Saturday, 13 June 2015

Countdown to the Winchester Writers' Festival and the agonies of indecision

My welcome pack from the Winchester Writers' Festival
It's countdown time to the Winchester Writers' Festival and I'm thinking - shall I take a case or a rucksack? Do I need the battery for my laptop (I always use it on the mains and the battery is in the attic, though according the techie son it should be in the fridge, or is it the freezer, to preserve it). I also went through the agonies of whether it would be easier to buy a tablet or ipad, which would be lighter to carry, but got totally confused and then realised how expensive they are. I actually like the Surface Pro 3 but don't want to spend all that money. So I have been in a quandary. In the end I've decided to take my laptop, probably minus the battery (when would I use it, in lectures?). I don't think I'll have time to use my laptop only in my room (ensuite in the student accommodation). The programme is so full I can't see me even using it!

Having never been to anything like this, I have no idea what to expect. The whole thing is a learning curve. My welcome pack arrived last week and I devoured it several times. The advice for the one-to-one appointments is 'be prepared' (very Boy Scoutish). Am I prepared? Hell, no! I don't know what to ask. What will I be asked? I sent my manuscript off some weeks ago, along with my poem (which I've hardly given a thought to because I'm freaked out by meeting a Literary Agent). Of course I have my own copy of the first chapter, letter and synopsis (the full thing is on my laptop) which I will take with me to the meeting. I suppose I should prepare somehow but I have no idea how to do that. Anyone with any advice, now it the time leave a comment. I'm in dire need of reassurance and anything else you consider to throw at me!

As I hadn't really asked for birthday presents as such (it my 60th last week) I then suggested that I could do with a laptop case if I wasn't buying a tablet etc., so I now have a nice purple one with carrying handles, strap and a couple of compartments, yet it is light to carry.

I'm getting my hair cut on Monday in honour - well it needs it, otherwise I'll end up hacking chunks off the fringe. Then there is the wardrobe. I haven't booked for the award prize night meal, though I understand there are still tickets available. I haven't yet decided whether to purchase one. The total expense of the weekend was a shock and I have to consider it an investment to justify it.

Away from the anxieties of the forthcoming festival I have been writing like mad on my latest project and am edging towards the half way mark. I have fallen in love with some of my characters, strangely the 'not so nice ones'. They are so much more fun to write, or is that just me? Some days I've slogged out my words and others it's just all fallen into place. This morning I sat down and roughed out by hand some forthcoming scenes and feel reasonably happy with them. They will be filled out and added to when I type them up.

Poetry really has taken a back seat. I only have one set of poems out there. I've heard nothing and actually wonder if I should just think them rejected. The results of all the competitions I entered have been announced and I wasn't there, even in the long list. I've also taken a look at my poetry and wonder whether I am actually good enough. Maybe I'm kidding myself if I think I'll ever get a pamphlet published or a poem published in a good, well known magazine. I feel rather fed up with it all, but because I am writing fiction I've not really thought too much about it. I've just decided to leave it alone for now. When I do write poetry it's now often humorous and I share it with my Facebook friends. I did write a couple using my 'random word' method and shared one with the OU Poets on Facebook and another with  Facebook friends. The OU poets thought the idea of random words was great.

The last thing I've been thinking about is trialing Scrivener. It looks like a great programme, if you can get your head around it. I think I might give it go once I've recovered from my weekend away. It might help me organise my writing better. Too many decisions....I never was good with decisions and all I can agree on right now is the decision not to make a decision yet about anything!


  1. Good luck, Heather. Hope all goes well and you find it rewarding and enjoyable.