Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Word Counting

The current word count stands at 134,238 and I estimate about another 4,000 - 5,000 to go and of that about 3,500 is in a chapter which needs to be completely rewritten. So I'll be a bit more than my original estimate. This is because I omitted one completed chapter in my first count. Then I have to do a line edit. Tell me again ... exactly why am I doing this?

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Revising and rewriting

I've just saved today's work onto a couple of memory sticks. The current word count for my rewritten and edited chapters (give or take a few bits I have yet to extract like choosing between alternative chapter headings) is 116,333.
I estimate I have about another 20,000 to go. (It has to be an estimate because as I rewrite whole sections get discarded but others expand. Boy do they expand!) In the process I have found some minor plot flaws and fixed them and generally tidied up. Of the remaining chapters one has already been fairly well edited and the remaining four need a lot of attention. But I'm so near the end now that I can almost believe I am going to make it by my self-imposed deadline.

Wish me luck.

Saturday, June 16, 2007


I have actually completed and posted my three homework exercises for this month. This is worth celebrating!

Now I will go and try to sleep off a migraine which has come back with renewed viciousness. Since we are supposed to be going to the movies tonight with friends we meet with regularly once a month - to see As it is in Heaven, a Swedish movie with good reviews - I need to be both pain free and alert. Painkillers will ensure pain free. Alert I'm not so sure about.

This group of friends is something quite unusual I think. Most of us, or our spouses, have known the others since primary school, secondary school or university days plus a few others met along the way since. There are currently eleven couples and two singles. Others have stayed for a while and left over the years but the core has remained. Between us we have accumulated a large number of children and a few grandchildren.

When the children were younger we went away for long weekends as well as socialising and going out together to kid-friendly places. Now we go to theatres, movies, picnics, restaurants and whatever interesting places we can find. Recently we've gone to the Gravity Display Centre in Gingin, the Perth Observatory and on a walk through an historic township among others. We still visit each other's homes and we have been known to party. We're close-knit and support one another much like a family. Virgo was trying to explain the relationship to one of her friends recently and ended up saying, "It's been like growing up with a whole lot of extra aunties and uncles and cousins." And that I think is as good a way as any of describing how we are.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Writing, Writing, Writing.

I set myself an end of the month deadline for editing my otherwise completed novel. It seems silly to be working on the next on for Tansy's class without really finishing the previous one. So I've been sitting at my computer whenever I get a minute and I am progressing. I have another fourteen chapters to work through which equates to one a day and is theoretically possible, I suppose. Unfortunately with all the other unavoidable demands on my time, I rarely have the luxury of more than half a day at a time when I would like to be treating this as a nine to five job. This means after dinner I head back to my study (usually known as The Playroom because it's where I "play" according to my family). As anyone who knows me is well aware, I'm an early to bed, early to rise, eight hours sleep a night girl. I consider bed around 10:30 pm a fairly late night - but I want to finish this so badly I'm crawling into bed around midnight. It's starting to catch up on me too. I hope it's worth the effort.

As well I have two other short stories (begun as writing exercises at my local writers' club) which are nagging at me to finish them. One is almost finished and the other is about a third of the way through. Well they'll just have to wait, won't they, and given the end of the month is only fifteen days away, they shouldn't have to wait too long.

Best of all, I'm finally keeping up with the 100 word a day challenge.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Winter Long Weekend

It has been perfect weather for a long weekend. Although we desperately need rain I'm one of those people who get dragged into the Slough of Despond by too many days of grey skies so a few sunny days with the chance to be outside for a while lifts my spirits. Then there's the joy of sun dried washing with its fresh, clean scent.

Pisces also has a day off work today (unusual because he usually works long weekends) and we've been out in the garden. We've had very little time for the past couple of months to spend any time together so it has been a real pleasure.

I'm actually feeling quite inspired. Yesterday a friend had lunch for a group of fellow writers. Lots of discussion of favourite books and authors, writing techniques and all the other things dear to writers' hearts. We sat in her beautiful garden until the evening chill forced us to leave. Many years ago I used to teach at the secondary school in this area but I had forgotten how aptly named Mount Pleasant is. Then I drove home along the broad waters of the Canning and Swan Rivers where they intersect near the middle of Perth. For the first time in weeks I feel that if I sit down and write I'll achieve something. About time too.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Paris je t'aime

What a wonderful movie - mostly in French but with excellent subtitles. I went with one of my oldest friends and we laughed and cried our way through a series of perfectly presented little stories linked only by the fact that they were all about love (of many kinds) and set in Paris. With a stellar cast including some of the best known actors of France, the U.K. and the U.S.A. playing minuscule cameos, combined with wonderful photography and inspired production, this is to be recommended to everyone.
It has certainly inspired me to go back to my writing with a fresh eye. So much was said in such a succinct and beautiful way with not a surplus moment. That's what the best writing is too - spare and lyrical at the same time. Now to see if I can manage the same with words...

Friday, June 01, 2007

Trials and Tribulations

Since I enrolled in Tansy Rayner Roberts' course a couple of months ago, the Universe has continued its attack on me.

I've been been laid low with a particularly nasty bug, visiting my hospitalised mother, making arrangements to be made for her when she is discharged and all the other stuff of life ever since.

It's not that I don't want to write. I have ideas and characters and worlds buzzing in my head that I need to put down. The problem is partly finding time and but, more importantly the energy, to write. I challenged one of my classmates (who is also having trouble managing to fit in the exercises) to committing to 100 words a day hoping this would make me keep up. I'm struggling with even that workload - and my normal daily output is around 1500-2000 words. I hope she is doing better.

I think we sometimes underestimate the work that is involved in writing. Because we love what we are doing we think of it as relaxing. Pretty silly when you think about it. We play sport, hard, and end up exhausted and exhilarated at the same time. Why shouldn't brain work be the same?