Sunday, 28 October 2012

In Search Of Writing Mojo

I've decided to put the editing on hold for yet another month, so that I can concentrate on NaNoWriMo, in the hope to finding my writing mojo.

Now, it's a toss up between writing another contemporary romance - I have an idea of an ex-fireman and an artist who are neighbours, and fight like cat and dog, until something pushes them together, and they realise the actual bickering is because they fancy the pants off one another. Or my vampire idea, where instead of being buried for a month to finish the 'making' process, she is buried for over 100 years and goes in search of her maker, and whether she will still find him alive. Or I have a fantasy idea, which is a sort of cross between Willow, Lord of The Rings, and How To Train A Dragon. Obviously, they will all contain some romance, but the genre and sub-plot will make them different to the contemporary romances that I (try to) write.

Another thing that is niggling away at me. I want to rejoin the RNA's new writers' scheme, and think what will be my next book that I send them next year? Or will I edit Perfect Isn't An Option and re-send that for another grilling. But I will want to send them something, otherwise it will be a waste of an opportunity in such a great scheme.

If I write a contemporary romance for NaNoWriMo, it will mean I've got a novel in process for submitting to the scheme... However, the point of doing NaNo is to have some fun, and to get back into the swing of writing, making time for it etc. So should I go with something that feels burning to be written?

I don't believe this is writer's block, this is me losing my mojo. My motivation has gone at the moment. There is just so much going on in my life, draining my thought process, some I would love to tell you all about, but can't really. (I've been accused of attention seeking by airing my life so publicly). My brain is just foggy. That's the only way I can describe it. And my heart feels tender and a little heavy. Everything is good writing fodder, and with my emotions up and down, I've tried to note some of it, in the hope I can use it for writing.

But I live for the day when my heroes are back in my head, talking to me good and proper. I miss those day-dreamy days. 

Another worry, which is a frustration more than anything, is that if I'm not writing then I'm going to take even longer at reaching my dream of being published. So I add this additional pressure to myself - don't I? *rolls eyes* I have Champagne in the fridge waiting! Maybe I'll open it upon entering new house and new life... and buy another bottle for my first signed writing contract.

The whole purpose of this blog post was to get me to do some writing. And I did.

I am off to my mum's for a few days tomorrow. I will be taking my new laptop and trying it out, meaning I won't be too cut off from the internet - if I can get the kids off it. I also need to get back into reading too. I read to Ben, but I'm not doing enough for me either. Gosh, 2012 is turning out to be a tough year for me. I'm going to try not to beat myself up about it too much.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

I Must Be Off My Writing Rocker

Not only am I failing at writing and editing (The Wedding Favour for a resubmission), and even reading, I am feeling really guilty about it, too. And sometimes that doesn't help the inspiration either, as it eats away at you. But real life is getting in the way. My time, my brain, life is draining all of my writing mojo.

So there I was this morning reading Sally Quilford's blog about Surviving NaNoWriMo and I thought, maybe I should do it.

I know really I need to be editing, but the editing doesn't always feel creative, and it is currently hard to motivate myself to do it. It requires concentration, and I just don't have it at the moment. I don't even think my heart is in it to be ruthless with the words. Maybe I need to get sucked into a story, to the point I don't want to stop writing it. Maybe I just need to make writing fun again, as Sally suggests.

Therefore I have joined NaNoWriMo 2012 - This is me - The Wittering Woman - please buddy me!

Now I need to think about a story I'm going to write... Do I stick to the romance, or should I write the fantasy story I have, or even the vampire story I really want to tell. And for fun, I may ask for some plot ninjas too from you guys... so get the suggestions in!

Please note, there is no guarantee I'm going to do this... and I certainly might not finish (if I do start) like I did in 2006, but I thought this at least gives me a week to think about it. It might be just what I need.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

And The Best Birthday Card Goes To....

I thought I would share my favourite birthday card I received this year, as with everything going on last week leading up to my birthday, and getting an offer accepted on a house - whoop! - I forgot to do my birthday surprises.

To explain this card, in a previous life before children, my nickname was Patsy. Yes, as in Absolutely Fabulous Patsy Stone... because, yes, we had similar drinking habits, although mine wasn't champagne, and I certainly didn't do the drugs!

Patsy has stuck, and friends still call me Patsy (although not as many). In fact some used to think it was my real name, because I'd only been introduced to them as Patsy. 

Every now and then Patsy reappears in me... when out, and I don't have two children to mother. She's my alter ego. My naughtier, less sensible side.

Anyway, one of my many best friends, who obviously knows me as Patsy (as she was Eddy) sent me this birthday card.

Brilliant. Absolutely fabulous, darling.

Thank you, Rachel aka Eddy x I laughed so much when I opened this card.

Here's to my last year in my thirties. Eek!

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

So Fantastic I Forgot Surprises

I've been so busy with house hunting (yesterday), and then today I had a trip out with Year 1 from school. Kieran is in this year, so it was lovely to spend a day with him and his friends. I got allocated five children (including Kieran), and they were all as good as gold.

Having recently been to Ashdown House, I was treated to Tyntesfield House which isn't that far from me actually. It took longer by coach, but I reckon it's probably not twenty minutes away.

Unfortunately, with school policy, I wasn't allowed to take any photographs at all. So I've grabbed a photo off the internet, and if you click the picture, you'll know where I got it from. The Victorian house belongs to the National Trust so if you have membership, you can go and see it for free.

The school was provided with plenty of guides, and they did some fantastic activities with the children, considering they're five and six years of age. Our little group walked in through the servants entrance and was greeted by all the bells on the wall from the rooms, each with plaques underneath so you knew which room the bell belonged to. I felt like I'd walked in on the set of Downton Abbey.

We also got to see a part of the house that isn't open to the public. But I need to go back, I didn't see half of the place really. We saw enough for the attention span of five and six year-olds though. 

Another thought has occurred to me whilst out with the kids for a good six hours. I actually enjoyed it, to the point I might investigate what it is really like to be a teaching/learning assistant. I know I want to be a writer, but in the meantime maybe I need to think of something that I can work around the children. I was surprised by my patience, and my firmness - there is no messing with me. And I love being a dinner lady (I mean lunchtime supervisor). Maybe I could do it?

Admittedly, I did have five well behaved children... I'd probably scare the naughty ones, or get extremely frustrated when they didn't do as they were told. I hate being ignored.

It's a thought. But I know the training takes about a year, plus would I get in at the school my kids go to? Because that might make a difference too. I will talk to some other mums I know who are teaching assistants, and see what they say. And let's face it, maybe in a year I might have sold a book...

Monday, 8 October 2012

Surprise Number One!

OMG! There I was just phoning around estate agents, and getting a bit of housework done when the doorbell rang. Who could that be, I thought.

Only Daniel Craig.

Yes, on my doorstep!

Apparently with his tight schedule, but knowing it's my birthday Friday, he thought he'd pop in this week to give me a sloppy kiss and a birthday hug. Bless.

I told him, I did, I told him, he's the best James Bond EVER!

He's such a nice guy, ladies. 

Favourite scene in Tomb Raider where my love for Daniel Craig began!

Sunday, 7 October 2012

This And That, Mainly That, Oh And Firemen

Thought I best check in, because as per usual I've been failing with my writing, blogging and what-not.

Last week I worked 22 hours, plus my 3 and a half hours at the school. That doesn't sound a lot, (when you think I used to work full time once) but it's a lot for a full time mum and housewife. Nothing gets done around the home, and then I'm too tired to contemplate the writing. I've really got out of routine at the moment, and when you lose the momentum in writing, it's really hard to get back into it. So, apart from doing the extra hours on the Monday morning (which I needed to grab so I've got them for when I do have to work a minimum of 16 hours) I'm not volunteering for any more overtime at the moment. Admittedly, with those extra hours I will have extra money, which will be handy. I should save, but appear to be spending it more and more. But that's another story and a bit of a gripe too. 

The good news is that we may have sold our house. We're accepting an offer, anyway. I won't get too excited about these things, I've gone through the house buying business before, and lost two houses I had fallen in love with, so just going with the flow. But next week I'm house hunting! Is there light at the end of the tunnel? Could I be in a new home in the Spring? (and my husband and I finally parted?)

Occasionally I do wobble and worry about how I'm going to cope with paying a mortgage, keeping a house up together with two kids, on minuscule wages, relying on benefits and child maintenance payments. I'm excited but very scared, I must say. I know I'll have my dad around, but it won't be quite the same as having a man under the same roof to do the things men do. But then there is this part of me who can't wait to have a place to myself. Plus, I have two boys. They'll grow... and will be able to mow the lawn for pocket money, right?

In other news: Talk about inspiration walking through your door, well work place. Last Tuesday, I'd turned up at work 9.00am for some overtime (part of those 22 hours I talked about above) and my boss, who was doing the bake-off that morning, set off the fire alarm. (For the record, in the seven years of using those ovens, I've never once set off the fire alarm ;-)) The team leader running the shift the night before had managed to take the phone home, so we couldn't call the fire brigade to tell them it was a false alarm. Twenty minutes later... (if it had been a real fire, I dread to think the state of the place) two large fire engines, blue flashing lights, sirens and everything turned up. FIREMEN! WHOOOO HOOOO!

A lot of customers stayed in the shop and ignored the alarm!

They didn't look like this. But they were all very large, buff men. lol!

I've also remembered it's my birthday week, and last year I held a party for a whole week. Not so sure what I'll be doing this year, (and no it's not my 40th yet!) although rumour has it I might have some surprises this week, so watch this space.