Tuesday’s Cup o’Thoughts (30/9/2014)

Hang on, I’m not caffeinated yet *heads downstairs* Aaaand I’m back. I really should have made myself a cup ages ago but internet stuff kept me occupied for like an hour. Yesterday was an alright day. I got some of the stuff done on my to do list and a little while before midnight I finally finished typing up the hand-written scenes of my book that I’ve been meaning to do for over a week. I was happy with my progress in that quarter since I now have over 76K written although I think I will need to revise my final word count estimate to around 100K as the 12 scenes I have left are not going to happen in the 10K that is left until my original estimate.

Plan of Action for the Day

1. Await arrival of Pest guy to nuke the wasp nest that has set up shop in the wall cavity at the end of my bathroom. How he’s going to reach the bit of the wall where the nest entrance is I do not know but either way I’m probably going to have to go to Costa for a while since the bathroom will be out of action after he’s sprayed his death-to-the-striped-vermin stuff.

2. Sit in Costa, possibly with laptop (which has amazeballs battery life) and do some writing.

3. When tis safe to come home, ironing and dishes need to get done, I did some of the dishes last night but there’s always more.

4. Might be an idea to stick some washing on so I don’t have a panic when I have to pack for my holiday to Paris next week

5. Look at my damn textbooks since I’ve not done that for over a week.

What am I looking forward to?

Let’s be real, sitting in Costa writing with a cup of coffee is gonna be pretty fun and I’ll feel kind of like a proper writer πŸ˜›

What do I think I’ll find tricky?

Them textbooks are getting a bit scary now we’re so close the start date, I have the name of my tutor and I know where my day schools are going to be. Soon I’m going to have to get serious about my work ethic and not waste two hours of every morning checking tumblr and youtube

How can I work through it?

Read a little bit at a time and get back into it without freaking out.

What song came up first on my iPod this morning?

Apologize by Timberland & OneRepublic

Now off to work!

Ray πŸ™‚

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Monday’s Cup o’Thoughts (29/9/2014)

Good morning chaps. It kinda feels like the weekend was especially lengthy and that Friday was eons ago already. Now Monday is here again and I have an interesting situation in that I now have two laptops, only one of which has Microsoft office so I gotta decide which computer I want to work from. I think I will stick to my new early birthday/christmas present laptop that I got from my parents over the weekend for my work stuff and writing and keep my other laptop for general internet browsing when I’m downstairs so I don’t have to schlepp my power cables everywhere. I am kind of in love with this machine, it’s so fast I don’t expect it since my other laptop used to take ages to load a webpage and now I sat staring at the screen for a few seconds this morning before I twigged that the homepage had already loaded. The keys are really lovely to type on and they have these cool little lights around them. The monitor is also touch screen so that’s awesome πŸ˜€ except I’m probably going to have to keep cleaning it when I leave grubby fingerprints all over it. I should probably stop talking about it.

Plan of Action for the Day

1. Get showered and dressed. I think this is going to make me feel like I’m at least ready to work and not feel like such a grub sitting around in my pjs all day.

2. Finish typing up the scene I still haven’t transcribed into Scrivener so I can actually have a clue about which scene I should write next.

3. I’d like to tack up all the index cards with the scene descriptions for my novel although I probably ought to finish writing them out since I only managed 10 when I started that project.

4. I also might go and buy another set of plastic drawers to put stuff in so I don’t have piles of stuff loitering on the floor in my office making it feel untidy. It’s bad enough that there’s still a bloody clothes rail and exercise bikes clogging up some of the room without my piles of paper and notebooks that I don’t have space to tidy away.

5. Dishes need to get done as they got left out all weekend while we were in Nottingham. Bit of ironing that I could also look at.

What am I looking forward to?

Probably the fiddling about with my office getting it all spic-and-span so I can procrastinate in a tidy workspace.

What do I think I’ll find tricky?

I think number 3 is going to take a while to get done since I have something like 50 scene cards to write and it is quite time-exhaustive.

How can I work through it?

Tack up the ones I have done already and just do three or four a day until they’re all done.

What song came up first on my iPod this morning?

Lost and Found by Pretty Lights (from the Divergent movie soundtrack)

Now off to work!

Ray πŸ™‚

Friday’s Cup o’Thoughts (26/9/2014)

Grr, argh, braaaaains. That’s most of the thoughts I’m having right now. I got up at before 7am this morning and while I am feeling a little bit more awake thanks to tea, I am not wide awake due to the mega-fuckery that my boiler is causing by not creating any hot water to shower with. I have had to shower with cold water a few times before but since I’m neither on a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award expedition or in Student halls sharing a shower with a slightly crazed guy who used up all the hot water with his half hour showers that invariably soaked the whole bathroom, I don’t need to deal with this shit. It better start working when I try it again shortly cos I will be damned if I go out today without having showered.

Plan of Action for the Day

1. Get more awake

2. Kill time until Library opens so I can go print off the CV and Cover letter I spent ages working on last night.

3. Go distribute aforementioned documents to Waterstones and try not to beg and plead at any point for them to give me a job.

4. Do some writing

5. Also get some washing done because I think Le Boyf will need trousers for this weekend

What am I looking forward to?

I’ll admit that I’m very much looking forward to going to Waterstones to be able to hunt down a copy of book that I’m dying to read. The potential for employment is almost secondary.

What do I think I’ll find tricky?

The getting more awake bit, particularly if the boiler decides it is taking a permanent holiday from its prescribed fucking function of heating shit up.

How can I work through it?

Resist urge to smash it and curse at it loudly should it prove recalcitrant.

What song came up first on my iPod this morning?

Do you want to build a snowman? – Frozen Movie Soundtrack (Strangely I’m still not sick of this song)

Now off to work!

Ray πŸ™‚

Trying to finish the damn book (Writing Ray)

I’ve not spoke too much about this recently on the new blog but in case you didn’t know- I’m writing a book.

It’s been rather a strange process and has dominated my thoughts for a good portion of the year. Despite my hilariously naive predictions of having the first draft finished by June I am still around 20-25K words away from having it completed. More irritatingly the remaining scenes to be written are not at the end of the book like they would be for a sensible person who wrote their book in a linear fashion, but they are from the start of the book moving into the middle.

I was a bit of an idiot and the first scene I actually wrote for the book was is effectively the Act One closer scene when my two main characters first cross paths in a rather dramatic fashion. The scene I wrote after that was from around the end of act two (although I still have to properly delineate where the different acts start and end) and then I kept writing from there until I got to the end of the book. So I now have over 70K of a novel with very little middle and I’m struggling to fill the gap.

I have vague outlines of what I think is going to happen in those 12 or so scenes I have left but now I have the issue of actually sitting down and writing them. I find myself doubting the whole book more now than I did way back in January and February and when I re-read scenes I wrote months ago to help me figure out where things are meant to be going I find myself either groaning at the ridiculousness of some of my phrasing or facepalming over the places where I’ve forgotten words or simply changed details about the world or character after the fact.

None of this is very conducive to actually getting writing done. I know a lot of writers are susceptible to self-doubt and that little voice at the back of your mind can be very insidious when it wants to be. Mine certainly is – last month I read a brilliant YA fantasy novel (The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski) and when I finished it I was agonising over the fact that the sequel wasn’t going to be out until March Β next year. I was marvelling over how amazing the book was when that stupid little voice piped up “Your book will never be this good” and BAM I was thrown head-first into a pit of self-loathing that would have lasted for god knows how long if not for some of the excellent friends I have who dug me out.

Coming back from that has been slow-going and I’ve never got back to the level of output I had in the first quarter of the year. It can take me hours and hours to write even 500 words when I had evenings when I bashed out over a 1000 words in something like an hour and a half. I worry that if I don’t have at least a complete first draft by the end of this year that I won’t finish it all, that I’ll get so distracted by the two OU modules I’m doing (A215 alone is going to require me to write thousands of words of prose/poetry that are not for my novel) that I won’t come back to my book for so long that every scrap of interest I had for it has disappeared when I eventually do open up the Scrivener file again.

So what do I do to keep myself going? I’m struggling to keep myself focused on prepping for my OU modules at the moment so doing stuff for something I’m not paying a couple of grand to do is a little lower on the list of priorities. Well, it should be yet all I have done in the past two days is hand-write stuff for a scene from my novel. I might get that finished this week or it might get left hanging three quarters done like the rest of the damn book.

How do you go about finishing a book? Without running screaming in fear of your own writing?

It’s been one of those days when I ask myself tricky questions

Toodles

Ray

Thursday’s Cup o’Thoughts (25/9/2014)

Howdy, Thursday has snuck up on me again and that’s unsettling. Yesterday was slightly productive in that I got a bit of writing done and I finally did the dishes. I also went and printed off the first two assignments for both of my OU modules at the library so I now I have those blu-tacked to my wall where I can see them. Although I do need to translate the French one so I know exactly what it says because the damn thing is entirely in French!

Plan of Action for the Day

1. Translate the TMA requirement for my French so I have a clue what to do for it.

2. Finish writing the damn cover letter I need to take to Waterstones to apply for their christmas vacancies.

3. Maybe write some more of that scene I was working on yesterday because I didn’t get near finished.

4. Maybe try and work on a blog post or two that doesn’t just get scraped off the top of my head when I’m still half asleep.

What am I looking forward to?

Translating the TMA because I like the gleeful feeling I get when I understand shit.

What do I think I’ll find tricky?

Cover letter, I’m awful at selling myself and applying for jobs is quite literally my worst nightmare.

How can I work through it?

I’m thinking I’ll take the eager angle and basically write a love letter to Waterstones saying how much I love books and how selling them to other people is kind of a Β dream for me. And that I will take full advantage of staff discount πŸ˜› (gonna leave that bit out)

What song came up first on my iPod this morning?

At the End of the Day – Les Miserables (Movie Soundtrack)

Now off to work!

Ray πŸ™‚

Wednesday’s Cup o’Thoughts (24/9/2014)

Well thank goodness Tuesday is over and done with again. Again another day of mostly ridiculous procrastination that produced nothing useful. I did get the tiny bit of ironing done and assisted Le Boyf in dismantling his laptop so he could replace his hard-drive (a fucking rigmarole of epic proportions). Other than that the day was spent watching random Youtube videos and generally wasting time *sigh* I really better get this out of my system soon or October onwards is going to be very difficult.

Plan of Action for the Day

1. Β Novel – I started writing another scene last night and I currently feel like it needs to get written so if I focus on that for a bit then it’ll be something.

2. French – Just do the damn exercises Rachel and stop arsing about with it.

3. Have a look at what activities are set for the first two weeks of A215 and check which you’ve done so far.

What am I looking forward to?

Writing out this scene from my book. It’s featuring some of my favourite characters and I’ve got a *lot* of character setup to do in order to properly bamboozle folk πŸ˜›

What do I think I’ll find tricky?

French, I just seem to be having one of those blocked weeks where my mind doesn’t want to French.

How can I work through it?

Put my laptop as far away from me as possible on this tiny desk.

What song came up first on my iPod this morning?

Once upon a December – Anastasia movie soundtrack.

Now off to work!

Ray πŸ™‚

Tuesday’s Cup o’Thoughts (23/9/2014)

Oops I overslept again. It’s really a terrible habit that just lets two hours of my day disappear before I’m even aware of what I’m doing. I really need to start actually hauling myself out of bed at half 7 Β and just staying awake and getting stuff done from the start of the day not going back to sleep and missing half the morning.

Yesterday was not all bad- I got a first draft done for my Creative Writing TMA so I now have something to work with so long as I don’t find out later from my tutor that it’s not suitable for some reason. Which I really hope not because I rather like what I’ve done and once I’ve edited it a few times it should be down to size and closer to what I want.

Plan of Action for the Day

1. French – I didn’t touch French yesterday so I need to get on with the next activity in the textbook and crack on with that vocab list because the French TMA is going to be harder for me than the Creative Writing what with the whole different language aspect.

2. Carry on typing up the scene for my book since I only did one side of the 5 pages I wrote before I got sidetracked last night.

3. Dishes, Laundry and Ironing – they all need doing so should at least bloody attempt to get one or two of them done.

What am I looking forward to?

I’m a weirdo who likes ironing so maybe that, especially since it gives me an excuse to watch more Buffy on Netflix πŸ˜€

What do I think I’ll find tricky?

Getting through an entire activity for French without getting side-tracked or deciding that I can’t be arsed to do all of it.

How can I work through it?

Set myself time limits maybe for each bit of it so that it doesn’t seem quite so insurmountable a task.

What song came up first on my iPod this morning?

The Bare Necessities – The Jungle Book. This song is just so fab, I’ll start jiving round my house belting it out.

Now off to work!

Ray πŸ™‚