Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I Did It !!!!!

I can't believe I did it - I just finished a first draft of my first novel - I feel like I have RSI and I don't know whether to laugh, cry or scream. I haven't eaten properly for 2 days and I think I have bedsores from lying here typing. I also haven't left the house for 2 days so can't remember what fresh air feels like. I'm going straight out to buy a jiffy bag or box at staples and then off to Sainsbury's. I have a craving for Tuna, roasted vegetables and something chocolaty for dessert. My husband is due home from Scotland tonight so I feel I better make an effort and brush my hair or something!

Wow - feel like I have just run a marathon!!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Slogging Away

I'm still determined to make the Daily Mail contest deadline. I'm off to the Winchester writer's confr on Thur evening so I need to get my novel in the post by then. I'm on 76,000 words and it will be around 82,000 when done. It's been a really strange process as some of the sections are on their second and third drafts whilst others are still first and about 4,000 words are unwritten!!! I know what is going to happen just have to get it down. It's been good to have this deadline to aim for though otherwise I think I might have hung around and taken ages to finish it. It has really sharpened me up and given me a focus. The exciting bit though will be coming back to it in a couple of weeks and really begin to finish it. I'm looking forward to that. Off to have a break now though as I'm cross eyed and in need of sustenance!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Odd Start to the Day

My Sunday started off in a strange manner. I woke up at 0630 - that in itself is odd enough as I am a night owl - but it was crippling stomach cramps that had disturned my dreams so I came down to the kitchen in search of drugs and a hot water bottle. I was standing at the kitchen sink getting a glass of water when a savage pain ripped through me and the next thing I knew I was waking up on the floor - I'd passed out and hit my head on a kitchen cupboard on the way down. It was really weird because I woke up on the floor smiling - feeling quite happy! Really freaky and then I realised I was on the floor with a bloody sore neck! Yelled out for the husband who came and rescued me.

I am now ensconced on the sofa still in my pyjamas 'looking after' a box of cadbury roses while the rest of the family have gone to the gym for some exercise and a late breakfast. One part if me is quite excited by the idea of having an excuse for lying here and watching a movie but I couldn't decide which one to watch so shall write for a bit instead and get the word count moving. I did have some good ideas after my little blackout and even wrote them down - well I haven't read them back yet but they seemed pretty good at the time!!!!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Phew and Frangapanis

Finally managed to list all the novel racers on a side bar. Very proud of myself. I almost feel like I have a proper 'grown up' blog now! I had to post this gorgeous photo of frangapanis - my favourite flower on the whole planet. They're common in Oz and my mission is to try and grow them here in my garden on the south coast of England. This is quite a mission as I am also a novice gardener. They remind me so much of Oz that it would be quite wonderful to have them in my garden - the smell would transport me back to Sydney and it would be great to have them near by when homesickness strikes. Maybe one day I'll be posting a pic of my own frangapanis!!!

I mentioned that I had done a time management course last week and said I would post a few points from it. I had a couple of specific objectives for doing the course - one was to learn how to be more efficient with 'stuff' mainly paperwork - how to know what to file, what to bin and how to manage this process better so that I didn't find myself taking a week once a year to clear out the 'clutter' in my study. My other main objective was to learn some techniques for deciding what to do when and how to be ruthless with my time. You know when you have 8 things on your To Do list for the day and at the end of the day you still have 6 left and you have no idea where all the time went. I wanted to learn how to manage this problem.

There was quite a lot talked about on the day and some good books were recommended. One I particularly liked I ended up buying at Victoria station on the way home - I took it as an omen that there was only one copy left in the shop! I had read the first 70 pages on the 90 minute journey home. It is 'Getting Things Done' by David Allen. I'm currently trying a technique of his which helps you how to decide what to do from your 'Action/To Do' list with what you have available. His model is as follows:

1. Context - What do you need to actually undertake a particular action - for example returning a phone call means you need to have a phone to hand. If you don't then this is obviously not the time to be returning phone calls.

2. Time Available - If you only have 10mins then you can eliminate anything on your list that would take longer than this.

3. Energy Available - What are your energy levels currently like? Both mental and ohysical - again this will help you to work out what items you could achieve at present.

4. Priority - You answer all the above - see what items are still in the running and then use your gut instinct - pick one thing to do and get on with it!!!

I've been using this and it's been quite amazing. I have got a lot more things done - because he's given me a logical model and a system to follow. I like to have rules! It's great to do a course like this and actually come away and put some stuff into practice and see results instantly. The 'paperwork' issue is a work in progress but I am hopeful of changing my wicked ways! I know the points above are common sense but I find that sometimes I forget how to be efficient and I seem to forget it when I really, really need to be so.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I can do it...

This is a quickie to say I am slowly adding all the novel racers to a sidebar. I'm doing it manually so it's taking a while but I can't figure out how to do it the smart way so shall have to do it the slow way - so bear with me -I will get you all on there!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Getting there

Just a quickie post to say I'm so excited my word count is moving - it's a bit slow for my liking at the moment but at least it is moving and this is giving me energy to keep going. I'm off to London on thur to do an intenseive one day time managament course whihc I'm really looking forward to. I'm hoping it will give me some tricks and tips on how to get the most out of my day and create more time for writing! They just better not tell me to stop blogging or reading blogs - I couldn't do that - reading other writer's blogs and finding supportive comments on mine really keeps me going. I've also just received my copy of Wanna be a writer? which is full of really practical suggestions for finding time to write and so much more. Really loving it. Off to the gym to help keep 'writer's bum' from spreading any further!!!!!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Feeling Grounded

I've started to read my novel from the beginning which I haven't done before and it's really helping me to get the final 15,000 words written. It's quite a bizarre process reading your own story. Sometimes I disappear into the story and then I get jolted out of it by sections that don't work. It's quite a challenge to work out why the bits that work - do so - and then try to use that information to inform how you 'fix' the bits that need fixing. Onwards!

Saturday, June 02, 2007


Finally my word count has moved on. I've had a bit of a writing epiphany (sounds very grand - really means I saw how complacent I'd been!!!!)and seem to have found focus again. My aim now is to keep it. I started my writing session today by reading from the start of my novel as I felt I'd lost touch with it. It was a really good thing to do because I haven't read a lot of this stuff for several months. It has really gotten me back into the flow of it and the aim now is to finish it - quickly!!!