I had some short stories, poems and photographs to share ... and so here I am

What's Needed To Get Cracking

Luckily for me, Paris - that darling of a city - is just two hours away on the fast but unsettling TGV trains (I don't even want to know how fast they go). It's an easy chance though to fill my cup with what's needed to get cracking.

I am here for the long weekend, catching up with old friends and remembering back to those glorious times I enjoyed here from 1998 to 2002. It was during this time that I was given that crucial boost we all need, when an extract of a novel I was working on was published in a literary review.

Yesterday I went into the same bookshop where, almost seven years ago, I met the man who went on to make sure that my extract was published. It was an unexpected encounter and one that opened me up to the possibilities of writing and publishing.

I need to remember that moment and the promise that came with it.

I am now two novels down the track - trying to work out how to get into print - and stepping into that bookshop reminded me of the need to get cracking, to make sure that I take this thing as far as I can push it. How time slips and slides away when we're working on a long work of fiction! And oh how the time blows away even faster while we're waiting for verdicts from the inundated!

This week I will put that extract, which stands as a kind of short story, up on my blog. The novel it came from is on a high shelf, waiting for the day when it can be cleaned up and reworked. I learnt a lot from that first effort, which I saw as a practise run. It set me up for my second novel, which is now hopefully thrilling a reader somewhere.

The visit to that Paris bookshop- once again - encouraged me to train my eyes and hands on my third novel. We have to visualise what we want. If we can't see it, we won't get it.

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