Today I am pleased to report the publication of my short story DOUBLE TROUBLE on the online site Fictive Dream. The first result of my renewed persistence in submitting new work this year. I hope you can take a few minutes to read and enjoy it.
Having made suitably broad writing resolutions at New Year (see my blog Yet More Resolutions), I am quite pleased with my productivity so far. As well as writing and sending off some new and revised stories, I have made forays into script writing with a couple of short plays to submit to Mslexia (who have now included 1000 word scripts for their Showcase writing slots). I have been using competition and submission deadlines to set myself targets, giving me a renewed momentum. And I am starting to feel the liberation after years of slogging away at my novel, allowing myself to explore and develop and emerging at last from the feeling that I have nothing new to write. Remembering that engaging with the writing process itself can bring inspiration; that the smallest spark of an idea can be shaped and developed simply by sitting down and working at it.
I have also been working through a re-write of my novel RIDING THE HIGH ROAD, following feedback from the agent who took the whole manuscript and said the character voices needed to be made more distinctive. My initial reaction, apart from obvious disappointment, was that there was no way I was going to revise the novel when she didn’t even ask to see it again. But my writing group persuaded me I have earned this feedback from a literary professional and I should take it on the chin and use it to improve the novel. They were right of course, and now I’m stuck into it I can see what the agent means and am hoping the revision will indeed be an improvement.
And in this week of my 60th birthday, I’ve been inspired by reading author Mary Brown, whose debut novel was published when she was aged 81! I Used To Be tells the story of an isolated old woman destroyed by grief, who find new hope through her encounters with a gang of socially excluded teenage girls. Much more up my street than Mary Wesley (who famously published her first adult novel aged 71), so Mary Brown now ranks high as a role model. It really is never too late, I tell myself, as I push to finish the novel revision.
I’m pausing right now to prepare for my birthday celebrations, but will be back on track in May, which is when I’m told the agents and publishers return to their desks after the London Book Fair extravaganza. Keeping to my resolution to commit time to new writing, as well as trying to find a publisher for the novel. Hoping to be able to report more successes soon.