‘Happy September everyone’, he says happily, not dreading the winter at all, not feeling the onset of S.A.D. Actually, in truth, I love this time of year, crisp mornings, and log fires. And no hay-fever. Bliss.
It’s when I look forward to some good quality, writing time.
I begin with a brief apology: This week’s personal update is a long one. I totally understand if you aren’t interested in me waffling about the process of writing a book. If that’s you, no problem. Emails are fully interactive and you can skip this entire block of text and go straight to The usual stuff at the bottom for your usual fix of utter tosh : )
Just because I’ve written three novels already, doesn’t mean I somehow know what I’m doing. Each book is different, comes with its own unique set of challenges. So, I cracked on as usual. Just like the first downstream book I mapped out the first episode (around 12 to 13 chapters) and began writing in earnest. Some of it’s good (well, you know, as much as I ever think my stuff is good), some of it crap, but that’s okay that’s pretty normal for a first draft. But, the really interesting thing is – only now – am I discovering what the book is actually about.
It’s interesting really, I must have read 30 books on how to write a novel, each one has taught me something new. But only by starting to write have I discovered the soul of book 2. Now, the book is coming into focus nicely and the time travel rules, core to this being a series are starting to fizz in my mind.
So yeah, 20,000 words forward has equalled about 14,000 words back, but nothing is wasted. That’s one thing I’ve learned about this writing gig. I’m confident now in the overall story and that’s a really, really good feeling. I can’t deny it, I wish I could knock a novel out every three months like some authors do but alas, my books take as long as they take. It’s ready when it’s ready. I often think of Steve jobs when facing some of these challenges. He famously delayed the release of products until he was really happy with them. I feel passionately the same about my novels. And yeah, I just compared the importance of my work to Apple. Oops.
There will be much writing and re-writing, pondering, gestation and the expected melt-downs but today feels like a good day to be an author.
Well, that was a long personal update, but now on to more important news….
Introducing Alfie – The Italian Greyhound.
I thought it was about time I introduced you to my writing partner, Alfie. He is an Italian Greyhound and keeps me company as I tap away the keys. He is a very sensitive soul (much like myself) and often groans and moans as I tap the keys. It’s good for me, keeps my skin tough, it literally is like having a critic next to me, almost like he’s saying, ‘Oh for goodness sake, why don’t you just stop writing, it’s driving me crazy!’
Thanks, Alfie. But, he is also incredibly cute. He is pictured here, lounging in front of the first log-burner fire of the year. He stares into the golden flame, with absolute, unrequited love. He is Italian after all, and the cold, rainy winters of England don’t really suit him. They don’t really suit me either, but I don’t constantly whine about it.
As you may be able to tell, I have a love / hate relationship with Alfie. By that I mean, I love him really and would hate to be without him. His nick-name varies from Alfonzo, Alfredo, or Alfonzo Del-Monte Bianco all the way to little sh*it or, my favourite, little sh*tsy.
We say it affectionately, and that’s all that matters.
QUESTION: Would you like more updates of Alfie? If so, let me know. I can include ‘action shots’ of him sleeping – legs raised vertical – in each newsletter if you like… Or perhaps him sporting his latest winter coat.
Sheesh. What have I become?
Cool thing this month…
It’s fair to say, audiobooks have changed my life. They sync with the Kindle, which means I can read my Kindle in bed, listen to the audiobook on a dog walk or in the car and pick it up again later on the Kindle. All seamless. If you haven’t tried it, why not?
Reading / listening
Again, (thanks to Audible) I’ve just finished Book 10 in The Dresden Files – Small Favor. Jim Butchers writing just gets better and better…. Okay, so his books follow the urban fantasy formula, but Jim knows how to get character, plot and sequels (the thinking between action) working together. It feels effortless and perhaps, at times it is. I suspect though, it’s a lot of hard work. So hats off to Mr Butcher, he has taught me so much about writing and being an author; the kind I want to be anyway.
When babysitting 7-year-olds. If you add the words poo, wee or fart into any sentence they laugh. It’s hilarious and addictive actually. Also, a reminder to have fun. Simple belly laughs.
Talking of silly. Here’s a joke that made me giggle.
A woman went to the doctors with a Strawberry growing out of her arse. The doctor said “Don’t worry. I’ve got some cream for that”
And, here is just a small selection of jokes from my readers. Thanks to everyone for playing along. Really crap and really silly. Thanks!
Join the Newsletter
Subscribe to my Reader Newsletter and receive a free copy of time-travel adventure, 'The Unexpected Gift of Joseph Bridgeman'.