A-Z part 2
|A stretch of the River Thames - Kew to Hammersmith walk (north bank)|
(see W below)
N – is for never. I never say never now because things change, viewpoints, interests. It may be ‘not now’, but never‘ say never’. I once said I’d never write a novel. Ha!
O – is for opinion. Everyone has one and everyone is entitled to it. When it comes to writing and feedback I find this hard – giving it and sometimes accepting it. However, if more than one person points out the same thing I am inclined to listen and review my writing. Like anything creative everyone has likes and dislikes. If I don’t like a particular piece of writing I have to feedback on, I try and find some positive points to express. Slating someone’s work does their confidence no good at all. I wish I had the knack of constructive feedback!
P – is for planning. I was hopeless at this for a long time in my writing. I am getting better. The reason my early fiction died and was put away was because of lack of planning. Some of those early offerings have been pulled out and have had ‘the treatment’ – character profiles, proper plots, notes, even maps – and now have a second life. I am a splurger, and when my head is full I can’t get words down fast enough, I go with it. Plans are loose and subject to change. I cannot be rigid. I feel that interferes with the creativeness. I am still learning and hopefully will get better at it.
Q – is for quest. The quest to be published. Say no more!
R - is for research. Writing tutors advise you to write what you know. My first thought was – my life is too boring. What the heck do I know? Actually quite a lot. We all have hobbies; maybe we’ve taken a degree in a subject, been somewhere interesting or have someone in the family who has led a fascinating life. These things help but do NOT be put off by what you don’t know. There are libraries with tons of informative books, the Internet; maybe we have a connection with someone, or they do, someone you can nobble for insider information. Write what you know from experience and then research the rest. The sky is the limit. One piece of advice, try to visit any place you are writing about. You can get away with it but there is nothing like being there because it brings the place alive, and you can see your characters mingling with shoppers, walking by that river, going to that pub.
S - is for sport. As a child I enjoyed running and netball. My netball skills as Goal Shooter came in handy when we took the kids to fairs. I always got them enough tickets for a prize by doing the ‘shooting the hoops’! In my time (that makes me sound old) I have played tennis, squash and badminton. These days I belong to an over 50’s sport group and play badminton and short tennis on a Friday morning. I watch lots of sports. It’s probably easier to list what I don’t watch (golf, rugby, Formula 1, darts). I’m a big footie fan and have supported Tottenham Hotspur since 1967. I’ve been to a few football matches, Epsom Derby (and Sandown races) Wimbledon Tennis and Hickstead (show jumping). When it’s the World Cup we have a poster stuck to our lounge door to record all the matches and scores!
T – is for timing. Things come to you at the right time – that is my belief. It may be an incident, a book; some things come at the wrong time and you have to revisit them when the time is right. I often think about, my writing. I’ve always loved writing, in all its forms, since I was a child, and I wonder why did I not pursue it when I was younger. I might be published by now! The truth is I didn’t have the confidence, the experience, or the desire you need. I look back at my early work and smile at the naivety and sheer innocence, but they were the building blocks to what I do now. Something changed. I feel the time is now…or at least is on its way. Stories have been in my head for years. To live in a parallel universe with my characters seems natural.
U – is for Universe. We live on a wonderful planet, and despite all the horrors we read and see there is much good in the world. We are one planet in the huge realm of space. We have one chance to get it right. Look at the trees, the sunrise, wildlife, the diversity of humankind, the seas and power of the natural world. It is brilliant and we must try and keep it that way for every living thing. Everything we do has an impact on others and the environment.
V – is for vision. What I see, how I see, influences what I write. We come at writing through our own experiences, background, environment and people we come into contact with. As soon as we leave the protection of family and start school others influence us. We soak up knowledge and information and assimilate it. We go on learning throughout our life. This is all good for the writer! What is your vision?
W - is for walking. Walking is good for my writing. It is my thinking time. I work through plots, think about my characters. When I’m stuck with a piece of writing I walk away from it and do something else (occasionally I even write something completely different as a distraction). However, I enjoy walking for its own sake. We don’t own a car (though hubby and I can both drive – I haven’t for many years now) so I go everywhere on foot, by bus or train. I love it. A year or so ago I decided it would be great to walk the length of the Thames from source to its end. We (hubby and I) have made a big dent in that and have walked great lengths of the River Thames London sections. We don’t walk sections in any order but we have now ‘filled in the gaps’. Depending on how we feel we walk anything from four to eight miles at a time. We often break off to explore things en-route. I have a particular interest in churches, gardens, houses and galleries. I write about my walks on my other blog and post a few photos.
X – is for xylophone. This was an instrument I played once at school, though we called it a glockenspiel. A glockenspiel has metal plates and a xylophone has wooden ones – that’s the only difference, so it was a glockenspiel I played but for the letter ‘X’ it fitted, so there! What I really wanted to play at school was the drums but I was too shy and didn’t have the confidence to ask. Music lessons at junior school were pretty awful, well the singing was. I still remember the ‘Dirty little coaster with a salt-caked smoke stack’ which we sang. God, I hated it. Why not some decent pop songs? It’s a wonder I survived and found my love of music! But then junior school also introduced me to the Planet Suite by Gustav Holst, especially ‘Jupiter’, for which I will be forever grateful. Oh, yes, the nearest I got to drums was with my son’s game Rock Band, or something. I was hopeless! I’d still like a go because I do have natural rhythm. I’ve considered a short course an Africa Drumming…..watch this space!
Y – is for yellow. This colour dominates my house. It is vibrant, sunny and light. Summer is my favourite season and light is terribly important to me. I fling curtains wide to maximise light, I don’t like it when darkness falls early in autumn and winter (the idea of Christmas keeps me going one side of the year and the thought of spring the other).
Z – is for Zodiac. I am the twins, the one with multiple personalities, mercurial. I am a Gemini (with Aries rising). For a while I studied astrology and drew up birth charts for friends and family. I’m not so hooked on horoscopes because they are so general, but personality types is quite revealing. When you look at compatibilities with people of other signs, that is also interesting. I certainly click with certain signs as opposed to others. What I find funny is that others of my sign can really annoy me and I wonder if I come across as annoying as that to them! Having said that, for a while I had lots of friends of the same sign as me. One still is a friend of mine – a very good one at that. Our vicar is Gemini and you can never pin the man down. I know that one! So which person will you get today? I never know because I change like the wind!