Thursday, 21 June 2012

I'm not dead I'm writing...

The last time I blogged the first draft of novel 3 was 12,000 words long.

That was on the 20th April. 

Today is the 21st July and the word count is a smidgen under 52,000 words.

That's 20,000 words a month! (near enough)

It doesn't sound much - writing 5,000 words a week - but, considering the majority of my writing is done during the Spudling's 1.5 hour lunchtime nap*, I'm pretty damned pleased with that number.

It's funny, when I used to read interviews with authors who claimed they'd written their novels during maternity leave I'd think 'Oh how lovely, all that time to write while your baby sleeps happily in the corner or gurgles delightfully on the floor'. Ah ha ha ha ha ha! It's a wonder that ANYONE gets any writing done during maternity leave never mind writes an entire novel! Still, it depends how determined you are I guess. Or whether you value writing above TV (what TV?), a social life (if I ignore your call when you ring during the Spudling's nap time it's not because I don't love you it because that's valuable writing time. Much better to ring when he's awake, even if I am distracted!) or sleep (okay, so I'm not superwoman. I nap too during the Spudling's first nap of the day!). 

There are days when the words won't come or I'm too tired or my head is a fuzzy mess and I DO turn on the TV/pick up a book/stare idly into space but I have to keep writing. Even now, when I'm halfway through novel 3 and the initial enthusiasm has worn off and it feels more like a slog than fun, I have to keep writing. My life is so very, very different now (in a million wonderful ways as well as 'How is it possible to be quite so fascinated by a small person's poop'?) but writing is the one part of me that is unchanged. When I write I'm not 'Mummy' and I'm not 'Spudling's Mum' (it's amazing how, when you meet someone at a mother and baby group, you focus in on the child's name and not the mum's) I'm Cally. And there's a character in my head demanding I tell her story. Damn her!   

Anyway, I'm back to work (my other work - the e-learning job) at the beginning of September and I just know I'm going to be even more exhausted than I am now (no more day naps for a start!) so I need to get as much of Novel 3 written as I can before then. Ideally I'd like to have finished the first draft by 1st September. Anyone want to race me? (Womag writer already is!). If you do I'll try and post my wordcount more often so we can compare notes.
In other news the fabulous 100 RPM project has been published as an ebook. It's a brilliant collection of 100, 100 word flash fiction stories that are based on YouTube videos with all profits going to the charity One in Four (a registered charity which provides support and resources to people who have experienced sexual abuse and sexual violence.). 

My story is based on the Clayhill cover of The Smiths song 'Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want' (check it out at the end of the blog post). 

If you love super short stories or you want to study some truly excellent pieces of flash fiction they can be yours for the bargain price of £1.99. That's just 2p a story! Get it on Amazon

What else? Oh, I stumbled across this 'editing' website the other day. It's not for serious editing, obviously but looks quite good fun if you want to see how many cliches you've inadvertently included in your novel. I haven't actually tried it yet (as I'm still in first draft mode) but I used something similar when editing HEAVEN CAN WAIT and it pointed out a few bloopers I'd missed. 

Crimefest was in Bristol the other month and it was lovely to catch up with fellow writers Helen Hunt and Mel Sherratt. I even went to a day of talks myself as one of the topics appealed. Wish I'd gone to the talk on 'The Killing' too as some of actors from the original show were touted to appear. Anyone know who?

I'll be removing my crime head in July, however, and fixing my romance head in it's place (ala Worzel Gummidge) as I'm off to Cumbria for the RNA conference. I can...not...wait! Last year I won the Elizabeth Goudge trophy but was pregnant so couldn't celebrate. This year I get to present the trophy to the new winner and the champers is on me! Well, for the people sitting at my table anyway. I'm also looking forward to going to some amazing sounding talks by Julie Cohen, Kate Harrison, Tamysn Murray and Miranda Dickinson. 

Exciting news came my way last week in the form of an email about a possible foreign language film adaptation of HOME FOR CHRISTMAS. I can't say more until contracts have been signed (and even then there's no guaranteeing that the film will be made) but to say I'm excited would be an understatement - even if I won't be able to understand a word of the finished film! 

Talking of Facebook - I'm much better at updating it than I am this blog so if you want little bite-sized morsels of news as and when I post them (not that often, promise) then do please 'like' me there -

Right, it's getting late so that's it from me, update wise. How are you? What are you working on at the moment? Want a link to your blog? Leave a message and I'll update my blog roll the next time I post. Lurkers - unveil yourselves, I know there are a few of you about. Do say hello :)

*lovely boyfriend, lovely parents and lovely sister-in-law also take the Spudling off my hands whenever they can so I can snatch a few extra hours writing time. I love them all dearly. 


Bernadette said...

Cally, as always you are a veritable whirlwind. Pleased to hear it's all going so well and everything crossed for the film possibility - how exciting!

B x

liz fenwick said...

Cally - brilliant news that you'll be at the conference and even better news your writing!


Rebecca Alexander said...

Your blog posts have been an inspiration to me, especially your journey through the publishing process. And a foreign film - sounds so classy!

Christine Murray said...

I'm a foster mother, and I looked after a premature baby for three months. Writing with a baby is hard and exhausting, and 5,000 words p/w is impressive.

Cally said...

Bernadette - it is very exciting! I get a free trip to the premier if the film is made and I've never been to the country in question. Everything crossed!

Liz - ooh does that mean you're going too? Be lovely to see you and catch up.

Rebecca - that's very kind of you to say, thank you

Christine - Wow. HUGE kudos to you for being a foster mother during the most sleepless months of a baby's life. I couldn't do that. Seven months of broken nights damned near broke me!

Mama J said...

Glad to hear your new book is coming along nicely. Loved Heaven Can Wait and Home for Christmas so looking forward to another fab book.

Cally said...

MamaJ - This book is a bit different. I'll be very curious to hear what you think!

Karen said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jenni_Nolan said...

Hi there, I have tagged you for the Liebster Blog Award! See for details.