Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Going slow

I'm doing a lot of worrying at the moment interspersed with enthusiastic bursts. Reading and rewriting 'Support Act' is exciting and scary. I'm just trying to be methodical and going slow. I'm trying to hang on to a 'work' ethic of getting the job done rather than going off into mad writer headspace where the critic goes beserk and hurls insults freely that are of no use to me. It's a juggling act. Something else is emerging for me and that's worrying about time for writing. I think it's time for a lifestyle shake up as I really want to get going on the next novel idea. I never thought I'd be saying that.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Today is the day

I've just got 2 new writing books through the post this morning - Self Editing for Writers by Renni Browne & Dave King plus The 38 most common fiction writing mistakes. I'm hoping they wil be my guides (along with the rumbling inner critic who's itching to get at my first draft) as I start proof reading as soon as I finish writing this and hanging out the washing and...No - no chores will be done today. I have the house to myself for several hours, a strong pot of coffee on the go, my maunuscript sitting nearby all clean and smooth and a stash of good pens. I'm nervous and excited. Tonight we're all off to see Die Hard 4 and have a meal out - that's my reward for a day of itense reading. I'm already worried about the number of times I've got 'She realised' in my novel and I'm not sure how to tackle that one. Hopefully a tactic will come to me.
Fingers crossed.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Shoe Hell

Unfortunately I am not one of life's lucky shoe shoppers so I usually end up with a cupboard full of shoes that are rarely worn yet wistfully gazed at. I have bought, cheap, expensive, 'on sale', schols, homey peds, Dr Martens, shoes with inbuilt massage devices, flatties, tiny heel, platform - you name it - I own it! But all to no avail. I always end up getting twitchy in my shoes and wishing I was wearing someone elses shoes that look really comfortable

There is just something about my feet. They're not huge but they are wide and I do have an instep that you require certified climbing gear to ascend. These features mean that finding a shoe that fits is a hassle. When I got married two years ago I was determined to wear a flashy, dream pair of shoes and I found them in LK Bennets in the exact colour to match my dress and on sale!!! Perfect.

When I got them home I pranced around in them for all of 30secs before realising that my slippery instep wasn't going to hold them in place. Luckily my mother had flown 13,000 miles from Oz just to be standing there at the exact moment to say 'I have an idea of how we can fix this.' She lovingly sewed white elastic onto my gorgeous scarlet satin shoes to hold them in place. It was a good look. Fortunately my dress trailed the floor so only the toes peeped out. There were only a handful of us who knew what I really had under my dress.

When I walked down the aisle to stand next to my husband to be - he lent over and whispered 'I love your shoes'. I made the smart choice never to reveal the white elastic to him. It is one of our marriage's best kept secrets.

The one thing in life guaranteed to cause me enormous anxiety is if I know I'm going out for the day and the night with no chance to change my shoes between activities. If I know I can get back to the car I'll throw a couple of spare pairs in just in case. I know this is bordering on madness but I can't help it.

I'm already fretting about having to spend 4 days working in London in September when I'll be standing for hours on end and flip flops are not an option. If I'm ever disgustingly rich after I've done all the good and ethical things with my money I'm going to find a shoemaker and have them make me the perfect pair of shoes.

At the back of my cupboard the other day I found 5 shoes without partners - they are all favourites from years gone by that I've been unable to throw out even when there is only half a pair left. Sad I know. But I am ever hopeful.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Back from Holiday!

Had a fantastic time on hols with my Aussie visitors. We did Stonehenge, Bath and Cheddar Gorge (yes it truly is the birthplace of the cheese!) in 5 days. It was an intensive, knackering and really fun break. I fell totally in love with Bath - there is such a great vibe to the place and I was really aware of all the different 'tribes' inhabiting the place. It was great to be in a pub at lunchtime and see people of all ages/styles in there - made it a fun place to people watch.

Our hotel was right in the centre of the city which made it very easy to get around though we were a bit alarmed to discover that our quiet hotel was next door to an underground nightclub which came to life between 11pm and 4am on the Saturday night. I was OK as I had earplugs and an eye mask but my fellow travellers were all bleary eyed at breakfast the next morning. I dutifully went to Boots and bought them all earplugs and eye masks - naturally the club didn't open on a Sunday!!!!!

We made it our aim to try as many of the pubs/restaurants as possible - I feel like I've put on a shocking amount of weight in a short space of time. It's back to the gym for me now our guests have gone and normal domestic services have resumed - which means no alcohol or chocolate from Tuesday to Friday and trying to get some sleep after sitting up late for many a night putting the world to right.

It's also back to my writing. My first draft of my novel 'Support Act' has lay dormant for over three weeks and I'm about to print it off and have my first read since finishing it. Scary and exciting!!!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Off on Holiday!

I'm off on holiday for a bit now - I have Aussies visitors so it's time to show them the sights - we have packed sunblock, raincoats, sunhats, umbrellas, swimmers...and coats!!!!

Must be a UK summer!!!!!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Does everyone run Errands?

My guilty, cheap and quick pleasure is to peak at the people magazine celebrity gossip site. What really fascinates me is the number of mega stars who are featured there supposedly papped whilst out 'running errands'. I'm a little baffled by this - on the way hand I think if I had squillions in the bank I'd be paying someone to run my errands. For example - last Tuesday I had a list of 'errands' to run in my lunch hour - I spent twenty minutes queuing in the bank to have a 40second transaction with the cashier, then I spent 10mins queuing for a coffee, another five queuing in Boots and another 10 queuing to get out of the multi storey car park. So my questions is WHY would you want to do all that of you could pay someone to do it for you?????

Then you read about stars who say they like to do errands because it keeps them 'grounded' Really???????? That is a worry - the day I chose to spent 20mins in a bank staring at the floor because the guy in front of me in the que seems a little unhinged and I'm avoiding eye contact - is the day I'll know I've really lost the plot!!!

What I'd like is for stars to 'fess' up and tell us mere mortals what it's really like to be pampered and mega rich and if it's so boring that you have to run 'errands' to get your kicks then WOW I'll swap with them for a few days.

I write this surrounded by piles of washing, ironing and some strange, teeny little black bugs that are nesting away in my study. It's chucking it down outside - my To Do list is screaming at me and all I want to do is watch something mindless on TV but it's 4:35 and I have several more hours of work to do - running 'errands' would be a holiday compared to what surrounds me here in the home!!!!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Wild old day

If it gets any windier here on the sunny south coast I'll start to worry about my fence again. Back in the winter we lost 2 massive panels of fencing that run between us and our neighbour and it cost a fortune to replace. We came home from work to discover that we 'shared' a garden and had also gained a dog! The neighbour's dog thought it was brilliant fun to have the run of around 200 feet of garden. The only one home at the time was our very pregnant neighbour who suddenly saw two huge panels of fence hurling towards her conservatory - luckily it didn't break the glass or cause early labor!

Ah well it is the kind of weather that is useless for tennis or drying washing (wind is good but it is now chucking it down with rain) but fabulous for thinking about the next steps after completing a first draft. I'm trying not to look at it this week but it is calling to me. I resist though - I want some distance. I'm not sure whether or not to start making notes for my next idea in the down time from novel number one. Having never been in this situation before I'm not sure if that would be a productive thing to do or if it would interfere with my 'pondering' novel number one. Hhhhmmmmm.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Winchester Writer's Conference

What an amazing weekend! The confr was fantastic - it was such a friendly place and so many novelists and agents on hand willing to dispense advice and feedback. I have come home with the embryo of a plan for how I can write more and do paid work less. I'm about to go to my day job and sit in a 2 hour meeting and I'm really worried that I shall just daydream through it and be thinking about the rewrites I need to be doing on my novel.

Going there knowing I had finished a first draft of my novel the day before was just the best feeling. I was able to put my hand up high in lots of workshops when we were asked 'who has finished their novel' - that was a brilliant feeling!!! I got some amazing feedback which has made me desperate to get back to it and begin the 2nd draft but I'm going to leave it for 2-3 weeks and not even peak at it just so I can have some distance. It's quite good that the next 2 weeks are really busy work wise so there will be no opportunity for peeking!!!!

Big sigh as I must now go into the non writing world - really difficult to do after 3 days immersed in writing - it was just wonderful knowing that everyone around you was involved in writing and I met some lovely people and chatted for ages just about writing!!! I can really recommend the experience to any other writer.

Very Happy yo be home to a proper shower though - sleeping in uni halls of residence brings back my undergraduate days - which are fun to reflect one - but I was baffled as to how I ever washed my hair properly back then as the showers were just a trickle - it was lovely to get home to a proper shower and my own bed!!!!