Tag Archives: My writerly life

Life told in moments: real and imagined

I have been in a reflective mood: as you have probably been able to tell from my posts. Nothing like a new year, new dreams, a BIG birthday and an imminent wedding to do that, right? It is all fodder for the writer, looking closely at our emotions and the things that shape our lives.

I had a wonderful stay in Southend in a hotel that is a Grade II listed building built in 1857. We were in the Estuary Suite at the Gleneagles Guesthouse and they even put a candle in my hashed browns for breakfast! All overlooked by Queen Victoria’s statue.

We shopped, we walked (I did over 23000 steps that day), we did not frequent fancy restaurants but we did something I never do, something I told him I wanted to do. We bought chips, crispy piping hot chippy chips! And then we sat on a bench near the Cliffs Pavillion and shared them! Perfect. Who needs fancy restaurants, a perfect meal to celebrate turning fifty!

After that, we gave two homeless people money as it was cold and it must be terrible, can’t even imagine. Then we walked some more and ended up in Bobby Jo’s diner just past The Kursaal, drinking Reeses Peanut Buttercup milkshake. Oh my!

 

It was a perfect kind of day both lavish and understated and above all happy 🙂

The following morning, after our 7 am walk, breakfast (complete with candle of course) I sat here and I composed more of the new story idea.

 

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I felt oddly close to my grandparents who died in 1977, so long ago, and yet there are here and ready to share our wedding. I was also thinking about my other grandparents as if all are drawing close at this magical and long awaited time. So I got to thinking. About life, its transience, the moments we capture. I feel that I am being guided not to tell the story of grandad too closely, of what happened to him in Changi, although it has to be told in part, but of my grandmother, my nan. Mum showed me a photo on my birthday of her in a stylish long black coat with a hat and Mal said how we looked alike. Imagine marrying the love of your life and then being sent off to serve your country just hours later. 1933. Off we went and every time they said they would grant him leave they needed him elsewhere. The final date he had to come home: September 3rd, 1939 (some six years later having never seen his new wife since they married)… but war broke out and it would be another six years before he came home. Imagine. I feel in order to tell his story, I must tell hers. What was she thinking? How do you go on, what pictures do you have in your head to get you through… especially when grandad was captured?

So the story is in there and being teased out at the moment. It has to be a love story, for what else is there?

On a lighter note, my crazy gym buddies will be taking part in our private spin class tonight in tutus and 80’s gear — yes really! Hensanity! No doubt a photo or two might follow!

So have an amazing weekend folks and see you next week for the final countdown… 8 days…

Fab@50!???

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Common Misconceptions

People think if you work from home you spend the day:

  • Watching daytime TV
  • Chatting to friends on the phone
  • Am available 24/7 for shopping trips, lunch dates and general fun with anyone who asks
  • Life is one long weekend!
  • Can take holidays all the time as don’t need to clear it with the boss!
  • Will one day get a real job

 

What actually happens:

  • What’s daytime TV?
  • Friends know if they call on weekdays including evenings I am working and often don’t answer the phone! Texting is better but will respond in a break that suits me!
  • I do have the odd lunch with the girls (like maybe once a month, like today in fact) but I add the 2 hours out of the office onto the end of my day.
  • Every day is a work day! I only take Saturdays off!
  • If I plan a holiday (what holiday?) I have to work twice as hard to make sure I earn enough to have the time off and while I’m on holiday I still have to do some work and respond to emails!
  • THIS IS A REAL JOB!!!

 

Welcome to my writerly life! And I LOVE it!!!

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Where stories live

Well I have returned after a lovely week in Wales at my old house and am fired up and ready to write.

I have so many memories from that house of mine near Llanberis. It all started off so very sad when I lost Lee, the first night we were there (now over ten years ago) but I made good memories in the end. I learned to write seriously and it is the perfect place for that. And I made the very best of friends there. So it was wonderful to go back, catch up, be there. It was also so nice to go there with my new beau and to fill it with laughter and new memories. It all felt natural, it didn’t feel wrong or sad, just a new chapter in this story we write of our own lives. In the words of a Bon Jovi song: This is the story of my life and I write it every day... and that’s what we do, isn’t it.

Who will be with us when we write the last page?

I live in hope now for the future here in Essex although once Wales and that breathtaking landscape is with you it never leaves. I hope someone wants to buy that little house soon; it is now being put back on the market. It’s a lovely house but it feels a little unloved and so I want it to be the home of someone else who can give it the love and care that I can’t now. It will be a little sad when I finally walk away for the last time, but as Bon Jovi also says (why am I quoting him today, I have no idea!) … every new beginning is some beginning’s end.

One chapter must close for the next to begin.

So I will leave you with a few pics as I reflect on what was and look forward to what will be…

 

 

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Me at Blue Sky Cafe, Bangor where we have had book events and met many times with writers

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The standing stones by Bangor Pier

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The stunning Llanberis Pass in the snow March 4th 2016

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Us

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My little house

 
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My cottage garden

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University of the Third Age

I will be brief this morning and will resume memoir posts next week, but I am looking forward to an event this afternoon, aptly named Afternoon Tea With The Wyatts. It’s organised by the University of the Third age (U3A) in Rayleigh, Essex (close to where I live)  and is ticketed to members. My dad, my brother and I have been invited to each hold a session when we will talk about our lives in publishing. Dad, as some of you know, has worked for IPC on comics like 2000 AD as well as being a Walt Disney artist so Mickey Mouse comic amongst others. He also co-created the BBC Poddington Peas. Website LINK.

My brother is also Disney-trained, but he does other kinds of art now mostly and you find him on Facebook here: LINK. He does the SeaQuest books that are hugely popular.

And then there’s me, I write things. As you know!

So I have a Powerpoint and some readings lined up from the first thing I ever had published (Jigsaw), my winning Bath short story and we will end with Lydia from While No One Was Watching.

So I will report back about it all next week. I now need to go over my talk again…

Did I mention how much I love my writerly life?

Have a good weekend everyone!

WyattsAfternoon tea anyone?

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Work Hard … Don’t Rush It!

I’ve been an incredibly busy time and I seem in  great demand, which can only be a good thing but it does find me having to turn down work from Cornerstones and even some private clients with impossible deadlines. Yikes. But I never do anything half-heartedly and a good critique and good editing takes time. I invest in what I do with everything I have.

Writing is a craft and it takes time to get right; a lot of valuable time. So I am always wary if someone wants editing and it has to be ready like yesterday as they plan to publish it themselves in 2 weeks’ time. Unless it’s because they were let down by an editor I question the sense of urgency, and inevitably such requests seem to be for long novels of like 150K, which is a novel and a half and will take some time. Don’t rush things. All that work so far, and then a rush to find an editor. No. Any good editor will be in demand and may  quote something like 4-6 weeks (or a lot more in some cases) for a lengthy project, because they will have other work lined up first, so bear that in mind. And also factor in time to work on the edits when they come back and it is also worth having another edit or follow-up if a fair bit of work has been done, and if the plan is to self-publish, to have someone proof-read before uploading. So my advice:  don’t rush the process.

I love my editing work, although I still see myself as a writer first, so I would rather turn down work if I have to, so the writing never suffers, and nor does the editing or critiquing, I never rush either of these.

Because I have my little break next week/weekend with the launch of Unthology 7, I am determined to have some time off, four whole days (yay!) but it has meant working into the evenings so I can get the next critique emailed next Wednesday and go away guilt-free. It’s about getting the balance right. But I never rush it. If not ready, I will hold on emailing that report.

But it’s how I roll. I have always been a hard worker.

It’s going to be a break I need with all these evenings and Sundays are also filled with work, this week after a full day at the London Short Story Festival! I also have to meet a client in London Tuesday night to talk about his novel.

It’s a full life, but know what? I love it.

 

Nothing comes without hard work.

Don’t give up.

Believe.

Never rush it.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Common writing errors

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