Yesterday, I got to mix with a wide range of writers from all stages of their career, and hear some fantastic speakers talking about the publishing industry, and how to get published. It was hosted by the Writer's & Artist's Yearbook in conjunction with Literature Works.
What made this even better was it was on my dootstep. I didn't have to venture up to London or Birmingham or Manchester... or even Bristol, which is still two hours away and difficult to organise. No, this event was a 30 minute bus ride into the town I spend a lot of time in anyway.
It was a long day, but the speakers were so engaging, and the questions from the audience so interesting, I didn't really notice. The glass of wine at the end was very welcome.
Here are a few interesting points from the day:
Thank you to everyone who made How to Get Published happen. It was really great that you chose Plymouth as the venue for your first outside-London. If you come back, or indeed if you find other venues around the country, I can guarantee they'll be very much appreciated.
I love September. I love the chilly, frosty mornings that give way to warm (or even, hot) sunshine by lunchtime. I love the thought of getting back into my jumpers and thick woolly tights. I love my kids going to back to school and finally having the house to myself again.
September always feels like a fresh start.
So far this month, I've written - and submitted - two short stories, and a flash fiction. I'm on my third short story now - trying to reduce a 50,000 word novel now to a 5,000 word story. I'm playing around with all the different threads and trying to work out how I want to tell this story. It may sound like a silly thing to attempt, but if I do it right, it'll be awesome. (And, if I do it wrong, no one will ever read it, so that's fine too!)
For a long time, now, I've wanted to go to the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff. Earlier this week, I went... and dragged Hubby and kids with me. Here are some of my favourite photos (please excuse the blur, and the fact that I'm in most of them!)
I planned to take a lot of photos, but in the end just wandered around with that soppy smile on my face. It was an awesome exhibition, and highly recommended if you're ever in Cardiff and - of course - you're a fan.
1. I bought new pens for editing... so many colours. Although, at the moment, I am writing on my laptop - I don't have any hard copies to edit. But I will, soon.
2. I saw the most beautiful coloured leaves on my way to work this week. But sadly, I forgot to take photos. They were golden, russet, yellow... colours I wouldn't normally associate with a British autumn.
3. After a couple of weeks' feeling a bit poorly, I'm finally getting better. Now I just feel a bit weak - and my lifts at the gym have taken a bit of a dive. Something to aim for next week... I also ordered some new gym gear. If in doubt, buy shoes right?
4. While Hubby and the kids went to see Spectre, I had a pyjama day and wrote a convincing first draft of a ghost story. The next day, when I re-read it, not so scary. Must try better!
And finally, 5. I saw the trailer for the New Year's Day episode of Sherlock, and it looks brilliant!
It has been a busy year for me this year, and to top it off, this evening - yes, on a Sunday evening, four days before Christmas - I sent off another submission.
So, I now have a novel with an agent, a novella with a publisher, and a collection of flash fiction out with a different publisher. Phew! It's definitely time for a glass of wine to celebrate.
I started the year with a list of goals, and didn't really accomplish many of them. But that's okay, because I'll have that list to use again next year. But what I did do was have my third book published in June and complete/start from scratch all the projects that are currently on submission.
Next week, once all the hectic Christmas stuff is over, I'll be starting on my next book - in fact, I'll be cannibalising an old novel that I originally wrote when I was seventeen. I can't wait to read it. The last time I rewrote something from that period, I had to remove a lot of references to pay phones!
On that note, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.
It's probably time for an update, seeing as though the last post was about a giveaway that happened weeks ago.
My excuse is that it's August, my kids are home from school, and I'm doing a course to become a personal trainer. It's really interesting to look more deeply into all the things I've been using as a fitness instructor for the past five years. My body is a little less keen on all the advanced training I'm putting it through at the moment - it's been a great way to realise I've been coasting at the gym for a while... and now all my muscles hurt!
There's also been a lot of puppy walking, and puppy playing, and puppy-telling-off. He's worse than a toddler, and likes to cause mischief when he's tired but fighting sleep.
I've been getting some writing done. I've had an idea for another short story collection, although at the moment it's too weird a concept to explain - hopefully it'll straighten itself out once I start to write. At the moment, most of my writing has taken the form of staring into space while watching endless reruns of The Big Bang Theory.
It's my writing process, and I'm sticking to it :-)