It's a few years since I decided to write a novel. Carrying around in my head that alternative reality and typing all those words felt at times overwhelming. I imagine those people who decide to train for a marathon have similar periods of wondering what on earth they were thinking of.
For some writers and runners, one is enough. Nowadays, everyone has an opportunity to publish too. The internet is the writer's best friend. However, if you want to get a novel published in the traditional sense then to some extent the internet has made it more difficult. But you could be thinking, she would say that, wouldn't she? As she's still not published. True, but you'd be wrong to think I was miserable.
My writing journey has been amazing. I wouldn't have missed it for anything. My first novel feels a long time ago and embarrassingly bad but it wasn't altogether awful. I can look at it now as I do a student's. There's promise and good ideas but it needs work. I didn't know the craft of novel writing then (and I've still much to learn) so I'm rewriting it from scratch. It'll be my fourth novel and I already feel more settled in myself because without a novel on the go, I feel a bit bereft.
The journey of a novel is long and will take you to an interesting destination. If luck gets on my train, then maybe my destination will be publication but I'm keeping my eye on the splendid view along the way.
Autumn skies can be so dramatic. I nearly walked into a wall looking up at these scudding clouds.
I've written myself into a few walls in my time too. Often it's because I've taken my eye off the story. Yes, it's nice to go for aimless rambles every now and then and yes, cloud-watching is soothing and often inspiring, but that inspiration also needs to be crafted into something that other people can understand. Assuming that's your ultimate ambition for your writing.
Yesterday evening was the final reading of the short stories worked on in the latest course and I must congratulate everyone. What a wonderful session it was. I was very impressed with all the stories and how gratifying for me to see how they had developed over the past few weeks. Phew!
There will be more information coming soon about the writers' surgery in December. I have also arranged for prolific novelist, poet and one-time editor of Embrace Books, Jane Holland to lead a workshop on writing about s**.
Date to be confirmed butI can tell you it will be very popular!
The gas meter box at Lympstone church has an angelic chap on its roof. He's probably reading the gospels but I like to think he has dropped dead from the shock of his gas bill. My question is why are angels masculine? Are there female angels? Can I refer to an angel as it?
That's really all I have to say about angels apart from my favourite angels are the lovely couple in Philip Pullman's Dark Materials.
Really, how I go on...the first thing I should be saying is a great big congratulations to Laura Shepherd from winning the Flash Competition. A nearly as big congratulations to Trish Leake who is the runner up and similar sized congratulations to the short and long-listed folk. All very well done. The two winning stories can be read HERE.
Take a look at the Exeter Poetry Festival brochure. There are tickets still available.
There will be a Writers' Surgery on December 1st with myself and Sophie Duffy. We will be asking for work to be submitted in advance, so consider any writing ailments you might have. It's still in the planning stage but I will keep you informed.