Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Not so great expectations

I'm really too tired to be writing this. How sad is that? It's only 9 30 at night, for crying out loud. I should be... well, I'm not exactly sure what is expected of me at 9 30, but being tired in summer is not one of those expectations. Hence, I haven't gone too bed yet.

The writing exercise of the week has been journals. I have been trying, unsuccessfully, to fill 33 pages in 11 days so as to start a new journal with the new year. This has only ever happened once before, after my first journal. It would actually be really good if I could do it again.

I don't know if it is because I'm getting lazy, or if it's because I' m running out of things to say, or what, but I don't write in my journals as much as I should. In fact, I don't write as much as I should period. (See, this all comes back to what is expected of me.)

On the subject of expectations, I intend to reread Great Expectations before the end of the summer. Last time I read it was early lower school and I didn't get it. Go figure. Same with Wuthering Heights really, although that's one of my all time favourites. Being a Lit student has ruined me!

Safe and Happy New Year's

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Fear as Inspiration

I'm terrified of snakes. I've never seen one in the wild (only at the zoo) but I am absolutely terrified. If I see them on TV, if i hear a rustling in the scrub as i walk home from the bus, I break out in a cold sweat that stings like needles.

Today, I decided to love my fear of snakes.

On a really great tip from a really great guy, I was instructed to have the natural habitat in my POW camp get a little unfriendly. So.... I killed off one of my characters. Cause of death? Technically he was shot, but snake bite.

Still, I was looking at the statistic from my novel, and technically, I started the idea on Anzac day, began the draft on August 17, and the last time I printed (which means approximately the last time I finished a chapter) was early November. That's pretty awful. It means I have been frustrated with my writing for about a month. OOPS.

It's all good now, I finished Chapter 7 of the first draft which makes me very excited because there are only three to go. If only I could work out how the story will end???

Also, as the TEE results were posted in the last 24 hours, I would like to congratulate all my incredibly smart friends and say WE DID IT, IT'S OVER!!!!

Merry Christmas, all.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

The Prodigal Penpal Returns

Writers...all artists in fact.... thrive on criticism and feedback; and no one gives better feedback than another writer. In my case, I have adopted a rather intellectual grump of a young man who lives out in the vast nothingness that is outside the CBD and surrounding suburbs to be my penpal, and it is M who sets me challenges and tells me when I simply have to improve.

I like it. I have to say that I can't stand it when someone tells me that my work is really good, when I know for a fact that I can do better. When this happens, it means one of two things. Firstly, it could mean that the person reading my work does not believe that I could do any better. This hurts my feelings. I am capable of a lot, and my readers had best not underestimate me. The second likelihood is that my reader is looking for light fluffy writing that doesn't provoke thought. Sorry to burst your bubble, but I'm not working for the Disney corporation. I write to get my point across. I don't like it when I feel as if I have to make my characters end up together in the end because it's comforting.

M understands all this. He is a cynic. He has very little faith in 'People'.

This week, he has advised me to flesh out the basic structure of the five chapters of my novel which are already complete.

I actually agree with him, come to think of it. The romance between my secondary hero and heroine is loose, and even I don't believe in the need between them to wed.

Whoops, did I just give something away?


Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Christmas Shopping etc...

A little too soon, December is upon us.

I've been off school for about two weeks now, although it feels like a lot longer. It also feels like i will be going back, but of course, i will not. There are only 14 days until the TEE results come back, and to be honest, i haven't thought about it at all. I'm not worried- is there something wrong with me i wonder?

The break has coincided with my novel's progress nicely. Right as all the nasty studying and homework is over, i have reached a point in my novel where a considerable amount of research will be necessary. Luckily i have stacks of time in which to do said research.

Good news also. Today i received word by the mail that i had won second prize in the Katharine Susannah Prichard Short Fiction award (under 20's). That contributes to my growing collection of credentials and is a testement to the power of goal setting.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Writer's Retreat

Tomorrow morning, bright and early, some friends and i will pack up the cars and head south for a little holiday to celebrate the end of our high school days. While i'm not necessarily going for the purpose of writing, I am going to relax, collect my thoughts and let myself slide into the long, 3 months of abyss... i mean break. (I'm the kind of person who thrives off of structure, and loves to be challenged if it means i get a chance to prove things to people... perhaps thats why i cleaned so much so fast at work today.) The best thing about going away is that it is a parent free retreat, which means the eight of us will be given a chance to act as responsible as possible, meaning that surely, hilarity will ensue. I'm looking forward to journaling it all, to file away for later writing (memoirs perhaps, at the end of a long, literary career) and more than anything else, i'm looking forward to cementing for the years to come, the friendships that will matter. Not that there aren't others that don't.

My thoughts here go out to a friend of mine who got stuck in Thailand with the recent protesting, and i hope that her trip doesn't have to get cancelled forever because of it!!!

Love and Happy thoughts... Emily