Friday, June 02, 2006

Conf 199: Activity

Final draft
No. of words: 38,199
Target no. of words for this week (@ 1307 per day): 42,113

Something's gone funny with the linking here. Anyway, ploughing on. That rejection did throw me off pace, though I told myself I mustn't let it. I know now that though I'm on the final draft, there'll have to be another run-through for subtelties of character which could make all the difference. This feels like the toughest part of it so far, having had a small bit of recognition, enough to encourage me onwards, but not enough to know for certain that I can do it again.

Read a rather rubbish extract at the workshop last night. One of my old chestnuts, writing about a character getting from one place to another. Nine times out of ten this ISN'T NEEDED! I KNOW this yet am STILL doing it! Make them leap there and Get On With The Story. Or, as L said, 'in late, out early'. However, I did want this bit in as it was arriving in a new country. Anyway, it all ended well. I woke up this morning realising what I had to do to bring the scene alive, deleted the nuts & bolts of moving around and replaced it with a fight.

I've been moving around quite a lot recently. Not, sad to say, in the travelling sense, but in the moving body parts around in strange positions. First off, took daughter and a friend to Coral Reef pool last Thursday as planned. Aferwards we stopped off at a nearby forest and discovered

Go Ape

Under 16s have to have an adult with them, so there I was committing myself to climbing up and clambering on ropes through the treetops. You get a thorough training session before you're allowed on. If you follow the instructions you CAN'T FALL, if you don't it could be fatal. Then you're sent off on your own! No instructor breathing safety rules down your neck. But we soon got the hang (sic) of it and I felt chuffed for getting round the whole course. The worst bit was undoubtedly the series of dangling rope swings, talk about stepping off into space. The best bits were the wheeeeee massively long zip wires. The girls were in heaven and are desperate to go again and again and again. Major discovery of the day: 'don't look down' is extremely good advice and could equally be applied to writing or any other insane activity.

Another first last week was helping to judge a short story competion. Very enjoyable. I took my stories and a glass of wine into the garden and made my little piles of Yeses No's and Maybes. It was fascinating to be on the other side of the fence. My top 3 were a short story, an extract from a novel and, my overall favourite really though I put it second in my group, a memoir which wasn't brilliantly polished but had a ringing 'voice' right from the start. It really made me see what this 'voice' thing was all about; and the relief you feel when you find something good.

At the weekend the other dread was an adult Korfball match I'd agreed to take part in. Korfball's like netball & basketball except boys and girls play together. This did, actually, make it really much more fun as I found myself leaping around with teams of fit footbally type men. We chanted hip hip hoorays for the sides that beat us and won one game! I'd do it again. I am doing it again in a few weeks' time, unless they find more women, they're short of women. I'm not one of those popular types that'll get picked for her playing. Daughter said afterwards 'try not to look so scared every time you get the ball.'

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.


Maxine said...

Go ape sounds not that horrific -- I have taken kids to Coral Reef when young, but Kingston to Bracknell is quite a drive so I usually cave in and take them to Chessington or even Thorpe park which are nearer, and where I can read while they go on all the rides (the entry price is kind of worth it for that).
That Korfballs thing sounds a bit energetic but I really should try to be sociable and do something like that, I admire you. I have recently begun to play a bit of tennis at weekends as my elder daughter plays a lot (4 times a week) and I am vaguely trying to find some exercise that isn't too boring.
Your earlier posting has stuck in my mind - I read it a few days ago. About the "older woman" and sex. I suppose I feel a bit shocked as I realise I am an "older woman" though I don't feel I am any different an age to any other time. Just to say, as part of your target demographic, it would not put me off! I don't think that one's age determines what one is interested in, do you? I mean, if you are the kind of person who likes romance fiction or historical fiction, it would not particularly make any difference whether you were 20 or 30 or 50 or 70 would it?
I love detective/crime fiction and there is sometimes quite raunchy stuff in it and sometimes not. I don't mind either way so long as the book is good.

Debi said...

Hi Confessor,
Found you via Skint - a treat as I can oh so relate to your position. I've also had 2 books published and am now languishing in the wilderness. Haven't given up hope though - and anyway I couldn't stop wiritng if I wanted to so it has its own rewards, doesn't it? Just that you can't eat them ...

Amanda Mann said...

Thanks so much for your comments. Maxine, I am really really grateful for your endorsement. I so not only don't feel old, but like I'm still working out how to grow up. And Debi, I wish you all the luck, and you're so right, writing does have its own rewards. It's something that can't be taken away from you whatever happens.