Monday, 31 December 2012

Ready, set... go!

Happy New Year to you!

After the mad blogging spree of the A-Z in April, I have neglected my poor little blog somewhat, I think.  Blame the day job and the pressures of running a household!

Unsurprisingly, my New Year's Resolution is to get it back on track - to have guests over to my blog and to schedule a post for at least once a week. I can't pretend I'm going to have more time, but I'm going to try to spread myself a little less thinly this year thanks to my new discovery...

Actually, I didn't discover it, a fellow blogger very helpfully recommended it...

I have been setting a timer to write for one hour at a time which has worked fantastically for me because it makes me keep on with it instead of dipping in and out of Facebook all the time while I'm supposed to be working.  I'm now going to extend that and set a timer for a maximum of , say, 10 mins a day looking at FB and another 15-30 mins on email/other internet browsing.  Three times a week I'll give myself 30 mins for catching up with blogs and/or writing mine. If I added up all the time I've spent sitting on my bum staring at a screen this year (not including writing time) I know I'd be shocked. In 2013, I'm giving my eyes a rest when the writing's done and taking myself off to do something equally productive - like cooking or reading!
So, that's my resolution for the New Year - what will yours be?

Friday, 14 December 2012

Counting Down...

Season's Greetings!

I'm counting down to Christmas - it's that final week at the day job before two glorious weeks off - and looking forward to schmaltzy films on DVD and the scent of Christmas baking every evening next week. Yay!

It's also the count-down to something else - something else I'm really looking forward to - which is the 100k in 100 Days challenge set up by Sally Quilford.  You can read about it here and it's not too late to sign up if you fancy a bit of company while you write and a challenge to boot! I already know I most likely won't do 100k in 100 days, but it will certainly encourage me to write more, which is what it's all about! There's a Facebook page

I finished a story this evening which I've submitted and now I am having a well-earned brain break until the 1st January when the challenge starts.  I may do a little planning by hand between now and then (in fact, I definitely SHOULD!) but the laptop will not be smokin'!

There's a Facebook page here for anyone interested in the 100k in 100 Days. Maybe I'll see you there in the New Year - I hope so! Message me and say 'Hi' if you're taking part!

In light of all the film-watching and baking that's going to be happening in this house from now until December 24th, I think I'll say "Bye for now," and wish you a very...


Wednesday, 5 December 2012

IWSG - Flitting!

It's the first Wednesday of the month AGAIN - how can that be? It's also the final one of this year, which is hard to believe!

I'm looking forward to hopping around to find out what everyone's insecure about this month. My insecurity this month is lack of belief in my ability to stick with a project.

I'm a flitter.  It's a fact.  I get bored easily. 

It's been strange to discover this about myself because I'm endlessly patient waiting in queues and I'm happy to sit and think my thoughts in waiting rooms or at bus stops, so it's not a case of being impatient.

Or maybe it is!

Maybe part of the trouble is that I don't have the patience to get into a project for the long-haul.  Now that I think about it, quite a few of my posts have been on this subject!

I change my mind a lot, lose heart, lose the impetus to continue...

There's no magic wand to wave. The only person who can sort this out is me.

When I start my next novel I will keep other projects on the go to dip into if I'm not feeling the love for the new one. I will try to know where each strand of the story is going but not in such a way that there is no room for change or tangents (I'm a pantster). I will bribe myself with something nice to have or do if when I get to the end. It's got to be something really good - something I will save for during the writing period.

I wonder whether I'll be whingeing the same old whinge this time next year, or whether I'll have cracked it?!

Wishing you a secure and successful 2013!

Linda x

Monday, 3 December 2012

Love and Loss

Mum aged about 58 with her cousins Keith and Michael

It would have been my mum's 70th birthday today (she died at 63) which has brought me to the theme of loss and how it has played a large part in my writing.

I hadn't realised how much loss figured in what I'd written until a colleague pointed it out to me. All but one of the stories I have had published in Woman's Weekly dealt with loss in one form or another, but I hadn't noticed! I suppose I was so busy enjoying writing them it didn't register.

There was the elderly father and daughter trying to keep their relationship together after losing the wife/mother (not autobiographical!); the woman trying to be strong as she left her dream home and life to look after her grandsons; the young woman revisiting the house where her mother committed suicide when she was a child; the old lady in a home who has lost her love and her life as she knew it; the newly-divorced man holding a birthday party for his child and steeling himself to welcome his wife's new partner into the house; the woman returning to meet her ex-husband at the place they holidayed as kids, having lost her younger sister... And then, hooray! One without a theme of loss! A woman looking for love as she works the summer in Greece doesn't have to look far as it follows her from home!

A strange thing happened, though. Once I had written all this loss out of my system, my inspiration for short stories suitable for Woman's Weekly dried up. I have only just made the link! I seem incapable of thinking up interesting storylines with a twist or surprise now that I have run out of loss!

I turned to writing erotica, to keep on being published and keep my confidence up, but am now - I think - ready to go for it with the new mainstream novel I've been plotting and hatching. It has several strands and one, I admit, is to do with loss, but I think I've moved on enough to have something else to write about.

So, Mum, Happy Birthday. You have given me a lot to write about. I wish so much you had been around to read it, but if you had been it probably wouldn't have been written or published. Such is life. And loss. And love.

Thanks for reading.  Do you have a recurring theme in your writing?