Sunday, 29 November 2009

Happy Birthday Lolly

It's lil sister's b'day today.  She is 24.  She is the baby of the family and the older she gets the older we feel.  We had a lovely day out in the rain but soon swapped the giant puddles for giant bowls of chicken caesar salad.  Happy Birthday Lolly!!

Saturday, 28 November 2009

A new group that is right up my street...

It's been over a week since my last post.  This is not good!  To be fair I've had a crap week and just haven't felt like boring you all with my whinging.  There are people worse off than me and I know that so there's no way I'm going to moan about being a bit fed up - sorry think that was kinda me doing just that. Anyways yesterday was a lot better - me and the boyf went to see Lily Allen at Brixton Academy which was brilliant.  She put on a great show with a great mixture of new and old material, a few covers such as The Kooks 'Naive' and Britney's 'Womaniser' anyone?? Not sure what that was all about but I think it was all a bit tongue in cheek.  There were wig and outfit changes a plenty and she chats to the audience like they're all her mates.  I really enjoyed myself and I think the 2 pints of cider helped also.
Then today after a very unsucessful day of house hunting I opened my email to see a message from Amanda over at Writing Allsorts telling me all about her new Womag writing group Womag Two Weekly.  If you're interested I think there still may be room so head over there and send Amanda an email.  I think it's a great idea and am really impressed at how well Cally Taylor's Story a Fortnight group has done since it was set up.  So here's to getting a lot more than one story 'out there'.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

I have finally subbed!!!!!!!

So much for blogging daily huh!  Anyway I am back now after a busy old week and a bit and I am pleased to say I have FINALLY subbed a story to My Weekly.  It took a few hours here and there, over the course of a fortnight, to write the story after which the very lovely and talented Karen Clarke kindly offered to read it. So on Sunday evening I sent it over to her. I was shaking with nerves each time I opened an email from her: the first to say she had received it and the second to say the attachment wouldn't open.  By the time I received a third email with her critique I was quaking in my boots.  What if she didn't like it? What if she told me to give it up?  I needn't have worried though.  She didn't tell me I was completely useless nor was she too nice to say where I was going wrong.  Thank you again Karen!! It was an invaluable learning experience and with any luck I might make a sale (I can but dream).  So there it is, a promise to myself kept - I am no longer a womag subbing virgin.  Now its back to the Heaven short story for Cally Taylor's competition.  Its just non stop!

Monday, 9 November 2009

Book finished but story not so much

Had the day off from blogging yesterday (am trying to make this a daily recurrence).  Was too into my book to write anything.  Have just finished This Charming Man by Marian Keyes which (and I am glad Karen told me to stick with it) I LOVED!!  I thought it was funny, sensitive issues were dealt with such care and attention, well put together, great characters, great syles of writing for each character POV.  I loved loved loved it.  Was sad to finish in a way but am looking forward to the next book on my '5 to read in November' list:

I did some writing yesterday, as I read throught Della's 'How To' book (see previous posts) chapter by chapter I'm revising and trying to make my womag story better and subable.  I like the story but its just not there yet.  I'm not trying not to give myself a hard time but the standard is high in these womags and I want to give myself a story that, even if it isn't quite right, I'd be proud to put my name to.

The state of my bed at present is like this:

Right better get back to it!

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Google eyed!

I've not written a thing since Thursday night as last night I indulged myself in a bad but badly funny film (Superhero movie - will so not be reviewing it but had some cider in me and convinced thats why is made me laugh).  Today I managed to stay away from my poorly neglected telly, which is probably wondering what it did wrong that I would ignore it so.  I had a much needed lie in and got stuck into my book (not my book no Marian Keyes' one on the right 'This Charming Man).  I've nearly finished and the closer to the end I get the more I have to read.  I finally forced myself to put it down in order to do a bit of research for my womag short story.  (Oh the wonder of Google...).  Some conflicting info to start with so took me a fair bit longer to get answers to my questions than anticipated.  I then shut my computer down to make hot dogs and then back to reading Della's 'How to' book and then on to writing this.  So no writing done today either (unless you count this) but the first draft is almost complete.  It has a beginning, middle and end.  3 characters (one that isn't present but relevant to the story), and a problem for the main character.  Not sure if there will be a twist yet but as I've already written the ending I doubt there will be.  I don't think it would suit the story anyway.  It's definately a love story and has a positive message to it.  I really like it anyway and I havent even finished it yet so thats got to be a good thing right?  Anyway best get on with it if I've any chance of subbing it before this year is out.

Friday, 6 November 2009

More mags + a womag related question

Just realised yesterday in the Take a Break Fiction Feast I bought the other day that the December issue was out today so rooted around the womags in WH Smiths in my lunch hour and grabed TABFF and My Weekly.  I'm leaning more toward subbing to TABFF because I seem to prefer the stories in there.  I feel more comfortable reading it - not sure if thats because I love the stories, the layouts or because I recognise some of the names of the writers.  I would eventually like to sub to a variety of womags but thought it best to stick to 1 or 2 for now just while I'm starting out.  So as I was flicking through TABFF I saw 3 more of Karen's stories and 1 from Cally Taylor.  I'm a huge fan of their writing and their blogs.  There were also 2 from Della Galton who's book I am currently reading and LOVING 'How to Write and Sell Short Stories'.  I'm learning a lot and the more I read the more confident I feel to write something worth sending out there.  Rejection I can handle (she says now) - its happened to the best of writers, but sending out crappy work I cannot and so I won't no matter how much I want to do something I promised myself I would.  I'm fairly happy with my work so far.  Last night I wrote 609 words of my short story (didn't watch a morsel of telly which is like cold turkey for me - just goes to show how much I love writing once I get going).  Not sure if I'm aiming for 700 words but its not really a twist in the tale so not sure if its needs to be longer or I need to get a twist in there if I'm to keep it to one page.

Question: Is there a limit to how many stories I can send to TABFF at one time?  I only plan to send one but for future reference would be handy to know in case I'm on a roll and want to save on stamps!

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Review: Michael Jackson's This Is It

Cert (UK): PG
Running time: 111 mins
Director: Kenny Ortega

I have to admit that although I call myself a huge MJ fan I hadn’t bought a ticket to his concert. Having already seen him perform at Wembley Stadium back in 1996 I figured that I had seen as good at I was going to see live. I was wrong. This film gives us front row seats to the rehearsal stage of the shows and lets us in to see him as a director and performer.

We don’t see the show to its full potential which is a great shame because the dancers, the singers, the sets, the band, the films inserts are all are worthy of applause and standing ovations - something you don’t get in a cinema (someone did try and get a clap going at the end but it didn’t quite catch on). Jackson’s dancing is amazing as ever – not quite as energetic as the younger dancers on stage with him, but then what do you expect – the man was in his 50’s, and he can show them a thing or two as they look on in awe as he dances to Billie Jean.

Jackson is hands on and isn’t afraid to say just how he wants something done and its ‘all with love’. He settles for no less than perfection and it’s important it be perfect for his fans and indeed for the performers who he strives to get the best out of.

All my favourites were there including: The way you make me feel, I just can’t stop loving you, Human Nature and even some of the old Jackson 5 hits that made him famous such as The Love you Save and I want you back.

He’s not shown in conversation a lot but when he is we can see his professionalism and passion but we also see his humour in what he does with some very bizarre dance moves and in how he would choose to sing a certain line of a song.

What I disliked:
The cringey comments from the singers and dancers at the start
Kenny Ortega butt kissing Michael throughout.

What I loved:
The Thriller and Smooth Criminal film inserts.
Michael's Billie Jean performance

If you’d bought concert tickets or even if you hadn’t, this is a must see. By no means anywhere near as good as what the live show would have been but it’s a fitting tribute and a testament to the hard work that was put into the show and a nice memory to be going on with.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

I will sub, I will!

Managed to get everything done on my list yesterday and even mnaged to export my blog and import to another.  Sounds pretty simple doesn't, well it was, but it took me ages. Still I got there in the end and I was quite pleased with the result.  No more Lily Sheehan, well not until I get published at least (fingers and toes crossed).
I had another night last night of short story ideas whirring around in my head yelling
'write me down, write me down'
until I could ignore them no more and wrote them all down in my notebook.  I had one story in my head about snails.  Sounds a bit weird/rubbish I know but it was there in my head and it had to go down before I could get to sleep.  Even worse I HATE snails.  Maybe writing about them will help them get over my fear.
So today I thought about something I had written on my blog this time last year:

'I will at the very least submit a story for sale to a magazine'.

I'm dissapointed to say that what with finishing the novel, holidays, nagging doubts and other tools of procrastination, I have not done this.  So I went out to WH Smiths and grabbed 3 magazines:
Also noticed on the first page of TAB a story by Karen Clarke which I really enjoyed.  A really good Tale with a Twist.  So I aim to read through and get a feel of the stories and see what I can come up with.  I will sub a story this year I WILL!!

**Tonight will be writing free however as I'm off to the cinema to see 'This is it'**

Have Good Evenings All

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

What will I do today...

Yesterday I decided to to take today off. Boss said:

'Doing anything nice?'

'Yes', I replied 'sleeping!'

So here I am not sleeping and writing a blog post instead at 09.46 (well was when I started this post). Such is life! Still I am not grumbling. I have already had breakfast, put the washing on, checked my facebook (I am still winning at scrabble yay), searched for flats to rent on the tinternet and checked all my (junk) emails. So as the day progresses what do I hope to get done:

  • clear out my emails - last night I was looking through my old short stories and noticed a few missing. These ones were from last year that I'd submitted to Eurofiction and I hadn't bothered saving them! Luckily they were still in my sent items. So time to sort that out.
  • Write a short story - just as I was drifting off last night I was thinking about something I had read on one of Calistro's old blog posts about how she couldn't start a short story without getting the voice and the first line right in her head. I don't normally approach my stories like this and I think this is where I am going wrong because it got me thinking and just as my body started to shut down for the night my brain had other ideas. A shortie that refused to go away until I had written it down (I have a crap memory so no point thinking it will be there in the morning.
  • read some more - I am currently reading This Charmless Man by Marian Keyes and in non-fiction I am reading How to Write and Sell Short Stories by Della Galtan. Both great books and definately worth buying/reading/adding to book collection.
  • Work on my competition entries - there are a few competitions I am working on short stories for. While I am letting the novel rest I need to keep writing and shorties are a great way of doing that. Plus they are much more fun than novel editing - that can wait until the new year. I have read the novel too many times now and too recently to be objective. I do know that my opening chapter isn't going to be there when I'm finished with it but I don't want to think about that right now.

I 'm sure there are other things I need to be doing but they are clearly too boring to add so I won't. I shall let you know what I actually did get done in my next post...