Finished off the "homework" left over from the Annual Writers' Conference (http://www.writersconference.co.uk) today. Felt very pleased as this meant writing up two or three scenes of "The Gifting", and the beginning of what may well turn out to be my next novel, provisionally entitled "Hall's Battle". I think that's going to be a fantasy too. That's the way it seems to be going at the moment anyway. Once done, I sent over three pages of the stuff to the conference tutor who'd asked for it - Paul Bavister. I'll be interested to see what his comments will be, particularly on the issue of person/place, which I often struggle with. I have to keep reminding myself to establish a character in his/her environment, describe it through their eyes and keep them there - wherever "there" might be. Doing that means the work carries more weight and vigour - two essential ingredients to any novel. I enjoyed doing this morning's projects too - maybe one way forward out of any writing block, short or long, is to write longhand first and then type it up onto the computer, editing as I go. Usually, I type straight onto the screen - but maybe it's time to ring the changes a little?
On the poetry front, I sent off samples for a possible chapbook to HappenStance Press (http://www.happenstancepress.com) - we live in hope.
Today I've been dreading making contact with Guildford Ottakar's to ask about taking a few copies of "Pink Champagne and Apple Juice" - I hate doing this sort of thing as it makes me feel so open to attack. And, God, how I hate attack. Bookshops, please note - I feel vulnerable enough as it is - there's no need to twist the knife any more! Anyway, I wimped out of telephoning Cheryl (the manager) - I also hate the phone with a vengeance - and emailed instead. She emailed back to request 5 copies sale or return, which is fine by me. I'll take them in next week probably. But there was no response to my suggestion that she might like to have an Ottakar's/Goldenford (http://www.goldenford.co.uk) evening during the October Book Festival. Ah well, probably a request too far ...
Attempted to visit Gladys this afternoon, but she was fast asleep, so I left the church sheet and a note. Will try again next week, as she's always too tired on Fridays. Instead I started on my editing of Darren Green's (aka Dan) fantasy novel from Guildford Writers (http://www.guildfordwriters.net). I know I'm going to enjoy it, as it's hot stuff (publishers - please note: the bloke's a genius, and his novel, "Wildblood" is hot hot hot). I have no idea why he's so bloody unconfident about it. All it needs are tweaks and suggestions, and then I'll advise he sends it out to at least ten agents/publishers. If they've got any sense, they'll snap it up. It's also right up my own agent's street - so shall suggest that also when I hand it back. John J (http://www.sff.net/people/john-jarrold/about.html): you've got some fantastic stuff heading your way late summer - so I'd better get my act together and get "Thorn in the Flesh" sorted out too. God knows, I can't take the competition ...!