Tag Archive | assignment 2

Thriller and suspense reading challenge 2010

Don’t you love it when things fall into place.  A few days ago I was talking about how I’ve not read enough books this year, and I’m going to make myself read lots lots more next year.  Then yesterday I was roaming about the World Wide Web, when I stumbled upon this reading challenge on ‘Book Chick City’ for next year.  What an excellent idea.  Read all about it and join in the fun here.  I’ve never done anything like this, but was inspired so much by Novel Push initiative and NaNoWriMo that I figure it’s a good way for me to go.

The challenge is to read 12 Thriller/Suspense novels from January to December.  I’m already thinking what I’m going to read. Meg Gardiner and John Grisham spring to mind immediately.  I’m a little annoyed I’m reading Digital Fortress now as that would be perfect for it, but hopefully Dan Brown’s new one will work for it.  I’ve read one Linwood Barclay book so this will be a good chance to read some more.  I also think I’ll use it as a way to discover new authors.  BCC is encouraging people to post reviews of the novels they read, so should be able to get some good people there.  Yay. 

In other news, I’ve nearly finished typing up the  bit of Italian Infatuation that was hand written.  By the time I go to sleep tonight it should be all done, I’ll just need to read it before I can print it for the mums in my life for their presents. 

I’ve just bought a magazine to do a review of for my writing course.  I’d like to get a big chunk of that done this weekend.  I’ve done it already, but it was for April/May’s issue, so slightly out of date.  As I know the set up, should be easy.  It’s just time-consuming as I need to count article length etc.

I read a forum a few days ago where people were discussing how long it takes them to write articles.  It made me realise I’m probably thinking too much about the article I’m writing for my writing course assignment.  I just need to do it.  It will take minimal research so really shouldn’t take forever.  Especially not the 8-9 months it’s been hanging around at the back of my mind.  I want to get a chunk of it done this weekend too.  I don’t know where I think all the time is going to come from this weekend – I’m working tomorrow, have a drinking night out tomorrow night, then have Christmas shopping to do on Sunday.  Maybe an early night tonight…

October’s goals

I hope that I achieve more in October than I ever have before.  I really feel like I’m on a run with my writing course, I seem to be doing lots of reading and now I’ve signed up to the Novel Push Initiative I’ll be doing at least 250 words a day on holiday.  Here we go then:

  • Write 15,000 words.  I’ll be doing at least 7,750 for NovelPI, 20 blogs of at least 250 words gives 5,000 then a few more for other thing’s I’ll do.
  • 20 blogs on WordPress
  • 4 weekend posts.  As I’m going to be writing every weekend for NovelPI I may as well do more posts.
  • Read 2 novels
  • Read 4 children’s books.  I’m quite into the idea of writing a children’s book, so need to do research, research, research.
  • Finish assignment 2 for my writing course.  Hopefully once I get past this project I should be able to fly through the course (maybe not fly through it, but continue steadily with it).

That looks like quite a lot and I’ve actually had to limit myself.  I wanted to set myself much higher goals, but think it’s better to have achievable ones than way far out ones.  As long as I stay motivated through the whole month I should be fine.

Elsewhere.  I’ve now done days 1 and 2 of NovelPI, and done really well on both.  I got just under 450 yesterday and today I’m currently sitting just above 700.  Both days I’ve felt like I can write loads more, and am having to stop myself for fear of burn out.  I’m a little scared that if I write for as long as I want on the project I’ll either get bored of it, or write as much as I can that’s been plotted.  If I get as far as having written everything I’ve plotted, I’ll just have to plot more. 

I need to do that anyway.  So far I have the story planned 90% before the holiday, then once they get on holiday, I’ve only planned about 20%.  The important 20%, but not enough to fill in some blanks and a whole holiday of activities.  I also have made quite a significant change to the family structure of the heroine.  Well, I think I have.  It’s something I can’t decide on right now.

During my lunch hour I’m going to go to the library and send the email (or at least start the email) to hopefully get people to help with my assignment.  I’m not all that confident that will be the way to do it, but that’s all the ideas I got at the moment.  Fingers crossed. 

I’ve started a Twitter account to go in conjunction with this.  I’ve actually set it up so I can check in for NovelPI, but I guess it’s a good idea anyway.  I don’t really know what I’m doing with it, so who knows how much it will be used.  If you want to follow me I’m new2writinggirl. 

I’ve started on novel number one for this month.  I’m going for some chick lit.  Yay.  Cecelia Ahearn’s Thanks for the Memories.  It did that horrible making me cry on the tube thing this morning.  In the first few chapters too.  I don’t even really care about the characters in it yet.  I’m just a soppy so and so.

Too old for children’s books?

I am of course way too old to be reading 5 years+ books from the library.  I was therefore slightly worried they wouldn’t let me take any out – let alone two.  I thought maybe children would have to have their own cards and you could only take them out on that – shows how used to using libraries I am.  They let me, no problem.

So why am I now in possession of two children’s books aimed at the 5+ year old market?  Research.  Research for my children’s book about the number five dog.  I know that to write a book, I need to know what kind of thing they have in their books.  Not sure if I can get away with reading them on the tube? 

I’m going to send an email off tonight to try and get people to volunteer to be interviewed for my assignment.  I hope I get some people coming back saying they’d like to be.

I don’t feel like writing today, having a pretty rubbish day with car problems and worries about travel this weekend without said car.  I’m going to try and make myself do at least something though.

Nearly October… eek!

That is really scary.  Where has this month gone?  I’ve been good this month and not counted up my words written yet.  I think that when I reach my goal before the end of the month I get a bit lazy and can’t really be bothered to do any more.  So this month I’ve purposely not counted.  I know it’s going to be my higher than my goal though – I’ve been on fire this  month.

Yesterday was my day to my self – that I was going to spend (partly) doing some writing.  I didn’t.  But, I did do some good things so I’m not going to beat myself up about it.  I went for a run (the first for about 2 months and I did pretty well – my aching muscles today show that!), ate healthy proper cooked meals and had a spring clean.  I feel refreshed because of it all so hopefully that will propel me on my way to do some writing.

My laptop is possibly on its way out; I know I’ve been saying that for a while, but last night the screen was flashing on and off for about 20 minutes.  Luckily for me I have a lovely boyfriend who A. has a massive external hard disk that I can save my stuff on, and B. a nice new laptop that he is happy to let me use.  I’m going to have to get a new one, just not right now.  I’ll probably get one through a mobile broadband package thing – spend x a month and get a free laptop.  It’s not really something I can afford, but it’s a necessity when I’m doing a writing course. 

Speaking of the writing course.  I accidently read my next assignment yesterday.  Well, part of it anyway.  It genuinely was an accident – I thought it was my current assignment.  Oh well.  It looks interesting anyway.  The course is structured so you do non fiction first, then move on to fiction.  I cannot wait to get to the fiction bit.  Must hurry!  I’d ideally like to have the current assignment finished by the end of the month so when I’m off for that week after my operation, I can work on the next assignment.  That’s the plan anyway. 

I think I’m all ready to interview people for the assignment.  I think I’m all prepared.  I know it’s being a bit of a wimp, but I think I’m going to do these ones via email.  It is me being a wimp completely, I’m scared to do it face to face or on the phone; the way I see it though is it will build my confidence in interviewing so next time I’ll be braver and do it face to face or on the phone!

Oh, finally, I finished The Dirty Secrets Club.  Loved it.  Really happy as now I’ll read the Memory Collector – which was really the one I wanted!  Also I’m now going to read something very chick lit-y.  I haven’t done for ages – can’t wait.

Today’s thoughts

There are not enough hours in the day.  Fact.  If there were more hours in the day I would be able to fit in everything I am dying to do each day.  I’d like to:

Spend lots of time writing random things – free writing etc.

Spend time writing my novel.

Read.  Lots.

Search for a job I’d actually enjoy.

Continue with my writing course.

Sleep more.

Lots of other stuff I can’t remember.

Or maybe if we could have a longer weekend – say three days, maybe even four.  I’d like to go on and on about this, but I simply don’t have the time.

I’m re reading the last modules for my writing course – they teach the nitty gritty behind writing an article.  A thought came to me the other day – writing an article is similar to writing an essay at school: First you research; then you look at all the information you have; you plan the order you’re going to write it; write it; then edit it.  Only hopefully make it more interesting than a school essay!  Having had this thought, I am now feeling more confident about writing one.  I think I’d be even more confident about it if I was happy with the subject matter.  I like it, I’m just not all that sure about it. 

Oh no.  I’ve just found something to take up more of my time – today at least.  Last night the man in my life told me about an idea for a novel he’d had (he is on fire at the moment), but he didn’t think he’d be able to write it.  It’s kind of comedy/dark humour/mystery.  Think kind of Ben Elton-ish.  I also don’t think I’d be able to write something like that, but for something to write today, I’m writing a synopsis for it.  It sounds really good.  Maybe one day…

That’s all folks.  Why oh why do I love that so much?

I was aiming for baby steps… but got huge giant ones instead

I am of course talking about my writing course.  When I was on holiday said that once I got back I was going to seriously crack on with it.  I’m spending loads of money on it, and bored for hours a day at work, so it’s silly not to be doing it.  The reason I wasn’t getting on with it was I was finding the 2nd assignment hard.  I decided I just needed to knuckle down and do it. 

So, first day back – I thought I’d make a start on it.  Wooh, did I make a start.  I’ve spent two hours researching – so far.  I think I have all I can at the moment; I just need to find people to interview for it now and I know how I’m going to get them too.  I am so happy with myself.  I really hope I can keep up the momentum.  If I can get this assignment done and dusted in the next couple of weeks, I’ll be ecstatic.  I cannot wait to get on to a new assignment. 

While I was away I didn’t do much reading, but I did quite a large amount yesterday.  I’m enjoying the book I’m reading, the problem is I really can’t wait to get to the end of it as I’ve got this pile of ‘to read’ books I am dying to start on.  I’m also not too sure if the story is meaty enough.  It seems to be a series of individual incidents put together.  If someone asked me what it was about, I’m not sure how good my answer would be, because, what is it about?  There’s not enough story to get me really interested!  Having said that, it’s a good book to read on the tube etc as you can read just  a few pages and not lose the flow of it. I’m not sounding to positive about it am I?  It is good.  I just don’t know if I’d recommend it to anyone.

Getting ready for the weekend

I’m finally starting to feel better, and that my ‘cluster’ migraine blip has gone.  Just in time for the bank holiday weekend – yay! Weirdly though, I was doing LOTS of writing when I was feeling rough, but now I’m better I seem to have slowed down.  Hmm.  I’ve not actually revisited anything I’d written over the last couple of weeks, so the quality may well be terrible, but at least I was doing something. 

I think I should be able to get some writing done this weekend.  I’m spending it with the man, but I think he’ll be recovering from tonight all tomorrow, so will give me the chance to actually do something productive.  He’ll probably be on my back to get on with the writing course too (he will now I’ve written that). I’m actually planning on re reading the last modules of the course.  I think doing that will give me the inspiration to crack on with this next assignment. 

I’ve really got into this Ben Elton book I’m reading.  It has become a real page turner and I totally can’t put it down.  I even nearly missed my tube stop this morning I was so engrossed.  I think I’ll have it finished by tomorrow – Friday night TV permitting!  I really feel like I’m paying attention to the way it’s written, as well as the story.  They say to be a good writer you have to be a reader, but I’ve been wondering recently, although I read a lot, do I actually pay that much attention to the writing?  It would seem I now do – and it’s not been a conscious decision, it’s come naturally.

I’ve just had a funny thought.  I would be so interested to know how many books I’ve read in the last few years.  Since being an adult.  It must be 100s.  I’d hope it would be 100s anyway.  I might when bored on day sit on Amazon (other online book retailers available) and see if I can get a rough estimate.  I’d never be able to remember all of them; there have been many times when I’ve looked at a book and couldn’t remember if I’d read it or not.   Last Christmas I asked my mum for a book, luckily I was there when she went to buy it, and realised I’d read it a couple of months before.  Oops.

I said the other day I was going to do a review of the Science Museum when I went the other day.  I’ve changed my mind on this.  Partly because I forgot when I was there, so didn’t make any notes about it.  Also because we didn’t really do much there.  We went to a lecture on Ballistics and ate.  Not really enough to be able to compile a review.  Oh well.  I’m going to Notting Hill Carnival on Sunday or Monday, might do one of that.  Maybe.

Writing course

I had a day off work today.  My plan was to see friends but at didn’t happen, so I… wait for it… did some of my writing course.  Not much granted, but a little and every little helps.  My next assignment is to write a magazine article; I’m finding it really hard to start.  A little birdie says it’s because I’m scared as if they like this they will recommend I try to sell it.  Oh my god.  I’m only on assignment two and they’re saying I potentially could sell a piece of writing.  That’s why he thinks I’m scared.  Don’t you hate it when someone knows you (or maybe reads your blog?  Not sure if I’ve written that!).

The work I did was research for the article.  Maybe not research as such but research into what I could write about.  I need to write a questionnaire.  I need people’s comments for it.  I’m a little bit excited about it.

I’ve just found a really interesting blog here about different points of view for writing.  It reminds me I need to do this different perspectives thing for ‘Holiday’.  I need to do it soon so I can get on with writing more.  In my head think I’ve decided I want it to be 1st person, but I really want to write a scene a few ways to see how it works.

July’s goals – did I do them…?

 My goals (and achievements) for July were:

  • Write 8,000 words ( I feel like that is a realistic amount.  I managed 6,000 easily a couple of months ago, and that was in only 15 days.  I don’t want to make it too high as I’d like to spend some time editing and rewriting what I write – with a high goal I don’t seem to do that). Not only did I manage this many, I totally exceeded it too.  10,428 words written.
  • Finish reading Brown Girls by John Wesley Ireland. (I’m really enjoying this so it should be really easy to finish.) Done.
  • Finish reading ‘How to write a novel’.  (I really shouldn’t do this, as I’m sure I’ll cover all this in my course, and I’m nowhere near that section of it yet, but I can’t help it; I really want to!)  Totally forgot about this.  Next month!
  • Spend 10 hours on the writing course.  (That’s only 2 hours a week, that is nothing.  If I can’t do that, I have some serious problems!) *Hanging head in shame*  I didn’t do any.  Maybe half an hour actually.  Not good.  I think I have serious problems!
  • Review Brown Girls on here once I’ve read it. I started this…
  • Review Mercy (I should have done that in May/June – oops!) No, didn’t do this. 
  • 20 blogs on wordpress. 18.  It was the beginning of the month that let me down so I had no way of getting to that many.
  • All in all, I’m reasonably happy with it.  The word count is brilliant, and although a lot of it is blogs on here, that’s still writing.  I’m happy with the blogs situation too, that figure is to try to encourage me to write regularly which I am doing, so I’m not going to be too hard on myself. 

    The only thing I’m really annoyed with myself about is the writing course.  I think it was about March I finished the last assignment; I took two days off work to try and get this one done, and I’m still only at idea stage.  I’ve spent so long at idea stage I’m changing my mind what to do it about.  I need to make it a priority and remember to do it.  At the moment I’m only really remembering about it when I’m at work, so can’t give it my full concentration.  I really need to work on this.  Really really.

    Goals for August coming soon…

    322 – the number of untitled blogs today

    Damn.  Damn, Damn, Damn.  I’ve just worked out I’m not going to meet my goal number of blogs this month, unless I blog twice in one day and both days at the weekend.  Not going to happen.  Especially as I’m working the second job BOTH weekend days! Sigh.  Oh well, I’m still writing regularly and quite a lot so I’m happy.

    I know I wrote the other day about my excitement about a new book that’s just come out by Sophie Kinsella.  I think I did anyway.  I really want it to come out in paperback before my holiday in September so I can take it and read it then.  Yesterday I found out that Jane Green has a new book coming out soon too.  I love Jane Green.  She’s in my top three favourite authors (Sophie Kinsella and Marian Keyes being the other two).  In fact I might go out on a limb and say she is my favourite author.  I read one of her books once that changed my life.  Not in a major way, but it made me realise something which led to something else.  So she does awesome chick lit, but I actually gained from it too.

    I would love it if one day someone got excited (other than family and myself) that I was releasing a new book.  Imagine knowing someone was looking forward to reading something you wrote.  That’s my dream.

    But it’s a long way away.  Short term I’ve made a decision about work that is going to screw up my writing time I have during the day.  But as I don’t seem to be doing too much at the moment it’s not too big a problem.  I just hope I’ll find time to keep blogging.

    Haha, if someone had have told me six months ago I’d be a regular blogger, I would have laughed at them.  I knew pretty much nothing about blogs etc and would never have believed I’d start doing it too, let alone enjoy it.  And an avid reader of other people’s.  Funny how things happen.  Having this blog definitely inspires me to write, whether it be on here or actual creative writing. 

    I wish something would inspire me to do some of my next assignment for my course.  I’m not really inspiring myself.  Maybe I need to choose another topic, maybe this one just isn’t interesting me enough and I could get on better if I choose something that will interest me more.  I need to do some brainstorming.  Sigh.