying. I'm so soft (and watching Got to Dance, it doesn't help)

Woo hooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

ooh! not long now...

So, today I phoned Mslexia, stalker-stylee, to find out when the January issue will be published and they said that it will be within the next day or two.

So then I asked, so if I have that delivered, does that mean I will receive it within the next week? And they said YES!!!

Eeeeeeek!!!!!! I am beyond excited!!! But I am also really quite nervous. What if they haven’t published it? What if they spell my name incorrectly? What if the author (author – eeeek!!!) blurb bit makes me sound like an idiot? What if…what if…blah blah blah, aaaarrrgggghhh!!!!

Monday, 4 January 2010

New Year, Old Resolutions (with a slightly more practical twist)

So let me just start off with a small confession. I haven't written 100,000 words. In fact, I have barely written any words at all. I have, however, eaten a lot of food and learnt how to make kick-ass key lime pie.

But all that is so last year.

This year, my resolutions (which its taken me a couple of days to formulate properly) are (in no particular order)...

  • to enter one competition/send off one submission a month
  • to spend an hour a day on the "big story"
  • to walk home from work a couple of times a week and go on the wii fit
  • to write more original stories for the blog
  • to update said blog more regularly
  • to try all manner of unusual and creative things in a bid to get paid actual money for my writing in the hopes that one day, some day, I may be able to make a career out of it
So my first submission needs to be in by the 15th Jan and is on the subject of "Heaven". When I told the boyf how I had interpreted this, he accused me of being morbid. Morbid? Moi? I don't want to give too much away, let me just say that it is very much focussed on the being dead part of getting to heaven, and how people get dead. I am very happy with it.

After that, I have another submission on the 25th Jan. One of which is an old story that possibly needs a little tweak, the other needs one final big sit down re-write but is almost there. So thats two competitions, in my first month! And I have February's planned too. And I have spent some time on the big story today (which, for the record, I am no longer counting in words. I am now counting in double-spaced passable first draft pages, of which I have seventy five. I mean, this is the kind of shit I could print and not cry over, its happy days), and now I am updating the blog. So nah nah nah New Years Resolutions, I am getting there!

In other news, Saturday is psychic night at Bijou Towers where the girls come over to drink wine and eat buffet food and a psychic comes over and we take turns to go down to the spare bedroom and pick stones and have our secrets relayed to us by our dead relatives. It promises to be F.U.N.

And on that note, I am off. Got to go and have a tidy round and pick out my outfit for work tomorrow so I can have an extra five minutes in bed in the morning. Boo real life, boo to you.