Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Snakes and Ladders

Over the last few days, I feel like I have been playing a mad game of snakes and ladders as far as my writing is concerned.

I was heading up hill with so many ideas and submissions out there. I posted a story on Monday and was full of hope. But then the first snake sent me slithering back a few steps as my novel 'Red Kite' was rejected. It had been with a publisher for six months and so when I received the huge manuscript back, it was a bit of a blow this time. I felt I was so close as they had asked to see so much of it and gave me wonderful comments, they like my style but alas, it was not to be, apparently it is not commercial enough for them.

Then a wonderful ladder appeared in the form of a phone call from a local farm shop who have been stocking my book 'One Hundred Ways For A Chicken to Train Its Human' they said it had sold out and so needed more copies, wonderful news and I have had to order a new supply to give to them.

True to the game my next snake came only a few hours ago when reading a magazine about up-and-coming Children's books. I discovered that a character I had created months ago was already out there and doing very well with a major publisher, I felt deflated to start with but then thought to myself at least it was a great idea! I just didn't get there first.

It's quite magical in a way, I was born in the year of the snake according to the Chinese calender, and I really am fascinated by the creatures.

The picture above is of Sabby, my little wooden snake who sits on my coffee table every day just watching the mad life of a struggling writer who hopes that one day her snake will become a ladder to success.

Friday, 20 August 2010

So what! It's raining!

I know this dreadful weather is getting on every one's nerves, but today it really worked for me. I had originally booked this day off work in January in the hope that I would get a day pottering about in the garden and sunbathing with the chickens, but it was not to be. When I saw the pelting raindrops beating against my window first thing this morning, I decided I would turn it into writing day.

I started by re-working a children's story and getting it ready for submission next week.

I have also had a go at my first 'Writers CV'.

Working in a Jobcentre, I am looking at CV's all the time, but to produce a 'Writers CV' of my own was so hard. It's so different to a work CV but with the much appreciated help of Simon Whaley, I have now come up with something that I hope to use in the future when sending off a submission that requires one.

Most places don't even ask for a CV but I was thrown the other day when I wanted to send an idea to them and they asked for one.

I am quite pleased with my result ( it even went over two pages!) and hope that it will get longer in time if I enjoy more writing success.

So, I guess this post is about using the weather to help our writing. If you enjoy sunshine,snow,wind or even rain - let it inspire you to come up with ideas - on the other hand it may keep you inside to get those ideas onto paper!

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Interviewing chickens

I enjoyed a wonderful week off work recently and met up with Robert Green from Talking Newspapers for the blind.

He came to interview the hens and have a chat with me.

It was a wonderful experience and we talked about why I had been inspired to write my book 'One Hundred Ways For A Chicken To Train Its Human'

The reason soon became clear and as soon as I let my hens out, they were more than happy to meet Robert and tell him in their own way why chickens are so inspiring for people to write about.

I was worried that they would not be too vocal or would get shy at being interviewed, but Robert, armed with microphone in one hand and corn in the other soon had them eating out of his hand as you can see in the photo above.

It was a wonderful experience for me too. I am looking forward to hearing the interview on CD at some point as Robert hopes to record extracts from my book along with the interview and put it onto the talking newspapers for the blind as a small humour feature.

It is often said that we should never work with children or animals - but in this case, it certainly went according to plan.