Monday, 28 October 2013

That Time of Year Again

Where has this year gone?

It will be the eleventh anniversary of our move to this house on Halloween. I was five months pregnant and didn’t feel well at all. I remember the removal men arriving and I told them I felt ill. They made me sit on a box in the middle of the lounge and direct operations from there!

I can’t believe that Friday is 1 November and the start of NaNoWrimo, or the November 50,000 word writing challenge. This will be my fourth year. I shall be drafting a novel set in the Blackcountry in World War One and featuring a heroine called Millie. The working title is Millie’s War. If you are doing Nano this year please look me up and add me as a buddy.

I mentioned in my last blog post that I’d made three submissions of my writing work. The first two came to nothing and as I’d heard that the shortlist for the third had been announced, I thought it was three down. Imagine my surprise to look at the shortlist for the Festival of Romance New Talent Award for the first chapter of a novel and finding my entry, as Jayne Hall, “Rock, Paper, Scissors” listed! Squeeee.

I’m all booked into the festival so that I can attend the reception for those shortlisted. It is lovely to know so many on the list. A shout out to Elizabeth Lamb, Catherine Miller, Bella Osborne and Lucie Wheeler. Good luck to us all!

If you’ve had a recent success please share below.

Monday, 14 October 2013


Have you seen my new wonderful cover picture on Facebook. This was taken by my talented sister and it gives me a thrill every time I look at it.

I thought I’d start this blog by recommending a couple of blogs which I regularly find of interest. 
Helen Yendall’s excellent and Sally Jenkins’, both are worth looking at and both feature competitions on a regular basis.

I’m in a strange phase with two of my novels which have both been through the RNA New Writer’s Scheme critique. I think they are percolating! They seem to be running on continuous tape in the background of my mind and every now and then a scene or a new way for part of the plot comes to the surface and I scribble it down before it disappears. I think this is a good thing!?!

Both novels feel as if they will emerge stronger from this process. Have you ever had this experience?

Meanwhile, I'm gearing up for this year's NaNoWriMo. I've decided the novel I'm going to write, working title "Millie's War", written a loose plot and the opening scenes. It's set in the Blackcountry and being as I am a blackcountry lass, I'm already enjoying myself.

I spent Sunday afternoon forcing myself to label all of my completed notebooks. I’ve put sticky labels on the pages to indicate poems, short stories, ideas and parts of novels. Not sure if I feel better or not. I now need to transcribe them all. If you could see the pile, you would know what I am up against!

During the last few weeks, I’ve purposely been exposing myself to new situations and places. This has resulted in many poems and stories. I just wish I was braver at sending them out into the world. I did make a pledge with some fellow writers at the RNA conference in Sheffield to send out at least five writing projects. I’ve managed three so far.

See if you can give me encouragement in the comments below to send out more.