Saturday, 15 February 2014

tumbleweed, fractured spine, #WoMentoring & talking mince!

The title says it all. Tumbleweed. This blog, not my life. That's as hectic as ever although Mullindress is now an actual creation rather than a figment of my imagination and the freshly constructed house, each inch lovingly placed alongside the next, is now a home complete with things that make me smile and my heart flutter with happiness. A job, no, a passion, well done.

So what now? Well, there's work to be done, not just the work - work of my extremely busy professional life making telly and mobile apps, I mean my writing life. My debut novel is out there in the world and feedback is good so far, the reviews that have appeared have been strong and focussed and seem to have delivered on my objective which was to write a story that people could resonate with, whether by engaging with the characters as people or understanding a little bit about their experiences. Readers so far have emotionally bonded with the narrative and that's really lovely. Although I'm sure there will be those out there that don't or won't because the very thought of reading The Birds That Never Flew will be of no interest to them. And that's just fine too. Although, be warned you are absolutely missing out... : )

I'm writing fiction again, although at the moment I'm tapping away behind my eyelids rather than on paper as the business of life means there aren't enough hours in the day at the moment. I know, I know, being busy is a rubbish excuse, I always SHOUT if you want to write just write, NO EXCUSES but I'm genuinely bereft of moments at the present time, never mind minutes. That doesn't mean that I am not hugely excited about the prospect of pulling those little sparkles from the ethers and building them into sentences that make the page shine and my spine tingle.

Speaking of tingling spines, I actually fractured a vertebrae in mine last week, as you do! Just another wee bit of drama! A painful experience to say the least but not enough, fortunately, to slow me down for long.

The plan then is this. I'm making an amazing doc film at the moment, a strong compelling narrative that requires my writing skills to be at their very best. By the end of March I'll be excitedly returning to my as yet untitled novel. I've only written 30,000 words so far but the story is becoming so strong its characters are speaking to me incessantly. I'll have a hard time getting them to hold their wheesht for the next few weeks. Be still my chattering folks.

I've also joined a fabulous project created by the author Kerry Hudson. When it launches (in April, I think) #WoMentoring will see a plethora of writers give up a few hours of their time to mentor women writers who don't have the opportunity (or finance) to get access to guidance from fellow writers who understand the creative process. I'm excited and privileged to be able to be involved. Writing can be lonely and sharing ideas and passion can be exquisite. I'll write about this process here and I'm very much looking forward to meeting my writer, or indeed writers.

A few years back, following on from a creative writing class with the fabulous and indeed very inspiring novelist Elizabeth Reeder, I joined a writing group drawn from our class after the tutoring had ended. It was a great thing to do. Sometimes we need another voice, even if we don't always agree with it.

Aye, I know, all that snash about there not being enough hours in the day. I don't eat mince so I might as well talk it. However, if I know one thing in life it's this, if you want something done you've just got to do it.  'I can't', 'I'm not able' aren't really options. I know, my fingers are still bristling from everything I said to the contrary up above but I guess I know that I will write, I'll find a way, even if it is only captured moments. They all count.

I set out on 2014 with the goal of completing my new story, my novel, before the year is out. I'm really looking forward to doing that. As well as talking about the #Womentoring project I may well post something from the book soon, just to see what you think...

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