Posted in Writing tips

The Maxi Dress and the Manuscript

The final draft of my manuscript is moving along nicely, though today I’m just pondering rather than editing and refining.

My mind is a bit mushy at the moment with too many distractions. My eldest son applying for the fire service (in NT mind you). My youngest has had a friend staying over and well…you know teenagers…yep can’t say more than that. My husband has been promoted and needs support and encouragement. The dog needs a walk but I just pat her head instead. The water is glistening on the lake behind my house and it keeps drawing my eye rather than the manuscript. And I keep thinking about when it’s going to be nice enough weather to wear my new dress.

Women everywhere will understand how distracting having a new outfit and not being able to wear it is. I picture myself in it with my hair, makeup and shoes perfect and everyone commenting on how fab I look. I may as well write about it instead of edit my manuscript. (Ah huh. I am aren’t I!)

I’ve worn this dress once (that brief hot week where you think summer is here but it’s just a nasty trick to make you pack all your winter clothes up only to get them out again because you’re freezing your arse off). It’s a maxi (which I’ve admired since last summer but never bought one). This gorgeous aqua, blue, green and tan cotton-lycra mix (don’t I love the fact that I don’t have to iron it) has patterns that remind me of an Aztec princess. It has twisted straps and a built-in bra that make my puny boobs look pretty alright.

The dress was way too long. Not because they went crazy on the fabric but because I’m rather short. (If you’re nickname is Pygmy during high school it’s a sure bet you’re either under 5 ft or as big as an elephant. I was (and am) the former. I’ve got much more chance of smelling people’s armpits than seeing whether they have a double or single crown.

Mum, with her trusty overlocker, cut the bottom off and hemmed it for me at a level that would stop me tripping over every time I tried to walk. My contribution to the outfit was to keep the cut-off hem and use as a headband that was long enough to drape over my shoulder to the side of my face. Very 1970s but it works.

Aaah…I’m still waiting for another summer-type day (well it is spring) to wear my new dress. A barbie would be just peachy. Maybe even a party or dinner at a restaurant. I reckon by then though I’ll probably have another new dress and won’t know which one I want to wear.

Tell me about something you are yet to wear.

I promise I’ll take a pick when I finally frock up in the dress again.

Posted in Uncategorized

I missed a deadline – oops!

I set myself a deadline to finish my latest novel ‘Finding Tarzan’ by mid July. I’d calculated how many chapters, how many words per chapter, how long I take to write and edit and then figured on a finish date. The finish date is 14th July. Ooops that’s only seven days away – what the!

And where am I in the novel, you may well ask and I’d have to tell you Chapter 15. Where I need to be is chapter 22 (and that may not even tie things up so it may go further – maybe to chapter 25).

So what do I do now? Should I throw the manuscript away in disgust because I failed? Rant and rave and throw a tanty (blaming my family because they just don’t get it)? OF COURSE NOT. I count myself as a writer (a professional one at that) so I need to get myself back on course.

Okay, I’m a little disappointed in myself that I didn’t stick to my plan, so disappointed that I resorted to a cream-filled lamington to cheer me up (don’t tell Joel) and luckily this deadline is just my own. But what if it were a publisher’s deadline instead? I’d be in a stickier situation than I am now. I may have my contract ripped up. I may lose all credibility. It could be suicide to my writing career to say the least. It just proves that my original plan had merit and is good training for a real set-in-mud deadline.

Why did I let this happen? All I can say is that life got in the way. There was a family wedding (Kris and Elise), more games of football, school assignments (that I had to help Blake with or he would fails math), parties, dinners other writing and even housekeeping.

STOP right there! Housekeeping! Now where were my priorities? I really wanted to finish this manuscript. Again I have to take stock of what is important – and to me that is WRITING. So I’ll write up a new plan because now I’ll have to get the last seven or so chapters finished in a month. Why a month? Just because, okay!

Or maybe I should ditch the plan and just write, write and write. I’ll ignore phone calls, children whining for food, Boss the dog barking to be let out to wee, Packed to the Rafters, my mum’s phone calls (ah, nah can’t do that one), my husband (can do that, sorry honey), the boiling kettle, the burnt dinner – everything.

Anyhow the new deadline is August 14th. Wish me luck and any suggestions will be gratefully appreciated.