new directions

March 2, 2009 at 8:41 pm (Doing, Writing) (, , , , )

Exciting things are blossoming this spring – Ink & Keys is going pro!  After lots of thinking, planning, dreaming, and researching, I’m setting up my own freelance copywriting business.  Very soon, all your copywriting needs will be met by Ink & Keys – Ethical Copy.  I’m incredibly excited.

Ink & Keys will specialise in writing for the publishing industry and for ethically and environmentally minded individuals and companies.  Book blurbs, web content, reports, advertising, letters, shoutlines – anything you want, I can turn my hand to.  If you just want to follow my adventures, I’ll be keeping you all up to date right here on this blog.


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Creative cogs a-turning

January 17, 2009 at 4:25 pm (Writing) (, , )

I’ve become so taken with Josephine that I think that she’s going to climb right out of her own short story and become a major character in my Tim the Gravedigger novel*!

* I’m not calling these pieces by those names, really, it’s just for ease of reference.

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And relax!

January 11, 2009 at 9:37 pm (Writing) (, , )

I am sleepy. I have written 3,577 words today. When I started, I didn’t think that this story would be so long, but I don’t think I’m even halfway through. Josephine the Klepto Granny obviously has a lot to say…

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Stop writing in 3, 2, 1

November 30, 2008 at 9:58 pm (Writing) ()

So, I didn’t achieve 50k words this month and have therefore not won nanowrimo.  I’m not too sad about it, because I really think that I can do something good with the writing that I did do and I’ve not become so sick of my story that I hide it in a drawer tomorrow and never look at it again.  Some of my incredibly dedicated friends have hit the magic number and good on them, for sure, but I think that I’ve decided that, for me, nano is more of an enabler than a competition.  I’ve enjoyed the challenge and the community, definitely, and it’s been thrilling to watch my word count creep up, yet it’s more about quality than quantity.  Well, hopefully.

Congratulations to all you nanoers out there!

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Happy, happy

November 16, 2008 at 8:43 pm (Writing)

Something very exciting is happening this week and the only clue that I’m giving away is that it warrants new shoes.

So, this nanowrimo malarky, eh?  It’s a bit of a beast.  I, for one, am way behind, but I’m fairly pleased with what I’ve got so far and I really think that, regardless of whether I make it to 50k (and I’m coming down firmly on the side of not, with 12,746 at the halfway point), I’ve got the makings of something.  I’ve got a few friends, however – one of whom I introduced to the whole concept of nano, who is now cursing my bones – who are taking it very, VERY seriously.  Although they are well ahead of the month-so-far target, I’ve heard tell of tears, hair-tearing, and a few incomprehensible, jibbering moments from the pair of them, which leads me to wonder – is nanowrimo good for your health?  I’m enjoying the impetus that nano gives me to sit down and write, but I’m not going to exhaust myself to reach 50k.  Does this mean that I lack a competitive edge?  Probably.  Oh well.

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October 25, 2008 at 5:45 pm (Doing, Reading, Writing) (, , )

It’s been too long again – this is why I always gave up on diaries as a kid.  I’d miss writing for so long and then it didn’t feel like a true reflection of my life/thoughts/feelings, so I’d bin it.  Don’t worry, though, lit fans – I’d never give up on you.

I was in Amsterdam this weekend and then enjoyed a few restful (*ahem* lazy) days at home, so I’ve been reading, knitting, internetting, watching bad daytime TV (who are these Gilmore Girls and what the hell is happening on One Tree Hill?), and making lists of Christmas presents.  I went into a toy shop in Amsterdam and bought five presents, none of which were for children…

So, what have I been reading?  I’m still blissfully immersed in Lorrie Moore’s Collected Short Stories – so many stories!  I’m nearly done, though, and I’ve got The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco lined up next.  I’ve been missing my medieval literature lately, so that might soothe me.  Also, the name Umberto reminds me of a Point Horror novel (shush, you!) I read once; the one where the guy is chopping people up and delivering them to his next victims in pot plants.

One week until nanocraziness.  My parents are visiting that weekend, so I’ll get a late start, but I won’t be out of the country like I was for a week last year, so fingers crossed for many words.  I’m lipsty if you want to buddy me.

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September 28, 2008 at 6:14 pm (Writing) ()

Yep, it’s nearly that time again – nanowrimo approaches!  I clicked onto the site earlier today on a whim, expecting to be shooed away until nearer the time, but it’s abuzz with activity and the forums are whirring.  So, I updated my age and author info and started thinking about my 50,000 words…  I’m determined to be better prepared this year, so maybe October should be renamed nanoprepmo – by the end of it, I plan to have indepth character breakdowns, plot summaries, chapter outlines, folders full of inspiration that will help me forge ahead with my word count rather than looking at a pitiful 250 words and asking myself “What does my protagonists do next?”

Are you nanowrimoing?  If so, please pop over and buddy me – I’m lipsty.

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Dum de dum

September 7, 2008 at 11:20 am (Publishing, Reading, Writing) (, , )

I don’t have a whole lot to say on the reading/writing/publishing front at the moment, but I really have to get into the habit of posting more regularly, so here’s this week’s splurgings.

Publishing: I have been ludicrously busy at work.  Ludicrously.  And I know that it’s not going to stop until Christmas.  This makes me feel tired but not defeated.  In more exciting news, I met John le Carre this week.  He’s nice.  He’s friends with Tom Stoppard.

Reading: Well, I tried to read the new John le Carre, but I just couldn’t get into it.  I was reading an early proof, so maybe the finished novel is more compelling; I’ve got too much on my to-read list to give it any time, though.  Instead, I’m reading Kafka on the Shore by Murakami.  It took me a while to decide I liked it, but I do.  I’ve been told that Norwegian Wood is the one that changes everybodies’ lives, so maybe I’ll pick that up next.  Not that I want my life to be particularly changed, but I do need some writing inspiration; which leads me on to…

Writing: Ha.  What is this writing of which you speak?  It’s not going so well.  I’ve got a couple of story ideas, hampered by a complete lack of drive.  I do have some short story collections to read, though, so hopefully they’ll inspire me out of my funk.  I’ve been knitting a lot recently, so maybe I need to dedicate some word time.

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Drunken writer

April 6, 2008 at 1:45 pm (Writing) (, )

It seems that when I get slightly tipsy, I start getting bombarded with inspiration that I just have to note down before it slips from my addled brain. At the time, I’m obviously convinced that each thought or line is the seed for a heart-breaking work of staggering genius. Oh dear. Oh dear, oh dear. At the risk of embarrassing myself completely, let me share with you three drafted text messages that I’ve saved to myself in the last month or so to remind myself to write about:

“Isolde Harlequin”

“Tent grass toes”

“When I displayed my thinness like a badly kept secret”

What the…? The first one might have been the name of an amazing heroine who was going to capture the hearts of the literary world and earn me millions. Hmmm. The last one sounds like a line of terrible teenage poetry. I think that I might have to get drunk again before I understand the middle one – honestly, I haven’t a clue. Looks like I’m going to have to abstain from the wet stuff if I want the muses to come a-knocking.

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Short on time, short attention span – short story!

February 29, 2008 at 1:47 pm (Reading, Writing) (, , )

I had a sudden revelation the other day – I’m just not ready to write a novel.  I’ve never written any fiction longer than 5,000 words, I don’t have a lot of free time, and I’m finding the task so daunting that I’m procrastinating like a world champion.  The solution – write short stories!  My brain is buzzing with ideas and it will satiate my (nearly) instant gratification cravings.

I also want to read more short story collections.  I really think it’s an overlooked genre.  I adored Dave Eggers’ collection and Neil Gaiman’s Fragile Things is next on my list.  Any other recommendations?

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