Sunday, 31 October 2010

Grasp some good luck

This time of year, in particular Samhain or Halloween can be such a magical time of year.

Whether it's children having fun with carving pumpkins, bobbing for apples or telling ghost stories around a fire, it's all part of celebrating the new cycle.

The end of summer for some people may feel horrible, but there are so many wonderful things that we can still enjoy if we embrace this new cycle of long dark nights and short days if we do not let the weather spoil our plans.

We can't do anything about the weather, so I try to think of positive ways to fight back if it becomes extreme, as it did last year in my case with the amount of snow we had where I live.

I shall spend more time writing because if it's dark and cold outside I feel more inclined to stay inside and be creative. I love sitting at my desk with a howling storm outside. I feel that I spend most of the year building up to this point of the year when I can be at my most productive.

In spring I started to sow some seeds, little ideas of what I wanted to write about. During the summer months I sat in the sun with my note pad, cultivating my ideas and helping them to grow.

In September I started to harvest those ideas. I moved them from a notepad onto my computer, keeping them safe for the long dark months ahead.

Now I will start to use my crop. A crop which will last me the whole winter. I hope to be sending a lot of submissions to various publishers in 2011, but I need this time to prepare for it it.

It was thought in ancient times that bobbing for apples would help a person to grasp good fortune - a bit of luck with one bite!

Here goes, my apples are waiting for me!

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

W H Smiths Author's Events

I got my first book sale in Wellington W H Smiths last week.

Catherine Cooper, Shropshire author of the Golden Acorn and Brit Writers award winner had arranged for many of the Shropshire writers to attend book selling events at the store throughout October. I have attended a few similar events like this in the past but this was the first time I got some sales. Perhaps it was the excellent position that we had been given which was near to the entrance of the store or maybe because we were right next to the chocolate stand, whatever the reason, it worked.

I was very pleased to be sitting next to my Mother who was selling her books and also in the company of Simon Whaley who has had nine of his books published.

As you see Simon pictured below did not really have a big enough table to display all of his publications, he is already working towards his tenth book, so will probably need an entire isle in the future!

It's always a wonderful and fun experience to attend these events, even though I never expect to sell many of my books, it's a great atmosphere and to actually see the people face to face who are interested in your work is such a lovely feeling.

Selling books on-line or any other way is not as special as talking to someone who is actually interested and prepared to hand over money for your work so hope to attend many further events like this.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Get em off!

No, I am not acting in a carry on film, I'm talking about submissions.

After attending the brilliant workshop on Saturday with Lynne Barret-Lee, which was part of the Wellington Literary Festival, I felt so motivated and as though anything is possible if you keep trying.

With three days off work I have spent the whole morning writing. I sent another letter to a Writing magazine and finished a children's story which I have just posted.

It's a lovely feeling to stand in front of a bright shiny red postbox and slip that envelope into it's gaping mouth, feeding it's empty belly with my work. I always feel like that is the first step towards success - just getting stuff out there in the first place and it's a similar feeling when you press the send button for an emailed submission - pure magic!

It was strange as when I had posted my story I saw an elderly gentleman walking towards me. He dropped something and was totally unaware of it. As I got near to him I could see it was a £20 note. I picked it up and called him back and the joy on his face was priceless, he looked at me in almost disbelief that I had handed it to him and not just pocketed it and walked away. I suppose I was his bit of luck today in that I was honest and gave the money back. (even though I could do with it!)

The reason I mention this story is that I believe that having any success in writing or anything else we do depends on two things, firstly yourself and your own actions (sending something off) and then others ( the editor) in reacting to your work and saying yes!

But of course it has to start with you and your submissions by getting them off in the first place!

Carry on writing!

Sunday, 10 October 2010

A much needed boost

After the excitement of attending Catherine Cooper's celebration party, my motivation dipped a little when I received another three rejections for my novel and a children's story. I was impressed again with the comments some had given me though as each time, it allows me to take a little comfort that I simply need to find the right place and not that my work isn't good enough. I am still trying to find an Agent, but this is proving just as difficult as finding a publisher.

However, my confidence soared when I found out that my letter had been published in Writers News this month. I was secretly hoping that it would go in as the editor had emailed to say he read it with interest, but never the less, it was a great boost to see my name in print again. It really made me want to write more letters as it's a good way to gain experience too.

My letter was about using friends and family to give feedback on work. I have always found it extremely useful as I am forever passing work to my Mom and Husband for an outside opinion. Of course I would love to produce a perfect piece of work first time without pestering anyone, but unfortunately for me, that is not the case. I find I get so wrapped up in a story that my imagination can sometimes go astray and my attention to detail suffers, so it's great if someone can pull me back and point out what I am doing wrong.

Today is 10/10/10 and supposed to be a very lucky day. I have used it well so far and managed to get my novel and a story ready for posting to another publisher tomorrow and have produced an action plan of submissions for the next month or so.

Fingers crossed I may have some luck in the future.