Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Still 43,260 words

Well, I've spent much of the day playing around with the settings (I can't get the html code for the Google Search box to work), trying to find a photo under 50kB for my profile (I haven't got any), and worrying about not having done any actual work. Yes, I've cooked dinner, tidied away the toys, paid the bills and taken care of the kids all day but I still feel crap if that word count isn't creeping towards the finish line. I expect the finish line to be somewhere between 80,000 and 90,000 words. It seemed monstrous when I started but I'm gradually picking up speed.

Regarding agents and publishers, everyone keeps asking me why I haven't sent it off to anyone yet; citing examples of authors like Monica Ali, who got an advance after completing only five chapters. Well I did send it out, a long time ago. I ploughed through the Writers' and Artists' Yearbook and the Writers' Handbook for places that sounded like they might be interested; they weren't. I only managed to send off five sets of my first couple of chapters in the end; so stringent were the submissions criteria. In fact 99% of publishers listed wouldn't even countenance an unagented submission. So, I flicked through to the sections marked 'agents'. No joy here either. The opening paragraph read something to the effect: So you've finished your magnum opus and are seeking representation... It doesn't seem like they want to hear about partially finished manuscripts. I don't blame them, I mean they're trying to make a living and it's no matter to them whether they get a book this year or next, but obviously it makes a big difference to me; to my plans.

Basically, my husband would like me to go back to work. I won't. I certainly won't go back to what I was doing previously (local government energy efficiency/climate change advisor) and the only other thing I can really see myself doing is the job I had before university (Leeds): I was a library assistant. I loved being a library assistant; I loved every part of it, from the hours spent shelving to the tramps weeing in the corner. I used to carry a little notebook in my back pocket, in which I scribbled down the titles of all the books that I would one day read. Needless to say, the list grew much faster than I could cross them off. I wish I still had it: goodness knows where it went. I wouldn't have knowingly thrown it away - perhaps it went through the wash. Anyway, pity the pay's so poor. Still, I'll do it, just not yet. I'm really enjoying doing what I'm doing and, at the risk of jinxing the whole thing irretrievably, I think my book's quite good. It's not going to win the Booker, but I think it's readable. I hope it is.

Speak soon,
Love A


Anonymous Anonymous said...

just open one of your pics in microsoft paint, under "image" select "stretch, skew" and reduce the horizontal and vertical by the same percentage to get it small enough

7:52 pm  
Blogger corey thomas said...

just open your pics in paint and go under image to strectch, skew and reduce the horizontal and vertical by the same percentage to get i nice little square under 50kb.

7:53 pm  

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