Saturday, 8 June 2013

TPP, Poetry comp and Lady Agnew

Morning folks, another week has flown – quite frightening really how quickly 168 hours passes us by.

I’m back on a roll, flowing with creative ideas and thankfully, the fingers and note books are at least keeping up with the brain cells.

Monday morning, whilst putting my make-up on preparing for the day job, an idea for a new novel crashes into my world - bingo, bango. Within twenty minutes (yes, I need that much make-up) I had a fully formed situation: five characters and a whole load of conflict. Voila! (just had to double check I hadn’t written viola there). Anyway, I had to write down these fabulous thoughts, or lose them forever, which made me slightly late for my usual arrival time at the day job, but hey, I still had twenty minutes to spare before class began.

Anyway, I’ve christened this new idea TPP, I know I’m being nasty and using initials for a title but that’s my prerogative. I’ll explain why, O.K? I spent six years working on my debut novel ‘Her’ only to have other people refer to it constantly as ‘She’, ‘Woman’ and ‘Stepmum’ – now, call me sensitive but every time someone accidently got it wrong, made a mini mistake and misquoted - it stained my title. It also told me that people probably didn’t care that much about my work and so bluffed their way through a conversation with me, which annoyed me slightly. I’m pretty sure Leonardo Da Vinci didn’t announce his title of ‘Mona Lisa’ until it was complete – but if he had, he probably wouldn’t have liked others calling it ‘Mena Lisa’, ‘Moaning Lisa’ maybe ‘Mini Lisa’ (please don’t think that I compare myself to such a genius, I certainly don’t). But, you get my drift? Another thing about announcing a working title it suggests to others what it is about and people can’t help themselves trying to guess the plotline, the situations and even provide you with ideas for what they think your book should be about. It’s human nature for people to want to tell their opinion, sadly I have enough of my own and simply get confused and a little riled should anyone suggest a plotline that I thought I’d thought up. In ‘Her’ I did remove a scene that I’d written because someone forcefully ‘suggested’ it, after I’d written it. I thought ‘if this book is ever published, they might read it and think ‘I gave her that idea’ – so my only option was to delete, so I did. I it all sounds very secretive but to ensure the work is mine and only ever mine, I’ve had to adopt this routine. Sorry, but I know creative types will understand.  Another commercial reason is, working titles get changed so often by publishers, there’s hardly any point sharing it.

I hadn’t a writers’ groups to attend this week, the pattern frequency of dates has come together meaning I’ll have two next week, which happens occasionally. I have prepared my short story, the current exercise for Mad Hatters group so I can read it at both meetings. My short story was inspired by the Singer-Sargent’s ‘Lady Agnew of Lochnaw’ portrait, which hangs in National Gallery, Edinburgh – I’m really chuffed with the end result. If you’re not sure of the painting, take a look at the link below – I think she’s real beauty.

The Grace Dieu Writers’ Circle, in association with Campbell Burns Metabolic Trust, have launched a poetry competition in celebration of the life of baby Campbell Burns. Please visit their website, have a read about this remarkable little boy and his family – then craft a poem for the competition, full details on the webpage below.

My plans for today purely revolve about draft two of TFD – I won’t be enjoying the sunshine, I will be at my desk. If you don’t believe me, contact me via Twitter by searching @odwyer_author and ask!  

Finally, another *shout out* for my returning followers who never fail to surprise me with their visits each week. You really do keep me plodding along in this solitary task of novel writing. By all means get in touch, via Twitter, let me know what you do, whether it be writing related or not, I’m interested.

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