Monday, 24 February 2014

Holiday over

Evening folks, the holiday is over! Phew, I have returned to the day job and am back to the usual writing routine. I'll rush my tea and be at my desk in the next hour working on RNA submission.

Catch up later x

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Last day on holiday

Morning folks, today is my final day on holiday - which means it has to be a dash around day where I stupidly try to squeeze as much as I can into one day. So, I'll start with my study essay, move to my RNA NWS and from there... I'll see what happens.

Catch you later x

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Blog tour and RNA NWS

Morning folks, sadly my holiday week is drawing to an end. My first task today is to mark a class of exercise books before anything else. Afterwards I shall head straight to my desk and away I go with RNA NWS submission.

Yesterday, I agreed to participate in a blog tour called 'My Writing Progress' - aspiring authors answering four simple questions regards their writing. My blog contribution will be posted on Monday 3 March, so a week on Monday. The tour works like a relay race, I've been lucky enough to secure Morton Gray to pass the baton onto for the following week.

That's the plan Stan - I'll catch you later x

Follow up: having completed my school work, I turned my attention to my study essay. Why oh why does it seem so easy when lecturers explain, yet so confusing when seated before a blank page? Anyhow, I have managed a thousand words comparing Zola and Hardy - I'll write the other half tomorrow.

I've drafted a poem inspired by the simple 'nod' - such a small gesture yet so expressive.

I finally settled to my RNA NWS wrote two chapters and then deleted one, such is the way!

Friday, 21 February 2014

Yesterday - a busy day

Morning! Boy, yesterday was a cracking day! I managed to complete far more writing work than I'd ever expected, I began my essay as planned and my submission was posted. Sounds fab doesn't but that's nothing compared to my writing buddy Helen Phifer - her book cover for her second novel was released (beautiful image) and she went to number one in the contemporary horror charts with her debut novel The Ghost House!!! I'm so happy for her I could burst! for more details.

So, back to today - I'm expecting it to seem quiet after yesterday. 38 days remain, so I simply need to write!

Catch you later x

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Writers' meetings and submissions

Morning folks, another early start for me; I must make the most of my holiday week. A second blessing today is an empty house, home alone, which always boosts my productivity. The focus for today is my RNA NWS submission... just 39 days to go!

Last night I attended the Mad Hatters' writers group, not the best of nights to be fair, some the members couldn't make it so just three of us attended. We sat waiting till eight thirty to start in case others joined, but they didn't. This is the thing with groups, there seems to be a healthy period that eventually slacks to it almost dying. That's how last night felt. It would be a shame if the group went under. Not everyone in our group wants to be published, some are content reading their work for our feedback and their own sense of achievement - others, like me, are chasing the publishing contract. So, should anyone in the local area of postcode CV9 be interested in joining, please give me a shout - you are very welcome to join.

I'm watching out for two things today. Firstly, the postie needs to deliver a magazine that contains a coupon for a novel competition. The submission and accompanying paperwork is here, ready and waiting. Secondly, and just as importantly, I'm keeping my eyes peeled for a first glance at Helen Phifer's new book cover, published by Carina. I'll retweet as soon as I see it.

So, I'll love you and leave you for now x

Follow up: Yay, Postie has been. Submission is complete and hubby has nipped it to the post office for me.

By lunchtime I had edited 12,690 words which is a new all time best for me - though, my back is now killing me but yay! After lunch, I then settled to mark a set of class books before heading to my study table to start an essay comparing Zola and Hardy! I'd like to get back to my writing desk asap, to be honest.

Catch you later x

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Minus 10,000ish words

Good morning, another early start for me. Yesterday was better than expected, I managed to write three new chapters but I killed off a character! Yes, you read that correctly, I erased her from the novel which meant removing just under10,000 words. A hefty chunk indeed. I removed her because she was surplus to requirement and another character could perform the essentials that she had. So be gone! Which has culled my word count back down to 46,751.

I submitted my entry to the Bath Novel Competition - I love on-line comps they save you time, postage and printer ink. Closing date isn't until 28th Feb but I like to be early.

Today, I'll be preparing my entry for a second novel competition, fingers crossed the postie brings the purchased magazine with the entry slip. After which, I'll return to my slimline novel to write a few more chapters.

I have a writers' meeting this evening, do hopefully lots if book talk and news.

Catch you later x

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Why I write...

Morning folks, I'm up bright and early ready for a full day at my desk. Yesterday was slightly wierd as I spent the morning at the day job, even though I'm on holiday, then had a frantic search for a lost entry form but I ended the day on a high note by finding a new title for my current novel. Yay!

My writing buddy Helen Phifer launched her new blog yesterday, please take a peek at - her piece 'Insprations' caused me to reflect upon why I write. I suppose the truth is, I write for numerous reasons. As a child I began reading at a very young age, before attending school and so discovered my love of books. My father used to take me for weekly visits to the library on Saturday mornings which reinforced my book habit, he too was an avid reader. My second love was Lego, which is great for bringing on imagination and creativity - so I suppose looking back the two complimented each other.

I was a solitary child, preferring my own company to any one else's, quite difficult really when other children want to be surrounded by friends. As I grew up, there were many periods when I retreated into my fictional world as an escape from reality, which over time developed into me trying to create feasible characters and plot lines. I think my traits as a nosey Parker helps immensely, as does my love of people watching. In hindsight, I feel my life was always destined to be that of a writer, it's what I'm happiest doing, with me 24/7 and ideas seem to flood my mind - pity my fingers can't capture them so fast!

So, on to today. I need a fresh cuppa, I know that, but afterwards I'll be focusing my my RNA NWS submission.

Catch you later x

Monday, 17 February 2014

Panic stations

Hi folks... I've had a panic stricken moment today on realizing I'd missed an entry form in a magazine. Well fear not, good old eBay has come up trumps and the necessary copy is winging its way to me, as we speak. Phew!

Tonight, I shall be at my desk drafting a new chapter for my novel. Which I'm seeking a new title for as I've fallen out of love with the current one ...

Catch you later x

Sunday, 16 February 2014


The sun is shining, I have a fresh cuppa and I've just settled at my desk for a writing day. The plan for the next few hours: polish the anti valentine poem, tidy a synopsis and hopefully prepare my entry for novel competition. After that I'll return to the current novel to draft a couple more chapters.

Catch you later x

Follow up: a fab day of writing. I managed to complete my poem, polish 5000 words and a synopsis for a competition entry - which I shall reread tomorrow before submitting. After a bite to eat and a refuel of tea, I settled to redraft a chapter and write another one. All in all, a very productive day for me. If only I could have more days like this!

See you tomorrow folks, excuse my absence in the morning but I shall be with you by half one.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Surprise, holidays and deadlines

Morning folks, as you can see I've had a little spring clean and rearrangement of my blog page. After three years, I was tired of the old, so in with the new!

I am officially on my holidays, phew I never thought it would arrive, so the plans start here! I have a head full of material that needs writing, for no other reason then maintaining my marbles. I have poems on stormy weather, anti valentines and special places, all swimming about my mind. I have the next few chapters of book 3 piecing themselves together along side a short story. Seriously, my head is like a shed at the moment - which simply needs emptying. All week I'd planned to have a writing day today to clear the load but sadly, today has turned into an odd job day of mending garden fences. So tomorrow, I'll hibernate in my writing room and empty my musings.

My plans for the week focus mainly on my RNA NWS submission - just 44 days in which to complete to hit my 31st March deadline. And, then the work begins. I also need to complete a study essay which I'd hoped to have planned by now, but hey! It'll be sent before I return to the day job.

I didn't manage to attend my writing group on Thursday due to the awful weather we're currently experiencing... I was scared of finding myself knee deep in a flood, pitch dark in a country lane - so I gave it a miss. Though, it might have inspired a short story, who knows.

To follow me via Twitter just search for odwyer_author and likewise with facebook. I hope to be sending daily updates over the coming week, so please sneak back and take a peek. Enjoy!

Sunday, 9 February 2014

RNA Chapter, Zola and Hardy

Morning folks, I hope you are happy and healthy. I find myself awake at a ridiculously early hour due to weather outside waking me. So, I've chosen to spend it with you.

Last week was an excellent one for me - I managed lots if novel writing, planning and a tad more research. It's all going in the right direction taking me steps nearer to my 31 March goal. Why then? Well, based on previous experience, if I send my RNA NWS submission off then, it'll be back within the month which will allow me some free time over Easter to do other things. I'll then have May and June to address any niggles raised by the reader - before starting July with a list of agents and publishers addresses and a pile of submissions. Sounds like a plan to me. Oh, and not forgetting I'll have six weeks holidays following that in which I can turn my attention to another project. So, 31st March deadline.

Yesterday I attended the RNA Birmingham Chapter meeting, we gather every three months to chat about our writing. It is always an interesting mix of authors who attend, published and aspiring. Yesterday was no exception; Alison May, Bella Osbourn, Sally Jenkins, Marilyn Rodwell, Neneh Gordan amongst others. In two hours we crammed in writers' chat, front cover viewings and agent celebrations. As part of the RNA we have a workshop booked for Saturday, 5th April - so only a few weeks until our next meeting.

I was a busy bee yesterday, before attending the RNA chapter meeting I had a two hour uni lecture comparing the novels of Emile Zola and Thomas Hardy - boy, did the discussion get a little heavy! Interesting but intense views. Following which, I now have an essay to write before 27 February. I may even start it today, while details and opinions are fresh in my head.

For today, a much deserved writing day. So, I'll love and leave you while I attend my writing desk. Remember you can follow my progress on Twitter @odwyer_author or facebook odwyer_author. Enjoy!

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Goals and routines

Morning folks, up early and ready for a writing day in a silent house. Bliss! I have a goal of five thousand words for today, so you might need to drop by later and check my progress.
You've probably noticed that I live by self-imposed goals - writing, day job and even in my personal life. I think it's the psychology of having a finishing line that I must work too, after which I reevaluate my progress and then choose the next step/goal - a never ending cycle of progress, I suppose.

Over the years I have adopted little routines of a similar psychological manner. I used to set an alarm clock at a suitable time it write, much like an appointment time - that worked well when you keep putting off writing because other jobs need doing. I felt like Pavlov's dogs but hey, it made me write each time the clock rang.

When I'm really busy, I've set thirty minute goals and write for just a short time but repeat four times in a day. The time soon adds up after four sessions spread throughout a busy day.

I tend to plan and write in a diary the next day's task - be it a specific chapter, a scene or an allocated time at my desk. I then leave my diary open on top of my laptop - it's the first thing I read on sitting at my desk. Strange but honestly, it works.

I have a project board - on which my current projects are written on post-it notes and pinned in date order. Straight away I can see the deadline order of competitions or group exercises along side my number one novel project. This is helpful when I spot a new competition - I add it into the work flow noting basic details for future reference.

An excellent trick I learnt from reading Simon Whalley's The Positive Productive Writer was to note your daily word count in a spreadsheet. Boy, what a motivation for me. Now, I can see my output for any week or month. Quite amazing when reviewed.

For today, my routines are simple - an entire day to indulge my muse in my own special world. I won't need alarm clocks or mini slots to motivate... all I need is my 5000 word goal!

You can follow me on twitter @odwyer_author to follow today's progress - who knows I might exceed my goal. Enjoy your day!