So, I'm in Devon. On holiday. On a farm. I'm cooking on an Aga. The sea is just nearby - in fact, it's my back garden. The sea is my back garden - imagine that! The effect of living this life, only for a week so far, has clearly changed my mode of writing. So now I write in short sentences. And I use more exclamation marks! Psychologically, maybe this is saying something about how sensational I think living this kind of life, in this kind of area, must be. As well as this, I have been introduced to various farming magazines: 'The Field' for example (copies of which have been left next to the loo in the bathroom, by the farmer I imagine). I have learned which plants are poisonous and the various modes of death - interesting - and I have also learned about the role of women in hunting/shooting. Women are 'pickers-up'. They, with their dogs, pick up the shot prey. Apparently, the Queen is an ace picker-up. See. Interesting.
Anyway, here's a picture from last night: the view from my new sitting room of the moon on the left and the sun setting on the right over the sea - which, as I've said, is my back garden. Beautiful. Looks like a book cover to me...
I've been reading about someone who set out, last Sunday, to write a novel in a week - and they did it. Just over 60,000 words in 7 days. This is an amazing achievement. From a personal point of view, I know it's difficult enough to write a short story a day - and flash fiction at that, let alone 8500 words. I suppose it's all about focus and concentration. Most of the time, I feel like I'm living a kind of split-screen life, not fully concentrating on any one thing. It's not multi-tasking. At all. It's just being busy and not doing anything particularly well. It truly would be fantastic to be able to sit down and just write, but even with that privilege, I think I'd still struggle to get a fully formed first draft in a week, or even a month for that matter. But this made me think: the very fact that someone decided to try this marathon writing session should speak volumes for the changes taking place in the writing business - and it is a business - but does it, really? Shakespeare wrote loads, and quickly, because that was his business. So, the moral for today is this: I should stop fannying about and get on with the business of writing. End.
(If you don't believe me about the novel in a week thing, read about it here: http://novelinaweek.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/did-i-do-it-day-7-report.html )
So, I'm writing again with some vigour, which is absolutely ace in every way. My new anthology of short fiction should be out in September this year - working title: 51 Ways to Leave your Lover. The proceeds will go entirely to the lovely people at Platform51 (have a look at what they do at Platform51.org). As well as this, I've begun writing a series of novels (first one likely to be out before the end of the year) - basically crime fiction, the protagonist is a female tattoo artist (apologies to my son, Rich Hadley, who's a male tattoo artist and who has something to say about the female of the species...) who gets herself into all sorts of wrangles and is from Stourbridge. I'm thoroughly enjoying writing this and really hope that people will like reading it. No working title just yet, except to say the protagonist is called Marsh. She has some hang ups, but she's good at what she does. I like her. Tomorrow, I'll be writing some more of her, but for now it's back to the Morgan's spiced rum and an episode of Dexter...yes please.
Kerry Hadley-Pryce has written fiction for as long as she can remember. She has had a thousand jobs ranging from dinner lady to company director, but writing is the best job she's had. She lives with her family in the sunny West Midlands, UK.