Monday, 21 November 2011

Happy Days and Biscuit Tins!

Yay - oh happy days! I've finally finished the first draft of the third Burly and Grum book. A round of applause, please!
   Yes, the auspicious moment happened at just past one this morning; I'd got so caught up in writing that I hadn't realised the time; everyone in the house including the cats had given up and gone to bed by the time I typed that last full stop. As I saved the document and then pottered about making a cup of tea, I felt a great sense of achievement, and when I finally got to bed I slept like a log.
   Waking up this morning wasn't easy and yes, I did nap on the train journey into London. I had a busy day at work and didn't have time to feel tired, and now I'm home and flagging a bit - I need a biscuit, that's what I need - bit of sugar to keep me going!  Maybe I'll start the editing tomorrow....
   And that's what I'd like to talk about today - editing. As much as I love writing I find I put off editing. I'm using the blog as an excuse today, tomorrow it'll be something else - I've even been known to do the ironing rather than start the editing process. And why do I hate it so much? Because I know that once I start there'll be no stopping me, I'll tweak text, tweak it some more, and will probably spend more time 'improving' it than I did writing it! Does anyone else do that and, if so, is there a cure? I just lose all perspective once I start! Editing is a never ending process and I sometimes wonder just what I would have done if I'd have been a writer before the invention of the computer. Would I have been less fussy or would the process just have taken even longer?
   I'll start the editing tomorrow. Promise.
   Just one last thing before I go and raid the biscuit tin - I have an  author interview on http://dreamsofalifeinthecountry.blogspot.com/2011/11/author-interview-with-kate-tenbeth.html and I'd like to thank Gem for inviting me on her blog post. She's a lovely lady who I met on the daily commute into London, which just goes to show that there's a bright side even to commuting!
  Right - to the biscuit tin!

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Waking up and getting going!

I feel that after a quiet period, things are really getting going again.
    You may remember that about ten weeks ago I went through the process of trying to obtain an ITIN number (to do with American tax...); I'd been told it was very difficult to obtain because of the all the red tape, but the man at the American Embassy was very helpful and off the form was sent.  Well, it may have taken a few weeks, but I finally have my ITIN number. Now I just need to sell some books! The Secret City on Amazon.com is still free and last month over 3,000 were downloaded which I'm happy about; I'm very grateful that people are reading the books and giving me positive feedback, but there's a small part of me that says ooh, how wonderful would it be if I were to get some money as well! One day maybe!
    Also this week, I received the improved scanned images and I'm so pleased that I decided to wait for them before sending off for the proof copy of the print version of both books. I've replaced all the old images with the 300dpi ones and although the older images were good, the new ones are so much crisper and sharper. Both books are looking good, and I can't wait to see them in print. I'm also going to work my way through the website and facebook page to replace the images because I want Burly and Grum to be the very best they can be!
    I have been asked to give an author interview by Gem, who is a fellow commuter and writes the blog http://dreamsofalifeinthecountry.blogspot.com/. I think it's pretty amazing and wonderful that people are interested in what I'm doing and are trying to help me. Thank you Gem - I'm working on my replies to your questions!
    I'm not taking part in NaNoWriMo but the majority of my writing buddies in the Essex area are, and to them I say well done, keep up the word count - you will reach 50,000 words!
    Book three is really coming together now. It's interesting that as the books go on I can feel their characters developing and it's getting easier to know their reaction to situations. I'm really enjoying writing so things are looking good. This week will be busy and my energy levels are high - I'll be updating, writing, networking - I'll let you know how everything is going!

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Those Simple Bear Necessities

Last weekend I was very happy - I had a whole week's leave to look forward to and although I'd made a list of Burly and Grum things to do, I knew I could do it all at my own pace and take my time. Usually I work all day, come back home and then start all over again on Burly and Grum (there's always something to do!), so it was a great treat just knowing I could kick back and do things at a speed slightly less than sound.
   I think I may have kicked back too much! I'm going back to work tomorrow, and according to my my list I still haven't done half of the things I wrote down.  
   I'd planned to finish the third book in the Burly & Grum series but I'm only just over half the way through. I intended to sort out a marketing plan and that hasn't even been started (although some thinking has been taking place in the background...). I was going to upgrade the black and white drawings to a higher quality resolution so I could then send off for the second proof but that never happened (I do have an excuse there because the person who is scanning the images hasn't done them as yet).  Ho hum. So why am I not feeling guilty? I'm not really sure but I think it has something to do with the fact that I'm feeling so relaxed I'm almost horizontal!  The 'bear' necessities of life were all I needed this week - plenty of sleep, lots to eat, good company - it's been fun. I'll leave guilt until tomorrow when I'm back at work...
   PS: I should say that what I have written of the third book I've really loved and there was a lot of laughing going on as I was typing. Burly and Grum go to the beach and, of course, they get into trouble again - there's a pirate, a crab with attitude, stolen gold, a detective and Burly has a cool set of shades. Oh yeah, it's good!