Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Happy Hump Day!

The first time I heard the term "Hump Day" was in the late nineties. I was in America visiting a friend in Fayetteville and every Wednesday, some pubs were advertising "Hump Day" and selling cheap beer. After the hilarious image that the phrase elicited in my mind had subsided, I realised that they were talking about Wednesday being the hump of the week, and after you get over it, it's a nice, easy, downhill slide toward the weekend! Makes sense.

Just recently the phrase has started to be used over here too, and it always makes me chuckle, but I always find myself saying it at work to my workmates. A midweek tradition now.

So this hump day I have been sending more of my children out into the world. In other words, four more samples of my novel are winging their way to London agents. A writer friend of mine advised me to "saturate" the market with them. I am doing it bit by bit because it is quite an expensive process, with every one I send out needing return postage. I hope that the investment eventually pays off – or else I will definitely get "the hump"!!!

What are you all doing this Hump Day? I would love to know!

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Successful Sunday

Sundays are usually pretty dead days. After the unwinding of Friday nights (where some alcohol is imbibed and lots of TV watched with feet up) and the activity of Saturdays (this week shopping and hairdresser and nice meal with hubby – tuna steaks done really rare, and a bottle of Muscadet), Sunday is the day when I gear myself up for the coming week, but rarely get anything done.

Not so today. I've been very productive.

I've uploaded loads of tunes onto my iPod, and it was well overdue because I have not put anything on there for months! I need to get it filled up in time for my holiday to Greece, and then after that my trip to Canada and America.

I've worked on getting 5 more submissions of my book out to agents; just the synopsis and 3 chapters, which will hopefully spur a request for the full manuscript. I am still awaiting replies to a few I sent a couple of weeks ago, but this process takes time and many agents take 6 to 8 weeks to get back to you. So I have learned to be patient. The frustrating thing is that very few agents accept electronic submissions, so it's an expensive and long-winded process. But nothing good ever came without a little investment.

The other thing I did today was start on my next project, which is something of a slight diversion for me, away from my usual book writing. I won't give too much away right now, but it's something that should not take too long but will keep my writing muscle flexed while I ponder my next novel and put that together in my head.

More details to follow. J

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Believe the Skype!

I've just been to dinner at my local pub, which I have been going to for years. Whenever I have been I have tried in vain to get online with their free wifi, but could never figure it out. I suppose the fact that I was always trying with my iPod was part of the reason I never really gave it a fair go. But today, I took my netbook and finally figured out how to do it. I only stayed online for 5 minutes because I was having dinner with Keith, but at least I succeeded at last!

The other day I discovered Skype for the first time, and chatted with Sue for about 45 minutes. It was such fun to actually see the person I was chatting with, and we both really enjoyed it. There are some small improvements we can make – namely a headset with microphone and earphones to enhance the sound. I looked for a set tonight at our local computer shop, but unfortunately my netbook does not have the right jack connector. There is an adaptor I can get apparently, but they did not stock it!!! Or I could get a USB headset, but the ones they carried were not attractive and were too expensive. So I guess I will have to wait for a while. It's a pity because I was hoping to have them by Friday, which is when Sue and I are chatting again. We thought it would be fun to Skype for a while and "share" a glass of wine. We are even going to make a regular thing of it.

For anyone who has not tried it yet, I recommend that you download Skype and get online. It might take a little getting used to at first, but the benefits are fantastic. It's like getting together with the person you are chatting with.

Just remember that you can be seen! So make sure you are decent! LOL

Sunday, 13 February 2011

The blank canvas

Okay, so I've been MIA again! No matter how good my intentions are to carry on with my blog, I constantly find myself bogged down with other things. Work (which is crazy), writing (a constant madness), and home life.

At the end of last year, I bought myself a little netbook - a gorgeous purple creation, on which I am typing this very entry. It's so pleasing to my eye that I could hardly bring myself to open it! It's funny, but I have always had that trouble when buying new notebooks (and this time I am talking about the paper variety). For some reason, owning a new notebook gives one an overwhelming responsibility. One has to make sure that what one puts into it is worthy enough to be in there, between its regal covers and on its crisp pages. Words are the most important things in the world, the most powerful. Capable of reducing big, scary, ugly men to tears and often showing them the error of their ways; of uniting hoards of disparate people and rendering them able to change the world.

So those first words are always hard for me when faced with a canvas that is new and virginal, and unmarked by thought. But... eventually the book has to be opened, for how can anything be written if nervousness stops us? So, here I am, making my first post on my new best friend. I'll never be in that league of people whose words can change the world, but I think I might at least be able to change my small corner of it.

The main reason for buying it was to use it for my many travels, and now that I have it, I will be able to blog more often. This year holds many adventures in store, many trips to explore the big wide world out there. As usual, many of my trips involve my good friend Sue, who herself is an excellent blogger and always puts me to shame on that front (a link to her Crystal Gazer Blog is on this page).

But apart from the trips, I will be using this blog to keep my friends (and anyone who stumbles onto this blog and finds that they are interested!) updated on the progress of my book, which I am currently pitching to agents.

Hopefully I will eventually have some good news to post on that front, but please don't anyone hold your breath for me, as this process is notoriously long and painful.

In the meantime, enjoy the blogs that I promise to post more often.