Review Of An Honourable Estate

I recently reviewed Elizabeth Ashworth’s second novel, An Honourable Estate, for the Lancashire Writing Hub. You can read it here.

You can read more about Elizabeth Ashworth and her work here.


Rewrites, Research Proposals and Really Bad WIFI

I’ve been hiding in Yorkshire all in week. Buried myself in the Dales in a little place called Wortley. The days were very long and full of soft sunshine and I had very little to do but write and walk and take my little girl for cake at the village cafe. But, the promise of WIFI fell rather short and all my hopes of updating this blog, checking my emails and doing business related stuff were dashed. On the plus side, I did do three very early morning jogs which go some way to cancelling out the cake. Still, I am avoiding the weighing scales for now.

Happily, I did manage to add another 5,000 or so weighty words to the now 80,000 tome that is The Empty Mirror. This makes me happy. Only 20,000 or so words to go. And what is 20,000 words? I wrote 25,000 words in the two weeks preceding my little jaunt. Alas, very few of them were on the novel. A good deal of them went towards critiquing other people’s works: those belonging to my lovely course peers on the Distance Learning MA in Creative Writing at the University of Lancaster. Three thousand of them contributed to the creation of a short story. Yes you read right. I have written a short story. And it wasn’t terrible, so it might just be something I submit for publication. We shall see.

But it is very lovely to be home.

The next few weeks are going to be busy on the writing front. Aside from the fact I really want to complete the first draft of The Empty Mirror by the end of the month and therefore need to write approx 20,000 words, my next tutorial deadline is looming and the thesis will have to be started before very long. My PhD research proposal has to be in by the end of the month and I’ve got two articles in the offing for the Lancashire Writing Hub. One will be on my experience of receiving Creative Mentoring and the other on my experience of the Distance Learning MA in Creative Writing.

In addition to all of this the word ‘rewrites’ keeps cropping up in my conversations with my tutor. I am trying to resist thinking about the whole rewriting thing until the first draft is done, but still, the idea has lodged itself inside my head and is refusing to move. I had planned to include some thoughts on rewrites in this post, but I think a separate post is needed. A glance at the list above makes me think it might be April before I get round to writing it.

So, enough to keep me out of mischief.

Having said that, I do worry sometimes about the amount of time I spend with my head in a book or pen in hand, oblivious to the world at large or even what’s going on in my living room. It’s not a very social way of living, but it is addictive.  My skills as a conversationalist might be drying up, but at least I now know what ‘concatenation’ means – the linking together of things to form a sequence or combination (thank you, Mr Wolfgang Iser). Hmm, perhaps some mischief might be in order.

A Sprint Finish For The Beginning Of The Year

Yikes! It’s the 21st January already! Days are flying by and I can’t seem to type fast enough. January started leisurely enough. There was my birthday at the beginning of the month, celebrated by a whole day spent alone, writing. Which was just THE BEST DAY EVER. And then there were the days that followed. Horrible, fast moving, time crunching days that seemed to spit me out in a heap on the living room sofa at the end of each one, good for pretty much nothing but sleep.

I already have  a feeling that 2012 is going to be a bit of sprint for me. But busy is good (nods furiously).

Fiction writing wise: I’m nearly at 70,000 words on The Empty Mirror. I’m on target for a March finish, maybe, if I get my head down, even earlier. At which point, I may cry or get very drunk or both. In the past, on the odd occasion when I have become really hysterical over something, I have been known to cry and laugh at the same time, resulting in an inability to breathe. This may happen also. In fact, thinking about it, I would just like to take this opportunity to warn my husband of this possiblity. You know what to do.

And I’ve had another idea for a book which is tapping away at my brain saying ‘ Pick me, pick me!’ But other than making the odd little note and researching the occasional website, I am ignoring it for now. Honest.

Also, I’ve started writing this month’s book review which I will post up at some point over the next week. And I’ve volunteered as a copy writer at the Lancashire Writing Hub. Got my first project through the post today, so I’ll be getting my teeth into that shortly. And, just to round off the month, there’s a tutorial deadline to meet.

He he, he he he…(and so the nervous laughter begins….) He he he…..he, he, he…….