Sunday, 21 November 2010

A Mid Week Break

We've been on a mid-week break to a favourite restaurant of ours with rooms. It's called, "36 on the Quay" at Emsworth. A wine tasting evening was held on the first night and the restaurant was completely full. We drank New Zealand's Cloudy Bay wine with a gourmet dinner - each course was paired with a different wine. I'm a huge fan of New Zealand white wines, particularly their sauvignon blancs.

We stayed two nights in Emsworth and took the train to Brighton for the day and had a wander around the Lanes. We also went to Arundel and had a pub lunch and a stroll through the town browsing in all the different shops. I found a very good second-hand bookshop that I could easily have spent hours in and have made a note to return to Arundel to do just that. I have a list of books I'm looking for from travel books to classical novels.

We got home on Friday morning in time for me to go to Writing Buddies in the afternoon.

Yesterday and today has been spent on THE NOVEL. I have now written 24,000 words approximately. I'm not editing it until I've got 50,000 words written and then I'm going to start, I don't know if this is the right thing to do or not but I think you can spend too much time rewriting at the start of the project and not getting on with the plot. Comments please!

Friday, 12 November 2010

Gathering more ideas

I spent yesterday going through my issues of Frelance Market News to check I hadn't missed any opportunities for writing possibilities. I made a list to check out on the internet and narrowed it down to only two! These are for short story and articles. I already have another list of ideas for fillers to follow up.

I then looked at the Prizemagic website for any suitable competitions to enter. I always look for the free to enter ones first. I found about six possibilities and will now have to come up with some ideas for submissions.

I was going through an external hard drive for my computer to see what was on it and found a novel I had started a good few years ago about a cruise ship. I read through what I had written and was amazed at myself for not having carried on with it and let it fester away, forgotten about. I have copied it back onto my computer and I am determined to carry on with the story. This can happen very easily, I suppose. You start something, work at it for a couple of weeks or more constantly and then put it away, disillusioned or you've simply run out of steam. I don't think there's anything wrong with doing that but you must remember not to put it away for 8 years or more! May be a few weeks or even months but you must return to it quickly.

I also found a file full of character descriptions for this story and plot ideas so I will most certainly be taking up with the project again.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

A Night at the Theatre

We went to the Mayflower theatre in Southampton to see 'Calendar Girls'. It was quite good but I had trouble hearing some of the actresses speak. I don't know if it was the accoustics in the theatre but it did spoil things a little. When we had a drink in the bar during the interval I overheard a couple of ladies saying the same thing so it wasn't just me, thankfully.

We went to 'Buon Gusto' on the corner of Commercial Road after the show had finished and had a really nice meal although it was late. We hadn't been to this restaurant for a number of years so it was good to try it again.

I'm having a frustrating time with computers this week. We now have an I.Mac as our main computer but I do all my writing work on my laptop. To print things off I transfer to disk and then put the disk in the main computer and print from there. This isn't happening so easily now and when I insert a disk into the I.Mac I can't open the document, let alone print it. I will be heading for the Apple Store to try to find out why this is proving so difficult. I have tried connecting the printer to my laptop instead but I keep getting various error messages and being told the driver isn't compatible. I have now wasted nearly two afternoons trying to solve the problem but have given up because it's making me bad tempered and not in any position to produce good writing work.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Weekend Workload.

Assignment 7 is finished and ready to be printed and then sent off. I have spent the weekend going over the first 3000 words of THE NOVEL that is going towards this assignment. I was quite horrified to see many glaring continuity errors already but have gone through it all word for word until I am quite sure it is reading as well as it could. I can't wait to receive some feedback on my efforts.

We went out for dinner on Friday to a place in Wickham. Now I'm not going to name the establishment but we were very disappointed with the service received. This restaurant isn't cheap and we've been there a couple of times before and each time came away satisfied. I really resent going out for dinner to a good quality restaurant and then getting sloppy service. I'd rather go to the Harvester or a Beefeater. Well, we shan't hurry back and I did post my thoughts on 'Trip Advisor'.

Must sign off now as it's time to prepare our Sunday roast (a tradition in this household) and then I'm afraid it's a TV viewing night - Strictly, X-Factor and the marvellous 'Downton Abbey.'

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

13,923 words.

That's how many words I've written on THE NOVEL so far. I've been really industrious today and have spent all afternoon typing. I'm quite pleased at the way the story is evolving because I am writing what I know about rather than what I don't really know about and need to do a good bit of research on. I think this is the right way to go when you right your first novel. Just after 4 O'clock I decided to call it a day and do an entry for my blog.

I'm a member of 'Flair For Words' and the latest copy of 'Flair News' dropped on the mat at lunchtime. I can now get a coffee and read it from cover to cover. This little gem is full of interesting articles and lots of inspiration from Cass and Janey who are joint editors and run 'Flair For Words.'

This morning we went for a long walk. We didn't even need coats as it was so warm. We stopped for coffee and a lovely deli called 'Cork and Cheese' and bought a tub of huge olives and a wholegrain loaf, locally baked.

The walk enabled me not to feel selfish when I shut myself in the study all afternoon and banned my husband from any interruptions.

Monday, 1 November 2010

I don't think I'm cut out for this!

That is, I don't think I'm cut out to write short stories for magazines. I find the guidelines too restrictive for a start. Perhaps I should concentrate on short stories for competitions. I have written a short story for my latest WB assignment and am quite pleased with it although it took several almost complete rewrites and lots of editing. That means each story I tackle takes me a very long time to complete. I certainly can't dash them off every few days (if only it were that simple).

I'm going to see what happens with my latest effort and then decide if I'm going to do any more for a while. I really want to concetrate on THE NOVEL and I also have a number of ideas for magazine articles.

Last week I had another break from writing because I went to see my cousin in Southport who is recovering from a serious stroke. He is now at home so that's good. He has a wheelchair which he is determined not to use and also a stick and he is managing to walk quite well with it. He has been approached to be a sort of 'mentor' to other stroke victims in his health authority area and he is very keen to do this. This should be giving me some ideas for short stories and articles but so far I haven't come up with anything worth putting to paper.

The shops on Lord Street in Southport are looking very christmassy already and it was fun walking up and down this famous street window shopping and stopping for coffee. Now I'm back home and busy in the study in front of my laptop.