Friday, 28 September 2007

a spree

For some reason last night after I had packed all of my things away, I got them back out again and managed another near-2000 words up to 2am. I'm so pleased with myself for getting a lot done, because when uni starts I might not be able to keep up! But tonight I can't seem to get any words down, so I'm going to give it a rest whilst I go out over the weekend, and come back to it on monday!

Thursday, 27 September 2007


The one girl who
is now so far away
he never loves
and now he knows why. Because
the one girl who
he would give his life
for is the one girl who
he can never keep hold of.
He is not worthy of
the one girl's love
Because each time she gives
him her whole heart
He ends up throwing it away

Saturday, 22 September 2007

an attempt

I managed a small 397 words today before giving up. It wasn't completely my fault though - four of our five footy teams won on our bets and me an me bro were glued to the television until the 93rd minute haha [only for the last team to draw, boo].

But I feel positive about it knowing that I wrote an awful lot the other night to keep me tied over for a couple of days.

And now I'm off to the Students Union.
read read read

After his lovely email a couple of nights ago I would like to introduce you to Sam Delaney's column and blog, both of which I've been reading and giggling to for hours [yes Sam, it is down to you I haven't managed my 2000 words for my novel last night!]

Get your daily dose of him on
here, and read his weekly "Newish Man" column on online daily mag The First Post here.

Like I said before he's a very funny and talented man and you really should check out his writing, not forgetting his column in Company magazine [subscribe; you know you want to =) ].

Friday, 21 September 2007

an update

I can't believe I've managed to write over 5,000 words tonight, fitting them in with my lasagne and talking to my beloved Joe... I'm so proud of myself! That equals 45,175 words, and 56% of my total novel word count!

I've found it a lot easier over the past few days. I don't know what's made me do it but instead of writing it from start to finish I've been writing scenes that are already planned and because I know what's going to happen in my head already, I'm getting scenes completed and writing down thousands of words in the process! All I need to do now is link them all up!

I'm trying to get as much writing time in now as possible, as I start uni in just over a week. When I do go back I think I'll switch to editing my previous novel, to take a bit of pressure off of myself. But anyway, we'll see how it goes, and I think that's enough writing for one night!

Thursday, 20 September 2007

blog blog blog

Happy Dansi is back =) I found that I've been building everything up inside and just needed to get it all out! So a lovely night in with my boyfriend and a bit of a cry later, I'm ready to take on the world and the rest of 2007!

Anyway, a couple of wonderful blogs for you to check out....

Unfortunately it's long been closed, but I came across Miss Snark's blog a couple of weeks ago and I really love it. As well as being helpful with a bunch of tips for writers, it's also really funny and has really cheered me up.

Check it out

And Tappy Lappy too is another wonderful blog that's just been set up, I'm hooked already, check it out


I'm determined to get on with some more Legs tonight, I've started to feel more positive about it... I've figured that if I aim for 80,000 in the original draft, I can then do more research and fill my novel out more with the information needs in the second draft, and by the end of that draft I'm hoping to have the novel I've always wanted. And then by the editing I can get it back down to a desirable word count.


OO and also, I'm proving to my family tonight that I can actually cook! They've always said that I can't, so I'm going to prove them wrong and cook lasagne, wish me luck!!


PS/ Thanks to Sam Delaney for his lovely email this evening, muchly appreciated!

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

an update

I actually managed 2284 words tonight, before and after work! That means I'm almost 50% through the whole novel, and I'm feeling much more positive about it! Go me!

Sunday, 16 September 2007

miss write - definitely the end

Well, I have to say I am absolutely gutted about there being no winner for the Miss Write competition. [I'm going on the idea that this is true.] After weeks of writing, submitting in May, and then months of waiting in suspense, we find out that in the judges' eyes none of the 2,300 entries were good enough to be published.

It feels as though they have cheated all of us. Surely there's plenty of talent out there, plenty of amazing writers just waiting to be found and uncovered by Cosmoblumminpolitan magazine.

But there we go. Sphere have just saved themselves £30,000, and Louise Candlish has no one to guide to fame, glory... and a complete novel.

My friends on their blogs have more or less already expressed what I feel. I just find it utterly bizarre that there is no winner, and that Cosmo have just dismissed a great competition and shoved it into a little paragraph on page 7.

Again, congrats to all of the winners/runnersup, and good luck to everybody for next year.

And more importantly, let's all look forward to Company's [hurrah!] annual short story competition, which should be airing soon.

Saturday, 15 September 2007

miss write : still not over but getting there

Louise Candlish has posted her sixth and probably final blog for some time on the Cosmo website. Check it out here She mentions the winner will be picked from the shortlist of five, but the question "when?" still ponders.

Regardless of winners and losers I think it's a fantastic competition and a massive opportunity for everybody that enters. The biggest [unfortunately] magazine in the UK is giving normal people like you and me a chance to pursue their dreams and even if we don't win, they encourage us to keep trying. And that's fab.

Ooo and don't forget to enter Company's short story competition that should be coming around this quarter.

Friday, 14 September 2007

an ode to #2 : joe-seph the greatest

I'm quite sad today. I went out for dinner last night with my best friend Joe. We've been friends for 10 years and he's the best; he's more loyal than most of my girlfriends and I can always count on him to make me smile.

We go to the pub quiz and do dismally. He beats me at pool because every game I pot the black. He offers my brother discount on Vans at the place he works. He reckons we dated in Year 5; I can't remember a thing. I dropped a Valentines' Day card through his door in year 5; he can't remember a thing. We nearly dated at school. We nearly dated twice at college. And after all that we've been through [or not been through, as it seems] we've ended up closer than ever and very, very good friends.

And he's leaving for Manchester Met Uni on Sunday.

It's fair enough saying he'll be home for Christmas and Easter but that's not the point. I'm used to going cinema, going for a drink and a drive [not on the same night OC] and having fun. I'm used to him always being there for me.

And I'm really, really sad, to the point where I suddenly can't wait for my second and his first [:gap year] to be over so that it can be summer again and he'll be back home.

He said it's unlikely he'll return to Leicester after he graduates, probably staying, living and working in Manchester. He'll be growing up and moving on, and so will I. I may do my training elsewhere, or if not then I will most probably be working elsewhere aftewards.

I don't like change. Sometimes I'm afraid of the future. Sometimes I wonder, shit what am I going to do if I'm separated from my boyfriend and my friends? Will be life be so much more different than this in 5 years time? The answer will most probably be yes. And in a way it's exciting but it's also terrifying.

But that's life.
And I'm going to miss you.

Joe, I salute you.

Monday, 10 September 2007


I've finally been on the site and understood what all of this is about! And to be honest, I'm rather very excited about taking part... I've never heard of it before, and only came to know of it by reading one of your blogs, but it seems like a really fun idea... as the site says, quantity not quality, and you allow yourself to write crap, but you MAY enjoy it, and may get the whole thing finished!

Can anyone give me more information - have you entered previous years? Do you put a big pressure on yourself to get the novel finished or do you happily sit there creating a magical piece of fiction in 30 days?

I have written 34,000 words for my latest novel over 18 months, so it will be good to see how I can cope and whether I can finish the novel in only 30 days on top of university and part time work! I have an outline of what I will be writing about, but as for the rest I'm prepared to just let it flow and maybe surprise myself with what I can come up with.

Let me know...!

Saturday, 8 September 2007

when to stop

When do you realise that the time has come for you to give up on your novel and start a different idea? Do you plod on hoping that you can come to love your novel again, or do you just let it go? Do you continue with your plot hoping that it will come together and praying that you get better replacement ideas by the time you come around to editing?

I look at my novel and think hmm. There are so many factors that make me love it - it's original, it's on a topic that I'm passionately interested in, and it's sexy and smart. But then on the other hand it's disjointed, it lacks description [see first blog post] and also lacks knowledge.

Maybe more research will help me to carry on with it. I just don't want to continue with it knowing that I'm struggling and not believing in it. And then I don't know whether it's just a phase I'm going through [or a boring chapter], because obviously as a more-or-less amateur writer you're bound not to be confident at times.

I think it's just the place I'm at in the novel. My previous novel was sad, heartfelt and serious, and I really enjoyed writing it, the words easily flowing when it came to an emotional chapter. But with Legs it's the complete opposite: the happy, first chapters were the easiest to write and now that She's got to a certain, broken part of her life I feel I can't get into her head and put out any raw emotion.

I don't know. I am rambling.

I think I may give Legs a break and go back and edit my previous novel, to give me some time to think about what I am doing and what I want from my novel. And then after that break I may start researching more into my current novel so that I can make it the best that can be.

I really thought I was onto something with this one, but maybe not. I already have ideas for three more but I don't want to start those and then abandon them before I give myself to make something of them.


PS// my word count for tonight is 712, all of which may be scrapped tomorrow!
daily mail

I came across this competition a few weeks before it ended, back in June. And I thought, wow, this could be a pretty nifty competition to enter. But in the end I didn't go for it, realising that printing off 300 pages of A4 and sending it off would take up both time and money, neither which I had as I had just finished uni and was about to jet off on my summer hols.

Click here

It encouraged people to send their fiction into the competition with the chance to win a £30,000 publishing deal, the novel to be published in April 2008.

I've just been having a little think about it.... As I read in Cally's blog about the Miss Write comp, they received 2,300 entries, all of which were 3,000 words each. But the Daily Mail sells 2.4m covers daily, so the entries would be well over 10,000, that being a very very minimum guess. So 10,000 entries at 80,000-150,000 words per entry..... you do the maths.

Of course the judges wouldn't read the whole novel before realising whether they like it or not. But with all that wasted paper, think of the trees!

Anyway, out of curiousity I wondered if any of you entered? And if any winners have been announced/when they are due to be?

Friday, 7 September 2007

miss write : cosmo on the doormat

I was amazed by the early release and the postman waking me up at 8am for my Cosmo but also confused not to see any mention of Miss Write on the cover.

Or on the contents page.

THE WINNER HAS NOT BEEN ANNOUNCED! I repeat... the winner has not been announced in this months' issue of Cosmo. On page 270 is the advert for next months' Cosmo and it is not mentioned on there either.

However, the runners up have...

Six months ago we launched the search for Cosmo's Miss Write - the next star of chick lit. And here are the runners up, who win a coaching session with author Louise Candlish, £100 to spend on, a book a week for a year, plus a year's subscription to Cosmo...

Stacey Taylor, 24
From Cardiff, penned 'Sequel Opportunity', the tale of a former child actress choosing between normal life and showbiz.

Elisa McGarry, 23
From Winchester, wrote 'Playing Happy Families', about a woman's battle with fertility, infidelity and insistent old flames.

Gail Haslam, 33
From London, created Kate, the heroine of 'Miss Me?', who gave up her career for love, and wound up single and unemployed - before fighting back.

Nicola Brear, 23
From Barnsley, spun a Manhattan tale of restaurants, romance and riches in 'The Restaurant'.

Kristen Paul, 26
From Hampshire, plunged us into the scandalous world of baby modelling in 'I See You Baby'.

CONGRATS to all of the runners up, and I can't help wondering when the winner will be announced!
one to watch : camilla morton

(Hodder & Stoughton Ltd)

A follow up to her massively fantastic debut How To Walk In High Heels, 20th September sees the release of A Girl For All Seasons.

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Amazon review: 'If your resolutions tend to look much the same from one year to another and you are suffering from the suspicion that someone, somewhere is having more fun that you, then you need something to revitalise your lust for life. A GIRL FOR ALL SEASONS is here to help. This book will guide you through the months with a perfectly co-ordinated combination of culture and challenges. With a monthly muse to inspire, and a suggested title for that soon-to-be-formed book club, dumbing down is so last season.Erin O'Connor, Dianevon Furstenberg, Matthew Williamson and others share their secrets about their favourite places - so the next time you check in you'll know what to check out - while Dita von Teese, Anya Hindmarch and Christian Lacroix showyou how to undress, how to go green and how to appreciate opera. Eclectic, practical and fantastical, A GIRL FOR ALL SEASONS is crammed with fascinating stories, inspiring ideas and surprisingly sensible advice. Forget who, when, why and what to wear. Get ready to wow! Foreword by Manolo Blahnik.'

With the amount of laughs I had with her previous book ('supermarket aisles are the perfect place to practice your glide. Not only do you get to stock up on all your groceries and wow the locals, but you get up to twenty-four aisles' worth of runway-smooth surface to practice on, while being supported by a trolley, the ultimate stabilizer for the novice stiletto wearer. Ignore any funny looks, they are either jealous they didn't think of this idea, or mystified why someone so glamorous doesn't have 'hired help' to do their shopping') I absolutely cannot wait for this one! Her books are funny and smart, sexy and laugh out loud, and an enjoyable read for any chick-lit fan!

I don't really buy hardbacks so I have until 18th May 2008 to wait for the paperback, so if anyone reads it give me your thoughts!!!
the times & chicken house

Is anybody thinking about entering this? The last time I tried to write a children's novel was for Waterstone's WOW Factor, and after I had written it I realised I wasn't very good at writing for such a young audience!

Terms & Conditions and how to enter here

It does sound like a good comp to enter though, so I may give it a try. And you can do either end of the spectrum, what with the audience age ranging from 9-16.

The judges are Malorie Blackman, Amanda Craig, Wayne Winstone, Karen Robinson and Barry Curringham. The winner gets an offer of a worldwide publishing contract with Chicken House.

Deadline is November 17th 2007, shortlist announced Feb 08, and winner April 08.

Any thoughts?

Thursday, 6 September 2007

miss write

My subscription usually means that Cosmo lands on my doorstep a day before the release, so if anyone is interested then the winner should be typed up here some time through the day on Thursday 13th.

And finally we can put this competition to rest and move on with the next one! Although I know there are going to be a million questions in my head - why her and not me? what didn't they like about my work? it is worth sending off again?

If you're not the lucky winner and are wondering what to do, head over to
Cally's blog where there is some wonderful advice on how to complete your novel, and what to do next.

Monday, 3 September 2007

an ode to #1 : sam delaney

I am absolutely in love with this man. In Company magazine [which you should all subscribe to by the way; it is the best that is out there and also runs an annual short story competition] he writes the best columns that I have ever seen; they are funny, witty, and more importantly, absolutely truthful. He writes about women's interest but from a man's point of view, and on the day Company is released each month I find myself flicking to his page first to see what the topic of dicussion is this week.

I waited until October's issue to see what he would write about this month but unfortunately he doesn't have his own page in the new-look Company, and I'm hoping it will be back to normal next month.

His previous columns include:

Sept 07 - More Than Friends - why do your best bloke mates always fancy you?
Aug 07 - I'm Man Enough for Girlie TV
June 07 - Can Women Be Too Successful
May 07 - Argh! It's Groomzilla
April 07 - The Curse of The Mummy (In Law)
March 07 - Male Mini - Break Fear Explained!
Jan 07 - Is It Ever OK For Girls To Talk Ex?
Dec 07 - Twas The Fight Before Christmas

It is worth buying Company to have a read of his page [and because it is actually the best 20-something's mag on the news stand]. He also writes for the Guardian, Ch4, Ch5 and the BBC and also has a book out now - Get Smashed: The Story Of The Men Who Made The Adverts, published by Sceptre.

There's only one problem with this man : he supports West Ham.

Sam Delaney, I salute you.

Sunday, 2 September 2007

a wonderful little find

I popped into WHSmiths knowing that I was going to work a good few hours early and needed something to keep me occupied. And so I found Falling Out of Fashion by Karen Yampolsky. It's true chick-lit - it's funny, sassy and interesting as well as heart-wrenching. And it's, more importantly, readable. It's more true to a woman's life than many, maany other books I've been forcing my way through over the summer.

And it's part of the Little Black Dress [it's a girl thing] books, a new series of fun, smart romance novels.

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I amazoned the collection and there's near on 30 books, all receiving 4 and 5 * reviews. How did I not find these before????! I've been looking for perfect chick-lit books all summer, finding nothing and having to reread Marian Keyes on my holiday abroad.

And now, I have almost 30 reasons to distract me from my uni reading list

Saturday, 1 September 2007

another miss wrong

So I, along with about 3,200 other people, have been sitting heart in throat every time the phone rang in the past three or so months.

That's right, Cosmopolitan's Miss Write competition has had us all sat crossed-legged on our beds going over and over our first three chapters on our laptops, cross-examining every single sentence until we were almost shedding tears. 'They must love that line but I sooo shouldn't have put that in' has been running through our heads as we frantically changed paragraphs only to remember that our entry had been sent and there was nothing we could do about it.

I had the secret hope in me just like everyone else that I would be placed in the competition, even though I knew it was practically impossible because of the amount of entries they had received this year. But it's okay for me to hope, right?

Wrong, now that the winners have been told and will be announced in October's issue of the magazine, out on your news stands 14th Sept.

But it was worth it. I can't wait for the competition to come around again, so that I can feel the same excitement as I did this year, the feeling that will make me work harder and polish better to give me a bigger chance of that dream prize.
welcome to my blog

....something I've been meaning to start for a long time now to help me with the process of writing. I wrote my first [teen] chick lit novel when I was 13, and even though that was 6 years ago, I'm still a newbie to this. In other words, I still can't write for jack.

See, my problem is detailed description; I just can't do it! I'm a dialogue kind of girl. I have a million and one things I want to say, and kind of forget to add the surroundings and description in with it.

I'm a third of my way through Legs 11, my 9th novel, and when it's finished I am absolutely determined to go back through it and rip it to shreds. The funny thing is, I've never, ever edited any of my work. I've simply done it for fun, and to make myself happy. So this time, Legs 11 is for real, and I'm determined to work hard and make it good.

There's plenty of people and sites out there that can really help me and give me good feedback. I just have to be confident enough to take that first step and show someone else my work. For my first five novels I received 2,374 reviews by friends and peers, but this time I want feedback to harsh, truthful and real.

And also, from now on... I'm determined to write more than 11 chapters in 18 months!

Follow me on my journey xxxx