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Posts Tagged ‘notes’

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,
EJ
🙂

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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,

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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After yesterday’s internet failure this blog is a little behind and I’ve forgotten some of the things I was going to discuss, so I’ll work my way backwards and hopefully cover most of it…

Yesterday I spent much of the day in London, celebrating a birthday (not mine!).  There is a definite vibe to the city that engages my senses – the juxtaposition of crowded streets and tree-lined parks, of overwhelming traffic and tame squirrels, that really reminds me how important it is to look beyond the surface of a place for the underlying stories.  I see and hear people from all over the world who are experiencing the same sights and sounds as me, but in an entirely personal and unique way.  I always knew this was the case but only since I’ve been writing have I thought about it so clearly.

I’ve also been working on the poetry for the wedding.  I have to write it all up and spend the next few weeks fixing it all because it’s very rough and ready at the moment – but I hope it’ll be a bit of fun for people at the event as they go round from table to table and see all the different verses set out!

The notebook has been a great help with this, not just because I have it with me all the time so I can quickly grab it and write down my thoughts, but also because it engenders a sense of routine about writing which I need when I have so little time to do it!  Plus if I see or hear anything that I think will spur a few ideas along the way I can refer back to it whenever I like – as long as I write it down!

And finally – We’re up to book 52 on the list – Lolly Willowes, by Sylvia Townsend Warner.  It’s a new one to me but sounds like a book I’d enjoy reading so  I may see if I can find it somewhere!

A short one this week, but I have been, and continue to be, so busy I can hardly think straight; this is the only way to keep any semblance of focus to the post!

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

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This week I’ve been using my lunchbreaks to make a lot of notes for poems. I grab myself a soup, sit down, watch the clouds float past and write.

It feels really positive because the poems I am working on are for a special event, and are coming together really well.  I am jumping so swiftly from one to another that it feels like I’m on some sort of perpetual motion generator.  A poetry train (of thought) if you like!

It’s good that the notebook is working for me because with such long days and so many other things to get done, writing really did feel neglected.  In fact, my whole creative life was put on hold once I went back to full-time work.  But a few weeks in I’m getting a little balance back.  Writing during my lunches; I actually finished a whole book already this week and started a second; I am making the most of the long weekend here to get out and see some live music for the first time in ages.

I don’t want to work full-time for long, but if I can keep some sort of equilibrium for now, at least it won’t set me back completely.  My worst case scenario has always been going back to work and not writing any more, and finally I am managing to do both, which gives me a lot of faith in myself.

In other news – This week we’ve reached book 48 on the novels list – A Passage to India by EM Forster.  This is a book I want to read, so I haven’t read the comments yet!  I have seen the film, or at least parts of the film, but I don’t remember much of it except white suits and hats, and a carriage.   And maybe a mountain?  It’s been a loooooonnnnnnng time 🙂

And finally – I saw this article about the way we absorb a story being different on physical format to paper format.  As someone who loves the physicality of a book, and has only come to screen reading since being gifted an e-reader at Christmas, I am not sure I could ever be objective or dispassionate enough to debate the relative merits of each: the smell and feel of books is part of the reading experience for me.  I have read a lot of books on the e-reader now and appreciate its practicality but I think that’s part of its downfall for me.  I don’ want a practical reading experience, I want an immersive one – and I still think I get that best with a hard copy book.

Maybe it’s because I’ve always loved reading that to change it – or my relationship with the words – impacts on the subconscious experience.  Maybe the love of reading is as much about feeling the weight of a world in my hands as it is exploring it – and on an e-reader every world weighs the same…

On that rather philosophical point, I’m going to bow out for today!

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

 

 

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This week I’ve tried to recapture some of my lost creative flow, and it’s worked, to a point…

The notebook has come out again and although I haven’t noted something every day, I have it with me for whenever an idea or image seems noteworthy! I have to go and fill in a few bits once this blog is done, so if nothing else I’m getting back into the writing habit.

The other thing I did this week was to buy myself a couple of books from a charity shop. I have a pile of things I’ve borrowed from people but I don’t like to read those in bed, or in the bath, or stuff them in my handbag and take them to work in case they get damaged. My own books, I am less nervous.

So I am hoping this will give me the impetus to get back into reading every day as well.

I am a lot busier than I have been – but that’s no reason for everything to fall down. I’m about to start week 4 in my current placement and am getting used to the long days and early (for me!) starts. Now I have acclimatised a little I should be able to work through more things and start achieving more!

I’m glad I’ve gone back to the notebook, actually; using one effectively is a skill you develop over time and I was worried that I’d lost the knack!

In other news – we’re on to book 47 of the 100 novels list – Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis. I have never come across this one before, and think I might add it to the list if for no other reason than to give me an American novel of the 1920s that I can compare to The Great Gatsby (you may remember I was a little underwhelmed by that one!).  I want to see if there was still a divide in style between UK and US literature at that point, but I need more evidence to make a decision!

Also – you may have noticed I haven’t written a peace post for a while; the monthly challenges are on hold at the moment and to be truthful that has suited me as everything is so hectic at the moment.  However, I am still being mindful and trying to devote some of my time to peacefulness – I will share a post that I’ve been working on sooner or later!

And finally – a reminder, that I’m looking for possible guest blog posts for when I am away during November; the subject is your own but I need to pre-plan publication so let me know if you’re interested through the ‘contact me’ tab.

Happy writing

EJ

🙂

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After another week of short lunchbreaks and long days, my writing plan is not really shaping up too well, so I’m going back to basics: the novel is on hold and the notebooks are being revived.

It’s been a while since I’ve regularly written in them but with such a limited time to get anything done it seems sensible to record things as I can, and make use of what I record when I can give writing the time it needs.

And life now may be busy, but there’s lots to inspire me.

The benefit of temping is that I get to meet many people and work in different business environments, learning about new industries and so on.  This is all useful because it gives me worlds to play with in my own stories.

My evening work – which I fit in where I can – is completely different; the training gets me meeting other people who share my interests but the events themselves are just like girl’s nights in, with jokes and chats, and a chance to have a gossip!

Alongside that, the charity I’m involved with has been busy with a funding bid and practical plans for future activities.

Plus with writing group, reading group, wedding planning, social life and family events this is a time I could really add to my stock of ideas and reference points for the future.  If I don’t make the most of it, I’ll regret it.

So that’s the revision of the plan, for now.  I hope it works out better than the last one…

In other news – I missed the book from the 100 novels list last week – The Age of Innocence, by Edith Wharton.  I read it a few years ago (not long after the film came out) and remember enjoying it but not a lot else but recently downloaded it to re-read.  I don’t want to be reminded of the story as it’ll put me off revisiting it, so didn’t read the write-up!

This week’s book is Ulysses by James Joyce.  I have only ever read one of the meandering train of thought segments, which seemed to go on for many frustrating pages, so this is not one I’m drawn to looking at again; it also seems to be a bit marmite for people who have tried to read it.  I’d love to know what you think of it if you’ve had a go yourselves…

And finally – Tonight we have a ‘supermoon’ in the sky above us; I found an amazing image to show you, but my partner has been out and got one of his own; I’ll share that on Thursday because I have an idea for a related post.  In the meantime, I hope you get a chance to see the beauty of the sky tonight.

Until next time,

happy writing,

EJ

🙂

 

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