Attempting to make it as a writer

Posts tagged ‘writing’

All Written Out-Christmas 2015!

I have had such a busy time of late. My writing, although still managing to squeeze it in before the world gets up, has been very prolific of late.   I am however, at the present time the sole judge of the quality of the words written, but most certainly I feel proud of the content of my literary achievements this year.

We (Sexy Sporty Dad and I) finished LEJOG in mid-September (Lands’ End) and within a week we were off to Ypres to celebrate a very special centenary “the Battle of Loos”, more of that later I hope.  We hit October at a fast run as we celebrated a significant birthday for Sexy Sporty Dad which entailed a surprise weekend with friends and family coming together to help him move through the barrier.

I then slowed momentarily as I gathered information and research for NANOWRIMO.

Never before had I been so determined and so organised.  I discovered there were no other local Nanos so decided to use my wonderful Swanwick friends and online Nanoers  to support my efforts.

It all started with a ‘virtual kick off party’ at midnight on 31 October, and even before I  got to bed in the early hours of Nov 1st I had  444 words under my belt.  Others at the virtual party did many more, but I felt I had shown my face and achieved my start, I retired to my bed and woke again in the early hours to resume.   I stayed with social media for the following 30 days to keep me going and gather encouragement in my quest.

Follow the story here:

October 31st

just to warn you all – about to go into hibernation! will be out of circulation for 30 days while I again take part in NANOWRIMO – http://nanowrimo.org/ write a novel in a month – the challenge is 1667 words per day, follow my progress on twitter @TiggyHayes or on facebook Tiggy Hayes

November 1st

great start to NANOWRIMO – over 2000 words already written. Today was easier as it was a day off – see how the rest of week pans out!

November 4th

Yeah – 8376 words 4 days. Suppose to be a journey but stuck in jail in Bodmin due to be hung tomorrow – could be a short story!

November 5th

11594 words by day 5. Flowing well but how to make him sound young vulnerable & scared without being plain stupid? He escaped hanging btw!

November 6th

2588 words this morning – on a roll now. but they are calling him by a different name – do we own up or run with it

November 8th

way on target with 19757 words done so far. lost the plot slightly yesterday so very staccato writing but just jumped from a burning window

hope he survives or the end of the book…..

November 9th

so going gets tough from now on. work commitments may lessen time available but well on NANOWRIMO target at the moment

November 10th

25000 half way..with 20 days to go – work is getting in the way. maybe I shoud give up work and go full time writing! and the bills???

November 11th

a restless night helped – no sleep so got up at 4 and wrote 2000 words – it is going to be a long day -work then meeting all evening

November 13th

slowing down – work getting busy only 1173 yesterday and 1845 today but hit the 30,000 words – will that sustain over my working weekend?

November 15th

33027 words -he smashed the lock realising moments later he could have picked it – so why did I teach him to pick locks in chapter 1?

November 16th

35185 words done – we are just escaping Bath where we were propositioned. feels odd to be set upon by a woman writing as a boy!

November 17th

so a good 2001 words – strange number – what do i know about iron smelting in 1749 nothing yet….. about to find out then i think

November 19th

over 40,000 words. Awkward moment as he jumps in a river to save boy (who’ll end up his wife-Don’t ask!) But he cant swim! What a meeting!

November 23rd

46,800 words 7 days left feeling confident despite recent dip … the relationship is still icy – need a bit of love or at least tolerationTop of Form

November 24th

finally at 47,600 words they’ve a good word to say to each other. Could be a short love story, with 6 days left to live happily ever after.

November 25th

50,007 words & now they are in love. The real adventure starts here for them & me.Thanks for the support, couldn’t have done it without you.

 

Nano Winner

November 28th

54,589 words – both on the run now- overnight in Penrith – a name & sex change for her and he still running from cornish constabulary.

and still only in 1752!

November 30th

winner and surpassed all expectations – 60,000 words. now married but still on the run – what does Fort William have in store for them and will they ever reach John O’Groats, hope so a very special letter awaits them there

December 2nd

NANO may be over but we have to reach the destination. Loch Ness passed in 2 paragraphs. Back saving boys from water but still can’t swim!

December 14th

NANO may have finished but story continued now at John o’Groates the letter has finally found them. Lets hope they live happy ever after

73,743 words, 144 pages and 44 days – Destination is going to sleep till the New Year.

I enjoyed my story, it changed dramatically from the one I had planned.  I worked well under the pressure of 1667 words a day and I managed to achieve 2000+ a day usually between 5 and 7 in the morning, which had no effect on my normal daily routine or work commitments.

Where some adventures came from I do not know, I would start with an idea and end with a completely different scenario which then had to be woven through my thoughts and writings.  The essence of the  story involved a long journey of learning, losing and loving. Lands’ End to John O’Groats in the mid 1700’s with my main protagonist a 13 year old boy;  all  out of my comfort zone writings but totally exhilarating.   There is a lot of work to do if ever I want to publish it; which people outside of NANOWRIMO don’t really understand.

“if you have written 73,000 words why can you not just publish it?  Why put it away?”  Good questions but what about the real bane of my life;  the dreaded editing phase!  And then, the even worse rejection phase?

If Destination stands any chance of being published it needs to go into hibernation itself while I concentrate on Christmas and New Year and work on some of my older stories.  I will look at it again, fresh and with new eyes as I feel this one may have legs to pursue.

Pursue I must for two very good friends have during Nano month had their own books published;

A wonderful collection of short stories superb for a coffee break or waiting for a child moments which I have on my kindle and can reread time and again just to cheer me up and remind me where determination can take me.  Little Gems by Rae Argent

And here is a great little one for all adventure/detective lovers that is now out in paperback.  The Common Murders by S J Ridgeway

The other incredible book I have recommended this year again by a friend of mine is a must for all nature lovers and most definitely anyone who grew up loving “Winnie the Pooh” is The Natural World of Winnie the Pooh by Kathryn Aalto

I don’t recommend these book just because they are my friends but because they are good and these are the contemporary ladies I aspire to be like and to write like.

Have the most wonderful Christmas

 

Tiggy

 

destination front cover - draft

Stirred and Shaken

swanwick 2014I cannot believe how quickly a year has gone by.  As the weekend neared, the excitement laced with large drops of trepidation intoxicated my every movement.  It was never about not holidaying with the family, but rather more joining my other family; my very special Swanwick family.

A year on and I was still a fraudster in some eyes particularly those of my  children, who cannot understand how I could legitimately join a writers school,having not had my novel published.   The few magazine articles I had sold were at most luck; at least an embarrassment so they could not count towards my job title WRITER.  Let’s face it, my children had not seen sight of any profits from my articles. Why would they?  My promise to myself was to put them towards my next Swanwick trip and so I had.

It was my eyes and my feelings that counted.  I was returning to Swanwick School of Writers, and I could not wait.

The journey proved longer this year, being held up in a traffic jam and on my own for the whole trip.   Excitement escalating with each excruciatingly slow mile. Was I nearly there yet?

Again (2013 Swanwick) I paused at the entrance, savouring the cocktail of emotions that coursed through my being.  I admit a certain fear and apprehension as I drove up the drive; would they remember me, would it be the same if I was not a white badger, nobody was going to offer guidance or assistance.   Maybe my followers and friends from last year will have realised in the intervening months just how flimsy my writing career is.

It was strangely reassuring to arrive at my room and realise I had stayed in this one last time.  A small task of individualising my name card reminded me that I was back in the world of writers, authors and poets with learning and fun to be had for a whole six days.   Taking a large gulp of self-assurance I made my way to the bar where I found welcoming arms and hugs from old and soon to be new friends.

So began my very special week of workshops, speakers, competition, laughter and welcome. (Swanwick 2013 part 2)

I began with David Hough’s Novel Editing.  He poured out sound advice, breaking it down into bite size re-edits.  In a nutshell; read it for me – is it what I wanted to read.  Read it from my main characters point of view – does she see things she shouldn’t or know things she hasn’t been party to yet?  Read it from my reader’s point of view – does it entertain them?

Then comes the grammar and spelling edits; this could be where I might fall down.  Back to the drawing board with Memories I realise now that  I am further back than I thought –  I may get away with missing step 1 as I am pretty sure it has all the bits in I wanted to add.

Short stories with Della Galton proved entertaining, challenging as she set the task of writing our opening paragraph and insightful with her simple plan; A character has a problem, which is resolved in an unexpected but in a satisfactory way.  The character is changed along the way.   With lots of tips and advice available to help craft my stories and make them marketable; we ended the week looking at short story markets.

Joining a workshop with Shirley Blair, the very lady who has the power to reject/ accept my stories, telling me to keep sending and her rejections are not personal.  With her mix of stringent guidelines spiked with pushing the boundaries she has thrown down the gauntlet to get a published story in People’s Friend.

Then the TV Detective himself arrived into my week.   The man who made me cry with laughter with his after dinner speaking- I will never think of otters again in the same light.  Simon Hall was dispensing in his first workshop about the media.  How to sell myself to become an item of newsworthiness even before the book has been published.

He drizzled into conversation facts like; agents check out web sites and look at tweets to gain insight into my personality and writing styles. He added to the brew suggestions like offer to write the article for the local paper and how to impassion that interview.

A short workshop earlier in the week on the luck and skill involved in forensics had left me wanting more.  Simon Hall again stirred the emotions of anticipation, fear and excitement with his rapid crime writing workshops. Mystery, suspense and keep your reader wanting was how he kept me enthralled.  Introducing the five Ps of writing a good novel: Premièring, place, people, plots and persistence.  Blending these five ingredients together should give me the recipe for a successful novel be it crime related or other genre.

There were other workshops, other inspirational speakers, the emotive and sometimes harrowing pictures that accompanied music, poems and letters in Remembering WW1.  The writer’s quiz that proved to me how wide and diverse this writing subject is and how little I know.   The poignancy of singing the final rendition of Auld Lang Syne as we promised not to forget each other amid tears and hugs of laughter.   No matter how many sessions I managed to attend there were many many others I could not make.

Before I knew it the week was over and I was waving off good friends and promising to keep in touch and see you next year.  Alone I gathered my belongings and packed the car.  Procrastinating long enough to take in the quiet and the gentle ripple of the lake I said my farewell vowing to return again.

So the magic of Swanwick (Swanwick 2013 part 3) lives on; as I drove down the long drive  the sudden strong sense of my own identity overwhelmed me.  I knew who I was and I knew where I was going.  The journey would be longer than I hoped but I had all the elements to quench the thirst to advance my writing career.  Icy trepidation diluted the fiery fervour as I realise  returning to real life will get in the way, work will inhibit both time and creativity as I head back to a world of people who do not understand but, I know I  am on the path and heading in the direction I want to be going.

 

Tiggy

 

Monday Blog Tour

DSC_0085It was a surprise and delight to be asked to join in this tour of blogs from some very successful writers.  I hope I can do them justice.  Many thanks to Veronica for her tag to join the Monday Blog tour, you can read her blog here.

What am I working on at the moment?

Editing is the most obvious comment I would answer here.  I have my novel “Memories” which is still work in progress but out with a beta reader and awaiting a final red pen edit before taking a deep breath and sending out to some agents.

As part of my writing group, we took on the challenge to produce a story for People’s Friend which is not my normal style of writing.  The challenge to me is writing outside my comfort zone and of course the possibility of being published in such a popular well-read magazine.  I have now finished a possible story but it still requires some serious red pen editing before I feel brave enough to send it off.

I also have my monthly mini blogs I provide for the local community magazine.   This is probably one of the hardest things to do – I have about 250 -300 words to create a whole story for a wide audience who need to be drawn in and hooked.  The time pressure as well as the inevitable writers block are my main stumbling blocks.

Finally I am doing an Open University module on “Start Writing Fiction”.  Although already behind with the assignments I am learning from this and some of the short paragraphs I have to produce I already have ideas for short stories or even longer.

You have to remember that all of this is outside my normal life of being a mother, wife, daughter and full time worker.

How does my work differ from others in the genre?

I still have questions of my own regarding which genre I mainly fall into.   Memories is definitely for women, mothers who will identify with the main character.  But there are elements to some of my short stories that cross the genres such as horror and crime.  I tend to write from the heart so I create characters made up of me.

This sometimes does not work as readers identify too much with a character and then get upset when the character does something unexpected.  Crime writing is particularly prone to this.   A normal everyday situation faced with an everyday dilemma and in a moment of distraction rather than premeditation the character takes the wrong path and becomes my antagonist.

Why do I write what I do?

This is hard to give an answer to as I probably do not know.  I have always loved writing and creating stories and even real life always has an alternative story going on in my head; that ‘what if?’    I have always felt that I had a novel inside of me but it has taken many years of convincing to have the confidence to actually do something about it.

I have  taken part in NANOWRIMO three times, and succeeded twice. Memories originated here and although that year I didn’t finish in time the story has developed into a passable novel.  National Novel Writing Month, takes place every November and is 30 days to write  a 50,000 word novel.  The end product is raw but the achievement is incredible.   The challenge is certainly one of the reasons I write.

I find it cathartic to let the words tumble out having been given a kickstart.  Sometimes the words are not worth the paper they are written on but sometimes there is a spark of something that might work with development.

Finally how does my writing process work?

I start by writing early in the mornings before the rest of the family awakes.   This is my time and I can get quite emotional if disturbed.   7am is when the world is permitted to wake and I draw to a close whatever I am working on.  If I have not finished,  the story and characters will churn around all day in my mind and next day I begin again.

The words often fall out in a bit of a hurried jumble and often differ hugely from the original story line I started with.   I do very little editing at this stage and only later if I feel there is a market or place to develop this do I go back and edit.   I need space away from the story before I edit.

I do send things out and rely heavily on others to critique but still take everything they say to heart and personalise it.  I find critiquing other people’s work just as difficult.  Each stage, after the initial writing takes huge steps to build my confidence to allow others into my world of fiction and make believe.

 

I am tagging the lovely Elaine from http://www.starsandroses.co.uk/   and  hope to tag tone other who will  continue this exciting tour of blogs so keep checking back.

 

You can see Veronica’s  post at  http://www.veronicabright.co.uk/2014/05/05/monday-blog-tour

 

 

Tiggy

Have a look at what I am up to with my food blog at Tea Time Treats 

 

 

 

Appraising the Future

I am chasing my tail at the moment.  Work is so busy having taken on an extra job to help with the spiralling increase in costs involved with growing teenagers.  I still manage to rise early and work on my writing which seems to be prolific and productive but never gets further than my computer.  

I was asked recently how I saw myself in three years’ time.

Just think in three years’ time I may be about to have a book due to be published; but I really need to do something about sending it to an agent NOW.  I might have developed my magazine and people will be reading my monthly mini blog and following my journey.  I could be a grandmother  as one of my oldest friends has just become but I hope not yet when the children are just starting out on their adult lives.  I can always hope for that elusive win on the lottery although it may be prudent to not count on this.

Number 1 Son this week chased his own dream by travelling by train half way across the country to attend an interview with his preferred university choice.  He took with him his portfolio of works to date and a sketch pad of ideas.   Suitably impressed they offered him a place conditional on getting his grades.   It is up to him now to get those grades.

Middle son also took a huge step towards his dream as he attended an interview for an apprenticeship in a kitchen working towards his goal of becoming a chef and running his own restaurant.    He too was offered the place conditionally.   If he realises the work will be long hours, hard work and in the beginning very monotonous where he will grow to hate peeling vegetables.  He will however learn the basics of the trade and on completing the apprenticeship have options available to him.  They have offered him a day each weekend from now until August when he and they can make the final commitment.   It is up to him to wow them with his culinary prowess.

Mini Son is too young to have the burden of future upon his young shoulders and is enjoying school, football and his friendships.

So where do I see myself in three years’ time?

Well if I was honest I see myself surrounded by my best sellers in my luxury office where I would go and work creatively all day producing a fabulous new best seller each month. Attending nationwide literary festivals and judging competitions in my own right.  My name however is not JK so I need to revise my expectations I think.

I am the driver in this dream and if I want the book published I need an agent.  To that end I have researched and found a list of agents who may take my novel.  I have read what they require and how to submit my manuscript.  I need to be working on my self-confidence which is a huge barrier to any self-improvement.  I know now that I need to finish that synopsis, tidy up the spelling and grammar and press the send button……

Too scary!

Or in three years’ time, I could have the same conversation and still be hoping to start the journey to publishing.

Where did I save that synopsis?

Writing

My brother may have given me a dose of unexpected self-confidence when for my recent birthday he presented me with a self-published (by him) copy of my first years’ worth of blogs.  It does not come under the genre of novel but Tiggy Hayes has a book out; albeit a single copy currently.  It is mine and my work and could be all the confidence I need to press that button.  Dawn Chorus Volume 1, 2011 by Tiggy Hayes.   Currently I do not know if there is a way to get a copy I think it would be print on demand but will update this blog if I can get any details.

In Print

In Print

Tiggy

Have a look at what I am up to with my food blog at http://tiggy-tea.blogspot.co.uk/

Chillaxing

When asked recently what I did for leisure I had to really think.  I don’t have a leisure past time.   I dutifully watch No 1 Son or Middle Son play rugby because they want to play, not because I gain any pleasure seeing my child or anyone else’s throwing themselves at each other in a frenzy of force.   I stand and cheer on the wet soggy sidelines, jumping up and down not through emotion but cold, as Mini Son’s football team score another goal.  I meet Sexy Sporty Dad for coffee after he has completed his weekly trial of cycling.   None of these are my sporting choices.

I don’t have a leisure sport.  In the summer when all the boys traipse off to the harbour to sail the boats, I pack the picnic, I hold the ropes then I stand thigh high in cold water to launch the boats.   Later I sit lonely and lost, pretending to read, casting surreptitious looks over the horizon to check they are all safe.  I have tried pilates and power plating, I have danced through zumba and aerobics, I have swum and cycled the length of Britain, but none of these have I done for pleasure.  Exercise is good for me; they say and so I dutifully put my body through the painful experiences expecting immediate long lasting benefits.  I am still waiting .

I do however steal an hour each morning before the world has woken, for writing.  I am quite selfish with my hour and anyone daring to approach me before the hour of 7 O’clock is risking two full barrel loads of pent up missive which should by rights be making its way to the page.     I do have to admit that I am finding writing a struggle at the moment.  I am not out of ideas; quite the opposite the concepts and notions constantly head butt each other in a duelling dance around the depths of my inner cortex; but I am out of time.

A blank screen is a scary site in any scenario particularly when I claim to be a writer.   I have spent time this week creating a magazine article, running No 1 Son to and fro with his sports activities followed by an early morning meet to send him off to Barcelona with his school.   Mini Son has after school matches and a swimming gala to attend and then Middle Son requires lifts to and from his friends because the weather is just too wet.    I have prepared meals on time for everyone to eat.  I have even managed to squeeze in the odd bit of shopping, food of course, washing and general tidying.   In between times I have gone to work as well.   What I haven’t been able to find is the extra time to write for the pleasure of writing .

Stop the world I want to get off.

So I did!  I joined a group of my close friends and we took ourselves to a Spa for a complete chillax day of just laughing and enjoying each other’s company.

Six of us managed to escape our manic worlds and off we all went.  We had in common; our 16 year old sons some already turning 17 had all played youth Rugby together.  These were friends that had seen each other through our sons’ successes, battles on and off the pitch, injuries, and growing up.

For the whole day time stood still.    We talked about us, we learnt things from each other that we did not know despite knowing every breath their boys took.  We laughed like carefree children who do not have all the worries of the world upon their shoulders.  We did nothing; well that is not strictly true we did sit and float and steam but we relaxed.

Chill out at the Spa

Relaxing is not an activity I find easy to accomplish.  My life obviously allows little me time.    I have never been a good sleeper and this does not seem to get better with age.  Letting my worries and cares stay firmly at home while I go out and have fun is a difficult and unusual occurrence.  However with help from some just as busy friends we did all enjoy the day and we had fantastic fun.

I think I have found a pastime that might appeal to me.   I think I must work at taking the time out to enjoy these excursions.   The peace and slow pace has given me much to contemplate and even more ideas are sprouting through the medulla to grow into short stories, novels and articles.   The mind is clear of mundane rituals and brimming with a world of luxury and exoticism waiting to branch out and create a new sapling of creativity.

This is not a past time that will be repeated too often but one I will certainly look forward to again.  In the meantime I will rise early tomorrow and transfer all my excited threads of stories to the screen in front of me.  Who knows one day they might just be the beginnings of the next big best seller.

Stop your world for just one day and enjoy being you.

Tiggy

Check out my cooking blog at Teatime Treats with Tiggy

 

 

Broken Sentiment

We had been invited to, probably the last BBQ this summer.   It was Saturday afternoon and the sun had been shinning all day.   Unusually I had no food to prepare and things were quiet in the house.   We were bringing the drinks including Pimms so I did need to chop and soak the fruit in the alcohol before we left.

I started early as the longer the fruit marinated the better the Pimms tastes. I own a beautiful glass punch bowl which comes with delicate little cups.  The sheer glass has vine leaves bulging with fruit etched delicately round it and the glass spoon sits comfortably poking through the opening in the lid.

This punch bowl has been part of my family for as long as I can remember.  My father a born host produced this bowl from the recesses of his cupboards for every memorable party he gave.    Perfectly chopped fruit, pimms, ice and bubbling lemonade taking centre stage on the drinks table at the summer party.    Warm, spicy cinnamon and red mulled wine pervading the room, hinting at the fruit mix and warmth waiting to  be enjoyed after the bonfire and fireworks display he had already pre-planned.

In fact I don’t remember an occasion he didn’t bring the bowl out and make good use of it, and yet the delicacy of the glass survived them all.   When my father passed away and my mother downsized she gave the bowl to me to follow his guardianship, with the understanding that I too, would put it to good use.   I hoped that I had emulated that custody.

I began chopping strawberries, oranges, lemons and apples.  I dug deep into the cupboard to bring out the bowl and even deeper to count that I still had all the cups to serve the drink in.   Carefully I brought it to the sink to wash it and took the lid off.  The water running, the lid shining I lifted the spoon out.

Crack!

Time stood still.

It was only a gentle tap as the spoon came out but in slow motion the side of the bowl shattered as each shard of splintered glass speared my disbelieving memory.   One side of the bowl remained intact but the one nearest me was in pieces as was I.   Sexy Sporty Dad responding instantly to my cry of pain, tried to find where it hurt.

Inside, where my heart is; where all the memories of my childhood had just converged on my core tearing it to pieces.   I had been given this to use, protect and pass on.  In a moment’s distraction I had destroyed something precious, at least to me; the memory of my father as he entertained his guests and never let anyone be without a drink or a companion at any of his parties.

Sexy Sporty Dad gathered the pieces and with sombre tone admitted that not even he could glue all the slivers back together for me.   He carefully wrapped the offending pieces in newspaper and will dispose of them as if they were a beloved pet that had passed on.  Quietly and secretly so my misery is not re-ignited.

My mind wrenched back to this evening’s activities.  What of the Pimms?  I still needed a receptacle to serve it from.  I knew the friends we were dinning with would have accepted a bottle of wine or other form of drink without damming me; but I had promised Pimms and so Pimms it must be.

Where do you find a punch bowl late on a Saturday afternoon these days?

A plethora of charity shops adorn our high street and there is one that sells all kinds of odd bits of household clearance items that rarely anyone wants.   I started there and trawled the aisles finding beautiful cut glass vases, jugs that would hold enough for two or three drinks even large brandy glasses that might be used instead.   I found a sugar bowl and milk jug that matched Granddad’s cups, I spotted a silver or possible stainless silver jam spoon that it had taken me weeks to find when I was looking for a present for my mother’s new house.   The one thing I could not find was anything resembling a punch bowl.

As I browsed a couple of outfits and smart tops on the way through to the exit I noticed the two ladies at the counter waiting I guess, for someone to say hello, buy something or just a bit of excitement.   I popped back in and asked “I don’t suppose you have anything like a punch bowl?”

The first lady looked at me sadly “no unless it is out on the shelves we don’t”

The other lady seemed a little more thoughtful.   “Could you wait a moment we did have one handed in a while back I am not sure what happened to it.”

Naturally I waited; picking up a top and admiring it; wishing I was 4 sizes smaller and could squeeze into it.  Why are all the best clothes always too small.  After 10 minutes of browsing I was becoming a little edgy, late on a Saturday afternoon and I didn’t know where I might find what I was looking for.

Finally she appeared staggering under the weight of a large punch bowl box.  Unsure even if the box held what it promised we gently removed the bowl with spoon.  It seemed to be resting on a layer  which we lifted exposing all twelve cups in perfect condition.  This was not delicate thin glass with beautiful etching on it, but thick chunky glass made to withstand even my clumsy washing.  I would take it.  After all the cost would not matter; how much does it cost to replace the priceless memories associated with my broken, shattered bowl.

“That will be £5 please”

“How much?  Are you sure?”  I added another top I had been toying with as I felt so guilty at the cheapness.

Ten minutes later all clean and shiny; the bowl adorned the shelf in the fridge with a small layer of pimms soaked fruit.  The lemonade would be added at the party.

As we drank late that evening in the glowing embers of the sunlight we raised a glassed to my father “Cheers Dad.”

Cheers!

Writing

I seem to have reached a goal; one I was not expecting.  Although my book “Memories” is supposedly going through a revamp and re-edit before being sent to publishers; I have found myself writing a short blog in the newly launched Gillingham Guide. I may only have a remit of 250 words a month to tell my tale, I have gone over on both occasions so far, this is to be a regular, time critical writing that I will have to produce as a filler providing space is available.

With all that is going on currently I am deciding whether I can find time to join NANOWRIMO this November.  How can I write 1600 words a day when currently finding time for 100 per day is  a challenge.  I have several themes going round in my head for the next book but maybe I should get Memories published then write the next one.

On another note my writing coach from our writing group has slated this blog for it’s over use of literary features and clichés. Having recovered slightly from the slating I thought long and hard about his comments.  I could of course drop all the fun features as he suggests and just text speak my thoughts in plain boring words but I think I would lose the essence of what I am saying and I am not sure I would stay focused for long.   I suspect my coach needs to understand blogging, twitter and social media before he can write-off my penned word completely.  After all I am publishing two blogs regularly and now another monthly blog, people are beginning to know my name.  Does he really want me to stop that just as things pick up for me?

I guess I need to get used to these beratings and rejections before I send Memories off.

Tiggy

Check out my cooking blog at Teatime Treats with Tiggy

Waste Not : Want Not

I am sorry to admit that my writing; which I would list as my number one passion has had to take a very definite back seat at the moment.   I promise this is not an on-going state of affairs but there are only so many productive hours in each day.

There is an old adage that if you want something done – give it to a busy person.  I find there is a lot of truth in that comment.  A busy person will just fit it in to their busy schedule and complete it with no fuss and no fanfare.

I believe I would come under that category of a busy person but sometimes I would like to concentrate on one thing.  I suppose that is what NANOWRIMO gives me; one month to write the bare bones of the next book.   I have to admit to; a certain selfishness during November when my only thoughts are the story, uploading and getting my succeed certificate.  In my mind I live the story, the characters, the plots and the development.  I am sure if Freud analysed my writing he could tell where I went on which day to produce the different chapters of the book.

Currently my overworked mind is taking up with my latest project.   For several years I have been heavily involved with No 1 Son’s rugby team who will finish youth rugby this weekend, those still committed to the game and with the talent will continue into Colts. A very different set up and not reliant on ley volunteers who organise rather than coach.  I will be giving up my role as Youth Chair and my role as Mini Administrator and letting others take the tasks forward.

Naturally this will leave a huge gap in my life or so I thought.   I could, now knuckle down and work on my books.   It would be a great time to take “Memories” onwards and try seriously to get it published.    I would like to do something with “Scrum Down”, after all it is a story about an U16s season with a group of rugby players.  By the time I get round to publishing it No 1 Son will be playing for the VETs.

Life never goes as planned.   I am about to launch a community magazine.  Not just about to; it is well on its way and I have spent weeks trying to find advertisers willing to give me a chance.  I am not a salesperson, I may be good at many things, not that I can think of any off hand, but selling and cold calling is not one of the attributes I list on my CV.   I am however passionate about the community need for the magazine, supported by the very favourable reception that I have had locally.

So the magazine I am launching has plenty of articles and editorials and a few confirmed advertisers.   I really believe in the power of local enterprise.   There are lots of small businesses in every community who struggle against the giants in their trade but need an avenue to tell people they exist.   I hope that I will provide the conduit they need to increase their business and in return they will support my business.

There is always a slightly selfish angle to all new ventures and I am no different to anyone else.  My altruistic motives may be intrinsically good but until I am a well-known multi best-selling author I have to be realistic.   Once I am established I hope to be able to publish a story or a diary each month in the magazine to get my name and my writing out into the public domain.  Maybe then with the publication of my books or even the next NANO book I may already have a local following keen to read some of my work.

I remain steadfast in my commitment to my writing but do not always enjoy the luxury of dedicating enough time to it.  As most of you know I am a member of a fantastic writing group.   This group is supportive, encouraging and critical, in a developmental way.   Each month, we meet, we write and we are set homework, although not always easy I do try to have a go.  We try different genres, different styles, and different tones. It stretches my writing in ways I would never otherwise have had the confidence to try.   I no longer have long periods of writers of block as there is always homework to start, finish or edit.   I tend never to go for the conventional story but try to have a twist in my tales.  These develop as the story turns rather than I go out and look for a surprise.  I wonder what Freud would make of some of my twists and turns.

I now have multitudinous fragments of writing that one day I hope to come back to.  A piece of writing is never wasted.   Memories developed from a short story.  The remit for a competition was a children’s short story about a little girl afraid of the dark.  It had to be inspiring to other children and help them overcome their fears.  I believed I could be a great children’s writer, after all I had children, I worked with children and I appear to be in tune with children.  I didn’t get anywhere with the competition but it was one of my very early attempts at writing short stories.  The story and theme played on my mind and I wondered; what if there was an underlying reason for this irrational fear?  What if they took her seriously and investigated the fear and find out some darkened past?

The story still rolled around my mind for barren months with no avenue to develop.

I sat down on 1 November 2010, yet another brainwave from the writing group, with no idea what to write a novel about. My mind turning somersaults with different words, phrases and scenarios. Fear of the dark, triggers, irrational reactions, and emerging past all vying to be written.  Suddenly Memories tumbled into a story.  All those what-ifs developed plausible answers and other new what-ifs found their way on to the pages.  That was the easy bit, now we are at a far more difficult stage waiting to be sent to a publisher.

It is a lesson to remember; whatever we do or learn it is never wasted.

Here’s to my next chapter that it will bring new readers into my world of writing.  Maybe this November will bring a fictional thriller about the secret life of a magazine owner.

Tiggy

 

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