For a moment, I thought why would I? Or even would I?
I’m having a holiday, friends. Haven’t had one for a year and so I’m off to renew my relationship with the ocean and things nautical. I’ll be in and out through our summer, but Mesmered is taken a small non-post break till January 1st, 2011, when the first post will be the new instalment of The Sheriff’s Collector.
It’s well known that the legend of faery is a dark and dangerous one. Much of it was told as a cautionary lesson to children. Even in Peter Pan, Tinkerbell could be a vicious little thing. Was it Disney and television that made the world of the faerie become less profound as time moved on? More sparkles and fairy wings?
What makes people become collectors? Is it something that chimes in the soul? Here in Australia, we have a marvellous TV show called Collectors. It isn’t Antiques Roadshow styled, although antiques feature. Essentially it is about the collections that people make, why they collect them, even where they collect their ephemera. I collect blue and white Cornish Ware because I love the colour and the stripes and it reminds me of everything that Rosamund Pilcher has ever written about. As a child I dabbled in stamps and then model farms made by Britains (which I still have and which Dad built farm fences for. And stables and a tack room and fed shed.). I collected dolls from different countries too and when I travelled to different parts of the world, I bought a gold charm in every city. I also collect old books that appeal: childrens’ books mostly.
Today on writer unboxed (http://writerunboxed.com/2010/05/10/are-you-really-going-to-post-that/) the discussion ranged over the issue of what to post and not post on blogs, on the assumption that one wishes to be seen as a credible, polite author with a ‘clean’ profile. The comments were wide, ranging from old adages to actual experiences.
Recently Rachelle Gardner (http://cba-ramblings.blogspot.com) talked about writing and being a writer. She said: “It’s a lifestyle. It permeates your life, even if your life is already full with a career and a family and whatever else you do. Authors need to educate themselves about publishing (by reading agent blogs, following Twitter, reading books about the industry) because today, it requires that kind of savvy. It also helps if you network with other writers, because it puts you in touch with others going through the same frustrations, people who understand what every little victory means in a way that a non-writer simply can’t. There’s so much to learn about writing great books and crafting effective queries and marketing yourself via the Internet.”
And I reflected on how much my own life is dominated by writing. Firstly it is something I think on constantly. Whether I am in the bath, cooking meals, doing housewifely things, I am thinking about the next stage in the WIP (The Shifu Cloth).
The only time I don’t think about it is when I am walking the dogs (I am very much in the moment then), when I am gardening (ditto) or generally in the outdoors. Husband and self have a farm and when we are busy with stock, fencing or whatever, my mind is a long way from the WIP, which is just as well as accidents do happen.
The promotion of current publications has, as Rachelle also says, taken masses of my time. Facebook, Twitter, blogging. A blog event recently swallowed me whole!
Then there is reading. I love to read. I enjoy detailed historical fiction, even though I am a fantasy writer. I read a number of books on the craft of writing but I don’t read as much as I would like. At the close of a day I am tired, any spare moment is used to sculpt and create my own work and when I crawl into bed, I can barely read two lines let alone two chapters.
When I do have time in the ‘office’, I do any number of things. Perhaps I read what I have written. Perhaps I edit a manuscript that is in the process of assessment in London (A Thousand Glass Flowers). Perhaps I note down more in my file on the world of Eirie, the fantasy world I have created. Perhaps I add to my character files. The best days are the days I just write free-form. Letting the WIP move on toward a conclusion. Inevitably the week is over and being a writer HAS dominated my life. I think it, breathe it. Gad, I even sweat it . . . so much sweating. Hoping, praying, waiting . . . so much waiting!
Rachelle finished her blog by saying . . . ‘the fact is, the way to succeed as an author is to make it part of your daily life, part of who you are. It really does take that kind of mindset.’ Well I have certainly made it a part of my daily life. But success is a whole other issue and perhaps success is a relative term anyway.
The idea of holding a blog event would have sounded quite odd to me twelve months ago. That long ago I was only just coming to terms with Facebook and LinkedIn, followed by the dreaded 140 characters of Twitter. But on the lookout for ways in which to reach a readership, I came across ‘how to make a book-trailer’ on Nathan Bransford’s blog. Of course I couldn’t on my own, because technology and I don’t speak in the same language and so my brother (who runs a production house) did it to my brief. After that I felt ‘challenge’ biting at my heels and on reading all my favourite historical fiction blogs, came across the amaaaaazzzing vvb32 who seems to run brilliant events on a weekly basis.
We are offering a pre-ball competition in the form of a scavenger hunt. Find the following and email your answers via the contact page of http://www.pruebatten.com There are ten objects to be found. Nine of the questions are listed here and you can submit your nine answers by quoting the chapter title before the Ball on any day. The tenth object to be found will be listed as the first endeavour on the night and the first person in with the correct ten to the comments section on the night will win the prize.
THE MASKED BALL PROGRAMME:
Saturday May 1st, 10pm-midnight London time.
We suggest you use this time converter to work out the exact time in your part of the world so that you can log onto Mesmered and not miss a moment. And we also wish to say that as the evening progresses and as you all (we hope) become involved in the inevitable chat and gossip behind hands, pillars and aspidistras that happens at Balls, the timing may slow down and the event placements may even change a little. We also hope that by releasing the programme at this stage, that it gives you time to prepare the writing challenges that you have proved are within your ambit.