Archive | May 2008

Twisted Doubled Glass on Broken Sunlight Garlands ….. someone please make me another cup of strong coffee

Package sent off first class – as agent requested. I feel worse than post-count after a General Election. I’ve had two and a half hours sleep in the last thirty-six hours. My head is fuzzy and I’m all edited out. zzzzzzz ….

I’ve just realised that I stink. I badly need a bath. I hate smelly people and now I’ve become one. When I’m not smelly again, Hubby is taking (dragging!!) me out to Hobson’s Choice for tea and then I can go to bed.

I just wanted to say thank you to all you lovely blogmates for your best wishes and support. Even if all this comes to nothing it will have been worth it for the sheer experience of working to a deadline and meeting god-like agent – erm – I mean a real live agent! The thing is it won’t just be my experience – it will be for all of us because there’s nothing like sharing stuff like this. I hope it will help us all.

Big hugs all round and speak on Sunday in the chatroom.

Update

This afternoon Twisted Garlands hauled itself up onto the second rung of a very high ladder. I was at MacDonalds with Tyler and when I got back Hubby said someone called J had rung me and was ringing back at 3.3o. I looked at my e-mails. J had e-mailed me.

I sat looking at the unopened e-mail for a few minutes. I really thought it would be a ‘thanks, but no thanks’ and wanted to hold onto the dream for just a little bit longer. I eventually opened up the e-mail.

She liked Twisted Garlands. It was one of those arcane moments when you can’t quite believe your eyes and have to read-every-word-one-at-a-time-just-to-make- sure.

I’m meeting her next Friday afternoon – 6th June. The experience of speaking to a real, live agent (especially someone who is obviously held in such high regard) was scary-scary and I know I must have said some very daft things on the phone because I was so damned nervous. But she, herself, wasn’t scary at all. She was really nice. She obviously knows her stuff inside out.

She said I need to work on Twisted Garlands in places for it to be publishable and we are going to talk through the revisions next Friday. She asked if I was in a position to do the revisions quickly. Of course I said ‘yes’. If I have to take unpaid leave from work, I’ll do it.

Horror of horrors though! She wants both WIPs sent through to her by post as soon as possible. The dark and dreary Doubled Lives and Sunlight on Broken Glass.

Please may I be excused from blogging for a few days (until Monday) to edit, re-edit and then edit some more. And can someone please tell me how I can lose five stone in a week?

Oh – and something else really important. Please vote for FARYL SMITH FROM KETTERING in tonight’s Britain’s got Talent. She’s absolutely amazing.

Reverse Mid-life Crisis

I’m having a mid-life crisis, only it’s sort of in reverse.

I’m on a week’s holiday at the moment and absolutely loving it. I’ve got Tyler today while Little Miss Prim writes her annual reports. I’m off to see an old friend at lunchtime in his brand spanking new posh bungalow, and taking Tyler with me. (Hope he behaves!) See – I could quite easily fit into the ‘lady who lunches’ category! No problem there. Nice healthy lunch with salad leaves and fruit. See – I’d even lose weight!

I still love the job I do, only I don’t want to do it any more. Does that seem kind of retro? I’m not enjoying going to work at the moment and just want to escape from the straight-jacket.

I really want to write all day – not boring local governmentese, but exciting fiction that people actually might want to read without being grabbed by the scruff of the neck and forced to cast a perfunctory eye over my pathetic ‘passive-voice disguised as plain-English’ offerings.

My ideal existence would be:

1. To look after my grandson for one or two days a week, taking him on exiting adventures to Tescos and garden centres with ‘carrots’ (sorry … parrots – these three -year olds are very persistent), wabbits and fishies.

2. To become very efficient secretary in hubby’s business and keep up with the invoices and book-keeping in the manner of twenty-something pin-striped PA.

3. While pretending to be PA to hubby, to sit at computer (much like I am now) and write, blog and wallow in being a published writer.

It’s nice to dream, isn’t it. Still I’ve got four more days of freedom before being thrown back to the lions, so I’m going to make the most of it!

Sunlight on Broken Glass …

Is my latest title for ‘Going Back’ which is just a working title.

A few days ago I spent ages making lists of titles that just didn’t fit What a waste of time. I should have learned the lesson from Twisted Garlands and just let it find its own name.

When I was writing Twisted Garlands it was known for at least the first 50K words as just ‘Book’. Then it became ‘A Tangled Web’ – but that was a cliche and had been used loads of times before so I quickly discarded that. There followed lots of silly titles; sad titles; titles that bore no resemblance to the story; titles that when googled revealed they had been used before and titles that were as dull as Lane’s washing-up water. (By the way, Lane, how’s the hair now after the hair dye incident?) It was nearly as bad finding a title that fitted the story as writing the story itself.

Then the title materialised right in front of my eyes in a paragraph of dialogue spoken by the sensible and wise Rose ‘… life is like a twisted garland of daisies, one links onto another and there you have it … blah blah’ Good old Rose had found it for me! Thank you Rose.

Similarly in ‘Going Back’ I wrote just now (3.30 am in the morning when I flow at my fastest and strongest):

‘Tony stared at the broken glass in his hand and remembered when, as a child, he had started a fire just by concentrating the sun’s rays on a patch of dry grass. The mid-day sun on his back served only to fuel his anger and light a raging fire in his soul. The very same mid-day sun that had once filled Pippa’s soft hair with warmth and made her eyes dance with twinkles and sparkles now glinted with menace on the broken glass in his hand ….’

Tony is about to do something that he won’t regret for many years. For nearly thirty years his secret remains buried. He thinks he’s got away with murder, but he hasn’t. He smugly covers up his crime and events conspire to ensure that he escapes justice. That is, until his wife’s long-lost daughter, Tammy, comes back to the village to find her roots twenty-eight years later. She wants answers and has nothing to lose …

So there it is. ‘Sunlight on Broken Glass’. I googled it and it hasn’t been used before. It’s quite apt, really, as it relates to the pivotal point in the story, from which the back-story and present tense odd-numbered chapters radiate. I’m sort of wondering whether or not to use it as a prologue, or leave it where it is, almost slap bang in the centre of the story. I wonder if I’ll keep it or change it as the story progresses? We’ll just have to see.

I seem to have abandoned ‘Doubled Lives’. It’s turned into the proverbial damp squib. I wasn’t enjoying writing it and didn’t get that little tingle at the prospect of a couple of hours uninterrupted writing time. ‘Sunlight on Broken Glass’ is firing me up and I just can’t stop writing. I’m up to 47,846 words now. I’ve got a week off work and am going to aim for 2K words each day for the next six days which should bring it up to about 60K by next Sunday.

I might resurrect ‘Doubled Lives’, but I doubt it. I don’t like the characters one little bit. I won’t press ‘delete’ just yet, but I think it might have to disappear off the top of my blog.

Right. It’s now 4.00 am and I’m going back to bed for a couple of hours. At least I don’t have to go to work today … hooray!

Synchronicity

In the last few minutes of the wannabe chatroom this morning we were talking about friendship – Lane, Denise, Fiona and myself.

You know those moments in life when you get a little shiver down your spine because you just know they are going to be so significant in the future? Well, I had one of those moments of pure synchronicity after I had logged out. I just knew without any doubt at all that we were all going to be published, and that we would always be friends.

Of course, Fiona is leading the way and shining the light ahead for all of us. I’m so excited about her book and can’t wait for it to hit the shelves. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, but the whole is greater than the sum of the parts and I just know we can pull each other through the looking glass into the other world that we all crave.

Twisted Garlands

Is still alive out there. Agent has asked me for a full manuscript via e-mail. I was up half the night printing out the 4th draft after not getting home from work until 10.30 pm. I was at a Planning Committee meeting where BBC News turned up to film. If you look at ‘Look East’ tonight you’ll probably spot me trying to hide behind a box. (I really hope they don’t use that bit because, thinking about it, all that will appear on the screen is a box with a rather large bum!).

I really need to get a faster printer. I’m going to bed for a couple of hours kip now before work tomorrow. Oh for the luxury of not having to go to work!