Tag Archive | Blueberry yogurt

Wednesday’s Thoughts

I’ve just realised the titles for my blogs actually are pretty important – I’ve got them automatically linked to Twitter and that only shows the title and the link.  So all those days I’ve forgotten to title one before posting… people probably think I’m virusing or something (it’s my new word!)

That reminds me: for my last assignment I had to write a short story.  I edited one that I’d already finished, that was called Blueberry Yogurt.  I didn’t think the title worked for the story (it is the first two words – no relation to the story), so I renamed it ‘The Friend Next Door.’  In all honesty I though that sucked, as it sounded like some old person’s story, but stuck with it.  My tutor didn’t like it either.  Ha ha.  I’ve been trying to think of  a better one, for the last couple of weeks, but can’t.  Really I should look forward to the next one, not back.  Although if I do that I’ll never learn from my mistakes.

I did some more of the course today.  I need to write 150 word descriptions of different people.  150 word is nothing.  It’s too short to do.  But then I am trying to make each a story rather than just description.  Not a story, but part of a story.  I don’t know if it’s the right thing to do.  I’ll leave it for a few days then come back with fresh eyes.

Oh no.  I’ve just remembered I set myself a goal of finishing the second draft of Italian Infatuation by the end of March.  Hmmm.  Well, I read it, does that count?  It’s ok though.  I made the decision I was going to prioritise my writing course  – especially as the modules I had to read were about writing a novel.  I’m still happy with that choice.  It’s just a little annoying I’ve failed on another goal.  I blame having to work for a living.  If I wasn’t here for 8.5 hour a day, and didn’t spend another 2 hours (nearly) travelling, I would have had them both done by March. 

Right, I guess it’s time to do the lottery again.

I’m Back!!

It feels like forever ago that I last blogged.  I don’t really count Friday as that was really just my ‘entry’ for Fiction Friday! 

So, where have I been?  I’ve mainly been working on my writing course.   I’m very very close to finishing the next assignment.  It’s a 3 parter: list magazines that publish short stories, analyse the market and stories in one magazine, and, write a short story for one.  I’ve done the first, last and just need to finish the second. 

You could say I cheated on the writing of a story.  I used one that I’d written before, but it was written in the time I’ve been doing the course, so I don’t think it’s cheating.  Before I decided I’d use it, I was pretty impressed with it, but it was 150 words longer than it could be for the assignment, so I had to shorten it. 

Wow.  It is so much better now.  I had so many irrelevant sentences and redundant words.  Now I’m happy with it.  Except it’s not got a great title – The Friend Next Door.  I like the way it kind of has a double meaning, but at the same time I don’t really like the title itself.  Since I started writing it, it has been known as Blueberry Yogurt and I’m sad that title’s gone.  But, as ‘Blueberry Yogurt’ is what Word suggested I called it (the first 2 words of the story), it doesn’t really fit. 

I’ve also been writing a story for ErgoFiction’s Search Term Challenge.  I read about this on Merrilee’s blog and couldn’t resist giving it a go.  So much fun: Write a story which use 4 of the 7 given search terms that are used to find Merrilee’s blog (starting with one and finishing with another with two others thrown in.  I love a prompt – hence why I keep joining in with Fiction Friday.  The deadline’s tomorrow midday, so I’m going to send in my entry tonight. 

The stories are put online (without the author) then voted on by readers.  I have no thoughts that I may win, but it’s been really good fun writing it, and challenging getting the terms in. 

*I’m just going to have to stop this blog to have a moan.  WILL PEOPLE PLEASE STOP TALKING ABOUT THE RAIN.  Yes, it’s raining, yes it has been all day but I am now sick of talking about it.  If one more person walks past reception and says anything about the rain, I may not be able to finish this blog – I don’t think they let you have computers in custody. *

Also I didn’t blog a lot last week as I was ill.  Well, I think I had man flu, but I felt awful the end of the week and for half the weekend and just not up to writing (except Fiction Friday, but nevermind).

Yesterday I was reminded of a quote that my other half sent me a while ago.  It comes from Stephen Fry’s website, and it’s really a quote of a quote of a quote.  Thomas Mann said it, Clive James repeated it to Stephen Fry, then he blogged it:

”A writer is a person for whom writing is more difficult than for other people”

He then goes on to say that he nearly gave up wiring, until people told him it is supposed to be hard. 

My boyfriend sent me the link when I was really struggling with writing.  I’d started the writing course and started writing bits here, pieces there.  I’d even started a novel.  But it wasn’t going well.  I didn’t think I was any good.  I wanted to write, but kind of hated it to.  But couldn’t stop.  Then I read this and got it.  It’s supposed to be hard.  Now, whenever I’m struggling with something I remember that quote and it pushed me through.

Although saying that, it’s not pushed me through to the next draft of my novel.  Oh well, it will happen.

Speaking of, I’ve just heard about NaNoEdMo.  National Novel Editing Month.  Boy am I tempted.  50 hours of editing in March.  BUT I’m doing so well with my writing course that I really think I should carry on with it.  I’ve just read the next assignment and can’t wait to get started on it.  But it would  be good to do.  But so is my writing course.  Ahhhh.  I can’t decide.  I’ve got 10 days to make my mind up!


After everything I’ve said about being desperate to read some chick lit, I’m not.  I found a Ben Elton book at the man’s house so have borrowed that.  I’ve read a few of his and think they’re really good.  This one’s ‘High Society’.  I found it pretty hard to read the first seven pages due to REALLY LOUD women on the train, but think I’ll get into it pretty quickly.  Am quite excited, I know it will be a good read.

I sent my short story off last night to the author who was interested in looking at it for me.  Due to him living on the other side of the world to me, he’d looked at it and suggested changes by the time I checked my emails this morning.  Nice.  Unfortunately I can’t access that email address from work (had a peek through mobile internet!) to see the attachment, so will have to wait until I get home later to see what he says.  Very excited.  And he didn’t say he hated it, so that’s good 🙂

I’m working from another office today, one I worked at a few months ago.  While I was here last time I started writing a scene.  It was mainly for practice describing things; I don’t feel that I’m all that good at writing descriptions of rooms etc, so sometimes do these little exercises.  I don’t feel that I really made the room come to life – which was my objective, but I quite like my description of one of the people.  I definately need to concentrate on describing rooms, places etc.

Just found a scene I wrote for ‘Holiday’ a couple of weeks ago.  This book HAS to be written in 1st person.  It works so well (I think).  I just worry that she’s me just in different situations.  I guess she can be, as long as the other characters aren’t also me.  I found an article the other day which gives guidance on character building  and one of the suggestions it makes is to write scenes from another character’s perspective, then see if it sounds the same.  I think that’s a really good idea.  One I’ll be trying out shortly.

Two hours left at work, nothing to do.  I bet I can do some good writing in that time 🙂

Not a library member

Because I keep forgetting to go and join.  I blame the constant headache and dizziness – not that I like to complain.  I’m working in a different office tomorrow so will have to remember to join next week.  Damn annoying, really could have done with joining and getting a book out.  No book in particular, just something easy I can read.  Something chick lit-y.  I’ve not read one for a month or so and really feel in the mood for one.

I’ve let someone else read my short story from last month (Blueberry Yogurt).  He thought it was really good.  Ok, he is my boyfriend, so he may be biased, but I’d like to hope he’d tell me the truth no matter what.  Now I’ve got someone else asking to read some of my work.  Someone I don’t know (which I guess should make it easier), but someone who’s written a whole book.  And a pretty good one at that.  I’m trying to make myself send this to him.  Eek. 

I’ve not done any writing today.  I guess I re-edited Blueberry Yogurt (again) so that counts as doing something.  I really need to think of a new title for it.  Blueberry yogurt just doesn’t work!

I’ve just started writing something.  I have no idea what it is, or what it will be, but I’m going with it.  Lets see…

I still don’t like titles

I just spend 3 minutes thinking up a title for this blog – what a waste of time.  The short story I wrote last month still doesn’t have a title (other than ‘Blueberry yogurt’ – which are the opening words) and my novel still hasn’t got a title (well, there’s ‘Hoilday’ but that’s definitelya working title.  It would be a rubbish title for this book). I wonder if the writing course I’m doing (or not doing at the moment) has a module on thinking of titles for your work?

I’ve had a pretty good writing day again today.  I thought of an idea for ‘Holiday’ and while it was fresh in my mind I thought I’d write it.  I think it’s ok. 

What I’m having problems with is finishing scenes.  I’ve written maybe six so far, and haven’t finished any of them.  I think I know where one, the opening scene, is going to end – and if I’m right, I think I’ve done the notes to finish it, but all the rest I’ve just kind of left hanging there.  This does worry me a little.  But at least I’m writing.  I should just be happy about that. 

I also did some reading last night and on the tube this morning.  I’m reading a non fiction book about ecomonics and how everyday things can be explained by it, ‘The Economic Naturalist: Why Economics Explains Almost Everything’ by Robert H. Frank.  Every once in a while I decide I need to read something educational.  I would like to say that this is one of those times, but in actual fact it was the only book I could find at my Mum’s a couple of weeks and I was desperate to read something.  I do like books that can teach me something so hopefully I’ll love this.  Especially as I did hardly any economics at school, and what little I did I paid vertually no attention to (General Studies.  I only went to give me another A Level – thank god I did, I wouldn’t have got into uni without it.  But that’s another story).

Last night I decided I really NEEDED to read something chick lit-y.  So I scoured my shelf for one.  All I had I’d already read.  The books I hadn’t read are pretty serious ones (John Grisham/Jodi Picoult) so not suitable for my current mood.  I NEED to buy some chick lit.  Or join a library (just remembered that was what I wanted to do during my lunch break.  Oops.  Tomorrow!)

That reminds me.  I watched a film at the weekend, originally a book, that I actually liked.  John Grisham’s The Client.  I started watching it not realising what it was, then it clicked (my TV guide wasn’t working!). Obviously it’s pretty old, but I think they did a good job of turning it into a film – better than any other’s I can remember anyway.  Randomly the next day another John Grisham book/film was on and I watched that – The Pelican Brief; I’ve got it on my shelf to read.  It will be interesting doing it the other way and reading the book after watching the film.

Nothing to write

(But bet I can ramble for a while regardless!)

Something I have been meaning to blog about recently is when I first knew I wanted to be a writer.  I’ve read a few people’s blogs where they’ve been talking about how they’ve always known that’s what they want to do. I don’t think I’ve always known I want to write, but I can’t for the life of me remember when I decided I do.

As a  kid I was constantly reading.  I always had a book around me and if I wasn’t out playing I could usually be found in a corner with my head stuck in one.  This continued all the time I was growing up and into adulthood.  The only reason I don’t read as much now is that I just don’t have the time. 

But writing, really no idea when that decision came to me.  Recently I found some scribblings, which kind of formed an idea for a novel, written I think when I was at uni, or when I lived in America (which was my year out from uni).  That kind of surprised me as I thought the 1st solid thing I had written was after I left.  I wonder how much writing I’ve done over the years and don’t remember.  I wonder if there’s loads of stuff somewhere I’ll stumble across one day.

During GCSE English Language classes we used to do ‘timed writing’.  Our teacher would give us a topic or line or something and we would have the whole lesson to turn it into a story.  I used to love that; I got my best marks in English for those stories.  I wonder if they’re somewhere at my mum’s house?  In the loft somewhere?  The time that sticks in my mind the most was when our prompt was ‘You’re not bringing that in here’.  My teacher went mad at us all for not thinking of something more original than a lost animal (mine was a puppy – driven from a longing for a puppy when I was little I’m sure).  I often think about what alternative story could have come from that line, but always come back to the lost puppy idea.

When I was a teenager my favourite book EVER was Summer Dreams, Winter Love by Mary Francis Shura – from the Point Romance collection.  I’ve just looked for it on Amazon (to get the author’s name) and the reviews say exactly what I thought every single time I read it – it’s the best romance book ever.  What many people reviewing it also said is that it’s a book for all ages.  I’m 90% sure I’ve still got it at home and have always wondered if reading it as an adult would wreck the memory of it for me.  It would seem not.  I have to find it and read it.  I read it for the 1st time as a young teenager who had no idea what this love thing is, and it really brought it to life, making me want it so much.  I wonder how good it is now knowing 1st hand how it is. 

I always say my reason for wanting to be a writer comes from feeling moved by other people’s writing, and wanting to do that to someone who’s reading my text.  Summer Dreams, Winter Love is possibly the 1st  book I ever read that did that, definately the 1st I remember (and we’re talking 15+ years later here!). 

I think that’s enough reminising now.

There’s an article in this month’s Company magazine about how to earn £50k plus during the recession.  The first person who is given as an example is a lady who’s just had her 1st book published and has signed a three book deal.  It was a really nice story, proving anyone can do it (she had another career and wrote it in the evenings).  It put a little spring in my step this morning!

Hoo hoo, I’ve just discovered a Jane Green book I didn’t know about.  ‘This Christmas’ is a collection of three short stories one by Jane and the other two by other people.  Another book to add to my to read list.

Last week I sent my friend a copy of the short story I wrote recently; she’s also interested in writing and said she’d like to read it.  She loves it.  She thinks I should turn it into a full length story.  She (quote) ‘was hooked after a couple of paragraphs’.  Go me.  That’s given me a lot of confidence in myself.  Other than my mum, I don’t think I’ve ever shown anyone any of my writing, maybe I should…

For a girl that had nothing to write, I sure as hell found something – I think this may be the longest blog I’ve ever done!

A little bit of writing on a Friday afternoon

I really really want to get on with writing, but don’t really know what to write.  I’ve just edited a bit of the blueberry yogurt story.  I think I need longer away from it though.  At the moment I think it’s really good, so need to step back so I can see it for what it is not what it is in my head.

I started this story yesterday about a girl going on holiday with her gran, mum and great auntie Pearle.  I could carry on with this, but I don’t really feel it today.

That really means I SHOULD carry on with it.  I need to start making myself write even when I don’t feel like it.  Although I feel like writing today, so does it matter what I write?

I have been wondering a lot the last 24 hours (I know, so long, ha ha!) about whether I’m doing the right thing just writing random little bits then leaving them.  Should I be persisting with things to get to the end, or is it ok doing this because surely ANY writing is better than NO writing?  I lied, I’ve actually been thinking about this for a lot longer, I believe I’ve blogged about this exact thing before.  I think I’m going to go with it’s fine to do.  If I have an idea, getting it down is good, maybe it will lead to something later.  I once sat a wrote a little scene about a tube journey.  A few days later I realised it would go in ‘Holiday’ really well.  Yes, I’m doing the right thing.

In fact, thinking about it now, I can maybe see the airport scene going into Holiday.  Changed quite a bit, but it could fit.  He he, go me!

Productive day

I am having quite a productive day today (in the writing sense).  Work is ridiculously quiet.  I did most of my work for the day in the 1st half hour, then on my lunch break someone finished the rest of it.  Bad.  But really good because I have done lots of writing.  Well some writing anyway.

A few months ago I got the idea for a short story and make notes for it (the blueberry yogurt story I’ve talked about before).  I decided today would be the day to fill in the gaps.  I’m about 3/4 of the way through and I think it’s OK.  Actually I’m very happy with it.  When finished it will be the 1st short story I’ve written that I’m happy with.  In fact only the 2nd I’ve ever written as an adult.  The other was for a competition which I never heard back from.  Looking back I can see why.  It had a rubbish ending. 

I’m happy with this one though as there’s a little twist in it which makes it quite good.  I think anyway.

Also this morning I asked for some words or idea to create a story around.  The words I was given were:  ”A white dog”, ”Cheeseburger”, ”The number ‘3’ ”, ”Running” and ”half”.  From that I created a children’s story in my head, which I now have in note form.  Maybe by Christmas it will be a story.  I do have a slight problem with it.  The children do something they are not allowed to do, but don’t really get punished for it, promoting the idea that it’s ok to something you shouldn’t.  I do not want my story to give children the impression they can get away with being naughty.  I’ll have to put a bit more weight behind them getting told they can’t do it.  The other tiny problem is that they get told they can’t tell anyone something, I don’t think it’s a good thing to tell children they aren’t allowed to tell their parents.  Although it’s a policman who tells them, so maybe it’s ok?  As I say it probably won’t turn into a story for months, so I don’t need to worry.  Plus, there will probably never be any children that read it.  Positive aren’t I!

The  other day at work I decided to start writing down bits of conversations people had as they walked past my desk.  I thought it would be pretty easy, but it’s harder than I thought.  I don’t know if it’s because there’s a lot of other noises going on so hard to concentrate on one thing, or maybe because people are facing away from me half the time, but it is quite hard to do.  I think that’s probably more of an exercise for somewhere where the people around are sat sill.  I’ll persist anyway.

I’m really impressed that for the 1st time in ages, I’ve actually got something to blog about.  Maybe this is a change and I’ll start doing lots more writing.  Fingers crossed please!