Tuesday, 20 March 2012


Just a quickie!
I now have a regular Blog on Hastings Online Times! 'CHEAPSKATE' My guide to living frugally! Please take a peep and while you're there have a look around - it's a fantastic guide to our wonderful and diverse Hastings Town. Great for locals and visitors! http://hastingsonlinetimes.co.uk/category/hot-blogs/cheapskate 

Great Logo designed especially for my Hastings Online Blog by Cathy Simpson

Saturday, 17 March 2012


It's gone. Now I have that constant niggling feeling that I have sent the wrong version, or, as I dreamt last night, I sent the first 5000 words of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' convinced that they wouldn't recognise the story or characters Titania and Bottom - common as they are - and award me first prize!

I really MUST stop thinking about it now, it's done!

Next I am working on the children's book I had started just before this competition was announced and couldn't use as my entry as the only genre not accepted was children's fiction. Thanks to the competition though I have a far clearer plan of how to go about writing a novel. I am a novice noveller so any pointers in the right direction are more than welcome. I'm sure that every writer, published or unpublished, has their own way of working but for me it was really useful to have the deadline to work to and made me really get my head down and plot out the story properly before going on to write anything. Obviously as I went along there were changes to the synopsis as the characters took on lives of their own but to have an overview was completely new - before I have always dived straight in to the narrative - which can work too - but not as well....for me.

I have also taken another look at a sitcom I was working on previously. It's funny! Sometimes when you go back to things you've written you cringe, I have plenty of things I've written that have that effect on me anyway! But I genuinely think this one has legs - so to speak. Soooo, I'm going to have a crack at trying to get this further developed. I know it's not easy, not even for well-known writers to get projects off the ground but if you don't try then you certainly won't get anywhere. With this in mind I'm going to re-write and tighten it up. 
Apart from the BBC Writersroom there are few and far between production companies who will even read your emails let alone your scripts so it's tricky and a bit irritating to have that door not even ajar before they shut it in your face, however I would rather have my toe stuck in it trying than to have never knocked on the door in the first place.

I've entered another short story competition too and also a poetry competition. I feel that if I just keep sending stuff out there that something may come of it - who knows?

Obviously, I still have to actually go to work every day and I still have half pint at home every afternoon so time is not my best friend at the moment. However, when September arrives I will have afternoons to myself as the human dynamo starts full-time school.

Considering the amount of time I do spend writing (every spare minute) I haven't earned one single penny from it, which proves to me that I have found the job I want - finally! Who knows, this year....this 'Brilliant Year' could just be my time and like Mark Twain said 'Just write without pay until someone offers you pay'.
If Mr Twain was happy with that then so to am I !

Monday, 12 March 2012


Well....there it is....on my desk in an envelope all 5000 words, synopsis and biography, just sitting there, just waiting, just.....

And now the doubts!

I have just spent the best part of this year (ok I know we're not even a third of the way through yet, but you know what I mean) brainstorming, story-boarding, writing, deleting, completely re-writing, changing the story (drastically), printing off, reading, re-reading, re-re-writing, re-printing.....to now be really scared about sending it off out in to the world.

Out to a panel of judges......Will they like it? Will they get it? Is it what they were looking for? Have I completely missed the mark?....Do they know how much I could do with the prize money????....No, I know...it's not the winning that counts, but it would be so nice just a small affirmation that i'm on the right track, you know?

It's been quite hard work. Having said that I have loved every single minute of it - really. It's been such a joy to be sat at my computer just putting my imagination on to the screen. A real luxury actually, just having that time. And THAT'S why the money prize money would be so wonderful as it would prove to me that I can do this that i'm not wasting my time - precious time.

The sun is shining right now and just as soon as I finish this blog I am off to play footie with half pint and I will have a fabulous time, but that's not going to last forever. In the next few years probably five at the most he won't want to be seen out playing with his mum...and I can't blame him. I was fairly old when I had him, almost 43, so by the time he's 10....you do the maths!! 

Writing has always been an ambition of mine. I always wrote stories when I was little - not for homework (I never did much of that!!) but for myself. I always made up stories for my sons and I will always be walking around with new stories forming themselves in my head. So, if you see me out and about looking rather vague (ok, ok I know I always look vague!!!) then this is what is happening, be careful what you say at a time like this as you may just find yourself morphed into one of my characters.

My dearly beloved husband keeps saying that it's not the winning and that at least I now have a fully formed story to send out to other agents etc and he's right but, if you do happen to know the judges, put a word in for me!!

All I need to do now is just pop it all in to an envelope, put a stamp on it and pray!

Ok, done. 
Hold on...I just need to read it all once more. I'll send it tomorrow - maybe!