Anyone Seen My Mojo?

I’ve not had the best week. My diet failed miserably. I succumbed to overwhelming chocolate desires. I haven’t exercised. I haven’t blogged regularly. I haven’t tweeted. And my daily word count target seemed determined to go backwards. I attempted to write a short story and couldn’t – it was like my mojo had left the building. Dissipated in the heat, disappeared through the pores of my skin – Mojo Osmosis...

So I drank water. Lots of it... I drank wine, more than I should have and played an after dinner game with friends that involved sliding After Eight chocolates from your forehead into your mouth – don’t ask. When Saturday arrived, I greeted it with the hangover from hell, as I made my way in extreme temperatures to the annual RNA conference in the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich University. This year is the Golden Anniversary of the Romantic Novelists Association and though I’d been unable to attend the entire weekend’s celebrations and felt like overheated dehydrated crap, I was still looking forward to Saturday’s line up.

It didn’t disappoint and the day of workshops, lunch and afternoon tea spent mingling with fellow members, tweeters and industry experts was fabulous. Throughout, the sun burnt in a cloudless blue sky over the most truly beautiful venue, situated right next to the Thames.
We were treated to various workshops from Kate Harrison, Nell Dixon, and Sue Moorcroft to name but a few. Pre-booked one to one appointments were available with editors and I learned about a publisher that I’d known little of beforehand - Choc Lit Publishing. Their USP of always having a male (the hero's) Point of View is, I think, an unusual idea within the romantic novel genre. Do have a look at their website for further details and submission requirements.

I should confess here that the low point of the day - the lowest point of the week in fact, came when I was sat outside in the sun having lunch with a group of women I'd just met. I glanced at the woman sitting opposite me, caught her name badge and said 'I recognise your name - do you blog? Tweet?'
'Yes,' she replied shyly, supplying me with her blog address when I asked.
See here, the Gods could have been good to me. But instead the Gods of white wine, After Eights and missing mojo conspired against me. I suppose I shouldn't now be surprised that when a fan approached her and asked her to sign a book, Sarah Duncan soon beat a hasty retreat. Yes, Sarah Duncan (who was lovely), she of many novels, two of which I have on my bookshelf. (*hang my head in shame*)

Mojo eventually reclaimed, I travelled home Saturday evening determined to send my manuscript off to the RNA for their New Writers Scheme appraisal. This is offered as part of their new writer membership – open only to romantic novels ‘where romantic content and love interest are integral to the story.’ Yeah, mine qualifies. It is when all is said and done a love story...

A bit like the one I had on the way home with a bag of cold giant chocolate buttons. I needed them after the SD faux pas.

I said I got my mojo back. I never said anything about my willpower or tact which alas are still AWOL


Helen Black said...

och, my dear, I think we all have days/weeks like this.
I woke on Sunday with a head like a woman who had spent Saturday arguing with her family then drinking three bottles of wine...oh there was a reason for that.
I had a shit load of things to do including getting myself presentable enough to go to my daughter's new school for a picnic in the grounds and a presentation by the head. I was already running late when discovered I had a flat tyre.
Let's hold virtual hands in solidarity.
HB x

Julie Cohen said...

I'm glad you've got your mojo back and knowing you, you were universally charming.

I'm sorry I didn't run into you though!

Lizzie said...

Hope your mojo is back for good.

Sarah has one of the best blogs on writing – present company excepted, obviously. I've learnt a lot from following her daily blog; there's always something pertinent. And I hope to go to one of her workshops next month.

Wish I'd gone to the RNA Conference, it sounds like a good time was had by all.

Julie P said...

I hope your mojo, tact and willpower come back with knobbs on soon!

Julie xx

Caroline Green said...

Fi's mojo! Get right back, ya hear? Although is a great post even sans aforementioned mojo. I have done something similar to your Sarah error, on the phone with a world famous doctor who called me back weeks and weeks after an interview request was made. In a fluster I said, 'Can you remind me what you do?' and she said, a bit unimpressed, 'I'm an obstetrician' and I realised she was at that moment probably the best known one in the country. Complete cringe.

Phillipa said...

Oh, please don't worry. I am the bozo who, when introduced to a woman at the PEN Quiz, twittered: 'Oh, are you in publishing?" My companion replied 'Yes, dear, this is Tracey Chevalier."

I could have died but Tracy was lovely and shook my hand, saying:"Let's start again. Hello, Phillipa, I'm Tracy!"

Alll mojos go awol in this kind of heat. Thank you for the report!

Anonymous said...

Oh Finnuala, I feel for you - including the after eights!

The recognising-people thing (including the the face-but-not-name, and blog-but-not-face, and variations thereof) is hell. But, dammit, as writers our names aren't hugely important, and our faces certainly aren't important at all. Its our books that matter.

Don't forget, too, that the top tip for writers about to do radio and TV interviews, is to write down the names of your novels and their leading characters. Because quite often, when stressed, mojo-less or simply too bloody hot, we can even forget our own...

Fionnuala said...

God Helen, I thought I had a bad day!
Julie! I did see you in the Sue Moorcroft workshop but dashed out quickly to the loos at the end and missed you. Hopefully, catch up another time.
Lizzie, the mortification still prevails...
Julie P - mojo back. Am even writing! Had a croissant for breakfast. Willpower still awol.
Caroline - C-rrrr---ing---eee!
Oh dear Phillipa, am so glad its not just me!
Emma - Now THAT would be embarrassing! Imagine the interviewer "So, tell us about you latest heroine"
Writer; "Er, heroine? Yes, eh. Yes, I have one of those!"

Thanks everyone for your comments!

Sarah Duncan said...

Hi Fionnuala, honestly, I didn't give it a moments thought beyond wishing I was better at handling it. And I certainly didn't scarper because of it, just lots of things to be fitted into the lunchbreak.

It's so difficult to know what to say - and especially difficult because a million years ago I was in Only Fools and Horses so I'm often accosted by people in the street who think they know me.

The worst one went like this...

Me: Owww, I've changed my mind, I'm not having a baby
Midwife: Too late for that, dear. I know you, don't I?
Me: I'm going to die. Owww.
Midwife: Yes, you've been on the telly, haven't you?
Me: I want an epidural.
Midwife: Was it that one about - no, that was someone else.
Me: I want an epidural.
Midwife: No - don't tell me. I'll remember in a minute. Only Fools! That's it - you played -

After that, mild social embarrassment is nothing.

Fionnuala said...

Oh Sarah, that made me LARF out loud.And yes, it does make me realise there are worse embarassing moments! Thanks for understanding and for dropping by.

Debs Riccio said...

Great post, Fi, and great comments all of you!

Unknown said...

Killing myself laughing here at Sarah's birthing moment...

You never came back for the Beroca...

Glad you enjoyed the day.


Deborah Carr (Debs) said...

It was lovely to catch up with you on Saturday.

Loving all the comments and laughing at Phillipa and Sarah's. x