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January

January was a bit like wrestling a crocodile

It’s been a month. A strange, protracted, deluged four weeks since my last diary entry that seemed to fly and drag all at once. January was a difficult beast, a crocodile in the mud that needed wrestling into shape. I started off 2014 with an appetite, a renewed determination to write and write and then write again. Better pieces with poignancy that once read made someone sit back, think and try to figure out where the words brought you.

A writing streak of two weeks was interrupted by moving, packing up all our possessions and relocating to a place so quiet, I now cough just to make sure I’m still there. It’s peaceful, smack in the middle of Dublin and a perfect place to muse and write. Saying that, all of this is hyperbole, because since moving in a week ago my laptop has stayed as firmly shut as my creative mind. So today I am breaking through that and resuming the Nearly Writer’s Diary, month by month.

I had a few successes in January. The first was a flash fiction piece Five Birds’ Worth being accepted for publication in The Dying Goose. Then two more pieces were snapped up, both to be released in a few months for exciting publications that I’m very happy to be part of. I also got the coolest rejection e-mail I have ever received, a “so very close” with the suggestion of a rework. It was still a no, but one I’m proud to have in my inbox.

Another success (albeit an unrealised one as of yet) is I have finally figured out what to concentrate on and try to get published. It’s a flash fiction collection, a world I have inhabited for the past few months and thoroughly embraced. It suits my style, my brevity, my economy of words and I love the punch a mere 300 words can give. To me it’s creating something that crawls slowly up your spine and pulls on your brain stem. Aspirations aside, I wonder who will be interested in publishing it? Is there interest out there? Is there a market? Will it be of interest to an agent or publisher? I guess these are questions I ask myself and don’t know the answers to. I need to find them out along the way, and cross all that’s crossable someone bites. Either way I’m going to enjoy creating it and will have something at the end of it, which can’t be a bad thing.

One thing I wanted to do this year was sign up to some courses. I find them a great way to look at writing from a fresh and different perspective and meet other writers. So in February I have signed up for two; one that will examine how fiction works and the other is scriptwriting for animation. Writing for film is something I have wanted to do for a long time and the beauty of animated films is their humour, something I struggle to do convincingly. So I’m intrigued to see what nuggets I can learn from someone working in that area.

So it’s been a great and bumpy start to the year. Now in a new abode, I’m hoping to get back into the swing of things and lay the words where they choose to fall (or where I make them!) Who knows what the month of Hallmark love will bring…

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