Fails and Wins

December 4, 2008

So I have failed to blog for a long time. That’s quite a big fail. Did you miss me blog? I missed you.

I’ve been busy with NaNoWriMo. Ultimately that was a Win, both because I actually won the challenge and because it made me write a whole book-length piece of book that I was kind of afraid to do. I miseried my way through the month, moaning incoherantly at the laptop and refusing to enjoy the beauty of creating life. I also failed at life for the whole of November and let my partner do all the cooking and chores. I owe him. When it looked like I might bail out at the 95% mark he threatened to burn my most treasured possesions – I love him.

I’m a little bit excited about my novel. There is a huge amount of work to be done on it. But it does exist. No novel written by Gwendolyn B Virginia existed before. This pleases me. I am planning to spend six months editing and revising it to make it a little more beautiful. Then I’ll stand back and see what I’ve got.

In the mean time I just survived the second round of redundancies at work. Which is cool for two reasons: a) I’m not out of work right before xmas and b) it means despite being the least experienced I’m one of if not the best on my team (from a dozen it’s now been whittled down to three). It also sucks for two reasons: a) I now have no one to sit next to on the train and b) I have to work reception one day next week. This has been stressful and I am now going to be even more careful with my money. I’m sure that will be a piece of piss during the most expensive month of the year…

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Women’s writing

September 15, 2008

http://bitchmagazine.org/article/the-ambition-condition

Here is an interesting article on female writing and journalism.

From what I’ve been reading lately (online and in Mslexia magazine) I believe that it’s probably very difficult for any writer to get started, genre writers are less likely to be respected in the profession, and that women’s writing is seen as a genre. Odd.

Despite this I would still like to publish under my full name. Just not here, obviously.


Bolognese extract

August 26, 2008

Bolognese, my latest story, first draft, which I am aiming to polish and submit to a competition by the deadline 6 days from now. It should be ok. I will leave it a day or so and come back to it. I kinda feel bad; my last story was about an awful dumping and this is about remembering an abusive ex. Not all the men in my stories are bad. Tony is an ok guy. And the first story of my recent revival, the Electric Dude Interlude, is about a nice guy. I really like him. It’s a shame his story was so short. Maybe I’ll bring him back if I need him later.

“He’d left pans and knives out where I could find them but I had to root around for a strainer. Flipping open the cupboards I found a quarter bottle of whiskey – Bell’s – the same kind Eddie used to have. It’d been two years but I’d always remember. Number of times he threw those bottles at me I’m surprised I’m not still ringing. But Tony…”


Times they are up heaving

August 26, 2008

Changes have been happening. Housefolk Femme has gone, leaving babycat with a hole in her heart. I have moved my things into my partner’s room, so that after two years of squatting it is finally my room too. We took a bus ride to the end of the line and saw the border of Worcestershire. I saw an old friend and finally realised that our differences didn’t mean my inferiority.

It’s been intense. More than the run-of-the-mill bank holiday. And now I’m flat broke.

I do worry about money. Old Friend was telling us her mother likes her boyfriend because in ten years he’s set to be earning half a million. To me that is an inconceivable amount of money. After tax that’s still more than my yearly salary per month. I’ll just have to convince myself that my lifestyle is romantic and that I’m a starving artist. The only way to justify this of course is to apply myself to my art so look out for more extracts in the coming weeks and you’ll know I’m making good on it.

I could just make peace with being poor. In fact I don’t mind my lack of money most of the time, I probably just need to manage what I’ve got more effectively (damn jargon word). But in saying these things I’m letting myself off the hook for not writing. And I must write, otherwise I’m wasting everything I’ve achieved so far and using it simply to coast, and while you can coast at work you shouldn’t coast through life.


Losing the will to give a shit

August 22, 2008

It’s friday afternoon, after a busy week of doing the same repetitive irritating task three times and I am so relieved that this will be a three day weekend. I will be upset if my feelings of dis-ease develop into an illness because I’m not in the mood.

I am disappointed that a test I was supposed to take today has not materialised – a test that would lead me to gain extra training and special projects. Given that this was first mentioned 6-8 weeks ago and never again between then and yesterday I am not concerned about having missed the boat, just that it’s taking its sweet-ass time getting here. It’s probably for the best as my ill-humour and glowering headache will only hinder me.

Thinking about fantasy style characters (anything a bit non-human from popular culture) it occurs that the bigger the freak they are the more normal their personality is. The reverse isn’t usually true (hence boring people) but the enemies of these characters tend to be the ‘painfully normal on the outside just plain odd on the inside’ types. Do they become enemies because they both want to be a bit more like each other? Battling for years and achieving arch-nemesis status because they are both so angry at each other for wanting what the other has?

Interesting… it seems I am starting to understand basic concepts of narrative *headdesk*


International day

August 19, 2008

Today I have spoken with people in two different countries and listened to music in two different languages. I feel so terribly ‘global village’ right now.

Technically I’m very busy and working very hard right now but I wanted to make a note that this is the day I thought of the girl with the super sight.


Bog stomping and other wholesome activites

August 18, 2008

Bog stomping is what happens when you go for a nature walk in the hills of south Wales during a severe weather warning and decide that the path just isn’t challenging enough. Stomping through waist high grass dotted with super spongy moss pillows under all of which is not so much the ground as eight inch deep running water is rather fun. It reminded me that although nature can make me fall on my ass it also provides a cushion for me to land on.

We also passed through an eerie rotting pine forest, proper wicked witch territory with the only light coming from the path. I could imagine making a horror film there, or playing goth dares. At one point we had  to climb down over some fallen trunks and any branch or tree near it would come away in your hand, too dead to support any weight.

I am inspired to find what natural spots I may be able to get the bus to.

I was also inspired by the many retellings of the baccanalia orgy to have some rather awesome sex when I got home. I think the line that clinched it for me was “Just remember, it’s not about the sex” so I took some time and did it properly. I almost cried it was that good.

I was also inspired to write another short story, after reviewing part of a certain soon-to-be-Dr’s novel. Damn him for showing me up by acting to achieve the things I only dream of. I am amazed by his plotting abilities; he must have been developing and sustaining his story for around 50,000 words now. This is something I find incredibly difficult and I envy him for it. My new short story, like the one I wrote last week, is under 500 words. Here is an extract for you:

“I fell into the indoor market and plummeted between stalls. People were walking at me from every aisle and turning. I had to dance around them all; I was so far inside myself they couldn’t see me. I didn’t want them to see me. I felt dizzy and sick. They didn’t want to see someone like that.”