Tuesday, 26 October 2010

The writer who came in from the cold.

cold I’m not good with cold. It’s comes of growing up in a house without central heating. I kid you not. We have one fire in the living room and a heater in the bathroom. That’s it. We’re all about jumpers, layers and blankets. And tea. Lots and lots of tea. On really icy days I even brush my teeth with the warm water.

So I was either going to grow up to feel the cold worse or have become immune to it. Sadly, I’m the former. But I have my Paddington Bear coat so I’m prepared for the outside world and I have retreated from running and gone back to Pilates. On really lovely days I’m tempted out, but on cold and rainy days like today I’m quite happy with an hour of Pilates. It does the job.

This is also the time of year that colds set in. My Nan has already claimed to have one in her bladder. Not sure how medically possible that is, it’s not something that Holby City covers.

But this is ideal writing weather. Although produces a certain sort of prose, I’m tending towards more atmospheric stuff than normal, slightly spooky.

In other news, I had an email today offering me an interview at the end of November. Only a part-time thing, but hey, it’s cash! And coming in the same week as my work experience fell through (it was in Bristol, despite me stating I live in London and was therefore after experience in the London office) it was a bit of a boost.

Got a couple of other applications to fill in when I’m done here. So the application process rolls on.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Meet The Daddy

notebook Yikes, I was a bit grim the other day, wasn’t I? My apologies.

It’s just occurred to me that I haven’t really addressed my writing on this blog. Mainly for the shameful reason that I haven’t done much of it. I’m not sure if other writers would agree with me, but I find it much harder to write the more time I have on my hands. It’s the same with a lot of my life – if I’m working full time I find I run more, write more and socialise more. I get less done on a week off work than I do on my first week back. Bit mad really.

The main writing news is that I’ve sadly scrubbed Idea Number Two from my whiteboard. Purely because it’s a brand spanking new idea that needs longer to stew. So I’ll be scribbling notes on that while I tackle Idea Number One, henceforth to be known as The Daddy.

I had promised myself I wouldn’t do this again. My first novel wasn’t straightforward – I used three narrators and covered 50+ years and not in chronological order. It was an editing nightmare, but I did it! I refused to be defeated! And then I was done I said to myself “The next book you write is going to start at the beginning and end at the end.” Ah, the promises you make yourself, do they ever remain unbroken?

Meet The Daddy: a family saga spread over two parallel universes. Oh yes. The first few thousand words have been divine. Absolutely wonderful to write, mainly because the split hasn’t happened yet. But we’re swiftly approaching the big question. “Yes” will lead to one universe and “No” will lead to another and thenceforth I’ll be juggling two worlds. Help! At least I can say that the story does begin at the beginning and end at the end, no more of this jumping about through time malarkey. It’s just that I have to write two stories at the same time.

Thankfully I’m yet to venture into parallel universe territory. I’m the sort of writer who will work and re-work the first 5,000 or so words. This is where I experiment, where I figure out if the story is best in third or first and if in first, who’s voice? I feel like I need to get these words right before I can move on, then I'm comfortable writing the rest of the story because I know my foundation is solid. the foundation might not last the edit but it will have done its job.

And I’ve just put down The Post-Birthday World by Lionel Shriver, a parallel-universe story of such brilliance I couldn’t stop grinning. Fortunately mine is just different enough that I don’t think I should give up, instead it has inspired me – it can be done!

Oh and keep an eye on Vulpes Libris, got a review up next Friday.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Banging head against brick wall?

I can’t be the only unemployed person that thinks that, right? That all I’m doing really is smashing my head up against a brick wall and not really getting anywhere. It’s got to a point where I can’t actually remember how many applications I’ve sent out. Or who to. And then there’s the looming possibility that actually, sorry, off you go into some job you don’t really want purely because you need some money to help out with the bills and put clothes on your back.

I really wish money wasn’t such an issue. I know some people would say, well you live at home, it’s not like you need money for rent or bills or anything. But actually I live with my Mum and Nan and I actually think I do need to help with the bills as I live here and use the gas, electricity and water too. And last time I checked I was a grown woman who shouldn’t be living off her Mum. And unfortunately you need money to live. I like the odd night out, the occasional trip to the cinema or lunch out with friends. And guess what – that costs money!

So go on, tell me how exactly I’m supposed to go about getting my dream job. I’d really love to know. But please none of this “I just fell into it” rubbish because all I ever fall into is the sale rack at H&M.

That being said – or, more accurately, ranted – I have spent the last couple of days emailing loads of different magazines about job opportunities or work experience. I thought as my working in the theatre line of job-hunting wasn’t exactly setting the world alight I should consider other options. So I’ve been looking into more school work (with a particular focus on drama) and working on a magazine. I’ve had a couple of responses, which was lovely given my current ARGH!! mood and there’s a chance of some up-coming work experience. So I’m keeping my fingers crossed. Maybe I’ll realise that this is EXACTLY what I want to do and lo, I’ll be surrounded by actual people have have done it! Who are doing it! And then… then I’ll be able to ASK them how! Pass me the smelling salts, I may be about to get some answers!

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Inspirational posts

Here are a couple of posts that I’ve found inspirational. This first one is an old one that appeared in the howies catalogue a while back. I loved it so much that I ripped it out and stuck it on my wall. I’m working along these lines at the moment: Find your love

This second one is a new post, I got the link through The Do Lectures which I follow on Twitter: How BIG is your BUT? I’d recommend The Do Lectures anyway because although I cannot even imagine being able to afford to go, I love watching the lectures online. Some of the most inspirational stuff on the net, I think. Check it out!

What are your favourite inspirational posts? Or where do you get your inspiration from?

In other news I’ve have to confess that I haven’t looked for an agent for my novel in weeks. Yes, I know. Bad writer, how do you expect to ever get published?! So I’ve re-evaluated my time management. I’ve decided that given the time job applications take, how boring and eye-itching I find them, I’m only going to work on them every other day. I’ll try and average getting out about five on the days I work on them. The days I don’t work on them I’ll work on my own writing and on the agent search. At the moment I’m applying and then not bothering to do this other work because my eyes need a rest from the computer screen. I think this way I’ll still manage to get out plenty of applications and also work on other things. And hopefully having a day’s break will mean I’ll be fresher when working on personal statements and stories.

Any suggestions re: time management/agents/job hunting are cheerfully accepted!

Oh and if you’re interested in reviews, here's my latest: The Private Lives of Pippa Lee by Rebecca Miller

Monday, 4 October 2010

Norman Wisdom

wisdomold1501_468x716This was not my intended post. But given this awful news I had to write a post to say that I loved this man. I’ve always loved old films and I always looked out for anything with John Mills in or Norman Wisdom. Days off sick from school were brightened if one of his films was on telly and work for uni went on the back burner if I could watch his films instead.

He was a talented singer, actor and comedian. I last remember seeing him in Coronation Street and being in fits of giggles. His decline was heart-breaking (as was some of the vicious press coverage when he was put into a nursing home) but I’m still really sad to hear this news.

And I think now is the perfect time to get Lee Evans on the phone about playing Norman in a biopic.