Friday, December 31, 2010

Mirror mirror on the wall...

It's the New Year and at the risk of being a cliche, time for some reflection.

Twenty-ten was a mixed bag of a year and the highlight, it has to be said, was more a decision than it was an event.

The year kicked off on a non-writing relating milestone (yeah I do have some other stuff going on). I was headlong into my Project Management studies and at the end of January I sat (and thankfully passed) my exams. Only to quickly realise that that there was still no jobs out there, no matter how well qualified I was.

So the decision to be a professional writer was an easy one to make then? Yeah, probably.

It may have looked like I was already being a professional writer since I started writing 'Burning Matches' in 2008, but I quickly realised that one cannot make a career out of just writing novels, even published ones. Not at the start anyway. So certain priorities had to change and actions taken.....and more about that when I have something definitive to report. (But thanks to a certain TV producer - you know who you are - for getting the ball rolling).

The same producer was also very generous in writing me a letter of recommendation on the back of my other pride-and-joy, the TV Drama Series 'Square One'. That went through a bit of a face-lift during 2010 and is now sitting on the desks of a literary agent and a production company (with recommendation letter attached), hopefully with representation and a commission on the horizon.

There were, needless to say, other moments of stress as well, most of them in relation to the aforementioned novel. A chance meeting with another agent brought about a frenetic flurry of a rewrite during the summer. But, if I do say so myself, the book is much better for having gone through it. (Even if the agent wasn't keen and ultimately said 'No Thanks').
I'm confident that it was worthy of the Poolbeg 'Write A Bestseller' competition in which it was entered last week. Which leads me on to the other subject of high stress....that damn synopsis. Two weeks to write one page! One word of advice, people...write the synopsis before you write the book!

So 2010 might be summed up as the 'no-more-messin-around' year. 2011...the 'Rich-and-Famous' year, perhaps? Actually, I'll just settle for 'Rich'...

Monday, December 20, 2010

Nothing wrong with a bit of healthy (Writing) Competition... (Part 2).

As I'm sure you're well aware, the deadline for the Poolbeg / TV3 'Write A Bestseller' competition was last Friday...

And 'Burning Matches' is in!

Yes indeed, the 'masterpiece' was handed in on Thursday after a 10-day nightmare of trying to perfect....the synopsis. Yes indeed, having written and rewritten 460-ish pages of the novel over the last two years or so, I haven't had so much heartache as I had trying to write a 'simple' one-page synopsis. To say I finally nailed it...would be a slight exageration - still not happy with it but, suffice to say, it is definitely better than it was a week and half ago.

Anyway, look, it's done and more importantly, is sitting, with the novel, on the desk of the fabulous, gifted and sexy decision-maker at Poolbeg Publishing (who might be reading this) ...with the 200 or so other novels that I'm reliably informed have also entered. I guess it'll make all the sweeter when I win...

By the way, huuuuge thanks to Margaret, Hugh and Ger for all their help with the previously mentioned synopsis...cheers guys.

Friday, December 3, 2010


Yes, it's true, I'm tweeting. So between Facebook, the website, the blog and now Twitter, I pretty much don't need to speak to a living soul ever again. I'm going to become one of those really annoying people who, when asked any question, gives the same answer.
'Hi Paul, how are you?' 'How am I? Haven't you seen my tweet?'

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Okay folks, this isn't funny anymore.

Yes, this is a writing blog but I do occasionally pause to, well, talk about the weather. And to reference the person who is best at defining the funny/not funny status of any situation (Dad), this week's 'cold snap' crossed that line at 2.35 this afternoon.

So, when I was stuck in, what in normal conditions would be an average pothole, I stopped being smug and got down the basic goal of survival. I managed to free myself of the chasm (how much does a new clutch for a Honda Prelude cost, I wonder?) only to be faced with the thought 'How am going to get up the hill into Parkwest?' Half an hour (that's how long it took to travel a quarter of a mile) of considering my options - Do I sleep in my car or battle the elements? Is it really okay to drink your own urine? How long before I resort to cannibalism? - I found myself.....well, at home, to be honest. So much for all that paranoia.

But that's it though, I am not leaving the warm and food-enhanced sanctuary of my apartment until the weather stops being so mean. I wonder how long I can make that half-pint of milk last.

Thanks for lunch Catherine, by the way.