Saturday, 4 October 2014

Catch Up

It's been a while since I've been in blog-land, so I thought it was time for us to have a catch up. What have I been up to these last few months? Well...

*I coped with my second rejection from the WoMentoring Project - and though I was disappointed, the calm realisation came quicker this time: it isn't just about me - it's about what the mentor believes they can help with. And that made me consider once again (I do need a bit of revision every now and then!) that the help I need is when Novel Number Two is finished. And it still isn't. Oops. (It is on track to be finished by the end of this year - but more on this in a mo!). So, I've decided that I will reapply for the WoMentoring Project in the New Year (it is open till April 2015), when I have indeed finished the book. That way I'll be asking for help when I really need it, and hopefully a mentor will believe they can give me that help.

*I have continued to write up a storm...though I've discovered I'm not very good at keeping to writing 350 words every day! I have still achieved over 7, 000 each month (which is what my calculator told me that the 350 every day would total) - it's just that I'm better doing it on my days off when I'm not tired and drained and needing to just zone out after a day's work.

*Being on track to finish Novel Number Two by the end of December means that I need to reset my original target of approaching agents in January - I need to leave the First Draft for a couple of months at least, and then begin redrafting the book as a whole. I am (perhaps stupidly?!) quite confident that the redrafting will only need one or two passes, as I write clean copy and edit each scene as I go - however, I am slapping a disclaimer in place right now: who knows what the book'll need till I get there, so who knows what I'll have to do or how long it'll take me! A realistic agent-target, then, is to submit in spring/summer - so watch this space!

*I finally got round to visiting the Sand Sculpture Festival at Weston-super-Mare - it had been on my to-do list for most of this year - and loved it! I could go on for ages about how artistic and astounding it is and how I want to see it in-the-making as well as the-finished-festival next year - but I'll just say this: the theme was 'Once Upon a Time' and featured fairytale and story characters - and when we got to the Aladdin sculpture, I was touched:

To me (though I don't know for sure), this is an artist's tribute to Robin Williams - the Genie sketched in beside the boy he helped, just as Robin Williams helped many of us to smile and laugh.

*After sadly losing our beloved cat Gizmo in January, we warmly welcomed our new cat Ebony in April...only it took her a while to settle in! She was a farm kitten, you see, completely un-socialised and brought in to the animal shelter at 3 months old; they worked with her for another 7 months, and tried to find her a home, but each time she was overlooked. It could have been that she was nervous and shy, or it could have been that she is black (yes, people don't want black cats, apparently) - or it could have been that she was waiting for me :0) When I first met her, she was 10 months old and had never played with a toy before (not through want of trying from the shelter staff, mind!). It took half an hour of encouragement, but eventually Ebony made her first ever paw-swipe at a wand-toy, and that was it. She was mine, and I was hers. Yet when we brought her home, she hid for the first couple of weeks...oh dear!

However, we are now just over five months on, and she has well and truly settled down and settled in. She does not hide any more, though she will always be a run-scared not a stand-your-ground kind of cat. She comes when I call her, loves to be smoothed and fussed, and has the loudest, yummiest purr. Now that she has made our house her home, I felt it was time to introduce her properly:

 Ebony waiting for her Sunday lunch - yes, really! This was taken on a Sunday, 
while my step-mum was cooking...

She sat down and the after-eating snooze took her by surprise...

"Are you lookin' at me?"

Life is so much nicer with a pet to come home to, don't you think? :0)

*And after so many years of just eating cakes rather than baking them (!), I'm finally getting this cupcake thing down (thanks to Mary Berry's simple, anyone-can-do-it recipe!):

~ ttfn ~