Tuesday, 29 December 2009

The countdown has begun

As I write this, the countdown to 2010 is well and truly underway. In a few days we will be looking back over 2009, and reminiscing over the things we have done.

When I look back, the only real achievement I have is finishing the advanced course, Beyond the Basics, with the Institute of Children's Literature. Well, I suppose that is, in itself a great achievement, but I would like to have taken things further, and submitted some of the manuscripts I've worked so hard on.

So, on friday it will be the start of a new year. The old will be gone, and I am hoping and praying that with the new year, will come the chance to submit - regularly. I will do it no matter what it takes. Even if I have to start small and increase slowly, I am determined to leave that starting block and race to the finish line.

In closing, I would like to wish all my followers, and anyone else who reads this, a very happy and prosperous New Year. For my writer followers and readers, I hope you have a very successful writing year.

Until next time.....

Monday, 21 December 2009

Let it snow!!!

As I write, the snow is falling. It has fallen all afternoon, the only change is the speed at which it comes down. Where the cars were parked overnight, the snow has covered the bare earth. Everywhere I look the ground is white.

Oh what a beautiful scene it makes. But there is the down side to the snow as well. Travel is difficult or even impossible, outdoor work is totally impossible, unless you are a livestock farmer, and have to feed the animals.

Writing is like snowy days. As the snow falls, and disrupts travel, work, shopping and other things, writing has its share of problems too.

If you are anything like me, there is every distraction available. In my case its a house, a family, and everything that goes with them. Writing comes in fits and starts. Some days I can write pages, and others, well I'm lucky if I can get even one word on the page or computer screen.

Now, having said that, how much writing do I really expect to get done with all there is to do before Christmas? If I had my way - loads. But, I don't have my way - so none. Every word I write will be a bonus, and, hopefully come the New Year, I will be able to write regularly. Time will tell.

Anyway, I would like to take this opportunity to wish every one that reads this a very merry Christmas and a Happy and prosperous 2010.

Friday, 18 December 2009

What a wonderful day today is.

My last two posts were about the new critique group I have started. I am happy to say that at the time of writing this, there is a total of 18 members in the main group. From that we have 7 groups, of which one is now full.

And all this in two days. Am I pleased, yes. I never expected this.

Writing is a lonely business, but its times like this that you can find friends. I am grateful to those people who have joined up so far. I think I can safely say that this is turning out really well.

Come back to see where we go from here.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Following on....

from my last post. I mentioned my critique website at http://critiquecafe.ning.com

Well, since posting, I have moved the site to the above address. So some of the members only stuff doesn't necessarily exist any more. Anyway, to cut a long story short. I found a place where I feel we can do so much more, and went for it.

We all need that support in the lonely world of writing. And, if you're anything like me, you are alone with your writing in the big wide world of life.

So, if any one is reading this, and wants to join, please go on over and take a look around. We would love to welcome you onboard.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Writing and Critiques

There is so much more to writing than just putting words on paper or the computer screen. Just writing will not necessarily get us published. There is a small matter called editing, or to some revising.

We all want our story to stand out from the rest. We all want that "wow" factor. We all want that letter or e-mail of acceptance for that baby that we have slaved so hard to put out there.

So, one way that we can iron out some of those flaws that like to creep into our work, is to join a critique group. Yes, we are sharing that hard work with other people. But while they are reading, they are finding all those little faults that we have more likely than not overlooked.

That fresh pair of eyes, or should I say, those fresh pairs of eyes, are a godsend. And, if we can put our feelings about our story to one side, and reflect on the comments that others have made about our story, we are bound to have a better story than before they read it.

Writing is a lonely business. How often can we go to our family and friends for constructive, helpful and positive comment. In my case, the comment is generally the same, "Oh,it's okay".

Yeah, right, its okay. But can I improve it? Did I spell something wrong? Is my punctuation correct? Questions, Questions!

I write what comes to mind, and feel that I don't really have a specific genre to put my writing into. I suppose you could say I lean more towards adventure, but then I feel I don't want to be stuck in one genre. I want to go with my heart, my feelings.

So, with this in mind, I find that open genre critique groups are few and far between. And, if this is the case, I stand little chance of getting into a critique group.

So there was a solution to this. Yes, you got it. Start a group of my own. This group is very much in the early stages, but I hope that what I picture for the group will take me and the members that join to new heights. I hope that we will all take the comments made and use them to make our work even better.

In 24 hours, I have a membership of 7, including myself. I am hoping that more people will join, and we can have a multi genre, helpful, constructive, friendly community of writers whose main ambitions are to help others to get their work published, and through other peoples help, get our own work published.

New members are welcome. Groups sizes are four to six. The first group is already established, and I hope to see the group critiquing early in the New Year.

So if you are looking for a critique group, keeping in mind that this is a group for Children's literature, please consider my group. You are not obliged to join, but would be most welcome if you decide it is for you.

I have a web site for the group which can be found at http://critiquecafe.ning.com

Take a look. You need to be a member to see the forums, but the places you can get into will give you an idea if its for you. I look forward to your membership if you join.

Until next time, happy writing.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Nano is finished and Christmas is almost here.

As I look back over 2009, I wonder what exactly I have achieved. Really there is nothing great to speak about. As with most years lately, I feel as if I went to bed on January the 1st, and woke up at the end of the year.

But, thinking back, I did finish my writing course. I was torn. I suppose its just the fact that the close bond between instructor and student is suddenly, overnight, broken. You are suddenly on your own. No one to give the reassurance that you have become so accustomed to. Your writing lifeline has been taken away.

But, as they say, all good things come to an end. And after two courses, I suppose its time to take a break.

So, looking forward to 2010, somehow, I am going to write more, work harder at all aspects of my writing, and put my writing where I really want it to be - second only to my family.

My next interviews will be up soon, so please check back to read them.

So, as I close, I just want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and successful New Year.