Sunday, 27 February 2011

I have a first draft almost complete.  Mm-hmm, yes I do.  I don't quite know how it managed to get so finished, because I really haven't spent all that much time on it.  But there we are.  Of course, it needs a lot more work to make it presentable.  The beginning and the end are quite good, but the whole of the middle (probably about 40,000 words) is rubbish.  But at least it's all there, and there's plenty to work on.  So I've just had a very brief search for literary agents, and I found two that seem suitable straight away.  They both prefer to accept submissions by email, which suits me.  I'll try one of them first and see if I get anywhere.  I suppose it depends on what they're looking for at the time, as much as anything else.  (Obviously it also depends on whether or not my book is any good - it might well be awful, but how would I know, since I'm too close to it?!)

That's pretty much all I have to say about that.  I'm actually quite excited (I know it's difficult to tell from my tone), but I still have a lot of work to do, so I'm not getting carried away.  But I think it was a good thing to take a look at the agents' websites, because it's given me a sort of internal timetable.  I'd like to have something ready to submit in a month or two.

In other writing, I have been very lazy.  I have published a few hubs (see right) and they've been moderately well received.  I don't know whether or not it is really worth my while writing hubs, whether I will actually gain anything from them, but I love to do them.  And I suppose I am producing a body of work that an agent can take a look at if they want to.

Ooh, a visitor has arrived.  Ta ta.


Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Half term is lovely

The Museum of Museums at Trafford Park was very, very good.  Thomas nearly exploded when he saw Tutankhamun's death mask (replica, pictured above).  His class have been learning about Ancient Egypt, so this was a real treat for them to be able to see what the treasures from the pharaoh's tomb actually looked like.  I was pretty blown away myself, even though I've been to Egypt and have seen the Valley of the Kings and the Queens, and the Temple of Karnak.  There was no treasure to be seen in Luxor, since all of the grave goods are now kept in Cairo.  It was wonderful, even though the exhibits in Manchester were replicas, to see the detail of the engravings on every surface of gold.  The hieroglyphs are so clear, so neat, just exquisite.  What I wouldn't give for that time machine just now, to go back and watch these pieces being made.  The death mask was incredible, the coffins that it was hidden inside, the shrines that the coffins were hidden inside - the whole set up was like a truly massive Russian doll!

They were nested, like so:

1-4 were the shrines, I believe, and 5 was a stone box, and b-d were the coffins.  Go and have a look on Google Images and Wikipedia if you want to get a better idea of the wonders that we saw.  Sadly, I am a pillock, and forgot to take my camera.  I was more excited about the prospect of getting to spend a whole day with Thomas with no little brothers around taking up all my attention :)  Completely forgot, until we got there, that we would be seeing some highly photographable objects.  My friend Sara did take some photos, and her daughter Abi was very good at telling me where each god and goddess was represented, so it may be that I will have more photos to show later in the week.

The rest of the week will provide nothing so exciting to report.  The boys are now poorly, with random feverishness, and we are having a few lazy days.  Playmobil is the plaything of choice today.  Tomorrow it may be Lego.  We did visit the Lego shop at the Trafford Centre, but apart from little Lego figure keyrings, we did manage to resist buying anything.  It was all so deliciously tempting - I think I was more excited than Thomas!  I REALLY wanted to buy some Harry Potter and Star Wars Lego.  But the boys were spoilt enough over Christmas, and we have no money left.  The boys are getting used to this being said: 'you can't have everything you want' :)

Sorry it's all a bit boring at our house at the moment.  Well, we're not bored, but we're not doing anything that's interesting to talk about.  We might bake a cake this afternoon.  Maybe not.  Who cares.  We might just watch films ALL day.

I'm not complaining or anything, perfectly and blissfully happy and excited about the future, as always; but I wouldn't mind a bit of sunshine and warmth now.  Come on Spring, I'm ready.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Happy New Year!!!

Hello there, my lovely friends.  How I've missed you!

My computer is back, but it is not repaired to my satisfaction.  Or rather, it is repaired, but it has sustained additional damage in the form of many scratches to the lid - the engineer who carried out the repair must have caused this damage.  I am making a complaint about this, but I do not think that I will get any more than a letter of apology (if I'm lucky).  I think the insurance company are going to dig their heels in and refuse to sort this out properly.  Therefore, I am going to name and shame.  Our insurance is with Direct Line, who use Direct Validation Services as a middle man, who in turn use OLogic for computer repairs.  If you don't want your laptop to come back covered in scratches - scratches which were not there when you sent it away - then steer clear of these three companies.  :)  Should I also name the actual engineer?

But how are you all?  How was your January, and half of February?  Tired, are you?  Yes, everyone I've seen or spoken to in the last few weeks has been yawning, and looked decidedly bleary eyed.  The sun came out this morning, but it disappear again, and I think it will be a while before we see it properly.  January usually doesn't bother me, and I usually enjoy it as a fresh start and a month full of potential.  But this year it was a bit crap, frankly.  

But that is not like me, so let me find some good things that happened in January.  
  • I recovered from the stomach flu that I had had over Christmas.  Yes, that was a good thing.  
  • James had his birthday, and a super party at The Zone, where we all got to play and have millions of fun.  
  • Some buds were seen on some plants in the garden - is that a bit early?  
  • The birds came back to our garden, because we remembered to feed them again!
  • We played with Lego quite a lot.
  • We enjoyed watching MANY, MANY films because the weather's been quite rubbish, and honestly, we just felt like being lazy for a while.
  • Oh, I almost forgot, I wrote 50,000 words in the NaNoWriMo spirit and styleee!  (If you want to read about that process you can look at my Hub, at
  • I did not spend very much money because I have to save up as much as possible this year.
  • I have to save up as much as possible this year, because I enrolled on the MA in English with the Open University :D :D :D  (Starts in October, plenty of time to get the reading done.)
So, one or two things in January that were quite good.  Actually, looking back, all in all, it was a pretty successful month, and I don't know what I've been moping about!  Shame on me.  February has proved, so far, to be a bit flatter, because I've had too long a creative rest after that 50,000 words.  Probably, I should not have had a rest at all, and I should have gone on to write another 50,000 words.  That was my intention, but one night off turned into two nights off turned into a week off.  Shocking really.  I really am so lazy, given a just-open-a-tiny-sliver-sash-window-of-opportunity.

Off to do some work then.  Still got two child-free hours of my morning left, better fill it with something good and productive.

Nice to be back - hope not to see you too much though!  I've enjoyed being computerless, it's been liberating :)