Farewell to the Great Procrastinator

Ahem …

I know. It’s been more than two years since I last posted here. But I haven’t been procrastinating. Honest. Quite the opposite.

I’ve been busy doing a lot of stuff including gaining a Masters in Writing for Young People from Bath Spa University. As a result of which I’ve now achieved a long-held great procrastinator’s dream of finishing a novel, as well as meeting a whole group of lovely, amazing, supportive people. Currently we’re working together to produce our anthology Paper Worlds – out in the wilds on 11th April.

https://twitter.com/PaperWorlds24/status/841257593557377024

So, I no longer consider myself the greatest procrastinator of them all.

Except when it comes to cleaning, of course.

And this small distraction who arrived 18 months ago. 

 

 

Coming Out of the Closet: the introvert writer

My guest blog for Writers Bureau is out there.

Their next competition is Flash Fiction and closes on 30th November 2014.

Bath Short Story Award 2014

The Bath Short Story Awards results are out.  Have been for a couple of weeks.  You know how it takes me a while to get round to things.

I entered the competition myself and, although my story didn’t get anywhere, I am thrilled that first prize went to Eleanor Nash for Ghost Boy . Click the link to read this amazing story.

I met Eleanor at the Writing Events Bath Workshops.  She has a YA novel under her belt and is also a talented artist.  You can follow her writing life at Writinglark and her artwork at elenash.

 

 

 

Days of Whines and Rosé

Whines

  • Less a whine, more a howl. Stolen girls, stolen lives, stolen education. Bring Back our Girls. No other words.
  • I’m disappointed, ashamed, by my inability to cast a vote. A century has not yet passed since people like me got the right to vote.  Elsewhere in the world, girls can’t even go to school. People are fighting for their right to vote and for free and fair elections, but here democracy seems to have dwindled to taking your pick from posh boys in all their bland similarity; fine heads of hair and strangely wrinkle-free foreheads.  They spin us spineless lines. Taunting one another with rhetoric worthy of the playground, they offer us nothing of substance. I still want Jed Bartlett to rule the world.
  • I know it’s natural for cats to kill, but it is heartbreaking when they take down a butterfly. 

Rosé

  • May’s amazing.  Yesterday, everything was promise, and now it’s here -buzzing, vibrating, green, overwhelming life
  • photo
  • Drinking Rosé with old friends, met when our first children started primary school. Joined together at that moment of severance. Now, we are mellower, wiser. We’ve left the playground.
  • Despite a disappointing showing in recent competitions, I am writing lots (so piss off internal critic).  This, courtesy of another series of inspirational Writing Events Bath Workshops. Meeting some interesting folk too, including the curator of Still Points Moving World which is part of the Bath Fringe Festival.

Courses and Kazoos

Wading through life a bit at the moment what with one thing and another. Your basic shit happens type stuff.  So, not quite as prolific as I would like to be.  However, a few things are keeping me going.

I’ve been doing an online course: Writing for Children with Creative Writing Ink.  It’s led by Oisin McGann, children’s author.  I’ve found it to be very clear and to the point. A lot of writing books and courses go into such depth about the craft of writing that I find myself in anxious over-analysis mode.  I’m then thinking about writing rather than doing it and, as you know by now, I spend enough time avoiding writing as it is.  The course covers writing for different age groups/reading levels, sets exercises and gives constructive feedback, as well as offering practical advice about the publishing process and marketing oneself.

Talking of marketing oneself (what a smooth link) it’s time to blow my own – I was going to say trumpet, but, a) it’s a cliché, and a workshop I recently attended with Writing Events Bath was all about avoiding the cliché, and, b) it sounds a bit arrogant. So, I’m going to go with blow my own kazoo – (or does that sound rude?)

kazoo

Anyway – waffle be gone.

I won first prize in Writing Magazine’s Ghost Story Competition at the end of last year.  It is to be published in the March issue.

Writers Joint - March 2014

Objective for next time: Write a whole post without any brackets.

January

January is not going to plan.  Usually, it is a great writing month but this year I am in a heightened state of procrastination so epic that house cleaning has actually occurred.  It’s not good.  Not good at all.

Of course, there is still all the cat stuff going on, not to mention parenting through the teen angst, which is hard as I feel like a thirteen year old myself a lot of the time. I still cannot type the without typing teh.  Why did I think 2014 was going to be any different?  It’s not like all the crap wipes itself out on 31st December and life resets itself to a perfect state at 12.01 a.m. on January 1st.

My procrastinatory tendencies are driving me madder than usual because I have the perfect motivation to write. I have a load of half finished stuff courtesy of NaNoWriMo and Writing Events Bath workshops, plus I have been placed first in a short story competition! Details to follow.

 

 

Still going

Still going steadily on NaNoWriMo although I haven’t made it to any of the local meets and I did collide with a writer’s block yesterday.  However, armed with advice from one of the many useful NaNo tips I receive via email and twitter, I karate chopped it into tiny pieces and fed it to my pet dragon.

I’m over 35,000 words and still, miraculously, have more to say.

Strangely, while I have been mostly directing my energy into this project,  two other happy writing things are also going on.

I’ve been attending a weekly writer’s workshop with Writing Events Bath.  As in the town Bath Spa, not the tub for washing oneself.  I arranged this as an intervention against myself.  I needed to get out there talking to people who are going through the same things re writing, but mainly to get over the dread of reading one’s own work out loud to other people and taking feedback.  Two weeks in and that’s already getting easier.

The other great thing is that one of the flash fictions I entered into the Inktears Flash Fiction comp earlier this year (after my prolonged writing drought), was highly commended and will be published on that website in 2014.  More news from Inktears coming soon…

All this makes it sound like I have given up on procrastinating.  Don’t worry, I am still doing plenty of it, mainly around domestic cleansing type tasks.  Why is white generally considered the most appropriate colour for sanitary ware?  I suggest a sludgy shade of dust might be the way to go.