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Quote from Malorie Blackman ( don't give up_

Still working on it Malorie!

Well not really, but this is fun and a welcome break from the usual farm/children/writing madness so thanks Nicky Schmidt for inviting me. Nicky has a fab blog over at Absolute Vanilla  so when she asked me if I’d join in the blog tour I had to say yes. Below are my answers to the four blog tour questions – you can read Nicky’s on her page and at the bottom of this page are my nominees to for the next leg of the tour…exciting isn’t it? Continue Reading »

Most of us suffer with procrastinitis. In fact, I’d hazard a guess that you’re reading this blog for precisely that reason.  Maybe you need to trick yourself into writing. Here’s my top  tricks : Continue Reading »

I’ve neglected this blog so much over the past year  I don’t deserve any readers at all.  Thank you for sticking with me.

It’s not just the blog. I’ve not been writing much at all. Not really. I’ve written my  silly poems for The Funeverse and tried to keep up with critique  in my SCBWI Ya Critique group ( I cannot tell you how much those people mean to me!) but writing in earnest…? Writing to show my agent I was still serious about my career…? No. Nothing. Nada.

There were lots of reasons. Principly my new business, Strawberry Fox; farm troubles likewise; even, thanks to my own vanity, volunteering to be the Finance Coordinator for SCBWI BI. But maybe, too, I was tired. I have been writing for a very long time with no commercial success. It’s hard to keep writing into a black hole. My agent helps, when I’m down she reminds me she loves my work and one day, some one else will too. My Crit group and Chichester SCBWI help, we’re all in the same boat, even the published ones are striving for the next deal, the next step and some would love to be in my position having a fantastic agent who loves what I do. Still, I kind of stopped, I even stopped writing this blog.

And slowly something stirred in the space between words. I’ve said this before but this time, this time, I  lived it. A writer can never really stop. You may stop putting pen to paper,  but your brain will never stop making up stories. When you think you’ve stopped, when you think you’ve nothing else to say, you are wrong. You are just making space in your brain for a shake down.  You are airing your muscles. One day, you will start again, fresher, invigorated, excited.

Happily for me I realised this before this year’s SCBWI conference. I had written 3 chapters and a plan for a new book that I showed to an editor. Her enthusiasm for that unwritten script and something I asked Malorie Blackman to write in her new book for me, have pulled back the elastic and catapulted me forward.

I have written 30, 000 words of my new book in one of the busiest work months I have ever had. I’ve squashed them into early mornings and late nights. I’ve slipped them into tea breaks  and waiting times. I’ve stolen them from housework.

I have half a book. It’s a  poor half draft but it’s words on paper and it is flying from my fingers. If it never gets published I will still be glad I wrote it. I have no choice but to write – and if you are a writer, neither do you.

Have a great Christmas, I’ve got half an hour before my festive guests arrive, I should vacuum really but nah, I’ve just got to a good bit….

PS Thanks Malorie x

Quote from Malorie Blackman ( don't give up_

What Malorie says, goes.

I know I know, I’ve not been here at all and now I’m asking you to do something but this is so cool it’s far more like I’m sharing something lovely.

Amazing authors Keren David and Keris Stanton, ably assisted by Candy Gourlay and an army of donating literary types have set up this FABULOUS Auction.

It closes very soon so pop over and bid before it’s too late – some incredible offers:

The Dedication in the New Young James Bond novel by Steve Cole - yes the ACTUAL dedication.

A visit to the real House of Golden Dreams with Jackie Morris.

A signed hardback of Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

And all proceeds to aid the people of the Phillipines – BID BID BID before you miss out….so many more wonderful offers!

scbwi_logo_300px1

 

Volunteering can be hard work but it has a lot of perks! You get to: know your organisation from the inside out so you can really make the most of your membership; meet a lot of inspiring people; do really fun stuff!

One of my favourite jobs is running the annual badge competition.

 

I love reading the snappy entries and seeing the fabulous images not yet released on the world. The only hard part is deciding on the winners. If you’re a SCBWI British Isles member – make my day and give it a go.

Need Inspiration? Here are last years winners:

<div style=”margin-bottom:5px”> <strong> <a href=”http://www.slideshare.net/vkathrynevans/2012-winners&#8221; title=”SCBWI Badge Competition Previous Winners” target=”_blank”>SCBWI Badge Competition Previous Winners</a> </strong> from <strong><a href=”http://www.slideshare.net/vkathrynevans&#8221; target=”_blank”>Kathryn Evans</a></strong> </div>

Are you interested in volunteering? There are all sorts of roles for all kinds of people – keep an eye on the message boards at scbwi.org

 

As regular readers know I’ve been slightly distracted  by farm business in the shape of Strawberry Fox. Writing has slid to the back of my desk. Or it had, until things conspired to give me a kick and get me back to my Work In Progress.

First was the arrival of Vivienne DaCosta at our Chichester SCBWI group. I’ve never met a more vibrant enthusiast for children’s books – many of you will know her from Serendipity Reviews.  Vivienne reads like no-one I know – she is teeming with book knowledge and she was excited by my new book. ‘ Write it, I want to read it!’ Vivienne DaCosta was excited by my idea!

I tentatively returned to Scrivener.  And then I read this post from Cliff McNish on Facebook ( thanks for allowing me to share Cliff)

For all you aspiring writers out there, sitting anxiously on your bums beside a pc, or at peace in the Lotus position, or however and wherever you write, all of you working on a book that not too many people care about yet because not too many have heard of you yet, and just wondering what it might be like when you get feedback from readers to justify all that unheralded toil … well, sometimes, when it comes like this, everything feels worthwhile. Couldn’t resist (with Jay’s permission) sharing with you his unedited email to me via my website a couple of days ago.

Dear Mr. McNish

My name is Jay, and I’m 13 years old. I’ve always loved books, and yours I just happened to find at our town’s public library. Just lucky the whole [Silver] sequence was in one spot too. I can’t explain how AMAZING they are. I don’t know why, but I read them every night. I will have to return them soon, but I already plan on buying them for my personal keeping.

I know, I sound like any other kid fan you have, obsessed with your books. I guess I kind of am. I can’t say they changed my life in any way, but they’ve become a well-needed life line for me. Barely-a-teen, these books are just the perfect excuse to forget about my world and my non-existent problems, and just feel like I’m a part of something bigger. I know that none of this is true in any sense, but the concept-of Milo, Helen, Tom, Jenny, Walter, the Roar, the Protector-is so beautiful. Yes, some parts are a bit off, like Jenny the five-year-old weapon. Yet for some reason, it is so easy for me to believe that parts of your story do live around us, and I guess that’s given me some hope to know this magical story may contain reality. I think it’s the idea of beauty that leaves me enamored with your books. In the silver sequence, all beauty is-is compassion, caring. Kindness,and sacrifice. Giving into pain, and suffering, accepting losses for yourself, but helping others. It made me think about humanity in a different sense. Beauty is something we all have, and I don’t think I would of ever realized that without your books.

-Jay

I know Serendipity when I see it.

#Am writing.

Strawberry Fox

DSC_0114lI haven’t done much writing recently. A fox has taken over my life.

http://www.strawberryfox.org to be precise .

Never one to surrender in the face of difficult farming years, we’ve set up a hamper business selling strawberrries and raspberries with chocolate and champagne.  It’s been met with a fabulous reception that has completely thrilled me and also made things rather busy.

 

So think of this fox as a test card.

 

I’ll be back when things are running smoothly…and if you’re looking for a perfect gift for any occasion, pop over and see the fox…:)

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