Tuesday, November 27, 2007

SCBWI Writer's Day

Hello one, hello all

I am in the middle of the most exciting task of writing reports, so of course in my work avoidance mode, I have decided to write a post, whilst listening to the wonderful and legendary Fairuz, a Lebanese singer.

Well, to be honest, I feel obliged to spread the glorious news that SCBWI Writer's Day was fantastic, awesome and spectacularly brilliant.

I attended the critique and social on the Friday evening, which was a really useful exercise. I drank copious amounts of wine, met some new writers and illustrators and talked through a manuscript I am currently working on. Saturday was jam packed full of writerly fun. The brilliant David Almond was the keynote speaker and his talk was inspiring. He talked about how it had taken him 17 years to finally get a full book published. That gives me hope!

I then attended a seminar run by Cornerstones which was very useful and another by Andrew Melrose, writer and lecturer at Winchester University, and of course alongside all this bookish stuff I got to meet with some fellow blogging writers, people like Jon, Anita, Sue, Candy and Addy. In fact Candy gave a pretty fab talk on the internet and writing. She's a mega energetic, absolutely fabulous font of knowledge!

So, in all a wholly inspiring weekend. Well worth the effort.

Friday, November 23, 2007


I am feeling strangely exhilarated. Today something happened that upset me greatly at first but then when I thought about it, I felt released- like a huge burden had been lifted.

I no longer felt committed to a path and I realised something that I think I had forgotten.

And that was liberating.

So was talking to a few close friends and relatives, and getting their advice and feeling supported. It's all very cloak and dagger, I know... but it has to be, I'm afraid. Don't ask me why! It's a secret. Shhh.

What isn't cloak and dagger is the fact that I have to complete almost 100 reports for Wednesday, the end of term publication by the end of tomorrow, I have a writing assignment for Monday and I am attending the SCBWI Writer's Day in Winchester this weekend, which, incidentally, I am REALLY looking forward to. I hope it is as good as people have said.

In the winter darkness, my MA is my light; writing and exploring children's novels provide such a relief from the weight I find myself under at the moment. I can whole heartedly recommend doing an MA.

Friday, November 16, 2007


My last post was rather a miserable one, I have to admit, but it comes on the back of a very stressful time in work and a general feeling that I am getting little reward for my hard work. But such is life I guess. And there are many more worse off than me.

I'm trying to get myself into a more positive frame of mind today. Can you tell?

To this end, I am going to meditate and listen to music, go for a walk and try to relax.

A friend of a friend has asked to see some of my writing with the view to perhaps helping me get published. This is of course very positive but as always I am not going to get my hopes up, just in case, as has happened before, nothing comes of it.

Okay, time to meditate.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Every day is a weekend

It's Friday and that means the weekend, and that means -tidying my place, reading and yes, joy of joys... sleep oh sweet sleep. I am feeling seriously sleep deprived. And grumpy. Why? Oh there are many reasons but for now I shall tell you the most relevant. REJECTION. Yes, I got yet another rejection from a publisher for my teen novel.

A month or so ago I got an email from a reader at Chicken House who had read my first three chapters and liked them. She asked me to email a synopsis of my novel One of a Kind and promptly then asked for the whole novel. I sent this to Chicken House with little hope but what hope I had has been DASHED.

I got a letter from her two days ago telling me that she enjoyed reading the book, liked the background which she felt was authentic but didn't think the lead character's story was strong enough. Those of you who have followed my blog for sometime will be aware that this novel has had a number of comments passed on it, ranging from it having a strong story to it not having one, so I think it's safe to say that these things are subjective. Of course I like the book but I am biased. Nevertheless I have decided to put this particular novel to the side for now and concentrate on my other ones.

I have a whole load of work to do for my MA and a ton of marking for work, so I can't really afford to dwell on these or any other rejections but suffice to say that these experiences have made me contemplate running off to a tropical paradise where every day is a weekend and I can sleep beneath palm trees listening to the gentle lapping of the ocean as I plot my next novel!

Pity, I don't have the money.