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Things to Make and Do

The decision has been made, I’ve changed my NaNo page BACK to where we started a week ago. No more indecision. There’s a Soundtrack being updated and many changes in my head as to where action was initially going to head. Now, however, it is time for some honesty. I’ve mentioned before some of the technical shortcomings that hamper my long-form fiction work: repetition of words, bad grammar and the eternal problem of going on Multiple Tenses Safari.

All of this is known well enough to handle without worry: I can cut out superfluous words, but not too many, because that hampers decent narrative flow. It is a delicate combination of when and where, it is apparent. All of this goes without saying, but the majority of that should happen during my editing period and not whilst I’m writing. The issues then need to be admitted in public before going forward.

I seem to have terrible trouble being confident my narratives truly work.

WTF Colbert

This is a pretty staggering admission from someone who likes to believe, on most days, that she’s capable of telling a damn fine story… except, there are always holes. This is the problem… going great guns, ready to start working… then discovering the plot’s got a gap in it that’s not really that wide, but can end up looking insurmountably deep. This time around, therefore, I’m going to do something that’s never been done for a NaNo before.

It’s time to transcribe the narrative, longhand, from start to finish. I don’t expect this to be either pretty or easy, but every plot hole needs to be identified and covered. If this doesn’t happen, it will just be like the last couple of times when I’ve tried to write something complex: my own brain will destroy the fragile confidence built up over the last few months and BANG we’ve gotten nowhere. It’s not happening.

The story is going to be finished.

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The hope is if I can do it once, then we can do it again with a couple of the unfinished manuscripts on my hard drive. Now the major shortcoming in long-form writing has been identified, it’s time to crack on with the task. There’s poetry scheduled over the next few days, but space has been provisioned at the weekend for the all-important first pass. Needless to say, you’ll know how it all worked out this time next week.

Cross everything please, it will be very much appreciated.

The Test

The havering is over. Normally, it’s never this organised inside Writing HQ for NaNoWriMo until the end of the month. This year’s Idea [TM] has very much been a toss up between Responsibility and Enjoyment: write the novel that already holds a chance at success, or do something that makes me happy. Right now, all that matters is the latter, because quite frankly I’m sick to death of the submission process.

Don’t worry, it’s still going to happen.

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It was, in the end, a simple choice. The soundtrack’s been on repeat now in the car for about a week, and there’s some rather vital changes to the narrative beginning to evolve from repeated exposure to certain pieces of music. The next week will be spent finally organising the track listing for that, but it’s already on Spotify. I have taken the good advice: write the thing you love, not the one you feel obliged to.

There will also be some poetry going on in November, but the major deadline item I want to submit will be started next week for completion after my birthday. However much the process of submission and rejection wears me down, it still keeps happening, because it is only through pain and suffering that the artist’s work will finally improve. She understands the limitations, but continues regardless, because… t’was ever thus.

Let’s hope I can finally do this idea justice.

Inside my Head

Constant, rhythmic hum: this, good enough
door was locked, keys in bag
don’t panic; daily resonance
better existence with design
reminders Posted, multicoloured door
minutiae underpins each forward step
slow renaissance from perceived inept.

How lucky they all are, unbound
explanation not required, I’m sound
inside my head’s vast golden place
without bazillion checks, hard balances
foot to foot, Warrior’s stance contrives
expectant moment, incoming empire’s fall
from everything to absolutely none at all.

You have no clue how lucky you all are.

Beautiful Dreamer

Seven days into the October #FaithIoW project, things are going pretty well.

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The biggest single challenge currently remains the photography side of things, especially as there’s a phenomenal amount of Real Life still going on post my husband’s operation. However, content is planned for the whole of this week, which is a distinct improvement on where things were when this journey began. Therefore, I’ll take this as a success, even if the speed of other organisation isn’t going as I’d wish.

This week will see a couple of abortive projects resurrected, and some important groundwork for the beginning of November.

ternary

The NaNoWriMo site has finally undergone an upgrade: although not technically perfect, I can now organise my work for next month already. We’ll talk more about Ternary in the coming weeks, but I have high hopes for this project. It also provides a much-needed alternative to poetry, which is going to get a lot of love to meet some important late October deadlines.

There’s also going to be a return to the normal business of daily poetry, short stories and YouTube playlists: I have a story to finish from August too, and am working out the best way to do this along with the abortive playlists that were never finished when I got sick. The most sensible idea, it occurs to me, is to just carry on where I left off… I wonder, is that feasible…?

Only one way to find out, I suppose…

Not Enough

From time to time I’ll see online someone advertising an eBook along the lines of ’10 Things Writers Do Wrong in their Manuscripts’ and wonder if it’s worth dropping the cash to work out whether any of this wisdom is relevant. Inevitably, when reading submission guidelines from magazines or publishers, there’ll be a sentence somewhere that states ‘you should look at our other work to see if what you white will fit well with our publication ethos.‘ I seldom do.

Questioning literary output is healthy. Realising your work won’t fit in everyone’s publications is an important wake-up call when it happens. However, how you then deal with those revelations can make or break confidence, often fragile to begin with regardless of other people’s expectations. As NaNoWriMo is looming large, getting my shit together then writing a novel is beginning to matter again.

However, which one gets the nod?

One is the idea I took to Mslexicon and got widespread support for. The other’s my favourite project from quite some time ago, repackaged and far more tighter than it ever was when the idea was begun. The havering has already begun: go for the vanity project I’ll actually enjoy, or finally complete the idea that might sell? Of course I could do both, but no good ever comes from splitting interests.

What is needed most of all right now however is the means by which brain practice the skills required to become a better writer: eliminating word repetition, showing and not telling… the list goes on. Trying to balance which of these two projects is likely to be a better learning experience is suddenly as important as developing story itself. Ultimately what’s most significant is learning and not travelling forward.

Of course I could do both, but in this case brain knows one matters more.

notgood

As has been the case with Poetry, learning has bought better work, more maturity and a developing sense of an artistic voice. The same really needs to happen with fiction. I’m a realist, it’s obvious what needs to be done, and if I am to be ready for what next year brings, it is time to suck it up and do the work. It is no different than exercising, in that regard: a task, waiting to be completed.

What happens next is entirely in my own hands.

The End

It’s National Poetry Day and for the occasion I’ve produced a work that’s meant to go in a Tweet: it’s not like blogging is dead and buried but we all know that Social media is where it’s at (baby) with your handy graphics and hashtag accompaniment. This is the start however of something big: I am ready to write poetry on mental illness. Whether anybody is ready to read it is quite another matter, but that’s where the train’s now heading so HANG ON EVERYBODY.

 


I like the idea of truth as not just a positive: there’s bound to be a raft of feeling enlightened in the poetry today (for obvious reasons) but for me, truth is not necessarily freedom. It’s why the #IoWFaith project’s become a bit more important than was at first grasped: asking the difficult questions often provides unexpected answers. In my case, those solutions are an entry point to a larger, more complex set of discussion topics…

Also, I’m playing with the idea of animation for the first time. This is very generic, and templated. However, the possibilities moving forward are as limitless as both ability and imagination.

What can be made from my words, I wonder?

Regeneration

Tomorrow, as some of you may have noticed, is October. Because of unavoidable personal circumstances, none of the fiction that I wanted to enter for a major contest got done at the end of this month. It’s still sitting there now, taunting me with its unfinishedness. In this case, like it or not, reality beat aspiration.

We’ll deal with my demons, the anger that resulted plus what happens next on Wednesday. There’ll be an extra bonus post on Thursday too, to coincide with National Poetry Day (see above) which is in its 25th year. I’ve used this as a crowbar to insert myself back into the business of content too… so you get a general theme for October.

Faith

Because of my husband’s continued hospitalisation, and the pressures that has created, I’m not ready as yet to restart what was scheduled content. Instead (as as I’m doing a lot of travelling across my county at present) we’ll be taking photographs and using 31 single-word prompts as a means of generating poetry for the month of October.

This is inspired by the concept of Inktober (and it’s many derivations), which many of my artist friends will be taking part in starting tomorrow. That means finding 31 words that will challenge and inspire me to think not only about the subject matter, but how I find my own way through belief and understanding in an increasingly complex world.

You’ll see Thursday 3rd’s word is Truthwhich is the theme for National Poetry Day.

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I’m looking forward to flexing my creative muscles for this project, with the first few days worth of output already in the scheduling queue. You’ll see the posts on Instagram and my Twitter feed (both @Internetofwords) at 9am and 5pm GMT respectively. This will also give me some much needed time to get back up to speed with my ‘normal content’ which I hope to restart late in October.

I look forward to hearing your feedback and thoughts.