Tuesday, 20 February 2007

The secret of happiness

I have discovered the secret of happiness! All you need is:

one box of Miniature Heroes
one bottle of wine
one girly DVD (in my case, In Her Shoes)

I was feeling v mopey and miserable and can't-work-y yesterday and then in the evening, ta-dah! - problem solved. Only small fly in the ointment was Cameron Diaz being so gorgeous with her toned tanned legs scissoring back and forth across the screen...it did slightly reduce my enjoyment of the Miniature Heroes, I must confess. But it's a good film, isn't it? Didn't see right to the end because it was late and I was tired, so am saving the last bit for tonight. DON'T tell me what happens. I'm predicting Maggie goes on to bring about world peace and Rose goes clubbing and gets trolleyed, oh, and Shirley Maclaine's face actually moves...am I right? No?

I did a slightly rash thing on Friday, I TURNED DOWN some work. Quite a lot of work. A new four-book children's series with a new publisher. Two years ago I'd have jumped at the chance, snatched it out of the editor's hand before the ink was dry on the contract but this time, I took a deep breath and said no. The problem was, it was a 'young fiction' series based on this very popular character from a series of picture books they publish. And while the author of said picture books had okayed this series to be written by someone else, she still wanted her name on the front cover. Even though she wouldn't actually be writing a word of it. So while I can see that yes, this is her successful character that she's created, I didn't want to be a ghost-writer for her. I said I'd do it if my name could be on the front cover with hers. They said no. So I said no, too.
It feels a bit reckless to turn down work still, having gone through a few rocky years of we've-got-no-money, but I'm chancing my arm and hoping that I'll be offered a couple of different series instead. Tune in next month to read about me ringing the editor and begging for another chance, pleading poverty and cursing myself for being so bloody stupid, no doubt...

13 comments:

Helen said...

Is there something in the air do you think? Was also feeling a bit ropey and miserable yesterday (might have something to do with the antibiotics that I'm taking) so as husband was away I watched a girly DVD - The Devil Wears Prada which I thoroughly enjoyed. I like films where they are based on women's fiction books like the Devil Wears Prada and In Her Shoes. Makes medaydream about what might happen with my own book... However nothing will happen unless I write the thing!

Helen

PS Thanks for hopping onto my blog and saying you like the title. Have lost a bit of confidence with book (again antibiotics may be to blame, no more virus but left feeling as flat as pancake) but your few words really perked me up!

liz fenwick said...

Good on you for saying no. You have a name or two of your own and which ever one you choose deserves to be on the cover. They should know that. Really!

Lucy Diamond said...

Girly DVDs rock - they should be on prescription. Must look out for The Devil Wears Prada next, cheers for the tip!
My other half is out tonight, being loud and outspoken and political at a meeting, so will have the sofa to myself again tonight (and the chocs to myself too more importantly...)
Sorry to hear you've lost confidence with the book, Helen - I think the point we're up to, 20,000 words in, is a bit of a classic wobbling point, though, so try to just keep ploughing on through it and I'm sure you'll be fine.

And thanks for the support, Liz. I did wonder if I was being really stupid turning down a nice fat new job like that but it feels good to say no sometimes, I think!

Caroline said...

Yip something in the air - I did Prada and a big bag of Revels ... then Ice Princess and Mini Eggs. I am to be rolled to all future engagements.

I love that you have stuck to your professional shoes. You're a proper writer with your own/several other names. Your name9s) is worthy of front cover placing squiggles.

Hugs,
Cx

Jen said...

Crumbs, being able to turn down some writing work sounds ever so grown up and accomplished. Wow and Gosh.

Am on my supposed Writing Day today but, ooh, am not going to settle until I've had choccies now. No girlie films for me... I'm ashamed to confess that it's Bergerac repeats that do it for me.

Lucy Diamond said...

I'm so pleased to discover we're all chocaholics - makes me feel much better (although I'm having to stop myself from bringing up the rest of the miniature heroes to my desk now. No. Don't do it. It will all end in lardiness.)

It DID feel grown-up-writer-ish to turn work down, I have to say. Had a rush of blood to the head and everything! I demand recognition!! (I don't know what's happened to my recognition in the Sunday Express btw - think they must be putting it in this week instead. But I'm not holding my breath!)

JJ said...

I think it's incredibly brave too. I did chewy sweets today - they're called Maoam Stripes, but I think they mean strips. They're made by Haribo - Can you get them in the UK? They are VERY chewy, which I love; if they are meant to be chewy, they need to BE chewy, and not threaten those fillings, eh? And they have little lumps of sherbet in them, that I pretend are fruit to make me feel less guilty.

Lucy Diamond said...

JJ, that really made me laugh. Can you actually convince yourself that sherbet is fruit? I am deeply impressed.

I know the sweets you mean, I think they do sell them here, but I'm more of a Haribo Starmix girl myself. Or those sour ones. Mmmm...

JJ said...

Well it wasn't the wisest move either: I ate quite a lot of them, I don't recall having a BUZZY moment but can recall coming crashing back down after the sugar rush and had to have a sleep. Again. I wonder if I have narcolepsy...

Nichola said...

I agree with the girlie idea of happiness thing, but for me the DVD MUST be a Joaquin Phoenix film. I need to buy the DVD of Gladiator. Seriously. I've worn out the video tape watching it so much. Yes, a video tape. How archaic.

While I'm there I think I'll buy Ladder 49, 8mm and Signs too. *swoon*

Jane Henry said...

There must be something in the ether. Spouse and I watched The Devil Wears Prada on Friday night. I think I enjoyed it more then him, but he did laugh a lot. My favourite favourite girly film at the moment is Confetti which is such a funny feelgood romantic movie that makes you laugh and cry all at the same time. HOW I wish I could write like that... I even blogged about it I liked it so much!

Lucy. Stick to your guns. I think some jobs just aren't worth doing and it is crap to do the work and not get any acknowledgement. You have your own book deal, you've written loads of Rainbow Fairies (tell me you wrote Katie the Kitten Fairy and my six year old will die happy), and you have these potential other series in the pipeline. Go with your gut instinct and take the risk. I doubt very much you will lose out from it.

Hope you're feeling better too...

I did my mad triathlon swimming thing last night. Every week I think why??? And every week I'm actually glad I went. Though I do wish I could do bilateral breathing properly...

Lucy Diamond said...

Ooh, Joaquin Phoenix - like your style, Nichola. Mmmmm. This is turning into a very mouth-watering comments list - all this talk of chocolates, sweets and nice men. Where's that cold shower?

And Jane - I DID write Katie the Kitten Fairy! If you look inside the front cover, it says "Special thanks to..." and that's how you can see who really wrote it. Glad your daughter likes Katie, anyway. What excellent taste she has!

Julia Buckley said...

Sounds like a good recipe to me. Glad you perked yourself up.