Tag Archive | American Gods

July Review

So, as I made goals for July, I guess I should review them. If I have to. Which I do because there’s no point making them if I’m going to stick them in a cupboard and ignore them. So. I think I’ll tackle one at a time.

Write 250 words a day, 5 times a week. Well. I did some writing. No where near 5 days a week. I also totally forgot to keep track of when and what I wrote but I know it wasn’t that often.

5 blogs per week. I did 5 blogs a week for 2 weeks, and 4 the other 2 weeks. A pretty good effort I think.

Finish American Gods by Neil Gaiman and read two other novels. Oh I totally rocked this goal. AG finished. Four other books read. Yes FOUR! The Happy Home for Broken Hearts by Rowan Coleman, Love in the Air by James Collins, The Baby Group by Rowan Coleman and The Memory Collector by Meg Gardiner. Woop, that’s great. Maybe this month I should think more about WRITING than READING. Still, both the Rowan Coleman ones and the Meg Gardiner were BRILLIANT. In fact I stayed up way too late the last two nights to finish The Happy Home…!

Spend two hours per week on my writing course. Well, last week I probably spent more than two hours on it. But hadn’t touched it the rest of the month. Damn again.

So what have I learnt from this? I should maybe read a little less this month and write more. And definitely work more on my writing course.

I’ll set some goals for this month in the next couple of days, but it’s going to be hard when I know I’ll need to be job hunting. 250 words a day is not much though. I could do it in the morning or before bed if I can’t find time anywhere else (which I doubt I won’t be able to do!).

In other news, I had the most productive evening ever last night. After work I went to the recording of a TV show (‘Pointless’, pretty funny) so got in late. I planned to do the Bathroom, a Blog and Book (I was loving Bs). I managed to do the bathroom, post a blog, finish a book AND do some ironing. I need to take last night’s motivation for getting things done in the evening and carry it on to every other night of my life. Ooh, except tonight, I’m going out for dinner then to watch Inception. Can’t wait!

A Quick Little Ramble

This is why I like goals. Without a July goal to post 5 blogs a week, I’d turn my computer off now and go to bed. But I have this goal, so instead I’ll sit and do a quick blog (aren’t they the ones that usually go on forever?!)

I finished American Gods by Neil Gaiman today. I enjoyed it, but I have no idea why. It’s not my kind of thing, and for half of it I was questioning what the hell was going on. Still, glad I read it. I was really amused by a bit I read today *spoiler alert* – it was a bit where the MC discovers there’s a god living in a town, and keeping it safe and stuff, but the price is the death of a child of the town each year. Amused me cause I wrote a story for Fiction Friday months ago where the devil came and took the town’s children as part of a condition of a deal made years ago. Get me,one of my ideas is similar to NEIL GAIMAN’s. He he!

I got The Memory Collector by Meg Gardiner for my birthday yesterday (my birthday’s my excuse for not blogging yesterday). I’ll be starting that tonight or tomorrow. I can’t wait, I’ve wanted to read it for AGES!

I missed a week of Fiction Friday a few weeks ago as I was away, but last week I started a story for it regardless. I read it today, I love the premise of it, but don’t know where to take it, it’s obviously only a short story, and the couple obvioulsy get together, but I don’t know if that’s enough. I like my short stories to have twists. I seem to be quite good at twists.

Ok that really is it. Bed for me now!

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.

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!

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.

An Evening Post – What a Novelty

I don’t know if I remember ever writing a blog in the evening. I’m sure I must have done at some point in the last 16 months. 16 months, yeah that’s how long I’ve been blogging. Craziness.

Today’s been quite a good day. I applied for a job, wrote about 350 words from a prompt from the Novelkicks website (which I managed to make the beginnings of a love story!) and carried on adding blogs to Google Reader.

Google Reader. I am going to LOVE it. All the blogs I read on WordPress I obviously can read on here, but there are loads of blogs that are on other servers (is it a server? website? I dunno) that I’ve never had easy access to. I know I could’ve subscribed to them, but my inbox gets full enough without emails every time someone updates their blog coming in too. But Google Reader? I can have them all in one place. Its going to be a revelation. Once I’ve added everyone’s blogs. And that’s going to take a while.

I’m nearly at the end of 1984, still loving it. It’s just got a bit nasty. Teeth, rats. Ugh. I also accidently read the final words today. I was seeing where it ends, cause it ends before the end of the book, when I found it and somehow read the last words. Which has kind of wrecked it. Really annoyed with myself. I’m still going to enjoy getting to the end though.

I think once I’ve finished it, I’ll be needing something pink and fluffy. I’ve heard a rumour my housemate’s just got Girl Friday by Jane Green. That would suit. But she takes forever to read books, so I probably won’t get a look in until August. I’ve got After The Party by Lisa Jewell, but I think I’m still not in the right place emotionally to be able to read it. It’s about a couple that were once so right for each other falling apart. After my recent break up, I don’t think it’s something I should be reading. Whatever happens in the end (whether they get back together or not) it’s likely to upset me.  I’m going to have to leave it a big longer before I read it. Which is a shame, because I really want to read it.

There’s a book that a couple of people have recommended I read called Eat, Love, Pray by Elizabeth Gilbert which has been made into a film. I’m thinking of trying a theory. I generally hate movies that have been books I like… so what if I watch the film, then read the book? I don’t think I’ve ever done that before. But I might try it with this.

I don’t know if I’ve ever talked about an experiment that’s happening on Twitter called One Book, One Twitter. The idea is that as many people as possible on Twitter read the same book at the same time – American Gods by Neil Gaiman. That ‘same time’ is May and June. I really wanted to be part of it, but only have a few weeks left to read it. So that really should be my next book. The library doesn’t have it, and I’m a little broke at the moment, so I don’t know if that will happen. I think it’s worth not eating for a few days to be part of that, it’s cool. Plus, I won’t really not eat, I’m not that broke!

Right, I think that’s all for now. I think I’ll go and write a few job application cover letters. Oh goodie!

My First ‘Win’

Well, not win, I’m a runner-up – but to me that feels like a win! Every week on her Facebook author’s page, Rowan Coleman’s started a Status Short Story Competition – you have to write a complete short story in just 420 characters – including spaces. On Friday, I was a runner-up (I found out today). Yay. How exciting is that. Not only that, but Rowan chose me for ‘making me laugh the most’ (yes this is a direct quote from Rowan herself).

For the second time, I took a story I already had and shortened it – this time I took the story I did last week for [Fiction] Friday and cut it down to 420 characters. I think it’s a really good exercise in editing – taking something that’s a lot longer down. This week’s started at 616 characters and I got it down to exactly 420. The original (first draft) is here, and the one I used on Facebook is:

I knew it was a mistake the moment it was over, but hadn’t had a choice. I tried not to,but my body ignored my sensible head. I was only answering to myself, but that was bad enough-I was disgraced with myself. It had been fun, magical, amazing. It had been the best thing I’d done in the last 3months. I’d pay for it-but wow-it was worth it! I threw the cake wrapper in the bin, knowing the diet would continue tomorrow

I’m taking today as a very good day – the first of hopefully many winning stories. Hey, look at me being all positive!

Last week I did quite a bit of work on my next writing course assignment – and I’ve been doing some of it today. It’s really hard. Well, I’m finding it really hard anyway. The part I’m working on now is a description of a maternity ward at a hospital. I have to convey the excitement, the joy and the companionship between the mothers. I’m just not very good at describing things – I think mainly because I know I need to SHOW not TELL, but find myself telling. Next is the same hospital, but a geriatric ward. Ugh. Oh well, it’s good I’m being stretched, doing things I’d normally stay well clear of.

I read Della Says:OMG by Keris Stainton this weekend. I had so much travelling on the tube to do, that I literally read it all on the tube. Except the 20 minutes I should have been going to sleep last night but HAD to stay up and finish it.

A year ago I wouldn’t have been interested in reading it – I thought YA books were exactly that – for young adults. Then I started this whole blogging thing and ‘met’ Laura Best – who’d just released a YA novel. And people – adults – were telling her how much they loved it. It thought it was a little weird, but then Laura did a post about adults reading YA books, and I started to reconsider. THEN I bought a book that I hadn’t realised was about teenage girls. But, I read it, and loved it. THEN I read Twilight. All in all, I realise YA can be brilliant. I’m now a YA fan.

And now a massive Keris Stainton fan too – and I’m not just saying that because she’s a lovely person. OMG is written 1st person, present tense. I love books written like this, I feel you connect with the MC more than if it was 3rd or past tense – it’s like you’re there, then (hence the reason my 1/4 written novel is 1st person, present tense). It’s a lovely story about first love… ahhh. If you like any form or romance, I’d strongly reccomend it.

Now though, I’m stuck for what to read next. Really, I should take one of my 80+ books on my TBR pile – but you know that’s not what I’m considering at all. Oh no, I’m considering BUYING more books. I seriously think I have a problem.

I NEED to buy The Girl Who Kicked A Hornet’s Nest, I’ve read the first two millenium books and have promised my step mum I’ll buy this one and lend it to her in the next few weeks (she’s just about to start the 1st one). I also want to join in with One Book, One Twitter (#1B1T), so need to buy that book – American Gods. There’s also a list on a post-it inside my diary of books I know the library’s got, and I want. Then there’s my list on here of books I want to read. And one on Ubernote. He he, I’m so bad. Could do with winning the lottery so I could give up work to just read (and write) all day. Which reminds me, I’ve not checked Saturday’s results…

I’m doing badly at this writing 250 words a day thing. Bad me. I’m going to try VERY hard with it this week. VERY hard 🙂