Tag Archives: submitting to agents

The Joy of Words

Well, last week had this in it.

Image: v8.en.memegenerator.net

Image: v8.en.memegenerator.net

For the unclickables among you, I’ll paraphrase the article I’ve linked to above: in essence, a new app is in development which allows people to read at speeds of up to 500 words per minute, mainly due to the fact that you don’t need to move your eyes at all. The app flashes the words in front of you, with one letter highlighted in red (apparently, just at the optimum point in the word for your brain to recognise and process it without even realising it’s doing so), and your eyes remain steady throughout. All you need to do is look at the red letter, and you read the word automatically.

Image: financialanalystwarrior.com

Image: financialanalystwarrior.com

Yeah. I’m with yonder sceptical dog.

The article I’ve linked to has a trial run of the app (called Spritz), and you can see what I’m talking about for yourself. You can also give it a go, and see how it makes you feel. For me, when I got to the 500 words per minute section, I have to admit the letters were zipping by so fast that I did miss a word or two every so often; my brain put together the sense of the sentence, all the same, but it actually felt like more work, to me, than ‘ordinary’ reading. It also made me feel like I’d just stepped off one of these:

Image: zuzutop.com

Image: zuzutop.com

More than that, though, it made me feel a bit sad. Has it come to this, that we’re living in a world where reading is seen as just another chore, something else to plough through at top speed so that we can get back to playing Candy Crush Saga?

I don’t know. Perhaps the app is intended for people who have to read long technical documents, or complicated legal rulings, or government papers, or something like that. I don’t deny the science behind it; certainly, it worked, exactly as it said it would. But it sucked every droplet of joy out of the act of reading, and I think that’s a retrograde step. There was no time to pause, to reflect, to luxuriate in a beautifully constructed sentence; there was no time to appreciate the skill with which the words were laced together. It was like sitting down before a gorgeous meal, prepared with love and care and painstaking effort, and just tipping the whole lot down your neck, oyster-fashion. Not only will you not enjoy the food, but you won’t enjoy the act of eating, either – the two are closely linked.

A lot like the joy of words, and the act of reading. Just in case you didn’t get the metaphor.

Then, I’m speaking as a person who reads quickly anyway, and who enjoys fluency with words. I’m aware that not everyone is like me, and perhaps this app will help some readers who find it hard to get through longer documents; if it’s useful to someone, then it’s to be welcomed, of course. But, to me, reading (for leisure, that is) should be a pleasant and immersive experience, taken at your own pace – whatever that pace may be. It should allow you time for thought and absorption, time to enjoy the words as well as the content.

Or, maybe it’s just my inner technophobe rising to the fore again.

Image: somedesignblog.com

Image: somedesignblog.com

Anyway.

As well as learning about Spritzing, last week was a word-filled one for me in other ways. I spent it glued to the computer going through ‘Emmeline’, making a concerted push to edit it, and repolish it, and finally reach a point where I can say: ‘Yes. This book is ready.’ It had already had five edits before I even began this process, but as late as Friday I was going through it and still seeing extraneous words, unclear descriptions, frankly stupid continuity errors and places where the dialogue could have been sharpened.

It just goes to show that an editor’s job is never done. However, a writer’s job is to get their work to a point where they can say they’ve done their best, and then let their words go. That, friends, is the challenge facing me this week.

Today is the day I start to submit ‘Emmeline.’

Quite. Image: athenna.com

Quite.
Image: athenna.com

I am proud of my work, and I don’t think it’s wrong to say so. I am happy with ‘Emmeline’, I am glad to have written it, I love my characters and I think the story is enjoyable. Now, we’ll see what the publishing industry thinks of it, and I’ll report back to you when I have more information.

If you never hear from me again, you’ll know what happened.

 

 

Nothin’ to See Here…

So, it’s that time of year again. That pink, beribboned, heart-shaped balloon, teddy-bears-’round-every-corner time of year.

Ain’t nothin’ wrong with showing your loved ones how much you appreciate them. Don’t get me wrong. But I shudder to think how many people only say ‘I love you’ to someone else on this one day of the year.

Image: profmuluka.com

Image: profmuluka.com

I love to love people. I think love is the most important thing in the world. I love everyone I meet, just a little bit (well, all right. Some more than others.) I love to tell my friends and family that I love them, and – even though it can sometimes be scary – I have found that taking the risk to tell someone they’re loved is, in most cases, worth it. You don’t always get the love back – and you have to accept that – but you nearly always make someone else’s life a little easier.

It doesn’t have to be about grand gestures, or gifts. It doesn’t have to involve spending money at all, in fact. Love’s in the unasked-for cup of tea that you hand to someone when they look like they need it, or the favour done to the best of your ability, or the chore completed without any fuss because you know your loved one hates to do it. It’s in the quiet time, sitting side by side just enjoying being together. It’s in the long walks and the warm conversation; it’s in the moment when you pay someone a visit; it’s in the phonecall or text message when someone you know is going through a hard time. It’s the hand in yours when the world seems dark. It’s the playing along with a child when they want to bring you into their imagination. It’s the hug, or the gentle touch, or the smile just when it’s needed; it’s the switching off of your own thoughts to listen closely to what another person is saying. It’s the hearing of another, and the validation that their words are important. It’s the gentle attempt to understand, and the respectful acceptance of another person, and the assurance that yes, I am here – no matter what.

I am not a fan of Valentine’s Day, mainly because I believe every day should be Valentine’s Day. We should remember to love above all else every day of the year, and remember that love takes many forms. Most especially, we should remember every day never to take all the love we’re lucky to have in our lives for granted.

So, I’m not wishing you a happy Valentine’s Day. Have a happy, love-filled day. Then, go and have another tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after that…

**

This Friday, for the Flash! Friday challenge, our compulsory element was ‘Patience’, and our prompt image was this:

Kolmanskop, in the Namib Desert. Image: lovethesepics.com

Kolmanskop, in the Namib Desert.
Image: lovethesepics.com

So, in honour of it being Valentine’s Day, I wrote a story about death. As you do.

Deathtrap

Every breath boiled. Sweat trickled down my spine. The trail was clear, her deep footsteps beckoning. Their darkness calling to mine.

Soon, it would be over.

A tumbledown house swam into view. Sun-bleached, half-rotted, its front door stood open. Paint peeled off its walls.

I paused, breathing hard.

Then, I ducked inside.

In a dim room, half-filled with sand, she waited. Her body bore my scars. I settled my hand around my gun, and my skin prickled.

‘So. Death comes, even for one like me.’ Sand, gritty and sharp, began to whirl like multitudes of tiny knives as she spoke. I spat and blinked it out. ‘Each grain is a life,’ she hissed. ‘A life you took. A life you touched. A life you destroyed!’

‘Not my problem.’ I fired.

But my bullet became a desert wind, and my gun crumbled to dust.

‘I have waited so long for you,’ she smiled, as I shattered, sparkling, at her feet.

**

I’m off to batten down the hatches – another storm is predicted to roll in off the Atlantic today, and I want to try to be ready for it – and to get through my words. I am rewriting one book while trying to do a final, final draft on another, and planning out my strategy for submissions, and trying to keep everything straight in my head, and it’s not easy.

But I love it.

Of course.

Image: catziac.wordpress.com

Image: catziac.wordpress.com

 

Getting There

Sometimes it can be hard to remember that life’s about the journey, not just the destination.

Particularly, of course, when stuff like *this* is going on... Image: theguardian.com

Particularly, of course, when stuff like *this* is going on…
Image: theguardian.com

Trying to forge a career in writing can be exhausting. It’s certainly long-haul, and trying to perfect your craft sucks down the hours of your life so fast that you don’t even notice them whizzing by. It can be hard to keep going sometimes when it feels like all you’re doing is (as my mother would say) ‘throwing biscuits to a bear’ – no matter what you do, nothing seems to change. You keep submitting, you keep writing, you keep trying, and nothing comes back in return.

But we keep going anyway. Why? Because we love the act of writing, of creating a piece of work from nothing, of watching an idea that previously existed only in skeletal form somewhere inside our minds taking shape on a page and turning into a full-blooded Story. Or, at least, we should.

Writing in order to become rich in a speedy manner is simply foolish, yet – from what I hear – many people still believe that writing a book is a fast-track, one way ticket to wealth and fame. I follow a lot of blogs and Twitter feeds where I pick up advice not only on the art of writing, but also on the art of creating a career as a writer, and something I read last week which has stuck with me is the following (highly redacted, and heavily summarised) story:

Once, there was a writer. They lived in an ordinary house, with two or three cute but ultimately ordinary dogs. They may have had up to four (beautiful and dearly loved) children. They got to a certain age and thought: ‘Hey. Instead of just reading all these books, why don’t I write some? There’s got to be a buck or two to be made in that game. Right?’ So, they bought one of these:

Image: site.xavier.edu

Image: site.xavier.edu

They sat down at their brand-new writin’ machine, and they started to bash out a story. Night after night they laboured, until at some point up to a month later they had a story, approximately 178,000 words long, which they thought was wonderful. Their hairdresser read the first chapter and wept (with amazement? Envy? Who knows); their friends all told the writer how brilliant they were to have done something as fabulous as write a book. ‘It was so easy!’ the writer said. ‘You should all do it!’

So, the writer bundled up their manuscript, penned a floral and extravagant introductory letter describing their book as ‘Barbara Cartland meets Catherine Cookson meets Stephenie Meyer,’ and ‘a work of genius,’ doused it in perfume, and sent copies to every major publisher and agent in their country – whether or not they accepted unsolicited submissions, and whether or not they represented the sort of work this undaunted writer had produced.

Then, our writer friend sat back and waited for the big bucks to roll in.

They may also have thought, rather smugly, ‘Not everyone would be intelligent enough to take the easy way out, like me. Suckers.’

Image: fstop57,com

Image: fstop57,com

But, sadly, the writer never heard back from the majority of the places to which they’d submitted their laboriously created novel. From others, they heard stock rejections. From yet others, they received letters thanking them for their effort, and making suggestions as to how they could improve and resubmit.

The writer took this as a blind and idiotic refusal to accept the towering magnitude of their genius, and wrote excoriating letters to each and every publisher and agent to whom they’d previously submitted, lambasting them for not spotting said genius. ‘You’ll be sorry when I’m a multi-millionaire,’ they wrote, in red pen. ‘Just watch!’

And so, they self-published their magnum opus.

And nobody – besides their friends, their mother and the lady who worked behind the counter at their local cake shop – bought it. Nobody read the whole thing. The writer didn’t even have the joy of discussing their work with anyone else, because the book was unreadable.

This writer didn’t write for love of words. They weren’t interested in crafting a story until it’s as good as it can be. They didn’t want to hear constructive criticism, and they didn’t want to be told that there were ways in which to improve. Their first draft was the only draft, in their eyes. Why tamper with perfection?

This person is not a writer, in my opinion. They are what we term in Ireland ‘a chancer,’ out to chase a quick payday without having put in any effort.

But their biggest mistake?

Not listening to the agents who wrote back with constructive feedback and tips on how to make their book work.

Agents are busy people. They don’t typically take time out to help writers if they don’t see something – even something tiny – which is worth nourishing. They’re also interested in a writer’s career, not just helping them bring forth one blockbusting, moneymaking book which will see them both retiring to the Bahamas. Agents do their job because they love finding the right book for the right publishing deal, and because they love discovering something new. If our writer had managed to see beyond their own ego and had listened to the agents’ advice, things could have been very different.

Image: fanaru.com

Image: fanaru.com

The point of all this is: I have received another ‘rejection’ from an agent, but I use the word ‘rejection’ lightly, as the agent is interested in helping me to live up to my own potential.

An agent thinks I have potential.

I haven’t reached my destination yet, but it’s good enough, for now.

**

I just wanted to say a quick ‘thank you’ to everyone who took the time to sympathise with me after yesterday’s post. I had many messages, most of them on Facebook, expressing sorrow for the loss of my friend, and I am profoundly grateful for each one. Please keep his parents, his brothers and his fiancée in your thoughts, particularly on February 23rd which is the date his memorial service will be held. Thank you all for your kindness.

Finding North

What happens when you feel like you’re on the wrong track?

Image: thinkingmomsrevolution.com

Image: thinkingmomsrevolution.com

In the course of researching the market, checking out agents’ requirements, keeping on top of trends in the publishing industry and all those other vital things that anyone who desires a career in writing needs to do, I come across a lot of scary information. I read articles which decry the upswing in children’s stories featuring magic – ‘Harry Potter is so over, people!’ – and some which say there aren’t enough stories like that. I’ve sweated my way through blog posts complaining about exactly the sort of books I love to read – and, by extension, write – and industry diatribes against children’s books which feature some, or all, of the things I’m currently working on. I have had a children’s book in mind for years, one I just haven’t found quite the right voice for yet, which – apparently – is so old hat as to be laughable. Agents and publishers all seem to be searching for something which is new, which is fresh, which is different, but if what I think of as new and fresh and different is boring as dust to them, then what am I to do?

I haven’t written a new short story for quite some time, besides one which I entered into a competition a few weeks ago. I feel like I’ve lost touch, somewhat, with what the market is looking for in terms of short fiction – either I’m churning out cliché, or I’m just not fashionable any more in terms of the subjects and/or style I choose to use, or something else, something I can’t put my finger on, is wrong with my work. I went through a golden patch of success with my stories when I was completely new to writing them – they seemed to fit the moment, and the readers to whom I was sending them understood what I was getting at, and could get on board with what I wanted to achieve – but in recent months, they’ve fallen on cold, stony soil. I wouldn’t even worry about this – taste is a subjective and amorphous thing, everyone is looking for something different in a short story, there’s room for all sorts of creative work, and all that – except for the fact that when I read short stories now, particularly award-winning ones, I just don’t get them.

In the immortal words of Jordan Catalano – they ‘just don’t hold my attention.’

Image: notsuperhuman.com

Image: notsuperhuman.com

I’m not for one split second trying to say that the short stories I’m reading aren’t good – clearly, they are, or they wouldn’t be winning awards – but what I mean is this: how have I become so out of touch with what’s required of a story that I can’t even read, and enjoy, an obviously well-crafted piece of work?

Of course, I believe it’s important to be true to your own voice and honest about what you feel when you’re writing a story. It’s pointless to write ‘to’ a market, because it changes so regularly. Having said that, it worries me that I don’t seem to be able to keep abreast of changes, and that the ideas I’m having are old, out of fashion, out of favour – unsellable, unlovable, dead in the water before they’ve even set sail.

Writing is a hard thing. Not only is it difficult, and time-consuming, and brain-consuming, to sit down and spend hours tapping away at a keyboard but it’s also hard on the soul to create something special and unique to you, something you love and want to share with the world, which then falls at the first hurdle. Writing fiction can be intensely personal; what you write says a lot about who you are. So, if what you write is out of touch, out of favour, unfashionable – or, if you believe it to be so – it can be a deep wound in a secret place, one which you carry with you but show to nobody. A person can’t help but be interested in what they love, and a writer will write what interests them, and what excites and motivates their creative brain. Creating a piece of work is an achievement in itself, of course, but realistically, spending months or years writing something which you love, which then goes on to sit on your desk gathering dust or which ping-pongs around from agent to agent for years without finding a home, is disheartening.

I don’t have an answer for all this. You can’t write to a market because by the time you’ve finished your book the market has changed, as markets are wont, and your carefully crafted story about canine vampires from outer space has been done to almost literal death. You can’t write to a market because that’s not being true to yourself as a writer, and it’s also a little cynical. Instead you write because you love it, and you love the stories you’re telling, and you write them as well as you can, and you try to improve your craft with every project you complete. All you can do is hope that, someday, the market and your talent and your idea and your submission will all align like planets in an intergalactic conjunction, and the magic will start to happen.

Sounds so easy, doesn’t it?

Image: ibnlive.in.com

Image: ibnlive.in.com

All a person can do is keep the focus on their own personal North. Write what’s true, and what’s real, and – while remaining aware of trends – don’t let yourself be swayed by what other people expect. Write what you love, as well as you possibly can. And – maybe – take some time out and do some reading, or remove your head from your writing space altogether in order to let some new ideas come sweeping in. It’s worth a shot.

Proof Of My Silliness

As if you needed proof, right?

So, it’s NaNoWriMo, as we know. I have a project to complete, as we also know. Other stuff that I knew, but which perhaps I should’ve taken into account when deciding to bash my details into the NaNoWriMo sign-up page included:

The fact that it’s my dad’s birthday this month;
The fact that it’s
my birthday this month;
The fact that my husband is taking several days’ leave this month;
The fact that I have at least two medical appointments this month; and, last but by no means least:
The fact that I have no fewer than three really important family things to attend – yes, you’ve guessed it – this month.

Image: likeablequotes.com

Image: likeablequotes.com

Over the weekend, I attended a (very fun, and wonderful in every way) birthday party for one of my dearest and oldest friends. I got to see so many people – some of whom I hadn’t seen for ages – and much laughter and catching up was had. We also visited my husband’s aunt and uncle, and that was great too. The silliness in all this, of course, kicks in when one considers that I also knew about all this before I signed up to NaNoWriMo.

So.

I am, at the moment, trying to do several things simultaneously, all of which are vitally important. I am attempting to do them all in the one month so far this year when I have the least time. It’s definitely silly. It’s even perhaps a little on the ditzy side. But you know what else it is?

It’s great.

Image: kwasistudios.com

Image: kwasistudios.com

It’s a privilege to have friends and family to spend time with, and it’s great to have so much to celebrate. (The medical appointments aren’t so much fun, but we’re not thinking about those, right? Right.) It’s also fantastic to be busy, and to have so many opportunities to submit and create work. Having said all that, I still really wish I’d engaged my brain a bit more before making the decision to begin NaNoWriMo. It’ll be NaNoGoSlo at this rate. I was doing really well last Friday – I was way ahead of schedule for the day, and the site was predicting I’d be done with my 50,000 words a week early if I kept up the same pace – but, of course, over the weekend it all went to hell. I’m afraid to check the website now, in case it yells at me – or, worse, tells me how disappointed it is in me, and how it expected better.

I hate that.

The current picture of my situation is like this: I am just over two-thirds of the way through my line edits for ‘Tider’, but the manuscript has been sitting on my desk now since Friday, so I hope I can get back into the right mindset to get through it. I want to finish that job and get the manuscript sent away to the kind agent who gently rejected ‘Eldritch’, but who wanted to see my other work. So, my heart is (not literally, because urgh) in my mouth as I work. Once that’s done, then it’s NaNo time, and to stay on track I have to write something like fifty million words today (approximately.) Then, it’ll be time to turn my attention to my story for Walking on Thin Ice, which has been neglected so long I’ve forgotten what it’s even about. (The closing date for this contest is coming up, by the way, so if you’re preparing a story, get ‘er done.) On top of all that, then, we have the usual stuff – living, eating, breathing, sleeping, attempting to keep the house from turning into a hovel, and all that other incidental stuff.

If someone finds me gibbering gently in a corner, don’t worry. Just leave me be. If you really need me for something, however, just waft a book in my direction and I’m sure native curiosity will drive me out of my stupor.

Happy Monday and happy new week. I’m armed with a brand new jar of decaf, my biggest mug, and my game face. Let’s do this.

Nicolas Cage speaks the truth. Image: brightestyoungthings.com

Nicolas Cage speaks the truth.
Image: brightestyoungthings.com

 

A Little Bit of Kindness

So, I have received another rejection.

Image: dailymail.co.uk

Image: dailymail.co.uk

The funny thing is, though, that this time – it’s not so bad.

I mean, yesterday (when I got the word) I felt sad, and disappointed, and upset. I felt angry, but it was at myself – how could I have written something that didn’t fit the bill, for so many reasons? Didn’t I know any better? – and I was glad I was alone when I got the news, because I needed to be. I think the reason I feel a little low, but generally okay, today is because the rejection was done so kindly, and so generously, that it was the next best thing to an acceptance. It was full of praise for my work (except, of course, for the bits that weren’t so strong) and it was full of encouragement and support. It gave me an option to rework and resubmit, and it expressed an interest in seeing more of my writing.

So, really, I couldn’t ask for a better rejection email, if that makes any sense.

Now, however, I have several things I need to do – and, of course, because life is like that, they’re all happening at the same time.

Item the First: Tweak ‘Tider’ – just a little – in order to get it ready to submit. I’m almost happy with it, but there’s just something not quite right about the end of it. This weekend will be partly spent buried in my printout of the text. Yay? Yay.

Item the Second: Get my NaNo project (still nameless) off the ground. I felt so deflated yesterday that – just for a second – I considered pulling out of NaNoWriMo, but luckily I came to my senses and realised that would be stupid. So, I’m still in. Today, I plan to write at least 1500 words, which is slightly under-target, but a good start.

Item the Third: Think about ways to make ‘Eldritch’ right. As hard as it was to hear that my beloved book just isn’t quite good enough, I realised that the person giving me this feedback is a professional in the industry who knows exactly what they’re talking about, and who is, furthermore, completely right. It’s funny how writers just can’t read their own stuff exactly as a reader would; no matter how hard you try to detach, it’s always going to be a different experience for you, the writer, reading your own work as it is for someone coming to it completely fresh. I had always imagined ‘Eldritch’ to be the first part of a trilogy – from its earliest existence in my mind, that’s how I pictured and planned it. Now, I know that the story isn’t enough to sustain a trilogy. And I’m okay with that.

Really. I am. Image: runningofthereeses.com

Really. I am.
Image: runningofthereeses.com

Submitting your work to agents is scary. The idea of a knowledgeable, business-minded, critical (in a good way), and exacting pair of eyes reading your tender words is akin to that feeling we all remember from our teenage years – the terror of trying to impress someone we like, and hoping against hope they like us back. The tension of waiting for replies and praying, every day, for an email or a phonecall with news one way or the other is a major drag on your health, both mental and physical. I personally feel like I could sleep for a year, but I know that’s not an option.

But making a dream come true isn’t something you can leave to your Fairy Godmother. It takes work, and devotion, and sweat, and pain. It takes the bittersweet realisation that you’re almost, but not quite, good enough. It will – hopefully, at least – be lined with the sort of kind, compassionate email that I received yesterday, the type that tells you ‘You’re not ready yet, but very soon, you will be, and I want to be there when you are’; it will be full of days like yesterday. And all you can do is be grateful for the help, smile, and move on to the next step.

Easier said than done, but believe me – it can be done.

Happy Friday, and happy weekend to you all. I hope a restful couple of days are ahead for you. And, while we’re on the subject, happy November! How did that happen?

Image: businessinsider.com

Image: businessinsider.com

The Dry Season

Friday greetings, my people.

I hope everyone is well, and looking forward to the weekend, and remembering to always keep focusing on the good stuff. Not an easy thing to do in today’s world, especially if you make a habit of watching the news, but we’ve got to do our best.

Words of wisdom, Hannah... Image: healthandphysicaleducation.wordpress.com

Words of wisdom, Hannah…
Image: healthandphysicaleducation.wordpress.com

Anyway.

This morning, my most recent story was published. If you click here, you’ll be able to read it. It’s called ‘ShipShipShip’, and I’m very proud of it, and if you take the time to have a look, I hope you like it.

As well as being my most recent piece, though, ‘ShipShipShip’ also marks a sort of story-boundary for me; it’s like a roadside inn on the rocky mountain path that has been my writing career to date. It’s a little uncomfortable to admit, but it’s the truth, so here we go: I don’t have anything else, in terms of upcoming publications, in the pipeline at the moment. That’s not because I haven’t been writing, or sending work away, or anything like that; I’ve submitted plenty of stories over the past few months, but I’ve had a lot of work rejected. That’s absolutely fine – it’s par for the course, and completely normal, and something for which I prepared myself many months back. Those of you who have been following me for a while (thank you, by the way) will, perhaps, remember me gearing myself up to be knocked back, over and over and over again, right here on the blog. I’m dealing with it, and it’s surprisingly okay.

But now I’m in a position where I’ve pretty much exhausted my submission opportunities, and there’s a yawning gap of nothing between now and the end of June, when my next major deadline starts to kick up. That’s a frightening feeling, in a way. I’m looking into the next few weeks and all I’m seeing is a dry riverbed, with the odd tumbleweed drifting on through, and I don’t like it.

I’m trying (as I am wont, though I don’t always succeed) to see the positive in this – I have a lot to focus on at the moment, and so going through a fallow period where I have time to regroup and make some plans for the future may not, in truth, be the worst that could happen. But, having said that, it’s an amazing thing to have a story published, and it’s a little disheartening to know I won’t have that experience again for a long while. I love the feeling of receiving that elusive ‘yes’ from someone to whom you’ve entrusted your work, looking forward to seeing it appear, and finally (if you’re me) proudly adding a new link to your ‘Writing’ page.

It is, of course, also a little scary: ‘What if people hate it? What if I offend someone? What if this is the absolute worst piece of writing that anyone has ever read?’ So far, though, I’ve managed not to enrage anyone or cause an international incident, which is a relief.

Image: blog.propertyhawk.co.uk

Image: blog.propertyhawk.co.uk

So, where to from here? Well, I’m always on the lookout for more places to submit work. I do have a few on the far horizon, and if I’m lucky I’ll unearth a few more. I have some short stories that have been bubbling away for the past few weeks; they’re eager to find a home, so I’ll be revisiting those and polishing them up, straightening their collars and wiping their sticky little faces, and hoping for the best.

Oh, and yes. There’s also the small matter of the fact that it’s now time, finally, to start contacting agents. I am, I hasten to assure you, all over it.

So, like I said. I have plenty with which to be occupying my mind. Perhaps the distraction – a pleasant one, but a distraction nonetheless – of having stories published is something I can do without over these next few weeks; to everything there is a season, after all. I’m in a preparation phase, a planting phase, and I’m hoping for a strong rainy season a few weeks down the line.

Happy Friday, happy weekend, see you tomorrow for a review of Emma Pass’ fantastic novel ‘ACID’, and until then, take care.