I’ve joined Peter M. Ball’s Sunday Circle to help keep my writing on track. Follow along here or join in the fun over at Peter’s blog, Man Versus Bear.

What am I working on this week?


During the week I went back to a couple of short stories I’ve been working on through the year.  The good news is, as of Friday, they’re both subbed: one to a magazine and the other to an anthology. I’m always hesitant about sending out stories for the first time because after they get their first rejection, without fail, I do a rewrite. I sometimes think I should hold onto stories for longer before submitting because of the amount of post-rejection writing I do. But the process seems to work for me. Eventually, most of my stories do get published.

My reader was super-quick in getting my young adult manuscript back to me so I’ve also had time this weekend to take on board her feedback and start another sweep through to get the manuscript ready to submit to Varuna. I’m glad she got it back to me early because I think I’m going to need the full two weeks (submissions close 30 October) to get it into shape.

What’s inspiring me this week?

This is more something that inspires me every time I sit down to write. Earlier this year I mentioned in a Sunday Circle how I’d put a print of Marc Chagall’s I and the Village on my writing room wall. What I haven’t mentioned so far is that the painting (and Marc, I call him Marc) has become my “genius” friend, the person/object I talk to when I sit down to write.

I greet ‘Marc’ at the start of a writing session and chat to him about problems I’m having with the story: about word choice, about plot points, about cutting sentences. About everything to do with writing, rewriting and editing the story, actually. Having the image to focus on as a kind of creative sounding board really works for me. I suppose that sounds weird. But I don’t care. I wear my weirdness proudly.

What action do I need to take?

Nothing in particular. Just stick to the program and write every day. Which, weirdly enough, has become easier since I went back to work full-time (or rather I started working at a job 5 minutes walk from where I live).  Eliminating the daily commute has made a huge difference to my life.