Tag Archive | short stories

Still Here, Just Not Doing Much

I am still alive, I promise. I’m just not blogging, or checking-in for ROW80, or actually writing, or keeping up with any of my goals. Why? Well I’m not really sure. I’ve got some excuses though – whether they are actually excuses, or real reasons why not, I have no idea.

I started my new job 3 ½ weeks ago. My old job was very, very easy. I could pretty much do it with my eyes closed. This job is different. I have responsibility, I have lots and lots to learn, a ton of different people to meet (and remember) and more work than I can handle.

I’m loving it, but it’s exhausting me. For the first time in maybe a year, I’ve been (sometimes) buying ready meals because I just haven’t always had the energy to cook when I get in. Also, obviously not had the energy to go to the gym. What is good, is that getting the bus to and from the tube to work is pointless – the traffic across Blackfriars Bridge is so bad, that it’s as quick to walk. That means I’m walking 40 minutes a day. Not including walking between my buildings or when I go to head office. Not bad.

Of course there’s this other little excuse, and I don’t know if that had happened because I’m so tired, or if I’ve let the tiredness be the excuse – I’ve really got into Heros. Yeah, that TV series that started years ago, yeah, I know like EVERYONE watched it back then, but I didn’t. I didn’t care. Boyfriend made me watch it a few times while we had dinner (classy us – we don’t have a kitchen or dining table!). I didn’t care much for the first few episodes, but then I really got into it. Really.

We’ve reached the end of the first series (boyfriend has the first 3 series on DVD), so I’m finally able to do something, other than watch it, and think about it for most of my other waking moments (other than when I was working!).

I’m sure I have more excuses, but I can’t think of them right now. Do you want to know what I have done? Not much granted, but every little helps.

On Saturday, I did half an hour work on my writing course. Who even knew I was doing a writing course? I can’t remember when the last time I did anything for it was, but I’m going to put a guess out there at over a year. A year. How mental is that?!

What prompted it? My Mum restarting hers. Originally, back in the 1990s, my mum started doing a writing course. She got a little stumped at the first assignment, and it stayed there. But it put an idea in my head. 4 years ago, I turned that idea into practice, and started doing the same writing course as she had. I got a lot further than she did – maybe assignment 4 or 5 (out of 20), but then I got distracted with NaNo and actually writing novels, and so I let it slip. Suddenly a year (plus) had gone by without doing any.

My mum recently decided to carry on with the course. Or restart it. Her talking about it, and getting excited about it made me think about mine, so much that I got it out at the weekend. I know 30 minutes isn’t a lot (especially as I’ve not done any since), but it’s a start. And to be honest, right now 10 minutes would be better than nothing, so 30 is pretty damn good.

I’m on the writing a novel chapter. I’ve read it all before (over a year ago), but think it’s pretty good and important so am reading again (I need to have read it to do the assignment). The assignment a the end of this chapter, or section, is writing a fully plan for a novel. I’ve decided that, although I’ve written a lot of The Man of My Dreams, I’m going to take a step back, pretend I haven’t, and write the plan for the assignment. Woop!

I also  something really useful from what I read on Saturday. It recommends that while you’re writing your novel, you SHOULD take breaks and write smaller things – short stories. It says that because writing a novel is so hard and long that it can start to get you down. Writing short stories can keep your mind fresh, and give you confidence that you can finish something etc etc.

Whenever I’m in ‘novel writing’ mode, that’s all I write. I don’t let myself write stories, or anything other than blogs and the novel. Right now I’ve been writing TMOMD since November 1st and I’m still ¾ of the way through it. That wouldn’t be so bad if I hadn’t have done NaNo and written 50k in November – it means I’ve done about 23k in 3 months. Bad! Right now I’m feeling a little downhearted about it. It just seems to be going on and on (originally I planned it to be 70k, I’m 3 over that and have a LOT left to write).

I’m going to follow the advice and do some short writing things. Maybe not stories, maybe just bits and pieces from random word generators (which is how I got into writing short stories). Hopefully it will a) get me back into writing and b) get me feeling fresh about TMOMD again, and make me want to go back and finish it.

I’m not going to say anything about my goals. They’re there. I’ll try, but I sometimes wonder if trying too hard makes me stay away from them – weird I know, but then I’ve never professed to be anything but!!!

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Fiction Friday #196 – Friday 25th Feb

The prompt this week is totally different to any I’ve seen at Write Anything for Fiction Friday before. This week, it’s these Story Starter Die. apparently they’re going to start using them regularly. I’m quite excited about that idea. But today, today we have… A bee, A flower and lightning.

Unedited (as the rules of Fiction Friday go) this is what I got from these:

Amy finished the last sausage roll and lay back enjoying the heat of the early summer sun on her skin. This was the life. Well it would be if it wasn’t for…

‘So as I was saying then Tom and Gary…’ she didn’t listen to the rest, just made the odd noise here and there. They weren’t here to sunbathe, or to talk about what stupid stunt Jon’s stupid mates had got up to that weekend. Or rather, who they’d got up to that weekend!

A bee flew closer to Amy’s ear than she felt comfortable with. She sat up abruptly and flicked her hand towards it, totally missing it, but causing it to fly away from them.

Jasper jumped up from the checked picnic blanket, knocking over the plastic wine glass Jon had just put down.

‘Fuck.’

Amy looked away and tutted under her breath. She knew this was a bad idea.

‘Jasp, come here. Here boy.’ She stood up without saying a word or looking at Jon and ran after the dog. ‘Jasper. JASPER.’ He’d eaten a bee once the summer before and had been in agony with it – she didn’t want a repeat of that.

What she had wanted though, was for Jon to care. To care about her, or the dog. Just anyone other than himself. She knew that was a bit harsh, and that he did care about them both, but in the last minute he’d not shown it by swearing in front of her (which he knew she hated) and letting her go after the dog alone.

Jasper ignored Amy and chased after the bee into the large flower bed in the middle of the park. The flower bed full of flowers and therefore more bees.

Before Amy could jump into the flowers she saw a flash from the corner of her eyes. If it hadn’t been such a brigth sunny day she would have thought it was lightening. The flash caught her off guard and she turned, stumbling and falling over her own foot. As she gell she saw some kids with a huge silver kite, the sun reflecting over it.

‘Damn,’ she said moving over to sit on her bum. She’d scratched her knee. At least something good came of it though, Jasp heard her fall and came to rescue her – forgetting completely about the bee. Before she had time to get to her feet, Jon appeared in front of her.

‘Amy, are you ok?’ She looked up into his crystal clear blue eyes and knew the answer. Yes, she was going to be fine, because really and truly, she didn’t want him to care. Now he was showing he did, it was too little too late. She stood up ignoring his hand and walked out the park with Jasper at her heal, not turning back once.

I made a huge error in writing this. As Amy got to the flower bed, I got stuck. I didn’t know how I was going to get the lightning in – without it being predictable and the weather going bad. So, instead of fighting through, I stopped. Picking it back up today has been really hard – but at least I didn’t add a sudden storm in the perfect day!

Please let me know what you think – but remember it’s unedited.

Have a good weekend. I’ll be moving this weekend, so see you on the other side!

Changes in Me and A Bit of Reading and Writing

Isn’t it funny what a difference a few months makes. When I first started this writing thing I was terrified of telling anyone I wanted to write, or that I was doing a writing course. Now, I’ll tell whoever will listen. I even tell people I’ve written a novel – although maybe I should stop doing that as I then have to hang my head in shame and admit that I’ve only edited the first chapter of it.

It’s great being able to tell people one of my stories has been accepted on a website. So many people want to read it, how cool is that. Well it will be when I hear back from the website again. I presume it’s normal for them to take ages to contact you about editing and then publishing it? I had an email from them at the end of Sep saying they’re going to post my story and that the editor will be in touch sometime soon. I’m guessing a month later isn’t that much to have not heard anything? Is it?

I’ve just got my notebook and writing course work out because I’m about to start on my plan for the novel I’m going to write for NaNo; the one I’m doubling up as the next assignment for my writing course (the assignment is to plot a novel – convenient). The problem I’m having is I’ve got my main idea, but I can’t decide on a little bit of detail for it. When I say a little bit, I mean the whole setting – maybe not such a little bit. I’ve got one idea that I think would be awesome, but I’d have to do a lot of research. OR I’ve got this other idea that’s good, but the other things that can happen because of that setting I think would be wicked. And I wouldn’t need to do as much research. I think I’m going to go for the second, maybe use the first as a setting to another novel in the future – obvioulsy depending on how well I get on with this whole YA genre.

Speaking of YA genres – I’m reading my next YA novel. Not the one I was planning on reading but something much, much more exciting. I don’t think I should say what, or who by, but basically I was on Twitter yesterday and an author I kind of know (I met through her blog and Twitter and went to her 1st book launch party) offered me her new book to read. It doesn’t come out until next year sometime, HOW EXCITING. She says there’s a lot to change about it, but she wants to know what I think of it. Let me repeat that. SHE wants to know what I think of it. OH MY GOD. How cool is that.

I’m on about chapter six or something (sat on the tube home this evening I was HAPPY for the train to be seriously delayed so I could read more!) and so far LOVING it. (sorry, I’m going a little over the top with the capitals today aren’t I?!) I think I’m loving it more than her first book. It’s actually given me goosebumps a couple of times, and almost made me cry! Always a good sign for a book.

Ok, I think that’s all I have to say for now. I’m going to try to be a better blogger this week than I have been for the last few weeks. I’m also going to try to visit the Fiction Friday stories I’ve missed over the last two weeks, I miss reading those stories. I just wish there was an extra hour or two in the day!