About Me

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Hi, welcome to my blog, I am a writer of short stories, children's and YA novels . An acceptance from People's Friend finally made me a published writer! Yeah, happy days! I have since had stories published in The Weekly News and The Last Laugh anthology. My main love is writing children's/YA novels...I'm now enduring a fruitless search for an agent... I also draw and paint, I like to draw animals (usually my adorable crazy cats!)Occasionally famous people and motorcycles.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Give competitions a go!

I've only ever entered four competitions.
One I heard nothing about.
Another was a writers forum one, which came with a very helpful critique from Sue Moorcroft, which was great.
One was for childrens writers academy and didn't come anywhere, but did get a letter asking if I was interested in their writing course as my entry was in the top 300 of 2000. Wasn't really sure whether to take heart in that as the cynic in me suspects that they merely want to sell their course. Which is fair enough. I can't afford a writing course, so merely filed the letter away with my huge file full of rejection letter etc.
I also entered a poem in Animal Antics Comp last year. Didn't win , but my poem has been selected to go in the Crazy for Creatures anthology, which is due out this month I believe. So that feels good, can't wait to see that!
Anyway, I just decided to enter a Spike-the-cat comp found on Sally's Competition Calendar, which I recommend checking out, a brilliant list with lots of info and entry due by dates.
Might as well have a try. Got to be in it to win it as my Mum would say.

Two more rejections

If I was lolling about under the impression that I had People's Friend requirements sussed, I was very wrong. Two more rejections from them this week. The first story was one I had nice comments about twice previously and was with them for 2 months,but it seems it just isn't for them, the second back to me in just a week. Clearly that was a definate no. I thought it was so heart warming as well. That just goes to why show researching your target magazine is so essential, heart warming in itself just isnt enough, they are looking for a certain feel to a story, very gentle, but not 'too weak' as my last one was described as. Ouch.
Try, try, try again...

Friday, 22 January 2010

choosing a book by its cover.

I have finally read my mother's day gift. It was '10 reasons not to fall in love' by Linda Green. My daughter admitted she picked it up because it had a pretty cover...OK.
I didn't think it was my cup of tea and I couldn't really get into it as it began with the main character, Jo, starting back at work, having been left on her own with her baby son on his first birthday. To make matters worse her ex was now her boss.
I thought it might be rather bitter, however at chapter 5 I was suddenly engrossed. I think the reason being that this chapter had a flashback to childhood of Jo's new boyfriend, who was thoroughly lovely. It was unusual and I really liked that style.
I also think possibly I prefer reading observations from a child's point of view.
It was actually much deeper than I expected and the boyfrend's back story was quite heart wrenching. It wasn't the 'fluffy' read I was expecting.
So, you really can't judge a book by its cover. I think someone may have said that before... : )

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Finding Time

I really need more time in the day.
I've done some writing this evening and I subbed another story this morning, so was feeling quite pleased, but when will I ever get around to reading the four books on my bedside table?
Reading the current published books in the genre you are aiming to write for is essential, I have three young adult books to read and a 'chic lit' that I got for Mother's Day. March! That's last year!
So if anyone finds some time lying around could you sent it to me? Thank you.

Friday, 8 January 2010

getting organised

I've just made a list of writing tasks to complete.

1 Finish childrens sci fi adventure novel, this is finished but needs a serious re draft.

2 Finish girly supernatural story, this has been half finished for at least 6 years. I was reading through my rejection letters and found one for this. From 2004. First of all, What was I thinking, sending off a half finished story to a publisher???
Secondly, took pleasure in reading the handwritten note which said 'this story is an ingenious idea, so sorry we don't have room for it in our lists.'
At the time, I didn't realise how encouraged I should have been by this. I just thought 'that's a no then'. But, looking with fresh, slighly more experienced eyes, I'm thinking. Ingenious?? Why on earth didn't I finish this and try again?? What an idiot!

3. Finish my first attempt at a pocket novel, one-third complete. Thank you, Sally for the advice there.

4. Re-write children's fantasy novel, which again is complete, but, basically, pretty rubbish. The central character is actually sixteen and in the end falls deeply in love with her soul mate from the fourteenth century, as you do, so I'm wondering if targeting it for childrens/teens is the best plan?
So, a re think there.

5. Re write younger children's story which is okay, but not good. You know when something is just not right? I first began it 20 years ago. Wow! that makes me seem old! I think it's a bit too 'Enid Blyton', because she was my favourite writer as a child. Have to move with the times...

6. Another one, young kids book, same again really, although this ones's not finsihed at all.

7. Try and write something really really good for Take a Break which Norah can't refuse!!

8. Find a home for short story which has had good responses but not an acceptence as yet.

The list goes on.....
So basically I need to sit down and finish a task, but I always wander and remember another thing I wanted to do...

So, I must FOCUS!
Maybe noe I've written my list on here, I'll get on with it. Hmm.

Good luck to anyone with similar to-do lists. Let me know how it's going! x

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Friendly Writers

I must just say, that since I starting following other blogs, I have been struck by the friendly and helpful writers out there, both published and nearly published. Sharing information, good news and bad, it's what encouraged me not to give up, and encouraged me to have a go at blogging also.
So thank you everyone, you know who you are! x

Friday, 1 January 2010

Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year, everyone!!
Instead of starting the year in hope that I might finally have a story accepted, I find myself hoping that my first acceptance won't be the last!
I know, that's so negative.
So, I have sent another story to Peoples Friend, one which has already been to them twice. I have also just re written a story that I entered into a competition last year. It didn't come anywhere, so I thought I'd give it a re-vamp and try to make it more suitable for PF. I will post that on Monday.
Although my childrens novel is 'finished' ( I thought it was complete about a year ago) its not finished at all, it has some very woolly chapters and I realised that I have a lot of work to do!
It is definately true that when you go back and take a fresh look at your work, there are always improvements that can be made. In my case, rather a lot of improvements!
I still love my novel and think eventually it will be a good read. To be honest, right now I'd be happy to just complete it so that I myself can print it out and read it and know it's finished. What a happy day that will be.