Saturday, 31 March 2012

Three in one

Well, it’s the end of our week off.  Back to the day job on Monday and less said about that the better.  During every week off I remember how wonderful it is to be my own person, to concentrate on my writing and spend time with those I love.  

This week off has given me a chance to sort myself out.  I’ve finished editing Silver and aim to start submitting it to agents and publishers by the end of the next week (hurray for a long weekend) and I’ve found the manuscript of a half finished novel that I intend to complete by May.

That isn’t to say I haven’t had some non-writing experiences this week.  We went to beach where a bug flew in my ear (as previously mentioned), we had our first trip to Longleat Safari Park this year (always wonderful) and we just spent the night in Plymouth.

As a side note, here a video of one of the Longleat otters enjoying a stone...

Although not as much as this naughty otter...

At first I wanted to write a blog post about people watching; something I thought I was a master at until I met my husband.  As he fails to listen to me or pay any attention to me when we’re out and about we tend to listen in to other peoples conversations and Friday night in Plymouth was spectacular.  We sat in a lovely small restaurant with sticky tables but gorgeous food next to the window where I was busy watching people walking past when three Americans took the table next to us.  We didn’t talk much until the American’s left, they probably thought we were a strange stuffy British couple but it was honestly very interesting to learn about their views on British bacon and the iPad app that allows them to listen into police radios (I want that app please, and an iPad while we’re going about it).
The solitary young man, very young, who took their table after they left who was given a pint and sat reading The Times newspaper when he only looked about sixteen was another mystery but unfortunately we had to pay the bill and leave at that point.

People watching is a great thing for writers to do.  Silver is full of real experiences.  Ok, so I may have added any werewolves and a spirit or demon here or there but the some situations and people are straight from my life.  Hopefully no one will recognise them, although my mum read my first draft and instantly told me she recognised both offices mentioned (chapter two actually comes from a short story I wrote during my first job in Bristol when feeling very bored with no work to do).

When we collapsed on the hotel bed and turned on the television, Noel Gallagher was being interviewed on BBC4.  I’ve never been a huge fan of Oasis, I discovered music a little too late, but listening to his story was fascinating.  Coupled with the approach of Monday, however, it was also a little depressing.  Success stories have a way of doing that; spurring you on while at the same time dragging you down.  He mentioned that he never had any doubt that Oasis would be the biggest and the best and I’ve noticed that confidence of that level seems to be required for success.   I know of many male writers who have just self published their books knowing that they deserved success and are now bestselling authors picked up by top publishers.

Confidence is the key which is why I’m actually quite excited to start submitting Silver.  I’m prepared for rejection letters, not because I don’t think it’s good enough but because I’m well aware that there is a recession on, fantasy is an overused genre at the moment, I’m a first time writer, blah blah blah but preparing will make it hurt a little less.  Rejections will not stop me from writing the sequel, or completing my second novel and submitting that or continuing to write every day for as long as I can.

On a final note and a complete change of subject, today we visited Dartmoor Zoo on our way home from Plymouth.  Dartmoor Zoo is the zoo from ‘We Bought A Zoo’, the new Matt Damon film.  While entrance to the zoo is a little overpriced for what is there it was still fun and it was wonderful to see so many active animals.  Sadly we missed the Matt Damon enclosure but he probably would have been asleep in his little house anyway.

I saw bears for the first time, in a large enclosure, all looking quite happy and relaxed.  

All of the animals were beautiful (except the peacocks that wouldn’t SHUT UP.  Personally I wouldn’t have bought the zoo, or if I did I would have rehomed the peacocks) but the tigers were incredible;
Vlad the male tiger saw a sheep in the field behind his enclosure...

While his sisters slept on...

And we got to see the giant cousins of our three guinea pigs, the Cabybara;

Hereth endeth the proper personal blog post!

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