Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Snail's pace....

Writing is not going well for me at the moment.  Despite being determined to finish this draft, I'm not writing nearly enough to actually do it.  Where I used to sail through 1500 words an hour with the greatest of ease, I'm struggling now to write 500 without getting distracted.

Partly, I think, it's because I'm out of practice.  It's been over month since I put any new words down on this project.  Partly, I think I'm just distracted with the demands of my new job and all the stuff I have to learn.  Not to mention how tired I've been.

So I'm not sure if I should stop working on this book until I can become more focused, or if I should just accept that right now I may not be able to write my usual 9-11K a week and that it might take more than a fortnight to put this draft to bed.

Have you ever felt too scattered to write?  What did you do?

Friday, October 25, 2013

Celebrate the Small Things 25/10/13

This post is part of VikLit's blog hop, Celebrate the Small Things. Head on over there to join up! 

So, what am I celebrating this week?

I have a job!  I started yesterday as the manager of another art-house cinema in my hometown.  It was a tough decision because I was offered another cinema in another city, but at the end of the day, the idea of moving the whole family was just too much.  So far, I'm really enjoying it.  This cinema has a cafe as well, and it's going to take me a while to get a handle on how everything runs, but I'm sure I'll get it soon.  I'm actually excited about the weekend and working on the counter when it's busy.

I've been writing this week.  I'm quietly determined to finish my new book before my next round of edits comes back from my publisher.  I'm at the climax, so I figure I'm not too far off now.  There will be a lot of revising, I know, but there always is.  And even when you know that, there's a real sense of achievement that comes from finishing a first draft.  No matter how crappy it is.

My oldest son has gone away to stay with a friend of mine for the weekend, so the house is amazingly quiet.  Which is so unusual.  I'm looking forward to a weekend free of the screams and shouts and fighting that usually fill the house whenever my boys are at home together.

What are you celebrating this week?

Monday, October 21, 2013


I went to the library this morning and they must have just got a new shipment of books in.  I went, as I always do, to the new YA shelf and within about 30 seconds, I had 6 books.  So much for heading over to the adult section to see what new books were hanging out over there!

And on top of that, my Kindle is filling up with e-books.  People I know just keep publishing new ones, and I keep buying them, even though I don't have time to read them.  It's getting a little out of control!

Do any of you have this problem?  Too much to read and too little time?  I guess it isn't a bad problem to have, but whenever I think about everything I want to read, I feel a little overwhelmed.

So I'm off to buy another e-book.  My good friend Allyson Lindt has a new one out today.  So go and check out An Unconventional Fling....

Friday, October 18, 2013

Celebrate the Small Things 18/10/13

This post is part of VikLit's blog hop, Celebrate the Small Things. Head on over there to join up! 

So, what am I celebrating this week?

I'm getting closer to having a job.  I've signed up for several temp agencies and hope to start earning some money this week.  I've also had a couple of interviews, so I hope to hear back from those people soon.

I finished revising The Boyfriend Plague for my editor.  Hopefully she'll send back her notes soon.

The weather is supposed to be glorious this weekend, so I'm going to make the most of that while I still can.

I got a new cookbook recently, all delicious baked goods, so I've been enjoying working my way through all these sweet treats.  And going to they gym every day to work them off...

What are you celebrating this week?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Tag! You're It!

Well, I've been tagged by my friend, fellow writer and sometimes critique partner, the lovely Allyson Lindt.  This is a simple blog hop.  I answer a few questions, then tag three more people.  So here goes....

The Questions

What are you working on right now?
I've actually just finished doing a revision of The Boyfriend Plague for my editor.  When I got the publishing contract for that one, I was about 2/3 of the way through a new book, so I'll go back to that one now.  It's a YA about a girl who has grown up behind bars.  Now she's 18, she's been let out with a new identity and a chance to have a normal life.  When she goes to work at a summer resort and meets the gorgeous Lana, she discovers how hard it is to keep secrets and fall in love.
How does it differ from other works in its genre?
All my books deal with difficult situations and complex characters. This one is no different.  There are also blurred lines around what's right and wrong and my characters always have to make difficult decisions within this gray area.
Why do you write what you do?
I don't feel like I have a lot of choice.  Once a story idea grabs me, it usually won't let go until I fully explore it.  But usually I want to, because exploring peoples' minds, analyzing why they make the choices they do and discovering the consequences is so much fun.
How does your writing process work?
I always start with just a nugget of an idea.  Usually a character or a single plot point.  Then I think about it for a long time, layering on details until I feel like I have something resembling a narrative.  Often it's a single scene, so I write that and if it works, I can then move on and write more.  I don't write books in order. I often start at the end, or somewhere in the middle.  Then I fill in the blanks as I go.

And now, I’m tagging…


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Revising... Again

I'm revising a book at the moment.  A book I wrote quite a long time ago.  But unlike other times I've revised this book - and believe me, there were many, many revisions done - this time my revision has a purpose and I'm not flailing through it without guidance.

My editor mentioned two things she thought weakened the book, and at this stage, those two things are what I've focused on.  And I feel like I've fixed them.  Unfortunately, when you make big changes in one part of a book, there are ripple effects throughout the rest.

So while I've done the difficult stuff, the rewriting and changing of the plot etc, I now need to go through the rest of the MS to find where things are now inconsistent as a result of the changes I've made.  And I have a feeling that's actually going to be more time consuming than the rewriting I've already done.

Does anyone have any tips on ways to make this process as painless as possible?

Friday, October 11, 2013

Celebrate the Small Things 11/10/13

This post is part of VikLit's blog hop, Celebrate the Small Things. Head on over there to join up! 

So, what am I celebrating this week?

I've had my first full week of unemployment and I'm starting to enjoy not working.  I've had time to spend with the kids while they're off school and I've been to the gym every day (and yes, my muscles are screaming at me about it).  Unfortunately this luxury can't last because our money won't.  So I've been applying for jobs all over the place.  I've also signed up with a few temp agencies so I can earn some money while I wait for the right job to come along.

I emailed my publisher earlier this week to find out how long it might be before I got my edit letter and discovered that the head of all the YA imprints liked my book so much she wants to edit it personally.  So now I have some work to do as I fix a few plot issues she had before I send her a revised MS to edit.  So I'm feeling good about the fact I only have a few appointments with recruitment agencies next week so I can focus on getting my draft in shape for her.  I'm actually looking forward to making these changes.  One of them involves something I agonized over for ages while I wrote the book, and changed several times in the revision process.  Now I think I have a much clearer view of what needs to happen and how.  Amazing what a little time and space away from a MS can do....

On Wednesday night I actually managed to go back inside the cinema.  The Italian Film Festival was opening and the festival director is a very good friend of mine.  This year would have been the 8th Italian FF I've done with him, so when he invited me to come to the opening as his guest, I felt like I had to make the effort.  Going there was weird.  Really weird.  Of course after only just over a week, nothing much has changed.  But it still felt very odd to be in there, watching other people do the jobs I'd usually be overseeing.  After the speeches, no one was there to turn the stage light off and I had to really force myself to stay in my seat and not run up to fix it.  But I feel like I overcame a hurdle by going in there.

What are you celebrating this week?

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Job Hunting

I've been looking for a new job and it's been driving me quietly insane.  I haven't had to do this for over ten years because I was head-hunted for my last job, and was in the one before for almost 5 years.  It appears that in the time I've been out of the job market, lots of new kinds of jobs have come up.  I scroll through the pages of recruitment ads and half of them seem to be written in a foreign language!  Then when I read the job description, I discover it's a job scheduling delivery trucks, or driving a crane on a building site, or, most often, something to do with computers.

When I do find one that looks possible, I read the job description and think 'yeah, I could do that'.  Then quickly followed by 'but do I want to?'.

I've been spoiled, I think.  For so long I've had a job that was incredibly diverse.  No two days were the same.  There was always a new product (film) to sell or a new event that was slightly or wildly different to the one before.

Most jobs, I'm realizing, aren't like that.

And that's what I need to get my head around.  It's unlikely that I'll get a job like the one I've been doing.  This city is too small, and my industry is not big enough.  So I need to face the fact whatever new job I take is unlikely to be as varied and exciting as the one I've just left.

While it's difficult to try and think of new things I want to do, almost every day something is advertised that might work for me.  It's just a matter of tweaking my resume to highlight whichever skills the advertised job requires.  Because although I've essentially been doing the same thing for almost 20 years, that single thing has encompassed an enormous number of different skills.

Budgeting? Sure.  Written and oral communication? In spades.  Managing staff and client relationships? Definitely.  Financial reporting and analysis?  Yep.  Stock control and ordering?  Indeed.  Event and program management? Certainly.

So, I think that while on paper my job history looks very dull and the same, I'm actually more employable than I think I am....

Have you ever had to tweak a resume?  Any tips on how to make it look better?

Friday, October 4, 2013

Celebrate the Small Things 4/10/13

This post is part of VikLit's blog hop, Celebrate the Small Things. Head on over there to join up! 

So, what am I celebrating this week?

I finished my job on Monday, so I've had the rest of the week off to hang out with my kids who are on vacation.  Except for the days they went to day camp because I thought I'd be working those days....  We've had some fun.  I even got sunburned one day!

On the days the kids were otherwise occupied, I've had me-time.  I had a massage for the first time ever, which I loved (even though it was super painful while it was happening).  I spent a day wandering through second-hand clothes stores and bookstores, and went and had a beer in the afternoon with a friend.

I've been out in the evenings twice, to the theatre and to a film festival opening at another cinema.  I think I'm realizing how other people live!

The one thing I haven't done is write....  And I really need to get back into that.  I've been reading a lot though, and that's almost the same thing, right?

What are you celebrating this week?