Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Art of Finishing Things...

I'm brilliant at coming up with new ideas.

Seriously - my head is always brimming with fantastic plots, awesome characters and scintillating scenes. I have a trusty Moleskine notebook (natch) that I carry everywhere with me and it's bulging with ideas...

...Like last week when, I swear, I sat next to the Three Witches from Macbeth in my local Starbucks... Or the old man Bob and I met in the hides at Kingsbury Water Park who I just had to write a story about - which you can read on my short story blog, September's...

My novel, Coffee At Kowalski's,is getting fantastic reviews at - and I only posted it to see if anyone would read it!

The one problem I have is finishing things. Maybe I'm scared. Maybe I'm plain lazy. Maybe I'm worried that if I finish one thing I won't get another idea good enough... And now I've signed up for NaNoWriMo again this year, it about to begin all over again.

It looks like I have to finish writing Coffee At Kowalski's, now that so many people are loving it. I have to finish the final edit of The Mystical Wombat's Guide to Life before I start NaNoWriMo 2008 - just because it needs to go to an agent and for me to stop dithering. The problem is making myself sit down and do it.

I need to learn the Art of Finishing Things. And quick!

Friday, October 3, 2008

That's it: I've gone completely LOOPY...

I've only gone and done it this time...

I've submitted one of my novel attempts to - the new site from publishers HarperCollins, where aspiring authors can submit their work, read other works and, allegedly, 'beat the slush pile' where so many unsolicited manuscripts wind up.

Coffee At Kowalski's was the very first novel that I wrote, started nearly seven years ago while I was still married. It became a real sanctuary for me and was the reason I began taking my writing seriously. It's by no means perfect, but a friend of mine started reading it a couple of months ago and demanded that I finish it. I've been sending her a couple of chapters every few weeks - which she's reading faster than I can write!

Here's the blurb:

Rosie is happy at Kowalski's florists in New York - until her past catches up with her.

What happens when an optimist with a broken heart meets a pessimist who has everything he ever wanted?

Rosie Duncan is happy. Or so she thinks.

Her florist store in New York's Upper West Side, which she took over from the enigmatic Mr Kowalski six years ago, is flourishing. She has a wonderful life in her adopted city, surrounded by friends that love her.

While Rosie refuses to discuss her past - or why she won't consider looking for a relationship - her assistants Ed (the human iceberg) and Marnie (who appears to have dated the whole of Manhattan), together with inimitable New York Times columnist Celia (a one-woman tornado), do their best to convince her to open her heart.

But when hopelessly optimistic Rosie meets self-confessed pessimist Nate, their blossoming friendship over coffee at her store begins to shake her resolve - and unravel the mystery surrounding her arrival in New York. Then a chance meeting brings Rosie face to face with her past – and now she must choose which way her life will go.

Is she falling for Nate? Will she be able to love again? And what is going on with her best friend Ed?

I just wanted to see what reaction there was (if any) - I know that my writing has come on so much since my first, trembling attempts at creating a story, but this one always stuck with me. I think it works as a narrative and, while I don't think for a moment that it will get anywhere near the hallowed heights of the 'Editor's Desk', I'm just interested to see what people think.

One comment so far: Super dialogue, real humour and the kind of wit that would raise FRIENDS to a new high...

So... please, please, please pop over to and have a read - leave your comments, too! Head to Authonomy and type 'Coffee' into the search box on the top right-hand side of the page.

Am I crazy? Possibly. More loopy than a bowl of Fruit Loops? Probably. But unless you try something, you'll never know...

Thursday, October 2, 2008

I've got a column!

I'm getting my own column!

Move aside Carrie Bradshaw - there's a new girl in town...

I've been asked to write a column for Black Country Bunker - a new 'What's On'-style site for the glorious Black Country where I live. Apparently, I get my own page and colour scheme... I'm calling it A Bouquet of Newly-Sharpened Pencils (and if anyone can identify the film where that phrase comes from I'll give them a prize!) and I'm going to be writing an article each week, once the site launches later this month.

Although it's no money (quelle surprise) it's another chance to showcase my writing. They're linking with local radio stations as well, so that could prove interesting!

In the meantime, I'm frantically editing the final chapter of The Mystical Wombat's Guide To Life before daring to send it to an agent. I'm determined to finish it - even if my laptop did decide to convert half the text to Wingdings last night... Aarrggh...
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