Tag Archive | Rowan Coleman’s Short Story Competition

Flying Pigs

Oh. My. God. Rowan Coleman’s Short Story Competition CLOSES on FRIDAY. And where am I with my story? Well, I can’t tell you that cause my memory stick isn’t working on my computer here at work. And typically that’s where it’s stored!  That’s so annoying.

So, yeah. I really need to get a move on with this story. 4 days. Eek. Agh. Ahhhhhh!

Should be writing, not blogging…

Really should be…

But I can only access the story from home, so may as well carry on with this blog (don’t say I never try though!).

I’ve read so much this weekend. I had to work Saturday and Sunday on job numero 2, which was horrible, but it mean that I spent more than an hour on the tube a day – reading time! Plus the weather was so nice when I got home on Saturday, I went and sat in the park with my book. That means I’ve nearly finished The Memory Collector by Meg Gardiner.

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Ok, I’ve just had a break and finished it. I’m pretty sure a thriller like that isn’t supposed to make you cry – especially not when you’re sat in the work canteen. I always see it as a good thing though – it means I’ve connected with the characters and I care. I did. Her next book in the series, Liar’s Lullaby, is available to buy now too. Can’t wait to read it!

Damn, I’ve just realised I need to do a review for The Memory Collector for my Thriller & Suspense reading challenge. Not until I’ve done my short story for Rowan Coleman.

I’m pretty sure that’s all I can waste my time writing about. I’ve been doing an early shift today, which means I will actually have an evening to myself tonight. I’ve been planning on going to the gym, but my back’s hurting so I’m not sure if it’s a good idea. Maybe I’ll go home, have dinner and write. Maybe pigs will fly… (and you were wondering where the title came from.)

I got told off yesterday by my ex for not updating my T&SRC (Thriller & Suspense Reading Challenge) page. A while ago I asked him to add more linky things (I can’t get my head around it, and with a friend like him, I luckily don’t need to!), and he did. And I’ve done nothing with them. So today, like a good little girl, I made a list of all the novels I’ve read for it, and which ones I need to review for the challenge. Uh.. well… I need to do three. Ugh.

I’m not the world’s biggest fan of book reviewing. I don’t know why, I’m just never sure what to write that doesn’t consist of ‘I love this’ or ‘I really liked that’, I think I always sound uneducated and ridiculous (not really selling my blog here for when I do a review am I?). I think it’s one of those the more you do the better you get things. With three books to do (plus another when I’ve finished my current book) hopefully I’ll get better at it – and more confident.

I’m really proud of my achievements today. I decided last night I NEEDED to be more productive at work – in the sense of doing things for myself, not work-work, I’m very productive there – so first thing I did when I got here was to write a list. Here’s how my list looks as of now:

  • Apply for a job
  • Apply for a job
  • Edit section 1 of writing course assignment
  • Edit section 2 of writing course assignment
  • Finish story for Fiction Friday this week
  • Make list of books to review for T&SRC
  • Text 2nd job boss for hours this w/e

It’s not brilliant, but it’s pretty good. 4 out of 7 items done. I’m happy with that. It’s it so predictable the writing course items are the ones not done. I’ll try to get some done after the gym tonight!

The whole finish the story for FF is a little unfair not to cross off. True, I’ve not finished it, but I have written 1200 odd words towards it – it’s turning into something much bigger than I thought it would be. I’ll have to finish it tomorrow, but inside I FEEL like I’ve ticked it off.

Also today, I’ve spent quite a lot of time on Twitter and Google Reader, reading and commenting. I’ve not done much commenting for a while and I miss it. I’ve done lots today.

I don’t think I’ve written about how much I love this Google Reader thing. Laura Best told me (and the world on a post which I’m not going to be able to find in the time I have available) about the wonders of GR – how you can have all your blogs you like to read in one place. I’ve always had the WordPress ones here on my blog surfer, but never really followed anyone else’s – cause you know, how would I get to them, know when they’ve posted etc. In fact that’s actually one of my reasons for loving Twitter – some people tweet when they have a new blog (me!). Now with GR I can import (I don’t know if that’s the right word) all the blogs I want to read to one place. It’s AMAZING. Except I’ve not been keeping up with it when I add people so I have like 3 million unread posts. Ok, maybe not 3 million, maybe just 165. That’s enough.

Tomorrow I HAVE to enter Rowan Coleman’s Status Short Story Competition on Facebook. I think it’s maybe a month or so since I entered it. That’s bad. I just can’t think of such small stories. I’ll have a long think tonight. Or tomorrow morning.

I also need to crack on with Rowan Coleman’s Short Story Competition. The real one to win mentoring with her and stuff. I don’t know why I can make myself sit and write 1200 words for a ‘nothing’ story, but when I have one I NEED to write for a competition, I can’t make myself sit and do it. I think the fact that it is such a SOMETHING story is a bit scary, so I keep putting it off for other things I say I ‘need’ to do. I notice my excuses for not doing it get more varied every day. I’ll be so mad at myself if I don’t do it.

Tomorrow. I will do it tomorrow. Or over the weekend. I need to check the closing date actually. I think it’s about a week away. Eek. Oh well, at school I always left things to the last minute and I got through – I’m sure I can pull this off!

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.

July Joy

The sun is shining, the weather is hot, it’s July, nearly my birthday, and the first day for my July Goals. A day to be positive I feel.

I had a bad day yesterday, loads of glum work stuff and was feeling a bit down with lack of progress on the new job front. Thankfully a friend took me out for dinner and reminded me what I want and am trying to achieve.

I’m doing a creative writing course. I’m writing lots on the side. That’s what I want to do. I want to write. My day job is just getting me through until I can make money from writing, or I realise I can’t. Either way, it’s temporary. It’s a way of making ends meet.

When I started the course last year, I decided I’d stay in my boring, pretty poorly paid job while I do the course. I’d try to make writing a career, and make money from my JOB. Somewhere along the line I forgot that, I’ve been thinking I need a career now. I don’t – I need a job. I want to walk away at 5pm with no thoughts of work, so I can write at home. That’s what I want.

I feel so much better today realising that. I’ve already applied for one job (that actually sounds pretty good) and am aiming to apply for at least one more today, on top of writing, going to the gym and reading. See, look, when I put my mind to it, I can achieve anything. Well, I can achieve lots anyway, maybe not ANYTHING.

Today, as well as all the above, I’m going to be eavesdropping. All in the name of writing. Over at Bugged they’re holding an actual Creative Eavesdropping Day. Today participants must listen in to other people’s conversations, and create a story from something they hear. They then have until August to send it in. Good things get posted on the site, great things get put in an anthology, 10 amazing things go in a book. Wow. Right people of London, be prepared, to be heard!

As I’m mentioning competitions, it’s probably a good time to mention the Rowan Coleman’s Short Story Competition I’m going to be entering. 1000 words on ‘Starting Over’. I’ve got my idea. I’ve roughly written 250 words. I just need to finish it. I’m worried about getting dialogue in it. I think stories are better with dialogue, but it’s going to be hard to get any in, without giving away the twist. I will be trying though. Maybe I’ll work on that this afternoon. Or tomorrow, after Fiction Friday. Woop for Fridays!

I’m going to have to change my ‘about’ section on here, and am gutted about it. It currently reads ‘I’m a 20 something ‘new to writing girl.’ ‘ From Monday, I won’t be 20 something anymore – no, I turn 30 then. (hence the reason for my little stress yesterday). It’s going to have to change to ‘early-30s’ or ’30 yo’ or something. Eek. Oh well, I’ll think about that next week.

Right. Lunch. Ear-wigging. Excellent.

Another Evening Blog

I have honestly not had any time to blog over the last two days. I know sometimes I use that as an excuse, when I probably could’ve done – but this time I really haven’t. Work’s been busy, and I’ve been using any quiet time there to job hunt. I’ve applied for I think 4 or 5 jobs and sent my CV off to an agency. Considering it takes me about an hour to edit my CV and cover letter each time, I’m pretty happy with that.

I have managed to do writing over the last couple of days. On Tuesday I started writing from a prompt from Novelkicks: ‘Your flight is delayed so you sit next to a stranger.’ I love this prompt. I’m now on day 3 of using it to write, and I think about 1,100 words in. Pretty good. I’m really enjoying it. I’m trying to use it as practice at both describing someone and describing fancying someone you just meet. That’s an important part of Italian Infatuation, so good practice. Although I like what’s happening so much, I’d like to at some point use it for something. I was thinking it would fit pretty well into Holiday (the novel I’ve written about 20,000 words of), the MC is a lot like the MC here. I’m not sure if or how I could put it in, but it’s a thought.

I finished 1984 on Tuesday night. I was really impressed with it. I loved the way George Orwell wrote it, and loved the story. I was a tiny bit disappointed at the ending, but I think it was the right ending. I’ll definitely be reading more Orwell. I’ve got to be honest, I don’t get the political references in the novel, but as a story I liked it and don’t have a problem with my ignorance. There is part of me that wants to understand, but that bit is taking its usual step back in order for me to do other things. One day…

I’ve started a new book, which I am LOVING. It’s What My Best Friend Did by Lucy Dawson. From the first paragraph I was totally drawn in, and by the end of the first chapter I was hooked. It ended with the MC wishing her best friend that was in intensive care would die… I don’t even have the words to describe how I feel about that, except: I have to read more. It’s getting more intense as it goes through, and I think I’ve just worked something out, that’s going to keep me hooked until the end. How? What? Why? Or Why Not? It’s just really good.

I’m planning on finishing it this weekend, because I want to start American God’s by Neil Gaiman early next week. It’s the first book that’s been chosen for the Twitter experiment One Book One Twitter. The plan is to get as many people as possible on Twitter to read the same book. I have no idea how many people are reading over the eight weeks it’s taking place – but it’s about to be one more! To be honest it’s not a book I would’ve chosen to read myself, which I kind of think is a good thing. Already the experiment is great for me – it’s broadening my horizons.

I’ve just ruined the rest of the Twilight saga for myself. Stephanie Meyer has just released a novella The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner. Bree is a ‘newborn’ vampire that is seen in Eclipse (the 3rd book in the series) for a brief time, but she stayed in Mayer’s mind so created her own novella. From now until 5th July (my birthday!) you can read it online for free. I really wanted to, but wasn’t sure if I should, I mean, there might be something in it that showed something that happened in the second or third novels that might wreck it for me. So I asked Twitter if it would spoil anything, and thought I’d read the introduction while I waited to see if anyone would reply to me. Oops. There’s something in the introduction that’s kind of spoilt anything else I read from it. Damn.

For the longest time, I didn’t want to read any more books in the series after Twilight. I cannot explain how much I loved Twilight and had heard the rest of the books don’t compare. I thought I didn’t want to dilute my feelings for the first one by reading something not as good – plus the second apparently focuses on Bella and another guy, not Bella and Edward. I wanted it to be Bella and Edward. But, something’s happened over the last few weeks, and I’ve started wanting to read them. I think it’s this Bree Tanner novella actually. Anyway, I’m going to read them. There just won’t be a surprise at some point as I know a pretty major plot. Damn me. A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine changed her status on Facebook to ‘ I want Edward and Bella love.’ I know what she means. I think that’s a brilliant, and so accurate, compliment to Meyer’s writing (I do too!)

Right, I’m off to bed to read more of What My Best Friend Did. Tomorrow is Fiction Friday AND Rowan Coleman’s Status Short Story Friday. I’ve not taken part in RCSSSF for weeks, so really want to do that tomorrow. I might prioritise that over Fiction Friday to make sure I get it done. It’s just a little harder, cause I have to think of a story myself, rather than having a prompt there for me! Oh well, I’ll think of something. I hope.

I have a feeling I’m going to be writing and blogging a lot over the next few weeks as I’ll be procrastinating over job hunting!

Something monumental happened over the weekend. I started editing Italian Infatuation. When I say editing, it’s mainly actually crossing out. The first three pages went straight away, as did half the fourth page. Oh dear. But, at least I’ve started it.

What I’ve decided to do (what I decided once I started doing it anyway) is go through crossing bits out, circling bits to move and adding notes of what needs to go where – on the paper copy. Then when I’ve done that I’ll go through on the computer and make the changes and add the bits I need to add. I have no idea if that’s the right way to go about it, but I think it’s going to work for me. I hope. Hey, it’s a learning curve, if it goes wrong I can start again!

The thing I noticed immediately on reading it, is how much better, tighter, my writing’s got in the last six months. (Ok, I’ve just had a little heart attack that it’s six months since I finished the first draft – seriously where has the time gone??!). The dialogue I’ve read so far just seems  unrealistic and there are so many extra words that just aren’t needed. I’m worried my 50,000  word novel is going to end up about 20,000 when I’ve finished with it. I guess it won’t cause I know there’s lots more I need to add in.

I can’t believe having just decided I need a new job, I’ve started editing the novel. How many time-consuming things can I fit in my life?

Last night, as I was going to bed I thought of a conversation that I should put in the story I’m going to write for Rowan Coleman’s Short Story Competition. I knew I’d forget it if I didn’t write it down, so did. 244 words later I had 1/4 of the story. It’s so typical that I think up something great (I hope) late at night – it couldn’t come to me during the day could it? I guess I should just be happy that ideas are coming to me.

I’m still loving 1984. I was reading it on the tube this morning, and just as it pulled into the station something really exciting happened. Agh. I hate it when that happens. I think I’ll be spending my lunch break reading today.