Due to an oversight at work (I forgot to take annual leave for most of the year - whoops!) I have most of March off - I will be working approximately two days a week!
As a happy coincidence, I have just completed a new draft of an old story, which now needs editing and a better ending. It's currently a perfect novella length, but I'd love to see if I can boost it to novel length. And what better time to do it than when I actually have plenty of time to do it!
I'll also have time to meet friends for lunch and coffee, and check out the real locations I've used in the story to make sure I've got them accurate. In short, this is going to be a good month.
Yesterday, I walked up to Plymouth Hoe, to do some research for my current book. It's amazing how much you forget about a place - even one that you love so much - when you're trying to recall specific details about it.
I ate my lunch on a bench, and then those black clouds let loose their hail, and I had to run for cover.
I've been pretty busy over the last couple of weeks:
When I start a new novel I like to have several things in place:
But something wasn't right with this project. I'm rewriting an old manuscript, so I assumed I had all those things, but they weren't gelling together. Until this morning, when I was at the gym and this song came on my MP3 (yes, I'm one of those strange people who don't own an iPhone or even an iPod) and suddenly I was stopping the treadmill mid-run to scribble down a few lines.
This is the song... and one day, I'll be able to share the novel with you too.
I'm slightly in shock that the sunny, warm weather is still continuing... that should give you a clue as to how 'British' I am!Dartmoor ponies
Apart from at work - an air-conditioned gym - I haven't worn long sleeves for weeks, I have flip-flop tan lines (a huge achievement) and I've finally remembered to put sun-cream on when I leave the house.
Yesterday, we went out on Dartmoor and ate our lunch looking down over the most gorgeous reservoir. It's one of my favourite places because you can see all the way out to sea, although yesterday - as you can see from the photo - it was a bit cloudy and hazy. It's also one of the most quiet, peaceful places you will ever find.
The fresh air sparked a lot of creativity - and I am now currently in the middle of three projects: I have a novel which is out with a couple of readers, an old novel which needs tearing apart and sticking back together, and a third 'secret' project which I'm excited about.
All will be revealed soon.
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.