Saturday, 31 December 2011

Festive full-up

Well I have excelled myself this festive season and don't really want to think about food or drink again for a good long while. Alas it is New Year's Eve so I have to put in one last effort and have more festive fun tonight, and another mammoth meal tomorrow. Then I am going on January detox. Vegetables galore will be filling my plate and I am going to try and do the Heavenly Challenge at Bikram Yoga Chiswick, which will mean doing 30 classes in 35 days - yes that's right 6 classes a week! The intention is good but whether I will manage it remains to be seen.

My writing resolution for 2012 is to just get on with it. Get the first draft finished and then start the rewrite. To help me along the way I've booked into the January Urban Writers' Retreat for some dedicated writing time (and delicious cake); for inspiration I've signed up for Shaun Levin's Reading to Write course; and for hardcore writing commitment I am going to take a short-break all by myself to really up the word count. Obviously being cloistered in a lovely cottage by the sea is going to be a real hardship but it is a sacrifice I'm willing to make for my craft!

Happy New Year to everyone. I hope all your dreams, and mine, come true in 2012.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

One word

I found a really helpful website today for that blank page syndrome when you just don't know what to write next. Or where to start if it's a new idea. As the name suggests, One Word gives you 60 seconds to write about the one word that appears on the screen. Today's word was temple and here's what I came up with:


I waited outside the temple. My head was burning, sweat trickling down the back of my neck as the sun melted the scarf covering my hair. Where was he? Why was he always late and why did I always wait for him?


Not my best piece of work by any stretch of the imagination but when you submit you get to see what others have done, and all I can say is: thank God my body isn't a temple!

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Delicious, but dense and flat

An unfortunate reality about the carrot cake I baked for a family visit on Sunday. I'm blaming it on the cleaner as she had put the oven rack back in too high up so after 20 minutes I had to take the cake out and put it lower down.  A definite no no. Flavours great but you could have done weight training with it! Thanks to my lovely family for being so nice about it despite the concrete feeling it had in the belly. Date and walnut is next up as a festive treat.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Will it really work?

Well, here I am. I've been told by so many people that to stand any chance of getting an audience and getting published I have to be a social media butterfly. So, I have got myself a Twitter account, reactivated my hideously annoying Facebook page, and created myself a blog.

I'll be sharing updates on my novel's progress, maybe posting up some short stories and generally trying to endear myself to the world so that they care about my writing and want to read it.

So here goes: I'm writing a story about a woman, Kate, whose husband goes to the shop one night and never returns. About how her life is suddenly very different to what she had thought it was going to be. How she deals with that, or doesn't. I'm currently about 20,000 words in first draft (not all concurrent chapters) and so far she has drunk quite a lot and alienated her family. Things are going well for her!

I am a complete procrastinator though and always, well almost always, find something else to do other than write, so it's slow going. Thanks to my discovery of the Urban Writer's Retreat though I am seeing some progress. Locked in a room with no internet and phone, but lots of delicious cake, works wonders and last time I got 5,500 words written in a day. Thanks Charlie!