Thursday, December 14, 2006

Doing a Lionel

This week has been a bit of a write off (pun intended). Getting up in the morning to do my daily slog has been an impossible task.

The alarm goes off at 630am and it wakes me up (which is an unusual occurrence to say the least - it usually means I'm really tired). But I don't get up. I roll over, turning my back, ignoring the incessant beeping. Or I reach over and the turn the damn thing off.

Half an hour later, The Jingo's moby starts dancing its little dance to its little tune and I want to wring its little neck. Jingo checks her messages and rolls over, back to sleep. I roll over too.

By eight, I've checked my watch enough times to realise its time to get up and I slowly rise from my bed. At this stage, it's quite obvious that there will be no writing this morning; in fact, I better get my arse into gear or I'll miss work!

All because I did a Lionel.

By the time I struggle through the working day, fighting to keep my eyes open as I slave away in front of a life draining spreadsheet, I am dead to the world. As I walk through my front door, it all hits me, and I'm good for nothing more than EA Cricket and NYPD Blue.

All because I did a Lionel in Norfolk last weekend.

Last Saturday night: over a half a litre of Jim Beam in my guts, its affects swimming in my head; a murder mystery solved and a Jenga set toppled; a full list of Ipod tunes delved through and played until the cows came home (and a bunch of angry cows they were too - "Shouldn't you be in bed?! Why are you playing S Club 7? Are you mad?!!!), all topped off with a very early morning clean up (around a very still Pablo - I think he was playing Statues) and three pints of water.

Starting time: 730pm. Finishing time: 830am.

Yep, I did a Lionel.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Norwich Naughtiness

Tonight I will be finalising Assignment Number 12 (hurrah!) for submission to Writing Course Anonymous. When I start my next assignment, Number 13, I would have already planned and researched (and maybe even started) my first novel. How exciting is that?!

Yes, the next assignment deals with character profiles - so the characters in my novel will form my submission - my attempt at intertwining my writing commitments. In tandem with these profiles, I will be planning out what is going to happen to these poor sods and research like a demon to make it all sound and feel authentico.

But before that, I've got many books to read and three pieces to write (two short stories and one article); as well as finish off my current shorty, which has recently been causing me grief.

So, still a little way to go before I can put pen to paper on the Big One, the main event, the big kahuna - i.e. THE NOVEL, dum dum daaahhh.

In related news, I'm off to Norwich this Friday (for a big birthday bash for Griggs; Paul Griggs). Joining me on the ever reliable UK train system will be The Jingo and Assignment 12. We've booked a seat by the window for AT (as I like to call him); he likes watching the cows scatter in fright, their udders swinging widly from side to side, as fifteen carriages of metal go hurtling by, inches from their little grassy abodes. However, the purpose of bringing him along is not for him to watch the scenery, but so that The Jingo (my in-house editor and all round nice gal) will be checking to make sure he's up to scratch and fit for submission to The WCA (no, not the Women's Cricket Association - but the Writing Course Anonymous).

The Jingo has been impressed by my last two efforts into the world of literary dribble, so here's hoping for a hattrick.

And then, its off to Norwich for drugs, sex and rude cupcakes.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Confident Writing

I've experienced a strange up and down journey with my confidence as a writer this week. I've been working on a short story which I plan to submit to Shots Magazine - an online e-magazine.

It was in a flurry of creativity that I churned out this 3,000 word story a few weekends back; finished the first draft in just over 2 hours. At the time, I thought it was a well written piece, beautifully paced and not a bad little tale.

Now, it's giving me the irits. I sat down this week to do my first rewrite, give it a few tweaks here and there, correct a few spelling errors; nothing major.

Instead, I've given it a complete overhaul and I'm not happy with it. Maybe it was the care free approach I took when I did my first draft that gave me that air of confidence. For once, what I had in my head translated perfectly onto the page. Of course, that was before I re-read it.

Now I start my evenings (because my writing has recently been delegated to the dark pit of after work hours) working on draft 2 and by the end of the 90 minute session, I have the confidence of an English batsmen facing a fired up leg spinner on a day 5 pitch with massive footmarks outside his leg stump.

Funny thing is, this plummet in confidence used to depress me for ages and I would take forever to get "back on my feet"; get back to the writing. These last few mornings (after my writing session from hell), however, I've felt chippa; I've fired myself up, telling myself I can do better, that my dreams of becoming a writer are not just a large pile of steaming poo ready to be shoveled into the garden. This can only be a good thing.

However, I'm still on this emotional rollercoaster ride - and it's only a bloody short story! Does not bode well for a 100k word novel, now does it?

Oh well, I must press on. It's late and I plan to forgo any writing tonight and get back into the morning routine - by all accounts I should be as positive and self-believing as Mr Cricket on a flat pitch.

Call me: Mr Writer.