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Yesterday I said I had lots going on, and I just added something else…

My new challenge is some research and discussion about a possible community project, which is really exciting – and even if it transpires it is not possible it’s a good opportunity to meet some new people and learn about something new.

Living in a small village, you realise quite quickly that the more you get involved, the more you get out of life.

There have been a number of times when I have been particularly glad for my community, living where I do. The time we ran out of heating fuel, for example; or when we were snowed in for days. It’s far more fun to be sociable when you’re cut off from normality; it’s even better to pool food and share a few meals!

There are drawbacks to country living but it’s definitely got its benefits as far as I am concerned.

As for the new challenge, I expect I will step back once the research is done – but I still have enough going on to keep me busily engaged in life here for quite some time!

Happy Writing,

EJ

🙂

 

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This week, I pretty much failed to do any writing, although I experienced a few funny stories which need to go into the notebook!

It’s been a really busy week, paid-work-wise: if you have ever worked on projects you will know that some periods the pace shoots up for one reason or another, and as we go live in a few weeks it’s likely to be fairly frenetic for the foreseeable.

I am wary of the impact on my return to writing, and I’m keen to write more regularly again, even if it’s just three blog posts a week.

I still want to do my reading for Tuesdays too, as it’s a bit of a wind-down at the end of the workday, but if I don’t get a lot else done maybe I’ll go right back to my blogging roots and share a few resources with you…

Back to this week… One of my notebook experiences was yesterday.  We had tickets to a concert I completely forgot about until Friday; it was a fundraiser for a local charity I have been involved with since its inception. I was expecting a nice lazy evening of being entertained, wined and dined.

But life being what it is, I didn’t quite have that. Instead I had raffle tickets to sell, plates to collect, drinks to pour… In fact, I was basically a waitress for the night 🙂

There was a catalogue of strange and comedic things going on which I have been laughing about today – I won’t share them all here but they ranged from the audience all turning up before the helpers so we couldn’t get in to actually set up, to the performers being nobbled to tidy up the venue at the end of the night!

Still, the charity raised a decent amount so it was all worthwhile. And I have a new skill set to add to my CV…

It was a surprisingly enjoyable evening, despite having to work through it – it was in an old church and the acoustics there are lovely, so the singing sounded great. I got to catch up with some people I haven’t seen in a while, and I got to lose myself in something other than work for a while.

So I didn’t get to do any writing but I got to do a bit of living – and no doubt there will be more than one scene in my work involving a very persuasive charity rep, so it was all research anyway 🙂

Happy writing,
EJ
🙂

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I didn’t get a lot of writing done this week. I have been doing some more work identifying appropriate agents and preparing my paperwork, but I have also found myself increasingly focussed on the world at large.

We can all see the news and I don’t feel qualified or able to talk at length about the many lives lost to extremists.  All I can say is that every atrocity makes me feel as though I need to do more – learn more about the situation across the globe, share thoughts of peace, be a better advocate for hope.

I will be making more of an effort to do all these.

Meanwhile, I found a Cicero quote that has withstood two thousand years of the world, and still resonates with me:

Life is nothing without friendship

We have it in our power to love and support one another across the globe, building new friendships.  That seems like a good aim when the world is so divided, and so many people are suffering.

It seems like a good aim, full stop.

Be peaceful,

EJ

xx

 

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I try to read the newspaper on a regular basis, both to keep up to date with the world and also to spur on my imagination, and for long term readers you might even remember the original post of this name, which I wrote nearly 3 years ago!

It seemed time to revisit the idea but this time, it’s more about the impact on my world view than how those stories can shape our writing.

In the newspaper today…

I read about David Cameron’s attempts to convince the rest of Europe to agree with him so we in the UK vote to stay in the EU when we have our referendum. As so much of the discussion seems to be about how much we’re prepared to give migrants in benefits I think it misses the entire point of closer integration, but there you go.

I’ve read about unaccompanied child refugees in the Jungle in Calais, and the squalour and desperate misery of life there, as we complain we are being ‘overrun’

I’ve seen the Pope’s view on Donald Trump’s Mexican border wall, as Trump leads the polls for Republican presidential nominee.

I’ve read about war, murder, the Zika virus, abusive ‘grooming’ of a young woman by a rich and successful sportsman.

I’ve read about a pretty crappy world, to be frank. So here’s a counterbalance:

The Good News Network where the stories include a New Zealand crowdfunding effort to buy a beach for public use and students designing a portable, wearable, shelter for refugees.

Huffpost Good News where there is a focus on love – romantic, familial and friendly.

Dailygood.org where it’s about how we each live our lives to the best.

I need to know what is happening in the world, but sometimes I forget that the media set the agenda.  I only see what a newspaper editor considers newsworthy.

I need to search wider, and these three sites are a good starting point to get a picture of the positive in the world, to hear stories that focus on the positive effects we can have on each other.

I want to read the good news for a bit.

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

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This week I’ve started working on the second Family Tree story. This has involved starting to plan a timeframe, individual circumstances and storylines, mapping out what has happened in the intervening period between the end of the last story and the beginning of the new.

It is far from a finished plan, but it feels as though it is slotting together quite naturally and I am looking forward to building up the storyline. I need to finish re-reading the original story to make sure I have all details correct but I have a good idea of where I’ll be going and that’s a real pleasure.

I have also arranged to go to a crime writer’s convention with a couple of other members of my writing group. This came about from a twitter post I saw from a recently published crime writer; I thought it was a great opportunity to develop what I have done with the whodunnit and get a feel for a wider writing experience.

My next step with that story is to pick up on the police procedural side and start to get that right. If you like, I have the bones of the story now, and it’s time to make sure those bones form a proper skeleton!

I also think going to a writing convention in and of itself is a great opportunity to hear how other writer approach difficulties, how they plan, what they have learnt in their journey towards publication… As a genre I am still getting to grips with, I am really excited to see what I can learn.

So this has been a good week. I am really buzzing about building contacts and enjoying my writing again; I have a little more time to write over the next few weeks, and I have a plan for what I want, and need, to do.

If only I felt this buoyant every week!

Happy writing,
EJ
🙂

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This is going to be a short post as I have a lot to sort out tonight.  It’s been that kind of week, actually – bits going on all over the place, and everything seemingly last-minute.  It’s as though everything just catches up with me when I’m not concentrating!

I guess that some of you will have had the same week – even if not this week.  So here’s a quick look at what’s been happening, without any of the extraneous talking I normally do!

  • The whodunnit is progressing nicely – I’d prefer a little more speed but at least it’s moving onwards
  • The new plan is as done as it’s going to be – I know where I need to put my energies now
  • I got some reading done – big books are a bind and after this one I’m going for something quick and breezy
  • I’ve been busy at work – my new role is fun but quite demanding
  • I have become obsessed with Strictly Come Dancing once again – it’s my annual tv love-in and we’re even planning our Halloween party around watching it!
  • It’s less than 10 weeks until Christmas!!! (I just added this one for fun :-))

And, as we all have busy weeks that sometimes feel like they’re getting away from us, here’s a quote from Marty Rubin:

In the midst of a busy life don’t forget to live

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

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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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