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Why is it… August 19, 2014

Posted by phoenixaeon in If I could sit down and just write I might get somewhere, lists, MA, Procrastinating, reading, writing.
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…that the closer the writing module gets, the less inclined I am to write?

 

I’ve been pondering tapping out a blog post for the last couple of weeks, but every time I open up the textbox I think why would anyone want to read my mind-junk? It’s the same with my stories. I think what story have I got to tell and why would anyone be in the slightest bit interested in reading it? As you can see, the evil curs known as Procrastination and the Inner Critic have dropped by for an outstayed-your-welcome-already holiday. Fabulous. That’s not to say I haven’t been writing. I just haven’t been writing a lot. I’ve jotted down some ideas, but as of yet I have not had the drive to expand upon them. Procrastination has taken me by the hand and convinced me that I need to be watching this show or playing this game, so while I have the mental inspiration, I do not have the physical expiration… I am holding my breath rather than holding a pen. It’s not so good seeing as air is not a particularly functional writing implement.

 

Despite not writing (much), I have been reading. A lot. Well, a lot for me. I’m not an incredibly fast reader, and considering that I can count on one hand the number of books I’ve read over the past two summers, then I’m doing pretty well this year. In the list I put up previously, I have read through:

  • Tinder by Sally Gardner
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez – 6% through on the Kindle. Beginning to suspect this is a book that needs to be read as a book and not by e-reader.
  • Wonder by R. J. Palacio
  • Tanglewreck by Jeanette Winterson
  • A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness – next on the ‘to read’ list.
  • Varjak Paw and The Outlaw Varjak Paw by SF Said.
  • A whole bunch of creative writing books that will be used for the module. I have made a start, but snail’s pace about covers it.

So while I’m not through this list, I have read other stuff:

  • Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell – a lovely story about friendship and family and the rooftops of Paris.
  • The Bone Dragon by Alexia Casale – another story about family, but through the opposing dichotomies of destructive vs. nurture and biological vs. adoptive.
  • Glaze by Kim Curran – an interesting near-future story about the perils of social networks.
  • Geek Girl by Holly Smale – a modern take on the Ugly Duckling.
  • The Julian Chapter by R. J. Palacio – the bully’s viewpoint (a side ‘chapter’ for Wonder).
  • Marx for Beginners by Ruis – a Ronseal title. Tells you all you need to know.
  • Write Your Novel from the Middle by James Scott Bell – Ronseal again. But an interesting take on writing guides.
  • The Bunker Diary by Kevin Brooks – Bleaky McBleakerson. No hope, no glory. Would suit a soundtrack by Leonard Cohen.
  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green – Bleaky McPretentiouspants (my opinion only). But if I was a teenager, I’d probably love it.
  • The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo – A fabulous little tale of a toy rabbit’s journey to find his original owner (but also himself).

and I am currently reading:

  • The Problems with Dostoevsky’s Poetics by Mikhail Bakhtin
  • The Intruders by Michael Marshall (not a book that should be read in the same room as a child who talks in her sleep…)
  • Radiant Girl by Andrea White
  • The Writer’s Guide to Crafting Stories for Children by Nancy Lamb

So I’ve impressed myself by getting out of my can’t-read-for-toffee funk. And I have a whole new list of books I need to read in preparation for next month and the start of the writing module. I think my head might just fall off – which could be a result of holding my breath for too long!

Proud Mummy Alert! January 16, 2013

Posted by phoenixaeon in Homework with Principessa, Proud Mummy, Reading with Principessa, the perfect word.
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Yes, it is a day for peacock feathers.

This afternoon after coming home from school, Princi settled herself down to do her homework. Even before she had started she was strutting around saying how easy her maths homework was. True to form, it was completed within a minute. Onto spelling…

Spelling is a different case entirely. Most words she can spell without much trouble. However, words with ‘ugh’ or ‘ea’ seem to be a problem, so when we came across ‘unclean’ and ‘unhealthy’ we had the growls of frustration while she guessed her way to getting it right. But, in the end, she did. Yay! Onto comprehension…

Image

Words are like weapons and this has certainly been in the wars!

So she read the book she had to write a synopsis for last night. We talked about the story so she could work out what she wanted to write and off she went. But then she hit one sentence where she decided she wanted to break from the norm of simple explanatory words and use something a bit more sophisticated. She wanted to find a word synonymous (yes, she even knew that it was a synonym that she wanted) with happy. So she tested out some words – liked, loved, joyful – but they didn’t seem to fit with what she wanted. Then *lightbulb*. She decided to look for her thesaurus. Unable to find hers, she dug out my old, battered pocket Collins dictionary and thesaurus and searched for the word.

contented… delighted… merry… pleased….

Still nothing. But then she saw the word propitious. So I told her that if she wanted to use that word, then she should check in the dictionary to make sure that it would fit properly in her sentence. She opened the dictionary side of the Collins, but lo and behold! The word wasn’t there! I gave her my computer and she typed the word into the search engine.

pro·pi·tious

/prəˈpiSHəs/
Adjective
  1. Giving or indicating a good chance of success; favorable.
  2. Favorably disposed toward someone.
Synonyms
favourable – favorable – auspicious – opportune

Perfect! The word fit exactly! It described exactly what she wanted to say. The sentence? ‘The snow, the frost, the north wind and the hail found this very propitious.’ And what did they find propitious, you may ask. Well, the story was about a selfish giant who lost spring, making it eternally winter in his garden. The perfect conditions for the snow, the frost, the north wind and the hail. This made Princi very happy, knowing that using propitious would be very propitious for her when her teacher reads her homework next Monday.

Repetitive. February 9, 2009

Posted by phoenixaeon in Breaking Dawn, Eclipse, Midnight Sun, Poetry.
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I finished reading Eclipse, the third in the Twilight saga, yesterday. It was marginally better than the first two, even though the writing hadn’t improved much. At least the mentions of Edward’s perfectly white, icy cold, hard as stone skin had calmed down. Only problem – it was replaced by Jacob’s fantastically hot, russet coloured skin. Oh, and that’s hot in the sense of hot to touch. Oh, and then there was the hole in Bella. Oh gosh, did that get boring. Repetition is good, in its place, but Meyer over-uses it. Every single page is the same, with tiny little differences.

So, even though the repetition was driving me nuts, if I’d have had Breaking Dawn to hand I would have started reading it. But I didn’t, so instead I started reading the partial draft of Midnight Sun that is on Meyer’s website. This one is written from Edward’s POV,  and do you know, not much better. The only thing I see is that now I wouldn’t even sympathise with his character. And that it would have been a way to make money off the rewritten contents of the first book. Talk about a steal.

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On things other than perfect vampires and their not-so-perfect girlfriends, I’m going nowhere with the poetry. I’ve not even thought about it for the last four days. I’ve been feeling too blah, too down, to concentrate. I seriously need a mental kick to get me moving again, but I seem to have caught myself on mental barbed wire.

Hmph. Definitely not myself at the minute.