Archive | May 2009

Extenuating circumstances?

I think I need to start coming to terms with the fact I’m not going to hit my targets this month.  Well the words total and everything writing course related too.

I’m wondering if I can get away with telling myself there are extenuating circumstances?  I’m working from an office where I actually have to work – no writing for me.  Not sure if even I believe that one.  There is a slight chance I can make the word total – I need just over 3,000.  but, there’s only one working day left, and I’m away all weekend.  I guess anything is possible.

I was going to go out at lunch to a cafe and observe the room, making detailed notes.  Stuff happened (free lunch at work) so had no reason to (if only I liked tea and/or coffee I could have gone in for one).  I’m going to do that tomorrow. 

I’ve just booked some holiday.  Next Thursday and Friday.  My plan for them is to spend a massive amount on my assignment and to get my head around ‘Holiday’ so far.  I’m not going to do this for every assignment, but I thought it was a good idea for this one as I just can’t get past it.  It’s really just  getting this magazine analysis out the way.  Once I’ve done that I can get on with the magazine article that I need to do for the second half of it.  Once I get over the fear of thinking what to write. 

I think I’ll use the holiday day to also do some more reading.  I got given a book at a car boot sale a few weeks ago (just given.  It was the end of the day and the girl said I could have it because she was only going to give it to charity.  result.  Although I now feel a little bad, a charity could have made some money from it.  I’ll give some to the next charity I see to make up for it!).  It’s American and sounds great, I think it’s called Singletini (by Amanda Trimble – don’t you just love google!) and about single, fun loving, Martini drinking 20 somethings in Chicago.  Drinking.  Fun.  Chicago.  May favourite things all in one. Yay!

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Predictons coming true

What did I say yesterday?  That I probably wouldn’t get any writing done this week.  Yep, that seems to be what’s happening.  I did manage to write down last night’s dream – and in more depth than I have done any other dreams before. 

I need to start writing in more detail.  To be able to take the reader to where I am.  I think at the moment my writing is too basic – there is no detail, well not enough anyway.

I get paid tomorrow, so I’m going to treat myself to lunch in a coffee shop (wow – great treat – can’t I have a dress instead?).  While I’m there I’m going to observe.  And write my observations down.  And I’m going to go into lots of detail.  I’m going to try to do that regularly.

I’m just five pages away from finishing ‘Mercy’.  It’s driving me crazy that I’m so close to finishing.  It really has got me, I can’t wait to read the rest – it’s really pulled me in.  Actually, I’m due a break, I’m going to take a break from this and finish it.

Great, I’ve now finished it.  I do really enjoy Jodie Picoult’s novels.  That’s quite a good thing, because I have had lots given to me to read.  I was going to give my opinions on this book, but in the next couple of days I’ll do a review of it on here.

Nothing else to report unfortunately.  Maybe tomorrow…

In the future…

There’s a distinct possibility there will be no writing from me this week.  I am working at a different office where I sometimes have to actually do things.  As my working time is usually my time for writing I’m not sure what I’ll be able to do – even with good intentions to do some at home.

The good news is though, that I’ve nearly finished reading the current novel (Mercy, Jodie Picoult).  I’m really enjoying it – it’s very thought provoking.  In various ways.  I’d really like to be able to write something that would make someone else think that much about it, and really affect them.  Maybe one day.  Maybe if I do lots of writing to get there!

Another blog about poetry

Since doing that Japanese poem thing (or to put it better ‘Haiku’) I’ve been feeling a tiny desire to write some poetry.  I’m confused by it as I’ve never really been that big into it.  I did A-level English Literature so did a lot of reading poetry for that and before that for GCSEs I must have written some.  I did enjoy it at the time, but it wasn’t anything I took with me past school. 

I remember in my 1st year at secondary school I wrote a poem about excuses for not doing homework and remember it being really good (for an 11 year old anyway).  I’m going to have to look up how to write poems and do some.  Yay – something else to stop me doing my course.

I wish I could remember more of my school work.  Or I wish I knew if I still had some.  I would love to look at some of the work I did back then.  I really wanted to take English Language for A-Level, but my school didn’t offer it (I wanted to stay at school not college as I didn’t trust myself to make it there every day without teachers breathing down my neck).  I wonder where I would be if I had have done it…?

I’ve done no writing today.  Damn job getting in the way.  I’m working again tomorrow and out all day Sunday so it is very unlikely I will get any done this weekend.  Damn.  I have to get out of this rut of not doing any writing at the weekend, even if it’s just for 10 minutes, no 5.  5 would be better than none.  That’s my challenge then – at least 5 minutes writing (each day) this weekend.  Even I can manage that.

Editing, or lack of

I’ve just found a fatal flaw in my plan for writing lots and lots of words a month (I personally think 12,000 is a lot).  By trying to make this total, I spend all my time writing, whereas I think maybe I should spend some time editing.  I should be going back and reading things I have written a few days later to check the spelling, punctuation etc etc.  Also re reading and improving it.  I think next month’s word count will have to be reduced so I can edit too.

I decided I was just going to write today for 5 mins.  That 5 mins turned into about an hour and 900+ words.  I’m quite happy about that.  Quite a good start to a story.  Or middle bit to a story. 

My writing course tutor said (about assignment 1) that my observation skills were very good.  But when writing I feel like I don’t do enough to describe things – rooms, people, actions.  So, my plan for next week is to start improving this.  I’m going to go to a coffee shop/park/somewhere and write down as many details about what I see as possible.  The first thing I did for the writing course was to describe a person and scene I’d been at.  I choose the tube cause I’m there twice a day and was reasonably happy with the results.  That however was three months ago so next week I’ll go somewhere else and do it again. 

I quite like the idea of going to a coffee shop and writing down everything I see  (mainly about the room, but also the staff and customers), then challenging myself to go back a few days later and find more details than I had found before.  Then a few days later, each time trying to get more and more detail.  I stole this idea off the writer I was just writing about who does that.  In my scene she was going back to a coffee shop to find more detail than the previous time she’d been there.

I’ve recently realised that although my idea for ‘holiday’ is brilliant (so I think), I don’t have enough sub plots going on, I have the main story and that’s all.  I need to spend some time thinking about what else could be happening.  I think this might come when I do the full character analysis’.  I hope.  I did think that maybe they would just come up as I wrote, but I really want to do this properly and have a plan before I start.  Or before I get much further anyway.

Letters (20/5’s post)

There’s a magazine or newspaper that I’ve read about recently that wants articles from people writing letters to someone.  For instance I read some where the author was writing to their daughter, one where they were writing to their child’s blanket (I did wonder about that one).  It gave me an idea that I could practice writing from different points of view by writing letters from fictional characters to someone in their lives.  So that’s been my writing today.

(so short as I ran out of time)

Poet?

I’m a poet and I don’t know-it.  I’m not really.  I’ve been running away from poetry since school when I was forced to do it.  I thought I didn’t like it.  But, someone sent me a link to a Haiku competition going on in London (http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2009/may/18/poetry-twitter).  Haiku for those who, like me, don’t know is a simple Japanese poem.  Just three lines long with the syllable structure 5/7/5.  I thought I’d give it a go (what else would I do at work?) and am quite pleased with my little poem. 

I find it quite hard to get my head around these.  They’re so short that before you can even start to get into it, it’s over.  Someone also said it’s hard to be deep and meaningful in such a short piece of writing which I agree with.  I also find syllables hard to get my head around sometimes, especially -ed words.  Luckily, I found a website dedicated to just this (http://www.howmanysyllables.com/).  Genus. 

If anyone reading this could please let me know how to set up the links I’m posting as a one word link as I’ve seen other people do, I would be eternally grateful.  I’m sure it’s quite easy, but I don’t have time to look today and keep forgetting, so please please let me know.

I started reading Mercy by Jodie Picoult again on the tube this morning.  I had started it about six months ago, but just didn’t find the time to continue.  She’s one of those authors that I think I’m not that keen on, and don’t immediately get drawn into the novels, but if I persist I really love.  I’m going to spend more of my travel time reading.  My goals for the last two months have been to read one novel a month.  One novel is not enough.  I need to read read read.  My writing course tutor said that too.  That was a couple of months ago when I was reading more than I am now.

I’m trying to take a couple of days holiday in June to try and finish this assisgnment for the course.  I always say I’ll do it at the weekend, but the weekend comes and other things come up so I never get round to it.  I hope by taking these days off I will have no distractions from other people around (they’ll all be at work) so I’ll concentrate!

Also in these two days I’m going to organise my writing.  At the moment I just write whatever into an email, then send it to myself then file it in a ‘writing’ folder.  I need more than this.  I feel like I need to get my ideas straight (especially ‘Holiday’, but all my writing bits I’m doing).

I love it when a plan comes together (I really mean starts, I just wanted to say that!).