Tag Archive | Ben Elton

Spare time today?

I’m not really sure if I have time for a blog today, but I’ll give it a go anyway (no time to edit it, so sorry if it doesn’t make sense!).

I found out today I’ve got to have an operation in the next 6 – 10 weeks.  I’m going to have to stay in there for at least a night – originally I was told it would be a day trip – in one morning, out that afternoon, so am slightly dreading it.  BUT, I’m going to need 7 – 10 days off afterwards to recover.  Now, thinking of silver lining and everything, 7 – 10 days at home.  No work.  I feel a lot of writing will happen.  I’m really excited.  I know I’ll be feeling a bit off, but it’s free time.  Woo hoo!

I started a new novel yesterday – Mr Toppit by Charles Elton.  I nearly bought it a few months ago as it’s one on the ‘Richard & Judy Summer Read’ list.  I’ve read a couple of their recommendations in the past and loved them so always look out for them.  I didn’t buy it, but someone from my office did, and when I got talking to her, she said I could borrow it after her.  She couldn’t get into it, so said I could read it first.  I on the other hand, am getting into it.  I’m on the second chapter and fining it good, I can’t see myself stopping it like her!  Like I said about the last book I read (High Society by Ben Elton – think I could maybe find an author with another surname?) I am starting to, automatically, notice the writing styles of the books I’m reading, things I like, things I don’t etc etc.  I think this new found talent I have (talent? What?) will come in very useful when planning writing. 

I’ve already decided I’m probably going to make a list of different ideas that I DO like, to have  a go at, and things I DON’T like as a reader, to ensure I stay away from.  I do have a terrible memory, so am likey to think I don’t like a style or something, then totally forget and write using it a month or so later. 

I’m going to the theatre tonight (Alan Cummings – a comedian in his new show) which I’m really looking forward to.  But I’ve got an hour to kill in town before I meet my friend, so I’m going to go to the library.  Granted it’s mainly to use the internet (get my Facebook fix for the day!), but I’m also going to look at the books.  I’m in the process of reading 3 novels, but another one or two won’t hurt anyone.  Especially as I’m going on holiday a week tomorrow (have I mentioned that before…?).  We will be doing a lot of activities, so I won’t read the usual 3 novels I do when I’m lying on a beach, but I have requested sunbathing time, so should be able to read some!

I nearly did some work on my writing course, but remembered my laptop was at my boyfriend’s, convenient eh?!

August’s results

It’s September.  Which leads me to think 2 things.  1 – Oh my god.  It’s September.  How did that happen?  It will be Christmas soon (sorry!). and 2 – I’m going on holiday soon.  So excited.  9 days away from the office job.  So incredibly excited!

So.  August’s results.  Here are my goals and whether I achieved them or not:

  • Write 10,000 words.  I achieved more than this last month so no reason why I can’t do the same this month.  Yes!  I wrote a total of… wait for it… 13,049. 
  • Read two novels.  Lee Child’s Bad Luck and Trouble, not sure of the second yet – probably one of the new chick lits that’s out.  I read one.  It wasn’t this one.  It was High Society by Ben Elton.
  • Join the library near work.  I’ve been meaning to do this for months and never got round to it.  I really need to do this.  Done.
  • Work on my writing course.  I’m not going to put a certain amount of this but just doing SOME of it would be good.  I NEED to get back into the habit of doing it.  Hmmm. I’ve thought about it.  I’ve talked about it.  I’ve even talked it through with someone.  I picked up the module book to read.  I read a paragraph.  *hangs head in shame* 
  • Write out my ‘Idea cards’ for ‘Holiday’ and create a story board for it.  I started doing this, but only started.
  • Practice touch typing more.  I’ve taught myself how to do this using an online program,  but I’m still pretty slow.  If I can get my speed up I’ll be able to write things as I think of them and not have to remember where my train of thought was going while I slowly write the sentence before.  I have been doing a lot more of this.  Not practicing as such, but not letting myself look at the keyboard at all.  I’ve done a few speed tests and I’ve increase it by a couple of words a minute – ever little helps!
  •  20 blogs on WordPress.  I was 2 short last month, so if I can be consistent from the beginning of the month I should easily achieve this.  21 done.  Yes!
  • Write at least one blog on a Saturday or Sunday.  I’m terrible at doing ANY writing at weekends and want to change that.  If I can start with baby steps maybe I can train myself to do it regularly.  As that’s when I have the most free time, I really should be doing more with it! I wrote 3 weekend blogs. Lets hope this is a habit I can continue.

All in all I’m actually quite happy with what I’ve done this month.  Considering I’ve been pretty ill with these silly headaches and dizziness for most of the month, I think I’ve done pretty well.  The only thing I’m really disappointed in myself for is not working on the writing course.  I have however got it in the forefront of my mind, so I think pretty soon I’ll be actually getting on with it (she says!)

I’ll work on September’s goals tomorrow – they’ll be a lot less than this due to my holiday (did I mention I’m going on holiday in 10 days…?).

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.

The dreaded writing course

Seeing as I’ve not really talked about this that much recently, I thought I’d have a little moan about my writing course. 

About six months ago (was it really that long ago, eek!) I started a correspondence writing course.  I was so excited as I’d spent YEARS wanting to do this, but had been putting it off with one excuse or another.  I finally decided that if I ever wanted to write a novel (which I really do), I wanted to be best equip for it I could be, and that means doing a writing course.  Also it seemed like a good time to spend the money on it (special offers – always good).

So I got the course.  Read the first modules.  Did the first assignment.  Twice (as I didn’t like the first attempt). Got pretty good feedback from my tutor.  Read the second module.  And stopped.  And in the last four months I have done nothing.  No, I’ve done about half an hour’s research.  And that’s it. 

I think the problem is fear.  This assignment is a magazine analysis and an article for a magazine.  First part, easy, done.  Second part, ahhhhhh.  They say if it’s good enough, they will suggest you try to sell it.  I think this is where my problem lies.  Sell it?  What?  I’m not ready for that!  Or I don’t feel like I am.  The idea scares the hell out of me.  Completely.  And because of this I can’t move on.  Not even the thought that I’m paying x amount each month for the course is enough to spur me on.

The other thing stopping me may well be that I’m not all that happy with the topic I’ve chosen.  And I can’t think of another one good enough. 

I just need to get through this somehow.  I don’t know how.  Somehow, some way I will.  Sometime. 

In other news, I’m loving the Ben Elton book (‘High Society’).  I made a pretty big dent in it this morning on the bus and tube.  I have a feeling this will become a pretty addictive read soon, who needs to sleep when there’s a good book to be read?