Archive | July 2010

Fiction Friday 166 – In The Loft

The prompt from WriteAnything for today’s FictionFriday is:

A covert trip into an attic reveals something unexpected.

Here goes my unedited story:

            ‘Kate! Be careful. We don’t want to wake them up.’

            ‘It’s not my fault a bloody box was sticking out. And that hurt by the way.’

            I don’t know how I let myself get talked into these things. I hate the loft in the day, so why the hell I’ve let Danni talk me into coming up at night I’ll never know.

            ‘Right you look over there, I’ll look over here.’

            ‘Can we at least turn the light on, all the shadows are freaking me out.’

            ‘Yeah, good idea Kate, lets turn the bright light on so if Mum or Pete get up they see the light coming from here. Just look over there – the sooner we get this done the better.’ I sometimes hate that girl. I don’t know why I let her boss me about like this.

            I look round the loft wondering how the hell we’re going to find anything in here. There’s just boxes everywhere. The dust on top of them is so thick I don’t think Mum or Pete can have been up here since they moved here seven years ago.

            ‘Do you remember what the box looks like?’ I ask the back of Danni’s body – she’s across the loft already rooting through boxes – there’s a pile of them behind her that obviously don’t contain photos.

            ‘Shhhhhhh. Jeez Kate, do you want to wake them up?’ I’m doing this for mum. I’m doing this for mum. I have to tell myself this or I’d just walk back down the ladder. I hate it when she’s like this. Especially as the surprise party for Mum was my idea. Granted she does have a lot more time to spend organising it than I do, but she’s totally taken over.

            I know I don’t mind really, in fact if I was in a better state of mind I’d be relieved, with all this stuff going on at work and my state of mind about my split with Ian I just can’t give the party the attention it needs. I’m just tired. It’s bloody 2 in the morning. I would’ve thought there was a better time to go searching for old photos of mum growing up.

            ‘Aaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.’

            I spin back round to see Danni about a foot behind where she was a second ago. Something’s defiantly wrong – she wouldn’t have a go at me one minute for talking too loud then scream the next. I’m not sure I want to know what she’s found. I share her hate of spiders, rats etc.

            ‘Wha… What’s up?’ I know I don’t want to ask, but have to. She waves me over, not taking her eyes off the place she was just sitting.

            ‘Come here. Quick!’ Oh god. What is she going to make me look at? I don’t know why I walk over, I must be mad. If something’s making Danni scream, it’s going to have the same effect on me!

            ‘Danni, what is it?’

            ‘Just come here,’ her voice breaks on the last word, I swear she’s laughing. In fact, she is, her shoulders are shaking. Either that or crying anyway.

            ‘Dan?’ I’m losing my fear a little now she’s laughing (I’m sure she’s laughing) but still a little scared to go over. Danni’s not the kind of person that screams at much. Runs away to hide yes, screams, no.

            She waves her hand again not realising I’m so close, she hits me in the stomach – hard. ‘Omph.’

            ‘Oh… Sorry…’ she gets out between her giggles. It did really hurt, but I’m too intruded what she’s found to make a big deal about anything. Well, if I could stand up straight. That really did hurt.

            ‘What is it Danni? It’s dark over there I can’t see anything.’

            ‘Down there.’ She points to the floor just behind a box to our left. I look at her, I’d actually have to move round the side of them to see whatever it is. I back away. I don’t want to see this. No, she’s laughing, of course I do. She stands to the side and pushes me slightly to make sure I have a look.

            My heart starts beating hard in my chest, I’m part terrified, part excited. I crouch down and stop. I keep repeating that Danni’s laughing, it’s nothing bad, but I can’t stop remembering that scream.

            ‘Go on, look,’ she urges me. I close my eyes for a second gathering up courage and look round the corner. I come face to face with another face. I jump back screaming, but before I land I realise what I’ve seen. I start laughing too. Behind me Danni’s fallen to the floor in stitches. I join her. I wonder who left a mirror behind the boxes…

As Kate (the MC from one of my novels) went down so well for last week’s FF I thought I’d bring her back this week. I decided that before I read the prompt, then when I read it, I wanted to write a children’s story. But I kept with Kate. As a few of you know, I had some problems working out what Danni found (Kate’s LITTLE sister) especially when she started laughing at it. Thanks for the suggestions those that gave them.  

Please let me know what you think of it. And have a great weekend.  

Someone Take Away My Library Card!

I made a couple of fatal mistakes when going to the library today.

My main reason for going way to finish up my assignment and send it off (I send it from my personal address and surprise surprise Hotmail is blocked at work!). Mistake number one: I realised I hadn’t read it out loud – which I’ve been told is important to do. I didn’t want everyone in the library to think I was nuts, so couldn’t send it off. Damn.

Mistake number two: As I was going there anyway, I thought I’d return the two books I’ve read. Or I thought I would until I got 100 yards from the library (I have no idea of distances, I just think that sounds good) and realised I’d left them at work. Ugh.

Mistake number three: I read the sign on the door. It said ‘Book Sale.’

Now, you may or may not remember what happened last time there was a book sale. It sucked me in and I walked out with… 5 (maybe 6) books. Ah. Well it was fine, I had my assignment to do – I wouldn’t have time to look. Oh. I didn’t do my assignment. I had time to look. BIG MISTAKE!

Yesterday, YESTERDAY I was moaning that I have too many books I want to read NOW. I then, last night, thought of a couple more that I’m desperate to read. So why, oh why did I go near the sale? I think I have a problem!

I did do better than last time. Marginally. I got four books. Which is quite good in the whole scheme of things. But still, four books. They were good ones though. An Adele Parks, a Dorothy Koomson, a Jackie Collins and another that I can’t believe I can’t remember. So kind of all good. If I get time to read them. But still…

SOMEONE TAKE AWAY MY LIBRARY CARD.

Please!!!

Most Exciting Blog Ever!!!

Well, I’m more excited that I’ve ever been for so many reasons. 

Firstly, yesterday I had more visitors to my blog than I’ve ever had before. 20 more to be precise! 20!!! That’s about 40 more than my daily average. Wow. I have no idea why yesterday was a popular day, but it totally made today great when I looked at that this morning. And that’s without mentioning P. o. r. n. – which someone very helpfully asked if I’d mentioned to get so many hints. Hmmm. I imagine it’s an anomaly, but if not HELLO new readers (again!) *waves* 

What else am I excited about? Well. You know that old writing course I’m always on about because I never do? Well, I only went and did some this morning. I’d already written this assignment so it just needed editing, but although I say it myself, it’s pretty good.

One of the parts was to write a descriptive piece about a maternity ward. Pretty hard when I’ve never actually been to a maternity ward but still. When I read it, I actually got goosebumps it was so cute. I think it was that and not the air conditioning in the room anyway 😉 

So, I’ll give it another read this afternoon then send it off tonight. Woop! That will be 4 assignments done. Only 16 left to go! I wish I hadn’t written that, that’s a little depressing! 

I was reading Stylist Magazine this morning (a free mag given out in London) and there’s an advert/article for a How to… night they’re running in August. It’s How To Get Yourself Published. And, Sophie Kinsella and Lisa Jewell will be there. And read from their new books. As if that wasn’t enough there’s champagne AND canapes. This all coincides with me getting paid today so I could buy a ticket. It’s like fate or something. So, I’ve got a ticket. How awesome is that.

Also last night I found out about a chick lit event (also in August) in Brixton. Lisa Jewell (again), Jenny Colgan, Jojo Moyes and more are going to be there. I think this one is free! I’d know if I booked a place – I need to do that. 

Also good, not as good, but adding to the niceness of today, is that I’ve nearly finished the book I’m reading (well 50 pages left)! Woop! The story is amazing, I just don’t care about  the characters. As the story’s been going on I started hoping that a certain something would happen. It did. It was probably pretty predictable, but I think it’s great I thought of it too. It means my ideas could be the same as a published author. Of course it could just mean that it was predictable, but I’m not going to take it that way! 

I KNOW which book I’m going to read next, but I’m pretty torn up on the decision. I know it’s the right one and I cannot wait to read it, but there’s so many I’m desperate to read NOW. They are:

  

  • The Happy Home for Broken Hearts by Rowan Coleman
  • The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson
  • After the Party by Lisa Jewell
  • Temptation Street by Shari Low

I’m going to read the Rowan Coleman one as I got it free, to review (got to love the author’s fan page on Facebook) and I want to read it before it is released (19th August). It’s just so cool having a book that is not on sale for another few weeks.  

Actually this weekend I’m having a family relaxing weekend. My aunt and uncle live an hour outside London – and have a swimming pool in their garden! Me + Books + Pool = my happy LONG weekend. Oh yes. I reckon I’ll start THHFBH tomorrow, so read that and at least one more by Tuesday when I come back to work.

I seriously must be one of the happiest people ever today. Not even my job managed to put me in a bad mood when I found out I HAVE to work extra tomorrow (”please can you… no one else can…”) so have to cancel my plans. Grrr. But really, don’t care cause I’m really happy and excited about the next month of my life. 🙂

Stats, Visitors and More

Potentially the most exciting thing that’s ever happened has just happened to me. I was looking at my blog stats for today (is it normal to be a bit obsessive over this?) and saw that two people had used a search engine to find me. Not so strange, it happens pretty frequently – but what was strange/exciting/amazing was that they searched for ‘New To Writing Girl’. They searched for ME! They typed my name into a search engine, wanting to get ME! Me! How exciting is that? It means someone’s remembered my ‘name’ and looked for me. It has happened before, but it was my mum, I’m 99% sure this wasn’t my mum. Whoever you are, thanks you’ve made my day.

You know what is also making my day pretty regularly? Recently the number of hits I’ve been getting to my blog has almost doubled. I don’t really get all this online stuff, but I’m pretty sure the stats on here aren’t completely accurate – I think maybe if one person visits my home page, then clicks on another page, then another, it shows up as 3 views not 1. It’s irrelevant to this though, my numbers have increased. So, HELLO new readers. I hope you’re enjoying what you’re reading!

I’ve done something else pretty interesting today. I’ve been through all my folders etc where different parts of Holiday (my 1st novel – although really 2nd because Italian Infatuation is finished and this isn’t) are and put them in one folder. And counted the words. I’m roughly 22k words into it. I think I knew that, but had totally forgotten I’d done so much.

Since doing that Fiction Friday piece last week in Kate’s (MC) voice, I’ve got a renewed interest in Holiday. I really want to get working on it again. Before I do that though, I need to get it all in order so I can see what I need to do. When I was writing it last year I’d hop around different bits depending on how I was feeling that day, so now I’ve got bits and pieces but nothing connecting them.

I’m also a little worried about the ending, actually no, not the ending but the middle. I don’t really know what’s going to happen in the middle. I guess I just write it and let what happens happen. That’s kind of how I wrote Italian Infatuation. I had a rough idea of what would happen – listed day by day – but then made all the detail when I wrote it. That was 50,000 words though. This is going to be much more. I have no idea how many more.

I’m pretty good at getting word counts roughly right when writing without trying that much. Well, with my story for Rowan Coleman’s Short Story Competition I hit just over 900 on the 1st draft when the limit was 1,000; also with Italian Infatuation I got (I think) 52,000 which went perfectly into NaNo which is 50,000 words in the 30 days AND fits right in with the word count Mills & Boon ask for in their novels (which is what I am aiming for with this novel).

Since I said the other day that I am thinking about doing a teen romance for NaNo this year, I can’t get the idea out of my head. I even came up with a bit of an idea for it. I’m actually going to have to do some research for it. I’ve not really done that yet. I lie, I researched Italy quite a bit for Italian Infatuation – but after I’d written draft one (I left pretty big holes in it when writing it for the detail to be filled in at a later stage).

The problem with starting Holiday again, is that I’ll neglect my other projects. I really want to edit Italian Infatuation (not that you’d guess when it was 8 1/2 months ago I finished the 1st draft and have edited about the first 3 pages – out of 51). I also really want to work on my writing course. Again you’d never guess, I wrote the last assignment MONTHS ago and haven’t edited that either. See a pattern here at all…?

A New Book, a Boring Book and Writing

I’ve just had a look at my stats and seen someone today has visited my ‘About’ page today.Which reminded me I need to change it. It says I’m a ‘twenty something…’ and I’m not anymore – I’m now thirty. I’m so not ready to change it to ‘thirty something’ so it might have to stay a lie for a while. Thirty Something is just such a big jump. Besides, EVERYONE says I look younger than I am so I can get awa with it. Plus really, no one knows (except me and the two other people that know ME – and my Mum’s not read this for months).

I got a copy of Rowan Coleman’s novel The Happy Home for Broken Hearts in the post today. On her Facebook page Rowan asked for bloggers to review the book that’s out in August. I’m so incredably excited! I’m slightly bored by the book I’m reading so want to stop it and start on this one.

The problem with that is I know if I put it down, I won’t pick it back up. I’ve also worked out the problem with it: I don’t really like the MC – I don’t care enough about them. The premise of the book is great, but I just don’t empathise with the characters. I don’t know if it’s cause they’re a different class to me – they’re totally upperclass and it seems to go through everything that happens, it’s money this, posh school that, more money the other. I’ve never had issues like this with any books, so maybe I just don’t like the characters. There is one that’s ok, and and I love the story so want to keep reading. Plus there’s not many books I’ve actually given up on. I hate giving up!

I feel like I’ve done nothing today. Writing wise. While at work. It makes me think – when I lose this job (I’m going to get made redundant in about 2 months) and get a ‘real’ job, when the hell am I going to write, blog and read blogs? I mean I do that all at work. I don’t know when real people do that. I guess they do it after work, on lunch breaks etc. And I guess if I didn’t come home and watch TV I could do it then. But when my housemate’s sat there it’s so easy. Plus the internet doesn’t work in my room. I need to see if I can get some kind of router or something to make it work. I don’t even know if anything like that exists.

Ok. I’m going to do some writing. After I check Twitter. And read a few blogs (just mananged to get my unread blog count on Google Reader by adding a few more people – and that’s not everyone I want to add!).

Sunday Evening Thoughts

I’ve come home to where I grew up this weekend for a nice 4 day break. Usually when I’m here I don’t do much reading or writing, but for some reason this time I have. I think it’s probably because I’m usually running about seeing loads of people in two days, but I’ve got extra time so am having more of a leisurely time.

For Fiction Friday I used a character from my part written novel ‘Holiday’ (I really need to think of  a better name for it than Holiday – that sucks). Yesterday when I did some writing I wanted it to be Kate (the character) again. I did the run up to the scene I’d written for FF. It’s made me want to jump back on that train. I started writing it about April last year and periodically wrote bits up until the end of October when I wrote Italian Infatuation for NaNoWriMo. (you know I still get  a kick when I say I wrote a novel in 30 days!) I’ve not done anything with it since because I feel like I should edit II before I go back. But, seeing as I’m not actually doing any editing, maybe I’ll carry on writing Holiday. Even if it’s just 250 words a day.

I’ve just had a thought: in the last year my writing has improved so much – I wonder what kind of state Holiday is in… Worrying.

I keep reading things about NaNo starting again soon – apparently it’s only about 70 days to go. I freaked when I read that. But then I realised that’s actually a couple of months. Actually it can’t be 70 days. November 1st anyway. I’m definitely going to take part again – I think I might write a teen romance for it. No idea why, the thought just came to me the other day. I’ve got a few months to think about it.

I found writing that particular scene for Fiction Friday from Kate’s POV to be a lot easier than the last time I wrote her story. At this time she’s just broken up with someone and is having a hard time getting over him. When I wrote the break up and the following bits for Holiday I found it hard cause I was in a really happy relationship – so identifying with her was quite hard. Because I’ve just been through a break up this time it was a lot easier (although I never found myself crying in an alley with a naked man behind me!) See another good reason for us breaking up – it’s helping with my story writing!!

I’m getting a little bored of the book I’m reading (NOT The Baby Group as the picture shows at the top of the page – I loved that). The story’s great and I love the premise of it, but the way it’s told is boring me a little. It’s like there’s too much background info which at the moment I feel is pointless. I hope things happen that needed all the extra story telling as I get further through it.

I’ve got another long weekend coming up next weekend. I’m going to spend three days with some family that have a pool in the garden (I’m going to see them though – honest!). I’m really looking forward to it cause I think we’re just going to chill the whole time (except when my cousin drags me out for a run!). I need to think of a writing project to get into those days. Maybe start editing Italian Infatuation. Maybe check out Holiday – see where I am, put bits together etc. I’ll have to see.

Fiction Friday – Kate Meets Henry

The prompt from Write Anything for this week is:

Pick two established characters, either from your own work or others’. Now write the scene/story of their meeting.

Oh, how much did I love this when I saw it! I knew I had to use Kate – she’s the MC from ‘Holiday’ the novel I’ve half written. I’ve been thinking about her a lot recently. But who could she meet? I couldn’t think of any of my characters, which meant someone else’s. Eek. I was talking about The Time Traveller’s Wife earlier, so Henry the MC from that sprung to mind.

Once he was there he wouldn’t leave. But he left me with a problem – I read the book a few years ago, could I remember enough about him to make a good character? Even worse than that though, he’s an amazing character from an amazing best-selling book. What was I thinking. But the idea was there and I couldn’t get rid of it! Luckily, it turned out to be from Kate’s POV, and Henry didn’t seem to have that much of a part in it in the end. Please let me know what you think of it. Especially if the tense and POV works, I’m not too sure it’s right all the way through… but like the rules state, no editing!

               I walk towards the alley I know is coming up, just about composing myself, but as soon as I walk round the corner I fall against the wall and burst into tears. I’ve done really well tonight holding it together, it’s just after midnight so I’ve been out for hours.

                I doubt my friends have noticed I’ve disappeared so I can probably have a few minutes crying, then pull myself together and go get a taxi home.

                I hear a couple of people’s talking and laughter getting louder so I try to quieten my sobs down. I turn into the alley so they can’t see my blotchy, teary face and come face to face with a naked man. I double take. Yeah, down there. He’s proper naked. His state stops me crying immediately and I burst out laughing. He looks really embarrassed, putting his hands down quickly to cover himself – too late now.

                He’s good looking, tall, tanned skin and very toned. This guy definitely works out. I wonder if he’s on a stag party or something. The funny thing is, I’m sure there was no one in the alley when I walked in. I know I‘m drunk and was crying, but it’s pretty small, I’m sure I would’ve noticed someone. Especially THIS guy.

                I wipe my eyes, hoping he’s too embarrassed about his state to notice the state I’m in. I have to think of something funny or witty to say. Think Kate. Something funny.

                ‘I know it’s getting warmer, but it’s not that warm yet is it?’ Oh god, that’s not funny. He’s not looking any less embarrassed either.

                ‘Sorry… I…’ He takes a couple of steps back, I kind of wish he’d turn round, I bet he’s got a nice arse.

                ‘I need some clothes,’ he says to himself so quietly I hardly hear. There’s a twang to his voice, I don’t think he’s English. Maybe American or Canadian? I snigger.

                ‘Yeah, you do! Stag party?’ He looks confused, then like a light comes on.

                ‘Yeah. My mates dumped me here. Bastards.’ He looks round the alley, there’s a few of those large shop bins and I wonder if he’s thinking of looking for clothes in them. ‘Can you do me a favour?’ A favour? Why are alarm bells going off in my head. I take a step back towards the road, I know he looks safe, but maybe there’s something sinister in his being here. Maybe I’m just drunk and imagining things. He’s just suddenly freaked me out a little, I mean, this guy is naked. And I’ve not got that many clothes on myself. I pull down my short skirt a little, hoping he won’t notice the action. He doesn’t.

                ‘Ummm. What?’

                ‘I need some clothes. There’s a charity shop on the next street along. You couldn’t see if there’s any bags outside?’ I look at him without registering what he’s getting at. I must show that on my face, cause he carries on. ‘Maybe some clothes I could wear?’ Oh right.

                ‘That’s stealing though isn’t it?’ He laughs. Quite a sexy laugh, I’m pretty sure he’s American. I’ve always had a thing for Americans. I’m feeling less freaked out by this, he’s on a stag do. Nothing sinister there! Dammit. Stag do. That means he’s getting married. Oh well. Still, he wouldn’t look at me anyway when half my make up is now on the floor with my tears!

                ‘I’ll get my mates to donate some money to the charity when I find them.’ He’s started moving round a bit so I figure he’s probably a bit cold. Can I really do that? I mean it is stealing isn’t it? Plus I really wanted to go home. But… I’m here, he obviously needs my help.

                ‘Please?’ There’s a slight beg to his tone, he must see that I’m weighing up the options. What shall I do? I turn back to the main road. I know the charity shop he’s talking about – it’s literally 2 minutes away. But what if I get caught? But then, do I really want to NOT help this hot guy? He might be getting married, but what if he’s got friends he could introduce me to. What am I like? Three minutes ago I was crying about Ian, now I’m here thinking about this hot American.

                I turn back to the alley and… he’s gone. There’s no where he can have gone. Maybe behind one of the bins? I walk towards them, but can see from here he’s not there. He’s gone. There’s no way that can happen. Maybe one of the shop doors was open and he’s gone in there? They both look closed to me, and I’m sure I would’ve heard it closing. He’s gone. I know I’m drunk, but I didn’t just imagine that whole conversation. But then a full grown man can’t just disappear into thin air. I don’t get it.

                I move back towards the road, turning back round every second step – each time I expect him to be there. He’s not. Am I going mad? Maybe I have just had too much to drink?