What if the bad guy won?

3 11 2013

bad guy

My husband has long harboured a desire to write a book. He has brilliant ideas but lacks focus and cannot structure his work to form a coherant story with a clear beginning, middle and end. He is writing in the fantasy genre and the idea is to create a stand alone story & his concept invlves the bad guy winning.

I have set him a challenge to write an epilogue so he has an ending point to work towards.

So I asked the following questions:

  1. What does the bad guy want?
  2. What happens when the bad guy wins?

I have suggested that he put together a series of bullet points answering these questions before he can set about writing his ending. Any ideas fellow bloggers?

 

Advertisements




Postaday

29 09 2013

I have been part of the postaday challenge since back in mid-January. For the most part I have been successful in writing something (however uninspiring) each day and maintaining a bit of discipline with my writing. But lately I have been finding it tough.

I am suffering with fatigue and finding it harder and harder to motivate myself to post every day. When I do miss a day, I try to post twice the subsequent day to make up for it and I am currently still adding the postaday banner each time I blog.

I have been questioning at what point I need to accept failure and stop adding the banner but I am reluctant to do this as that may mark the point when I accept that this challenge is too difficult and give up entirely. I have known other people to attempt the challenge only to give up a few weeks in when writers block first rears its ugly head when I managed to work through that stage several times.

For now I will struggle on and hope my fatigue passes, but I hope this does not mark the beginning of the end for me and my beloved blog.





Book – Genre

5 05 2013

BookI think I may have caught the writing bug.

My interest in commiting my thoughts to the written word continues to increase despite my frequent attacks of writers block. I have come to realise that I would love to take on a more purposeful project to give my writing more focus and with an end product in mind.

Like millions of others before – I would love to see if I have a book in me.

At present my thoughts are without form and may never fully take shape. This will not change unless I take action.

I started to consider how aspiring writers get started. I have a million ideas floating round in my head but no through line, overall plot, characters etc.

It occured to me that commiting to a specific genre may be a good starting point. I found some helpful lists and started to consider my own reading for pleasure and any areas I felt particularly drawn to.

Genres

  1. Adventure
  2. Children and teenagers
  3. Chick lit
  4. Comics and Graphic novels
  5. Crime
  6. Disaster fiction
  7. Fairies
  8. Fantasy
  9. Friendship
  10. Historical fiction
  11. Horror
  12. Paranormal
  13. Picture books
  14. Poetry
  15. Religion
  16. Romance
  17. Sci-fi
  18. Thriller
  19. Vampires
  20. Witches, wizards and magic
I am very drawn to the Romance, Crime, Fantasy, Religion and Vampires – though obviously not all at once!
Once I have settled on this I can start to explore more specific details but for now this has given me a sense of purpose and some food for thought.




Mind the gap

3 05 2013

mind-the-gap

Regular readers will have realised that Blogging has brought out my competitive spirit.

Over the last few months I have become totally addicted to my stats screen.

I am of course mindful of the fact that monitoring my most popular topics could be used to inform my choice of topics in an attempt to manipulate my site statistics but much as I want to engage readers I do not want this to stand in the way of my personal progress and I want to explore a range of topics and styles of writing before I settle on any specific genre or theme. This personal project has been a fantastic outlet for my creativity and I have some way to go before I will consistently attract large numbers of regular readers.

In my job role as a Drama teacher I have realised that the best work usually starts with the statement ” This may not work, but…

I want to explore many ideas that dont work in the quest for the gems and moments of inspiration that define great writers. I try to reflect my mood and obsessions as they arise each day. I love the pressure of my goal to post once a day and some of my most creative posts have been the product of the last minute panic to write SOMETHING at 11:59pm.

However back to my competitive streak – my husband is a fellow blogger and despite his more irratic approach he is still 1532 views ahead of me!

I am determined to overtake him in time for my 1 year blogging anniversary in July.

I need to generate some good material to achieve this goal as he has been lucky enough to stumble across some really niche topics that continue to attract readers months after they were first posted simply because there is only limited information online anywhere else.





10 Reasons I am looking forward to going “BACK TO SCHOOL”

14 04 2013

Back to school

My response to the Daily Prompt: The Satisfaction of a List!

 

After two glorious weeks of thinking about work AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE; tomorrow I will make the dreaded journey back to school.

It is always hateful to return to work after a refreshing break – it doesn’t matter what industry you work in – and I must admit I am not looking forward to my return to my classroom one little bit.

But inspired by the daily prompt: the staisfaction of a list, I decided to look at the positive things that will come out of my first productive day in a fortnight, in a bid to motivate myself for my return, rather than obsessing over the reasons I would rather remain tucked up in bed, drinking endless cups of tea with a good book.

 

10 REASONS I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO GOING BACK TO SCHOOL

 

1/ FRIENDS: Just like the students, I am looking forward to seeing all my friends. It’s great participating in the banter in the staff room, comparing notes and sharing our stories. I work with some amazing people and it is always good to be in their company.

2/ SENSE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT: Every day I spend at work  (and this feeling predates my career in teaching); I feel I have accomplished something. I feel the satisfying sense that I have earned my paycheck and am contributing in my own small way to the society in which I live.

3/ SUBJECT SPECIALISM: I love my subject specialism. Drama is now – and always has been – my passion. I am extremely blessed that I have the opportunity to do what I love every single day of my working life and even better, I get to share and pass on my skill and knowledge to other people.

4/ MAKING A DIFFERENCE: I work with kids from a wide range of backgrounds and abilities. In a strange way it is not always the outstanding talent in my classroom that makes me feel warm and fuzzy at night. It’s the kid who is an absolute nightmare, from a deprived or troubled background, who for some inexplicable reason loves my subject or simply responds well to me, who can make or break my day. Some of these kids who have (on the surface at least) so little, can give so much back when they are inspired.

5/ MAKING MONEY: Like it or not we all need cash! I earn a good salary and this means I can enjoy good times when I am on holiday.

6/ ROUTINE: I am definitely a creature of habit. When my life is devoid of structure and routine I flounder. I cope much better when I have a predictable routine to follow.

7/ APPRECIATE HOLIDAY: To paraphrase a quote I heard on TV recently: “If EVERYDAY is amazing then no day is truely amazing”. You can only appreciate the good times when juxtaposed with the bad ones.

8/ CHANCE TO USE MY BRAIN: I am fairly articulate and I am good at problem solving. These skills are better when they are put to work. In fact, I think that exercising your brain is as important as looking after your physical health. As delighted as I have been in my time off by my new shredder and ability to eradicate my old household bills and personal documments; it has hardly been a mental challenge that has caused me to utilise my grey matter. No matter what tomorrow brings, I know I will need to be thinking and on my toes at all times.

9/ 6 WEEKS TILL MY NEXT HOLIDAY!: One of the perks of my profession. Don’t get me wrong, I spend much of my time off marking, planning lessons, doing paperwork etc. BUT, it is infinitely better doing these tasks in my PJ’s, on my sofa, with the radio on than trying to focsu on endless spreadsheets when I am stuck at work. Roll on my next ‘break’!

10/ SOMETHING TO BLOG ABOUT: When you are confronted with 30 children each hour of your working life you collect wonderful stories. Children are fantastic inspiration for all aspiring writters because they say what they think, often without censoring themselves. Every day I find myself in absurd, humourous, tragic and inspiring conversations with the next generation and if that doesn’t give me something to blog about, then nothing will 🙂

 

Fellow teachers: please feel free to add your own thoughts about the reasons we continue to pursue our chosen: crazy/admirable/challenging/frustrating/wonderful [delete as appropriate] profession in the comments section below.

 

 





Procrastination

31 03 2013

In a bid to help me organise my writing a little better – my husband has just installed Evernote on my laptop.

In truth I think his efforts to help me get organised are part of his ongoing procastination over actually writing his book.

evernote

Since his return to blogging on 18th March he has written about how rubbish it is that he left it 70 days between posts, a great quiz inviting his readers to guess whether a series of photos were real places or CGI, his goal to create the world for his book, his first attempt at creating a map of the world his characters will inhabit, a list of the fantasy books that sparked his interest, an exam about the cliches dominating the fantasy genre, a blog in which he explores the pros and cons of available software for writers.

As he was happily tapping away on my laptop and extoling the virtues of Evernote I pointed out the fact that he had not actually written a word of his book in this time. He acknowledged that this was true and suggested that maybe he should start by creating an outline so he knows where his story is going. When I retorted that this was simply another stalling technique – he simply ignored me.

However Evernote does seem to be a great software program that will definitely help me to organise my work and keep better track of my ideas. It is a good way to:

  • Create text, photo and audio notes
  • Clip web pages including text, links, and images
  • Synchronize your notes across your devices
  • Search for text within snapshots and images

But in the true spirit of this post I will start using it…tomorrow

I'm part of Post A Day 2013





Artistic Licence

30 03 2013

Positivity

 I have been reading an ever increasing number of Blogs. It is interesting to read what others have written and helpful to consider what makes other Blogs appealing to me as a reader.

It is a way of seeking out inspiration as well as increasing your own site traffic. My husband directed me to the following site:

http://thebigblogcollection.wordpress.com/

In order to sign up I had to add my blog to a particular category. This was challenging.  I have a number of recurring themes but I write about a range of topics in my quest to post every day.  I wracked my brains considering my overall tone and attempted to identify similarities.

One thing I have been very conscious of is keeping the tone light hearted, humorous  and most importantly POSITIVE.These are the types of blogs I most enjoy reading whereas, I find it draining reading negative posts, even if I can relate to the issues under discussion. I have noticed that I adopt a lot of artistic licence in how I discuss and present personal experiences in ‘blogland’. I am sure a lot of bloggers relating personal experiences are selective about exactly what they include and what they edit out in order to make a specific point or convey a message to their readers.

Positivity seems the best strategy.. I often edit out the bad bits even when I am speaking to people. I am not ‘Mary Sunshine’ with a smile permanently plastered on my face, my life is not all rainbows and butterflies, I do of course have bad days  – but no one wants to hear me forever winging about my lot in life.

It started when I was younger when I listened to my Mum recounting stories to elderly relatives we would visit on Sunday afternoons. She had a manner of storytelling that was largely truthful but she would tweak minor details or merge conversations to humorous affect.

When I left home I made a point of calling family and friends regularly and editing out any bad experiences always presenting the events of my daily life in a positive way, after all these people cared about me and wanted to know that I was happy. I occasionally invent characters or rewrite my own history slightly if I think it will read better or lead me naturally to a better punch line.

How much artistic licence do you use when writing about yourself?

I'm part of Post A Day 2013