Wednesday, 15 July 2020

I Can Achieve Anything - I Think.




So, about ten days ago I had a story published in an anthology, Heartache and Hope published by Birch Moon Press. If you'd like to buy a copy it is available through their website https://birchmoonpress.co.uk/

But this isn't a post about that.

Since the anthology was published I've spent a lot of time thinking about what this means for me. I have long held a dream that one day I would have a piece of my writing published somewhere. And now Birch Moon Press have made my dream come true.

Is that the end of the story, the end of my dreams? Hell no!

The fact that something I wrote was 'good enough' to be published has given me huge amounts of confidence. I now have something I can point to when submitting my work, when talking to people about my writing. It all feels real and professional and, quite frankly, bloody awesome!

I now view my writing as something which I can really do, something that has merit and value and that I can share with others. I have been writing bits and bobs since Heartache and Hope was published and I have found myself looking at these bits of writing as things which will one day have a life away from my laptop, a life all of their own. I am now so fired up to write, to submit, to enter contests that I hardly recognise myself. But that is the joy of confidence. It takes you to places you never thought you'd visit, it fills your heart and mind and makes all things possible. For the first time in my rather long life I know that I can do whatever I want, whatever I wish with this creative gift I have .

I can achieve anything if I want to. Now to decide what it is that I want ...

Saturday, 4 July 2020

A 'Thank You' to Birch Moon Press




Yesterday a long held dream of mine came true.
I am now a professionally published writer.

At the start of lockdown a group of six women writers and artists had an idea to compile an anthology of work responding to the pandemic. They wanted to see what women thought of the virus, the way it altered all our lives and what if anything we could learn from this experience. Birch Moon Press was born out of this and I submitted a story for the anthology.

These women, and many more besides, met through a Facebook group. We have become friends and have even managed to meet up in real life. I am in awe of the way they juggle families, careers and creative endeavours and their support for all women is a wonderful thing. I have learned so much from all of them and am honoured to call them friends and fellow creatives.

Yesterday the anthology was published and you can buy a copy here https://birchmoonpress.co.uk/

I would like to thank Maddy, Nikki, Sophie, Alice, Chrissie and Renee for bringing this wonderful enterprise to life, for supporting me as a writer and for being my friends. What they have done for me is truly life affirming. If I never have another thing published I will be content. One of my stories has gone out into the world and that is enough. My words and ideas are living independently of me and I'm as giddy as if my son had become President of the World!

A dream come true indeed.
Now, maybe I need to write another story that I can release into the wild ...


Friday, 3 July 2020

How does it feel to have a story go out into the world?




I'm new at this. Today, for the first time, one of my stories is out in the big wide world.
Really out there. Not being read by friends and family, out there for strangers to read.
How do I feel about this? Good question.

I suppose as a writer that should be my goal, to share my work and my stories with everyone. But so far that hasn't happened. I have sent things to contests and agents but nothing has made it any further than cyberspace and emails.

Today is different. Today an anthology of work is published by a new small press and I have something included. So somewhere, sometime, someone I don't know is reading my story. And I'm so nervous about that.

The chances of anyone telling me what they thought of my story are slim. I'm one of many and any feedback will probably be for the whole body of work. So I will have no idea what they thought of my story or even if they thought about it at all. But even so, it's out there, on it's own, finding an audience.

So I guess I have to embrace the weirdness and enjoy the feeling that I am a real, proper writer at last. I have a story to tell and there are people reading it as I type.

If you want to read the anthology, and I hope you do, you can download it from https://birchmoonpress.co.uk/
There is a variety of work, reflecting on their experiences of the pandemic. I am proud to be included, such talent and range. All the proceeds are being donated to https://rosauk.org/ who support women and girls through grants to make the UK a kinder, safer place for women.

I'd love any feedback and promise to reply if you comment.

Thursday, 11 June 2020

What to do with a homeless story




So a while ago I finished writing a novel/novella. 56,000 word fantasy novel. And I spent several months sending it to any agent I could find who had an interest in fantasy. 

You've guessed what happened next: nothing. No interest at all and the novel lies dormant on my hard drive. Now, why am I not sending it out to other agents? Well, the truth is, I'm now writing something else in a different genre and it's much more the sort of thing that I want to write.

So why did I write a fantasy novel in the first place? It was a product of an odd conversation and NaNoWriMo. And when it was done I thought I should give it a chance in the big wide world so I went down the traditional publishing route and hit a dead end.

I know that most manuscripts don't get representation and most end up on the hard drive of death. But I want my little story to have its moment in the sun. So my dilemma now is do I self publish via Amazon and see if anyone will part with a few quid for it or do I break it down and publish as a series here or on Canelo? And how do I ever think up a good pseudonym to use on Amazon?

Help!