So “Warm Bodies” has been sent off to two competitions and one potential publisher.

I’m working on a new short story and I’m really liking the way it’s coming along.

And in three weekends, I intend to spend my time in New York pounding out my television script. (Though Sherlock and I will also take time to see a bit of the city and get some pictures.)

So far August is shaping up to be a good month. Now if I could only shake this cold . . .

So this is what I have staring me in the face at the moment:

  • Stage play – short form
  • Stage play – long form
  • Spec script – television
  • Spec script – full-length feature film
  • Short story

And this doesn’t include stories I’ve already written that are in various stages of being submitted. Nor does it include two half-finished novels, though I don’t know when I’ll get back to those.

Finished my 10-minute play today. Well, one of them. I had started a second one and may also try to finish it at some point.

It’s been ages since I’ve written for the stage. Not so different from screenwriting as far as style goes; you know, lots of dialogue and minimal direction. I leave that to the directors and the details to the art department. I tell a story and their job is to make it happen. Even my prose tends to be narrowly focused, and the most common criticism I used to receive in writing workshops (for prose) was that I didn’t always put in a lot of details.

The thing is, a lot of directors don’t want a ton of detail. And even if you give it, they’ll probably change it anyway. What I do like about this play that I’ve written–its title, like this post, is “Warm Bodies”–is that it can be interpreted any number of ways, I think. The director and the actors can have fun with it, “play” with it.

I’m sending it off to a competition. The deadline isn’t even until October 1, but when they sent me an e-mail and asked me outright to consider submitting something, I sort of had a kindling of an idea and ran with it. We’ll see how it goes!

It’s difficult for me to write at home. With three kids, interruptions abound. My husband also has a tendency to wander in and out of the room, and I can’t write when other people are around. All in all it means slow progress in the home office.

Which is why I like to take trips to go and write. Alone. I actually really enjoy traveling solo, and the fact that it facilitates my writing is sort of a bonus. A long weekend here and there can be good (I’ll be in NYC August 26-28), but to hammer out something longer–a first draft of something–I really need two weeks to a month at least. This is often difficult to schedule, but so worth it. And I can do the bite-size work of editing and polishing while at home.

As it stands now, I plan to be back in London at the end of February to mid-March. But it seems like such a long wait! In the meantime, I’ll try and try to squeeze out the words as well as focus on sending stuff out to publishers.

So a few days ago I went ahead and registered on the Writers & Artists site. But they still haven’t approved my profile picture for some reason . . . Not sure what is going on there, but I would hope if they had a reason for not approving and posting the picture, they’d at least let me know.

I also just put a couple chapters of a YA novel I started writing up on You Write On. I’m not sure how much I trust their “competition” since I noticed after the fact that there were ads to have them publish your work, but it’s free, so why not? I’m open to a number of avenues for my work. And as my fortune cookie told me last night:

Opportunities multiply when they are seized but die when they are neglected.

So this one comes from Should Be Reading (and I have Christine Rains to thank for hooking me up with all these random things anyway). The object here is to pick up your current read, open to a random page, and post two teaser sentences–but no spoilers!

Well, I’m still reading The Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan. Kiddie stuff, I know, and I am fighting my way through, trying desperately to stay interested. I like Sadie, and I enjoyed reading about London and being able to say, “I know where that is!” But Riordan is very formulaic, so . . .

Anyway, this is from page 110:

Sometimes he acted so much like a teenager, it was hard to believe he was thousands of years old. I suppose that came from living a sheltered life in the Land of the Dead, unaffected by the passage of time.

Gee, more Egyptian stuff, I just realized. Huh.

I’ve been informed that today is Inspiration Blogfest. I am supposed to post a sort of prompt that will somehow inspire other to write. Hmm.

I’m no good at poetry. Believe me, I’ve tried, but it’s no use. I enjoy reading it, though, and here’s a poem by Shelley that we’ve probably all had to read at some point in our schooling. It’s titled “Ozymandias.”

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: `Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear —
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.’

Ozymandias is the Greek name for Ramses II, and so this poem also appeals to my love of ancient history. Go and do with it what you will.

So I’d like to write a TV tie-in novel for Sherlock. BBC Books holds the worldwide publishing rights and has told me they have “no plans to do any books at this time.” (BBC Books is part of Ebury which is owned by Random House.)

The question is, then: how do I change their minds?

Hmm.

It’s been a while, but today I polished a couple old short stories and submitted each to a potential publisher. Wish me luck!

I have a lot of older stuff that, with some elbow grease, could possibly find homes in print somewhere. And so many current projects going on, too, but not enough uninterrupted time to get as much done in any one go as I’d like. The best time would be evenings, once the kids are in bed, but by then I’m beat. What I need is a writing vacation! Which is to say, a vacation–alone–during which I focus on my work. Backwards, perhaps, from the usual idea of a vacation, but for me it would be heavenly!

I was asked by a friend to try my hand at a 10- to 15-minute stage play. Cool. The idea I’m currently tinkering with seems to be something between Auntie Mame and Arsenic and Old Lace. But now I’m wondering if I can keep it to 10 or 15 minutes . . .

I have a backup scene in my head as well, though.