My nemesis and I…

January! Argh! Can anyone think of a worse month? It’s dull, boring, dreary, and so dark in the mornings. It taunts me, it hates me. And somehow, those 31 days seem to blossom into 64!

But, recently, I’ve been thinking about it more objectively. How many times have you wished you had more hours in a day, more days in a week or a month…? I actually have those extra days, this month. I have 64 of them.

So instead of wishing the month over, I’m going to embrace it. My plans for this year are:

  1. Writing a short story for an anthology
  2. Writing a second draft of a novel
  3. Re-writing a novella and stripping it back to the story I really want to tell.

I should be able to do all that, now that I have an extra month, surely?

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When outside looks like this, I really should be inside with a hot chocolate and all the left-over Christmas goodies.

What’s your favourite and worst thing about January?

#ThrowbackThursday – “So, what do you write?”

Today’s Throwback Thursday post comes from August 2010 (before my first book was published) and – like many of my early posts – didn’t have any comments. In fact, it barely had any readers, which is why I wanted to install this feature – as a writer, it hurts when people don’t read what I’ve written. I don’t necessarily want everyone to like what I’ve written, just to read it. Anyway, here’s the post…

 

“So, what do you write?”

I hate that question.

Don’t get me wrong – I don’t wander up to random people in the street and say, “I’m a writer, don’t you know?”, but sometimes it comes up in conversation that I like to write. Usually it’s because the question has already been, “What do you do?”, and when I tell people that I work part-time (14 hours per week), they wonder – aloud and incredulously – what I do with the rest of my time. And I feel compelled to tell them that I write.

aj-books-2-300pxThen the question is, “So, what do you write?”

They ask probably because it’s expected, to show an interest, and that’s great. I’m not knocking the question. I’m knocking my reply… which is always, “Er… stories, modern stuff, um… just stuff…. er, I like to have a few murders.”

“So, you write crime?”

“Er, no… it’s…”

I admit that I’m not very articulate for a writer. These poor people turn away at this point, mentally patting my head and saying, “Well, good for you.”

The reason I’m thinking about this question this morning is that last week I wrote the word surreal on this blog [my previous blog] and the more I’ve thought about it, the more that seems to sum up my work. It’s also a word that defies further explanation, so from now on that will be my answer!

Since 2010, I’ve settled on the tag of Contemporary Stories with a Hint of Paranormal. Of course, then I started writing stories that weren’t paranormal. So, I may have to go back to the drawing board again!

 

Do you struggle with this question?

Are you a genre writer? Does that make it easier to explain?

Slowing down

At this time of year, I slow down. It’s not planned, but when the sun barely breaks out from behind dense cloud and natural light is therefore hard to come by, I just want to curl up and hibernate.

Walking the dog helps, especially when I’ve got this nature reserve on my doorstep. The silence is fantastic for working through any writing problems I’ve got.

Note: that’s not a sunset, it was taken at about 2:30pm!