November Roundup

Well November has been an… Interesting month, all things considered. I have NaNoWriMo’d, I have Project 365’d, I have resurrected Bright Meadow, and I have got a new job. Among other things. So what should I tell you about first?

For those of you who do not know what this is, it stands for National Novel Writing Month, and over the past few years it has become something of a phenomenon in the writing world, where people endeavour to write 50,000 words in a month, or a novel. Now, people have divided opinions about this. Detractors will say 50K isn’t a novel – and in modern terms, it isn’t. We publish children’s books that are longer. 50K is, however, a good first draft and an accomplishment no matter how you look at it. Nay-sayers will also say that nothing you write that quickly can be any good, and again, from the publishing point of view, December/January/February will see a sharp upturn in very badly written submissions, but – and I say it again – 50K is still a good first draft. A starting point, and the perfect place for people serious about getting published, to go back and rework. If you DO decide to submit a first draft to an agent or a publisher, well then there is no hope for you. It might be good, but everything benefits from some polish. (Even this blog post is on version 3). But I’ve gotten sidetracked.

50 thousand words, one month, why not? By week two, I had quickly decided 50K wasn’t actually my goal. My goal was, and still is, to get into the habit of writing at least twice a week and to keep the story going forward. And it worked. In the past month I have written 10,040 words, and that is 10,039 more words than I had written in the entire year (or more!) previously. I’ve met some wonderful new characters, and am really enjoying writing their stories. In a complete departure for me, it is chick-lit, and I am finding it is flowing nicely. Differently to how the fantasy stuff I write flows, but still flowing. A few very select people are getting to read it as it goes along but I won’t be sharing it here at Bright Meadow. If you want in on the fun, comment/tweet/email me with the reasons why…

Which brings us to:

Project 365
Getting Belle the iPhone and discovering the Instagram app was the impetus for getting Bright Meadow going again. I wanted to share these little shots of my life with you all! I quickly decided taking a photo every day (a project 365) would give me a little structure, help improve my photography, and make me look around at things a bit differently. I have loved November. Some days, it has been hard to think of what to take (hence more than a few mugs of tea and trees – I might have to amend the rules to limit those as well as to limit WhiskeyCat photos!) but most days I have just seen something and though “that will be perfect”. Tell me what your favourite has been from the past 30 days.

Resurrecting Bright Meadow
Well, you’re reading new content, aren’t you? This is pretty self explanatory. Since moving to Oxford, Bright Meadow suffered till the point where I hadn’t added anything in nearly a year. There are many reasons for this, but whatever they all are, I just didn’t have things I wanted to share in this forum. Which is sad when you look back at all the fun and laughter this blog has brought into my life over the past decade. I have put so much time and effort into this place, it seems a crime to let it die. So 365 is bringing it back! I also want to get more written content in here as well, but I am still easing back into it. Give me a little time, and start commenting again! I miss you guys! One thing I can be sure of, no more Sunday Roasts as they used to be. It just doesn’t make sense any more, especially not with the instant-sharing capabilities of Twitter. Plus, it had just become too much work and not enough fun. Bright Meadow should, above all things, but fun!

New Job
Yeah, the New Year will see me in a new job… *gulp* and *eek!!!* and other petrified (but excited) noises. I’m not going to be at the coal-face of children’s publishing any more, but I am still going to be connected to the publishing world. As well as being a fantastic opportunity I couldn’t really say no to, it hopefully means I will have more mental energy for my own writing, as opposed to being knee deep in other peoples creative processes. Just watch this space!

And that was November! Here’s to a quite December please!