Thursday, 26 June 2008

Comments and Allie

I've just been checking my blog and I've got comments for the last 2 entries. I am excited because they are from people I know and are the first ones here for me. How sad am I, eh?

I started writing Chapter 1 of my second children's book Allie today and am very excited about writing it. This one is all about helping the environment, another of my passions so hopefully I shall enjoy working on this one as I did Rosie, and it will show in the finished project. I have already written a brief chapter summary so will work with that as I go along but probably end up jotting notes down as I write the book. Can't wait. I was actually meant to start writing it yesterday but ended up not because I was at home after yet another bad night (even worse than before) and was extremely tired. But happy to say I'm now on track. So if (a big IF) I get good news with Rosie I can say that I am working on my second book in the series I have in mind. Fingers crossed. I have received a lot of well wishes for my news on Rosie (I put a message on all 3 loops I belong to) and have been very sad in that I have cut and pasted them all onto word to put in my novel folder at home.

Well, must look like I am working. See you soon, and thank you all who have commented here so far.

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

It's Gone!

Well, I managed to print the rest of Rosie off on Saturday and it's now either on its way to Cambridge, where the publisher is based, or they have got it already today. It says on their website they take 3-6 weeks to read the ms once they have requested it so a while longer before I know the verdict. Fingers and everything else crossed in the meantime. While I wait to hear about Rosie, I will be starting Allie's story this week. I was going to start it today but had a bad night's sleep last night and now very tired, with sore throat and possible slight hay fever. Will start it tomorrow. I have already done preliminary work on Allie. On Sunday I wrote out her timetable so I could work out what can happen in what lesson. Have decided that things will start happening in her maths lesson. It will have an extra twist to this story because I have decided that as well as a teacher enemy, who won't be a proper enemy as such, there will be a proper enemy who tries to undermine Allie and her powers.

Well, all is very quiet here at work and I have been getting on with filing, which suits me just fine today the way I am feeling.

Friday, 20 June 2008

Good news and bad news

The bad news is that I got home last night only for my mum to tell me that our next door neighbours' van had been stolen. That is really horrible. Our neighbours are a really nice family. The parents both have jobs and work hard for their money. Their 3 girls are lovely and well-behaved and they didn't deserve to have this done to them. What is worse is that they had their van all equipped ready to take on holiday to France later on, and their van was their only transport. Now they have to find another van either to rent or buy. Aren't some people awful?

Good news! Had a letter from one of the publishers yesterday asking me to submit the rest of my teen novel Rosie. It's the next step to being published and the first one to ask me for this. So this weekend, as well as completing Checkmate, I will concentrating on printing up the rest of the book and getting it ready to post to them next week. Fingers crossed, eh?

Now back to work.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Chemical, colours and cornflakes

If you have been reading my blog you will know that I am trying to avoid man-made chemicals. Well, there are some cases that I can't avoid and one is being prescribed tablets from the dr, which is what happened yesterday. I had been having pain in my right shin, and went to the dr who said it was probably muscle strain and gave me ibuprofen. I looked at the ingredients and it said that the coating, which is bright pink, has both talc and propylene glycol and the colour in. The 2 chemicals I have been avoiding and the colour, well, I tried to find it in my health books but doesn't mention it. It leaves a bright pink stain on my tongue after I've taken it. I am only going to take them for 2 days (inc today) then see how my leg is, because I don't want to take more than I have to with those chemicals in.

I have been eating cornflakes again for a quick breakfast, now that we are going to open at 9am in the near future. I have been eating Sainsbury's cornflakes which are lower in salt than Kellog's but higher in sugar (slightly). I can't win with either. We did buy Sainsbury's because we thought they were lower in both salt and sugar than Kellog's but appears not, and Sainsbury's I think tasted better and were crunchier. We shall see because Mum had to buy some Kellog's the other day when we had to go to Lewisham for our weekly shop and they didn't have their own ones there. Let you know.

Well, must look like I'm working now. Back soon.

Monday, 16 June 2008

Checkmate and my Dad

I typed up the amendments to Checkmate at the weekend and it now comes to just over 34,000 words. I would like to get it up to 35,000. I am now up to checking Chapter 7 and hope to get it all finished by the end of this week. I am to start printing it all up the week I am off in 2 weeks time, so that I can send it to the RNA the week after the conference. I guess they will be far too busy with sorting out the conference next week to send it on.

As it was Father's Day yesterday I went to see my dad. My mum and I had a field day sorting out all his cupboards. He has so many clothes, we're sure that he doesn't know what he's got there. More clothes than I've got, I know. I bought him some organic toiletries, which he started using this morning. He phoned me to thank me and say the he's using them because his skin was dry and itchy. I asked him to keep using the stuff as his skin will prefer it. I just hope that I am able to convert him totally to use organic products. I threw away some of his toiletries which had SLS in, and hope that he doesn't phone to say where is this, where is that.

Well, must get back to work now.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Electricity and Checkmate

Well, Sunday morning was fun, not. My house was one of hundreds within several boroughs that was affected by a fire at a electricity sub-station in the area, which consequently stopped electricity. So we had no video, no washing machine, no cooker etc. We had gas, so my mum struck a match so I could heat my porridge. Her washing was on its last cycle when the electricity went, so it was still soaking wet. It affected 8 Sainsbury's, including the one we usually shop at that morning, so we ended up going to the one at Lewisham which wasn't affected. Thankfully by the time we got home a few hours later, the electricity was back on and we had to set all the timers again.

Checkmate - have now finished the last draft of the whole book and am now reading it all through again to make sure there's nothing I want to add or delete. I added something extra to Chapter One. Put my hero and heroine on the first page. I don't think there is much more I want to add, as I've already added in the bits I had jotted down before. I aim to get it all done by the week of the conference so I can print it all off and get it ready for posting the following week. I think I have a bit of work to do on the synopsis though. At the moment it's just over 2 pages (double line spacing) and it needs to be only 2, so that it can go into 1 page when I change it to single line spacing for the RNA's scheme. We will see at the weekend when I type up the amendments.

Must go, phone's ringing.

Monday, 2 June 2008

May SCBWI Talk and Checkmate

I now have time to write about the SCBWI talk I went to in May. It was called Masterclass in Editing and presented by Pamela Johnson, who apparently had done the talk before. She was talking about editing an ms using the macro and micro level. Basically it involves reading your work aloud (which I do already) but highlighting all verbs and nouns in different colours and then reading it again to see what stands out. This way you can work out what is weak in the writing and amend it. Micro level is doing this either with the first paragraph or perhaps 1000 words, macro level is doing it for the whole book. I learnt a lot at the talk and was very pleased to go to it. I didn't get the time to chat to anyone because I left the restaurant at 6.50pm with 10 min's to spare before the talk was due to start. Thankfully it started at 7.15pm so I had time to buy a drink.

Checkmate - I typed up the amendments to the last 2 chapters over the weekend and read them aloud at lunch time today. Only a few slight amendments to them. From tomorrow I will go back to Chapter 1 and start revising that again. Hopefully I should get it all sorted out in time for the deadline. Then once that is in the post, I will start on my 2nd teen novel which I've called Allie and the cluttered school. I am still waiting to hear about my first book but will carry on with my series of 3 books about health and helping the environment.

Well, not long to go before I leave for home.