Archive | March 2009

*Forgot a title – again!*

I’ve started reading lots more of my writing course. The current module is about selling articles to magazines and papers and things like that. I am really petrified of this idea. I have no idea if I actually can write anything that would be bought by a magazine or paper. I guess I’ll find out. I need to do all the prep now for it – find out about magazines etc and research them. Then as I get further into the course I can look at selling stuff. They said Assignment one wasn’t about getting me to a level I can sell stuff, but about finding out if I’m observant. I don’t know if I am. My boyfriend thinks I am the least observant person ever, which kind of worries me. How can I be a successful writer if I am unobservant? I’m going to work hard on this. I waste so much time on the tube and bus a day, I should spend that time OBSERVING! I read something today about someone who has two jobs and still manages to write 1,000 words a day. 1,000. I have one job (not worked in the Pizza place for weeks now, maybe even months – have asked to do a couple of shifts though), and don’t seem to be able to ‘find the time’ to do any (very little I should say). This is down to inefficiency. I spend way too much time doing nothing. And going to bed too late because I’m doing nothing. I could quite easily get up an hour early and spend that hour writing/doing my course. I should make an effort to change this. No, I will make an effort to change this. I’m just about to sign up for the Race for Life 5k race in May/June/July and want to sign up for a 10k one too (my first – eek). So that’s going to mean training – less time for writing. There must be a balance! I must find this balance. One thing I really need to do is write down my dreams as soon as I wake up. I forget thinking I’ll do it later, but by the time I do I’ve forgotten half (or more) of it.

I also NEED to post assignment one. If I could’ve emailed it I would’ve sent it off WEEKS ago. At least I will be able to email the rest of the course – should get it moving a bit faster.

Cheese apparently

I’m having more and more weird dreams and I’ve forgotten to write them down the last couple of days.  A colleague questioned if I’ve been eating a lot of cheese, which I have. My housemate calls me the Cheesemonster.  (That could make a good children’s story?  A monster that eats all the cheese?  He’d be addicted, but have strange dreams because of it?)  I thought cheese was supposed to give you BAD dreams not strange dreams? 

Horribly enough I don’t really have any other writing news!  Except, I’ve got a new printer!  Woo hoo!  That will make sending things off much easier.  Means I really should send some things off now. 

The first sections of the writing course suggests writing stories about people you meet, asking them more and more questions to find out what you need to know.  I’m going to a dinner party on Saturday, so going to try that out – see how good my detective skills are!  And imaginary to create the story.

My touch typing’s going really well, I pretty much never look at  the keyboard now.  Yes I’m making mistakes, but we learn from our mistakes (he he).

Oops, forgot a title…

My effort levels for writing on here have been extremely lacking in the last week.  Tut tut me.  I have no defence other than a very heavy weekend and a slight laziness on my part.  I will try harder.

I’ve been pretty good with the course though.  I’ve been reading the next few modules, I’m nearly ready to start assignment two I think.  I’ll also be posting assignment one today (I know, I should’ve posted it weeks ago, but it’s very hard to post something when you don’t have a printer.  Luckily a really kind man said he’d bring me a printer home when he comes…).

I’ve been writing down my dreams.  They say (in a  dream book I’ve got) that the more you write down your dreams and think about them – the more you remember them.  Wow, that is so true.  I really do have the strangest dreams ever, I can’t even begin to explain last nights, there were about 4 stories that happened.  I think I was a man throughout at least two parts, then was back at school for the last part (even thought it wasn’t school) eating cookies I knew I was going to miss when I left – but the cookies were the ones from America I used to eat where I worked.  Strange.  The other day I was being chatted up by Ronaldo.  Very very nice dream that one!! 

As I have lots of ‘free’ time today I think I’ll do some useful writing – a short story.  Or a bit of the holiday book.  Something anyway.  Maybe I’ll spend some time reading reviews of clubs, restaurants, films or something in the thought I might do that one day.

On a separate but very positive note, I found some online touch typing lessons, so have been doing these.  I’m now typing very slowly, but without looking at the keyboard!  I’m trying to type as much as possible so I get better at it!

Adios!

Short story attempt one

I’ve been looking through that website that gives creative ideas for writing and been doing some writing from it.  My first attempt is the story below. 
I had to create a short story (300 words max) using the following words: PAPER CLIPS. PRINCIPAL, LUNCHBOX, SWING, GIRL WITH A PINK RIBBON.

 

Here it is:

 

I can’t believe I’m here on the second day of term.  It doesn’t matter how often I get called to the school I am always nervous.  What can he have done this time?  Drawn on the walls?  Kicked sand at another child?  He never means anything malicious, it’s just the way his older brothers are.  They never mean anything either, they’re just bigger and rougher, unfortunately Sonny copies them.

My attention is drawn to laughter outside.  There is a little girl with a pink ribbon in her hair being pushed on a swing.  I love my boys, but do wish one of them had have been a girl.  We wouldn’t dare try for another, four boys is enough, but I still long for a daughter.

I look down and see I have been anxiously fiddling with two paper clips.  I fold them back together before the secretary can see what I’m doing and put them back on the table. 

As I do that, my attention is drawn to a pink lunchbox on the floor.  I smile to myself (I wouldn’t dare smile externally, the secretary would probably put me in detention for such an act), thinking how different we would react if it was left unattended anywhere else.  Police would be called, the building would be evacuated, the bomb squad would be called.  I wonder if you could fit a bomb in a lunch box?

‘Mrs Jones’ the secretary snaps at me.  God I hate that woman.  ‘The principal will see you now’.  Oh no.  I have to go in now.  I stand up and with shaking legs walk up to the door and knock.  ‘Enter’ is the reply I get back.  I look down to the handle, open it, noticing my hand is shaking and walk in.

 

So… What do you think? (Honestly, what do you think?  I’d love to hear from you)  I find the concept of short stories weird.  How can you get a whole story into 300 words?  It’s just not possible, you’re always left wondering what else, what’s the point?  But, it’s a challenge and I love a challenge!

 

 

 

In other news, I’ve been writing down my dreams (although not last night’s – must do that now).  Also been reading the next modules of my course.  I’m still really excited about doing it, I just wish I could find more time to fit it in.  I’m sure that’s just an excuse and if I really wanted to I could find lots and lots more time, but I enjoy the other things I do and don’t want to give them up.  God I’m a pain!!!

 

Anything else?  Don’t think so.  The man is away for the next week, so think I will get lots done in this time (not blaming him, blaming myself for being distracted so easily!).

(on another note, if anyone knows anything about fonts, please could you let me know how to change them?  Everytime I save half of it changes to a different font – Grrrrrrrr).

Random thoughts

This blog is supposed to be about my writing, so when I don’t do any writing should that mean I shouldn’t do a blog? Or is my daily (ish) blog helping my writing? It may well be because surely any writing is better than no writing? Even if it is the rubbish that comes out of my head?

So why am I not writing? I’ve spent the whole of the day doing pretty much nothing so really could’ve done some. I guess I’m not doing any because I am waiting to start assignment 2 of my course and don’t really want to start anything before I start that. Not that it matters – I never finish anything anyway. Oh, except a short story for a competition once. That is an excellent idea. I can try and write short stories for competitions. I did briefly look for some a few weeks ago, but didn’t follow through with it. I think that’s what I’ll do now.

I have however done something productive with the last couple of days. I’ve started writing down my dreams. Still not writing day dreams down, but one thing at a time!!

And now for the planning…

I didn’t do as much of my course this weekend as I would’ve liked.  Or as much reading.  Oops.  To be honest it was to be expected.  I never do that much over the weekend.  I managed to find time to do some gardening and playing on the Xbox though, tut tut me.  At least the gardening is worth it (carrots and lettuce in a few months time!).

 

I did start reading Module four of the course.  One section of it was on titles.  YAY. The Bain of my life (in writing anyway).  It’s still going to be very hard for me to make them up.  I’m going to try doing them at the end of the piece of writing not the beginning (just use a working title while writing) because then I’ll know what I’ve written about.  What I also need to do is plan my writing.  At the moment I just write what write as I go, which to be honest I’ve always known was wrong but now I’ve been told!  So planning is the way forward! 

 

I also stated to read my new book – This Charming Man by Marian Keyes.  I’ve not found it as engaging as I usually find her books from the off.  But, it’s written as kind of a diary and a lot of the sentences start without ‘I am’ (e.g. it would say ‘Back at home’ not ‘I’m back at home’) and I’m finding it a little too… casual maybe?.  I’ve just realised it’s written in the present tense (I think – I will need to check that).  Don’t get me wrong, I am enjoying it – it’s a good story, and I’m only hearing one person’s view at the moment – there are three more to come. 

 

On Friday I was messing about on the internet, I wanted to write something, but had no idea what I wanted to write.  I found this site that suggests things to write to improve your writing, ranging from rewriting a fairy tale from another person’s perspective, to writing an excuse for not working today.  There’s literally 100s of ideas.  It’s such a good website.  Not that I’ve actually done anything from it, but I will.  If I can work out how to add a link I’ll add it (if I can’t it’s creativewritingprompts.com). 

 

I’m going to make a plan for this week.  Things I want to achieve this week.

  • Read modules four, five and six of the writing course.
  • Make notes on what I will write for assignment two (this may be harder than I think as I might need to do a lot of research before hand.  If I do, this can change to doing the research for it).

 

That seems to be my list.  It looks so short and easy.  I bet it won’t be.  I have decided I’m going to make notes on the course in another note book for easy reference.  I keep saying these things.  I need to start doing them!

Goodbye Assignment one

Yes, that’s right.  After all this time and talk, assignment one will be posted this weekend.  As soon as I can get it printed that is.  Woo hoo.  I think I’m quite happy with it.  I guess my tutor’s comments will tell me whether I should be happy with it or not.  As they say though, this isn’t about trying to get work published – this is about seeing how observant I am.  Or am not?

This means A. I can start my Marian Keyes book; and B.  I can start on Assignment two.  Or so I thought.  I actually can’t as I have to read three modules of the course before I can start it.  Before I read that I must to that first, I accidentally started to read the assignment.  It sounded scary.  It said analyse a magazine you read all the time.  Eek.  I didn’t read any more, but that alone scares me.  Hopefully once I’ve done these three modules it will be less scary than I am currently thinking it is.

I feel like I’ve not done any writing this week.  All I’ve done is editing the 1st assignment.  I should do some writing.  NOW!  I should stop writing this and do some other writing.  That sounds silly but you know (I know) what I mean.

I’ve had an idea.  It just came to me the other day.  I was reading a magazine and they were talking about how they have a readers panel.  They invite four readers per issue to come in and give their views on the magazine.  What a great experience that would be.  Going in to a magazine and seeing how it works.  Woo.  I just need to convince them that I’d be great for it.  I need to send them ‘fun facts’ about myself to get the gig.  FUN FACTS?  Ummmmmm.  It’s going to take me a while to think about them.  I originally thought I’d say about the writing course I’m doing, but then thought they might not like that – they might feel like I was trying to get in to get ahead in selling articles (Me? As if!), so have deleted that.  Other than loving cooking (and therefore the magazine for having recipes) and being healthy/gyming I can’t think of anything fun about me.  Don’t think they’d go for ‘I love going to clubs/bars/pubs’.  Damn.  Need to become ‘fun’. 

I’m going to do some writing now.  I don’t know what about though.  This could be a problem.

New feathers to my belt?

I’ve just tried to write a review of the film I went to see at the weekend (Watchmen).  I don’t think it’s very good.  In fact I think it is so bad I stopped half way through.  I guess the problem here is that I don’t read many film reviews to know what is put in them.  I don’t want to copy other people’s writing, but I need to know how much description of the film they give, how long they are etc.  The writing course says to be able to write any form of media you have to have studied it first (to be able to sell it, so you know what publishers/editors are looking for).  So I think I will spend some time reading them, see if that will help me.

I’m also thinking of reading up on restaurant reviews to try them.  If that is, I get taken out to dinner (I’m holding on to hopes the offer I was given yesterday will stay valid later in the week or at the weekend).  I’d love to write restaurant reviews.  With my experience in hospitality (I worked in hotels for five years and restaurants/hotels/pubs throughout school and uni) I have become very observant of things that are wrong and right.  I’m terrible, every time I walk into a hotel the first thing I do is a room check.  My opinion of the whole stay will be hugely based on that.  I figure that’s justified a clean neat room is what you pay for when you go to a hotel.

I wonder what else I could write?  I keep having lots of ideas.  The best possible writing I could do (other than my novel that is) would be doing articles for a health and fitness magazine (Zest maybe?).  Imagine having to get fit – and get paid for it.  Plus I’ve been reading them for so long I would be able to write like 5,000 straight off (by the way – I sometimes exaggerate!).  It is quite rare now that I read an article that is totally new ideas – unless some new research has been done.  Which it often is actually.Am stuck for any other ideas.  I’m sure they’ll come to me as I go through the writing course.  It’s so exciting.  I’m constantly excited.  It’s crazy.

 

 

Must try harder

Yes, I must try harder with my blog.  I’ve just read through a few blogs and spotted so many mistakes.  This is the reason I should read through the blog before I post it.  Try harder girl.

While trying to kill some time yesterday I wrote a bit of a children’s story.  A long time ago (before I signed up to the writing course – I think it was when I started to read a ‘How to write a novel’ book) I had the idea that I would write down all my day dreams.  Day dreams must be ideas trying to get out.  Or they might be anyway.  I’ve not done this before, so figure it’s time.

The ‘daydream’ came to me last week.  It’s about a little girl who gets a fairy for a friend.  The initial idea was an adult who gets an imaginary friend who makes wishes come true so must be real or magic or something.  I didn’t think it through because that kind of thing isn’t my kind of thing (with the exception of a book I once read ‘If you could see me now’ by Cecelia Ahene which was about a woman who discovers her new friend is actually an imaginary friend. I only read it because I love her books not because of the story itself.  I was glad I did – it was really good).  But then I thought about it a little more and realised it would make a great children’s story.  Maybe it’s a new calling?  Maybe it’s a sign I should get more sleep (having strange thoughts that is).

The reason I’ve not been writing ideas/daydreams (and real dreams too) down is because I often forget them straight away.  For instance I know I had a dream last night that was quite interesting.  But as soon as I woke up I forgot it.  Apprarently you can train yourself to remember dreams by always trying to write them down when you wake up.  Eventually you start to be able to rememeber more.   Must try this.

New week new post

I see a pattern emerging here in my blogging.  Writing at the beginning of the week, then nothing towards the end or over the weekend.

You will however be pleased to hear (I am at least) I’ve finally finished the first assignment for my course.  I just need to proof read it and send it in.  I’m feeling quite nervous about it – I’ve not had anything marked for years.  This will also be the 1st step towards me finding out if I can really write or not.  Although they say anyone can become a writer, there must be people out there that really can’t – no matter how much tuition they are given..  Realistically I know I’m not one of those people (mainly attributed to school grades given to creative writing, but also to people commenting and reading my blog – thanks again!), but I think I would not be human to have slight underlying fears about this. 

The exciting thing about this is that I now get to move on to assignment two.  I’ve not read anything about it yet, so am very excited.  The first parts I think are all none fiction which is quite scary as this is not the genre I want to write but more of a challenge too.  The course has a money back guarantee that you will make back your the course fees in selling writing before you finish it.  That’s an exciting (and terrifying) thought – hopefully I’ll be SELLING my writing.  People will be paying to read what I write.  Wow!

The other exciting thing about finishing is that I now get my ‘reward’ to myself – the new Marion Keyes book.  This means my life will now stop for a few days while I read it.  She never disappoints.  Just need to find some time to start reading it!

You may notice an addition to my blog homepage (if that’s what it is?).   A second page – ‘What I’m reading’.  As I’ve said on it, I want to keep track of the books I read so here it is. I’d like to also give recommendations to others to read the books I enjoy.  The only problem is I don’t seem to be able to add tags to the page.  I need more help.  Please.

I went to the Museum of London last week.  I quickly decided that it wasn’t the place to write about.  I find it hard enough to convey how much I really enjoy something – I’m not sure I could start to consider how to convey not enjoying things.  It wasn’t that bad, but it wasn’t the Science Museum (I’m already looking forward to going back there).  It was just a little boring.  It felt slightly like a history lesson with very little interaction and fun.  Still, I felt cultured afterwards.  I’m going to try to visit a museum every month.  See if I can do all the tourist things now I live in London!  I’ll also continually feel cultured. 

On that note I’m going to see the Album Chart show being filmed tonight.  Ha ha!