Monday, July 27, 2009

All roads lead to ...

I'm going to be away for a couple of weeks with no access to the internet.

Looking forward to some quality R&R with my boys, getting some chapters of my WIP under my belt and making a dent on my TBR pile.

TBFN - LOL xxx

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

By Royal Appointment

My editing has received a lovely endorsement -

- from the Queen, no less.

Who could have predicted I'd ever receive an honour from royalty that I'd be so delighted to accept ...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Are we not entitled?

Well, yes, we are actually.

And the winner is ... Hoovering the Roof.

Right. Now we just need to write the contributions, pair up with buddies for feedback, edit and proof read, write the biogs and the blurb, decide the order, design the cover, organise the ISBN, choose the layout and font, arrange for printing of proof copies, co-ordinate amendments, organise print run, sort out a launch event ...

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Anti-Plagiarism Day

Writers just can't help stealing. Kleptomania is intrinsic to the creative process.

What else can we write about if not the life we see around us?

That woman on the bus ...
That overheard conversation ...
That snippet of news ...

And it's true for what we read too. When I've edited a manuscript and return to my own WIP, I often find myself writing in a style that is not my own.
I analyse it and realise I've written in the style of the MS I've critiqued.

I was discussing this the other day with Emma Darwin. She describes it as the equivalent of chopping an onion on your breadboard.
You can never quite get rid of the lingering taste and smell.

But plagiarism - real plagiarism where someone intentionally (note italics) steals another person's words - though rare, does exist.

So yesterday (better late than ...) was heralded by Jane at How Publishing Really Works as Anti-Plagiarism Day.

The response has been a series of balanced, thoughtful perspectives about the creative process and the line dividing acceptable influence from downright theft.

See Tania Hershman's here, Sarah Salway's here, Sue Guiney's here, and... and ...

Oh, there are loads. Give a writer a topic and just let us loose!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Name that Book

Regular visitors will know how much I personally owe to the East Dulwich Writers' Group.

To say that finding the group all those years ago literally (geddit?) changed my life, is no exaggeration.

How time flies - the group is now celebrating its 10th anniversary and there are close to 100 people on the mailing list.

That's 100 local writers, all taking words available to each and every one of us and putting them into an order of their own choosing to create something new and unique.

The group has grown organically yet seems miraculously self-adjusting so that we rarely get more than the optimum number of 8 at any one meeting.

To mark our 10th anniversary, we have a new website and ... even more excitingly ... plans are afoot to publish an anthology of our writing.
The book will contain short stories, novel extracts and poems from local writers, most of whom share nothing more than a geographical location and a passion for words.

Think eclectic.
Think diverse.
Think quirky.

First though, we need a title.
We've come up with a shortlist and - this is where YOU come in.

Rich, who is one of our founding members, has set up a poll for us to get feedback on the suggestions that have made it to the shortlist.
If you get a mo, please check it out and let us know which title(s) would grab your attention and make you pick up the book.

Personally, I think it's quite exciting to have an input into the title of an as yet unpublished book.

But then I would, wouldn't I ...

Monday, July 06, 2009

You couldn't make it up ...

I had the weirdest weekend ...

I met ... the man who knocked FB off his bike back in Dec.

I met him at ... a barmitzvah party in north London.

The party was one which a year ago we wouldn't have been invited to due to a family rift that's been in place since 1983 and only recently healed.

The driver is a very close friend of that side of the family and has been since just before the rift happened.

Our last email exchange dated 21st April:
I don’t know if you’ve been informed, but am sure you would like to know that I have received a cheque from your insurers on (FB)’s behalf.
I understand that this whole procedure has happened much faster than is commonly the case and I have no doubt that is entirely down to you not contesting (FB)’s version of events. We are and always will be grateful to you for facilitating the process. It is clear to me that you are a decent and good-hearted man and I am only sorry that we had to encounter one another under such circumstances.
I wish you and your family well for the future and thank you again for all you have done to minimize the trauma of the accident.
With warmest wishes.

His reply:
Very good to hear from you and that all has worked out. My insurers did not inform me even though I had asked them to and expressly requested them to act efficiently.
Most importantly (FB) is well.
Please send him my regards and maybe some day our paths will cross but on a happier note.
Stay well and regards

If this was written in fiction, it would be described as a credibility-stretching coincidence.

Truth. Stranger. Fiction. :shock:

The Blogger Returns

Yippee! I'm back ...

And it's all thanks to the generosity of the lovely Lisa Glass, who contacted me to say her (equally generous) husband is a techy supremo with a penchant for healing poorly pooters.

It's uplifting (to say the least) to know that altruism is alive and well in cyberspace.

So here I am - spring-cleaned, de-virused, defragged and generally whooshy.