I'm home, Dave is staying with the belles for the next few days while I'm at work and sorting out all the things ready for the new term. I also need to steam clean my three piece suite before my friend needs her steam cleaner back! I just started the last chapter of Charlie Darling, hopefully I'll get that finished soon and then begins the big edit and polish while I wait to hear if M&B want to see more. I also need to get on writing Places to Go and Dangerous to Know, plus my editor just called for my spooky novella that's due out in October for By Grace.
Not very far only to Worcester. I'm taking the girls for a few days of girly things before school hits us again - whenever that is - I'm still not sure. Chapter eight is done on Charlie Darling and we're heading for the home stretch. My word count is coming up short but I always underwrite so I have lots of wriggle room when I edit it all and make some sense of it hopefully. Another colleague gave her notice this week so I'm starting to feel like an endangered species. If you haven't bought Sela Carsen's book, Not quite Dead. Why not? It's a really good read and no Sela, I'm not just saying that because your my friend and I lubs ya! Go to My book store and more at the Samhain site, there is a huge sale and special offers on all kinds of books, print and e books, there are prizes to win and a draw for an e book reader. Go take a look and remember Things to Do is out on Tuesday - eek!
The book shop is back up at the Samhain site, it's now apparantly much better and faster. Several of my bat friends have books out this week so why not head over and check them out, you won't be disappointed. Look for Meg Allison, Sela Carsen and Amelia Elias. I'm getting nervous now as Things to Do makes it's debut on the 29th of this month. So far I've no reviews so I just hope people will like the very English humour in the book. As soon as I know about a review I'll give you all a shout - assuming it's any good that is. Charlie Darling continues apace, 16k to go, half way through chapter eight. I got my chapters back from Jessica so I've edited and incorporated her suggestions. I finished my NWS Crit but I want to let it sit for a day and read it cold so that I can be certain it's as it should be before I post it off.
I just finished chapter seven of Charlie Darling, 18k to go. I know I'll need to go back and rewrite some chunks when I edit, but the plot is working and the middle of the book is holding up nicely. I think I'll need to look more deeply into the medical content and make sure there's enough there but I'm fairly happy with how it's going. Thanks to everyone who's been so supportive as I've whinged and angsted my way through this. I'm getting the belles stuff ready to go back to school. They all have new shoes, haircuts, and uniform. Nit to mention lunch box's and bags. The only slight snag is I'm not sure exactly when they do go back. Neither of the school websites has the details. I have Monday 4th doem for Boo and La but they never usually go back on a Monday so I'm worried I may have that wrong and there's nothing down for Shaggy. Sometimes dyscalcula is a big pain in the neck - guess I'll have to find out from the girls friends when they're supposed to go back. It wouldn't be the first time I've sent them back too soon.
Cue the spooky music and X-files lighting. Okay, now you know I told you I get premonition dreams? and yes, I know that it's a bit freaky. Well, remember I said the editor who'd opened the letter was called Susan and Michelle said she didn't know of a Susan? Jo Carr put up a new list of the editors at Mills and Boon today on the eharl board. There's a new name with the initials SH the same as my reference number and her name...... duhduh duuuurm
Michelle Styles tagged me with this and as I need a break from Charlie here are my thoughts:
1. One book that changed my life: The Nurse. This was a ladybird book I was given as a child and yes I still have it. It influenced me in my career choice, I fell in love with the ‘glamour’ of nursing. 2. One book I have read more than once: In Pleasant Places by Joyce Grenfell. This is an amazing book, it’s really an autobiography of an amazing woman who had a very, understated British courage. 3. One book I would want on a desert island: Assuming I already had the bible (you can keep Shakespeare – I’m not a fan) It would have to be Little Women by Louisa May Allcott. I never tire of this book. It has everything, laughter, tears, love and the ability to transport me to another world. Sometimes I’m Jo, the tomboy, sometimes I’m Meg and falling in love, sometimes Amy or Beth, and then there’s Laurie. 4. One book that made me laugh: Argh, there are so many! But Can you keep a secret by Sophie Kinsella is my top pick. 5. One Book that made me cry: I cry at loads of books, I am a real soft heart. But it has to be Susanne’s diary for Nicholas by James Patterson. If you need a masterclass on emotion then read this book, I defy you not to cry. 6. One book I wish I’d written: This is hard, I think it would have to be The Bridesmaids reward by Liz Fielding because she and Jessica Hart are the kind of writer I aspire to be and I loved this book to bits. 7. One Book I wish had never been written: This was hard, Lord of the Flies was bad, The Old man and the sea, Animal Farm, I hated all of those but I’ll go for The Andrew Morton biography of Princess Diana. This caused a lot of pain to many people and was a blatant attempt to cash in on sorrow with no thought for the consequences. 8. One book I am currently reading: Manhunt by Jennie Crusie, it’s wonderful, go buy it. 9. One book I have been meaning to read: Inkheart by an author whose name I can’t spell. My daughter beat me to it so I have to wait my turn but it looks good. Now to tag – Jessica Raymond, Lis and Julie Cohen I just got my letter from M&B to say Sheila Hodgson has my partial - eek.
I'm 2k into chapter six. I can't believe I've written over 11k since Friday evening. The most amazing thing is I'm fairly happy with what I've written. The last time I wrote something so fast was when I had the request for Marrying Max and I wrote 16k in 3 days. I vowed then I'd never do that again. Oops! I had a weird dream last night about Charlie Darling. I dreamed an editor called Susan at M&B had the submission and was debating whether to ask for the full. Is there a Susan at M&B??? I don't know of one. I worried a bit about it because I do get premonition dreams but I'm not convinced this was one of them.
Completed chapter five and I'm onto chapter six. Whoo hoo! That means I'm half way through the first draft which is great! I know I'll have to add some more layers in and some description but at least the bones of the story are there. The best news though is that my friend's little grandson is starting to recover from his accident. p.s. My foot is recovering too! I can get my shoe on now.
Sometimes a story just flows, pours out of my fingers and onto the paper. I struggle to keep up with the pictures in my head and if forced to take a break I drive everyone nuts till I'm back on my laptop and in my own little world. Other times a scene will flow so slowly I'll do anything rather than write. I'll play spider solitaire, flit around the boards, tidy my files, anything. But when the magic happens there's no other feeling quite like it, I'll read back what I've written and be amazed that it came from my head and my hands. Charlie Darling is turning into one of those magic books at the moment, I just sent Jessica chapter four. (Next week I'll probably be back playing spider)
The first two chapters are shiny, and Jess is casting her expert critting eye over c3. The synopsis is done and I've a new ink cartridge ready for the printer, so with any luck Charlie Darling will be out of the door by Friday. I've started chapter four and plan to get as much done as I can by the time I hear back one way or the other on Charlie Darling. Work is still busy as my colleague is on holiday, plus it looks as if I'll be having a student again from the start of October up till Christmas. There are so many problems at work it's hard to know where to begin at the moment. It's not just our trust but nationwide, I've never known staff be so demoralised and fed up as they are at the moment. My job is secure till June 2007 and thats as much as I know.
I'm just about to look at the corrected galleys for Things to Do and I suppose because of events in the last few weeks it's made me feel reflective today. Things to Do has a very special dedication. I dedicated it to a woman who sadly is no longer here but in my youth she was both my friend and my mentor. I met Betty Warneck when I was 13 at my local writers group, right from the start we hit it off. She was a woman with immense personality, larger than life and full of energy. She was one of the first people to believe that I could write and she took an interest right up until her death. A writer herself she wanted to publish a book which told the story of her son, Paul, and his battle to overcome spina bifida. She succeeded. Betty believed you could achieve anything if you applied your talent, were prepared to learn and worked hard. Things to Do is for her, with love.
I'm settling down a little now after everything thats been going on here over the last few weeks. I'm sure you can guess its not been very easy. Writing wise I finished chapter three of Charlie Darling and thats now in Jess's in-box along with my re-tweaked versions of c1 and c2. I really appreciate having another pair of eyes looking at my work, Jessica often sees things I don't, did I mention I "heart" my cp? I've also finished checking the galleys for Things To Do which is out on the 29th of this month. Samhain have jus sent me the corrected version so I can double check that they've made all the fixes (not that there were many) I'm hoping to submit to Mills and Boon next week and then keep going on Charlie Darling until I hear one way or the other if they are interested. I may also do some more on my other twp projects. Places to Go and Damgerous to know if I get the chance. I still have the medicals I bought to read. I started Gill Sandersons latest and I'm really enjoying it. I also just finally got chance to read Julie Cohen's Being a bad girl which I absolutely loved! If you haven't read it yet then try and get a copy - it's a modern extra so it's quite hot (I don't want to shock any of my lovely tender/sweet romance readers here by recommending something they might not be expecting!) For now though back to cleaning out the Belle's wardrobes - a task which is not unlike painting the Forth bridge. Many thanks for all the comments and emails I recieved following the loss of my grandmother in law, it has been much appreciated.
Nell is an award winning author living in the heart of the Black Country with her husband, three children, a tank of tropical fish, a crazy Cockerpoo called Teddy and whatever is left of her sanity. Welcome to her world...