Monday, 25 July 2011

Day 260

It’s been a relatively quiet week on the writing front – I’ve been busy doing stuff about the house instead. Slippery Souls is in the capable hands of my auntie still, and my new novel Monday is coming along well at 14,000 words. 

I sent off the first three chapters of Slippery Souls, along with a cover letter and synopsis to a literary agency – and they responded almost immediately. Unfortunately this was to say that they weren’t interested – something along the lines of them being ‘all vampired out.’ They did however urge me to keep trying with other agencies and publishers. I’m actually amazed at how many agencies and publishers specify that they DO NOT want any fantasy, horror or sci-fi manuscripts though. I can only guess they’re all sick to the back teeth of wizardry mayhem and bloodsucking romance. The aforementioned obviously must sell well – but on the flipside, agents and publishers must be inundated with similar stuff...and not all of it will be a worthy read. I can almost imagine literary agents holding their heads in their hands as yet another vampire manuscript arrives on their desk. There are, however, agencies and publishers who specialise in the fantasy genre – so I will try these places. But the more I look into it, the more I keep thinking I will end up going down the self-publish route after all. 

...which means I will have to purchase a copy of Adobe Photoshop, because after months of pondering over the front cover that was designed for me by a graphic design student, I’ve decided, alas, it isn’t quite right for Slippery Souls. So I need to get back into graphic design mode after all these years and do it myself.

On a different note, I joined the committee of the local community centre this week – with an aim to help promote its events and services to the press, and to put together a newsletter. So that’s a new project to get my teeth into, as and when time permits. I haven’t done anything yet...must make a start soon. Although I still haven’t made a start on Assignment 17 either...oh dear.

I have a new post on my Rachael’s Travels blog called Cozumel – Mexican Island in the Caribbean, which can be found in the usual place:

Well, until next time, I’d better go and crack on!

Monday, 18 July 2011

Day 253

It’s all quiet on the Slippery Souls front – dropped my manuscript off at my auntie’s over the weekend, so now I just wait for her verdict.

I went to the Transporter Bridge in Middlesbrough with half of the Easington Writers Group on Thursday. We had a trip over on the bridge, then had a wander round to the Temenos sculpture – and watched a seal in the water rip the head off a massive fish. He looked quite pleased with himself. I’ve written a poem called Distracted, which I will enter into the Listen Up North competition.

Whilst I now have a little bit of leeway, in regards to work on Slippery Souls at a standstill for the time being, I hoped to get on with some coursework – but alas, I think I may have gone absolutely stark raving mad...I’ve started on a new novel idea! It’s a bit of an experiment in all honesty. Slippery Souls seems to have taken lots and lots of time and planning to get to this stage – so this time I want to try hammering away at my new idea with only minimal planning to see where that gets me. Oh, and I’m aiming to have it finished by the end of August. Ambitious? Probably. Do-able? Yes, I reckon so. I took part in the National Novel Writing Month back in November 2009 and managed to write 50,000 words in one month. So in just over a month, I’m hoping to have 80,000 words. I’m happy to see where it takes me anyway. It’s not in the same genre as Slippery Souls – and I reckon the only way to describe my new novel idea Monday is chick lit perhaps. 

I have a new travel report on my Rachael’s Travels blog called Rachael Meets Rameses II, which can be found here:

Well, I’d better go and get typing. It’s Monday morning, and Monday calls!

Monday, 11 July 2011

Day 246

Hooray, second draft of Slippery Souls is finally complete. 

So what now? 

There’s a timeline that runs throughout the whole book, which specifies time and location at the beginning of each chapter – so I need to make sure all timings are correct. And then I’m going to print a copy of the manuscript out and hand it over to my dedicated beta reader (my Auntie Liz) to go through – and she will hopefully give me some constructive (but kind) feedback. So that’s my next step – hope to have the manuscript with her by Thursday.

Okay, so what else has been happening?

On Friday the Easington Writers (including myself) performed poetry at the Durham Light Infantry Museum alongside trombonist Alan Tomlinson, who was playing artist Kate William’s glass trombone. This was the first time this had been done – and it was a very different experience! 

I performed my poem Dirty Phone Call, which was inspired by the glass and breath theme:

Hello? Hello! Is anyone there?
Is it you again? I cannot tell.
If you’ve nowt to say, then go away
What’s that you say? Really? Well!
You call all hours, breathing hard
Expecting me to listen
Ask what I’m wearing, without caring
About the fact I’ve got a life
I’m someone’s wife, I will not hear
While you grunt and groan at me
I’m not the type for all this hype
I’m a respectable lass, you see
So tell the truth, are you in a booth?
Steaming up the glass
You’ve got such face, in a public place
To act so very crass
So forget it please, you’d better stop
This isn’t turning me on
And what kind of man must you be
To do these things for fun?
I’m hanging up, my husband’s home
This has really gone way too far
Stop wasting my time, that’s enough, goodbye!
By the way, I’m not wearing a bra...

This week the Easington Writers will be making a trip to the Transporter Bridge in Middlesbrough to do some writing for a competition being ran by Rachel Cochrane from The deadline is the end of this month – so we’d better be quick! This is to mark the 100th birthday of the bridge.

My travel blog has been updated with a day trip to Blackpool, called Horror at the Pleasure Beach, so please check that out:
And I think that’s about all of my news for this week – I still haven’t touched assignment 17 of my Writers Bureau coursework! Maybe whilst I’m awaiting my Auntie’s verdict regarding Slippery Souls I can crack on with some of that...hopefully.

Anyway, keep enjoying the lovely weather, and I’ll be back with more news next week...

Monday, 4 July 2011

Day 239

I’m a gnat’s cracker away from having the second draft of Slippery Souls finished now – I’m currently working through chapter 36 (so about 2 and a half left to go!) Admittedly, I should have had it completed by now – but I got held up over the weekend by all this weird, bright, warm stuff called sunshine. 

I’ve heard the weather is meant to change drastically as of tomorrow, and we’ll be inundated with rain – so I guess I’ll have plenty time to get my fingers into a frenzy then.

Not all my time in the sun has been spent slacking though – I’ve trawled through my new copy of Writers and Artists Yearbook and have got a long list of publishers and agents, suitable for the urban fantasy genre, written down.

My auntie has very kindly offered to act as a beta reader for me, which I’m actually quite nervous about – because it’ll be the first time anyone has read any of it! Hopefully, she’ll point out any cock-ups kindly and lovingly though!

Other exciting news is that I’ve had a short horror story of mine called Church Fate (inspired by a local church and vicar) accepted into Static Movement’s Summer Thrills Anthology. It’s a non-paying piece, but I reserve all rights on my work, and when the anthology is published it will be sold on Amazon. Not long after I had Church Fate accepted, I also had Dempsey’s Demons accepted for their Sowing the Seeds of Love Anthology. So I’m more than happy that two of my shorts will be circulating in a couple of American anthologies.

Hopefully, I intend on joining the local community centre’s committee – to try and generate some interest and awareness there. I’ve already contacted the local press and the deputy editor said he is more than happy for me to send in more on that soon, all going well.

And as for the Durham Light Infantry Museum’s glass trombone event, well that creeps ever closer and I’m seriously petrified now. I’ll be performing on Friday night alongside the other Easington Writers, and I’ll be using my poem Dirty Phone Call. Our rehearsals are taking place earlier that very day, and I believe I am up last on the set...*my heart’s already going like the clappers* I’ll be sure to give a full account on the event here next time.

I’ve updated my travel blog with a trip account of Amsterdam, which is called Sun, Sea & Sex – and it can be found here: But I intend on adding more shortly, with a write up of a day trip to Blackpool – so watch out for that also.

That’s about all of my news for this week, so wish me luck for Friday!!!