Sometimes things don’t go to plan. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plan.

What I’m not going to do today:

1. Play Neil Diamond’s September Morn and weep. (Where did the summer go? So little done, so much to do…)
2. Watch the next episode of ‘Suits’ on Netflix. (That is called procrastination. Stop. It. Now.)
3. Take off the toe nail polish that’s been on my toes a month. (Yes, I need to do it but not now. See (2) above.)
4. Eat lunch early. (I’m not even hungry. It’s only 10.15am.)

In my defence, the summer was good and busy. As well as a holiday to Cornwall, days at the beach and catching up with distant friends, lots of creative things happened which were mainly not writing.

A beach hut was bought, and renovated. Here are the before and after pics:

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The garden was a lot of work, but overgrowth was cleared and food was grown, ending with the harvest of 7kg of green tomatoes, most of which I made into chutney. This was my first time jarring anything but it tasted pretty good. Still, I’m not sure I would give any out as gifts…

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(Is it me, or is that plug plate askew?)

Also, in the interest of encouraging the little ones with their creative endeavours, of which there were many, I knitted a super chunky jumper for the littl’un. I washed it and now the sleeves are too long. Worse still, one sleeve is longer than the other despite both having exactly the same number of rows.

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(I’ve only been knitting 30+ years. Sometimes things just don’t go to plan.)

Ah yes, there was sort of a point to this post. Sometimes things just don’t go to plan, even when we think we’ve got it ‘all under control’.

The novel I started in May hasn’t been touched for eight weeks. However, at the end of July I wrote a short story I felt was good enough to submit to a publisher for an anthology. I should hear in a month if it was accepted.

I received the publisher’s edits for ‘The Playmaker’ (f/f romance novella) a couple of weeks ago. I hate leaving commitments to sit until the deadline but I have to say, when I got the manuscript back I had a bit of a crisis. Suddenly, I doubted it was good enough, no matter what I tried to do to it. So, amidst the baking, boiling, knitting, sewing and all the other ‘stuff’, I closed the document and decidedly did not think about it.

But September is here. Time to get back to work. Time to plan.

My youngest has gone back to school and the house is still and quiet. This morning, I’ve printed out the whole novella and read the editorial notes again. I have some work to do, and I can do it. My writers’ group has a retreat booked for five hours tomorrow. That should give me a decent few hours to get started, maybe enough time to finish.

Once those edits are done, by early next week, I’ll get back to the novel. I’m ready for it. I have 20k good words and detailed notes — plenty to build a story on. My plan is to have the beta’s draft by half term.

It will be good to get those things finished before the winter, because I think for a lot of writers, when the nights are long and the weather is bad, a lot of creative things can happen.

Now… it’s 11.15am. Time for lunch, I think.

Finally feeling like I’m going in the right direction

A few days ago my story for the Love’s Landscapes event, organised by the M/M Romance Group on Goodreads was posted privately to the group. In a couple of day’s time it will be available for free download: Man of the Match 

I won’t deny, I’ve been sick with nerves about this for the last several weeks. Wondering if I’m ready. Wondering if my writing wasn’t up to par. Wondering if the story would be a disappointment to my prompter.

Well, it’s done now. Que sera, sera and all that!

I’ve learned so much over the last couple of years. These first few stories I’ve written to be put ‘out there’, I’ve written … cautiously, I think. The novel I’m working on now is, of course, longer. It takes place over a shorter time frame and has more action, drama and plot. 

The working title is ‘Sleight’ and is the story of a quiet man who leads a reclusive life (for reasons revealed in the book) who is thrown way out of his comfort zone when he falls for a local windsurfer. I’ve used my local Hayling Island for the location.

Recently, I was extremely fortunate in being able to buy a beach hut on the beach. (For non-UK natives, a beach hut is effectively a shed/basic cabin on the beach. No power or plumbing.) I’ve been waiting for almost 2 years for the right one to come up, so this is very exciting. I spent a glorious day there today with family — it’ll be a well-used space. The view is amazing (I posted a picture on my Instagram) and in the week, when the kids are at school, the beach is almost deserted. I’m hoping to get some really good writing days in down there (before the kids break for the hols) and get my first draft done. There are no distractions, but there is a good cafe (for coffee) and toilets, both a 2 minute walk away.

Still, the windsurfers are apt to come along anytime the wind and tide are right. But I’m not complaining about that. No siree!