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A Few Headlines

Sorry this post is late, I lost track of the weekend because it’s a bank holiday today!

As the writing is much as it was last week I decided to talk about other news in the writing world today.

First off – apparently, e-book sales are falling and physical book sales are rising in the UK as we suffer from too much time spent on too many devices.  I have to acknowledge I have not read a book online for months now – although as I only ever downloaded freebies I didn’t help the sales figures much anyway!

Secondly, we readers are more attractive to potential partners!  Recent research shows that if reading is listed as a hobby on a dating website, there are more responses. Reading is a joy in its own right, but it’s interesting to think about the social and psychology benefits of it.  I often wonder why some people adore reading and some don’t even think about picking up a book, so that is the next answer I want to find!

Lastly, a few words of wisdom from JK Rowling helped me out this week.  Just keep writing, guys. Finish the book/play/poem/whatever you are producing.  Keep going.  Get to the end.  You might not get picked up, but you have a much better chance if you have a finished product!

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

It’s been a bit of a girl’s night in tonight, something I don’t normally do, but I have to admit it’s pretty relaxing. I have been so relaxed, in fact, that I didn’t realise it was time to sit down and write something until it was too late!

Not that I have a huge amount to share, since last week – poetry is ongoing and I continue to filter titles along the way. It’s probably the worst time to blog about actually; my poetry process is pretty quick usually but this stage, before anything is ready to share, is fairly unchanging.

I write, I revise, I review, I revise, and so on until I am reasonably happy, when I will leave it for a few weeks before reviewing it again.

So we are in the nuts and bolts of creation now, waiting for the new poem to emerge. Little to report but a tough time to go through.  No wonder I needed a night off!

Until next time,

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

I have been reading about matters relating to my paid employment this week – working on projects as I do, there’s a lot of research because my focus can change pretty regularly.  I even dug out an old project management techniques book to do a little revision 🙂

Yep, this week has been more text books and guidance notes than lost hours travelling through new worlds.

I don’t mind though; I appreciate it’s not the kind of thing I will share here but I do love learning, and having to focus on the core of a topic is definitely filling that need in me.

So for the week, at least, I am going to proudly concentrate on text books and developing my understanding of new areas.

Spoiler alert: I will enjoy myself throughout!

Happy reading,

EJ

🙂

A New Routine

I’ve been working on the same poetry plans since my last post, so from a writing point of view there’s not much to add.

However, having some relatives staying has led to a different way of prioritising my time for the last few days, and will do so for the next week.

It’s quite good, in many ways: change makes you try new ways of managing your time or organising your arrangements and for me having a different routine means writing is far more structured. Writing has gone out the window but new work is being formed.

It occurs to me that my routine gets stale and I don’t make the most of my writing time when I get too staid – maybe familiarity breeds contempt, or maybe it’s just easy to sit out the tasks when the same time and the same arrangements are in place every day.

I think changing up my routine on a regular basis makes a lot of sense, and I will keep working on it, but for the length of my family visit, I will write when I can and accept that might be an unknown quantity until the day in question!

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

Phase Two!

You may remember that a couple of weeks ago I started working on titles for poems, to get me going with a bit more focus.

I got a little sidetracked when one became more like a story plan, but it’s always a good exercise, with positive results.

Now I am working on the next phase; building up some draft poems to see which ones work, which ones I like, and which ones I want to take further.

There’s a degree of order in my process this time because of my desire to write about the world as it is now – and the last few weeks have given me more material than I want, frankly! – but I want to keep as open a mind as possible because writing often takes you in unexpected directions.

It’s important to let it too; in this set of work I want to take unexpected routes.  If I can surprise myself, maybe I will surprise my audience too.

I also want to challenge myself with this work. Last time I wrote a particularly politically-inspired poem it didn’t feel finished or complete enough when I first performed it.  I believe that was because it didn’t quite say what I intended.  This time around I need to eliminate that sense of incompleteness because all it does is saps my confidence.

So I am spending my writing energy from now until at least my holiday in May on getting these poems as good as I can, or at least beyond the first draft status!  From then onwards, let’s see what my audience think…

I will share a few of the unused titles over the next couple of weeks: they might not get my writing going but perhaps they will work for one of you 🙂

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

 

 

This week I read a Poirot story with a difference.  The Monogram Murders is a modern return to Hercule Poirot, written by Sophie Hannah and approved by Agatha Christie’s estate.

Having heard it discussed at last year’s crime writing convention by the editor of the Estate (who was really interesting and of course a great salesperson when it came to this story) I decided to buy it when I saw it in a charity shop.

I am fascinated by the idea of continuing a set of stories created by another person, and how well – or otherwise – a voice may be captured.  In this book, I didn’t feel that Hannah was trying to recreate Christie’s voice as such; I have not read all of her work but it didn’t feel the same as the stories I have read.  However, she was trying to make Poirot live again.

I feel a little unsure about this one.  In terms of the story, I enjoyed it and it was an easy, quick read despite being nearly 400 pages long.  It was engaging and I was wrong about who I thought had done it, and why – there are twists and these worked for me.

But it didn’t feel like it needed to be a Poirot story – marketing-wise I’m sure that was helpful! but it felt more like a story that happened to have Poirot in it than a story in which he was integral.  This is an important point because I have actually felt that about another Poirot story I read, called The Hollow; and maybe this treatment of the character is more reflective than I appreciate.

I didn’t read this with a particular learning point in mind but I did want to successfully read something after my last efforts were wasted!  However, from a reading point of view I can say that the style of the ‘golden age’ of crime writing really appeals to me.  I do not like violent, graphic crime and the slick cleverness of this one was much more entertaining to me than a lot of modern crime writing.

I don’t know if I’d choose to read Sophie Hannah’s other books – she writes psychological thrillers usually, which aren’t really my preference – but I’d read her other Poirot to see how it compared.

I would want to compare it to an original Christie though!

Until next time,

Happy reading,

EJ

🙂

Happy Easter/Sunday!

It’s the Easter long weekend and we’ve been celebrating birthdays as well as getting together with family, so I am pretty much on holiday today!

I will write a post after the next birthday celebration, which is tomorrow, but for now I will say good night.

For those celebrating Easter I hope you have had a wonderful day, for those who are not, I hope you have had a wonderful day too!

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

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