Thinking About 2012


New Year Resolutions….or in my world, New Year Goals ;)

I’m the kind of person who always has so much she wants to do in life lol, just never enough time, money, energy and determination to do it all lol.

So I guess 2012 will be no different to any other year in that regard ;) I always look forward to a New Year, it feels like a fresh start, a time where we can wipe the slate clean and begin new projects, change things…..but with that also brings the whole concept of failure :(

I don’t like failure…..nasty, horrible word, and yes, I know all the proverbs and mottos that say its all about taking part, or practice, and picking yourself back up again.

This year I’ve decided to divide my goals up into categories (I don’t like calling them resolutions)….. Me, Writing and Home in the hopes that rather than write an endless list, I can just have a complete set of goals under each heading. So here goes, the official 2012 goals list ;)

ME
In 2012 I want to lose weight and get fit :) I want to have a healthy diet, walk more and look after myself a little bit more. Perhaps even cut down on the fags *shock horror gasp – where did that come from?* I want to cook nice meals, healthy meals, and not have so many take aways lol. Go to the gym at least 3 times a week, and go out, 1 day a week for an adventure. To explore the world, see things and experience stuff :)

WRITING
I want to continue writing every day. Enter competitions, submit work to publications. I want to join another writing group (I do actually miss my involvement with The Mermaids the support of it) and enrol on some kind of play writing course, an avenue I’d really like to explore. Use Judy Reeves book everyday and my Mslexia Diary :)

HOME
My house is a mess :( Seriously! I really haven’t taken care of it over the last few years (for various reasons I won’t go into). It needs a thorough clean and tidy, the garden is a jungle and I’ve got crap everywhere that I don’t know what to do with. Downsizing seemed like a good idea at the time, but you can’t fit the contents of a shoe box into a match box can you? Hell, I haven’t even put my summer clothes away, and my winter boots are still in a black bag in the loft :(

So there we have it! My New Years Resolutions Goals for 2012 :) Of course, 1 that should be listed above but isn’t is write my Blog every day but hey, that goes without saying and anyway, i started it in 2011 ;)

Four Days To Go…..


Until I come to the end of my Project 365 journey. On January the 2nd 2011 I downloaded the Project 365 App to my iPhone and began to take a photo a day, uploading them to FaceBook and the iPhone Project 365 Website

I’m feeling a little sad that it’s all coming to an end…..I didn’t miss one day :) But it’s often been very hard, especially when you’re ill or just not in the mood to go out anywhere lol. A lot of the photos I’ve taken have ended up in my writing notebooks, to use as prompts for stories and character sketches.

Now, the question is…..do I do it again in 2012? Lol…..I haven’t decided yet ;)

I managed to get a couple of early morning hours yesterday to do some writing. I ended up with 3 short plays, a short story and a character sketch. Not a bad mornings work eh? ;)

So, I’ve been thinking a lot over the last couple of days about my new years resolutions. I make them every year, and every year I don’t stick to them (I think I made it to June with one a couple of years ago lol). This year, things will be different. This year I’m only going to make a couple, and maybe, actually have a chance of keeping them ;)

One of the resolutions I’m considering is the 100k in 100 days challenge. I’m not too sure I can manage it, I’ve never really counted how many words on average I write every day…….

*goes off to count how many words excluding this blog and FaceBook status updates she’s written today*

Wow so far today I’ve written just under 1500 words….. But, do I want the pressure of having to do 1000 words every single day? Is that just a little bit too much?

Death And The Maiden


Went up to London yesterday, to the Harold Pinter Theatre to see Death And The Maiden by Ariel Dorfman.

20111228-203803.jpg

WOW! some quality acting and a great story, if not a difficult subject matter. Hubby bought me a copy of the script and I spent the evening flicking through.

Oh boy, would I love to write a play :) I came away feeling really inspired.

I managed to get my research done…..I already knew the ‘definitions’ of the words, but it’s good to look them up and view examples.

Didn’t actually get any writing done (other than the research) but the brain cells were certainly ticking over ;)

Today, I need to move onto the next section of the course…..Imagery…..looks interesting :)

A Very Productive Day :)


I really wasn’t in the mood to do any serious studying yesterday, but, if I’m going to get my assignment in on time on the 20th, I really had to pull my finger out ;)

Sooooo, I spent the afternoon doing exercises regarding Adjectives, Verbs, Adverbs and Syntax. I wasnt able to upload the actual pieces I used, as they’re short stories I want to use at a later date for submissions. Anyway, some very interesting things emerged. The fact that my Syntax is kinda ok (no major problems anyway!). I don’t tend to use Passive Voice, which is good, but I do need to sort out my use of Authorial Comment ;)

I’ve finished Note Book number 8. It’s always a bit sad when I finish/fill up a book….but, it’s exciting to start a new one. All those clean empty pages….I can’t wait to fill it with writing and notes ;)

My next task on the course is to research the following:
Simile
Metaphor
Imagery
Figurative Language
Cliche
I enjoy doing research…..sometimes, you think you know exactly what a word means, but it’s interesting to delve a bit deeper ;)

I started reading Maeve Binchy’s Quentins last night. I haven’t read anything by Binchy before, so I’m eager to see why she is so popular :)

Tonight on TV, a new adaptation of Charles Dickens Great Expectations

Living only a couple of miles from where Dickens lived (and living in the town in Kent he loved so much) I’m always interested in watching anything Dickens related. I was hoping that this modern version might actually use some of the real locations from Rochester for the filming, so I was a bit disappointed not to see Restoration House used as Miss Havisham’s home :(

Now, where did I put my copy of The Old Curiosity shop? I’ve only been reading it for about 2 years lol

The Wrong Way


I spent most of yesterday finishing A Walk Between Heaven and Earth and making notes in my notebook. To say that I found it ‘unputdownable’ is an understatement :)

There are so many interesting passages and inspiring ideas, too many to mention, but the one that really struck a cord was when Holzer talked about ‘the right way’……

She says that too often we focus on learning the techniques of writing, that this overshadows the writing itself. She goes on to say that “It is hard to get excited about writing, when 90% of what comes to mind is not good enough, or not right somehow.”

Is this the rut I’ve got myself into?

Am i no longer content to just write, for writings sake? I’m constantly trying to improve, do things right, learn the rules…..punctuation, grammar, syntax, nouns, adjectives…..*deep sigh* It’s hard work….. :(

But, is it still exciting? Does having the constant pressure of having a ‘right way’ and a ‘wrong way’ take away the pleasure? And, if that is indeed the case, whats the answer? Quit my creative writing courses and just write for me? Give up any ideas I have of publication?

No, sorry, I don’t agree with her. I’m enjoying learning, I want to improve my writing. To do that I need to study and I need to do things the ‘right way’. I’ve always been fascinated by learning, eager for knowledge about everything around me.

Yes, having a ‘right way’ and a ‘wrong way’ leads to self criticism and self doubt…… But don’t we need that to strive to be better? Wanting to be good at something and succeed isn’t a bad thing is it? ;)

Boxing Day


Had a nice day yesterday….lots of food, alcohol, presents and TV. Normal Christmas day really in our house. I’d love to go somewhere different for Christmas….but my kids would be mortified if they didn’t get my Christmas dinner ;)

I did well on the present front……quite a few books to say the least….. Here’s a selection>>>>

20111226-003157.jpg

It was hard trying to decide what to read first, but I finally went with A Walk Between Heaven and Earth by Burghild Nina Holzer. A journal about journalling. A great idea, fascinating, and I’m already half way through.

I won’t bore you with endless quotes….. But I do really like this one……..
“Talking to paper is talking to the divine. Paper is infinitely patient. Each time you scratch on it, you trace part of yourself, and thus, part of the world, and thus part of the grammar of the universe. It is a huge language, but each of us tracks his or her particular understanding of it.”

Holzer feels that when it comes to teaching creative writing, we’re too hung up about the actual product, when, what we should be paying attention to, is the process ;)

It goes back to that ‘audience’ thing again doesn’t it :( Who am I writing for? Why am I writing? It’s such a shame that there can be such a huge divide between writing what I want to write and writing what publishers think they can sell. So let’s not harp on about that, it’s depressing lol

Today, I will put pen to paper…..I haven’t for a couple of days and I’m missing it already ;)

All I Want For Christmas………


…….is……..actually, I’m not sure lol….. J K Rowlings life? A room of my own like Virginias? To look like Cheryl Cole? Ha ha ha…..yeah, I’d love all that, but….I am a realist ;)

I managed to get some early morning writing done yesterday. A couple of short stories that could possibly be turned into longer pieces at some stage. I tried my hand at a bit of chick lit, but, I dunno, I’m not sure I can really pull that off. Didn’t I read somewhere recently that chick lit is dying out? Let’s face it, it’s been done to death ;) When I was 14 I wrote a bit of erotica (don’t look so shocked, I was full of hormones lol) but I’m not sure I could write stuff like that today…..Now, i shy away from sex scenes lol…..Its not something i enjoy writing, and I’m a firm believer in writing something you enjoy (which is why i could never write horror or sci-fi). If you enjoy writing the story, that will come across on the page. My hubby said a couple of days ago that most of my stuff is quite dark…..is that a bad thing? What does that say about me d’ya think? Lol ;)

I was up in time this morning (as I am most mornings) to watch the sun rise. I love this time of the day… So quiet. Its the time I write my Blog and make notes in my notebook. I re-read anything I’ve written the day before and make notes on any characters I’m developing. But being Christmas morning, it’s even quieter, not even the sound of a car going past, and I’m feeling a bit uninspired.

I still haven’t done the 3000 word competition entry….and the closing date is the 31st December! I’m not sure I’m going to be able to get it done. I still haven’t even decided exactly which short story to expand for it lol

Oh well, i must love you and leave you now…..I want to open my pressies…..ESP as hubby has let slip that I have rather a large amount of books ;)

Merry Christmas…..have a good one :)

It’s Christmas Time


It’s Christmas Eve today :)

Yesterday I didn’t really get much writing done…… I’ve given up on adjectives until after the ‘holidays’ so I just did some work in my notebook (tidying it up basically, adding some quotes, observations etc) and finishing a couple of short stories I had on the back burner. I hate having things unfinished lol I’m a bit anal like that ;)

I stumbled across a quote by Horace….. “Never a day without a line’ My 2012 motto?

A friend asked me yesterday what my New Year resolution is…..but I didn’t really have one. Soooo, I’ve been thinking about it and I’ve decided that it will be something along the lines of ‘get something published’…….anything in fact lol…..and…….make sure I go out once a week, on my own, an artists date (or more like a writers date) to just see things, and experience life outside my 4 walls and the supermarket :)

Right, I must crack on…..so all that’s left for me to say isMerry Christmas! see you on the other side ;)

In my search for a Santa pic to use on Face Book I came across this cartoon. Love it! Hmmmmm…..I feel a short story idea coming on ;)

20111223-074657.jpg

I’m A Pussy ;)


Is “pussy” a Concrete Noun? I think it is ;)

Had an e mail yesterday from the OCA offering me a place on a Writing Course/Retreat at one of the Arvon Centres as part of my course. Considerably reduced rate, only 16 places available, all participants will be OCA students studying my course. Initially I’m thinking, oooooooo :) and then, hello, reality check! All the way to Yorkshire to live in a house with 15 people I don’t know (plus 3 Writing tutors) on my own? *shudders* ummmm, no, I don’t think so lol

It’s funny…..a friend said to me yesterday that she doesn’t mind being in a crowd of people she doesn’t know when she’s with me as I’ll be the one doing all the talking lol….oh wow, how wrong can she be! Lol….I am so not really like that! She’s known me for 30 years lol

Soooo, after much consideration I won’t be going. Yeah yeah, I know it’s a great opportunity, but, there’s nowhere to hide is there. At Swanwick there are lots of places to hide. There are so many people that when I want a quiet cigarette, on my own, I can, quite easily….i wont be missed. I’m a bit of a loner at heart ;)

A shame I know, but I’m just not confident enough to go on my own *deep sigh*

Just been alerted to this page through another Blog I follow. I’d love to get involved in ‘creative’ projects in my area…..but don’t really know where to start. I’ll visit all the websites listed and see what catches my eye :)

Today I cracked on with the next part of the course which is all about Concrete Nouns *yawn* I had to pick some random Concrete Nouns and find other concrete Nouns that could be used to describe the originals. Actually, it wasn’t too difficult after all ;)

Right…..onto Adjectives lol

Moving Along……Fowler


Fowlers Usage & Abusage……never heard of it! Lol

Ahhhhhhh that Fowler lol.

Ok, so Fowler had this idea that basically boils down to the fact that you should keep it simple, don’t overuse words and phrases. So if you want to say that “Tom walked into town” you say just that. Not “Tom preambulated into the municipality” lol….. yeah, I can live with that :)

When I went through some of my own writing with Fowlers list In front of me I realised that my natural style is simple. I don’t try to overcomplicate things. I say what I want to say, as I speak, so if I wouldn’t use the word ‘ghastly’ in real life, you sure won’t find it in my narration of a story (although you might find it in dialogue….depending on the character).

So that’s another part of the course done :) I’m now moving on to the next section, Language *groan*. My punctuation is shite, my grammar and syntax, hopeless…..I can’t even write a whole story staying in the same tense! Lol…..So, yes, I am a little bit anxious about this next few exercises.

In 1996 I decided (don’t ask me why lol) to do a GCSE in Englsh….. I got a C lol….. But only because 1) my oral test was apparently first class (I can talk proppa sometimes you know) and 2) my coursework essays were good (ie non fiction, one about comparing modern adaptations of Mary Shelleys Frankenstein to the original and the other about how society’s opinion has changed so much towards women). which means I did appallingly in the actual exam *snigger*

Remind me again exactly why I’m on a creative writing course? Lol