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?

Woman-writer

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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Young Adult

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This was a super-cute movie. OK, not so much super-cute, mostly it was kind of depressing and I kept watching it wondering if this would be my life if I hadn’t met my awesome boyfriend, because a lot of it was kind of too scarily close for comfort. But that’s what I love about these art-housey type films. Some of them are kind of pretentious, but this one was just really real. A little slow moving at times, but hey, so is life, and it’s not like you have anything better to do. Except for maybe writing your own novel, but after seeing this movie your own novel may not seem so important after all… (aaaw!)

Mavis is a young adult author, ah, kind of, she’s actually a ‘ghost writer’, which if you ask Kate William (who wrote the Sweet Valley High books) is kind of the same thing. Basically the premise is – Mavis forgot to grow up. She was so caught up in writing for teens and living like a teenager herself that she gets to 37 and she’s still getting wasted and acting like a child.

Let’s get one thing straight y’all (y’all? Man, I’ve so been watching too much Nashville) I do not judge about how you want to live your life. If you want to go out partying throughout middle age and not get married and not have kids and just do you then power to you! But Mavis doesn’t seem real happy about her choices and so she ends up going back to her crappy little hometown, convinced she’s meant to be with her ex-flame who’s wife just popped one out and who also just happens to be… Esme?! Needless to say – chaos ensues!

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I really liked this movie. It was quirky, sad and awkward, but it was also witty and it had a soft edge. It’s about letting the past go, and growing up, if you want to.

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Architectural Afterlife

Johnny Joo. What an awesome name. I’ve been trying to think of a writer alias last name for ages. Johnny Joo (pronounced Yo) is the best name ever. But what’s even cooler than his name is his photography.

I’m totally in love with his photos of abandoned places. I’ve been trawling through them for days and being a writer I feel like each one is a short story, a YA novel or an entire series! I’ve got to admit the hospital ones really freak me out, but below I’ve added a bunch that I thought were particularly awesome. I hope you enjoy these as much as I did and make sure to check out this guy’s work!

 

I love the abandoned school pics. Introducing my next series of YA novels – Dystopia High.

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It’s the end of the world as we know it, but you still have to go to PE/Gym class. Nooooooooo!!!

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Did anyone ever see that really bad TV movie Terror in the Mall?

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The abandoned bowling alley is one of my faves. What happened here? Why didn’t you even take your awesome retro ashtrays?!

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And you forgot your shoes. I love that there is a pair still on the counter.

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This diner. I mean, don’t you even put the plates away after your last shift?

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And this is probably my favourite of all. The school that’s always closed, because every day is a snow day.

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Sixteen Candles

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Yesterday was 30 years since Sixteen Candles was released. What a freaking awesome movie! If you’ve never seen it your life is not complete.

I thought I’d celebrate by posting an excerpt from chapter 3. How very exciting!!

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“Nope, I look exactly the same as I have since summer. Utterly forgettable,” said Molly Ringwald as Magz stuffed a spring roll in her mouth.

“Chinese is so good,” said Jack loading his fork with sweet and sour pork and swinging his legs up onto the coffee table.

“How’s the pork?” Magz asked through a mouth full of spring roll.

“Awesome,” said Jack. “Thanks for dinner.”

“Thank the parentals. Thank Mastercard.”

“Priceless.” Jack slurped on his Pepsi.

“You know, my parents forgot my birthday one year,” said Magz as Molly Ringwald stood downstairs waiting for someone to say Happy Birthday.

“Shut up,” said Jack taking a spring roll off her plate.

“I was twelve. That night they came home at nearly midnight with a cake and presents, pretended they hadn’t forgotten. Like it was all just a joke and it was meant to be a surprise, but it was so obvious. I sat here all night watching the Back to the Future trilogy. Alone. On my birthday. Doc Brown was just about to turn up with the steam train.”

“You were just a kid,” said Jack shaking his head. “But still, there are worse ways to spend a birthday.”

“Oh, I’ve definitely had worse birthdays.”

Vicci Scrunchie 2014 x

 

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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B is for Benatar

So I loosely based one of the characters in my novel on Pat Benatar. No, not loosely based, I have a character who looks just like her. It wasn’t intentional. I wrote the character first, and then saw a picture of Pat Benatar a bit later and I was like – OMG, I’ve totally just based Janet on Pat Benatar! Sub-concious casting?!

Janet is kind of like my Gandalf, except she’s in her mid-late twenties and is an English teacher at a Catholic High School in the middle of nowhere in a desert in 1983. She may or may not be a time traveller. But seriously, as if you base a character on Pat Benatar and not make her a time traveller, right?

One of the best Benatar clips ever is for Love is a Battlefield. I always wanted to be able to dance in public like this. I do try. Quite often. But it doesn’t usually get the same response as Pat’s dancing does in this video clip.

Enjoy! x

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!

I should write chic-lit

I’ve been sitting at my desk (ha! it’s the dining table, I don’t have a desk!) all day editing my ‘manuscript’ after wanting to tear it into teeny tiny pieces last night. I got a headache from too much scowling about it.

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I’m busting my butt here. I could’ve spent my day off watching trashy TV or finishing Allegiant (why is it taking me sooooo loooong to finish?) or reading one of about a gazillion and six awesome books on my book shelf that keep on coming through the letter box from Amazon faster than I can finish reading Allegiant. I could’ve cleaned the bathroom. I could have had a really productive day on Pinterest. Or vacuumed.

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But instead I slaved away at my words. Trying to make this awesome story that lives in my head come out and live on the white glowing pages of my computer screen. Time travel, nuns, historical facts, gay kids, straight kids, 1983 kids, more historical facts, facts about deserts, it’s not easy you guys and it’s not like it’ll all be worth it because it’ll go mass production paperback. It’ll be a cult classic at best, or I’ll just post it on here for free. I’ll probably never make a dollar from it.

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I poured my heart and soul out of my body through my hands and into the computer all day long. Which was great, it was really fun. But then, while on an email break I look at an email from a literary agency, just a general mail out, what they’re up to, what books have been published etc. So I click on the latest book they’ve published. It’s a chic-lit. Not something I usually choose to read myself. It’s got that whole ‘you’ll never be complete without a man and the perfect pair of Jimmy Choos’ thing going on and that’s not really my scene. I’m more feminist in half price Converse. Chic-lit is so far away from anything I want to write. Ever. But I am going to write a chic-lit one day because I quite like the idea of writing a good one. Anyway, so I click on this book and it takes me to Amazon and so I read the first page and I was like – really?

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I don’t ever want to like, slam another author’s work, because hell I know how hard it is. And I totally get that everyone has different tastes and likes different books and for God’s sake I’m writing a teen fiction about time travelling to the 80’s! But this book could not have been worse. It was like reading paragraphs of all the stuff I’ve just edited out of my own writing because it was so meaningless, nothingness, extra words, bad dialogue, filler, just people talking about nothing, long descriptions about nothing.

I should seriously write chic-lit. I could have one done in about an hour.

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I shouldn’t blame publishers, I should blame the chics reading chic-lit. Put your chic-lit down ladies! If you want real romance and adventure pick up some YA.