Wednesday, 6 June 2018

IWSG (June)

Thanks to Alex and this month's co-hosts  Beverly Stowe McClure, Tyrean Martinson, and Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor

IWSG Day Question: What's harder for you to come up with, book titles or character names?

Interesting question and one I don't really have an answer for! I have had names and book titles pop right up fully formed and I've had times when I've changed both during the course of writing the story. I do like names to have a connection to the story and I will research the meaning of different names. Sometimes the name generator sites are good for sparking ideas for names and places when writing about a fantasy setting. In my current ms my female protagonist's name came to me before I wrote a word of the story or had any real idea of any plot! In case anyone is interested, that name is Esme Starling. It's magical realism meets fantasy. Not sure if that is a particular genre!

I've not been around the blogosphere much of late. I've been struggling to feel inspired to write long posts, choosing instead to focus all my creative energies on my ms. I'm deep into edits with it at the moment and it is taking shape which probably means much of my available writing time will be focused on that. Between the day job, volunteering and the general stuff of life finding time for everything can be challenging sometimes! 

I would love to have the ms polished and submission ready by the end of the summer. 

I check in on Twitter more regularly so feel free to catch me there.

In other non-writing news, I am helping my eldest daughter plan a wedding. It's for next June but amazing what needs to be booked and sorted well in advance.

We've been doing some decorating at home and updating the floor in our hall and kitchen. We are really pleased with it so far. And yes there is a hint of purple in there!

Thanks for stopping by, I will hop around over the next day or two and catch up with folks. 

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

IWSG (April 2018)

Thanks to Alex and this month's co-hosts:

First off this month, I am pleased to report that I have completed the draft I have been working on! Yay! At times, over the last few months it has been hard to imagine getting to this point but my confidence in myself feels renewed and I am eager to start working on the draft now. To give myself a push in the right direction, next week I am going away for a few days peace and quiet on Dartmoor so hopefully I will have less distractions and the luxury of some dedicated writing time. I can't wait!

I also hope to get in some walks on the moors soaking up some atmosphere and, of course, fresh air.

Therefore, this month, I am feeling a little less insecure than of late. Long may the feeling continue!

All of which leads nicely on to this month's optional question . . . 

When your writing life is a bit cloudy or filled with rain, what do you do to dig down and keep on writing?

It can be hard sometimes to keep on pushing yourself to find the words and commit them to paper or screen. This is exactly how I have felt for the last six months or so. Despondency set in and the little voice in my head kept taunting me with self-doubt . . . the one that yells; 

You'll never be good enough. You're deluding yourself if you think you can succeed. See, another rejection, which just proves what we've been telling you . . . 

It wasn't just a bit of drizzle either, some days it felt like I was in the middle of a raging storm!

BUT, I did dig deep and push on and now the sun is starting to poke its head through the rain clouds. I'm not sure I've got any magic secret to pass on, except the total and unwavering desire to succeed one day. I knew I had to finish this draft if I had any hope of having a new manuscript to sub. I did take a break, life and other issues got in the way anyway for a while, but as soon as I was able, I sent the partially written draft to my kindle (I find this a great way to read as it gives me a different perspective) and read through what I'd got. And guess what? It wasn't nearly as awful as I thought! There was definitely something there and slowly I started to make some notes and then it gathered pace. I won't lie, it was hard work, but if you want something badly enough you got to keep going. 

Whilst all this was going on, I was still sending out other completed work and, hidden within the rejections was some really positive comments and feedback which also gave my confidence a much needed boast. Sometimes, just knowing you have been close to an offer is huge. It really made me think, I can't give up now! So, I would say, if you can send out work, whether that's short stories, poems, or novel length pieces, do it. . . because you never know what may just lie around the corner.

Wishing you all a happy writing month.

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

IWSG (March 2018)

Thanks as ever to Alex and this month's co-hosts:

       Mary Aalgaard, Bish Denham,Jennifer Hawes, Diane Burton, and Gwen Gardner

First an update on last month's post! I have managed to write this month and it feels good. I know where the story is going so I feel more positive. Not quite finished the first draft but soo close now - maybe about three thousand words so should easily be achievable before our next posting!

I'm feeling a bit insecure about my blogging presence of late though. I seem to have slipped to posting only once or twice a month. I still enjoy interacting and visiting other blogs but coming up with my own posts has been trickier.  I want to write a post because I feel inspired to do so rather than just produce something because I feel I have to. So, for now, I will probably continue in the same way. Does anyone else ever feel like this? Is it OK to just post when you feel like it or should I try for a better schedule? I would be interested to read your thoughts.

How do you celebrate when you achieve a writing goal / finish a story?

I can't say I do any one thing in particular but a bit of chocolate or glass of wine is always a nice little reward.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

IWSG (February 2018)

Thanks to Alex J. Cavanugh and this month's co-hosts: Stephen Tremp, Pat Garcia,Angela Wooldridge, Victoria Marie Lees, and Madeline Mora-Summonte

I am so insecure this month! I haven't been able to get myself into a writing groove this year. My WIP lies dormant on my computer and my protagonist has been desperately trying to escape the clutches of an owl witch since December! (Sorry Esme I will come back to you really soon, hang in there and don't give up on me!) I am only probably about 10,000 words from the end of the first draft, which is so close. 

I've been feeling down on myself and my writing I suppose  - berating myself for my lack of success, thinking I'll never quite be good enough to get there. I need to reconnect and get to the end of the draft. I enjoy the editing and re-writing process so if I can push through the rest of the  first draft I'm sure I will feel better about myself and my writing. 

Onwards and upwards . . . 

IWSG Day Question: What do you love about the genre you write in most often?

I mainly write middle grade (8-12). I love writing for this age group as they are open to so many ideas and the themes in MG books are increasing wide and varied. I have read and admired so many fantastic authors of MG over the last year, it is definitely alive and well! Most of my stories include a fantasy element or magical realism. I am also a huge fan of myth and folklore and a lot weaves its way into my writing. 

Thursday, 18 January 2018

New Year Update

I know I've been sorely lacking in my blogging of late. The new year is already nearly three weeks old and I am still trying to get myself into a routine that works for me and my commitments. I've been struggling with a few things and I have felt mentally exhausted and somewhat overwhelmed by life. I need to take a bit of 'me time' so I may continue to be a little sporadic over the next week or two.

Writing wise I am still working on a first draft. Progress has been slow over the last month but every sentence counts and I am determined to complete it as soon as practical. I enjoy the editing process so I am sure I will feel energised when I get to that stage! I have also subbed a couple of finished stories so projects still out in the big wide world!

It's my birthday tomorrow, so hopefully a nice meal out with the family will be in order this weekend.

I hope the new year has started well for you all and that 2018 brings you lots of happiness.

Monday, 18 December 2017

Merry Christmas!

With Christmas fast approaching I want to wish you all a happy, peaceful time and may the new year bring you all you hope for. 

Thank you for your online friendships and frequent words of wisdom and encouragement. Being a writer can be both a hugely rewarding and gut-wrenching experience! The highs and lows of which often threaten to break you! But I really can't imagine my life without writing in it. Writers are truly some of the kindest and most insightful people I know. I look forward to continuing our journeys in 2018.

Have fun , relax with family, friends and loved ones. Remember the important things of love, forgiveness and compassion and spare a thought for those for whom Christmas isn't always an easy time. 

With very best wishes,

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

IWSG - Degrees of failure

Top Site for Writers

Thanks as ever to Alex J. Cavanaugh

IWSG Day Question: As you look back on 2017, with all its successes and failures, if you could backtrack, what would you do differently?

Somehow we have found ourselves at the last IWSG posting of 2017. Like most of us I have been reflecting on the past year's writing achievements, disappointments and frustrations. I went back and read last December's post, hoping that would help me focus and see how far I've come with my writing this year.  Sadly, it just made me feel more of a failure *sigh.*

I don't feel I've moved forward all that much, I've been working on my WIP, reworking an old one and sending it out on submission as well as continuing to sub another manuscript. Despite some positive feedback and interest from a couple of agents, to date it hasn't gone any further.

I had hoped to finish the first draft of my current WIP by December so that I could begin editing and re-writes in the new year . . . well, guess what? I failed with a capital F! Various life issues got in the way and I've been feeling a bit run down, writing just had to take a back seat.  I am hoping that I can press on with it though . . . it will get finished!

If I could do anything differently it might be to have focused more on my WIP over the summer instead of getting side-tracked with reworking an old story. However, if I'd done that then that old manuscript wouldn't be in such good shape. I guess you just have to go with what feels right at the time. 

Trouble is, another year has slipped by and I feel like I'm trying to run up a slippery slope. 

Could 2018 be the year I finally start to make a career with my writing.? I hope so. I'll keep on working, writing and believing.