Saturday, 17 December 2011

Accepted submission, murder mystery and a Christmas holiday

Morning folks, today is the first day of my Christmas holidays – I have a fortnight to enjoy the Christmas spirit, wine and chocolate. My writing plans are to complete the proof read of ‘Her’ by 31st December – so it’ll be early starts and late finishes but hey.

My week began with a flying start, last Sunday night when I receive confirmation that the short story ‘Caught in the act’ submitted to Be: magazine has been selected for publication in their second issue. It also means that I can tick number 20, to get a short story published, off my April Fool 40th List. If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll have heard such details immediately, and thank you for the numerous ‘congratulations’ received. I emailed both writers’ groups - as it helps to encourage other members to submit entries. I shall let you know publication dates as soon as I’m informed.

Monday, I had to write the bio blurb and organise a photograph to accompany the accepted short story ‘Caught in the act’. Boy, it is difficult having to think what I wish to include without it sounding all wordy and boastful. I did make a conscious decision to focus my blurb on my prose work. I could have included or named other projects but I wish to focus the attention on what my aim is, rather than the ‘side line’ projects which may come in useful at a later date.

Tuesday, I dragged my sorry ass to my university tutorial and sat astounded by the other students’ remarks relating to poetry. I was even a little taken back by my lecturer’s attitude – it was very obvious he doesn’t enjoy teaching this module. Which got me thinking, again, regards how I teach poetry at school – I certainly do a much better job than was displayed at uni. Shameful.

Wednesday, as a treat, I read aloud to my year 7 class a short story I’d written especially for them. They were delighted that I’d managed to include all 28 names as the characters in the Christmas murder mystery. I received positive feedback and a wave of astonished gasps that ‘yes, I had written it.’ Though, the school’s staff now think that I have an murderous obsession with pizza cutters – but hey, it’ll pass.

I spent the evening booking exciting trips for 2012, as I had received my new diary. It simply had to be done. So, within three hours I had flights booked for Edinburgh, Dublin, tickets for Swan Lake ballet and of, course, a Jubilee Celebration in June. Hee hee, it means I’ll be seeing the pandas so can tick off number 21 on my April Fool 40th List. 

Thursday, saw my nimble fingers quickly change the character’s names in the above mentioned Christmas murder mystery story to fit my year 8 class. Again, I received rave reviews – see, I can recycle to save the ice caps. Though, I did fess up and tell them I’d written it for the other group as a reward for their superb behaviour – something tells me my year 8 class may well try a little harder next term. In fact, the children’s reaction has been so wonderful that I may well use my shoe poetry in lesson when I return in January with year 9.

Thursday, also saw me attend a community Christmas party, dressed in a Santa suit, – where a bingo session was the main attraction. Oh the reaction and rivalry about winning was immense – a short story began to form.

Friday, saw all the celebration s of a fabulous school term come to an end. I’ve never received so many kisses and hugs from my colleagues - most enjoyable. The evening was spent chilling with hubby and step-daughter recuperating and planning the next fourteen days. Oh, you know what I’m like regards lists and plans – it all has to be meticulous and thought through so that I can then simply follow and do – which usually works for me. Anyhow, my beautiful IPad2 (yes, I am still in love with it) was perfect for organising my writing diary. And, so I am set for the ‘off’ regards completing ‘Her’. I have sought out a couple of agents that I wish to target first, then a second group who I’ll approach should all the others final – and I am expecting a flood of rejections, I’m prepared.

I have continued my reading of ‘Middlemarch’ and have arrived at a point where I am now starting to enjoy the experience. Yes, you read that correctly. It is still a hard slog, double reading of each line to ensure that I understand the passage but I am slowly, very slowly getting there. In earnest of finishing this book, I have written a 12 book
reading list (yep more lists) for 2012. I am going to aim to cover more of the classics within the next twelve months – for my 2011 reading list check out the ‘previously book wormed’ list in the left hand panel. Yep, I have read all of those since January 2011 - I usually get through about 30 books a year – reading, as I do, every day.

Whilst writing this blog the post has arrived, delivering my gold card for Blood Donors – hee, hee I now have a very small but perfectly embossed gold card confirming my achievement – cheers, NHS blood donors!

Back to the blog writing. My plans for the coming week are to focus on ‘Her’ and attend my final Mad Hatters meeting of 2011 on Wednesday. I need to complete a small poetry project in the next two weeks, too – as I have had a fabulous idea for a mini project that I wish to complete whilst dog walking.

I also have to begin getting ready for Christmas. Yes, I know, no decorations, hardly any presents bought but hey, I’ve been busy if you hadn’t noticed. I shall get it all completed in time – I’m sure.

So, on that note, I shall love and leave you, mainly because I now wish to parade about the lounge flashing my newly received gold card to hubby and family! By the way, they haven’ t yet stabbed me with the associated pen – though it is getting near. Remember, you can follow me on Twitter by searching O’Dwyer_author. Enjoy.

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