Friday, 31 August 2012

Submissions, genealogy and cake baking

Hello folks – today, is officially my last weekday on school holiday so I thought I’d make the most of it and surprise you with an early blog update.

I’ve had a fabulous week, jam packed with lots of research for my new project ‘Weigh’ which I shall begin drafting tomorrow - another reason for the early post. Anyhow, I’ve finally completed my characters sketches and have been working on the nitty-gritty of their roles and lives. I’ve watched countless baking and cookery programmes to gain some know-how on commercial cake baking and decorating – I can bake but it’s not a particular strength of mine. In the name of research, I have discovered a local cupcake café – which is a total delight, from which I shall be ‘borrowing’ ideas and frequenting often. Today, the research has continued, I have baked a coffee and walnut cake – which I shall ply hubby with as soon as he arrives home. I’m all for the ‘must live it, to write it’ research and yes, I’d forgotten how much your arm aches trying to cream rock hard butter (which I forgot to leave out to warm to room temperature - dooh). So, after much indulgence and internet research I am making a start tomorrow 1st September – I shall let you know how it goes.

For numerous years I have been tracing my family tree, which offers an escape from the realities of life. I like to incorporate family names into my novels as a personal way of linking memories and genealogy discoveries. In ‘Her’ I used a family surname, a second name and forename and I wished to continue this aspect in my new project. So, I’ve been scouting my records for the right choices, from the opposite side of the family – I like to be fair. I think lots of authors weave tiny details such as this into their work as a means of securing a special detail, which I know family and close friends will take delight in.

As I prepare for Monday morning and the return of the day job, I have tried to reflect upon why this has been the most productive holiday that I’ve ever had. The answer - deadlines! Having joined the RNA New Writers’ Scheme I had to work to their deadline 31st August (which is today, eeeekkkk I hope everyone made it). Anyway, I had no option. Nothing else was necessary for me, as everything dropped into place from the moment I broke up from school – I did nothing but work on the manuscript for a month. Previously, my deadlines had always been self imposed and if life pushed it aside than I just went with it. Not this time, I’ve learnt my lesson. So, I have a self imposed deadline for the writing of my first draft of ‘Weigh’ and come 31st August next year, I will have a second book to submit to the RNA NWS.

And finally, in recent weeks, I’d received a rejection for my poem ‘Poodle in a puddle’, so today, I posted three submissions to a new selection of children’s publishers – one more piece doing the rounds in the big wide world.

Remember you can follow me on Twitter @odwyer_author to receive random updates throughout my creative week. A big ‘thank you’ to all my new followers – the crowd is growing day by day. Please pass my blog to anyone who might be interested. Enjoy

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