Posts Tagged ‘Olympic’

I recently had a contact lens appointment, and was offered some new ‘HD’ lenses to try, which left me slightly bemused.  Do I not already see life in high definition?  Well, maybe not – but since then, the idea of clarity has been on my mind.

I write this blog informally; it’s like an e-notebook, where I plonk my thoughts about writing in the hope that one day it’ll all make beautiful sense.  To someone, somewhere…  When I am writing a poem or a story I need to make sure every point is clear – so you are absorbed into that moment.  In basic terms this is part of the show v tell discussion: to talk of a lawn is not always sufficient, nor is an angry face or a burnt cake.  If something is important to the flow of the piece, much more specific language is required to bring the scene to life.  This is where writing poetry, even if it’s not your greatest love, can help a prose writer.  I have used scenes in my prose that I have also written poetry about, and that can make you see the scene in more depth.  Photographers and painters out there will also be able to call on their skills in identifying the photographic/visual elements of a scene.

Alongside that is the journey from beginning to end: the pace, tone, depth of characterisation/description.  Sometimes so many ideas pop into my head that I lose track of the story I am trying to tell – and although I may go with the flow for a while to see where I end up, inevitably I know when a section is just words and filler, rather than plot development.  I have to cut sections at each read-through I do, and I have to be ruthless about it: even though I’ve now got someone else reading it through, I am still thinking of the sections I know are not working as I would like, and thinking about how they can be improved or if they are necessary at all…

Of course, for any piece you want to feel a physical reaction – tears, laughter, smiles, grimaces; a sense of peace, or stillness.  If I had to describe how a good book makes me feel – I’d say it’s like curling up in comfy clothes, sitting on a windowseat with loads of cushions, and peering out into the world that’s unfolding.  With a good book, I’m a character.

So, clarity.  Show me what you want me to see,  in the highest definition you can muster.

The second thing I want to talk about is my plan for the month ahead.  Following much scribbling of notes, I have decided to focus on the following work:

1. Complete Codename Wedding Belles – a poem I am writing for my cousin and her partner, to be read when they tie the knot in January.  The content will remain a closely guarded secret as they don’t want to hear the piece before the day (they are very brave) so all I will be able to share is the progress.  And possibly a title, if it doesn’t give too much away!

2. ‘NaNoWriMo’ plan – I don’t intend to try to complete a new story but this year I want to use November to work on the draft of my second novel, which you may remember took a back seat last year when I decided to focus on the family tree one. During October I will draft up a plan of action for this so I don’t lose sight of where the work is going; I’ll base it on a minimum of 25,000 additional words completed during November

3. ‘NaNoWriMo’ review – I will pull out and dust off (so to speak) last year’s piece and try to plan to the end of the story in line with my vision. I suspect completing it will take longer than a month but my aim is to progress by around 30-40,000 words. We shall see…

4. Poetry – I will revisit my space poems and draft up a couple more, plus choose five poems to share on Smashwords in a little e-pamphlet which I will then sell for some less-than-princely sum!

5. Short Stories – I will completely edit and send off 4 short stories.

6. Learning something new – I want to have something outside writing to enjoy, so will dig out my learn Chinese kit and have a go at starting that. Even if I can say ‘hello my name is EJ’ at the end of the month, I’ll be happy!

7. Torch Tale – the story surrounding the route of the Olympic flame will be completed in draft format: there will be six separate stories linked by their proximity to the flame – possibly more, as based on locations I know and people I’ve spoken to I could do around twenty at the moment!

8. Blog – I will write every day – my normal 2 posts will follow the usual format (with a quick line of update on progress) and the extra posts will say what I’ve got through that day. Hopefully this will spur me on…

This seems a lot, when I look at it on screen – and if things happen during the month to change my plans I’ll let you know but I really want to push myself and see how far I can get.  I am, as I’m sure you’ve realised, a great procrastinator and work much better with a list of targets than with too much freedom!

I hope some of you out there are inspired to take on some challenges or complete projects on your list this month – let me know if you decide on a project, and how you’re getting on, I do love to get comments and chat with people about life, the universe and everything :-).

Until tomorrow then – happy writing,



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Because I am still spending most of my time on the novel, this week’s post is really just a few links and ideas as to places to go for inspiration…

I’ll start with a sporting theme – the Paralympics.  As you know from my previous posts, the Olympic spirit has really lifted me this summer, and I am hoping that this buzz continues through the Paralympics too – I am lucky enough to have tickets to an event so am really looking forward to that!  I love the advert for this (which hopefully you can watch here even if not in the UK) – and every time it comes on I dance a little…

If you get a chance, find out about the journey some of these athletes have been through – they really are inspirational, in the truest sense of the word.  There’s a link to Team GB here, as a starting point.

The second is a writing theme, as there had to be one!  In particular, I wanted to point out Maya Angelou’s poem ‘Still I Rise‘ (you can check out other poems on poemhunter too).  This is a poem I am drawn back to time and time again: every time I read it I feel the power of it.  It makes me feel like I can do anything – and surely that’s what inspiration is all about!

Again, if you don’t know much about Maya Angelou, a quick internet search will tell you about her life, which will give you some context for the poem – but I hope the power of the poem reaches you regardless!

The third is the British Museum – I used this site a lot when I was studying Prehistoric Rituals and when I studied Old English (random mix but excellent courses!), and I fell in love with seeing the artefacts.  Sometimes in a museum you skirt past a display for all sorts of reasons – time, crowds, lethargy! – but this allows you to really look at a piece.

This is also great if you don’t know what to write about – just pick an image and see where it takes you – freewrite, or make notes, or whatever works for you!

The fourth, and one of the sites I go back to time after time, is HubbleSite.  I love space, have written poems about space, and secretly want Star Trek to be real…  Ok, maybe not the last, but I find the gallery of images here awe-inspiring.

There’s something for everyone here I hope – look at the gallery and see what you think!

I’ll add more in the future but this is a good start!  Sorry this post is a bit short but if I want to get back on track and finish this read-through by the end of tomorrow, I have to get on with it!

Please feel free to post links to any sites you find inspirational, hopefully between us all we’ll find a way to beat any creative block…

Happy writing,



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