Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Where have I been?

In case the four of you were wondering where I'd got to, my blog has moved to here -

I won't be posting in the LWC blog anymore. I'm not posting much in litopia either but that's where I will post in future!

All the best


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Where have you been, you wandering gobdaw?

Not sure if gobdaw is a real word. Seem to remember it from Kilcock in the seventies.

I've been submerged in critique-website land for the last while. I've all but given up on
The mechanics of the site are good but the quality of the reviews is so hit and miss that. after a while, I wasn't able to discern good advice from bad. This may be down to the fact that there are not a huge number of active users, certainly not enough to have a decent clump of reviewers from your own genre.
Authonomy was an interesting experiment. Turns out it is mostly fun but does little to improve one'e writing as it is not set-up to provide good, qualified critique. I had hundreds of one-line critiques that varied from 'perfect' to 'bin it' - neither very helpful. The site is a time-suck too, taking every spare hour to keep up with the race to the editors table( even though the forums are great craic). So I ditched that.
I'm now a new member of, where you cannot become a working member until you have posted 250 comments on the forum. After that you ascend, freemason-like, to the next echelon and I have no idea what will happen there(I have bought my apron though).

I'll keep you updated and maybe do a general piece on all the critiquing sites at a later date.

I've continued to work on my children's stories "The Flesh-eating Diplomat from Outer Space" etc but I am losing the will to live with these. I've gone from euphora to deep depression looking at them - so I've stopped looing at them.

I will have to polish them up, though, as I'm travelling to the York Writers' Festival in April and I need something for the one-to-ones with agents that happen there.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Going over to the other side is a funny business. For the select few of you that have been following my travails it will shock you to learn that after prolonged editing I have actually slipped out of the charts, down to position 21. Gah!

I sent off the submission to Andersen anyway and fingers crossed.

I've signed up with a new site(new to me) called Authonomy. It appears to be a writers' networking site where, as a side effect of your popularity, Harpercollins might review your MS.

Within seconds of posting my MS I had a barrage of interest but the jury is out as to whether this is genuine or self-serving. I'll let you know...

Friday, January 15, 2010

Doing my nut in.

Gah! I shot up the charts to number sixteen, then back down to twenty and now I have settled at number eighteen - a full eight places away from a proper review by Orion or Random House of my piece.

The real frustration is that I have reviewed over 50 pieces on and I have only been reviewed 15 times. That is a majorly frustrating deficit.

What seems to happen a lot on this review site is that somebody takes on your piece to review and then just leaves it for four days, at which point the review expires and your piece goes back into the pool. So you've spent four days where you know someone has your piece(but not who) and then you're left flatter than a chapati when your piece flops back to you, unloved.


I have three of the Bubble stories up on YWO now -
Green-eyed Goopers and Eight legged Narls
The Unmistakable Invisible Energy Vampires
The Flesh-eating Diplomat from Outer Space.

Think I'll send 'em on to Andersen press. Chris Riddell is one of their authors and if he could illustrate these then we would be minted. Then again, Chris Riddell could illustrate anything and it would sell millions.

Here goes!

Friday, January 1, 2010

I've charted!

New Year's Day and I have charted. Checked the charts on and I am in joint 20th. I had hoped to rank higher but there is still lots to do and further edits and reviews will hopefully see my piece climb the charts and gain a proper appraisal.

One of my reviewers put me onto a website that might help. WWW.WORDLE.NET.

This site does a pictorial representation of the number of occurances of specific words in your text. For me it helped to point out that I had over-used and abused 'just'. 'look/looked' and 'back'. I would never have spotted this had it not been for the reviewer and I can tell you that the piece was riddled with these words, like lice in what might otherwise be a perfectly good head of hair.

I used to ask myself 'where do I start?' when I sought to edit my own work. Now with the help of I have had nine people tell me where I should start and it has been very helpful.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

further reviews and thoughts

Well, the reviews have reached 6 now and it is mostly positive.

Review 5
I probably should have waited until I got this one assigned because barring a couple of minor punctuation nits I thought it was hilarious. I smiled through most of it, well, except through the eww-factor when the green gooper exploded, but when I came to kakapoop birds, that did it. A belly buster. I had to actually say it out loud to get it though. I still remember when my daughter was a baby and we did the kaka—poo—poo thing. Good stuff there.”

Review 6
Liked this one a lot - it was light-hearted, funny, deliciously silly and full of energy. I didn't expect it to be a short story, don't know why - perhaps the beginning felt a bit like it was the beginning of a longer piece - the detail about Greta, also having a lot of dialogue both made me expect that I wouldn't see the end of the story by the end of the extract (though maybe I haven't...)
I thoroughly enjoyed it and I reckon it's definitely one of the most fun excerpts I've read on here! Oh and the ending was fab! made me laugh out loud. Thanks a lot for the read

Coming up to Christmas now and that time of year where I plan to do a lot of writing because of some theoretical free time that I imagine will fall to me throughout the period. I normally wake up in January, say 'whassat?', spit feathers out of my mouth, shower and then return to work.

Not this year! (I'm laughing at myself even as I make that ridiculous commit.)
This year will be different! (Slapping my thigh and having trouble catching my breath, I am laughing so much.)

This year I will write every night. (Sure you will)

I will you know. (Yeah sure.)