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Posts Tagged ‘holiday’

This week, I got a lot of words written, and a big step closer to the end of the whodunnit, but I still won’t finish it before I meander off on my trip to Germany as I’d hoped.

I have, however, got a plan.  When I am away, I will be spending a lot of time travelling, and I had intended to use this time to read and catch up on the 52 book challenge.  However, if I split the time 50:50 between reading and writing, I should still be able to get plenty of reading done, and keep up my writing momentum.  Win-win, I hope…

I do feel a little bit more positive about my writing this week for other reasons, though.  A chance discussion with a friend at work led to a discovery that his father is a poet, who has published his own anthology after many years of his work appearing on the radio.  Not only did I get a copy o said anthology as a gift, which was lovely, but I also passed him a couple of my favourite poems for some feedback.   I feel ludicrously brave!  I also shared them with another work colleague who said very  kind things indeed.  I think she was surprised how much she liked them.

I want to get back to my poetry sooner rather than later.  I have so many thoughts and feelings about the world right now that the best thing I can do is write it out – that’s one of the ways I process things I am unable to verbalise.  I’ll definitely be taking a notebook to carry about when I am away.  I might even try to work in some German words, which are often perfectly precise although rather hard-sounding.

I read an article today which discussed the formation of German words but due to the nature of the article I have decided not to link to it; still, it’s given me something else to think about over the next week.

I’m pretty sure there will be a lot of thinking when I am away.

In other news – following on from the 100 novels list is the start of an alternative list for me to look through, although I also have a number of borrowed books to read plus this week’s lazy one to finish off first.

And finally – due to the travels this week I won’t be doing my normal update-type blogs but hopefully will at least have a chance to get something written before I go.  No promises though – I haven’t even started sorting myself out yet!

Happy writing,

EJ

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It’s the last week before I go on retreat, so naturally it has been busier than I intended. I worked extra hours to get (nearly) everything done in the office, have been out more than I’ve been in, celebrated a very special 16th birthday, had a champagne cream tea for my own birthday (it was May but who’s worried about that?!) and been to my first aerial hoop class.  In fact, it’s been exhausting.

But – drum roll please – I had a writing success.  Hurrah!!

I got the whodunnit plan finished this morning, and I am really pleased with it. I’ve worked out how to twist the next phase to make things seem to fit together when they don’t, and how to deflect attention from the killer. I’ve defined how to push another character into the spotlight and make them realistically a suspect, using the set-up I’ve already put in place and adding a surprise element to that.

I’ve even worked out what finally gives the game away and how to close the last scene.

I’m really happy to get it all on paper. This story needs to be completed, it’s a personal test of my determination to write at this point – the reasons I started it are almost irrelevant now, although I think I’ve learnt a lot to take back to the previous novel. This has become a test of whether I am a prose writer or not: it’s no good having just one good idea in me if I want to do this for my whole life, after all!

So next week, I will focus entirely on getting the story down on paper, so to speak – my intention is to complete it before I come home from retreat. Once that’s done, I can print it off and start filling the gaps, cutting the unnecessary bits, and get it ready for a formal proofread. Phew – sounds so easy, doesn’t it?

As I am on retreat, I will be keeping my connection to the outside world as small as I can make it when doing all the things I want to do.  That means I may not post on Tuesday, and probably won’t on Thursday unless it’s something like a picture of where I am! Hopefully, Sunday’s post will be filled with fabulous success stories though 🙂

I am going to leave it there for today and get my packing finished so we can head off early tomorrow.  I hope you all have a great writing week and I’ll catch up with you soon!

EJ

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Sorry this is another late post – with the combination of a birthday shindig and a bank holiday weekend, I completely forgot yesterday was Sunday!

So I’m back from my holiday, on the beautiful island of Porto Santo. I had a lovely relaxing time, but one also filled with lots of activities.

I recognise in myself a desire to be braver, do things that I would never have tried a few years ago. That starts with flying (which I wouldn’t do for a long time) but branches out into all sorts of things.

So coming home from a holiday where I tried things I’d never have tried at home, I don’t want to lose that impetus, and have been investigating a few new opportunities… More on that very soon!

Of course, this all has to run beautifully alongside my writing life. I kept a writing journal during my break, and have been adding bits to it as I think about them since I came back. It covers all sorts – conversations, people I met, silly moments, observations, as well as being a little bit of a diary to remind me what happened each day. I want to finish working on that in the next day or two, before all my memories fade!

After that I’ll be back to the whodunnit, back to my 3000 word a week target and hopefully by my next post I can give a date for completion.

Once that’s done and I check out how the twists have worked I can go back to the novel, ideally in time for my retreat in July…

I really feel that I want to get on and do things now, so I’m going to leave this post here and, well, get on and do some stuff! I’ll look at the 100 books list next time but for now I’m going to enjoy my added bonus day off work!

Happy writing,
EJ
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I am still away, and have therefore been very lazy about this post, sorry…

My intention was to find some happy summery music but I know that means different things to different people so in the end I have gone with something that makes me want to whack up the volume and have a dance around my kitchen!!

Chelsea Dagger, by The Fratellis

Back soon, and happy writing,

EJ

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As I said last week, this week I am off on my holidays. I am going to a tiny island in the Atlantic where my husband and I will recharge our batteries and wander along a sandy beach (hopefully!).

I will be taking the notebook I was given for my honeymoon; it’s my sunshine places book, where I can record the colours, the textures, the sounds and smells of a different place. It wasn’t really planned to be a holiday notebook but I quite like having one that is distinct from the experiences I have at home. It allows me to put aside even the type of words I would normally use and be completely removed from the ‘norm’ of my UK life. That sense of being at home in, or being part of, another world is something I want to explore more fully as I develop the more political side of my writing.

I am really pleased to be going now, actually – it’s been a tough few weeks in various ways. We wanted to be home for the General Election, but if I could go back in time and move my leave I would have done so!

I’ll tell you where we’ve been when we’re back, if I’m going to say good things about it 🙂 I hope to get some reasonable photos as well, for a couple of thoughts posts perhaps…

I will be away next Sunday too, and have pre-prepared the posts for this week so if you comment please don’t be offended if it takes a while to respond.

Have a great week, and happy writing,
EJ
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Well, I did say I might not post until Monday and here I am!

Here in the UK there’s a national holiday for Good Friday and Easter Monday so I’ve tried to cram a lot in over the four-day weekend. Amongst other things I’ve done community work, spent time with my husband’s family, seen my own family, spent time gardening and done some writing (well, I had to fit it in somewhere…!).

I tend not to talk about religion on this blog – everyone’s views are their own and I respect their rights and privacy – so the only other thing I’ll say about Easter itself is that I have eaten far too much (especially of chocolate – maybe for the last time) but very much enjoyed being a spectator to an Easter Egg Hunt!

I managed to watch the tv show I saw filmed; most of the contentious, political content was edited out but it still ended up as a good show. Just more middle of the road.

It got me thinking about challenging writing. My style isn’t inherently challenging: I’m not trying to change any world views with my work.

As long-time readers know that has bothered me in the past and occasionally I do feel I should push the boundaries more – be more political, more divisive, more assertive in talking about the rights and wrongs I see and feel around me.

It’s not going to happen with my current work but the longer I’m away from one thing, and the less time I have to write given all my other responsibilities and activities, the more I think I should pursue that side of me. If it comes to nothing so be it, but I have nothing to lose in trying.

Even more reason to get the whodunnit done soon, hey?!

In other news – I missed book 79: The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, by Muriel Spark.  I haven’t read it but it’s a name that has hovered in my consciousness since I was at school, so I think I ought to at some point!  Book 80 is Catch-22 by Joseph Heller.  It’s never appealed to me but reading the article has piqued my interest, and I had no idea about the debate over the title, because catch-22 is a phrase that gets used and understood in everyday conversation.  I guess, like George Orwell, Heller has had an unexpected influence on English.

I’m going to leave it there for today, as I’ll be posting again tomorrow!  I hope those of you who have had a long weekend have enjoyed yourselves and made some happy memories, and for all those who didn’t – well I hope you had a great time anyway!

Happy writing,

EJ

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…or something of that nature.  Although I’ve never ridden a horse so maybe it was a bad choice of words.

Anyhow – I’m back from my jaunts and slowly trying to get back to some sort of normal. My return isn’t normal though, it’s exhausting! I barely unpacked my suitcases and was straight into preparations for Christmas, I have had to jump into panto rehearsals, I was in Belgium buying chocolates yesterday and today I have started going through the wedding paraphernalia trying to find a home for 100 candle holders and half a tree trunk…

Writing – what’s that?

Now, before it seems like I have been completely useless I will say that one of my gifts when I got married was a beautiful notebook which my parents gave me to write down my meandering thoughts when I was away. I just made a few disjointed notes at the start of the honeymoon but as the days went on it became a journal of what I had seen, felt and experienced, almost like a travel memoir. I could see the lure of writing in that environment – it was sunny, warm, beautiful and unknown.

I have subsequently been thinking about my writing, and my writing style. I think I write for the damp air and soggy grass of home, it is part of the world I explore. But what could my world be if I moved it – if my ghosts weren’t in the foggy winter of an English house, but existed in the sun-baked streets of Morocco, or the sultry Mexican coastline? What if my stories were about colour, brightness, light? How well would I be able to maintain a world that I only know for a handful of days at a time?

There’s no answer to this yet. My mind is wandering through countless possibilities and in the meantime I am thinking about poetry and imagery. Still, it’s given me a kick up the posterior to get myself back into the writing fold – and to really think about what exactly I am doing, and why.

In other news – I missed a fair few books on the 100 novels list but to keep this brief I have not read 59, 60, 61 or 62.  That’s not likely to change any time soon either, there’s too much on my to-read list as it is!  However, The Big Sleep is one I’d like to look at in the future, because for some reason I feel drawn to it.  No logic there, I know – but reading isn’t really about logic, for me 🙂

And finally – you may have already spotted this story about people generally preferring to read books written by someone of their own gender.  I thought this was interesting after my last book review when I talked about possible differences of style between male and female writers.  Maybe I had a point after all.

It does happen, you know…

Until next time,

Happy writing,

EJ

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This is the final one of my honeymoon posts; I’ll be back to normal for Tuesday but for now it’s my last chance to share a little musical interlude.

For this one, imagine you’re in a backstreet club, somewhere warm, with a chunk of lime in your beer bottle and the heat of the day still warming the street…

Santana featuring Rob Thomas – Smooth

See you Tuesday!

EJ

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I am still on my honeymoon, so here’s someone else’s creativity in place of anything of my own…

Happy – Pharrell Williams 

It’s probably a wee bit over-exposed now but it still makes me want to get up and dance:-).

See you soon!

Happy writing,

EJ

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I am officially on honeymoon so here’s something to keep you entertained during my break 🙂

Bruno Mars – Marry You

Have a happy week,

EJ

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