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21 November 2008


The end is nigh!

I have (give or take a few hours) nine days left before the self-imposed deadline for completion of my first novel. I must stress (as if I haven’t done so already) that this is a first draft and so very far from the end.

But, I am learning so much about the process of writing that if it doesn’t work out for some reason or another, I will have progressed in my life as a writer. I have struggled for years to ‘find’ the time to write, to get the scramble in my brain onto paper and to believe in the characters that have occupied by life. It has been quite cathartic this week particularly as I hit that midway barrier when you suddenly realise what a huge task you have set yourself.

At the beginning of the week I sat in bed, pen poised (my favourite snorkel fountain pen back from the menders) and journal at the ready and thought I couldn’t write a word more. A couple of minutes later, I had flicked back and re-read what I’d last written and 45 minutes later had written six pages! By the end of this week, I had finished the A4 lined book (approximately 250 pages) I use and need to find another to complete the end of the month.

So stop twittering on I hear you say, what have you learnt then?

Well three things…

  1. You never ‘find’ the time - you have to make the time
  2. The scramble in your head may be scramble on paper but at least then you can decode it
  3. Well, I can’t think of the third thing but it must be something important… Oh yes, I know, the love of a good man. My Man Friday has been fantastic, he believed in me, and my characters, so why shouldn’t I?

Sizzling Success Stories

Encouraging responses continue to my queries, pitches and follow-ups.

This week my pitch about the 'puppies in the ditch' sorry tale has been accepted for a dog lovers magazine, our Bertie will be famous before he’s six months old!

We’ve been approached by the Sunday Times in response to a pitch we put in about being an ‘ex-patter’ and have submitted a piece about Christmas. Whether this will be published is much in doubt, but well, you never know.

I’ve submitted my usual upload to Suite 101, this time about the Italian Sculptor Antonia Canova. I have submitted 28 articles to date to this site and it earns me a few dollars now and then.

Finally I’m on my Friday query time and have just pitched seven more queries (hey, I’m on a roll!) but really the law of averages just means that I have to submit more pitches to get one positive response.

On My Bedside Table

Finished the Dark Materials Trilogy, most of it read last Sunday. Fab - although this third book did tend to linger on a bit, I enjoyed the philosophical questions it raised. No wonder the higher echelons of religious faiths are trying to prevent the story from being filmed.

I’m now taking a lighter approach to my reading as I approach the deadline for my novel, I don’t want any ‘stuff’ getting into my head. So I have returned to a favourite author of mine Alexander McCall Smith and his delightful Mme Ramotswe in his novel, ‘In the Company of Cheerful Ladies’.

Speak to you next week - if I’m not in a heap on the floor with no more to give… (don’t ask me where I get the dramatics from; it must be in the genes).

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