Sunday, January 9, 2011


Life in the new year is slowly settling back to normal. Ali's parents made it safely back to the UK after an unfortunate delay in Paris, courtesy of bumbling Air France staff, the kids are back to school, and things are picking up again at work after weeks of blissful quiet.

I'm maintaining a determined optimism about retaining control and focus in my life, both at work and at home, and am looking forward to making progress on several fronts. To that end, I need to rein in social networking a bit, so blog posts and visits will likely be slightly sparser than last year.

I'm in the middle of a few weeks of intensive preparation and critiquing, as the first big chunk of Ghosts of Innocence goes through the wringer.

I've had lots of encouraging feedback overall, which is good, but also a couple of common themes in serious need of work. The main points are: connecting better with the main characters, and improving pacing/tension in some of the sections. After the intensive work I put into chapter one last summer I know this will be a long haul, but I also know it will be worth it. These points, so early on in the story, would be more than enough to discourage agents from reading further.

Once the submissions I've now queued up have made their way through the queue, I'm going to take a break from the critique queue to give me time to work through the feedback. Then it will be on to round two.

Meanwhile, there's still plenty to sort out on the pirate ship. I've added another tab up in the heading to track that project, which I'll update from time to time.


  1. Great idea with the pirate ship tab! I had to go check out all the pics again. That is one impressive project!

    I wish you luck with your effort of retaining control and focus. I'm trying for the same this year. As of day nine, it's going fairly well. :D

  2. I am trying to figure all the juggling myself... it feels like it's going to be particularly gruesome. I can blog at work and read blogs without much concentration. What suffers is my writing time. If I could just figure out how to go on less sleep!

  3. ... and here I am at 1:00 in the morning, catching up on blogs. I should learn from others' wisdom about balance since I don't have any of my own... lol.

    All your projects sound like fun, though. Best of luck with them.

  4. I hear you about reining in the social networking. I'm scaling back a little myself this year in order to make room for other things that I neglected last year. Finding that perfect balance is hard, isn't it?

    Good luck with working through your feedback! It will be well worth it in the end.

  5. Happy New Year again, and wow . . . quite the ambitious plan you have there for 2011? Scale back on the social media? Impossible, sir! :)

    No, I imagine this is something we should all be doing. Even some pro authors are doing the same this year. These sites really can be be quite the detriment to getting *real* writing done, eh?

    Well, I wish you luck!

  6. Jean, yeah, I've been thinking a while now that it would be good to have a few static pages as well as the blog posts. When I got round to it, it's really easy to do. Would have been even easier if I could have left Blogger in charge of the links, but I couldn't persuade it to use a sensible font colour so they got lost against the blue background.

    Danette, you're lucky you can do that at work. I have even less time there than at home!

    Saloma, when the alternative to balance is blogging at 1 am, I know where my preference lies. I need my beauty sleep too much (so Ali says, anyway!)

    Jennifer, I certainly hope so! Feedback is good, but it can be overwhelming. Still, I think I've learned a lot since last summer.

    And Happy New Year to you, too, David. I know I've not been as loquacious as usual in my commenting, but I have been lurking. Honest :D

    And judging by the comments, it seems I've struck a chord here. It seems that the more technological we get, the less time we have. How's that for a paradox?

  7. No need to explain, Ian. I try desperately not to get into a quid pro quo with those bloggers I follow. Comment only when you feel you have something to add. I do. :)


I love comments. Please feel free to join in the discussion.

I also try to respond to comments. I usually do so during the early evening (Pacific time) which may be many hours away from now!

So if you leave a comment and return some time later and I haven't responded yet, please don't think I'm ignoring you. I'm not. Honest.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...