Archive | June 2010

July’s Goals

I know we’re a couple of days away from July, but I’m going to get some goals down today. They’re my goals, so as far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing to say I can’t start on them today.

I need goals because at the moment I’m doing nothing at all towards writing. I have just had a long weekend away, but then I was also back yesterday and did nothing. Goals work for me. Especially when they’re written goals that I can refer back to and cross off etc. More importantly if I have to do a right up at the end of the month I’m more likely to stick to them. And I will do a write-up at the end of the month.

So, my goals for July are:

  • Write 250 words a day – 5 days a week
  • Post 5 blogs a week
  • Finish American Gods by Neil Gaiman
  • Read another 2 novels (I’m likely to get some for my birthday next week so can’t specify which 2 now)
  • Spend 2 hours a week on my writing course

I know I could do more, but considering my performance over the last few months I think I’ll stick to something very achievable. I’ve also done it so it’s ‘x per week’ rather than ‘x overall’ so I don’t write my whole week’s allowance on one day – so I don’t cheat really. It also means I can start today without that taking away from the amount I have to do next month.

I can’t decide when a week starts and finishes. Should be a Sunday finish, but if I have a Saturday finish that takes me exactly to the end of July. I think that works.

Right better go off and start writing! I didn’t take part in Fiction Friday last week (I’ll blame going away, but I think the hangover had more to do with it) so I’ll give that a shot today.

Not Writing and #1b1t

I think it’s a good thing I have a job and am not sat at home writing every day. I didn’t know how much procrastinating I could actually do. Not just for writing, but also for going to the gym. It’s amazing – but on  a positive note, I’ve now got a clean house and am about to sew up a top. I’m thinking about learning what darning socks is so I can do that. Ha.

I did promise myself I’d work on my writing course, but that doesn’t seem to be happening. I’ve not looked at it for probably a month, so really should do that. Even if I just do a little bit, it’s better than none. I’m going away this weekend, up to  Scotland, so will print it off in the morning and take it to the airport. There’s an hour journey down to Heathrow so could get a bit done then.

Or I could just carry on reading my book – that’s so much more likely. This One Book One Twitter ‘experiment’ is awesome. Over the medium that is Twitter I’ve been having a conversation with someone about the book – American Gods. A little convo, but still a convo with someone I never would’ve spoken to otherwise. They’re in Pasadena, CA, USA. Crazy – it’s a global book club. I’m really enjoying the book, but I have noticed there’s a lot of telling not showing. But I think that’s just Gaiman’s style. Or the style of the novel anyway. Even though I know it’s  a writing no-no, it doesn’t bother me at all!

Right, sew up top, put on more washing, go to the gym… then writing. Except… Won’t it then be time to get ready to go out tonight? And when am I going to pack…?  I guess if I was at home writing, being here during the day wouldn’t be such a novelty, so I’m sure I’d get some done. Right?

Blogging, Writing and Stuff

Considering how much I do actually enjoy blogging, I’m doing a terrible job of it at the moment. I can’t even use the excuse that I’m busy applying for jobs or writing, cause I don’t seem to be doing either. I’m doing lots of stressing about not doing any of the three – apparently stressing doesn’t get anything done.

When I decided I’d start looking for a job I made a pact with myself that I’d be strict – an hour writing, an hour looking/applying for jobs. I don’t know what happened. I need to work harder on both of these things, they’re both things I want, and I won’t get either without working on them.

Yesterday I was going through the folder of stuff copied over from my old laptop to my new one. I found one called ‘old writing’, that did have some very old writing: the novel I started in 2002, and, something I’d totally forgotten – the start of 2 Mills & Boon books from 2007. One was the original idea for Italian infatuation – which is quite different from the version I’ve written.  So different in fact, I think it would make another book. If I could handle the idea of ANOTHER book set on holiday. That would be three – presuming Holiday ever gets written!

I’m about 1/3 of the way through American Gods by Neil Gaiman. It is the weirdest book I’ve ever read. There’s at least one part in every chapter where I’m questioning what the hell is going on. But, even considering that, it’s really good. I hope as it gets to the end everything will fall into place. I’ve read a few comments from the One Book One twitter readers of the book – from these I have a feeling I might get to the end and want to read it all again to have the bits slot into place.

I’ve got Thursday and Friday off work this week. Friday cause I’m going to Glasgow for the weekend and why not have thursday too. I’m going to work on my writing course. I just need to edit the assignment I’ve done, so I should be able to send it off then. I’ll also do my Fiction Friday piece then, cause I’m pretty sure I won’t get a chance to do it otherwise.

Fiction Friday – The sign

Wow, it’s Friday again. How did that happen? The prompt for this week from WriteAnything is:

A signal is misinterpreted…….…..

I went all teen romance on this for the second week running. I wonder if my brain’s trying to tell me something. I couldn’t think of a good way to end this so it just kind of stops – sorry, I was out of ideas by the time I got there. As always, I’d love to hear your comments. Oh, and don’t forget it’s unedited!

            ‘He just smiled at me!’

            ‘What? I can’t hear you when you whisper like that.’

            ‘Shhhhhh. I said he smiled at me!’

            ‘Who?’ Sammy turned round to see if she could see who it might be. Her head snapped back quickly. ‘Not HIM?’ she hissed.

            Janine nodded, the smile on her face bigger than a Cheshire cat’s. Sammy tried to hide her shock, but obviously failed. ‘Why are you so surprised? Don’t you believe he could fancy me?’

            Sammy didn’t know what to say. She kind of did find it hard to believe, not that Janine wasn’t pretty, but she was used to getting all the attention from guys.

            ‘You don’t believe it do you? I bet you thought he fancied you didn’t you?’ At least Sammy had the decency to blush at her friend’s statement.

            ‘I… I… It’s not that I don’t believe it, it’s just that… well… he’s never spoken to you has he? It’s a bit strange.’

            ‘OH My God,’ they heard coming from behind Sammy. Ann came running to sit down. ‘You will never guess who just smiled at me. He’s never looked at me before, but he looked straight at me as I walked in, and smiled. I didn’t even think I looked that good today; I must do though mustn’t I? Wow, I wonder if he’s going to ask me out. Imagine if he invites me to the prom. That would be so cool.’ She slumped down into the seat at the end of the table to see the other girls staring at her. ‘Hey, why are you two looking at me like that? Aren’t you happy for me?’ Sammy and Janine looked at each other.

            ‘He smiled at me too when I walked in.’ Sammy said quietly, not wanting to deflate her friend’s bubble the way hers had just drooped.

            Ann’s head bopped from Janine to Sammy and back again. ‘But…’ her voice faltered. They all looked at each other questioningly. Why would the hottest boy at school, who had never given either Sammy or Ann the slightest bit of notice in the two years he’d been at the school, suddenly be smiling at them.

            ‘Maybe…’ Ann started. She didn’t have anything to follow up with.

            ‘You should go and talk to him,’ Janine said to Sammy. Her eyes opened wide, in shock.

            ‘Me?’ she squeaked. ‘Why me?’ Her voice shook a little at the thought of speaking to Jimmy. She’d done it loads of times of course, he sat behind her in English, but the idea of making an effort to go over and talk to her was a little too much.

            ‘You know him.’

            ‘No. I only… Hey look, there’s Hannah. She’s looking very happy this morning.’

            It was true, Hannah looked very happy, some might say a little mad – walking along the street alone smiling widely.  They all watched her get to the door, open it and look round. She looked at them waved a little, but continued to look round. Sammy nudged Ann and indicated towards Jimmy. He was smiling at Hannah. They looked back and saw Hannah wave at him.

            Sammy groaned. Ann put her head in her hand and said ‘No. She’s going to be so embarrassed she did that when she finds out he’s just smiling at us all today.’

            Janine gasped, making Ann look up. Hannah was walking towards Jimmy’s table.

            ‘Han.’ Sammy stood up and waved to get her friend’s attention. ‘Over here!’

            Ann held her finger up to indicate one minute and continued to walk towards Jimmy. Sammy groaned again as she slipped back into her seat.

            ‘She’s going to make a fool of herself. What’s she doing?’

            ‘Oh come on, we both thought he was smiling at us in that way when we walked in – she’s just got more guts than us for going over.’

            They looked towards Jimmy, and to their surprise he stood up. It was a surprise to all the people on his table. Each one of them looked between Jimmy and Hannah approaching their table. He walked round the side of his table and met her in the middle of the café. He took her hand and kissed her on the lips. Gasps could be heard from both sets of friends. No one knew what was going on. As far as everyone knew, they didn’t know each other – they were in different classes, had different friends, had no way of knowing each other.

            After a minute of imitate talking Jimmy kissed Hannah again and they both turned towards their respective friends.    As soon as Hannah turned round she silently screamed in excitement at her friends. They turned back round to each other questioningly. What was going on?

            ‘Hi girls, what’s going on,’ she said, faking casualness. As if kissing Jimmy Parker was an everyday occurrence. 

            ‘Good question.’ Sammy found her voice first. ‘What is going on? How the hell did you end up snogging Jimmy?’

            ‘And why didn’t we know about it?’

            ‘And why’s he smiling at us if he’s ‘with’ you?’ They all looked at Ann as if she was stupid.

            ‘He wants to get to know you guys, so was being friendly.’

            ‘Oh. Oh yeah. Of course. That’s what I thought. You thought the same didn’t you Janine? Yeah, course.’ Ann laughed a little at the end.

            ‘So how?’ Janine asked, moving the topic away from the clearly embarrassed Ann.

            ‘Well. Turns out his mum is my little brother’s childminder. Dad was late home last night so asked me to pick him up. I nearly died when Jim answered the door. We got chatting while his mum got Jordan ready – he’d been in the paddling pool – one thing led to another and before I knew it we were kissing in his garden. Wow he’s the most amazing kisser. And so hot. I think I love him.’ Sammy snorted.

            ‘Why didn’t you tell us?’

            ‘We thought it would be really funny to wait until today then just kiss in front of everyone. You should’ve seen your faces.’ She looked across the room to Jimmy who’d just looked up at her. They all noticed that the smile he gave her was totally different to the one he’d given Ann and Janine earlier.

Too Many Projects

I am not doing too well with writing or blogging at the moment, and I know the reason. I’ve just got too much on and my time management really isn’t that good. I’m looking for jobs, applying for jobs, trying to do a writing course, trying to write 250 words a day and trying to improve my touch typing. Not all possible with a job too. Grrrr. 

I also get distracted easily. Today for instance, have I done any writing? Have I applied for any jobs? No. It’s taken me until 17.18 to even start a blog. Nothing else. I’ve just been emailing friends and chatting today (plus, my boss is on holiday so I took an extra long lunch break – he he).

How’s it all going then you ask? Well, I need to make time for blogging. I love having this outlet to my thoughts. I think it’s a good thing to do. Other than the last couple of days, I’m doing pretty well writing. I even did some on Saturday. Wow. Job hunting is pretty rubbish. And boring. And time-consuming. I feel like at this rate I won’t get anything until next year – and no matter how fast the year is flying, next year is too far away. I’d love to get out of here tomorrow.

I’ve finished the book I was reading last week – What My Best Friend Did by Lucy Dawson. It was one fo the best books I’ve read in a while. I was positively hooked from the beginning. I was a little disappointed when I read the ending, but thought about it more, and realised any ending would’ve been a disappointment. Such a good book.

I’ve (finally) started American Gods by Neil Gaiman. I wasn’t really bothered about reading it, but it’s the chosen book for One Book One Twitter and I wanted to be part of that so got it. I’m one chapter in and hooked. Not much is really happening, but there’s something about it that’s got my interest. Although there was just  a really weird bit which I’m a little confused (and horrified) by. Not enough to put me off though. Although, after reading Random by Craig Robertson, I wonder if there’s anything gross enough to stop me from carrying on. I’m sure there is – I don’t want to read it.

Right that’s enough, I’ll try to do something productive now. What’s that you cry? Work. Ha ha, I don’t think so!

Fiction Friday #159

Apparently I really liked the prompt this week. It’s a 1100 word story about teenage love anyway. I wrote a smaller piece for something else earlier this morning in present tense. I then started writing this in past tense, but couldn’t stick to it, I kept reverting back to present. Eventually decided to go back and change it all to present – if I missed anything out and left it in past tense please ignore it. I hope that’s not cheating on the rule of ‘no editing.’ Today’s prompt from Write Anything is:

Include this in your story: “I wish he’d knock on my door instead……..”

Here’s my story. Please leave a comment at the end.

I sit on my bed knowing this isn’t healthy, but can’t help it. I have to have my daily Daniel fix. I look at my watch, he’s late. He always gets there at the same time on Fridays – after football practice.

Twenty minutes later I’m still glued to my bed. What if he’s arrived early? They hardly ever go out on Fridays, so I know if I’ve missed him, I won’t get to see him until tomorrow morning when he leaves hers. I curse Janie and her idol chatter. Who cares about her mum’s cats? I didn’t care when there were only two, now there’s kittens I care even less. And now I’ve probably missed Daniel because of it.

No one knows about my crush. Well, I can’t tell anyone can I? Sam is a good friend, it isn’t right for me to fancy her boyfriend. But I can’t help it. From the first time I saw him I wanted him. I saw him first, it should’ve been me that went out with him. But no, no, I had to stay with my boyfriend when I went to uni didn’t I? Of course he didn’t even look at me when I had a boyfriend, he was too nice for that.

It doesn’t matter that I split up with him a few weeks later, Daniel was already with Sam, and Sam was halfway to loving him. Now, three months later she’s head over heals. I don’t think he feels the same. But that may be wishful thinking.

Tell you what I is wishful thinking, every day I see him walk up to her flat, I wish he’d knock on my door instead. I wish he’d take me inside and tell me he loved me, like I loved him. It wasn’t going to happen though was it? Even if it did, I couldn’t do that to Sam. She is a good friend, I couldn’t. I don’t know if I really believe that, or if I’m telling myself it. It doesn’t matter either way, it’s not going to happen is it?

The door to Sam’s block opens and she walks out. I duck down so she can’t see me. She caught me once, watching for Daniel. I made out I was just cleaning my room, and was dusting the window sill. She believed me, but I can’t use that excuse again. I really should get some net curtains. God, I sound like a stalker, I’m not. I have to keep telling myself that.

The doorbell rings then seconds later there’s feet running up the stairs.

‘Jules, he’s dumped me,’ Sam cries before she’s even got through the door. She bursts into tears and falls on to me bed. So that’s why he hasn’t arrived. Jeez, I am a terrible person, my friend’s here in tears and I think about him.

‘What? Why?’

I think she’s trying to talk, but the noise that escapes from her is just that, muffled noise. My poor duvet. What am I thinking? I am the worst friend ever.

I sit on the bed and put my hand on her arm, I hope this comforts her. It doesn’t, she goes on sobbing. I can’t complain, I did exactly the same to her when James and I split up. Even though I did it, and I was happy doing it, it hurt. I can’t imagine how much this must hurt her. I can’t help thinking that this does mean Daniel’s free. I know I shouldn’t, but I can’t help it.

As if she’s reading my thoughts, she sits up. Her make up’s run all down her face and her eyes are double their normal size. My heart goes out to her. Here’s one of my best friends, really hurt. Even with my feelings for him, I hate him. How can he do this to her?

‘There’s someone else.’ For a second my heart stops beating. Someone else? Could it be? It couldn’t? It might be… Me? I hate myself for thinking this, but we do talk, I do often feel like there’s something between us. But no? Me? I feel my stomach moving – I don’t know if it’s excitement or nerves.

‘He didn’t even do it face to face. The bastard called me up.’ I can’t help it, I gasp. How could he do that? I never believed he loved her, but surely he felt something for her? She doesn’t deserve that. ‘He said that it wasn’t working between us. I tried to argue, say it was, but eventually he told me he didn’t love me, and that there’s someone else. He loves someone else.’ Her sobs get worse. I feel helpless, all I can do is hug her.

‘He’s a bastard,’ ‘You can do better than him,’ ‘He doesn’t deserve you,’ Come out, I even get in ‘There’s plenty more fish in the sea.’ And I mean it. How can he do this to her? I hate him.

As her sobs start to die down, my mobile rings. I extract myself from Sam to get it from the window sill where I left it.

It’s Daniel. God. What do I do?

‘Just my mum. I’ll be back in a sec,’ I say, walking out my room, knowing I can’t talk to him with her in the room.

‘Yeah.’

‘Oh thank god you answered. I thought Sam might be there.’

‘She is.’

‘Oh. She’s told you then?’

‘What that you’re a total and utter bastard and did a really cowardly thing to her? Yeah she told me.’ There’s silence down the line. That only makes me all the more angry. ‘How could you do that? She’s heartbroken here. I’ve never seen her like this. I don’t know what to do.’ I start pacing the hall, not being able to stand still.

‘I… I thought you’d be pleased?’

‘Me?’ Although it comes out more as a squeak that a ‘me.’

‘Yeah. You do feel the same, don’t you?’ My head started swimming, what’s he saying. Oh god, I’m not the someone else am I?

‘What?’

‘Oh no. I thought you did. I swear you did.’

‘What Daniel?’ I’m shouting now. Shouting and trembling.

‘I dumped her for you. I love you. You love me too don’t you?’ He at least has the decency to sound sheepish.

‘Daniel. You’ve just dumped my BEST FRIEND in a lousy, cowardly way. I wouldn’t go out with you if you were the last man on earth.’ As I slam my phone closed I realise it’s true. Friendship is stronger than a crush. 

Another Evening Blog

I have honestly not had any time to blog over the last two days. I know sometimes I use that as an excuse, when I probably could’ve done – but this time I really haven’t. Work’s been busy, and I’ve been using any quiet time there to job hunt. I’ve applied for I think 4 or 5 jobs and sent my CV off to an agency. Considering it takes me about an hour to edit my CV and cover letter each time, I’m pretty happy with that.

I have managed to do writing over the last couple of days. On Tuesday I started writing from a prompt from Novelkicks: ‘Your flight is delayed so you sit next to a stranger.’ I love this prompt. I’m now on day 3 of using it to write, and I think about 1,100 words in. Pretty good. I’m really enjoying it. I’m trying to use it as practice at both describing someone and describing fancying someone you just meet. That’s an important part of Italian Infatuation, so good practice. Although I like what’s happening so much, I’d like to at some point use it for something. I was thinking it would fit pretty well into Holiday (the novel I’ve written about 20,000 words of), the MC is a lot like the MC here. I’m not sure if or how I could put it in, but it’s a thought.

I finished 1984 on Tuesday night. I was really impressed with it. I loved the way George Orwell wrote it, and loved the story. I was a tiny bit disappointed at the ending, but I think it was the right ending. I’ll definitely be reading more Orwell. I’ve got to be honest, I don’t get the political references in the novel, but as a story I liked it and don’t have a problem with my ignorance. There is part of me that wants to understand, but that bit is taking its usual step back in order for me to do other things. One day…

I’ve started a new book, which I am LOVING. It’s What My Best Friend Did by Lucy Dawson. From the first paragraph I was totally drawn in, and by the end of the first chapter I was hooked. It ended with the MC wishing her best friend that was in intensive care would die… I don’t even have the words to describe how I feel about that, except: I have to read more. It’s getting more intense as it goes through, and I think I’ve just worked something out, that’s going to keep me hooked until the end. How? What? Why? Or Why Not? It’s just really good.

I’m planning on finishing it this weekend, because I want to start American God’s by Neil Gaiman early next week. It’s the first book that’s been chosen for the Twitter experiment One Book One Twitter. The plan is to get as many people as possible on Twitter to read the same book. I have no idea how many people are reading over the eight weeks it’s taking place – but it’s about to be one more! To be honest it’s not a book I would’ve chosen to read myself, which I kind of think is a good thing. Already the experiment is great for me – it’s broadening my horizons.

I’ve just ruined the rest of the Twilight saga for myself. Stephanie Meyer has just released a novella The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner. Bree is a ‘newborn’ vampire that is seen in Eclipse (the 3rd book in the series) for a brief time, but she stayed in Mayer’s mind so created her own novella. From now until 5th July (my birthday!) you can read it online for free. I really wanted to, but wasn’t sure if I should, I mean, there might be something in it that showed something that happened in the second or third novels that might wreck it for me. So I asked Twitter if it would spoil anything, and thought I’d read the introduction while I waited to see if anyone would reply to me. Oops. There’s something in the introduction that’s kind of spoilt anything else I read from it. Damn.

For the longest time, I didn’t want to read any more books in the series after Twilight. I cannot explain how much I loved Twilight and had heard the rest of the books don’t compare. I thought I didn’t want to dilute my feelings for the first one by reading something not as good – plus the second apparently focuses on Bella and another guy, not Bella and Edward. I wanted it to be Bella and Edward. But, something’s happened over the last few weeks, and I’ve started wanting to read them. I think it’s this Bree Tanner novella actually. Anyway, I’m going to read them. There just won’t be a surprise at some point as I know a pretty major plot. Damn me. A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine changed her status on Facebook to ‘ I want Edward and Bella love.’ I know what she means. I think that’s a brilliant, and so accurate, compliment to Meyer’s writing (I do too!)

Right, I’m off to bed to read more of What My Best Friend Did. Tomorrow is Fiction Friday AND Rowan Coleman’s Status Short Story Friday. I’ve not taken part in RCSSSF for weeks, so really want to do that tomorrow. I might prioritise that over Fiction Friday to make sure I get it done. It’s just a little harder, cause I have to think of a story myself, rather than having a prompt there for me! Oh well, I’ll think of something. I hope.