Monday, 28 January 2013

John Green, London and Lizzie Bennet

I had quite a productive weekend, yesterday in particular.  I managed to complete chapters 38 and 39 which up until then had been fragmented and missing considerable chunks because of the way I write bits and pieces by hand during the week and transfer them when I get home.

But I don't want to talk about that.  I want to talk about next weekend.  I'm going to London to see John Green in his The Fault in Our Stars book tour and I'M SO EXCITED!!!

John and his brother Hank (who together make up the vlogbrothers, about whom I must have squealed before) are performing (if that's the right word) at several locations around Britain, officially to celebrate the anniversary of the release of TFiOS but more as a gathering for their fans overall.  'Nerdfighters' is the term but that's a whole other story.

And while I travel up to London on Saturday, my younger brother will be travelling down from York, making an exciting trip even more awesome!  He will meet me at Waterloo Station because, even though he's my ickle baby brother (eighteen years old and six-foot-three) I can't get around London on my own and he can.  Cities confuse me and London is just a baffling web of lines, buses, trains and people that I just can't get my head around.  Poor little Bumpkin Bouf.

I reviewed The Fault in Our Stars a while ago (here) and I find that every time I read it, I love it even more.  It's one of those books that I can just pick up, turn to a random page and enjoy.  It isn't a genre I would normally read and I wouldn't know the first thing about trying to write it, and yet it stays with me long after I've turned the last page.  Every time I find something new to admire.  There is something so deep about it and I wish I could produce that myself.

On a complete different subject, I'm going to end by wishing Pride and Prejudice a very happy 200th birthday.  You aren't my favourite Jane Austen book but you are bloody marvellous and I'm heartily enjoying getting over-excited about your current web-series adaptation (The Lizzie Bennet Diaries).  Hip hip hurray!  *Party Popper*

Monday, 21 January 2013

Writing by hand

So here I am again, on my lunch-break, writing my blog.  The first time round, obviously.  This is actually currently me typing it up in the evening.  Jeez, I need to stop writing books where the main character is a Seer - I'm thinking in more than one time at once.

It would have made more sense for me - instead of handwriting this in one of my many notebooks - to use a staff room computer to type it up directly.  The problem is that I spend many hours of my working day staring at a computer screen, so during it again during lunch feels distinctly unappealing.

Of course I do then come home and spend a bulk of my evening in front of a computer screen but I'm a contrary being.  For a technophobe I really do spend an awful lot of time using technology.  And swearing at it.

I find that I do still write a fair bit in longhand when it comes to the actual novel stuff.  In fact, I handwrite more than I used to when I was at uni, which surprised me when I thought about it given that my lectures, not to mention the many train journeys, were generally away from computers.

I can see the benefits of writing longhand, though.  It adds in an extra drafting/editing process during the transfer from page to screen, not only for stupid mistakes (what's the handwritten equivalent of typos?) but also for when a sentence or phrase feels jarring or just plain rubbish.

Writing by hand also (at least partially) removes the temptation to compulsively check the BBC weather website.  I need to stop wishing for snow.  Everyone else seems fed up.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Pretending to be an adult is tiring

Monday before last, I started my new job (or new role, I should perhaps say) and it's full time.  And full time work, it turns out, doesn't leave me much time for anything else.  Or better put, I'm too much of a wussy to deal with it like the rest of the adult population does.

This isn't really a massive surprise to me.  My Christmas holidays were consumed by this almost countdown-like feeling, and not in the game show sense.  It was like I was running out of time for my writing and that once I started full-time, my progress would suffer.

This prediction has proven to be true, although perhaps to a lesser extent than I'd feared.  I have managed to keep writing every day, maintaining my don't-break-the-chain streak, but the amount has dropped somewhat.  I did one and a bit chapters last week rather than the typical two-a-week I was previously working at.

Also, the blog has suffered.  I just didn't have enough time to write a new post, something which irks me given how I like to post every week, lest it die out completely.  This one here was actually written in my lunch-break at work, ready to be typed up when I got home.  Working on the actual novel-writing has to take priority after all.

However I'm hoping that, as I get used to the hours, it'll get easier.  Plus I'm crossing my fingers for a quiet weekend.  Or maybe a snow day?  Pretty please?  Yeah, I think we're more likely to get a heat wave round here.  But I can dream...

Wednesday, 2 January 2013


The New Year is here!

I've seen people on facebook, blogs and the like reflecting on 2012 and I found myself wondering what I think of the year gone by.  It had felt a little stagnated, I guess, though I'm not sure I could explain why.  Perhaps I just haven't made as much progress as I would have liked.

That's where all the Resolutions come in, I suppose.  And one of my major ones this year is regarding agents.  I hereby pledge that I will write some letters, preferably soon, to beg for an agent.  And I am perfectly aware that I've been saying this for a while but perhaps with the weight of the New Year business behind it, it might actually work.

My problem is that I never seem to do anything without putting considerable thought behind it first.  I don't know why this is or whether it's a good thing.  But it is what it is and, once I get over the stage of over-analysing the idea of writing to agents, I will hopefully get on and actually do it!

I managed to keep writing over the holiday period, although the output did drop significantly during the few days either side of Christmas.  I did keep to my don't-break-the-chain method, even doing a little bit on Christmas day itself, in between too much turkey and lots of lovely presents (Books!  Lots of books!)

I'm currently on Chapter 33.  We're now approaching the climax of the story and I'm anxious to keep the pace up.  I guess I'll only know that when I finally finish this draft.  Here's to a productive 2013!