Tag Archives: goals

Goals, Resolutions and Pie Crusts

28 Dec

As the year wends its tired, bloated way to a close, it’s time to think about the dreaded ‘New Year’s Resolutions’. Of course, sometimes we need to have goals and aims rather than just ‘I resolve never to…’. For many years, I had only three: read more, write more and be less of a loser. All three probably still apply for 2016.

Last year I set some more specific aims in response to a post on one of my favourite blogs, Fluent in 3 Months. Benny had some good advice, which was to make sure your goals are concrete (a bit like the SMART targets we’re always setting with the kids at school).

As you can see in his comments, I set out the following aims for myself (with a languages slant, as per the blog):

Learn enough Japanese to get by in Japan: Achieved! I learned how to read hiragana and katakana plus a few basic kanji, which meant I was able to locate a Monjayaki restaurant in Tokyo with no romaji sign. It was really delicious so the pain of doing my Memrise/WaniKani reps was worth it! I was also able to ask a few basic questions of tour guides and bus drivers. Okay, I wasn’t conversing freely, but I learned enough to make the trip fun. I should probably revise this at some point because I haven’t done any Japanese since August.

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In the middle of nowhere

18 Nov

One of the most frustrating things people ask me a lot is ‘how is your writing going?’. I don’t mean that to sound churlish – actually, like any writer I love getting the chance to talk about my work and I am pleased that people are interested enough to ask me. The problem is…it isn’t really going anywhere?

That’s not strictly true. I am sloooowly finishing THIO (my current ms) and hope to have made my final edits by the end of the month. Going back to full time work has made it more difficult to dedicate myself to it, but I have found time here and there and I plan to give it a couple of Saturdays to do the last polish.  I’d love to query before the end of the year (maybe before the start of December)!

The previous ms is, sadly, heading out to pasture for a while. I will always love this book, but it’s clear that the market isn’t quite right for it at the moment. Perhaps in the future I can return to it. I certainly hope so, mainly because my love for my babies A/J and F/N will never die!

I decided to try and get some new words down during November, not as a full NaNo but just to break the ice on this fantasy piece. Turns out writing a secondary world fantasy is HARD. I also started in the wrong place in the story *headdesk*. The flow is just not happening so I’ll have to rewrite the beginning and try and get properly into the MC’s voice.

So, overall, I’m pretty much ‘in the middle of nowhere’ with my writing right now. Please do continue to ask me how it’s going, but please be prepared for an extreme lack of excitement -_-

A very late postscript to the YWP

30 May

I’m so late in posting this. Like, two months late. I could bore you with my school-based excuses, but suffice to say GCSEs and trying desperately to get my students their C grades (such is the dire state of education) has taken up a lot of my time.

Anyway.

What I wanted to write up was a little postscript to the Guardian Hot Key Books Young Writers Prize. You might remember that I was a finalist a little while ago, and if you have been following the competition you’ll have seen that the prizes went to the very deserving Katie Coyle and Joe Ducie. You can read their opening chapters at the Guardian website here (Katie) and here (Joe) – absolutely fab and I can’t wait to read the rest.

Kate Herrell, a fellow finalist, has written a lovely reflection on the process at her blog. I wanted to add my side of the story to that, but also to express how much this competition has changed things for me.

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