My NaNoWriMo Word Count Widgets!

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Head: meet Brick Wall...

That's how I feel today!  I've spent all day researching stuff for my NaNo book and my head is spinning!

The tai chi stuff wasn't too bad and I found some extra information for some moves that has really helped me with my chapter outline.  However, researching divorce in England is driving me crazy!!!  Thank goodness things seem much easier in Scotland (and easier when everything is uncontested).

I've had to get my head around the basic proceedings of a divorce - what IS a decree nisi, for example.  I've managed to get all that information's what happens when the divorce, and ancillary relief, is contested that's got me all hot and bothered.  I need to know the exact procedure my MC, Anna, has to go through when her hubby, Charlie, divorces her for unreasonable behaviour...he tries to argue that she's impulsive with money and would spend anything he gave her; that she swindled his business out of a million pounds over the years of their marriage; that she signed over any rights to money from him; anything he can get away with.  Anna is determined to fight this all the way....but I'm getting bogged down in the financial horrors!  Form A, Form E etc. etc.

Ah'll be worth it when the book is written!

Tuesday, 18 October 2011


I've spent most of today researching tai chi for my next book (a chick-lit, light and fluffy, feel-good read) which I'm going to have to write in one month.  It sounds scary and impossible - 50,000 words in 30 days - but, when I look back over my blog, I realise I wrote a hell of a lot in three months.

I think, when I started my blog, I had around 25,000 words.  It now sits at around 92,000 (although it's rapidly shrinking now I've started editing!) after 3 months of not-so-solid writing.  If I really get my head down, I think I can do it.

Hospital Corners has been a great learning experience for me, and it's journey doesn't end just because I've written the words "The End".  I spend time each night (generally in bed with my last cup of tea) reading through a chapter with my trusty red pen in hand.  It's much easier to see where things don't work if you read a printed version, rather than staring at a screen.  I think the edited version will quicken the pace without cutting out too much characterisation or description.  I hope...

There's a lot of talk on Authonomy about e-publishing and whether it's the way forward or not.  I'm not making a decision one way or the other with regards to Hospital Corners.  If a publisher approached me and told me they'd edit and publish my manuscript for e-publication, I'd jump at the chance.  Of course, I'd love to have a printed version in my hands, but something is better than nothing.  I may even invest in a Kindle for Christmas to check out the variety of books available and the level I'd be up against. 

Anyway - those are my musings for today. 

Wednesday, 12 October 2011


It's FINISHED.  I can now add "author" to my name. :)

OK, so it's the first draft and there are going to be huge chunks I will change once I've actually read them again...but it's done.  A fraction under 92000 words; something I never dreamed possible.  It only feels like a week or two since I was trying to make it to the 70000 word mark!

Seeing as it's Mental Health Week, I've uploaded the full manuscript at so everyone can find out how things end.  I'll  be taking most of it back down by the end of the month it's a limited time offer!

I feel at a bit of a loose end now...although I'm sure that will only last for a day or two.  The little grey cells are busy sparking away with my idea for the next book.  I will be taking part in NaNoWriMo next month, and the aim is to write 50000 words in 30 days.  A mammoth task, but if I can put my perfectionism to one side and simply create, I'm sure it'll be manageable.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Pitch perfect...

Well, I cheated a bit yesterday and took the girls to their favourite soft-play centre.  They spent four hours running themselves ragged; I sat with my netbook and coffee and got some writing done.  Then, when the batteries died, I started trying to write a synopsis...I hate trying to write a synopsis! 

The best thing to come out of my day (other than two kids who slept like logs all night) were my revised pitches.  I had to agree with one comment, that what I promised in my pitches wasn't actually what the book was about.  So here are the new, improved versions.  I know they're improved because I had a positive comment about them!  Enjoy...

Short pitch (the sentence that gets put on the front cover, or at the very top of the back cover):

It's not mental's mental hell.

Long pitch (the blurb on the back cover):

They say one in four people will experience mental health difficulties in their lifetime. Over two thousand of these poor souls pass through the doors of Lovingdell General Hospital's Accident & Emergency Department every year.

Not all of them are patients...

Dr Blake tries to deal with every patient herself. She's a professional perfectionist...and a bit of a bitch.

Esme has cut herself. Nobody knows why, and she's certainly not telling.

Peggy plots of ways to escape the locked psychiatric ward. Plans generally include swallowing broken glass, slashing her wrists or hanging herself.

Elizabeth doesn't like being touched and she's covered in cuts and bruises she can't, or won't, explain. She's only six.

Follow the staff and patients of LGH through one day. One typical day...

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Runner up...

I can proudly add "runner up in the New Rose Short Story Competition 2011" to my name!  View the story at

I was so chuffed when I got the email from Miranda Dickinson, and a pile of goodies are winging their way to me in the post.  The best bit is that I get a review by Jamie Guiney, the head judge, of a piece of writing.  He'll be in touch to let me know how many words etc he's willing to look at....but even if it's a couple of thousand, it'll be great to get a professional opinion of the opening of Hospital Corners!

I'm entering another competition this week.  To celebrate the launch of Miranda's new book, Authonomy are holding a flash fiction competition.  Because her book is called "It started with a kiss" and is 416 pages long, we have to write a piece of flash fiction that is 416 words long, titled the same.  I've written a piece, but am going to leave it for a couple of days before coming back to it with fresh eyes.  Because it's me, there's a neat little twist in the final paragraph. 

It's the Tattie Holidays for the next two weeks, so I'll have my girls a bit more and be writing a bit less.  Hopefully it won't be too much longer before I rescue Dr B from her pacing up and down in her office....she'll be wearing a hole in the carpet by now!