Thursday, October 26, 2006

Bulgaria beckons

I'm going to Bulgaria for a few days so I shall fill you all in on the expedition when I return. I may even take a few photos! Nothing like the cold to get you in the mood for an Eastern European climate?!!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Wet weather work

Well, I'm on half term now! I have a lot of writing to do related to the three books I'm co-writing, but I also hope to catch up with a couple of friends over the break.

Earlier in the week I met with my co-writer, Steve, again, this time with the commissioning editor from Hodder, Ged. We met in Reading to talk through final decisions regarding the format and structure of the books and today I completed a spread and finalised the preliminary plan for the contents of all three books. Tomorrow I'm aiming to get at least two spreads done and finalise the plan. I'm hoping to do at least two spreads a day. I may get more done.... time will tell.

It's been really dark and wet today which certainly helps when you have to stay indoors writing! Mornings and evenings are darkening and days are getting shorter now, so I suppose there's no escaping the fact we are in winter; with that comes its own mood, doesn't it? I'm fascinated by the effect of weather on people. As someone who works in education I'm really aware of how wild kids can get on a windy day, but then some people suffer from SAD don't they? If I had my way I'd likely live in a country that was sunny all year round.

Sunny but not too hot. Fussy, aren't I?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

An excerpt: The View From My Window

Hello everyone
I know I have been neglectful of my blog, but I thought I'd share some of my writing so that you can see what I've been working on. This is an excerpt from The View From My Window, taken from Chapter 7. It might be difficult to pick up mid flow but you'll hopefully gain an impression of the main voice in the novel. (By the way - despite being written in the first person this is in no way autobiographical!)

On that Saturday, my motorbike sped like a crusade across town. I weaved between cars and mopeds in hot pursuit of Jake in his swanky car. I was an avenging angel seeking the path to resurrection, so my breaking the speed limit was permitted, as far as I was concerned, for believe me, resurrection does not come easy. It was no simple task following Jake undetected. I had to make certain that he did not see me; whilst my head was masked behind a helmet, I feared he might recognise the bike. Of course, I kept at a distance from him and made certain not to draw unwanted attention to myself, but even so my heart beat like venom against my chest and I could feel my face breaking into a cool sweat beneath the visor. It got so that I could hardly breathe under that weighty mask and my head felt heavy and dizzy.

I don’t know whether it was the blood surging to my heart or that blistering heat but I damn near fainted at one stage. I swear I felt my heart stop for an instant and in that moment I saw Hell’s flames stretch out to grab me. It was the burning eyes of my Ma and my Pa’s call that roused me from my momentary stupor so that I came to just as Jake was drawing to a stand still.

Copyright N. Ensaff 2006

Saturday, October 07, 2006

J.K.Rowling, Steve Eddy and Jude Ensaff

Yesterday I met up with Steve Eddy, the fellow writer with whom I will be co-authoring the books for Hodder, in a pub near to where I work, and we decided on who would do what for the three books and more or less how. It was a fruitful and interesting meeting.

In conversation with him, I discovered that he had taught at the Wyedean School in Sedbury, Gloucestershire - a fact I had been unaware of until then. Unimportant you may think but let me fill you in on some details. Wyedean School was the very first school I taught in when I qualified, and those ardent Harry Potter fans amongst you will know it is the school that J.K Rowling attended!

I was there well after she attended it, but would you believe that Steve taught J.K Rowling English and was her form tutor when she was in Year 7. Now I think that's amazing and forgive my little bit of indulgence but I see it as a sign of things to come! ;-)

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Raining cats and dogs and three educational books

Has it been raining where you are? Well, it's been raining cats and dogs here. Incidentally that phrase (some people at least claim) originates in the following way:

In 17th Century England, during heavy downpours of rain, many of these poor animals unfortunately drowned and their bodies would be seen floating in the rain torrents that raced through the streets. The situation gave the appearance that it had literally rained "cats and dogs" and led to the current expression.

I'm sure there are other theories as to origin- there always are, but I've gone for this one. If you've ever visited Stratford upon Avon, you'll know how popular origins of sayings are amongst the the guides at Shakespeare's houses who can furnish you with quite a few.

I went to London today in the downpour which was a bit of a break.

I've also had confirmation of a new educational writing project which I'll be co-authoring for Hodder. Three books in all. The deadlines are pretty tight so forgive me if I'm absent for a while. No news on the agent front as yet .... no news is good news, I guess.