Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Edit complete

31st July - I did it, I plodded on till the end. My back and neck ache like crazy but it has been worth it to hit my self imposed deadline of today. I've stuck to a rigid routine and it has served me well.
What am I doing for the rest of today? Hmmmmmm, chilling. enjoy!

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Mini update - 11487 words today!

A mini share from me... I have managed to edit 11487 words today!!! Can't believe the current roll that I'm on, but hey, long may it continue during these holidays.
Tomorrow, deadline day, I have just 7431 words remaining to edit - so fingers crossed, I can crack on tomorrow morning and nail this beauty.
Enjoy your evening x

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Mini update - 9029 words edited in one day

Just wanted to share. I have managed to edit six chapters today which totals 9029 words. My back is aching, my neck is sore... but I really don't mind. I've put the hours in at the coal face, which was my aim for today.

Enjoy you evening x

Saturday, 27 July 2013

The joys of editing, bun fights and a Prince.

Evening folks, sorry for the very late post but when a gals in full flow editing - it’s best to keep going. Well I did and managed to edit 8906 words today, which is seven chapters of my novel TFD! That is a personal best for me. It means that in the past three days I have managed to edit 23,079 words – each word nearer to completing draft two.

It probably seems pointless but the numbers game has kept me motivated this weekend, seeing the numbers increase with each session and comparing them to previous days, really has kept me at the coal face. I use the numbers technique to motivate me when creating draft one, setting goals for each session but never have I used it for editing. From now on, I shall always use it. In fact, it has turned about how I feel about editing, it is the part of the process that I utterly dislike, so anything is a bonus.

My plan is to continue the routine for the next four days (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday) so that draft two is complete on 31st July. Fingers crossed.

It’s the first week of my holidays and so I've taken full advantage of the stress free days by dedicating each to my creative work. I’ve literally jumped out of bed, pretty early at 6am and fired up the computer while my morning cuppa has brewed. Seriously, I have. And, it feels so great to be able to do that, without having to juggle my time with the day job.

Last week I attended two writers’ groups. Mad Hatters on Wednesday evening was a quiet affair of critiquing and discussion. But Thursday night’s Grace Dieu almost turned into a bun fight when a member suggested an alternative meaning to someone’s short story. Wow, did the words fly. Thankfully, everyone takes it in the best manner, thriving from the discussion rather than taking offence – but it reinforces the need for me to write a short story based on a writing group. Anyway, this week I have my nights to myself, so will work on my edits.

And finally, the best news in the UK this week, is the safe arrival of Prince George. As a romance writer don’t we all just love a new Prince, with all his possibilities and power? I think so. So, it goes without saying that I wrote a ditty about his arrival and possible future reign.

I need to love and leave you, mainly as my back is aching from the constant sitting but also because the mother of all thunderstorms has just started, possibly signally the end of our summer, and I need to go and watch.

Please hunt and track me down on Twitter (@odwyer_author) or Facebook (odwyer author) for daily progress reports – why don’t you join me to see if I hit my draft two deadline on Wednesday. Enjoy!  

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Mini update Sunday 21st July - RNA NWS submission

Hi folks, what a busy girl I've been since yesterday morning! I have managed to edit, polish and print my RNA NWS submission 'Weigh To Go!' plus draft and polish an accompanying synopsis! Which means I shall be at the post office, before it opens tomorrow, waiting on their doorstep to kiss goodbye to this year's submission. Boy, does that feel good!

Just wanted to share x

Saturday, 20 July 2013

RNA Conference 2013, Holidays and Decisions

Morning folks, I’ve had to upload two updates today, as last week there was an error on the ‘blogspot’ site so wouldn’t allow for my weekly update. But hey, these things are sent to try us.

First, I have to tell you about the fab time I had attending the Romantic Novelists’ Associations (RNA) annual conference, this year held at The University of Sheffield – a great choice regards facility and accommodation.

Well for those that don’t know, the conference brings together romantic writers from all areas of the genre for a weekend of workshops and talks… plus much chat and socializing. The weekend offers the chance to chat to such a friendly bunch of writers, exchange details and catch up on much needed news and reviews. I had a ball. I really did. The social highlight of the conference is the annual dinner on the Saturday night, where the speeches are interspersed with gorgeous meal and wine. It was a delight to have Morton Gray, from the RNA Birmingham Chapter, come second in the Elizabeth Goudge Trophy with her intriguing story about ice. A huge congratulation to Kate Johnson, who was declared the winner and was duly presented with a beautiful silver trophy.

I was delighted to have met up with my writing buddy Helen Phifer, who I met at last years’ conference in Penrith. Likewise, this year I played hunt the writer with Bella Osborne, via Twitter, who increased my writing buddy crew for the next year. In addition, I came home with a handful of additional emails addresses, Twitter followers and Facebook friends – each boosting the network support.

Last year, you may remember that the RNA goodie bag is one to be envied by any conference goer, this year was no exception. The eye catching, silver and pink combo, couldn’t be ignored as it bulged and heaved with fabulous novels, postcards, bookmarks, greetings cards and a horde of chocolate. What more could a writer wish for?

Sadly the fun was over by Sunday afternoon, when Pia Fenton, RNA Chair, closed the conference for this year, leaving us all looking forward to Shropshire in 2014.

After all the excitement of the weekend I arrived home to face the final week of the day job. The countdown focused on for 12:30pm Friday, 19th  - with each passing day, the plan for my six weeks holiday grew. And now, as I sit here it feels very exciting knowing the plans I have for the next 44 days. Boy, I won’t be wasting a single minute. Please follow me on Twitter @odwyer_author or facebook by searching Odwyer Author for daily updates and snippets of progress.

And finally, decisions, decisions. Whilst at the RNA conference I attended a ten minute editor interview with my current WIP TFD. The appointment was very useful in advising me of a few changes that are necessary to the plotline. The thing that threw me was that this current WIP was supposed to be my RNA NWS submission for this year. Can I make the changes in four weeks? After much deliberation, I think not… so what do I do? Do I send it as it is? Somewhat foolish having received feedback regards the plotline. Having mulled it over all week I’ve decided to submit the first eight chapters of another novel ‘Weigh To Go!’ – a book started last Summer but has taken a back seat once the TFD idea popped into my head.  I think it is more beneficial to my progress as a writer to have a second novel critiqued then ignore an editor’s view. So, last night I put editing TFD on pause for a week, while I focus on getting ‘Weigh To Go!’ ready for posting. It’s funny how once a decision has been made, it feels like the right thing to do.

So, on that note I shall love and leave you to return to my desk – I have a submission to polish! Enjoy!

Jacqueline Wilson, Kate Humble and P.D. James

Good morning, a brief update about The Lichfield Festival which I attended last weekend. We, hubby and I, had tickets for three events: Jacqueline Wilson, Kate Humble and P.D. James – each were inspiring in their own way.

Jacqueline Wilson’s audience was filled, and I mean filled, with tiny young girls aged about eight. You could literally pick out the five adult males seated in the auditorium in a glance. Anyway, Jacqueline thrilled and delighted with a detailed account of her writing experience, answering numerous questions from the audience and delighting the adults with snippets from her life. I hadn’t realised just how many books she’d written, approx 93, and certainly wasn’t aware that she’d originally written for adults! Wow, what a successful transition. She explained how she promised her daughter never to use her as a character – a vow I’ve also adopted over the years. I’m sure there would be those that would be thrilled to be pen painted but the horrors if they didn’t approve don’t bare thinking about. I often pick habits, characteristics and sayings from those I know but never as the foundation for a character. Lordy, I’m not sure readers would ‘believe’ some of the characters I know. It was interesting to hear her refer to so many books over so many years – as an author you love your work but even now I have to check that I haven’t reused characters names, occupations – I’ve only written two and planned another three.

Kate Humble’s talk was focused upon her personal project turning a disused Welsh farm back into a working entity. I have to say, she came across as one of the nicest people in television; so relaxed, chatty and very funny. She started at the beginning explain how she got into telly, she herself admits it was a nice fluke, with delightful descriptions of ‘telly women’ dressed in Prada. I literally could have listened to her talk all evening about her travels to Afghanistan to film ‘shepherdess’ – along with the honour of being made an honorary daughter by the community. After a very quick hour, Kate signed books in the lobby and hubby, who is never shy at the best of times but always very funny, couldn’t resist thanking her for attending his birthday bash! Bless her, her face was a picture but immediately she joined his little joke saying ‘how could I refuse’. Lovely, lovely lady well worth seeing, only wished the session had been longer.

P.D. James – was the icing on the cake for me. At the ripe old age of 93 she entertained the audience with her lively wit and sharp mind. It was quite surreal to see a little white haired lady talking so passionately about murder! She surprised me with how sharp her memories were regards her plotlines and initial inspirations – when she’s written so many books. P.D. James recalled and shared several inspirations from her own personal life that had provided settings and backdrops for her plots. Again, I could have listened to her talk all night, but sadly it ended after one short hour.

I came away from each session feeling inspired and motivated – a great way to boost the flagging soul when your own project is nearing the end - and, a snip at the ticket price!

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Early mornings, editing and Lichfield Literary Festival

Morning followers, we’re finally experiencing the summer sun here in the UK, though it might all be over in an hour or so. So, I’ll make this quick.

I have had a week of early mornings, getting up at 5:30am, which has enabled me to edit for half an hour before I start getting ready for the day job. Sounds like madness, but it has worked for me. And, by six in the morning I’m on a positive start to the day. Anyway, the routine will continue next week too.

I have polished and delivered chapter one of TFD plus a synopsis in preparation for an editor meeting at the RNA. I always find it amazing when you return to read the beginning of your work - I literally forget the details and come away surprised at my own work. 

I have just submitted a whole host of work to The Big Issue on behalf on my yr 9 class. They’ve studied the theme of homelessness and written appropriate pieces worthy of submission.

Today and tomorrow are free, bliss. My intention, despite the beautiful weather, is to be at my desk clocking up the hours. I’m finding editing a mixed blessing at the minute, so need to simply plod on. There must be some secret to editing that I am yet to learn, it really isn’t the most enjoyable part.

One job for this weekend is a summer inventory. A quarterly admin task where I make sure that all my work is logged and recorded, CV brought up to date, ideas filed, pictures downloaded  - basically I put the shop in order for the next three months. I usually find a surprise gem that I’d forgotten about – so it’s worth doing as a means of igniting creativity.

This weekend Lichfield is holding their literary festival, so a whole host of authors are converging to discuss their talents. I’ve been lucky enough to get tickets for three sessions: Jacqueline Wilson, Kate Humble and P.D. James. Hubby has the delight of accompanying me, though he isn’t complaining thanks to the inclusion of dear Ms Humble. So, next week I’ll be including details from each session.

O.K. enough from me, my editing is calling my name, so I must go! Please hook up over Twitter @odwyer_author or search Facebook for odwyer author – keep in touch and keep up to speed with my progress. I always do Follow Friday on Twitter, if you hook up it could be you. Enjoy!