Monday, 25 February 2013

Cornerstones Competition

Yay - I managed to get my entry in to Belper Short Story competition in time (I hope. I'm trusting the Post Office on that one!) so my next project, which has come out of the blue, is to enter the Cornerstones Wow competition.

I've seriously considered buying a Cornerstone critique anyway (and, no doubt, I will one day) so I'd love the prize - which is a critique of your novel. I've unearthed my second novel, which I haven't found a great title for yet, and begun to transfer it to Scrivener, in the hope that will make it easier to edit (again) and perhaps to improve the plot. I'm not sure what I hope to improve in the next three weeks - the deadline is the end of March.

Part of me wonders how much that matters - surely anyone whose novel is perfect, or very nearly so, has no need of a critique service..? If flaws are an advantage, then I'm really in with a chance on this one!  But perhaps they're not. I'm entering because I can't win if I don't, and because it shows some faith in me; I suppose my promise to myself to enter a competition every month is lowering some of my inhibitions about entering - it's so easy to be fearful of making yourself ridiculous, or of failing - else I might not have considered it at all.

Good luck to everyone who enters this one!

As a post-script, on Scrivener the length of chapters is very clear. I've been shocked to discover that Chapter 2 has seven scenes, while Chapter 2 has only two. (Chapter 3 has ten). How have I not noticed this in all the read-throughs and edits I've done? It's true that a change of view can bring a whole new perspective!

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Staying awake long enough to write...

The children have resorted to guerrilla tactics to distract me from my writing goals this week. I've shaken off the 'flu, and reluctantly emerged from my blanket-cave on the sofa. When I was recuperating, I wasn't well enough to go to work (and my voice had deserted me), but I was well enough to put in some serious reading and writing time  - more than I've had since I became a mother, probably.

The children, perhaps sensing on some level that I was cavorting with another love in my life, stuck a stick through my spokes and have enthusiastically embraced my illness, spread it around amongst one another (such good sharing!) and are making it linger for as long as possible. Last night, at bedtime, three of them sat in a line, mouths agape for their dose of Calpol, and not one had a temperature below 39...then two of them spent the night needing Mummy (so precious to be needed, and to know that just your arms can make a little germ-grenade of a child calmer and happier). My other half gracefully decamped to the sofa, muttering about no sleep for five nights, and something about my snoring, so the children had extra space to twist and turn into their own sheet-cocoons. They elbowed me, deadened my arm lying on it, sneeze-blitzed my chest, and generally kept me awake most of the night.

And two of my self-imposed deadlines are looming on the horizon - thank goodness I got ahead of myself with my year of short stories, but I'd really like to enter these two other comps.Time to  buy more medication, I think, and then try some caffeine therapy for myself...

Wednesday, 13 February 2013


I am currently on day five of the free Scrivener trial, and I love it! It's great that it's set up exactly for my needs, even to the point that I don't have to make my own front-sheet for each writing project (how lazy must I be that this is a selling point?!) So far I've imported all my character sheets and some of my plottings and plannings into it, which was easy. I've added a few photographs, and am excited about the idea of writing in 'scenes' which can be manoeuvred, so that I don't necessarily have to write in the order I would usually. I don't know yet if that will work well for me in practice, but I love the idea!
So excited. Wasn't sure anything could make me enjoy writing more, but Scrivener might just have done it!

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Here's February!

There are two comps I'd like to enter this month, so I'm going to be doubly busy...what a shame I'm also extra busy at work, as a colleague is off sick for a few weeks, and I'm gathering up the slack. Home is quite busy, too - my lovely husband has a friend coming to stay next week, and this has triggered a chain of slightly obsessive tendencies.

The house must be clean (and not just the 'communal' rooms). If I'm cleaning, I might as well do it properly, and shift everything, and clean under, behind and on top of everything. But before that, I really need to tackle the mould that is threatening to take over the bedrooms (we've spent so much trying to eliminate the damp, and the problems don't go away).

If only I could persuade the lovely husband to take as much interest in this as I am, perhaps there'd be time and energy for more writing....but if I can get my two comps entered, I'll be content. I hope the writing work I'm doing has some merit though, and isn't just for the sake of saying I've achieved my 'comp a month' aspiration.