Wednesday, 30 December 2009

How long must I suffer?

I'm still waiting for my new PC which has been promised for Monday. Can I last that long?

Friday, 25 December 2009

Bereft but moving on!

The death of my laptop from overuse was unexpected, but I've enjoyed the time plotting and researching. I'll be offline until the new one arrives and oh so ready to get typing!

Thursday, 10 December 2009


The days are short and getting shorter. SAD doesn’t begin to cover it. I’m soldiering on with another edit (I really have lost count and what’s more I don’t care.) January is a good month to send off submissions to agents I keep telling myself. It helps a bit.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Modern thrillers

I’m a bit fed up of modern thrillers at the moment. They are like eating candy floss (cotton candy). They are engaging and read quickly, but I don’t come away feeling satisfied. I like novels with a roller coaster ride where I’ve learnt something new, and REALLY walked in a character’s shoes. Like eating a spicy dish, I want to be thrilled AND fulfilled!

Friday, 27 November 2009

Competition hiccups

Why is there always some hiccup when I want to send off a competition entry? If it’s by post, there’s either a strike or my printer decides to die and then I don’t have the right size envelope or enough stamps. Email should be easier, but just today the application form I’ve completed is too big for hotmail and I’ve had to email the organisers for help. All I need now is for my internet connection to go down. I typed this with crossed fingers!

Thursday, 19 November 2009


Writing friends are critiquing my novel. It’s a tough time, but these are people I can trust to be honest.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Being kind

I felt pretty low yesterday, but have perked up a bit. I'm still not in the right place to face any editing, so I'm tidying up 'paperwork' and researching agents and being a bit kind to myself.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

A weird (but good) place

Today is one of my feel 'a bit funny' days. They arrive unannounced and for reasons I can't explain. I'm not ill or sickening for anything, I just feel strange. Writing helps, but doing something about the feeling is another matter. I'll keep calm and carry on, what a great slogan that is!

Thursday, 29 October 2009

I don’t know what to do with myself

There are times when I don’t feel right. It’s often after a big event or a major distraction. I want to write but somehow I know I’m not in the right place and tinkering now would be, at best, a waste of time, at worst, a destructive exercise.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Quiet coach

I always head for the quiet coach on trains. I need the peace to read, write and think. A phone going off is a nuisance but I don’t make a fuss. Constant ringing drives me nuts. Thanks to the ‘Basingstoke’ guy who stepped up and told the black youth off. I was on the verge of doing my school ma’am impression, but for once didn’t need to.
Above is one I snapped (and defaced) earlier!

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Inky fingers

There is something immensely satisfying about finding ink on my fingers. It's a badge of office. It says I write, in ink - the stuff you pump from a bottle into your pen. So some hasn't made it to the page, but that's OK. The ink on my fingers are words on their own.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Ink Cap Ink

I wanted to know if the shaggy ink cap mushroom was as good at its word. Yes it is! You can ‘make’ your own ink buy placing a ‘past it’s best’ mushroom in a small bowl and waiting for it to decompose into a black/brown liquid. Dip a nib or paintbrush in it and off you go. You can eat the shaggy ink cap when it’s fresh. I had mine in a quiche!

Thursday, 1 October 2009


Stayed up to finish the latest edit. You have no idea how much I love those two words -THE END!

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Moy Boathouse

Drew me to itself, day after day.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

My blood is of this place.

A shimmering loch, brindle mountains and solitude. A primeval need to laugh, whisper, cry and above all write.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Who will play me in a film?

If Mr Hot Shot Director wandered up to me and said, 'Hey I wanna make a film of your life.' Who'd get the starring role? I’ve struggled with this, yes really struggled, and not found an actor who’d cover all the bases to my satisfaction. Suggestions of Dawn French (for her personality) is part way there, but not the whole deal and I want the whole deal. It’s my life story after all. I can’t think of one short, curly-haired brunette with my enthusiasm and comedic zest, so I’m going for a willowy brunette (Anne Hathaway look-a-like) with Dawn French on set as character advisor.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Alien vs. Predator

I’m a big sci-fi fan, but after watching the third offering I came away dissatisfied. The plot i.e. predator (the good guy?) on a mission to rid hick-town America of loose aliens, and the predator/alien hybrid (the bad guy), works up to a point, but the people (with whom I wanted to identify) were little more than alien cannon fodder. The second Alien vs Predator was human led and therefore a better film in my view.

Friday, 21 August 2009


I'm thinking of how to promote The Deluge in new and original ways. YouTube is an accessible tool that is begging to be used, but the content has to be right.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Lights! Camera! Action!

I’m assisting on the set of pilot sit-com ‘Cut & Blow’ being filmed a few minutes down the road. Wow, has it ever been an eye-opener – not only the process, but the characters are an education and I don’t just mean the cast! I’ve bothered everyone with questions and have plans for a TV scene in my next novel.

Friday, 7 August 2009

Fallen between two novels

I’m lost, all over the place, like someone has asked me to complete a jigsaw and I've got boxing gloves on. I don’t know whether to keep editing the first novel or pick up and run with the second. Each stage of writing brings its dilemmas, its weird little emotional hurdles. Keep calm, carry on. No choice? No. Was there ever? No. OK.

Thursday, 30 July 2009


Does it ever end? It seems like I’ve been doing it forever and each time I go over a chapter, a sentence, a word there’s something that can be tweaked or improved. I was counting how many edits I’d done – now I really don’t care.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

A win

I am so pleased, so very, very pleased. I’m a category winner in the UKAuthors 2008 Opening Pages Competition. Time for a celebratory drink, I think!

Friday, 17 July 2009

Putting off punctuating

I’m getting to grips with punctuation and stuff. Something I admit I’ve been putting off with the excuse I really need to get the story down first. Now I’m editing like crazy all these things are becoming important. I’m hoping it will soon be second nature, like putting quotes before and after one of my character speaks. After all I expect a carpenter to be able to use a chisel, so I should know when to use an exclamation mark. Wow! It’s working!

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Here comes the chopper!

I wasn’t in a good place but didn’t want to waste a two hour train journey. I edited a chapter. Now when I say edit, I really mean butcher! 2000 odd words were hacked down to six of any merit – or so I thought. I ripped it up not even bothering to look at it, there was no point. Lesson learned I think!

Thursday, 2 July 2009


I left for the retreat in The Lakes unsure if I’d get anything done at all. Family issues on the day before I left walloped me sideways, but expressing my frustrations on paper allowed me to move on. And I’ve come back in a much better frame of mind.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Death of a thousand cuts

The Deluge is proving a real pig to edit, and heaven knows I’ve given up counting how many I've done. Each time I go over it errors leap up at me. I make changes and wonder if I’m not butchering the thing. I repeat the mantra ‘do no harm’, but when will I be happy with it?

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Floating home

I floated home from the SWWJ summer festival in a haze of red wine, clutching a commended in the novel writing competition. And I’m all the more pleased as my gutsy thriller is a world away from judge Kate Nash’s genre of women’s historical romance.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

SWWJ Summer Festival

Tomorrow is the SWWJ event of the year. It’ll be a good time to see friends, meet new ones and network. Agent Kate Nash and Sir Tim Rice are on the guest list. I’m hoping to get more members join the novelists loop too. I’ve great plans for what has been a SWWJ backwater. Oh and I'm wearing a dress!

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Eating elephants

My manuscript is an elephant. But how do you eat a whole one? One bite at a time. That’s how I’m trying to look at my editing. The Yeovil Prize deadline was on me and I got the first 14,000 words edited to a level I felt comfortable with. But now I’ve got this edifice of grey to tackle and my neck is hurting looking up at it. One bite at a time – but where’s the spoon?

Friday, 22 May 2009

Short list

Timescales on competitions being what they are, I forgot I’d made the UKAuthors Opening Pages Competition long list. An email last week congratulating me on getting through to the short list threw me into a right tizz; not least because they wanted the whole manuscript in a few days. I’m delighted as this is a personal best and a welcome boost.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

By George - I've got it!

Theme that is. I now know my theme or premise as some like to call it, is - challenging authority leads to alienation, with the addendum, but the result is a stronger person. I wonder how many people realize the importance of theme? It's certainly glossed over in most self help books. I shall find out and get back to you.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Editing post Cornwall

Post Cornwall, I'm editing the Deluge again to put in theme, symbols and other things I have subsequently learned. Thanks Bosorne Books in St Just for the self help books and sorry for clearing you out of them!

Thursday, 30 April 2009

Back to reality

I’m fighting the pressures of everyday life, trying to hold on to the creative space that time away gave me. How long can I refrain from being submerged by the mundane?

Thursday, 23 April 2009

The wilds of Cornwall

Wow! What a great, inspiring and strange two weeks. I come back a different person – less bothered somehow. The waves crashing were a constant companion so the isolation I feared (no TV, radio or internet) was ameliorated by nature. More to come on my experiences in that fantastic place.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

The day before

It’s the day before I go to Cornwall, and I’m excited and nervous in equal measure. I’ve been packing for days (as you may realise I do have a ‘thing’ about it) and I am still not ready. Today will be spent tying up loose ends and come hell or high water I’ll be on that train tomorrow morning. But I’ve got today to get through.

Thursday, 26 March 2009


Decisions. Decisions. Cornwall might be warm or flippin’ freezing and I’m damned if I carrying down loads of clothes I’ll never wear. You see, I’ve got books, important ones and ones I want to read, and yes, some are heavy. I’m going by train so I can’t just throw in those ‘just in case’ items. I half watched Harrsion Ford in Firewall. It absolutely chucked it down most of the way through. I’ve been in weather like that – in Cornwall. So while weather is good to project mood in fiction, it’s rubbish when you have to guess what conditions will be like in a Cornish April.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Ground rush

My two weeks in Kernow cottage seemed a long way off, but it’s getting closer, much closer. It’s like parachuting out of a plane, the euphoria is amazing and the ground seems a long way off. You look around at the view and you know you have to land, but that isn’t on your mind. Then suddenly you realise that ground is closer than you think, and you have to get ready for your parachute landing fall. And you think you ready, you look down at the last moment, (you’ve been told not to), and suddenly the ground is coming at you like a locomotive. And bang you hit it! And you hope to do better next time, but you sort of know some lessons are learned the hard way.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Packing up

I'm a bit of a stickler for getting things right. So I'm making lists and packing for Cornwall. It's early I know, but for me that's part of the fun. I have to bring food so am looking out for travel sized containers for salt and washing up liquid. That way I don't have to buy big containers of the stuff and leave it there.

Friday, 6 March 2009

Kernow Cottage

I've off to deepest Cornwall for two weeks. It's a writer retreat and a chance for me to immerse myself in my next book. I'm excited and scared. It's Du Maurier country, raw, beautiful and wild. I'll be alone. No TV, radio, internet. No nothing.

La Vida Scriba

The life and adventures of La Vida Scriba as they unfold.