Wednesday, 25 September 2013

18. Busy Days Ahead

I don’t know where the time’s gone. What’s happened to September? Well that old adage ‘time flies when you’re having fun’ certainly has me well within its grasp. I promise no husband, children or pets were completely abandoned these past few weeks because I was here in body. My mind however...

In just a thousand or so words I’ll be finished my latest novella, which will then rest for a few weeks until I’m ready to edit. Hopefully it will wow the publisher I’m coveting. I’m pleased with the way it’s come along. No doubt, there’ll be errors to fix but it’s hard to beat the feeling of accomplishment for another story that’s (almost) complete and what a joy it was to write.

Then there are the competition stories. I had a good run with competitions last month as you know from the previous blog, but that doesn’t stop the nerves from resurfacing when you enter a new one. RWA has a new competition this year called ‘The Ripping Start’. I’ve entered the first few pages of my novella. Soon I’ll have feedback on those pages and see where I can improve. Of course, a win would be lovely but it’s the impact I’m after. I’ll elaborate on this further along.

RWA also has a Little Gems competition at the end of the year. Our gem this year is Moonstone. I’m also excited about this one as I have a few ideas in mind of where to take this story. This will be my third Little Gems competition. I’ve done well with this one (though not enough to earn a place in the anthology) but who knows, it might be my turn this year. :)

My local writing group also has a competition due in November. It’s an open theme, which is both a challenge and a joy at the same time. I’ve started writing this one too. It began as one of those random ideas for homework that went off on its own tangent. I’m trying to discourage myself from doing too much pantstering(Writing by the seat of one’s pants). I know that’s not a real word but that’s how one describes someone who writes randomly and allows the story and characters to take over and lead where they may.  Instead, I’m concentrating more on plotting my stories and giving them structure to build on (which I did with my novella and mostly kept it on track). ;)

That reminds me, I have next month’s writers group homework to do too....

Now it hasn’t all been about writing these past few weeks. I’ve made time to get some reading done too, hence the house looking like a bomb, a cyclone and a horde of demons had a mash-up in it. I’ve reviewed these writers before, but I’ve found new favourites of theirs to read. :)

I mentioned in the last blog that I’d won a copy of Ms Annie West’s latest book – ‘Imprisoned by a Vow’ as well as having purchased a copy the day before so I’m pleased to announce that I have Ms West’s permission to offer this second copy as a gift. All you have to do is either make a comment on my blog or on Face Book and the copy could be on its way to you. Once you’ve read it, I’ve no doubt Ms West would love to hear from you too. Reviews are a great way to support authors. :)

In reference to the Ripping Start contest, this book’s opening pages would easily win. I instantly knew who the protagonist and antagonist were. I sympathised and yet was angry for the heroine and I wanted her to achieve her goals. As for the hero, I wanted to grab him by the lapels and give him a good shake. Ms West’s characters are always realistic. You feel what they feel, want what they want, feel frustrated when they make mistakes and cheer when they triumph and this story is no exception. On a personal note, Leila (the heroine) has an inner strength that I admire because the frightening thing is, her situation at the beginning of the story is all too real. No one should endure what she did. You know the writing is exceptional when you are made to feel anything that strongly.

I also read Ms Jenny Schwartz’s ‘Drawing Closer’. It is because of this wonderful writer that I ventured into the world of novellas. Ms Schwartz is an expert in compacting extensive detail, passion, emotion and wonderment into just a fraction of words. She doesn’t skimp on anything. I’d be thrilled if I could follow her lead. Drawing Closer is Zoe and Nick’s story – two artists, she a painter and he a sculptor, who share a studio on what’s meant to be an impersonal level, yet each harbour feelings for the other. Her build-up of intimacy between the two is so clever and as in any good romance story, love will always find a way. You won’t be disappointed.

Ms Margaret Sutherland’s latest release will tug at your heartstrings. Anyone with an affinity with animals, especially dogs, will love this story. ‘Seven Little Words’ is sweet, gentle, romantic and then Ms Sutherland throws you a curve ball that compels you to keep turning the pages to make sure ALL the characters get their happily ever after. I was cursing Ms Sutherland when I got to one particular scene. Where was my ‘tissues required’ warning? Cathy and David were compelling characters but what really tore at my emotions were the relationships and trials they had with David’s father and Cathy’s grandmother. Best of all I liked how Cathy and David didn’t play any games. They really communicated with each other and they listened. That was such a refreshing change. Finally, as I have family in Newcastle, NSW, I loved all the landmark references. I felt like I was right there where the action was, the places were all so familiar.

Well, best keep going. Like time and tide, writing waits for no one. :)


  1. You sound busy! I can't wait to read your novella, so I already have my fingers crossed for when you sub it -- and you haven't even started editing :)

    I have to agree, I think "Moonstone" for Little Gems sets all sorts of ideas racing. Maybe we can both have stories in the antho? I must follow your example and get writing!

    And thank you for the lovely review of Drawing Closer, D.

    1. I hope all that finger crossing works Jenny (and that you can still type your stories while doing so) ;) I'd be thrilled to appear in an anthology with you but I'm not on your level as yet. Maybe one day. :)

      You're very welcome for the review. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. :)

  2. Hi D!

    Nice update on where you are with your writing. I do think there is a word omission in your second paragraph, first line.

    Good luck with your contests!

    Much Love, T

    1. Thanks for the good wishes, T. Much appreciated. At least now with this update (blog) done I can get stuck into the competition entries. :)