As someone wise (it was Marian Keyes, actually) said on Twitter today, ‘The weeks whizz by but nothing changes’ (probably a bit wittier than that, but you get the idea).
It’s all a bit ‘Groundhog Day’, isn’t it? But hopefully things will start to ease up a bit at the end of the month. (Not that I’m looking forward to golf courses re-opening, or anything..)
Still haven’t watched The Serpent or It’s A Sin (but thank you for all your comments, mostly recommending them). I will get to them at some point!
I did watch the Lucy Worsley ‘Blitz Spirit‘ programme (strictly research, of course) and I thought it was excellent but NOT for the faint-hearted (there’s quite a lot of gruesome stuff and it made me cry a bit at the end). But if you are made of sterner stuff than me, you might enjoy it!
I am right in the middle of reading squillions of entries for the Evesham Festival Short Story Competition.
As always happens, in the final week the stories start to pour in.
The competition closes on 12th March – next Friday. If you’re thinking of entering, please note that the closing time is 5pm, not, as you might expect, midnight.
The competition always used to close at midnight and the administrator had to stay up until then, to confirm receipt of the final few entries (ahem, in the past, when I was allowed to enter because I wasn’t on the Steering Group, I’m afraid I was guilty of pressing ‘send’ at about 2 minutes to midnight). Then she realised, that if the time was changed to something more sensible, she wouldn’t have to stay up late. But it could catch a few people out, I reckon, so I’m telling everyone, Just. In. Case.
You might be wondering what’s happening with my novel-in-progress (or should that be novel-ground-to-a-halt)? I am wondering, too.
I sent it over to my agent over a month ago and had heard nothing.. so sent a polite email asking whether I’d missed an email from him? (He’s usually very quick, so I genuinely thought that might have happened).
Anyway, I hadn’t but we now have a date, for a couple of weeks’ time, to discuss The Novel and I sense another lot of structural changes coming up… which was a bit of a depressing thought, until I read an interview with an agent (Lucy Morris at Curtis Brown) on the Women’s Prize For Fiction website today, in which she said, ‘I don’t think I’ve ever submitted a book to a publisher without having done three drafts of the manuscript with the author beforehand. Sometimes it can be more, because books do change as they’re edited.’
Hurrah! So, it’s not just me.
She also said that the editorial process might be as long as 18 months. And the more you edit it, the more you need to spend time away from it, ‘so it doesn’t feel like a slog, and you can feel that thrill of it coming together on the page.’
That ‘time away from it’ bit is sooo true.
I deliberately didn’t look at my novel again, after sending the last draft off, until a few days ago, when I sat down and read the whole thing in one go. It took me over 3 hours, which was a shock (ie: like a proper book!).
Some of it made me cringe. The ending’s still not right. And I know there are other areas that need work. If someone took the book from me and offered to publish it now I would wrestle it from their hands and scream, “NOOOO!” because it is simply not good enough. But, hopefully, one day it will be.
And on that pathetic note, I will love you and leave you! Hope your writing, reading and whatever else you are up to, is going well. Let me know!