I think you write much better when you are emotional. I was emotional yesterday and wrote a poem (very bad one) that made Julie and Emily cry. We shared a bottle of wine last night in my kitchen while the men sat watching “Trainspotting” in the lounge – uggggh. Julie bought me some beautiful flowers. We cried because we missed mum so much. Poor Julie lost her own mum (Jean) only 13 weeks before losing my mum. How cruel is that?

Yesterday I wrote another short story (hence the above assumption) and I’ve just put it in the post. That’s three in total I’ve sent out now. One each to Woman’s Weekly, My Weekly and The People’s Friend. It wasn’t a morbid story though. It was based on Little Boys and Torches, one of my previous blogs, and the lovely Lynne thought it might sell as a short story after reading my blog. So I took her advice.

I finished editing my book yesterday, too. I’ve got three readers so I shall need lots of printer ink!

H is my first reader. She is 3o, single and an avid reader of women’s fiction and a very good friend. She is so kind – the type of woman who NEVER has a bad word to say about anyone. I was worried she wouldn’t want to criticise my work – but she’s promised me she will – she really wants to read it – over Christmas preferably!

M is H’s mum and 55, so is in my own age bracket. I don’t know her very well so she won’t worry about hurting my feelings if she thinks it’s crap! She will be totally impartial, hopefully.

T is my oldest friend and 70 (she’d kill me for giving her age) She is also a demon with spelling, punctuation etc. She will be my fiercest critic, I think. She reads widely – fiction and non-fiction, and is the most proficient walking dictionary of useless information I have ever met. She is also painfully and brutally honest. (“If you get that book published, you’ll have to go for elocution lessons and lose the Northamptonshire accent!” was a comment made the other day. Bless her.)

Auntie Barbara wants to read it too. But I’ve reserved Auntie Barbara for the second draft – she’s too close, being my surrogate mum.

Another one of my good friends is a man. A. We’ve known each other for years and years and,tragically, he is disabled after a car accident nearly five years ago so has lots of time to sit reading. (Yes – it is entirely possible for males and females to have a platonic relationship – we are living proof!) He wants to read it but is very brainy. Methinks he will think it complete and utter tosh, so I don’t want him to read it.

I am very jelly-like and apprehensive. I didn’t know what genre Twisted Garlands fell into but I think it comes into a Family Saga category aimed at 30 years plus women. Like I said before, it’s a bit like planning to walk round Tescos naked. To be honest I feel a bit of a twit for even daring to think that I could write a full-length novel and hope my readers don’t laugh themselves into an early grave at my “twisted” plot (hence the title “Twisted” Garlands.) I also hope people don’t think I am a psychiatric case!

Ho hum! Wish me luck. I know I’ll need it. I am not expecting to get published, but my first personal target is producing a readable, hopefully enjoyable, second draft for Auntie Barbara to read.

Going to start second novel now. It’s one I started in the 1980’s. I don’t know how many words it is because it was typed on a typewriter: 103 pages of usable text in double spacing, so I suppose that’s about 25K words. I was intrigued by the storyline because I haven’t a clue where I was going with it all those years ago. It hasn’t got a title, but it’s not even remotely like Twisted Garlands. In fact, reading the m/s through so far, it feels like someone else has written it. I suppose they have! That someone else was me 25 years ago!

If I was reading it for someone else I would have to say that the storyline doesn’t flow too well. Dialogue is thin on the ground in places and lots of it is in the bad old passive tense. However, it’s got some vivid descriptions that really conjure up a picture in the mind and some paragraphs that I just hope that I didn’t copy from anywhere!


6 thoughts on “Writing

  1. I think we do write sad stuff better when we are emotional. I like to listen to slushy old love songs before writing about breaking up, death, illness and all that lovely positive stuff!Loved the poem about your mother – she would be proud of all the writing you are doing now. Fingers crossed for the short stories.

  2. That’s a good tip Fiona. I’ll definitely try it. I’m not holding my breath for the short stories – but I have enjoyed writing them!

  3. Best of luck with the short stories. My mother was on holiday here recently and read my ms (she writes too) and when she told my aunt about the criticisms that she made (very valid and constructive) my aunt was horrified that she was so blunt. I actually found it most useful and was very grateful.

  4. Sounds like you’ve got a great cross section of readers lined up. Giving someone your work to read really does feel like exposing yourself doesn’t it.Good luck with the short story. I shall wait with bits crossed for you.(and I’m glad you’ve got a ‘sister’ like Julie:-)

  5. Debs. I know just what you mean. I want people to tell me where the story doesn’t flow or people are confused of the meaning. Lane. Thanks for your wishes of good luck. And yes, Julie is very special.Mother X – Thanks so much – you’re certainly someone who knows the meaning of “determination” and “motivation”

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