Sunday, 25 September 2011

And the survey says....

Dear Emma,

Thank you for giving us a chance to consider your work.

Unfortunately, this is not right for us. We are replying as soon as possible to give you the best chance of finding the right agent. We specialise in commercial fiction and non-fiction tailor made for the mass market and therefore we have to be confident of substantial sales quantities before taking on a new project.

We receive over 300 manuscripts a week and can only take on handful of new writers every year. The result is that we have to be incredibly selective, so please so not be too disheartened. Another agents may well feel differently. 

We wish you the best of luck in finding the agent who will be right for you. 

Best wishes. 

 Ah, I love the smell of rejection in the morning. Received the above letter from Agent Two this week but you'll be pleased to know there were no tears this time. I just read the letter with a curled lip and proceeded to go out and get pissed. 

It's currently pinned to my fridge, which is where the others will go as well. Well, until I run out of space on my fridge anyway and then I think I'll have to dedicate an entire wall or something. 

I've written approximately 10,000 words on Book 2 over the last week and have been well and truly in the writing flow again which is nice. Any writer will identify with feeling jaded by the editing process once you've written something - countless read-throughs, cut scenes, extra scenes added etc. So to be able to get back to the creative element is lovely. 

I know it's foolish to write a follow up to a book that's yet to be published but I can't help it. The mind wants what it wants! 

I'm off on a city break with Tres over the next few days to Stratford Upon Avon. Maybe I'll get some inspiration from the homeland of the Bard...

We'll see. 

"Oh Romeo, Romeo! Where for art an agent for Driving Exile, Romeo!" 

Keep rockin'



Saturday, 17 September 2011

It starts...

I found myself stuck in traffic yesterday while I was heading home from work. The rain was hammering and I just sat there, staring out of the windscreen watching the workmen dig up the road.

When the traffic finally got moving, I drove home in a zombie state, parked my car and knocked on Dos’ flat.

“Oh…hello,” He said after opening the door.

I was soaked from the walk from my car to the building and raised my hand in a feeble wave. “Hi, can I please have my dongle thing back, seeing as I’ve got no broadband?”

“Yeah of course. Come in.”

I stood awkwardly in the doorway of his kitchen for a few moments. “Can I have a drink?”

“Sure, help yourself.”

I nodded and flicked the kettle on and just stared at it for a second before returning to stand awkwardly in the doorway again.

“Are you okay?” He asked, peering at me.

For a moment, I thought I was going to be brave but instead, my face crumpled into a cry and I shook my head.

“Jesus, what’s wrong?” He asked, pulling me into a hug.

He probably thought I was going to tell him I’d lost a family member. Instead I looked at him and said the words I thought I’d be able to avoid saying for another few weeks. “I got my first book rejection today.”

Listen folks, I didn’t plan on crying at all. I didn’t think in a million years it’d get picked up by the first bloody person I sent it to but there’s still something so…soul destroying about it. There will be many more of course, but seeing as I was a rejection virgin until I checked my emails at about 3:30pm yesterday, it was a big moment.

Anyway, I’ve decided the rejection is merely a sign that the race has well and truly begun. I’m not at the starting line anymore, I’m out there and, more importantly, my work is out there.

I ended up having a weird dream last night where the characters of my book were apologising to me for what they called ‘letting me down’ and then I was apologising to them for not doing them justice. Very bizarre indeed. Shows I care, I suppose. 

So, I’m going to collect my rejections and publish them on here. Almost like a little collection. I won’t identify the agents but I think it’ll be strangely cathartic to share them with you all.

With that in mind, here’s the very first one.

Not even a bloody personal one.

Cheeky mares ;-)



Sunday, 11 September 2011

The rebound

"I looked up at the community notice board and started to read the different cards. There were a lot of bands looking for drummers. I made a promise to myself to learn to play the drums one day so that I could join one of these hopeless bands and help them achieve their dreams of stardom. I stored this onto the mental checklist I’d started building in the one week since Steve and I split which included learning a foreign language and running the New York marathon."

They say life imitates art, but surely life shouldn't imitate your own art? The above, as I'm sure you can guess, is a paragraph taken from my book after my heroine splits with her partner. I wrote it more than a year ago and now as I read it I realise it's exactly the 'stage' I'm going through at the moment. 

It's not just from the 'split' (seriously Dos, I'll stop dining on our split at some point...) but from finishing the book as well. I'm in terrible need of a new project and keep pondering over Book 2. However, it seems a bit...pointless at the moment. I have no idea whether Driving Exile will get picked up (trying to think positively though) and even if it does, the story might need to change, characters might need to be dropped etc. So diving into writing a follow up seems a little silly. Of course, I could just write it for myself in order to get the ideas from flying around my head. I've written a few chapters already. 

However, I have something else to occupy me at the moment. 

My rebound. 

Nope, not a bloke. I DID promise this wouldn't turn into a naff blog about men and dates. I hate all that shit. 

No, it's my little acoustic guitar. I'm plodding through learning chords which is going a bit better than I thought to be honest. I used to play bass when I was a teenager (and wanted to be a rock star) so I'm picking it up fairly quickly. Not a clue what I want to come out of it as I'm not the type of person to just have a hobby for the sake of it. Maybe I'll be one of those tossers who post videos of themselves on YouTube crooning into the camera in a cringy manner. 

Hang on, maybe I WILL become a rock star after all! Don't new artists get discovered on YouTube these days? 

I've also started running again and am determined to achieve a certain time for my 5km so I can enter some races again. 

Oh, AND I've dusted off my French for Beginners podcasts that were hiding on my computer. 

I'm rebounding aren't I? I'm just a dramatic haircut away from the newly single cliche. Either that or I'm trying to morph into the main character in my book. Any rock bands looking for a driver? Any at all? 

No? Oh, okay then...

I think I'm trying to pass the time until I hear back from the agents I sent the book to as well. 

Eight weeks. 

Eight flan-flinging weeks. 

Holy crap, where's my chord book. I might have a number one single by the time I hear back from them...

Keep rocking.



PS. Turns out the jokes are correct - Status Quo really do only play three chords. Excellent for a learner like me! Think my neighbour is a tad sick of hearing Rockin' all over the World blasting though..

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

I'm cool

I'm not actually.

Not in any respect of the word.

I laughed in my last post about 'crashing and burning' and less than two days later, it's happened!

It's amazing how you can feel utterly fantastic one day and the next you feel *insert blowing raspberry noise here*. For want of a better expression (I genuinely hate what I'm about to say but it's fitting), I got well and truly 'cream-pied' today.

Yesterday I skipped home from work, at which I'm now getting a tad de-mob happy, to find two lovely cards from Tres and Cuatro congratulating me on the 'new' home and the job. My gym session was made fabulous by the super hot gay men who were out in force. Seriously, I felt like I was crashing that Jean Paul Gaultier advert...

I then joined Dos for a quick brew and had a giggle listening to anecdotes from one of his friends, as well as sharing a few from our teenage years.

Off to bed.


Queue the cream-pie (there's that word again...try not to snigger)....

I woke up this morning to my health failing me miserably and I was as sick as a dog. Moping around the flat for a few hours, drifting in and out of sleep caused me to grow restless so I decided to get some fresh air and walk to the post office depot to pick up a parcel (not idea what it is). I got all of the way there but there was no sign of my parcel so I had to walk all of the way home.

Then it pissed down and I got drenched.

I tried to be productive in the flat and put up some pictures and fell off the stool I was stood on, hurting my ankle.

I then thought it could be a good idea to check my work emails and there was a juicy email chain from an asshole of a colleague, landing me in the shit. As usual, for something that wasn't my fault, but hey! I was off ill so therefore an easy target. It's times like that I thank the lord I'm leaving...

However, not all is lost - I posted Driving Exile off to two agents today and will be keeping my fingers firmly crossed on that. Just got a very long 8 week wait now...Please love it! Please! :-)

Also, I've had Planet Rock to keep me company all day. It was as if the DJ's knew I was having a bad day because it's been like a pick n mix of all my favourite songs.

Dos brought me a Krispy Kreme donut round as well. Thanks for that!

Suppose it wasn't that bad a day after all.

Keep your fingers crossed on the manuscripts for me. I have a good feeling about one of the agents I sent it to, but we'll see I suppose.

I'll keep rocking and sincerely hope you do the same.



Monday, 5 September 2011

A real sucker for punishment

Okay, so you're up to speed with my life at the minute?

Wrote a novel.

Broke up with boyfriend of ten years.

Now live alone.

Blah, blah, blah.....

Everyone I've spoken to says the same thing: "You need a holiday."

I've started to just nod and grin in agreement after I realised going off on a rant about how, as a single woman with one income, I'll never EVER go on holiday again makes people slightly uncomfortable.

It's either that I need a holiday or just need a good rest and a chance to 'be'. They're right of course. There's been a lot of change and a lot of (for want of a better word) excitement in recent months. It's enough to drive me round the twist.

So, what am I doing to relax and 'be'?

Oh, that's right! I only went and got myself a new frigging job this week.

What an arse.

You'll see it here first folks - the inevitable crash and burn! Nice knowing ya!

I'm going back into the glorious world of PR, after pining to do more writing in my day job. Plus, I enjoyed PR a lot. Marketing was a challenge and wasn't without its yawntastic and spectacularly shit moments (for reference material, please see previous blog - but the people were a giggle and it pained me to hand my notice in today. I felt like I was rocking my own boat that was happily bobbing along on calm waters.

A wise friend of mine (yes you, Tres) responded when I asked her about whether she'd leave her job with the fabulous cliche, "Better the devil you know..." She's right. And I still had those words echoing around my head as I passed my manager my resignation letter with a shaking hand today. But hey, these opportunities are there to be taken.

Now, I really do have a new life and a fresh start.

The engine warning light came on in my car today. I just hope that isn't a sign I'm heading for a new car as well...

Off to wrap myself in my security blanket now and read a chapter or two of Driving Exile. I'd read something else but better the devil you know, eh?



Sunday, 4 September 2011

Hello world...

It's been a big week.

After months of living together as two newly singletons, Dos has moved out into his new flat and I now live alone.

The lone writer.

Might get an antique typewriter.

And a cat.

Anyway, its time for me to stop hiding behind that little cartoon (cute as she was) and show my face to you all. So...hello, this is me.

Cuatro very kindly printed off the first three chapters of my book for me so I'm getting posting this week.  Finally! She's also powering through the book which is giving me a little boost.

I'm really missing it and its crazy characters, so I reckon I'll be doing some work on Book 2 this week. Especially as I've now got some time on my hands.

Now I'm officially Bridget Jones and all...

Promise me one thing guys, if I start turning this blog into a naff version of Sex and the City then do hunt me down and slap me. I shouldn't think I will. It's likely to be more Jack Torrence than Carrie Bradshaw...

Well, I'm back in work tomorrow after my crazy weekend and I'm going to kick back with a Jack Daniels and coke and listen to Planet Rock.

Cheers guys,



P.S. Cheers to you too, Dos - your apartment (bachelor pad) is lovely ;-)