The Wanderer Returns…

The year so far

2021 has been one of those years when life, and not enough hours in the day, have overtaken my writing life. But, I’m getting back into a routine… slowly.

My writing plans for this year were derailed early on. Family health, and my own physical and mental health took priority.

I did manage to get my submission in to The Romantic Novelists’ Association’s New Writers’ Scheme (RNA NWS) with five days to spare for the end of July deadline. It was the first 10k of a 1st draft of novel number 3.

This month I’ve completed the remaining research I need for progressing with novel number 2- the contemporary romance that I submitted into the RNA NWS in 2020 and 2021. Early September I’ll be returning to complete the 2nd draft during this autumn/winter.

I’ve also gathered together my old short stories and flash fiction to see what can be reused, or needs updating. Some have connecting themes, others don’t. I know a few should be ‘left in the drawer’, but others deserve to get an airing. That’s a longer term project at the moment.

The big success this year has been my garden. We put in raised beds last year to grow more fresh vegetables, and to freeze portions for over winter. The exercise has done me good, both physically and mentally.

(I did lose a few plants over that 30-40 degree heatwave, but the rest survived.)

Now, I’m working through my annual update of my websites and checking for broken links. And the same with my social media accounts.

My August leisure activity, has been reading my way through a set of romance novels by Julie Garwood. I have a week to finish my current read, Shadow Dance.

A semi-organised bookshelf…

Meanwhile

Writers love books; be they hardback, paperback, audio, or ebooks, we have lots of them. So, I thought I’d share pictures of some of the books in my IKEA Billy bookcases. These may be books for research, general interest, or my fiction preferences. If there’s a story attached, I may share it with you.

Look out for my next post in September…

Working on New Projects…

While I await the reader’s report on my contemporary romance, I’ve been catching up on all those tasks I put to one side while I concentrated on editing.

I hope to share the news on one particular project in the next week- if all goes well.

Photo by JESHOOTS.com on Pexels.com

With the approach of #NaNoWriMo in November, I’ve decided to do an unofficial version. I have a number of novels in various stages from a synopsis and five chapters, to first drafts- some will be under my Serena Lake pseudonym, others my own name.

I’ve decided I’ll use this year’s #NaNo to write out the random scenes and plot ideas that have been lurking in my mind for a while. There’s two or three that I can make progress on.

It’s going to be a challenge, as I prefer to write sequentially. But, I want to make progress so I’m willing to try writing scenes out of order.

There’s further research to do- my reading list is growing, and a few journeys probably won’t happen until next year.

With winter approaching I’m determined to speed up…

An autumn update…

I’ve been busy, concentrating on my contemporary romance novel…

During the summer I was…

Working hard.

I’ve been concentrating on the middle of my contemporary romance novel this year.

My partial manuscript submission went into the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s New Writers’ Scheme on the 31st August- with 45 minutes to spare before the deadline. It would have been in an hour earlier, but I experienced that moment all writers dread, the document had corrupted and couldn’t be opened

Adrenaline rushed around my bloodstream as disaster unfolded before my eyes.

Fortunately, I remembered I’d saved another copy in an alternative format. When it opened, I cheered, until I looked at the time I had left to submit.

I wasn’t glued to my desk all summer. I worked in the afternoon after taking a couple of hours out in the sunshine growing vegetables and flowers in the part of the garden we redesigned earlier this year.

Coming up…

There’s going to be a couple of changes to the website.

I’m adding a non-fiction page- more about that in a future post- and a slight redesign- before I return to the novel.

I also have a research reading list to begin working through for the follow-up book to the current one I’m writing.

This month face-to-face meetings at Nottingham Writers’ Club resume, so my free days are filling up once more. But, it will be good to reconnect with familiar faces.

It’s also time to put my next newsletter together ready to go out early October. If you’d like to sign up to receive it, there’s a pop-up form you can fill in to join my newsletter list…

It’s going to be a busy autumn.