Sunday, 8 January 2012

An appeal for spit.

 Before I started writing I trained as a children's nurse. If I'm being honest, I wasn't very good at it. I'm not a natural nurse, I think it's because I care too much. Every time I had to hold a child down so that the doctors could take samples of blood I had to distance myself from the screaming child in front of me, and this I found very hard. As a parent I wanted to see all children running around with chocolate coated faces or laughing because someones said the 'bum' word, not screaming because they were having blood taken or being put under an anaesthetic for an operation. Although it was necessary, I wanted to see the children smiling so I would read to them in the hope that it would, at least, give them the opportunity to be a child once again and not a patient. It was always gratefully received, although I wasn't very popular with the staff.

 When I made the decision to write I could think of no other genre that I'd rather write. I enjoy being silly. I can write about farts or snot and can get away with it but, above of all of this, it gives me the chance to make a child's life a little nicer, even if it's just for the length of a book. A child's life is fairly rubbish if you think about it. They are trying to make sense of a world that doesn't really make sense.They are plunged into school where they are tested and yelled at, given sprouts and peas to eat which taste rather like slime. If I was given the chance to be a child again I'd run a mile.

 Children also get ill. Sometimes they catch a cold which leaves trails of bogeys hanging from their nostrils which, although gross, is fine. Sometimes they get illnesses which no child should ever get. Illnesses where the cure is worse then the illness itself. Quite recently I discovered that the child of a friend is seriously ill. She was diagnosed with leukaemia before Christmas and is in need of a bone marrow transplant. Aillidh's siblings are not a match so her only hope is a bone marrow transplant from a match. I can only see pictures of this very beautiful 8 year old. Her hair has fallen out in clumps, she's pale and exhausted yet she still smiles. I can't send her one of my books as they have yet to be published (jury's out on this one). I can't give her my bone marrow as I'm not able to donate. I was on the register for 6 years until last year but was removed due to ill health. All I can do is ask as many people as I can to be tested in the hope that there's a match for her somewhere.
 Everyone has the ability to make a child smile again. I'm asking you all to make your difference a bit of spit. All you have to do is register and spit in a bottle. It's that simple.

If you wish to join the register then you can do it here. If you're not a match for Aillidh then you may save the life of someone else, and that's amazing.  http://www.anthonynolan.org/

 Thank you.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Christmas Haikus by CrestOfFire

How To Write A Haiku

Christmas time is great (5 - Topic [Christmas time being great])
The presents and the mulled wine (7 - Expanding [The stuff that makes it great])
Really fun to have (5 - Conclusion [Why it's great; the end])

The Haikus

Sleigh-bells clash and ring,
The sound of Santa's reindeer!
How I love that noise.

Oh, hi, Miss Robin!
Is it winter already?
You need to store food.

Mr. Turkey: "Don't eat me!"
 "You missed Thanksgiving by MONTHS!"
"Go eat Mrs. Goose!"

You see Mrs. Goose,
Standing by the carving knife.
"Please don't eat me? Please?"

Ate her anyway.
Heartless, but she tastes so good.
Om nom nom nom nom.

Ghost of Goosemas Past.
A Christmas Carol remake?
Not another one.

Goosemas Present, now.
People eat turkey and goose.
Goose is expensive.

Goosemas Yet To Come!
The goose I dread above all!
"Please don't eat me, goose..."

The goose ghost eats you.
That will hurt in the morning.
Oh, wait... maybe not.

You see your grave there.
Ebenomzer Goose. That's you.
Oh, no! That's your grave!

You're dragged towards it.
Like in the Disney movies.
Pit o' big despair.

It's OK, you'll wake.
That guy in the movie did.
You're not that guy, though.

Haiku magic fades...
Only enough for one more...
Must have more haikus.

Goosemas day is over,
Yes, you survived the whole thing!
A Happy Goose Year!

Made by CrestOfFire
The Flame of Eternity~
Now, I say goodbye.

[connection lost]
[attempting to reestablish]
[reestablishment failed; no bio detected]
[system_error.tid?=0110110010110010101110101000101[...]01110100110]
[unidentified detected]
[error]
[error]
[connection lost]

Friday, 16 December 2011

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Time.

Time passes quickly. From the moment you are born your clock is ticking and you spend most of your life rushing from one place to another, whether it's to work, to a party or to the supermarket, you know that you rush. There's a ticking in your head. You can't feel it but it's spurring you on, telling you to get a move on. When you're writing a book you want to get it out as quickly as you can and send it off right? Wrong. Stop.
  November is the month of the NaNoWriMo. For those who do not know it's a challenge for writers to churn out the draft of a novel in a month. It's a speed freak's dream but does it make good writing? There's a saying; write, rewrite, and write again. It means your first draft is going to be worthy of recycled toilet paper and won't be worthy of sending to anyone. You'll probably think it's the best thing since sliced bread. Your mum will love it, your sister will rave about it. It all means nothing. Very few writers can churn out a brilliant, flawless first draft. It takes time to perfect your art, it takes hard work and perseverance. In publishing time moves slowly, you have all the time in the world so make your manuscript the best that it can be.

 Best of luck!

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Plotting.

 I appear to have plots coming out of my ears and people keep asking me how I manage to come up with so many, so I thought I'd tell you.

  I think of plots throughout the day, it's my favourite pass time. I sit on the bus and watch the world float by but I'm also thinking of plots as I'm doing this. I can drive past a drain cover. What's underneath? Any sensible person would think a sewer with a load of poop floating past on it's way to the sewage treatment plant. Not me though. Underneath the drain is a monster, waiting to pounce on the next child walking past. He could be a nice monster though, he could be looking for someone to rescue his mother from the evil wizard who's locked her up in a tower. Your imagination is the key. Open it up and see what happens. Write it all down.

 I find plots that interest me, it's hard to write anything that bores you to death. Do you remember how boring some of your school subjects were? I think of the books and movies that I enjoy the most; they are full of wizards, witches and dragons so this is what I write about.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Twitter

 I read a lot about how important it is for a writer to 'market' their work, to 'put their name out' so they are recognised and all of that sort of malarkey. So, how do you do that exactly?

 There are several useful ways of marketing yourself. Even if you have an agent then you'll have to do this as well so it's a good idea to get your head around it.

 Twitter appears to be full of publishers (some of whom will follow you back so they can hear you're 180 characters worth of whatever you feel like announcing), agents, writers, editors etc. Great I hear you say. I've written a novel in an evening, I've showed it to my dog and Jack at the local off licence and they both love it.


Can I ask an agent/publisher to look at my blog/web site/youTube video for the trailer of the movie for my novel in the hope that they will represent me/print my book.

Agents and publishers are lovely people (mostly). They use Twitter but they also don't like it when people pitch their novels on there. Each agent and publisher has a web site, it annoys them when people try to cut corners so it's highly likely that you will be told to stop being so lazy and submit properly (I'd say it like this, but they are a lot nicer and will point you in the direction of their web site for the correct submission guidelines).

What about guiding new followers to your web site/amazon page for easy access to my novel?

Please don't. Would you jump into bed with someone within 30 seconds of meeting them? I imagine most of us wouldn't. It's rude and it's pushy. Buying a novel, like buying perfume, is a complex thing. Not everyone is going to like your novel, we all have different likes and dislikes. I wouldn't want to sit and read an autibiography so I certainly don't appreciate being directed to a site so I can buy one by someone I don't know at all. If you're going to go down this road then make an effort to build up a relationship with your followers first.

Why should I use Twitter?

 It's a very useful tool, there are links to blogs that will help you improve your writing, tell you when the writing competitions are, give you examples of really bad submissions so you know what not to do, but mainly, writing is a lonely job. Having a 180 character conversation can ease the pain. There's far more reasons to use Twitter but I'm too busy to think of more now, I'm off to check out some more submission guidelines. Aplogies for any spelling mistakes, my spell check isn't working.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Literary rejection.

Rejection is a part of life. As a child it begins when the child at school no longer wants to play with you, they find someone else and, suddenly, they are 'their' friend so you're left to watch them play without you. As you grow the rejection changes, it's that man (or woman) who doesn't want to be your boyfriend (or girlfriend), it's the potential employer who doesn't want to hire you or the mother's at the school gate who don't want to talk to you or the credit card company who don't want to let you have one of their cards (please don't send me spam).

 Writers forget that publishing is a business. When they are told 'no thanks' when they themselves are not being rejected, their work isn't wanted. A few months ago I was unfortunate to read a blog in which the writer of a novel had requested a review of her book but she disagreed with the review to such an extent that she was writing profanities towards the reviewer on his blog (which shall remain nameless). Life is full of people who say 'no thanks.' Yes, it is painful but what differentiates a writer from someone who wants to be is how they overcome this. I don't mind rejection, as long as I can use it to improve. Yes, it is painful and yes, I do sulk for a few days but I will look at it, dissect it and use it to see where I have gone wrong.  If my work doesn't 'sparkle enough' then I will look at it and try to work out why. I don't give in, nor do I email the agent back to tell them to 'f*** off.' Writing and getting a book published is a business. You wouldn't expect a major company to reply to you in this manner so why do some people think that this is acceptable to speak to reviewers or agents in this way? No one wants to work with a diva and agents talk.