This week I’m…
Revelling in autumn. You can keep spring. Autumn is GORGEOUS—the trees turning such beautiful colours and the spiders webs you spot on hedges, doors, railings (everywhere, really). Plus, we get to wear more clothes (always a bonus), dig out boots and feel less guilty about getting into bed with a book at 7pm just because. (For much, much better outdoor autumn pics, check out Sunshine and Celandines post about Strid Wood here.)
Wishing I was braver. This ties in with the paragraphs above. Enjoying nature means you automatically worry about the future, and the lack of action governments and businesses are making to ensure Planet Earth remains habitable. I’ve been following the Extinction Rebellion revolts, applauding as ordinary people glue their hands to pavements, deliver climate change lectures on planes and ultimately get themselves arrested. I love the ‘uncooperative crusties’ and what they are doing. “Emma,” I said to myself this week, “you could handle an arrest, couldn’t you?” Promise, promise, promise next year I will carry out action.
Eating more plant-based. See above! Most of the time, I follow a low-carb diet because I have type 1 diabetes and that is the way of eating that works best for me. It’s never sat well with how I feel about animals. (Love ‘em!) But I’ve been making more of an effort to explore alternatives such as tofu and Quorn and reduce how much meat and dairy I eat.
Eating at a Glasgow institution. Despite having lived in Glasgow or nearby for seventeen years now, I have never visited Rogano’s—Glasgow’s oldest restaurant. As the great Cunard liner, the Queen Mary, was built on the Clyde in the 1930s, a restaurant was refitted in the same Art Deco style and a Glasgow stalwart was born. The 30s feel is delightful and the food delicious. (I, er, veered away from plant-based, too tempted by the Stornoway black pudding topped with a perfectly poached egg and chorizo crumb.)
Publishing books. Ah yes! Highland Heart, the second in the Highland Books came out this week. Funnily enough, it begins in autumn…
I hope you enjoy your Autumn. I’m hanging out for Summer. Summer means salads, more plant-based foods 😃
Enjoy your spring and the salad days!
I do love Autumn. And thanks for the link! The restaurant sounds like a real Glasgow institution. It’s fab that your new book begins in Autumn. I’m currently on season four of Outlander. Loving it. ❤️
A lot of it was filmed in Pollok Park, Glasgow!
Emma, I have been reading your Highland Fling and thought that it was superbly written. Your characters are real, their conversations spot on. I really admire that style in which it is written as it truly taps into the audience. RESPECT.
Thank you, Mike! Very kind of you to say. I am always happy to do beta read swaps if that is useful?
That sounds interesting. What is a beta read swap?
Just where both of us read each other’s works in progress and give feedback. The level of detail varies but you usually look for points such as is the plot plausible? Are the characters consistent? Is there repetition anywhere, are there any boring bits and if so, where? I’m sure you will have found good, reliable beta readers are worth their weight in gold…
Emma, that’s a good idea. Sometimes I think my work becomes repetitive and I struggle to get over the hump and inot the final third. I think that it is clear that you are more disciplined than me and know how to navigate your way through plot and characters. At the moment, I am trying to write my way through the companion novel to AWOL and I am struggling. I just try to write as if that will lead me out of the woods. Not quite working yet, as it has been in-process for ten years.
Ah, the flabby middle! Most writers hate it… What might help is to look up one-page plot outlines online (Derek Murphy on creativindie does one, as does Eva Deveraux). The outlines tell you what should be happening chapter by chapter. This helps you build up the tension, rather than flinging in too much at the beginning and then losing steam. Their outlines are mainly for fantasy stuff but I adopted mine for romance. These days, I’m a big believer in outlining from the start as I think it makes you more productive and it’s easier to fix plot holes in an outline than a finished manuscript. It doesn’t mean you need to stick rigidly to the outline, but it makes writing much easier when you know what each chapter is supposed to do. (In general, take you from one POV/position and reverse it by the end of the chapter.)
You are such an informative writer. Brillaint stuff.
Hey, no probs. I got a lot of help from people when I started out (and still do) so anxious to pay it forward… if you want a discussion on plot unscrambling, email me at email@example.com
One of the downsides is the bloody great spiders that come into the house! I’ve cans of Spider X in nearly every room.
Spiders, spiders everywhere…!