Ninety nine!

I know some folk have hundreds of followers but I have just reached ninety nine. You are still mainly abroad but I’ve got used to that. If I don’t follow you it is probably because I am trying to reduce the time I spend on line in order to finish my novel. It is fascinating to see which blogs attract the most readers. If I could put a poem on every week that would seem to be the most popular.

There are so many activities going on this summer, book launches, the Southern Book Show and an event the Sea Scribes are planning to bring together music and words.

Add to that the fact that my next novel is almost all on computer( in draft form) and I have been scrolling through images to find a cover picture, life is getting hectic.

My other task is to advertise the Worthing Friendship Centre, a social group for over 50’s and there are so many outlets on line , now, that we have to use to complement the local newspaper. I don’t know how many pensioners use the computer but if money is anything to go by, they’ll be left behind if they don’t! We are looked at in amazement when we try to pay in cash in loads of places  and I’ve even heard of a local bar that won’t take cash!

Advertisements

Review comment and event.

At last somebody has thanked us for the pantomime. I was hoping for some feedback and when they said it was’just brilliant’ and’made them chuckle’ I was so grateful. I’m not sure I’ll do another one, especially as I am focused on the next novel at present but it makes me feel it wasn’t a waste of time. I was really proud of the cast and they deserve to know their efforts were appreciated.

Sorry I can’t tell you about the book. I know some folk put excerpts on line as tasters but I like to feel the reader can identify with the characters and that’s impossible in a short piece.

I am looking forward to the book launch on 17th February when Elaine Hankin will have ‘Footprints on my Doorstep,’ Anne Saker will have ‘Matilda and the Waltz of Life’ and Wendy Hughes will have ‘ The A to Z of Curious Sussex;’ three very different books by excellent local authors. The venue is Heene Road Community Centre in Worthing, time- 10am to 1pm.

More research

Checking on locations from a computer is so much easier that going there. I am noted for setting my novels in Sussex, even if I don’t name the streets or buildings but this next book is set all over the country and I haven’t the time or money to go to every place.

Thanks to the internet I can view the settings I want to use and even get reviews so I can get a real feel for each place. I have been viewing pictures of Cornwall and it makes one want to visit, it looks so beautiful. The only time I usually look at photos is when I’m choosing a book cover but I haven’t decided what to put on the cover of this one yet. I’m only 15000 words in! I saved a picture but now I can’t find it to add to the post.

Another time, perhaps!

Ancient invisibility

How I dislike being old. Maybe it isn’t age. Maybe it is just that I’m forgettable.Maybe there is something about my lifestyle that means people don’t remember me. Am I too self sufficient? Are my husband and I too exclusive? ( We don’t mean to be) Do folk think I don’t need help and encouragement? (they are wrong)

For months I put all my creative energy into writing a pantomime, casting it and recording it. Then I waited to hear what people thought of it. Did I get any feed back? One person, a friend, said they liked it. Nobody let me have a copy of it so I couldn’t let others listen to it. Copies were given to the cast at an event I couldn’t attend. I listened to it on line and it seemed OK but , oh, how I wished I had some CDs to show to people.

Eventually I asked if there were any for me. Oh no, all those that were left were thrown away! It was like having a story that I had written pulped before I could see the finished product. Everyone else had heard my baby except me! Not one of them had thought to save me a copy. I was forgotten, ancient invisibility was at work, out of sight, out of mind, the curse of the volunteer. Another example, like stay-at-home mums, that if you don’t work for pay you don’t count.

Next time I write anything – it won’t be free!

Research

I used to say I didn’t have to do research for my novels. They were all based on personal experience- places I had been, people I knew, situations that I was familiar with or news from the papers or TV. However, this book is different. My characters are travelling to places I have never seen, along routes I have never travelled. How accurate do I have to be?

In order to make it as realistic as possible I have been using a route planner on the computer. It tells me the route, the mileage, how long the journey takes and the service stations along the way. That was my first piece of research.

Then I wanted to know how much a house would cost in Italy – so I Googled some. If I had been a genuine purchaser I would have had a terrific choice ( if money was no object!)

There are documents I need to know about and dates I need to check but, at last, the computer is more than a word processor and a very useful tool for research.

No resolutions

New Years Eve tonight and I refuse to make a resolution. Yesterday we had our belated family get together and it worked very well with our daughter in-law feeding ten of us in their newly furbished living room. I cannot get used to the way this generation have the TV on all the time, even if they are not watching it, but I suppose it is like the way we use the wireless.

Having just discovered that someone follows ninety blogs I am concerned that I haven’t yet reached many, but then I would have no time for writing books. The next novel is taking shape and I am actually doing a little research this time. I haven’t decided which form of self publishing I will use. I am quite happy with the other six books so I don’t feel inclined to change. I write the story and hand it over to the designer and printer to produce, with input from me on the cover pictures, which we find on line. I am up to 5000 words and suppose, if I was pushed, I’d say finishing this would be a resolution but it doesn’t have to happen in 2018.

Booking a summer holiday for the two of us, with the dog, in a Cotswold cottage, has given me something else to look forward to. It might be self-catering but we usually end up having plenty of meals out . If I disappear for a while it means I’m creating elsewhere. Happy New Year.

Book order

I know I shouldn’t be surprised but I am. I have just had an order from the wholesaler for a copy of Never Run Away, a book I wrote a few years back. Could this be the start of something new? I didn’t even offer them the last book as it seemed a waste of time, with it being on amazon and having little content that appealed locally. I was hoping to tap into the chicklit craze but that seems to have died down and I don’t write about vampires. My talks introduce readers to all my stories but there may be a long wait for the next one. I have a working title and about three pages written so far.

img_0244