Wednesday, 21 March 2012

She wants more time; she has a plan

This week I got rid of Facebook - for a while at least. There's plenty I like about using Facebook and plenty I don't, and at the moment I feel the balance tipping further into the territory of don't-like. And this is about my use of it - rather than Facebook itself. I get 2 afternoons a week where I'm not at one of my other jobs and I'm home alone - the best time to write. I want to maximise that time, especially as I have A Plan.

Well, what I have is a desire to work on a story I've been mulling over for some time, that I've thought - for no good reason other than a hunch - could be a Young Adult novel. If it is, I might send it to the new competition just launched by Mslexia for a children's / YA novel. This closes in September so my plan is to work on it as much as I can and see if it takes shape for that deadline. See, my 2 afternoons are important. At the moment I'm longing more than ever to not have to do the non-writing jobs, just for a while. But there's not much use in just longing I guess, I have to use what I have.

So, keep going, keep going, work on the New Thing, keep writing short stories, and sending your work away. (I say to myself, and you too, perhaps if you need it.)

Not being on Facebook and being outside more are two things I hope will help.

Oh, and last week I went to the sea - the YA novel is set by the sea, so I thought it might be good to get away from the urban metropolis of York and go to our nearest (by train) seaside resort of Scarborough. I went early in the morning, by myself and stayed a few hours. Doing something just for my writing was a really useful and liberating thing I think. And I climbed up onto a cliffside and sat and wrote here for a while.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

aaagh I hate it I hate it

Hm. This week I am cursed by writing that requires a theme.

First, there was an embarassing mistake. I entered a flash fiction competition - the Writer's and Artist's Yearbook February Flash - and didn't realise the call was for stories about 'The Lonely Writer'. I had read the guidelines - I just somehow skimmed over that essential bit of information. (Reassuringly, 2 other writers I know did the same thing.) I wonder what the judge must have thought reading my story which was so far away from that theme... eugh, it makes me cringe just to think about it. Nevermind!

And then I'm having real trouble writing a story based on 'Garden of Eden' for this absolutely amazin-lookin competition to win a place on a writers' retreat at Anam Cara - my dream retreat destination - has been for a while - so I really want to enter this. But the theme... I should say I have trouble writing to theme anyway, and usually end up with a piece of writing that feels artificial, but this one... ah I could scream at it! I hate it I hate it. Everything I write is contrived, and boring, and... I've been playing around with it, free-writing, trying to get beyond the obvious, but it's like pulling teeth. Only not - that's dramatic - stop it, Teresa.

I'd love to crack this and be able to write something that feels good and true to my kind of writing, so I'll keep on keepin on with it until the deadline (which is March 22nd). If you're feeling more inspired than me go here and have a look - it's a really fabulous prize.

Friday, 9 March 2012

people who turn the corners of books down...

I don't mind that at all. I like it. Makes the book feel read and alive.

(I don't have time to do a fuller blog post, so I just thought I'd be provocative then pop away again.)