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Just a little bit extremely busy. December 3, 2008

Posted by phoenixaeon in A215, Biathlon, OU, The Principessa Files, Wordcount, writing.
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I am just a little bit extremely busy.

I am just a little bit extremely busy.

As you can see, it’s a busy day for both Princi and I. Notice the Pinkbear and Bandaged-dog overseers above Princi, making sure she does all of her work! I think Princi is finding the novelty of a laptop atop her lap very intriguing. She hasn’t moved since about 9.30am, when she was first introduced to the concept of a laptop!

Works in progress - ready for editing.

Works in progress - ready for editing.

Yes, those piles of papers resting next to my fabulously spotty pj pants are P1 (Ghost in the Machine) and P2 (Untimely Birthday), all prepped and printed ready for editing. I finished P2 earlier, but it did go 2o0ish words over the 2200 words limit (finished at 2420 words, and that word count would be almost perfect for the ECA though). I have noticed something that both stories have in common, something I will have to change. Both stories have characters called Jack in them. Not good. I am thinking the main character in P2 might have a name change, something that will add a little poignancy to it. Other than that, I am feeling quite good about P2. I think I may leave that one for either TMA05 or the ECA though, because I really do think it could be very good. Is that bad? I’ve never felt that way about a story before, but I think the idea is good, and so far the unedited story makes me feel like I’ve achieved something – even though I think the ending is a little weak at the mo. Oh, and I’ve maybe just had a brainwave to improve the ending. Hee. Happy. I do, now I’ve written this, feel like I may have just jinxed the story!

Anyways. That’s the productive writing out of the way for today. Now it is time to read though the BRB, and get some more ideas down on paper, seeing as Princi is still distracted by the laptop! Oh, and I must remember that the Biathlon starts up again this afternoon, and record it for Skidaddles. Yay for the Ski-bangs!

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Again with the unwell. December 3, 2008

Posted by phoenixaeon in A215, OU, sick Principessa, The Principessa Files, The problem with writing is that I can get to the end before I finish writing, Wordcount, writing.
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I'm just a little bit sick.

I'm just a little bit sick!

Not me this time. Poor ickle Princi is feeling slightly worse for wear. She’s had a cough for a while, she went to the docs about that last week, but last night she started getting a temperature. She’s still got the temperature this morning, and is all a bit grumpy and demanding (when is that any different?!), so she is at home, snuggled under her Dr Who quilt, playing on her laptop on the couch. Poor babe.

As for me, I have an upcoming fight with four hundred words to contend with. But once that’s done, I’ll have sorted aonther story out. OK, the editing needs to be done, but at least they’ll be down on screen/paper/memstick. Then I can have a rest, and spend a week reading stuff. I have so much to read. I’ve started Watchmen. If I ever get through that tome of a book, I will then read Day of the Triffids, followed by Twilight. I’m going to see the film on Christmas Eve, so I thought I’d best read the damn book, so I can huff and puff at the inadequacies of the film! Only joking. Although I have been told off for doing that on a few occassions! I can’t help it!

Ah well. Time to get writing. At least I know what the final destination of the story is, it’s just getting there on the wordy toll road.

The trouble with… November 28, 2008

Posted by phoenixaeon in A215, Conversations with Principessa, OU, The Principessa Files, The Triffids, Wordcount, writing.
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…Horses.

Princi was playing with her two little ponies this morning as I was getting her ready for school. She started singing this song (to the tune of ‘In the Night Garden’.)

The horses are on top of the chair,

The horses have lots of hair,

The horses are on top of their hair,

There was trouble to be found,

So the horses went and found some trouble,

And the horses got into some trouble,

Then the horses went for a walk,

The horses went for a long walk.

I don’t know, bloody trouble-finding, long walk-taking, hairy horses!

…Triffids.

The BBC are remaking The Day Of The Triffids. I’m not sure if I’m happy about that or not. I loved the 1980’s version. Loved it! Even though I was only six when it was shown. It gave me wonderful nightmares that I can still remember now, nightmares I scribbled down as stories when I was in school. I wonder what the teacher thought about that?! After one particularly harrowing nightmare I rememer being so worried that the Triffids had killed my Mum and Dad, but I was too scared to go into their room to check on them to make sure they were OK. I stood on the landing listening at their door, but I couldn’t hear anything, so I went into the loo, stood on the toilet and peeked out of the window to make sure there were no Triffids in the garden. The garden was Triffid free, and that was when I found the courage to check on Mum and Dad.

I wonder what is next? A remake of The Tripods?

…Writing.

I impressed myself yesterday. I began writing P2 and found a productivity niche, churning out 1000-ish words. I was very shocked. I don’t think I’ve  ever written that much in one day before. I am planning on writing the last 1200 ish words today after taking a trip to the retail park once Princi’s finished school. I may even use the next hour, seeing as the house is quiet. And BPB has suddenly arrived back in my thoughts, although he is wearing a different guise this time. I think he wants a TMA written about him, and that has forced his metamorphosis. Lots to think about, so little time!

And so, another year. November 25, 2008

Posted by phoenixaeon in A215, Not well, OU, Wordcount, writing.
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Another birthday approacheth. Well, it’s here, actually. What fun, it is the tummy bug birthday. And poor Princi is suffering with the cough from hell, so not much sleep is being had at all. Bleurgh.

Apart from sick birthdays, I have finished the first draft of P1. Yay me! 2235 words of unedited rubbish. But it’s done! Now I can get started on P2, or maybe take a look at the dusty radio story or the other whispering sekrits story to see where I can go with them. But I do know I am going to leave P1 – now titled A Ghost in the Machine – for about two weeks before looking at it again. So my plans for those two weeks are to get another two first drafts finished, and to play with some of the BRB exercises. I think that could be helpful at the moment.

Well, off now to drink some fennel tea and to calm the rising tide of nausea. So much for going out for a meal today.

Fits and starts. November 16, 2008

Posted by phoenixaeon in A215, OU, Wordcount, writing.
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Finally. I found a niche of productivity yesterday. I started a new story (Project 1, P1)and got 550 words into it – a quarter of the length required for the next TMA. So maybe I’ll use this one for that. I’m stalled on it at the mo, as my brain needs to gain some more momentum. I will continue with it again a little later.

I’d been trying to start P1 for about a week, but couldn’t find a beginning that would push me into the story. I’ve had the idea for it for about two years, along with the name for the protag. I just kept tripping over invisible laces when it came to putting it down on paper. Now I feel like I’m going somewhere with it. I just hope it continues as I am enjoying writing it. I’m also hoping that concentrating on this one will free up the creative processes on the story I started last week and push that one back into life. I hate it when I stall. I’m sure I make problems for myself just so I can spend time procrastinating.

I thought I’d best have a look at the BRB today, to make sure I was up to date with the study schedule. All I can say is oh bugger! I am two weeks behind. I think I will do some of the exercises before I continue with P1. I think it might be worthwhile for both the writing and the introduction of some fresh thinking.

So off I go to do some work. And about time too.

Oh! For a title! October 26, 2008

Posted by phoenixaeon in A215, OU, tennis, TMA01, Wordcount, writing.
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I am done with the editing. I have torn the story apart, tried with a few different first lines, made a pretty collage, pretended it was a jigsaw, and finally given it a lollipop. I don’t think it is fantastic, but it is a story in 750 words, full and realised (I hope), with a clear beginning, middle, end. However, it is still titleless. Bugger! So, all I need to do now to get TMA01 finished is to write the reflective commentary and conjure a title. And then it’s done. Yay!

So, Andy Murray is in the final at St. Petersburg. By the time I get to watch the match I will undoubtedly already know the outcome. (Self-fulfilling propechy; Murray beat Andrey Golubev 6-1, 6-1. Told ya!) Oh well, after such a comprehensive ass-whooping, I don’t think that match is worth watching. I’m sure I can find something else to do (finish TMA01, probably).

I think, after being consumed by the editing, I might just need to forage for some food before my stomach grows teeth and eats me. Probably not a bad thing!

Editing… October 24, 2008

Posted by phoenixaeon in A215, Conversations with Principessa, OU, The Principessa Files, Wordcount, writing.
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Yep, I have been editing this evening. I really enjoy the editing. I’ve still got a little to do, as there are some sentences/descriptions I am not happy with. I’m also wondering if I have put enough suspense in. And I’m still struggling to find a title. Bum! Otherwise, I’m happy. Down from a bulky 860ish words to a lovely slim 750 words. Goal! Woohoo!

I finally made it to the bookshop today. Princi and I had fun on the short walk/roll to the entrance, Princi pretending to pull me along. She was quite good while we were there, not running too far away from Grandand and I. She even helped me when I went looking for my writing magazine. Yay! I tell you, she’s getting good with this reading lark! I was most impressed when we went to have our usual drink and she stayed sitting at the table. The only thing I was a bit grrr about was that I forgot to look for Brisingr as we left, the thought totally disappearing from my head as I looked for the Aerosmith edition of Guitar Hero. Ho hum. Seive for a brain.

On other Princi news, she has now integrated the disgruntled ‘What?’ into her vocabulary. For example:

Nanny: If you break your computer it will take you a hundred years to pay for a new one!

Princi: What? A hundred years?

Or,

Me: Do you want some chocolate milk?

Princi: What? Chocolate milk? No! But yes please.

She uses this at least twice a day. It makes me laugh every time.

Anyhows, time for Jonathan Ross.

Money for scrap paper. November 28, 2007

Posted by phoenixaeon in OU, What a waste of time my doctor is, Wordcount.
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I had to go to the doctors last night to get a doctor’s letter to confirm the LGMD, because the OU had sent me a form to apply for Disability Student’s Allowance (DSA), even though I can’t be bothered applying for it. What a farce! Five minutes to get my info up on the computer, scribble down a few words on a sheet of headed A5, cost; £10! Unbelievable! I wish I could earn a tenner for five minutes work.

On the subject of the OU, I have just got to sort out the last of this DSA form, confirm something on the registration form, and I’m all sorted to start in February. Kirsty came around yesterday, and we sorted out her form for financial support, asked for a new submission date as she had missed the first one because she is waiting for her passport. So at least she can do the OU course too. After all, it was Kirsty who suggested doing a course, and then we trawled through the site to see what was on offer. As we both want to improve our English, we have chosen to do a BA (Hons) Humanities and English Language. I’m looking forward to one of the last courses we will study as it is a creative writing course.

Well, I didn’t write any more on the story last night. Instead I went to bed at 9.30pm. Principessa was still awake, so if I start going to bed earlier maybe she will start going to sleep earlier. I’m hoping it will get her into a pattern. I am continuing with getting up early and doing some writing before Principessa wakes up, though.

Day 28: 506 words (with more later, hopefully.)

Oh, so very tired. November 27, 2007

Posted by phoenixaeon in Trust in the story and trust your muse, Wordcount, Writing goals.
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I wish I hadn’t asked my Dad to wake me this morning before he left for work. But I had to make sure I would get some writing done. I was quite pleased with what was written over the hour I could concentrate. Then I put the book down, snuggled back into bed and sort of drifted in and out of sleep for an hour before Principessa woke up smiling.

I think I should be on target for the 10,000 words this month. Over last night and this morning I scribbled down just under 1,100 words. So to reach 10,000 I have just over another 1,100 to do over the next three days. I’m feeling quite confident at the moment, but I’m sure that will change (it’s inevitable when you are an optimistic pessimist!).

It’s surprising where this story is taking me. When I was planning I knew I needed to have some way of introducing a plot device – at that time I didn’t even know what the plot device was – and I was having some trouble. Last night, while writing, it just introduced itself with no prior warning! (Thinking about it, that is a lie. The plot device had previously been introduced, though I didn’t know until last night that I would use it for this part of the story.) It sounds silly, as if I had no choice in the matter. I suppose I didn’t. It was a necessary part of the story, and the story took care of itself, making sure that the things that were needed had been included.

I had always wondered about this phenomenon when reading how other writers described how some parts of a story just write themselves, of how a story could take on a life of its own. I was very suspicious of this, thinking that they were just working to a plan and making the writing process sound more fantastical than it is by saying such things. Now I realise why it hasn’t happened to me sooner. I didn’t believe in the intrinsic rules of writing, of trusting that the part of me that is my muse would take care of important little details such as plot devices if I just let it run free with the pen and paper. I’m glad it has happened, as it was something that I had to learn.

Day 26: 669 words
Day 27: 424 words (so far. I’ll still do some more writing before I go to sleep tonight.)

Birthday and Opera November 26, 2007

Posted by phoenixaeon in Birthday meal, Carmen, NaNo update, Principessa, Wordcount.
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It was my birthday yesterday. I spent most of it feeling quite low, but that’s just the aging process for you 😉

I went to my favourite restaurant, Sapporo Teppanyaki, for a meal. Ooohh, yum yum! I really love the food there. I had Ika Tempura (battered, deep fried squid), Maki sushi, duck in raspberry sauce with fried rice, vegetables and potatoes, and ice cream for dessert. Kayte told them it was my birthday, so they came out with drums and tambourines and a special birthday ice-cream ‘cake’ singing happy birthday. Much fun was had by all (especially when drinking the sake/pimms/ginger ale cocktail.)

On Saturday night I went to see ‘Carmen’. It was the first time I have been to watch an opera, and I was quite impressed. The sets were good, the costumes were fantastic (the flamenco skirts were amazing, I wanted one!), and the music was great. The only problem I had was that at some points the orchestra was much louder than the singers, and the woman playing Carmen didn’t have a fantastic voice. In parts she almost sounded like a pre-pubescent boy when his voice is breaking. The surtitles also helped me a bit, not knowing the language. Someone said that the surtitles distracted from the opera, but I didn’t think they did, in fact, there were times I was totally enraptured by what as going on on the stage that I completely forgot to read what was on the surtitle screen. I think I may have to go and see another opera soon (Madame Butterfly, hopefully!)

Principessa has been a funny one lately. I bought two teddies, one for her and one for me, and you can take the wheat bag stomach out of them and warm them in the microwave. Principessa was quite impressed by that last night, but over Friday and Saturday, she has just been playing with the teddy. She called her ted Jack, and I called mine Frax, after one of the characters in my story. Well, Principessa has decided that Frax is the more cuddly, and has robbed him! Cheeky monkey.

She was in the car when Grandand picked us up last night. She was having fun with Uncle Gaz playing with her Lunar Jim slippers when she turned to Gaz and said:

“Nanny said she would take the scissors to Jim!”

I couldn’t help but laugh at that! I told Nanny, and Nanny said she was a fibber!

Hmmm, NaNo. Not been going too well. I have decided that my goal is to get 10,000 words before the end of the month. So far I have around 7800 words, so I have to do 2200 words in the next four days. That’s 550 words per day. Hmm, that’s some work to do. At least it seems to be going somewhere now!

Day 23: 538 words
Day 24: 429 words
Day 25: 0 words