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This month has seen a couple of milestones for me: I recently turned sixty and I fulfilled a life-long ambition. I was surprised to find that I quite like the idea of being a ‘senior citizen’. I’m looking forward to all the concessions that come with this age, and now I can legitimately use it as an excuse whenever I make an idiot of myself. The downside is the increasing number of aches and pains, but I’ve been gradually getting used to them over the years. Strangely, while I’m beginning to feel physically old, I’ve still got no idea as to when I’m going to feel grown-up.
For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to fly a plane, and for my birthday present Jacquie bought me my first flying lesson. I was lucky to have perfect weather for the flight, and after some basic instruction I was allowed to fly the aircraft for a large part of the time. The thrill of the experience hasn’t left me yet and several days later I’m still prone to daydreaming about it. Now I have a problem: I stopped working and I’m using my savings to fund my writing career, but I’m tempted to blow them on getting my private pilot’s licence.
The future will take care of itself – won’t it?
Having expressed my fears about social media last month, I’ve made an effort to overcome them and get on with building my presence. I feel like I’m currently on the steepest part of the learning curve; with various accounts set up, I’ve found that I spend a lot of time reading posts and watching what other people do. I still find that I have little idea about what to post for myself. I don’t want to make my platform all about advertising my work (which I’m sure would put most people off) but neither do I want to post inane or irrelevant comments. I’ve read that I should join in with other people’s conversations, but I still struggle to believe that anyone would be interested in hearing my views. I am determined to get it sorted out, and hopefully by next month I will have stopped whinging about it and have something more positive to report.
Meanwhile, I’m still working on the latest draft of my novel; it’s beginning to get into the shape that I want, and with a little luck there will be a few new-found friends on Facebook who will be prepared to beta-read it for me, later in May.
I’ve also been making a list of ideas for some blog posts, so I’m not short of things to do. I just need to get on and write them. I’m envious of people who can dash off a blog in an hour or two, but since it can take me half an hour to write a three line email, my posts will not be very frequent. Hopefully, they will be worth waiting for!
I’m still working on tidying up and re-drafting my novel Given Time. Although several friends and family members have read and commented on it, I still feel there is much to do before it is ready for beta-reading and editing. I’m being helped enormously by some outstanding advice I’ve found on Sophie Playle’s liminal pages website. I would urge every writer to sign up for her newsletter and get her excellent free guide, ‘Self-Editing Your Novel’.
Sophie just edited my short story Scrap Metal. When I sent it to her I thought it was in pretty good shape, but I was wrong! Now, after Sophie’s attention, I know it’s in very good shape. I can’t recommend her services enough.
Scrap Metal is due to be published as a freebie on Kindle in early April.
Jacquie had a birthday this month and as one of her presents I wrote a short story for her. I have to admit I was a little bit nervous about how it would be received: would it be the equivalent of a plumber giving his other half a u-bend? Fortunately, she loved it, even though it’s incomplete – she gets to choose how it ends and I will write that for her. Based solely on the first half, Jacquie is very keen that I should publish it, once it’s finished. That hadn’t been my intention, but I’m happy to do so, and because of her input, I’m pleased that it will be another collaboration. Our first since The Art of Suffolk.
The big news this month (for me at least!) is that my new web-site is up and running. I’m really pleased with the way it looks and works. I hope that you like it too and that you’re enjoying your visit. There are probably still a number of things that I need to tweak and update and I’ll be getting to those when I can. In the meantime I’ve got lots of stuff to do on building my social media platforms as well as getting on with my writing and re-drafting tasks. It seems to be all go at the moment but hopefully it will settle into a comfortable routine soon. I’ll be adding more news as and when it happens so please check back (or save yourself the job by subscribing to my newsletter).
My new novel, Given Time, is well on its way to publication. The first draft is completed and I’m currently going through the process of tidying it up (second draft) before submitting it for copy-editing. Hopefully that will be completed by about the end of April so that publication will be in May or June.
The book is a science fiction thriller. There’s more info about it here.
In the meantime I’m planning to offer a limited number of people the chance to read it for free. I haven’t quite worked out the details of how to do that yet but as soon as I’m ready I’ll announce the details here.