Julie's Quest

Hello, and welcome to my blog. My blog is about the trials and tribulations of writing, where we celebrate successes and commiserate our near misses. We tell it like it is here and will do our very best to help you on the road to being published and pick you up after the rejections (they will come!) Whether you are a professional or amateur writer you will find something useful here.

I hope you enjoy reading my posts and will visit again soon.

Happy Writing

Julie Phillips - freelance writer - member of the Association of Freelance Writers - member of the Society of Authors

Monday, 23 November 2009

NaNo and Out!

Well it's just gone 19:45 and I've done 50,226 words of my NaNo novel Sawdust. It's hard to describe how I feel about it: a mixture of emotions really. I thought I'd feel elated, but actually I don't. But I don't think it's actually sunk in yet that I have only gone and completed the NaNo challenge to write 50,000 words of a novel in 30 days. Not only that, but I've done it with a week to spare!

I am going to have a couple of non-writing days now to rest my poor old wrists, which really are feeling it at the moment, and I have been promised a shoulder massage to relieve my poor old aching shoulders by my husband and I intend to take him up on it!

I finished the NaNo challenge in true writerly style by doing it in my new Tesco black scottie dog, red and black and white tartan Jammys (only ten quid and very cosy - I like a bargain!)

Must remember to upload the novel to NaNo between 25th and 30th Nov to be registered as a 'winner'. No prize except the greatest prize of all knowing that I can do it and I have done it! It's amazing what you can achieve when you think positively and put your bum on the seat and just write! I am a liberated woman!

So what's next? After my mini break from writing, I'm going to continue on with the novel. I've tasted blood and I want more! There's so much more I want to say in Sawdust and I can't bear the thought of leaving the story unfinished. It would be unfair to my characters who have lead me down this twisted and fascinating path to leave them in the lurch now. And I want to hold a completed manuscript in my sweaty little paws, just so I can say I did it! I saw a story through to the end.

When it's finished I'm going to tuck it away until after Christmas and then get it out in the new year and give it a read through. If I think it has potential and is something I can work on I'll edit it and try and polish it into something half decent. My husband has already begun to read it and is on chapter four and he's making positive noises about it so far - but he has to because he lives in the same house as I do. If I'm feeling brave when I've edited it I might let some members of my writer's group who are interested read it and give me their comments.

In the meantime I'll be researching the fiction in the women's mags with Olivia Ryan and see if we can't come up with some help and advice on upping our and your chances of getting short stories published - we'll put our findings into practice and see what happens. I'll also continue with my articles. I have two in the pipeline that I'm about to write up from when I saw Liam O'Connell the motivational speaker, and I will be seeing our lovely Carole Ann Carr soon to interview her, which I cannot wait for. Thank you Carole.

Oh, and the seed of a poem was planted into my brain halfway through NaNo which I cannot resist writing any longer. Husband is at work for the next four days (12 hour shifts - grump!) so I'll be up at the school tomorrow afternoon as reading support, which is going brilliantly. Plus it's the public consultation re the road changes outside the school I've been campaigning about for the last 18 months. The council have conceded and allowed the plans to be displayed in the school hall with the council present from the end of the school day on Weds. I'm pleased about that as I was incensed that they'd held the consultation too far away and the wrong times for the parents of the school kids to attend! That's councils for you. But at least they listened and acted on what I was telling them this time!

Saturday, my husband is having his flu and swine flu jabs and we are taking little un to Tescos as she wants jammys just like mummy's! Then we'll be off to the Ludlow Medieval Christmas Fayre, so wonderfully portrayed in Di Perry's article in Shropshire Life (Nov issue.)

Thanks for all your support everyone - have some champagne and chocolates on me!

Special thanks to Sue who kept nipping at my heels and making myself push harder to do this NaNo thing! We truly are the NaNo babes! Come on Sue and Jen, another Wrekin Writer who is doing NaNo! Where we going for lunch?!

A very tired and achy but proud and relieved Julie xx


Simon Whaley said...

Congratulations on completing and you're a week ahead of schedule!

Now all that's left is the editing. I think I'm adding more than I'm deleting at the moment, which is a minor problem!

All this rain and I still can't wash away the excess wordage!

Well done.

Julie P said...

Ta muchly, Simon. It still hasn't sunk in that I've actually done it yet! Mind you, you did tell me and Sue that we could do it didn't you! I shall believe every word you say from now on and endeavour to do everything you say (within reason) from now on. Oh God, I know I'm going to live to regret saying that!)

Ah! You do have a minor problem don't you! Murder your darlings dear!

Julie xx

Lynne Hackles said...

Congratulations Julie. We've never met but I am so proud of you. I've been checking your blog each day to check how you were going and wondered exactly how many words you've written in these past three weeks. What would the total be if you added on your blog word count and anything else you managed to fit in.
Rest those wrists now before you do permanent damage.

Carole Anne Carr said...

I'm so happy for you, a great achievement with this and everything else you are doing. Now don't let the book you have written disappear, set aside a regular amount of time so that it can be submitted! Congratulations, hugs...xx

Julie P said...

Thanks, Lynne! What a lovely thing to say.

I've no idea how many words I've written combined with NaNo but I guess it must be a lot.

I'm enjoying my time off. I've just dropped daughter off at school so I'm going to sit down in front of the TV with a coffee and put my feet up. Then I'm off to the school again and 1pm to do the reading support.

My wrists are fine, just a bit achy but I've been massaging them and giving them TLC. I've got all the ergonomically designed lap top raiser and stuff so should be fine - I always worry about Carpal Tunnel probs and RSI though - saw enough patients suffering with that when I was nursing!

Julie xx

Julie P said...

Thanks, Carole. Everyone's been so kind and supportive throughout NaNo - well since I started my writing journey really and I'm very appreciative of that.

I'm going to have a couple of days rest then will get back to it all. Not sure about submitting it for publication though!

Julie xx

Rachel Cotterill said...

Congrats on the NaNo victory! :) A medieval Christmas fayre sounds like the perfect treat/reward.

(I'm just edging up to 40k, myself.)

Elizabeth McKay said...

Goodness Julie, I'm exhausted just reading about what you've been doing. Well done. Now I need to put my feet up and have a cuppa!

Olivia Ryan said...

Oh, well done Julie - what a huge success, to finish with a week to spare! I'm sure, after a rest, you'll be itching to get back into 'Sawdust' (love the title!) to write some more, do some editing etc. Lots of luck!

And I'm glad you put it 'out there' that I'm planning to re-research the short story market with you. That'll make me do it! xx

Sue Horder-Mason said...

Oh well done sweetheart. Dead chuffed for you and for winning the night away in a posh hotel. Give me until the end of the week and we'll talk lunch big time.

Loads of love and yes, you've done great kid.

Sue xx

Fee said...

Congratulations Julie. Well done.

Best wishes


Julie P said...

Thanks, Fee!

Julie xx

Julie P said...

Ta Sue! Can't wait for lunch - we definitely deserve it - you only have a few words to go now, so I'm rooting for you!

We both done good!

Julie xx

Julie P said...

Yes, I thought if I said it in black and white, about the magazine market research than I'd have to do it so I thought I'd better name you too so we both can't not do it!

It's for our own good, Olivia!

Julie xx

Julie P said...

Thank you Elizabeth,

I've been so overwhelmed by all the support and good wishes since I started NaNo and I'm so happy I decided to do it and managed to see it through to the end.

Going to get my new warm jammys on tonight as high winds and a thrashing of rain of due so I shall be cosy and happy! I hope you enjoy your lie down too.

Julie xx

Julie P said...

Thanks, Rachel, and keep going. You're so nearly there too. Have you done NaNo before? I can't wait til the weekend for the fayre. I went about six or seven years ago BB (Before Baby) and I remember it being freezing cold! I bought a woollen hat from a stall which I'm still using now.

Julie xx

Diane Perry said...

Oh well done Julie, you really have done us proud. It's wonderful achievement and now you know you can write a novel. It's a great idea to put it away now and go back to it. I spent the retreat looking at mine after having months off and it really worked.
Congratualations once again

Julie P said...

Thanks, Di!

Sounds like you all had a great time on retreat. And I'm glad you got on so well looking at your novel. Best of luck with it

Julie xx