A Christmas Miracle

In a change to the advertised programme this blog will now be reporting some good news! As regular readers of the blog (ok, just humour me) will only be too aware, posts on here are usually ‘sob-sob, nobody wants me or my writing’ or worse still ‘boo-hoo, poor me, I don’t have time to write’… but today, drum roll please, I am trying out a new theme… I don’t have a name for it yet.

*There can be miracles, when you believe*

A few months ago I responded to a call for submissions on the HI-Arts website… From Hairy Bikers To Horrible Histories – The Search Is On To Find Scotland’s Best New Nonfiction! Well, I know quite a lot about being hairy so I sent off a few chapters and a carefully crafted (thank you Nicola Morgan) pitch.

And, as is usually the case in these matters, I received an email along the lines of ‘Thank you for your submission… blah blah blah, due to the high number of high quality entries… yeah, yeah yeah…’ I didn’t need to read the rest. I knew it would say: ‘Unfortunately, on this occasion you have been unsuccessful.’ Except it didn’t.

‘We have now selected the authors we would like to work with and would like to invite you to a meeting.’ Em… I beg your pardon? A meeting? And did you somewhere in that last sentence just call me an AUTHOR? Well, despite the overwhelming urge to run outside, throw my hat into the air and shout ‘The Man from Del Monte – he say YES!’ I did nothing. I waited. I pinched myself. I waited. I looked for emails about cruel hoaxes and clercal errors. I entered a state of suspended disbelief.

The Man from Del Monte – he say YES!

Only now, after attending a meeting at the Creative Scotland offices in Edinburgh this week (get me – dah-ling!) with Peter Urpeth of HI-Arts and Jenny Brown of Jenny Brown Associates (I know, I know, if I wasn’t me I would hate me too) am I allowing myself to believe a little. They read my stuff. They like it. They want to read MORE! Who knows what will happen, where this will lead… if anywhere. But right now – Santa, baby, slip a sable under someone else’s tree because all my Christmases have come at once.

Anyway, I didn’t come on here to boast (ok, maybe just a wee bit) I just wanted to say that last year, after a crushing disappointment (boo-hoo nobody wants me or my writing) I almost gave up. It is indeed a Christmas Miracle.

So, what are you waiting for? Another Virgin Birth? The truth is you have to put yourself about a bit, you have to knock on all the Inn Keepers’ doors you can find, you just have to keep sending out the crates of satsumas so that somebody, somewhere can say ‘YES’.

Wishing you miracles, merriness and writerly success for 2013.

 

Happy Bloggy Birthday

Hello again! I bet you’ve been wondering where I’d got to!

No… you haven’t?

Never mind.

It’s been brought to my attention that my blog is going to be a year old next week. *pulls party popper but nothing happens* emm… but unfortunately there isn’t much to celebrate.

My last real post was eight months ago. My excuse? I don’t have time. Oh, I know if I really wanted to be a writer I would get up at 5am every day to write, or would wait until the house is sleeping before putting pen to paper… but those of you that know me will know I’m lazy, and those of you that have seen me, will know I can’t afford to lose any beauty sleep.

My dilemma is that my writing time is precious – when I do get time to concentrate on it, I try to focus on my WIP or on the short story collection I’ve been trying to put together or on writing a poem for a competition deadline. The blog, unfortunately, seems to be at the bottom of the pile.

And the thing is, I’ve had plenty to blog about… I could have been boasting about some of my small successes… a poem finally published, printed and everything, with my name on it in Causeway Magazine in May… (Look – it’s even on the first page!)

Or bleating about the fact that I actually got paid for a piece of my writing for the very first time…(Ok, it was only two tiny pages and it was for work – but it still counts, right?)

But there always seems to be something more important to do. (Clean the toilet, make healthy family meals, exercise the chinchilla, do a podcast, write an email, dye my hair, homework, watch Prison Break etc etc)

To illustrate my point (perhaps in too much detail) here is a short snippet I found in one of my many neglected notebooks…

Some days I haven’t got time

To cut my toenails, or blow my nose,

Or a Number 2 –

It’s been ages since I did one of those.

So… here it is… my first birthday blog wish…

*scrunches eyes shut and blows out the candle*

What did I wish for?

Well, I can’t tell you, can I? Otherwise it won’t come true. But go on, I bet you can guess…

Super post on plotting and pantsing (love it) books by my lovely writing chum Helen MacKinven. So, like a Cadbury’s Creme Egg – How Do You Write Yours?

Helen MacKinven

This week, I’ve worked on a draft outline of the overall plot of my WIP, leaving a bit of room for tweaking. I had to get this sorted as my initial idea needed a radical rethink to make the storyline more ambitious. The task of mapping out the plot made me consider whether I’m a plotter or a pantser (as in, fly by the seat of your pants when writing).

Plotter or pantser is a question often asked of writers at book events. I’ve sat in the audience many a time at book festivals and listened to pretentious writers tell readers that they’ve absolutely no idea what’s going to happen in their novel until they write it.

“I let my characters take me on a journey of discovery. I cut them loose and they tell me where the book needs to go, blah, blah,blah…”

Yeah right! At this point, my…

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