Friday update

Here are last week’s goals:

  1. Work on SWMF on 5/7 days. No…done on two days.
  2. Finish one scene and start on the next. Still working on the same scene, but inching along with it.
  3. Spend 20 minutes a day rereading the YA novel and taking notes – on 4/7 days. Done on two days.
  4. Look for/work on submissions on 3/7 days. Done on two days (thanks, Marianne!).

I’m starting to feel as if I’m slipping beneath the waters, and every area of my life is suffering from my workload at the moment. But good things are still happening, and in three weeks’ time I will get my life back again. So, good things:

  • My short story is still on a shortlist for an award (judging is next week, as is my birthday…).
  • I have a book launch to go to. As in, an actual book featuring my writing. At a launch. With other writers.
  • The latest draft of SWMF is over 14,000 words long. A couple of months ago it was stuck at 6,000. How did that happen? Oh, yeah, in ten-minute bursts and spare moments.
  • I have so many ideas for making the YA novel better, and this time through I’m actually writing them down.
  • I just found a note I’d written about something that happens two books down the line in the YA story, and ooh, I SO want to write that!
  • Three weeks. I can do this.

OK, so next week’s goals. They’re lower again, because this week really hasn’t been fun, and also because I have guests this weekend, but still they’re hopefully enough to keep me pushing forward with things.

  1. Work on SWMF on 3/7 days.
  2. Finish the current scene and move onto the next one.
  3. Spend 20 minutes on rereading the YA novel and taking notes – on 3/7 days.
  4. Work on submissions on 2/7 days.


Friday update

*shuffles feet* I have been slacking off on checking in here, partly because the good news I posted about on Wednesday has blown my mind and partly because, well, work stress. Plus other things, both lovely and awful, that have overloaded my brain.

OTOH, I have been writing, albeit it at what feels like snail’s pace. My goals last time I posted were:

  1. Work on SWMF on 6/7 days.
  2. Finish another two scenes.
  3. Spend 20 minutes a day rereading the YA novel and taking notes.
  4. Find something to enter/a place to submit something.

I’ve been inching forward with SWMF, and the same (to a lesser extent) with the YA novel. I’ve not been so good about submitting my work, which is ridiculous given that so far for the year I have a 50% success rate. So I would like to enter/submit more stuff. Unfortunately, at the moment it’s hard to see beyond the fog of work obscuring the next month.

But I’ve dealt with this before, and I know it’s about carving out little shards of time in which to work. So I’m going to set some goals for the coming week, even though I’m unsure about my ability to achieve them.

  1. Work on SWMF on 5/7 days.
  2. Finish one scene and start on the next.
  3. Spend 20 minutes a day rereading the YA novel and taking notes – on 4/7 days.
  4. Look for/work on submissions on 3/7 days.

I’ll finish with a picture of my ex-flatmate’s lovely cat, Toto, my writing partner and snuggle buddy for three years until I moved out of London last year. He was put to sleep last week after an inoperable tumour was found in his stomach. RIP, lovely boy; I miss your wonky face, insistent miaow, paw pats and funny little habits.

Toto reclining face on

Publication news

We interrupt this (rather slow lately) stream of check-ins to bring you some happy news: my short story, Touch, is going to be published in an anthology reflecting on the story of David Oluwale, a Nigerian migrant who was found dead in Leeds in 1969 following years of police brutality that directly led to his death.

This is my first fiction publication, so I’m very happy. 🙂 I’m also delighted that this particular anthology is going to include my work. Homelessness has been on my mind a lot recently, and social justice issues are always close to my heart. As well as callous and cruel treatment at the hands of the police, David Oluwale faced racism, homelessness and mental health problems that were exacerbated by failures in systems that should have been protecting him. These failures are still present today – just look at the #BlackLivesMatter movement and, closer to home, the recent death of Sarah Reed.

My story has also been shortlisted for the prose award associated with the anthology, which is a lovely bonus. And just look at the names of those judges! I am slightly dazzled at the idea of these people reading my work.

For more information about the David Oluwale Writing Prize and the Remember Oluwale Foundation, go here. I’ll be back on Friday for an update on how the rest of my writing is going!