Friday, June 10, 2005

The ideas game

Word count: 132,635

Another really busy week. Back at the beeb and the atmosphere is quite strained. Instead of graffiti on the loo doors, we have signs listing the reasons why we should join the union. I am just relieved that the management haven't countered that with a picture of our uber-boss Mark Thompson pointing, Kitchener style, with a slogan Your BBC Needs You. That could put you right off, mid-stream.

It's weird being back. Nice, in some ways, bumping into friends and being able to make a contribution to the new set of ideas that are going forward. But I also have a 'last term at school' feeling, as though we're all drinking in the last chance saloon. Odd atmosphere. And it's been really busy.

I missed Kate Allan's launch party this week because of working late, which is shame as it looks tremendous fun. I really admire what Kate's done to promote her book, The Lady Soldier, and she deserves to do well.

Today I had an ideas meeting with my new agent. This is the Big Writing Decision I was so mysterious about the other week. It was very useful to go through my thoughts for my fourth and maybe also fifth book (though it's weird to be planning ahead for a novel which, fingers crossed, would hit the bookshelves in 2008!), and I felt I made lots of progress after New Agent pinpointed the strengths, but more usefully, the weaknesses, of my ideas. I am someone who has LOTS of ideas but finds it hard to see the wood for the trees, so it's good to be clear on ideas from the start.

I'm actually giving a talk on ideas generation at the Romantic Novelists' Association conference in a few weeks' time - really ought to get round to planning the talk properly. I am such a last minute merchant.

So tonight I have been doing more revisions on Brown Owl (about 2/5ths of the way through the changes I want to make) and also planting out gorgeous shrubs that FINALLY arrived from crocus.co.uk. They arrived, mind you, after I'd put the order on hold, so not sure what happened there. But although the customer service is mixed, the plants are good quality and reasonably priced, so I will use them again.

Lovely Link of the Day:

Music is a brilliant way of remembering a time in 'history' - I am working on various scenes set in 1979 in my new book and it helps so much to remember what was Number One - so try this site to get your nostalgia muscles moving...

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