7 December 2011

Ghostly hopes

We had anticipated a much tighter timeframe but life and work got in the way, for both of us. And as it takes time to make a perfect, healthy baby, it takes time and meticulous planning, writing, editing and rerererereading to produce as perfect a book proposal and as perfect a first chapter as possible.

It is now done and on Monday the first email to the first agent on my list was sent.

It is with trepidation, emotion and anticipation that we are now waiting for a response. Will it ever arrive? Will it be positive?

We will soon send an email to a second agent, and then we’ll tackle the submissions by post, which are quite tricky as agents’ requirements vary enormously. And you don’t want to upset an agent from the word go. You want to do it all perfectly so that they don’t have a reason to reject your submission before they’ve even read ‘Dear So and so’.

It has taken a while to get to this point, but it is better to take your time and be precise and as perfect as you can, than rush and forget something or do things wrong.

Please please please don’t tell me there was a typo or an inconsistency…

6 December 2011

A Writer in Paris

This time last year, I was in Paris on a special trip. A special trip for me.

I mean, just for me.

I left on the Friday morning while my darling husband looked after our daughter and I came back on the Sunday evening.

Two whole days in Paris J

Just before I left, I had bought a little gem, pictured here. A Writer's Paris ­– A Guided Journey for the Creative Soul by Eric Maisel. A wonderful, perfectly produced book all about Paris and what a writer can do – must do – when coming to write in Paris, whether for a month, three months or a year (or anything in between), on a budget or not (though mostly it’s all about surviving on a shoe string in the City of Light, because ­– ahem – it’s a well-known fact that writers are broke half the time. Because writing takes time, usually time when you can’t work simultaneously, so one constantly struggles between time for writing and time for earning a bit of money). It has pictures and drawings, lovely use of attractive fonts, and the cover and glacé paper… wow! They make you feel like you’re holding a very expensive and very precious book. Which I guess it is.

Three years before that, I had read Eric Maisel’s A Writer's San Francisco (whose looks were unfortunately not quite as appealing – don’t you just hate that, not being able to get two similar books in the same collection?!) and compulsively turned its pages in the streets and cafés of SF. This time, I would do the same in the city where I was born, getting inspiration from reading Eric’s beautiful writing and from his ideas. Writing ideas generously offered by writers always get my creative juices flowing. (Eric’s even spurred me to write this post!)

I was born to write. Whether I’ll ever get published (other than electronically I mean, as will soon happen with my short stories, nearly ready for the iPad J) is neither here nor there. It’s increasingly clear to me that I absolutely don’t care what will eventually happen to my writing. As long as I keep writing (here and privately on my computer or in my numerous notebooks), I’ll be happy.

A Writer's Paris ­– A Guided Journey for the Creative Soul. So much promise.

And it delivered.

I wrote and wrote and wrote:

on the train

in a little café ironically named “Comme à la maison” (if I was going to end up at home, why go to Paris at all?! Or was that a hint – I was at home!? But I knew that anyway. I LOVE Paris. I do feel at home in Paris. But I also feel at home in Oxfordshire, thankfully!)

in my hotel room at the Hotel Acte V, in the 5th arrondissement

It was an idyllic weekend in an idyllic city for a budding writer. It even snowed!

Thank you, Eric. Next time, I’ll do exactly as you say and spend at least a month in Paris and go to all the places you mention and I’ll even try to write a novella in four weeks!