Monday, 31 December 2012

Happy New Year - here's to an utterly fabulous 2013!!!

Morning folks, I thought I'd snatch a few mintues with you guys before the rest of the house wakes.
I had a fab writing session yesterday and had to stop just as the excitment was building - my fingers are itching to return to the scene.

I also have a date with the Christmas decorations which I always take down on 31st Dec - two reasons, one being I like a clean fresh start to a New Year and two, it's our wedding anniversary today and it has become a tradition.

I am hoping that 2013 brings utterly fabulous events and joys into your lives - though, it does mean you have to chase utterly fabulous opportunities as we did in 2012.

I started last year by reading Simon Whalley's 'The Positively Productive Writer' and I've dug the book out inorder to have a revisit, as it really was a great aid to focusing my mind. If your haven't seen or read it yet, it is packed with tips and ideas that Simon does to maintain a positive attitude towards his work.

O.K. needs must, so I need to love and leave, wishing you the happiest and merriest of New Years. Enjoy!

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Websites, hubby and word counts

Afternoon folks, I hope you’re enjoying the festive spirit. We enjoyed a quiet Christmas, which is what we’d ordered, so feel fully refreshed and bursting with energy for the New Year.

I’ve used my holiday time well, as I mentioned last week I have added two word counters to the info panel, as you can see both have increased.

I made a start on a new project TFN (I won’t give the game away just yet) anyway, so far so good. I’m trying to use the initial momentum to write as much as possible before the excitement of a new project wanes. Last night I found myself late for a dinner party because I just had to finish one more sentence – this I love but hubby wasn’t too chuffed at the dashing about that occurred afterwards. I’ve created the accompanying novel scrap book, scoured and selected from the baby naming book and have even managed to gain pictures for the cast of characters, as I said, so far so good.

I have finally got around to visiting two interesting websites suggested to me at a RNA Birmingham Chapter meeting back in November and Both websites offer authors a function that aids writing and self-publishing. The natural reader software enables you to listen to your typed text as a means of editing for typos or repeated words – though the free voice isn’t particularly ‘natural’ unless natural to you is a talking robot, but hey, it’s free. I’ve used the gimp software the most since downloading, which allows you to produce your own book covers. So, guess who has her very own book covers gracing her work on Amazon? Yep, me! Though, it’ll take a few days for you guys to see my art work while the Amazon bods upload the files. So, yet another achievement notched up in 2012. I have to say I did have a lot of fun simply playing with the publisher programme and it couldn’t be easier, which all helps in the game that is self-publishing.

Sharing is caring so, I do have to announce that I have ‘the coolest husband on the planet’, no seriously I do! I mentioned last time that I’d finished reading Jojo Moyes’ ‘Me before you’ well within a day or so hubby had picked it up and has been so engrossed by the plot that he is nearly finished. He agrees that the plot has got him thinking about the questions of life, death and quality time. I say, full marks to the man, he’s never had an issue showing his sensitive side – though I’ll wait to see how he copes with one of the final scenes before presenting him with the satin sash awarded to ‘best chicklit reader 2012’.

And so, another week has rolled by, the Christmas excitement has been and gone and New Year is fast approaching. I like numerous others am busy thinking up achievable resolutions that won’t cause me misery and strife – though, looking at last year’s I did a pretty good job – the only one I didn’t fulfill is the agent but hey, maybe 2013!

Remember you can always follow me on Twitter @odwyer_author… and you can check out my art work at Amazon by visiting the Kindle links on the left hand info panel. Check checking those word counters – I promise they’ll increase each visit. Enjoy!

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas folks - I spent a lovely day with my hubby at home; opening presents, eating rich food and drinking a little more than is advisable. Anyway today, having tidied the presents into their new homes, I set my mind to some creative work. My first task was to send a present to Marmite. Back in October, I wrote a poem about the black stuff and everyone that heard it has said the exact same words 'you really should send that to the company' so today I have. Well, today I've printed and packaged, tomorrow I'll post when the post office opens. I wanted the poem to have a little more impact than yet another poem received by a corporate company so I've arranged the poem in a sturdy frame suggesting that it's precious, like Marmite. Anyway, for all those that have repeated the line - it's going, O.K.

Today, I've also written up a poem 'Witherley' that was swimming about my brain - a short little ditty about the church graveyard - not the happiest of topics but definitely significant at this time of year.

Tomorrow, I have been granted an entire free day so I have promised myself an entire day at my desk. Very indulgent but a welcome rest bite from the festive celebrations. I am itching to get back to my work. I have also had the stirrings of another project, which I'll call 'TFD' for now - so, my head is buzzing with the two projects - I really need to free up some space.

Finally, I've inserted two word counter widgets in the left hand panel so you and I can watch my novels grow. I used a similar widget for NaNo and found that it motivated me no end - so, fingers crossed.

TTFN - I must love and leave you, Christmas chocolates are calling my name, again.

Remember you can always follow me on Twitter @odwyer_author - enjoy!

Follow up: I have just copied each entry from this blog and complied them into one document - an amazing acheivement of 160 pages totalling 80, 258 words!!!!!!

Friday, 21 December 2012

Holidays arrive, Me before you and thank you

Evening folks - today my Christmas holiday began. The school bell rang at half twelve and after a quick staff meeting/get-to-together we were set free - for a whole two weeks. So, it starts now!

I've had a busy week but not in the areas I'd have liked. I had plans to complete a short story but that didn't happen, what with all the Christmas tasks, but I'm determined that the next two weeks are mine.

I have two short stories to write, a poetry submission to send and a novel submission to complete alongside the usual writing.

One of the short stories I plan to write is connected to a real life funny that occured last week. I won't outline it here, as that's a sure fire way of killing my muse, but it relates to a food complaint that I recently made to a supermarket. Anyway, I'll dress up the facts a little, a lot actually, then chose a suitable setting and hopefully my muse will deliver the goods in about two thousand words. This recipe has worked for me on so many occasions that I frequently jot down the mishaps of life and refer back and browse when starting a short story. In addition, I also keep a character book, in which I jot down the habits and descriptive walks/talk/mannerisms of strangers I spot in the High street. I know, I know, crazy hobby but it pays dividend when seeking the mannerisms of a new character.

This week I finished reading the beautiful book that is 'Me before you' by Jojo Moyes - ah, utterly breathtaking. I can't recommend it enough. Not only a great read but a startling education into the world of a quadriplegic man - I literally kept discussing the daily dilemas and moral issues, with hubby, as they occured in the plot. He's so intrigued that he'll probably read it now.

My next reading book is likely to be my Christmas present read - which I have dropped major hints for - so, I'll have to wait and see what Santa delivers. If I haven't been a good girl, I'll choose from the 60 or so books that patiently queue on the my 'To-read' bookcase. Yes, I know, maybe I'll ban myself from purchasing books in 2013? Nah!

So, I shall love and leave you. A huge shout out to the followers from Russia, Latvia and Israel who have clocked up a mighty number of visits this week. I am quite humbled by your attentions - thank you so much.
I shall be rejoining the Twitter brigade now that my mind is freed up from school work, search for me on @odwyer_author. Enjoy!

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Fireman, planning and a steam train

Evening folks, a late one due to Christmas shopping in Birmingham city centre. I’ve spent the day battling my way through the crowds of busy shoppers – thankfully, I managed to get everything I wanted. Phew, does that take the worry out of Christmas.

Anyway, this week I had two writers’ meeting. My Wednesday group spent the night reflecting upon our busy and creative year – we were all surprised by the sheer amount of short stories and poems we’d each created. My Thursday group held their annual Christmas Quiz – where my group came second due to a technicality, all the same a very entertaining evening. Neither group meets over the Christmas period so I have a couple of weeks to produce a few news pieces to kick start 2013.

I’ve probably mentioned before that hubby is a fire officer, and whilst attending a retirement party I had a flash of inspiration regarding his fire ‘stories’. It doesn’t matter which career path you have there are always interesting and funny incidents that arise. Anyway, once home I announced to hubby that I will attempt to write one of his funny stories each week, if not for commercial publication but more importantly for his own reflection. Either way, I now have another project on the go!

I am entering the final week at work so have started to plan what I’ll be doing during the two week holiday. I have already devised a plan and shall spent the next week days tweaking the plans. My hope is to produce more fresh writing for novel two but also to send out submissions of novel one ‘Her’. Fingers crossed I shall also be getting a new book or two so I intend to be reading in the spare gaps.

I have to share an experience with you. As I mentioned, me and hubby have been shopping all day, we caught the train there and back as it is so much easier than driving/parking. Anyway, just as we stepped off the train onto the platform for home, hubby shouts ‘steam train’ I turned and the most amazing sight came dashing along the other track. A beautiful plume of smoke and steam, a shiny black engine and carriage after carriage of green and cream cars followed. My heart skipped a beat – honestly, I fell in love. I have never seen a steam train before, let alone stood on a platform waving and jumping about like a child – but hey, the passengers were waving back at me just as eagerly. Wow, what a beautiful sight. I think that little image will be igniting a story for sure.

On that note I shall love and leave you. Remember you can follow me on Tweeter @odwyer-author I can’t promise to follow back but I do always read the bios and follow if suitable. Enjoy!

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Planning, productivity and pure writing

Morning folks, it’s another bright Saturday morning in Warwickshire, England. I have a whole day of school work ahead of me so thought I’d spend time with you guys first. I’ve had a busy week writing wise having calmed from the Nano experience I’ve switched back to my novel ‘Weigh to go!’ which will hopefully be my Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers’ Scheme submission for 2013. I am planning to have it written, edited and proofread by April, as I don’t want a repeat of this year where I literally submitted in the final days of August.
Anyway, so far so good. Being the OCD organiser that I am, I have carried on with a couple of tricks from my Nano experience and am pleased with the outcome. I have Christmas holidays around the corner and I am planning to write my little heart out over the festive period to hit the 40,000 words by 31 December.  I might even install a little widget gadget into my blog page to show my current word count – which motivated me so much during November.

I’ve spent quite a while planning and dreaming this week which makes the writing flow so much easier. I try to share some of my techniques as it might help others. I have a notepad with the pages numbered to represent each chapter and I’ve literally written a few events and necessary content on each page. I wished I used this method for my first novel ‘Her’ but hey.

This is the part of writing that I enjoy – the pure writing of new words upon a fresh page. I’ve realised that the editing part is the hardest part for me but then comes the proofreading process which I quite enjoy.

This week I have two writers’ meeting – the Grace Dieu will be the Christmas social event where we put the writing aside for an annual quiz. The Mad Hatters’ meeting, which falls on the 12.12.12 (I love dates like that), which is a group reflection of the year that has past. I’ve written my piece and I have to say I am quite amazed by my output this year; one novel, one NaNoWriMo, the beginning of a novel, 41 poems, 5 short stories, 3 published letters, 1 RNA membership and a wonderful RNA Summer conference. That isn’t bad going for a gal that works full-time and studies too! My New Year’s resolution will be continue this productive momentum.

On that wonderful count I shall love and leave you all. Remember you can follow me on Tweeter @odwyer-author I can’t promise to follow back but I do always read the bios and follow if suitable. Enjoy!

Saturday, 1 December 2012

NaNoWriMo 2012, plans and determination

Morning folks, as you now know I completed the NaNoWriMo 2012 on Thursday evening with a total of 50,213 words. By my word count I had written exactly 50,000 words but the software used to validate gave me the extra ones – thanks!

Firstly, I will be participating next year – I’ve made a note and will be planning from October. But, and here’s the wonderful thing about completing anything in life – I learnt so much. I’ve learnt:

… that in just 17 days I can write 50,213 words (I didn’t write for 12 days during the month)
… that with just a character name and a title I can produce ideas from thin air whilst I type
… that my back didn’t ache anywhere near as much as I had expected, just the final days.
… that a deadline date is such a motivator.
 ... that my productive output is much higher than I ever envisaged.
… that I always achieve what I set out to do.
… that my writing buddy are worth their weight in gold
… that 2012 is my most creative and productive year ever.
… that my desire to be a novel writer is unwavering.
So, now that Nano 2012 is complete, what next? Well… I’ve got a whole host of things I want to complete. I have a children’s story to write, I need to get back to ‘Weigh to go!’, I now have ‘Pooch Parade’ to edit and add a further 50,000 words too and a whole heap of competitions and ideas to get down onto paper. So my aim today, is to make my Christmas cake, which I should have made weeks ago, do some university study and then have a little planning session, with a calendar at hand, to see when I can fit in all these wonderful ideas – oh, and cram Christmas in between. But hey, if I can complete Nano in 17 actual days – I can do anything!

In the right hand panel, I have listed the writing group tasks that I'll be completing next year. Each task is a 1000 words unless it is a poem, in which case a maximum of 40 lines. Join in if you fancy a challenge, I'll let you know how I get on as the dates arrive.
Remember you can follow me on Twitter by searching for odwyer_author – that way you can accompany my creative journey as it happens. Enjoy!