Words from the Week

I’ve been somewhat lax about posting this year. In fact I’ve been pretty awful. This isn’t to say there haven’t been posts, there have. Quite a respectable number in fact. What there hasn’t been is any regularity to them and I want to fix that.

My cunning plan to address this scheduling issue is probably obvious from the title but I’m going to say it anyway, as a sort of promise to myself:
I will create one post every week for the sole purpose of sharing what I’ve read, seen, written and done over the previous seven days.

A compressed diary if you will. Only without the doodles in the margin and no obligation to mention visits to the dentist, business meetings or the supermarket. Unless, of course, anything spectacularly interesting happens at any of them. I suppose it could be thought of as my own, less intensive, version of the positivity memes that have been sweeping tumblr, facebook and twitter recently. Only with the possibility of flash fiction alongside the counting of blessings. And the very definite presence of Dog.
So, welcome to the inaugural post of this little venture, let’s get to it …
I would say I’ve been busy but that isn’t news, that’s just a permanent state of being. I have, however, been productive, which is better. I have a spoiler free review of The Imitation Game to share, along with the third month of my WWI centenary remembrance posts. I’ve also got the first of the monthly posts up and running at the LJ community I’m a co-mod on, with the other drafted for posting next week, which makes me feel organised despite the long and slightly frightening to-do list sitting malevolently on the desk next to me.
In terms of “doing things” like visits to places – well, thanks to a stress-induced migraine the excursion to the National Arboretum to help plant bluebells in the “High Wood” WWI memorial did not happen, nor did any other excursions of note. I did catch up on some sleep, though, and once the pain had receded to manageable levels, I followed up my newest book-crush (thanks to the new TV series Grantchester) by racing through all the Sidney Chambers stories James Runcie has produced to date, which was nice timing since I’ll be seeing Mr Runcie at Gladstone’s Library this weekend.
In other reading news, the last few weeks have seen the release of several books I’ve been eagerly awaiting;
  • Lamentation – C J Sansom’s latest Shardlake novel
  • Moriarty – Anthony Horowitz’s hotly anticipated follow up to his Holmes Pastiche House of Silk
  • The Sleeper and the Spindle – Neil Gaiman’s reworking of Sleeping Beauty, which is so lavishly illustrated by Chris Riddle I was almost afraid to touch it in case I damaged it. Almost.
I haven’t finished any of them yet, in fact the only one I’ve started is The Sleeper and the Spindle. I’m saving them for Christmas, when I can indulge in non-writing related reading with a clear conscience.
Ah ha, I hear you cry, so you are still writing things. I was beginning to wonder.
To which I can only look completely unsurprised and beg forgiveness on the fan fiction WIPS that are still sat on AO3 looking all unfinished and unloved. Whilst they are unfinished, they are certainly not unloved, it is simply that there are only so many hours in the day and I have had to prioritize quite stringently in order to remain sane.
Currently, my main priority is the two pieces I’m working on for submission to a WWI anthology. There is no guarantee either will be accepted but it was lovely to be contacted about submitting in the first place. Now if I can just recapture the “oh my god, someone thinks I’m good” feeling the initial email gave me and get rid of the fear that I’m actually completely incapable of producing anything anyone is going to like, much less accept for publication, (which, funnily enough, has slowed my productivity on them to a trickle) I’d be a much happier person.
But I will not allow myself to be my own worst enemy. I will not force failure upon myself. I have perfect reasonable plans of both fully sketched out, so there is no logical reason why I cannot turn them into stories people want to read. Someone very sensible once said something along the lines of “Writing is when you put the words on the page, editing is when you turn them into good words”. I have no idea who it was, but they were completely right. You can’t edit a blank page, nor can you edit a maelstrom of thoughts. I may be frightened of rejection but the real failure would be if I didn’t try in the first place.

And on that note, I’m off to turn my plans in to prose on a page, adverbs and all. After all, I’m the only one who’s going to see the unedited drafts, so their awfulness – or otherwise – is actually irrelevant. Toodle pip!

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