When I went to London all was well. When I came back, PC was doing strange things. It won't let me send email, won't let me post on Blogger, won't let me upload files to my yahoo email account or anywhere else.
It's really frustrating because I need the Internet in order to send work to my clients, but it's being really naughty. I'm hoping that now that dear daughter has left to go back to her beloved, things will be better (we have a theory that the laptop she was using has been conflicting with mine).
I'm now posting from Richard's PC but can't use it often because he uses it for work. Just wanted to tell you all that I haven't forgotten you, that I'm still writing and that I'm missing you all something dreadful.
Nothing much to report on the writing front. I've been too busy getting my paid work wound up before I leave to put much into the book but I've made notes and written another couple of hundred words. Not a lot, I know, but a little is better than nothing, yeah? The laptop will be coming with me so that I can write while I'm stuck on my pump during the mornings. I could go long-hand but I know I'd just end up with cramp in my fingers so I'm better off with the lappy.
What else? Nothing much at all. It's too hot to even think, let alone do anything.
LINK Today I'm going to head you in the direction of Trish Wylie's blog. She has a really interesting 'course' going to help us newbies understand more about the mechanics of writing. I've been following it so far but haven't the time to read the latest installment as I really have to log off and get on with baking a cake now. Nip over and have a look, though. She's being lovely for sharing her knowledge with us.
Today I received my first rejection letter. HM&B didn't want Leo & Sherry's story. What's more, they so didn't want it that all they afforded me was the standard rejection letter without so much as a name on it.
I can't say I'm surprised; I was never entirely happy with the story. As I've said before (but some of you may not have been around back then), it started life as a 'Modern' but changed to a 'Tender' about half way through. That meant a considerable amount of re-writing, but even when it was finished, the story never really felt right - it just felt as though it was neither one thing or another. But I figured that since I'd written it, sending it off couldn't do any harm. So I did. And here I am, less than two weeks later, thinking "well at least that means I don't have to hang around before I can submit the next one."
I'm really surprised at the speed of their turn around. Everybody said it'd be at least three months before I heard anything but 10 days? Does that mean that somebody read the first page and thought "rubbish", printed off a rejection letter and sent it straight back? Probably.
But looking on the bright side, a standard rejection is the worse possible result so things can either stay the same or improve - they can't get worse!
And as I've always said, life goes on.
LINK Today's link is "Rejection Collection" - the writer's and artist's on-line source for misery, commiseration and sob stories. After reading some of the stories of editors responding to submissions with letters telling the author that his or her work stunk and basically to give up writing, my rejection letter sounded positively... well, positive!
Right now I'm enjoying the last hours of 10 days of peace. This afternoon my youngest child returns from Norway with her older sister (my middle child) in tow. We're now going back to listening to loud music, doors slamming, and taxi-ing young people to various parts of the town and surrounding areas at ridiculous times of the day and night. In other words, all will be back to normal.
It'll be lovely seeing Lise again. Now that she's living back in Norway, it's not as if I can pop round for a coffee and a natter. November last year was the last time I saw her. Mind you, she phones several times a week so I don't miss her as much as you might think. And anyway, our children are meant to grow up, fly the nest and set out into the big wide world alone, aren't they? Just as long as she knows I'll always be here to catch her if she falls, she'll be ok.
<-- That's her when she was little. They grow up so quickly! Linn Marie will probably have lots of talk about when she gets back, too, so I'm not expecting to get much work done today. I'm going to write one article now before I leave and, hopefully, get a few words about Darcie and Alex written, then I shall close the laptop until tomorrow. Or maybe late this evening. We'll see.
A quick look through the archive threw up a good few words and idioms that I hadn't heard of or, if I'd heard of them, understood. Like 'Lavender Language', for example. I'd heard of it but hadn't a clue what it meant. Now I know it's a special dialect used by the gay community. ' Tmesis' is one I'd never heard of. It's when you separate a word in the middle by inserting another word into it, like when something's "out-bloody-rageous".
Time to drag myself away from 'New Words' now, though. There's work to be done.
About a year ago, a guy who was a member of a famous 70s Glam Rock group expressed an interest in having me write his biography. Unfortunately, a string of events led to us losing contact and it didn't happen. Shame because I think it would have sold reasonably well as he definitely had a story or ten to tell.
For the past few days I've been wondering whether to contact him again to ask whether he's still interested. My only problem is: where is the time going to come from? I'll still need to write the short, quick stuff in order to keep regular money coming in and what with the time I spend on the romance stories—and I'd hate to give up writing them now that I've finally got serious about them—how do I find the time to write the biography?
I'd really like to do it. In fact, I'm happy to do it for a percentage of the royalties rather than a fixed fee plus percentage because he doesn't have a lot to throw about (that's part of the story) and I really believe his story should be told.
Dilemmas. If only I didn't have to do the articles, life would be so very different. But hark at me! Who am I to complain? I get to do what I love doing and that sure as hell beats stacking shelves in Sainsburys!
TODAY'S LINK Did you know that The Guinness Book of Records holds the record for being the book most often stolen from public libraries?
Now I understand what Trish Wylie meant when she said that writing "O'Reilly's Bride" was like giving birth to a pineapple because that's exactly what getting words onto paper felt like yesterday. Not just words for the book, either. I had several articles that should have been delivered this morning but they're late because the words just wouldn't come. Every sentence was a struggle and when I reread what I had, it sounded as if it'd been written by somebody on a frighteningly high dose of opiates.
I'm hoping today is going to be better because not only do I have those original articles to deliver, I had another two on top of them! In other words, I've got my work cut out today. And there was me thinking I might get time to move a few perennials in the garden and plant a few new ones. Dream on! I doubt the book will be given much attention, either, but come what may, it'll get at least half hour, even if I have to put matchsticks under my eye lids!
Oh well, things can only get better :-)
LINK OF THE DAY Today's link is one I may need if I the aforementioned continues. It's "How To Finish A Novel" by Holly Lisle. It isn't long and waffly; just a nice succint article that explains some simple techniques that the author uses in order to get from "Once upon a time..." to "The End".
PS: Anybody know what's happened to Martyn Clayton? His blog disappeared about a week or so ago and hasn't re-emerged so I'm a little bit worried that something may have happened.
I have to admit that I'm pre-menstrual at the moment and tend to get weepy (have been known to cry at Coronation Street) but this is a seriously good read. One of the best 'Tender' stories I've read, anyway. It's full of unexpected twists and turns, the hero is absolutely adorable, and while I have to admit to not much liking the heroine to start with—she came across as immature and 'common' and I couldn't quite understand why the hero had fallen for her—she definitely grew on me.
I knew straight away, within the first few pages, that this was going to be a good read, and I believe I emailed Ally and told her so. If I didn't, then I certainly intended to (it's the memory, y'know... ). She took me straight to Rome - I was there, sitting by the Trevi Fountain, watching the gorgeous Italian as he looked around him, trying to locate his daughter.
It's a shame HMB books are only available for a short time because this is one that I'm sure anybody who generally enjoys 'Tender' romance would love. Your local library may well have it, though, and it's still available on Amazon, albeit at a ridiculously inflated price.
This was the first book I'd read by Ally Blake but it certainly won't be the last. She's now right there at the top of my 'must read' list.