Friday, 22 February 2008

Novella update

I finished Chapter 6 of Checkmate my novella yesterday and added romance in. I now know who my heroine is going to meet the hero via her grandfather. He will be his neighbour who has worked near her neighbours, if that makes sense. Of course, he will have seen her before and thinks about her, and when they meet up after she visits her grandfather (not that she will know that at the time) she recognises her boyfriend to be. Then things go from there, as they plan to reunite her mother and grandfather, with her grandfather having his plans too. I am really enjoying this writing and often get ideas for different scenes for either the next chapter or early ones. I am currently buying My Weekly pocket novels as I definitely want to target that market for Checkmate, so I am reading what sort of stories they accept and so far, albeit it has only been one I've read, it mainly featured drama, mystery with a tad romance, which is similar to what I am writing.

I haven't been eating that healthily recently as I was at home on leave from work last week and yesterday and today fancied a treat as I felt a bit stressed out here at work. I have decided that I might go to the Vitality show in Olympia next month. I have seen it advertised the last couple of years and thought about going, then saw it advertised in the Metro yesterday and asked my mum what she thought about going to it. She was dubious about how to get there and how long it would take, as she's not very good now with long train journeys, but after reading what it was all about she told me this morning that she liked the look of it. So, fingers crossed we will go. If we do, I can't wait as it looks very interesting with different stalls about health, food and exercise. Well up my street.

I am still sleeping in what was my mum's bedroom, and am getting used to it despite hearing the traffic more, hearing people talk outside and the lamplights coming through the curtains. The other thing I have to hear is the rain dripping on the pipes or somewhere. Still, I am away from the ladybirds. Mum found a few live ones in my bedroom the other day but don't think we've found any more after that. Let's hope that they have died out now and won't come back at all.

Not long now for the weekend and I can't wait. Hope to buy some more pocket novels tomorrow and jiffy bags to send my children's book in. I had another reject the other day, not the one I thought it was, so it still is with one publisher. I have another in mind. We shall see what happens.

See you soon...

Monday, 11 February 2008

A plan for my novella

I have now come up with a probable market for my novella, which is called Checkmate. On Saturday I went to the local RNA meeting in Holborn and met with another woman called Pia who had just had a novella accepted by a publisher. I got chatting to her, asking her how long her novella was (30,000 words). She suggested to try People's Friend and that perhaps I could add some romance into the novella, say the grandfather knows someone and meets the granddaughter. I had already thought of that but wasn't sure if it was what I truly wanted in the story or not but Pia got me thinking, and during the meeting I ended up jotting down a couple of notes, and also in the evening about ideas to add to it. So that is what I am going to do. I shall write up the draft I am working on now which doesn't have romance in then go back to the beginning and add romance in. Once finished I shall submit it to the RNA's writing scheme with the intention of targeting My Weekly Pocket Novel and go from there. If I am unsuccessful in that target I have a couple of e-publishers in mind. There is always a market somewhere and I am determined to get published this year so that Jean (the RNA's membership sec) can promote me to a full member instead of staying a probationery one.

On a different note. I went to Specsavers this morning and was impressed, despite having to wait 15 minutes before being called in after my appointed time. They were doing a special BOGOF offer on glasses, so I ended up getting 2 for the price of one. I will have one especially for driving with tints to keep out any sun glares, and one for everyday use indoors with a tough non-scratch surface on. Much cheaper then the usual private company I go to and well worth it, I think. I go back maybe this coming Saturday to collect them if they are ready, if not then it will have to be the following Saturday as I am back at work next week.

Thursday, 7 February 2008

There IS a nest

Of ladybirds that is. My mum found out yesterday where the dratted things are coming from, after she saw lots of them flying out and coming into the spare room where she's been sleeping. There is a gap between the window and the wall outside and that's where they are living and coming from. Because the windows are so old and rotting now, the insects are feeding on that and are able to get in so easily. Yesterday mum was in despair after having sprayed outside the window and saw lots of dead ones on the ledge outside. Not a nice sight, I can tell you. She asked me if she should call a pest control and I said definitely. Our council don't do asian ladybirds so we have to call a private one in. So, let's hope that they come today and get rid of them all by the end of the day. Mum didn't sleep very well last night, and I can see why.

I have discovered something shocking to me. I am trying to get my work office here to go organic with their soaps and that, and having already bought Ecover washing up liquid, which is organic, I thought the hand soap would be OK. I was wrong. When it came with the rest of the order, I looked at the contents and saw the words sodium lauryl sulfate and went argh! How could they put it in there when they are meant to deal with organic stuff. SLS is the main chemical that people are going on about which irritates skin. I won't be buying that anymore. At home I am liking the Barefoot Botanicals SOS body lotion and face and body cream, and the bodywash. The bodywash has a lovely smell of lavender and orange blossom to it. I shall stick to using those for now. I also quite like the BB Rosa Fina hand cream which has a rose like smell to it, very nice when you are going to bed with it on.

I have started to try to cut down on my sugar intake at home, not that I have it that much anyway. My fruit spread I have with my porridge in the morning has a lot of sugar in it, albeit it is natural from fruit juice, so I had a look at all the other fruit spread and they either have the same amount of sugar and more, so I am sticking to the ones I have now and just use less. At the weekends I have thawed frozen berries instead and they are lovely, although a bit tarty. Mum puts sweetener on hers, which for me would be defeating the object. And I should also try to eat less of the energy bars which I think could have lots of sugar in it, although it is natural from the raisins and apple juice. After next week when I am on leave, that is.

Must get back to work.

Monday, 4 February 2008


When I got home from shopping on Saturday I found an envelope from my local council on the mat for me. I opened it and said Yes! Result - they are offering me the full sum of what it cost to have my car repaired after the tree branch fell on it BUT (there's always a but) it's on admission that they are not liable for the incident. Huh. At least they are reimbursing me, which is something. I've signed and dated the form and it went in the post today.

Writing - I have decided not to start work on my RS after my novella but start on my next children's book, the 2nd in the set I have in mind. I think I will have to do a summary of what will happen in each chapter for this one and also do another timetable for Allie, the girl in the book. Meantime I am busy working on my novella. Have figured out that I have 3 more chapters to write, 2 of which are totally from scratch, the last one with additions to it. So far it has come to over 10,000 words so not bad going.

Back to work as the phone is ringing.