Ah, it's that time of year again.
I've just watched my youngest son open his school Christmas Carol concert with a solo, school has ended for the term, my Christmas tree is up, and it's only a week until Christmas.
I had several writing resolutions this year that didn't quite pan out the way I wanted them too, but I achieved a lot nonetheless.
In January, I'll have some news to share, and from February I'll be working with my new editor on my short story collection which will be published in June.
Right now, I'm trying to eek out the new novel idea which is lurking deep in my subconscious, and continuing to query my slightly less-new novel.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
I finally finished a book I wrote in 2006. It started as a 58,000 word story spanning 21 years; it's now a 28,000 word story spanning 7 years.
How do you go about slashing 30,000 words? With abandon, that's how :-) I had a red pen in my hand, and just scribbled out at least three sub plots and ten characters. In 2006 I thought the story needed a happy ending; in 2014, I realised it just needed a fitting ending.
Now, I'm going to take a couple of days rest, then start on some brand new short stories. It's been ages since I wrote a story, so I'm really look forward to it.
It is possible I have completed another novel. Well, I say 'another novel' but in actual fact it will be my first proper novel. It's currently 51,000 words long - so still quite short - but a huge achievement for me. I started out writing short stories, and at the very beginning I struggled to write more than 1500 words.
The novel is currently being read by some fantastic authors, and hopefully I'll be able to take their advice and have a fully submittable novel in the near future... as soon as I can settle on a title.
Watch this space.
I thought it would be fun to post up something from the novel I'm working on at the moment. Last week it was called 'The Sleeper', this week it's called 'The Solution'... Next week, who knows! It's a contemporary, psychological suspensey thing (okay, I need to work on the genre too), and I'm not going to explain what's going on here at all :-)
“What do you know about Elizabeth?” asks the doctor, and her ears prick up.
The group looks blank. They’re all there, the gang – Jeff, Charlie, Lauren; all of those who haven’t confined themselves to bed. See, this is what you’re missing, in your endless slumber.
They look blank and shake their heads. “Nothing.”
He asks, “What do you think of her?” and writes in that blasted notepad.
“Of who?” asks Charlie.
Elizabeth, from the walls, squeezed into the blue flowery wallpaper; she thinks her name sounds so musical when the doctor says it. Growing up, it was always a harsh name.
“You can’t ask us that, can you? It’s not ethical,” Jeff says this, and Elizabeth studies him now. Small darting eyes look directly at her for a second, unseeing.
The doctor shrugs.
“She’s a ghost,” says Lauren quietly. “Sometimes she’s there, but when you turn to say hello, she’s gone.”
Elizabeth shivers. She tries hard to remain here and listen.
“It’s creepy, the way she just looks at you. She never says anything,” says Charlie.
Jeff, it seems, is refusing to take part. He tuts at every comment. His legs are crossed, his arms folded against his chest. Body turned away from the group, away from Elizabeth.
The doctor pushes his glasses back up his nose. “You’ve never heard her speak? None of you?” He inspects each of them. He removes his glasses, takes notes. He crosses his leg; grey trousers ride up to show off grey socks.
They all shake their heads, these strange people grouped together precisely because they don’t belong in groups. And now being asked to nominate the strangest of them! Is Elizabeth somehow the most strange?
Am I more abnormal than these people? Have I ever drawn on my body when green pen? No. Am I a liar? No. Does the news make me shriek and wail? No.