Monday, November 18, 2013

And another one . . .

I really do love it when my teaching pays dividends and  results in  one of my students progressing from beginner to more knowledgeable writer - and then hopefully to published author - or at least well on the way to that status.  I have met so many (a dozen or more I think now)  people who tell me that my classes/courses/workshops - or the 12 Point Guide to Writing Romance -  have helped them learn more about writing and the success they  have had as a result.  

I just told you about Rachael, one of my Fishguard students whose  novel - Behind the Scandalous Fa├žade  is in the Top Ten line up for So You Think You can Write   contest - and this weekend I heard from another of the ten semi -finalists. 

Tanya Wright is the author of  If Only - a novel aimed at the  Harlequin Romance line.  I've never actually met Tanya in person, but back in  March I 'met' her on line when I led a forum discussion on writing with emotion on Harlequin's community boards. Tanya joined in that and asked some interesting questions as she was just starting to write a new manuscript.  And now that manuscript  too has placed in the top ten of SYTYCW.

Tanya sent me a lovely message thanking me for my help and  advice and  I was thrilled to know that what I said had helped her so much because her editor mentor had commented on the realistic emotion in her story.

Congratulations Tanya!

Tanya's  not reminded me that the Writing With Emotion discussion can still be found on  the Harlequin web site if you want to have a read - in the Craft Courses Archives -  Delivering Emotional Punch with Kate Walker  if you want to take a look. Hopefully it will help you too.

If you live in the UK I will be posting details of all my new courses/workshops coming up on the Events Page of my website in case you want to come along.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

So You Think You Can Write 2013

I haven't said much about  this year's huge So You Think You  Can Write contest  - life has kept me too occupied to think about it - and it has been huge!  What was it 650 entries?

So to be in the group that was narrowed  down to 50 was an amazing achievement .

Huge congratulations are in order to every single one of them - they have all written not just one chapter that caught the editor' eyes  but a  full book to go with that first chapter.   And I know how hard that can be.  Ideas can come and seem bright, sparkling, wonderful - but to work them into a  full story, with characters, emotions, motivations, conflict, a resolution  and a satisfactory ending - well that's another job entirely.  So many people start out on that road and  never get to the end of it. 

And now - well that group has been narrowed even more  because the final  10 contestants - the 10 finalists have been announced today. And you can find the list of these ten  on the official site today  - every single one of them worth reading.

Mega congratulations to this special ten entries - you've come a long, long way from the opening of the contest.  Each and every one of you has something special, something the editors wanted to see more of.

So I'm  going to read my way through them all and I know I'll enjoy the process.  I won 't be  voting though - not right when I have a personal interest and  I never do vote in these contests because I know only too well that if the editors have chosen them then each entry will deserve its place in this final list.  And I have to admit that  I have a personal interest in the shape of  Rachael Thomas, a student of  mine from the Fishguard course  who has got the recognition she deserves as a writer.   I am so so pleased for her.

But don't let that stop you - go to the site - read all the entries.  

And then vote for the one you enjoyed best. 

Vote every day between now and November 25th - make sure you follow the rules - vote once a day  for your favourite. It's your turn to make an impact in this contest.    They certainly deserve  your support.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Thank you to everyone who posted messages, here, on my Facebook  or sent them personally.  It was lovely to know so many people understood and your messages were lovely.

It does help to know that Flora is no longer in pain - I only wish the kindest thing we can do for these lovely creatures was not also the hardest thing for us.

Thank you again.

Thursday, November 07, 2013


Sorry to have gone missing - it has been a difficult week. Those of you who know of my beautiful Maine Coon  cat Flora will understand when I tell you that back in April we discovered that she had cancer.  Sadly, it wasn't anywhere operable as if was growing behind her eye.

With the vet's help we tried chemo and for a while that really seemed to help -  the lump shrank, growth slowed and for a while we had our lovely Flora back again.  But the chemo was traumatic and last month we knew that it wasn't helping her as it had. The cancer was growing again behind the other eye. So we decided  we had to stop the treatment,  spare her the stress of   the chemo and let nature take its course.

Today we came to the end of the road.  The cancer had grown even more and we had to make the hard decision that was the kindest for her but heart-breaking for us. Flora was on my knee as the vet gave her the injection and she slipped away.

She was a real beauty, a 'Queen' in  every sense of the word. The best Christmas present ever  and I will miss her terribly.

I wrote about Flora for the Pink Heart Society blog if you want to read  a bit more about her

Friday, November 01, 2013

Pink Hearts again

November? Really ?  How did that happen?

I have a confession to make - I've been so busy that I only turned over the months page for September on my office calendar  a couple of weeks ago. So I'm really stunned to find that I have to do it again today   and find myself facing the month of November!

Which means that it's the first Friday  of a brand-new month.;
Which means that it's my day to write a blog over on the Pink  Heart Society blog.  I only just remembered that it time!

Anyway, that's where I am- Pink  Heart Society blog - and A Date With Kate.

Now I'm going to make myself a stiff coffee as I adjust to the fact it's November!  Still not sure how that happened.

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