My Copyright registered & protected

30 November 2009


Don't Think Just Write

Yep! Made it...
Well today is the last day of November and I am feeling a little weary but happy. I have to thank my Man Friday, who without his support, the offers to washup, cook, clean, walk the dog, in fact anything that made my day easier, I couldn't have managed this. But the thanks comes with a warning, I'm going to carry on until I've reached the end of my story which by my reckoning is another 14 days or so. So thanks Simon - you are the real star. I also must thank members of Writers Abroad, who have all given me words of encouragement along the way. So whilst things aren't quite back to normal, (were they ever normal?) I think I feel more relaxed now I know, given the focus, that I can write. (56,159 words to date...)

Happy Writing

27 November 2009


Don't Think Just Write

But It's Only Just Beginning...
Well, today I reached the target - three days ahead of the deadline. Whilst I'm feeling pretty good about that (and that should be a G&T not a pint of ale!), I can't help but feel that I'm not at the end. In fact I think come 1st December I shall be at the beginning. Writing a book is the easy part, so some say and I think there is some mileage in that. It's the rewriting which produces the final product and that my writing friends, is a long way off.

Three Cheers for... it hasn't all been NaNoWrimo

  • Two articles completed for Suite 101 on characterisation using the Zodiac, this week its been the turn of Aries, the Ram and Leo the Lion.

  • Copy submited and invoiced for Overseas Living - Handy Hints for Moving to Italy

  • Copy submited to Writers Journal - on a Writing Plan for writers

  • Blogged my Blog

  • Reviewed and critqued stories and articles for fellow writers at Writers Abroad

  • Submitted short story for critique which has been fab, so that will be polished for submitting next week

And just at little lesson learnt this week, don't be afraid to follow things up. One publisher had thought I'd been published and paid, but when I chased it up, they had lost my manuscript! So just a short, polite note to keep on top of things is a good thing.

Happy Writing!

25 November 2009


Don't Think Just Write

Chasing Rainbows?
I've just been penning an article that's been commissioned by a writing journal. Its about planning. Yes, that's right, a writers plan. I know we hate all that kind of stuff but we've been through that before. Anyway whilst I was musing over the words I've written I started thinking about the ultimate writers goal, that of publication. I know that there are some writers who write for the love it. Don't we all? But publication is perhaps the icing on the cake, the confirmation that your writing is worth reading. In the latest Writers News there was an article on a website managed by HarperCollins. I'm not going to regurgitate what it said and you can find it on page 58 if you subscribe or just follow the link to Authonomy. But in a nutshell it provides authors with the opportunity to upload and market their book for consideration by HarperCollins. I've only just started to look into the website and I'm quite tempted but as usual, there is no such thing as a free lunch. You have to read (and comment if you want) on other books which help to improve not only their chance but yours. So quite a commitment. And that's where the planning should come in. Shouldn't it?

Of course there is no guarantee (there never is) but I think you could get a lot in return. I'll let you know if I take up the challenge, but I must get these last six days of November out of the way.

Happy Writing...

23 November 2009


Don't Think Just Write

At The End of The Tunnel
And I'm not talking about the NaNoWrimo challenge either! Having got cocky with myself last week spouting this and that, I've landed back to real earth with a bump. You see, life always gets in the way, but that's what is so interesting for writers. Gives us something to use. Well if it's interesting enough. For me it was being without electricity for the weekend and with so many plans for editing, writing, critiquing and whatnot! Have you tried cooking solely by candlelight? No I don't mean using the candles to cook, I meant for light. Well certainly an experience and I kept telling my Man Friday how romantic it was...
Anyway, now back on the grid and catching up. So must away. Sorry for the witter, but I promise to try and be a little more with it next time...

Happy Writing...

20 November 2009


Don't Think Just Write

Of Mice and Men...
Did you ever see that Eddie Izzard sketch? No? You should, it was very funny. Do mice make plans?
Anyway, I digress and must admit I'm more than a bit muddled today. Having waxed wyrical about how organised I am and how much progress I'm making with this that and another on Wednesday it has been crazy since then! An editor emailed me late on Wednesday replying to a query I submitted and needed copy by today! Anyway, needless to say with the help of My Man Friday, it has just whizzed it's way across the ether. Can do attitude is the only way if you want to be a writer.

NanNoWrimo - Weekly Update (otherwise it might get boring)
I'm very tired, and just couldn't make it to the 38k, well I could but it would have been drivel, more drivel. And this depicts me this afternoon when I turned the PC on and it took over 20 minutes to load up. The air was blue... sorry My Man Friday.

18 November 2009


Don't Think Just Write
Getting Things Done...
There is nothing like a deadline or a target wordcount to send me whirling into action and get things done. Planning, as some of you know, has taken a long time arriving at my desk. I've always thrown my hands in the air and balked at the thought of having to plan! Not in my nature. But actually it is and always has been and I'm not sure where I convinced my self that it was not a good thing to do. Having set myself the target of entering and if truth be know, exceeding the NaNoWrimo challenge, then I find myself with the energy to complete dusty projects that have been sitting on the back burner. Were they in my plan? Well of course they were, but you can always ignore the plan... I know, I know I should be shot.
So I've drafted a proposal for a non-fiction book and researched the market and will be looking for publishers later this week. It's something I've been mulling over for ages and it has been fuelled a little by some of the hits I get through writing articles on Suite 101. My personal development and people management pieces are very popular (shortly followed by the ones I write on 'writing' I might add). And I've always had a beef about the basics of people management, everyone gets so engrossed in the latest management fad or fashion they forget about the ordinary people who have to carry them out. So that's another project on my list for this week. What about you?
Apologies for those expecting a book review - I've just finished reading a Robert Goddard, set near where I used to live in Wiltshire and with an historical slant. Apparently all of his have some kind of historic link and I really enjoyed the read. It was sharp, had live characters, even those who were dead had some personality - and it ticked all the boxes. Just can't remember what it is called. Normal service will resume, or maybe not...

16 November 2009

Don't Think Just Write

Work in Progress: I'm not even going to tell you ...

Currently Reading: Charlotte Gray by Sebastian Faulks (for the second time)

Listening to: A large sigh as I realise that I have loads to do!

And the Beat Goes On

Just a short one today, have loads to do on my action list and still rocking with my word count. I keep thinking maybe today will be the day I don't know what to write. But I really hope not.

Had a great (if not slighlty manic) meeting of Writers Abroad yesterday. We had eight of us online at one moment or another from all over the world and lots of good info and support going backwards and forwards. Just wanted to mention one in particular - our solo male group member - Rob who is adding an additional balance to the group. Can't be easy with all us gals. You can check out his blog here Torrevieja Writers Circle - the links are particularly good.

13 November 2009

Don't Think Just Write

And so it goes on...

Three Cheers for! The Highs and Lows of My Writing Week
Well, what more can I say? I just don't believe it. I had a slight lull this morning when I was writing my scene synopsis. I kind of ran out of words, well they just didn't appear at all but I persevered and just wrote any old kind of rubbish. So lets hope it turns into something sensible this afternoon. But that's not all I've been doing.
  • Submitted All Will Be Well to three more agents - fingers and toes crossed
  • Submitted two more additions to my Characterisation and the Zodiac series to Suite 101 on Gemini and Capricorn
  • Will submit 6 queries this afternoon - drafted and ready to go
  • Prepared 1000 article on the Battle of Britain for Best of British submission

So all in all a satisfying week...

11 November 2009


NaNoWriMo Cont...
My new motto, 'don't think , just write' and I'm afraid you are going to be sick to death of this by the 31st but like any other fighter, I need to keep up the anti! And yes, to my one kind commenter, Rob - tea in bed at 6.30, the delicious fresh coffee is saved until mid morning and after lunch to give me a caffeine kick!
Number of words? 19,603
State of Mind? Fairly stable - but there's plenty of time for that to change.

Book Review
Now as you can see, I'm a bit weighed down at the moment and have a one track mind - but just to say I've just finished The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown. I know that it's getting quite a lot of criticism but for me I like the issues it explores, the mystery and the unknown. And my Dad was a Mason (still is I think Pa?) and he had one of those little black books written in a text I (and my brother and sisters) couldn't understand. How did we know? Well, like all children we were very good at snooping, but it was largely fed by a certain kind of secrecy. Dad was also 'crowned' Worshipful Master one year and there was a big party - who cared if we didn't know what it was all about? Anyway I found it most enlightening (and yes, father has read it and in fact it is his copy). I thought the ending went on and on and bit and some of it did seem a bit out of this world, but then again so is the concept of some white haired and white bearded kindly old man sitting up above us...

Ciao for Now

Just an update found this fab word counter from Writertopia and I've just finished my input for today!

Don't Think Just Write

9 November 2009


NaNoWriMo - words so far 15,132 - just!! Wah Hey!!

The End of the First Week
And the beginning of the second. Must say I'm quite amazed at my output. Though those of you who know me or have had the misfortune to contact me this last week will know that my brain has just been frazzled. So apologies if I've been pretty vacant.
However, I'm determined to stay in the groove. I have got a good system going and if I write about it here, it sort of makes it more permenant. I handwrite the outline of a scene, first thing in the morning in bed with a cup of tea and a biscuit (having fed the dog, two cats, three kittens, collected the eggs and said hello to the hens) phew! Then I spend the rest of the morning getting everything else done that may interrupt my head and try to free my mind from everything else - oh how I wish that were true! After lunch, I sit down and using my outline just keep tapping away on the PC. I've turned off the 'correct typing as you go' option and try very hard not to edit as I go, so its probably just a load of drivel. But we'll see. My target this week. Well, I'd like to double this weeks target at least, if not more. That's all I'll say about it.

And finally, I've had a couple of comments from readers of this blog. Thank you so much, now I'm not just talking to a great big black hole. Well, maybe just a big one. But feedback is great and I know it takes time in busy schedules. So a big thanks. You made my week.

Don't Think Just Write

6 November 2009


End of Week One
I'm afraid my brain (whats left of it) and my time is committed to NaNorWriMo at the moment. Have reached 11,396 in five days. Hope to start next week on 15,000!

Other good news, I have two queries which have been accepted in principle and Writers Abroad continues to flourish.

Oh and two articles printed on Suite 101, Characterisation and the Zodica sign Libra and one on Aquarius!

Happy Writings...

Don't Think Just Write!

4 November 2009


Declaration of Interests
I've just read somewhere that bloggers who include book reviews on their blog have to declare if they are being compensated for the review. If they don't and they are (are you still following?) then they could be fined up to £11k. Why do things always become so complicated. I perform book reviews on books I've bought or been given and I have read from cover to cover. I don't get any pay, I do it because I want to develop my craft and share my humble opinion about another writers writing. Do I have to do this every time or is once enough? Hmm....

Book Review

Drop Shot By Harlan Coben
This is my first read of a Harlan Coben. My Man Friday has read quite a few and likes them. This one is from the 'Myron Bolitar' series. Myron is the main protaganist and investigator. I must say at the start that I did not particularly enjoy the read for several reasons.

First the use of trademark names. In the first few pages, the number of references to named products was phenomenal. Maybe there had been an agreement about product placement and I suppose the story is about the tennis world but... there is a limit. I just felt like I was reading some marketing material.

Second the language used. In addition to trademark names, there were a few 'americanisms'. The one I detested most was 'yowzer'. Who on earth uses that word? Myron Bolitar does.

Thirdly and possible most importantly, I didn't particularly get on with Myron. Now a reader needs to connect with the characters, particularly the main character and I didn't like him. He annoyed me. He continually made silent assessments of himself using inner monologue and I found that quite arrogant. Myron is apparently in his mid thirties but he came across to me like some old leery has-been always eyeing up women who are not the slightest interested in him. And I was amazed to discover that he actually did have a love interest in the beautiful and talented writer, Jessica.

Now I've got that out of the way, what else can I say. The story is set in the competitive world of tennis and Myron is an agent. Myron is an ex-footballer or baseball player, some kind of athlete anyhow, who had his career cut short through injury. Now he represents other talented sportsmen and women. Anyway, his current client is proving to be a bit of champion but as always there are a few skeletons in his cupboard. Then a young female tennis player who has been trying to contact Myron is suddenly shot dead during a match and the story unfolds around this and Myron trying to find out why. The tennis world, it seems, is full of bad guys who do nothing short of murder to get what they want. This was another grumble of mine, it seemed a little far fetched but hey what do I know? Maybe Wimbledon has its fair shair of hoodlums and thugs? So the story slowly unfolds and Myron is constantly saved from trouble and harm by his ghostlike friend Win. Win only appears if a bit of muscle is needed and by all accounts will also stop at nothing. He's a bit etheral Win, he has plenty of money and a posh nomenclature but I remember little else. To cut a long whinge short, it ends up with Myrons' tennis protege and his loose connection with another murder commited some years ago. It's about abuse of young sportsmen and women it a tough and competitive world but mainly it was about the guy from the poor background making good. So the plot line was a good one, for me it was everthing else that didn't fit. But I'm going to have a go at reading another, because I know Coben is a successful writer and what the heck do I know?

2 November 2009


Current Work: Nanowrimo ... and other things
Listening to: My fingers tapping away on this keyboard. I need to get writing my draft for Nanowrimo!
Reading: The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown - can't put it down

A Writers Life is a Lonely One...
And that is why it is so important for us writers to keep in touch with other like minded folk. I got together with my online writing group, Writers Abroad, on Saturday. Following a small piece published in Writers News, we have now grown from 3 members to 7 and are very international. As well as being represented in Europe (Spain, Germany, Brussels, Italy and the UK) we also have members in USA and Thailand! I have also just received interest from a writer in Australia and a potential addition from France. We are all english speaking but live abroad where we are unable to access a 'normal' writing group for a variety of reasons. We had a great time and I learnt so much about markets, editing, the writing process, likes, dislikes and loads more. The trouble is the more international we come the more problematic it is to find a time that suits us all. But everyone is being so flexible I think we can make anything happen. So watch this space and news about my fellow authors and their successful writing.