Monday, 26 November 2012

Competition Bug Bears!

Don’t you just hate it when competition entries aren’t acknowledged?

Taking time out from novel writing, to pen a few short stories, is proving to be a good exercise for writers block. Instead of leaving those little babies in my folder I’ve been giving them wings and sending them off to competitions.

Now, most of the time you get an acknowledgement in some form or another but recently I entered a very interesting one. The task involved continuing on the story from the point the posted piece stopped. I read and re-read the piece, did some research (wanted to show that I made a huge effort) and wrote my addition with great enthusiasm. It was a short piece but a great opportunity to showcase my talent and ability.

Five hundred words were typed with gusto, pasted to an email and sent. Then I waited and waited and nothing. (Not that I sat looking at the computer like a moron for a week, but you know what I mean) Not even an automated response email to acknowledge receipt. The only hint that it ended up somewhere, is that the email didn’t bounce back. It leaves me with no way of knowing if they received it.

I appreciate that owing to a large amount of entries to these competitions they can’t make individual replies to everyone, but surely an automated response to let me know it was received isn’t too much to ask.

So, do I resend and risk looking like stalker or do I leave it and count my losses?

Oh what to do?

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Editing Dilemma Part 2

Well here’s the update, I decided to hold onto my manuscript because I got a rush of editing inspiration. This came after a rejection ((boo hoo) I admit though, I sent it out a tad too soon) but it turned out to be ‘nice’ rejection because the agent took the time to give me some very constructive feedback (thank you again nice agent).

I applied the advice combined with other bits I’ve received and something just clicked.  I also seemed to have left it long enough before revisiting, therefore approaching it with fresh eyes. I am currently a third of the way through but I’m enjoying the editing this time. 

So, maybe when it’s complete it could be good practice to put some distance and still give it to said trusted writing colleague (refer to previous blog post). With less sleepless nights (because my characters have quietened and I’m making less additions and corrections in my head at night instead of trying to sleep) there is less chance of getting arrested for breaking his door down to get my manuscript back or I could just hide it in the attic, but would I be tempted to peek.

Oh what to do?

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Editing Dilemma

I’m currently trying to put distance between myself and my manuscript for a period of time, to allow for proper editing. A trusted writing colleague has offered to take possession of it to ensure I will be able to stay away.  The length of time is to be determined by me.

However, the idea of it being at a different location scares the bejeysus out of me. But I am tempted.

The one thing stopping me is the fear that the authorities will be called if I try to break down the door to get at my manuscript, after sleepless nights of hearing my characters. You know those nights, when you make corrections and additions in your head, no pen in sight.

Oh, what to do?

Monday, 27 August 2012

Do some people thrive on negativity?

Have people forgotten how to be positive? I did an experiment recently, in the Doctors waiting room, of all places. Bear with me not as off the wall as it sounds. It’s as good a place as any. You know, there’s the awkward silence, and then someone makes eye contact or starts a general conversation that you feel obliged to respond to. Typically Irish, the weather came up as the topic of conversation. I decided to take part in this conversation but when someone said something negative I consciously hit it with a positive. It went something like this:

Man:                     “Oh does the rain ever stop.”

Me:                        No it’s Ireland, of course it doesn’t stop, that is why we have forty shades of green, I thought but replied: “Well, at least it will make my herb and vegetables grow.”

Man:                     “Hmm, makes the weeds grow too though.”

Woman:              “Oh you’re right never stops, it would get you down."

Me:                        “Liz Hurley says she is jealous of our soft climate, makes for the rights conditions for better skin.”

Woman:              “That’s, until the central heating dries it out.”

Me:                        “Plenty of water to be drunk. It’s good to get out in it though, fresh air, regardless of the weather.”

Woman:              “You’d get drenched.”

Me:                        “There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad rain proof clothes. They are worth investing in.”

Man:                     “How long will we be waiting, I wonder.” Both shrug.

Me:                        “Ah, the waiting gives us a chance to chat and get to know each other.”

I wasn’t giving up and after my last statement I gave them both a big smile. The man’s response was to look at me weirdly and seemed relieved to be called in by the doctor and the woman discontinued the conversation. A new person came in. The above mentioned woman went onto talk about the road deaths to date, I kid you not. So back to my question, do some people just thrive on negativity? Have people forgotten how to be positive?

All I tried was a bit of positivity to which I got continued negative responses. I won’t give up though. Random strangers don’t be afraid to talk to me. I might say something to brighten your day.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Support, in 10 lines!

Support comes in many forms, support tights, support knickers, support bras, support slips, etc.

I was at a fortieth birthday party at the weekend and realised how much of my friends and I rely on this extra support to look slinky in our party gear.

One of the most important forms of support is those friends. They can be as good as the best pair of tuck-you-in undergarments you can invest in.  

Now friends, I am not saying you are like my knickers that I want to sit on you. Nor do I want you to hug my bottom, but you hold me in when I am ready to fall apart. Those all-in-one support slips are like getting a big hug from a best friend when it’s badly needed. Good friends are like a good bra, close to my heart and underwired to perk me up when my mood is sagging.  

So invest… in good support underwear and in your friends like they invest in you. The rewards will be a more together, tucked in, perked up you, to show to the world.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Weather Forecast: Major Brain Storming Session Afoot.
Writing is a lonely journey, but not always. Okay the ideas are contained in your brain but what about when you hit that inevitable block or become unfocused? That’s when you reach out. Like John ‘Hannibal’ Smith in the A-Team said ‘I love it when a plan comes together.’ I love it when like-minded brains merge to fuse ideas, get them surging in one direction. The result:  a very successful brain storming session. The only kind of storm I like.

I sat this morning with ideas running around like roller skating rabbits on speed. My mind was all over the place. That is until a fellow writer focused me. We had one of those weird chats about blood and gore. You know the ones, chatting normally about such subject as if we were talking about ‘how many sugars do you take in your tea’.

One word or a line or idea can lead onto much, much more lines, ideas, paragraphs, chapters, novel number two, etc. I now sit here with much better focus, well for today anyway. So thank you Daniel Kaye.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Writing is a form of therapy

Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose or paint can manage to escape the madness, melancholia, the panic and fear which is inherent in a human situation.
Graham Greene