The Creative Time

Monday 6 September 2021

Autumn is almost here, my most productive time of the year. I'm back to writing fiction albeit in a fairly fragmented way. After listening to Atomic Habits by James Clear, I've decided to develop a routine and writing is going to be a part of this. To motivate myself, I'm working on smaller pieces - a poem for a competition and a series of short Instagram-based stories. My main project however, is to rewrite an SFF novel that I finished a few years ago. I've had plenty of time to think about this and am refining my ideas by tuning into The Science of Storytelling by Will Storr.

I plan to submit to agents within 9 months - no point faffing around any longer. I've tried the longer paths so many times and to be honest, it's not worth waiting for that perfect moment.

Ideally, I will also continue to write at least two blog posts each month for my bookish account. I'm really happy with my latest publication - Literary England: 42 Essential Book Destinations to Visit. It took a few months to put together and I hope that people will find it useful.

A Writing Update

Thursday 28 January 2021

A long-overdue writing update on this blog, which I may resurrect at some point soon as I start to write  fiction again. 

Life has changed dramatically since 2016. I parted from my agent after we took different routes. Also, unhappy with a uninspiring job in administration, I changed my career completely and now freelance as a digital marketer -working on the sites Ezeeprint and Ezeeplan, Buxton International Festival as well as various smaller projects. This was largely kickstarted by my involvement with Bookstagram, where my photography has enjoyed viral success. Discovering this new creative outlet has been amazing, but it has also diverted my attention (and time) away from crafting novels. 

I'm still blogging though. To chart this new journey, I set up a new book blog, The Book Family Rogerson, which builds upon the ideas and travel expressed through my Instagram account. I regularly share Bookstagram post ideas and book recommendations such as the recent 10 Life-Changing Books for 2021. I love creating wishlists on here too. My Book Nook post is basically a shopping list for my library.

Despite enjoying blogging, there is a big fiction-shaped hole in my life so I'm hoping that I'll be able to begin work on a rewrite of an old fantasy novel this summer. It was originally going to be middle-grade, but now I'm considering turning it into an adult book. This is partially because my reading tastes have widened over the past four years, but also because I want to try something different. 

All being well, I will share another writing update here very soon!





Sunday 18 September 2016

Hundreds of hidden springs, but only one has the power to raise the dead. Can Izzy find it in time?

READS: November Round-Up

Sunday 1 December 2013

November was an eclectic reading month. There was a mix of fiction and non fiction, young adult, new adult and middle grade, published and self-published. Unusually, for me, none of the books fitted into the category of UKYA this time.

I started out with All I Want for Christmas by Esme Taylor, a romantic novella from Hot Key Unlocked, which I uploaded to Kindle. I don't usually go for contemporary romance so this made a nice change. It was easy to read and well-written. Not necessarily a genre I'd return to frequently, but worth a try. I'm definitely going to keep out for new releases from Hot Key Unlocked.

The Wild Girl by Kate Forsyth was a review copy. Again, not something I'd normally choose, but I was happily surprised (and the cover is beautiful). The author really brought the historical period to life and made me view the world of the Brothers Grimm from a completely new angle. I'm keen to read her other novels now.

I've been meaning to devote some time to Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott for years so was chuffed when I discovered a copy in my local library. Even better, the book was much funnier than expected, as well as being full of sage writing advice. Great if you need to boost your creative confidence.

Miss Hyde by Gwen Ellery was also a review copy, which I read on my Kindle. I really enjoyed this self-published steampunk novel loosely based on the story of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. It's aimed at the new adult market and contains lots of intrigue and romance.

I managed to find time to devour Shine by Candy Gourlay at the end of the month. Wow! I loved Tall Story so had been really looking forward to Candy's next novel. Full of mystery, strange illnesses and ghosts, I ploughed through the copy at record speed. Great, great, great! 
I have plenty of books lined up for December. My TBR pile currently stands at a respectable fourteen titles and I'm planning to read at least a third of these in time for another delivery from Santa. Need more shelves!!

5 Things I Brought Home from the 2013 SCBWI British Isles Conference

Monday 25 November 2013

This was my third SCBWI conference and the best yet. There was a great mix of speakers, amazing co-delegates and to top it all, excellent weather! As always, I had lots of good intentions to take stacks of photos, say hi to everyone I knew and get a decent amount of sleep. Sadly I didn't achieve any of these, but I did manage to bring some fantastic mementoes and memories home with me to Buxton. Here's this year's stash (in no particular order):

A SCBWI conference wouldn't be complete without badges. I liked all the designs, but these were my faves. I especially love my volunteer's badge. If you're considering signing up to volunteer with SCBWI then I highly recommend it. It's fun, friendly and relaxed. You can find the vacancy list here.

I made sure that I had enough room in my bag for books this year. After all, that's what SCBWI is about. Four of them are signed by the authors - result!

Cryptic Notes
Every year I take copious notes and every year I struggle to decipher them. Must remember to bring my laptop next time.

Luckily some of my notes do make sense though. I learnt powerful new techniques and approaches from both Malorie Blackman's Creating Plot and Character workshop and the Dialogue intensive run by Sophia Bennett and Samantha Doland-De Vaux. I can't wait to include these in the revision plan for my WIP.

This time, I also decided to use the writing exercises to explore the seeds of a new novel. I'll be storing this flash fiction until next year, but it's great to know that it's there.

Friendships (no photos I'm afraid - too busy chatting!)
Last, but not least, I met some wonderful people this weekend - new faces and old (not literally of course!). It was particularly lovely to meet friends who I'd only talked to online before, especially all the amazing Words & Pictures editors and contributors. Thanks so much for your help this year!

SPOTLIGHT: Authors for the Philippines

Saturday 16 November 2013

Want to donate money to the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines and win great bookish prizes at the same time? Well here's your chance. YA writer, Keris Stainton has set up Authors for the Philippines, an online auction site offering an amazing selection of lots - from manuscript critiques to tea parties to acknowledgements from bestselling authors.

Here are some of my top picks:

34: Manuscript critique by Editorial Director for Random House Children’s Publishing, Becky Stradwick
50: Candy Gourlay will visit a school of your choice in the Philippines
56: Picture Book Critique by Sarah McIntyre
85: Your name as a character in Patrick Ness’s next book
100: Afternoon tea with authors Joe Craig and Holly Smale
117: Inspiration, on my Little Island with Malachy Doyle
132: A place on The Golden Egg Academy’s Action and Dramatic Workshop
139: Two invitations to the official launch party of Three Hares Publishing, 2014 + manuscript critique
140: Early manuscript of How I Live Now (from 2003) by Meg Rosoff.
220: ‘Find out the sales & marketing potential of your children’s manuscript’ with Kate Manning (Sales & Marketing Director at Hot Key Books) and Sarah Benton (Head of Marketing, Print & Digital at HKB)
260: Be a ‘halfman’ in Melvin Burgess’s next book.

The full list can be found here. Bidding is open worldwide and will finish 8pm GMT on Wednesday 20th November (all bids to be made in £).

TRAVELS: Doxey Pool: The Only Inland Mermaid Legend in Britain?

Saturday 9 November 2013

Doxey Pool can be found on the path that runs across the top of the Roaches, a gritstone escarpment not far from the Staffordshire/Derbyshire border. The area is rich in myths and legends, but I particularly love the stories surrounding this strange body of water (which allegedly never dries up even in a drought). 

Some accounts maintain that it's bottomless, others say that it connects to Blake Mere, another nearby tarn, via a deep subterranean passage. Both pools are reputed to house a malignant mermaid. In 1949, a Miss Florence Pettit claimed to have witnessed a weird creature emerge from the water just before she was about to take a morning swim. Here's her description of the event:
…a great ‘thing’ rose up from the middle of the lake. It rose very quickly until it was 25 to 30 feet tall. Seeming to be part of the slimy weeds and the water, yet it had eyes, and those eyes were extremely malevolent. It pointed its long boney fingers menacingly at me so there was no mistaking its hostility. I stood staring at the undine, water spirit, naiad or whatever it was while my heart raced. Its feet just touched the surface of the water, the weeds and the air. when I dared to look again, the creature was dissolving back into the elements from which it had formed.
Sadly I didn't see anything odd when I visited, but there's definitely a haunting stillness surrounding the mere. It's easy to understand why locals are wary of the spot and continue to avoid the pool, especially at night.