Doing the work

I’m sorry it’s quiet on here at the moment. Due to some exciting news that I can’t talk about yet, I’m busy rewriting.

Now, I love rewriting but I always forget that I love it. I resist it. I try to do it too early (when the first draft is too fresh) to ‘get it over with’, as if it’s something to hold your nose and rush through, not a vital and exhilarating part of the work. That it is the work.

I end up futzing around at the sentence level, avoiding the Big Changes as if they will magically solve themselves if the dialogue is polished to a sparkling shine. Ah-hem.

I’m ready now, though. I’m properly excited about making this book better and, having had a couple of months working on other projects, I can see the story clearly. The things I was holding onto so tightly (despite the creeping realisation that they didn’t belong) just got chucked. Broken character? Gone! POV that ruined the pace? Deleted! Back-story that I needed for reasons I can no longer recall? Cut and cut and cut again.

Now I’ve got rid of the words that were wrong, I’m going to put some better ones in.

So, how do you all feel about rewriting? Love it? Loathe it? Any tips?

I do know one thing… I’m insanely grateful to be a writer in the digital age. Ah, my old friends cut, copy, and paste; how I love thee.

Film News: The Hunger Games

I loved The Hunger Games and inhaled it in one heart-pounding session so I’m certainly interested to see the film adaptation. Interested and, of course, a little worried.

While the story is practically born-to-be-filmed, it would be such a shame if justice isn’t done. I’m concerned that the director won’t be able to stay true to the horror of the book while achieving a teen-friendly guidance rating. The trailer looks promising, though. What do you think?

Speaking of lucky…

Yesterday’s post made me think about my blessings and, without wishing you all to lightly vomit, they are legion.

Top of the list this week has to be this gorgeous dotty apron which my daughter made for my birthday. She had the help of a talented (and wonderful – thanks Mum!) Gran and it was her very first sewing machine project.

To say I was overwhelmed when I opened the parcel would be an understatement. I won’t lie to you, dear reader; tears were shed. How could it be that my baby girl* could’ve executed a surprise present so perfect? How? My mind, it boggleth. My heart, it squeezes with joy. Seriously; how did I get this lucky?

[Thanks to Mum for the photo, too. Read more about the fabulous apron-project on her craft-filled blog The Turtle Moves]

* Anybody who wishes to point out that my baby girl is now eleven years old is perfectly at liberty to do so. I have my fingers in my ears.

The view from here

When we first moved to this house six years ago, I couldn’t believe my luck; that I got to live somewhere so friendly and peaceful and to wake up to this view every day. It felt like a fairy godmother had waved her magic wand and I swore that I would never take my good fortune for granted.

In the spirit of that promise, I thought I’d take a photo of my view once a month. To catalogue the changing seasons and to remind myself to consciously celebrate something I’m so very lucky to enjoy.

Also, it was the first proper hard frost of the winter yesterday (in mid-January!) and I tried to take a picture of the beautiful spikey-sparkles. I failed, but you get the idea.

Friday Five: The book edition

This week’s Friday Five is all about books. Yes, I’m just leaning out of bed to mine my ‘to be read’ pile for blogging ‘gold’. I’m lazy.

1. Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch. This was a present from my husband who read the blurb and thought it ‘sounded like my kind of thing’. And so it is. It’s a police procedural set in a modern-day London in which ghosts and magic exist and it’s very enjoyable indeed.

2. How Not to Write a Novel by Howard Mittelmark and Sandra Newman. I read fewer ‘how to write’ books that I used to, but I still have a weakness for them. This one is funny, which is always a bonus.

3. Girl in a Spin by Clodagh Murphy. I downloaded a sample of this romantic comedy over the holiday and am really looking forward to reading the rest.

4. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green. I know I mentioned this book before and I’m supposed to be on a reading-break until I’ve got stuck into a new project of my own, but I just couldn’t resist diving in. Oh my. It’s so good. In fact, it’s taking a supreme act of will for me to be typing these words instead of reading John Green’s…

5. Written Kitten. The keen-eyed amongst you will notice that this isn’t a book. It’s a website that may help you if you’re trying to write a book. It gives you a new kitten picture for every 100 words you write. And everyone needs more kittens. You’re welcome.