Where Is St Mallory’s?

The school? Somewhere near Brighton, although don’t ask me why.

The (still unfinished!) manuscript? Somewhere in my email archives, waiting for me to dig it out and start work on it as I promised about a week and a half ago.

That’s the problem with having two teen writers as a major part of a collaborative writing team. We’re just so busy. While Charley has CCF (Combined Cadet Forces), karate, and A-Levels to distract her, I’m juggling ballet, two instruments, and GCSE Art. Never mind the other eleven subjects – Art is the one that takes the time.

Even as I write this post I’m waiting for a page I’ve been prepping in my sketchbook to dry, and I’m supposed to be working on a history essay, but instead have been filming and editing a YouTube video that I’m now uploading.

St Mallory’s Forever was originally due for release in late November or early December 2011, and I remember when we first started remarking to the other two that at this rate, it should be easy enough to finish it by the end of October, which would allow time for editing.

Erm, didn’t happen.

We pushed the date to the end of November. Nothing at all happened on it in that month, since Charley and I were both going for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) again, and both trying to cope with the pressures of school. December, perhaps? Nope, I had mocks for the first two weeks, and then fell ill and had to retire to my bed. I also had a deadline to edit a novel of my own, so ended up doing that with my laptop on my pillow. That was hard work, without trying to balance St Mallory’s as well.

Now that we’ve settled on April as a release date, the pressure is on us as well. In February, April seemed like such a long way away, but now that we’ve moved into March it’s beginning to look all too close!

Pushing the date back isn’t going to help us any more. The biggest exams of my school life so far are coming up in May and although all of my Art coursework has to be done by the end of the April (believe me, I’m freaking out about that), these months are still going to be the best months for me to write until July or August.

When I finish writing this blog post, I’ll put on some good music (Shostakovich, probably, or one of my many writing playlists) and finish my history essay. Well, I’ll start it first. Then I’ll finish it. And after I’ve done that, I’ll put aside the other work I’ve got, dig out St Mall’s, and  write a couple of chapters. Nothing major, just enough to get the ball rolling again. I’ll save it and do some more of my homework, and then work on another one.

After that, I’ll pass it back to Charley and Mark, and it’s up to them where they want to take it next.

It’s not a case of schoolwork taking priority, or St Mall’s taking priority. They’re both important for different reasons and both of them need my time. It’s a case of balancing them.

Charley feels the same way, I’m sure. So, I’m back walking that tightrope again. I’m not going to fall off – on either side. You’ll see St Mallory’s published before I walk into my Music exam (the first on my timetable), but I’ll still have done my revision.

Watch me.

— M


15 thoughts on “Where Is St Mallory’s?

  1. Writing is one continuous balancing act, even if it’s your full-time job.

    But with that fabulous cover sitting there waiting for something to wrap around it’s incumbent on us to get things done!

    With Saffi Does Sherlock launched and the new YA title just been given fine-tuning it means we’l be focussed too. Maybe. 🙂

    • Miriam Joy says:

      All it takes is a deadline! 😀 My editing while ill was a prime example. I’d been meaning to rewrite that novel since about September, but come December and I’d not done anything. It was a long-term goal, something I’d get around to when I had time. Then – deadline of the 31st. That gave me two weeks to rewrite the entire thing and change the whole plot.

      Ten days I did it in. In bed, with painkillers and antibiotics. 5k on Christmas Day. I don’t regret it, because now it’s done, and the draft is so much better than the last one. All I needed was something to focus me 🙂

  2. Charley R says:

    Hehe, let’s see if we can get it all done before my AS Levels too eh? Though easter will be mental for me – D of E trek, AND moving house …. but I’m sure I can find a nice evening slot especially for St Mall’s. We’re no too far from completion as it is!

    LET’S DO THIS!!! And Mark is right – seeing that cover is huuuuuge motivation over here 🙂

    • Miriam Joy says:

      Oh, yay, you’re finally accepting the April thing! 😀 (“By the end of this year” alarmed me.)

      I’ll be spending some of Easter without any internet, but if it’s in my keeping for those few days then I should be able to get plenty done without distractions.

    • Miriam Joy says:

      Yes, we have a cover!
      I have to say, when we were emailing our cover designer about colours, fonts and layout, both Charley and I were attempting to be all professional and calm but really we were sitting there going, “Dude. We have a cover designer. We’re, like, real authors now.”
      It was a surreal moment 😉

  3. Life in general is a whole balancing act! And Miriam and Charley I suspect you’ll be better at it than me, given all you balance already. You’re growing up with a life full of activities. I only had one. But before I go sobbing about my childhood, I’ll just finish with it did not prepare me for the life I currently have.

    But that’s SOOOOooooo cool you’ve got a cover and a release in April *SQUEEEEE – claps hand over mouth* It’ll be like a birthday present for me!

    :} Cathryn / Elorithryn

  4. Why Brighton?

    Sussex was the home to Linbury School, the boys boarding school of the wonderful Jennings series by Anthony Buckeridge, and bus trips to Brighton were part of the fun, although the nudist beach didn’t exist back then, 🙂

    Brighton is also home to probably the most famous real-life girls boarding school in the country, Rodean, so seemed absolutely perfect.

    • Miriam Joy says:

      Ah, okay 🙂 See, I know nothing about boarding schools except the vocational ballet schools, aside from what I’ve researched for St Mall’s. I also never read boarding school stories as a kid because I was too busy devouring the Lord of the Rings (I’m sure I must have read other books between the age of 7-11 but for the life of me I can’t remember what they were).

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