It's been one of those weeks again. You know the ones I mean. It's when you have everything organised and then something blasts in and scuppers all your plans.

Well, that pretty much happened to me. I had my writing week sorted. I was finally going to finish the final read through of my latest romance novel, ready to be published on Smashwords at the end of October. Unfortunately, life had other ideas.

My dad has been poorly for a few weeks now and, although he is improving a little with each day, a chest scan last week revealed a shadow on one of his lungs. That resulted in the hospital scheduling an emergency CT scan. So, as you can imagine, this wasn't exactly conducive to focussing my head on my writing. I doubt that this next week will be much better, as he has to go see the consultant for his results. These are worrying times, but I'm trying to teach myself to take each day as it comes for now. 

Anyway, on a brighter note....

Are any of you excited about the forthcoming Bond film? 

I have to confess, I am a Bond junkie. I just love the books, and am looking forward to Skyfall. I heard Adele's theme this week and loved it. Hubby pronounced it "boring" and muttered some comment about "it sounding like Coldplay was doing the backing". Hmm. Of course, the cynical out there will probably say that the main reason Adele has done it, is because the Bond franchise knows a thing or two about successful marketing. Adele and Bond- recipe for success. And why not?

Personally, I think that the theme has the sound of a classic Bond song with hints of Dame Bassey. It sounds like a Bond theme should. Yes, I enjoyed the last two. However, I think that they tried too hard to be hip, and to fit into a modern world.

And this brings me round to writing...

Do you somethimes feel that you're trying too hard? By this, I mean two things... Do you sometimes think that you're forcing the words out because you're not in the mood to write, or don't feel inspired? If so, do you think that this actually has an adverse effect on the work you're producing?

I have read interviews where authors have proclaimed that some of their best work came out of writing when they didn't want to. I have to admit, there have been days when I've forced myself into my study and, once pen in hand, have enjoyed a couple of hours scribbling and ended up with some half decent material. As someone once said, you can't edit a blank page. Something is better than nothing...isn't it?

The second point to my question is this: What are your views regarding the writing market and, more specifically what you write? Again, there are different views. Some write to fit the market, whereas others follow the path laid down by their writing muse, wherever it takes them.

Of course, the latter might find it harder to find a market. Or at least they would have done in the old days before e-publishing and self publishing became popular. Is this good? I think so. Yes, you can argue that there are a lot of badly written books out there because of self publishing. However, who are we to deny someone the chance to follow their dreams? Besides, I've read actual copies of books from major publishing houses that have contained numerous typos and continuity errors. Thus, it would seem that the poor editing and writing baddies aren't only terrorising the virtual world.

I also believe that by putting yourself out there, not only are you opening yourself up to criticism, you're also entering a world of endless possibilities. Look at Fifty Shades. Whatever your views, it started off as a self published book and has was scooped up by a major publisher. That is a success story.

So, is writing to fit into the market good or bad? Do you lose any integrity by writing to make money? Are there lots of writing "baddies" out there? I don't think so. For those who think they can write to earn a few (or lots of) notes, it will soon become apparent that it's not as easy as they think, unless you're Jeffrey Archer, who shamelessly wrote his first novel because he needed money and was highly successful.

For others, such as myself, I write because it's in my blood. It's like an itch you never lose, a yearning you never sate. If, at the same time, I can earn a few pence from doing something I love and enjoy, well, so much the better. Yes, I write what I love to write, but I also try to fit it to a market. This can only have mutual benefits for author and reader alike, can't it?

Let me know what you think? And if you make it to the movies to see Mr Bond....enjoy!





 
Well, I've had a busy week. My dad has been poorly for a month. For the first time in thirty plus years I managed to get him to see a doctor. Now he has made three visits with a trip to the hospital thrown in too. he isn't better yet, but he might just be on the mend.

As you can imagine, all the worry had an adverse effect on my writing. Consequently, I haven't done as much work on the final read through of my latest novel this week. As you will have gathered from earlier blog posts, I am learning to avoid self-flagellation and, although I do plan, some times you've just got to take each day as it comes.  There are times when even the best laid plans fail, or need to be changed.

One plan that didn't change this week was my lunch date with two dear friends, one of whom came up from Kent. I first met her when I worked at our local Council. Not only is she a much loved friend, she also used to be my hypnotherapist and has helped me immensely in my private and professional life. Thus, it was no surprise that she had some mighty words of wisdom.

As we pondered life and gossiped over our gnocchi and merlot, she told me that life is to be embraced. It is to be lived. She has just returned from a mindblowing trip to China and Nepal where she was blessed by a Buddhist monk and suffered a bout of altitude sickness.

We discussed her adventures and much more. One question we did ponder was, if you could do something that you never had the chance to do before, be it through lack of funds or opportunity, what would it be?

I would have liked to be an archeologist. I find the subject fascinating and wish I could find something valuable (historically not financially) in my back garden, instead of worms, lizards (however cute) and bits of broken brick from when the houses were first built.

Of course, we came full circle and decided that we were happy with our lot. Okay, I would like to sell a few more books, just to keep the leeches happy, and I'd like days with no interruptions so that my muse praises my genius, rather than rants at him.

However, this is life. This is what it is all about and, my ever astute friend informs me, it has to be embraced. This is true with writing. I mean, if I hadn't had to make that trip to the doctors and hospital with dad, I would never have spent time sitting in crowded waiting rooms pondering the life stories of those fidgeting and waiting in it. You see what I'm getting at fellow writers?

Yes, everthing you see is material, inspiration. Life is full of  inspiration and nudges of ideas for us to utilise. We just have to open our eyes and minds.... and notebooks. We have to grasp them and run and, as my friend advises, whilst we're doing this we have to remember to live like a lion, not die like a mouse.
 
Well, it's that time of year again. The cold is creeping in, (although to be honest, I think it's marched in this weekend), the daylight hours are fading fast and the leaves on the trees are starting to change and drop.

I have to say, I love this time of year. Not for the cold and damp. Oh no! However, I do love the myriad of colours that slowly emerge. Mother Nature puts on a magnificent show to enjoy. Of course, it goes without saying that I also love it when the heating comes on, or you can put the fire on and snuggle down with a cup of hot chocloate, a glass of fine Merlot, and lose oneself in a good book - Not that I ever need an excuse to put the fire on or dip into a book. (So hubby would tell you!)

I also see this as the time of year to begin sorting out my writing. Oh, I'm not talking about edits and the every day motion of applying the BOCHOK method and actually writing. No. I'm talking about looking back and assessing how my writing year has been.

Some would say that this is not a good idea. The past is just that. Wrong! As someone with a BA in History, I believe that the past is an integral part of who we are today, and that goes for every aspect of our lives.

Okay, I never actually set myself yearly goals to be strictly enforced the minute Big Ben has finished his chimes. Nor do I look back on the year slipping by and begin a needless exercise of self-flagellation for any missed deadlines or too many lazy days - I have a low pain threshold!

However, I do take it as a means of helping to boost my self confidence and self belief. How? Well, every event in my writing world teaches me something. It could be something as simple as a word I haven't come across before, or discovering a new, useful Website or Facebook page (yes, there are a lot out there). It could even be something as monumental (for me, anyway) as teaching myself how to index and add  hyperlinks to an anthology of short stories, not forgetting formatting manuscripts so that they can be published as ebooks on Smashwords and Amazon KDP.

You see where this is going? Yeah yeah, I've entered short stories comps and submitted to magazines without as much success as in past years, and I've had my little tantrums. What writer doesn't? But, (and it's a big but with shiny bells on), all these aren't failings. Not really. When I look back on these last few months, I don't see myself as the Fall Gal (apart from liking the colours on the trees). I don't sink into a fit of despair and bemoan my lack of success.


Nope. Not anymore. These days, I look back and see someone who is growing stronger everyday as each separate writing journey helps me take another step closer to fulfilling my dreams. So tell me, what are your successes this year? What are your proudest moments of the last year? I mean, this time last year I didn't have a clue how to format an ebook, or blog for that matter. So, at least two successes there! And, after all, you know what they say - from little acorns......

 
Every writer loves the feeling when the words are flowing and everything is all right in the little fictional world you created, and when you put the last word on the page well, it's a bit of a slam dunk moment, even if I often experience a pang of sadness along with the relief and joy. This is especially true if you are close to your characters.

So, this is my question in this week's Blog :  How much reseach do you do? How close are you really to all those fictional people in your work?

I was always told that it's easier, and best, to write about things that you know. I suppose, as a romance writer, that's pretty straightforward as we deal with emotions on a daily basis and that is the main ingredient in a romance novel. 

But what about writing about things that you don't know much about...Crime? History? Science Fiction? All these genres, and probably many more, have elements that you possibly know nothing about. That's where the above maxim fails. In fact, if I'm honest, I tend to believe that sticking to writing about what you know could be quite constraining. Why not broaden your horizons? Dig a little?

And that brings me on to the second question....How close do you feel you are to your characters?

I'm something of an organic writer, in that I do a little planning and plot structure before I get started, but once the ink is flowing and my muse is running with the wind, I let my characters dictate events. Okay, I confess, I have spider maps and list of chapter contents, but I tend to try and let my characters tell the story.

However, I have learned from one big mistake....You need to know your characters for this to work. I used to do all of the above and then write. I had an image of my characters in my head and used to just stick to that. The trouble was, this made my characters seem one dimensional and difficult for the reader to visualise or get to know, never mind fall in love with. It also often left mw with the inevitable saggy middle.

The answer? Well, I now have what I have labelled "Character Profile Sheets". One of these is completed for every character, even the minor ones. It includes everything from their physical attributes, their likes and dislikes, their strengths and weaknesses and anything else that will help me get to know the character. I also clip a picture of the character to it. These are obtained from the Net or catalogues and magazines.

I might not use all this information but it is there in case I do, and I think that my characters are more rounded now that I take the time to do this. How do you get acquainted with your characters? It would be great to hear any tips that you have.

Getting back to research...I was chatting to a lovely man called Josh, from the RSPB, earlier this week. He asked if I could include him in one of my novels. He also asked if I could set it in rural Lichenstein, a place I know very little about so might have to broaden my horizons...Hmm....me thinks there could be some research to do there!
 
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Well, I now have two weeks off work. Actually, when I say time off, I really mean that I don't have to go and do my little part time cleaning job for a fortnight. This doesn't mean that I can take it easy like our cat Stan.

We usually jet off to Bitez on the Bodrum Peninsula in Turkey. However, this year we are having a stay-cation. Okay, this opens up tons of possibilities- namely involving my writing. Why? Well, I'll tell you.

I have this theory that writers never, ever, get a day off. Even when you follow Stan's example above, your brilliant writer's brain never shuts down, and the characters in your head never shut up! When we go on holiday, I usually take a couple of notebooks with the intention of scribbling notes and observations in the sun, (of course, anything more would simply add to the luggage allowance and one that is, in my view, meagre enough as it is!).

Anyway, I don't have that problem this year and I fear that my head might just explode - not literally, of course. That would make a terrible mess and would distract me from my writing! However, I don't have to go so very far from my office. That means I can finish my edits without feeling guilty that I have jetted off and abandoned my characters to suffer the cooling evenings and shortening days alone.

Or does it? How do you switch off, if you ever do at all? I visit a hypnotherapist. I think I have mentioned it before. She does a wonderful job at helping me. As well as keeping me focussed, she also helps me to relax when I need to. I shall be paying her a visit this coming week.

Do you feel guilty if you don't write anything, or do you subscribe to the belief that your brain is always working, even if you're not aware of it? Let me know. I tend to go through phases of both schools of thought. Right now, I'm hoping to finish my current edit and take a couple of days out, at least. Of course, my notebook will be my trusted companion, whatever and wherever and, as it's my birthday on Wednesday, there's a perfect excuse to relax and eat cake!!

 
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Well, it's been a good week on the writing front. I posted some competition entries and also made a start on the final edit of my latest romance novel. I am about half way and am pleased with it so far.

Other things have been pretty stressful. My dad was taken poorly and I managed to make him see a doctor. This is no mean feat when he hasn't made contact with a doctor in over thirty years. He is slowly on the mend now, but the bad chest infection really scared us all.

So I didn't feel too guilty taking a day off yesterday and visiting a "Stars, Cars & Superheroes" Exhibition at a local venue. There were lots of fantastic exhibits from Dr Who, Star Wars, Batman, Knight Rider, and many many more. As you can see, I had a wee encounter with Iron Man. Now I know that he isn't real, it's a man in a suit, but he's my favourite Marvel Hero. However, I wasn't expecting him to turn round and face me like that. His 7ft to my 5ft 3'' was quite scary.

And this brings me nicely round to writing...

As you can see, the title of this post is "iron determination". I just wanted to ask, how much determination do you have to succeed? To write?

I recently read an article that advised that if you are having a bad day and the words and ideas just aren't flowing, then you should step away from your work and do something else.Of course, this goes against the other, more common, belief that you should just push on. After all, you can't edit a blank page.

Which view do you subscribe to? Personally, I tend to believe that it could be both.

Take today, for example. I have woken up with a really bad head and feeling quite nauseous. Do I force myself into my study and work on my manuscript, or do I take the day off in the hope that I will feel better tomorrow and I will probably produce better work? Of course, if I had woken up and was just feeling lazy, then perhaps I would tell myself to get in my study and work. See how both points of view can be applied at different times?

It is a quandary all writers face at some point and, it has to be said, it is a vicious circle. Let me know your thoughts on it. Ultimately, a writer's dream is to produce a good piece of fiction that people can read and enjoy, and earn some money of course. But we give ourselves a hard time trying to achieve it.

And on that note, I think I might just have to pop a couple of pills, snuggle up on the sofa and have a lazy Sunday. My Dark Side is calling.


TTFN


 
Okay, the week has been pretty quiet for mishaps, trips and falls. However, it has been pretty busy on the writing front. A short story has been honed and polished ready for submission to a competition, and I am about to do a final edit and read through for my latest romance ebook. Hopefully this will be out soon.

The story goes like this: Fifteen years ago, Wayne jilted Eleanor two days before their wedding and left her broken hearted and emotionally scarred for life. Now, fate has thrown them back together again. Wayne realises that he made a terrible mistake all those years ago and Eleanor has to decide whether the love she still feels for him will be strong enough to help her forget the past and trust him again. Can Wayne convince her that he is an honourable man? A man worth fighting for?





I thought you might like a sneak peek at the first few pages. I enjoyed writing this one. I enjoy writing them all but, some times, certain characters endear themselves to you. I have to say, I wasn't keen on Wayne in the beginning but, as the story prgressed, I found myself falling in love with him myself and could, quite happily, had fisticuffs with Eleanor!




So, here goes.....




CHAPTER ONE
    Shock slammed into Eleanor like a tidal wave hitting a defenceless coastline. She heard nothing except the whoosh of blood rushing to her head, and bit down hard on her bottom lip, wincing when she tasted blood. She willed her wobbly legs to propel her into the crowded room, and it took all of her remaining resolve to lower herself into the vacant seat beside Tony, instead of turning and running out like she desperately wanted to do.
    Eleanor groaned. 
    This really couldn't be happening. If only she had been more observant, she might have been better prepared. But she hadn't been, and now she was paying the price, whilst wishing that she had paid more attention to office politics and the gossip surrounding the new proprietor of the flailing Rainbow Productions TV Company.
     Rainbow Productions was in serious financial trouble, and had been for some time. It was a fact confirmed last month when the CEO had called a general staff meeting and told everyone that he had decided to sell the Company. She hadn't been too bothered about that. The only thing she had been worried about was keeping her job. She loved working as a TV researcher. However, her old boss had informed them that the new owner wasn't looking at staff changes in the immediate future and she had dismissed all the worry and remained quietly optimistic.
    But could Wayne Lockwood really be their saviour? He hadn't exactly been her knight in shining armour in the past, had he?
    Eleanor jumped when Tony patted her hand. “Ellie, you look like you’ve seen a ghost.”
    "You have no idea," Eleanor muttered under her breath, as her brain flashed a montage of painful memories she really didn't want to relive.
    It had taken fifteen years to exorcise this demon and now it had risen before her once again. How could she possibly tell Tony that the man standing before them, reassuring them that he would do everything in his power to secure their future, was the very same man who had stolen her own future all those years ago? The same man who had broken her heart in one cruel blow with one little note. Four brief lines telling her that he was sorry but it was for the best. That the only way he could stop himself from hurting her more in the long run, was to let her go.
    Wayne was a secret she never wanted to reveal. Only her family and closest friends knew how devastated she had been when, with two days to go before their wedding, he had dumped her. He hadn't told her to her face, standing confident and proud as he was now. No, he had done it with nothing more than a cryptic note. That had hurt even more. She hadn't thought that Wayne could have been so cruel. So heartless. He had no right to destroy her happiness and ruin her belief in love and happy ever after. But he had, and that was why she couldn't believe a word he was saying now.
     Oh, she had tried to teach herself that it had probably been for the best. She had even convinced her mum that she believed that it was better to find out before that ring had been placed on her finger. It was easier that way.
    But it wasn't.
    Nothing could ever completely eradicate the pain Wayne Lockwood had caused. Her heart would be forever bruised, and Eleanor knew that there would always be a part of her that would belong to the man standing before her now. It was the same very secret part of her that instinctively knew that life with Wayne Lockwood would have been everything she had always wished for, and more.
     An image of Wayne playing on the lawn with two blonde haired children as she watched and laughed popped into Eleanor's troubled mind and made her gasp. Tears pricked at her eyes and she took a deep breath. Then another. Thankfully, Tony was too enthralled by Wayne's speech to notice.
     He wasn't the only one. Glancing quickly around the room, Eleanor noticed that most of the women were just as captivated. They were goggle- eyed and preening, hands subconsciously playing with their hair, tongues wetting dry lips. The men were sitting upright, arms crossed in a classic defensive pose as they tried to project confidence and virility. So, thankfully, no-one in the room was paying her any attention.
     And Wayne... Hopefully he would be as self-absorbed as ever and not see the inner turmoil his presence was causing her. He must never know just how deep her emotions still ran. That was one of the reasons why she hadn’t attended her university reunion last year. She just hadn’t been able to bear the thought of meeting him after all this time, let alone the idea that he might have a wife in tow. She had suffered enough hurt and humiliation at his hands.
     As it happened, she had later found out that Wayne hadn't gone either. That had made her feel stupid. Worse still, she had hated herself for letting him have control over her. She had missed out on meeting some old friends just because she had allowed her feelings for Wayne to dominate her life. How incredibly foolish and insecure had that made her feel? If only she could be angry, she thought, wondering if she dared confront him now. If she did, perhaps it would allow her some closure and finally allow her to move on with her emotions, once and for all.
    Eleanor realised that her hands were trembling and shoved them in her pockets.
    “Gorgeous isn’t he?” Tony whispered, and she just couldn’t stop herself from glancing up through lowered lashes.
    Wayne was stockier than she remembered. Back then, as a university student, he had been thinner, leaner. Now, standing in his elegantly cut dark blue suit, Eleanor realised that he was still the best looking man she had ever seen. Her breath caught as her gaze feasted on the ripple of hard muscle as he folded his arms. She blinked hard and gave herself a mental shake.
    “If that’s your bag,” she replied, aiming for nonchalance even as she found herself taking another peak.
    It was almost funny. Up until that point, she had never wanted to set eyes on Wayne Lockwood ever again. Now that she had, she was behaving like a thirsty woman who had spent too long in the desert.
    Wayne's dark brown hair was in the same short style she remembered, and she had a sudden flashback of laying beneath him in the park on a warm summer's day, her fingernails lazily scratching his head as she squinted up at him through the bright sunshine.
    That had been the day he had asked her to marry him. They had just finished their final exams and had gone off to the park for a celebratory picnic. Emboldened by the two bottles of wine they had shared, Eleanor guessed, Wayne had surprised her by asking her to marry him. Of course, they would have to wait until they both had steady jobs and could afford to settle down and start a family, but he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. That's what he had made her believe.
    And that mole on his top lip... How many times had she kissed that? Eleanor squeezed her thighs together. She didn’t want to feel anything but anger at Wayne Lockwood. She waited for the dark, empty coldness to invade her soul again, for that was all he deserved from her.......



 

 
Well, it's been one of those weeks again. I'm not going to bore you with the details but, suffice to say, my writing didn't go as well as I had planned, or hoped. On saying that, I did manage to complete a short story for a competition and I finally managed to finish an edit of my erotic anthology, so I suppose it wasn't a complete disaster.

Of course, there was Stan the Cat, who seems to illuminate our lives whenever he strolls in. This is particularly the case with his antics or, more to the point, the gifts he continually brings for us. This week, we have had a stone and, yesterday, I got up and discovered that he had delivered a "Happy Retirement" balloon for us. It was flat, but still rather fetching in pink, with ribbons attached.

Now, either Stan knows something that we don't - big lottery win....oh my God I haven't checked the numbers yet, or perhaps he is trying to pass on another message after the week I've had.

This brings me nicely round to my weekly writing tie in....

What are your views on giving up? Have you ever thought about putting your pen down? If so, why?

In the earlier days, the rejection letters would always send me scurrying for chocolate and my arm chair, where I would then pull my writing, myself and my confidence to shreds.

These days, I try to be more objective. Sure, some rejections hurt more than others, especially if it's of a piece of writing that you're particularly fond. However, over the years I have learned to be thick skinned. I have "manned up" as the saying goes.

One of the main things I have now accepted, is that writing is subjective. One person might hate yoour work, another might love it, so it's important that you brush off that rejection and get your work back out there. This is an important coping mechanism for rejections. Of course, I have also learned to take a fresh look at the rejected piece and to see if it can be improved too. 

These days I never, ever, think that I should put my pen down and give it up. Writing is in my blood. If I ever stopped, it would be like slitting an artery and slowly, painfully bleeding out. Even on bad days, like this week, I still get immense satisfaction from sitting at my desk with a notebook and pen. Writing soothes, it heals. It is cathartic. It even acts as an escape route, where I can immerse myself in the many worlds of my characters and forget about me for a while.

What do you think? How do you feel about your writing and retirement?

I'm hoping that Stan might bring me a new balloon next week- perhaps a "Happy Writing" one. What do you think?

And on that note, all being well, next week I will have a sneak preview of my latest romantic e-book that I'm hoping will be out by the end of the year.

Happy writing all!
 
Well, I've heard many a discussion this week about how much pressure our Olympic athletes are under, and I don't just mean by the media and the fans. Our athletes also pile a great deal of pressure upon themselves - they want to be the best, do their best and not let anyone down.

As a writer, how much pressure do you heap onto yourself? I am the first to admit that I am constantly beating myself up. For example, on Tuesday I finally finished the, hopefully, penultimate edit of my latest romance novel that I am sending out to a mainstream publisher. I always leave a project for a few weeks after an edit and work on something else. The hope is that I can then look at it with fresh eyes when I pick it up again.

So, the next project on my pile is my erotic anthology. However, I seem to have just drifted around the house for two days without picking up a pen or turning on my pc. Obviously, I was cogitating and listening to my muse. Well, I was thinking - about weeding, putting sunscreen on Stan the cat's pink ears, whether it was too early to enjoy a glass of Merlot in the garden.....

Some would say that this is the brain's way of chilling, taking a rest and, if you are trained well, subconsciously you will still be working, even if you aren't physically putting pen to paper. Hmm, I'm not so sure. Consequently, I end up castigating myself., even if I am due a break.

This brings me round to the question...How much pressure do you place on yourself? Is it a good thing? Does it work for you? My hypno-therapist tells me that it isn't good to push too hard. There are times when you have to take that deep breath and take a step back.

It's difficult being a writer some times. I know some people who think that I just sit around the house all day. When I left my full time job, I was constantly asked what I was going to do all day. I politely told them that I was going to write. I even managed to bite back my sarcasm.

Although I now have a (very) part time job, my career is writing. Yes, I'm not earning mega bucks, but I'm having the time of my life.

This brings me round to a great website that I have recently discovered. If you like all things aviation, or know anyone who does, this is an ideal place to purchase gifts. This guy is very talented. Check it out:

www.skytoons.co.uk

Of course, my biggest surprise of the week, was receiving my first Xmas card. Shock! Horror!

As many times as I say that it is so wrong and far too early, it does serve as a reminder that time waits for no man. So, what are you waiting for? Get writing...No pressure, of course!
 
I was quite moved this week by our two Olympic rowers who apologised for only winning the silver. True sportsmen indeed. They have nothing to be sorry for. They fought a battle and did us proud. Of course, the same can't be said for our football team, but that's another story....

It's been a busy week. I'm about thirty pages off finishing the latest edit of the next manuscript I am intendingto submit to Mills & Boon. I've written a short story for a competition, and I've also been scribbling notes for another novel idea....It's not like I haven't got enough going on already. Still, better to have something to work with when one project is finished, than a blank page (or mind).

On saying all this, my week wasn't all that productive and I know that I could have done a lot more. Unfortunately, real life intervened and I couldn't sit in my study immersed in words and imaginary characters screaming at me.

I had the pleasure of a trip to the dentist. I had my annual check up a couple of weeks ago and it was decided (by the marathon man - woman in my case), that I needed two fillings re doing. Great! Is there actually anyone out there who actually likes going to the dentist?

I'm a bit of a wimp. You would think that, after four operations and countlessstaplesand stitches, that I wouldn't mind a couple of injections and a bit of filling. Oh no!! I even ask for the dentist to numb my gums before I have the jabs.

"That's for children and babies!" my dentist mocks.
"Yes, but I'm paying for the privilege of being a baby," I staunchly reply, and ultimately get my wish.

It still didn't stop my eyes from watering when she stuck the needles in. I then had the pleasure of sitting back out in the waiting room whilst the anesthetic took effect. You know how it works. Numbness and constant dribbling for the next two hours.

I shouldn't complain. This is the first treatment I've had for about fifteen years. Besides, I usually moan that I only pay her for ten minutes of her time and a quick brush and polish-easy one. This time, my teeth made her earn her dosh!

This brings me nicely back round to writing....

Have you got any piece of work that you've put away and left in that drawer, or that file for a long time? Have you ever taken it out and given it a quick polish, or is it forever condemned to wallow in darkness?

I ask, because I have a folder full of old projects and ideas. Occasionally, I have a rummage through it. There are two reasons for this.

Firstly, it often gives me a few ideas that I can use for a short story or a character. The second, and perhaps the most important, is that it gives me fresh vigour, determination and confidence.

How?

Well, I can see that some of it isn't too well written. By that, I mean that I have improved my writing and style over time. By looking over the pieces, it illustrates that my writing is organic, a living thing, that is constantly changing and improving. In turn, this gives me fresh confidence to put pen to paper and continue in my quest....and that can only be a good thing, right?

TTFN