Posts Tagged ‘notes’

DSC_0299 I have said before that I like to take photos of things that inspire, interest and engage me.  I also enjoy having slightly off-beat reminders of special events.

This photo is of some glow-stick bangles I was wearing at my friend’s birthday party.  It’s going to be a reference point for a poem which I hope will be suitable for performance soon.

It brings such a lot of different ideas to the fore which fit neatly into my series.  I won’t go into the theme now but I feel the juxtaposition of two elements of my personality are perfectly encompassed in the image.

It was lovely to get out and really celebrate; I completely let my hair down and although I took a few photos I left my notebook in my bag.  I wanted to be completely present and that isn’t always easy when you are looking at the world with a view to recording it!  My one regret was that the beautiful cake didn’t get cut (told you I would mention cake :-)).  I did notice that!

Work is continuing on the poetry but this week I want to ramp it up a bit with a collective writing experience and a mindful writing session to follow it up.

For now, I am putting on my eyemask, turning off the noise and focussing on getting the first few lines of my new poem set out.

Happy writing,



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Firstly, apologies for not being here yesterday. It was a frenetic day, at the end of an extremely busy weekend. We spent a great deal of the weekend in the car driving up and down a variety of motorways, attended two charity events, a big barbeque, and spent time with my husband’s cousin and her daughter, who are visiting from the North of England. We were already squeezing things into little gaps, and doing it badly.  However, with one family member becoming unwell over the weekend we ended up spending more time than expected at a local hospital.

Luckily, they were allowed to leave and we could take them home, but it was inevitably a bit worrying for all concerned.

We needed a little pick-me-up yesterday after dropping everyone off at their various locations, so we drove home via the beach and got an ice cream!

I did get some writing done but as Friday – Sunday were so busy it wasn’t quite as much as I had planned; I need to catch up a little over the next few days. I managed about 4 hours on the whodunnit so in effect the three days which were so busy were the three I missed out on and I’m willing to accept that, based on how sleepy I still am!

I also started work on a new poem, which came about as a result of some photos from the retreat. It’s a bit historical so I’m researching the factual elements in it. It feels good though, as though it’s as solid as the Welsh mountains. I can picture them, just writing out the words.

Another task I took on last week is a proofreading one – a friend of mine has completed her memoirs. It’s almost social history, because she lived through so many changes, and was a pioneer in many ways. I warned her it will take some time but I’ve got the first few chapters now so I can judge the time commitment a little more accurately.

What with everything else taking it on may have been a mistake, but it’s so fascinating I couldn’t help myself!

So that was last week – I might spend this week getting over it!

I am going to leave off here, as it’s time for me to get back to the whodunnit, but I’ll be back tomorrow.

Have a lovely evening



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Firstly, let me tell you that I have done some writing this week – again not as much as I might have hoped but as I’m still doing extra hours at work and have very little writing time, I am just happy to get something done.

I said before I wouldn’t get the writing timesheet back out but I think I might after my retreat, which I am now thinking will be a kick-start more than anything else!

I have been getting some reading done, ably helped by long tranches of time sitting in the passenger seat of my husband’s car, but I have found concentrating on the book a struggle (I will tell you why on Tuesday, of course!). I finished my trapeze course and got to my dance class and travelled to a family party a few counties away, but I feel like the week has been all about picking up bits and pieces and not really getting anything ticked off the list. It’s been a little like that at work too, with my extra hours being sucked into new tasks rather than completion of current ones.

Overall, it has been hard to focus over the last seven days. It hasn’t helped that the weather here has veered all over the place; one day abnormally hot, the next day a dry thunderstorm, the next day abnormally hot again, then a torrential downpour.  Even the weather can’t get into a groove!

I’m feeling a bit of a writing failure, to be honest.  Someone I know even said I don’t write anymore, that I’ve moved on from it.  So I have to get it back into everyone’s mind that I am a writer, and I have to own what is, in effect, a period of writer’s block.  I have to get back into a habit and even if I don’t write the whodunnit I need to write something.  Every day, in some way, I have to be a writer.

That way, if someone says anything similar again I will know they are wrong, and not just hope it.

In other news – Book 93 on the 100 Novels list is Money: A Suicide Note by Martin  Amis.  I have only read on Martin Amis book, London Fields, and I really didn’t like it very much.  I’m not sure if it was style, substance or subject but if I think about it, I can feel my face screw up which is a sure sign I don’t want to revisit it!  That makes me very unlikely to read any other Martin Amis, especially one which sounds very ‘macho’ in terms of money and power.  It’s not a style that floats my boat, as they say.

And finally – I found an article focussed on writing poetry about ruins.  As I love poetry, and ruins, and have written poetry about ruins, and one of my favourite poems is The Ruin (as mentioned in the article as well as on here in earlier posts!) I decided to share it as a reminder that however much changes in the world, some things are strong enough to keep on standing.

Happy writing,




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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,

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Sorry this is late – my internet issues summed up last week, really: one minute I was jogging along, and the next something went awry.

So first of all the lost (other than my wi-fi!) – I have somehow lost all the work I did on the whodunnit after 15 February. I was typing it up on the go, on my new phone, and I think I must have done something wrong because the document has vanished into the cyber-ether. I am frustrated, but not horrified: I am wallowing in the story and I will treat this as a chance to re-boot. By way of this post I will give myself a target of 3000 word this week to make up for what’s vanished.

And onto the found.  I’ve found a bit of poetry mojo; I want to write a whole new set of works in the coming months, and the poetry really seems to be firing right now. My lovely husband made a comment that led me into one, and our general chit-chat on a journey through Wiltshire led to another. Two in a weekend, both of which have something in them I like, is a really positive outcome for me.

I found time to spend with my friends at reading group.  We didn’t actually discuss any reading though, just had a meal and a chinwag – so it was basically a girl’s night!

I also found challenges.  One challenge was a driving experience which I didn’t want to do but had to do, for work – I did it, and that’s enough for me 🙂 Another was a rather deep-end re-entry to dance classes where we had to perform six, none of which I’d ever done before!

On balance the week looks pretty good, in retrospect. Even the lost writing hasn’t fazed me as it might have done, because I know I’d gone down the wrong rabbit hole. For a short story, this one is really becoming over-complicated, and I will use my 3000 words this week not only to get back on track but to near completion.

In other news – I seem to have lost a week in the 100 novels, because book 76 was On the Road by Jack Kerouac and I never mentioned it.  It’s another classic of American literature, but I’ve only really become aware of it in the last few years.  I love the idea of it, but wonder if I should have read it when I was younger and more open to the idea of just going off.  I’ll add it to the ‘read me’ pile and maybe get to it one day!

Book 77 – Voss, by Patrick White – is another one I’ve never read.  It sounds full of anger and I don’t know that I want that now so it won’t go on the list but I do love books set in Australia – the sheer scope of the country is always so overwhelming and majestic.

And finally – having started a new job today I am going to have to reorganise my life for the next few months.  I don’t want my writing to sink under a lot of other daily tasks, so I am also intending to reconfigure the writing timesheet and report my progress.  I won’t do it all the time but maybe once a month, just so you can give me a virtual prod if I’m slacking!

Until next time – happy writing!



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This week my writing of an hour a day went a bit awry because I found myself watching some family history programmes in my allotted time instead. It wasn’t a waste of time entirely, because some of the situations exposed through research were pertinent to my writing, and made me question a couple of technical aspects of my story – but it was a fairly standard avoidance technique.

I will do better this week.

Having said that, I now have a full team of characters (with a notable exception I’ll come back to shortly), with a victim, murderer, two who have strong motives, a very useful red herring and a great setting.  There’s just one character I need to sort out…

The detective.

I’m torn – and I’m stuck in the storyline, where the detective needs to come in.  I have a victim, and no-one trying to help them rest in peace…

Do I have a police officer, an expert in their field like Morse or Wallander? A private investigator (official or otherwise) like Poirot or Holmes?  An ‘ interested neighbour’ in the vein of Miss Marple or even Nancy Drew?  Or is the matter solved by an injured party – someone who loved the victim, or a suspect who wants to clear their name?

Because this isn’t my genre, and I don’t read a lot of this type of writing, I am struggling to make a decision.  I am considering taking the question to my writing group next week to see what they think, but what do you guys feel works best?  Does the busybody idea, the butting into conversations and eavesdropping at doors, get old fast? Do you think a sociopathic detective really adds a bit of texture to the tale?  In this day and age is it likely that anyone other than a police detective will be allowed near the crime scene or the case file anyway?

Realism suggests a professional police officer, I guess.  But am I going for realism?

As you will see from the number of question marks this week, I don’t know the answers.  If I can find the one necessary question to make a decision, I will be able to set my detective to work!

In other news – I have worked on a peace post this week, but as with all my writing at the moment, I can’t find the right words. I will continue seeking them this week.

And finally – I am falling behind on the 100 novels list again, so just to get back up to date I have not read books 68 or 69.  I am however reading, so at least I’ve managed to do something I can tell you about in my posts this week!

Happy writing,



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I am really enjoying trying out a new genre of writing, and working out my list of possible killers.  I have my victim nicely set up, and the location and group of people involved all in hand – now it’s just putting some character profiles together and moving on to the more in-depth storyline.  There are plenty of motives and plenty of possible killers.  I know who it is and it most definitely isn’t the butler 🙂

There’s something really energising about doing something I know isn’t my strength – it’s as though I have taken the power back into my writing.  That is such a great feeling after floundering since the wedding.  I will say, thought, that I have learnt a lot from planning a big day and some of the little details I picked up in the process will definitely make it into stories in the future.

For now, I’ll say I am progressing, and that’s something I haven’t really been able to say for quite a while.  Roll on the next step in my crime thriller!

Other than the writing, I have been in rehearsals for my panto, joined a ballroom classing group and started a new course (introductory paleobiology…) – I was so busy with wedding planning last year that a lot of other things went by the wayside and this year I want to do more.  This does mean I need to keep control of my writing time and targets so here and now I will set a target of no less than 1 hour on writing each day.

It’s not a huge amount but keeps me in the regular writing habit, and that’s a big plus!

I am going to leave it there for tonight, but I will be back on Tuesday with the reading challenge, and hope to get back into peace posts this week too, so I’ll see you then!

Happy writing,



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This week I have tried to get back into the habit of writing. I’m not doing too badly – a bit of my own note-taking, a bit of advice to a writer friend about next steps in their own work (it involved a Venn diagram, I felt very scientific!) and when the writing muse went for her quiet time, I got on with some reading which has been a little bit of study in its own right.

Hopefully that last bit will make sense on Tuesday…

However, I still didn’t give my writing the time I wanted. Odd working arrangements, a family birthday and pantomime trip, Christmas drinks with one friend, a Christmas meal with another, shopping, wrapping and delivering presents, panto rehearsals…  I have let life be an excuse for a lack of writing in the last few months and now I am carrying that on.

I want to write, I feel the lack of writing, and yet I am putting barriers up in the way of myself once more. I know why, and I know I have to get over it.

That is my task, my responsibility for the next few months: to really get back into things and start producing work I am prepared to follow through to the end of the story, however the story goes.

I would say wish me luck, but it’s not luck I need. It’s a kick in the metaphorical posterior. Can you give me that instead?

Happy writing,

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You can tell before reading this post that I didn’t do as well as I had said I would do, can’t you?

In my (self) defence it hasn’t been a straight forward week. Still, I did have time to write and chose not to do so. I also chose not to rehearse my panto role or wrap Christmas presents or sort through the remaining wedding odds and sods.

I chose to have a wallow instead – I watched some trashy tv and bad films, ate junk and generally lazed about when I wasn’t working. It was necessary, and the end result is a list of ideas I have for future works so it wasn’t a complete waste of time, but it wasn’t the most practical time management tool…

I haven’t started the last novel up again yet – I feel too far away from it in writing terms at the moment – but getting some ideas and concepts down is a good step in getting me back into thinking like a writer.

Realistically, I’m not going to get into a proper writing pattern until after Christmas as I have so many things on, but just getting back into the habit of writing some notes every day will ne useful, sensible, and valuable.

I feel really quite rusty at using my brain in that way, despite my notes when I was away, and the work I did before.  It’s almost like I’m training myself to write again.  So writing each day is my first target, and I want to achieve it this week.

In other news – there’s still plenty of time for you to suggest books for me to read in 2015, and I’d love to get your suggestions.  I’m even thinking about starting a local reading group to get some more interesting ideas from people (because one reading group just isn’t enough!)

And finally – on a semi-related subject, I haven’t read book 63 or 64 of the 100 novels list.  Both sound like they are worth investigating further though…  I am doing quite badly with this list but it is introducing me to new writers and new books so I guess I am doing well from it at the same time!

Happy writing,




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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,



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