While many people are already shedding over-optimistic New Year resolutions, I'm still writing cheques for January 2012 so I hope I can be excused for kicking off my blog with a review of the last writing year.
It's been a good one for networking, getting my short stories out into the world and progressing my novels.
With so many words buzzing about on the internet, I'm always flattered that
anyone actually reads my stories, even more that they should go to the trouble of getting in touch. So it was a pleasant surprise when I got an email from someone enquiring about Melanie's Last Tune for a school project. I never heard how the presentation went, and they may have been using my story as an example of how not to do it, but it didn't stop me fantasising about some future time when my novels are on the GCSE syllabus. Another exciting and totally unexpected contact via this website was a request from Ava to translate Four Hail Marys into Hungarian. I'll be commenting on the experience of seeing my words in a totally unfamiliar language in a later post.
Early in the year I signed up with the Gold Dust Mentoring Scheme to work
with Shelley Weiner on the structure of my novel Sugar and Snails. Shelley
recommended a radical restructuring, going from three viewpoint characters to a single point of view. (Oh the trauma of culling those well-worked scenes!) But she was right that it was over complicated and the opening of this draft has been better received on the peer review website youwriteon, reaching the top of the charts for November. I completed the draft just before Christmas and rewarded myself with a proper copy in book form (not too expensive and much easier for revising and editing than on-screen or sheets of A4). Now I'm collecting feedback from fellow writers before deciding on my next step.
Writing can be a lonely business. While I enjoy my own company, I'm ever so grateful for the links I've built up, especially through the York Festival of
Writing in September and the website youwriteon. To anyone who's read this far, thanks. If you can, spare a few moments more to share your thoughts.
While I can't pretend this has anything to do with writing, and, as an atheist, I'm not even enamoured by the words, I just had to include the link to the choir I'm in. Given that I can't read music, keep to a rhythm or hold a tune, I'm honoured to be part of something that sounds and feels so good.