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Sunday, 23 August 2015

Writerly Things

Notebook - Maria A Smith

I missed posting last week. I'm blaming the time bandits! But I'm here now with a quick recap on the last two weeks

I've been up to a few writerly things, like going to my writing group, editing bits of my novel, and I wrote two flash fiction challenge pieces. Apart from that, I took part in #writingchat on twitter on Wednesday evenings and that has been my lot. Why? Usual kinda stuff got in the way, like the day job, my exercise plan and spending time out. Yes, time out.

I'm getting itchy feet, it's not that I'm bored, I just like to have something fresh thrown into the mix now and again. When the itchy feet strike, I usually satisfy myself  by doing other writerly stuff. Like listening to podcasts on the craft. Or I'll check out some great blogs. Or I'll go and do something else connected with the arts, like visit a gallery, or a museum, or I'll take myself out on a long walk.


I love learning new things, and as we draw ever nearer to Autumn, I'm thinking maybe I'll go along to a workshop, or a writing convention, or perhaps find a class. However finding good providers in itself is a challenge. There are many online things around, but I never quite feel comfortable handing my cash over to some anonymous website. I'll have to think hard, before I make any decisions. If anyone knows of anything worthwhile going on out there, do tell...

Yesterday was a most enjoyable day. Had breakfast with my writing buddy, it's been a while since we caught up, and we had quite a bit to talk about over the bacon and eggs. Then it was my turn to chair at the writing group. It was a good session, everyone is passionate about their writing we heard lots of interesting stories, and the critique flowed.

Then off to lunch with several of the group, where we reminisced about years gone by and what fun we've had in the past. It was like a tonic, we laughed as we remembered,  and I got to thinking, we're making memories everyday. What happens today, will be history tomorrow. There is a small win in every day, if you look hard enough for it. And that is what I'm going to try and do in the week ahead. Look for wins.

Here are a couple of podcasts I've listened to this week. Do click on the links and have a listen, they'll make you smile, and maybe you'll learn something too.

The Worried Writer

The Joined Up Writing Podcast

What have you been up to? What does the coming week have in store for you? Do let me know...

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Topsy - Turvy - 9th August 2015

Image Credit - Pixabay
Do you know what the definition of Topsy-Turvy is? It means with the top downward and the bottom up, or confused or disordered to put it another way. That was me last week. No matter how I tried to right my week, it tipped back up again.

My writing has suffered, output has been poor. Exercise marginally better, I got to the pool a couple of times, went for a walk twice, and went to Pilates again. And you know how I said I wanted to have fun, well, I had some, but there is definitely room for improvement.

Friday teatime I went off to Derbyshire for the weekend, much later than expected, but at last, free from the ties of a busy working week. After surviving the single track road up to the site, with the caravan pitched, we were ready to B-R-E-A-T-H-E, and start the weekend.

I'd booked an Adult Only site (nothing seedy honest!) a just for grown ups refuge, and my goodness it was quiet, and tranquil. Bliss! Being so far up in the hills, there was no phone signal, no wifi and a very dodgy TV signal. Being peaceful was forced upon us, and it was like a tonic. An added bonus was that the local pub picked you up and took you down into the village to drink and eat in their establishment, and then they took you home again. An excellent idea, and a system that guaranteed our custom for the weekend.

We woke to a glorious Saturday morning, a proper summer's day, and not wanting to waste a minute, we decided to travel into Ashbourne, a thriving market town, where we explored, and stopped off for coffee as you do, and we visited one or two of the many independent shops. The streets are set out in a medieval pattern, there are many alleys and yards tucked away just waiting to be discovered.

One of the highlights of the weekend, was discovering a Vintage and Crafters fair going on inside the town hall. There were many different kinds of stalls within, with everything from origami kits to candle making, but the one that caught my eye was a gentleman making fountain and roller ball pens. I was fascinated, looking at all his very beautiful and unique designs. Quite perfect for writerly types. I didn't purchase anything, because I was spoilt for choice. Instead I tried several pens, and decided I couldn't make my mind up  between a fountain pen, or a roller... so I'm definitely going back. I was delighted to learn he's regularly there.

One thing I did very well whilst in Derbyshire was sleep, so well in fact, that I lost many hours. I must have needed it, and the weekend, was after all, about being restful. So there we are, my excuse for not getting on with my writing.

This week then...

Having fun has to go to the top of the list according to my blog buddy Julia Thorley who made the comment on my last post. So, Julia, I'll see what I can do about improving that over the weeks ahead.

I'll kick start my writing and be back in the groove very soon, and of course I'll be trying to keep up with penning words little and often again.

That was my week, now tell me about yours? Or what's in store for you?

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Getting Chapter #1 Right - 2nd August 2015

Calke Abbey, Derbyshire  - Maria A Smith

I'm finally happy with chapter one of my current work in progress. It has been a nightmare to get right. It needed to do all of the usual, introduce the main characters, grab the reader enough for them to get some idea of what the conflict is in the story, and importantly, signpost the genre. Then it has to keep the reader hooked, and move the story forward. In other words it's a tall order!

I wrote it, then sat on it for weeks, pondering if I should change it further, even though I wasn't happy with the original, I didn't want to put something else in without it being right. Of course now I've got to change things here and there to make it all fit together. Anyone else scrapped their first chapter and started further into the story?

As for last week, I got most things done. Edited a chapter, did the Phoenix Writers group challenge, went to the meeting, offered feedback on several manuscripts, managed three of the four exercise sessions I'd said I'd do, and had a half day out too. I also finished my audio book, The Accident, by C.L. Taylor, and recommend it, if you like a good phycological thriller that'll have you on the edge of your seat.

The week ahead looks like this...
  1. More writing
  2. More exercise
  3. More fun!
Oh, and the image is nothing to do with summer, but it is where I went for my half day excursion last week, and I forgot my camera!