Thursday, 28 October 2010

Allie done, now Georgina.

I finished Allie the other day, for now until the agent sees it. I know there are things I still have to change but that will happen then. Meanwhile, I have started rewriting Georgina and already the word count is more than it was when I stopped working on it a couple of months ago. Lots of work to do to make sure the world is believable and the characters are too, and Georgina's motivations to get the school to use natural products are real. So far so good, and that's chapter one.

I have decided to create a magazine for children based on Rosie. It's working title is Rosie's guide to being healthy. It will have facts and fun quizzes in it and I am including the workshops I do at the libraries. When I have finalised everything, I think I will download it to my website, and email libraries and schools letting them know about it, and see what reaction I get. So far one author has said that download is best and parents might like to see it. I think this could be a good idea so readers/children and their parents can see what sort of writing I do and who knows what will come from it. We shall see. Watch this space...

Now to have some fruit and read something about writing.

Monday, 25 October 2010

First 100 words workshop

On Saturday I went to the London RNA chapter meeting, where Julie Cohen (Hi Julie) did a workshop on the first 100 words of our current wip. First she gave us the first 100 words of her recent novel out next week, and asked us what it told us about the character and where we thought the story was going. It brought up a lot of comments, some that surprised Julie. Then Julie read out each of our first 100 words and we gave comments about those. Some of them were really good and you could tell what genre they were and who the character was, and a few of them had telling not showing. Julie's idea to get rid of telling is to circle all the 'to be' words such as was and replace them with emotion eg describe the person feeling scared. Then it came to mine. I gave the first 100 words of Allie and it was good. Everyone seemed to get who the character was, what it was about and where the story was going but it was also said that it needed more action taking out the mundane bit. It starts with Allie having a vision then is interrupted with her mum talking and her walking to school thinking about it. It was suggested that I either have Allie having the vision at the school gates or in a lesson. It put me in a quandary. And after talking to my mum about it, I have decided to leave it as it in until I see the agent next month and then mention it to her and see what she says. I might actually suggest that Allie has the vision in the lesson and is brought out of her thoughts with others laughing at her then she has the vision for real. Watch this space. It was a very useful exercise, and I will bear this comment in mind when I get to work on Georgina again tomorrow.

This afternoon I shall finish Allie, for now.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

I have a date!

Following emailing amended version of several chapters of Allie to the agent, she has now contacted me to say that she has got the book, knows she is meeting me soon and wants to read Allie before that. She has now set the date of our meeting for the afternoon of 16 November, after the conference. I shall now be going to the conference on a high and all a buzz with my news. I am working hard on Allie still. Have just amended one more chapter, have two more to reread/write then I will read aloud, if I can, the chapters I have redone and amend again if necessary and it will be done. I am really happy with what I have done with Allie now, and have learnt so much from the Cornerstones report and doing this rewrite. I now know what I have to do to Georgina, when I hope to get back to doing that, hopefully next week.

Meantime, I have also just emailed off another story to the anthology I sent one to the other week. Am waiting to hear about a couple of stories I have already sent to anthologies with deadline of end of September....

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Gas vs electricity

When it comes to cookers, it has to be gas. We have a small electric cooker, and it takes ages to heat up before it start boiling, whereas with gas it doesn't. We have been using the hotplates for our breakfasts so far and Mum wants to try to use the oven part for our dinner today instead of the microwave. It is all so different at the moment and I can't wait to get back to normal home life again. I described the situation to Mum like being at a conference when you are staying at a different place, finding where all the things are and washing in a different place and room. The bathroom has no heating on now as the radiator is off the wall due to needing to be plasterered then tiled, and we have a new bath. So in the mornings I end up having a wash downstairs in the downstairs toilet/utility room as the heating is on there, then going up to my bedroom to get creamed and dressed. We only have temporary kitchen sink on a wooden frame, which you can't lean heavily on because it rocks, and I am afraid it will collapse soon. Thankfully they are coming on Tuesday to refit the kitchen with new units and hopefully new sinks. Can't wait for it to be completely finished. Roll on a couple of weeks time.

Meantime am getting on with Allie and a short story, which I hope to finalise this coming week and email off to the publisher's anthology.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Writing with noise

I am typing this among noise at home. We have just been taken over by a new landlord and they have started to put a new kitchen, bathroom and toilets in, so much noise. Yesterday was rip out of the kitchen units and tiles, bathroom and toilet tiles, today is the plumber who has already replaced upstairs toilet (now have one with push button flush instead of a hanging flusher and looks so neater), new bath with new mixer flip taps. Now he's doing the downstairs basin and toilet and has to do the kitchen sink by 4pm. Not sure if he will do it, as he's on his own. We shall see.

Meantime, yesterday I met up with my friend Sue Hyams (Hi Sue), and we talked writing and conference, which was great. I love talking writing esp about my own work as I get animated about it. Sue has given me the name of a publisher that I will be matched up with at the conference in November, which will be my third ms Georgina. I shall mention my first and my second. Allie is now 24,700 words long or short now, and I have just amened another chapter cutting a couple of scenes that I didn't think were necessary. Shall type those up tomorrow. This morning I went shopping for my mum and did a bit of Xmas shopping while there. Do some more next week on my own as Mum can't leave the workers on their own here at home.

More at the weekend.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

A possible sale

Yesterday I had another Chatterbooks session. I didn't think I was going to get anyone taking part because the librarians weren't having luck with getting any children to come to me, they were either interested in working on computers or swimming (the library is in the same building as the swimming pools). Then one girl came along and sat with me and I started talking to her. I waited about half an hour before I began then someone else came and joined in (although the girl was only 5 - too young to understand what I was talking about), then I really began. I was just finishing getting the others to use their imaginations and someone else came along with 2 children so I got them working. It was the mother of one of those girls that said she was interested in buying my book but didn't have the money at the time. We have arranged to meet up at the library next Saturday, and hopefully I will sell a book. Yay. I did sign lots of postcards for one of the girls, and the other girl asked me if she could take her signed card to her school and tell her teacher about me. I said very welcome as I was trying to get schools interested in taking me up for talks. Although I am not sure what primary schools are like in Deptford, which is where the library was. We shall see. I did enjoy doing it in the end, esp if they know all about fruit and veg and healthy eating, which most of them did.

Next time here will talk about working on Allie.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

I'm there

Well, I have managed it. With several more cuts and amendments to what it was when I sent it to the agent, Allie is now under 25,000 words. I am so pleased. I am now working on making the world of Allie's school more believable to readers, so that Allie and the girl whom she chooses to help are the only ones who see the visions and her magic. It makes for some more changes but if it makes it more believable all the better.

On another note I found out this week that a story I'd emailed for a competition was only for children so hope to get refunded for that, but have found another competition for children's stories which I will send off next week. Am also working on two more stories, both children's, for a competition and an anthology.

If you aren't on Facebook then it's worth it to, as I found it this week. One of my 'friends' on there is So Organic and I found out on FB that I had won a prize from them. Yay. Should get it in the post sometime this coming week.

Well, this is all for now. Might have some news next week, you never know.