Thanksgiving

To all my American readers – Happy Thanksgiving.

geeseSorry – I don’t have any turkey paintings so here is a minature of two geese. The one at the back is called Boris and the one at the front is Missy. They are our breeding pair and are now ten years old and still going strong.

Cardiff… and maybe a Phd…

I was scared.

No, that is an understatement. I was petrified. By the time I had seen the people I wanted to see I was about to have a full scale panic attack. I ran out of the National Museum and walked back and forth on the steps. The Museum had been closed so the bouncers (all dressed in black) were watching me.

So I rang Mum.

“What’s wrong?”

“I was out of my depth…” I started, gulping air.

“Okay, what did they say.”

I explained that I had talked to the heads of department for Bath Spa and Aberystwyth University and they had pulled me up on my absence of knowledge about authors in the field I wanted to go into. And they had said that it was too vague. I was focusing on too big an area.

“Okay, now what did they say that was good?”

I paused. I was so focused on the bad that I had just dismissed the good comments.

“It’s a good idea and they want me to apply.”

Mum laughed. “Then what are you worried about. Fix what is wrong and apply.”

“Oh…”

We said bye and I started to walk to the station. I mean I know that it is still a long shot, about 1 in 20, but I have got to give it a go.

Yet this morning a voice whispered in my ear…

You are wasting your time. You will never make any money and are going to end up alone and homeless.

Now I know that isn’t going to happen. I have family support so even if a hit a rut that derails me they will hold me up until I’m back on my feet. But still the voice is insistent and I can’t help but listen.

Why do I do that?

Why do I ignore the good and focus on the bad?

I think my new years resolution will be to find something good every day.

In fact – ignore that! I’m going to start now.

So the good thing yesterday was that they want me to apply for a PhD. And today – well, it has to be the simple fact that my mum turned to me this morning:

“Kate,” she said.

“Um?” I mumbled while trying to fill the kitten’s food bowls and not tread on them.

“Me and your Dad just wanted you to know that we are really proud of you.”

And that is the best thing for today.

My first Christmas fair

Well, I’m here at a local fair in Bont. Christmas music is playing and tinsel is out. I’m a little worried about selling. I mean,a rabbit soft toy sells itself, but with books and artwork you need to talk to people.

So I’m smiling and trying to appear confident despite the fact I feel like a nervous wreck.

Hopefully I will sell a few books and a couple of cards. Right now though I’m off to get my cup of complimentary tea.

I do know what I’m doing, honest….

Oops… There goes Nanowrimo.

I have not been happy. My writing has been struggling. It has nothing to do with Nanowrimo, it just wasn’t working.

Have you ever started a peice and it is like you are slogging through molasses? Well, the novel has been like that. And when I re-read it the prose was forced, the characters detached and the storyline stilted. Which made no sense. I’m adapting one of my own screenplays and it ought to be easy. But it just isn’t working. You don’t care about the heroine, or the villain. The catalyst isn’t working.

So I put it away.

In fact. I haven’t written for a week. You see the story is good. It is something else that I’m doing wrong. So today I went back and looked at it.

I’ve written it wrong.

What I mean is that the writing is in third person past tense with an omniscient reader (a reader who knows everything). But it isn’t right.

Why not?

Well, firstly because it is a mystery. I mean what reader wants to know everything about a mystery? If that they do then there is no suspense.

Secondly the book follows one character religiously. But we are never shown what she feels because we don’t get inside her head.

And thirdly, there are no shocks because the writing is smooth and constant. It is as if I’m talking in a monotone voice – dull.

So the solution is to start again.

But this time I’m going to write it in first person present tense with the reader only knowing what the heroine knows. The reveals will happen to the character and the reader at the same time.

I’ve started and it is as if I can run, finally the book is flowing. I’m behind in my deadline by three weeks but I think it will be worth it.

Today’s a surprise!

It’s my birthday… Okay – that isn’t the surprise…

I woke this morning with a heavy feeling of being a year older. I have a problem with the big 40 and I’m now only one year away. It leaves me looking at my life and wondering where my dreams have gone. I’m not talking about the writing dream, but the one I had as a child. The one that involved a husband and babies. That is the dream that I can miss at times.

I suppose that it isn’t too late, but still, on my birthday it rears its ugly head, looks at me and gives a cold smile. And it normally puts me into a complete depression. Sure I smile but it hangs over me like a dark cloud.

Except this birthday.

Have I suddenly got a man and babies? Well, no. But I haven’t allowed the bad to take hold.

You see this morning my phone beeped. I woke me at 8.30am which, considering I hadn’t gone to bed until 2.30am due to watching a horror movie, was a mite early. I swore and reached for the phone.

‘You have an email’

Great.

I have a look and…

Okay, maybe the backstory ought to be mentioned. I was sent a link via Facebook for the possibility of a scholarship for doing a phd. I applied. I mean – why not. I’ve had an idea for the last year but was stumped because I’m out of cash – really out of cash… So I filled out the form and then thought nothing of it. In fact I thought it was such a longshot that I threw away the forms. I kept nothing…

Then the email inviting me to the open day. Okay, it is early steps. I mean there must be hundreds going and the likelihood of me making it is small, but I have a chance.

So this morning I have a massive grin, despite the fact I have spent to morning rifling through the recycling looking for the paperwork. I am in with a chance. And that is the best news ever. So wish me luck as Monday I am in Cardiff meeting a few universities. Ever so scary but ever so cool.

Disquiet

Kate:

Disquiet – the next installment of The Gone. Bitsy, Max and Colin must escape, but what awaits them?

Originally posted on The Gone:

“The lights are out.”

I turn to look at Colin in disgust. “Really?” I say with as much sarcasm as I can muster.

In the darkness I hear Max chuckle.

“Do you see her?” Colin asks and I’m struck with how inane his comments are. For a moment I am so angry that I want to hurt someone, specifically him. Then the feeling passes. I wonder if it has anything to do with what I am now. I must remember to watch my emotions. If I let myself lose control the result could be bad, at least for the person I was attacking.

“Do you think she’s in another cupboard?” Colin says.

Actually that isn’t a bad suggestion and I peer into the darkness. The odd thing is that the pitch black isn’t pitch black anymore. I can see, although my sight is only in black and white. I guess…

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