Hi, I don't know if I am doing this right, but we will see if it makes it to my blog page. I had a good day yesterday. I added 500 words towards my first draft of my second children's novel. I just hope I can manage to keep the flow going the rest of the week.
Once again we had a lovely time at Penny's on Tuesday, this time at her new house in Nantwich. The heat could have been a little less oppressive but even a hugely successful Mills & Boon author can't control the weather!
Iona's doing well. She's been asked for revisions on her manuscript so that sounds promising. Fingers and toes are firmly crossed. Mind you, the toe crossing is making wearing new shoes somewhat difficult!
The biography that Richard's writing is drawing to an end now and he has another project on the back burner waiting for his attention. He asked if anybody knew of a good commercial lawyer in the Nantwich area but sadly, none of us did. Anybody?
Shirley and Joan and still writing their crime novel together as well as their individual HMB romances. One's targeting Tender while the other's writing for Medical, although I'm afraid I couldn't tell you who is doing what. Maybe a comment from one of them will clear that up.
Iona's daughter had loved Kate's children's story so it seems it's just a matter of finding the right agent now. Not the easiest task in the world, as any writer knows, but I'm sure determination will pay off in the end.
As for Penny, she has more than enough work to keep her going for the moment. What with the Neroli book she's writing for HMB and the third in the series of her WWII Liverpool based saga for Harper Collins, the deadline for which is looming dangerously close, I've no idea how she's ever going to find time to get herself sorted in the new house. Still, there's no hurry, I suppose.
As always I came away from the meeting feeling more enthusiastic than ever. Just being with other writers, especially such a lovely bunch of them, really makes a difference because try as they might, friends who don't write just don’t understand when you say that you have characters speaking to you in your head! Barmy? Of course not, but they seem to think so.
What a wonderful evening it was for Richard and I! Both Iona and Penny had bought champagne with which our engagement was celebrated! And out of some beautiful glasses that were, if my memory serves me well (it doesn't usually but there's always hope), Polish. Or was that Hungarian? Or Romanian, even? Wherever, the were gorgeous and said to be lucky so let's hope some of that rubs off on the future for every group member.
The evening was pretty much dominated by discussions related to the process of becoming a HMB author and what we could expect if we're lucky (determined?) enough to be accepted. I suppose it's only natural being a 4 of the 7 members present are targeting HMB and 1 -- that one being Penny, of course -- is already one of their authors. The two remaining members write children's fiction (hi, Kate) and biographies (hi, Richard) and may have felt a little left out at times.
Chris, Carole and Christopher weren't present this week. Christopher had been working on a biography in Wales and Carole's away on her hols but where Chris was, nobody knows. If you're reading this, Chris, you were missed :-)
Apart from working on their individual HMB stories, Shirley and Joan are also writing a crime story together. We all agreed that they're incredibly clever to be able to do that but they found it quite natural and something that, as sisters, they've done since they were very young. Penny suggested they use their personal blogs to write about their experiences of writing together as she (and the rest of us agreed) felt that it would make interesting reader for other writers considering following the same route.
Come on, girls. Get blogging :-)
As always, a good time was had by all and once again a huge thank you to Penny for giving up her time for us.
Sharon, - lovely posts re your engagement. I am so pleased for you both.
All the comments made me think that we should perhaps have a 'how I got engaged' page; for Tales of the Ring, both true and false!
Following Steve's death I took off my wedding and engagement rings, and replaced them with a new, and rather gorgeous ring - my widowhood ring. I thought it was rather a meaningful gesture, but exactly the kind of meaning it could seem to have in other eyes was brought home to me the other day when I was told the following joke
'The stone his widow bought when John died cost nearly $35,000.' 'Wow,that must be some headstone.' 'Yeah, she spent the kids inheritance on a three carat diamond.'
or words to that effect.
Mine though reminds me, in the very best of ways, of Steve. Oh and I paid for it myself out of my own money.
Hi everyone. Our next meeting will be this Tuesday, 2nd May. Hope to see you all there.
This was posted on one of my loops and I thought some of you might find it interesting.
The Fish-Knife Award > Opens: 1 May 2006 > Closes: 17September 2006 > Judges: TBC > > Fish Publishing, in conjunction with the Crime Writers' Association are > introducing The Fish-Knife Award, the Short Crime-fiction Award 2006. > This competition offers a top prize of €1,500 plus an engraved silver > Fish-knife, and publication as the title story in the Fish-Knife > Anthology 2007. Nine runners up will receive an award of €100 and will > also be published in the anthology. > > This Award is all about crime. From high treason to petty larceny, what > we are looking for is high quality writing with a crime based theme up > to a maximum of around 5,000 words. Also, and for the first time, this > is an On-line only competition. > > Full details of this competition can be found at The Fish-Knife Award. > > > > Short Histories II and the Historical One Page Prize > Opens: 1 May 2006 > Closes: 17 September 2006 > Judges: TBC > > Given the success of last years inaugural Historical Short Fiction Award > and the very well received Short Histories Anthology' All the King's > Men, Fish Publishing, once again in conjunction with the Historical > Novel Society, are proud to introduce Short Histories II,. the Short > Historical Fiction Award 2006, This competition offers a top prize of > €1,500 and publication as the title story in the Short Histories > Anthology 2007. Nine runners up will receive an award of €100 and will > also be published in the anthology. > > At the same time, and as part of the same Anthology, Fish are > introducing the Historical One Page Prize, for historical short fiction > gems that only take up one page of the anthology. This part of the > competition offers a first prize of €1,000 and the winning very short > story and four runners-up (who will each receive a €100 prize) will also > appear in the Short Histories Anthology 2007. > > These Awards are of course all about history. From Egyptian Pharoahs to > English Knights, from Byzantium to Bay of Pigs, what we are looking for > is high quality writing with a historical theme up to a maximum of > around 5,000 words. Also, for the first time, these are On-line only > competitions. > > Full details of both these competitions can be found at Historical Short > Fiction Prize 2006. > > > > > The best short stories, writing contests & writing competitions > Fish Publishing Durrus, Bantry, Co. Cork Ireland > t: 027 55645 e: email@example.com > > www.fishpublishing.com >
I'm the vacant one at the back who enjoys throwing what the Americans would call "a spitball" at the meetings. Well, we can't have everybody agreeing all the time, can we? Occasional bursts of inspiration pepper my almost permanent block and this extends as much to my blogging activities as my writerly ones, hence my late arrival here. This is much to the chagrin of Sharon of course, whose hard work setting all this up on her old noisy laptop disrupted my sleep patterns for several weeks but certainly didn't deserve me turning up late to the party. Apologies all round.
Feel like I'm joining everyone else after a long hike over rough terrain, and given my almost pathological aversion to exercise that's no mean feat. In our house we are currently experiencing some extreme technological difficulties, which makes connecting to the internet a little less easy than sending smoke signals from the top of an active volcano. Frustrating? Just a bit. Especially as there's a teensy weensy chance that I could get an email from the lovely editor I've been dealing with at HMB at some point....
Now I love my computer in the same way as I love my car, ie. they are both excellent ways of accessing shopping opportunities. But I have no idea how either of them work, which is why I am in open-mouthed awe of Sharon for setting this whole thing up. As far as I'm concerned the internet works through a combination of advanced electrical engineering and pixie dust, and we seem to be fresh out of dust. If anyone has any more scientific suggestions as to what the problem could be I'd be only too grateful to hear them.... If I can get back online, that is.
Anyway, before I disappear back into offline isolation, hello to everyone in the group. Oh, and get back to the writing instead of hanging around on here you bunch of slackers.
Just a brief 'hello' from me at this stage. I'm off to London on Tuesday,primarily to attend the RNA Award Lunch at the Savoy on Thursday, but I shall also be seeing my Agent and my Harpercollins editor whilst I'm in London. I write as Annie Groves for Harpercollins
I've opted this year to sit at a table with my fellow Mills & Boon writers (last year I sat at the Harpercollins table - what it is to be popular (vbg)- I write as Penny Jordan for HMB
I shall also be catching up with some of my writing friends, and finding out all the current gossip about what's hot and what's not in the writing world.
I shall try to do a proper post on the week when I get back.
I can't go without saying a huge 'thank you' to Sharon for all her hard work in setting up our site. Our group has been running for over a year now and it's given me such a lot, in terms of making new friends and being with people who inspire me creatively.
Last night we had our writers' group meeting at Penny's house. It was the first meeting I'd managed to get to so far this year so I'd been looking forward to it and was relieved when my health held out, even though I'd been struggling during the afternoon and wasn't entirely sure I'd make it.
There were so many faces I hadn't seen since either New Year's Eve at Penny's or longer. It was good to catch up.
Penny was her usual inspirational self, full of fun and giggles. And it was probably mostly down to her comment that I'm not focused enough that I decided to do some serious writing time management so today I downloaded an alarm clock programme and decided that every day I'd give myself a set time where I'd write. Today I wrote from 11:30 - 12:30 and managed to get 1,202 words down in that time. I turned off email and my web browser so that I wouldn't be distracted and decided that any research could be done after my allotted hour and filled in later. It worked :)
I am far more focused on actually finishing a story this time, though. It will happen! It will, honestly.
Luckily I'm one of two members who isn't worried about rejection. My philosophy is that if it doesn't sell, what's changed? My life will remain exactly as it was. Nobody will have died because of it and no other tragedy will have occurred. And there's always another story. One day they'll buy one... I hope :-)
Finally, a big GOOD LUCK to Iona who's been asked to submit her entire manuscript for the Mills & Boon Modern line (that's Harlequin Presents in the US). No doubt she's banging away at her laptop right at this minute, getting that last chapter finished.