Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
If anyone out there is even remotely interested in children's books, I'd strongly suggest you get your hands on a copy of CWAY. And if you're hoping to find an agent and get published, I'd suggest you get the contents of this book tattooed all over your body.
This book is the bible of children's books. Buy it. Borrow it. Don't steal it, because that is illegal. But do get it. It's got all the info you could ever need, including names and submission guidelines for agents and publishers. And lots of cool articles by writers, agents and clever publishing types that make you feel better about trying to be published.
AND you can read it on the way home and be all 'Check me out! I'm a writer, don't you know!'. You can be as smug as you like - just ignore the fact that it's really obvious that you're a wannabe, unpublished author. But you're on your way, oh yes indeedy. (Of course, no one on the train is in the least bit interested in what you're reading, but you can pretend.)
My copy of CWAY has been on my coffee table for the past four months, and I'm reluctant to put it back on the shelf. This could just be because I am extraordinarily lazy, but I'm not so sure. The book gives me hope, in a way I can't quite explain. I'm just glad it's there.
Song of the day: Fame by Irene Cara (It's all about the legwarmers.)
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
1. read the papers
2. finished reading Thirteen reasons why (which is a relief, because it was really getting me down)
3. watched Made on MTV (massive geek transforming himself into a ladies' man... not a huge success... he got down on one knee to ask a girl to the prom AND then told her he loved her. Ouch. Bad second date.)
4. listened to a radio programme about Agatha Christie
5. cooked up some Mexican food
But throughout these diverting diversions I couldn't help feeling that I REALLY SHOULD BE WRITING. I've gone from one extreme to the other: from being lazy all weekend and never wanting to write, to being unable to relax, even for one day.
I'm not quite sure how this happened. Maybe it's a good thing? Maybe it's because of my new super special agent (YAY! I got one!). It feels a bit like I'm not just writing for me anymore. I can't just give up on the work-in-progress if I get stuck or fed up with it. Not that I want to give up, not even a little bit. I'm hugely excited about where the story is heading - I think this one's got potential. But you never know what's around the corner...
So my September resolution is to learn to balance out the writing with a bit of relaxing, and vice versa. That means that today is writing day. I got up super early and am raring to go... after I check Twitter/Facebook/Hotmail/various writing blogs. Then I'll get started.
Song of the day: Let's get outta here, by Madina Lake
Thursday, September 10, 2009
OK, not true. But it would be nice. I got the idea for TFN (pleeeease somebody publish it, pleeeease!) many many years ago in an A-level English Language exam. Best exam question ever: write the first chapter of a novel. I can't quite remember if there was more to it than that. I kind of think there must have been - maybe they gave us the first line or something? Anyhoo, I wrote about a girl in the woods, alone and frightened. She'd just escaped from a house she'd been held in against her will for weeks and weeks. She didn't know the identity of her captor, or why she'd been taken. It was fun to write.
I enjoyed writing it so much that the idea stayed with me, lurking somewhere in my brain's filing cabinet, until I pulled it out and dusted it off three years ago. The scene I wrote in the exam doesn't appear in my story, and the main character is completely different, but the feelings are the same. If it hadn't been for that exam question, I doubt I'd ever have come up with the idea for the novel, unless I'd paid a visit to those benevolent monkeys...
The idea for the book I'm working on now came from an overheard conversation at work. Someone said the words 'bus crash', and I was away. At least I think they said 'bus crash' - I may have misheard. Doesn't matter though; it got me started. BTW, there is no bus crash in this book. It was just a starting point that got my mind itching and twitching and wanting to write. So thank you, dear colleague.
Person of the day: Nev the newsagent, who didn't mind that I waited 4 days to pay him the £116 I owed him
Monday, September 7, 2009
1. It has has an awesome dog in it.
2. The characters say outrageous things that made me laugh out loud, but they’re not Dawson’s Creekly annoying.
3. There are cheerleaders and jocks and high school dances.
4. It does one of my favourite tricks: you know something really bad has happened but you don’t find out what it is till the end.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Have you seen this cat? She may look sweet and innocent/gormless, but she is actually the perpetrator of an unspeakable crime. Approach with extreme caution.
Name: Jem aka The Destroyer
Age: 17 months
Description: er... black with three and a half legs (and a tendency to use her disability to mask the evil within)
Crime: Trespass (onto my laptop when I was in the middle of a VERY tricky re-write. 'Aw,' I thought, 'so cute. She wants to see what I'm writing.' WRONG! The cuteness distracted me from the fact that her paw was on the 'off' button. Seconds later, my screen faded to black. Disaster! Two paragraphs lost. Possibly the two hardest paragraphs in the book. Bad kitty.
Today, I attempt to re-write the re-write. Oh, happy day!