Tag Archives: publishing

Being deaf & not being published

There are some biting comments in DMs on twitter and other places I get regularly about my quantity of work; yes, my blog is not as active as it should be, but no, I am writing a lot more than I admit to you all! 

One of the biggest things that is asked in DM is “why are you not published yet”?  My answer is – personal choice.

Once in 2003 I felt I wanted to get published but because of personal reasons, I refused to go ahead with it, when lo and behold a miracle happened, my first ever attempt at publication was accepted!

I still believe to this day it is a fluke!

I turned it down purely because my mother was salivating over the proposed advance and had already spent my money in her head – I was still very much submissive to my mother back then and I knew that only a small margin of any money I gained would be mine.

My mother tried to force me to take the opportunity but I feigned losing the letter and forgetting which company I contacted, she believed me.

Since leaving my mother to live with Paul in 2009 I had wondered when I will be ready to do so again.  The reasons up until now is purely fear, because although I want the work published as books and potentially made into a movie, the idea of becoming famous is very unappealing.  I know most writers don’t have a lot of glitz and glamour and huge fame, but I reckon it would be sods law that I’d be popular – and I am easily lead into things by good and supportive friends.

I am terrified of privacy invasion, I am prone to panic attacks and I do not like surprises and I do not generally like strangers unless I have someone with me on first contact.

Ironically it is not social phobia, I am actually afraid of myself – for two reasons, I am afraid that I am quite co-dependent and get talked into things whether comfortable with it or not; another reason is that I can sometimes become attacked verbally by people because they think I am being ignorant with them, but in fact I am profoundly deaf and rely on lip reading or people remaining on my left side, to hear them.

Another reason I am not published is because I haven’t sent anything off since 2003 and not only this but because I am deaf and poor at the same time, I have not got a telephone which is OK for me to use and phone conversations I heard are quite common in this industry.  Nobody has bothered to educate me about what is available, FREE for someone like me, so I have no idea what my options are!

All I do know is that on my previous hearing assessment, I was surprised to learn that my hearing levels are so low, that I am eligible for a dog for the deaf if I want one!

My biggest fear other than fame is disappointing people I will work with by my inaccessibility to talk with them on a 121 level and my inability to travel due to health.

Paul gets his navy pension next autumn; this will mean he will be able to afford technology for me to become independent in communications.  This is one of the major reasons why I will not be approaching publishers until autumn 2022.

During this waiting time, I plan to finish six books to final draft quality; this is more doable than you can imagine for me.  There is potential for more finished drafts too, but I am being realistic for now. 

In a few days I will post just for my naysayers photographs of all of my files, ring binders, envelopes and notebooks, so you can see how much work has already been done over the years!  Because there are a very tiny handful of people who don’t believe I work towards any novel at all and that it is all a lie!

I am determined to prove to you how much I have done, this is giving Paul a massive headache, because it is going to mean that the equivalent of 8ft by 3ft of papers are going to be collected for a photoshoot!  I am not exaggerating by the scale, either; I have been writing novels since I was ten years old!  I have kept at least half of them, the others were burned in a bonfire when I lost heart aged twenty one, when I was for the first time ever suicidal!

Happy reading all!

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Tidying up ideas

There are lots of papers all around my house of various story ideas that have never been started yet; many of these papers contain less than one paragraph of what that story will be.

I have decided over the next few weeks to start writing in a new offline journal all of these ideas in more details, so that when I want to work on a new story, I am not sitting there flummoxed about the kinds of things I want in that story and forget them altogether for an entirely new idea.

I am surprised to find that I have 354 known ideas so far and not all of those papers are gathered yet!  If I had been asked how many ideas do you suppose you have lying around?  I’d suggest that maybe it were a little fewer than 90, but not 354+, that’s both tremendous and sad, because they’ve been neglected in some cases for as much as 25yrs!  Some of the ideas I had when I were only ten years of age! 

Thankfully a few of those ideas I delayed, because had I of written them all those years ago they would have been garbage in comparison to the fresher stances I have these days towards them.  Sometimes it is best to procrastinate as sometimes the ideas get better or more solid and real.

I was so sure back in 2006 how I wanted a dystopian tribal story to go, but had I of done it back then, it would have been boring and full of plot twist flaws; these days, the ideas have consumed me a lot and they are showing me better ways to form themselves and I find it very exciting and less flawed.  There is more drama, adventure and excitement in the story and more characters have a proper defined role whereas before they would have been better off not existing – basically, they’re starting to add to the plot now rather than act as a page filling distraction, which upon reflection I realised they were back then.

I am trying to prepare myself to put the vampire aside for a while and make a decision on which novel out of eight I’d like to start writing for NaNoWriMo July 2021.  I think there is only really two to decide from really, the steampunk fantasy series or the dystopian tribe.

It is very likely that I will not get any books published until late autumn of 2022, because of certain events going on in the family between now and then – it would make me a little too busy, with the sickness as well, to start a career until that moment.  Things should have calmed down family wise around then; in fact Paul is almost certain of it.  It is very likely we could be moving house you see, as well, not to mention, Paul has promised me that he knows someone with a pregnant bitch, who’ll give us a puppy just in time for my birthday!  It will be a border collie.

Also it’s my Henry’s 11th birthday today!

Anyway until next time, happy reading!

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Pendulum says go comics

A pixabay image

I used my pendulum today to ask which piece of writing I should send off to the publishers first.  I asked about the seven vampire novels I have written, about the fantasy story based on leprechauns, the horror based on a demon down a well, the pirate fantasy, the two giant fantasy novels or the comic/graphic novel idea based on a post-apocalyptic world.  Strangely enough after asking these and knowing there was at least four more ideas I wanted to ask about, the pendulum surprised me with the comic/graphic novel.

The one I was least confident about, the pendulum picked.

Such is the way of the world, huh?

Because the pendulum chose this option, I am now expanding the story idea to make more than just one comic, just in case it told the truth that this idea would be successful enough to warrant publication.

Crazy I know, but the pendulum has never let me down before on major life decisions – in fact, when I have ignored the pendulum, I ignored it at great peril and bad things happened.  Best to just stick with what the pendulum says, for safety sake!

This pendulum has also saved me a tremendous amount of time with potentially stupid ideas.  If I have a new idea, I run it with the pendulum and if it doesn’t think it would do anything in the future, I simply don’t write it and sometimes that can be heart breaking, because I think some of those ideas were absolutely wonderful!  But then again, as the writer, I have no right to the opinion of what is going to be great or not – because as the creator of stories and art, it is quite usual that the things you lack confidence in are popular with the world and those you are most proud of are shunned by it – according to my own experience and the experiences of other writer and artists I have known that is.

P.S I have noted that wordpress has snuck in a way to colour in cut and pasted words now, yay!

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Worrying about probably nonsense!

Other than the time back in 2003 I have never approached a publisher or an author’s agent, nor have I ever entered any kind of creative competition, whether it be for art or writing; I have never joined a writers circle either.  I have never had any real formal education on writing and not much schooling throughout my childhood.  Everything about me and my creativity is 100% self-taught and badly taught too in my opinion!

I have no idea where all these punctuation marks really should be, I have no idea about my grammar or where a paragraph should start and end, really it is all either dumb luck or a right mess, I don’t know which it is.

I don’t have much confidence in the idea of becoming a successful writer, I have said before and it is very true, I am scared that I will let people down a lot because of my health issues.  In my personal life, I let people down almost all the time.  I am afraid that I will have people wanting to publish my work but will have second thoughts about it because the writer will be a no show for at least 50% of the promotions, book signings and interviews.  In my personal life my health is so bad that a simple two hour shopping spree can set me physically back by three days.  I have more than one auto-immunity problem working against me.

I know in my heart of hearts it is unrealistic for me to have what many people would call a “real job”, writing is a real job if you get published isn’t it?  Despite publishers and agents alike stating they are working towards having more underrepresented writers, how ready are they for those who are bed bound for 10 – 16 weeks of the year?  How patient would they be in dealing with such a writer who is also deaf, too deaf to use a phone and relies heavily on face to face lip-reading, text messages or a representative to take telephone calls?

This is what holds me back in approaching publishers.  My own realism. 

I really don’t want to be told “you have a lot of talent but you are not working hard enough to promote yourself or take yourself seriously, it is a shame you are so sick, you could have gone far”.  This has happened before to me, not in the writing industry, but other forms of work, which is why I rely on benefits.

Is this something I should even put in my covering letter to an agent?  I mean, come on, if it really is like any other job, then who the blazes would ever look at my work twice if they knew that I am that sick most of the time?

Am I being too defeatist as well as a pragmatist, maybe there is light at the end of the tunnel – who knows?  Maybe there is an agent out there who can push someone like me into the limelight and support me in spite of the health problems?

I am writing this for two reasons today.  One is the fact that there has been quite a few people contacting me in the past five years in my email and on private messages on twitter and other social media, who support my work with all their heart and has asked me to send them some of the work and I have not done this.  Many have become active cheerleaders in trying to get me to write regularly and to state how my poetry amongst other things has helped them and other people through hard times in their lives.  The thing is I am too polite to verbally let people down and I don’t like dragging up my health as an excuse all the time, even though that is the primary thing.    So I let it all slide.  I don’t want to do this, I really don’t.  I really want my books out there, I really want people to enjoy my worlds, because I have put my heart and soul into my worlds for a very long time, in some of the series I have written, two decades of blood, sweat and tears have gone into them!  I need to see my characters come to life through actors and actresses on the television as this is the main motivation for me writing.  I have always written the things I have because I have always wanted to see them on TV.  They are things I want to watch.  I am a huge supporter for acting and have always wanted to get into theatre and television myself, as a writer/screenwriter and eventually producer and I know with my health problems that may never happen.  When I was younger I loved going to the drama classes during lunch break and playing with my friends various roles.  I love playing and I believe acting is the only way an adult can still play pretend with their peers and not be considered insane or childish.  The course I was doing back then was after I had a breakdown, my mother was really worried about me so signed me up for a general vocational skills course to boost what she thought was my confidence.  It wasn’t a confidence issue I had, it was severe depression due to something that had happened to me which was nasty and as usual swept under the carpet by her and never spoken about to the family.

When I went to those drama classes, my creativity ran riot.  I became a writer for short plays that we would do at the college together, I also wrote rap songs for my beat boxing friends and joined what was known as a rock choir with my gothic friends, I was a Goth back then too.

I find it really easy to write songs and poetry, it comes very quickly to me and this amazed my friends in the creative scene.  I would literally sit on the table with my legs up, write on my knees a song of any subject they chose and give it to them to sing within ten minutes max, never revised either.  I do this with all poetry even now.  It comes and in a few minutes it is posted or printed and ignored.

If I had someone tell me that I am now a full time poet, I would freak out about the ink and paper I would use daily, because I literally could throw out 5 to 10 poems an hour.

Similar things happening too since I took up my recorder practise; I can play by ear and I have composed several tunes since first starting out.  I can compose a new tune in around 90 minutes and lyrics to go with that within 10 minutes.  I am learning well in how to read and write the recorder music now.  It’s winter now and my chest is playing up, so it’s likely the recorder is going to be put away until April now, which is a shame.

The second reason I posted this, is that I am considering entering a writing competition for the first time in my life.  The Writing Magazine (which I am subscribed to) has a competition which has sparked six story ideas in my head – however, I can only afford one entry.  The competitions requires an opening line which is this “They weren’t like me”, closing date February 15th 2020.  It is a subscriber’s only competition. 

I am running short of money and I hope there is enough ink in the printer, as it is unlikely I can afford more ink before Christmas.  I know me, the story I will choose will be done and dusted within a weekend, then it will rest a week, then I will redo it and it will be sent a month in advance.

Thousands of people will be entering this contest so I know that my chances are slim, but though I am a pragmatist I am also an optimist and I have as good a chance as anyone.  But what I want to know is… is this the sort of thing I put into a writer’s CV when approaching an agent?  If I win, I mean?

Anyway, just some food for thought!

Merry Christmas everybody if I don’t post again beforehand!

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Writer losing her mojo

We all have heard the saying that “writers write as simple as that” and it is really is as simple as that, but most don’t actually do it as regularly as they should or at least believe they should.  For me, I do not write as much as I believe I should because in the last few years I have lost my mojo, I forgot what it meant for me to write and I have done a lot of soul searching in the past year to find out where the passion has gone.

I did something rare for me – I re-read a book, usually I don’t re-read books unless I put them into a reference category but this particular book I re-read and saw it with fresh eyes and read things I didn’t remember were in the book in the first place.  The name of the book was “Big Magic” written by Elizabeth Gilbert.  When I read this book I asked myself a question; “Why do I think I have lost my love for writing”?  It was a simple answer really upon reflection and I would never have gotten this answer if it wasn’t for this book.  My writing became too focused on financial panic, the urge to write as much as I can so I can earn a living because I needed to break out of debts, but instead, this kind of pressure halted everything about my creative mind and I found I couldn’t do anything other than dramatic self-pitying poetry on mass, the stories and the playtime died, literally.

For the word, nothing has been published except for the things that are published on this blog simply because I didn’t want to approach a publisher with such depressing poetical themes, because I still hold to the idea that I am primarily a fantasy and horror story writer, not a poet!  I am also an essayist I suppose, because I like writing and hoarding information I have learned about my favourite subjects, but I am not sure how to become a paid essay writer and I am not really going to approach that as a career until I learn more about it. 

Anyway – getting back to the main subject of this post.  I forgot how to play – yes, even in real life, I have forgotten how to play and to laugh because of my severe depression, breakdown and financial worries.  I became so down in the dumps about my life that I had two years of being carefully guarded by Paul my fiancé because I couldn’t be left alone for fear I’d commit suicide, seriously.  One point it got so bad, Paul had to go out somewhere without me and he needed to ask a neighbour to sit in with me.  To say I am over that now, would be wrong, the slightest thing brings it back, but I am not as bad as I used to be, the self-harming has stopped a little bit and I am more predictable these days; but ultimately, the depression is still there and I am trying hard to find out how to play again, how to feel happy again and how to enjoy life.  I don’t enjoy anything anymore and it is getting increasingly difficult since the doctor is now looking into what they believe to be a very serious neurological problem, either MS or motor neurone disease, but like always there is a long waiting list here in the UK and I won’t really know what’s going on with me for several months apparently.

So, how does one go about trying to find out how to be happy again and learn to play again?  It turns out according to the book “Big Magic” and a couple of other books I have read recently that it is something most adults get out of practise of, that once you start trying to become playful and do things which are generally playful (even if you don’t feel happy doing it or feel that it is playful) you will eventually trick your mind to becoming playful and you will build up a type of momentum.  Once the momentum is built up, you will start to feel a change – well I hope so.

I thought hard about how I write stories now in comparison to how I wrote them ten years ago, was there any notable differences in how I produced work back then than now?

Yes there was a huge fundamental difference in fact. 

A decade ago I wasn’t afraid to be thought of as eccentric or insane, I would play with my imagination and I would share my thoughts and ideas no matter how obscure and strange they were with people around me and then I would write about those ideas.  I used to have a lot more creative friends too, but many of them have creative careers which have made them too busy to socialise even online, some have died, some have decided that they too have lost their playful side and have become super conservative people.

I have also found that my social circle is smaller these days which is amazing because I used to think my social circle couldn’t get any smaller ten years ago, the people who I do talk to these days are very serious people who have a worried look on their faces whenever anybody talks about anything out of the ordinary, even if you were to explain that you are an artist and a writer so it’s not a mental health problem, it’s just my mind playing with ideas and therefore there is a story in this.  You’d be surprise how people like that can dry up your will to be imaginative or to share your ideas.

Some people who have very little imagination tell me that they wished they had more of an imagination and they start to tinker with my story ideas themselves (which I don’t mind) but then they start demanding that they must change my concept on my fantasy worlds because things are just not plausible and that readers are real people who live in the real world and they want something believable, so they start pulling at the threads of my fantasy infrastructure and start literally pulling my fantasy communities apart by the seams.  It turns out that even my perfect all powerful fantasy God is not infallible, that he has other beings that will cause problems he can’t deal with and that even this God ponders who created him and so forth.  I told the person, you are going too deep here buddy, I don’t want to go that way in my story, but they insist that I must.

I became a fantasy writer because I find the real world too boring and predictable for me to want to think about and write, the idea of making a fantasy based novel plausible, to me, is laughable, because fantasy is supposed to be anything BUT normal. 

To cut myself off from such people will almost completely isolate me again, which I don’t want.  But can I really sit through another conversation where my worlds are being shattered write before my eyes?  I often feel like screaming at the top of my voice “Of course this fantasy God has a creator you dumbass, it is me, I am their goddess, I made them, but I am not egotistical enough to put myself in the book as the all-power”, does any other writer go through this?  Or is this situation totally unique to me?

So I am currently on a journey to find “My tribe” as Elizabeth Gilbert puts it and to find my playful imaginative self again and to have the confidence and focus of not listening to those who are dismantling my worlds and to continue with what I had always planned instead.  Which is a shame because these people used to feed me ideas, used to support me, but these days it is just soul destroying.  I have to ignore the world destroyers.

I wanted to join a writers group, but not sure what is involved with those and I am scared to find more people who are like that, once they’ve heard my stories.  I am trying to forget the people who are making me focus on writing purely for financial reasons and try to focus once again on writing for me, for fun, for release and for pleasure; the way it should be for all writers.

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A writer’s thoughts

I have read somewhere in the past, that you are what you read and I believe that. The more I read the more defined my tastes have become, my skills, my genre leanings and this influences my writing and art.
With each good book I learn how I want to write and what I want to write about.
With each bad book I read, I learn how I do not want to write and what I dislike.
I do not believe that as a writer you must write things outside of your comfort zone, I believe you should be comfortable with what you are writing – although on an emotional matter, that’s quite different. You must write outside of your emotional comfort zone if you wish to write fear, pain and heartbreak effectively, unfortunately that means opening up your old wounds.
A lot of the time, I like to write about horror, trauma etc. and each time I do, I open up real and old wounds, this is why I often become quiet as a writer and have prolonged periods of not writing, whilst I emotionally recuperate.
I was once told that writers and artists generally go mad after a time and I believe it, we send ourselves mad for our art and stories because we are constantly reliving the horrors of our past for your entertainment and as a collective, we seldom are known or recognized for it.
I am not moaning about my lack of recognition as a writer and artist, because personally I think that’s my own fault. I think I am generally a lazy person and have not bothered to find myself a publisher or to advertise my work very much over the years at all. On the one occasion I did contact a publisher to see whether or not they liked an idea of mine, I was lucky enough to get a letter back within three weeks, but this terrified me, because they loved what I sent them and praised me highly for it; I never contacted them again, I was worried about becoming famous and at the time I was young and didn’t know about pseudonyms.
These days I am more prepared for whatever life throws at me because I will be totally blatant about what I can and cannot do and what I will and will not allow.
Other than twitter, my blog and magazines are there any other steps I should take to get myself known?
Please comment below.

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Rigorous planning

I have been going through some rigorous planning of a rather complicated storyline for the last couple of weeks and it has almost consumed me; I’ve drawn up maps and personality profiles of the places and people involved and I’ve never been so thorough and I’ve never enjoyed myself so much either.

If I ever finish this story it would probably have to be published in a multitude of volumes for its sheer size, this is all thanks to the inspiring fourteen books I’ve been reading of the Land of Oz written by L Frank Baum, The Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling and the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S Lewis; not to forget also the Dragonlance series of books and the immortal highlander, all of these things are meshing within my mind and are giving me great ideas.

I can’t tell you what the story is going to be about other than it’s going to be a fantasy novel for sure with some horror thrown in for good measure, I wouldn’t suggest at all that it will be as family friendly as the books I’ve mentioned above but I can guarantee that if this gigantic story ever gets finished and published that it would be a thrilling read for generations to come; full of action, adventure, fairy-tale, romance, heartbreak, betrayal, revenge, vampires, slavery, struggles, imprisonment and steamy sex.

Why can’t I share a snippet of the storyline with you?  Well, I’ve noticed I am one of these annoying writers that when she shares her plot the plot loses its magic and I find myself unable to finish it; stories which remain a secret have ended up becoming finished so I am not taking any chances anymore and now I understand why legendary writers tend to guard their stories as top secrets until they’ve finished so fiercely… I think I might end up doing the same.  Do you know that I have started twenty seven stories in the last seven years and I’ve only finished two of them and they were short stories?  All of them were plots that were shared with others and at least eight of those plots were used to spark off other people (who also write) to write something similar to me, I don’t know, call me a snob if you like but that just loses the magic for me and I don’t do well competing with my writing, I don’t like it becoming a contest, and I think that’s why I didn’t partake in NaNoWriMo like I wanted.

I have found which market I want to write for and although I may not become as well known in that market as others who are more diverse I am happy in finding my feet amongst fantasy and horror for adults and fantasy and horror erotica.

I just promise myself I won’t be tempted to get my books published via e-readers because I want my standards to be professional, not dissing e-reader writers at all but the editing is usually sloppy I’ve found (since I’ve bought my kindle and read a few) and I find that unacceptable.

So, forgive me if my poetry has gone on the back bench a bit and please understand I am involved in something a little more exciting, though I will endeavor to try and post at least two poems a week as I don’t want my blog to falter.

I’ll post soon xx

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Old to new fairytale

I think I have finally lost my marbles, given the idea I’ve had about a fairy-tale; I’ve though up my own dark fantasy version of Jack and the Beanstalk and this idea is so great and exciting for me that I am leaving all my other projects aside so I can write this, I suspect it will be a novella size – but whatever, I think it will be hilarious.

Unfortunately I won’t be posting the story on my blog when I’ve finished because I don’t know how that will affect me in regards to getting it published or winning a competition.  I’ve got great faith that this story will be popular and if I win it via competition before getting it published, I will post it here… but before then, I can’t.

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Prosy fiction

I like writing very prosy descriptions from time to time and I was wondering if there was a market for prose fiction novels where there is a storyline but it’s mostly prose, such as;

The sand was warm to walk upon, like a heated blanket, she felt wrapped in a blanket of light.  She looked into the blue skies of noon and smiled to herself, for her love was far away on the ocean pirating his life for her wealth, so she could maintain her velvety fashions.

Her red hair blew in front of her eyes, giving the world a rusty tinge, the ocean seemed like melted copper when it did that, and her thoughts drifted into memories of the last time she was with Timothy.

I like writing like this sometimes, but I sometimes worry that there’s no market for it and that publishers will simply ask me to not to describe things so much, when over description was my intention.

I like reading things like this but not all the time and I was wondering if there’s a market that’s not been touched yet and the reason behind it is because publishers and agents are becoming afraid of new forms of writing (in my opinion).

As a fantasy reader I prefer prose like fantasy books than those traditional types of books.  Who agrees with me?  Please comment…

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Anthologies

If an unpublished writer sent an anthology of short stories to either a publisher or an authors agent, would that be too presumptuous?

I am thinking about compiling about twenty short stories in my own anthology and then giving the whole thing to an authors agent, but I am a little worried that could be writing career suicide, what’s your thoughts please?

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