Sunday, March 29, 2009

No Stopping Now

I work as an editor four days per week and have Fridays "off" as my PWD (Precious Writing Day).

My current WIP (work in progress) is a teen novel that I think will end up being about 50 000 words long. At best, on my PWD I seem to be able to do about 1000 words, which means that it is going to take at least one full year, minimum - especially when you factor in school visits, life interventions etc - to get down my first draft. Ouch!

Will I make it?

Answer: yes!


Because I can happily announce that I have already managed to get over 15 000 words down and that means I will keep going until I finish, no matter how long it takes.

I have many 5000 word "starts" on my hard drive - but once I have got over the 10 000 hurdle, history tells me I'm in for the long haul.

And that makes me very happy.
And satisfied!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

CBCA at the Southside Festival

Yesterday I joined a group of authors and committee members from the Illawarra CBCA to do some readings at a lakeside community festival. Stalls, buskers and artists were sparsely scattered along the foreshore walkway for about three kilometres. (So I was told, as I didn't walk all the way to the end!)

To be honest, despite valiant efforts from Di Bates in lassoing and herding in passersby, we were only able to secure two very small groups to read to - which we did with much enthusiasm, might I add.

So what did I gain from the experience?

In terms of publicity and books sold - very little!

But heck, it was fun. It was a gorgeous day. We were sprawled on picnic blankets overlooking the sparkling lake and distant escarpment. I got to catch up with fellow local authors, Di Bates, Bill Condon and Richard Harland and hardworking CBCA committee members and talented writers, Anke Sieb, Vicki Stanton, Sandy Wooton and Maree Smith (and Maree's gorgeous daughters). I listened to three fantastic young girls from Di's Book Buddies Reading Club enthusiastically and confidently recite poetry. And I met a wonderful family who stayed and listened intently to a number of readers and whose daughter, Elizabeth (10), was a delight: an avid reader and aspiring writer. (Her brothers were very patient and pretty cool too!)

All in all, a lovely day, me thinks.

Pics thanks to Vicki Stanton: Above left Richard Harland and moi / Above right Di Bates and moi. Yes, I'm the silly one in the yellow raincoat pretending to be a firefighter. (Again!)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

First Freaky Reviews

I received a lovely surprise last Friday. On my doorstep was a plastic sleeve with a letter and "reviews" of Freaky from the Year 6 at my local primary school. The teacher, who has been a wonderful supporter of my books, read Freaky to her class in a couple of days. She wrote that: "the children forced me to read the last five chapters before Dictation this morning! I agreed though 'cause I couldn't put it down!"

There is no better validation than responses like these - it truly is what keeps you writing and believing in yourself, especially in those dark - and often too frequent - times when you start doubting yourself and wondering what the heck you are doing! So thanks, Year 6 and Mrs B! You have helped charge my enthusiasm and resolve and helped me add 2,000+ words to me latest novel this week. Yay!

Here is a sample of some of the kids' comments: (Sorry I couldn't post them all Year 6! They were all so great.)

"... Best book ever!" Mitchell
"... The story was great and chilling to the bone. It seemed so real. Please write more." Aidan
"... I loved this story. It is really FREAKY!" Emily
"I loved this novel because of how Jayden isn't used to the country ... It was an excellent book." Ella
"The novel Freaky was fantastic. It had everything a kid wants in a book: thorns, skateboards, computer games, spiders, fire and lots more! I recommend this book to anyone from the ages of 8 - 15." Thilo
"I loved Freaky because it's so funny and exciting ..." Sophie
"I hate spiders and it gave me the chills when the spiders came out ... I enjoyed reading this book and look forward to reading more of Sue Whiting's books!" Nadine.
"My favourite part was when Jayden fell off his board and landed on a cactus. It made me have goose bumps ... I'd recommend it to anyone." Zoe

Saturday, March 7, 2009

New blogger. New book.


I have resisted the world of blogging for a very long time - being fearful that blogging would eat up my already limited and precious writing time.(Translation: Give me something else to waste time on while procrastinating about my writing!)

But the time has come. I can resist no longer. So here I am.

And here is my new book: Freaky (Walker Books - Lightning Strikes Series).
The reason I have chosen today to enter the blogosphere.
However, I am already very frustrated as the book cover is YELLOW and no matter what I do, it keeps uploading as BLUE? HELP! What have I done wrong?
Sue the hapless new blogger