Don’t dwell on your submissions. Send them off and forget about them. You should push them from your mind so strongly that when you get accepted, you can barely remember submitting them in the first place.Good advice, because, as he says, success is best of all when it comes out of the blue.
And then I had a really lovely little Amazon review for Too Many Magpies, which is short enough to replicate here in full:
Too Many Magpies is a fantastic short novel, full of mystery, humanity and depth. It is extraordinarily well written - in beautiful prose - and the question at the heart of it kept me hooked till the end. Very enjoyable and highly recommended by this lover of quality literary fiction. Baines deserves a wide readership & critical acclaim.Not only that, but yesterday I reached a point in my current novel which allowed me finally to feel I was truly on the right track. As well as re-jigging the whole structure, I've been working on a new voice, and wasn't sure until yesterday that it was going to work, so up until now the process hasn't been without stress. And I'm finding once more how all-consuming working on a novel is for me: although I've already got a version on my computer and a printout sitting on my desk, I am still ending up writing the whole thing out, because the new voice is giving me new rhythms and tone, and too much reference to the old version destroys the sound of it in my head. And I still need, I find, to write by hand, which I'm not sure I'll ever get away from now: there's just something about that hand-brain connection and the flow of ink from my fountain pen. It's as though I'm painting the words and the scenes, and as with painting a lot of the emotion of the novel seems tied up in the curving movements of my wrist and hand. Which means that, having written all morning I'm having to type up in the afternoons. And since yesterday I was rather stopped in my tracks by the mid-afternoon news of the longlist, once I started again I was working until six, and then still had to go to the shops for something to eat and see to the washing...
But it damn well beats the times when you're blocked and not writing at all..