Friday, 21 March 2008

Just a quickie

This arrived yesterday, all the way from Australia! It's Etchings literary journal (published by Ilura Press) and features my story "Bookmunch" about a woman who can taste novels (she literally can, she cuts out bits of novels and puts them on her tongue - for example, humour tastes of cheese and rhubarb!). The only trouble is she can only taste emotions she's experienced before and romance is a bland nothingness...until she meets Chris.

Anyway, it's lovely to receive another publication, particularly such a beautifully put together one, with one of my stories in it (and I got paid too!). The only trouble is there's nothing left on my list of 'publications I'm waiting for' now it's appeared :o(

Because I've been so busy with my novel(s) since December my sub rate for stories has dropped massively. Whereas I used to sub about 15 stories or flashes a month that rate has now dropped to about two (if I'm lucky). I haven't subbed anything to competitions either, apart from three flashes (I really want the writing retreat holiday that is the prize for the Biscuit Publishing comp). That said I do have 11 subs out there so I've still got a reason to compulsively check the post every morning to see if anything's come back.
Eurofiction (Slingink's 10 story competition) is now over. I've already subbed one of the 10 stories I wrote over 20 weeks but there are a few more in there that can be edited and subbed so that's something to do while I mull over novel #2.
Talking of which...
I've been hearing good stuff about Cornerstones recently (an editorial/critique service for unpublished authors) and when I heard that Helen Corner, the woman who runs the business, had published a 'How to' book I had to rush out and get it. I know, I know I've already got tons of 'How to' books on the craft of writing but I was sucked in by the Amazon reviews and the fact there's a section on agents and publishers that is relevant to the UK market (most of the How to books I've got are written by Americans).
Anyway, I've been reading through it and I'm finding it fantastically helpful when it comes to thinking through novel #2. Most of what's in the book I've read before (show don't tell, POV etc) but, unlike most of my other books, it's aimed purely at the commercial author. The sections on Plot and Structure, Planning Your Story and Great Openings really got me thinking about the shape of my novel and whether the idea I've got fits the 3 Act Structure. All good stuff.

I've also ordered (but they haven't arrived yet) The Writers' Book of Hope (as mentioned in one of my previous posts) to give me a little boost (I might need it if all the agents I've sent novel #1 to hate it ;o)) and books by Rowan Coleman, Kate Harrison and Lucy Diamond. These girls know what they're doing when it comes to commercial fiction and studying 'How to' books is one thing but it's equally important to read (and study) bestselling fiction in the genre you're writing.
Hmmm... so much for this post being 'just a quickie'! Right, the cupboards are bare so I'm off to the supermarket. Oh glamorous, glamorous writer's life.


HelenMH said...

Cornerstones looks really useful - if I ever get that far! Now go and have a proper rest woman!

Leigh said...

Oh, I just love the idea fiction having flavour, and what a great idea for a story - that she can't taste romance. I love it!

I know, I'm dreadful with 'How to' books too. I had finally decided that I wouldn't buy anymore (seeing as they pretty much all say the same thing, and I'm trying not to get too bogged down by rules, and all that) but I like the sound of this one! Let me know, will you, if it's any good; I might just have to buy it!

L-Plate Author said...

Well done you! Oh to see something with my name on in

Quillers said...

Cally, do you know you're in this month's Fiction Feast? I'm not sure if they send you a copy so thought I'd give it a mention. I loved your story!

Well done on the Etchings publication :-)

KAREN said...

I've heard good things about Cornerstones. Looks like you're going to have a lot of reading to get through!

Debs said...

What an original idea for a novel. I wonder what emotions really taste like.

I love 'How To' books but can't seem to remember everything that they tell me. Have a great Easter.

Lucy Diamond said...

I've heard Cornerstones are good and like the look of that book, mmmm....
And THANKS for buying mine, you lovely person xxx

Bernadette said...

Well done, Cally. It looks like a lovely book and a wonderful idea for a story.

Lane said...

What a fantastic idea for a story.
Well done Cal!

Annie Wicking and Loman Austen said...

I found your blog very interesting and helpful.

Good luck with your novels

Best wishes

Kerry said...


I'm a new reader (and brand new blogging writer) but just wanted to say I have been enjoying your blog so much. If your book is half as well observed, funny and addictive as your blog it'll no dobt be a winner! :)Thanks for a grand read.