Monday, 2 May 2016

Change in my writing goals

If you have been reading my recent FB posts, you will see that my writing goals have changed over the last week. One of my new year goals was to write pocket novels for My Weekly, and I have now decided that this isn't what I really want to do and what I can't really write, after all. Here is why:

Earlier this year I finished the pocket novel I had been writing and had sent a partial of to the RNA's New writing scheme for feedback. I sent it to my editor, who I know is v honest and truthful about my writing. It came back last week via email with lots of comments in the email itself. I've not read the actual edits yet. What the email said was that the ms was too flimsy and not good enough for a pocket novel, which I knew deep down myself. I emailed my editor to ask this of her, and she replied, yes, it's not good enough, but don't waste it. It made me realise that I can't write proper romance, only magical realism with a hint of romance. So, that writing goal has been deleted from my plans. I am going to continue writing the Geraldine's Gems and Singleton stories which are all magical realism with a touch of romance in, as I feel I can write those and I enjoy writing them. Just writing those last few words has also made me realise that I didn't really enjoy writing the romantic part of the pocket novel but I did enjoy writing the mystery bit.

I am continuing writing short stories for womags as I enjoy writing those. My main writing goal now is to be known as an indie children's author, esp about hope and Asperger's.

So, that is the change in my writing goals. The mss I still have upstairs in the cupboards I am keeping and will read them at a later time to see if they can be either made into children's books or serials for womags. So, not wasted.

My motto now is: write what you enjoy doing and what you know you can do.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

My writing goals - an update

So, how are you getting on with your writing goals? I think I am coming along well with mine. Here is my progress so far:

Have almost finished the last mermaid story. Have printed it out and reading it out loud to find any errors. Have found a few already. Once I have done that, I shall email it to my editor.

Have finished the pocket novel and my editor is hopefully editing it for me now. Once I get that back, shall read any comments and suggestions for the first 3 chapters, do those and then email it off with a synopsis to the editor of My Weekly Pocket Novels.

Have begun reading and editing the first two books in the Asperkids series called 'The Rainbow School'. Am sticking with that title because someone suggested it corresponds with the autism spectrum, and a week later I saw a rainbow showing as the spectrum in a magazine. Have edited the first one which is about Billy, and have sent off the first two chapters of it for an author to comment on at the retreat. Started editing the second one about Charlie fainting, today. Have plotted out the third one about Susie and her heart problem, to work on at the retreat. All these books are loosely based on my primary school memories as a child with Asperger's and other health problems.

Still writing short stories for womags. Have two still with Take a Break's Fiction Feast, and one with Woman's Weekly which was rejected by TaBFF. Have been rewriting another for WW, from comments I got on the story blog, which were v helpful and it now reads like a story not a set of thoughts.

My client's picture book is finished and with the illustrator to work on again. Should hopefully be ready to publish for end of May. He is excited and so am I.

So, that is how I am getting on. Am v excited about publishing my Asperkids series as they are close to my heart.

Next post will be about having Asperger's, a way to promote my new series before I have published them.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Me, Asperger's and birthday parties (or not)

I thought I'd start posting about how Asperger's Syndrome has affected me over the years. There are two reasons: 1. There has been a drama series on BBC1 about a family with an autistic boy called The a word and the first episode made me think of a post to blog about, and 2) I have started working on my Asperkids series called The Rainbow School, so these posts can be the start of promoting it.

In the first episode of The a Word, the family have a birthday party for their boy, Joe who is now 5. He hated being the centre of attention and laid on the floor. When I was that age, I didn't have any birthday parties. For two reasons, 1. I was too shy because of my Asperger's, and 2 because of my Asperger's I found it difficult to make friends of my own (one of the social impairments of AS). I also didn't go to any parties myself, again because of the reasons above.

It was only later on in life, when I was an adult and went to work, that I really started celebrating my birthday with others. I did have a party for my 18th, but I didn't mingle with my guests. I made myself in charge of the music in a corner and wanted to stay there the rest of the time.

So, there you have what I was like with birthday parties when I was younger.

If you have ASD, did you have birthday parties? If so, what were you like at them?

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

My Writing Diary - so far

So what have I been writing and how far have I got? Here is my writing news:

I have now emailed the pocket novel to my editor to edit for me. The plan is that when I get it back, if there are changes to make in the first three chapters, I will do those first then email those with the synopsis to the My Weekly Pocket Novel editor. Then I will start on the rest of the ms.

The quirky short story went out to Take a Break's Fiction Feast. Meanwhile, I got a rejection for the story I sent them in December. This has now gone to another magazine.

I have finished the ghost story for the Writing Magazine short story competition. Seems I might have sent it to them for another competition a few years ago, but I am still going to send it and see what happens. It is all printed out, ready to fill in the form and cheque to put with it.

I have finally got round to writing the story I started at the Women's Weekly workshop last month. It is now over 600 words, so getting near to the count of 1000, which is what I want it to be.

I have finished the current draft of the mermaid story and am now highlighting verbs. Lots of smiling going on. Lol. I shall go through those and either change or cut them out. Then I shall highlight all repeated words such as 'and'. Then the final edit will be to read through it.

I have also emailed the first 2 chapters and synopsis to the organiser of the SCBWI retreat, for the one to one with Melvin Burgess. Yes, he of 'Junk' fame. Can't wait for that, as those books are close to my heart.

In my author client world, I met my client yesterday and he has given me a few changes, inc the title of the book to do, which I will work on tomorrow. I shall then post them to him to check, he will do that and post back to me, so I can email them to the illustrator.

So, that is what has been happening in my writing world. I mainly have 2 of my own projects on the go, and my author client's.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Writing mermaid stories

I know this is the second post this week, but I had to tell you about what I am writing these days. I am an indie children's author and my current wip is the third and final mermaid story in a trilogy. This is Aliona's story about coming of age, finding out about herself and finding her soul mate. I can't remember who mentioned it to me (might be my editor), but someone said to me that I need to let the reader know that it is in a sea world. I have made sure of that in this ebook, as there are fish, anemones, sea horses and there will be sea turtles. I am loving writing this book because I have made the sea creatures talk, and the other main reason I like writing mermaid stories is to mention one of the things that I am passionate about - helping to protect sealife. This is why I changed the metadata on the other mermaid stories to be about 'environment'. I believe I have mentioned plastics and other rubbish such as nets that go into the sea and harm the creatures. There will be a drastic scene at the end of this story called 'The Ring Quest', which gives Aliona the career she decides she wants...

So, if you love mermaids and the environment, then my mermaid 'quest' stories are for you. They are for children aged 9-12 years-old, and available on all digital platforms.

The first story is about Delta, and is called 'The Quest'. And is available here*Version*=1&*entries*=0

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Woman's Weekly Workshop

Yesterday I went to London Bridge, to the Woman's Weekly Workshop on writing a short story. I've been to a couple of them before, but now I am v serious about writing for womags, I wanted to go again and listen properly. As I had been before, I didn't know if Gaynor Davies the Fiction Editor of WW would recognise me. She did and said hello to me. I was chuffed. She co-presented the workshop with Della Galton. We had a theme to go on for the writing exercises, which as Freedom. I remembered something a friend told me in December about being free at last so used that as the main point for a story. We wrote the beginning,  then had to read our first sentence out. We filled in Della's character development sheet, which gave me an idea about the main character and how to end the story. We also wrote the last sentence of the story, which we were all congratulated on, esp me personally by Gaynor when I said goodbye. Before that, we were given handouts about the common ways that stories are rejected eg predictability and solutions to them. We also got the guidelines.
I really enjoyed the day despite being tired and my head doing a spin during the day from thinking.
I shall write the whole story when I have completed the ghost story for a competition. I already have an idea how it will pan out, I jotted notes down during the day.

I can't wait to go to the next one in April which will be on serial writing.

Monday, 14 March 2016

My Writing Diary - update

So, here is where I am with my writing to date:

My writing came to a halt last weekend when my mum was admitted to hospital after a heart scare. She is back home now and getting better each day. She even went local shopping with me this morning.

Pocket Novel is now complete, but I have yet to start reading through it to check it is OK. Will get to this once I have a day free with 3 time slots available.

Quirky short story is complete and I put it on the story blog for comments today. I hope to get it out to Take a Break's Fiction Feast by the end of this week.

Meantime, I have printed out a ghost story that I wrote a few years ago for an anthology, but was rejected. I have started editing it to revise for a paranormal short story competition by Writing Magazine. The deadline is mid-May so I have plenty of time.

I have also started writing the third and final Mermaid ebook for 9-12s. I am enjoying this one because I have been adding talking sea creatures.

I have also now got a cover for the POD version of The Railway Angel and hope to publish that at the weekend.