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You are currently viewing archive for February 2011
Posted By Michelle Birbeck

Last month my whole life changed. I’ve been writing for a long time. When I was in school I started a book that never went anywhere, gave it up, got married, and then took up a different book when life settled down again. That was almost eight years ago now, and at the time the reception wasn’t the best in the world. It was to be expected, really. My grammar and spelling wasn’t up to scratch, and I didn’t make a lot of the work that I started. Then my husband was told that he had a blood condition, and one thing led to another, which all led to my quitting work so that I could be there for him when he needed me.

It wasn’t long before I was feeling the affects of not being at work every day and interacting with people. I started spending a lot of time on the Internet, and though one thing and another, took up writing again. It wasn’t long before I started on The Last Keeper and when book one was in its early drafts and finished I sat down and thought, I just can’t let this go. Low and behold, the series was born, but then I decided to do something with it.

Three years later, one and a half A Levels, the start of my degree looming in the future, and I’ve not only still not managed to let the series go, but it’s finally happened.

It is getting published.

No, really.

Three years of writing. One year of getting rejection after rejection. And now, now it’s real. Now it has finally happened.

The Last Keeper, the first of a series of books that has slowly but surely taken over my life, is getting published.

So crack open the bubbly, break out the chocolates, and have a drink on me. In fact, have several.

Posted By Michelle Birbeck

Just a quick note to say that you can now sign up for email alerts when there is a new blog posted! It’s taken me a while, but I’m finally getting there with manipulating script in websites so that it all fits. It’s not perfect yet, but it’s there and it works!

So pop in your name and email address, and when I post a new blog, I will email you and let you know!

All email addresses will be kept in the confidence and never shared with anyone. 

Posted By Michelle Birbeck

February has been a strange month. I’m not certain that any of it has been real, and even though a lot has happened, none of it has quite sunk in yet. Despite having very little free time at the moment anyway, I seem to have managed to sign up for some more things to take away what time I have. My excuse is that I am writing anyway, so why not help others to do the same?

What am I on about? Word challenges (WCs). They are fantastic ways to get yourself motivated into doing some writing. One of the sites that I follow hosts weekly WCs, but all of them were in the middle of the night or so far into the wee hours of the morning that there was no way even I was staying up for them. When I asked if they planned on doing earlier ones, the answer was that they didn’t have anyone. So I volunteered. One second I was just looking for a bit of motivation to get something done, and the next I was filling out forms and handing over information to join the website and host WCs for them. But hey, I’m writing anyway, so that’s all right.

College is thankfully slowing down a little now. We’re into the second half of our course and spend the lessons sat discussing the literature of Love Through The Ages. It’s safe to say that I am enjoying this subject much more than I did the literature of World War One. Our subject now is much more wide spread and includes the advantage of looking at religion and philosophy, too (a subject I wanted to do at A Level, but unfortunately the college doesn’t offer it).

What I love the most about the second part of the course is the coursework. Not a lot can beat getting to write smut and hand it into your teacher as coursework. However, there is one thing. For Love Through The Ages, the coursework is a simple enough piece, compare and contrast. We have to use a Shakespeare play, and two other books of our choice. We can do whatever we want, look at love in whatever light we want, and then compare and contrast our chosen works.

From the moment I heard that we could do whatever we wanted, back when the course first started, I had my heart set one two things: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Dracula. Adding a third book was an easy choice: Frankenstein.

What better books to read and compare and contrast than three books I have not only read a number of times before, but also completely adore! I get to look at how love is treated when non-human elements are introduced. At how things go wrong and how different these types of love are. It’s safe to say that I am looking forward to spending the half term this coming week sitting and re-reading these books, making my notes and getting started on the work.

Better yet, we don’t just have 1400 words or 1100 words like we did with the first set of coursework. We get 3000, which, whilst still not being as many words as I wanted, is a much nice figure to play around with.

So whilst everything else that has happened during the month still seems just a touch unreal, I can definitely say that the coursework feels real enough, and I can’t wait to get started.


In other news, the business cards for Consequences came this month, and they are so pretty! The picture isn’t the best in the world (I’m in need of a new camera, I think), but you can get a good idea of what it looks like.


Consequences Business Card

Posted By Michelle Birbeck

January is over, and February is now underway. If this month is anything like last month, then not only will it be busy, but it will also be fantastic. So much happened in January that it’s hard to know where to start. The biggest thing, of course, being the acceptance of Consequences for publication.

But that wasn’t all that happened in the endless month of Jan. I had my first ever pictures taken, and though I was ridiculously nervous, they turned out well. I sat the first of my English Literature exams, and though I am on the fence as to how it went, I am looking forward to getting the results in March, if only so that the waiting for them is over. There has been more meetings, phone calls, and e-mails in January than I’m sure my phone bill or e-mail account like, let alone my expenses file.

I learned a lot in January, and even though I was rushed off my feet for almost all of it, it has turned out to be a fantastic month. Of course, February is shaping out to be just fine. In the three short days since the start of the month, I’ve been busy as ever. Updating the Short Stories page of the site, creating and updating my new Facebook page, as well as writing some more on the charity piece that I’m writing.

Survival’ is the working title of the short story I’m writing to help raise money for the Australian floods. Leanne is in the right place, at exactly the right time. Only problem is, she’s with completely the wrong person. What started as a romantic evening ends with her running for her life.

If you want to follow the progress of the charity drive, you can follow them on Facebook or on Twitter.

Consequences. I’m not sure it’s really sunk in yet, the fact that this is getting published. I still have moments where I smile and grin and do the little girly eepp, but it’s not really sunk in yet. It sort of seems like it isn’t really real. Even though it has been written, it’s been edited, and it’s waiting now for publication. Here’s the synopsis:

Celia is used to dealing with the occasional psycho in her line of work. She’s reasoned with them, talked to them, but she’s never been held at the mercy of one before. After the best night of her life, having to fight to survive is the last thing she expects, but it’s exactly what life throws at her. And might just be what death throws at her, too.

It’s being published by Pocket Novel Publishing (links coming soon), which is a new venture working with writers to produce short stories in their own books, giving readers a chance to sample new authors without having to buy whole books or anthologies.

As soon as I have more information on a publication date and website details, I will be posting them. Or you can follow the new Facebook page, where all of the information will be posted.

Here’s hoping that February is just as good as January, but maybe a little less busy.