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Posts Tagged ‘space’

As I’ve been feeling a bit grotty today, I have only just started getting to grips with work – oops!

That means I haven’t really got an update for you so instead of saying what I have done, I’ll tell you what I will do before I go to sleep – and tomorrow I’ll own up if I don’t quite make it!

I plan to revisit my space poetry with a view to signing it off for this month – that will mean four new poems with structures, subjects, themes and any metaphorical allusions I care to use. As I said before, using words from alternative root languages hasn’t worked as I’d hoped so that will form part of the revision process, and all I’ll do for this month is write solid first drafts.

I will also look at my ‘speak Chinese’ book – I am trying to learn to say ‘I live in the UK’ at the moment. I probably ought to listen to the cd that came with the set but I’ve never yet found a language cd that I had patience to listen to all the way through…  Mind you, that could be why I’ve never been very good at languages!

So I’m off to get some work done – wish me luck!

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

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I have completed two thirds of project month now – and as today has involved no writing work at all, I thought I’d use the opportunity to check out how things are going…

Very late last night I ticked off Codename Wedding Belles – I finally have a structure and core I am happy with. Writing this has made it clear that a lot of my poetry is melancholic so that’s something I want to challenge in the future.

I’d already ticked off the plan for November for the second novel, so that’s two things ticked off in their entirety for this month.

Space poetry (ie first drafts) are about 90% concluded and the short stories for submission are about the same, just final tweaks plus cover letters and cover sheets to do.

‘Learning something new’ (Chinese!) is nearly done for this month – obviously it’s ongoing but I am just pleased to have finally opened a book I intended to start reading five years ago!  And I’m on phrase two…

Writing a blog post every day – I’ve just about managed so far, even if some posts sneak past midnight when I actually finish them!

NaNoWriMo from last year ie ‘The Story of One’ is about 25% of the target this month: my target was 30-40,000 extra words and I’m on about 8,500. I don’t think I’ll get there because scenes are being written out of context – but I hope to get at least 20,000.

Torch Tales is languishing nearly at the bottom of my list – so I will make sure that story outlines are in place for each ‘stop’ on the route, even if they’re not written completely.

And last but not least – despite my good intentions, I did not start picking poems for the pamphlet this week. I have thought about it but not in anything like the detail I should.

So there are ticks on my database – yippee! – but the clock is ticking more quickly than the database is being filled.  It has been suggested that I overestimated my capacity this month. Repeatedly. Still I know I need to push myself to complete things, and if nothing else this month is showing me what has the greatest impact on my energy, when and where I work most prolifically, and what the biggest distractions are so I can manage them in the future.

So – onward and tickward!

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

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Today I was supposed to complete the short story editing.  Maybe, if I had time, spend an hour or so on poetry.  It all seemed so clear-cut.

Well, I have done some more editing – but not to my satisfaction.  I need to look at the stories with a bit more objectivity tomorrow as I have cut the lengths to meet submission requirements.  This leaves me feeling as though the pace of the story has been affected and I want to make sure there’s no sense of anything being rushed.

I also spent some time on my poetry – redrafting ‘Codename Wedding Belles’ and working on the borrowed-word space poem.  I have changed that one a lot today – I have to be careful it doesn’t feel too much like a gimmick so I’ve rewritten it in ‘normal’ ie day-to-day language, kept the themes, and am going to then introduce the language elements in the revising stages and see if it works better.

I did look at another space poem but I only changed a few words.

Oh, and on the subject of poetry, I’ve been looking at pieces I might want to put into my on-line pamphlet.  I am not intending for the space pieces to be the first out there; I’m thinking about how it might work for a reader – so maybe split it into hours, or moods rather than all on a theme.  The target for this month is simply to choose the pieces, but I want to make sure they work together.

And finally I got on with ‘The Story of One’, working through the stodgy ineffective bit and getting the character back on track.  I’ll need to take a mallet to the first part of the new sections, eventually, but at the moment it’s just a means to an end.  It can sit and be stodgy for a while yet.

So today has been scattered and not very satisfying.  Still every step forward is a step closer to meeting my project targets – you never know, I might be able to tick something else off soon!

Happy writing

EJ

🙂

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Did anyone see Felix Baumgartner’s skydive?  I find it both terrifying to watch him literally fall to earth (even though I know there was a successful outcome) and awe-inspiring.  Life-affirming, perhaps.  One day, the information gathered from this skydive may save someone, which is brilliant in and of itself, but also this reminds me that the path may be long, but if you put all your effort in you can achieve something truly astonishing.

Not all feats are quite as amazing as this but on a personal basis have a huge impact.  So today I think we should all give ourselves a bit of a pat on the back for what we have achieved.  There’s always another target, or something we wish we’d managed, but didn’t: sometimes we focus too much on these and forget to enjoy our triumphs.

So – my mini-triumph today was (drum roll please)… editing short stories!

Yes, I did finally manage to get the pesky editing started.  I gave myself the time to regroup over the weekend, and I sat down to do it, and it’s (almost) done.   Only one more story and I’ll be able to send things off.

The break did me good, I think; and I’m really pleased with the outcomes so far.

Tomorrow I’ll aim to finish the short story editing and go back to my poetry pieces for a little while.

Ok, so it’s not a skydive from 24 miles above earth, but I’ll celebrate it anyway!

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

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I have decided, after two fruitless days in a row, that editing of short stories will be pushed until next week.  I am not doing well with it at all – I am reading sections, then re-reading them, and making random changes that don’t really have the desired effect.

In short, this target had a big red warning sign over it.

There’s something about short stories, I just seem to have a block about them.  When it comes to editing, I manage a few lines, a few paragraphs, and then I hit a wall.  Looking back, it’s always short stories that I complain about, and I am starting to think I should stop working on them and focus on the poetry and the novels…

But not this month – this month I have a target!

To make me feel better I researched where to send which piece, so I can edit with the magazine in mind; I’ll buy the most recent editions just to make sure nothing has changed in their focus, which I think will help.

Because I wasn’t working on short stories, I decided to do some more space poetry work.  I have now got four new poetry pieces in various stages of draft, plus one completely bonkers extra one written with modern and Old English, just for fun.  I have got mythology textbooks in a pile next to me – I’m really enjoying writing a poem about something I love, using a background of something else I love, it’s really exciting!

I also did some more work on the NaNoWriMo piece from last year.  For the sake of discussion, from now on it will be called ‘The Story of One.’ This comes from a point I make in the intro.  I wish I’d carried on writing it until it was completed – it’s hard to start again after such a long break, and not flowing as well as I’d hoped, but I’ll get to grips with it and until I do, I just have to keep going!

Tomorrow I am taking part in a charity workout (am exhausted just thinking about it!) so my output will be limited…  I am not setting any targets for the day, and will fit in what I can.  Tomorrow’s post may be very short!

Happy writing

EJ

🙂

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I am quite pleased that today has gone pretty much as planned: I worked on the Codename Wedding Belles poem, the plan for the novel and my space poem.  I got to tick off the first of my October targets and it feels as though I am achieving something concrete, for once!

Codename Wedding Belles still has no title, but the form is coming together with some personal references as well as a wider theme.  I am pleased with how it is forming, although it still has a way to go – I have taken lots of notes and drafted starting points before, and this is an amalgamation of a few pieces that work well together.

The plan for the novel has been revised with my changes from yesterday – they were limited but I do think the story has more substance now.  This is the first completed task for this project month (I have a plan to see me through NaNoWriMo) – if I have any more time later in the month to refine it I will do so, but I have done what I intended!

The first space poem now has proper form, its style is fixed and I’ve tidied up the language.  I think I’ll leave this one tomorrow and start the next, then come back to it with fresh eyes in a few days – this technique works for me otherwise I end up spending hours changing one or two words!

I also had a conversation with my ‘critical friend’ about the first novel – she is making notes for more particular discussions, but the feedback on the subject and the readability is very positive, which has made me feel really good!

So tomorrow, I’ll move on to another target for the month – I’ll edit a couple of short stories and prepare them for sending.  I said I’d send four – I have one ready to go, so that’ll leave me with one for next week and by the 20 October I’ll have sent all four off…

I’ll also dig out the NaNoWriMo piece I started last year, re-read it and get onto the next section.

I am sure it seems like I’m all over the place – but I have a database of work so I’m keeping track of it and it’s good to mix the planning, and the editing, with the new writing to keep me engaged!

Happy writing

EJ

🙂

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Today I have split my time between the poetry and the new novel project plan. After some fairly painful attempts to find the root of words in my giant dictionary, I remembered that google is my friend and searched for words that have come into English from other languages.

There’s many Wikipedia pages on this, so I wrote a whole load down to have a basic vocabulary to choose from for the space poem.  From this, I could look at the word in more detail in the giant dictionary and decide if it fitted into my vision.

I have now started writing up the first one and feel a lot happier that I’ve got it under way – the words have such different sounds that they add a lovely texture and I’m hoping to exploit that to make it work both on paper and as a performance piece.  In effect, the sounds should exaggerate the story I am telling.

After working on that for a while I needed a change for a bit, so I returned to the woods novel plan.  I had a ‘eureka’ moment when I was looking at it, that seems to have answered all the outstanding questions and given the context I was looking for.  Basically, I moved a specific, defining incident back by a generation, making one of the main characters the result of this instead of part of it.

I am really pleased that I came to this decision: it means a few changes to my plan for November but it allows me to do what I really want, which is leave the story with a twist in the tail!  It also makes a big section seem more pertinent to the story and justifies my change of point of view character.

So on the list for tomorrow is to get some more work done on the first new space poem; to re-revisit the plan for the next novel, and to start pulling together the various notes I have for Codename Wedding Belles as the timeframe for that has just been moved up!

I love it when I feel I’ve achieved something – I think this project month is proving to be quite a useful exercise!

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

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