Welcome to the blog formerly known as The Life Of Writing

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Creatively Speaking: An Even Shorter Post

As the title implies this post is even shorter than the one I posted last week.

It supposed to be the holiday season right? So why is it so busy and why am I rushed off my feet... that's not my idea of a holiday.

So anyway this week I've been Christmas card making, I know it's a bit late but I'm now currently down to only making cards for random people who suddenly give me a card.

And I also scoured the top lacy layer of fabric of the dress I wore to the office party for any snags and anchored those bad boys down. If there's one thing to ruin your night it's constantly worrying your dress is going to unravel. And while we're on the subject I'd like to mention that "invisible" thread is brilliant. It's basically thread that is made of what appears to be nylon or something similar. But you can use it to fix snags (or as I did to anchor down possible snags), or to do bead work.

But it means I didn't have to root around looking for a regular thread that was just the right shade of blue.

And this week I've started reading a new writing related book. This one is Characters and Viewpoint by Orson Scott Card. And it's so far so good... although I'm not that far in to it yet.

So all I have to do now in preparation for Christmas is wrap my presents and make gift bags. Yes, in my infinite wisdom I've decided to make my own - so next week's post will involve me telling you whether it was a disaster or not!

Ok so this post hasn't been quite as short as I had expected it to be.

Til next week...

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Creatively Speaking: A Quick Post

This is only going to be a quick post this week as I am currently surrounded by card making supplies.

So this week with regards to being creative I have:

  • done more Christmas decorating!
  • fixed one of my coats (my many many coats!)
  • as the first sentence of this post implies I've been making Christmas cards
And writing wise this week I have:

  • finished reading Conflict, Action & Suspense by William Noble
  • although I haven't quite finished my first draft of my NaNoWriMo project I've been writing some notes on plot holes/things I want to change (damn you inner editor - you just couldn't wait could you?)
Now I must away before I completely cover my laptop in glue and glitter!

Til next week!

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Creatively Speaking - Tis The Season!

Tis the season to do Christmas crafts, fa la la la la, la la la la.

So first things first let's get this week's (since Tuesday at least) writing orientated creativity out of the way. Mainly I have gone back to reading Conflict, Action & Suspense by William Noble. Althought I haven't finished the story I was working on for NaNoWriMo 2015 I've been taking a bit of a breather from it this week.

And for the first few days after the end of NaNoWriMo this year I coloured in some more in my creative therapy colouring book. It was nice to just chill and do a bit of colouring rather than frantically looking at the clock and my word count (but that is what creative therapy colouring books are for after all - relaxing).

But then this weekend I appear to have gone Christmas mad!

Yesterday I baked a stollen - for those who don't know what stollen is it is a German Christmas bread. I've heard some people call it German Christmas cake but it is actually a bread (I know I was the one kneading the dough yesterday). I've always liked stollen because most versions that you can buy (in the UK at least) have a marzipan core (for want of  a better term)... and I love me some marzipan.

It went quite well except for the cooking time. The recipe I had said it should be cooked for an hour. After 55 minutes I went to check and it was a lot darker than it should be (but not burnt - phew!) and it had cracked down the sides and so had molten marzipan oozing out.

So I reckon that with the particular recipe I had it could be removed from the oven about 10-15 minutes earlier than the recipe said. Good note for next time I ever make a stollen.

But it tastes alright so that's the main thing right? Doesn't really matter what it looks like as long as it tastes ok.

And today's creative outlets have included putting up Christmas decorations and gathering most of my Christmas card making supplies together. (I would say all of my Christmas supplies but I have a suspicion that some are hiding from me somewhere ;) )

Have you been Christmas crafting this week?

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

NaNo Is Over - Let The Countdown Begin!

I'm back!!!

Yes it turns out that I have indeed not vanished off the face of the earth.

Not only am I still on the planet but I also finished NaNoWriMo 2015!! As in I literally only had 4 hours until the end of 30th November when I finished my 50,000 words and got them validated.

So where did I go. Well the week after I last posted waaaaayyyyy back on the 8th November we discovered at work that we would be moving floors. As in we were moving EVERYTHING from one floor up to another empty floor (i.e. we couldn't just take our belongings/files we needed all the furniture and anything else that wasn't nailed down too).

Now I had been packing slowly but surely for a week or two but we only "officially" found out exactly when we were moving 4 days before the move!

So when it came to my NaNo word counts there was a bit of an effect on my writing as I was coming home every night absolutely knackered. And then there were a couple of days when I didn't write at all as it seemed as though every drop of energy had drained out of me.

So the Sunday after the move I had every intention of posting my progress but as I was falling behind I decided to put it off until Monday. Monday became Tuesday, Tuesday became next Sunday and next Sunday brought us to here.

I would tell you what my daily word counts were but that would mean me typing out three weeks worth. Needless to say where the week of "the move" yielded smaller word counts, my word counts for the final two weeks just kept getting bigger and bigger.

So I ended up with a total of 50,060 words and I haven't finished the story yet.

So the things I've learned during this year's NaNo:

  1. I am a plotter not a pantser - I discovered that writing with a scene list to hand was a lot better for me than just knowing the rough story and how it would end.
  2. I work well in 20 minute bursts - as in I set the time on my phone for 20 minutes, after that time I had a little break (10-15 minutes) then I did another 20 minutes - this technique worked much better at weekends though.
  3. What I have written is complete drivel - that's not really something I learned this year. I spend most of the first couple of weeks of every NaNo declaring that what I've written is complete and utter crap.
So for the last few weeks the only creative thing I have been doing is writing. But now that November is over I can get cracking with all the things I'm supposed to be making/fixing etc.

And with that there just remains one more thing for me to tell you and that is that there are now only...

336 Days

to go until the start of NaNoWriMo 2016!!! :)