Tag Archive | lottery

My First ‘Win’

Well, not win, I’m a runner-up – but to me that feels like a win! Every week on her Facebook author’s page, Rowan Coleman’s started a Status Short Story Competition – you have to write a complete short story in just 420 characters – including spaces. On Friday, I was a runner-up (I found out today). Yay. How exciting is that. Not only that, but Rowan chose me for ‘making me laugh the most’ (yes this is a direct quote from Rowan herself).

For the second time, I took a story I already had and shortened it – this time I took the story I did last week for [Fiction] Friday and cut it down to 420 characters. I think it’s a really good exercise in editing – taking something that’s a lot longer down. This week’s started at 616 characters and I got it down to exactly 420. The original (first draft) is here, and the one I used on Facebook is:

I knew it was a mistake the moment it was over, but hadn’t had a choice. I tried not to,but my body ignored my sensible head. I was only answering to myself, but that was bad enough-I was disgraced with myself. It had been fun, magical, amazing. It had been the best thing I’d done in the last 3months. I’d pay for it-but wow-it was worth it! I threw the cake wrapper in the bin, knowing the diet would continue tomorrow

I’m taking today as a very good day – the first of hopefully many winning stories. Hey, look at me being all positive!

Last week I did quite a bit of work on my next writing course assignment – and I’ve been doing some of it today. It’s really hard. Well, I’m finding it really hard anyway. The part I’m working on now is a description of a maternity ward at a hospital. I have to convey the excitement, the joy and the companionship between the mothers. I’m just not very good at describing things – I think mainly because I know I need to SHOW not TELL, but find myself telling. Next is the same hospital, but a geriatric ward. Ugh. Oh well, it’s good I’m being stretched, doing things I’d normally stay well clear of.

I read Della Says:OMG by Keris Stainton this weekend. I had so much travelling on the tube to do, that I literally read it all on the tube. Except the 20 minutes I should have been going to sleep last night but HAD to stay up and finish it.

A year ago I wouldn’t have been interested in reading it – I thought YA books were exactly that – for young adults. Then I started this whole blogging thing and ‘met’ Laura Best – who’d just released a YA novel. And people – adults – were telling her how much they loved it. It thought it was a little weird, but then Laura did a post about adults reading YA books, and I started to reconsider. THEN I bought a book that I hadn’t realised was about teenage girls. But, I read it, and loved it. THEN I read Twilight. All in all, I realise YA can be brilliant. I’m now a YA fan.

And now a massive Keris Stainton fan too – and I’m not just saying that because she’s a lovely person. OMG is written 1st person, present tense. I love books written like this, I feel you connect with the MC more than if it was 3rd or past tense – it’s like you’re there, then (hence the reason my 1/4 written novel is 1st person, present tense). It’s a lovely story about first love… ahhh. If you like any form or romance, I’d strongly reccomend it.

Now though, I’m stuck for what to read next. Really, I should take one of my 80+ books on my TBR pile – but you know that’s not what I’m considering at all. Oh no, I’m considering BUYING more books. I seriously think I have a problem.

I NEED to buy The Girl Who Kicked A Hornet’s Nest, I’ve read the first two millenium books and have promised my step mum I’ll buy this one and lend it to her in the next few weeks (she’s just about to start the 1st one). I also want to join in with One Book, One Twitter (#1B1T), so need to buy that book – American Gods. There’s also a list on a post-it inside my diary of books I know the library’s got, and I want. Then there’s my list on here of books I want to read. And one on Ubernote. He he, I’m so bad. Could do with winning the lottery so I could give up work to just read (and write) all day. Which reminds me, I’ve not checked Saturday’s results…

I’m doing badly at this writing 250 words a day thing. Bad me. I’m going to try VERY hard with it this week. VERY hard 🙂

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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.*

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.

Thriller & Suspense Reading Challenge and other bits

I am soooooo tired.  No, actually I’m sooooooooooooooooo tired.  I wish it was because I’ve been out all night partying or something.  No, it’s because I can’t stop reading my book.  At all.  Especially at night.  When I should be sleeping. I was the same with my last book too, so I’ve not had a decent night’s sleep for over a week.  It’s killing me.

You can now see the book I’m currently reading to the right of my blog.  I saw this idea on Book Chick City’s blog and had to copy it (once the boyfriend was enlisted to work out how to do it!).  In some respects I hope I read very few books this year – then I won’t have to change it often.  (You’ll also see a new button for the T&SRC and my Nano winner one.  Yay!). 

I think I’m going to have to change the layout of this blog – I’d like one with a collumn to the left as well as the right.   The problem is I really like this one.  One day…

Back to the challenge then.  My first book is The Crush by Sandra Brown.  This was not supposed to be my first book.  I saw it on offer in Tesco last week and HAD to buy it.  You know when you read the cover and can’t stop yourself from buying it?  I had that.  It was the right thing to do – it’s brilliant.  As I said, I can’t put it down.  I’m about 2/3 of the way through it – in some respects I want the next 1/3 to go FAST, but at the same time I don’t want it to end!

I have way more than 11 other books lined up for this challenge.  I don’t know how I’m going to decide which ones to read for it.  I keep reading people’s reviews of books and wanting to add them to my list.  The list is way too long.  I think this challenge will be a definite success for me!

I had to return a library book yesterday.  I went there and managed to NOT pick up any more books.  I was tempted – really really tempted.  But (somehow) managed to stop myself.  Maybe it’s the fact I have 2 library books at home to read (and the one I’m currently reading ISN’T a library book); Maybe it’s cause I’m so annoyed at myself for having to pay ANOTHER fine to the library (it’s round the corner from work, I can renew online, and yet I still get fines??!?!  How?!!?); Or maybe (I’m going with this one) it’s because I had a little count up of how many unread books are on my shelf.  64.  64 plus a couple I added after the count that I couldn’t bring myself to add.  64.  That’s like 3 years reading right there (if I read at the rate I read last year – I hope to read many more this year).  AND the problem is, I know for a fact there are at least 5 books that are going to come out in paperback this year so I will HAVE to buy them. 

I need to win the lottery so I can stay home and read all day for the next year or so.  How good would that be.  With a little (lot) of writing too!  Apparently you have to do it to win it?  Who knew?  Will start that one tomorrow.  Wish me luck!