Wednesday, March 29

The Waiting Game

I finished editing Little Shop of Dreams, my novella entry for the Moonlit Romance contest, at just after midnight last night. It was sent straight to Laura at Moonlit, so now it's a waiting game to see how I do. Results are expected at the end of April. No news yet on The Sun's writing competition, either.

Now it's back to editing HH for sending to the New Writer's Scheme. I'm hoping it won't take too much longer, though Nell has said I'll probably have learned a lot about tightening the story through writing the novella, so I hope I don't go back to HH and decide I want to change it all!

In other news, my *real print copy* of Nell's book arrived in the post today. It's so exciting to see it in my hands as a proper tangible thing. The next time I see her she'll be signing her autograph!

Wednesday, March 22


A slow start to this week's Writing Wednesday, but it still went well because I got to finish my last chapter for the Moonlit contest. I did well with my word count too, because although my tally bar states a target length of 20,000 words, the contest will actually accept a novella of between 15--20,000 words. So, as you can see, I've landed pretty much in the middle!

Now I just need to read through it again to make a few changes and check spellings etc., then it'll be on its way to Moonlit. I'm hoping to get all that done this weekend.

And so, to bath...

Sunday, March 19

Home Stretch

Catching up nicely with my entry for the Moonlit Romance contest. I've just completed chapter three (out of four) and am now on the home stretch. I'm doing OK for word count too, which is good, as I really thought I was going to go over the limit. I suppose I still could, but... I doubt it.

Me and Bloke are going out in a couple of hours and I have Nell's last chapter of *her* entry to critique, but I'm hoping I might have time to make a start on my fourth chapter. I'd really like to get my entry finished and sent, so I can get back to revising HH for the New Writers Scheme.

Friday, March 17

Publication Day!

Big CoNgRaTuLaTiOnS to my lovely friend and critique partner Nell, whose book The Cinderella Substitute is released today by Moonlit Romance! yAy NeLL!

To download The Cinderella Substitute or order your print paperback, head to

Go, go! What are you waiting for!

Thursday, March 16

Thursday Threw Me

Today was one of those days that you just cannot plan for. It was going to be just like any old day at work, followed by an evening at home when I would weigh up whether I could be bothered to do the ironing or not. (Answer: not.) But at about eleven this morning one of my colleagues fell down the stairs.

Brenda is one of the bubbliest and chirpiest people you will ever meet. Seeing anybody you know crumpled at the bottom of the stairs, moaning in agony and unable to get up, is traumatic, but it seemed so much worse because Brenda is one of those people who just seems infallible. She's old enough to have a bus pass (and makes sure she gets full use of it) but she's always out and about, getting things done, going on holidays, buying new clothes, and going to football-club dances with her husband.

So anyway... With the help of the man who runs the Thames Valley Air Ambulance Trust -- to whom we donate a room of our office -- we got her into a taxi and I went with her to the local A&E. After triage and painkillers, her husband arrived and I left to go back the office. He phoned later after they'd finally got to see a doctor and told us that Brenda had dislocated her shoulder. We had all suspected she may have, because when we'd got her back upstairs and sat her down, it looked as if one of her shoulders had disappeared completely, and her upper arm looked concaved. Poor Brenda had to have the shoulder joint manipulated back into place (although apparently she had an anaesthetic, thank God). She'll have a sling for quite a while and be off work for the foreseeable future, which I know she'll hate as she can't bear sitting around and not being able to get on with things. Get well soon, Brenda!

Then, once back at the office, I spent the rest of the afternoon doing interviews with my boss for a vacancy we have going, since the lady who was meant to be doing the interviews had called in sick. I've never interviewed anyone in my life! Still, it wasn't too bad, and I felt quite knowledgeable and responsible.

I've had a long hot bath and taken some Nurofen, and I plan on doing bugger-all tonight because I feel exhausted. It might seem trite but today was another of those shocks that makes you grateful for your health and your happiness. Brenda's fall was bad, but it could have been so much worse. She fell down the last 8-10 steps, but there are actually roughly 40 steps up to our office. I dread to think of the result if she'd fallen from further up... But thankfully she didn't, and the first thing on my agenda for tomorrow morning is to order a big bouquet of spring flowers to be delivered post-haste to her front door.

Wednesday, March 15

Another Day, Another Chapter

Today's been a good day :)

Bloke and I (he was off today too) got up early and went to the gym. I saved up enough points on my Nectar card to get a month-long free pass for two to our local one--which is pretty posh--and so we stepped and cycled and rowed together before having a swim in the pool. I always feel very virtuous after having done some exercise. Anyone else?

When we got home I finalized my entry for the Sun competition, so I'll be sending that off tomorrow. Then I finished writing chapter 2 for my Moonlit contest entry. As you can see from the word count bar, I'm now about halfway with that. I'm a bit clearer on how the rest of the story's going to go now and am feeling a bit more positive about my chances!

Off to cook dinner...

Sunday, March 12

One Down

Had a good day and got my entry done for the competition that The Sun is running for World Book Day. I had to prioritize that one because the deadline is the 20th of this month, plus the length limit was 1,000 words.

I quite like this story. It's a little nostalgic, and I hope they like it.

The prize is "£1,000 of the world's best books", and I'm not sure who judges what these books are. Still, I bet there'll be loads that I haven't read -- the kind that I'm always meaning to and just haven't got round to. Example: Pride and Prejudice... I know! Shocking!

Next up, carrying on with my Moonlit contest entry, which is giving me a bit of trouble, but that I'm really going to try my best to get done.

Just finished reading: Turtle Moon by Alice Hoffman -- Beautiful.

Saturday, March 11


A bad taste in the mouth this morning -- and not from the Chinese I had for dinner last night, but from the news that Wayne Rooney, teenage wunderkind of English soccer, has been given a five-million-pound deal with HarperCollins to write his autobiographies.

Yes -- five million smackers.

Yes -- autobiographIES: plural, not singular.

There was some mention of five books written over the next twelve years. Then? Who knows... Will he actually write them? Will he put in the blood, sweat and tears over the keyboard, agonizing over sentence structure, chapter lengths, and the exact wording of the finishing paragraph?



In other, more cheery news, Nell's book is released next Friday, March 17th! Go to for more details, including the online launch party on Monday, March 20th.

Have added a couple more things to my writing "To Do" list. As well as finishing my entry for the Moonlit competition (deadline now moved to mid-April) and my first round of edits on my book, I now also want to enter The Sun newspaper's World Book Day writing competition. Deadline for that is March 20th, and the story only has to be up to 1,000 words, so I'm hoping to get that done this weekend. Then, publishers A&C Black are running a short story competition as well, deadline end of April, length up to 2,000 words.

I need a bigger calendar.

Just finished reading: Most Wanted Woman by Maggie Price