Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Moving Forward

So, we've finally moved - by this I mean no more interim moves, no more storing things in people's garages and attics - we have moved lock, stock and barrel into a proper family home! It's been a long time coming, and yet, now we're here, I think it will be a while before I feel settled. Over the past 20 years, I've moved house far too many times (I've lost count but reckon it might be around 30) and so have got used to feeling almost rootless (thank goodness my parents never moved or I really would be lost!). So, it feels alien to have reached this point. But I'm looking forward to being 'normal'. The first step was getting R's name down for a good pre-school earlier today.
And, although we still have far too many boxes to unpack and we have to get our 'old' house ready for rental, I'm looking forward to making some headway with the second draft of my children's novel. I've summarised the plot chapter-by-chapter, examined the story arc and begun looking at the character arc. After much deliberation, and a bit of experimentation, I've come to the conclusion that the story should probably be changed from the third person to the first person, or it should be at least mostly in the first person with some in the the third (if I can make it work?!). But it's going to be one heck of a job, especially as the first draft's around 80,000 words. My alpha readers mostly agree with me, but B thinks it's a totally mad thing to do - maybe he's right, but if that's what it takes to write a good book...
Last night I saw John Connolly the crime author at our local town hall. He was highly entertaining and insightful and when I'm less tired I'll try and summarise the evening properly in a blog post. K and N, two of my writing friends, met him aftwerwards and told me later what a genuine and honest bloke he was, which I found refreshing for such an established author.
October is going to be a cracking month for writing/literature festivals with events at Morley, Ilkley, Wakefield and Hebden Bridge. Although why they have to be at the same time of year as each other is a mystery, as surely they would have more attendees if they were spread throughout the year? Just a thought. Anyway I've booked myself onto various workshops at Morley and HB, which will (hopefully) spur me on to finish my second draft during the autumn and winter. Now that really would be moving forward.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

The Teeniest, Tiniest Droplet...

It's been a hectic but inspiring week. We're half-way through moving and for the last week we've been shuttling between our old house, our new house and my parents' house. Thank goodness for my parents who've been minding R while we pack, lift and shift boxes, and making sure we're fed properly at least once a day!
For two days I had to leave B to soldier on without me when I was struck down with a bug. It also meant I missed a writing workshop in Leeds, which was a real shame. But thankfully I made it to the R.L. Royle workshop at Brighouse Library, which was fun and inspiring. So much so that it has helped me work out a way to improve my novel and got me writing some fresh prose despite all this 'moving madness' - thanks Rebecca! :) In fact I can't wait to get cracking on my book again, which is how it should be!
I also met several interesting people, a couple of whom might come along to our Cleckheaton Writers' Group sometime soon.
Sadly the chaos of moving house meant that I was too late to get tickets for any of the Ilkley Literature Festival workshops that I wanted to do, but hey, you can't have everything. And I have got myself booked on a couple of workshops at the Morley Literature Festival, so it's not all bad.
For the last few days I've been feeling hugely inspired by the paralympians - not just by the GB athletes but by every competitor - they are truly amazing people and each one has an incredible story. It just goes to show what you can achieve if you believe in something enough, although of course you must also dedicate most of your life to it. So, if I can apply the teeniest, tiniest droplet of that inspiration and dedication to my writing, maybe just maybe...