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’


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 – 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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Is this a second year of a nanowrimo fail?

It may seem premature, I mean we are only on the 13th of November, but I have to admit that my word count is bad… Worse than bad. I am at 5000 words. Okay I have excuses, but all I feel is disappointment.

It does seem like the fates have conspired against me. I had a few illness issues and it has been tough functioning normally, let alone writing. My word count per day has gone from bad to worse.

Am I going to give up?

Hell, no.

But my novel may not hit the nanowrimo milestones. It will get there; maybe by mid December, but I still feel like a failure.

It’s really strange because I can get a number of rejection letters and I just shrug them off. But with this I’m feeling the failure like an ache. It has got to me. But as I’m feeling better I think that it is going to get written faster.

I just wish I could relax about it. Maybe I ought to try a bit of meditation….

Insomnia, writing and illness

I’ve been ill. I mean, it’s coincided with there being no internet so I wasn’t going to mention it, but I am now starting to get the effects of the drugs I’m on. It’s my own fault. If I’d payed more attention to my body I would have been fine but instead I decided to ignore it. To soldier on.

In truth a couple of months a go I did go see the doctor and say I was having problems balancing. Now for someone with dyspraxia, this is not a new feeling. But the swimming head was. If anything I was expecting to be told I had an ear infection and sent on my way with some medication. What can I say other than I have really odd shaped ears which leave me prone to infections that are more common in three year old children.

Except the doctor said that I was clear. But he did suggest I had a sinus problem and told me to take some antibiotics. I was going to. Honest.

I was in a rush that day so I decided to get them the next day, after all, it might just go away. The next day I felt better. The day after better again.

The doctor had asked if I had a bad tooth. I had said no. I didn’t think I had.

It was a mistake. About a week after that and having never cashed the prescription one of my teeth lost the filling to reveal an abscess and very little tooth.  I went to the dentist. He gave me a low grade antibiotic to hit the infection on the head as the abscess was small and it appeared to have cleared up. I didn’t mention the sinus problem because I didn’t see it as a problem.

So I go home with an appointment for a week later. I did notice a few spots at the back of my throat but by extraction day they were gone. I thought nothing of it.

I went to the dentist and had my first tooth out in the chair. It was not a nice process. The socket appeared to be healing but my constant checking did reveal the spots at the back of my throat were back. I was also tasting blood, a lot. I thought it was the tooth, or rather the lack of it. But it had developed  the granulation tissue over the hole and shouldn’t have been causing a problem.

Two days later, and now the weekend, I realised that I had a temperature. It was fairly high. I rang the doctor and was told to go to the out of hours doctor.

I don’t know about the rest of the country but the out of hours doctor in Wales is a local doctor that has an office in A&E. So I dutifully get in the car, thinking I may not be driving, and go the A&E.

An hour wait later I am sat in front of my local doctor. He looks in my throat.


Odd, I think. I thought that was my line.

“I’ll be right back,” he says.

So I wait. And I wait…

In the end I got out my kindle and read. He was about half an hour. Then he comes back in and hands me a load of tablets.

“See me Monday.”

Okay, so I leave. I get home and check the packet. Some sort of penicillin… I take them. The infection is nasty and I now have open sores on my tongue.

Monday comes around and I see the doctor. He gives me another set of pills, the same kind, but he has extended the length of time I’m on them. I will be on these antibiotics for 10 days by the time I’m finished and I’m taking 2000mg of penicillin a day.

Why am I telling you this?

Well, it isn’t just a rant. You see I had noticed I wasn’t well, but I run my own business and as a result there is no one to take over if you get ill. So you don’t.

I mean, you get ill, but you ignore it or you push it to the back of your mind. If I have taken the first lot of antibiotics would I be this unwell unable to sleep because I feel ill?

No, I would be fine. I may not have even lost a tooth.

I ignored the signs. When my word count dropped from 3500 words a day to 500 I just thought I was having an off day. But I didn’t want to do anything. I should have gone to the doctors. I should have stood on the highest point I could find and scream to someone that something was wrong.

Instead, I decided to be strong and have ended up very weak.

In seven days time I turn 39 and yet, once again, I have allowed myself to become very ill, just because I was worried about not being able to work. So as a warning to all of you out there who are pushing yourselves to the limit.

Don’t, it really isn’t worth it. Even after the antibiotics I can safely say that I’m going to need a while to get over this.

And if you were wondering about the tooth that had gone – the socket is healing well. It was only a little tooth so all is good.

Hopefully, in a few weeks time I will be back to normal, but right now I feel fairly bad. Serves me right really. I should listen to myself more.

The BAD guy

I thought I’d tell you about the BAD guy in the novel.  I like to cast my characters with actors.  It helps me visualise them. So Philip Carter, the villain of the piece, is George Clooney.

I know he normally plays good guys but I needed bad guy that looked like a good guy, so George got the part.

So let me introduce you to Philip Carter:

Occupation: A consultant in thoracic surgery at a private hospital.

Physical Description:
Always well-dressed.
Hair is dark brown with silver at the temples
Late 40’s
6 feet
About 13 stone

Can be violent

Watches his weight
Surprisingly strong
Appears kind and polite

Background: Upper class

Internal Conflicts: His violence

External Conflicts: People don’t understand him or his needs

Goal – to dominate his family
Plan to achieve the goal – To make the family submissive and obey his rules.

This is also how I set out a character page, or pages. It allows me to know all the characters well before I start to write.

What comes around….

Well, here I am again, sitting in a car park and using 3g… I love Wales but the patchy signal is a real problem when your broadband goes down.

Hasn’t that just happened? I hear you ask.

The answer is yes. Two weeks ago broadband stopped working and it took a week to fix it. It appears that something is wrong, either at the same place or elsewhere. So I’m offline until Tuesday at least.

Am I bitter? No, not in the least. You see, I’m doing nanowrimo, and doing it abysmally… I keep getting distracted so instead of having 10,000 + words I have 1500… And that is terrible! In fact, it’s the worst try yet. But no broadband means no distraction. No kitten pictures or videos of talking dogs, instead I have a weekend of writing…

So wish me luck because by the time I’m online again I ought to be caught up and better!!!!