Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Adventures and Being Brave

I got back from my adventure on Sunday, weary, with aching limbs, a wet tent, blisters and very muddy trainers and jeans, but triumphant. Utterly triumphant. In the four (was that all? It felt much longer, in a very good way. I could stay there forever) days I was away I met numerous challenges and overcame them. This was the biggest thing I'd ever done alone I think and it was amazing. Fowey is my favourite place in the world, and I could spend forever there. Seriously.
So, I camped, alone - and successfully pitched a tent! And packed it up too. Sorted taxis from the station to the camp site.

WENT WINDSURFING!!!!!! Which was amazing. Want to go again now please. And wore a wet suit, went in the sea, which I'm wary of. Proved that I could do it, and only fell in a couple of times!

Went to several du Maurier, or Fowey Festival events, chatted with amazing authors who were so friendly and awesome, wonderful du Maurier fans/experts and other writers, and people who I'd met the last time I was there for the festival and of course the wonderful people I know already in Fowey. I love the atmosphere of the festival, it's wonderful, with people who are all interested in the same thing (Daphne du Maurier!) and books and literature, and it is just so warm and welcoming.

Ate in restaurants alone (the best, and made friends with this adorable little girl) and saw lots of bluebells, which I hadn't managed to do yet this year. Made me very happy!

Basically had the best time, and the sun was shining, which was fantastic. It is such an inspiring place and I found myself constantly scribbling down notes and ideas. I was wonderfully cut off from the world for those few days and it was the perfect break away. I didn't really want to come back! But despite the weariness, definitely felt rested, reinspired, reinvigorated and energised from the whole trip. It was the best. Those are only the things that come to mind right now. But there were a whole load of challenges and things that I never thought I'd do or overcome, and hey I did it, without having to wait around for anyone else, which was amazing. Best feeling ever. And proves to me that I can do it all. Fabulous few days in my favourite place and it was wonderful. Bring on the next trip... I mean, now I know that I can do it....

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Things that Scare You

The wonderful Jamie blogged a couple of weeks ago about opening up and doing the things that scare you. It is a wonderfully honest and inspiring post that I totally relate to and one that you should read (she also blogged the other day about Mother's Day and losing her mother and this was another totally brave post and one I related to so much).

Jamie posts a list of things she wants to do even though they scare her, and I thought this was a wonderful idea.

There are so many things that scare me and so many things I want do. Some are more general, some are specific. 

1.Try windsurfing.
2. Go abroad again.
3. Paris.
4. Do more spontaneous things by myself. Like go to Fowey.
5.Start saying yes to things.
6. Start saying no to things I really don't want to do.
7. Step out of my comfort zone from time to time. Sure I love my routine, but there are many lost chances for things.
8. Start asking for what I want and don't be so damn scared to ask for things.

I am sure there are more things, but that's the start of my list. And I am jumping in with a couple of these this week - I am taking myself off to Fowey for the end of the du Maurier festival tomorrow, and camping (ah!) and I may even try windsurfing while I'm there. Hell yeah. I'm so excited, and wondering why I didn't do this years ago, you know? I hate being too scared to do anything, and part of it is feeling like I need other people's approval before I do anything. So excited!

I decided the other day that I will be one of those old women who goes on holiday alone, and sits in hotel lobbies/restaurants etc alone.. then I realised I am kind of there already!

Here's to doing things that scare you, even if they're only tiny.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Hashtag Am Writing...

So guys, guess what. I started writing a new YA contemporary. If you follow me on twitter, you may have seen all my #amwriting hashtags, with updates about chapters. I am handwriting it, which is very exciting, and have already filled one whole notebook! Onto the second one now, and still lots of story to write. I am very excited about this story. It just seems right, you know? And my lovely CP, Laura is reading chapters as I type them up and is being wonderfully supportive. She is wonderful, just so you all know and too kind to me.

I know, I know.

I promised I wouldn't. Or at least, I did to myself. I think I might have mentioned before that I decided to focus primarily on MG stories, as YA just didn't seem to click for me and was frustrating to write. But, an idea occurred to me the other week, and this character and her story appeared in my head, begging to be written down. Of course I had to obey. I had tonnes of notes written, and then somehow, the first chapter was being written. And now I'm on, what, the twelfth chapter? They're short chapters and I'm handwriting it all because that's how i like to do first drafts (maybe why I'm falling out with NaNo) and I'm loving it. SO many ideas and this story is just flowing.I've put my planned project for May back a bit, although will start planning it next week probably. It's an MG story, so will be very different.

YA, maybe this is just the beginning after all....

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Query and First 250 words of George

Posting my query and first 250 words of George's Garden here for a contest, The Writer's Voice, which I got into! Whoop! Very happy. Thanks to the lovely Heather for emailing me about it. (Find out more about the contest here). Anyway, here's my query and first 250:

George Thackery, aged eleven, hasn’t had the most exciting of summers. He has been banished to the garden due to his mum's illness, and so when he finds a girl at the bottom of his garden and stumbles into another world, he cannot be sure if it is real or not.  To be more precise, the girl is a bossy, ten year old princess, who demands if George likes birthday cake. 

A princess. Yeah right. What on earth is she doing in his garden?

GEORGE’S GARDEN is a children’s novel of princesses, adventure, forests, secret worlds and friendship, for ages 8+. George’s Garden was inspired by the time spent running around my grandparents’ house and garden when I was a child, and is influenced by classic and contemporary authors, including Lauren St John and Enid Blyton.

Chapter One: The Bottom of the Garden
The tatty old tennis ball flew over the hedge and disappeared with a thud. George Thackery stood in the middle of the lawn and stared at the place where the ball had disappeared. Paddy, his spaniel sped off after it.
Sitting down on the grass to wait for the dog, George stared up at the clear sky. He felt as if he was in the middle of a giant blue ball, with no clouds in sight, boxed in by hedges that surrounded the garden. The hedges loomed over the lawns, creating giant shadows, which betrayed monsters and creatures, roaming the garden.
His stomach rumbled as he tore at the grass, crumpling it and throwing it aside. He could think of nothing better to do than walk around the garden, counting his footsteps, in an attempt to devise a new game he could play alone. Of course it wasn’t a proper game. But after weeks and weeks of summer holiday, being told by his dad every day to ‘go play in the garden’, he was finding it hard to think of new ideas.
In the books he read the children were always going off on adventures without the adults, but he was alone. His only friends at school were all away on their summer holidays, and even if they were around, his dad wouldn’t have taken him to their houses or picked him up. Unlike the children in his story books, he just walked in circles round the garden, picking leaves off the trees and shredding them to pieces.