Tag Archives: writing

So hey…

That “Two Friends” story I’ve got listed in my Writing Projects?

It’s finished.

Like, 74,000 words worth of finished.  Polished until it shines finished, with all the gaps filled and extraneous scenes cut and the happy ever after given a little bit of spice.  Totally finished.

Also finished is the synopsis and the query letter, so forgive me if I come hide out here for a while before I press ‘send’ on the submit page of Carina Press…

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Filed under Life, Writing

Production and publication

Finally, the last assignment is done.  My ghost story (which I sweated blood over, but lest said about that, soonest mended) is done and printed, and now I am in the final throes of printing my little booklet, The Importance of Being an Airship.

It is online too, here at Scribd.

The Importance of Being an Airship

I have no idea what that’s going to look like, but I need breakfast!

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In class writing

1.
The first session (can’t call it this morning’s, as it doesn’t start til 2pm) was with Phil and we read a dreadful piece taken from a book on football, Red or Dead. Absolutely loathe that style, but only because I am Queen of flowery language and adjectives and that piece had NONE. Urgh.

So, we asked to do some life writing in that style, around the theme of ‘loss’. And then this happened.

A FUNERAL

It’s cold. The roadway is wet. Black and wet. Pitted with small holes where tree roots nudge up and the frost pushes down. Wet leaves line the paths. Splashes of red on the black, smudges of brown and rust. Wet and cold and slick.

The hearse is silver. It’s wrong. Shiny bright silver, reflecting low winter sun. Not black. Not funereal. Silver and clean, glass and chrome. The top hats are black. Dull wool greatcoats cover knees. White collars peep from sombre suits.

A murmured joke, a smothered laugh. Serious faces gather. Quiet voices watch the bearers. The bugler stands out, his gold, brass and red gleam on royal blue.

They file in, one by one. The room fills. Overflows. People stand on steps. Flowers drop intermittent petals. The room is full.

There isn’t a vicar or a priest. The officiant is a friend. An old friend, a brother-in-law, a lay preacher. He knew him as well as a man who married the sister of his wife could have known him. His strengths and foibles. His weaknesses and bravery.

There are hymns. There are always bloody hymns. But more than hymns. We sing Mr Blue Sky. His wife smiles through tears that don’t fall.

Outside, the sun is brighter. Laughs no longer smothered. A child reaches for the bearskin. The hearse is still silver, but no longer wrong.

2.
The next session was on a bizarre piece on trout fishing in America (but not), written by someone who was more than likely on some small tasty little fungi. And the prompt was the Brayford.

NESSIE IN THE BRAYFORD (I make no excuses for the title)

I like to walk around the water. Always clockwise, never widdershins. Clockwise keeps the water to my right, makes me tilt my head towards the middle to watch. The water is dark, choppy in the wind which spits and squalls across its surface. Some days it’s alive, the brown-backed beast moving just out of sight beneath the boats and the birds, the empty plastic bottles and the swirling, muted-rainbow slicks of oil.

It is alive, of course.

Anyone who watches the water for any length of time can see that. It shifts and moves with the wind, then, abruptly against it. Swans startle for no reason, cygnets the colour of slush circling their brilliant parents. I watch them dipping their heads along the edge and emerging green. They like to stay near the edge. I don’t.

It probably wouldn’t eat the swans, I think. It’s never eaten one yet, that I know, but then, it would need permission from the Queen and I’m not sure it can write. Not that anyone else has seen it, hiding in plain sight as it does.

The gentle swell of the water, no tide here, some days still like glass so the cathedral can see her face, reflected back against a sky so blue it hurts. I could see my own reflection if I looked.

I never have.

I walk clockwise around the water. Some days I follow the sun, others I keep my head down out of the wind and let it follow me. The water watches. It doesn’t judge. From the bridge I can see the whole dull length, narrow boats splashes of ill-advised tattoo colour; freckle-flecked with gulls and ducks and coots, a dandruff of old bus tickets and cigarette packets in the corners.

The water is alive.

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So that was those

Yesterday was assignment day. We were required to hand in both our Drama piece and our Portfolio. There was the most enormous amount of grumbling about these, for a whole host of reasons.

Primarily, lack of communication meant that no one was really 100% sure about content, word count, layout or presentation for either of them. I won’t go into numbers or specifics, because it would probably bore the pants of anyone who isn’t part of the course, and those that are already know ALL about it, but needless to say, we weren’t particularly impressed with the way these assignments were presented.

Secondly – two big assignments due on one day? I know my portfolio ran to approx 100,000 words (half of which I put on a USB because omg, waste of paper in this digital age).

However, they’re done. It also seems some of us had huge fun with our plays, once they were wrangled into the correct size/shape, and as mine is short, I’m going to post it up in the pages section.

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Filed under Lincoln, Rambles, Writing

Creation

I make things.  It’s what I do.

I’ve been chewing stuff over in my head a lot over the past few weeks – I’ve been super busy but work doesn’t occupy my brain fully, so there’s always a corner which continues to whirr away whilst the rest of me freewheels through accounts and taking orders and dealing with the day-to-day minutiae of running a business.

Part of the reason I’ve been so off kilter is because the only thing I’ve been making recently is a bloody mess.  My house looks like a typhoon just went through it, and not the interesting jet-powered sort either.  But I’ve not written or done any of the other things I do when I need to make.

Today, I had to wait around in the house for some chap to come and fix my washing machine which had chewed up and then regurgitated the solid concrete block that’s used as a counterbalance for the spin cycle.  Gritty grey dust everywhere.  I couldn’t focus enough to write, but I did cook.  I made two batches of soup – curried parsnip and a general vegetable to use up some of the veg that the local gamekeeper drops off for us every other week – and mince pies and a pumpkin pie, and I roasted a half shoulder of lamb for dinner.  My kitchen smells FABULOUS.  It sounds so simple, but the last few weeks have been so batshit crazy that I’ve not really cooked anything properly since I made Christmas puddings the day after we came back from Holland.

It felt really good.

So now I’m sat here with a ball of yarn and I’m working on a blanket which I’ve been meaning to make forever.  I’ve had the dozen bright balls of rainbow coloured softness in a bag for a while, and it’s incredibly soothing to have something to do with my hands whilst I read.  I open something on my laptop/iPad/Kindle and I can sit and read and knit/crochet, occupying both hands and brain and I feel like I’m not wasting my time by sitting idle.  Currently I’m reading through Windmills - I used the opening chapter in the symposium and it went a lot better than I thought.  Maybe I should have stuck around for a little more peer feedback, but I just wanted to hide in the corner and cough some more.  One day I might stop being such an introvert.

So yeah, I’m making stuff.  Who knows, maybe I’ll even make sense if I work at it hard enough.

 

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Filed under House, Rambles, Writing

MA stuff

One of the requisites of my postgrad is setting up a blog. Seeing as how I already have one, I have resurrected it. The posts go back a few years, but now I have a reason to update more regularly than once every six months or so :)

I’m adding a couple of new pages this evening, one for poetry (the bane of my bloody life) and one where I’ll dump excerpts of the stuff I’m doing for my portfolio.  I think that’s about all the sharing I can cope with right now!

Fellow Lincolnites, please leave me a comment with the url of your blog and I’ll drop you into the sidebar where you can find each other.

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