2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,400 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

The lovely Anushka over on findingmycreature has allowed me to write a guest post for her blog. You can find it here:

Finding My Creature

Amanda Martin, NaNoCreature and woman behind Writer/Mummy has been kind enough to Guest Post about what it is like to write as a mother with young kids.  Thank you Amanda for taking the time to do this, I  always love reading about other people’s creative processes and challenges because it inspires me to continue on with my journey.

Enjoy. 

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One of the challenges I face as a mostly-stay-at-home mother is that I simply cannot write everyImageday. Despite that rightly being the first piece of advice you ever get as a writer.

Write every day, even if it’s only ten minutes.

I know my writing would be better if I did, but I can’t.

I’m not going to make excuses. Yes I could find the time, between the kids going to bed and me crawling up an hour later after cooking and eating my dinner. I could write all…

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Some great rules for writers! I particularly like “Rule 6: Nothing is a mistake. There’s no win and no fail. There’s only make.” And “Rule 7. The only rule is work.”
Rule 9 is the one I take for myself.

Annie Cardi

Even if you’re not headed back to school in the next couple of weeks, this is a great time of year to get back in that productive groove. This list by Sister Corita Kent and popularized by John Cage provides great inspiration for artists of all kinds:

Another good one to post above the writing desk.

(image: Brain Pickings)(via swissmiss)

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Hurrah for the web!

Sometimes all you need is a nudge in the right direction.

After panicking and dreading the writing of my synopsis, and after writing a couple of terrible, long-winded drafts that broke every rule in terms of length, style, content and readability, all I really needed was a nice step by step guide. And I found it here.

http://mslexia.co.uk/getpublished/pub_wkshop3.php

Following each step described here, I now have a basic synopsis that just needs tightening and shortening slightly.

The same website has also yielded some great advice on titles – http://mslexia.co.uk/getpublished/pub_wkshop1.php  – causing me to change mine from the boring/abstract Pictures of Love to the more specific (if still a bit predictable) Baby Blues and Wedding Shoes.

Now I just need to work on my first chapter. I am certain it wouldn’t pass Miss Snark’s Crap-o-meter, discovered at another great (and sadly discontinued) blog:

http://misssnark.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Crapometer-first%20pages

Miss Snark has also done a Crap-o-meter on synopsis writing, so I can check the quality of mine against an agent’s idea of excellent (or crap!).

Finally I found some lovely words of advice and encouragement on Billie Jo’s blog, here:

http://usaukwoods.wordpress.com/2012/05/11/synopsis-writing-ugh/

Hurrah for the web.

Life vs. Writing Update: A New Beginning

Picture of a dragon

Okay, so sometimes sleep deprivation can have its advantages. After a week of broken nights I woke up yesterday, out of a deep three-hour sleep (a miracle in itself), with a complete novel in my head.

Unfortunately, since the new carpets were fitted, I haven’t got around to putting my notebook and pen back under the bed. Plus I had smallest child asleep on me, and eldest child wriggled into our room in her sleeping bag shortly after. Needless to say, by the time I’d got my mobile fired up and tapped out some of what was in my mind, I had lost most of it.

I remember the gist though, because it couldn’t have been further from my last four novels.

This one is going to be a young adult book. In the first person. A mystery, mostly in real-time.

Oh and it has dragons in it.

Not really chick lit or romance. Though it might have some romance. I haven’t worked that bit out yet.

I’m quite daunted about the whole thing. I’ve never written in the first person; I haven’t been a teenager for almost two decades (my kids are nearer being teenagers than me, how horrific is that? They’re only 1 and 3); I don’t have any writing skills or techniques for real-time, suspense or mystery, and I know next to nothing about writing fantasy.

Still, it certainly comes under the Option 2, try something new. (See previous post).

Anyway, with it being Easter and all, my next writing day isn’t until next Thursday. In the mean time, I’m trying not to think about the ideas too much, as I know from experience I need to start writing without thinking, or I’ll kill it before it’s born (I’m a master at self-censure).

I do know the first line (for now), I wrote it down in my phone before the vision faded.

“My name is Leah, and I know the time and place of my death.”

Well, that may well change, but my first lines rarely do, as they are usually the freewrite prompt for the whole novel concept. We shall see.

Exciting though.