Five Pixels

I’d like to introduce my new mini biz: Five Pixels (don’t rush to click on that link – there is absolutely NOTHING there for you to look at yet).

I’m setting up on my own (eee!) and offering my services as a web developer and designer. Since I love photography and have several years of editorial experience, I also offer these services as part of my web packages (yes, yes, I know, there is nothing on the site at the moment, but it’s coming).

I’ve been thinking about doing this for a reeeeeeally long time while baby F has been growing and growing, and now she is fast approaching her first birthday I’ve been beavering away at the computer when she naps getting set up and brushing up my skills. She starts three mornings a week at nursery in the second half of November, so I’ll be looking for clients to build my portfolio very soon.

I’ll be blogging about my freelance journey in general here (and going from earning zero to hopefully something over the next year or two), and I’ll also run more technical posts and case studies on my official site.

It is all very exciting!

Up and Running

My brand-new, self-hosted, creative baby is up and running. After so much angst and deliberation about what I ‘should’ be spending my time on, I’ve decided to do it all in one package.

Some days I want to write, other days I’m all about taking photos, sometimes I have my head stuck in a programming book, other times I’m off on some other crazy adventure. For a long time I thought this was down to some inherent inability to focus on my part, but after a lot of self-analysis, and self-observation, I have realised that (despite believing my brain to be logical and organised), I am a creative person who needs to create. Whether that is code, words, pictures, or some other thing, it all fulfils the same desire. So instead of fighting it, and berating myself for spending four solid weeks writing like monk, only to drop it and spend the next four weeks trying to improve my photography, I’m going to embrace the lot and put it all under one roof.

I’m actually really excited about having a space to indulge in all the things I love, because for my entire life I’ve had to fight this notion of narrowing down my interests in order to be successful. And I’ve stopped and started probably dozens of websites/blogs because they have always been too narrowly focused on whatever idea I was currently passionate about.

No longer.

There are a handful of things I return to time and time again, because I love spending time on them. So instead of feeling guilty about not being focused enough, I’m going to embrace doing ALL of them. Right here.

I hope you find something interesting to read 🙂

I Didn’t Make The Shortlist…

For the Mslexia Women’s Novel Competition 2015.

I received email notification today. I was disappointed (obviously! how could they not love it!), but not desperately surprised (I did finish it in rather a rush).

Having spent some time away from the novel, I know there are some serious revisions to be done, maybe even a rewrite of the second half, but for now I have a brand new baby girl to concentrate on, so that will all have to wait 🙂

Novel Complete!



“Edith’s Questions” is done.

To be honest, it’s not in exactly the format I’d envisaged and it’s a little shorter than I wanted what with the rush to complete my submission, but my novel is now with the lovely ladies at Mslexia and I won’t hear anything more until December, when the shortlist will be announced.

I’ve worked on it like a demon over the last two weeks and I am telling you that editing and finishing an entire book in that time is no easy job!

Longlisted for the Mslexia Women’s Novel Competition 2015!

The title says it all!! I am SO pleased, and excited!

Edith’s Questions is the title of the book and I started it at the beginning of this year when an idea popped into my head that I just couldn’t stop thinking about.

I have to send in the complete manuscript now, which is not quite ready to go (when is a novel ever ready?). I’m still writing, editing, and adding things, and making little changes and checking the storyline is coherent… It’s been an exhausting few days and sitting at a desk at 35 weeks pregnant is not exactly comfortable.

Nonetheless, I shall be sending my finished novel off early next week, no matter what (well, actually, going into labour early might be about the only thing that could stop me).

I’ll update once the book has flown the nest. Right now, I have work to do 😃.

Novel Update and Competition Entry

So, here I am, plodding along. The story has grown and developed a life of it’s own, which I’m pleased about. It isn’t quite what I imagined when I first started out, but it feels more substantial now. My main character, Edith, is more her own person rather than the idea of the person she was when I first began.

I’m not quite finished, but I’ve entered the first 5,000 words in the Mslexia Novel Competition.

Why oh why have I done this before I’ve written the final chapters? I can’t really answer that. I just felt like it was ready for a bit of fresh air. I’ve also settled on a title after weeks of getting a blank whenever I thought about it. It’s called Edith’s Questions. At least for now. And I like that because it’s simple and it’s exactly what the novel is all about 🙂

Novel Update – 20,000 Words

20,285 to be precise. That’s what I hit this morning after 40 minutes on the computer getting my words done for the day.

I should be feeling really happy about this. Reaching 10,000 words was great. But here, at 20,000… all I can think of is:

Is there really any point to this story?

Yup, I’m wondering if everything I’ve written isn’t, in fact, total rubbish. Ha! Old habits die hard 🙂 And I’m also wondering… what’s the point of this… will it matter to me if no one else ever reads it? I don’t really know. I love to write, so possibly not, but it’d be nice to share. Sigh. Well, what else can I do at this point, but write some more?


August Writing Summary

I’ve never been good at regular writing. I tend to write in sporadic bursts and then have long gaps between them. However, I’ve read so much about the importance of regular writing, and I have to admit that it’s key to finally getting a novel finished, so I’ve been making an effort to write more frequently (rather than doing thousands of words over a few days and then nothing for months).

I’ve already mentioned a website I’m using called, which has been great for my motivation. I’ve written at least 750 words, every day, for 15 days in a row. So, I thought I’d post a monthly writing summary of my word count and how the month went. Here’s August:

Word counts:
18.08.15     2530
19.08.15     1185
20.08.15     1016
21.08.15     2089
22.08.15     1085
23.08.15     1068
24.08.15     1257
25.08.15     1143
26.08.15     768
27.08.15     758
28.08.15     806
29.08.15    977
30.08.15     763
31.08.15     854

You can see that my count has come down after the first flush of enthusiasm. I’ve also had less time over the last week to write, which makes a difference. However, what has been eye-opening is that on the days when I have had no inclination at all to write anything, days when I would normally have avoided writing because I didn’t think I had the right ‘spark’ necessary for generating decent work, I’ve still managed to reach the minimum word count.

And I’m really pleased with that – it means that my novel has steadily grown and the story has gradually unfolded, even if on some of those days it’s really been just a case of chucking anything down to make sure I’ve met my goal. When I return for editing it will be interesting to see if there is a marked difference in quality between days.

Overall, my progress now stands at 18,311 words, which I’m really pleased with, as I’m (ambitiously!) aiming to enter the first 5,000 words in the Mslexia Women’s Novel Competition, which closes on 21st September.