Saturday, 29 January 2011

Names, games and hullabaloo

Evening folks, a late posting from me. But today has been turned upon its head by the arrival of Step-kiddies, and the associated hullabaloo that fills the house. So, it goes without saying that my writing session is delayed until they are in bed. I can't moan really as they provided the inspiration for my novel - which is about a stepmothering. I haven't mentioned the specifics of my novel but it goes without saying that I followed the age old advice of 'write what you know'.

I had the joy of creating two new characters this week, so did my usual trick of looking into my own family tree for interesting names to fit the bill. So far, I have used my grandfather's surname, a selection of great aunties' first names - though, I have failed to create a suitable character to shoulder my great grandmother's name of Esmeralda - one day! 

Anyway, I've had a mixed week which started with two sickness days away from the 'day job' and ended with me starting a creative writing course at school. After an initial two hour session, a year 11 pupil said 'Miss, you're pretty alright at this fiction stuff, maybe you should think about writing a book' how I kept my face straight, I don't know. I thoroughly enjoyed returning to the basics of writing with the pupils. We played a character generation game to create believable characters possessing strengths, weaknesses, secrets and habits - it was a pleasure to see their joy at discovering possible plot lines. Fingers cross, their interest continues to next week's lesson.

I have a writers' group meeting on Wednesday, where I'll be reading my short story 'The clocks strike thirteen' and hearing the other members attempts at the same exercise. All in all, a quiet week for me, but that gives me chance to return to the 'dream at day job: write at home' routine. Signing off for now, so I can make a start on a writing session that'll burn the midnight oil.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Review site and a shout out to Australia, Alaska and the good old U.S.A

Morning folks - I've been delivered a free day from the rat race due to a heavy cold and hacking cough. Shall I spend it wrapped in a duvet? Snuggled on the sofa watching a dvd? Nope - a free day from the grind stone provides an extra day for BOSFOK (bum on seat, fingers on keyboard). I've managed to complete an hour this morning and will be heading back shortly but... and this is the thing with blogging, I couldn't resist a numbers check regarding visitors. Woohoo, I've had visitors from Australia, Alaska and U.S.A - well, hello, good morning, good afternoon and good evening to you all (I aim to please all time zones) - my new blogger pals. How are you keeping? What a lovely surprise when I was feeling so poorly. A wave to my U.K. visitors too - wouldn't want you to feel left out. Whispered note: I am aware that Alaska is a US state but it made the title sound much more interesting - thank you x.

Life's full of surprises - which I love, as it keeps things a wee bit interesting. Yesterday (Sunday) I received a request asking if an extract from this blog could be used on a review website. I was honoured to be of assistance and pretty chuffed that followers like what their reading in my wordy ramblings. Arr, 'Wordy' do you remember him? Black floaty character from the 70s that taught us all, as little children, how to read, bless him. Anyway, I've said 'yes' to the review request and fingers crossed I shall be sending future reviews relating to the wonderful 'Fizz' poetry evenings and possibly, one or two on the live music gigs held at my local wine bar. For a whole heap of exciting nights out and about, take a peep at website - though, I'll be honest enough to say, I had to look up the word 'arras' - tapestry; hangings made of rich figured fabric. And, believe me, I've now mooched behind those beautiful blood-red fabric hangings, there's oodles going on; spoken word events, theatre shows, amdram productions - go take a peek, as I'm signing off, to take full advantage of my free day. Enjoy!

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Cyber purgatory, Poets' evening and Russian dolls

OFSTED - the buggers that took over my life for this week; leaving me in a state of near collapse with a deep resentment for the day job. I knew that my 'routine' of 'daydream at day job; writing at home' would be broken sooner or later and yes, they suceeded. So, not a great week for my writing, though last weekend was wonderful. I managed to re-draft and knit back together chapters four and five. It was a pull on the heart strings to dismantle my work but it had to be done and the finished chapters were far better - they always are, if I'm honest.

Monday delivered me a dilemma - a writing acquainatance from the past popped up and asked to be friends on FB. Long and complicated history but the short answer was a definate no - but what do you do? You want to refuse but you don't want to offend.  So I had a quick check with my poet buddy Mal, only to find I'd been greatly honoured, as he hadn't been contacted - yet!!! Anyway, it's a no-go, I've ignored in preference to offend, which places them in a FB limbo or as Mal rightfully named it 'cyber purgatory'.

Tuesday delivered an enjoyable evening at 'The Fizz 5' a poetry evening at Polesworth Abbey, which if you're not aware is closely linked to poets from the Elizabethan times; John Donne, Michael Drayton and possibly Shakespeare. I know what you're thinking - poets but you're a writer? Hear me out on this one - poets, writers, song writers - we're all wordsmiths hacking, digging and sculpting the English language so it's an ideal stimulus and down time for any writer. Plus, it enables me to marvel at their craft written in a few lines, when I complain that thirty chapters is a squeeze for the story I wish to tell! The invited poet was Sarah James, reading from her poetry collection 'Into the Yell' (ISBN 9781906451240) - I was entranced the moment I spotted the Russian doll on the collection's front cover - the perfect symbol for all poets and writers. Anyway, her poetry was fresh, filled with great imagery on a range of subjects; flood water, mermaids, Mandy Jones and Russain dolls. Mal Dewhirst read his beautiful poem, inspired by Fleur Lombard and dedicated to Firefights everywhere - which touched home for me (as hubby is firefighter). I was pleased to see Gary Carr, from 'Burton's Spoken Word' his poetry has a simplistic beauty which always leaves you wanting more. And finally, 'Hench' with his mammoth tale, performed as always with such energy and vigor. All in all, an excellent night of poetry - 'Fizz 6' is on Tuesday, 22nd March 2011 - Polesworth Abbey - it goes without saying, everyone welcome.

Wednesday - a wash out. I was unable to attend my writing group due to the day job - which turned me into a grumbling old witch, festering with resentment. So, the least said on that note, the better.

And finally, today - my main writing day of any week - the day that I dream of all week and yet it vanishes in the blink of an eye. I am hoping to polish chapter five and make a start on re-drafting chapter six - my only wish is that the process goes as well as last week's. Though, I have indulged myself with the purchase of a Roberts DAB radio retro look model - so fingers crossed, my new friend whispers beautiful tones throughout my day.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Hee hee we're all blogging

Excellent week for me. I walked around doing the 'day job' dreaming of that night's writing and hey presto - it worked. Each day I repeated  the same simple routine - 'day job' dreaming, home writing. Though, I won't kid myself that I can keep this simple routine up - something always comes along to bugger up my plan.  
Anyway, it seems all us creative folk are now cottoning on to the fact that 'blogs' are a necessary part of our existance. A poet/writer friend of mine, Mal Dewhirst, has just sent me his link, and I in turn replied with mine - ahh bless. I will add his link, just as soon as I've figured out how to, I promise.

Anyway, my main job for today, being my main writing day of any week, is completing the re-draft of chapter four. Hopefully to a quality that I'd be happy for any agent to read. I also need to re-draft a competition entry for the Bronte Parsonage competition and polish a short story for The Mad Hatters' Writing group for Wednesday night. Busy day... but first I need sweets, so I'm nipping out to the local sweet shop for lemon bonbons.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

New year continues....

Since New Year my self imposed promise was to write, write and write... well write as much as I could, when I could, without wasting time on other pointless pursuits. My book draft has to become my main priority, second to hubby and home that is. Well, so far, so good.  I've managed to write each night, after a full day at the grind stone, and have found it pleasureable rather than a chore. Last night, I wrote for an hour, which was all I could afford to do but it felt good to have dedicated that time to my book. I'm honest enough to admit that many times I've thought 'an hour is that all' and I've chosen to do something else instead but I've learnt the hard way, 'cause each little hour adds up in the bigger picture. So,... I'm doing as I promised.

I reread the first three chapters over Christamas and decided that a re-jig of descriptions and back history would be beneficial to readers giving a more logical introduction to the main characters. On starting I felt all jittery about messing up the work I'd already done, but having nearly completed the rejig, the sequence flows is smoother. It means that my first three chapters are now as I wish and I can start re-drafting chapter four.

Chapter four - I'm hoping to introduce two new characters who are the cause of trouble and stife for our leading lady. Lots of fun and mind games are included - which allows my imagination to run riot. Though I'm expecting to have to slice quite a few unintersting bits from the original draft to liven the pace. We'll see.

I've started to write the draft in a page set up resembling a book page - it has allowed me to see the potential layout and get a feel for the draft as an actual book - that's my creativity needing a visual boundary, bless.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

New Year - new promise

Never really thought I'd have one of these blog things, but the time has come to take note of the great world open to me, whilst maintaining my secret writer status in my daily life.
     I suppose a little history wouldn't go a miss, even help in explaining why my secret status ever came about. I was born into a family that are plain nosey, not just a little bit, but a whole lot nosey... they'd say otherwise, I'm sure. But once they've figured out information they don't just keep it to themsleves, hell no, they want to know the full works and worst of all share it with any passing Tom, Dick or Harry. So what was once an enjoyable hobby is announced to all and sundrey, and before you know it everyones expecting you to produce or acheive the great and the good. Having had this happen many times during my childhood, I figured I wouldn't share my writing with my family nor close friends. So the priviledge list consists of: my husband, members of a writing group, a handful of trusted friends and you, dear reader.
     My goal for 2011 is to complete re-drafting/editing my debut novel and by 1st September to have sent it to an agent for consideration. In moments of creative genius, which are usually few and far between, I'll craft a few short stories for fiction magazines and competitions. So, without further a do, may I wish you a Happy New Year and raise a small glass to secret writers everywhere.

Up-date: during the evening I managed to complete the short story 'Hush little baby, don't say a word' and have posted it as a competition entry. Woohoo!