Tag Archives: Unpublished

Just a random extract….

I’m aware that I haven’t posted anything for a very long time. Life has been a little busy since I last blogged. I have bought a house and become pregnant. All very nice, but writing has taken a bit of a back seat.

I have nearly finished my WIP, currently at the 100K mark (it will need a lot of editing), but in the meanwhile, here is an extract at random (part of chapter 8):

Mei stopped and looked up. Snow rushed on the breeze. Red flags on the Government buildings billowed proud. She jumped as a flake landed in her eye. Rubbing it did no good. It burned like no pain she had known before.
‘What’s wrong?’ Alex asked.
‘This way.’ She pushed past her, trying to ignore the agony searing across her face, and strode round the corner to the taxi rank. ‘This one’ll do.’ She rapped hard on the window, startling a catatonic driver from his sleep. ‘Open the boot,’ she yelled. As it popped open, she checked around them for danger. It was too quiet. Where were all the cars?
‘What the hell is up with you?’ Alex asked, having caught her up. Mei noticed she was scratching her arm. ‘What happened to your eye? It’s gone all red.’
The pain in her left eye made it almost impossible to think. But in the distance, she could hear a collective roar, like the chant of football hooligans. And then she saw them, running in a swarm, un-coordinated and swaying as though drunk, but determined. They were headed straight for them.

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

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Blog Number Eight – The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of

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Ah, the power of dreams. I usually dream about stilt-walking and piglets that look like pugs. This morning I dreamt a complete short story. There was even a twist at the end, making me wake in tears. As I scrabbled through my not-yet unpacked suitcase for my notebook, I was desperate to remember as much of it as I could. I found my trusty Doctor Who notebook at the bottom, and wrote down the narrative in note form before I forgot it.

Yesterday was an exceptional day. My journey home from holiday took one and a half days, involving two ferries, several buses, train, plane and car. Several hours in an airport is enough to drive anyone rather bonkers, but for someone who only encounters a dozen people a day (at the most), sitting by the thoroughfare for the security check-through was fascinating. So many different faces and cultures, from a girl wearing eight-inch sparkly pink stilettos, to a gaggle of women in hijabs. Not to mention muffin tops of both genders, the mandatory screaming kids and old people shuffling (then stopping with no warning) causing mammoth tailbacks to that of tractors at rush-hour. Going through the duty-free department, I came out wearing a perfume which cost more than I’d pay for a pair of jeans. Husband and I later agreed that my wrist smelled like the nappy bags we use to clear up the dog’s poo. That kind of sensory overload was bound to have an effect on my subconscious.

My desired lie-in at home was rudely interrupted by husband’s alarm on his mobile phone at seven o’clock, the time we got up the previous day to catch the train from Oban to Glasgow. My betrothed has the knack of maintaining blissful sleep despite the electronic shriek. It takes several shoves from me to wake him and get him to disable the din. I’m certain that if World War Three commenced, he’d sleep on oblivious.

Having managed to doze off again, then came the half-sleep when anything is possible. In previous dreams, I have ridden on top of tunnelling trains, fallen down stairs, found the ability to fly, and told jokes so funny I’ve woken up laughing. Most times, my dreams are fragmented, too small to do anything useful with in a creative sense.

This time, I dreamt a short story and the ending was so bittersweet, I woke in tears. How can my own brain have the power to surprise me like that?

I first dreamt the idea for a novel, when I was at university. When I woke, I went to my Brother typewriter (I could hardly call it a computer, it didn’t have the internet or even a mouse) and wrote until midday. This led me to write my first novel, and like all first novels, it was terrible, loaded with clique and depression. Of course I thought it was brilliant, and who wouldn’t snap it right up? It got rejected by many agents, but I’m glad I dreamt that morning, or I might not have gone on to attempt a second novel, a crime thriller. That still sits unfinished in my computer. I’ve since written my third book, an autobiography about our smallholding and I’m determined to get it published one way or another.

I’m a novel girl. I like to read a novel, not bite-sized narratives, but I had underestimated the power of the short-story genre to my shame. I am converted. Now I just need to see past the piles of holiday clothes washing, and a generous shell collection from my beachcombing efforts, so I can actually do the dream justice.

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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Writing Blog Number 4 – Pants or Corset?

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Life as an unpublished writer is a scary one. I’m in a constant state of reassurance-searching, whether it’s from writing books, fellow Yeovil Writing Club members, my non-literary husband, or Facebook friends.

Lunchtime is usually a frantic affair. Sitting in the canteen, I stuff a sandwich in my face with one hand, and type with the other. Now my autobiography is finished and my half hour break from answering the phone and selling factory goods, is unnerving. I could do what normal people do, go for a walk or just go back to my desk early. Or I could just keep writing.

I’ve decided to start book two of My Dorset Piggy Tale. Given it is a true account of my agrarian lifestyle, I do not have the luxury of starting off with a blank page and letting my narrative meander. I need solid fact to rely on. How does one select memories for use? Good old Facebook, of course. Being a FB status addict has its benefits, in that I can go back to the archives and not only find snippets for the book, but also use them in chronological order. Bingo, there’s a ready-made plot right there.

Leafing through handwritten notes I have made has also proved useful. I’d forgotten that pigs like blueberries and what happened when the dog ate poison. The next step is to mix the two sources. This is not a quick process and in-between full-time work, smallholding, and researching agents, it has so far taken about a week. But I’m in no hurry. I’m enjoying this process.

Reassurance has been found in an unlikely place. It’s like a strong hand to hold as I begin to think about my opening chapters. Being laced tight into a corset and ready to dance.

Maybe it’s my journalistic background, but I work best when I have a fixed subject to write about. I can’t write ‘by the seat of my pants’, I’m no pantster. It’s too scary. Would I drive on a motorway with only one hand steering? No. Attempts to write without a plot structure when doing my crime thriller mean it is abandoned, half-finished on my memory stick.

If nobody wants to publish my book, I’ll get over it. At least I’ve written down my tales. I know the story, I’m OK with that. And maybe my future generations will be interested in what Crazy Grandma used to get up to. At the moment, I know how the story goes, the question is, where and when do I stop?

 

Please visit my author page where you’ll find photos and sample chapters of my book. Click the ‘like’ button to keep updated with my writing journey. http://www.facebook.com/LucyGhose

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Blog Number One – Writing Life of An Unpublished Writer and Blog Virgin

With some uncertainty, I’m popping my blog-writing cherry. And what better way to start than typing with one hand, as I eat a block of cheese? After a day in the office, I needed a bit of cheese. Sorry.

I’d never considered writing a blog before, what with a full-time job, keeping sheep, pigs, chickens, a dog, and trying to finish my first proper novel. And trying not to neglect my husband, my time is somewhat limited.

One of the Top Ten reasons people have for not ever having written a book is ‘I have no time’. The response? ‘If you really want to do it, make time.’ So I have.

I wake up at six a.m. every day and write for two glorious hours before hauling my arse to the day job which pays the bills. Writing is a compulsion and my memory is terrible. I’ve just finished writing 75,000 words about my agrarian adventures.

If it isn’t published, at least it should provide some entertainment to my eighty year-old self when I’ve forgotten the sheer hard work and hilarity which ensued from it. In the first six months, I was nearly crushed by a pig sty, tried putting suncream on the pigs, and there was the inevitable trip to the abattoir. The day I opened the airing cupboard to find a parma ham staring back at me, I decided these tales needed to be written down.

At the suggestion of a writer friend, I’m starting a blog. Why, when I’ve got enough writing material to write another two books? I’ve got an author page on Stalkbook www.facebook.com/LucyGhose where I put all my writing news and smallholding-related pictures and status updates.

Not everyone has an addiction like I do to writing status updates, which is close to rivalling the cheese obsession.

I’m glad I can’t smoke or drink Stalkbook, because if I had to cold turkey, I honestly don’t know how I’d cope. I’ve managed to be a bit more reserved about playing games on it, in order to create writing time. To the point, where I’ve had to buy myself a kitchen timer. But I still need to check in before and after work.

Stalkbook has that nifty ‘like’ button, instant gratification on what I’ve written, but blogs are an unknown entity to me. Who would want to read my blog?

Maybe it’s because I’m one of those unpublished writers, I feel the need to get my story out there. I used to be a journalist, writing for a readership of 30,000 across Dorset and Somerset. But that was different. I wrote what I was told to, not what I chose to. They were a captive audience, wanting to read about events where they lived. So now, why should people care about my life?

The inferiority complex kicked in, when staring at the blank page. Maybe that’s why I needed the cheese.

Could I self-publish my novel instead? Yes, of course. But the temptation would be to hit the enter key, see it up there in all its glory, and then find a glaring error. I’ve re-read my novel several times now and I’m still finding things wrong with it. I’d be in danger of constantly fiddling it, so it had as many different versions as Star Wars. I want someone else to say ‘Yes, that’s good. We’ll take it.’

What should I write about here? ‘Pigs’ was the suggestion. Obvious really, as I’ve been writing about them for five months. And I will, but given this is my first time, I thought I should explain my current situation. And how I started writing in the first place is a tale for another time…

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