Secrets and Lies

June 15, 2009

Why are things so much more exciting when done in secret? Most commonly this applies to sex, and that’s where the lies come in, but in my case I’m talking about something that shouldn’t be shameful at all: writing. That thing I’m supposed to do all the time, and talk about as if I do all the time, but more often than not don’t.

I find writing at home practically impossible. A spent most of Sunday afternoon bored out of my tree yet could not bring myself to get the laptop out. Too bored to sit still. In the end I baked a golden money cake to give my SO good luck getting a new job.

But compare to this lunchtime: I pootled out the office to the most sacred of spaces (a coffee shop within a bookshop) and with only twenty minutes available scribbled half a side of A4 in details and plans for a major scene. And decided to switch the personalities of two significant characters.  When time is short, important things can be achieved. The longer the time I have, the less I am likely to do anything. Could secret lunchbreak writing be the key to Project B’s success?

Full of it

April 6, 2009

The joy of spring that is. My garden has a lot of colour at the moment, though beyond the single daffodil and a gnarled up rose I have no idea what they’re called. It was all good until today but now I am also full of hay-fever. Poopies.

I have been spending all my free time with writerly friends, partaking of writerly activities like writing envelopes to agencies (on behalf of my friend), sitting in coffee shops and criticising popular novels and their writers. And buying shoes, but I needed shoes because my last pair came apart slightly and made me fall down in two seperate train stations, causing great concern to the general public.

I’m still hopeful of a slow but steady rise in progress as I now have a new writing aid…

Though progress may be hindered by general rage for StinkyHouseFolk who seems to have replaced his casual racism with active sexism and has been particularly obnoxious (as well as physically noxious) all week to everybody.

Holiday hangover

March 30, 2009

Quote of the Day:

The Pussycat Dolls do not represent feminism. It’s consumerism appropriating the rhetoric of feminism to sell sexism to young women.

Courtesy of

I’m not actually hungover – the title refers to my inability to concentrate on work after my week off. I’m on my fifth coffee and it doesn’t seem to be helping. I’m also worried about my cat who is having lung tests today.

The clocks changed so we have evenings again. Like any change I am desperately hoping it will stimulate productivity. One day I will accept that only I can change my activity levels but today is not that day.

I’ve got my feminist hat on

March 17, 2009

First and foremost today, I am wearing my feminist hat. Now that I’ve said it twice I might have to get a real hat. Quote of the day: 

“Masculinity is what phallotarians do to keep women feminized. Femininity is what women do to keep from being pathologized, criminalized, ostracized, jailed, raped, and butchered”

 – curtesy of Twisty at

This quote puts into words something I think I have long had an intuition about. Knowing that if I don’t display an appropriate level of culturally sanctioned feminity when out and about people could stare or make comments. If that sounds daft or extreme I agree, but that doesn’t stop it happening. And I’m lucky that that’s only one end of the scale that leads ultimately to violence.

Is it wrong that I’m looking forward to reaching an age where I will no longer be considered fuckable so that I will no longer be subject (object) of the public gaze?

In other news: I have been a total slacker with my writing. I wonder if I should start writing something else; another major project or something that exists only for me. The short stories I wrote last year were what I thought a short story should be. I want to be absurd, ridiculous, but when I sit down to do it I get blank page anxiety. I bought a book called “Gasoline” by Dame Darcy, a visually pleasing work with lots of illustrations. This is the kind of thing I love, so why am I not writing it? Because silliness is inappropriate? Because it won’t win any prizes?

I have not been wasting my time though. It has been gorgeously sunny ( I can scarcely believe winter is over, I’m sure it only snowed last week and christmas was the week before). I spent half the weekend reading in the garden amongst my swaying laundry and cats who like to poke their faces through the back of the bench.

The Colony

March 13, 2009

Sounds like cheesy vintage sci-fi. The Litopia Writers’ Colony, found at, is a forum community and resource for writers seeking publication. You have to prove your commitment through a series of secret hazing rituals before you’re allowed to sit with the grown ups but I’m giving it a try. Once I’ve redrafted La Novelle I should be able to use their crit forums to give it a final polish and get some advice on how to pitch it.

Still two draftings to make happen before then though. I’m up to chapter four in the making of my paper notes and I can see more work needs doing than I realised. I’m glad, because I had my blinkers on before.

Woe (times are changing)

March 10, 2009

I’m in a deep, dark, emo funk. It’s bad. It’s a blend of recession blues, personal dissatisfaction and general disgust for humanity.

The recession may see me joining the ranks of the boomerang generation I fought so hard to avoid (oh who am I kidding? I sat pretty and was glad of my lucky escape) and moving back to my parents house. This would only be tolerable if I could keep my job and work online.

I am personally dissatisfied with my person. The blues have been killing the delicate orchid of my motivation and every act is becoming a chore. If left to my own devices, with no watchers or responsibilities, I am certain I would be living in a pile of fetid blankets, reading book after book, eating from a can and refusing to shower so I didn’t have to go outside.

This is actually a pretty good mentality for me to start my novel redrafting. A little drop of self-loathing is good for my creative process; stops me getting too distracted.

General disgust for humanity is not something I like to feel but it’s almost always there. There always seems to be something: like the latest reports on the insanely high level of domestic violence, or overhearing people talk about the criteria they simply must have for their second car. Or their beach holiday (hmm, Mauritius or Dubai?).  And that thing about the Brazilian girl (age 9) who really shouldn’t have had an abortion (of twins) because now God won’t love her.


I went to see Watchmen at the weekend. My favourite part was the opening montage, soundtracked by “the Times, They are a-Changing” where they all started so young and happy and full of pride, optimism and self-belief and gradually got torn apart. Despite having read the comic and knowing all their fates I still had a tear in my eye when I saw Silhouette and her girlfriend murdered. That montage was a high-calorie viewing experience in itself.

Sometimes I look at people and think they’re hurting. It’s not true though; they’re just waiting for someone to talk to.

The novel

March 9, 2009

My dear little novel has been sitting on my harddrive for a while now. It was finished officially on November 30th, then sat until I fixed the typos in January. Now it is March, and it’s time to march on with the next draft.

Step 1: go through and make a scene list, on paper where I can see it properly and draw squiggles as necessary, and identify any structural problems or symbols that go astray.

Step 2: make structural changes identified in step 1, creating new draft to be saved as such.

Step 3: go through the manuscript using track changes to make comments and add to scenes.

Step 4: go through yWriter and incorporate tracked changes, reconsidering and adding to them with the benefit of this second thought, creating next new draft.

Step 5: dump to rtf and read latest draft with track changes on in case thoughts are had, then create new plan for next steps.

I don’t know how long each of these steps will take so I don’t so much want to timetable it as make sure I work on it regularly. This plan is the most progress I’ve made in two months so I feel that’s a good start.

I also feel a horrible stabbing pain in my chest. This is unlikely to be a heart attack as I am 25 and it’s been going on all day and had mild precursors last night. Perhaps I was stabbed in the chest yesterday and didn’t notice? Or maybe my left and most literary lung has collapsed in protest to my continual going to work when there is more important work to be done.