Novel Project 2012 – Miss Pooshoe

WEDNESDAY 29TH FEBRUARY 2012

Good Evening everyone – deadline day is here!

After setting myself a New Years challenge to write a Novel by the end of Feb, I am  now pleased to say that the Novel is now complete! Well, the first draft is anyway. In the words of Stephen King – “When you write a story, you’re telling yourself the story. When you rewrite, your main job is taking out all the things that are not the story.” 

This is so true of this Novel; I have only just completed my first draft and I found that I really was telling myself the story. It took some twists and turns in places even I wasn’t expecting and although I had a plan (well, ok a spreadsheet – yes I do love them and I have Chapter’s broken down) the story ended in a place I did not expect. It even ended earlier than I anticipated as I found that I had reached a natural conclusion.

Truth be told i did not hit my 80k target, I am some 992 words short, and that has been with adding little sub-stories in here and there that i have remembered (and by sub-stories I mean ridiculous things said and done by myself) therefore, this Novel has aptly been named ‘Miss Pooshoe.’

A bit of a random name yet it is relevant and I am hoping the title will intrigue readers and pull them in.

Although I originally set a target of 80k words, as this is an average word count to aim for by publishers, however I have learnt along this journey that word count isn’t everything.

View Mike Wells’ story regarding his novel ‘Wild Child’, which he was asked to add 15,000 extra words to by his first literary agent, because of some rules in relation to the cost of paper and cardboard boxes. He did this and after it was read by his readers, they had to admit that it ruined the story. This lead to him self publishing the book and its’ success is a story in itself; an inspirational one for any writer starting out – a moral that a word limit really isn’t everything and to perservere.

However, a word count is a nice target to set your sight on to motivate you, just don’t let it stop you from going with the natural flow of the story.

Stop if you feel it is going nowhere. Have a break and go back to it. It’s amazing what ideas you come up with in that break, especially if you take a drive out – you may be surprised what you come across in a half hour trip out in the car.)

So, after two months of trying to make time nearly every day (bar a few) to write; Miss Pooshoe has completed first draft stage.

But what now?

Well, she is getting entered into a competition for the end of March so I need to edit the first two Chapter’s first for this.

Depending on the competition outcome, if unsuccussful I will then send this off to Literary Agents to see if anyone would like to represent me and get this thing published.

If not, I will resort to Self Publishing.

So, for now, Miss Pooshoe is getting put to bed for a couple of weeks before I  do the editing – the part like Mr King says where you take out all the bits that aren’t the story. This will no doubt affect my word count and may see it plummet!

Oh well, a story is a story.

On to the next challenge….

Love Missuswolf xxx

The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins

TUESDAY 28TH FEBRUARY 2012

 

I read The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins  on the recommendation of a very good friend who kindly let meMissuswolf The Hunger Games book borrow their book. Like myself, he loves his books and his writing and I finally got round to reading The Stand by Stephen King last year – again which he let me borrow (and I still have ooops! I will return all these I promise Andy!)

Actually, this book reminds me ofThe Standin a way as it is all about the fight for survival.

The Hunger Games is set in the future in Panem; where there is a Capitol and twelve Districts. Each year, there is a reaping in which twelve boys and twelve girls aged 12-18 are chosen by a system of names in glass bowl that are drawn at random. They then have to compete in The Hunger Games – a fight to the death – as there can only be one winner.

The scene in which the draw takes place reminded me of a short piece of writing I studied in my Creative Writing Class last year – Shirley Jackson ‘The Lottery’.

I have had this book a few weeks just lying patiently by my bed, waiting for me to finish New Moon on my Kindle (which I still haven’t – 90% of the way there though.)

So, last night, I thought hummm…I will just read a couple of pages ofThe Hunger Gamesbefore I go to bed.

Three hours later and about 150 or so pages in I was still lying curled up at 1am this morning unable to put it down.

Even once I dragged myself away from it and made the painful decision to turn the bedside lamp off, I lay there thinking about it for most of the night, eventually drifting to sleep. In hindsight, I should have stayed up and devoured the whole novel

So, first thing this morning – pot of coffee on and snuggled on the settee, all plans of housework abolished as I settled in to read another hundred or so pages.

I eventually prised myself off the settee, had a shower and did some writing on my own novel (another 2,000 or so words on my Novel Project 2012 – reading really does help you write.) After that I went to the gym, but not before fitting in a few more pages.

I have then sat this evening and consumed every last word in this book, including the Author Interview at the end.

I had  to. There was no other choice; I so desperately wanted to know what happened.

The storyline itself is very thought-provoking and had a similar effect on me as to what The Stand did; although it is highly unlikely to happen – but what if?  Panem – The Capitol and the Districts have risen out of disasters that destroyed North America, not too dissimilar to what happens in The Stand. Things like this really dig deep with me and burrow in, that one day a disaster could strike and it is left to the survival of the fittest (which I fear I may not be one!)

It was these thoughts in that respect that kept me wide awake, as well as the suspense that is present from beginning to end; what is happening next? Where can this lead? How on earth is it going to end?

It is told from the perspective of Katniss Everdeen and you really do experience the turbulent turmoil of emotions she goes through. At times I felt my heart beating fast and I was on edge with suspense, my mind working overtime and what could possibly happen.

It’s not hard to see why this has been made a film, which is actually out on March 23 2012.

And this is only the first book in a trilogy!  I may need to cross out two days in my diary as ‘duvet days’ and dedicate them both to the next two!

As soon as I completed the book I fired up the laptop to record my thoughts on here – for anyone who will listen but more to remind me what I thought and felt about the story.

A must, must must read!

Love Missuswolf xxx

Novel Project 2012…..the 70k post!

SATURDAY 25TH FEBRUARY 2012

Good Afternoon everyone!

Yesterday saw me hit 70,065 words that I have managed to scribble away since January 1st 2012.

Since I started writing this novel I have purchased a USB Memory Stick to back up my precious little story (prior to this purchase, I was resulting to backing it up by sending it to my email account. However, my OCD and paranoia still has me tempted to triple back this up by still firing copies to my email.)

It has also had a change of title. After discussions with my mum on what I had originally planned for the title, I felt it gave too much away towards my intended ending. We came to the conclusion that it appeared to be too specific and, from a marketing point of view, it had a seasonal title and therefore would be less likely to be read all year round.

The new title is very intriguing to say the least, extremely relevant to one of the running themes and, to all close friends, very relative and amusant.  I may reveal it when I have reached my goal.

In the past few chapters I have written, I have used my own ridiculous experiences as well as things that I have come across recently in my everyday life. Some very helpful words of advice from a blog that I follow; MissyBiozarre and her post on The Importance of Doing Mindless Tasks. Our brains are sponges that soak up things daily and if we tune in to it, stories can develop.

Only yesterday I witnessed an incident at the local supermarket where there were nearly handbags flying at the self checkout between two women. Needless to say, I went straight home and easily added this into one of my Chapter’s. Fab words of advice for any budding writer; watch, listen, absorb..WRITE!

I now have five days (including today) to reach my goal.

So back to writing I go.

Love Missuswolf xxx

FEBRUARY FREEBIE! – A chance to win a copy of The Ruby Of Egypt

THURSDAY 08TH MARCH 2012 – UPDATE

Evening All!

Unfortunately, no-one won this competition boohoo sob!

However, rather than let the prize go to waste (and I still convince myself that a small group of people may be interested in my blog ramblings and that they either already had my book ;- ), were on the wrong continent or missed the deadline) I am still going to inflict my freebie on the world – just by doing a random prize draw of persons who ‘Like’ my Facebook Page (Current FB page likers watch out! You may have this book coming your way yet!)

So – easy peasy – whatever part of the world you are in, just click ‘Like’ to be inflicted with my FB ramblings also and you may receive this lonely freebie looking for a loving, warm home to be nurtured by a book lover.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gemma-Wilford-Book-Page/248547601852969  

Prize Draw takes place March 19th.

Love Missuswolf xxx

SUNDAY 19TH FEBRUARY 2012

Happy Sunday everyone!

To celebrate the fact that it’s nearly the end of Feb and that we are slowly inching closer towards longer days and brighter nights, I am kick starting Spring by giving away a FREE copy of my children’s book ‘The Ruby of Egypt’.

All you have to do is answer the question below and email your answer, along with your name and address to gemma_wilford@yahoo.com.

QUESTION TIME!

As you may have noticed, I have taken to using mugs that are 1950’s themed in a couple of my pics. There is one featured on this page.

There are a couple of pages on my blog that feature a mug in their picture; find one of the blog post’s and let me know the title of the post and what is written on the mug.

The closing date is February 29th 2012, entries open to UK residents only.

The winner will be picked at random and notified by email on 1st March 2012 and also featured on this blog.

Good Luck!

Love Missuswolf xxx

Guest Post: Sarah Phinn – Random Acts of Kindness

WEDNESDAY 15TH FEBRUARY 2012

Today’s Word’s Of Wisdom are Random Acts of Kindness.

What way to start with a Random Act of Kindness by Sarah Phinn, allowing us to use her blog post.

You can follow her blog http://sarahphinn.wordpress.com/

Love Missuswolf xxx

Random Acts of Kindness

An article by Sarah Phinn

Missuswolf random acts of kindness cat and human holding hands

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. ~ Aesop

Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) are becoming more and more popular, trying to create a better world by spreading kindness by simple actions. Basically you practice kindness to others and they, hopefully, ‘pass it on’ by being kind to someone else.

Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love. ~ Lao Tzu

Think of ways you can be kind to someone, someone you don’t even know! Smiling at a stranger could make their day, make them feel good about themselves and as smiling is contagious you could even get one back! How good would that make you feel? How else could you help someone? Another easy one is to hold the door open for someone and smile as you do it. Some people will thank you but others won’t even notice. But the more it happens, people will notice and ‘pass it on’.

Offer to babysit, mow the lawn, clean, all for just the pleasure it would give you both. When you are at the checkout, ask the person behind you if they would like to go before you especially if they only have a few items. Give up your seat on the bus/metro/train.

Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does. ~ William James

When you talk to someone, give them your full attention. It makes them feel better about themselves and, especially with children, it makes them feel loved.

Pick up rubbish – it doesn’t matter who dropped it – be kind to the environment! Take cakes into work for no reason. Be a friend who listens when someone is going through a bad patch. Be kind to someone you don’t like, send flowers to someone just because. Thank your parents, the bus driver, and especially the person who holds the door open for you! Praise someone, say something nice to someone. Be generous with complimemts and don’t forget to compliment yourself.

I hope I have given you some ideas for RAK Week, but remember RAKs are not just for this week, we should aim for kindness at all times.

Love and light

Sarah Phinn

Image from Unsplash

Novel Project 2012 – Another milestone reached!!

SUNDAY 12th FEBRUARY 2012

Well ladies and gents, I am proud to announce that I have hit 60,000 words – yes I am now three quarters of the way through writing my first ever novel whoppeeee!

Although I must admit I was naughty and I did not contribute anything towards it yesterday, after having six days off work and then going back on a ten-hour early shift I somehow managed to just eat my tea before snoozing on the settee.

Not very productive at all tut tut.

However, it is only the third day since January 01st that I have not written anything. I have made up for it tonight despite being at work for ten hours again I have pushed through the pain barrier and achieved one of my goals!

For those who know me, there is a scene I am about to write involving the main female character getting rather drunk at a social club party and an unsuspecting males shirt.

Love Missuswolf xxx

Novel Project 2012 – The story so far ….

TUESDAY 07th FEBRUARY 2012

This afternoon, I have spent a couple of hours catching up on my Novel Project 2012.

Since I began this project on the 1st January 2012, the only days that I haven’t been able to write anything due to commitments have been the 5th and 6th of February. You would think it would be a welcome break after writing every day for over a month.

Not at all, in fact if anything, I had withdrawal symptoms!

So this afternoon, I caught up and I am now at the 55,000 word mark. I am surprising myself all the time with the directions that the story is taking.

In true geek style, I also have a spreadsheet that details what events I want to write about (all comical mishaps that have happened to me) the scenes I want to set, the characters that are involved, what main themes I want to run and character profiles.

I also have a brief summary of each chapter; describing what characters are involved and where the scene is set. This has been a useful tool so that at a glance, I can see roughly what I have covered so far on the novel. It’s also fascimating to see the journey that its taking.

Some very inspirational wise words that are keeping me going – When you write, you’re telling yourself the story. When you rewrite, your main job is taking out all the things that are not the story (Stephen King)

This is so true; I am just as excited as my fingers type across the keyboard and I surprise myself with what I write, enjoying telling myself the story and seeing where my typing takes me.

The plan is to tell myself the full story, then put it away for a few weeks before I do as Mr King says and go back over it to take out all the things that are not  the story.

Love Missuswolf xxx

Twilight – Stephenie Meyer

SATURDAY 04th  FEBRUARY 2012

Yes, gasp-shock-horror, I have only just got around to reading the Twilight Series (I write this bracing myself from the wrath of my Die-Hard Twilight Friends – where I admit I have only seen two of the films eeeek!)Missuswolf Twilight

However, my excuse for not seeing all the films yet is that I want to read all the books first and then watch all the films back to back.

Not much of an excuse I know!

Now thanks to My Beloved Kindle and a portion of my birthday money (that was specifically allocated to Kindle books) I am downloading the Twilight Saga.

I finished ‘Twilight’ yesterday morning in bed (before psyching myself to get up for a gym induction)

I really enjoyed it, although having seen the first film I had that pictured too much in my head and I must admit I am someone who likes to read the book first and then see the film. I like to build my imagination on the book, however this sometimes leads to disappointment when I come to watch the film as it annoys me if films don’t do the book justice.

Well, this film certainly worked for this book and so far I haven’t been disappointed either way, the casting so cleverly done that Robert Pattinson and Kirsten Stewart were basically born to be Bella and Edward.

I thoroughly enjoyed Twilight and I am now starting on New Moon …

Love Missuswolf xxx

Guest Post: Sarah Phinn – FUN!

WEDNESDAY 01st FEBRUARY 2012 
Good Evening All!
As the saying goes; A Pinch and a Punch for the First of the Month!
What better way to celebrate the first of February (another day closer to those glorious spring and summer days ahead, a time of year when the worst month is over and there is gradually light at the end of this dull winter tunnel) than to feature a new slot on my blog with a guest speaker and their ‘Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom.’
The piece is by a lady called Sarah Phinn, who I follow on Twitter (you too can follow her @sarah_phinn) whose motto is ‘Love life, live life.’ 

She has kindly agreed to share her piece of writing and thoughts on the word ‘FUN!’

Get settled with a nice cuppa and be prepared for some thought provoking reading…
Love Missuswolf xxx
FUN!
An article by Sarah Phinn
Missuswolf Fun girl on a swing by the sea
Fun is not just the prerogative of the young – you are never too old to experience the joy it brings. Our lives today can be too structured and serious, we need to relax and listen to our inner child. Do you ever wake up in the morning and say, “What can I do today that is fun?” or do you start planning chores or work related jobs? I suspect it’s the latter. We always seem to find things that are more important to do, rather than following that fun impulse.
Dr Stuart Brown, psychiatrist, researcher and founder of The National Institute For Play, points out ‘the opposite of play is not work, it’s depression’.  So, for our own sakes, we should insist on more fun in our lives. The ability to play – to truly lose ourselves engaging in an activity that is enjoyable – is crucial to our emotional and physical wellbeing. As a child, we had curiosity and playfulness, enjoying the benefits of creative play. ‘It’s almost like a physiological function that can help us live longer, feel happier, more optimistic and immersed in the world, in our own personal and social relationships,’ says Dr Stuart Brown.
The older we become, we do still have that need to escape reality, and maybe fun comes in different guises. Technology provides us with smartphones and iPads etc. which we use as much for their games as for ‘more important stuff’. What is fun to some is not to others, whether we love to dance in the living room, go sky-diving or just go out to get drunk, whatever we ‘play’, we need to ensure we do it because it pleases us and it is not enforced fun.
Routine can lock us into a life without fun, fear of embarrassment can also be a key. We’ve somehow learned to ration fun – limiting it to nights out or at the weekend. Every day of your life should be fun. We are on this earth to be happy – life is too short to care what other people think!
When was the last time you did something just because it was fun? Please share your fun experiences
Sarah Phinn
Image from Unsplash