Writing and Stuff… (by )

I did a lot of things last year like readings and festivals and what not but I realised I'd lost the time to actually write and draw. And that all my blogs and sites were in various states of disrepair. Some never recovered from the flood in 2007, some didn't recover from periods of no internet that subsequently happen, the last of which was me tipping coffee on myself and the laptop at the end of August.

There is also the issue that for 18 months after having a baby I just appear to function well below par and everything just takes me longer to do.

But I decided to try and get my writing stuff back on track - I submitted about 6 pieces of work last year, 3 got published, one won a prize and two got rejected and that was it.

SO I thought I spent last year trying to finish old projects off and barely dented the list but I discovered just how much material I really do have! It's time to start submitting.

But during November whilst sitting at the first NaNoWriMo meet I realised I've forgotten stuff I did know and the industry has moved on! I haven't really had the time or ability to focus on trying to get things published since before the flood - just a few bits a year basically. Main thing that has happened is I have some how ended up taking off as a crafter and poet for events with the help of twitter and two not well kept blogs, plus being the sort of person who ends up in conversations with people.

I tried not to just 'disappear' whilst pregnant which was excessively hard as we had no car until just before the birth and the last trimester I could not get up to the bus stop even using the crutches.

So I thought it's time to get organised and made lists and lists and more lists and Al got me a wall planner which we've put up in the library and I ordered Writer's Magazine and News again and got a free Writers and Artists Yearbook with it which was something I was aiming to get anyway - the last one was 2007 and the Childrens 2008 (again basically pre-flood).

My main plan came out something like this:

1) Get Alaric to extract that novel I wrote for the Terry Pratchett Prize a few years ago (the laptop died just as I was editing the 86 000 word story). Finish editing it, send it to friends to edit and send to publishers.

2) Type up The Drs Wife (everytime I start trying to do this something happens like the house gets flooded, or the computer dies (we are talking multiple computers here). Once typed up, edit, send to friends to edit and send to agents.

3) Sort out the 5-8 books (not sure how fat to make them!) that I have written for Punk's universe - sort their blogs, edit, send to friends to edit, do art work and self publish - but possibly not before I have finished each set of books (there are two series now set in the Punk's Universe The Punk and The Godex not to mention the graphic novel and film script both of which aren't finished).

4) Submit 10 or more pieces of shorter works, flash fiction, shorts and poetry a month.

5) Spend up to £10 on competitions a month.

6) Finish illustrations and submit various children's books via agents and direct (depending on how long an agent getting takes).

7) Sort out The Little Books of Poetry - these are children's books but there is no point in trying traditional publishing for children's rhyme - they don't like it as it isn't easy to translate nicely. Not a problem - The Little Book of Spoogy was downloaded over 100 times when I put it out there for free for three days and once I took it down people came and asked when it would be avalible again 🙂 There are a lot of these books with the poems already written and I have been recording audio and stuff too.

8) Sort out blogs.

9) Apply for Science writing stuff.

10) Create several arts, crafts and cooking books (both self pub and traditional depending on if anyone will take the brief) plus tutorials for etsy.

And it is sort of working - I have submitted 6 things so far this month and yes I realise I am running out of month but it is a start. I have signed up for another days writing retreat to help me finish the last bit of The Godex Trilogy and we scheduled Alaric time to extract my novel.

And that is were it has gone a bit wrong 🙁

We assumed that it was the bit were the power jacked into the laptop that was broken as it was on the wonk anyway but when he tried to do his technical wizardy it failed 🙁 So we have a quote for almost £200 from a data recovery company we know are good and are waiting to try something else a friend has suggested before we try and find that sort of cash 🙁

Now I hear you all crying - why didn't you back it up?

Well the laptop was on it's last legs so the port to plug a USB key in would no longer work. So what I was doing was a) printing out a hard copy just incase and b) emailing it too myself and c) Al was backing it up with his tech voodoo.


This didn't happen for the novel as it was written incredibly quickly as the deadline loomed and I really really would have loved The Terry Pratchett Prize - out of all the things you can win for writing I wanted that one and it was the first time it had been avalible - so I wrote like a mad thing.

It was written at a point when we had no internet so I could not email to myself - we had no car and no spare cash for bus fairs and then the food to use free restaurant WiFi. Our printer died as I tried to print out the first couple of chapters and we had no way to replace it and Al was away doing lots of extra work trying to get our finances back on track so... he didn't get to do it's latest back up.

And WHAM! Me the paranoid saver lost her novel and didn't get to enter the comp and now may even have lost that novel and some photos for ever.

I now have a dongle, I am now in walking distance of a library etc... but I wasn't then. But this has put a crimp on my great plans for this year.

On the other hand I have been updating my blogs and have all the hand written story and notes and the printed back up for The Drs Wife. It will just take me longer to actually get something out there that is all - also part of me is worried that if I start working on that novel again something will happen to stop all my writing in it's tracks again. I'm still going to try though because I sort of don't know how to give up.

Oh and as a cross-genre generalist I am screwed for making money but I have found were I am going wrong with the drawings - I'm not an artist! I'm an illustrator and cartoonist! Dad will be proud - cartooning is something he should have done! Much better than that arty stuff.

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