Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Not writing but...........

How strange. I finished the third edit of the novel on Sunday and I haven't wanted to write since then. I have no desire to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard (except to blog and annoy people on Facebook!). Instead I thought - I have time to do other things. I need some distance from the novel as I did edits two and three back to back. That wasn't intended, it just happened that way. Now I need to let things settle for a while.

Yesterday, I heard that one of my poems has been selected by OU Poets for their next Anthology (poems are voted for by members). That is the only light in my submissions book. Everything else so far has been rejected.

One completed page
So, what have I been doing instead? Well, reading a lot. I have two books on the go, though that's nothing unusual. I have also taken to colouring. I bought the magazine Art Therapy as a one-off (not getting into that year on, never ending cycle of magazines as I've done in the past). It has several pages of designs ready to colour how you like. It is indeed therapy. It's a great stress buster. Of course, it takes me back to childhood - those days when as I was ill in bed and mum bought me colouring books and dot-to-dots. I loved them! When I worked for Solicitors and had to photocopy house deeds, I loved colouring in the plans, different colours for the house, rights of way and sometimes something bigger with more colours. I was in my element, keeping within the lines and making it a work to be proud of.

I was talking about colouring to  my son and he told me that a friend of his was also keen to colour and said that the art shop Cass Art sell adult colouring books. Oh boy! We have such a shop in the next town, so at some stage I must go and look.

One in progress
I've always felt that as adults we miss out on fun after childhood. I am, of course, the eternal child - I am a Gemini! It seems so unfair that at fourteen you are no longer allowed on the swings! Having kids (well, young ones) was my licence to abuse that! The kids are grown up now and I will probably be in my 70's or 80's before I get grandchildren the way things are going, so I've set my sights on one of those motor scooters for when I can no longer walk.

My younger son is shortly going off with friends to an adult play centre. My ears pricked up. I believe that it is similar to a soft play area but for grown ups. Of course, with this there is drink involved (I can do without that) and you can stay there all night. I rather envy him. Whoever came up with this idea gets my vote. Why should kids have all the fun!

Rather different, I am taking part in two online courses with Coursera. One is entitled Plagues, Witches and War. It is basically a course about historical fiction, what it actually is and how authors go about writing believable historical eras in fiction novels. Because there is no deadline with this course, I can dip in and out as I am able. There are 11 modules and I have completed four so far. We have looked at mainly older historical fiction by authors such as Walter Scott, Cooper and William W Brown as well as Dickens. There are interviews with modern writers too, though none of them I know. One is Jane Alison who wrote The Love Artist based on Ovid. I enjoyed hearing what she had to say about the way she works, where ideas, moods come from. Although historical fiction is not my genre I have found that I am drawn to perhaps read some of these books and I find the background information very interesting. I've got better in my note taking (so on the second review I passed first time - you get three goes). I try to do a little every week and I have to say it is broadening my horizons.

The other online course is also with Coursera and I signed up on the day it started after thinking about it for a week. I wondered if I would have time to take part as this one is run over five weeks, and has deadlines. The course is entitled Miracles of Human Language: An Introduction to Linguistics. I am completely hooked! I was on there first thing this morning watching videos and reading follow-up resources. I already have seven pages of notes. The subject is fascinating. I had no idea I would be so caught up in this. I found one thing which might be of interest to writers and that is a book - Historical Thesaurus (I think from Oxford Books). You can look up to see how people spoke in different eras. The professor on the video was saying that in Downton Abbey there are some sayings used which were not around at that time, though on the whole they've got it right. I might just have to look out this book, just for the interest value.

These online courses are free and well put together. The only thing I don't like are the forums because there are thousands of people taking part and you get lost in the system. I''m never sure how you follow up with comments. I killed off following 'rooms' because my Inbox was inundated with messages. But I am quite happy to just take part and learn what I can. Some courses come with a Certificate of Achievement (free) and others you can pay for a Validation if you want.

So, that's what I'm doing right now. If things are a little quiet on this blog, you will know why. However, I may be over on my other blog, so do drop by.

Happy writing....or anything else you may be doing!


  1. Colouring books are great fun and help you to relax, i wrote an interesting article on the effects colours can have on your mood and how the colours you choose can say allot about the way you are feeling. Sometimes a distraction is needed or sometimes focus is needed to achieve mindfulness, new colouring books are a good way to achieve this, i wrote an article regarding the effects colours have on your life

  2. Lee, colours do affect me - see my last post. Maybe one of these days I'll look into Colour Therapy because it interests me.