Friday, August 04, 2006


So, here I am, finally finished work for a whole month, my cyst has burst and is almost completely better and the steamy summer sun has hidden itself behind an oversized grey blanket which occasionally wrings itself out and very helpfully waters the garden for me. Perfect conditions for settling down indoors to write a best seller. In theory, yes. In practice, no. I cannot, repeat cannot, settle at all. All I can think about is hitching my rucksack on to my back and donning my best walking trousers - the clever ones that transform into shorts at the hint of a sunny ray. Although I have to say that the first pair I ever owned were not so clever. I wore them more often as shorts and consequently the shorts bit faded whilst the legs retained their original dark beige. One evening on holiday having dressed for dinner (okay, zipped my legs on in the back of the hire car), I walked into the light of the restuarant only to have my husband point out that I was wearing two-tone trousers.

However, before I digress further, here I am, having been given the perfect opportunity to sit at my computer and form sizzling sentences, punchy paragraphs and dazzling dialogue, and what am I doing instead? I'm lounging on the sofa flicking through 'Property Ladder' magazine and wondering how Sarah Beeney gets her hair to stay stuck out at such unlikely angles from her head; I'm trying out all the different herbal teas I have stacked in my kitchen cupboard, such as ginger and lemongrass (needs honey to make it palatable), green tea (needs honey to make it palatable) and camomile (needs honey to make it palatable) and adding 'honey' to my shopping list; and I'm not only answering the phone when it rings, but entering enthusiastically into a conversation with someone from India on the merits of changing my mortgage, my insurance and maybe even my identity (actually I think that last one was a bit suspect).

What I am not doing is writing my book, which has to be sent to the RNA's New Writers' Scheme by the end of August. Which is weird - not the fact that it has to be sent to the NWS but the fact that I'm not writing it, because I love this book. Okay, I'm only on chapter 10 of the first draft, but every time I read through what I've written, I get an excited tickling between my ribs (which, okay, may be due to the fact that I forgot to pluck the pheasant that we had for last night's tea but mainly I think it's because I quite like what I've written) and I can't wait to write on, but then I get up from my chair, change into my walking trousers, load up my rucksack with herbal teabags and take a hike into my kitchen. There, I flick through 'Property Ladder' whilst waiting for the kettle to boil and answer the phone.




Blogger Sue aka MsCreativity said...

ROFLOL!!! Annie, it's so good to hear that you're feeling better! Best of luck with your manuscript for the RNA - how long do you have to wait to get their feedback? (V. interested to know all about it because it'll be my turn next year...).
Sue :-)

1:18 pm  
Blogger Eva said...

I think writing is more of a winter sport, don't you? Judging from our respective word counts, it appears we all find summer way too distracting.

Good luck on the NWS submission, Annie.

P.S. Where can I get a pair of those two-toned trousers? They sound perfect!

5:52 pm  
Blogger Annie said...

Tnanks, Sue,I am hugely better! Regards the RNA feedback - it is fairly quick. Last year, it was only about 3 weeks before it was sent to the second reader, then about the same again before I heard it was being sent direct to a publisher! Certainly quicker than agents/publishers! (That said, the readers are all published writers who have their own commitments, so no doubt it can vary.)

Unfortunately, Eva, the two-tone trouser makers have found a different material that doesn't fade so much - but I can always let you have my old pair if you're that keen! As for my submission to this year's NWS, it's not luck I need, 'tis a miracle - I've only had time to do a partial 1st draft so I know it's not going anywhere - but at least I should get some idea of how it's progressing!

9:54 am  
Blogger Amanda Ashby said...

C-r-a-c-k. Annie, that is the sound of the whip that is heading your way! Get back to your desk and get writing. that you've mentioned the Beeney. Why does she still have those chunky streaks in her hair? It makes no sense.

Sue, you will find the NWS invaluable, because it's the hm&b authors who will be reading your manuscript, so it's feedback from people in the know.

1:15 pm  
Blogger Stacy Dawn said...


so glad to hear you are on the mend! As for the writing, I agree with Eva about it being more of a winter sport. I am struggling through trying to get everything finished while staring longingly through my office window from the outside while watching the children frolic in the kiddy pool. I've been eyeing those Alpha smart thingies for better portablility.

8:30 pm  
Blogger Annie said...

Thanks, Stacy. I too agree with Eva and, like you, have contemplated buying a laptop. Trouble is I need to get something published in order to be able to afford it!

By the way, Amanda, you missed!

11:00 am  
Blogger India said...

Ha ha! Am sitting on the edge of my seat (partly because most of the rest of it is buried beneath a towering mountain of mouldering post-camping washing) and rubbing my hands together in anticipation of the seat-of-the-(two-tone)pants literary activity that is about to ensue...

The deadline is the end of August? As in 23 days away? Do tell me the little word counter worm on the blog is wrong. And forget the herbal teas, honey. What you need now is CAFFEINE.

4:55 pm  
Blogger Eva said...

Your word count metre has been updated, Annie. Thanks, Imogen!

6:11 pm  
Blogger Annie said...

Whilst I am obviously delighted that my literary predicament has provided you with much mirth and merriment,Imogen, I am even more delighted that your observation has resulted in Eva updating my wormy counter - thanks, Eva.

But wait, what is this? What has happened to your smile, Imogen? And why has your skin taken on that peculiar shade of green it adopts every now and then? Could it be that you are feeling unwell? Or are you merely mourning the death of your own worm at 11,000 words?

I've heard caffeine is good.

12:12 pm  
Blogger Sue aka MsCreativity said...

Hi Annie, Eva and Imogen.
Just dropped by to tell you that you've (yes, all of you have been tagged.

Details over on my blog.

Sue :-)

5:18 pm  

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