With a little help from my friends…

I hate missing deadlines, and I definitely dropped a few last week!

Despite my determination to blog twice a week that has certainly been falling by the wayside. However, as I said in my latest blog, I’ve got to stop beating myself up and just get started again.  I’ve also missed my deadline for the cover reveal, which is a real shame. This due to a few things, firstly, I realised a few weeks ago that the intended release for The Poisoned Well was going to be pushed back. I was toying with the idea of forwarding a few different covers and holding a vote for your favourite one. In the end, I’ve taken the last minute decision to follow my own instincts with the design – although it didn’t leave me much time to finalise the tiny details.

So, here are the things I’ve learnt this week about attempting to write with an aim to self-publish.

  1. Be more realistic with timeframes.

Then you won’t feel like you’ve failed when you meet those arbitrary targets. It’s great to have a goal, but as with anything, the goals are probably going to be stretched and setback. I don’t know of any house build that has even come in on time, and I have watched a lot of Grand Designs.

  1. When the times are going to slip – be open and honest.

Then you get to move on and shake off some of the guilt. It’s hard to complete anything with that big old cloud hanging over your shoulders.

  1. Gotta’ keep writing.

I missed some targets…but I’ve still got a manuscript to finish. I’ve just got to keep going and slowly, but surely, my goal is coming closer! I had 12,000 words and now I have more than 24,000! My intention is a manuscript of 50,000 words –ish. At the moment I can imagine the story has got enough legs to reach between 50,000-60,000 which is exciting!

So here we go, I don’t have a cover to reveal just yet, but it’s on its way. What I do have is gorgeous piece of fan art based on the original design – so exciting and I hope that you like it! Thank you Hollie for drawing this for me, I love it!

Without a little Collaboration this beautiful picture would not exist, and nor would the forthcoming cover 🙂

Happy Writing!

Fibi

Daily Prompt: Everything Changes – Determined Cookie Vs Cystic Fibrosis

Things change with a speed that frightens me, faster than I had dreamt. They change, not with dramatic suddenness in the depths of a night; but always in the cold milky sunshine of a new day. Stealing hope, and the strained childish belief, that bad things don’t happen under the watchful gaze of a benevolent sun. If they happened in the night it would be easier, I think. To be fractured in the smothering darkness. So the pieces couldn’t fly too far away. Kept safe, instead, beneath the duvet. Maybe it’s more human to cry yourself to sleep in the deep hours of darkness. To have the first purge of private, soul-torn tears flooding into the pillow. So that all you can feel is damp cotton and all you can smell is the sweet salt. Then you wake-up, stretch puffy-faced into the next day with one small piece of yourself intact again, reshaped and fresh. The gaping wound of loss still raw, but beginning to heal. But it doesn’t happen like that. Instead it happens when there is nowhere to hide and nothing to keep all the pieces of you from splintering and getting lost in sharp shards of sunlight. So you can never be fully remade. – Writing Wolf

Okay, so this is the Daily Prompt for today. “Walking down the street, you encounter a folded piece of paper on the sidewalk. You pick it up and read it and immediately, your life has changed.”

I was really tempted to dismiss it for the day and do something else. Or put it aside and come back to it this evening. I wanted to write a ‘proper’ blog post for today. So I closed down the prompt and went back to something else, checking my Facebook on the way. I didn’t see it coming, but something on Facebook just changed me.

Last week I wrote of my pride for my Sister in her cake making enterprise. She’s a fabulous lady, you all know that now, or you should! She’s brill. What I didn’t mention last week, was her sudden, but fierce determination to complete a triathlon in just over two months’ time. She’s crazy! Literally, raving mad.

Of course, I think that her goal is amazing and I know that she can do it. (She’s one determined cookie) However, I’m much more of a sit-body and I think I’d have to be driven to the top of the mountain, or at least carried. I’m an outdoorsy type person, but far too lazy to run a triathlon- that takes some serious dedication! However, My Sisters enviable goal, is not what changed me. She will be running, crawling, canoeing, cycling for charity.

I’m a wordy person, full of words and verbs and vocabulary, but even if I lived another hundred years, I don’t think I could find the right words to describe losing a loved one to Cystic Fibrosis. But I had a go a few years ago.  I’m a spiritual person, not someone necessarily religious, but I knew an angel on earth.  A rare and special person who truly touched the life of everyone that she met. My sister will be raising money in memory of our much loved cousin.

Cystic Fibrosis Ireland is totally dependent on fundraising and voluntary donations, is the body responsible for the provision of a wide range of services to the Cystic Fibrosis community in the Republic of Ireland. My sister can be sponsored here: Sponsor A Crazy Lady

Some things in my life need to change. For the last few months I’ve (spookily) been having vague day dreams of what I could do to raise money for CF.  My sister’s Facebook announcement has just kicked me into gear. I need to do something.

What can I do?

As soon as I work it out, I’ll let you know – but suggestions are always appreciated!

Daily Prompt: State of Year – Sunny with bright spells and a threat of cloud.

So, this is my response to the Daily Prompt: Write up a mid-year “State of My Year” post.

Well, the state of my year is currently a mixed bag! It’s my birthday tomorrow, so I’m feeling particularly chipper and excited for the next few days to come. I’ve already been given the most thoughtful and touching birthday present, but I’ll be writing more about this at another time. All I can really say, are children are awesome and I love my little nieces and nephew to absolute bits. (Their parents are pretty amazing people as well!)

Perhaps this year needs a comparison to last year?  This July I have a different job to last year, and I love my job. I thoroughly enjoy wandering into work every morning and seeing where the day takes me. This time last year, I had several very close friends. This year, I’ve managed to maintain the majority of those friendships, but I’ve also gained the clichéd soul mate. Soul mate is a very strange term for me to use, I don’t consider myself to be a new-age hippy by any means. I mean quite like scented candles and walking barefoot, but I don’t want to live communally. But I’ve been very fortunate, that after a very very very verrrrry long wait, I found the right person. Or rather, we found each other. It’s very hard to put into words how happy I am in some areas of my life. A frustrating thing for a writer.

I’m also half way through a Master’s course in Creative Writing, and not only do I have one adorable and personality-filled kitten, I have two!

However, this time last year, I was elated that I had finished my manuscript. I was filled with buzzing enthusiasm and energy and determined to have my name in print. So far this year, I’ve been far more successful in my blog, and I’ve also completed a few other projects as a writer. As mentioned in a much earlier post, Rob and I co-wrote a murder mystery event for over twenty people. I am proud of our achievement.  However, so far this year, I’ve realised that the manuscript needs another of the endless re-writes and I’ve not managed to give it any time.

Writing is something too easy to side-line. It comes after the washing up, the laundry, the tidying. I comes after spending some quality time with friends and family and trying to keep friendships maintained. I can’t help but feel a knot of worry growing. I’ve been provided with an amazing opportunity to send my manuscript to a friend, who happens to be an editor. He may even recommend it to his friends who publish books – in my genre!  I can hardly bare thinking about it. I am currently so excited and so determined to give everything ‘my all’ but at the same time that I feel as though I’m (quite happily) running flat out on a treadmill, or down the road of life.  But if I don’t slow down soon, I’m going to miss an important turning.

New rules are needed. Writing needs to move up in my priority. Blogging is good for this, I’m forcing myself to blog something each day, even just a photo. But if I can take time out to write the blog, I should be taking time out to work on my manuscript – again.  I’ll set myself goals – this week, I will write 500 words of the new beginning. New words, not the words I’ve already started writing out.

I’ll let you know how it goes…