Welcome to the blog formerly known as The Life Of Writing

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Express Yourself: Writing Tips


Express Yourself is a weekly meme hosted by Entertaining Interests and Bouquet of Books.

Basically at the beginning of every month the hosts, Dani and Jackie, post a list of what that month's subjects/questions will be.

Then sometime during each week you post about that subject. To sign up/for more information click here.

This week's question is: What are some writerly tips you've found helpful?

Well off the top of my head I can't think of any specific tips however I can point you in the direction of where any writerly advice that has been absorbed in to my brain has probably come from.

One of the best books about writing I have read is The Art Of War For Writers by James Scott Bell.

And one of my favourite writing blogs to get advice from is terribleminds written by Chuck Wendig. If you don't like bad language or often down right peculiar metaphors then Chuck might not be your cup of tea but I find his blog very entertaining.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Creatively Speaking: Huh?

This week I have mainly continued my quest to learn how to crochet.

I have also said "what the..." a lot with regards to the diagram in the crochet ebook I was reading.

In which case I had to then go to YouTube to try and fathom out what the diagram was trying to tell me.

I think I've got the basic crocheting in rows, although I would have to look up the taller stitches if I came to them in a pattern. But when it came to crocheting in the round the description of what I had to do meant nothing to me.

I found this video which did effectively explain what it was I was meant to do.



However I think I need a lot more practice when it comes to crocheting as when the nice woman in the video has completed a round and then moves on to the next one, where you crochet in to the stitches of the previous round, all I seemed to have was a ball of wool on the end of my hook. Crochet in to the previous stitches? I couldn't even see the stitches from the previous round! I would say it was a tangled mess but it easily unravelled so just need to learn how to make my stitches easier to see... however I do that.

Anyway I practiced crocheting for 4 days of the week, worked on my mandala for 2 and today I started making my brothers birthday card.

And we have passed the 21 day mark so this being creative everyday should now be a habit... hopefully.

I do feel like being creative more often, and my daily bouts of creativity do seem to be getting a little longer. I've only had a couple of days when it has got to nine o'clock at night and I've thought "oh no I haven't been creative today".

So hopefully this habit will continue.

How is your new year going so far?

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Express Yourself: Favourite Movie


Express Yourself is a weekly meme hosted by Entertaining Interests and Bouquet of Books.

Basically at the beginning of every month the hosts, Dani and Jackie, post a list of what that month's subjects/questions will be.

Then sometime during each week you post about that subject. To sign up/for more information click here.

This week's question is: What's your favourite movie you saw in 2014?

Now I didn't go to the movies very often last year. And being a life long Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan I should really pick that. However I think I am going to have to go with Maleficent which I didn't see at the cinema but i did see it a few months later when it came out on DVD.

My favourite Disney princess movie is Sleeping Beauty so I was kind of destined to like Maleficent (although my favourite Disney film over all is The Sword In The Stone).

(In the process of answering a question about one movie I've managed to mention four!)

But anyway whether she's being good or whether she's being whoop-ass evil I think Maleficent is awesome.




Sunday, 18 January 2015

Creatively Speaking 2015: The Week I Attempted Crochet

My third Creatively Speaking post of the year and I am still keeping my promise to be creative every day.

I worked on my mandala from last week a bit more this week, which I think may be just about finished - I don't want to keep adding too much to it in case I ruin it.

The rest of week, as my title implies, I attempted to learn to crochet. Let's just say it's early days.

I used to be able to crochet when I was younger, but somewhere along the line I forgot how to turn round and do another row... and then I forgot how to do it all together (the same can be said of me and knitting).

So I thought I'd have a go at relearning this skill.

 It took me about half an hour to master (and I use the term loosely) the slip knot. The diagram I was using confused me a lot slightly so I looked up another one on the internet... that was when I finally understand how to do it.

Then I moved on to the slip stitch... which I think I get. And then the single knit stitch (in the UK it's called double knit). I think I get it. I followed the diagrams and than watched a YouTube video and I get what I'm meant to do to create this stitch it's just I'm not sure what I have made looks right. It's probably just the way I'm looking at it.

I must be doing something right because it's easy enough to unravel and start again. I assume if it was going drastically wrong it would just end up as a knotted mess.

More practice is needed me thinks. As they say practice makes perfect.

Have you been learning (or relearning) any new (or old) skills this week?

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Express Yourself: Musical

Express Yourself is a weekly meme hosted by Entertaining Interests and Bouquet of Books.

 Basically at the beginning of every month the hosts, Dani and Jackie, post a list of what that month's subjects/questions will be.

Then sometime during each week you post about that subject. To sign up/for more information click here.


This week's question is:


What is a musical or play you've viewed?


Movie wise the musicals I watch most often are The Phantom Of The Opera and Singin' In The Rain, other than those two I don't really watch musicals that much (unless Disney films count).


But the last musical I actually saw was Wicked. I saw it in November when we went to see it for my sister's birthday (it was actually the second time she had seen it).


I liked it, it has been changed slightly from the book. It's difficult to pick between the two but I think I prefer the ending to the musical over the book.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Creatively Speaking 2015 - So Far So Good

Here we are at the second Sunday in 2015 and I am still making good on my promise from last week.

So what have a I been up to this week?

Well on Monday and Tuesday I continued working on the "doodle" I showed you last week and this is what it looks like now:


I've add some more detail and colour to it. But on Wednesday I decided to start something new. I don't know if I'm done with the above piece or not yet - we shall see.

So on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday I worked on my new creative thing which is a mandala.

I have drawn a mandala before but this one I'm trying to take my time with which is why it is only this big after working on it for three days (not constantly you understand, just a few minutes a day). I like how this one is starting to turn out.

On Friday I cheated ever so slightly - I mean I did "create" something. I put my new bed together, which was made all the more fun when we discovered we'd put the foot board on upside down and we had to dismantle the end of the bed to change it. Oh the "creative" language we came out with ;)

And today I completed step 1 of the snowflake method of writing for my current novel idea. The snowflake method is somewhere between plotter and pantser.

So that has been my creativity this week - how was yours?


Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Express Yourself!


I actually discovered this meme in November but I was mid-NaNo at the time so I decided to wait until New Year to join in.

But anyway this is the Express Yourself meme which is hosted/invented by Entertaining Interests and Bouquet of Books.

Basically at the beginning of every month the hosts, Dani and Jackie, post a list of what that month's subjects/questions will be.

Then sometime during each week you post about that subject. To sign up/for more information click the link near the top of this post.

So this week's subject is New Year's Resolutions.

Now I do have resolutions but I am trying to refrain from calling them that as resolutions are rarely kept. So I'm referring to them more as promises.

So my 'promises' include:

  1. As I said in my post on Sunday I'm going to be more creative this year, even if it's just five minutes a day, I will sit down and create something (or at least partially create something)
  2. I will read faster/more. I read 45 books last year, although I was trying for 50. On Goodreads I see all these people who are starting off with a target of 100 even though they intend to read more! So I'm going to try and speed up my reading if just a little.
  3. Try to keep my blog reading more up to date. I have logged in to Bloglovin before to find I have several hundred unread posts - oops. And that's because I haven't bothered to read any posts for several days.
That is about it, at least for 'promises' that I've actually thought about.

Click the link near the top of this post to go and check out other people's posts

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Creatively Speaking 2015

So up until recently my blogging schedule over in the side bar claimed that there would be a Weekly Writing post on a Monday (if there was anything to report), a Creatively Speaking post on a Friday and a NaNoWriMo countdown on the first of the month.

Well for who knows how long it has just been the NaNo countdown that has been holding down the fort. And the other posts would show up very occasionally.

But I've decided to make some changes round here.

My sort of promise to myself this year (I don't want to use the word resolution as they are rarely kept) is to be creative everyday, even if just for five minutes. Even if it is just a doodle.

Now when I say doodling I don't mean writing my initials on a the edge of my notepad whilst taking a telephone message. I mean this kind of doodling:


I figure if I'm creative, even if just for a short time every day, it will become habit.

As Eric Thomas has said in his videos it is about consistency and if you can do something for 21 days it will hopefully become habit.


So that is my aim. Now after 21 days, or however long it takes to become a habit, I may let myself have a day off each week. I read in The Art of War For Writers by James Scott Bell (which is a book on writing I really enjoyed) that it is a good idea to have a writing Sabbath (at the moment all my days are writing Sabbaths).

But we shall have to see, you never know it may become so much of a habit that I can't take a day off (fingers crossed).

So here is a the plan I have shifted "Creatively Speaking" to Sunday as today proves. And Weekly Writing will be included under the Creatively Speaking title. I decided Sundays would be better as on a Friday, as previously advertised, if I haven't pre-written something then after work I feel rushed to get something done. Then on Saturday I'm doing all the things I've been thinking about doing all week but being at work has prevented me doing such things.

If you are still following this then well done.

So I thought Sunday would be the best day.

So here we are the first Sunday of 2015 and I have so far succeeded in my promise. 1st and 2nd of January I made a birthday card and yesterday and today I've worked on a doodle/drawing.




 The lighting isn't great but due to the holographic nature of the card the flash made it difficult to see the card, so no flash it was. It's a simple design but I have used embossing powder and my new(ish) die cutting machine... and some glitter glue (I loves me some glitter glue :) ).



And here is my doodle, kind of in the style of the video above. It is a work in progress and I've been writing the dates I've worked on it on the back in pencil so I know which days I can claim it as being part of my creative process. 

And if you are still here after that long post congratulations - keep it up for 21 days and it might just become a habit :)

Let's see if it will become a habit for me - only time will tell.

Til next week...

Thursday, 1 January 2015