Sunday, 29 September 2013

Helen Phifer, World Heart day and Dombey

Good morning, sorry for the lateness but yesterday was snatched from me in a blink. Anyhow, I’ve had a troublesome week with the juggling act; some good days, some simply awful – but hey.

Last weekend, I discovered a few interesting facts and figures for research but sadly not all that I’d hoped. So, in the coming week’s I’m planning a trip to Warwick records office for a further mooch.

I missed my writers’ meeting on Thursday, which annoyed me slightly but I made the most of it by spending the evening at my desk. I am vowing to be at this week’s meeting - come hell or high water.

Today is officially World Heart day – so prior to writing this blog update my muse composed a tiny ditty dedicated to my own cardiac pump. Not a bad start to the day, which I intend to spend at my desk writing. I have additional work on my current W.I.P. which I had hoped would be completed for this weekend, but sadly not. I’ll let you know via Twitter how my productive day pans out.

Good news – Dombey has been put to bed. Without disrespecting Dickens but ‘Dombey and son’ was hardly the best work he produced I much prefer ‘Bleak House’, ‘Great Expectations’ and ‘Oliver Twist’ – so please forgive me for doing a mini jig having reached the end. I start rereading Austen’s ‘Northanger Abbey’ from tomorrow onwards – boy, am I chuffed.

Wednesday is ‘publishing day’ for my writing buddy Helen Phifer’s debut novel ‘Ghost house’ – I have my copy preordered and can’t wait to begin reading  - I’m very excited for her, she truly deserves the success.
and her website,

A brief un-date, but I need to dash while the energy is following. I’ll catch you on Facebook (odwyer_author) or Twitter @odwyer_author – later in the day. Enjoy!

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Library, study and observations

 Morning folks, I’ve had a far better writing week this week and boy, has it made a difference to me. I’ve felt more enthused and alive than constantly moaning to self that I’m not achieving. Though, the day job did get in the way of attending my writers’ group on Wednesday night.

So what’s new? A productive week, that’s what! Last weekend I managed to submit my opening chapters to the Harry Bowling competition – which was my goal of the day. A couple of lines of poetry evolved during my dog walking session and a short story idea was born. Two ideas for prose pieces crept into my mind during a coffee break and I observed several ‘characters’ on my drives to work. All of this in addition to my current project which is plodding in the right direction – can a writer ask for a better week? No, not really. When the brain is flowing freely it is a joy to be overloaded with so many ideas. And today, I’m granted the time to work on them. Bliss.

Talking of observations – I’m addicted to people watching. I literally can’t help myself if I spot an interesting person at fifty yards, my eyes are locked on and every detail is mentally absorbed and later noted. Be it a unique walk, a stance or an expression – anything that conveys a meaning or suggests a personality. The puzzled expression as the mother waves a child off to school, the sprint of a young man between the busy traffic or dawdle of an elderly lady on a Monday morning. There are days I find myself surrounded by such sightings that require detailing in my note book. But, all make a bank of details when creating characters or plotlines.

My studies have started too. I’m still with ‘Dombey and son’, only another three hundred pages to go, but I’ve now started to listen to the audio which is enabling me to remember details from the early part of the novel. This is one of my goals for the weekend, to read a huge chunk making next week’s study a little more manageable. Though, the delight of my study was listening to a seminar on the gothic genre on cd – which has accompanied me everywhere.     

Last week, I mentioned part two of Jane Wenham- Jones’ writing series on Youtube – here’s the link if you’d like to view it
The series continues with the aspiring writer trying to correct her work with some wonderful advice from Katie Fforde.  

I shall love and leave you. I’m about to nip to the library to complete research on the local area. Due to recent cut backs my local library is only open until one o’clock on Saturdays so I have to make the most of it. On weekdays, they close before I finish work so there’s no chance of nipping in for a quiet 30 minutes after work.

Remember you can link up and chat over Twitter (@odwyer_author) or Facebook odwyer_author – enjoy!

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Submission 4, NaNoWriMo and Youtube

Morning folks, hoping that you’re all happy and healthy. I’ve been pretty silent all week due to the day job overflowing but now, I’m back.

I have the entire day to myself so my goal is to prepare a 5000 word manuscript for entry into the Harry Bowling Prize for New The closing date is 30th September but for me, today’s the day. This will be my fourth submission in recent weeks – leaving just one more submission to fulfill my pledge of five to my RNA friends. Ladies, I shall get to work straight away to complete our mission.

For weeks now I’ve been churning over an idea for this year’s NaNo challenge and currently have so much planned in my head for this mammoth task.  Please take a look, signing up would be great – it sounds hard to believe but it is fun and very satisfying. Why not link up as one of my buddies - we can support each other?

I’ve already decided that my NaNo 2013 manuscript will be my RNA NWS submission for 2014. My plan is to write my first 50,000 in November, then completed the other 50,000 soon after. Fingers crossed, I will then continue to work on the project until ready to submit to RNA. This plan will enable me to submit earlier than the August deadline -which always looms so quickly. Watch this space to see how I fare.

My study course arrived this week, so far I’ve unpacked it and stared at the beautiful shiny covers, boy, how am I going to fit all this in, was my only thought? But I will, I always do! I’m studying Nineteenth Century Novels via the Open University – and am still wading through ‘Dombey and Son’ in preparation of the 5th October start date.  If anyone would like to take over for a bit, I’d really appreciate it J

Today, I shall be searching Youtube for part two of Jane Wenham-Jones writing series. Here’s the link for the first episode - take a look and enjoy.

Wishing you a fabulous day and remember you can follow me on Twitter (@odwyer_author) or Facebook (odwyer author). I promise I won’t be silent this week. Enjoy!  

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Routines, skeletons and Dombey

Morning folks, it was an early start for me, I’ve managed to polish a short story prior to writing this blog. So, how the devil are you? Good, I hope. I returned to school on Monday – boy, doesn’t the regular routine soon catch up with you. Anyway, I feel as though I haven’t written all week but honestly I have, though just in evenings – which doesn’t seem much after six long and glorious weeks. But hey, I can’t complain. I’ve managed to squeeze a few more scenes into draft four, tidy a couple of chapters and introduce a small fluffy character by the name of Buttons. Each night has heralded the completion of a task and each morning the goal of another.

At the Mad Hatter meeting on Wednesday my muse was triggered by a discussion about a local Abbey, which has an archaeology dig under way. A member was explaining about the eleven skeletons that were uncovered last week and the possibility of it being a thousand years since their death. That blew my mind to imagine their lives, daily routines and existence in days gone by - with very little thought of having their peace disturbed by the likes of us in 2013. Knowing how my creativity works, I’m sure I’ll have a piece of work inspired by them. I understand they are being reburied either today or tomorrow – something they’d have never expected.

Today, I’ve a day at my desk as Hubby has gone slightly mad and is participating in his first W.O.L.F run (woods, obstacles, lakes and forest) in fact as I write he is twenty minutes into a 10km run. Mental in my opinion, but hey, it’s all in the name of fun! I shall take full advantage and knuckle down for with draft four – he classes my kind of fun as mental, so each to their own.

I’ve loads of study to complete this weekend, after my writing work. The current reading challenge is ‘Dombey and Son’ as prep for my course starting in October – boy, its tough going. I love Dickens so expected to plough through but sadly not. I’m currently on page 300 with just 650 to go! Not that I’m counting. The prize on completion is to begin Austen’s ‘Northanger Abbey’ – not my favourite Jane book but all the same desirable after old Dombey.

I also have a door jamb to sand and paint – no doubt a new plot for a short story will churn during the task giving me something to note down for a competition entry.

Wishing you a fabulous weekend and remember you can follow me on Twitter (@odwyer_author) or Facebook (odwyer author). Enjoy!  

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Autumn, NaNo and Inventories

Morning folks, hoping you’re happy and healthy. Today’s the 1st day of September – which means a day of goal setting and planning regards the month ahead. Last week I began draft four of my current WIP so my main goal is to rewrite a couple of scenes, add in other scenes and proofread in full before the 30th. It will be a challenge as my school holiday finishes tomorrow so, it is back to the routine of day job and juggling.

I visited the National Novel Writing Month web site as a means of prep for this year’s challenge. The challenge is to write 50,000 words of a novel in 30 days. Last year, I managed to complete the task thanks to the encouragement from my writing buddy, Helen Phifer. This year, I’m going for it again. Though I’m more prepared than last year when I literally had a main character’s name, nothing else, just a name! This year I have started to mull over an idea and it has grown into a situation – fingers crossed over the next eight weeks it continues to develop ready for 1st November. Why don’t you join us?

Due to the day job August is always a time of reflection, renewal and preparation ready for the autumn season - this year has been no different. I’ve spent my holiday, apart from writing, decorating the house, tidying and clearing out junk possessions and generally planning for the coming months. A consequence has been the wealth of ideas for short stories that have occurred whilst busying myself. I certainly don’t write as many short stories as I could or should, so plan to use my new list of ideas as motivation. An important factor of self-reflection is an inventory of my written work – I do this every season as a means of keeping a check on my productivity and a chase up on unpublished work. I’d advice any writer to pencil an inventory into their diary. I tend to tally each new piece of work so I know the quantities of novel chapters, short stores and poems written during the period. The second stage is to chase any work that I know I’ve sent out but hasn’t been published or rejected – in another words, has fallen silent. Make sure you’ve waited a little while but anything that has gone silent after six months I now chase. I used to allow time to take its course but having learnt the hard way I now chase. I always but a value on a piece of work and so to have a piece disappear without a word has cost me in time, effort and opportunity. Please don’t be afraid to ask ‘are you still considering my work?’, ‘is the magazine issue being published?’ – you’ll be surprised at the developments that occur behind the scenes that organizers haven’t past onto the writers, who are patiently waiting news. Ask, get an answer and then make a decision - are you happy to wait longer or want to withdraw your work. It is your choice, so don’t let others decide for you. If you withdraw your work, please revamp it to fit another project and send it out to earn its crust.

I hope you have a fabulous week and remember you can follow me on Twitter (@odwyer_author) or Facebook (odwyer author) I always do Twitter ‘Follow Friday’ so next week it could be you. Enjoy!