Saturday, 8 November 2014

From Autumn to Winter

I've definitely felt the shift from autumn to winter this week. Maybe it's because of the first few frosts and fog. Or the fact that it's suddenly gone much colder. My body has also been telling me it's time to start feeding up and storing fat in preparation for winter shortages. I don't think our bodies realise it's the 21st century and such shortages are a thing of the past. I've had the urge to scoff warming stews, soups and have been craving sugar. Not great when you're trying to lose a few pounds. This hasn't been helped by supermarkets stocking wonderful Christmas treats.

I had a week off blogging and writing generally during half term week. My aunt came to stay and we had a wonderfully relaxing time with some retail therapy thrown in for good measure. It was also my youngest child, Megan's birthday. She was thirteen, so I'm now the proud mum of not one, but two teenagers. She had a bowling party followed by a meal out on the day, then a clothes shopping expedition when she spent most of her birthday money.

I found it very difficult to get back into writing again this week. A week last Friday I entered four competitions ending 31st October and this week I typed up some old Write Invite entries with a view to expanding them into fully fledged short stories. There are a couple of competitions I want to enter in the next week and I've been working out which stories would fit them best.

I sent the first thirty pages of my novel and a synopsis to Tom Witcomb at Blake Friedmann back in July, having pitched to him at The Harrogate Crime Writers Festival. I hadn't heard from him, so thought that was the end of that. Full of self-doubt, as usual, I decided to put the novel on one side and focus on short stories. Anyway, I was very surprised to receive a most encouraging email from Tom this week: 'Firstly, my apologies for holding onto your work for so long - it is an unfortunate, yet unavoidable consequence of making tough decisions on projects which you’ve enjoyed greatly. I’m afraid that in my final decision, I’ve decided not to take your project any further. I wish you the best of luck in your endeavours to find a suitable agent and look forward to hearing news of your success.
With good wishes, Tom'

Not a bad rejection, is it? I was encouraged by it, anyway. Encouraged enough to consider submitting to another agent, which I'll do next week. I've given the synopsis a tweak in the meantime. I've also had wonderful encouragement and support from the lovely crime writer, Eva Dolan, who I also met at Harrogate.

I've had more good news in the past week or so. I've been shortlisted in Flash500, shortlisted in the October Greenacre Writers Competition and was longlisted in Word Hut.

I also submitted another story to The People's Friend this week. Wish me luck! 

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a wonderful 13th birthday party, Jo!
    That is a very encouraging rejection - hope you do submit to another agent.
    Congratulations on the shortlists and good luck with the competitions and People's Friend :-) x