Friday, 25 September 2009

A long week

It's been a long week here at work. A colleague has been off sick all week, we have had new student enrolment since Wednesday (most of those students having been born just after I started work here), and to cap it all I had to have a blood test this morning before coming to work. Thankfully the nurse managed to get blood from me first time, which I was so pleased about. I am all right as I told myself I would be.

Meanwhile during my lunch breaks I have managed to read nearly all of Checkmate. I only have the last chapter to read and the synopsis to revise and that is done, then I will send it off to PF Pocket Novels, which will be next weekend.

It's my mum's birthday tomorrow, a special one and we are all going out for lunch. Can't wait.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Ideas and motivation

I have been v busy this last week going to writer's talks/meetings. Tuesday evening I went to a talk by children's author Sally Nicholls and her editor about how Sally got published. I bought both of her books and asked her a question on where she keeps her ideas. She replied in her head. She waits until one idea comes to focus then works on that one. Then on Wednesday I went to an RNA meeting where Freya North talked about how she got published and how she writes. She said that she often has a queue of heroines lined up in her head. So I asked her as well doesn't she write her ideas down? The answer was no. She keeps them in her head until one heroine gets nearer to her so she can see them clearly and know what they are like. I just can't do that as I have too many ideas for books and stories in my mind, and have to write them down otherwise I could get a headache. They were both enjoyable talks.

Yesterday I went to a Fantasy Masterclass on how to write Fantasy for children. It was held by Sara O'Connor, Senior Commissioning Editor of Working Partners, a book packagers who do series books for children. I learnt a lot there about background, setting, plot and motivation, which I wrote down and will refer to when I go back to writing Georgina's story. I also got a brief feedback from Sara on the chapter summaries and writing sample I had emailed her for the workshop, which thankfully she didn't use. It really gave me lots to think about when I go back to writing Georgina and for all the other children's books I have in mind later on. In fact, I made me want to start on Georgina again but I will wait until I finish Checkmate and send that off.

Well, must get on to do some revisions to Checkmate. Be back next week.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Decision made

I have finally made a decision about my writing. No, I'm not stopping it, I can't but how much I write. After a v bad week sleep wise (had 4 broken nights in a row and had to take 2 days off work sick) and a comment my mum made, I've decided that maybe I am doing too much in one go. As well as working full-time I had been writing 2 books (Checkmate and Georgina) and trying to organise school visits (no interest yet) I have made the decision to put one aside for now - Georgina. There is another reason too which I shall say in a minute. I went to an agent's party on Thursday night and have decided to try my luck again getting one, this time with Allie but that will wait for a few weeks because what I have decided to do is this - try to get published with People's Friend Story Collection with Checkmate. I went to an RNA meeting yesterday and had a short chat with a friend (Hi Pia) who is published by My Weekly Pocket Novel. I talked to her about my novella and what I had done so far. I was concerned about the word count as it wasn't quite 50,000 words yet but s told me that it is actually 45,000 words which made me happy. She also told me the name of the editor and would email me the address as they have recently moved, and said to go for it. She told me too that if you get published by them, even though you might have to wait up to 18 months for a reply from them, they pay you quite a bit for it, which I was quite surprised at. So, this is my decision. Perhaps I am doing to much in one go so I am going to concentrate on finishing Checkmate and the synopsis of it first and send that off once I get the address from Pia, and when I've done that, I will continue with Georgina and send a query to one of the agents at the party on Thursday about Allie. This wil prob take about 2 weeks as I want to put my full focus on getting it done, starting tomorrow. I have the last chapter to revise then I will work on the synopis and then read aloud from the beginning to make sure it sounds OK to me. Will let you know how I get on.

Well, decision is made and am determined to stick with it. I happen to think that working on one book at a time, I can concentrate better on it rather than working on two at a time. I have found that I tend to forget what I've written if I don't work on it for the whole week, so it should prove better for me in the long run.

Watch this space....

Friday, 4 September 2009

Book sale

I sold another copy of Rosie yesterday. My mum was out shopping when she bumped into a woman she knows to talk to up our road. They got chatting about decorating as the woman is currently redecorating her house and Mum said to her come and see what I have done. So Mum showed the woman around the house and she happened to see my books and commented that I was clever as she couldn't write a book at all, and wondered if she could have a copy. I was going to charge her full price but Mum said that she is in a bit of dire straits at the moment so I gave her a small discount and sold a copy. I might get some more order as the woman said she knows lots more mothers and would show them her copy. Mum told her to tell the mothers that it will be full price for adults. I only give high discount to children at schools as they don't get much money. We shall see what happens.

Had another email today from another school. Got my email and will be forwarding it to their literacy coordinator, so shall have to wait and see if anything comes from that. I might hear from the other school that showed interest next week as they only reopened today for the new term. Will let everyone know here if I hear anything.

Only 13 mins to go until we go home. Hurrah.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Future of Food

Has anyone been watching the above TV series the last few weeks? I have and have found it very interesting and thought provoking. It showed how today's food culture is affecting not just this country but all round the world. Last night's episode, the last one, showed how India has come self-sufficient by growing their own fruit and veg, which now is 80% of their food, it also showed how much we waste in food in this country, wasting a lot of money which we can't afford and we can't afford to waste the food because we are eating food faster than it can be produced. I was impressed with a place in Bedfordshire who uses food waste to make more energy for their plants and turn it into fertiliser to make more food. And we do waste a lot of food which goes to landfill, and they are fast being used up and soon we won't have any space left for rubbish. So, we have to find ways to either eat less food and waste less food and maybe grow our own.

So, I feel there are 2 ways: 1. Grow our own fruit and veg. My mum does and has saved a lot of money, and 2. Don't waste so much food. Watch a programme tonight called Economy Gastronomy, which shows how to not waste food and spend less on your weekly bills. The main points are to make a weekly menu for the week ahead of dinners/lunches, include what you have left in the house and write a list of what food you want for the week, instead of what most people do and just wander round the shops. The programme is really good and full of tips to help you.

So, that is my say over and hope someone has read it and learnt from it.

See you soon. Back to work now.