Sunday, 26 September 2010

Getting there

I am getting there with my word targent for Allie. I am just about to type up the edits to the last chapter and so far the count is now down to just over 26,000. Only 1000 to go to reach my target, which I put in my query letter to the agent. I will find out tomorrow how many more I might have to cut to reach the full mark, when I've done the typing.

No typing, apart from this, today as it's my mum's birthday and my brother and his partner are coming round later. We have cake, as my mum bought a Me to You cake from Sainsbury's, which looks rather yummy. Well deserved after having done some exercise.

Well, now off to read the Professional Planning Development book to see where I can go next with my writing.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Allie update

I have just typed up Chapter 6 of Allie rewritten and it is now down to 27,626 words. Not bad. Only 2,500 to go to reach my target of 25,000, which is what I put the book as to my letter to the agent. Will be busy rewriting more chapters next week. The partial of Allie went to the agent on Wednesday and I now have a wait to do. I have been told that agents can take ages to reply to you but to email her in a couple of weeks politely asking if she has received it. I will do that. In the meantime I will keep checking my emails anyway.

Been out and about at writing events all week. Monday was my library event, Thursday was the British SCBWI Prof Series talk, where 2 authors answered questions about writing. I stayed behind for a while to chat and network, which I don't normally do. Now that I am home full-time I don't have to rush out so soon after the event, like I did when I was at work. Friday morning I met 2 other authors for tea at a local coffee shop/deli, and I had a pot of mint tea and a fruit bar. Very nice and great to talk about writing privately like that, which you can't do at a talk. Then yesterday I went to the local RNA chapter meeting where we listened to Hilary Johnson talking about uses of criticism. It was very good and she has a lot to say and know what she is talking about because she has been running her advisory service for 25 years. I only wrote down a para of her advice which I will use when I get to rereading my RNA NWS writeup. Next week is still busy but no writing events happening. Well I will be finding a libary I have an event at in October so I know where to go when I go on my own.

Next time will be another update on Allie.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Another event gone

Yesterday I had my book reading and quiz at a library and I think it went very well. I did my reading then gave a quiz based on what I'd read. The children were keen to answer the questions and although they didn't come up with the exact answers I was looking for, I gave them a chance and awarded them a prize. A couple of children swapped their prizes. Then I did a Q&A session. The librarian is going to email me the questions and answers as he wrote them down. They included Am I famous? I wish was my reply. How long did it take to write? What inspired me to write the book? Did I choose to write the book myself? I think I will put them up on my website when I get them. After that, the children went and did their homework not buying any books from me, but my friend Maureen Oakley, who came with her children, did and we had a chat about writing. I also had a chat with the librarian, who was really nice and he said that he'd email the other libraries in the borough and maybe send on some of my bookmarks and postcards to other libraries letting them know what I do etc. He was also going to mention to his boss, whom I organised the session with and had to be elsewhere at the time, that he thought it was a success. I gave him an order form in case any children could want a book later on and to let me know if they did.

Next event is on 9 October at Wavelenghts Library in Deptford.

Next time I will write about Allie and how I'm getting on with rewrites and the agent. Hope to email it all to her tomorrow as will be reading chapters through this afternoon.

Friday, 10 September 2010

V Exciting News

Last night I went to the SCBWI-BI agent's party and met lots of people. First there was the panel of agents who told us about what they do and what they like, then they answered questions from the audience. Then the food came out and I had a plateful of chicken, samosa and potato wedges, which was very nice and filled me up. Then they remembered to do the raffle to see who got a one-on-one meeting with an agent. First there was the agents for the illustrators then came one for the writers. I had put my name in it and didn't think for a minute that anything would come of it but....guess whose name was the first out of the bag? Yep, mine and you should have seen my face. I was totally shocked as I never win anything. Anyway, I went and introduced myself to the agent I liked best, who is from Watson Little, and told her what I do and write and where I was. She said it sounded interesting and she would email me today and I should send her the synopsis and first three chapters. So this afternoon I am getting to work on Chapter 3 and the synopsis of Allie, and over the weekend will get Chapters 1 and 2 up to scratch with more amendments I have in mind. I want to get it to her well in advance of any meeting so she can read it before we meet again. I still can't believe that it happened to me and had a very restless night thinking about it all. So all I can say is, watch this space and I will let you know what the outcome is. Ooer.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010


I have been doing quite a bit of exercise lately. Not only have my mum and I started doing the DVD exercises again but have been doing lots of walking. Yesterday was walking around Lewisham shopping, and today I walked to and from the station twice. First to get the Metro for jobs and secondly to get an Evening Standard, again for jobs. It makes me feel good about myself and exhilerated that I have done it. I esp feel good when I walk to the station in the morning because it builds an appetite and when I get back I can't wait to have breakfast. Walking again tomorrow and Thursday and prob Friday. Saturday will be shopping. We shall see what my weight is tomorrow. It goes up and down all the time. My mum and I have given each other weight targets to reach and I am not sure I can get to mine, we shall see. Watch this space.

Back later this week with how I am going rewriting Allie.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

The writing life

Yesterday I did another Chatterbooks session and it was successful. I did my fruit and veg alphabetical game and the children loved it. They actually drew their ideas on the paper instead of just writing it down and it looked very imaginative. I took home the ideas the librarian had and one of the girls. I didn't sell any books but they were interested in buying it, so may order it from the librarian, who said that if they do then she will phone me so I can go up there with the books and sign them. They also liked my website site name with moonfruit, believing it to be cool. I do so enjoy doing those and want to do more.

I am now back to working on Allie. I read most of the Cornerstones' report before I started, and have made lots of cuts and changes to Chapter One already. I've changed one power of Allies, cut out dead sentences, ones that didn't move the story forward and didn't mean anything, and cut out all references to what happened to Rosie. Most of these were suggestions in the report and I already feel that I've made the story faster and a bit more humorous. Way to go. I might take Allie to the next talk which is about how to revise your work with help of two other children's authors and see what they say about my changes against the report. Watch this space.

Back later on with news on how my exercise is going.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

The end of an era

Yesterday was the end of an era and my mum and I went out for a meal at our local Chinese to either celebrate or commiserate, depends on how you see it. As from yesterday I was no longer an employee of King's College London and now unemployed. Not sure how I feel really about it as in a way I still feel it's like a v long holiday. Will feel more real tomorrow when I go to the job centre to sign on and then even more real when I only get the seeker's allowance into my bank instead of a monthly wage. I am going to tell the job centre that I do want to go to work again but not just yet and shall see what they say to me. I will show them the statement of fitness work that my dr gave me and see what they say about that.

Now that I am not at work I will have to watch my weight. It has gone up and up this week despite doing lots of walking. I walked to the train station this morning to get a Metro and back again. I think I shall have to do 2 lots of exercise a day for the next week and cut down on nibbling foods such as nuts and dates. I will let you know how it goes next week.

This is all for now. Next time will be about writing.