Monday, 27 June 2011

Day 232

Wow, it seems summer has finally arrived! (Though, of course, I’ve probably just jinxed it by saying that – so blame me for any subsequent rain). 

Anyway, as well as being overjoyed about the nice weather (at last!), I’m also really quite excited because the second draft of Slippery Souls is almost finished. I’ve managed to get 30 chapters edited – so only 8 more to go. At 30 chapters I have a total word count of 58,640 – and ideally, I’d love to add a further 12,000 to that by the time I’m done, but we’ll see. 

My brand-spanky-new copy of Writer’s & Artist’s Yearbook 2012 thudded onto my doormat this morning, woo hoo. I’ll be burying my nose in that quite a lot this week because I’ve finally come to a decision that I will try approaching agents and publishers with my manuscript, in the first instance – and then if I don’t get any joy, I will head down the self-publishing route. Now, because I intend to try the traditional way first, this means I need to prepare a dreaded synopsis and covering letter...eeek! More on that later though – I won’t dare start on those till strictly necessary (I’m too scared).

Now what else has been happening...?

Last Thursday at the Easington Writers group we were involved in our first workshop in association with the new Durham Light Infantry Museum project that we’ve been asked to partake in. We are working on poetry and prose on the subjects of glass and breath – inspired by the ‘Breathtaking – revealing a new wave in British glass blowing’ exhibition that will be taking place on 8th July 2011, which is centred around glass trombone designed by artist Kate Williams. The glass trombone itself will be played on the evening (which is apparently a treat in itself), and the Easington Writers (including myself) will be performing our pieces of poetry/prose. Tickets into the event are free, and more information can be found using the following link:

I’ve also added another travel report to my personal Rachael’s Travels blog ( It’s called Birthday Chills at Chillingham Castle, and is an account of a two night stay in a haunted castle (which, incidentally, knocked a couple of years off my life because I was so terrified!)

I think that’s about all of my news for now, so until next time – make the most of the sun!! :-)

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Day 224

My skates have been flying this week, with sparks shooting out the back and everything! I’ve got 21 chapters sorted, hooray! I feel like I’m finally catching up from where I started lagging...and thankfully, my word count is increasing quite nicely in the second draft. In the first 21 chapters I have a word count of 46,645, so by the time I’m done I should have easily reached my target of 70,000 (maybe even more).
So that leaves me with 17 more chapters to go, plus the epilogue, and dare I say it? – I’m actually optimistic about having it finished by the end of this month, with a LOT of hard slog.
I’m so absorbed in it all, and am really feeling my characters. So much so, that every time I take the dog for a walk (which is valuable thinking and pondering time), I’m already planning a prequel and a sequel because I can’t bear to let them all go. I know what the next two books will be called, and I know what the opening lines will be too.
I’m eagerly awaiting the release of the Writer’s & Artists Yearbook 2012 next month so I can start doing some research into proofreading, self-publishing, traditional publishing and agents – just so I can make a decision on what my next step will be. All along I’ve thought I wanted to self-publish, but there’s a tiny element in the back of my mind that wonders whether I should try the traditional route first. And then there’s a part of me that wonders whether I should release it to Kindle first to test the waters. I’m just so undecided. So, like I say, I’m relying on the good old Writer’s & Artists Yearbook 2012 to enlighten me.
This Thursday, Easington Writers will be involved in the first workshop for the new creative writing project we’ve been given by the Durham Light Infantry Museum – so I’m quite excited to see what that’s going to entail. More on that next time...
Oh and to appease my love of travel writing, I’ve made up another blog which is dedicated to all holidays and away days I find myself going on. So far there’s two posts on there – one from a trip to Yorkshire, to see Holmfirth (filming place for The Last of the Summer Wine), Emmerdale (The original Woolpack) and Haworth (home place of the Bronte Sisters), and one from the German Short-haired Pointer Club’s 60th Anniversary event in Doncaster. Hopefully there’ll be loads more stuff put on there as the year goes on, and it can all be found at:
Anyway, I’ll love you and leave you – I’ve got plenty of work to be getting on with!
Till next time J

Monday, 13 June 2011

Day 218

*Hangs head in shame*
I’m yet to start editing chapter 15. I’ve been away since last Wednesday though, so I haven’t spent too much time at my desk (or at home for that matter). We went to Epworth in Doncaster for a 60th anniversary event for the German Short-haired Pointer Club (okay, we don’t have a GSP – but we went down with my folks, and they have two of them).
I’m all rested and chilled out now – so I’ll keep this update very brief and just crack on.
My skates are now firmly strapped on, and I’ve removed the stoppers from the front...

Monday, 6 June 2011

Day 211

So much has happened this past week! Now where to start...
I suppose most importantly, I will start with a Slippery Souls update. Alas, I only have 14 chapters sorted for the second’s very slow going at the moment, because I’ve been busy with so much other stuff, oops.  I’ll be making a start on chapter 15 today though (which thankfully is a nice short and snappy chapter).
Last Wednesday I went to Beamish to read out my poem in the memorial chapel, for the 60th anniversary of the pit disaster. It was all quite nerve wracking really – the memorial chapel was absolutely crammed full, and it was my biggest audience yet. Luckily, I was standing up in the pulpit, so nobody in the audience was able to see my knees knocking together. Mind you, it didn’t go unnoticed by the other members of the Easington Writers who were sat behind! (Thanks guys for not laughing at me!).  Anyway, that’s all the pit disaster anniversary stuff wrapped up now...and we have an exciting new project ahead. The Durham Light Infantry Museum would like us to do some creative writing for them to read out on Friday 8th July. I don’t know all of the exact details just yet – so more on that later J
And then onto something non-writing related...

I went to Yorkshire for a girlie weekend with my mam and my friend Angela....which is why I haven’t got much writing done! On Saturday we visited Huddersfield and then Holmfirth – where they filmed Last of the Summer Wine. We enjoyed a nice cuppa in Sid’s Cafe, met some friendly (but toilet-hogging) bikers there and posed for photos on Nora Batty’s infamous steps. Then on Sunday we visited the original Woolpack pub from Emmerdale...and despite the fact that none of us even watch the programme, we still posed for photos outside. Unfortunately it was only 10am and it wasn’t open, so it’s with regret that I wasn’t able to have a pint there, pah! Then lastly we headed over to Haworth, which was apparently the home of the Bronte Sisters. I had no idea who they were, shamefully, until my mam muttered something about Wuthering Heights and Jane Ayre. I’ve vaguely heard of these before (though I’m more familiar with Kate Bush’s song), so we just did some retail therapy in Haworth instead of investigating the Bronte museum – period romance just isn’t our cup of tea. We arrived back home yesterday teatime, and I swear I could have slept for a week!
But I can’t. So okay, chapter 15, I’d better go and get started with that...
Well, maybe after I’ve looked at my photos from the weekend J