Saturday, 24 January 2009

A Difficult Week!

Just a quickie to say it's been a difficult week, as one of my favourite uncles died on Sunday. He had been ill for a while, but it was still a shock. I was all set to write a nice little memorial piece on here for him, but my tool bar isn't working so I can't insert photos.

I've done very little this week, except mope about a lot. I haven't had the heart for writing or editing, which is a shame, as I was on a roll. I really have to get cracking with Issue 2 of The Yellow Room, otherwise it won't be out in the spring.

I have my uncle's funeral to go to on Wednesday, and then I hope I can get back to normal.

In the meantime, have a stiff gin and tonic in memory of Uncle Jeff!

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

I did it!

I can't believe I actually managed to finish and send off my story to the Writers' Forum/Woman's Weekly competition. I panicked when around lunchtime I had a complete story which was 300 words over the 1000 word limit. I thought I might as well have a go at editing it down, cutting like mad. It's amazing how much superfluous stuff you can find if you really try! Anyway, that done I hit the 'Tools' icon and crossed my fingers. Yes, I couldn't believe it, I'd cut the story down to 988 words. I did another read through and rejigged a sentence which jarred, to end up with a complete story of 1011 words. I dashed off to the post office and away it went. Now I wish I'd paid £3 for a critique. Nevermind. So now I'm all fired up to meet another target, which is to complete two more stories by the end of the week. I started one this morning and I'm up to 500 words so far. Part of me hates deadlines, but the other part of me acknowledges that it's the one thing that will get my bum into gear. I mustn't forget to enter the Mslexia competition either. I have a story ready, but again, it's over the word limit, but I have confidence in my new-found editing skills and feel I can cut it down to fit.

It was interesting to read in last month's Writers' Forum Target Practice that Gaynor Davies, the editor at Woman's Weekly 'never buys a story that contains no dialogue'. Fair enough. I'm with her on that one. However, in the latest issue of that very magazine there is a story on a page which contains no dialogue whatsoever! It just goes to show that there are always exceptions to the rule.

As well as my writing targets this week, I really must start editing the stories for Issue 2 of The Yellow Room. I'm hoping to get the next issue out in the spring. Vague, I know, but I have no idea how long Andy will take to do the typesetting this time, so I'm covering myself.

Distractions today include a biggish Sainsbury's/Lidl shop and trying to finish the Sudoku on my DS puzzle game!

Monday, 12 January 2009

Some welcome publicity.

The February issue of Writers News is out now with a small feature on The Yellow Room. I've sold several copies of Issue 1 as a result of this piece already. I expect I'll now be swamped with submissions as well, but I do welcome a bit more exposure. I'm getting so sick of seeing that photo of myself. I must get a different one done!

I'm frantically trying to complete a 1,000 word short story for the Writers' Forum/Woman's Weekly competition. I've been editing a story most of the morning and it now stands at 1,300 words. I have to get it down to 1,000 by 3pm so I can get it in the post. I don't rate my chances.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Getting Back to Normal

I vowed to get back to my normal routine today, as it was the children's first day back at school. Then I noticed I had a dental appointment at 10.2oam, which threw a spanner in the works. I decided I'd walk into town thereby getting the exercise out of the way at the same time. I really enjoyed the walk, although it was very slippy underfoot and I had a permanent drip at the end of my nose.

I confess I haven't done any writing today. I'm rather cross with myself, as I chose to do some ironing for half an hour instead. I did begin one job I'd promised to do, though, and that was to start choosing the stories for Issue 2 of The Yellow Room. I really enjoy this process, as I know the stories are well written and will fit the magazine, as they've already been accepted. I just need to refresh my memory as to their theme and content and see which stories fit together to give readers a decent selection. I like to choose a variety of word length and theme to maintain readers' interest. It's interesting how some stories seem to get better on second, third or even fourth readings.

I must write tomorrow! I have so many ideas scribbled down in my notebook and other stories to finish and edit.

Now I must perfect my smile to show off the wonderful dental work on my front teeth.