Tag Archive | Marian Keyes

Writing, Reading and Editing (or not?)

Ok, so I’ve done my writing for today. I’m trying for 250 a day, so 445 is good right? Does it matter that I’m going to delete 223 of them? I think I still wrote them so they should count – right? It’s not like this is NaNo where I need a certain number by the end of the month – it’s just to encourage ME to write. Right?

I’ve started this week’s Fiction Friday piece already. One of my FF buddies Walt always does his at the beginning of the week so when I was chatting to him yesterday I though I’d give it a crack starting then – rather than what I usually do which is read it for the 1st time and write it on Friday (god knows what I’ll do on Friday).

I’m not too sure where I’m going with it. I started it yesterday with a bit of an idea, but halfway through the idea changed. When I read it back today (all 150 odd words of it) it didn’t make that much sense as the idea changed in the piece, but I carried on with it anyway. Then I decided I couldn’t carry on anymore, so cut more than half of it, and started over. I think this idea’s working better.

I’ve never done that before. For Fiction Friday’s stories I always write and write until I feel I’ve done enough, or I have a finished story. I’ve never gone back and changed it. I feel sad for the words I’ve cut out. Sad that the idea’s gone.

I think maybe that’s why I’m struggling to start editing Italian Infatuation (yeah, you might remember that name – I’ve not written ANYTHING about it for ages and ages!). Ok, I started editing, but got to what, maybe page five? And pages one to four all need to be scrapped. I think I don’t want to delete so much. It’s sad they got written but will just get thrown away. Although the first few hundred will probably creep up somewhere in the future.

I started reading The Memory Collector by Meg Gardiner last night. When I was on the 3rd page I realised I’d read that bit before. My heart sank – had I read the book before? I racked my brain and couldn’t think of anything else about it except this scene. Then I remembered I must have read the first chapter on Meg’s website. Or Amazon. Or somewhere. I nearly wept with relief. I’ve done that before – bought a book then realised I’d already read it.

I’ve also done the opposite and not read a book cause I think I have – but am not sure. I’ve probably done that loads actually, but I’m specifically thinking of Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married by Marian Keyes. I think I’ve read it, but may be getting mistaken with watching the TV program it was made into. But I don’t remember any of it. I bought it from the library when they had a sale months ago, but haven’t picked it up, cause you know, I may have read it.

It’s only 10 days until the closing date for Rowan Coleman’s Short Story Competition. I have my ideas and bits and pieces written so far, but I can’t seem to make myself actually write anything properly. I think it’s cause although I love the idea of my story, I don’t know if there’s enough meat to it. I need dialogue, but I’m not sure how I’m going to get it in there. I guess I’ll never know if I don’t try!

I’ll go have a break, then start it when I get back.

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Books, Books, Books… and Trouble?

I am so excited right now, for a million different reasons.  There’s so many things, I don’t know which to tackle first.  I think I’m going to go chronologically. 

I went to the library at lunchtime today.  Now, we know I have a slight problem with the library – I go and pick up books.  Too many books. But I promised myself I’d be good.  I had a purpose – well 3 purposes – I was going to stick to them and not even look at another book. 

I so nearly did it too.  I got the book I needed (see below), I got the DVD I needed (Grey’s Anatomy – Series 3 – Easter viewing) and I was on the way to the computers to check my emails.  As I was walking across the room, I saw a sign that couldn’t be ignored.  It said SALE.  Uh oh. 

I picked a book up, and found it was 50p.  Yes, 50p.  So I picked up another and another… until I had 5 in my hand (excluding the one I went in for).  Eek.  5 books.  Even as I stood by the sale table I knew I shouldn’t do it.  But I couldn’t help it.  I actually tried to put one of them back down, but I couldn’t.  Oops.

But – I got 5 books for £2.50.  That’s damn good.  And, there’s 3 authors I’d not heard of – so it’s almost like research… Kind of.  I’ve got: Addition by Toni Jordan (which I started reading in the library – such a good 1st page), Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married by Marian Keyes, Famous Writers School by Steven Carter, An Offer You Can’t Refuse by Jill Mansell and finally Members Only by Leonie Fox.

So that was exciting.  If not a little worrying because I know my other half is going to kill me.   Then, I get back to work and someone from Facilities asks me if I’m New2WritingGirl.  Hmmmmm.  How did they know?  Why?  Apparently there was a package for New2WritingGirl (NewToWritingGirl was one digit too many for a Twitter name).  Woop!  I won a competition on Twitter from the lovely people @PiatkusBooks  and that was the prize pack.  Double Woop.  I’m now the proud owner of: What French Women Know: About Love, Sex and Other Matters of the Heart and Mind by Debra Ollivier, Straight Talking by Linda Blair; The Price by Alexandra Sokoloff and Everyone is Beautiful by Katherine Center.  Seriously I am so excited – they all sound so good.  AND as 2 of them are non-fiction I can totally read them at the same times as a fiction book.  Woop!

So now a couple of people from the facilities department know about my blog and my Twitter account.  I am anonymous no more.  I thought that would bother me, but as more and more people read my work and comment on it, I’m starting to care less and less if people find out about my ‘other life.’ 

Also exciting.  I bought another book today.  Well, it’s really a novella, and it’s an ebook.  Does that make it better?  Kait Nolan is a writer whose blog was one of the first I started to follow when I started blogging myself.  She finished a novel last year and asked the Twitterverse if anyone wanted to Beta read it.  I volunteered, but before I got half way through she decided she had to re-write it completely.  I was a little gutted as I was enjoying it.  A few months later she decided to scrap it altogether.  Again I was gutted. 

But, now, she’s just released a novella at various places including Smashwords.  It’s called Forsaken by Shadow and I can tell you, it’s pretty damn good.  I’ve been reading it this afternoon and am really enjoying it.  I was getting really frustrated as I was on the switchboard at the time so people kept calling up and interrupting me.  Damn people.

I totally forgot to mention the reason I went to the library other than for Grey’s Anatomy and to use the internet (which after the excitement of all the books, I totally forgot to do).  I found this great website called Novel Kicks – it’s an online writers group that looks really fun. They’ve got a book club and for their April read they’ve chosen The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters.  I joined so will be reading this shortly – the library stocked it so I had to go get it. 

I’ve got to say, I’m not too sure if I want to read it – purely cause I don’t read things that will scare me.  And I’m pretty sure this will.  I don’t know why I don’t – I used to.  In fact I used to LOVE all the Point Horror books as a teen – but somewhere between then and now I stopped reading them.  But, I said I was going to join the reading group, so I’m going to read it.  I just won’ t be reading it alone in the house, or alone on the way home in the dark. 

Waterstones are holding a ‘Tweetup’ (Twitter Meet up for those not in the know) tonight, which I want to go to.  My boyfriend’s dropped out and none of my friends want to go.  I know I should go on my own, but I’m not that good at things like that.  No I think it’s that I’ve never been to anything like that so don’t know what to expect and if it’s going to be people in groups then little old me alone, I don’t really want to go.  But I know I want to.  I’m half telling myself that I’ve taken a LOT of big steps into the unknown recently – blogging, writing, putting my work out there for others to read – that I should take another one.  But then at the same time, I’m thinking I’ve done so much I don’t need to do this too.  I can’t decide.  Agh! It might actaully be too late when I get there… Is that a good excuse not too?

Cold Monday’s woes!

So much for blogging this weekend.  Saturday= hideous hangover.  Sunday= work + helping boyfriend move.  Therefore no blogging or writing. 

I still haven’t made any decisions over what I’m going to work on next.  I want to do holiday, but there’s just something stopping me.  I’d quite like a small project to work on next – maybe a short story or something, but I don’t seem to have any ideas.  Is this the lull that people say can occur after NaNo, or is it just me being lazy?  From tomorrow, no today actually, I’m going to set myself a 250 word a day goal.  I know I can do that pretty easily, I managed it in October anyway, so should be able to do it.  Work’s pretty quiet at the moment so I have the time (although I’ll use the excuse I’m spending a lot of time looking for Christmas presents on the internet so using it wisely!).

I’ve not got very far with the book I’m reading.  It’s Dan Brown’s Digital Fortress.  I like it so far, it’s almost started as a love story, which is a great way to get me hooked!  I’m not sure I’m going to understand it, I don’t understand the synopsis on the back cover, so who knows how I’m meant to understand the book.  We will see.

Meg Gardiner asked her readers on her blog today, what were their favourite books they read this year.  When I first read it I though that would be a great question, that I’d read loads of books, and it would be great fun going through them all to find which were my favourite.  Oh dear.  I’ve actually only read (or recorded here anyway) 17 books this year.  That’s shocking, I swear I used to read about 3/4 a month.  I need to step up on my reading next year. 

I then read through my list of books, and found that I read quite a lot of books that I wasn’t very impressed with, and loved?  Not many.  I wanted to do as other people had done and create a top ten.  I can’t put my hand on my heart and say I have 10 favourite books of 2009.  Out of the 17 I’ve read, I really enjoyed 3 and only loved 3.  6 out of 17.  That’s terrible.  The rest were either terrible (only a couple) or just ok.  The three I loved are:

The Dirty Secrets Club by Meg Gardiner

High Society by Ben Elton

This Charming Man by Marian Keyes

And the three I really enjoyed are:

Singletini by Amanda Trimble

Brown Girls by John Wesley Ireland

Perfect: Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard

Not much to show for a year’s reading. But at least there’s six I really enjoyed.  I will read more next year!  Better stop this and go read some….

Library user

I am now an official user of the library.  I went there during my lunch break and got out 5 books.  I was pretty impressed I didn’t get more – you can have up to 12.  12 books – imagine…

I got a couple of books for holiday preparation: one on France and one on North Italy (anyone guess where I’m off to…?); and three fiction books:

The Dirty Secrets Club by Meg Gardiner

Thanks for the Memories by Cecelia Ahern and

Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married by Marian Keyes.

I’m so excited!  Lots of reading.  They’re not all to read on holiday (I’m sure the man will be glad to hear!) but it gives me a choice of reading material (if I get a chance to read at all).  The Meg Gardiner is off my ‘To read’ list, so that’s good, the others are just ones I saw there and fancied.  I just need to finish the book I’m reading now. 

I did something I’ve never done before yesterday.  I was waiting for some family members at the tube (we were going for a drink), with nothing to do.  I was a little bored and looked down at the folder I was carrying and found a note pad.  So… I did a little bit of writing.  Granted not much, but every little helps.  Maybe this could be a start of extra writing.  If I can remember to do this every time I’m waiting, or have some spare time I could increase my word count a month by loads.  And probably think up quite a few scenes.  I was proud of myself. 

Well that’s about it for today – short and sweet as they say.  I’m going on holiday Saturday morning, so may be too stressed/busy to blog tomorrow, then who knows when I will after that.  As I said before I’m not going to put any pressure on myself to blog when I’m away, but who knows, I might really want to.  We’ll see…

Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom

Wow, a semi decent title.  It’s only taken me seven or so months of blogging to get one.

I’m going to the Science Museum’s adult only night tonight.  I’m so excited.  It’s reminded me that my first visit there was in order to write a review for my first writing course assignment.  I wrote it, but it was double the length it was allowed to be, so in the end I went somewhere else and reviewed something else.  After sending the assignment in, I said to myself that I would continue to review places I went to, for practice writing different things.  I haven’t.  I think I might do one when I get home tonight/tomorrow.  I’ll definitely make notes on it anyway!

I left my book at work last night, so no reading on the tube home or coming to work this morning.  Don’t you just hate it when that happens! Especially when you’re reading a really good book.

I’m trying to practice touch typing, but it keeps making my arms ache.  I must be doing something wrong.  I need to find out the ideal sitting position to type, and do it.

I did some free writing this morning.  It turned into something very strange for me.  It was the beginning of a thriller. What?  Something that’s not chick lit?  Whatever is the world coming to?  I don’t think it will go anywhere as I can’t imagine I’d be able to think up enough to go in a thriller story.  I do envy good thriller writers, I can’t imagine being able to think up something that keeps readers on the edge of their seats for a whole novel.  Maybe one day, who knows where my writing journey will take me.

I’ve just found out Marian Keyes has a new book coming out in October.  Oh my god, and Cecelia Ahearn.  That’s my Christmas presents sorted!

Ok here’s something I’ve been meaning to write about.  And something I feel I’m missing.  Have you notices that a huge number of chick lit authors (the main ones I read) are Irish?  Is there something in the water over there that makes them amazing story tellers?  Would I have more success if I was Irish?  Should I move over there and pretend I am?  It’s strange isn’t it!

This is not a good idea.  The library I joined yesterday has an online catalogue.  I’ve just spent the last 10 minutes looking at it to find books, I’ve just added loads to my ‘to read’ list.  Damn, I’ll never get though it now!

322 – the number of untitled blogs today

Damn.  Damn, Damn, Damn.  I’ve just worked out I’m not going to meet my goal number of blogs this month, unless I blog twice in one day and both days at the weekend.  Not going to happen.  Especially as I’m working the second job BOTH weekend days! Sigh.  Oh well, I’m still writing regularly and quite a lot so I’m happy.

I know I wrote the other day about my excitement about a new book that’s just come out by Sophie Kinsella.  I think I did anyway.  I really want it to come out in paperback before my holiday in September so I can take it and read it then.  Yesterday I found out that Jane Green has a new book coming out soon too.  I love Jane Green.  She’s in my top three favourite authors (Sophie Kinsella and Marian Keyes being the other two).  In fact I might go out on a limb and say she is my favourite author.  I read one of her books once that changed my life.  Not in a major way, but it made me realise something which led to something else.  So she does awesome chick lit, but I actually gained from it too.

I would love it if one day someone got excited (other than family and myself) that I was releasing a new book.  Imagine knowing someone was looking forward to reading something you wrote.  That’s my dream.

But it’s a long way away.  Short term I’ve made a decision about work that is going to screw up my writing time I have during the day.  But as I don’t seem to be doing too much at the moment it’s not too big a problem.  I just hope I’ll find time to keep blogging.

Haha, if someone had have told me six months ago I’d be a regular blogger, I would have laughed at them.  I knew pretty much nothing about blogs etc and would never have believed I’d start doing it too, let alone enjoy it.  And an avid reader of other people’s.  Funny how things happen.  Having this blog definitely inspires me to write, whether it be on here or actual creative writing. 

I wish something would inspire me to do some of my next assignment for my course.  I’m not really inspiring myself.  Maybe I need to choose another topic, maybe this one just isn’t interesting me enough and I could get on better if I choose something that will interest me more.  I need to do some brainstorming.  Sigh.

Nearing month end…

Only a couple of days left until the end of the month.  This poses a couple of questions.

1.  Where the hell is 2009 going?  We’re now 1/3 of the way through it.  Wow.  When I was younger people used to tell me that time started going faster the older you get.  That is so true.  I dread to think how quickly it will go when I’m 50!  Or 70?

2.  How did I get on with my goals for April?  Pretty well. 

Today’s post makes 14 this month – my target.  If I can squeeze in a few more I can go way over my target. 

Last week I reached my total for words written.  I’m really impressed with that.  I thought 6,000 would be a hard target to reach, seeing as I’ve not done any proper serious writing for years.  I found it quite easy though.  It helped that I tried the writing for 5 minutes every hour while at work.  Although I only managed to do this about once, it kept writing in the forefront of my mind.  Therefore when I had some spare time, I started writing. 

I finished reading This Charming Man by Marian Keyes and wrote my review of it (https://newtowritinggirl.wordpress.com/what-im-reading/this-charming-man-by-marian-keyes/)

I read the next three modules of the writing course.  I’ve not made notes which is something I’d like to do, but not top of my priorities.

Assignment two.  Ah.  Um.  No.  I’ve started to review a magazine.  Yeah, not getting on too well with this.  Need to give myself a kick to get me going on this.  I have been thinking about it quite a lot.  I have done some research into the kind of magazines I think I could write for.  Step up on this next month (and the last couple of days of this month).  I do carry  the magazine I’m currently reviewing round with me.  Does that count as a step in the right direction?

Writing down dreams/day dreams. I’m not too sure how I’ve done with this.  I’ve written a few down on scraps of paper lying around as I’ve thought of them.  Or sent myself emails with the details or even saved them as drafts on here.  I’ve not as yet put them in order so I have no idea how many I’ve written down.  I’m getting semi good at it.  I probably write them down every 3 or 4 days.  Better than nothing!

All in all I’m quite happy with my progress, especially as I only really had half the month to action them.  I presume that means I have to double my plan for next month?  Or more than double it to push myself?  My priority must be my next assignment.