Friday, January 11, 2008

Running amok






The editor of "Yours" magazine called me yesterday, to say she wanted to publish a short story I submitted, ages ago, in their year-book, which was a real thrill I can tell thee. I mean, it doesn't come out until October, but still - woo-hoo!! Funny how a bit of unexpected news like that can give you such a boost. It was like the writerly beast within me had been unleashed - sorry for the visual there, hope you weren't eating - and within minutes I found myself rooting out some short stories that had been languishing on the shelf, like little spinsters, for months and giving them a bit of a tweaking. I've already sent one off to "Best" magazine, and the others will soon be sent out into the world to seek their perfect partners. No doubt they'll return in due course, having been bitterly rejected, and I'll have to let them move back in again and start doing their washing and...oh sod it, I can't keep up the analogy. You get my drift. It was exciting all over again.
I'd also composed roughly 28 stories by bedtime (only in my head, mind you) and couldn't get to sleep for trying to work out a truly spectacular Twist in the Tale ending to one of them, which didn't happen even though I tried to programme myself to dream the answer. By mid-morning, I was somewhat flushed and wild-eyed, but as I went tramping round the fields with Molly-dog, brain still in over-drive, I came up with the truly stupendous idea of transferring my novel-in-progress to...ta-dah - A BLOG. Like this one, but as though I was the main character, telling her story to the world!!! I know! Brilliant. (You'd think I was the first person ever to think of this...) It's because I've been struggling a bit with the Voice, which I want to be chatty like I am on here, but more Fictional, obviously, only I haven't quite got it right yet, so I'm going to give it a go and see how it pans out. Not for anyone to read, or anything. Just as an experiment really. I'd taken my Moleskine** notepad out with me (despite the raging wind and rain - I must have looked insane) and under cover of a towering Oak (okay, it was a big tree, I don't know what sort) I even wrote down some ideas. Trouble was, reading them back when I got home, they were more like responses to the ideas, so I'd written things like "Blog?!?" "nice one!!" "chapters maybe???" "why though?" "taxi-drivers can't do that," which was a bit confusing as I've now got to work out what the ideas were in the first place. Of course, all this smacks a bit of getting out of Getting On With It, but in fact, after the phone call yesterday, I feel more like getting on with it than ever, which can't be a bad thing. I've already made a start, and it feels...well, schizophrenic, but in a good way. I'll let you know how it goes.

**Did you know that Moleskine is apparently pronounced "Mol-a-skeen-a" ?? How flipping pretentious does that sound? Bad enough owning one (I couldn't resist - see Lane's post about notebook addiction) but if I said to my family, "I got my Mol-a-skeen-a out in the field today," they'd assume I'd flipped and bought myself a firearm. At the risk of sounding dumb, as opposed to Up-Myself (as the Teens would say), I've decided to stick to my "hide-of-a-burrowing-mammal" pronunciation. I don't suppose anyone will notice. Will they??

12 comments:

Maddie Moon said...

Whoopee! Congratulations on the sale, Karen, that's fantastic news. Here's to many more!

CTaylor said...

Congrats on the news. That's brilliant. Is their yearbook a magazine or something with a hard cover?

Tom Foolery (TF) said...

Congratulations, Can I have your autograph? PLEASE. I can, YIPEE. (Note to myself: January sales go buy a moleskine autograph book) Jokes aside, Well Done. TFX

L-Plate Author said...

Congrats Karen, I've never seen my name in print, unless you can count a letter in Woman's Own when I was eighteen. Oh no, I've got married since then so I can't even use that!

HelenMH said...

I hope you work out what the ideas were - they sound fascinating!

Wayne said...

Good on ya! It's been a burrowing mammal to me for years too.

PS: The word verification I need to enter for this post is molpoo. That's not pronounced mol-a-po-o is it?

Lane said...

Hurrah! That's brilliant news! Nothing like an acceptance to get you all fired up. Can't wait to read it!


And they will always be 'hides of burrowing animals' to me, just as Nestles will never be Nes-lay, Nike , Ni-keeee or Porsche, Por-sha:-)

ps blog thing sounds good!

Leigh said...

Is your medication prescribed, or can I have some too?

Casdok said...

Cor! I thought i had a lot going on in my head till i read this!! :)

Sarah Dunnakey said...

Well done on your 'Yours' acceptance. I really like the idea of giving your main character a blog -great way to get inside her head and find out what's going on in there. I tried keeping a fictional diary for a while but sadly let it slide, maybe I should take it up again. My notebook is a stripy Pukka, please don't tell me its a Pooka

KAREN CLARKE said...

maddie - Thanks - trouble is I can envisage myself getting distracted into writing short stories again, and forgetting about The Novel!

cally - Thankyou! I'm not sure whether it's hardback or paperback, but it's a biggish book called "A Year With Yours" that costs £6.99. Downside there, I guess, is that it's less accessible than a magazine maybe?

tf - You can have my autograph when I've finished perfecting it ;)

l-plate - I once had a letter in Woman magazine, but felt oddly embarrassed and never told anyone!!

helenmh - I usually remember ideas just as I'm dropping off to sleep, but I'm getting better at writing them down!

wayne - at least molpoo sounds vaguely like a (rude) word - the verification letters I encounter usually require a magnifying glass to decipher.

lane - I can't bring myself to say Por-sha either. Just discovered, via a radio show, that Leominster is actually pronounced Lemster. How confusing!

leigh - I've stopped the medication now, and feel much better :)

casdok - I was unusually excited - I'm quite normal, really!

sarah dunnakey - The novel-blog is going surprisingly well so far - all psychological I'm sure, but whatever helps!
A Pooka, by all accounts, is a mischeivous spirit, which is quite a good name for a notebook :)

FPDuck said...

Blog/diary things are great ways of letting characters evolve quasi-naturally. I considered doing it, and was the main reason I opened a blogger account, but I soon realised I was going to rapidly run out of steam.

So I settled for mumbling about cheeses and hoping for snow.

Congratulations, and good luck
Mike

P.S. You feel you can't criticise, I feel awkward about receiving compliments...
Thanks, though. It helps to know when I'm on the right track. As for the 'explainy' bits, they'll always appear in my first drafts, it helps to know when I've gone a little OTT with them.

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