Friday, 29 January 2010

What was I thinking?

I did a very stupid thing the other day. I asked a very kind and supportive friend to look at a letter I had written. It hadn't been a easy letter to write and I was so pleased to have got through a first draft that I thought I'd ask my friend if I was on the right track before I went any further.

That sounds reasonable doesn't it? Yes?


Always do your very best before showing anybody anything. It doesn't matter what it is. First drafts should be just that and for you alone. I should have put my letter aside and looked at it again the next day with new eyes. It is amazing how blindness on one day can be 20/20 vision the next.

How many times have I been in the situation when presented with a piece of work, have inwardly groaned and thought, why have they been so sloppy? Or, I can't begin to correct this, it needs rewriting altogether.

The recipient of my letter may well have just binned it.

Well, my lovely friend had redrafted my letter for me and even more mortifying...had picked my up on points of presentation. Presentation! And I'm the one that never stops banging on about presentation. Ah me. I am suitably chastened.

Lesson learnt? I hope so!

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Good Luck, Me!

I posted off two stories this morning with the usual 'good luck, me' mantra that I do, very much in the same way that Rafa Nadal has to fiddle with his socks, or is it his shoes before he goes on court? What? You mean I can't put myself and Rafa in the same sentence? Pah! Of course, I can. Because I'm the one doing the writing, see. So I can do anything.

Sometimes, putting two disparate things in close proximity can be really dynamic and spark off a whole sequence of events. It could be humorous or disastrous, the beginnings of a love affair, a feud or even a war.

Perhaps I should call my new novel, Rafa Nadal and the Invisible Woman.

Sunday, 10 January 2010


Bloody hell! I've sent out a load of party invitations and I haven't done any tidying or got any games to play.

But anyone who calls is very welcome. Hellooo!

First things first, let's raise a glass to the birthday girl, the wonderful Nicola Morgan whose blog, Help I need a Publisher (link below left) I regularly read because of its excellent wiseness about all writery things.

Ignore the cobwebs in the corners here. I can do sentences, but I'm rather slow.

Saturday, 9 January 2010


Today was housework day here. Tidy up, make the font a bit bigger, write something apposite or possibly humorous... And what happened?

I have writer's block. More specifically, I have writer's toilet block. No, not one of things you put under the rim. My toilet is blocked. Consequently, I have spent most of the afternoon in my sturdy rubber gloves endeavouring to get the bloody thing unblocked. Oddly, having defrosted the hose-pipe and cleared the smelly stuff under the manhole cover, the flush is still slow. Why is this?? It has to be weather related. Yes, I know. Obvious probably.

What? You think this is all a case of displacement activity? You think I'd rather be doing that than writing?

Noooooo! I'm perfectly happy writing, no block at all!

But it's amazing the number of times I read a piece of work that is ambiguous in its meaning. Perhaps I should have just said, no blog today because my toilet's blocked. But that would have been really crap, wouldn't it?

Tuesday, 5 January 2010


My first achievement for 2010 is to be longlisted for the Harry Bowling novel prize. Hurrah and... oh poo.
The first time I was shortlisted in a competition I was absolutely ecstatic. Now I'm disappointed and have to remind myself I'm pleased to have been placed at all.
I warned a prospective student that in my improvers' class I get more forensic with my critiques. I could have a New Years resolution that I do the same to myself, never let anything through that I think will just 'do'. Perhaps this year I might actually win something. Who knows?