I’m listening to BBC Radio 2. The weather is cold and snowy in England, nobody’s very happy. Interspersed with all the chat is current music, which is fine when I’m taking care of laundry, putting away dishes etc. but if I was doing some serious writing now the house would be silent. I can’t write when music is playing; I start listening to the lyrics, tapping my toes, thinking of other things . . . However recently I was visiting a writing forum and somebody mentioned play lists. Apparently lots of writers will compile a play list that evokes the mood of their current WIP, inspires them, gets them writing. And as I have reached the dreaded sagging part of my current WIP (not the middle exactly, more like the 3/4 point) I am wondering whether a play list might help me on my way. Working title is A Nightingale Sang, so the first song on my list is pretty obvious, but there is a character who is a huge Glenn Miller fan and as the novel is set during WWII there’s a huge range of haunting, romantic, jaunty and beautiful songs from that era I could choose from. So that’s one project for today (in between laundry and a million and one other mundane tasks) – compile a list of favourite WWII songs and have teenage son put them on my MP3 player. . . .
I have neglected this blog due to a severe lack of anything to say! I don’t attend writing conferences or have any pictures of myself with famous writers. I don’t have a gorgeous little office with mountain views where I tap out my stories as my dogs snooze at my feet. The truth is, days and days go by where I don’t even write due to my job, raising three teenagers and feeling completely blah by the end of each day.
I do realize that I’m not the only writer suffering a chronic lack of glamour in her life. I have wanted to set pen to paper and be a writer since I was about six, but grew up reading instead, convinced that someone as ordinary as me just didn’t have it in them to be a writer. Sporadic attempts to write a novel invariably ended in grief. Then I married and found myself with three young children. During those long and lonely nights and days I began trying to write short stories and even posted a few online after discovering such things as forums and groups for writers. And one day I sent off a story called Martha Makes Breakfast to a now defunct online magazine called Espresso Fiction – and sold it! For thirty whole dollars! After that there was no stopping me and I made more sales, won a few competitions, received a generous share of rejections.
And now, somehow, a decade has passed. The children who played in the bathtub while I watched them and scribbled confession stories longhand sitting on the toilet are teenagers. Life has changed. What hasn’t changed is that I still gain an enormous amount of satisfaction and happiness from writing, even if I can only manage 100-300 words a day rather than 1000-2000. I no longer write sitting on the toilet but at the dining room table or on my bed, on my very own computer.
And I guess I do have a little news, after all – An Accidental Kiss is due for release on May 15th. I loved writing this story and hope that readers will also find a soft spot in their hearts for Marcy, Frank, Justine, Kath and Herb. Meanwhile, if you share a similiar, glamorous lifestyle to my own or can write whilst sitting on the toilet or cleaning up cat sick I would love to hear from you!
It’s just December 2nd but I’ve reached that point in my Christmas shopping where I’ve almost finished apart from the smaller stocking items, like chocolate covered coins and mini notebooks. My feet were aching by the time we came home from Colorado Mills. Now it’s early evening at the end of a very good weekend – awesome writers for The Wild Rose Press extended advice and suggestions yesterday after I had a frank moan about what a headache I was finding it, starting up a website, being so completely computer illiterate. After the shopping expedition I came home and created this site. I’ll be writing about my writing, but I’m sure lots of other stuff will find its way in too. I’ve spent the past month or so, since I signed the contract, editing An Accidental Kiss. I’ve been working with a really nice editor who has been endlessly patient.
Now I’m working on a novel, which I won’t say too much about here, except that it has a World War 2 setting and is set in a little Suffolk village based on Woodbridge in Suffolk, where I spent my teenage years complaining bitterly about how bored I was.