I have been back writing since Monday, and it feel great.
This is the first time in ages I have some "free" time to write - although for me, it's not free time. Writing is not a hobby, it is a necessity, it is work. Actually, it is the only work I really want to do and the one that is the most important. But time is incredibly precious: I only have one week. I am going away for a few days to Devon to visit some family, and then when I am back, it's back to the freelance work for a few days or a few weeks, I still don't know. But I am on a roll, writing between 800 and 1,000 words a day.
I am hoping that I will not be too behind in my schedule, although I know now that the first draft will definitely not be finished for August 31st.
My third novel is also taking more and more "brain space" at the moment. Everyday, I am thinking about my main character, Kat Moorhouse. She is incredibly alive and kicking; I can see her and hear her all the time, and I have a few scenes taking shape in my head.
I have also spent half a day this week preparing for my reading at Shorelines, literature festival of the sea in November. I've been timing the extract, the song, and I have put together a little slide show of my best pictures of St Catherine's chapel and its surroundings, although I might take yet some more pictures when I go there in September. This visit will also (hopefully) allow me to make a few contacts and enquiries regarding the research and writing time I have scheduled for The Right Place. I need to find a place to stay, as the little cottage we always rent is near Dorchester and I still haven't started driving again (which is a real pain). Ideally, I'd like to be as close to Abbotsbury and the chapel as possible in order to soak up the atmosphere and landscape at different seasons and times of the day.
I still haven't decided whether to apply for an Arts Council grant for this project... The form to fill in looks incredibly daunting...
At last, I've managed to listen to the first episode of Radio 4's The Sins of Literature in full.
Two more to go! Episode two is tonight.
It's blooming fascinating.
I am only able to check the amount of "unique visitors" per day on this site, as I would need to upgrade yet again (i.e pay more money) to see precise stats and what people have been typing into search engines to end up on the Miss Gish website. It's been going quite well over the past few months, the numbers increasing steadily. But yesterday, it broke the record: 631 people seem to have visited the Miss Gish website. 631?? Really? Wow.
If every single one of those people bought one of my books, I'd be over the moon. Unfortunately, it's definitely not the case!
Anyway, I try and post regularly so for those people who read this: thank you for passing by and do come again!
Something else that's interesting... I have just typed in "I Am a Muse" in the Amazon search engine.
The only person who sells the book on there should be Bluetones, as the shop is owned by an acquaintance and he has agreed to sell the book in his online shop, but he sends the orders to me and I am the one who posts them to the customer.
Today, two more sellers seem to have the book in stock, and sell it at quite a high price; only they don't: I am the only one who has got copies - The British Library and five other deposit libraries have a copy each, but that's it. A few people have bought the book but they don't have online bookshops. So what I'd like to know is this: how is it possible that those people sell my book when all the copies that exist are here, patiently waiting in their boxes in my office to be sold?
Mystery! Maybe I should try and buy one of my own books to see what happens?
Last weekend, we spent a wonderful day in trendy and thriving Whitstable.
It was not our first time in the town (see my previous blog about it) nor was it our last! We are usually there in January for some reason, and it was great to see the town in the full swing of summer. It was transformed - although I do have a thing for seaside resorts in the winter; My favourite seasons for everything are autumn and winter!
They really seem to be doing the right things there, and I think Southend Council, who seems to have a total lack of imagination and creativity, should send a few spies to analyse what the small Kent town is doing right. Southend deserves so much better. There are a few clues as to how in the following paragraphs.
Their high street is full of a great variety of independent shops (i.e opportunities for local businesses). It is positively thriving.
The week-long Oyster festival had just come to an end, but it didn't feel like it: there was music, stalls, and the excellent Whitstable Harbour Village was open.
I really think Southend should consider doing its own seafront village: spaces available for small local businesses (most of them creative people: artisans, artists, small entrepreneurs... a flexible approach mixing fishermen's huts and cheaper stalls - we could have little colourful beach huts and stalls. The village is open every weekend and Bank Holidays from March to Christmas. With the amount of creatives in the area, this type of setting would be ideal on the seafront, which is full of cafes and places to eat but where there is nothing to see, really. I am sure visitors would love to have things to look at, browse and purchase, and us local creatives and small businesses who cannot afford to rent a shop would have a place to showcase and sell our work.
Who will take on the challenge?
The Tudor Tea Rooms are located in an absolutely gorgeous 17th Century building... It is lovely in there!
Unfortunately, I am still struggling to find some time to write... So the first draft of The Book of Thoth has stalled again, but Matt ArtPix has been working on the cover! And I think he is now VERY close to nailing it... This is my favourite design so far, so expect the final artwork to look quite a lot like this one!
We will also be working on some postcards for the autumn to promote I Am a Muse and The Book of Thoth.
Catherine (Kat) Moorhouse is a quiet, mature fourteen year-old girl interested in history and nature. She was only a baby when her mother, a musicologist from New Zealand, died in a car crash on a research trip. She has lived with her widowed journalist father in New York, Edinburgh and London.
After a vicious bullying campaign that has left her seriously shaken and heart-broken, Kat is relieved when her father decides to move to Dorset for an indefinite period of time. The young girl soon feels at ease in her new environment and falls in love with the county’s ancestral landscape. She is particularly drawn to St Catherine’s chapel in Abbotsbury, with which she shares her name. One evening, on Chapel Hill, she meets a mysterious woman, also called Catherine, who works as a “life assistant” to a local elderly aristocrat, Ronald Sinclair. The origins of Lord Sinclair’s family are rather dubious and are the stuff of legend in the area.
As her relationship with Catherine develops, Kat finds herself at the same time fascinated and repulsed by her new friend and understands that nothing is what it seems in this idyllic part of England…
I have also copied the synopsis on The Right Place page.
I think therefore I write.
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