Sunday, 25 March 2012

Goal List Week Commencing 25th March 2012

Last week proved difficult one way and another, too many crazy things to list here. You know how it is I'm sure - real life has a habit of getting in the way.

However, I 'm feeling good about what I got done.

Draft 2 - Another chapter edited, not as much of a rewrite as I expected it to be, although unfortunately, I didn't get to read it out at my critique group as we had a heavy session, and there were many manuscripts before mine. Hopefully, I'll get an opinion soon.

A to Z Challenge - I managed to plan out one post in readiness for April.

Eat Cake - Certainly did! Mothering Sunday, my dear daughter made me a fabulous chocolate cake, then again on Tuesday afternoon I visited a tearoom and scoffed a rather delicious piece of Victoria sandwich cake.

200 Word Challenge - I did do it, however I didn't read it out at the group as I was chairing yesterday, and it was a full house. I may post it on here later.

Walk - I managed only one. A brisk urban walk through town. Good enough given time constraints.

Plans for the week ahead are as follows.

A to Z Challenge - I will be planning more posts. Getting very close to the start now.

Draft 2 - I'd like to get another chapter rewritten.

Relax - Definitely need some 'me' time.

Photography - Light nights herald its time to get my camera out and snap a record of Spring 2012

What are your plans for the week ahead?

Friday, 23 March 2012

Happy Saturday - Time To Say Goodbye - Andrea Bocelli & Sarah Brightman

I heard this on the radio yesterday, and it reminded me of how beautiful and powerful this song is...I could almost write a story from watching this clip.

What feelings does it conjure up for you?

Six Tips To Keep In Mind When You Write Your Story

Picture credit

Here is a list of six tips to keep in mind when writing your story.

1. Break up long sentences and paragraphs to make your words easy to read.

2. Avoid using 'ly' words where you can.

3. Each of your main characters needs a goal.

4. All characters have secrets, use them.

5. In a novel, Don't head hop during a scene. Better to wait until the next scene, or chapter before you switch POV.

6. Conflict is the driving force of the story, make sure you keep readers turning pages.

Happy Friday!


Sunday, 18 March 2012

Goal List Week Commencing 18th March 2012


                       Photo Credit

Okay, firstly, I'm trying to be more efficient and post my Goal list on a Sunday evening, we'll see how I manage. Here's what I did last week.

A to Z Challenge - I wrote one post ready for April, doesn't sound much I know!

200 Word Challenge - Yes, about twenty minutes before I needed it for my group meeting, however allocating time this way seems to motivate me.

Walk - No, I'm rubbish!

I did however, rewrite a chapter of my novel manuscript which I had stalled on the previous week. Having thought more about it, I know what I have to do, its just a case of applying myself. And getting some decent rest. I've not been sleeping very well for a long time. I think it catches up with you in the end.

Also planned, and managed the writers group meeting again this week. My stint will be over a the end of the month. Its been interesting, although planning is key beforehand. It doesn't come around too often, we share the year between us. Usually I do a month, that's all, and afterwards I can return to just turning up with my pen. And a manuscript for critique obviously.

The week ahead.

Draft 2 - Continue to rewrite.

A to Z Challenge - Plan more of my posts. Try and write a few, as April is drawing closer and I'll end up in a panic as I have some busy days coming up when I really need some pre-written.

Eat cake - At least once this week, its my guilty pleasure. I know, I know, too much cake is unhealthy but it tastes so good.

200 Word Challenge - A good one this week, 'Every Picture Tells A Story' We all have a black and white picture, the brief is simply to write 200 words.

Walk - I have to try harder to get back into the swing of walking regularly. I need a plan, and shall be working on that this week.

Its Good To Push Yourself - Isn't It?

Yesterday, I spent an enjoyable few hours with friends at the Phoenix Writers Group. It was a lively meeting, a chance to read our work to each other and give and receive constructive feedback.
The members of the group vary in age, ability and what they write. We are poets, novelists, short story writers and genres vary from science fiction to WW2, including paranormal, crime and general fiction.

I'm currently chairing the meetings, its an experience I mostly enjoy, although it means I have to be very organised, its not just a case of turning up with my pen. There are email reminders to be sent out early each week about the theme for the week, and anything else the writers need to know. I didn't mention the weekly challenge did I?

More like Chairs choice, I've been setting a different exercise each week, a 200 word challenge. Last week, we wrote about an ordinary object we owned, we described it and then had to start the beginnings of a story The results were amazing and the group commented that they had enjoyed doing it.

This week, because our meeting fell on St Patrick's day, I set them the challenge of producing something that involved the Irish, or Ireland. There was mumbling, and  moaning about how difficult it had been to come up with something. Yet they all did, and in fact the pieces of writing produced were each varied and interesting, and several will make excellent longer pieces.

Its good to push yourself - isn't it?

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Happy Saturday - Queen & Annie Lennox & David Bowie - Under Pressure - HD

The song title sums up how I have felt this last week. In fact the past month has been very hectic. Its a great tune, and reminds me of when I had less responsibilities, and life seemed a whole lot easier. Have a great day!

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Goal List Week Commencing 11th March 2012

Here's what I did last week then, before we get into this week.

Second draft - Haven't worked on  my manuscript this past week, I'm not sure why, possibly sheer volume of work, although I seem to have prioritised everything else around it. I need to ask myself why that is? Therefore, I'm standing it down for a week to consider things.

Blog - I didn't manage five new posts. I ran out of time.

Help another writer - Done! Helped fellow writer Keith, set up his blog, The Escape Line Keith needed a nudge to get his blog started. He's passionate about escape and invasion, as well as many other aspects of WW2. Over time he'll be educating and informing us, go visit, and leave him a message.

200 word challenge - Did a piece about a mundane object. I chose my American fridge freezer and the story behind how I came to own it. Read it out at the group on Saturday, it was a fun exercise, and interesting to read other writers pieces on their everyday object.

Seek out somewhere to relax - Done, I managed some 'me' time, it was lovely, had a massage, it felt lovely, and I was so relaxed by the end of it.

Afternoon Tea - Done! I ate a delicious scone with butter, washed down with tea. Could have lingered a lot longer, however commitments cut short my visit.

This week, I'm keeping things simple, I'm tired, so here's my list.

A TO Z Challenge - Write a couple of blog posts for the upcoming challenge.

200 Word Challenge - As its St Patrick's day on Saturday, we are writing something with an Irish theme.

Walk - I need to get out in the fresh air.

What are your goals this week?

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Goal List Week Commencing 4th March 2012

Here is the plan for the week, but first a recap on the last week.                                                                                                                      
Blog written for someone else - Done, and here it is on Fifty Fifty Festivals blog.
200 Word Flash Fiction - Done for Saturday Phoenix Writing Group
London Trip - Enjoyed! Read about it here
I'm late posting this list, its been hectic, but this is the plan before I reach Sunday.
Second Draft - Continue re-writing.
Blog - Write five new posts
Help another writer - Writing buddy needs help to create a blog
200 word challenge - Phoenix Writers group homework
Seek out somewhere to walk and relax - Do it!
Afternoon Tea - Time I did this again.
What about your goals? How are they looking? Have you broken the back of the list yet?

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

A Bigger Picture

'Garroby Hill' Picture taken of a Royal Academy card I purchased at 'David Hockney RA A Bigger Picture' Exhibition 

On Friday I visited the David Hockney Exhibition at the Royal Academy in London with a couple of girlfriends. We had the best day out.

What made it special? Maybe the first class train travel from Leicestershire. We drank tea, nibbled on posh biscuits and chatted incessantly on all manner of subjects.

Or possibly our trip around the Tate Modern earlier in the day. Or maybe the lovely lunch we took here at the Wallace Restaurant. An elegant glazed atrium, with a contemporary feel, hidden inside The Wallace Collection it's definitely one of their best kept secrets. The excellent bottle of wine we drank over a lazy lunchtime certainly helped maintain our happy attitude.

But, I don't think anything prepared me for how awe-struck I felt when I walked into the exhibition. I'd already decided to go with an open mind, having heard lots of hype, and good things in the press, and on TV. I decided to ignore them and make up my own mind.

Fully aware that all the advance tickets had sold out, I was surprised to see long queues outside. I overheard a woman asking if there was any chance she would be able to see the exhibition. The reply was yes, as long as she didn't mind a wait in the queue. They have opened it up to evening visits to deal with the overwhelming numbers wanting to see Hockney's work.

Busy tills stunned me, as did the buying frenzy in the gallery shop, and the crowds of people clutching postcards, prints, books and all manner of other Hockney merchandise. All this was before I entered the galleries.

The pictures are stunning, and all I could think when I walked into the exhibition was wow! Wow indeed! The passion and energy of the man greets you full force. The sheer size of the paintings takes some getting used to, and the numbers are overwhelming.
Hockney has truly challenged himself to see the ever changing seasons and record them for us, he has observed the beauty in the ordinary scenes of countryside around Bridlington in Yorkshire.

The colours are unbelievable, I haven't seen anything done like it before. Pastels and saturated colours streaked across canvas, dabs and splodges making more sense to me as I stood and stared.

The prints of the Ipad sketches are amazing, I'm convinced it will inspire many owners to try this digital way of drawing, and painting. The exhibition really works your eyes, and for some it may be too much, but if you're like me, you'll delight in it.

I too left clutching cards and notebooks, along with happy memories, and I couldn't help but wonder if somewhere amongst the crowds, perhaps a young artist had been inspired today, and possibly in fifty years time their work would be hanging on the walls for all to see.

What made our day special? I know it was a combination of all of the above, as well as the warmth of three special friends spending quality time together.

Making Things Happen

Bluebells in the grounds of Chatsworth, Derbyshire - Maria A Smith Nearly two months ago I made this list of goals - See how I've g...