Welcome to the blog formerly known as The Life Of Writing

Monday, 29 August 2011

Finally Passing On The Versatile Blogger Award

Months ago I was awarded the Versatile Blogger Award by Carol at Carol's Corner. And then, also now months ago, I said that I was thinking about who to pass it on to.

Well I have finally gotten around to writing this post and I think part of it is that I have to tell you seven things about me that you didn't know. However I should warn you that if you are a follower of my other blog The Random Thoughts of Chippy then you may already know some of these.

  1. I have Type 1 diabetes and have done for eleven years now. To the point that I almost forget that I have it, it has become routine. And I hate it when diabetes is referred to as a disease... I don't think it is, it is a medical condition.
  2. I get really excited to see someone's face when they open a present from me. I get really disappointed if they are not as thrilled as me.
  3. I am extremely eclectic. I'll give you an example. I recently purchased some DVDs for myself. Taken (thriller rated 18 starring Liam Neeson), Must Love Dogs (rom com rated 12 starring John Cusack and Diane Lane) and Stage Door (comedy drama rated U starring Ginger Rogers and Katharine Hepburn). Need I say more on that point?
  4. I think Cary Grant is the perfect man - that's all I've got on that one.
  5. I was a HUMONGOUS fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja (Hero in UK) Turtles when I was little... in fact I still am.
  6. I love to take the dust jacket off hardback books and drool over the cover... even when I'm still in the shop.
  7. If you ever meet me in real life and I seem a bit anti-social I'm not being rude. I am hideously shy.
Now the next bit is really difficult. I am supposed to pick 7 of my fellow bloggers to pass the award on to. According to my subscription list I currently subscribe to 181 blogs. And I just can't decide who to pass it on to.

So if you want it you can have it. But don't just take it for the sake of it. Take it if you are a versatile blogger. :)

And go visit Carol's blog via the link above :)

Friday, 26 August 2011

Weekly Writing - Here's To Next Year

So this week I've been reading some more of The Art of War For Writers by James Scott Bell.

Still thinking about NaNoWriMo in November and revisiting some of my online writing haunts that I've been neglecting lately.

The major thing I've been thinking about this week is attending next years Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate.

I wanted to go this year but didn't have the money. Hopefully at the end of September when the official prices go up I can decide what to do.

Even though I live in Yorkshire (which is where Harrogate is ) I would like to actually stay in Harrogate for the duration of the festival. It would be just over an hours drive to get there (slightly longer on the train - you have to change), but I'd sooner be there for the whole thing so I don't miss out.

Lee Child was there this year (that's why I wanted to go). And this year he won an award - finally! Every year when I watch The Crime Thriller Awards I'm always disappointed when he doesn't win - but here come the winds of change with any luck.

So now I can't wait until the end of September to find out if I would be able to go. I even contemplated taking a tent with me and camping. But it was only a brief moment of madness and I soon snapped out of it... I mean where could I securely keep my laptop in a tent? :)

Monday, 22 August 2011

The Spark Blogfest Is Here!

The Spark Blogfest has arrived. The blogfest where all us writerly types post about why we write. Who was it that lit the fuse on your writing?

Hosted by Christine on her blog The Writer Coaster this blogfest is running from 22nd August to the 26th.

So who set me off on the writing path?

Well before I answer that I am going to take you on a journey... back in time. If this was a TV show this would be when the screen would start going wobbly.

I currently work at a solicitors, looking after files, biding my time until I can conquer the world with my writing. But I didn't plan on ending up in a solicitors office. Oh no.

I have a degree in art history. So I wanted to do something associated with that.

Before that at A Level I wanted to be a designer... but I couldn't get in to the practical part of my design A Level.

Before that I spent years wanting to be an archaeologist (I think I watched Indiana Jones too much). I even went to an archaeological dig! I wasn't allowed to dig or anything but there you go.

Then there were various jobs I wanted - teacher, nurse (like my mum). And then we arrive back when I first started school and the first job that I wanted. The first career I dreamed of - to be an author. Not a writer you understand. I think at that age I didn't really know the difference between the two. But I wanted to write stories. I loved to read. I remember lots of reading.

But there is one author that I remember in particular. One who stood out from the crowd with his children's stories.

That author was Roald Dahl. I used to have loads of his books. I have read a great deal of his work. But at some point I appear to have grown out of it because I foolishly got rid of them... well all except one.

I had a large hardback that had three books in - The BFG, Matilda and (my favourite Roald Dahl story) George's Marvellous Medicine. I lost the dust jacket to it a very long time ago but I still have the book. Sat up there on my shelf rubbing covers with my Lee Childs and my James Pattersons (I know it doesn't exactly sound at home).

So whenever I think back to my childhood I always think of Roald Dahl books. And wishing I could write stories like that. Well actually I was wishing that I could go around my house filling a pan up with everything a la George and his marvellous medicine (still do!).

I recently got a load of Roald Dahl audio books. They all come in a tin... that zips up! Sounds kind of like something out of a Roald Dahl book. And it had my sister scratching her head until she saw the tin.

And here is the link to the official Roald Dahl website - I should warn you the site is noisy!
So even though I have wandered off and looked at and contemplated other career paths I still came back to this one.
And I still kept that book...

Friday, 19 August 2011

Weekly Writing - Writing Books & Editing

Well we finally finished clearing out my Grandad's house, so hopefully life can now return to normal... ish.

As you read yesterday (Thanks Blogger for not posting my scheduled post last week! Grrrr) I was kind of shattered last week with one thing and another.

So this week I have been doing a couple of writing orientating things without actually writing. I've been looking at last year's NaNo project. Am still only about twenty pages in to the editing process. I read on a blog (I forget who - sorry!) that you should do two edits - one for the actually structure of the story, plot etc. And then one for the spelling and grammar etc. I find that really difficult to do. While I'm going through looking for holes in my plot (of which there are numerous right now) I can't help but notice and change spelling mistakes. Not much good when you spend time correcting a paragraph only to decide to cut the whole thing out.

I've also been thinking a bit more about this years NaNoWriMo project. Decisions, decisions. I've got a number of ideas. But I really need to pick one that I can focus on and expand in to a novel length idea (we do not want a repetition of the Camp NaNoWriMo project (running out of story 20,000 words in).
And they all seem to be different genres - horror, sci-fi, futuristic, supernatural, apocalyptic. OK so the genres aren't all completely different I'll grant you. But the ideas are different enough that I can't just slam them all together.

And I've been reading some more of my current 'writing' book - The Art of War For Writers by James Scott Bell. Which I'm finding really useful - so much so I think I'll do a review on it once I'm done. Which is why I'm not giving you anymore detail on how I'm finding it useful now.

And on a slightly unrelated note - I am getting a little tired of waiting for Scrivener For Windows to go on sale. The NaNoWriMo code I got for completing NaNo last year has already had to be updated once. Come the end of September it will have to be done again! I know, I know they want it to be perfect and get rid of any bugs but... I want to use my discount code!!!

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Weekly Writing - Absolutely Shattered

Blogger!!!! What are you trying to do to me? My followers expect a post. I schedule it for Friday 12th August at 7.30pm. And then it doesn't get posted!!!

Anyway I have just noticed that this post did not get posted. So here it is... just in time for me to be thinking about the next one (keep in mind that this post is almost a week old now).

Friday 12th August 2011:

I seem to have been stuck in a cycle this week:

Get up, go to work, come home, eat, go to my Grandad's house to help sort through everything that has accumulated there in the last forty odd years, go home, bed.

And I am knackered.

However on a more positive note I have had ideas circulating in my mind. My imagination is starting up again.

I am already beginning to think about NaNoWriMo in November - mainly trying to decide on an idea of the many I have that I can then expand in to a novel length idea.

And for anyone who is in the same boat as me writing wise... or lack there of... on her blog Ramblings of a Frustrated Crime Writer, Jennifer has come up with some ways to Kick-start Your Writing 

Friday, 5 August 2011

Weekly Writing - Getting There

So I haven't actually written anything again this week. But I am beginning to feel like writing again.

The thing is when I read what my fellow writers have to say about taking part in the August session of camp NaNoWriMo I do feel a bit left out.

But I think I'm going to start off small and work my way up to NaNoWriMo in November.

Writing more than 1600 a day (and more to catch up) will probably just stress me out a bit too much right now.

So here's to starting off small and getting going again.

And why not hop over to The Writer Coaster where Christine asks 'Is your muse a spoiled brat?'

Monday, 1 August 2011

Inspirational Tunes - August 2011

Well it's August already and time for another Inspirational Tune.

It's my life - Bon Jovi