For a while now I’ve been quietly plodding away on this revision of edits to try and get it ready for some beta readers. Through an epic act of perseverance I somehow managed to get through them last month to a point where I could give them to some people I trust for feedback. After that, no doubt more edits and then hopefully I'm approaching the next step.
My goal is to have my synopsis and first three chapters polished by January, and to have my full manuscript ready for querying by March. You might be thinking the time-frames are curious, however, they are not without purpose. At the start of February, I will be attending another Writing Retreat, which includes a partial manuscript appraisal and March is when the next #PitMad event on Twitter will be happening.
After slogging out the final version of my novel, I’ve been trying to focus on non-writing activities to purge the story from my head so when I come back to it, it is with fresh eyes. Or as fresh as something that has been read 100 times can be. One of the activities I have undertaken, primarily out of a desire to make my daughter unicorn pillows for her reading ‘tent’, is to sew. I was given a sewing machine three or four years ago and it has sat in the cupboard, sad, lonely, and unused for most of the time, except when my mum helped me to sew some ballerina curtains for my daughter (and by help, I mean… I mostly spectated).
Anyway, I did manage to make my daughter four lovely unicorn pillows for Christmas, after an argument that lasted several hours with the bobbin, which was not behaving. The engineer in me half pulled the machine apart to work out how the damn thing works, but I eventually got there (and no longer fear the bobbin running out). I’ve also managed to make a dinosaur t-shirt with pink ribbing, mermaid leggings, and Winnie-the-Pooh boxer shorts. And after several unsuccessful attempts, I managed to make her a Christmas pull-over dress, but it may have nearly broken me in the process (No pattern or instructions… and beginner… What was I thinking?!).
At this point I started to think, I can do anything! So, I attempted something for adults (I was focusing on kids clothing because it uses far less material when I mess it up). This is where the idea for daddy-daughter matching Winnie-the-Pooh boxer shorts came from. Daddy boxer shorts are MUCH bigger than daughter ones. The picture is of both shorts, can you see what I did? I’ll give you a hint, it’s in the post title. I didn’t even realise I had done it until I was stitching the parts together, and for some reason I couldn’t get the pattern to line up properly. I didn’t realise one of my Pooh-Bears were upside-down. At least they’re just PJ pants, right?
I’ve been forced away from the sewing and the writing until after Christmas now though. We’re hosting Christmas, and we’re getting a new kitchen installed this week. A. Full. New. Kitchen. Our kitchen was small, which is being made much larger—more appropriate for a five-bedroom house. I’m a little scared now though, after seeing how much crap we managed to fit into the small kitchen.
As soon as we get through Christmas, I’ll be hard at work on my novel in January. At least until we go snowboarding in Canada.
Hopefully more writing news soon. My short story ‘Living Next Door to Amy’ will be out in the Seven Deadly Sins Anthology: Lust on 9th January 2019, if all goes according to plan. Until then…