Tag Archive | Facebook

#FictionFriday – 15th April – Facebook Chest Screen

Bex sat twirling the phone cable round her finger while listening to Mary go on and on about… something. There was a wireless phone upstairs, but Bex liked sitting in the window seat of the study while on the phone. At least until her father got home and turfed her out so he could sit at his huge oak desk and get in another four hours of work before bed.

Mary seemed to get to the end of whatever she was talking about – John that was it.

‘So, what’s going on with you?’

Something twisted in Bex’s stomach. Saying it out loud would make it real and she wasn’t sure she wanted to admit this – especially when she wasn’t sure her permanently single best friend would understand.

When Bex didn’t answer Mary prompted her. ‘How’s work? And Adam?’

‘Work’s…’ She thought about it. How was work? She’d spent so long thinking about the Adam situation, and now the Hugh situation she wasn’t really thinking about work. She was just going through the motions. ‘Work’s fine. Busy. Boring. Rubbish. You know same old.’ She paused.

‘And… Adam. Jeez Bex, what’s up with you tonight? Talking to you is like pulling teeth. And I’d know.’ Mary was working at her father’s dental practice for the summer. She was just doing admin, but liked to pretend she was actually seeing patients.

‘Sorry. I’m a bit distracted.’

‘Adam?’ Bex nodded, and then remembered her friend was on the phone.

‘Yeah. He’s still not changed his status, and it wouldn’t bother me that much, but we talked about it a couple of weeks ago. I want every Tom, Dick and Harry to know we’re a couple. I want us to walk down the street and people see our matching status’ rather than his that says single and mine that is just blank.’

‘Maybe you should talk to him again? Tell him how much it bothers you?’

‘Maybe. That’s not the only problem though. Well it’s caused another problem too.’

‘What his status saying single?

‘Uh… no… Mine. Being blank.’

Mary was silent for a second while she tried to process the information. Bex stood up and stretched her legs, she’d been sat on them the whole 30 minute conversation and they were starting to go numb.

Looking down at her legs she was distracted by a notification on her Facebook Chest Screen. Strange, she hasn’t heard or felt it coming in. She’d just have a look.

‘WHAT? Someone thinks you’re single and asked you out?’ Bex dropped her hand – she’d check the notification later.

‘Not just someone…’ She took a deep breath. ‘Hugh.’

‘Hugh?’ Mary asked. ‘Hugh, Hugh, Hugh?’

‘Uhh huh.’

‘Hugh Griffiths Hugh?’

‘Yep.’ However bad a situation it was, she couldn’t help grinning. Hugh Griffiths had asked her out after all.

‘But… But… What did you say?’

‘What could I say? I’ve got a boyfriend. I had to tell him and say no.’

‘What did he say?’

‘He didn’t believe me. He said that anyone in a relationship would have it branded on their Facebook Chest Screen and the fact that my status was blank meant I didn’t have a boyfriend. He thought it was just an excuse I made up.’

Mary broke into hysterics.

‘What?’ Bex asked, not getting the joke. This was horrible, not funny.

‘Hugh Griffiths – the guy you’re had a crush on since you could walk – thinks you knocked him back,’ she said when the giggles subsided. 

‘It’s not funny!’

‘Oh but it is.’ Mary started laughing again. This time it was infectious and made Bex laugh too. In the middle of her laughing fit, she looked down and again saw the notification that had come in. She pressed the ‘read button.’

Adam Spencer has listed you as his girlfriend.

Well, that solved the problems then.

The prompt from Write Anything for this week’s Fiction Friday is:

Set your story where Facebook institutions have been integrated into the norm. ( perhaps people have ‘like’ and ‘comment’ buttons on them? Maybe everyone has a status update on an LED positioned on their forehead?) This prompt was sparked by a FB discussion – so have fun with it!

As always I’ve left it unedited. I’d love to hear what you think.

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(Untitled Blog)

I need to stay away from Facebook. It’s bad for me. Well, it’s bad for my writing. I’ve been saying for weeks that it is my life at the moment that’s conspiring against me from writing and blogging, and for a while it was. But this week, it’s definitely been Facebook. Or more specifically the games on there. I am obsessed with Bubble Spinner. It’s like a game I was obsessed with a uni – which I’ve totally forgotten the name of. I think I’ve got an obsessive personality (apparently it runs in families, and my dad totally has – I had no hope!)

I finished Fear No Evil by Allison Brennan yesterday. I loved it. During the first half, I spent most of the time questioning why I was enjoying it and reading it, when the topic was so nasty and was pretty gory. But the way it’s written just draws you in, and I loved the characters. This book is the final in a trilogy – I’ve not read the first two, but I really want to go back and read them (when I’m not doing an A to Z challenge).  The MCs in the first and second are siblings of one of the MCs in Fear No Evil so I kind of know them, althoug I’m not as keen to read them as I would be if it was the same MC  (Dillon the MC in this one is awesome – you know if it was a film you’d totally fancy him).

I’ve just realised I’m totally behind with my reviews for books for both the A to Z challenge and the Mystery & Suspense challenge. Hmmm. Will have to rectify that sometime. Maybe I’ll wait until I have the week off and catch up then. So far I’ve read 2 for the Mystery & Suspense and A and B for the alphabet one. Or more technically A and A and B. I’m just about to start another B… oops… But… it’s also another for the M&S challenge, so all good. I guess. Kind of.

That paragraph I wrote about Fear No Evil was almost a book review. Hmmmm. Might have to use that!

The next book I’m going to read is Linwood Barclay’s Fear the Worst. I bought it last weekend, but don’t have a clue what it’s about. I bought it totally on the author’s reputation. I’ve read two of his books and loved them, so when I saw another I had to have it.

Imagine… being an author whose books people buy on the knowledge of your writing. Cecelia Ahern, whose book The Book of Tomorrow I read earlier in the month, is the same – I picked that up because I knew I had to read more of her writing if it was available. It didn’t matter what it was about. Marian Keyes, Jane Green, Lisa Jewell and Dan Brown are some of those people. There are more, I know there are more, but I can’t think of them now. 

Ok, I’m off to bed – I have another full day of packing and moving stuff across London (literally all the way across – from North West to South East – we must be nuts!)

Facebook and Twitter… Gone!

Yesterday I was working from another office. At lunchtime my boss called me and told me that Facebook was blocked on the computers in the office. I checked this morning, and it’s true. Life as we know it is over! Actually, I’m quite happy about it. I used to spend far too much time on there, and I lived without it for the first year I was here, so I can live without it again.

Twitter though; that’s a different matter altogether! Live without Twitter? How the hell am I going to do that? I’ll tell you what it does mean – it means I’m going to get more writing done. It means I’m going to read more people’s blogs that I don’t find the time to read now. It probably means I’ll do my new job upstairs better, and without distractions (I’m staying working at the same company when I move jobs).

It’s sad, but it’s not the end of the world. In fact, part of me wishes they’d done this before. Lets face it, if they hadn’t have done it now, I’d be on one of them now, not blogging. Then I’d blog this afternoon, and wouldn’t have time for writing. This way I’ll have all afternoon for writing. Oh, if only it was NaNo this month!

NaNo. Well. Obviously I’m going to have a lot to say about this for the next month. In November I may have nothing to say about it, or anything in fact, as I may be writing a novel and not have time for blogging. I don’t know.

Yesterday I read a really good article over at Write Anything about preparing for NaNo. It scared the hell out of me. I took notes from it, and plan to use them. But… Planning… For NaNo. I’m not talking novel panning here, I’m on that, that’s fine. I’m talking planning when to write, how to write, arranging life to incorporate writing that much EVERY SINGLE DAY. Agghhhh.

Last year I knew I had 10 days off to recuperate from an operation. I’d never had an operation before, so was under the impression I was going to have 10 days at home writing. That was my preparation. I was going to fly through it. Five days after I got back from hospital, when I was still sleeping most of the day, and in agony the rest of the time, I realised this was slightly a wrong assumption.

Turned out I had two weeks off, and only on the last few days was I able to write. Then as it got closer to 31st October I realised I couldn’t do it. I had too many words to write. But, I didn’t want to be a failure. So I pulled a couple of ALL DAY writing days. I mean ALL day. This is my word count graph. It’s not totally accurate as there was at least one day where I didn’t get my word count in until after midnight, so it posted on to the next day. Still… It’s pretty impressive.  

(guess who’s just discovered how to add a picture to a blog!)

I forgot about the other none writing days. At the beginning of the month, I got a stomach bug, and wasn’t up to writing!

This year, I’d like my word count to be more in line with the goal count.

Anyway back to what I was saying. I didn’t prepare last year. Having read the Write Anything article, I think I should this year.

Especially as I worked out something last night. Just before midnight I realised I couldn’t put off writing for NovelPI any longer. With 15 minutes of the day left I started typing. 10 minutes later I had 300 words (50 over my goal for the day – result).

So. If I write 300 words in 10 minutes, to write 1,667 words, I’ll need 55 minutes. And that’s presuming I will just be writing, not thinking. I’ll need A LOT of thinking time too. So basically I need well over an hour a day. Last night that was pretty scary. Today… actually it doesn’t seem too bad.

I’m going to try to get 15 – 30 minutes in each day during my lunch break (work days). Then after dinner, I’m just going to have to write. None of this watching TV rubbish like last night. I guess if I go out in the evening, I’ll stay back at work and do some before I go out. Some weekends will be easy. I have nothing planned, other than working my 2nd job on the Saturday day for a couple of them. Others will be hard, with the job then going out in the evening too. But, I don’t start until 12, which means I can easily get an hour or so in before. Who needs sleep anyway?

Ok, so it’s a lot, but it’s not impossible. I’d like to ‘bank’ some words at the beginning so that if I slip up (I’m thinking hangover here, or not being able to say no to an unexpected night out) I’m not going to get that far behind.

I’ve also got six days holiday to take before the end of the year, so I may take a few to write. I might even go away somewhere for a long weekend and write. Who knows. What I do know, is that I’m GOING to write 50,000 words in 31 days!

Reading, Books and the NaNo Sign-up

I’ve done it again – read another book without updating my side panel. Well, I was reading Husbands by Adele Parks. It was great (it was Adele Parks, of course it was going to be great!). What I liked the most (looking back) was that the ending wasn’t predictable, I love that.

I’ve now started reading a book I’ve been thinking about re-reading for ages. Summer Dreams, Winter Love by Mary Francis Shura. It was my favourite novel as a teenager, in fact it’s the only book I ever remember reading more than once (I think I must’ve read it at least a hundred times!). I was a little worried about picking it up, what if it’s not as good as I remember it being? That will be my favourite book wrecked!

However as I’m hovering round the idea of a YA novel for NaNo, I thought now is a great time to read it!

What has really annoyed me about it, and I’d forgotten, is that there’s writing all over it. When I was a teenager (maybe about 14) I lent it to one of my friends, who proceeded to write notes all over it – joking notes to me from her and another friend. They ruined my book! Not happy. It’s only in pencil, so in theory I could rub it out, but then there’s the risk of creasing the pages etc. How can someone do that to a book?!

Needless to say, I never lent her another book!

So, NaNo! I don’t know what to do. I guess I have ideas, so that’s good; but I have two ideas and am not sure which to go with, not so good.

Months and months ago, my boyfriend came up with a rough idea for a novel. He thought he wouldn’t be able to write it, so told me about it. I loved it, and wrote a rough plan of what could happen, and gave it a totally rocking title. It’s been going round my head ever since, so maybe now’s the time to do something about it?

But…

I’ve got this other idea. It’s a YA, kind of romance/friendship novel. I know a few things about it, and keep thinking up more. I’m really quite excited about this (except the title’s not as good as the other one, in fact I’ve not even really decided on the title yet).

The problem with both is that I’ve not done enough reading in either genre recently (forget the book I’m reading now, I really should be reading current novels, not 20 year old novels!). The problem with the black comedy, is I’m not sure I can write funny. Another problem with both of them is that I don’t know what’s going to happen.

I want to know what’s going to happen because when I wrote Italian Infatuation last year for NaNo, I had a plan of what was going to happen. It wasn’t in that much detail, just: Day 1: blah; Day 2: Blah blah,  etc. As I wrote, I filled in the detail but always knew the overall picture. That maybe why I’m not doing as well with Holiday (I NEED to change the title of that, I hate it) – I know what happens at the end, but no idea in the middle, not even roughly!

My plan to decide which one to write is to sit down and plan them both. From that I hope I’ll see that I’ve got more for one than the other, and will hopefully be more excited about one. Hopefully.

I’ve just been on the NaNo website, and signed up again. That’s it, I’m in, no getting out of it now. Not that I was going to anyway. From 1st December last year (the day after NaNo finished) I knew I’d do it again. There must be something wrong with me.

Let me know if you’re stupid enough to sign up as well, and we can be buddies (I’m Newtowritinggirl!) 🙂

We’re on day 4 of Novel Push Initiative. I’ve successfully completed days 1-3 – woop! I signed up to 250 words a day, and just like last year, I’m doing loads more. I can’t check how many I’ve done, but I must be on 1,000 plus. In just three days. Result.

You may ask why I can’t check? Cause Twitter’s blocked here at work. NOOOOOOOOOOoooooooo! And Facebook. Facebook I think is a great thing, I check it far too much at work, and seeing as I’m about to start a job where I need to work, I’m happy with that. But Twitter???? What am I going to do without my daily (ok, almost hourly then) Twitter fix?? This just goes to prove I NEED to get one of those phones that have excellent internet etc. I’m tempted my an i-phone, but someone very close to me hates them with a passion, and has made various threats if I get one… Hmmm… My current contract’s not up until November so I’ll look then I guess. Oh yes, just in time to be a NaNo distraction – excellent!!

Queen of Procrastination?

At the moment I think I can beat anyone to that title.

I am at home on a Saturday night (as I’m working both weekend days and waitressing tends to tire me out so much I don’t want to do anything else), so really should be taking this opportunity to edit this chapter for the Mills & Boon New Voices competition. You know, the one whose DEADLINE is WEDNESDAY. I’ve been sat at my computer for 2 1/2 hours and guess how much I’ve done? Well, the fact that the paper copy I started editing on Thursday is still in my bedroom and I’m in the lounge should speak for itself.

Not all of what I’m doing is a waste of time, although I agree the games on Facebook and Twittering about silly adverts probably are! I’ve been reading through this week’s Fiction Friday stories. There are some really good ones this week. And I’ve found a couple of author’s blogs I’ve had to add to my Google Reader (like I have enough time to read the ones I’ve got already!).

I’ve also started stressing about how I’m going to find time to write, read all the Fiction Friday stories and other people’s (daily) blogs when I start a ‘real’ (by real I mean busy) job. How do people manage it? I know it’s just a case of managing  my time better. Finishing in the evenings an hour earlier than I used to will make a big difference. I’d often feel that once I finish work, get home, (maybe go to the gym,) cook and eat, that I’ve got no time, or am too exhausted to do anything. It’s only an hour, but it will mean that I’ll have all that finished my 8 rather than 9. At 8 I’ll feel like there’s some of the evening left – so will feel like writing (I hope).

I think what I really need to do is stop watching TV. When I get home from work, I go into the lounge, chat to my housemate (who’s always got the TV on), sit down and am lost in the cr*p of whatever she’s watching. I never really care what’s on (I always let her decide what we watch – that’s how little I care). Then I go to bed. If I can take away the sitting down stage, but go straight to my room, then I should be able to get into writing and catching up with blogs.

It’s just a matter of time management. Something I don’t even try to hide that I’m bad at.

At some point in the next few months my living arrangement have to change (housemate’s selling up, and something more fun too, but more of that further down the line) so hopefully I can use that as an advantage too.

One of the blogs I discovered today is Agatha82‘s. One of her recent blogs was about joining a writer’s group. Yep, that’s raising its ugly head again. How long ago was it I said I’d look into that? And how little have I done. Hopefully the move to a new job, with an earlier finish time will inspire me to do this. I really feel like it’s something I should do.

OK. Enough procrastinating. I must go edit this chapter. I’ve cut a massive section off the beginning, which means that one of my favourite bits can be in the first chapter – in fact, be the end of the first chapter. My problem is that it doesn’t end on a cliffhanger. I would’ve liked it to. But it doesn’t, and I don’t think I can get it to. I guess that’s not a bad thing, I’d just love to leave the reader desperately wanting more. Oh well, lets hope the characters will be enough to get people wanting more!

Just quickly before I go and do my ironing edit the chapter, I’ll share a big problem I’ve got with the novel. My MC’s name is wrong. I thought it was a great name for her – mid 30s, quite sensible, workaholic. BUT, I’ve just realised, that’s not her (through her actions I’ve realised that) it’s just the role she’s been playing since her husband left her for someone else. The name doesn’t suit her. 53,000 words later I realise that. Seriously! I’m toying with Mel. Melanie. But not sure. Oh no, I’ve got four days to work it out.

Right. Now for the bathroom cleaning and washing editing!

Today’s Trashy Titled Blog

I am in a serious bit of agony, and not too sure if I’m going to be able to write a whole blog, let alone anything else today 😦

Over the weekend I may have spent a little too much time playing on silly Facebook games on my laptop (yes the one I left at my Mum’s – I seriously hate that laptop at the moment!). I think that’s caused the back of my shoulder and tricep to be in extreme pain. I can’t think of anything else it could be anyway. *sobs* If only I’d spent the time writing instead of gaming 😦

I did a load of writing yesterday. When I say ‘a load’ I mean something like 350 words. But considering how little I’ve written recently, I’m pretty happy with that. Other than the stories I write for Fiction Friday, I’m pretty much not doing any writing at the moment. It’s rubbish and I can’t seem to break the cycle of not doing anything.

I should be doing so much at the moment. Every other day at work, I do NOTHING (except try to look busy!). I’m going to get to the end of this time here and hate myself for not doing more and wasting such a great opportunity to write etc.

I am doing pretty well with my writing course though. I’m in the middle of reading (well, re-reading) six modules before I can do anything else. Reading’s easy. I can do that. The next bit’s going to be fun too – plotting a novel. I should aim to get that done before I leave this job…

I seem to be spending an almighty amount of time having interviews at the moment – I’ve had one today and have another later on. It’s crazy. Good crazy though. Well, it will be if at least one of them pays off and I get offered a job!

I’ve started reading the book for the Chick Lit Book Club that I’m going to get involved in. I can’t remember if it’s next week or the week after. I’m really excited about this. The book we’re reading is The Wedding Party by Sophie King. To be honest I wasn’t too excited about reading it. I think the cover’s a little to bland for me. Maybe not bland, but… something. It’s not vivid enough, the colours look like they’ve faded. That was my first impression anyway. I’m about 50 pages into it and quite enjoying it. Just goes to show – don’t judge a book by it’s cover!

Rowan Coleman’s Party and My Next Big Challenge

You know sometimes you have days where you just can’t be bothered? Well, today’s one of those days. Ugh. I put it down to a combination of factors: 1: Quite a late night, 2: A very early morning and 3: Too much wine last night. I didn’t have loads, but with the combination of not much sleep I’m feeling a little… groggy shall we say.

And why was I drinking on a school night? Well, that would be because I was one of the lucky few Facebook ‘friends’ of Rowan Coleman’s that got invited to her book launch party. It was great. Every Friday she ‘hosts’ a Status Short Story Competition on FB which I’ve entered many times, and so have lots of her other friends. A lot of them were there last night – it was great meeting so many talented (and nice) people. Rowan herself did a reading from The Happy Home for Broken Hearts and mingled. She’s so nice.

The big downer of  the night though, was that I forgot my copy of the novel, so couldn’t get it signed. Really annoyed about that, but someone pointed out it just means I’ll have to go to the next party so I can get it signed. Damn 🙂

Something Rowan told us really interested me. When sat at the front talking, reading and answering questions, she said how much she hates doing it. She was so good though, and looked so relaxed (maybe the glass of wine helped?). Why I find it interesting is because I think I’d be the same. When I’ve been to this kind of thing before, or heard about people reading their writing out loud, I always freak out at the idea of doing it myself. I hate public speaking. I do it, and once I get over the shakes and the red cheeks, I think I’m pretty much ok at it, but I hate it. It’s nice to know that Rowan hates it too, but does it and looks so fine doing it. It’s inspiring really.

I think the only other thing I want to blog about – is Search Term Writing Challenge II over at Ergo Fiction. I took part in ‘Challenge I’ months ago which was so much fun, so can’t wait to do it again. Although I think the deadline is October, so knowing me and how I work to deadlines, I won’t be doing anything until then!

What is it? I hear you cry! They give you eight random search terms that have been used to find blogs (really weird things people search for) and you have to use at least three in a story. Now, we all know how I like to make life harder on myself that I need to – so last time I decided I HAD to get all eight in. And this time, yep you guessed it, I’m going to try that again. Have a look at the website – it’s really good fun. Plus when all the stories are posted you get to vote for your favourite. Excellent.

Hey. Tomorrow is Fiction Friday. Woopie! There’s ‘homework’ for tomorrow’s. Eek. Well not really ‘eek’. We need to listen in to 10 conversations, or snippets of conversations and use them all in the story. This could be hard. I love a challenge.

Right. Having said I was going to do some writing about five hours ago, I really am now!