Tag Archive | ErgoFiction

Assignment 2 – done (finally)

That’s right, 10 months and a change of direction in the course later, I’ve finally finished and sent the second assignment of my writing course.  I’m pretty happy with it.

I had to write a short story, and I sent one I actually wrote a little while ago, but while I was doing the course.  I’m actually really happy with it, so it will be interesting to see what my tutor has to say – to see if it’s as good as I think it is.  I did spend about 3 months working on it, so it should be pretty good.

That means I move on to assignment 3.  I’ve already started reading the modules for it – really interesting ones about writing, editing and selling novels.  Just what I need after Italian Infatuation.  I’m not going to start writing the next assignment until I have the feedback from this one – that should be less than 10 days.

I’m about halfway through The Girl Who Played With Fire.  I really wanted to finish it in February, but as I only started it on Thursday that was pretty unrealistic.

The problem when I read, a good book,  is that I get totally engaged – to the detriment of anything else I should be doing.  I’m currently reading a really good novel, so haven’t read any more of the course since Thursday.  When I finish this book, I’ll have to stop myself from reading another – make sure I get on with the course.

I found a really interesting blog today by Kaye Dacus (the ‘pop quiz’ and following answers) that was all about commas.  I didn’t get time to read all of it, but it was really interesting.  It cleared something up for me that’s been bugging me for a while.  This is the kind of thing I should be doing to help with my writing.

We’re up to entry eight on the Searchterm Challenge on ErgoFiction.  I’m really enojoying reading them all, and finding it so interesting to see the different directions people are taking.  Read all eight – plus a new entry each day here.

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Three Day Weekend

I’ve got a three-day weekend!  I’ve got a three-day weekend!  Not that I’m excited or anything.  The downside to this is that I probably won’t be doing any writing for the next three days, as I never seem to at weekends.

Although having said that, it’s Friday tomorrow, which can only mean Fiction Friday, which I do love.  I’ll HAVE to find some time to fit that in.  Shouldn’t be hard – it’s supposed to only be a five-minute write.  Ooh, I can’t wait 🙂

The day being Friday tomorrow also means that another copy of the magazine I’m analysing for my writing course comes out.  I’ll get a copy, do a quick review of the ‘coffee break’ short story, then that’s my assignment done.  I’ll send it off this weekend then. 

I’m coming on nicely with reading the modules for the next part of the course.  Every time I have a chance to read, I find there’s a straight out fight between the novel I’m reading and the next module.  I want to read them both so much.  Why aren’t there more hours in the day?

One of my collegues’ wife is just about to have a baby.  He works in another office that is even quieter than this one.  I’m going to be covering his paternity leave.  YAY!  That means a reduced amount of work for me to do daily (I know – less than I do already – crazy!) and no boss on site – so I can pretty much do what I want.  Plus, the desk has a high front, so I can read my course assignment booklet there without anyone seeing.  I’m so excited about that.  Hope she has the baby soon.  Also, I’ll get to see baby pictures – ahhhhh. 

I’ll also mention the Search Term Challenge ErgoFiction are holding that I’ve entered.  Each day for 14 days they are going to post one entry.  So far there’s three entries that I think are really good.  Check them out here.  They’re anonymous so I can’t tell you which of the 14 that will be posted is mine – I will do in 3 weeks once the voting has closed!

And finally for today, I’ve made a plan to get through my stack of 70+ unread books on my shelf.  For every 2 I read, I’m going to allow myself to buy ONE.  That should stop it growing and growing as it keeps doing.  I’ve not worked out what I’m going to do about library books… Or books that are given to me…  Like George Orwell’s nineteen Eighty Four (I talked my mum into buying for me this weekend) or Linwood Barclay’s Too Close To Home (which she’s just read and gave to me). 

Well, that’s killed a little more time, there’s only 6 hours and 20 minutes until my weekend starts. *happy dance – virtual anyway – I don’t want funny looks!*

A Brand New Week

Well, my target was to finish this writing course assignment by Friday.  Obviously I didn’t succeed in that.  I’d like to make excuses, in fact I’m going to, I need to review the stories in a magazine, but the magazine only comes out once a week, so I’ve only been able to look at a couple.  I feel like I really need more.  I’ve done everything else for it, so might just wait until Friday to add another review before I send it off. 

I’ve started reading the next modules for it, so will just get on with the next assignment.  I’m sure that’s fine. 

The next three modules are about planning and writing a novel.  Hmm.  I wish I’d read them 4 months ago before NaNo.  Although so far, I did do what it says, but that’s not much, I’m only on page 3 or something.  After these writing novel modules they go onto editing, which is just what I need.  I’m now feeling good that I’ve ignored Italian Infatuation since November – there’s obviously a reason I did and it’s probably that I need to read this first.  I’m a great believer in things happening for a reason, and this fits in well with this. 

Over the weekend I received a book in the post.  Woop!  Even better than that, it was a free book thanks to the Thriller & Suspense Challenge I’m taking part in over at Book Chick City this year.  The kind people from SIMON & SCHUSTER UK gave everyone taking part a free ARC (which I’ve found out to be an unedited version on the novel) of one of two books – I got Random by Craig Robertson.  Ooh, it sounds so good.  Apparently it’s not out until April so I’ll be among the first to read it.  How exciting.  I’m going to try not to buy any more books for a month, so the next book I read will be the next in the Millenium series by Steig Larsson, then Random.  Yay!   Then that will be 4 out of 12 Thriller & Suspense books read by March.  Excellent. 

The book I’m reading now (as you can see from my sidebar) is Coming Home by Melanie Rose.  I picked it up in the shop and thought it looked pretty good, but, due to my 70+ full to be read bookshelf, I nearly put it down.  Just as it was going back on the  shelf, I saw the words ‘A must for all Cecelia Ahern and Sophie Kinsella fans’ (in so many words).  Damn, that had me.  I’m really enjoying it, I can’t wait to see where the story goes. 

Last week I entered a Search Term Challenge at ErgoFiction.  The first story is up… Read it here.  A new story/entry will  be added each day, then when all the stories are up, you can vote for your favourite (it’s all anonymous on the website).  Exciting! 

I thought I had about a million other things to blog about, but it would seem not.  Hmmm.

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!