Sunday, 29 June 2014

A Writing Update #1

I keep a database of writing competitions and potential projects. It's been tremendously useful - I've been entering as many as I can over the last year, just building up practice.

I've just entered this writing competition by Dying Matters, a coalition of people raising awareness of dying, death and bereavement. I'm quite pleased with my entry, and I've learnt a few things as well (I have been tweeting them for later collection):

  • Just write. Don't fuss too much with the first draft. Make all your mistakes, get the ideas down and then apply the following things.
  • Tell the story. Don't explain it. Weave the backstory into the story, don't just plonk it down. 
  • Grammar! I'm not very good with speech marks - got correct examples on a post-stick note now.
  • Less is more. Don't cram too much into one sentence. Don't bother with a big word when a normal one will do nicely.
  • Structure. I managed to structure this story fairly well, but it was a little loose at times. With a short story, each section/paragraph should count and stay strong.
  • Feedback is awesome. Singularly the most important part of writing. Aside from writing
Then went into a slump for a week (and was rescued by KickthePJ, but more on that later) and have now moved on to this competition by the Benjamin Franklin House. Task is to interpret this quote by Mr Franklin;
"When the well's dry, we all know the worth of water"

Took me a little while to come up with an original idea, but I think I have a good one.

Music: I love listening to soundtracks and I am currently LOVING Transistor. It's the second game by SuperGiant, creators of the award-winning Bastion. I haven't played it yet, but I saw TotalBiscuit's intro/review and VintageBeef's Let's Play. The artwork? Amazing. The music? Just listen...

And finally - I've rediscovered KickthePJ. He creates beautifully awesome short films and spoken poems. His work is very colourful and *slightly* surreal, packed with imagination and a creative energy that's managed to pass through the screen into me. It woke me from that mid-projects creative slump  and just made me love creating again. This is my current favourite video of his:

"I then live within another world for seven or eight hours. And then I wake up."

Art creates art. 

Saturday, 28 June 2014

A Room of One's Own - Nevers, Parents and David Tennant

"A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write"
- Virginia Woolf 

I moved out of my uni room for the summer. It sucked, but at least I saw David Tennant at my uni (more on that later).

(My room restored to its generic self. That's the mattress
cover, by the way, not a deflated ghost)
I'm not too sad about losing the room. I mean, I was sad about the Nevers; I'll Never be in that room again, feeling at home. I'll Never sleep in that bed and wake up to that view. I'll Never have all the familiar things about it. But, I'm going to a better place in the Autumn Term, so the physical room itself isn't too big a loss.

It's the independence. You see, in order to measure my freedom, I ask myself this question; "If I wanted to, could I go for a walk at midnight?" I know, that's not a very safe or sensible thing to do (although, a friend once said "It's Exeter. What are they going to do, steal your hummus?"), it's very nice to know that you could just get up and get out.

I like living on my own terms. I am not judged, and if I am, I am not hurt. My decisions are my own - whether it's modules or grocery shopping. If I break something, I broke something that was mine. There is no one else to be told or to intervene.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

An Online Portfolio

I'll be updating this page as time goes on (all links open a new window).

Stories, Competitions and Commissions :

All my articles can be found under my tag here. Highlights of my writing include:

(Holly Smale. Credit: HarperCollins)


Bully - 'Feels Like' album

Review - 'Fargo' (2 May 2014)


Credit: Jack Dean


Photo credit: Bethany Baker