The growing pains of a virgin novelist are real. It will be six years at the end of June since I started writing my first novel. At various intervals during that time, I celebrated reaching ‘The End’ but realised, after all that deluded carousing, writing a novel is more than just telling a story.
Yesterday at dawn, I was woken by my cat purring in my ear. There are worst ways of being woken up. Throwing back the curtains, I was greeted by a spectacular sunrise bursting across the horizon and the inspirational light, together with the birdsong, quite took my breath away. A vast, glowing sphere of hotContinue reading “Morning Glow – The Inspirational Light of Dawn”
As we live in surreal times, I decided to call today Tired Tuesday. It is the day after Blue Monday, the official name for the third Monday of each New Year, which apparently, has been noted as the most depressing day of any year – not just one plagued by a pandemic. Surprisingly, I felt quite upbeat, as for the first time in 2021, I felt like I had a wasp up my arse, for the whole day, until I ran out of steam…
I am about to start submissions, again, so I hope this one doesn’t come back to bite me! I wrote this doggerel almost thirty years ago. It was inspired by an experience I had at sixteen when I still had, misguided, aspirations about pursuing a career on the stage.
How often do we wannabe novelists just want to sit down, and cry? After years of writing and editing, our desks are strewn with rejections letters – a reminder that we have to do better. So we keep going. We have to keep challenging ourselves. It is an innate reflex.
This time last week, my self-confidence was at an all-time low.
A sense of impending doom washed over me. An out of control falling flat on my face feeling, and a conviction that the grip on my 2020 goal of joining the world’s army of wonderful, witty women as a low-ranking recruit, was slipping through my fingers.
When you fall off a bicycle or a horse, you get straight back on again, and writing is like that. There will always be knockbacks, but you can’t let them get to you. There will always be negatives, but they are just the potholes on the road to achieving your goals.
Whatever it is you want to accomplish in life, you’ve got to bite into it hard and, like a terrier, refuse to let go. Hone your craft, until you get it right.
It’s Monday morning, the start of another working week, which was greeted by steely grey clouds at first light and the biting chill of a northeast wind. However, this was no ordinary morning because there was no rush hour, no scrabbling to find a parking place because as of 8.00 a.m. this morning, the small Island of Jersey, Channel Islands followed the UK’s lead, and officially went into lockdown.
My pièce de résistance is probably a toss-up between tuna pasta and stew. We have only been lying low for a couple of weeks, but I have already received a few pointed comments wrapped in sarcasm and drizzled with a little innuendo.
I have more cookery books than I have ever cooked anything sensational, so I’ve no excuse, and I am making an effort.
We half-ran through the bustling streets, hand in hand. The soft, south-westerly wind carried the pungent smells of cooking meat and bubbling sauces into our faces, reminding us that it’s time to eat, and we are spoilt for choice. Neon lights flash around us, the pounding heartbeat of the vibrant city. There are peopleContinue reading “The Wind of Change”
After a week of soaking up the sun, I woke up to what sounded like gravel being hurled against my window this morning. Only it wasn’t gravel, it was rain/hail. It was only 5.45 a.m., which was annoying as I didn’t have to go anywhere. Still, I had five hours of sleep, instead of four.
It’s horribly surreal. Waking up to another beautiful morning and knowing the proverbial shit is about to hit the fan.
Life as we know it is about to change.
The fields around me were ploughed and planted with potatoes yesterday. Superficially, life as we know it appears to be carrying on as normal, but a big, black underbelly of invisible menace is lurking, waiting to strike.
For the first Author Interview of 2020, it gives me great pleasure to introduce you to one of my fellow Jersey Writers Social Group members, Dreena Collins. In September last year, Dreena entertained a packed Maria Richie Room at the Jersey Arts Centre, during the 2019 Jersey Festival of Words captivating us all with her engaging wit, and her passion for creative writing.
During 2019, Dreena self-published three volumes of her excellent short stories and flash fiction, The Blue Hour, The Day I Nearly Drowned and, most recently Bird Wing. The Amazon reviews alone are glowing.
I am just about to come to the end of what will be the final edit of… Draft number 12 of my first novel… I think it’s number 12, but I’ve lost count. So I’m a long way off seeing my book in print, let alone watching Renée Zellweger win another gong for playing the part of my MC and thanking me in her acceptance speech.
NYE’s never fails to evoke a degree of emotion, even more so when it’s the end of a decade. As a subconscious switch was about to turn on the emotional NYE waterworks, one of the five framed pictures of flowers above my bedhead, all embroidered by my late mother, just happened to fall on my head.
I had to laugh. Was it my mother’s way of wishing me a happy new year from some parallel universe? Or was the Universe itself sending me a positive sign that, if I keep a clear head, 2020 just might be my year?
In June 2016 an idea for a book I’d been carrying around in my head for years, began clogging up my thought process. I needed to write it, a.s.a.p. and, as luck would have it… I was made redundant. So I threw myself into writing Just Say It.
After I started it, I realised I had little else apart from the main character and, after writing the first draft, she was beginning to sound alarmingly like me. The pantser-style first draft was nothing more than an autobiographical unburdening of my life to date, with a large dollop of post-redundancy frustration on top.
After a total overhaul of the original manuscript my MC, Lisa Grant, thankfully, took on a life of her own. It took me four and a half years to finish her story. The storyline often going off at tangents, which produced unrealistic MC goals and hours of frustrating rewrites.
Have you ever felt like you’ve climbed a mountain then fallen over a precipice? That overwhelming sense of achievement drowned out by feelings of ‘where to now?’ I had no idea that finishing my first novel, would have such a dramatic effect on me!