Monday, 21 December 2009
A relapse that amongst other things affected my vision, followed by high dose steroids that made my heart go crazy.....well I've been really poorly.
So did I see much on the backs of my eyelids?
Uh not much - at first at least. But as I've started to improve and my brain has started to wake I had plenty of time to consider what's important to me. Had a little time to be scared too. And of course I indulged in a little escapism via my imagination that although stunted has not completely died.
I've really really missed reading. Resting is no fun if you can't read. Or watch tv or do anything much. The last couple of days I've managed to read very briefly (like Christmas cards) but cause the words are blurred and don't tend to stay still it causes pressure and pain that isn't pleasant. But I'm now able to watch a bit of TV at least and am a little more sociable when people come to visit. .
I'm missing my online blogging anf Twitter connections - hope you're all enjoying the festive season. A big shout out to Helen Hunt & DJ Kirkby - hope you're both recovering well!
Happy Christmas & a fantastic New Year 2010 to you all.
Hope to be back in contact soon. Hubbie is reading me some emails and comments and keeping me partly updated but can't wait to catch up properly.
Disclaimer: It is way too difficult to read this screen properly so I'm just typing and not checking or reading - so apologies in advance for bad spelling/grammar/etc etc.
Monday, 30 November 2009
(from page 155, hardback edition:)
"...all the books in the library are biographies."
"Of all the people who have ever lived and quite a few who are still to be born. We keep their entire lives here. Their beginnings, their marriages, their good days and their bad days, their deaths - of course. Everything they ever did."
(You also learn that these books contain all the things that haven't happened yet)
The young hero enters this very real library through a dream dimension. The speech quoted is by 'The Librarian' who apparently has no other name and is the only librarian in an endlessly large library.
I love this whole concept. It got me thinking and I've come up with a few questions and ideas to prompt further writing and thoughts.
What would be written about you on a good or bad day?
What about those in between days? The days that come and go without major incident. The ordinary days. The days that appear to fly by in blur or drag miserably.
What about the characters in your present WIP? We don't really give them an average day to live during the course of a novel or story. Why don't you take time out to write about one of their ordinary in-between days? If you feel it necessary to justify this time spent then you could use this average day as a catalyst for something bigger. After all, in life, it is often the small things that can affect huge change. A ripple effect can start from what may seem an inconsequential event.
Whether you choose to create more from the day or not - it may help you get to know your character further if you spend a day with them that is outside of the chaos, action or intensity of the plot.
Make a date with your character to have a cuppa and a catch up. Do you really know them? Are they the person you thought they were?
If you try this, please let me know how you get on.
The Power of Five series of books has its own website at http://www.powerof5.co.uk/ . For further information about Anthony Horowitz and his writing he can be found at http://www.anthonyhorowitz.com/ and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/AnthonyHorowitz .
Monday, 23 November 2009
The good news this past week is that the rewrites for my YA novel are going well. After completing a first draft and round of edits I had this nagging feeling that the story would work more effectively when told from the perspective of a first person narrative. But I knew this would require a lot of effort. So I decided to work on 3rd person and 1st person versions of the opening chapters with a view to comparing the two.
After completion I was sure that the first person narrative worked best. I gained a second opinion without sharing my own feelings. This reader was very enthusiastic about the first person narrative saying that it brought the story to life. Therefore, I am now busy rewriting my YA novel in first person. The plot, details & story are there already but nevertheless it is a lot of work to change the perspective. Am I mad? Probably. But mad or not I feel sure I've made the correct decision.
What about the wasps? Well I was writing in my writing hut when a dozy irritable wasp appeared from nowhere. I thought it was a loner come to shelter from the rain. But ten wasps later and a screaming phone call to my husband I realised that there were a whole family of the stinging nuisances. I hate killing anything and so at first tried to shoe them out windows and door. This wasn't an effective method. The wasps were grumpy and one dive bombed my head at such force that I began to lose my nerve. I'm ashamed to say I let my husband put the wasps out of their (& my) misery (aka slaughter them). Even though I don't like wasps I still felt all sad.
And the leak? With the wasps gone I thought I was free to continue with my writing. But then I noticed a slow spreading leak across my writing hut ceiling. I could have cried. Hubbie came to the rescue after my emotional plea and re-covered the offending side of the roof. Phew!
So all is well in my writing hut at the moment. The heater is at full blast and slipper socks are a must but it really is my favourite place to write.
Tuesday, 17 November 2009
A wonderful idea realised within a tight plot that enables you to join Tamara on her suspense filled journey of discovery.
Oh and the hard back edition is beautifully designed and so lovely to adorn your bookshelf.
Wednesday, 4 November 2009
Distractions come in many guises. Certain activities that distract from your writing time are easy enough to turn into inspiring moments spent. For instance time spent with family at the beach or doing a craft activity with children can help us create realistic character relationships, write about emotions and describe the waves crashing against rocks.
However, many distractions in our life are not so easy. There's the tedious responsibilities such as cleaning the bathroom, paying bills and doing your tax return. Then there's the irritating time drains. For instance: having to ring customer services for the tenth time to inform the obnoxious unable-to-think-outside-the-box customer representative that they have yet again miscalculated your bill.
I ask myself: can any distraction become inspiration?
Can the metamorphosis of distraction into inspiration enable our every moment to become an interesting, productive writing moment?
I think the answer is yes. Being a writer isn't just about sitting down with your manuscript editing and writing. It's about making the choice to commit to your identity as a writer so that during every moment you're willing to actively be a writer.
Maybe with this commitment, even the most irritating or mundane parts of life will become meaningful, useful and/or enjoyable.
On that note I'll get back to you after I've scrubbed the toilet and let you know if I managed to find any sliver of inspiration from that!
Wednesday, 21 October 2009
This realisation encouraged me to remember why I write. I clearly have a passion to write books that people will enjoy reading. But what of all the other reasons I write? What drives me to put pen to paper over and over again? Why do I write? Well here are some of my answers to this question:
Whether writing fiction or non-fiction, a poem or a self-indulgent journal entry; writing helps me make sense of life. Putting into words a special moment or glorious sight makes these things real and becomes a scrapbook of life.
I’m fascinated by people and relationships. It’s exciting to illustrate in words the beautiful complexity of human interaction and personalities through the creation of fictional characters.
I crave the infinite possibilities I can create using just a pen and my imagination. This provides me with hours of endless fun and escapism. It also allows me to try living many lives and experiences without physical or practical restrictions. It gives me even greater joy to share these experiences and characters with other people.
As well as a playground for my imagination, through writing, I find I discover learn and explore ideas in a way that I can’t do in my mind bogged down as it is with the noisy chaos of living. It provides a forum for my lifetime need to question ‘why?’
Story is my obsession. Whether I’m writing reading or telling, I use story to frame my every experience and journey through life.
On a basic level that I still can’t understand: I need to write. I crave writing. Writing defines who I am and when I’m not writing I feel unhappy.
There are many articles on the internet on the subject of why writers write.
George Orwell wrote the famous essay ‘Why I Write’. The Guardian has interviewed many writers in a regular feature with the title ‘Why I Write’ and it’s interesting to discover various reasons and explanations. On his website Carlos Ruiz Zafon, author of ‘The Shadow of the Wind’ answers this question. A short but interesting answer was written by writer Bernard Maclaverty. But one of my favourite articles, and the one I’d recommend, details Stephanie Calman’s (author of ‘How not to Murder Your Mother’) reflections on her own motivations to write.
Why do you write?
Wednesday, 14 October 2009
Thursday, 8 October 2009
- Wright Writing - an account of my writing life and relevant writing activities!
- Wright Web Watch - these posts will feature something or someone interesting I've found on the Internet and will revolve around the topics of writing, reading, story, creativity......
- Wright Reading - occasionally I may write a post about a book I've enjoyed or/and found useful.
- Wright Photos - original but totally unprofessional photos may be used to adorn any of the above posts. As regular readers know, I do sometimes like to share pictures taken in my garden and in my home county of Cornwall.
I make no apologies for the cheesy content titles I have chosen. (okay just a little sorry)
I will try and exclude 'Wright Waffle' as far as possible. However, I will apologise in advance for the times when waffle seeps in, sometimes (like now) I just can't help it.
My Twitter page @wrightstory is a good place to discover my day to day musings. (Warning: Wright Waffle will often be found on my Twitter page but at least it will be limited to 140 characters)
Please wish me luck as I embark on my new organised blogging plan. Hope you enjoy (or at least humour) my attempts.
Sunday, 13 September 2009
Where have I been?
Not far. It's just I've been suffering from the overwhelming all consuming school summer holiday time & energy drain. (Drama queen - me? Never)
But I have learnt two lessons from this school summer break. They are not entirely new lessons but the sort that you forget and relearn as painfully as the first time!
1. Working from home is quite useful until the children are at home and kept prisoners indoors by the rain.
2. Setting impossible goals leaves one with nothing but the feeling of failure. (Maybe not impossible but I was certain I'd edit my novel over the summer. Convinced that my enthusiasm would be all I'd need to achieve this goal I failed to remember ill health, a job, husband's unpredictable hours, British weather & a string of the unforeseeable type of events one encounters.)
In addition I have found it practically impossible to dedicate much time to my blog or Twitter these past few weeks - I've had to prioritise in favour of my children . I am now just grateful to have got through the summer without a breakdown. And I'm happy to say that health wise I am doing quite well at the moment and the editing is back underway.
How was your summer?
Tuesday, 21 July 2009
Tuesday, 7 July 2009
Wednesday, 1 July 2009
1. I've been busy writing my YA novel & have completed 37 out of 40 chapters!
4. I've been enjoying the Lillies that my friend gave me. Every time I come downstairs I smell their wonderful sweet aroma & enjoy the sight of them decorating my dining room window.
5. I've ordered a copy of the Writers and Artists Yearbook 2010 in the hope that I will soon have my YA novel at a stage where I can start sending it to agents. (remaining hopeful)
Thursday, 11 June 2009
The First Step
11 June 2009
A wise man once said, "A journey through 1,000 blogs begins with a single post," or something like that. As this is my first step, I ought to introduce myself and my mission.
I'm an American expat, formerly of New York State (up where the cows live, not in The City) now residing in a market town in West Sussex. I wrote a book about it and managed to get it published, but none of this makes me anyone special. In fact, there is very little about me that is special, which is why I wanted to do something different, and why I am attempting to tour the blogsphere using other people's blogs.
Cornwall is a great place to begin. Kat, a woman I have never met, has graciously agreed to let me camp here for the night and post on her blog. She has, at this early stage in the tour, captured the spirit of this adventure, and I hope that spirit finds its way to others (or this is going to be the shortest epic journey since my buddy Chris Collins talked me into hopping a freight train to Toronto with him when I was twelve, resulting in embarrassing incidents involving the station manager, the rail road police and our parents, and absolutely no forward movement).
So, Cornwall, where the land ends, or beings, depending on your point of view. As an American, it's more Land's Start for me, but that doesn't make the theme park and tourist tat surrounding that particular outcropping of rocky shoreline any less tacky. Still, I was thrilled to see it when we visited a few years back, even if they did try to charge me ten quid to have my photo taken by the famous sign.
Cornwall was lovely, quaint and full of pirate lore—everything a visiting American could want. Our little holiday cottage was crammed with appropriately pirate-coastal-town knick-knacks and located at the end of a short lane so narrow we could barely squeeze our tiny Daewoo Matiz into it. Also, I might add, I was mugged by a particularly raucous sea gull in St. Ives while enjoying a tasty ice cream cone and a stroll by the sea. It was really quite startling, and left me with sore head and just an inch of the pointy end of the cone. Shouldn't they be served with ASBOs or something? Or shot? We have seagull in the States, but not one ever tried to rough me up and rob me.
That notwithstanding, Cornwall was a nice place, and it's good to be posting from here—the titular culmination of Britain and a location I have actually been to and enjoyed—on this first of (one hopes) many stops on my tour of Blog World.
It should be fun, as long as they keep the seagulls in check.
Visit Michael & learn more about how you can become part of his Kindness of Strangers Blog Tour at: http://www.lindenwald.com/thetour.htm
Thursday, 4 June 2009
I’ve been considering how many characters and story lines I hold in my mind. I am writing a young adult novel, have two partially edited children’s books, write short stories and Haiku and am always jotting new story/character creations down in my notebook. In addition to this I am an avid follower of about six TV dramas, read fiction daily and watch films. Then there is the daily interaction with ‘real’ people and their characters and stories.
Add to this the fact that when I read, write or watch quality drama I become totally involved with the characters and their individual stories. I’m probably crazy but I find myself thinking of these imaginary characters and their lives even when not reading/writing/watching TV. I ponder over their plights and look forward to learning what happens next – especially with my own creations which are more than real to me.
Whilst considering all this I soon realised that I have a strong ability to be able to follow a large quantity of multiple stories and characters. Not only that but I am constantly expanding the possible characters in existence by creating new people in my imagination.
So do I have a fiction based multiple character disorder? Sort of like an addiction to people and their stories.
Is there a limit to how many characters/stories I can hold within my mind?
I’m thinking that this may be a typical gift/disorder found amongst writers. So please tell me – does this multiple character and story hoarding sound familiar to you?
Wednesday, 20 May 2009
Tuesday, 12 May 2009
Sunday, 26 April 2009
I've decided to give Twitter a go. I often don't have the energy to write a full blog post however, Twittering only requires a few words. I'm also looking at the possible uses of Twitter for the Bodmin Bookworm creative writing project that I manage.
YA novel writing update.....
I've been struggling health wise but have been trying to write even just a couple of hundred words a day so that I can keep focused and in a routine.
Bodmin Bookworm work......
I've just sent a case study to hopefully be included on the Everybody Writes website. It will be exciting to see the project on this innovative national writing site. I'll post an update on this when I hear back from the manager of the site.
I've also been working hard on ideas for improving and expanding the project. Hopefully one day the Bookworm may be available to all school aged children in Cornwall.
Keeping up with other people's blogs.....
Having had very limited energy and my paid work on the internet already taking my spare energy......I've sadly not been a very good blogger - I will try to visit and comment more often. I know I'm always full of excuses!!!
Do you Twitter? If you do please leave me a comment with your link; that way I can follow you on Twitter.
Thursday, 2 April 2009
Today I opened up her book ‘Thunder and Lightening’ (Bantam Books, 2000) and found advice on plot and narrative. Any advice on plot and narrative is greatly appreciated. My book feels like it is going well but I am always worried as to whether my plot is sound and will carry the reader on a satisfactory journey.
Here are some of the things Natalie Goldberg wrote in the chapter ‘Shall We Plot Along’:
“Our human lives seem to unravel – there’s no apparent plan. But a fiction plot illustrates the universal structural law of Karma. You do something and there is a result. Plot is the direction, the core we only see – if we’re lucky – when we turn around and look back years later.”
And in reference to her struggle with plot when writing her novel Banana Rose: “My job was to grab my reader’s hand and move her along, hook into her longing for meaning – what’s next, what will happen to Nell now that she did this, then this. There had to be forward motion.
I realised that there is a reason cars are not equipped to go backward for long distances. We all have an impulse to go ahead.............”
And: “But, of course, we also need to be interested in the novel’s character to get in the car in the first place. If he’s a real dud, we won’t care what happens to him. The author will lose us no matter how many action firecrackers he tries to explode. If we like or identify with the character, we just might go a piece with her even if she’s just bumbling down the side of the road.”
All Natalie Goldberg’s books include lots of anecdotal accounts of her life, written in an amusing way, that explain how she came to learn the gems of advice she gives. The above quotes don’t really do her justice. She has a website
I am waiting for the time when I can afford to attend one of her writing courses. Guess I’ll have to publish the bestseller before I can afford the flights to the US. Today was a good writing day and so I hold out hope!!!!!
Thursday, 19 March 2009
Lamorna Valley is a beautiful area just West of Mousehole and Penzance. Lamorna Cove was just a minute further down the road from our cottage.
Apparently the 'Wink' refers to the past when the landlord would turn a blind eye to smugglers.
Friday, 27 February 2009
Tuesday, 10 February 2009
Tuesday, 27 January 2009
Some copied blurb on '9987'..............
"The shop is everything to him - always neat and tidy, safe and reliable, the rental DVDs carefully categorised, alphabetised and memorised. He thinks he knows his customers, until the bloodstains begin to appear - on grubby banknotes, on porn DVDs, and on the shop's fresh new carpet. Then the girl comes into his life, green eyes and fresh scarlet slashed beneath her thin cotton blouse. He wants to rescue and protect her. He wants to be with her. Forever. Murky and disturbing, "9987" is a jagged, tragic crime story set in a disturbing, uncaring world where only three things are constant: fantasy, loneliness and love. 'Gripping, cinematic, voyeuristic. A delightfully disturbing debut' - Caroline Smailes ("Black Boxes", "In Search of Adam")."
I am looking forward to reading my signed copy soon.
Writing for this competition was one of the few things I managed over the past couple of months and so winning it has made it extra special. I am now just starting to get back into my writing and this has given me a positive boost of encouragement.
So back to my cold writing hut and back to the characters of my YA book. They've waited mid-action long enough. I am so excited to write more of their adventure!!
Off to find my hat & oversized woolly jumper...........................
Monday, 12 January 2009
So I'm busy - that is busy watching TV!!!!!!
All a result of the very testing need to rest & inability to read for more than ten minutes. Thanks to the marvellous invention of SKY+ I am managing to watch tons of TV dramas and films during my testing-resting time.
I have to admit that I am a sucker for TV dramas both US and UK and watch an eclectic mix.
Over the past couple of weeks I've been watching re-runs of 'Brothers and Sisters' and am now eagerly watching Season 3.
Why do I like this series? 'Brothers and Sisters' revolves around the simple, but potentially fruitful, focus of a large family called the Walkers. It is the individual characters and their relationships that seem to draw the viewer in.
I love escaping into other worlds, creating heroes and special powers. However, a huge part of what really makes a story I think is the strength of the characters and their relationships. Once we care about a character and their journey, we are hooked.
A good writer (script or novel) reflects what it is to be human: the raw emotions and the battles we face on our individual journeys. As much as an individual & their journey is unique it is equally full of common experiences. We all hurt, lust, love & rage. We all struggle in relationships and have moments of ecstatic joy and bottomless despair.
Part of our job as writers may be to help the reader feel less alone in their own individual experience. Fictional characters can be companions & mentors. As a reader and as a writer we also get a chance to live our lives in someone else's shoes - widening our perspective & experiences. Fictional characters also take us on fantastical journeys providing escapism & entertainment.
All that from 'Brothers and Sisters'?????
Well......okay maybe I am trying to justify my testing-resting TV time! :-)
Tuesday, 6 January 2009
First of all - a Happy New Year 2009 to you all! Hope you had a fab Holiday season and that this year proves to be your best yet!
Secondly - you'd think I'd learn to keep my gob shut! (I hear my friends and family chuckle at this mad idea).
Not many days after I finished writing my last post and had finished beaming at how well my writing was going and how good my health was.....................
Yep you guessed it! I ended up having a horrible and scary MS relapse. Over the last few weeks I've been unable to read or write more than a couple of words as well as a few other very unpleasant symptoms.
BUT I am on the mend and the good news is that, (after admittedly being a gibbering scaredy Kat), I'm feeling positive and determined to make the most of the good times. I am impatient to get writing and reading again; I've missed both very much.
Today I've done a lot (aka too much) of Bookworm work and so need to get off the computer and have a rest. But soon I'm hoping to write a post free of boring explanations and catch up with you all. But I won't speak too soon. In fact this year I'm trying to chill and not plan too much.
I just wanted to say that I still love blogging and have missed you all very muchly! And thanks to all who left comments on my last post - it was great to come back to comments. And Debs - thank you very very much for giving me an award - it gave me a big smile when Michelle told me I had that to look forward to when I finally got back blogging. I shall collect it as soon as I can! :-)
Sending out BIG 2009 Hugsxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx