Wednesday 4 December 2019

IWSG (December 2019)

Top Site for Writers

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

It's that time of year again when we all get reflective about the things we have achieved and the things that really didn't work out as we hoped. The people we have meet on the way and those we have sadly said goodbye to.

Life seldom goes exactly to plan and is forever evolving and sending us in different directions. There have been good times and bad and I guess that is probably true for most of us.

Writing wise I seem to have been treading water. Writing, editing, submitting but I don't feel I have really moved forward. Although, of course, we are always learning and improving our craft so I guess that is progress!

My writing has garnered interest from a handful of agents/small publishers but it looks like I will be closing the year without any concrete news. Although, as I write this, there are still a couple of weeks left so never say never! We never know what might be around the corner.

Looking ahead, I plan to keep on writing and trying. I am working on a first draft of another story so hopefully I will complete that over the coming months. I will also keep submitting my completed works as opportunities appear.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank you all for your visits and comments to this little blog over the last year. I haven't always been actively blogging but I enjoy the monthly round up of IWSG.

If you celebrate, I wish you all good wishes for the coming holiday season.

Wednesday 2 October 2019


I've had an interesting and busy writing month. I took part in the first online writing conference #WOWCON. The brilliant initiative of Stuart White and #Writementor. If you write for children or YA you should definitely check the group out on Twitter. I learned lots and connected with writers at all stages of their writing journey and many industrial professionals. I had my first agent 1-2-1 which was really insightful. It's helped me polish my Cornish fantasy manuscript and I will soon be in a position to start a round of submissions.

My previous manuscript which is already out on submission has received some interest from an agent and a small publisher. YAY! Time will tell if anything will progress but it is all great for giving a much needed boost of confidence.

It's been said that the benefits of becoming a writer who does not read is that all your ideas are new and original. Everything you do is an extension of yourself, instead of a mixture of you and another author. On the other hand, how can you expect other people to want your writing, if you don't enjoy reading? What are your thoughts?

I think it is important to read extensively, especially in the genre you are writing. I guess there is always the chance that your writing will pick up influences from other books and writers but as long as you aren't trying to become a copy of their work I think it is useful to see how other writers approach things. It is great to help you understand what works or doesn't work for you. It is also a good idea to know what the current market is like. But most importantly of all, I love reading and can't imagine my life without books in it!

Thanks to  Alex for hosting the IWSG and this months fabulous co-hosts Ronel Janse van Vuuren, Mary Aalgaard, Madeline Mora-Summonte, and Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor

Wednesday 4 September 2019

IWSG (Sept 2019)

IWSG Badge
Thanks to Alex and this month's co-hosts

September is upon us already and here in the UK the days are getting shorter and the temperatures have dropped. It's also back to the day job for me today!

Working in school means that August is my time for a change of pace and the chance to explore new things. And this year in particular I was certainly in need of some downtime!

I've been lucky enough to have some time away, which was great. Uninterrupted time to read, write and relax. Perfect. Consequently, I have managed to finish polishing a manuscript and this is now ready to send out. Fingers crossed it is well received. I also started a new story which I am trying to plan and research. I am normally a real pantser so I am desperately trying to become better at planning! Any tips gratefully received . . .

This month's IWSG question is:

If you could pick one place in the world to sit and write your next story, where would it be and why? 

For me it would probably be in a small cottage on Dartmoor. I try and visit a couple of times a year for a day or two. I love the expanse of countryside, walking on the moors, the air tinged with heather and bracken and cows, sheep and ponies to pass the time of day with! It can be bleak and foggy but that can be atmospheric in it's own right. I enjoy the quiet, I always work best without distraction, and the fresh air and views are inspiring.

Where would you choose?

Saturday 27 July 2019

Chill time!

Hi everyone, Just a quick post to say I'm taking a short hiatus. Plans to write, read and generally take some time away are the order of the day. I should be back for September IWSG, until then, good wishes to you all and hope you are enjoying your summer.

Please note; comments are switched off for now.

Wednesday 3 July 2019

IWSG (July)

Top Site for Writers

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

I'm running scared this month. Scared I won't be able to write anymore. Scared that a part of me is lost. Dramatic? Well, yes, maybe a little, but it is a fear that is increasingly niggling away at me. Due to a variety of reasons; illness, work, daughter getting married(!) I haven't added any words to my current WIP or worked on the edits on a previous project, for several weeks and I guess I'm worried that I won't be able to write anymore. That somehow my writing muscles will have ceased up through non-use. And I am aware that I am sort of procrastinating a bit now too, even though I really want to get back into it. 

On the plus side, the summer is usually my most productive time as I have several weeks off from my school job. In three weeks I will hopefully have time to dedicate to my writing and I am looking forward to that. However, much like any form of exercise, I feel my writing muscles need a little warm up rather than dive straight back into hours of writing at a time. I think I'm going to set myself some small targets over the next couple of weeks to break me back in gently. Perhaps start with some editing, just a page or so to begin and build up, I should be able to manage that.

Has anyone else suffered with this kind of fear? Any advice or reassurance greatly received!

Thank you for stopping by to read my IWSG post, I look forward to visiting your blogs and hearing what you have all been up to lately or your latest writing achievements or struggles.

Tuesday 4 June 2019

IWSG (June)

Sorry, I won't be able to participate in the IWSG this month. My daughter is getting married on Saturday and things are a little hectic here!

All the best everyone. Will catch you next month. (Please note I have turned off comments for this post)

Wednesday 1 May 2019

IWSG (May 2019)

Thanks to Alex and this month's team of co-hosts: Lee Lowery, Juneta Key, Yvonne Ventresca, and T. Powell Coltrin

Writing is hard - some days I wonder why I do it! 

"A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people."

-Thomas MannEssays of Three Decades

Trouble is, I can't really imagine my life without doing it! I feel like I am truly me when I write and when it is going well it is the best feeling in the world. 

"I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn."

-Anne Frank

But I am suffering with some self-doubt right now. Can I plot a new story idea and find the words to bring the idea to life? I've actually got two ideas in the early stages, I've done a few thousands words on each of them. Right now I'm not sure which one to focus on and with both of them the plot is feeling quite fragile. I know I'm a pantser but I am trying to change and map out the plot.

“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”

― Sylvia Plath

Wednesday 6 March 2019

IWSG (March 2019)

Thanks to Alex and this month's co-hosts:  Fundy Blue, Beverly Stowe McClure, Erika Beebe, and Lisa Buie-Collard

OPTIONAL IWSG Day Question: Whose perspective do you like to write from best, the hero (protagonist) or the villain (antagonist)? And why?

What an interesting question this month, it will be fun to read the answers! I write from the protagonist's view. This point of view seems to be the natural way for me to tell the stories I write. I have written single POV and once did a triple POV. I've even written as a ghost and an imaginary friend but I can't think of an occasion I went for the antagonist. It might be fun to have a go sometime though!

This last month I have added some words to a new project and done some editing on another. I was delighted to be long listed in the Write Mentor Children's Novel. The wait is on to see if my manuscript gets any further in the competition which would be lovely. However, just making a long list is a big achievement and it is always nice to get some validation for our writing. 

Thanks for stopping by today, I look forward to reading all your writing news and thoughts this month.

Wednesday 6 February 2019

IWSG (Feb 2019)

Top Site for Writers

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

I'm still not around the blog much at the moment but I'm dropping in today to participate in IWSG. 

Since I last posted I have finished reworking a manuscript and I'm nearly ready to start sending it out into the world.  This will be the fifth full length MG manuscript I have subbed and I'm starting to wonder if I will ever get any further along the road to finding an agent. I have had several 'near misses' and a good dollop of positive feedback and competition placements in the past but I just don't seem to be get to that next step. 

The good thing about having several polished manuscripts is that I can have something out on submission all the time, meaning I could potentially hear good news at any time. More chances has to be a good thing, right? However, as any writer out on submission knows, the waiting is HARD. It can consume your thoughts and occasionally actually zaps your creativity making it tough to write anything new. 

I have started drafting a new project and I want to be able to continue working on this whilst on submission, I just hope the creative juices will flow!

If you're in a similar position, how do you cope with being on submission long term? And have you ever felt like giving up your writing dreams?

IWSG Day Question: Besides writing, what other creative outlets do you have? 

I'm not sure I really have any other creative outlets. Writing is number one for me between work, family and other commitments I don't really have time for anything else at the moment.