So I know what you’re thinking….I quit!

Let me reassure you that I have not. Have I grown disheartened at times, yes. Have there been times when I wished I was somewhere else? Absolutely. Do I hate the editing process? Of course,  but who doesn’t.

I would be lying if I told you that I had been working solidly for the past six months at the editing and drafts processes. I have jumped in and out of it all, sometimes because it was suggested by those more experienced in writing and publishing and other times because I was struggling with something else.

In October I had TIA (Transient ischemic attack), also known as a mini stroke. Several investigations and procedures later I’d like to say its all sorted but its still up the air. As a consequence of the investigation doctors have also found a small hole in my heart a PFO. These a fairly common and often cause no problems, except when they do. Unfortunately there is debate as to weather the PFO caused the TIA. This would all make a fascinating book and maybe when its all sorted I’ll look into that!

For now I’m managing the symptoms and consequences of the TIA, one of which seems to be migraines and getting back to that six year old dream. I have managed to finish a second draft and seek feedback on my draft manuscript from two people now. I finally feel ready to step up to the heart wrenching process of submissions and rejections.

I’ve stepped lightly initially and just sent my first two chapters off the the Byron Writers Festival Retreat Submissions and expect to not hear from them (as they only contact the winners) as early as next Friday.  My next step is contacting a publisher directly.

I have been plugging away at a query letter and numerous drafts of a synopsis (I can’t believe how poorly I did at this with my first submission to the Richell Prize with Hachette last year- If I ever have the chance to apologise for that one I will be taking it.) and submissions to Harlequin are now open. I am determined to hit send this week, before I chicken out, so I expect total despair to settle in over the coming months whilst I await that rejection.

Of course despair often leads to a burst of creativity and I am pleased to say that I’m already working on my second novel, something completely different from my first and its exhilarating to write it. I promise to keep you all in the loop with that one.


You win. I need that book!

You can be in no doubt of my love of books by now. Not just fiction but all books. Ok so not exactly all books, I don’t really subscribe to books about baby growth, pregnancy and child development after a traumatic experience of first time motherhood at the hands of them (ok so this might be a slight exaggeration,  but my husband did dispose of them as I found myself judging my every move as a first time mother and declaring myself a failure each time my son didn’t do something at exactly the right time according to the books). I’m also not a huge fan of science fiction or fantasy, but I am currently trying to work on that and expand my reading library. Brandon Sanderson a lot is riding on your work here, don’t let me down.

At the writers workshop I went to at the beginning of the year (told you it would come up again) I gladly took the time during break to devour the books on display, taking photos of most of them to add to the professional library when I was brave enough to dive in to my new profession. I scoffed at the baby name book, why would I need that? I apologise for that Scoff Fiona and Jaye. Please send me a copy of any baby name book you have, I beg of you. 

I have just spent the last hour pouring through the draft of my first book (just three not so short chapters from complete) digging out all the names of minor characters so that I can follow up on some feedback from a friend who patiently reads my first draft. You see she needs me to be consistent with the names. Apparently when I change someone’s name, otherwise known as forgetting I called them something already, she is struggling to know who I am talking about. She has also suggested not giving two characters who have a relationship a name with the same first letter, it can get confusing. 

This sounded like a reasonable request so I set about making a map of the characters, relationships, families etc. I quite liked it because I got to use coloured pens and create a mind map, which is one of my most favourite activities to do. Imagine my surprise though when I realised that five of my characters had a name starting with T, four with R, three with J, A and S and barley any other letters. Apparently I struggle with naming characters and I desperately need that Baby Name book after all! 

I’ve renamed them all now, even managed to double up again in the renaming process. I’ve decided for my second book (yes I am optimistic)  I’m going to use the mindmap as I go and invest in google to help me name them evenly across the alphabet. Maybe not entirely evenly, I can’t imagine myself using Q, X or V very often. 
    P.s. This was not an attempt to avoid writing those last three chapters……well I am not admitting to that anyway!

What Does Little Kel want?


A couple of months ago whilst in peer consultation, in my previous (although currently my dual) professional life, a colleague and good friend asked me if I could give my younger self anything what would it be? My answer was time. I don’t think she really knew what she was doing when she asked me that question, or maybe she did? Regardless it was the question that unlocked years of wondering about my career and what I wanted to do with my life. 

Fast forward two months and some pretty big conversations with my husband, children and friends and here I am closing down my private practice as a Psychologist and taking the time to feed my two greatest loves, after my children and husband of course, reading and writing. 

I won’t say this is the first time I’ve written anything, or blogged for that matter. In that previous career I’ve had the opportunity to do both these things and unlock my creative side. I could have continued to do that and returned to a mix of clinical work, research and project work like I have in the past, but in doing this I would be again struggling to find the balance between work, family and me. It was time to give little kel a chance, I couldn’t ignore the pleading of that six year old self saying ‘ it’s my turn now.’

So for the first time I have left the confines of academic writing, blogging about mental health and writing project reports and I’m turning my fingers and mind towards the creative world of fiction. To say that I have a few ideas to pursue is an understatement. I have a suitcase of them and they are in size 9 font, single spaced and printed double sided. With so many where do I start?

It turns out starting wasn’t a problem. I’m 45K into my first novel, seeking every writing competition I can find to enter in the pursuit of improvement in my skill….oh ok, I’m also looking for some kind of approval, that I belong in this world and that I was right to listen to that six year old self.  I know I don’t really need it though, I love writing and creating stories and characters and it brings me happiness everyday. So rejection be ware – I will not give up!