Monday, 28 February 2011

Row update number ?

I've been terribly sick. It's just a cold but I've inherited my father's ability to be completely knocked off my feet by a sniffle. It's why I can walk around with other medical issues that require immediate attention without realising, such as a dislocated rib. Because nothing is as bad as a cold.

I've just regained the ability to sit up and type, but not enough to think straight (this post is only coherent because I'm taking my sweet time) so, naturally, nothing's been done word-wise while I've been knocked out.

Ogden Nash probably had the same way with colds, though I suspect he didn't get them quite as roughly as half my family does. Here's a link to his wonderfully lyrical poem on colds (in the form of a preview):

Go hang yourself, you old M.D,!
You shall not sneer at me.
Pick up your hat and stethoscope,
Go wash your mouth with laundry soap;
I contemplate a joy exquisite
In not paying you for your visit.
I did not call you to be told
My malady is a common cold.

And here's a link to everyone else in ROW:

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Writing Exercise 9: Picture Prompt

Romance and magic! I'm feeling a little gooey today and I've included some pictures that might make you gooey too.
The magic is actually the more important factor here. Here's what your story should include:

1) Something magical (you can go the realism route and have someone with a magical voice or you can go all out and summon cthulhu).
2) The setting has to be outdoors.
3) One of the following objects has to appear in it:

Enchanted by the winter by =wchild on deviantART

Rosa Canina at break down by ~ziddarri on deviantART

One Perfect Rose by *galway-girl21 on deviantART

Monday, 21 February 2011

Row update 12

I'm always late with my Sunday post. It's taken a bit of effort to write this now (in bed, half-asleep). Weekend commuting is creating an absolute trench in my writing numbers and time. On the upside I'm seeing a finish line in the distance for my novel!
Goodnight all.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Writing Exercise 8: Picture Prompt

Do you feel out of place?

I searched for pictures with the phrase "out of place" and here are some of the odd things that came up. This prompt is just about the pictures, as they have a lot in them. Just give your piece the theme of 'out of place'.

(The last of these I doubt will be useful but was quite odd so I included it anyway.)

Girls' Night Out by *theartrix on deviantART

Village of the Bridge by *angrymikko on deviantART

Cramped place by `hellobaby on deviantART

ROW update 11

I've had a writing goal and aims overhaul. A complete revolution. I had been beating myself up about word counts and how much writing I should be doing. I couldn't really write every waking minute but whenever I don't the guilt sets in. So here's my new goal to maximise output and way to relieve guilt.

I got a nifty little timer from cnet:

I just took the timer and set it to five hours. I can pause the timer whenever I need to check my emails and such, so I don't waste writing time. This way I know for sure I have done five hours of writing a day. It could be awful writing but I know that I've put in a reasonable amount of effort and the words are no longer as important as the fact that I know my time has been well-spent.

No more guilt and no more wasting time. Time to write. (My timer is currently set to pause. Only 15 min in and I've written 200 words! I don't expect to keep up the pace but it should put my previous word counts to shame.)

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Inspiration 1: the Milgram Experiment

Read about how flimsy your morals are under pressure:
Inspiring stuff. Certainly for me. Thought I'd post it not only because it might be useful for writing but also because I believe everyone should know who Milgram was.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Row update 10

 I thought I'd cut to the chase and include my daily word counts for the DF novel:
823, 367, 254, 976, 1952, 852, 115, 67, 380, 561
 Quite miserable, aren't they? I don't know why. The plot gets more interesting and yet it's becoming more difficult to write.

Sunday, 13 February 2011


How do you find out about them? I'd like to go to one, just to be part of the shouting angry crowd and have the experience. There's one going by the window right now. I was confused at first. Luckily people update quickly:

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Row update 9

Is writing a habit for me? No. Not at all. It never was. There's always been a story which I must get down one one go, but once it's over I can go weeks without writing, pondering another story. There is no habit. Only work ethic.

Currently reading Ray Bradbury's Zen in the Art of Writing. Interesting so far. I admire the way he went about his writing career, spending every spare minute in the library to educate himself. Will be reading this on the train later today.

He says that one day of not writing get him tense, two, edgy and three, bordering on lunacy. I do get something akin to edginess, but only on the first day of not writing, then all returns to normal, my mind content to wander. Does that make writing a habit? Possibly, but not in Ray Bradbury's sense.

Here's the linky for everyone else: linky!

Monday, 7 February 2011

Writing Exercise 7: Picture Prompt

I've been thinking about symbols and signs, some things we take for granted, as well as assume everyone can understand. A bit like internet abbreviations. There has to be at least one out there that you're not familiar with.

Anyway, this prompt is to do with signs.

1) The centre of the plot has to revolve around the misinterpretation of one. This leaves room for the obvious choices: humour or tragedy, but also romance and more. Not that it has to be a genre piece.
2) Choose from the following: (unless you already have something in mind)

Exit Sign by ~TheLilPhotographer on deviantART

Confusing? by ~redgobbler on deviantART

confusing by ~missingnumbers on deviantART

BEST SIGN EVER by ~z532 on deviantART

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Trust Your Ceiling

What do you place infinite trust in each morning? It's something to consider, great for writing. But I never considered the ceiling. How'd I miss that? Woke up to a massive puddle in the kitchen dripping from the light. Turning it on produced smoke. Fun stuff. Fun stuff...
Will be questioning everything else I depend on. The air, the floor, the bonding behaviour of certain atoms... everything.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Not Really a Poem

You're too clean.
You're too messy.
You're too fat.
You're too thin.
You're too quick.
You're too slow. 
I wish I was you.
I wish I was you.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

ROW update 8

I don't want to drop out from this ROW thing. I don't. I missed one or two check ins but here I am, at last.

There was a day of pure writing this weekend that I think deserves telling. First thing in the morning, still sipping my coffee, I sat down at my desk. Every few hours I would find somewhere else to sit, but never took more than a ten minute break. The result was 2000 words (so now I know what a whole non-stop day of writing produces, without any of the fuffing around I normally do. While I'm impressed with my effort, I'm not impressed with the number).

The next day my numbers went back to normal: 800. Then down, when I got busy: 350.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Jeff Noon

Falling Out of Cars has to be the single most enjoyable book I've read in a long while. It was challenging as well as entertaining and every time I put it down, I felt as though I was still seeing through the sickness of the main character.

It's the nature of the sickness that intrigues me most. Some are immune but the reaction is nearly completely negative to words, information and technology. A car can get the sickness. Too detailed to explain in a few words, it was a sickness I believed in, was convinced could come to be by the end of the book.

Most of my love for the book lies in the ending, which I don't want to give away. Some may not find it to their taste, is all I'll say. But it couldn't have fit better, in my opinion.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Three Ways Procrastination Has Improved My Writing

So you're not in the mood to write. What to do? You feel guilty wasting your precious life in front of a television screen but can't face an empty page.

Journal Writing
or blogging
This has forced me to do something I never really intended when I became a writer: to learn to face and express reality through words. While escapism is my goal, I believe writing, like art, can benefit from real life studies to improve technique. Besides, there's no pressure to create anything. Just describe what happened in your day and within a week you might find yourself embellishing shamelessly, making drama out of a cheese toastie with ease.

I know they say writers should read, but sometimes I find myself reading for days without writing. That's why I must clarify: reading is incredibly productive between writing sessions. If you have neglected your own writing, then how can you compare it to the aspects that work and don't work for you? If you get it right, reading can give you the unique voice you've been looking for by seeing what you favour against other writers. 

This seems obvious. But let me ask you something. When was the last time you lay down, in complete silence, closed your eyes and went on a little head adventure? Met some interesting people who told you chilli peppers make great musicians or that candlewax is their preferred method of blinding a victim? Create without pressure. Have fun, for goodness sake!

(I actually wrote this about a month ago and left it as a draft, thinking it unhelpful, but some of the ROW motivational messages have been mentioning how procrastination is good, so I thought I'd post it after all.)