Friday, 20 March 2009

Could I have a few more hours in a day please?

Isn't it weird how life suddenly seems to go into fast-forward mode and you feel like you're constantly running to try and catch up?

I'm off to two different European cities next week so I've been rushing around like a mad thing to try and get everything done before I go away. Work is super busy (I've been training up a new member of staff whilst trying to keep up with my own work), my social life is hectic and whenever there's the smallest gap between the two I've been frantically scribbling away at Novel 2.

At the end of February I was 6,000 words behind the schedule I'd set for writing the first draft of Novel 2. I wasn't hugely worried because I was planning on catching up in March, which seemed pretty free at the time. Now it's not. With next week looking writing-free I've tried to fit as many words as possible into this week so I could hit 50% of the first draft done and go away without feeling too guilty. And I was doing well...

Until my editor sent me through the copy edits for Novel 1! Admittedly there weren't loads but it was one more thing to add to the 'to do' list. I wasn't sure I'd be able to get them done before I went away but tonight I nailed them!*

AND I hit 50% of the first draft of novel 1 written.

Okay so there are still LOADS of things on my 'to do' list but they're just going to have to wait until I get back next week. Writing comes first**. I know where my priorities lie!

In other exciting news - my editor also got in touch to say they've received the design for the book cover from the illustrator and she's "thrilled" with it! She wanted to take me and my agent out for tea in Liberty's to show it to us but that's on hold because I'm away next week (although she did say she'd still like to take us out some time :o)). Instead she's suggested she send us a jpg of the cover so they can work on it while I'm away if I like it. Oh god...I so, so, SO hope I do. I just emailed her the copyedits saying I'd love to see the jpg but I just know my heart will be in my mouth whenever my email inbox shows a new message tomorrow. Please, please, please let me instantly LOVE it.

What else? Oooh yes, the wonderfully thoughtful woman who is Helen got in touch to ask if I'd like to be interviewed for Trashionista.

Would I?

God yes!

I was reading Trashi back when I was writing Novel 1 and used to read the author interviews and think, "Oh God, I love that to be me one day" And now it is! It's so surreal seeing my photo gawping out from the Trashionista website and my words on the screen for all to read. Surreal but wonderful.

So yes - I may moan about how busy I am (and I frequently do on Twitter) but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Novel 2 wordcount: 45,047 / 90,000 (50.1%)

* Well, I say I've 'nailed them' but I wouldn't be surprised if I came back to a few more queries.
** Don't tell that to the VAT man, the NI man or any of the other companies that want money off me!

Friday, 13 March 2009

Pay It Forward














What a lovely surprise this morning!

I received my 'Pay it Forward' parcel from Helen. And what a lovely parcel it was.

She sent me:

- a card
- a friendship card (love the expression on the kid on the left's face - click to see it bigger)
- a fairy wishing coin
- some real, genuine fairy dust (you should have seen my jaw drop when I opened that pressie!)
- my very own millionaire so I can ditch the day job and spend the rest of my life writing (what an amazing, amazing gift!)

So now it's my turn. I'll be paying it forward and putting together my own little parcels of joy to the first three people who reply to this post (I can't promise the parcels will be as exciting as Helen's but I'll do my best).

NB: By sticking your hand in the air you agree to pay it forward to three more people on your own blog.

If you're one of the first 3 to leave a comment please email your address to: CalistroWriter@googlemail.com

Spread the joy - pay it forward! :o)

Thursday, 12 March 2009

This Morning short story competition

Breaking news...

"This Morning" is running a short story competition! Prize is publication in She magazine and a 4 day writing holiday in Istanbul.

Word count is 1,500 - 2000 and must be previously unpublished.

NB: "You must not be a professional fiction writer or ever have earned significant, regular or frequent payments for story writing."

Closing date is 23rd March so you'd better get writing!

More details here: http://www.itv.com/Lifestyle/ThisMorning/Shortstorycompetition/default.html

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

"Twitter Titters" for Comic Relief - on sale NOW!

TwitterTitters - "A tweetin’ hilarious collection of new comedy writing, selected to raise money for Comic Relief"- is on sale now!

Includes foreword by Chelsey: OMG! Writer Nat Coombs and exclusive new writing by Phoenix Nights co-creator Dave Spikey.

Also a story by me! (page 95)

And one by Lane (page 107)

Please buy a copy, have a giggle and raise money for Comic Relief in the process.

And if you're on Twitter you can follow Twitter Titters and get the latest news here

Monday, 2 March 2009

Now you see me...

...now you don't!

I seem to have got into the habit of not blogging. I blame it on lots of things but mostly my current obsession - Twitter. I seem to have got into the habit of writing less than 140 characters in a row so balk at the thought of writing a proper blog entry!

There are lots of things I want to blog about. Like...
  • the Psychic Fair I went to the other weekend (all in the name of research for my novels!)
  • the fact my Thailand writing holiday has been cancelled (due to lack of numbers) and I'm trying to decide what to do instead
  • the fact that my Story a Fortnight group is going great guns. The girls (for I have been slack and not written a story in 6 weeks) have chalked up 13 sales already this year (last year we sold 10 in nine months!)
  • the fact that Lane and I have both had stories accepted for the Twitter Titters comedy book in aid of Comic Relief and we're sharing book space with that famous comedian off the telly (and co-writer of Phoenix Nights) David Spikey! Details of how to buy a copy from Lulu.com, all proceeds to Comic Relief, coming soon!
  • the fact that I'm 6,500 words behind my schedule for novel 2 but I'm not freaking out about it
  • the fact I've got two trips to Europe planned in the next month
...but I just haven't got time!

Turns out that having a full time job (which involves a 4 hour commute two days a week), a publishing contract, various social networking sites and a social life doesn't leave much time for anything else. But I haven't stopped blogging, promise. I will be back...