I wrote a novel for all the 80’s dorks, YA lovers, time travel nerds and kids with crushes, but will they ever get to read it?

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I was at a bar the other night and meeting the BF’s new work buddies. I said I was working as an English teacher right now and this one guy was like – Oh cool, you must be into writing. And I was like – yeah, I’ve written a novel, like whatever, it’s not published, it’s just written. It’s not even professionally edited and no one has even read the whole thing. It might as well not even exist really…

But I wrote a novel. I spent like all these years writing a novel. Why? Because I always wanted to write a novel. The journey of it was the thing right? Like what do you do in your spare time? I’m working on this cool YA romance time travel novel actually. Yes. I felt totally awesome when I was writing it. Like I was going somewhere and doing something.

But now it’s finished. OK, like all writers out there I could keep working on it for the next thirty years, but let’s just say it’s as finished as it is going to get with only my own eyes upon it.

So what do I do now? Well, I started working on the sequel but it was kind of like, no one has even read the first book, why am I slaving away on the sequel? And yes, writing the sequel is seriously fun and I love doing it, but I’m also very time limited right now in my life and I have to weigh up how much spending so many hours of my day working out time travel twists against building a decent future for myself. Ideally, I’d like it to be the same thing, but when no one pays attention to your novel, it starts to feel like a waste of time. OK, I don’t really think that or mean it, time spent writing is not a waste of time. But some days it feels like that. If it doesn’t feel like that for you and you happily sit and write at your laptop at 5am every morning even though no one is interested in publishing you, well done. You beat me.

Argh, but I’m so sick of all those stupid fucking quotes about how if you’re a writer you will write every day. I haven’t written for months. That’s the reality of being a writer. You write a novel, you spend a couple months sending it out to agents and publishers and every one of them replies with ‘while we enjoyed reading your submission, unfortunately…’ Bullshit you enjoyed it! Just say you didn’t even read it! Or admit you thought it was crap!

But not necessarily a published one.

…But not necessarily a published one!

Seriously, I don’t want my novel to be on my laptop when I die. I want it to have a life. It’s weird how it actually feels like it is it’s own entity. Like it’s own person. Like it’s not mine any more. The cord is cut and now this novel needs to go out into the world and live. It needs to meet people, make friends, have lovers, make people laugh, cry, piss people off, bore the pants off people and be loved and loathed.

I’m just so shit scared of it not getting published. I’m scared of it getting published by the wrong publisher. I’m scared that the people I wrote it for, all the 80’s dorks and YA lovers, time travel nerds and kids with crushes won’t ever get to read it.

So far I’ve been rejected like I dunno, at least 15 times, that’s not including people who never got back to me. It’s not that many, I know that. But man it gets boring doing this. Refining your stupid cover letters, cutting and pasting the first three, oh no, you only want two? oh you want that as an attached file or pasted into the email? oh shit I forgot to change the agents name.

What are the other options? 1. self publish, 2. upload the whole thing to the internet for free or 3. die with your novel still on your laptop.

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The amazing time management trick for YA time travel novelists who don’t have enough time!

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So for those of you playing at home, you’ll know that this blog goes with my YA time travel 1980’s novel that I’m trying to get finished. But I’ve spent way too much time playing on my blog and not enough time playing on my novel. I’m also really busy. OK, everyone says they are busy, but I really am busy! I was about to go on a total rant about how busy I am, but I’ll spare you. I’ll just say I have a pretty full life and writing my novel, as much as I love it, is not the only thing I live for.

I’ve been really trying to kick my own butt though, because I’m so close to it being ‘finished’ (i.e. in a state that one could read it and maybe point out some plot holes, inconsistencies and boring bits)! So I’ve developed an awesome new (OK, probably loads of people do this) time management trick.

I call it; The amazing time management trick for YA time travel novelists who don’t have enough time! 

It basically creates time. Hello.

So you start on day 1 and you use your phone or whatever you time stuff on and you type in 30 mins (or whatever amount of time you think is the MOST time you could possibly spend writing that day). Then the next day guess what? You type in 31 mins. And then 32 mins on the next day, do you get it? It’s not rocket science.

And the best bit is that because you only add one minute on a day, it’s like you don’t even notice it! It’s like magical made-up time! 

You’ll be writing all day in no time and still be able to go to work! :-O

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An A to Z about A to Z

Well that was intense.

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And now here’s the “what did I learn” reflection-y bit.

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A blog a day is hard to do. I’m going back to a blog a week now, unless something seriously amazing happens.

Blogging takes a lot of time. I need to blog less, but better and spend more time on other writing projects, like my novel!

Couldn’t always think of good things to blog about and some of my posts sucked – like Q for Quints. Was that really the best I could do?

Didn’t spend as much time looking at other blogs as I would’ve liked.

Everyone that completed the challenge is awesome!

Finally! (How I felt when it was finished!)

Going to do better blog posts now I’m not being controlled by the alphabet! (Oops, already failed at that!)

Hello to all my new followers! I have so much appreciation for anyone that clicks on me, likes me, follows me or leaves a comment.

I am glad I finished it, honestly didn’t know if I was going to make it there at one stage.

Jealous of so many cool blogs on the internet!

Kindness in the blogging community, support and positivity really kept me going!

Large chunks of writing don’t make me want to read to the end. No offence, but blogs can be the best blogs in the world but if they have too many words I’m probably not going to read them. Probably like this one. Ha!

More blogs about the 1980’s would be good. I found like only 3 80’s blogs. Not good enough people.

Not all the cool blogs I found were doing the A to Z challenge. Loads of them I just found organically and some of them were the best!

Other bloggers are mostly really cool! (except that one guy)

People who put themselves out there on the internet – YAY YOU!

Qunits! Argh, Q!

Really glad I did it. Really glad it’s over!

Snacks. I needed more of them. Some people voted at the start for me to blog about snacks. I’m thinking about doing a retro snacks section. What do you guys think?

Time to read again! I’m currently reading Clockwork Angel and loving it! Ah Cassandra Clare! x

Understanding this blogging thing so much better.

Very tired now. Can I just go sit on the couch and watch Game of Thrones?!

What do people really want to read about on my blog? Still asking that question!

Xanadu is basically life lessons on roller-skates

You can accomplish anything (if you put your mind to it!)

Zzzzzzzzzz (that’s me asleep now that this is all over!)

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Y is for Yazz

So predictable. A time travel/1980’s/YA books blog blogging about Yazz on Y day. Well jeez, what did you expect?

Also not a lot of good stuff starts with Y. I was going to do a long moany post called “Y is for Yes A-Z is nearly finished I can have my life back”, but I decided to try to be a little more positive and just post this awesome uplifting song about plastic populations (or was that the name of the band?!) and actually the lyrics are kind of sad if you listen to them. I guess the whole point is that the only way is up, so usually people are feeling pretty down when they say that, but then why the hell is everyone so happy? Must be the outfits. Or the large amount of bleach that has been used on Yazz’s hair.

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P is for Press Gang

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My absolute favourite TV show from the late 80’s and early 90’s was Press Gang. I loved it with all my heart and soul, and why wouldn’t I?!

Check out this bunch of reasons it was so totally awesome!

It was written by Steven Moffat who’s probably better know for being the writer of Doctor Who, but I still think Press Gang was his best work.

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Dexter Fletcher played Spike, the insatiable American who I had the HUGEST crush on. I mean come on, look at those Ray Bans! I remember feeling just a little bit devastated when I found out his American accent was fake. So random when he turned out to be Nathan’s dad in Misfits!

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They always tackled hard hitting topics like glue sniffing and gun clubs. Remember this guy?

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The tension between Spike and Lynda was just INSANE. I swear it’s the best sexual tension I’ve ever seen on TV. That’s not even a joke. Why didn’t they end up happily ever after in real life?!

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Oh yeah, and Colin. God love him. A complete disaster with a heart of gold.

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And here’s a little clip to leave you with. Despite what Lynda says I always thought this was the BEST pick up line I’ve ever heard. Go out and try it on somebody today, I’d love to know if it works! Then invite them over for a cooked dinner of noodles and chicken (which is the most awesome clip featuring Spike and Lynda but I can’t find it on the internet anywhere!) and then sit on a comfy couch with them and watch Press Gang all night! x

 

O is for Open Road (AKA adventures in crop circles)

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I just love a road trip. Being out on the open road, Bruce Springsteen blaring from the speakers, windows rolled down, nothing to do except drive, eat candies and sing a long to Thunder Road. It’s so retro and magical! I’ve been on some pretty amazing road trips. I’ve done the east coast of Australia, the west coast of the USA, parts of the east coast of the USA, Canada and good chunk of the UK and Scotland. Driving across the entire USA has been on the bucket list for years now and I really must do that soon! The new addition this week to my bucket list is eating a deep fried Twinkie. I was doing some research about Twinkies for my book this week and found this amazing picture on Pinterest:

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But today I wanted to share with you guys one of my favourite kinds of road trips – the crop circle road trip! I only live a couple hours away from the epicentre of crop circles in the UK which is pretty awesome, and I’m just hanging out for the season to start again this year so I can go again. Last year I went with my bestie and it was one of the coolest days out ever!

We stopped on the way to the crop circles to get lunch at the coolest stone circle ever – Avebury. The pub is actually inside the stone circle which is AWESOME! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Stone circles are some kind of time machines, I’m sure of it.

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After taking about six hours to work out how to put co-ordinates into the Sat Nav we finally found the crop circles! This is really cool, people tie little ties to the crops to let you know this is where it is!

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So we walked in a little way and then… BOOM! You are in a crop circle!

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And then here’s little me lying in a crop circle. It was SO COOL! I wanted to stay there and wait for the aliens to come get me and take me home!

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Driving through the little English villages on the way back home we saw the most awesome thing – a phone box full of books! It was like some kind of community book swap. Amazing idea. I mean it even had a fire hydrant, just in case!

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So where are you going on your next adventure out on the open road?!

 

G is for Ghost and the Goth

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It’s been a while since I read these books, but I highly recommend.

If you’re looking for literary fiction John Green style you may be a little disappointed.

But if you’re into annoying dead cheerleaders and dark brooding teenage medium dudes you might like these books. Easy to read, easy to like, easy to love!

And I just realised that my theme for this A to Z theme has headed straight in the direction of my writing influences. Cool I have a theme! Woo! Yay!

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E is for Emmett

Emmett Brown. 

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What more can I say?

Nothing really. He’s amazing, and if you don’t know who he is you’ve missed out on life.

But I thought I might use this opportunity to discuss the mystery of the two DeLoreans

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In 1955 the Doc goes back to 1885 in a DeLorean, which I will refer to as DeLorean I. He puts DeLorean I in a cave so Marty can go back from 1955 to 1985, Marty gets DeLorean I out of said cave, and it appears to be working fine except for a chip in the circuits which needs replacing. DeLorean I goes back to 1885 instead of 1985 with fixed chip, but when it enters 1885 the gas tank gets crapped on by an arrow. No more gas. Thus ensues a whole movie based on fixing the DeLorean Marty brought back from 1955, but hang on… isn’t there still a DeLorean in the cave? The one Marty gets in 1955 would still technically be in the cave in 1885 right? Making Marty’s DeLorean DeLorean II. If there can be two Martys and two Docs, why can’t there be two DeLoreans? And, if there are two DeLoreans, why can’t they go check if there’s any gas left in the tank of the one in the cave? Or are we just meant to assume it was empty too?! Arrrrgh! I need to know! 

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C is for Catalano

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A friend of mine posted a picture of himself and Jared Leto on Facebook this week. Colour me green, I was so envious! Why can’t I meet Jared Leto?! More importantly, why couldn’t my 15 year old self meet Jared Leto’s My So Called Life Self?! 

My So Called Life was one of the best 90’s TV shows which totally hit the nail on the head of adolescence so bad it’s painful to watch. I practically was Claire Danes in high school. OK, not practically, but there are some similarities. I dyed my hair red. I always crushed on the least attainable guys. I had a best friend who always got me into trouble. And no one like, got me. You know?

So today I’d like to pay homage to Jordan Catalano, the stare bear with the floppy hair, by posting some of my favourite quotes from the show. It’s just amazing how real this show was. The writers did a damn fine job and I definitely consider it a huge influence on my writing. 

 

When Angela finally admits why she’s in love with Jordan: “I just like how he’s always leaning. Against stuff. He leans great.”

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When Angela ponders the wonders of the Universe: “Does anybody know Jordan Catalano? That question, like, got to me. I mean, I’d had seven conversations with him, and one really bad kiss, and one amazing one…But did I, like, know him?”

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When Jordan gets confused about stuff: “This doesn’t seem like a Friday.” 

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When Angela notices Jordan’s pre-hipster penchant for thrift stores: “It’s amazing the things you notice. Like the corner of his collar that was coming undone, like he was from a poor family and couldn’t afford new shirts. That’s all I could see. The whole world was that unravelled piece of fabric. It’s such a lie that you should do what’s in your heart. If we all did what was in our hearts, the world would come to a halt.”

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How Jordan feels about obligations: “Well, if I go somewhere and someone I know is there, then cool, there’s something natural about it. But once you start making plans, then you have like, like obligations and that basically blows.”

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And this: “This whole day has been one long thing that makes no sense.”

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The A – Z Challenge!

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It’s happening people. I am doing the A – Z Challenge! I’m really looking forward to making some new friends on the internet – GEEK-ALERT! – but seriously, I love the people of the internet and I’d love to meet you all! Well, not all of you. Some of you might be creepy. But if you’re not creepy I’d love to!

I’m a little undecided about this whole “theme” thing. Do I need a theme? Or can I just keep doing what I’m doing but six days a week during April?

OMG you guys could totally choose my theme if you want to!