December Noticeboard

December 30, 2009

End of the year already! Jeez. 2009 has been a big year for me. I began writing a novel that didn’t get abandoned after chapter 5, and I started a blog. What about you?

Poseidon’s Trident:
Current Chapter in First Draft (Typed) Stage:
Current Chapter in Edit Stage: None

I began writing Poseidon’s Trident on January 28. 338 days later, I’m currently writing chapter 15 (but just about finished). Sheesh, I better get a move on. At the rate I’m going, I wont finish until January 2011!! Better get a move on.

Daniel Fox:
Current Story in Rough Draft Stage:
The Fox
Current Story in Edit Stage: None

I’ve been going slow with the Daniel Fox series. Over the year, I wrote one, started a second while editing the first, and decided the first needed a major re-write. The Fox is now awaiting a re-write, which I’ve been meaning to do for months. 2010, perhaps?

Goals for December:

  • Keep working on my WIP!!!Check…
  • Relax…and check.

I wont have any goals for January. Instead, some New Year Resolutions.

Goals for 2010:

  • Finish the rough draft of PT (by writing 250 words a day)
  • Find some new authors to read

By writing 250 words each day, I should have the rough draft finished by the end of the year. Fingers crossed!

At the beginning of the year, I set myself some resolutions. Here they are:

Goals for 2009:

  • Stick with story plan – don’t keep changing it – Nope. I changed it many times through the year, but that was good, each time the story got better.
  • Write at least four pages of writing on any WIP each week – Good idea when I set it, but in hindsight, kind of ridiculous. What was I thinking? I’d never have enough time to write all that.
  • Get people reading my blogCheck. I mean, you are reading this, aren’t you?

Hmmm. I think that covers everything. I’m still enjoying my holiday, having posted this earlier in the month. Stay tuned, because I’ll be back on January 18, 2010, and the blog should be bigger and better than before. I’ll run through all that next year.

Anyway, how was your year? What exciting things happened for you?


The Writer’s Christmas Pt14

December 24, 2009

There was a knock on the door, and Tim hurried to answer it. He swung open the door, revealing Laura and Jenny, both in festive outfits.

Merry Christmas! Laura cried, giving Tim a kiss on the cheek.

Tim chuckled. Merry Christmas, Laura. You too, Jenny.

The girls entered Tims apartment, which was decorated extensively in tinsel. In his lounge room was a small Christmas tree, covered in bulbuls, tinsel and other decorations.

I wanted a bigger tree, but I couldnt get anything bigger through the lift, Tim said, seeing Jenny eyes the tree. Jenny nodded in response. Laura went to the tree, and deposited two gifts, wrapped in colourful wrapping.

You know, Tim said to Jenny, you never died say how I could repay you for helping me with the publishing jargon.

Jenny smiled. You dont have to. Christmas isnt about the gifts.

Tim smiled. If youre sure.

Laura joined the pair, and Tim placed his arm around her shoulders, then did the same for Jenny.

I really am so lucky to have you two as friends, he admitted.

Jenny and Laura smiled. I think were all lucky to have each other as friends, Jenny said.

We all help each learn things, Laura said. I learnt that giving is better than receiving.

Well, Jenny replied, I learnt that Christmas isnt about the gifts.

Does that mean you dont want your present? Laura said, deadpan at first, but then a huge smiled cracked up her face.

I do want my present! Jenny said quickly.

What did you learn, Tim? Laura asked.

Me? I learnt that its okay to ask for help. And that Christmas is for friends and family. Tim replied.

Lets open the presents now! Laura cried.

Do you want to open them right now because you saw the big one with your name on it? Tim asked with a laugh.

Laura went red. Nowell, maybe.

Jenny laughed. Okay, but well open one of mine first!

Ooh! Open mine! Laura replied. Youll love what I got you…”

The End.


This post concludes ‘The Writer’s Christmas’. The entire story will be available for reading in one entry early next year, in my Writing.Com portfolio.

This is the last post for the year, with the exception of the December Noticeboard, to be posted on December 31.


The Writer’s Christmas Pt13

December 23, 2009

Tim entered the coffee shop. The store was toasty and warm, especially compared to the snow outside. Tim took of his coat, and scanned for Jenny. He quickly spotted her, sitting at an empty booth, drumming her fingers. She hadnt spotted him – her eyes were cast downwards a stack papers.

Tim approached her, and sat down opposite. She looked up at him. Alright, what do you need?

What ya doing?

Editing a manuscript.



I thought you hated her?

Jenny stared at him, ignoring his comment. What is it that you needed?

Tim handed her the copy of the email. What does this mean? It came from my agent.

Jenny sighed, and read the email, murmuring it as she read. Dear Tim I am writing to inform you that as part of your royalties scheme, you are due to receive payments at every quarter of the year, being March, June, September and December. Your book Headless has currently sold over 1300 copies, and is expected to have paid out your advance by late January. If the book continues to sell at its current rate, you can expect your first payment of royalties by March 31… Yours sincerely P Matthews.

Jenny looked up at Tim. Basically, it means your book is selling well and youll be getting royalties in March, June, September and December.

What are royalties? Tim asked, a blank expression on his face.

Jenny sighed. Tim, royalties is the money you get from your book selling. Every March, June, September and December, youll get money from your publisher.

So Ill be getting money soon? This month? It said December. Tim asked, still confused.

Jenny sighed again, and hit her forehead. No. Your advance hasnt been brought out yet.


Didnt you pay any attention to what I told you about this stuff?

Well, yeah. But I forgot, Tim said sheepishly.

Right. Well, you remember when the publishers paid you for your novel? Well, when your book earns you more than that, your publishers will send you the extra every three months. The email simply says that your book should earn you more than your advance but the end of January, and youll be paid in March.


Jenny was about to continue, when the door to the coffee shop opened, Laura entered.

Laura! Jenny called. Laura turned to look at Jenny and Tim together, and turned to leave.

Laura! Jenny called again. She stood up, grabbing the manuscript. Tim turned around, seeing Laura hurry from the shop.

Jenny dashed from the store. She spun around, searching vainly for Laura. Finally, she spotted the mousy blonde hurrying away.

Laura! Wait up! Jenny ran after Laura, quickly catching up. She stopped in front of Laura.

Leave me alone! Laura snapped. I heard what you said about me!


To Tim. On the phone. Laura pushed past Jenny.

Jenny blushed with embarrassment. I was wrong! she called out, but Laura ignored her. Look! I even edited your manuscript.

Laura came to a stop. Slowly, she turned around.

You edited my manuscript? she said slowly, and Jenny nodded.

It was great!

Laura paused, digesting the information. Then, she dashed up to Jenny and wrapped her arms around her in a tight bear hug.

Lets never fight again, she whispered.

The Writer’s Christmas Pt12

December 22, 2009

Tim sat at his computer, grimacing. He had just received an email from his agent. What it was about, Tim had no idea. Something about withholding royalties until the advances is paid out

With a soft groan, Tim put his head in his hands. Being published was so confusing, a lot more work than being a mere writer. Perhaps he could call his agent. Ask what the email meant. But then his agent would know he was a novice. If only there was someone else he could ask

Jenny! Tim leapt up excitedly. Jenny would know in an instant. Except that she wasnt talking to him. Crap.

The excitement died away, as Tim realised he still had no solution except Jenny. He would simply have to ask her. He grabbed his phone, and, hands shaking, dialled her number. It rang.

Tim swallowed, and licked his dry lips. What if Jenny wouldnt help him? This was a stupid idea. He should hang up. She wouldnt know it was him-

Hello? Jenny answered.

Shit! Tim thought. He couldnt hang up. He swallowed again, and tried to speak. But he couldnt. The words wouldnt come out.

Hello? Jenny said again. Is anyone there?

J-Jenny! Tim replied. It, its Tim.

Oh. Hi, Tim. Jenny didnt seem enthusiastic. What do you want?

I, uh, wanted to meet you. I need some help. With royalties and stuff. I got an email. From Mr Matthews, my agent.

I see.

So, will you see me?

On the other end of the line, Jenny sighed. Okay. At the coffee shop? The one near the bookstore.

Alright. Tim said excitedly. In an hour?

How about in twenty minutes? Jenny suggested.


Jenny hung up, and Tim leapt out of his seat. He hurriedly printed out a copy of the email from his agent, and grabbed his coat.

The Writer’s Christmas Pt11

December 21, 2009

Laura hit the shops early, a determined glint in her eyes. She didnt care about the price, Jenny deserved that necklace.

Almost running, Laura entered the jewellery store, panting slightly. She walked up to the back of the store where the necklace was held. Once again, she admired it for a second, the diamonds glinting in the store lights.

Can I help you? a male store assistant asked. He was elderly, about 70, and spoke with a slight tinge of a British accent. Or was it French?

Id like to buy that, Laura replied, pressing her finger against the glass case.

A nice choice, the assistant commented, admiring the necklace as well. He grabbed a key from his coat, and unlocked the case. Would you like to wear it out of the store?

Oh, no thank you, Laura replied. Its for a friend.

Oh? Such a lucky friend, the shop assistant replied. He carefully took the piece out of the case, and took it over to a counter. Laura followed.

It is one of our finest pieces, he said, placing the diamond studded necklace carefully in a black velvet case. 22 carat gold, and perfect diamonds and sapphires. And, its on sale. Thirty percent off.

Lastly placing the velvet case in a bag, he said, thats eight-ninety-nine, and ninety-nine cents. Cash or credit?

Cash, Laura answered, taking out a wad of one-hundred dollar notes, which the clerk quickly counted. Satisfied she had handed over the correct amount, he smiled and handed her the bag. Have a nice day.

Laura smiled, a warm feeling bubbling up inside her. It feels nice to give, Laura decided. Giving is better than receiving.

The Writer’s Christmas Pt10

December 20, 2009

Jenny sat on her sofa, and stared out at what she could see of the New York twilight sky. She couldnt see much – a tall apartment block blocked whatever view she might have gotten. However, she could see the entrance to the apartment directly beside her.

She was bored. There was nothing on the television, and she had read and re-read all her books several times. Although there was a new romance movie out at the cinemas. Perhaps Laura would like to see it with her

Jenny sighed. Although she hated to admit it, she did miss Laura.

Jenny looked back out at the skyline. She soon grew bored with watching the neighbours eat dinner, and her attention turned to Lauras manuscript. Perhaps she could read that. Have a laugh

Jenny picked up the bound manuscript, and turned to the first page.

Argh, Jenny muttered to herself. Thats not how you spell it. She stood, searching for a red pen. Not finding one, she rushed to her study, quickly find one.

Jenny returned to the manuscript, and crossed out the incorrect word, before writing the correct spelling above it.

Jenny once again settled into the writing, until-

Passive voice! Jenny circled the entire passage, and indicated the problem.

Jenny read through the next few chapters with interest, finding few problems. This isnt bad. Jenny said thoughtfully as she turned the page. It was so good, she was actually jealous


Jenny leapt in her seat. It was the clock. Jenny glanced at it in shock. 1AM! Suddenly, Jenny felt tiredness wash over her, and she stifled a yawn. Where had the time gone?

She realised she had been editing for over six hours, and was nearly finished editing the novel.

With another yawn, Jenny decided it was time for sleep.

The Writer’s Christmas Pt9

December 19, 2009

Tim hurried to his phone, the ringing growing louder and louder. He picked it up and brought it to his ear.


Tim? Its Jenny.

Tim groaned to himself. She probably wanted to complain about something, or beg for him to help him out.

Hi Jenny.

I was at the bookstore today. I saw that you books are in the front of the store. Congratulations. From the tone of her voice, Tim could tell she didnt mean it.

Yeah? Thanks. I guess we know now who the better writer is.

What? Jenny snarled.

I said, I guess Im a better writer than you.

That is rubbish, Tim. You would be nowhere without me. All those critiques!

Really? If youre better than me, then why arent your books at the front of the shop?

You got lucky! Beginners luck!


Meanwhile, Laura stepped into the elevator, and pressed the button marked 14. Tims level.

Tim will know what Jenny wants, Laura reassured herself. Hell be able to tell me straight away.

The elevator slowed to a stop, and the doors opened. A few people entered, and pressed various buttons. Laura waited patiently, glancing at her watch. 5.30pm.

Laura had been shopping all day. After visiting the store with the overpriced items, Laura had tried all the other jewellery stores in the area. She even tried a few large department stores, looking through their jewellery and other items. But there was nothing. Nothing was good enough. Nothing was perfect for Jenny.

The elevator stopped again, and Laura exited. She hurried down the corridor to Tims apartment. A small heater blew warm air through the corridor, but it was too small to make much of a distance. A musty smell hung over the space.


Inside, Tim and Jenny were still arguing.

Your books are still at the back! Tim exclaimed, his voice rising.

Well, Jenny returned, I dont see anyone copying your manuscript!

No ones copying yours either!

Laura is!


Laura stopped outside Tims door. It was partially open, so she didnt knock. She crept in. She could hear Tim in his lounge room, talking. No one replied, so she guessed correctly he was talking on the phone. She listened to what he was saying. It was wrong, but she couldnt help it. He was speaking loudly.

Laura? Why would Laura copy your book?! Tim exclaimed. Laura swallowed. He was clearly talking to Jenny.

That doesnt mean anything! Tim said. He paused, as Jenny said something in return.

Ha! Tim replied harshly. Dont worry about her. Her writing is without a doubt the worst Ive ever seen!

In the foyer, Lauras jaw dropped open. Tears sprung to her eyes. He thinks it too. They hate my writing. They hate me! Laura spun, and ran from Tims apartment. Down the elevator, out of the building. Tears began pouring down, and Laura found a vacant park bench. The air was freezing, but Laura didnt care. She let the sadness pour out.