Friday, 31 October 2014

The Worst Time To Give Up

My confidence had a bit of a wobble the other day. I read on an agency blog that editors have YA sci-fi fatigue, and here's me querying Colony, a YA sci-fi book.


In a single sentence, my confidence took a big hit. I thought about my current project, about how much I love it, except agents might not be looking for sci-fi for much longer, so maybe it was all a waste of time... 

And that would have been the absolute worst time to give up.

While my current WiP is a long way from querying, Colony has had a lot of near misses, and there's no way I'm giving up on that book now. My love for it hasn't changed, and the feedback I've had on it only proves I have to keep going. Sci-fi is a gigantic genre with so many different aspects, so I can't just think "well, that's that whole genre dead in the water! Better come up with something else. Maybe I can write contemporary..."

It can be so easy to see stuff like "this genre is totally oversubscribed" and lose your way. One trend fades out, so why not hop aboard another bandwagon? Plenty of agents talk about not chasing trends, and it can be really easy to lose sight of why you write when you do so. Someday I WILL have an agent, and I WILL see my work in print, but I'm not going to do that by being beaten down by potentially bad news or by chasing trends. If you give up, you're never going to get anywhere, and the worst time to make big decisions like "it's time to move on" is when you're feeling really down and defeated.

Querying is tough. You're going to experience more emotions than you think, and sometimes they're not all good, and it's when things aren't going well that you really have to dig deep and keep going. Accept the bad news and the rejections, but don't let any of it stop you from writing what you love, because who knows what could happen in the future.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

What's Up Wednesday - So, About That Time I Drove A Bus

Hello everyone! It's time for another What's Up Wednesday, hosted by Jaime and Erin ^_^

What I'm Reading

Another Jack Reacher book down ;) It's going to be very weird when I actually have to *wait* for these books to be published :P I still don't think I'll catch up until early next year though...

What I'm Writing Editing

Still working my way through line edits of Magical Girl!Story. I think I might be here a while. Life has gotten so busy lately, and it doesn't show much sign of letting up ^^; I managed to get some done while in Scotland, but the working week before that was just crazy, so I lost a few days there. Progress will be slow and steady for this one.

What Works For Me

Travelling. I had an amazing time in Scotland last week, spending time with my brother and sister-in-law, as well as hiring a car and driving myself around the Highlands. The fangirl in me is SO HAPPY because I drove the road featured in Skyfall! :D Here's a few photos!

Eilean Donan

Glenfinnan Viaduct on the Jacobite steam train

Urquhart Castle

One of the many amazing views from the A82

What Else I'm Up To

So, yeah, on Saturday our local bus company here in Brighton put on a test drive day for women drivers as part of a diversifying the workforce campaign. I had a lot of fun. I mean, check out the two vehicles I had a chance to drive!


I drove a 10ft double-decker. It was so much fun, although you probably don't want me driving buses through slalom courses ^^; Oh, the poor cones! I reverse-parked the 12ft single-decker, too, and drove a figure of 8. I'm so grateful to Brighton and Hove Bus company for the opportunity because, as a writer, experiences like that are likely to find their way into my fiction. Man, I can't wait to come up with an excuse to have a character drive a bus.

Have a great week everyone ^_^

Monday, 27 October 2014

Miss Cole's Tea Time - Scottish Breakfast from Willow Tea Rooms

While in Glasgow last week, I took the opportunity to visit both branches of The Willow Tea Rooms. It would've been a crime to leave Scotland without Scottish Breakfast Tea ;)


This tea is so smooth. I just love it. What a perfect morning editing accompaniment this tea makes. Perfect for a calm start to your day, or a way to soothe your mind before you get to work on your WiP. It's not as strong as English Breakfast, and lacks the slight flowery taste of Irish breakfast. In fact, I'd say if you were looking for a first ever black tea to try, this would be a great one to start with. 

It has very fine leaves, so be sure to give it plenty of time to brew otherwise you'll find yourself drinking hot milky water. Four minutes should be the minimum.

And if you ever find yourselves in Glasgow, be sure to try out the Willow Tea Rooms. I highly recommend the French Toast. Oh, and the shortbread ;)

Monday, 20 October 2014

This Blogger Is Off Exploring

I'm currently off exploring Scotland, so I'll be back next week with your regularly scheduled posts.

A moody picture from Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Embrace Editing/Revising/Rewriting/Whatevering

When you start editing, there can be a sense of barely restrained panic, like "this is the worst thing
ever written. Imagine if other people saw the wreck that is this draft."
(For the purposes of this post, Obi-Wan is you and clueless C3P0 there is your MS ^_^)

Guess what. It's probably not that bad. And if it is, you can make it better. A lot better. Drafts aren't meant to come out  ready to be published or queried. Drafts are all about the initial rush, about getting it down so you can really sort it out into a proper book later. And that's why editing shouldn't be this thing you hate. See it as an opportunity to take the basics of your story and turn it into something amazing. And don't worry if your first edit or even your second edit doesn't turn that draft into a perfect final draft. For some people, editing takes one go (you lucky gits). For a lot of us though, it's a gradual process. I do it in stages, with different areas of focus. Like I've just started my second edit, which will be the wondrous, joyous process of line edits.

Hehehe...yay... ^^;

And as tedious and time-consuming as deleting FIVE HUNDRED buts was, I am nevertheless one step closer to having a shiny MS. And that's why editing isn't really so bad: it's a means to an end :) Hang in there, and get polishing.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

What's Up Wednesday - Autumn Has Arrived! :D

I can finally bust out a different button for Jaime and Erin's What's Up Wednesday! YAY! Autumn arrived at last.

Hi everyone! Hope you've all been well the past couple weeks. Sure is nice to be back... for this week only :P I'm in Scotland next week, and I'll be driving all around the Highlands next Wednesday, so I'll have to miss out on all the fun again. But hopefully I'll be back in two weeks with loads of pretty pictures ^_^

What I'm Reading

I've read a few books since I last took part, the best of the bunch being Clariel by Garth Nix. I love that whole world, and it was nice to read a prequel. Can't say more without spoiling it ;) Now I'm working my way through Tana French's In The Woods, a crime novel set in Ireland.

What I'm Writing Editing

The time for line edits has arrived... *gulp* Completing the first round of edits felt great and gave me a great sense of what needs work :) Also, I need to stop using the word "But" so much. It's got to be my worst habit. I deleted over 500 uses of the word. FIVE HUNDRED.

I chanted "first drafts are meant to suck" the whole time. It helped.

What Works For Me

Taking a break from blogging really gave me the time I needed to finish that edit. It's easy to forget that blogging is meant to take a backseat role to actually writing novels. Getting my priorities straight feels good :D 

Also, just enjoying Autumn. It has to be my favourite season. Yeah, I know, summer's nice and warm and bright, but Autumn is fresh and so, so beautiful.

<3 Autumn sunsets

What Else I'm Up To

Settled quite nicely into my new work hours, although we'll see how I feel after those eleven hour days :P Also continuing my epic Kingdom Hearts replay and drowning in nostalgic feels. Loving 1.5 on the PS3 and I am eagerly awaiting my pre-ordered copy of 2.5.
 

Ah, memories :D

See you all again soon ^_^

Monday, 13 October 2014

Miss Cole's Tea Time - Silver Lantern Teas

Hello everyone! Hope you are all doing well. I'm back with lots more tea, hooray! :D

Today I'm sharing tea from the fantastic Silver Lantern, a company that encourages and helps you make your own tea blends! It's so much fun, and a great way for picky people like myself to branch out a bit ^_^

Each pack has suggestions of other types of tea to blend with it. I decided to make an afternoon blend to go with a Sunday afternoon editing session. Now, the exact mix is up to you, and I went pretty heavy on the Assam, but a pinch of Darjeeling and Oolong made a really delicious blend.


I'm definitely going to explore more blends. You can buy tea subscriptions from them (which is what my brother did for me), and learn to make a variety of blends. If you're a super adventurous tea drinker, or need a little encouragement to try different types, Silver Lantern is the place to go. Be sure to check out their Blendology page. Pick up a few different types and see what delicious tastes you can create.