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31 December 2008


New Brush Sweeps Clean
I know, I know I haven't kept up to date with my blog this month and I'm feeling very guilty about it. Since the completion of the first draft of my novel (I still feel like 'yippee!) I have been on a whirl wind rellie tour of the UK covering over 1500 miles and slept in a total of 8 different beds! It was wonderful to see everyone though and get some early Xmas celebrations in. Since our return, only a week before Christmas, we have been busy with our darling puppy Bertie who is now 12 weeks old and probably about the same in kilos! Yestereday we picked up his sister Jess (who is a bit of a nutcase) and her old pal Rusty and we have been racing around since then!

Our setting has been very Christmassy as we had snow on Boxing Day and then again on Sunday which left our valley under 3-4 inches of lovely white stuff. Bertie loved sitting in it and hearing it go crunch under his bottom! Unfortunately though a friend who was supposed to be coming for dinner on Sunday had a car accident and couldn't make it. So we now have nut roast and a huge Vincigrassi (a kind of Italian lasagne) in the freezer and our tummies are full of Tiramasu! The main thing is he's OK but the car not so... :(

Anyway I have started my planning for the New Year and with renewed vigour and a little bit of discipline I am going to brush up my blog and try and write a little bit most days if Ican. It's just about routine really, we all need it unfortunately... Anyway I will try and add a couple of pictures just to end this year off and say Buon Nuovo Anno and Auguri for 2009.

On My Bedside Table
I've just finished Robert Harris 'The Ghost' which has been a fabulous but easy read about a ghostwriter penning the autobiography of an ex PrimeMinister. I would encourage you to read it - I learnt a lot about writing and ghosting but at the same time enjoyed a good story!

2 December 2008


Or should I say book?
Well, I’m late with my blog entry because as you know if you’ve been following my sorry story, I had a deadline to meet. And… I DID IT! Hoorah!

I had finished slightly ahead of schedule – on Saturday – but wasn’t quite ready to let go, so I did a bit more to the ending on Sunday which didn’t feel very satisfying but there you go. Ninety thousand words – most of them written in a journal longhand in my favourite fountain pen. I can’t tell you how it felt… I suppose as a writer I should be ‘showing you’ but it felt oddly like an anti-climax. It took me a while to admit to my Man Friday that I’d finished (after all having an extra 45 minutes in bed all to my self to write has been most indulgent!) and then it felt like the bubble had burst. No more of my characters in my head (well they are still there but their story has been told).

But I know that this isn’t the end. This is only the first draft. I mean a good percentage of those 90,000 words might be absolute drivel (can’t you tell I’m ever the optimist?) and I will now need to start the editing process. This I do by inputting my written words onto the PC. It takes me longer than hand writing the first draft because I edit as I go along, with a fountain pen I just let the ink do its’ work and worry about the rubbish I’m writing later.

So I have a new deadline – to work on the first three chapters and the last chapter and – yes and – to produce a synopsis. I plan to work on this in January and look at some potential agents. At the same time (if I have time) I will start to input the other chapters also, but I thought I’d concentrate on trying to get someone interested and if necessary panic.

So, the story never ends…. and we've just got connected to broadband another hoorah!!!

Other Success and Flops
Well, I have been concentrating on the novel, so haven’t given much time to anything else. That and trying to getting connected to Broadband has almost seen me off, but that is another story for another time. I’ve had one positive response to a query I sent of last week, and need to work on producing the submission before the X word.
I have also uploaded my weekly submission to Suite 101 about Alberto Moravia, an Italian writer.

On my Bedside Table
Finished Mme Ramotswe’s latest tale, loved it. Tried a Joanna Trollope The Choir – hated it. Too verbose and missing something for me – but hey what do I know. I might try another of hers, because I hear good things about her work.
Now I’m reading ‘A Long Way Down’ by Nick Hornby. It’s told through four lead characters, all in first person and it's quite an interesting style. Anyway, I’ll let you know how I get on…

The Last Word
Has to be about finishing the novel. I’ve done it once, written more than 50,000 words in one month (more than I’ve ever done in the three years since I started it!) So I can’t say ‘can’t’ any more. I know I can do it. And it feels good…