Moving along

Apologies that it has all gone quite for a while.  If you want to track me down I’m at

https://deborahellenosborne.wordpress.com/

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I am still here!

I know it’s been a while (nearly a month!) but my internet connection has been temperamental, inevitably cutting out whenever I click the ‘publish’ button, or to confirm any of my online banking.

There’s a fault with the BT line apparently.

I’m still commenting on posts and clearing out my email (mostly at work) so don’t give up on me and keep in touch.

Hopefully things will be up and running for the October Insecure Writer’s Support Group.  Guess what I’ll be writing about…

Seasons Greetings (R.I.P VIII)

 

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That’s Readers Imbibing Peril.  If you like Gothic, Paranormal, or down right scary stuff than I suggest you go here to find out more.  Essentially though it’s an excuse to read as many scary books as you like in preparation for Halloween (R.I.P runs from today to 31st October).

There is also a group read for The Historian here, which I’m taking part in.  I read the book a while ago and can remember that I loved it, although can’t remember enough about it to put me off reading it again.

I’ve also been toying with the idea of reading Dracula again after Emily January’s review.

Then there’re all the Ann Radcliffe novels on my Kindle that I need to see to. If that lady isn’t Gothic then what is?

As if all that wasn’t ideal enough then the reason I have so many unread Gothic novels lurking on my Kindle clanking their chains is because I’m aspiring to revise my gothic/fairy tale/regency/paranormal romance mash-up – so now I can’t put of the research any longer.

If that wasn’t excuse enough R.I.P finishes on October 31st, just in time for National Novel Writing Month!

Is it any wonder that the gothic/fairy tale/regency/paranormal romance mash-up isn’t finished?

With this in mind I’m aiming low, and hoping to only read The Historian and then either Dracula or The Romance of the Forest.

Finally, a big thank you to Tanya at The Yeti Says for putting me on to this.

Is anyone else taking part? Or do you have a favourite time of year?

IWSG July

I recently left a comment on this blog post by Kristen Lamb, author of We Are Not Alone.   The prize, if my name was pulled out of the hat, was a critique of the first 20 pages of my novel. The subject of the post was about whether or not authors should leave reviews.

If you get to the bottom you will note that if I had posted this blog post last month than I would have got my name in the prize hat three times rather than just the once.  Well, even as I was writing that rather inane comment part of me was hoping to hell that I didn’t win.

Why?

Because the truth hurts, of course. And the truth from someone like Kristen Lamb. Ouch!

As a budding author I am constantly deluding myself about how good I am.  Part of it is simple survival skills. No one would ever finish anything without some ego to push us along, but part of it is (gasp) I genuinely believe that I can do this that I am getting there, that one day I could be a (double gasp) Kristen Lamb of this world.

Reading blog posts like hers, or thinking about the practical things like exactly how much it would cost to pay for a copyeditor, help to put the world back into shockingly clear perspective.

Oh, good lord, I have such along way to go! Help me!

Eventually I pulled myself out of a corner and decided that it still may be possible to end this month’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group (brought to you by Alex. J Cavanagh over at http://alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.co.uk/p/the-insecure-writers-support-group.html ) on a positive note.  What do I actually want from all this?

I want to write and I want people to read it.  I really want, as Kristen mentions, someone to care enough to send me an email telling me when my commas have wandered into the wrong place.  I want to write and I want to build a network of people I can share with. Not just the writing itself but the experience of writing and learning about writing.

And if, ten years down the line, my work has still not graduated from Wattpad hopefully I’ll be surrounded by friends who can buy me (virtual) drinks and tell me where my commas should actually be.

And the critique prize draw appears to be a regular thing on Kristen Lamb’s, so maybe I’ll try again next time.

Thanks guys, I appreciate you stopping by.

And for those of you who stopped by last month I have updated my Goodreads profile with all the books.  I haven’t started one yet as I need to finish the very funny Soulless by Gail Garriger first , but be assured my intent is there.

Round of Words 80 – Round Three

Having missed round two, I’ve now pulled my socks up and set out my goals below.

  • After a bit of a break, during which I plan to fiddle with the summary and research of my November NaNo Novel I will write a synopsis for my MS so I can see where all the really important scenes are. Use this to help with revisions.
  • Revise MS, again. Will have less confusing draft at the end of August.
  • Continue with renewed effort to comment on other people’s blogs
  • Dust of Goodreads profile and read at least one of the books that I am afraid of. Check out Insecure Writer’s Support Group post for June to find out why I’m such a ‘fraidy cat.
  • Also read some of the books that I’d like my MS to be sharing a shelf with.
  • Tidy up writing space

Well now, that seems manageable, doesn’t it?

If you’d like some support for your writing goals then visit the RoW80 website and sign up.  There’s still time, it starts on July 1st.

IWSG February

Not much has been happening on this blog for the last two weeks.  It would be nice to say that without the updating I’d be doing more actual work on my WIP, but that’s not as true as I would like it to be.  I have been much less frantic though. Therefore although not much actual writing has got done more of my brain space has been available for untangling plot problems and the like.

My insecurity this month has been about this blog.  Lots of seasoned bloggers out there say that the way to success is to update religiously three times a week.  I’m starting to think that this may all be very well if a book is actually written, but that in my case constantly striving to update a blog is eating in to time that would be better spent on something else.

Of course, if I’m not updating keenly all the time does that mean I’ll start losing the precious handful of followers that I have? Hopefully not. I’d like to think that not constantly updating because I feel I must will lead to posts with better, less rushed content.  Plus, some of that extra time is going to put into reading other people’s blogs.  I’d like to have time to properly sit down and read Bel Anderson’s Sunday Snog and to read some of the stories at Loonyliterature.  Both of which I have been intending to do for ages.

This is what I’m hoping. But I’m still feeling a bit insecure about the irregular posting.

For more information on the IWSG head over to Alex J. Cavanaugh’s blog and share the love.

How is everyone else this month?

 

 

 

 

ROW80 – Sunday check in

I’m still hanging in there and have overcome some significant milestones.  These are;

  • One of the opening scenes in an assembly room where far too much happens and too many characters are introduced. (I cut stuff. Simple solution but I’ve never before had the gumption to really focus on what the scene needs to be and what absolutely has to stay and what needs to go)
  • My bad guys are two dimensional opera cape wearing fiends. (I’ve spent some quality time with them and done more research. One will get a mention in the Wednesday update/Word of the Week post on 16th January)
  • I tend to gloss over earlier scenes that I don’t want to write because my back plot isn’t suitably thought out. (I’ve sorted out my black plot and made everything much simpler. Hopefully this will stand up with time)

I’m also going to amend my goals slightly. Revisions will still be done by the 28th March but I’m also going to state how I’m going to do this as it makes the success of the goal more measurable.

  • I’m going to write some of ‘my book’ everyday
  •  I’m not going to get distracted by other projects (with the exception of my short story Little People which needs to be revised and on SFF online by the end of January. I’m hoping that can all be done this Tuesday)

A Time Management Epiphany

This post is being written in the basement of my work’s office building.  Not as dark and dingy as you may think.  It’s a recreation room with walls segmented into mad colours, sofas, tables, a TV (thankfully not blaring out Breakfast, this morning), and me and my lap top. It’s 7.15 in the morning.

I will happily sleep in until eleven on a weekend, but my motto when it comes to my day job is get up, get in and get it over with. If I’m in early I can be gone by 4.

This pattern is also shared by a co-worker who, with the best will in the world, talks really far too much for 7am in the morning.  On the first day back in the office after New Year, suffering from the January Blues, I pulled into the car park and saw him striding in to the office. The thought of trying to organise my daily work load while he persisted in trying to draw me into a conversation that my brain wasn’t awake enough to process, I came down to the basement to hide. While I was down there I wrote out a blog post in my diary.   The next day I came back with my laptop.

It means that my work hours are reduced and consequently I don’t get as much flexi leave, but I am writing a good 200 – 300 words a day before anything else happens. Words that I’m writing before my back starts to ache from sitting too long, or my head starts to hurt from staring at a computer or before I get home feeling so completely drained that all I want to do is sit on the sofa eating ice-cream and watching Come Dine With Me.

The crazy thing is that I actually get excited about coming in to work now.  I have a great deal to thank my co-worker for, but I don’t dare too.  There is a real risk he would be understandably upset, but there’s also the possibility he’d come down here and join me.

How does everyone else sneak in a daily word count? Have you discovered a writing routine that has transformed the way you work?

 

 

 

 

Insecure Writer’s support Group – January

Am I wasting my time?

There’s a daunting amount of work that needs to be put into a novel and it’s hard to keep heading for the final product when it feels like there’s nothing to show for it. This month I feel like nothing I ever do will be good enough.  I’m not sure exactly who ‘my book’ has to be good enough for. It could be myself, or an agent, or the people who I hope will want to read it but lately I’ve been wondering if I shouldn’t just curl up and start watching Eastenders instead.

I’m suspicious that part of this feeling arises from not having some impartial feed back from other people who write. At the end of December I joined the SFF online workshop and I’m hoping to get a short story up just as soon as, well, I feel it’s good enough.

Hopefully some constructive criticism will make me see what I’m good at and where I still need work.

If you want to share your insecurities go to Alex J. Cavanaugh’s blog and sign up

Happy New Year!