Archive | March 2010

Books, Books, Books… and Trouble?

I am so excited right now, for a million different reasons.  There’s so many things, I don’t know which to tackle first.  I think I’m going to go chronologically. 

I went to the library at lunchtime today.  Now, we know I have a slight problem with the library – I go and pick up books.  Too many books. But I promised myself I’d be good.  I had a purpose – well 3 purposes – I was going to stick to them and not even look at another book. 

I so nearly did it too.  I got the book I needed (see below), I got the DVD I needed (Grey’s Anatomy – Series 3 – Easter viewing) and I was on the way to the computers to check my emails.  As I was walking across the room, I saw a sign that couldn’t be ignored.  It said SALE.  Uh oh. 

I picked a book up, and found it was 50p.  Yes, 50p.  So I picked up another and another… until I had 5 in my hand (excluding the one I went in for).  Eek.  5 books.  Even as I stood by the sale table I knew I shouldn’t do it.  But I couldn’t help it.  I actually tried to put one of them back down, but I couldn’t.  Oops.

But – I got 5 books for £2.50.  That’s damn good.  And, there’s 3 authors I’d not heard of – so it’s almost like research… Kind of.  I’ve got: Addition by Toni Jordan (which I started reading in the library – such a good 1st page), Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married by Marian Keyes, Famous Writers School by Steven Carter, An Offer You Can’t Refuse by Jill Mansell and finally Members Only by Leonie Fox.

So that was exciting.  If not a little worrying because I know my other half is going to kill me.   Then, I get back to work and someone from Facilities asks me if I’m New2WritingGirl.  Hmmmmm.  How did they know?  Why?  Apparently there was a package for New2WritingGirl (NewToWritingGirl was one digit too many for a Twitter name).  Woop!  I won a competition on Twitter from the lovely people @PiatkusBooks  and that was the prize pack.  Double Woop.  I’m now the proud owner of: What French Women Know: About Love, Sex and Other Matters of the Heart and Mind by Debra Ollivier, Straight Talking by Linda Blair; The Price by Alexandra Sokoloff and Everyone is Beautiful by Katherine Center.  Seriously I am so excited – they all sound so good.  AND as 2 of them are non-fiction I can totally read them at the same times as a fiction book.  Woop!

So now a couple of people from the facilities department know about my blog and my Twitter account.  I am anonymous no more.  I thought that would bother me, but as more and more people read my work and comment on it, I’m starting to care less and less if people find out about my ‘other life.’ 

Also exciting.  I bought another book today.  Well, it’s really a novella, and it’s an ebook.  Does that make it better?  Kait Nolan is a writer whose blog was one of the first I started to follow when I started blogging myself.  She finished a novel last year and asked the Twitterverse if anyone wanted to Beta read it.  I volunteered, but before I got half way through she decided she had to re-write it completely.  I was a little gutted as I was enjoying it.  A few months later she decided to scrap it altogether.  Again I was gutted. 

But, now, she’s just released a novella at various places including Smashwords.  It’s called Forsaken by Shadow and I can tell you, it’s pretty damn good.  I’ve been reading it this afternoon and am really enjoying it.  I was getting really frustrated as I was on the switchboard at the time so people kept calling up and interrupting me.  Damn people.

I totally forgot to mention the reason I went to the library other than for Grey’s Anatomy and to use the internet (which after the excitement of all the books, I totally forgot to do).  I found this great website called Novel Kicks – it’s an online writers group that looks really fun. They’ve got a book club and for their April read they’ve chosen The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters.  I joined so will be reading this shortly – the library stocked it so I had to go get it. 

I’ve got to say, I’m not too sure if I want to read it – purely cause I don’t read things that will scare me.  And I’m pretty sure this will.  I don’t know why I don’t – I used to.  In fact I used to LOVE all the Point Horror books as a teen – but somewhere between then and now I stopped reading them.  But, I said I was going to join the reading group, so I’m going to read it.  I just won’ t be reading it alone in the house, or alone on the way home in the dark. 

Waterstones are holding a ‘Tweetup’ (Twitter Meet up for those not in the know) tonight, which I want to go to.  My boyfriend’s dropped out and none of my friends want to go.  I know I should go on my own, but I’m not that good at things like that.  No I think it’s that I’ve never been to anything like that so don’t know what to expect and if it’s going to be people in groups then little old me alone, I don’t really want to go.  But I know I want to.  I’m half telling myself that I’ve taken a LOT of big steps into the unknown recently – blogging, writing, putting my work out there for others to read – that I should take another one.  But then at the same time, I’m thinking I’ve done so much I don’t need to do this too.  I can’t decide.  Agh! It might actaully be too late when I get there… Is that a good excuse not too?

Advertisements

Fiction Friday – 26th March

This week’s prompt from Write Anything:  ‘Shhh… did you hear that?’  Here’s my story (remember unedited):

‘Shhhh.  Did you hear that?’

‘What?’  

‘That!’

‘I don’t hear anything.’

‘You must do.  I’m not hearing things.  It sou… that.’

What was that?’ Jade hissed. 

‘I don’t know.  I’m going to find out.’ 

‘NO!’

‘Shhhhhhhhh.’

‘Don’t leave me alone.’

‘Well come with me then.’ 

Jade went through the options.  She really didn’t want to go with Si, but at the same time she didn’t want to stay there.  If she went with Si whatever that noise was might get her, but if she stayed there alone, it might dodge Si and just get her.  She decided to go with Si, he’d always protected her in the past so he probably would again.

Si crept towards the door, making as little noise as possible.  Jade followed behind, but not knowing the layout of the area as well as Si did, she tripped on something and fell to the floor. 

‘Omph.’

‘Shhhhhhh.  Oh, are you alright?’  Jade stood up rubbing her knee. 

‘Yeah.  I hurt my knee.’

‘Can you still walk, or do you want to wait here?’

‘No, no.  I’ll come.’

‘Well be careful this time.’  He reached back and grabbed her hand in an effort to keep her close and safe. 

When they got to the door they stopped and both held their breath.  There is was again.  And again.  It was getting more frequent.’

‘Do you think it’s getting closer?’  Jade asked, they both knew by this point it was something bad.  Nothing good could make that noise. 

‘I don’t know.’

‘Do we have to go and find out?  Can’t we just stay here?  Maybe it will go away.’

He turned to look at her, even in the dark she knew his look would say we both know that’s not going to happen

Si took a chance and started opening the door.  Jade moved further behind the opening door in fear.  There was no light coming from the corridor, although it was only dusk all the bedroom doors were closed giving the room the illusion of night. 

‘The hall’s clear.  I think it’s coming from downstairs.’  He eased himself through the gap in the door, pulling Jade along with him. 

As they stepped into the hall they saw light coming from downstairs. 

The noise happened once, twice, three times then stopped.  They stopped.  It started again.  Once, twice. 

Jade released Si’s hand for a second to wipe hers on her jeans, she hadn’t realised that she was sweating so much.  Luckily Si was too, he did the same, then they joined hands again and started towards the stairs.

‘Si.  It’s a cutting noise isn’t it?’

‘I don’t know.  I think so.  Come on.  Let’s find out.’

The took the stairs one at a time, very slowly.  On the fourth step Si turned round to Jade.

‘We need to miss the next stair, it creaks.  Can you do it quietly?’  Jade wasn’t sure, but nodded anyway.  She had no choice but to try.  She looked ahead, the pale light from behind the downstairs doors illuminating the way.  She managed to miss the step easily.

After that they got down the rest of the stairs easily.  At the bottom the stopped and looked at each other.  The noise was still happening.  It was random, it would start, happen a few times then stop.  The a couple more times, then stop. 

‘Come on.  We’ve come this far, we need to find out what it is.’

‘Is it going to get us?’

‘I don’t know Jade.’  Si looked round the hall.  He saw the umbrella stand, and grabbed a couple, giving one to Jade.  ‘Here, you can use this as a weapon to get it.’ 

Jade took it, noticing she was trembling.  They covered the distance from stairs to kitchen silently.  The closer they got the louder the noise got.  At the kitchen door Si turned back to Jade. 

‘It’s now or never.  I’m going to push the door open fully, we’ll go in together and use the umbrella to beat whatever it is to death.’  Jade gulped, she didn’t want to have to, but she knew she might get killed if she didn’t do what Si say saying. If it was her life or it’s she was going to kill it. 

‘1… 2… 3…’

Si threw the door open quickly, they looked in and gasped, taking in the scene.

‘Oh there you two kids are.  Dinner’s nearly ready are you hungry?’  Si’s mum tuned back to her chopping board and continued to cut the carrots.

I was totally inspired for this by reading Rose’s pre story writing where she was talking about her daughter. I hope that the fact they’re children doesn’t come across until Si’s mum speaks.  Please let me know if you think it does, or doesn’t.  Obviously it need to be worked on – a lot. 

If you’re interested in anything else I’ve written from prompts, I started something yesterday from the prompt ‘Peter’s Chair.’

Peter’s Chair’s beginning

I can’t think of anything to blog about today, so thought I’d share a little excerpt of some writing I did this morning. 

There I was reading though my regular blogs when I found a great prompt for writing from I Had the Write Idea.  The prompt quite simply was ‘Peter’s Chair’. Well, I love a good prompt, in fact I don’t think I’ve ever written anything that hasn’t come from a prompt of one sort or another (except the novel of course).  This is where I went with it (I’ve spent a little time on it, but not too much… so don’t expect perfection!):

‘Peter’s chair stood in the corner of the room.  It was that chair that had got him through his childhood.  Whenever his parents were arguing he’d go and sit on the chair, put on his dad’s huge old headphones and listen to music for hours and hours. 

He couldn’t believe his mum had kept it, in fact he couldn’t believe she’d kept everything in the room the same.  Stepping into it, he felt like he was stepping back in time fifteen years. 

When his dad walked him out of the house that night, he thought it was just another fight.  He thought they’d be back in a couple of days, a week max.  When they’d got to the airport he’d never even dreamt that his dad would be taking him back to England permanently, and that he wouldn’t see his mum or sister for months. 

He’d loved his life in England, the teenage years at school were great, uni was even better, and now he had a great job and stunning girlfriend.  But there was always something in him that made him question if he was doing the right thing. 

Should he have come back to America when he’d turned 18 and been able to?  Or a couple of years later when his dad died?  He’d been so settled in England.  He felt English – he even sounded English. 

But had he have been here maybe he could have stopped everything that happened.  Maybe he wouldn’t be here now emptying the house…’

Well, that’s all there is to it.  I have a few ideas for where it might go.  One of them is nowhere. I’ve got so many started bits of writing, I’m never going to finish them all.  But this could be the beginning of something.  Maybe.

What do you think?

Wednesday’s Thoughts

I’ve just realised the titles for my blogs actually are pretty important – I’ve got them automatically linked to Twitter and that only shows the title and the link.  So all those days I’ve forgotten to title one before posting… people probably think I’m virusing or something (it’s my new word!)

That reminds me: for my last assignment I had to write a short story.  I edited one that I’d already finished, that was called Blueberry Yogurt.  I didn’t think the title worked for the story (it is the first two words – no relation to the story), so I renamed it ‘The Friend Next Door.’  In all honesty I though that sucked, as it sounded like some old person’s story, but stuck with it.  My tutor didn’t like it either.  Ha ha.  I’ve been trying to think of  a better one, for the last couple of weeks, but can’t.  Really I should look forward to the next one, not back.  Although if I do that I’ll never learn from my mistakes.

I did some more of the course today.  I need to write 150 word descriptions of different people.  150 word is nothing.  It’s too short to do.  But then I am trying to make each a story rather than just description.  Not a story, but part of a story.  I don’t know if it’s the right thing to do.  I’ll leave it for a few days then come back with fresh eyes.

Oh no.  I’ve just remembered I set myself a goal of finishing the second draft of Italian Infatuation by the end of March.  Hmmm.  Well, I read it, does that count?  It’s ok though.  I made the decision I was going to prioritise my writing course  – especially as the modules I had to read were about writing a novel.  I’m still happy with that choice.  It’s just a little annoying I’ve failed on another goal.  I blame having to work for a living.  If I wasn’t here for 8.5 hour a day, and didn’t spend another 2 hours (nearly) travelling, I would have had them both done by March. 

Right, I guess it’s time to do the lottery again.

Exciting Stuff

Actually quite a few exciting (to me anyway) things to write about today.  Yay.

Most importantly – I’ve finished reading the modules I needed to for my writing course.  That means I can get on with the assignment now.  Yay.  This morning I read through the first section and have made notes.  Can’t wait to get started, except I have a few ideas and don’t know which one to go with.  It’s only 750 words, so I might try more than one and use the best.  Something I’ve done with every assignment I’ve handed in so far.

Also at the end of last week I finished reading Sophie Kinsella’s Twenties Girl.  Ah, it was great.  I actually laughed out loud at one part.  I think I was on the tube at the time.  Laughing I don’t mind on the tube, it’s crying that I don’t like doing.   

I only wanted to read it because it was by Sophie Kinsella and I love her books.  The idea didn’t interest me all that much.  But, I’m really glad I did.  I actually think it would make a very funny movie.  I can just picture her talking to the ghost, but everyone else seeing her talk to thin air.

So, I finished the novel I was reading; I finished the modules I was reading for my course; I had nothing to read.  Until… I went to my boyfriend’s and he convinced me to take one of his Sci-fi novels.  Somthing he’d been trying to do for a while as I don’t read Sci-fi, and he thinks I should.  He’d only just finished reading it, and the week prior had told me all about it – it actually sounded really good.  I’m a few chapters in, and am really enjoying it. 

BUT, in my mind I don’t classify it as Sci-fi.  It was written in I think the 1960s (correction – 1953) and is about a world in the future.  Which I guess yeah IS sci-fi, but hey.  I’ve just discovered it’s the first in a series… this could be bad.  I-Robot is part of the series too – the book that was turned into a Will Smith film.  From what I remember I really enjoyed the film – it will be interesting to see what I think when I read that book.  (I’m not looking forward to seeing my boyfriend after he reads this – he’ll be so triumphant that I’m not only enjoying this book, but that I want to read more!).

It’s kind of made me realise a few books I’ve read in the past probably go in the Sci-fi bracket.  Well, at least one.  Can’t remember the name, but it was a Ben Elton book set in the future.  Yeah, I guess Sci-fi.  And maybe The Time Traveller’s Wife.  Although I’d class it as romance, I guess the whole time travelling thing is.

Oh oh, something else exciting.  I subscribe to a newsletter from the Creative Competitor website.  because I’m subscribed I can get a free copy of a 20 page booklet called Quick and Easy Creative Writing Prompts.  I’ve just received it.  Woop!

I’m sure there was more exciting stuff going on.  But I can’t remember. 

I’m going to the gym this evening for the first time in about 3 months.  I think I went a couple of times in January.  It’s so much easier to think about doing that when it’s light when I leave work! 

Final exciting thing – Flash Forward is back tonight.  I’m so excited! A Double episode too. Oh yay!

Fiction Friday – The Statue

I’ve been reading this week about dialogue, so my plan for today’s piece was to try to convey a whole story just through dialogue.  I got a bit bored of that, so added narrative as I went along. 

Fiction Friday: Write for at least 5 minutes using the prompt.  Do not edit before posting. 

The prompt: Your character doesn’t make impulse purchases, but one day at the market they felt compelled to buy… what?

The Statue

‘Oh wow.  Look at that.’

            ‘Hmmm.  I’m not too sure where we’d put it?’

            ‘On the fireplace.’

            ‘You sound very sure about that?’

            ‘Uh.  Yeeaaah.’

            ‘Oh god.  You really want it don’t you?’  Nicki’s smile said it all.  He sighed.  ‘How much?’  She turned it over to show him and tried to hide her wince.  ‘HOW MUCH?’  He looked up at her.  ‘Do you really think it will go in the lounge though?’  She shrugged. 

            Without the conversation going any further they both knew he was going to buy it for her.  He often said to his mates he was lucky, she wasn’t one of those women that went round asking for him to buy her lots.  Having seen the price on the artefact he was glad.

 

            As soon as Jack opened the door Nicki ran to the living room and placed it on the fireplace. 

            ‘See look.  I was right, it does go.’  Jack looked round the minimalist room and couldn’t understand her logic.  Other than the picture of their wedding day next to it and the potpourri on the table, there was nothing in the room. 

            ‘I’m not sure I agree.’

            ‘Well you have to.  Come on, let’s go get a coffee.’ She dragged him off to the kitchen quickly.

            ‘Jack.  I don’t know what’s going on.’  He looked blankly at her.  ‘Oh, you’re not going to believe me.  You’re going to think I’m going mad.’ 

            ‘It’s ok Honey.  I’m not going to think you’re going mad.  Why don’t you sit down and calm down a little while I put the kettle on?’

            ‘Ok.’

            ‘Ok.  Deep breath.  And out.  That’s it.  Right.  So, what’s wrong?’

            ‘That thing…’

            ‘The amazingly expensive for what it is bit of junk you made me buy you?’

            ‘Shhhhhhh.  It will hear.’

            ‘Whaaat?’

            ‘Promise me you’ll listen to everything before you tell me I’m mad?’  He nodded, unsure if he could keep this promise if the conversation was going to go where he thought it was.

            ‘When I saw it, I wasn’t going to point it out because I liked it, I was going to point it out because it was so hideous.  But when I opened my mouth, nice things came out.  Then I told you I wanted it, when I really didn’t.  It was like I couldn’t control what I was saying… Like it was controlling me.’

            ‘Okaaay.  I know I wasn’t going to say anything, but are you sure?  It’s not just something you like, but you’re afraid to like?’  She shook her head. 

            ‘Well lets get rid of it then.’

            ‘No, wait.  Jack.  NO!’  He ignored her protests and strode back to the living room, but stopped abruptly in the door way.  He turned to look at Nicki who’d hesitantly followed him.

            ‘It’s gone!’

So there you have it.  I’m feeling a little lethargic today, so don’t think I’ve been able to give it the umph it needs, so much so, I debated not posting it.  But where would the fun be in that?

Books to Films Part 2 and Other Stuff

I started writing a blog yesterday, but was so incredibly tired just staying awake was taking up all my energy.  Feeling better today, so lets see if I can get further.

I really wanted to blog yesterday because I watched the movie of The Time Traveller’s Wife the night before.  Now, really, I don’t know why I did this.  Generally I hate films when I’ve already read (and loved) the book.  The Time Traveller’s Wife is my all time favourite book ever.  When I heard they were making it into a movie my heart sunk.  ‘But… but… it will wreck it for me.’

It didn’t wreck it.  It just made me want to read the book again – to feel the emotion of it.  I think the only reason I enjoyed the film was because I knew about it from the book.  Even the thought of the story make me want to cry it’s so nice.  Yeah I cried at the film, but lets face it, I do cry at nearly anything! 

I think the short and long of it is that in a book an author has 350 plus pages to get everything across.  The emotions, the build up, the story – everything.  A two hour movie can’t do that.  If it was a series, well maybe that would work. 

I also didn’t like the fact they changed the ending to TTTW.  It has the best build up and ending to anything EVER, and they changed it.  I was really upset about that.

I’ve decided I’m not going to watch any more films where I loved the book.  Twilight – not watching.  Anything else – not watching. 

Having said all that, I’m currently reading Sophie Kinsella’s Twenties Girl, and really think it would make a good movie.  But then, I did like the shopaholic movie.  Less than the book.  Maybe that’s because it’s a comedy romance rather than romance romance.  Aaha.  We might have something there.

I’ve been given the DVD and the book of Gone with the Wind.  Now, bearing in mind everything I’ve just said, I should probably watch the film before reading the book.  Or never watch the film?

Ok, I’ll move on from this. 

I’ve done loads of my writing course today.  When I say loads, it’s comparative.  Comparative to the last week where I’ve done nothing (except a bit on Friday).  I’ve even started a character profile for the MC of Italian Infatuation.  Maybe I should have done that before I wrote the first draft?  I’ve done loads for the two MCs for Holiday – and I’ve hardly started to write that.

I’ve not got time to proof read this before I leave work, but if I don’t post now I never will. Sorry if it’s bad.  🙂