I was incredibly excited to attend (and equally nervous) but I focused on what an amazing opportunity it was. Mum accompanied me as my PA and wheelchair pusher and as we entered the vast, echoing marble corridors I felt humbled and full of awe. For the past six years I’ve worked on my writing and here I was, not just with a toe in the door (or should that be wheel), but the whole of me and part of my story was inside the building.
When I was little we had a big box of Christmas books we got down from the loft every year but the one I remember most was Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore (1799 - 1863) looking at the pictures and falling in love with the lilting words. I decided to create my own picture version and here it is. I hope it gets you in the festive spirit.
When you write it's easy to get caught up in your story. I know that I'm too close to it now and need somebody impartial to read through it and give me some suggestions on how I can improve it.
Part of me is a little nervous - it's a big step to show my work to anyone, I've only rececntly entrusted it to two friends and they like me, so chances are they will be kind in their feedback. A stranger... now that's completely different.
My hope is that their response will contain positive suggestions of things I can do to make my story better. I want to feel empowered and excited to add some new elements. My aim is to write the best novel I can and this is one step closer to doing that.
Publisher News: Still nothing and the whole Brexit/Recession/EU Who-ha has me concerned that publishers won't be investing in new writers. At least there are other alternatives and I shall wait and see what the next few months bring.
Writing Progress: I got distracted by my tax return but I've discovered that Camp NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month's little sister) is starting again in July so I am going to use that to spur me on to finishing my next draft. I'm really excited about it. The countdown is on to 50,000 words in 31 days.
Writing is easy, right? Ok I'm not talking about writing a novel, anyone who's ever tried knows it isn't. What I'm talking about is the physical act of writing, of putting pen to paper.
Five year old kids can do it. Ninety-five year olds can do it.
So what would you do if you suddenly couldn't write a word? Worse still you couldn't read either.
That’s what happened to me.
I was bed bound for six years with ME a.k.a. chronic fatigue syndrome. Don't be fooled by the name, it's not just feeling tired.
I was too ill to do anything apart from lay in a darkened room, 24/7.
I went from reading anything and everything to being too ill to focus on a page of writing. It just looked like black and white lines.
I couldn't watch TV or listen to music either. It meant there were no distractions, no escape; just pain, fatigue and frustration. Of all three the frustration was the worst.
I felt trapped in my body and the only escape I had was my imagination.
I discovered National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) by accident .
If you haven’t heard of it, NaNoWriMo is an international programme that encourages participants to write 50,000 words in 30 days. That’s 1,667 words a day!
I liked that it had a set start and end date. A trial I could go for, then give up if it went horribly wrong.
Best of all? I never needed to admit to anyone that while my stories had been growing inside my head so had my desire to become a "real" writer.
Not an ‘I only write I secret’ author but a real honest to goodness, ‘I have books in a book shop’ author.
And so it began...
I ended up doing two first draft novels during my first NaNoWriMo - 107,000 words!
One was brand new and the other was my favourite of all the stories stored in my head. It’s a story I still adore and one I want to come back to, to revise and publish.
But I got distracted
The act of physically committing my stories to paper is a joy I can only attempt to describe.
It’s like flying free but being able to touch down and share the amazing sights I’ve seen with the people I love.
Seeing is Believing
It’s a FREE story delivered via email in 200 words a week.
You vote on what happens next, the decisions the characters make and where the story is heading.
What's it about?
Jess is losing her sight and with it her identity. After a series of unsettling incidents she starts to question everything. How can she be who she always was, when she can no longer trust what's right in front of her?
I've never done anything like this before. I've no idea what's going to happen but that's part of the fun of being a reader and a writer. All I know is it's an adventure. I'd love you to be a part of it. You can sign up here and receive the first instalment today.
My Lifeline and Yours...
Happiness is an odd quality, it's something we spend our whole lives pursuing. We often have a very fixed idea of what it looks like, how it will be, what to expect; but life never turns out the way you expect. Plans go wrong, things change and you're left trying to pick up the pieces. I have a tendency to stomp my foot and demand it turns up now. Right now. Not tomorrow. Now. It doesn't often seem to work.
I won the Good Housekeeping Novel Competition. My novel, The Box, is going to be published on 25th July 2019, by Orion
Books & Bakes
Distance Dinner Party
How To Be Happy
Live In Love In Laugh In
Live In Love In Laugh In
Living Life With Chronic Illness
Thriving Not Surviving