Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Conf 126: The Writing Group

Wordcount: - 8

Depressing isn't it. BUT am not going to bang on about miseries of writing any more. New Year's resolutions are Green and Attitude.

A rewriting morning. Planting location 3 into location 2 has made one hell of a mess. The only thing to do is to print the section out, all 75 pages of it and cut and paste in good old sticky tape way. This will be the Christmas mission, getting the middle section of the book into some sort of order. A return to writing by hand for a while, until I know where I am again.

My writing crit group was here last night. Bit of a challenge as we're open plan now, but partner & daughter disappeared upstairs, taking DVD machine with them. We all read, we each get ten minutes & we're pretty strict on ourselves about it. Two of us are at about the same 50,000 stage of our 3rd novels; one's rewriting her second; one's just starting her 4th novel and another's just completed her 5th! L is heading for publication of her first novel in April and read her final chapter from her proof copy - which was quite a moment and a great way to finish the year.

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Conf 125: New Lows

No. of new words typed: 24,000
Wordcount: same

For three days this week have been candidate for child neglect as I wore fingers and VHS machine raw. Typing scripts from home seemed like a good answer to the work/childcare riddle but am now not so sure. I even kidded myself I was utilising my past-life TV skills, like knowing what all the little secret codewords are like PTC and FTB and BITC. And very much enjoyed listening to comedy writers talking about their craft and watching clips of Seinfeld, telling myself I was learning something here. But now, here I am worrying because I haven't heard anything since e-mailing the stuff on Friday morning. Normally I get a cheery 'excellent' 'thanks' 'you're a star' stuff. This is a new low in the work submission chain, like I'm now seriously worried my TYPING isn't good enough, clicking on e-mail every half hour.

Childcare neglect came to head on Thursday evening when daughter decided to do some SMART (UK TV show) artwork. I vaguely remember the question 'where's the food colouring mum?' and pointing to a cupboard. Next thing partner's arrived and is hopping up and down in rage, pointing at enormous orange stain on coffee table. Daughter races upstairs and locks herself in bedroom, I stop the work, refer to my own household cleaning manual and get rid of stain whilst full blown row goes on complete with door-rattling SFX upstairs. (that is S EFFFFF X).

Also,no novel progress, no exercise... So, that's the dilemma, do I risk sliding back to zero bank account and barrell stomach to get novel finished, or keep on with the scripts? A compromise somehow, which is what the 3 days a week is about. And instead of doing this blog should be doing novel. As Genevieve www.austlit.typepad.com points out, why am I saying friend D with avoiditis should do a blog?? Why do I do a blog?? I see it at a tea break type of thing. Also probably something to do with the line 'your blog published successfully' on every entry. . Genevieve says she doesn't know of many UK author bloggers. I don't either. My friends Www.chicklitworkinprogress.blogspot.com and www.stubbornworld.typepad are the only 2 I read. Marian Keyes has one somewhere in the Penguin website I read and enjoyed once. I did find a fab blog for all things London the other day, though, www.londinist.com, and there a great new idea www.myparcel.co.uk which takes delivieries of those annoying parcels you are supposed to stay in all day for. No good for me right now, and of course I'm in all day, but could be useful if I ever move to Wandsworth and get a day job. Yesterday had to make lots of complicated ifs and buts arrangements as I waited in for possibly the last Nintendog in the country to be delivered.

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Conf 124: Sitcomland

No. of words: 48,437

A short tea, banana and crisp break. Am discovering the ins and outs of sitcom writing this week, am not allowed to blog about it or will get fired, but did come across this writerly useful site showing what sitcoms are in development/production right now in the UK:

http://www.sitcom.co.uk/news.shtml . Elton John? Can it be true?

A satisfying leap in wordcount up there, note. More due to some 'found' words than any writing of new ones (MS divided into 3 files, did some rewriting on file 1 & discovered the miscount) . Allowed me to say at our west London writers' Christmas dinner last night 'oh about 50,000' rather than 'oh about 40,000' which felt a lot better. Differing ways to the wordcounts - everything between L who does 500 a day and no more, and C who's gunning for 20,000 over Christmas. Diana is on her first novel, has reached 15,000 & suffering from interruptionitis. Many of them genuine, like bad sex awards and people impaling themselves on the railings outside her flat (she really should start a blog), all of which contribute to her picking and worrying at what she's done rather than moving forward. I advised her not to do that, to keep on going forward forward till she's reached the end, then she can start picking. But this is only my way, everyone has to find their own. When I first started a novel, the euphoria of reaching the end, even though it was seriously Janet & John was a much needed boost. The writing's in the rewriting, and also much of the pleasure of it (I hope, or this one's doomed).

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Conf 123: On not being a writer

No. of words: 44,980

A busy week not being a writer. Earning crust has to come first for a while. It's not unpleasant. This week did 2 scripts for DEMOLITION. http://www.channel4.com/life/microsites/D/demolition/ Kevin McCloud and Janet Street-Porter confront the town planners, great public service broadcasting. Next week it's a documentary about the sitcom and another about soaps. Still have the wordcount guilt, though. Yesterday did 1,000 before 10am. If only this could become habit.

Perfect writerly life:

Get up: 7.40
Cup of tea and daughter's breakfast: 8.00
Eat remains of daughter's breakfast: 8.15
Wave goodbye: 8.30
1,000 words: 8.30 - 10.00
Collect mail from mailbox, large leisurly breakfast with papers: 10.00 - 11.00
Mess about on computer, blogs, e-mails: 11.00 - 12.00
House cleaning, boring paperwork: 12.00 - 1.00
Lunch with friend at Arthur's on Green, one glass of wine
and sandwich: 12.00 - 1.30
Ride horse around Bushy Park: 1.30 - 3.00
Daughter home from school: 3.00

COULD almost do the horse thing. That's the biggie. The inner ten year old girl in me refuses to give up hope. Has it become such a fantasy I don't really want to do it? Am I scared of breaking back? You do when you get older, like skiing. Took daughter to ski centre yesterday for sledging party, a bit scary driving through fog trying to find place in depths of Surrey. Best time she's ever had in her entire life was the verdict.

Have been so wrapped up in writing, first as an escape from houseboundness with small child; now as child growing and starting to become independent am definitely getting antsy (as my friend Debbie calls it). It's like spotting there is a world out there to take part in and do things I'd like to do, for me, myself.

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.