Monday, September 20, 2010

Publication, no matter what?

I think every aspiring author fears them: rejections. On a good day, I shrug them off and tell myself it's just one person's opinion. On a bad day, I want to go and throw my manuscript into the Thames. The majority of days though, I delete the e-mail of the agent or publishing house, when it's a standard rejection.

Recently, I got one from a small publishing house that liked my premise of No Wings Attached, but thought it needs another edit and sent me some notes to see what they mean. They also suggested some serious rewrites that would tweak my storyline and MC's into a direction I'm not comfortable with. They said if I did that, they'd love to see my book again.

I had a thought about it, and though I'm absolutely thankful for their notes and will take them into account, I've decided to not rewrite to 'match' their audience better. It's not that I won't be open to rewrite scenes, certainly not, as long as it's in my comfort zone, but I have seen so many authors rewriting several times and still being rejected by the very publisher who asked for rewrites.

My theory is that if the publishing house or agent likes a book enough, even if it requires some rewrites, then they would sign the author.

No Wings Attached will receive another last edit before I send it out again, maybe rewrites even, some I scenes I might feel unhappy with, but it will stay the book it is. If it never sells, then it is not meant to be sold, I have plenty of other ideas and books.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

How to name my baby

Yes, I'm pregnant with my third child. It's 21,450 words now and will be about 70k when it's ready for the world to see it in all its beauty.

Today I want to talk about finding a book title. Everyone has a different approach to this topic. Mine is, to start writing with a working title that comes to mind first and while I write, I will find others. I remember my first book, No Wings Attached, was called Do wishes come true? beforehand. I didn't like the title so I made a list of about ten possible titles. Nothing really worked and I gave up.
One night, I woke up and the name literally jumped at me. I noted it down immediately in order to remember the next day. And No Wings Attached was born.

And you think it's funny, was actually the first name that came into my mind and I still think it's suitable. Written in second person and a sarcastic undertone. Perfectly mirrored by the title. By the way, it has a publisher's interest, but nothing is set in stone yet, so I won't tell more.

Sometimes, I have the title before I even started writing. Such a novel sits in one folder waiting to be continued. I have written one scene only, but it's going to be an interesting, again, literary fiction piece.

Parallel to my current novel I'm writing a ADHD diary, because I always wanted to write about living with ADHD.

Do you want to take a sneak peek?
From 'The ADHD diaries'

05 September 2010

I've felt weirdly down since three days now. It's a bit like living in a cloud, you get up, you eat, drink, simply function, but with no real goal. I wanted to buy fish today, since I have decided to lose weight, some serious weight. But I can't be bothered to leave the house. It's like I find a thousand excuses to not go into public. I hate getting ready, I also hate having a shower. I don't even know why. Is this because of the repetition? Or is it because I have to undress, wait for the hot water to come, then the procedure of washing the hair, rinsing it, soaping the body, shaving, towelling and then put some lotion on? I have no idea, I only know that I dread a shower. I just like the result of having good smelling hair, and to carry around the scent of whatever body butter or lotion I put on.

My third mug a tea, a bowl of fruit next to me, I'm sitting here to write down what goes through my head. Yesterday, I wrote a few friends that's I'm not feeling well, meaning my depressions or better ADHD demands its attention. Funny enough for an attention deficit disorder. It is successful, though, otherwise I wouldn't be writing this now. When I'm in this state of mind, I tend to see the world through dark-tinted glasses. Nothing motivates me, nobody can make things better, and I want to snap at everyone. I wrote xxxx an e-mail saying that I'm fed up with life and fighting. He didn't even respond. That hurts and doesn't exactly lift my mood. But it's not his responsibility to do that, I know, it still hurts and I decided to now write him until he comes to me. I'm sure this decision will be amended soon � I seem incapable of resisting.

Since I can't sit still for hours, I just got up, after writing a huge chunk for my current novel, went to the loo, made the decision to defrost something I cooked two weeks ago and stay inside. Tomorrow is another day, isn't it? I brought the mug and bowl into the kitchen, came back, sat down and remembered why I went into the kitchen: to take the container out of the freezer. Typical ADHD. It happens so often. While I'm typing I'm distracted constantly, by my iguana, the noises outside, even a little pause distracts me, since I then switch windows to see if I got an e-mail or more clicks on my websites. Sad, I know, but at least I'm writing and it flows, sort of. A million thoughts run through my head and I'm trying to channel what I want to type. I got a little carried away, hence the huge chunk I had to take out and save for later use. However, there's my goal which I have to reach by midnight and that is about 550 words I need to write for the next part of the novel.

I just about resisted to call my friend Thomas to tell him some updates. Seems I might get out of the dark phase. The fact that I'm writing is another clue. Tomorrow, I have cleaning flat on my agenda. Needs to be done. I have the habit of setting me a task, be it cooking something special, writing a short story, going to Camden or cleaning my flat, I must set a day for it, then, I'll follow it through. Okay, I admit, writing often comes unexpected and I'm glad it does. At this moment, my thoughts went stray, reminding me that I wanted to do the laundry or I will have no clean underwear for tomorrow. Will do that later. I love later. Procrastination is my most favourite friend. After typing the last four sentences, I got interrupted again, this time to put some hand cream on. They are dry. Since I've sat here for about fifteen minutes, I think about getting up and make me a pot of fruit tea. I have neglected my habits. Usually, I drink about two to three litres of tea and water every day.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Snout injuries in Iguana Iguana

If you have a particular skittish or aggressive iguana, you may pay the vet a few more visits. My big boy hasn't stopped banging his nose against the glass since he moved into his enclosure. As I explained earlier, male iguanas can become quite aggressive towards their female owners and I have a perfect example for that living with me. As soon as I come nearer, he'll change into threatening posture, he'll extent his dewlap, come running to the point I'm standing and will jump, even from a distance of 50cm in order to sink his teeth into my flesh.

Lucky for me, the glass stops him.
Unlucky for him, he has now a severe snout injury. It's swollen, and bleeding every time he jumps against the glass. And quite obviously he's in severe pain. My problem is, that I need to handle him, changing food, cleaning the vivarium, spraying, checking on him. These tasks require me going near the vivarium and often end up with him banging his nose again. A circle that does concern me.

I will need to see the vet, as I fear he has developed an abscess since some solid tissue is discharged and to check this properly, I need the vet to have a look at it.

This will cost me about �50 the least and can add up to �700 if my worries are confirmed and he needs to administer a GA to remove the tissue.

He behaves normally, is active, eats, (Bananas mainly, which I don't like, but at least the eats) and a little wild rocket if offered from hand.

Here two pictures to give you an idea of how his snout looks:
The second shows him right after he banged his snout.

Will keep you posted.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Why I started writing - a true story.

Every now and again, I think back of how I began to take writing more seriously. Despite from writing all my life, jotting down my teenage thoughts, I never really considered it a career or something ongoing. I started several books, all hand-written, later on a typewriter and ten years ago on a computer. Some pages still must be floating around somewhere.

But, the event that got me thinking, was a love letter, yes, you read right, a love letter which I wrote to a guy I was madly in love with. What a surprise, eh?

I had a lot to tell him and though we were quite close, the love wasn't mutual. He was anything, but certainly not ready for a relationship and perhaps not with me anyway.

However, one evening, I sat down at my kitchen table, lit a candle and poured me a glass of wine. An open note pad and pen in front of me, I organised what I wanted to get off my chest and began to write.

When I finished I had written ten pages in my rather awful handwriting. It basically had poured out of me and I was content with the result.

Next day at work, I handed it over to him, asking him to not open it before he's at home. Which he accepted. Later in the evening, I texted him with an apology for I thought he might be intimidated. He wasn't. He texted back saying it was brave of me to write this in the first place and second, he added, that he thought I should write books because he loved my style. It wasn't the least what I've expected as a reply.

After that, I started with short stories, full of observational humour, biting dark comedy. He read everything I gave him and demanded more. My first fan was born.

I stopped writing for a while.

Years on, I read a series of books that wouldn't let go off me when I finished and my decision was to write a novel that will captivate a reader alike. Many if possible. And I wrote my first book, as I already said in 2,5 months. Since I started it, I have been writing on a regular basis, improved, changed my style and I can't even imagine a life without writing.

I think I would never have had the confidence without that man who was the first to encourage me. Thank you, Jan. My third novel is well under its way and many short stories of different genres, too.