Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Edits and deadlines

The thing with these is that you never know when they're going to pop onto your screen. What this means for me is that the project I was working on last week has now been set aside for a while. Which suits me fine. In between more serious novels such as 'Cape Town' I'm happy to lighten up and amuse myself. Although, truthfully, I doubt I could write a manuscript without some humour creeping in.

So 'Catch of the Year' will be available in ebook format (print to follow later, which is the reverse of 'Cape Town') from early November. The 5th, in fact. Do I hear you chanting 'Remember, remember, the 5th November?' Maybe only those of you in the UK, where it's Guy Fawkes, the big firework night of the year. My husband says the book will come out with a bang. Ha ha.

Over the weekend I took time out to attend a half-day writers' workshop. Brian Henry knows his stuff and I always find myself inspired after hearing what he has to say and working on the exercises he gives. I can also recommend his blog: http://quick-brown-fox-canada.blogspot.ca/

Yes, it's always good to keep learning. Fun too!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Starting the week on a positive note

I'm beginning to accept the fact that my stories need time, a lot of time, to get where they need to be. Which makes me think of Katherine Govier. When she looked at the first chapters of 'Cape Town' some years ago she advised: 'Remember, you have time. All the time in the world'.

What a pity I didn't believe her!

Right now I'm busy with a rewrite of another manuscript that's dear to my heart. Trouble is, I have too many different versions. Looking through them all is giving me brain fog, let alone crossed eyes.

So I've gone right back to basics. I'm bringing to mind again what I really want to say and explore with this book, thinking back to my original inspiration. And that's helping.

Meanwhile, I did that thing authors are not supposed to do. Wondering if there was anything new about 'Cape Town' on the web, this morning I googled myself (more like goggled, as my CP used to call it). I came across a comment I'd missed which really gave me a boost. Here's the link if you care to check it out: http://quick-brown-fox-canada.blogspot.ca/2012/05/cape-town-by-brenda-hammond.html

Scroll down to see the comment.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

SCBWI Summer Conference

I only returned from Los Angeles early Sunday morning, and my experiences from the above conference are still in the absorbing stage. So much food for thought, so much inspiration, which all adds up to a kind of time for reassessing my writing and where I want it to go.

Conferences! First of all I'd like to share one of the last pieces of information I gleaned from a workshop. This was given by Jennifer Bosworth who began by asking how many of us in the room were introverts and how many extroverts. Apparently the latter receive energy from other people while the former lose (or give out) energy. So now I know. I'm an introvert.

I'm telling you this because it impacts my conference experience, as did the fact I wasn't staying in the hotel. It means I didn't spend time at the bar, for e.g, even though I know that's a good way to network and get to know people.

However. I had a really great time. So much of this had to do with a realization of how important children's literature is. It brought back to me all that reading had meant to me as a child and teenager, how the humour in Richmal Compton's William books saw me through dark days of homesickness and depression when I was a ballet student in London; how other worlds opened up to me through Enid Blyton, L.M. Montgomery and so many, many more.

Yes, I met people. The wonderful thing is: connection is instantaneous because you know you have something in common. I attended as much as I could and realized again: you can learn something from every speaker, every workshop, every panel... yes, even the ones on illustration, even though that's not my bag.

Now I'm thinking: time to start saving so I can get to go next year. Here's hoping!