4 days

This week sees me travelling Northbound for a training course in Doncaster.  It means that I am spending a week away from my baby (Who insists that she is not a baby, but a big girl) and my husband.  Husband I know is anxious about being a single dad for the week, not only does he have an active and wayward toddler to look after and manage, but also his job to manage as well.  I am sure he will be fine. I will miss both terribly, despite having Skype.  It’s just not the same.  Roll on the days until Friday!

In the meantime, I am sat in the Virgin 1st Class lounge, on my second cup of coffee (free) with WiFi access (free) and aircharge ports.  Not to mention free snacks too.  I have 4 days of learning ahead. I haven’t learnt in a classroom environment in a very long time.  This should be interesting.

It also means that I am getting some time to write.  After all, I have some free time, plus my muse has come for a visit. Currently, after some heavy editing, I am on 15,314 words. Only 35,000 more to go.  Maybe this year I will complete it during NaNoWriMo.  Who knows, stranger things have happened!

Then there were Two

Good grief. It’s been 4 months. FOUR.
See what happens when life gets away from you?

I’m still working on my Divine Series. I have 3 titles, 2 plots and one manuscript in progress followed by Zero publishers.
However that’s been put on my back burner for now.
The Muse has taken me in a completely different direction with a girl called Liss. It’s a stand alone story and seems easy enough plot wise. Probably need to start looking at e-pub formatting and software.

Hmmmmm wonder if there’s a kick starter for authors?

I should probably charge my laptop tbh.

The Muse

Back in October I decided to take part in National Novel Writing Month. I didn’t finish. Most people would be disappointed but I was elated. The book in my mind had started to form chapters.
For years characters and their lives strutted through my mind. Demanding my attention and when receiving it they shied away. Cheek.

In October my muse appeared and my ideas came to fruition. Despite life stresses and struggles. Anyone with a mental health illness knows how hard it can be to function day to day. Being able to push through that AND produce thousands of words with ideas for more is a triumph.

My muse slunk away when real life reared up.  CHRISTMAS.  It was approaching and my muse couldn’t compete.

She reappeared today and gave me a title for my 2nd book in the Acacia May series. A tad cheeky as book 1 is still untitled.

I’m glad she’s back!
Really glad.

Julius Frank – Velociraptor Train Driver

Julius Frank sat in his depot, waiting for the hands on the clock to tick over. Shortly he’d be driving the Reading to Waterloo train, and he was slightly upset as he’d had no breakfast. He was also upset because his week wasn’t going to plan. Everyone in the depot was a bit wary of Julius, he liked it most of the time, as he was a solitary soul; being a train driver suited him. But it was a bit annoying when he walked into the depot and the other drivers went quiet, no one even included him in the banter. For some reason they were all scared of him, expect the revenue staff, because he seemed to make their jobs that much easier. Even some of his regulars were scared of him, and it did make them very polite.

His week hadn’t been going well at all, only yesterday he’d been called into the office; his Driver Manager said to him “Julius, how many times do we have to tell you, we use the Revenue Staff to fine fare evaders, you must stop eating them! Whilst revenue is up on the Reading to Waterloo line, passenger numbers are down. At this point we may have to make some of the current Revenue staff redundant if you keep snacking on their workload”

As Julius left the office he heard his Driver Manager mutter “Who’s bright idea was it to give a bloody velociraptor a job here.”

The clock ticked over, and it was time to wander down to his specially adapted train. Having had no breakfast, he sincerely hoped that any fare evaders kept away so that he didn’t have to eat them. A disciplinary would not be a good thing, especially since he’d take a chunk out of his last union rep and Bob Crow had revoked his membership. Julius wondered how Mr Crow would taste as he climbed into the cab.

Struggling

It’s happening again. My creativity is constipated. My muse has buggered off on holiday and despite having several great ideas in my head, putting them down on paper isn’t happening.

That time you sit and write, only to read back a load of absolute rubbish, which you delete anyway, because lets face it, it doesn’t make sense to anyone, not even you!

That time you sit to write, only to find that even though you have lots of words floating around in your head, they refuse to be plucked out of your mind and be restrained into paper format. It’s as if they’re saying “bitch, if you take one step closer I will stab you with this rusty fork!” and so you leave it be, because who wants to be stabbed by a rusty fork. No thank you.

So today will mostly be working on, talking down my words with the skills of a trained hostage negotiator, in the hope that I can produce some words and not be stabbed by a rusty fork, and begging my muse to come back from her holidays!

 

 

 

 

writing – it’s surprisingly hard

One of the worst things about having a blog? Is also one of the best things.

It’s Writing.

Now writing may not seem hard, especially when you’re reading someone elses posts or articles or novels or short stories or notes on bathroom walls, but when you actually sit down to do it yourself, it’s really damn hard. (note to all, I don’t make a habit or scrawling crap on bathroom walls whilst peeing)

There are times when I have such great ideas for a post and then I sit down and it’s just gone.

There are times when I’m mid-post and I’m in full flow, only to read it back and think “what a load of shite” and delete it all.

There are times when something happens that I can blog about and once it’s there in black and white, it’s just not the same.

There are times when I have so much stuff that I want to write but I can’t because it’s not time to share it yet (believe me there is a LOT of that shit).

There are times when I feel pressure to write a post that is witty and amusing and that shit just doesn’t help at all.

Writing is hard. It really is. However there are lots of tools and ideas that can help.

  1. Scheduling posts – a great option to use.  Most blog platforms have this option.  Normally once you start writing, your creative juices start flowing in abundance.  If that happens, GO FOR IT.  Keep writing, because you can schedule those posts for another time. You can go back to them and edit them, improve them, take things away, change the schedule date.  Blog Scheduling is your friend.
  2. Blogging Apps – so many times I have a great idea for a post, but computer to access my blog and write. Sometimes not even a pen and paper to jot down the idea. To be honest, even when I do that and go to write a few hours later, what I write isn’t good. Find an app for your smart phone. I use the WordPress for iPhone, it’s easy to use and FREE from the app store.  It allows you to blog on the move as long as you can connect to the internet.
  3. Blog Prompts – so many sites offer blog prompts. Use them. It can kick-start your muse into gear and lead you to producing some excellent work.
  4. Silence – sometimes you don’t even need to say anything in a post. A picture is sufficient. You can have Wordless Wednesdays, Silent Sundays or even Muted Mondays. Afterall the saying does go “a picture is a thousand words”
  5. Share – use your blog to share things, like posts from other bloggers.  Is there a blog that you read regularly or a blogger that inspries you? Write about why they inspire you, link back to your favourite post by them. Just make sure that you have permission to use any of their site content and give credit where it’s due.

How to burn bridges and alienate bloggers

I am 27. The content on this blog consists of my own experiences, my own words and my own work. Occasionally I will post a cartoon, or photo, that clearly I did not draw (because I can’t even draw stick men….) or take, but I follow the rules. I link back where possible and I ask for permission.

I don’t have a huge following. I am not an expert writer, or expert blogger, hell I’m not even a professional blogger. I blog for shits and giggles (please, seriously, don’t send me any shits, I am however happy to accept giggles, unless giggles is some strange weird euphemism for some sort of sex position/game, then thanks, but no thanks).

I am not an activist (normally), I am not a humourist (generally), I’m just a “regular” “normal” 27-year-old woman (28 in 11 days time) living in London (check the about me section).

Today the blogosphere exploded on Twitter.

Why? Plagiarism.

You can read about it here.

If you’re too lazy to click the link and read, then basically the gist of it is this headline from BethAvant over at ShePosts.com “Babble Blogger Kristin Ruiz Outed for Plagiarizing Amalah’s Posts”. Kristin Ruiz of Our Ordinary Life was found to have plagiarised posts from Amy over at Amalah.com. The resulting action? Bloggers from across the USA, Canada and Europe hit the roof.

Lifting content from somewhere else is a BIG no no. Unless you have permission from the blogger (preferably written permission) and you state your source or link back to the ORIGINAL post, then DO NOT remove any content from another bloggers site, no exceptions, no excuses.

It seems that Kristin stated that she didn’t mean to do anything wrong and kept stating that she was young, only 27 years old.

I am 27 years old. I can’t understand how someone who is 27 years old doesn’t understand that taking someone elses work and passing it off as your own is wrong.

When you start school and you’re given homework and tests and what not, you are told not to copy others work. When you do exams in Middle School or High School if you get caught copying someone elses answers then you FAIL. We are taught from a young age that copying someone elses work is NOT ok. When you go to college or university your essays are scrutinised to ensure you have not plagiarised them. Time and time again, whilst growing up, it was drummed into me that you don’t copy someone elses work. Copying was wrong. I cannot understand how someone who is the same age as me doesn’t understand this concept. I know that school systems across the world are different, but COME ON, they can’t be that different when it comes to stuff like this.

BethAvant from Sheposts.com gives a few suggestions, which you can read in her post which is linked above. Make a point of reading her suggestions, they will be invaluable to you as a blogger.

Take heed people. If you want to be taken seriously as a blogger, or get paid to blog, then follow the rules. Work hard and earn respect by creating your own content, using your own words and try not to piss off the entire blogosphere. Once you piss off the blogosphere then you’re done. Do not pass GO, do not collect your £200.

Always think before hitting that “Publish” button and be prepared to admit you’re wrong and apologise when you are in fact, wrong.

Your actions will have consequences, don’t forget that.

Creativity Wanted

I have often made up stories in my head, stories about faeries, witches, demons, vampires. It may come as no surprise to people that my favourite genre to read is the supernatural and preternatural genre. Whether it be paranormal romance, thriller, or horror, if it has werewolves, were-animals, vampires, faeries etc in it, then most likely I will read it.

Sometimes however when trying to take these ideas I have and put them to paper, or word document as the case sometimes is, the idea just disappears. It seems my muse of creativity and writing just gets up and wanders off. How I would love to be an established author. But I realise that becoming an established author doesn’t come easy (for most people anyway).

In an attempt to get my creative juices flowing, I decided to write some short stories, that will, hopefully, develop into something more. Like perhaps a book. Or a series of books, maybe, maybe not. In my attempt to get the juices flowing, I thought I’d find a writing challenge generator, and over to my friend Google, I searched. I found Seventh Sanctum. I got some ideas, but others just made me laugh. They most certainly are a “challenge”. Here are a few of my favourite ones.

· The story takes place in the late evening. A character will have their hair cut, but the action is misinterpreted.

· The story must have a theologian in it. The story must have dust appear in the middle.
· The story must have a fish in it.
· A character dyes their hair, but the action is misinterpreted. The story is set in a desecrated temple. During the story, there is an assassination.
· During the story, there is a dramatic discovery. The story must have a barracuda at the beginning.

I’m not entirely sure, what my attempt at writing will produce, but I can’t imagine it. Maybe I’m not trying hard enough. Perhaps I’ll try to write something with the above ideas and see what happens.

I’m going to open this up to my readers, can you come up with a short story featuring some (if not all) of the above challenges? I am considering a prize for the best story, so stay tuned and get writing!