Look very carefully and you’ll see a tiny frog in this picture, spotted in the gorgeous Krka National Park in Croatia. I’m guessing he could be on a fishing trip, but what about me?
I’ve always felt a good title is a clincher for any piece of writing. I have at least two short stories that I think gained immeasurably (and finally got noticed) from having titles that were both eye-catching and also encapsulated the story as a whole. But novels are lots of stories woven into one, and I’ve always found it hard to settle on a title that does the whole thing justice. In fact, having decided to ‘have another go’ (i.e. a rigorous-rather-than-radical edit) with novel no.2, it struck me that the current title, which seemed perfect at the time, now feels a bit bland for a book that I think is quite distinctive and for a heroine who gets herself into some memorable pickles.
But foget onions, Ailsa’s unlikely specialist subject is fish, and flicking through some old notes I came upon a previous idea that now feels like a much better fit. The only problem is, I am loathe to ditch the image that was perfect for The Water’s Edge until I have a new one. And so for the time being, I’ll leave the page as it is. But in my mind (and my submission letters) the title is now A Kettle of Fish. And if Iam ever able to commission a professional artist, here’s an image that might do very nicely.
Meanwhile, a few more holiday snaps for those who are interested.
I worked too long in academia for September not to feel like the start of a new year of work, and although we are still in August, two things happened recently to make me look back and take stock of where I am with my writing. First of all I was fascinated to read on Scottish writer Catherine Czerkawska’s blog that, despite her many successes with plays, poems and other creative writing, her true aspirations are as a novelist. I could relate to this, since although I’ve had a lot of fun, and some success, this year in submitting to magazines and short story comps, it still feels like a kind of intermission in my main writing life.
Soon after I met with a fellow writer who like me has given up on her current novel but is doing a rigorous rewrite of an exisiting MS and making plans to send it out. This initally brought only another sigh from me, as my mission to rewrite The Water’s Edge following its brief outing at Winchester also seems to have foundered on the rocks of indifference. But as often happens, the mutual moan got me thinking. Here I am with a completed novel that has never been seen by only two agents and not a single indie publisher. As someone who aspires to get a novel published, how stupid is that?
So with my personal New Year on the horizon, I’ve decided it’s time to get myself and Ailsa back in harness so that I can at least report back on how she fared in the outside world. Other projects can wait. It’s one thing to put a novel in the drawer if it has been rejected, but after three years of work, I think it deserves an outing first!
Finally, a big thank you to writer and teacher Linda Lewis (aka Catherine Howard) for her generous critique of Preparing for Winter which she recently awarded third prize. Don’t forget you can also read this story on the Writespace site and in the SlingInk Shorts e-zine.
When Miss Pitch asked for romantic novels, I couldn’t resist submitting Bel and Alec to Pitch Parlour. Comments are already flooding in, and quite a few are positive. Should I give my star-crossed lovers another outing to the publishing world?
I only wished I had checked the text I lazily lifted from another file more carefully. An error on first page – how did that happen?!
And what is going on with Blogger right now? Reading comments is sticky – posting them impossible. Looks like Google accounts are OK but WordPress ID is no longer in favour.