Tag Archive | Library

A to Z Challenge – The Struggle with ‘I’ and ‘J’

I finished A.M. Home’s This Book Will Save Your Life last night. I enjoyed it, but in the same was as American Gods (Neil Gaiman) – I have no idea why. Unlike AG, I didn’t spend the whole book wondering what the hell was going on, I spent it wondering what the point was. But, I still enjoyed it, and I got to the ‘can’t put it down’ stage. Weird.

My friend saw I was reading it and commented on it ‘Nothing happens.’ It’s kind of true, but I still enjoyed it.

So that brings me on to letter I. Let me tell you, there aren’t that many authors whose surname begins with I. In Waterstones book store I found a couple. One book slightly interested me, but not all that much. Not enough to spend just £3 on it. 

Today I went to the library. Barbican library is a pretty big one in the heart of LondonCity. In ‘Fiction,’ ‘Romance,’ ‘Sci-fi,’ ‘Fantasy,’ ‘Young Adult’ and ‘Large Print’ I found about 5 novels. None of them really leapt at me. I wondered about for over half an hour and in the end couldn’t decide between 2 – Graham Ison’s ‘Lost or Found’ and Kazuo Ishiguro’s A Pale View of Hills – so I got them both. I still can’t decide. I think I know which I’d prefer, but I’m not 100%. I almost feel like I should read the one I’m not as drawn to, just to read something totally different to normal – isn’t that the point of this challenge? Doing something different.

I don’t know. But I’ll let you know as soon as I do.

I also did something naughty. I picked up another book. It wasn’t too naughty, it was letter J – which will be my next book, but I already had a J. I also already had a J in mind to buy. Uhhh, oops. But the J I have and the J I wanted to buy are by the same author as the J I picked up today – Lisa Jewell. I’ve had After The Party for over a year, but it is a signed copy from when I met her so part of me doesn’t want to read it and mess it up (plus when I got it I was going through a break up and couldn’t handle the idea of a couple breaking up OR staying together in the book I was reading, so couldn’t read it then. Having said that, we’ve been back together 8 months, so that’s a pretty rubbish excuse!). The one I want to buy is her new one The Making of Us. When I met Lisa she was just finishing this and told us all about it, so I’ve spent a year wanting to read it. Which is why I picked up The Truth About Melody Browne today.

I figure if I decide to read After the Party, or buy the other one, I can just take this one back to the library, no worries. This is what I tell myself.

I’ve not done any writing or editing for days and days. I meant to last night, but was just too tired to get any motivation at all. I’m going out tonight, but might stay back at work for half an hour before I go to do some writing. It’s better doing that than saying I’ll do it when I get in – very doubtful.

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Catch Up from the Weekend

I’m being a pretty rubbish blogger at the moment aren’t I? And it doesn’t look to get any better this week – eek! I’ve got good excuses though!

On Saturday I had no plans. None, nothing, nada. I decided I’d stay in bed in the morning reading, then go shopping (clothes shopping, my favourite!) in the afternoon. I’d started Lauren Oliver’s Before I Fall on Friday (I think, maybe Thursday) and was really enjoying it so it sounded like  a great plan.

So I started reading when I woke up, I got so into the book I forgot about breakfast. About 1pm I decided I really should get up and go shopping. I forced myself to put the book down (FORCED – I was loving it) and had a shower. When I got back, I picked up the book, and said I’d read one chapter before getting ready and going. Uh, yeah. That didn’t happen. About 5/6pm I finished the book. I literally spent the whole day reading. Loved it though. I don’t know if I loved the fact I could cause I didn’t have anything else on, or the book more. Either way, I totally recommend Before I Fall, I’d been wanting to read it for ages, and it totally didn’t disappoint me. Was great to be reading a YA novel when I think I’m going to do one for NaNo.

Sunday was race day. I did the Run 10k race down in Crystal Palace. I’d never done anything like that before, but came in at 63 minutes. I could not be happier about that. Sunday I had to take a reprieve day for NovelPI. Luckily every 5 days solid writing you do, you get a reprieve day (I think you start with one too). I literally had no time to write, I got up, went for the run and then… um… went to the pub. For the rest of the day. Hey, I deserved it!

Monday was rubbish. I had the day off, and did nothing. Literally nothing (the hangover wouldn’t allow anything). UNTIL about 10.30pm when I decided I wasn’t going to let a measly hangover (it wasn’t measly in any shape or form) get in the way of my writing, so although I had another reprieve day I could’ve used for NovelPI, I forced myself to write. And I got about 270 words. Which isn’t too bad.

Which then leads to today. Today I started my new job (YAY). New job that I’m actually going to have to work at, so probably not have time for blogging during the day. BOOOO! Or writing DOUBLE BOO! I think when I get into a routine, I should be able to fit in some time at least at lunch, but at the mo I can’t – there’s too much going out for lunch with new colleagues/old colleagues etc. I’ve now got lunch and after work plans for the rest of the week. Normally I wouldn’t complain about having such a hectic social life, but seriously, when am I going to write? OR blog?

I went to the library to get some books today (funny, I’m sure that’s what people do at libraries!). I NEED some more YA books to read before I start mine in November. So, I got: Love Letters: Message in a Bottle by Jahnna N. Malcolme, Are Those My Basoomas I See Before Me? by Louise Rennison and Avalon High by Meg Cabot. The library is great and all, but it doesn’t have many NEW books. These three were the newist I could find that seemed romancey for the age group I’m aiming for. I’m planning on finishing all three before the end of the month. Hopefully that’s an achievable goal!

I think that’s all I have to say for myself right now. Hope you guys are having a good week. Just think a lunch time tomorrow, we’re halfway to the weekend – woop!!!

Someone Take Away My Library Card!

I made a couple of fatal mistakes when going to the library today.

My main reason for going way to finish up my assignment and send it off (I send it from my personal address and surprise surprise Hotmail is blocked at work!). Mistake number one: I realised I hadn’t read it out loud – which I’ve been told is important to do. I didn’t want everyone in the library to think I was nuts, so couldn’t send it off. Damn.

Mistake number two: As I was going there anyway, I thought I’d return the two books I’ve read. Or I thought I would until I got 100 yards from the library (I have no idea of distances, I just think that sounds good) and realised I’d left them at work. Ugh.

Mistake number three: I read the sign on the door. It said ‘Book Sale.’

Now, you may or may not remember what happened last time there was a book sale. It sucked me in and I walked out with… 5 (maybe 6) books. Ah. Well it was fine, I had my assignment to do – I wouldn’t have time to look. Oh. I didn’t do my assignment. I had time to look. BIG MISTAKE!

Yesterday, YESTERDAY I was moaning that I have too many books I want to read NOW. I then, last night, thought of a couple more that I’m desperate to read. So why, oh why did I go near the sale? I think I have a problem!

I did do better than last time. Marginally. I got four books. Which is quite good in the whole scheme of things. But still, four books. They were good ones though. An Adele Parks, a Dorothy Koomson, a Jackie Collins and another that I can’t believe I can’t remember. So kind of all good. If I get time to read them. But still…

SOMEONE TAKE AWAY MY LIBRARY CARD.

Please!!!

Thursday’s Thoughts

I don’t think this whole 30 thing is working for me – or it’s working too much! Every day since my birthday last week I’ve been either going out, really tired or hungover. It’s zapping my productivity. Today for instance, should be putting the finishing touches to my story for Rowan Coleman’s Short Story Competition, but instead am very tired and a little hungover. Why do I do it?

I’ve done edit number one on it. The ending always makes me smile – I love the idea of it, I just hope the twist isn’t too subtle, I’m slightly worried it is. Probably just me being paranoid!

Oh no. I just finished this blog, and internet explorer died. Along with the rest of my blog 😦 I may cry! Actually I’ll go have lunch and come back and carry on. So upset!

Right, so where was I?

Rowan Coleman’s been running weekly mini story competitions via Facebook. Back in May I was a runner-up to one of the weekly competitions. Rowan said because my story made her laugh. Hopefully my story for this main competition will also make her laugh.

Having had this runner’s up position makes me a tiny bit confident about entering the comp. Hearing 33 people entered yesterday ALONE makes me anything BUT confident. Especially as I’m really struggling with a few sentences. I just can’t get them right. Other than that I’m pretty happy about it.

I think of the best things about entering this competition is it will hopefully give me confidence to enter more competitions, and maybe even submit a story to a magazine.

(I’ve just realised – I lost my blog. That’s great. On Sunday I lost my phone – then found it – last night I got home without my keys – but found them this morning. As things happen in 3s I’ve been a little worried about what I’d lose next. Very relieved it’s just a blog – I was having visions of it being my purse).

I went to the library the other day. I’d told myself I was allowed to get out two books. I got three, which to be honest was pretty good for me. I can’t remember what two of them are (yeah, they made that much of an impression!). The third (or first, whichever way you look at it) is The Baby Group by Rowan Coleman (see a pattern to this text?!) I’m maybe 1/5 of the way through it.

Reading it though has made me wonder about the characters in my writing. In this novel there are five women in the baby group – each one is totally different with different personalities, with different things motivating them. I’m worried my characters are all the same. I’m going to have to work on this – maybe for Fiction Friday tomorrow. If I get this Rowan Coleman story done in time.

Right off to start on draft 3 of this short story!

Reading… Writing… And Thanks…

I’m not a happy bunny today! When I left work yesterday, one of the computers crashed. Apparently EVERYTHING on the hard disk has been lost. Let me repeat EVERYTHING. So all the writing I’ve done over the last few months that I’ve not emailed to myself or saved in my email drafts, or done on another computer has been lost. The worst thing about it is that I was going to save everything yesterday to my USB stick, but it didn’t work. How typical.

I think it’s not as bad as I’m imagining. I think most of the time I either email myself what I’ve done, or store it as a draft. But I can’t remember what was on there to remember to look for it. How annoying.

The thing I’m most annoyed with is a 2000 odd word thing I’d written about meeting a stranger in an airport. I really liked it and thought it could maybe fit into one of my novels, ‘Holiday’. Because it was so long and took me a few days to do, I thought it must be saved somewhere on my emails (I work on 3 different computers at work so am constantly moving round), but I can’t find it. I think I saw it yesterday on the computer that crashed. Damn. I’m sure I’ll find it, but it’s so annoying. I hope I will anyway.

I finally sat down last night and did the 1st draft of my story for Rowan Coleman’s Short Story Competition. 907 words. I don’t think I read it back, so I have no idea what it’s like. I’m going to leave it today, then go back tomorrow (when, fingers crossed, I’m less tired and it’s not ‘fresh’ in my mind).

I wanted to re-read the module on my writing course about short stories before I wrote it, but typically can’t find that booklet. I’ve written to my tutor to get an online password so I can access it online. I thought I’d done that but neither of my email addresses worked. Sigh.

Which reminds me, writing course. Damn, I had a goal to work on that for at least 2 hours a week (I think). I failed miserably on that one. Oops. It was my birthday week though, so I think I can let myself off on that – I’ll try to do double this week to make up for it!

Speaking of Rowan Coleman, I’m going to the library to get one of her books today. I figure seeing as I’m entering her competition I should read some of her work. I’ve read one of her mini novel, quick read things, which is how I heard of her, that was great. I’m planning on walking out with one book only. Lets see if I can manage that (I bet not!).

That’s a complete lie. I’ve just been through the list I have on Ubernote of books I’ve heard of that I want to read (yeah, I’ve got a different list to the one on here – I should update this one!) and found that my library has one of the books on my list. What am I to do? I’ll have to get that one too. So 2. MAX. No more. Just 2. We’ll see…

I wrote my 500th comment last night on this blog. I know I’ve not actually had 500 comments, I know a lot of them are mine, but still, I must have had a lot. I like to reply to them all, but sometimes I group reply. Thanks everyone who comments, it’s so nice to know people care enough to take time out of their day not to just read my blog, but to comment too 🙂

Something Strange…

… seems to have come over me today. I was walking back from the library (I know…) and thinking that I’ve never written a story that’s idea came from people talking in the street/on the train/tube/in a coffee shop. I hear that’s how a lot of writers get ideas, so was thinking I should try it.

All of a sudden (well, not really suddenly) two people were walking towards me. I heard the women say ‘Her name was Maria, but…’ I didn’t hear anything else. So my mind went into overdrive and after discounting an idea where Maria was actually Martin, I thought of a story. Two hours and 1,600 odd words later it’s all on paper. Roughly, but it’s there. And there’s a pretty pleased with herself person typing this.

I may have to try that more often. I do think that sometimes, usually when I’m sitting on the tube. But, not that many people actually talk on the tube, and even less speak in English! Still, it’s obviously something well worth doing.

Back to the library then. I had to go today and take some books back. *stifles giggle as knows what’s coming next* I returned three… and got out… wait for it… only two. Wow. That’s pretty good for me. Last time I went there with the intention of getting nothing I came out with 4 books – although they were mini read small books, so really the amount of time it took me to read them, they should only count as one.

One of the books I got today isn’t even fiction – it’s an Italian translation book. Hey, have I mentioned I’m going to Rome? I may have done. Did I mention I go a week tomorrow!  Wooo Hooooo! So, yeah, one language book. The other one is Love Lies by Adele Parks.

It’s no small coincidence that the book I’m reading now is an Adele Parks and the next one I’m going to read is by her too. The current one is ‘Mrs Whippy’ one of those short novellas that I picked up. It’s great, and it reminded me that I’ve still not read Love Lies and that I know they have it at the library. Yay for libraries.

Right, I suppose I should go and do some work now. I love having a job where I can write so much if I want to; next time I complain about the hours or the pay (which is actually pretty good when you consider how little I do), I’ll have to remember today. Oh, and every Friday where I spend a LOT of time writing!

Orange Skin Eating Aliens and Other Random Thoughts

I really hate thinking up titles. ‘Orange Skin Eating Aliens and Other Random Thoughts?’ Seriously? Come on…

I came up with what I thought was a great title for my last writing course story ‘A Match Made at Dinner.’ I thought it was a pretty clever play on words for the expression A Match Made in Heaven. Uh, well, my mum didn’t really agree, but I ignored her and sent it off. Then my tutor thought it was ‘Sloppy’ or something. Ah well. I try.

So what is this Orange Skin Eating Alien? *sniggers* Well, I was following a prompt from Novelkicks which said you have to use ‘orange’ in your first sentence. My brain’s first thought was of pretty Orange trees. But a description of an Orange tree in a first sentence? Nah, that’s not going to work. So… An alien eating an Orange skin would? Kinna. As long as it doesn’t have to go anywhere. Although I think it’s maybe a good beginning for a children’s book. You know, to add to the long list of possible books I’d like to write.

I should have done the lottery last night. I really don’t have time in my life for this work thing. (She says having been at work for nearly three hours and having done maybe 30 minutes work! – I am lucky, I know I am).

At the beginning of the week I decided I was going to make myself write 250 words a day. Every weekday and TRY really hard to do the same at the weekend. Monday was a washout, but I figure I had the idea on Monday – didn’t want to wear myself out (actually I’ve just though of that excuse, it’s a good one, I’ll use that one again!) So nothing Monday, Tuesday I did 270 odd words, yesterday I did (*goes to check*) 367 plus a few extra, and today I’ve hit 262, plus I’ve finished a story in 420 characters. So all in all, I’m doing pretty damn well this week. I think I’ve blogged every day too. Wow, that’s good. Must be spring giving me a little lift 🙂

Book update 2:

I finally went to the library yesterday to return the book I stopped reading after 70 pages. I had a list of three books I wanted to pick up, but was going to try to stop myself. Well. I semi failed, semi succeeded. On the list were two full length novels and one 70 page (with large print) novel. When I got there I realised it would be wrong to leave with nothing – so I decided on the short novel. Which would’ve been great if I just walked out with that. But I found lots in the collection of short books that I wanted to read – and walked out with four. Uh, yeah, I know. So last night when I didn’t go to the gym (bad knee), I also didn’t read the novel I’ve started and I didn’t read the modules I need to for my writing course; I read one of the books I picked up.

The collection of books are ‘Quick Reads’ which are:

…ideal for regular readers wanting a short, fast read, and for those who have lost the reading habit or find reading tough. They are short, sharp shots of entertainment.

(Taken from the Quick Reads website you can find here).  How great’s that? They are short too. The one I was reading last night (Woman Walks into a Bar by Rowan Coleman) took me just over an hour to read – maybe a little longer – but basically it was very short. I love that idea and can’t wait to read more. I just hope I can stick to these four, then not get more when I return them. Doubtful, but hey.

*Helen and Walt if you’re reading, I haven’t forgotten I promised I’d blog about the pros and cons I read about posting fiction online. I will do it, I just need to find the posts again. It’s on my to be done list.*