Friday, June 22, 2012

Bleeker Avenue Update

On Wednesday I received my manuscript back from my editor Clare Keogh. I highly recommend her as an editor. She is competitively priced, personable and fantastic to work with. I would have no hesitation in using her for my next project.

So far, I have queried six agents for my novel. I have to almost force myself to hit send (just email submissions at the moment). It is so nerve-wracking. I'm terrified there will be a spelling mistake or something stupid in the mail I missed and my query will be thrown out before they even look at the sample writing. I know for the most part this fear is unfounded as I had Clare check over my query letter too. I just can't help feeling terrified. What if I can't get an agent? Well, I suppose there is always self-publishing and believe me, I will go down that route if the traditional way doesn't work out! With every reply, I have to remember that every rejection brings me closer to my goal.

Now the waiting game starts. My nails are gone.... I chew them to pieces while writing. I know some of you reading this are disgusted :-) I used to have lovely nails, I miss them! I am a nervous eater. I'll have to watch that over the next while. Don't want a return to Weight Watchers.

Summer hasn't arrived in Ireland yet. As I write this, the wind and rain are battering my poor garden. I've brought my tomato plants inside, poor things, they are not doing well. My BBQ has just been blown over too!

I love the bad weather. Makes me feel safe inside. I prefer it at Christmas though! Speaking of which, there are just over six months to go till the holiday season. I enjoy it so much more now with Beth here. It'll be her 4th Christmas!

Closer celebrations include my birthday in just over a month and Beth's in September. I love planning for them. My own will be a BBQ (weather permitting) in my house. Beth's will either be a princess or Alice In Wonderland theme. I have big plans for her cake but it's a surprise :-) Hopefully I can pull it off!

Now, to find something to stop me refreshing gmail every 5 minutes!

Beth enjoying a rare sunny day in the Botanic Gardens, Belfast

Friday, June 8, 2012

Leaving Certificate Panic Stations!

That time has come again. Sweaty palms, chewed pens and hair pulling. The Leaving Certificate (and Junior Cert.) started two days ago. For my non-Irish followers out there this is a series of major exams taken by about 50,000 students over all of Ireland. The Leaving Cert is taken by students aged between 16-18 roughly, and is the measure by which the state deems us eligible to attend our chosen college courses. It is an out-dated and much hated system.

It has been 13 years since I took my place at the desk which was (I thought) to determine my academic future. Every year when I see the students walking towards the school for the exams my blood runs cold. Even now the thoughts of it make me shudder. It didn't help that I was the worst student in the school. I barely studied and spent a lot of time distracting myself by organising a big party to celebrate the end of the exams in my back garden. By the way, that party was epic!

I scraped a pass. Was very disappointed but not at all surprised. I got into college and enjoyed my time there. To be completely honest I wouldn't change a thing. I'm a great believer in not regretting the past. I can't change it and it lead me to where I am now. I did go back and repeat honours English and Math a few years ago in the Adult Education Centre.

In my opinion, the Leaving Cert. is not something to measure our life by. If, for any reason, you don't do well it can't stop you from achieving anything you really want. It might take longer but your academic climax does not have to happen at 17. It is merely another stepping stone.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Bleeker Avenue Book Cover!

For the Kindle and ebook shelves, here it is...

Designed by Shane Murphy :)

Friday, June 1, 2012

I'm Back

Well, I know I said I'd return on Wednesday but I was unfortunately sick as a dog and didn't go near my laptop all week! Beth loves to pass on any germs and being older I seem to take the colds a lot worse. On Wednesday I could barely walk round my house I was so weak and dizzy. Thankfully, I'm on the mend now and ready to start my writing month.

I've decided to jump on Hart's band wagon and join the BuNoWriMo (Facebook link). So I will be attempting to write 50k words in the month of June. Bleeker Avenue is with my editor so I have a few weeks left before my manuscript comes back with lots of red marks (really nervous about that!).

In other news, there is something I've been keeping under wraps. I was waiting for the right time to unveil it. Now with Bleeker away with the editor and the time coming near to start shopping agents and publishers I want to show off the fantastic cover to my novel designed by the marvellous Shane Murphy.

However, I believe it deserves a post all to itself so stay tuned tomorrow when all will be revealed!