Mick’s Musings: Time is an Abstract Concept

rp_Mick-Arnold1-224x30011.jpgTime is an abstract concept, and I don’t even know where I was going to go with that, only that I was going to point out that when you have too much of it, you tend to waste it, and when there’s not enough, we moan that we don’t have enough. I guess what I’m trying to say, in a very roundabout way, is that I wish I could go back in time this year and start it off by writing what I’m currently writing about.

As (in my case still a ‘would-be-writer’ – I refuse to assign myself the title Author until such a time as I manage to get myself published) this year, I’m now on my third ‘Work-in-progress’ and so ran out of that precious commodity to be able to submit a completed, not even first draft, to the New Writers Scheme for the first time since I was fortunate enough to join the hallowed ranks of the Romantic Novelists Association. I’ve been metaphorically smacking myself over the head ever since the realisation that I’d ran out of time hit me as I left this year’s conference.

Slight aside – thank you to all who put together this year’s conference (if they may be reading) particularly Jan and John (hope that’s right), a now expected highlight of my year that well lived up to hopes and expectations.

So, back to my subject for this long overdue new blog entry, what caused me to make such a foobar? You know how it is when you get that light bulb moment, that idea pops into your head and you go, ‘I must write about that. There’s a story that’ll knock your socks off!’ I had that three times this year.

The first came in about January and was a pure children’s story, a bit like The Animals of Farthing Wood meets Harry Potter – damn, that’s a good elevator pitch! The trouble was, about three chapters in, it wasn’t flowing as nicely as it needs to and I decided to leave it before I got too bogged down. But I still intend returning to it, the title alone keeps coming back to me, especially when I’m skimming through my writing folders on the pc; The Four Hedgehogs of the Apocalypse shall ride again!

I put that aside to start a romcom set in the Yorkshire Dales and this one was six chapters into it when my current WIP started to rear its head, demanding my attention, which was a right pain as I still like where this one is going. The Almost Kiss will be where I shall revisit after I’ve finished Sealed with a Kiss. I like the characters and it gives me a very good reason to return to the Dales. My Lady Wife and I had a great holiday up there a few years ago, which is where the inspiration for that story first came. Though going back may be a double-edged sword next time as she’s got a very good pair of walking boots now and seems to have been bitten by the walking bug. What we go through for our craft eh!

So, what could be so important that would make me drop two stories of which I’d made pretty good starts on? I don’t know if the word ‘important’ is even the right word, certainly I’m not going to use the word ‘good’, at least until I’ve managed to finish it. I guess the nearest that applies isn’t one word but an expression; it feels right. There was always something with the other two, particularly the children’s one, that it felt like I was always struggling to get the words out. It was a bit like the famous (if you’re of a certain age, you’ll know of this) Morecambe and Wise sketch with Andre Previn – I was writing what felt like the right words, but the order seemed wrong. With this one, at least they feel like they’re in the right order whether or not they continue down that path is another matter, especially as I’ve now decided that the story needs to start at what is currently chapter three. I have a good writing friend to thank for that (you know who you are), but she has my thanks for the suggestion, so I’ll still stand her a few drinks next time I see her. And yes, it is another contemporary romance.

So, the NWS deadline has come and gone and I await the thoughts of the so-kind, wonderful, god-blessed reader who has what’s been written so far for this one, but with slightly less bated breath than the previous years. I’m fully expecting not half as good a review as last year, but will be taking it with a (hopefully) calm pinch of salt as what went off isn’t even in the currently writing order and has been through some changes since that was sent off.

My current aim now is to get the first draft finished and then rejig a couple of short stories that demanded to be scribbled down about a month ago and which I did before I forgot what they were about. Fortunately, both were got down in a session each, so now they just need rewriting. Sorry everyone, I’ve just tossed out the expression ‘just need rewriting’ as if it’s nowt to be worried about, even if I’m fully aware that there’s still a lot of work to be done on both. I’ll go now and put my fingers in a metaphorical pencil sharpener for such heresy.

Happy writing!


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Mick Arnold
Mick reviews books and will also be chatting about his experience as a male author in the romantic genre. Mick is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association, New Writers Scheme. He lives in Northamptonshire and is the proud keeper of two cats, Gus and Elphaba. When he’s not trying to write books, Mick has a deep-seated love of reading that he’s brought from his teens to the current day with no signs of waning. He’s also mad on the music of the Beach Boys and enjoys the theatre and humouring his Manchester United supporting wife. Mick can be followed on Twitter: @mick859

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