Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Married to a 40 year old...

WOW! The Chardmeister is 40 now!
 We dropped Lady M off at the olds and scarpered to London for the weekend. It's funny how holidays or short breaks are never the relaxing time they are meant to be. We packed a fair bit into the weekend - Friday night dinner at Sarastro's (fabulously fun and garish decor, average food and surly staff - I'm not going to recommend you try this one), Oxford St, the British Museum, Libertys, Fortnum and Masons, Covent Garden, Picadilly Circus on Saturday followed by 'The Phantom of the Opera' at Her Majesty's Theatre (I can't deny it, I loved it. The production was really good, the sets clever and atmospheric and I'm always a sucker for great singing) and lunch at The Ivy on Sunday (lovely food, impeccable service and Jo Woods was there - the only celebrity spot of the weekend) followed by a quick visit to Buckingham Palace. Phew.

With all that excitement out of the way and the Abingdon Writers blog all tidied up and sorted, it's time to use this week to whip my novel into shape and start sending it out. To this end, I have purchased the kindle version of Nicola Morgan's 'How to Write a Great Synopsis' and practically promised a member of Abingdon Writers that I WILL submit next week. 

The Scream by Edvard Munch
The book is currently £1 on Amazon until the end of January - click on the link above to order it! I am hoping that this book plus enough time to get on with writing a query letter, blurb and rewriting my current synopsis plus getting those all important first three chapters as good as they can be, will aid me on my quest to be published.

I have been trawling the Internet for useful advice on submissions (a brilliant displacement activity which easily becomes intense procrastination as you follow all the different links helpfully put up by authors, agents and publishers). I digress - here are some of the ones I think make a lot of sense! 
Of course, you should also get yourself a copy of 'Writers and Artists Yearbook'. There's loads of useful articles in there as well as a complete listing of all UK literary agents. Once you've narrowed down which agents cover your genre, check them out individually too. It's time consuming but worth it.  And then, take that wobbly, angst-filled walk to the post office and force your madly clutching fingers to let go of that envelope. 

Sunday, 8 January 2012

The first week of 2012 is already over!

Can you believe it? It's gone by so quickly and already I have completed 1/50th of my Goodreads reading challenge for 2012. Yes, you've guessed it, I've pledged to read 50 books this year. I'm very confident I'll complete it - I'm nearly 1/25th of the way through already (second book half read)! Easy. 

I do feel it's necessary to document my New Year's resolutions and also, as a goodbye to 2011, jot down my top 10 moments or discoveries of last year. The moments are just for fun and posterity but I'm wondering if I make a public declaration of what I want to change this year whether I'll stick to them more than I have in the past.

First things first - resolutions. Now, normally these annually declared good intentions last no longer than what we've already had of this year BUT this year, I am determined that I will keep at least three of the five resolutions I have made, so here they are:
  1. Eat less non-healthy food. So far, this isn't going too badly as I pre-empted this resolution and scoffed down all my Christmas chocolates before New Year's Day. Cunning. 
  2. Make this the year that we clear the loft and ebay all the stuff that's been boxed up ready to sell for the last five or so years. I really want to keep this one.
  3. Take up yoga properly - by this, I mean do it regularly once a week. I'd like to extend my new found patience to people other than Lady M and feel like yoga might lead the way to calmness and serenity. Maybe. 
  4. Start writing the journal I meant to begin when Lady M was first born. Now I have over a year's worth of stuff to remember and put into words. I have made a start on this by ordering several rather beautiful Liberty print notebooks. 
  5. This one's a biggie - lose some damned weight! This is the year for it. I know it. 
I have high hopes of keeping all of them. Except maybe the yoga one. I haven't even begun that one yet. 

Anyway, on to the moments! Ooh, it's been hard to choose and I had to restrain myself to picking only five Lady M related moments. So, here they are. Let's get the Lady M ones out of the way first as I suspect they're what every parent would list.
  1. Lady M laughing for the first time. 
  2. Lady M walking (well, running as she is wont to do most of the time).
  3. Every time Lady M dances - she is her mother's daughter, some fine moves going on. 
  4. Lady M's first taste of chocolate and cake on her first birthday - pure bliss! 
  5. Lady M giving me a proper two-armed tight cuddle for the first time - she only just managed to sneak this into 2011!
  6. Receiving a phone call from Warehouse to say I had won two weekend tickets to Reading Festival - I've never won anything in my life (except a few quid on the lottery a handful of times. Score). 
  7. Seeing My Chemical Romance. Twice. And with Brian May the second time!
  8. Finding out my sister is having a baby - now due in less than two months!!
  9. Discovering Garnier BB cream - it is truly amazing. I will be stocking up on it in case Waitrose ever run out. 
  10. Oh yeah, I suppose I'll put this one in although it's not really that big of a deal. Meeting Gerard freakin' Way. No biggie. We talked about babies and stuff. I was not at all star struck and nor did I feel ancient amongst all the fifteen year old girls.

I can only hope that this year will be just as eventful. In January 2013, I hope I'm listing 'getting an agent' as one of the moments and even 'having some people follow my blog' maybe. One should always have hope and dream big. Right? I mean, I did meet the delicious and indescribably beautiful (that one's for you Chardmeister) Gerard Way last year so anything can happen if you want it enough. And I want an agent and blog followers. Make it happen 2012!