Tag Archives: Writing

Dress ups

This morning I wrote the description of my main character January that I have somehow missed in all my other drafts.

Well, to be more accurate I described what she is wearing. But I think clothes do provide a key to a person’s personality. For instance, it is easy to argue that someone dressed head to toe in the latest fashion even if it doesn’t suit them is easily led.

Yesterday I bought a couple of fashion magazines and I used them to put togther January’s look(along with ones that were kicking around home). It starts off very black, scratch that, exclusively black in the beginning and then by the end I was reaching for more colourful/playful clothes. I think this would be an interesting dimension to have in the book but I am deathly afraid of slipping into chick lit (if I haven’t already…)

One unexpected side effect of this morning’s writing is that I had a case of “I have nothing to wear”itis, because nothing was a good as the outfit I had described. I still have the urge to go to the material store and buy some lovely black wool to make a little dress…but I have a novel to write, not a wardrobe to sew.

Still, the clothes would be easier to describe if I could touch them…

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Blogger was a rollin’ stone…

Neglectful.

Blog abandoned for weeks…months?

I’m a bad, bad blogger I know. I’ve never really kept diaries (unfortunately. Some record of my actual teen angst would be handy for some projects. I only have a few notebooks with terrible poems or my drama diary for 6th form drama which was heavily self censored and I guess, self centered!) so why should a blog be any different?

But I have been writing again – some rewrites of the novel before we begin editing in earnest (although I guess this is editing).

The climax is in the bag (everything I write/say at the moment seems like innuendo. I apologise!) and today I’m working on the end and thinking about the beginning. I need to describe January and the season.

This morning there was a storm in Wellington. Thunder, lightning and hail. I heard the kids next door maybe an hour later say “It’s snowing!” but by the time I looked out the window it had all melted away. I probably should have gotten up earlier to begin writing, but it was “snowing” and my bed was lovely and warm. Besides I’m still suffering the effects of becoming addicted to playing Pokemon on my new DS Lite.

Ah distractions. There are so many! Work, sewing, knitting, cleaning…(that one doesn’t come up very often I must say!)

I was in the library not so long ago, loitering around the how to write/style guides section. It was very tempting to check out a “How to write a great novel” book when realised that I didn’t need to read about it. I just need to do it.

So this is a round about apology for not posting for ever – it’s just that it has fallen in the distraction category for a while.

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Limbo

I’ve just counted the days since I finished the draft of my novel and although it has only been 48 days it feels like 48 years; and then, strangely, hours.

It has been a little strange. The habit of writing every morning seems to have stuck and so when I haven’t I’ve felt a bit angsty. Which spills into every facet of life.

And it is not as though I haven’t done anything – I have been pottering with my drabble, but that really just felt like killing time.

Until a proper project came along…

So I printed out my novel to re-read (too soon?) and I’ll be looking at Kiwiana Charlatan…

…but what I really want to do is to write something fun. Something silly. Something where I don’t have to delve too deeply into my past/emotions.

Not that I’ve reached that level with my drabble. At the moment it is all frustratingly superficial.

The year is slipping away…

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Toil and Drabble

I’m feeling pretty good this morning – I’ve knocked off a couple of drabble this morning.

Granted, they are only 100 words long (short?) so it doesn’t seem that impressive but getting the right 100 words is rather difficult. Honest.

This morning as I was writing and thinking how I would structure the uber-drabble one word kept popping into my head.

Zine.

Although It would be a rather boring zine sans pictures so I think I’ll have to stew on it a bit longer.

I bought an exercise book yesterday to serve as this project’s notebook.  I  still have my normal notebook that I carry around to catch wayward houghts and musings – but for awhile now I’ve been creating almost scrapbook for each project.  The scrapbooks still have thoughts and musings (of course) but I also fill them with photos, pictures from magazines, images that invoke ideas, research.

This is the first time that I have chosen a scrapbook because it fit with the theme of my project – the exercise book makes me think of my school days (I just need to graffitti the cver a bit and write random “conversations” in the margins like – “I think Mr Jackson has hidden his stash in the heater” “I know it fully smells like it.”) If I do go down the zine route the exercise book will feature.

I wonder how much influence my notebook will exert on my piece, and if my past notebook have influenced what I have written without me realising it.

I prefer sketchbooks – unlined freedom! But have also used lined books that were gifted to me. I’ve noticed physical changes in my writing (small book, small handwriting; lined pages handwriting stretched or compressed to fill the spaces) but not changes in style. But then I haven’t looked.

The clothes make the writing?

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A Very Public Notebook

That is if anyone is still reading this after my hiatus, which I would have warned you about had I known that I was going to do it.

Lately my experience of time has been erratic; days stretch on forever but are over in a blink. Yesterday I had a whole day off but the day itself only felt like it was a couple of hours long. Yet Tuesday seems like it was months ago.

Today is the first time in a long time that I have woken up early enough to write before I have to get ready to go to work.

So before I logged on here I was writing up (or down? Up when I’m optimistic perhaps?) ideas for a short story that has been hanging around for  a while; but it is only since Tuesday (that day that seems to have happened so long ago) that I found the heart of the story.

Perhaps Tuesday feels so long ago because it is the first time since I was a teenager that I had really thought about my life then. Somehow a conversation turned to my parents’ divorce and how I felt to be piggy in the middle. It was like my tongue had found an ulcer; I couldn’t help but to prod it.

For instance I hadn’t thought that the way I arrange my finances with my husband is a result of their break up – we have always maintained separate accounts and paid for things equally (even when it doesn’t make sense to!) because I don’t want to be in the position my Mm found herself in when my Dad gambled away the savings, the car, the house…

I don’t really believe that writing is cathartic; I don’t think if I write about it that it will go away. I’m a girl who holds grudges. But I’m not adverse to using my pain/feelings/emotions to push my story along.

It is strange that I’m thinking about myself as a character. The story is a memoir – I’m using the drabble I wrote last year – so I was excited to finally unlock my motivation! And the end of the story will have resonance now because this will partly explain why my friends meant so much to me.

(I’ve put that in the past tense because I’m shitty about keeping in touch. Sorry guys!)

Now all I have to do is to write the bloody thing!

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Nice work if you can get it

I read this article and what fascinated me was not what the authors said (because I know that writing can be like any other job at times, that it can be exhausting and seem pointless…and then there are the times when it is an absolute joy), but the comments that follow.

The mocking of some of the authors’ work, the accusations of whining. I can understand why people think that those authors ought to be grateful to be writing for a living (a lot of comments were from people who wrote around a day job and children and life) indeed it is a privilege to be able to make a living out of your work; but that doesn’t make it any less of a job.

The most interesting comment for me was one where the commenter said that the authors should not whine about their jobs because no one asked them to become writers; further that unlike doctors etc society doesn’t need writers (I would hazard a guess that that would include all of the arts.)

So OK, in a medical emergancy I doubt anyone would yell “20ccs of a sonnet, stat!” but I do think that the arts save lives.

(Well of course I’d think that you say, it is in my own self interest and it is, but does that negate my argument?)

At the very least the arts help us to look at the world from others’ perspectives, they challenge our beliefs. Isn’t that necessary for a healthy society?

Last night I had an argument with my father (arguing with my father is a rather pointless exercise because he is always right even though it is patently clear that I am always right 🙂 ) about the Beatles, or rather that the 60’s were the pinnacle of music/rock ‘n roll. I said that after the Beatles that “rock n roll” kind of splintered off into new genres so while the 60’s did indeed produce classic rock n roll good music did not stop being produced. That part of the arts function (rock n roll included) is to push the boundaries. He said “no it’s not”.

Oh I could have argued that the Beatles themselves stretched rock n roll, that their later music is completely different from their early covers of Little Richard; that the music of his beloved Eagles would not have existed if someone hadn’t pushed the boundaries at some stage.

But he said “Britney Spears is shit” and I agreed so that was the end of the argument.

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Thinking about career

I’ve been on a number of courses lately (there are a few more scheduled too) as part of my professional development at work.  (Y’know, the work I get paid for)

I had a six month review at the beginning of February ( why does that seem so long ago now?) and my manager asked me where I thought my future career lay, that maybe I should think about applying for study that doesn’t just make my job easier now (Excel and Access courses) but courses that would provide real development (policy/machine of govt stuff).

I was honest and said that I didn’t consider my job as my career; that my career is writing (but I will have a look at those courses; I have no idea what policy analysts actually do…)

Part of my thinks that if I take those courses, if I start considering “plan B” that I am just admitting defeat.

Sure it would help – I’ve got real estate fever again; I’ve always wanted to own a home but I live in an expensive city, work part time and already have a mortgage I mean student loan. If I had a “proper job” I guess I could start thinking about that kind of stuff…

Brrr. Sorry a cold chill ran down my spine.

Anyway all of that stuff got me thinking about my professional development as a writer.  I do set myself goals every year but maybe I should check back every six months to see if I’ve achieved them. It would at the very least satisfy the list monster inside of me. There is nothing more satisfying than ticking something off a list ( I strike through as well, just to amke sure the bugger doesn’t resurrect.)

So my loose goals for this year:

  1. Finish off the novel (fingers crossed that editing is not too involved!)
  2. Second draft of Kiwiana Charlatan
  3. Write first draft of Ohrwurm (new play – is it a play?)
  4. Rewrite screenplay of novel
  5. Rewrite Both Speak I (happy Ed?)

Those are my writing goals but I think I need to look at learning how I get these up. Once I figure out a plan of attack I’ll let you know.

Oh I forgot my most important goal:

6. Update blog regularly

My apologies for being a little useless! I will try harder 🙂

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