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Back In Print

TABFF first story.jpg

It’s been a long wait, but I’m pleased to say that my first fiction short story has been published in a national magazine.

Questions From A New Girl tells the tale of Vicky, a rookie reporter who manages to crack the cold case of a missing girl. The story is in the November issue of Take A Break’s Fiction Feast, out now.

I had the acceptance back in May, during the heady days when my toddler still had her midday nap and it was a choice between housework and writing. Sometimes the writing won and I could bash out a stash of words on my ancient laptop.

Now Summer has turned to Autumn and my baby’s naps are a rarity and unexpected. Quite how often I will be able to keep up my workload I don’t know. My mum and husband have helped out a lot with looking after her, and if the pile of plates in the kitchen isn’t too high, I’ll get into my writing space (top of the landing, next to the baby’s room and the upright fan).

When I see that a woman has won a writing award, I’m truly amazed given I know she probably has children and commitments a mile long. The tale goes that JK Rowling wrote Harry Potter while writing in a café with her child sleeping. Unless you have childcare or school-aged offspring, or the miracle of naps, I can’t see how it would work.

It’s nice to see the fruits of my labour from some months back. They’ve changed the name of one of the characters and there’s a few typos (not mine I might add, I used to do copyediting back in my days at the newspaper. I can only presume it was the typesetting done at the mag), but I’m happy it’s all pretty much there. Not only that, but I’m writing about things I want to write about, not council meetings, village fetes and dog poo.

How will I fit in time to write as a stay at home mum? It’s a question all aspiring writers hold to their hearts. Quite honestly, I do believe I know what I’ll be doing when my child is old enough for preschool next year. After skipping off to the nearest coffee shop, I’ll be firing up my laptop.

PS I do apologise if this is rambling, but it’s been a long week with a teething toddler and she’s finally asleeeep, so I’m slightly deliriously happy!

Please visit www.facebook.com/LucyGhose and click the ‘like’ button to keep updated with my writing journey.

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Blog Number Ten – Writing Confessions

ImageI have been bad, very bad by writing standards. I have not written anything new for ages. I blame the good weather, smallholding tasks that need doing, and escapee piglets. To the point we’ve had to electrify the vegetable plot, because the little ones are small enough to squeeze under the barb wire fence and even through the gaps in the gate.

Last year, we replanted the broad beans three times to failure from wet weather and slugs. This year, we have a healthy crop and aren’t about to be complacent by letting either the rabbits or gambolling piglets get the better of our haul. Then there’s shopping to be done, day jobs, walking the dog, checking the sheep and leaves on the line (sorry, wrong season).

But you get the idea. My mind hasn’t been on the job. When I’m not writing full book proposals to agents who will most likely just send me a rejection, I’m making sure the piglets have got water and trying to tame them. This involves sitting in the middle of the pig plot and trying to let them near enough to me without freaking out. This seems to tap in to their agoraphobia, so they don’t venture far from mum in this scenario.

Being the side of the fence is completely different. So far, I’ve had more success at feeding time. If I lean over the barbed wire fence while trying to avoid the big mamma’s muddy snout in my face, I can get a stroke of their soft fur. Oh, and now eating my shoes is their new game. As I’m trying to stroke them, they get their own back by mungeing on my Moshulus. Have-at-you for trying to domesticate me…

Again, I digress. It could well be that having finished my book (in my opinion) means I have little drive to write the next in the season, until I well and truly exhaust all my agent options. I have written the plot structure, but something hidden is holding me back.

Next month, I am attending a literary festival and have booked a slot with an agent for a bit of guidance at where I must be going wrong. So I am holding off approaching publishers myself or throwing the dog out with the soggy towel, to do the self-publishing option.

Feedback so far includes the following, in no particular order: ‘It doesn’t read as a story’, ‘not right for my list’, ‘witty and interesting but difficult to sell in the current climate as an unknown.’ Is celebrity king? Do people only want to read the autobiographies of the rich and famous? But then nothing. All I can do is wait. 😦

Right now, some news, any news would be welcomed, even if it is more rejections. So my little face creased into a smile when I read an email saying that a sample of my work will be included in August’s edition of Writing Magazine. Not because I am some ‘bright, young thing’, but my work is going Under The Microscope. This is the regular feature in the magazine, where you submit 300 words of your work and it is critiqued by an expert. So I have publishing news of some sort. I am doing my best to resist breaking into a sweat, the sort I do when I’ve drunk the boss’ coffee or realise I have to sing a solo at the village pantomime. While I am letting all see my work, this is better than an empty inbox. Let the world be my judge.

Please visit www.facebook.com/LucyGhose to see photos and read sample chapters of my book. Click the ‘like’ button to keep updated with my writing journey.

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