Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Chapter one...

Okay, so this blog may have taken an inordinate amount of time to start working on since its design concept back in 2015, but I am eventually there - here?  Whatever, I am finally writing and thus the 'journey' has begun. 

In fairness I haven't been sitting around scratching my arse for the last 18 months.  I have a very hectic family life (who doesn't?) which consists of a Kevin the Teenager - my disabled son (physical disabilities aside he has no problems keeping up the moody angst of a teen), a WWE Obsessed seven year old - my wilful son (who currently has an answer for everything), and my husband who, quite frankly, should have a tachograph put on his car. 

Last year we decided (I decided) we had finally had enough of living on the outskirts of London with life passing us by at 100mph, and upped sticks and moved to a whole other country.


Where life passes us by at about 60mph.

And it rains.  A lot.

However, rainy days are the most ideal for writing so I don't mind that (my hair, on the other hand, does).

So, how have I embarked on my journey into the unknown?  Well, I saw a tweet (how often does it start with a tweet?) calling for submissions for a competition.  You had to pitch your idea (and yourself) for a chance to win a place on an 8 months novel writing course with Retreat West.  I looked at the website and decided I would like to do this course, having little faith that I could win a place, given the deadline was that evening, I thought I would perhaps pay for my spot.  Quickly determined that was out of the question and set the idea aside.

But as I basted my chicken, turned my roast potatoes and whisked up my batter mix that rainy Sunday I couldn't leave the idea set aside.  Bolstered by a glass of wine or two (ok, maybe three) I took charge of the kids (let them have their IPads) and sat down with my idea.  Zoning out the sound of a myriad of quiz show theme tunes from the eldest sons direction (he never actually lets an episode play, he just likes starting them off so you hear the same snippet of music again, and again, and again) and the roar of WWE contestants entering the ring from the youngest I started to write.

Suddenly I had a synopsis.  

I read it and sort of startled back from the table.  The idea I have had bouncing around my head for some years but a synopsis no.  Now it was there in black and white.  And that was a little bit scary.  So, naturally, I decided it was crap and I was crap and went to sort out the school uniform.  But when I returned to the kitchen it was still there, on the screen, and the deadline was approaching.  Throwing caution to the wind (by not ironing the school jumpers - daring!) I instead sat back down at the laptop to write a paragraph trying to sell myself. 

Now, it's a bit difficult to try and do that when you have been out of the workplace for a while and you no longer need to think about what makes you, well, you.  I have been wife and mum for so long that is what I usually say first about myself.  Wife and mother.  Not that it isn't a wonderful thing to be, it is, I just realised I had to think more about me.  Just me.  Then I remembered one of the key reasons I had postponed my 'writing journey' and this blog was because I started another one.  A book review blog called The Very Pink Notebook and to be honest, I am really quite proud of it.  My aim was to start writing regularly, to read immense amounts and to network and build relationships within the industry.  And that is exactly what I have been doing, was it possible I wasn't quite so crap after all? 

Armed with my synopsis and personal paragraph I plugged it all into the application and sent it off.  The next day cringing at the fact I had not done it several weeks earlier, where I could have written it and come back to it with fresh eyes etc, I decided to forget about the whole idea and next time be more prepared. 

So you can imagine my surprise when a few weeks later I received an email telling me I was in fact a joint winner and offered a place on the course.  After the elation came the realisation.

I was going to write a first draft and in the oh so eloquent manner of the fabulous Bridget Jones, all I could think was :


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