August 2014
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Toothless:

The original release buzz passed us by, but J watched (and rewatched) “How to Train Your Dragon” a month or two back, and since then he has gone dragon crazy. Obviously, with the release of the sequel this summer, we were going to be taking him to see the new one, but we hadn’t . . . → Read More: Toothless:

Museums:

One of the things that we don’t talk about here is the feckless administration in charge of the Northampton Borough Council. We had a disastrous Lib Dem administration leading up to 2011, when they were replaced with a Conservative administration that promised to sort out all of Northampton’s issues. Shortly after the election, there . . . → Read More: Museums:

Cheek:

Last week’s assignment was to write a short story using prompts & character traits picked from a list. I wanted to write my story ‘For the Love of Yew’ but after 3 days of trying to wrestle it to fit the brief, I gave up and produced this instead (with a nod to Yew for good measure):

Continue reading Cheek:

Verbose:

And back to dialogue, my half hearted nemesis. This week I felt I warmed up a little more with dialogue. We tackled two scenarios, conversation between 2 strangers on a train and a monologue and covered some protocols about proportion of dialogue to description.

Continue reading Verbose:

Pony:

The homework from the previous week’s creative writing class was about locations: ultimately to write a descriptive piece about a location with an optional extra to write a tagline plot for a list of locations. But the one trick pithy pony that lurks behind my left ear ran away with the idea of taglines…

Continue reading Pony:

Election:

I said I was going to get more involved in local politics. I did say that, didn’t I? Did I mention that this was going to be the easiest one of my goals to complete, based on the fact that last year, I did bugger all with local politics? So, all I had to . . . → Read More: Election:

Dialogue:

Once past last week’s homework, the lesson focused on visualising/fleshing out characters and dialogue. Being utterly self centred, I’ve never written a character really, it’s just been me in a succession of good wigs and more appropriate underwear (the high instep and Lulu obsession always gives me away). So I’m in new territory here. We were given photos of people: I hated mine on sight, and a form to complete on their life & character. I inwardly rolled my eyes and went with stereotype – an old man holding a tiger cub and an oriental lady sorting pearls were given unimaginative names and scant background details.

“For our next exercise, we will write a conversation between them. Nothing but their words, no ‘he said’ or ‘she said’, etc.”.

I hate dialogue – it gets in the way of a good story (I’m really not embracing the notion of being a writer, am I?) I like my characters to flesh out detail in their thoughts or to detail an uncomfortable silence or to daydream but not actually speak. Or if they must, to speak economically…

“You have 10 minutes. Go!”

Two minutes later I had finished. Which was good as I got to quietly indulge in my fourth favourite activity…people watching.

Continue reading Dialogue:

Write:

I have started a creative writing course…in my arrogance I chose to do an intermediate level course and immediately found myself surrounded by People Who Have Done Things With Words. “I blog a bit” I wittered, “and lots of people tell me I should write haha ha”. Tumbleweed swept across room A13.

I must PROVE myself to this group. Ignoring the lame efforts for the writing on the spot exercises which I conspicuously scribble out in my A5 Marvel Superheroes pad (note to self: get grown up notepad), I threw myself into my first homework assignment…

Except it was to write a child’s story involving one or more of the following characters: A Fairy (good or bad), A St Bernard, A Roman Soldier and/or a Teddy.

A lot of people think they can write children’s books – look, it’s just pretty pictures and a few words, perhaps a rhyme. But from the experience of endlessly reading these books and spotting the many many duds, I think it’s very hard to get it right. Nor did I like any of the characters I had been given. I was heading fast into the next lesson with no homework.

4.45 on Wednesday as I was feeding the kids their tea inspiration finally hit as I expanded the brief to ‘writing for young adults’. I frantically typed one handed as I spooned yoghurt into one of the children and peeled stickers off a sheet for the other. No time to get the printer out from its safe house in amongst the small person chaos so just before leaving for class, I hopefully emailed it to the tutor asking if she could possibly print it. Thankfully she did.

The story was incomplete in my opinion but feedback from the group and tutor was good *preen* and I’ve learnt of a new genre of fiction: ‘flash fiction’ which the tutor said my story fulfilled as it stood. This is something to follow up me thinks.

Anyhoo, I want to share my writing to push myself further so here goes:

Continue reading Write:

RSD:

My history with Record Store Day is chequered. In 2011, I was in town with Mrs M, and we vaguely looked it up in Google to find there were two stores listed in town. We thought this was strange as our local record store had long since closed down. So, we went to the . . . → Read More: RSD:

Indie Schmindie:

The Pixies have always been my favourite band. They were my favourite band in 1988, the noise of Surfer Rosa reverberating around my headphones on the way to school and in the Sixth Form Common Room. They were my favourite band throughout the nineties despite their absence from most of it, and I travelled . . . → Read More: Indie Schmindie: