Monday, March 30, 2009

A Pinch and a Punch

I know. I am a day early but it is the repressed girl guide in me. I am early for everything. I love the beginning of a new month as it brings with it a new set of goals to achieve.

And the goal in April, is to complete the first draft of my new manuscript "The Gift of the Gab". I currently have 10,000 words, so that is only 40,000 words in 30 days. Easy peasy. Well it sounds good on paper but I am also moving house in April, so that may step in to try and hamper my efforts, but is also the reason I really need a goal to keep me focussed this month.

As you may have guessed from previous blogs, I am having trouble finding my groove. In the past when this has happened, I have discovered that the best way to get back into the swing of things is to write. Write some more. And then do a bit of writing. So that is what I intend to do. Starting tomorrow. Then by the end of April, I will have a 50,000 words.

Goal for May...mmmm...edit those words. How do you set your goals? If you are a published writer working to deadlines, how do you go about maintaining those deadlines?

I will keep you posted on my progress

Friday, March 27, 2009

Gay Abandon and Julie Andrews

I have just been over to visit at Jackie Ashenden's blog. She is also playing the waiting game and made a note that she had heard that some writer's had sent in full manuscripts to HM&B months ago and have still to receive a response. Mmmm...

I was once given a valuable piece of advice. So valuable in fact I can't remember where it came from - whether I read it somewhere or if some wise sage blessed me with it - but that is beside the point. This piece of advice was to enjoy the time before you get published because it will be the only time that you can write with freedom. (I think they may have thrown in 'gay abandon' but when I say that I get a visual picture in my head of Julia Andrews running across the Swiss Alps ready to break into song, so we will leave that out).

I guess what I am trying to say in my normal succinct manner, is that rather than mulling over my manuscript and whether my manuscript is currently in the queue waiting for the big red rejection stamp, or whether it is slowly working its way up the chain of command (or even whether the editor's dog accidentally ate it) that I should be getting back to what I love best. And that is writing with - dare I say it - gay abandon.

The first draft is the part of writing I really love best. When you get to spew words onto a page at a rate of knots so fast it makes your head spin. When the characters are not yet locked into their frames and anything is possible. When chapter three in no way bears any resemblance to chapter one or two but it doesn't matter, as there is always the first edit.

So what part do you like best? Are you the vomit queen the same as me? Or do you love the edit, where all those words begin to take shape and are given their colour and light. Do you love beginnings or can you not wait to write your happily ever after? And if you are a published writer, was that piece of advice that I cling to the truth. Is this the best time of my life?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Just keep swimming....

My eldest daughter is currently swimming at the Australian National Championships and two days ago, made it through to a semi-final which saw her finish 15th overall. How awesome is that? . Her success has been forefront in my mind for obvious reasons, but also because I have had a challenging week on the writing front which has caused me to consider why I am putting myself through this process.

I got to thinking about how she has spent the last ten years of her life, morning and night, swimming up and down, up and down fuelled by nothing more than blind faith and self-belief. Sure, as parents, my husband and I have been there to hold her hand at times and kick her backside at others. She has also had injuries and setbacks a plenty and yet she continues to get up every morning and paddle up and down...up and down.

One of my very dear friends, Melanie Milburne wrote seventeen manuscripts before she was published. But she kept writing, fuelled by blind faith and self-belief.

So when I my self-belief starts to falter or I begin to doubt the process I always find myself concentrating on the journey of others. What keeps you at the keyboard tapping away. How do you maintain your focus? I would love to hear. In the meantime, I will take the advice of that wonderful philospher, Dory from Finding Nemo and...just keep swimming...just keep swimming.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

One day chapter written

No, it did not take me one day to write the chapter, although I probably could have as I wrote enough words today for two whole chapters. I had a bit of a head start this morning as I had already written some 3,000 words. But some of them...well...they were not so good. So I deleted most of what I had and now, at the end of a full day I have just over 4500 words and a complete chapter one. Well, complete in word count. Quality, not so much yet. I find it much easier to vomit the words onto the page and then go back later and clean them up. It is not the most efficient way of writing but at this point, it is the only way I know how. I hope when I get to manuscript number 450 trillion, I will have the process in some kind of order. I was reading today that Paula Roe is hosting a 'get organised, get writing' workshop at the conference in August, so I might put that on my list of 'must attends'.

Anyway, no news on the manuscript and am trying to keep busy so that I do not spend too much time laying back and thinking of England!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Waiting Game

Well it is now nearly three weeks since I sent my manuscript and whilst I have not bitten my fingernails to the quick, the recycling bin is telling the story that I may be getting a little strung out. Patience is a virtue and not one that I have ever mastered. I echo the sentiments of my friend Jackie Ashenden when she wondered why the HM&B editor was not sitting by the email just waiting for receive our manuscripts, pushing all other work to one side when received and cancelling all holidays just in order to read our magnum opus. Oh well, I guess it will all happen in its own good time, and I keep on reminding myself that even if 'The House that Jack Built" is rejected, I am still one step closer to publication.

In the meantime I am working on a new manuscript called "Gift of the Gab" which is targeted once again to Modern Heat. My heroine, Miss Josie Macleod is a hard-hitting big city journalist who due to an unexpected career change,finds herself in the small coastal township of Bindirrin where she has to write the local Agony Aunt column. What Josie knows about love can be written in large print on the back of a small postage stamp and what she cares about love would fit on an even smaller space, so as you can expect, we see a little resistance. You see, Josie has never bought into the whole 'eyes across a crowded room' scenario and believes that Mr Right is a fallacy, preferring to humour herself with Mr Right Now should the need arise.

So sparks fly when she discovers that her editor, the very tall, the very dark and even more handsome, Mr Ricardo Antonelli is on a quest to settle down and in his search for Miss Right he seems to be mistakenly beating a path to her door.

Anyway, the synopsis is written, needs some tweaking and the chapters are under construction. Onward and upward. Whilst we wait with fingers crossed.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

And in the beginning first blog. I really should think of something profound. thinks if I wait for that to happen this blog might not get off the ground. In way of introduction I am a yet-to-be published writer who is targetting Harlequin Mills and Boon, or more specifically, their Sexy Sensation (Modern Heat)line. My current status in this chase is that I currently have a full manuscript sitting on one of their editor's desk. At least, I hope it is on her desk and not banished to the dust bin of romance history. They have had the manuscript for two weeks, three days, four bottles of wine, six fingernails and ten hair pulls and much wailing and gnashing of teeth. But as an aspiring writer, I am not resting on my laurels and placing all my hopes in this one manuscript. I am currently working on another and at present, after two weeks, I have almost finished the synopsis. Okay, so progress is slow. But at least it is progress.

So, I intend to blog here on a regular basis and talk, mostly to myself and hopefully some others will drop by for a drink and a chat. And I will keep myself, and those others that drop by posted on my progress.