Archive | August 2009

Getting ready for the weekend

I’m finally starting to feel better, and that my ‘cluster’ migraine blip has gone.  Just in time for the bank holiday weekend – yay! Weirdly though, I was doing LOTS of writing when I was feeling rough, but now I’m better I seem to have slowed down.  Hmm.  I’ve not actually revisited anything I’d written over the last couple of weeks, so the quality may well be terrible, but at least I was doing something. 

I think I should be able to get some writing done this weekend.  I’m spending it with the man, but I think he’ll be recovering from tonight all tomorrow, so will give me the chance to actually do something productive.  He’ll probably be on my back to get on with the writing course too (he will now I’ve written that). I’m actually planning on re reading the last modules of the course.  I think doing that will give me the inspiration to crack on with this next assignment. 

I’ve really got into this Ben Elton book I’m reading.  It has become a real page turner and I totally can’t put it down.  I even nearly missed my tube stop this morning I was so engrossed.  I think I’ll have it finished by tomorrow – Friday night TV permitting!  I really feel like I’m paying attention to the way it’s written, as well as the story.  They say to be a good writer you have to be a reader, but I’ve been wondering recently, although I read a lot, do I actually pay that much attention to the writing?  It would seem I now do – and it’s not been a conscious decision, it’s come naturally.

I’ve just had a funny thought.  I would be so interested to know how many books I’ve read in the last few years.  Since being an adult.  It must be 100s.  I’d hope it would be 100s anyway.  I might when bored on day sit on Amazon (other online book retailers available) and see if I can get a rough estimate.  I’d never be able to remember all of them; there have been many times when I’ve looked at a book and couldn’t remember if I’d read it or not.   Last Christmas I asked my mum for a book, luckily I was there when she went to buy it, and realised I’d read it a couple of months before.  Oops.

I said the other day I was going to do a review of the Science Museum when I went the other day.  I’ve changed my mind on this.  Partly because I forgot when I was there, so didn’t make any notes about it.  Also because we didn’t really do much there.  We went to a lecture on Ballistics and ate.  Not really enough to be able to compile a review.  Oh well.  I’m going to Notting Hill Carnival on Sunday or Monday, might do one of that.  Maybe.

Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom

Wow, a semi decent title.  It’s only taken me seven or so months of blogging to get one.

I’m going to the Science Museum’s adult only night tonight.  I’m so excited.  It’s reminded me that my first visit there was in order to write a review for my first writing course assignment.  I wrote it, but it was double the length it was allowed to be, so in the end I went somewhere else and reviewed something else.  After sending the assignment in, I said to myself that I would continue to review places I went to, for practice writing different things.  I haven’t.  I think I might do one when I get home tonight/tomorrow.  I’ll definitely make notes on it anyway!

I left my book at work last night, so no reading on the tube home or coming to work this morning.  Don’t you just hate it when that happens! Especially when you’re reading a really good book.

I’m trying to practice touch typing, but it keeps making my arms ache.  I must be doing something wrong.  I need to find out the ideal sitting position to type, and do it.

I did some free writing this morning.  It turned into something very strange for me.  It was the beginning of a thriller. What?  Something that’s not chick lit?  Whatever is the world coming to?  I don’t think it will go anywhere as I can’t imagine I’d be able to think up enough to go in a thriller story.  I do envy good thriller writers, I can’t imagine being able to think up something that keeps readers on the edge of their seats for a whole novel.  Maybe one day, who knows where my writing journey will take me.

I’ve just found out Marian Keyes has a new book coming out in October.  Oh my god, and Cecelia Ahearn.  That’s my Christmas presents sorted!

Ok here’s something I’ve been meaning to write about.  And something I feel I’m missing.  Have you notices that a huge number of chick lit authors (the main ones I read) are Irish?  Is there something in the water over there that makes them amazing story tellers?  Would I have more success if I was Irish?  Should I move over there and pretend I am?  It’s strange isn’t it!

This is not a good idea.  The library I joined yesterday has an online catalogue.  I’ve just spent the last 10 minutes looking at it to find books, I’ve just added loads to my ‘to read’ list.  Damn, I’ll never get though it now!

Library

I can’t help a second post today, I’m really excited.  I’m aslo pretty worried that I’m so excited.

I’ve finally joined the library.  I did it at lunchtime so didn’t have enough time to look round properly, but I am very excited none the less.  The have a ‘best sellers’ section, they have a travel section, they have a COOKERY section and they have a WRITING section.  They also have DVDs and CDs.  Ok, so maybe I’ve not been a member of a library for years and these things are normal, but I am so excited about them.  I do worry how much time I could spend there, and how many books I’m going to have to add to my ‘to read’ list, but these small worries are currently being numbed by my enthusiasm for it. 

I feel like everyone has something in them that makes them slightly geeky, whether they’re a computer geek, a film geek, a celebrity geek, whatever.  I think I’m a book geek.  And you know what, I don’t care.  I love them.

Sorry, just had to share!

Premature looking at goals

I know we’ve still got a few days left of August, but I felt I had to look at my goals for this month today.  Mainly because I feel like I’ve done LOADS of writing this month.  I have.  I’ve already beaten my goal of 10k – I’ve done 11.  Go me.

I’ve done quite a variety of different things this month:  I’ve done lots towards ‘holiday’, both planning and writing;  I’ve done lots of blogs on here; I’ve done quite a lot of random ‘just write’ writing; and written a couple of other things I’ve been inspired to write.  I don’t feel I’ve done all that much that would be productive, but at the same time, I’ve done lots of writing and the more writing you do, the better you get. I hope!

I’ve not read 2 novels yet.  I don’t think I’m even 100 words into one yet.  Oops.  This book’s good though, so I’ll defo get through that by the end of the month.  Maybe with this long weekend coming up I’ll even get onto the next one.  Doubtful, but possible. 

I’ve also done writing and blogs at the weekends.  I’m really happy about this, but I do feel I’ve slightly cheated on this.  Not cheated as such, but not that it’s a proper habit I’ve gotten into.  I usually spend weekends with my boyfriend, but this month we’ve been apart quite a bit.  On these days I’ve  been doing writing and blogs.  Ah.  The weekends I’ve spent with him I’ve not done anything.  See the pattern here?  I either need to stop spending weekends with him (not an option) or need to make a serious effort to do productive writing things when with him during the weekends.  I know by writing this, he will read this, and help to encourage me to do some (please hunny).

Last week I was looking at a post here on WordPress.  It was a story inspired by a photo that was given as a writing prompt on a website somewhere.  The story written inspired me to write a story, kind of following on from it, but not exactly.  I’m semi tempted to send my story to the original story’s writer.  Semi tempted.  That would be quite a cool thing to do if there was a group of writers.  One person writes a story from a prompt, then the next writes one inspired by the story, then the next inspired by that story and so on.  Hmmmmm.

The dreaded writing course

Seeing as I’ve not really talked about this that much recently, I thought I’d have a little moan about my writing course. 

About six months ago (was it really that long ago, eek!) I started a correspondence writing course.  I was so excited as I’d spent YEARS wanting to do this, but had been putting it off with one excuse or another.  I finally decided that if I ever wanted to write a novel (which I really do), I wanted to be best equip for it I could be, and that means doing a writing course.  Also it seemed like a good time to spend the money on it (special offers – always good).

So I got the course.  Read the first modules.  Did the first assignment.  Twice (as I didn’t like the first attempt). Got pretty good feedback from my tutor.  Read the second module.  And stopped.  And in the last four months I have done nothing.  No, I’ve done about half an hour’s research.  And that’s it. 

I think the problem is fear.  This assignment is a magazine analysis and an article for a magazine.  First part, easy, done.  Second part, ahhhhhh.  They say if it’s good enough, they will suggest you try to sell it.  I think this is where my problem lies.  Sell it?  What?  I’m not ready for that!  Or I don’t feel like I am.  The idea scares the hell out of me.  Completely.  And because of this I can’t move on.  Not even the thought that I’m paying x amount each month for the course is enough to spur me on.

The other thing stopping me may well be that I’m not all that happy with the topic I’ve chosen.  And I can’t think of another one good enough. 

I just need to get through this somehow.  I don’t know how.  Somehow, some way I will.  Sometime. 

In other news, I’m loving the Ben Elton book (‘High Society’).  I made a pretty big dent in it this morning on the bus and tube.  I have a feeling this will become a pretty addictive read soon, who needs to sleep when there’s a good book to be read?

What to write?

I feel like I should do a blog as I’m sat at my computer with wordpress open and nothing to do really.  I should be doing my story board for ‘Holiday’.  Or maybe eating ice cream.  Hmmmm.  Which one? I think I’m procrastinating again.  Maybe I should do some of my course?

I’m really worried my computer’s going to die.  It’s getting really hot when it’s turned on.  So hot I can’t rest my right hand on it.  That’s not good.  I should back everything up I have on it just in case it does die soon.  Eek.

OK, I am going to go do something productive (after the ice cream)

Reading

After everything I’ve said about being desperate to read some chick lit, I’m not.  I found a Ben Elton book at the man’s house so have borrowed that.  I’ve read a few of his and think they’re really good.  This one’s ‘High Society’.  I found it pretty hard to read the first seven pages due to REALLY LOUD women on the train, but think I’ll get into it pretty quickly.  Am quite excited, I know it will be a good read.

I sent my short story off last night to the author who was interested in looking at it for me.  Due to him living on the other side of the world to me, he’d looked at it and suggested changes by the time I checked my emails this morning.  Nice.  Unfortunately I can’t access that email address from work (had a peek through mobile internet!) to see the attachment, so will have to wait until I get home later to see what he says.  Very excited.  And he didn’t say he hated it, so that’s good 🙂

I’m working from another office today, one I worked at a few months ago.  While I was here last time I started writing a scene.  It was mainly for practice describing things; I don’t feel that I’m all that good at writing descriptions of rooms etc, so sometimes do these little exercises.  I don’t feel that I really made the room come to life – which was my objective, but I quite like my description of one of the people.  I definately need to concentrate on describing rooms, places etc.

Just found a scene I wrote for ‘Holiday’ a couple of weeks ago.  This book HAS to be written in 1st person.  It works so well (I think).  I just worry that she’s me just in different situations.  I guess she can be, as long as the other characters aren’t also me.  I found an article the other day which gives guidance on character building  and one of the suggestions it makes is to write scenes from another character’s perspective, then see if it sounds the same.  I think that’s a really good idea.  One I’ll be trying out shortly.

Two hours left at work, nothing to do.  I bet I can do some good writing in that time 🙂

Not a library member

Because I keep forgetting to go and join.  I blame the constant headache and dizziness – not that I like to complain.  I’m working in a different office tomorrow so will have to remember to join next week.  Damn annoying, really could have done with joining and getting a book out.  No book in particular, just something easy I can read.  Something chick lit-y.  I’ve not read one for a month or so and really feel in the mood for one.

I’ve let someone else read my short story from last month (Blueberry Yogurt).  He thought it was really good.  Ok, he is my boyfriend, so he may be biased, but I’d like to hope he’d tell me the truth no matter what.  Now I’ve got someone else asking to read some of my work.  Someone I don’t know (which I guess should make it easier), but someone who’s written a whole book.  And a pretty good one at that.  I’m trying to make myself send this to him.  Eek. 

I’ve not done any writing today.  I guess I re-edited Blueberry Yogurt (again) so that counts as doing something.  I really need to think of a new title for it.  Blueberry yogurt just doesn’t work!

I’ve just started writing something.  I have no idea what it is, or what it will be, but I’m going with it.  Lets see…

I still don’t like titles

I just spend 3 minutes thinking up a title for this blog – what a waste of time.  The short story I wrote last month still doesn’t have a title (other than ‘Blueberry yogurt’ – which are the opening words) and my novel still hasn’t got a title (well, there’s ‘Hoilday’ but that’s definitelya working title.  It would be a rubbish title for this book). I wonder if the writing course I’m doing (or not doing at the moment) has a module on thinking of titles for your work?

I’ve had a pretty good writing day again today.  I thought of an idea for ‘Holiday’ and while it was fresh in my mind I thought I’d write it.  I think it’s ok. 

What I’m having problems with is finishing scenes.  I’ve written maybe six so far, and haven’t finished any of them.  I think I know where one, the opening scene, is going to end – and if I’m right, I think I’ve done the notes to finish it, but all the rest I’ve just kind of left hanging there.  This does worry me a little.  But at least I’m writing.  I should just be happy about that. 

I also did some reading last night and on the tube this morning.  I’m reading a non fiction book about ecomonics and how everyday things can be explained by it, ‘The Economic Naturalist: Why Economics Explains Almost Everything’ by Robert H. Frank.  Every once in a while I decide I need to read something educational.  I would like to say that this is one of those times, but in actual fact it was the only book I could find at my Mum’s a couple of weeks and I was desperate to read something.  I do like books that can teach me something so hopefully I’ll love this.  Especially as I did hardly any economics at school, and what little I did I paid vertually no attention to (General Studies.  I only went to give me another A Level – thank god I did, I wouldn’t have got into uni without it.  But that’s another story).

Last night I decided I really NEEDED to read something chick lit-y.  So I scoured my shelf for one.  All I had I’d already read.  The books I hadn’t read are pretty serious ones (John Grisham/Jodi Picoult) so not suitable for my current mood.  I NEED to buy some chick lit.  Or join a library (just remembered that was what I wanted to do during my lunch break.  Oops.  Tomorrow!)

That reminds me.  I watched a film at the weekend, originally a book, that I actually liked.  John Grisham’s The Client.  I started watching it not realising what it was, then it clicked (my TV guide wasn’t working!). Obviously it’s pretty old, but I think they did a good job of turning it into a film – better than any other’s I can remember anyway.  Randomly the next day another John Grisham book/film was on and I watched that – The Pelican Brief; I’ve got it on my shelf to read.  It will be interesting doing it the other way and reading the book after watching the film.

Lots and lots of words

I’m torn in my head about whether the words I’ve written today count or not. I’ve re-written a scene I wrote a few weeks ago for ‘Holiday’, but in 1st person, present tense.  I think I’ve pretty much decided it’s going to be 1st person now.  I just need to decide between present and past.  I’ve always had problems writing present in the past, I seemed to always slip into past accidentally – but somehow in this 1,000 word scene (the beginning of a scene anyway) I’ve kept it consistent.  Initial reaction from me is I like it.  I know there’s a couple of bits in it I don’t like, but for a 1st draft it’s not bad.

I didn’t do much writing over the weekend, bits and bobs on Sunday, but I wasn’t feeling too good again.  I got another migraine on Saturday so felt kind of funny on Sunday, then yesterday I didn’t do anything as I was feeling dizzy all day.  Even had a day off work because of it.  Shame, I could do with a day off to work on some writing. 

God, I’ve just realised I’ve not started reading anything this month.  My goal is to read 2 novels.  Damn.  I think if I don’t get too far with that I can be quite lenient on myself – I know it’s because I’ve been getting these migraines and headaches so don’t really feel up tp reading.  I’ll get on it when I’m over this spell.

The good thing is though, that it’s making me do writing.  When I’m at work time really drags if I’m not doing anything, whereas if I’m writing, my concentration is taken, so it’s like I forget I’m not feeling too good. Every cloud and all that….