Archive | February 2011

Fiction Friday #196 – Friday 25th Feb

The prompt this week is totally different to any I’ve seen at Write Anything for Fiction Friday before. This week, it’s these Story Starter Die. apparently they’re going to start using them regularly. I’m quite excited about that idea. But today, today we have… A bee, A flower and lightning.

Unedited (as the rules of Fiction Friday go) this is what I got from these:

Amy finished the last sausage roll and lay back enjoying the heat of the early summer sun on her skin. This was the life. Well it would be if it wasn’t for…

‘So as I was saying then Tom and Gary…’ she didn’t listen to the rest, just made the odd noise here and there. They weren’t here to sunbathe, or to talk about what stupid stunt Jon’s stupid mates had got up to that weekend. Or rather, who they’d got up to that weekend!

A bee flew closer to Amy’s ear than she felt comfortable with. She sat up abruptly and flicked her hand towards it, totally missing it, but causing it to fly away from them.

Jasper jumped up from the checked picnic blanket, knocking over the plastic wine glass Jon had just put down.

‘Fuck.’

Amy looked away and tutted under her breath. She knew this was a bad idea.

‘Jasp, come here. Here boy.’ She stood up without saying a word or looking at Jon and ran after the dog. ‘Jasper. JASPER.’ He’d eaten a bee once the summer before and had been in agony with it – she didn’t want a repeat of that.

What she had wanted though, was for Jon to care. To care about her, or the dog. Just anyone other than himself. She knew that was a bit harsh, and that he did care about them both, but in the last minute he’d not shown it by swearing in front of her (which he knew she hated) and letting her go after the dog alone.

Jasper ignored Amy and chased after the bee into the large flower bed in the middle of the park. The flower bed full of flowers and therefore more bees.

Before Amy could jump into the flowers she saw a flash from the corner of her eyes. If it hadn’t been such a brigth sunny day she would have thought it was lightening. The flash caught her off guard and she turned, stumbling and falling over her own foot. As she gell she saw some kids with a huge silver kite, the sun reflecting over it.

‘Damn,’ she said moving over to sit on her bum. She’d scratched her knee. At least something good came of it though, Jasp heard her fall and came to rescue her – forgetting completely about the bee. Before she had time to get to her feet, Jon appeared in front of her.

‘Amy, are you ok?’ She looked up into his crystal clear blue eyes and knew the answer. Yes, she was going to be fine, because really and truly, she didn’t want him to care. Now he was showing he did, it was too little too late. She stood up ignoring his hand and walked out the park with Jasper at her heal, not turning back once.

I made a huge error in writing this. As Amy got to the flower bed, I got stuck. I didn’t know how I was going to get the lightning in – without it being predictable and the weather going bad. So, instead of fighting through, I stopped. Picking it back up today has been really hard – but at least I didn’t add a sudden storm in the perfect day!

Please let me know what you think – but remember it’s unedited.

Have a good weekend. I’ll be moving this weekend, so see you on the other side!

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Writing for Tomorrow

I’m just about to finish my Fiction Friday story for tomorrow and schedule the post to post in the morning. That will mean that I’ve done Fiction Friday two weeks in a row – yay. However, it also means I’ve only done it twice in February. I much prefer the first statement.

I’m off work next week (we’re homeless because we don’t get the keys to the new flat until a week on Saturday, but have to be out of here on Monday) and going up to see my family for a few days. In theory, I’m not working so will have plenty of time to write, but in practice, I’m always running around busy seeing friends and family. There never seems to be enough time when I’m there.

But, I said before that I’d set myself a goal of writing 250 words a day during that week, and I intend to stick to it. I’m also going to do some blogs AND start running again. I know that has nothing to do with this writing blog, but if I write it down, it’s more likely to happen.

Fear?

I went to the pub on Tuesday night and when I got home knew what I wanted to say in a blog. But, I was a little dunk (only a little) so didn’t think it was a good time to write it. So I didn’t. I did however send myself an email to remind me. Despite this email, it’s taken nearly 48 hours for me to put pen to paper – or finger to keyboard should I say. 48 hours. Shocking.

That night in the pub, I got chatting to a couple of friends. One of which has read the 1st novel I wrote for NaNo 2009. When I say the first novel I wrote for NaNo 2009, I don’t mean that I wrote more than one for NaNo ’09. I mean the first novel I wrote; the one I wrote during NaNo 2009. Talk about going off the subject.

Somehow we started talking about the novel (Italian Infatuation) and how I was very proud of myself for writing it. But then my friend, lets call him Jason (because that’s his name!) starting telling me off. Telling me off!! What for? Well, apparently he thought it was really bad that I haven’t done any editing, other than the first chapter, when I finished it 15 months ago. Ah, well yeah, you can see he had a point there.

He was also being very positive about it, saying he really liked it (not bad, when it’s totally not a book for a man – it’s a Mills & Boon type novel). Except the ending. He said the ending was too cliched. Hmmm. Lets just focus on him liking it bit!

He thinks it’s such a shame that I’ve done this amazing thing and finished draft one of a novel – and it is an amazing thing, not everyone does that – and just left it. He’s right. I think it’s a good story. I remember when I read it in Feb 2010, I’d get really into it and forget I’d written it. But editing. It’s just such a monumental feat. When I was drunk the other night… uh… slightly drunk that is… I wrote this Why not to? Fear of completing it and having to try to sell it? rejection? acceptance? what if I actually did it and sold my novel? what what what? What does that tell you? First of it, it tells you I’m a lot more open (honest?) when I’ve been drinking.  I think the key word here is FEAR. When I think about it, I am scared. I’m scared of editing it because then what? Well then I’d have to start subing it. And then what? I get rejected (I’m not being negative, I’m being realistic). Then what happens? I get down because I get rejected lots? I get a tough skin because of it?

Imagine if… I got lucky and SOLD the novel. What the hell would I do? I want to more than anything, but it’s a really scary prospect. Does that make sense? Writers out there, does it make sense? There’s a book one of my friends has read a few times called Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway by Susan Jeffers. She’s always said it is really really good at, well doing what it says. She also thinks there’s no need for me to read it. But I think maybe I should.

Yes, instead of doing the editing, I should read another book. Uh no. Well, maybe.

Well, that’s what I have to say. Bit of a different blog for me in that it’s about just one thing, instead of jumping back and forward through lots of different subjects. Different isn’t necessarily bad though is it. I’m off now to write a story for Fiction Friday. Get me!

(Untitled Blog)

I need to stay away from Facebook. It’s bad for me. Well, it’s bad for my writing. I’ve been saying for weeks that it is my life at the moment that’s conspiring against me from writing and blogging, and for a while it was. But this week, it’s definitely been Facebook. Or more specifically the games on there. I am obsessed with Bubble Spinner. It’s like a game I was obsessed with a uni – which I’ve totally forgotten the name of. I think I’ve got an obsessive personality (apparently it runs in families, and my dad totally has – I had no hope!)

I finished Fear No Evil by Allison Brennan yesterday. I loved it. During the first half, I spent most of the time questioning why I was enjoying it and reading it, when the topic was so nasty and was pretty gory. But the way it’s written just draws you in, and I loved the characters. This book is the final in a trilogy – I’ve not read the first two, but I really want to go back and read them (when I’m not doing an A to Z challenge).  The MCs in the first and second are siblings of one of the MCs in Fear No Evil so I kind of know them, althoug I’m not as keen to read them as I would be if it was the same MC  (Dillon the MC in this one is awesome – you know if it was a film you’d totally fancy him).

I’ve just realised I’m totally behind with my reviews for books for both the A to Z challenge and the Mystery & Suspense challenge. Hmmm. Will have to rectify that sometime. Maybe I’ll wait until I have the week off and catch up then. So far I’ve read 2 for the Mystery & Suspense and A and B for the alphabet one. Or more technically A and A and B. I’m just about to start another B… oops… But… it’s also another for the M&S challenge, so all good. I guess. Kind of.

That paragraph I wrote about Fear No Evil was almost a book review. Hmmmm. Might have to use that!

The next book I’m going to read is Linwood Barclay’s Fear the Worst. I bought it last weekend, but don’t have a clue what it’s about. I bought it totally on the author’s reputation. I’ve read two of his books and loved them, so when I saw another I had to have it.

Imagine… being an author whose books people buy on the knowledge of your writing. Cecelia Ahern, whose book The Book of Tomorrow I read earlier in the month, is the same – I picked that up because I knew I had to read more of her writing if it was available. It didn’t matter what it was about. Marian Keyes, Jane Green, Lisa Jewell and Dan Brown are some of those people. There are more, I know there are more, but I can’t think of them now. 

Ok, I’m off to bed – I have another full day of packing and moving stuff across London (literally all the way across – from North West to South East – we must be nuts!)

Fiction Friday – Friday 18th Feb

Today’s prompt from the good fellows over at Write Anything is: Its late on Feb 14th. Your character has just realised that they have forgotten Valentines Day and the affiliated expectations surrounding it. What excuse or reason are they going to give to their partner? And my unedited story goes like this…

Jess slumped into the chair almost the second the old man got up. He turned to give her a dirty look, but she ignored it. There was no way she was letting one of those spikey haired, acne ridden teenagers get the only seat when they’d only got on at Birmingham and she’d been standing since Manchester.

Just as she pressed play on her ipod her phone rang. How typical. Tom. Her heart sank a little as she remembered they were supposed to be going for dinner that night – all she wanted after a day of trying on stupid bridesmaids dresses was a hot bath and night in front of the TV.

‘Hey you,’ she answered, deciding it would be better to put him off now than when she got home.’

‘Hey you. How was your day?’

‘Yeah, not too bad.’

‘You got the dress?’ She pulled a face.

‘Yeah.’

‘Oh dear, that bad?’

‘Lets just say I won’t be wearing it again.’

‘Oh no. Well I’m sure you’ll look sexy as hell however bad it is.’

Jess laughed. ‘You haven’t seen it!’

Tom laughed. ‘So tonight. I somehow managed to get us into Al Fornios. We’ve got a 9pm reservation, I thought you’d appreciate later rather than earlier so you can go home and get changed and ready.’

She didn’t know what to say. Tom had been talking all weekend about going to their favourite restaurant tonight. Usually she’d be really excited, they usually only went there on special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries and… Shit. Jess looked round. No it couldn’t be. Was it? What was the date. Then she saw it. At the table opposite one of the teenagers who had managed to get a seat was showing her still standing friend a card. A huge red card with a teddy holding a heart on the front.

Damn, damn, damn.

‘Jess? Have I lost you? Bloody train signals.’

‘No, no I’m still here.’ She’d have to go out. She could suggest staying in, but then she’d have to cook. She’d have to go out. ‘That sounds great,’ she continued, hoping he wouldn’t pick up the **** she said it with. Maybe?

‘Are you sure?’ He didn’t give her a chance to answer before he carried on, and she knew she had to be sure. ‘We don’t have to, if you don’t want to.’ She hated the way he made he feel guilty with that voice. Like a sodding little lost puppy.

‘Yeah, course. Wouldn’t miss it for the world. Once I get home and have a shower and change, I’ll feel better. Nine is a great time, I’ll be fine by then.’

‘Excellent.’ Phew, she’d convinced him. Maybe if she could convince him, she could convince herself. Maybe. ‘Tell you what baby, why don’t I come round and help you shower?’

She smiled despite herself. Yes, that would be great. They may even decide to stay in after all.

Jess is a character I invented the other day when I did a little  random writing. In that writing she’d woken up late on the day she was supposed to be going bridesmaid dress shopping with her sister and Mum. When I read this prompt I realised how well it would fit in with the story, if it was valentines day they went shopping then she went home knackered.

I changed the ending a couple of times. I originally thought he would say that last line, but then I got shy, and worried about putting anything related to sex in a story. I saved it and went away, but it kept gnawing at me – it wasn’t the right ending, so I had to go back and change it. I’m shy about posting it, but I think it’s more plausible than what I wrote the first time.

So, please let me know what you think. As I’m getting back into writing and posting online, any words or wisdom or comments would be greatly appreciated. Have a good weekend everyone.

I’ve Only Gone and Done Some Writing

Yes, I kid you not. I actually came home from work, got out my laptop, searched for a prompt and wrote 308 words. Not that many, but much more than I’ve done over the last few weeks. Ok then, months!

Was it any good? No, it wasn’t. I got all mixed up with my tenses, which sucked. I’m going to go back to it tomorrow, or maybe even later tonight and see if I can see how and why I went wrong. I so need more practice, that didn’t used to happen. I suck. NO, I’m just out of practice. I need to get back to it. Tomorrow and Friday I should be able to do some. I’m starting to sort things out this weekend for moving, but I need the boyfriend around for that, and more boxes, so can’t do anything for the next couple of days. 500 words WILL be written (at least 250 a day) by the weekend. I’m not sure if I can realistically do any over the weekend, but baby steps.

The book I’m reading at the moment is great. It’s Fear No Evil by Allison Brennan. It’s supposed to be ‘romantic suspense,’ but in my head it’s totally thriller. It’s great. It’s gross (way too graphic for my liking about sickos that have really messed up minds), but it’s great. I’m glad I’m now living with my boyfriend, because I have to consider someone else when I go to bed. If I didn’t have to consider him, I guarantee I’d be up till at least 2 every night. Gripping is an understatement.

Speaking of my boyfriend, I actually have to thank him for doing my writing tonight, and doing this blog. I asked him to make dinner tonight, cause I was really tired, he said he would, provided I wrote 250 words and a blog. It’s so good having someone who is so supportive.

I’m now off to get my cookie – my treat for writing and blogging 😉

Starting to Move and BOOKS!

So my big news (totally un writing related) is that I’ve found a flat. I should really say ‘we.’ My boyfriend and I are getting our own place… in 3 weeks. Yay! It’s this cute little flat in an area called Canada Water really really close to the Thames, and almost with a wicked view of Canary Wharf. Nearly. Just 2 weeks of work, a week off, a weekend move then we’re in – awesome.

We have to move out of where we are now about 5 days before we can move into the new flat, so we’ve decided to take the whole week off work, and go back to the midlands to see the parents (they live pretty close, so we can do all of them in the same visit – nice). I’ve already started thinking about the writing I can get done that week.

Yes, you read that – WRITING. I’m fully going to get back into it soon. I’ve got a lot of packing and sorting to do in the next couple of weeks (two weeks yesterday we move out, and yes, I did move about 6 weeks ago, but we’ve got to put our stuff in storage for a week, so I need to pack better!), but I’m going to try to do some. I’ll then have a week of holiday, where I’ll get at least a little done each day – in fact I’ll set myself a challenge of 250 words a day, EVERY day during that week. We move that weekend, and then settle in, so I’ll get my new routine for writing. I can’t wait.

Earlier on today, I unpacked all my books (to get them all in one place rather than about 8 smaller boxes and bags) and put them in piles: fiction, non-fiction and cookery books. There were loads. Tonnes. I should have counted how many there were. I didn’t. But I did the next best thing. Took a picture:

The fiction books are in the huge pile at the front. I’ve read about 6 of them. All the rest are on my TBR pile (which is obviously why I went out and bought a couple more yesterday!). The ones at the back in the blue box and to the left are the non fiction, and the smaller pile on the right are my cookery books. The tiny pile in the bottom right  are the five I’m chucking out. Five. Oh dear!

I our new place we’re going to get a wall to ceiling, length of the room bookcase/shelving unit. I cannot wait to get it and get these all out on show. EXCITING!

I did some writing this morning. I was lying in bed awake because someone had set the alarm, even though we had a day off and I couldn’t get back to sleep. I started thinking about the book I’m reading (Fear No Evil by Allison Brennan) and thinking about how well she does graphic violence scenes. Well enough that every time I get asked how my book is, I say it’s horrible. So, really well. That led me to think I couldn’t do it that well. But then, how do I know? I’ve never tried. So I tried. Typically for me, it turned into a character analysis. Janey was watching her friend get tortured by having her finger chain sawed off (nice eh), but there was only a little about the blood, then it went to why Janey couldn’t run in and help, and how she was feeling. Hmmm. I don’t want to, but I think I should practice this type of writing. You never know where it will come in handy.

One final thing about valentine’s day – although more about books. The man in my life doesn’t go in with the whole valentines day thing. I used to get upset about it, but as he buys me things all the time, takes me out for dinner etc I don’t mind so much any more. He cooked me dinner last night, which was really nice (especially since we’d put an offer in on a flat that day too – I totally took that as my present!), but then at like 22.00 he decided we were going shopping cause he wanted to buy me a book – or two. WOOP! I love 24 hour supermarkets! At first I couldn’t find anything I wanted. Then I found loads. I settled on two though. Fear the Worst by Linwood Barclay and another book that I totally can’t remember. And is now in the bottom, or maybe middle or top, of a sealed box ready to move. Damn. It’s there because I know I can’t read it for a while cause the author’s surname begins with H or M or something, and in my A to Z challenge I’m on B. And want to read another B and maybe two Cs. It’s going to be a while!