Tag Archives: publishers

Worrying about probably nonsense!

Other than the time back in 2003 I have never approached a publisher or an author’s agent, nor have I ever entered any kind of creative competition, whether it be for art or writing; I have never joined a writers circle either.  I have never had any real formal education on writing and not much schooling throughout my childhood.  Everything about me and my creativity is 100% self-taught and badly taught too in my opinion!

I have no idea where all these punctuation marks really should be, I have no idea about my grammar or where a paragraph should start and end, really it is all either dumb luck or a right mess, I don’t know which it is.

I don’t have much confidence in the idea of becoming a successful writer, I have said before and it is very true, I am scared that I will let people down a lot because of my health issues.  In my personal life, I let people down almost all the time.  I am afraid that I will have people wanting to publish my work but will have second thoughts about it because the writer will be a no show for at least 50% of the promotions, book signings and interviews.  In my personal life my health is so bad that a simple two hour shopping spree can set me physically back by three days.  I have more than one auto-immunity problem working against me.

I know in my heart of hearts it is unrealistic for me to have what many people would call a “real job”, writing is a real job if you get published isn’t it?  Despite publishers and agents alike stating they are working towards having more underrepresented writers, how ready are they for those who are bed bound for 10 – 16 weeks of the year?  How patient would they be in dealing with such a writer who is also deaf, too deaf to use a phone and relies heavily on face to face lip-reading, text messages or a representative to take telephone calls?

This is what holds me back in approaching publishers.  My own realism. 

I really don’t want to be told “you have a lot of talent but you are not working hard enough to promote yourself or take yourself seriously, it is a shame you are so sick, you could have gone far”.  This has happened before to me, not in the writing industry, but other forms of work, which is why I rely on benefits.

Is this something I should even put in my covering letter to an agent?  I mean, come on, if it really is like any other job, then who the blazes would ever look at my work twice if they knew that I am that sick most of the time?

Am I being too defeatist as well as a pragmatist, maybe there is light at the end of the tunnel – who knows?  Maybe there is an agent out there who can push someone like me into the limelight and support me in spite of the health problems?

I am writing this for two reasons today.  One is the fact that there has been quite a few people contacting me in the past five years in my email and on private messages on twitter and other social media, who support my work with all their heart and has asked me to send them some of the work and I have not done this.  Many have become active cheerleaders in trying to get me to write regularly and to state how my poetry amongst other things has helped them and other people through hard times in their lives.  The thing is I am too polite to verbally let people down and I don’t like dragging up my health as an excuse all the time, even though that is the primary thing.    So I let it all slide.  I don’t want to do this, I really don’t.  I really want my books out there, I really want people to enjoy my worlds, because I have put my heart and soul into my worlds for a very long time, in some of the series I have written, two decades of blood, sweat and tears have gone into them!  I need to see my characters come to life through actors and actresses on the television as this is the main motivation for me writing.  I have always written the things I have because I have always wanted to see them on TV.  They are things I want to watch.  I am a huge supporter for acting and have always wanted to get into theatre and television myself, as a writer/screenwriter and eventually producer and I know with my health problems that may never happen.  When I was younger I loved going to the drama classes during lunch break and playing with my friends various roles.  I love playing and I believe acting is the only way an adult can still play pretend with their peers and not be considered insane or childish.  The course I was doing back then was after I had a breakdown, my mother was really worried about me so signed me up for a general vocational skills course to boost what she thought was my confidence.  It wasn’t a confidence issue I had, it was severe depression due to something that had happened to me which was nasty and as usual swept under the carpet by her and never spoken about to the family.

When I went to those drama classes, my creativity ran riot.  I became a writer for short plays that we would do at the college together, I also wrote rap songs for my beat boxing friends and joined what was known as a rock choir with my gothic friends, I was a Goth back then too.

I find it really easy to write songs and poetry, it comes very quickly to me and this amazed my friends in the creative scene.  I would literally sit on the table with my legs up, write on my knees a song of any subject they chose and give it to them to sing within ten minutes max, never revised either.  I do this with all poetry even now.  It comes and in a few minutes it is posted or printed and ignored.

If I had someone tell me that I am now a full time poet, I would freak out about the ink and paper I would use daily, because I literally could throw out 5 to 10 poems an hour.

Similar things happening too since I took up my recorder practise; I can play by ear and I have composed several tunes since first starting out.  I can compose a new tune in around 90 minutes and lyrics to go with that within 10 minutes.  I am learning well in how to read and write the recorder music now.  It’s winter now and my chest is playing up, so it’s likely the recorder is going to be put away until April now, which is a shame.

The second reason I posted this, is that I am considering entering a writing competition for the first time in my life.  The Writing Magazine (which I am subscribed to) has a competition which has sparked six story ideas in my head – however, I can only afford one entry.  The competitions requires an opening line which is this “They weren’t like me”, closing date February 15th 2020.  It is a subscriber’s only competition. 

I am running short of money and I hope there is enough ink in the printer, as it is unlikely I can afford more ink before Christmas.  I know me, the story I will choose will be done and dusted within a weekend, then it will rest a week, then I will redo it and it will be sent a month in advance.

Thousands of people will be entering this contest so I know that my chances are slim, but though I am a pragmatist I am also an optimist and I have as good a chance as anyone.  But what I want to know is… is this the sort of thing I put into a writer’s CV when approaching an agent?  If I win, I mean?

Anyway, just some food for thought!

Merry Christmas everybody if I don’t post again beforehand!

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recent issues

Having second thoughts about taking up NaNoWriMo, I struggle with 250 words a day these days, let alone trying to squeeze in 50,000 in a month – reason?  Migraines, frequent for months now, also I’ve been told that I am showing mild signs of pneumonia which is a worry.  I’ve been ill for weeks now and I am getting progressively worse, been practically bed-bound though for two days, thankfully I have a new laptop so I can do things when I can semi-think.

My main concern is I am unsure how the job center will react to the fact I haven’t gone to the voluntary placement interview yet, particularly as it was supposed to be for the next day and they saw me happy and healthy, but I woke up really bad and it’s not left me for almost 3 weeks now.  I am worried; I wanted to do the voluntary work too as it focuses on a charity I never heard of before but on a subject close to my heart (mental illness and mental learning difficulties and brain injuries) – hope this won’t turn against me?

I am so used to London benefit offices that I worry about every visit.  Unfortunately my husband is unemployed since the National Wildlife Trust could no longer afford him and made him redundant, this is unfortunate because I’ve always had health problems which have made problems with me keeping a job down (auto-immune problems, operations, and rheumatoid arthritis, vertigo and anemia problems as well as panic attacks), needless to say as soon as he became unemployed we had no choice but to go on benefits and they wouldn’t allow him to go on it and support the family I have to go for the interviews too.  Unfortunately even voluntary placements get funny if you have too much time off (even if you’re known to be sick), so I don’t have much of a life as far as social commitments go.

On the positive note my husband is doing home-based voluntary work for seismologists, if at the end of a 9 month period they feel he knows what he is doing he could get employed by them – hopefully the job center will be considerate about this, meanwhile he is trying hard to find work in other places but being aged 57 he is struggling to find anyone who’ll take him seriously, despite his educational and employment history being, Naval engineer, art tutor, customer services, photographer, and having an ecological degree with engineering.

I think my health problems are one of the main contributors to why I am afraid of being published, I cannot commit to anything because of it and really will publishers sympathize with a sick/disabled writer, even if they seem extremely good at what they’re doing?  I doubt it, but I hope I am proven wrong in time.

 

 

 

 

 

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Fragaria & The Magic Daffodil

I’ve made a new category today as well as changed the theme of this blog, today’s new category is “About My Work” it’s where you can find out how I got some of my ideas and how I think (dare you enter the crevices of my mind that is).

The story and poem of “The Magic Daffodil” had a fairy character called Fragaria, I got this weird name from the Latin name of the strawberry Fragaria ananassa, pretty useful to think about foreign ways of saying things or Latinised versions for unique names in fantasy stories in my opinion.  I do this a lot; Hail very nearly became Yuki, which is snow in Japanese and I think everybody who has ever touched on trying to learn French knows that Mrs Fraise’s name is taken from the French word for strawberries too?

I originally wrote this as a poem, thinking nothing more on it, a few hours after I wrote it, I felt I needed to enhance the work as a short story because it was nagging me too much to ignore.

I remembered reading somewhere about a year ago that publishers are desperately seeking new and traditional fairy stories for children and I think I touched on that, I was doubtful about putting the poem and story onto my blog because I am unsure if publishers will touch it being it’s been put on the web now, what do you think?  Do you think having this put up here will affect it being published into an anthology or winning a short story contest?

I believe the poem and story invented itself in my mind because of a mix of things I’ve read and watched over the past year; I’ve started to learn about faeriecraft and various white witch methods of calling up nature spirits and faeries to assist in people’s lives, I have the fairy bible by Teresa Moorey and faeriecraft by Alice Geddes-Ward on my nearest shelves for constant reference. 

Nature spirits and so forth I do believe in and I meditate frequently as I see unexplainable things – for example sometimes when I am not thinking about them I see a fairy type person laying down on a log in the garden, then I turn my head to tell someone and look back it’s turned into a nodule on the log, then I blink and the nodule gets smaller and blink again, totally gone.  I think I am naturally crazy too, though, I love science so I try to work it out scientifically, but I love playing with my imagination, so I try to believe in some things to keep the magic in me alive, ha-ha.

Other things that bought about the cocktail that is known as “The Magic Daffodil” is the fact I’ve read a book called “The Snow Child” where a little girl comes and goes in snowy Alaska like a magic little wild fairy.  Also, it’s been the snowiest year I’ve ever known in the UK, and the longest winter I’ve ever experienced, so to me, that had a big impact too.

I’ve also been eating imported strawberries all week, leading up to writing the story as well and planted some of them from Spalding bulb into troughs.

My poems have been mostly about heart-break I think, too?  So that might have had something to do with it as well.

I am surprised by what I did because that night I wasn’t very well at all and I didn’t really want to work, but I just had to, I kept getting these little nagging poetic lines coming into my head and I must admit, most of my poetic work comes whilst sitting on the toilet… it’s annoying, but true, every one of my very best poems must have started on that toilet, sometimes I forget them as I am coming down the stairs again, because my little boy is up to something, so I must start leaving a note pad and pen in there.

I am begging to think whether or not it would be crazy to fashion a toilet into a chair for my office area?

Anyway, that’s it for now; hope you enjoyed the flow of my mind?

 

 

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