Saturday, 22 February 2014

Second Edit

Well I've finally done it, the second edit of my children's book Petronella Beetletwitch is complete! Battered and bruised, I've made it out the other end, and better off for it. The whole process has been a massive learning curve for me, having only written and completed shorter pieces of fiction before this.

Petronella is heading off for it's read through and critique now, and then I shall await the verdict.

Editing round three is just around the corner, but hopefully this round wont be such an uphill struggle! Onwards and ever closer to the pivotal point of sending out to agents, not too far off at all :)

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Parting with the Past

As with many people out there, my loft is absolutely crammed full of stuff that I have saved in case we need it again. This week I've been on a rollercoaster of emotions as the floodgates opened to the first stage of operation loft evacuation!

We've been given a 10 week deadline to empty our loft so that we can get our loft insulated, and as it's going to be done for free we couldn't pass up the opportunity. But, the mountain of 'stuff' up there makes for a very daunting task.

So many memories have been evoked as bag after bag of maternity and baby clothes have come down, and for some reason three pushchairs, not to mention the varied array of baby related accessories. Seeing it all ready to leave made me really sad. My childbearing days are over, I know at 34 I could fit a few more in, but as I have 4 of my own and a stepson I've had more than my fair share of mini-blessings. It's time for a new chapter in the Finlayson-Palmer household. Times of change is upon us this year, starting with the clear out and later this year my youngest will start full time school, leaving me without one of my own babies at home during the daytime. This will be a very new phenomenon for me after having 13 years of littlies at home, I've finally reached the no more buying nappies stage, and soon there will be no toddler groups and playgroups to attend during the morning. One of my sources of inspiration!

The kids must have thought Mommy had lost the plot today as I cried as I packed clothes in bags. I explained to them, that each item I had chosen and put on each of them had been special as it created precious memories. But now they must go on to help others create special memories too. The kids loved this idea and actively organised their old clothes ready for new homes. It helped my heartache to see them do this, full of love to share. Knowing that whilst some items were going to charity, others I have found homes with friends with new babies, a warming thought that I'll see those clothes again.

Given time it wont be so hard to think of, after all they are just things, things that I have placed sentimental attachment on. The important things in my life are still there with me, just growing and changing with each passing day, creating new memories and things to cherish.

Today I have parted with the past, but tomorrow shall be a new chapter in Finlayson-Palmerville :)

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Front Row Girl

I love this photo,  it makes me smile every time I look at it.  I'm definitely a front row kind of girl :)

Saturday, 15 February 2014

The Manchester Writing for Children competition 2014 - Writers & Artists

Just entered the Writers & Artists Short story comp. I shall also be entering the  Manchester Writing for Children Prize 2014 which you can find the details if you click on this link...  Writing competition | Writers & Artists

I have decided that despite editing my book, and already in the early stages of two other books, I want to push the boat out a little and try and send a smaller piece out every couple of weeks. If I really push myself maybe even one a week. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, and you have to be in it to win it and all the usual but true cliches! Watch this space :)

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Wombourne Writers: February Homework

Wombourne Writers: February Homework: Poetry! Write a sonnet (14 lines) or up to 40 lines of open poetry or both if the mood takes you. These are as per the NAWG contest leaflet....

Sunday, 9 February 2014


Now, nearing completion of the second round of editing my children's book, and I know there will be a third, possibly fourth and fifth edit yet, I am thinking about where it might go on from here. I've thought about agents and true to OCD form have made a list!

I've spent many hours pondering over agents, and exactly what sort of agent I would like to be teamed with. After all, this should hopefully be the start of a lifetime friendship and working relationship. I've looked at all sorts of aspects from whether or not they 'tweet' regularly or are media savvy, and if they do how much of themselves do they put into this, namely can I find out their favourite chocolates or drink and find a way to weedle my way in lol Maybe not, too stalkerish! But I do seem to be favouring agents that have an interest in social network sites, I suppose this is the way the world is progressing, though I'll always prefer the feel of a good paperbook in my hands to my kindle, though I do own one.

Of all the agents I've looked at only a few have really got my attention so far, I really am getting picky in my old age. But I do think this comes with the realisation of how long term this set up could be. I'm not just going to fling my book at a mass of agents and say yes to the first one that shows an interest. I really want to build a secure partnership for many years to come, there are a good many stories bursting out of my head, not to mention the hundreds still in my notebook that I haven't tidied and edited to my idea of perfection yet.

After putting myself on the line and attending Discovery Day 2 at Foyles last November, I was pleasantly surprised at the agent's response to my first and first page of my book. Normally quite reserved and shy by nature, it was quite a feat that I went in the first place but it has given me a huge boost in confidence that I can get books published too, and not just short stories, fillers and poetry. After all, it's what I have dreamed of since I was a little girl, pen in hand forever scribbling ideas. I remember one of my earliest stories involving a whole selection of Roald Dahl stories on a cruise and the chaos they caused on board.

Very, very tempted now I've got this taste for pushing the boundaries to have a go at applying for Jane Wenham-Jones' TV Show inspired by her brilliant book  Wannebe a Writer.

As they say, watch this space, agents across the UK beware as there's a Finlayson-Palmer about to unleash her recent work on the world!

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Second Edit

Well, January is over after weird and wonderful weather, never known thunderstorms in January here before. February has arrived and I'm the best part of two weeks into the second edit of my book, somewhat slower going than the first edit as I'm really getting stuck into the nitty gritty of the structure and making sure all the characters are where they are supposed to be, and doing just what they should.

I'm over halfway and can really see my writing resembling a patchwork blanket. So many different pieces, maybe different sizes, different ideas and patterns all coming together and being sewn into a coherent whole.

Back to editing...