Funny, angry and very moving. Notes on a Page anthology launch by She Voices Women Writers based in Richmond upon Thames. Tales of daring, short stories, memoir, glimpses of history, poetry, a peek into a futuristic world — and that’s just the launch at Richmond Library on the Green. Only joking… all that’s in the book; it’s really tea & cake on Saturday 3 December, 2 – 4 pm.
Come on along and meet a bevy of friendly, feisty authors in a little break from your holiday shopping. I’m honoured to be a guest writer within the pages, and former tutor of several of the anthologees. Including Camilla Reeve of Palewell Press and Margaret Whittock of Dark Mourne Press who have run and organised this fab book. Want to know more about the writing group and possibly join it? Click HERE for their info page.
Click HERE for info on the Richmond Library location.
And we’re off! 1st November, day one of National Novel Writing Month. I’m bending the rules of this wonderful writing invention, using it to continue the novel I’m well sunk into. It is extremely a Discovery Draft, a gentle crime mystery featuring a storytelling-therapist. Sometime I know exactly where I’m going. And sometimes I’m lost. And sometimes I learn something I didn’t know at all and totally surprise myself! I haven’t written in this way before — truly an adventure. Never sure what will happen next (a) in the story (b) in the writing progress. Right now feeling quite disorganised (but better since I mapped a Timeline), when that happens I revert to pen and paper. Using November to push-push-push myself. Click HERE if you need to know more about NaNoWriMo. Do it with writing buddies — it really really works. Not that you actually get a novel done in a month. But it’s far better than not getting a novel done at all.
There it is above, my new sleek shaped-up office book shelves — my insides feel all glad seeing books and binders-ful of notes stand up straight. That row of neat white on the left is haiku journals (and another half-shelf below). When feeling at a loss, I just pluck one at random and browse: space, uplift, senses, escape. For the season now between winter and spring click here for a new haiku on the ‘so still’ page.
Such a weeding out of books and papers! Honestly, several trees’ worth of weight went out to the paper recycle. And boxes of books await trips to the charity bookshop. If anyone reading here would like giveaways of How to Write books collected over the years to aid teaching creative writing AND my own creative writing, contact me via Comments below. Of course I’ve kept my favs, but I’d love the others to find homes among those who want to write (for the price of postage).
The project also provided a review of my last ten working years, both sobering (how time flies!) and heartening (I’ve done more than I give myself credit for). And look, there’s even shelf-space for… more books.
Oooo, notice the pink. I have discovered the text colour facility on WordPress. Cue to reveal that the repainted walls of my renewed office are very pale pink. Now: on with the self-publishing adventure, a new ISBN on an IngramSpark p-o-d. If that’s gobbledygook to you it shows me that I have learned a lot in the last year…
So, nearly the length of a pregnancy since I started this site and began to figure out WordPress. In the meanwhile I have finished, formatted, self-published and launched my novel under the book-and-blog guidance of the wonderful Catherine Ryan Howard. And I’ve wordpressed and facebooked my protagonist (and great grandfather) as a being in his own right. Now it’s time to turn this blog into something more useful, especially useful for writers. Yes I mean authors, creators.
So I’ve moved the moments of peace to their own pages — haiku to ‘so still’ and photographs to ‘green slash’. I couldn’t bear to give up the gorgeous Turkish twilight, the allium seedhead and my own-grown roses (called Birthday Girl) which I’d had as headers, so I moved them to ‘natura naturans’ in the green slash department. Read the haiku and you’ll grasp that title. I will add haiku and photos season by season.
But! The front page post position is for writing about writing. And especially at the moment for judethomasnz who commented on my comment on CRH’s recent blog on how many drafts it takes to make a novel.
Jude got attention from an editor for her historical novel, which she had told in two voices, from two time points. Great going to get feedback from an editor! But ed suggested a rewrite, into a straight chronological narrative. Should she do it?
My experience: after trying for years to find the voice for my historical-novel-based-on-a-true-story in various creative ways, I finally bit the bullet. Decided to stop being clever and just Tell the Story, chronologically. Writing flowed more easily and naturally. I tried to make the most of the natural ups and downs as events rolled on.
If you’re in how-to-tell-it anguish, don’t be afraid to try the straightforward way… but changing your head around after the long slog of writing can be painful. On the other hand, should this anguished writer try another editor?