Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Value Of A Writer's Notebook

Usually when I first draft stories, I write them in a notebook. The words seem to come more easily then. When I'm not working to a deadline, I put the notebook away with the idea that in time I'll type the story out and then rewrite and edit it. Then on days when I want to start a new story, I go through the notebook and write out the chosen story.
You know how much I love tech, but the notebooks have been incredibly valuable to me. To start with, they allow me to write down my story ideas without any pressure for it to make sense or for me to edit it. I just scribble the words down.
I'm also able to save it regardless of what computer/laptop I use, and whether I have  a system crash or not, the stories survive.
They also give me a starting point on a work day because instead of facing a blank page, I various ideas captured in the notebook.
So. Today I wrote out the start of a story that could be very interesting. Here's the sample first draft:

Remember My Love

“You are the best mommy I’ve ever had,” four-year old Jackson said as he hugged his mother.
“Thank you honey,” Alison Carson said, returning the hug.
“She’s the only mother you ever had, dummy,” Miller, Jackson’s eight year old brother interrupted the sweet moment.
“That’s not true! “Jackson yelled, pulling from his mother. “I had a mom before.”
“Boys!” Alison tried to interrupt the brewing argument.
“Yeah!” Miller yelled back, his voice over-riding his mother’s, tone expressing his disbelief. “When?”
“I don’t remember well,” Jackson mumbled. “But I don’t think she liked me very much.” 

Anyhoo, I spent the morning trying to take the story somewhere.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

 the Good
Christmas lunch was delish. Thank you Eileen!
I've been working on my 2017 life and business plan. Lots of good changes coming up. The big news is that I plan to spend most of my time in Joburg. I miss that city and its people; and my younger sister and her family just moved there from Durban, so it will be great to see them more often.

I emailed a friend based in China asking him about the possibility of licensing rights to my children's stories in China ( Big reason why you should keep the copyright to your stories). His response was overwhelmingly positive. Thank you for your support, Ramon.

Baby is still looking to secure accommodation in Cape Town. A business friend based in CT has agreed to go view a flat that we saw online and think could work for Baby. Thank you Josephine! Much appreciated.

Our Christmas celebration gave me inspiration for a short story for an anthology call I want to respond to.

The Bad

It has stopped raining and Phokeng weather is reverting to its old "grill -the-citizens" state. I miss the wet weather.

My vegetable garden looks like a jungle, because I haven't been able to take care of it for months. Looking at it hurts and I don't have the energy to do anything about it.

The Ugly

Yesterday I contacted SARS trying to sort out some things and was informed that I'm being audited for 2007. Ouch!

Lesson learnt: In order to become a successful writer, I just have to suck it up and take care of the business end of things. No "I don't like admin."Just do it or pay someone to take care of it because down the years, it can come back to bite you on the butt.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

When Rejection Doesn't Bite

Phokeng Health Care Centre
Today's main agenda was meeting with my nurse practitioner and having her give me the once over and meds for this month.

I was sitting on a small bench waiting for the nurse to come back from a meeting when a woman sat next to me.
"So is it cancer then?"she asked.
I was stunned. What a very personal question to ask a stranger! I've gotten used to the impact of the illness had on my appearance but I didn't realise that to other people I look so unwell. ( I know I look like I've been through a warzone and I've shaved my head, which I guess, made her think of cancer. ) 
"No. Not cancer. Lung infection,"I replied. She introduced herself and it turned out an acquaintance is her cousin.
"It's good I'll find you easily. I want to bring you some aromatherapy oils. They will really help; help you feel and look great,"she said.
Bench where I wait for nurse practitioner
I thanked her for her kindness and resumed my wait. I find it very interesting how chatty some people are at the healthcare centre. Last year when I went to consult with my doctor, I came to appreciate how unwell people were, yet they were still interested in their fellow man and tried to find ways to help.

The nurse practitioner was happy with my health status and gave me  my month's supply of meds and we set up the appointment for next month.

Writing News

Last night I received a rejection from my ideal international publisher. I sent them a query letter in the morning and according to their website, they would respond in 5-7 days. But they responded the same day. I must say I was impressed. Never mind that it was a rejection, and I understand that publishers are inundated with submissions, but responding the same day? That's impressive. Anyhoo, I want to develop a project that is ideal for them. I need to put my thinking cap on.....

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With the exception of entries specifically credited to individual authors, the content on this blog is copyrighted by Damaria Senne and may not be reprinted without permission.