Welcome to me. Here you will find me, me and a bit more me. Warning: May contain me.
This Is Me
'Me' is a topic I am fairly knowledgeable about. After all, I've been classically trained in the study for 21 years. But, as with all studies, consolidation is an integral part of the process. This is something I have not really done before. So, welcome to my blog, where I will be consolidating my knowledge on the topic of 'me' for you all to see.
The idea of this blog came from making my 2016 New Year resolutions. Every year I make a long list of them and very few I actually keep. This is because I have no external incentive. Sure, I can motivate myself to a certain extent, but nothing makes you work hard like the prospect of being publicly shamed. You are my public and this blog is my shaming.
As with all of the best laid plans, this has the potential to go askew. I intend to post regularly, but if I don't I want you to pester me until I post again!
|Well my last post was from before the last WdC Live event, so it makes sense that I return to this blog with this:
Writing.com - Live!
This time, by popular demand, I will be hosting a live Talk Show.
My guests and I will talk about books, writing, WdC and likely a whole lot of other topics. We'll be fielding audience questions, too! There are no questions this time, but you'll still be rewarded for participating.
To participate you will need a mic (many laptops have one built in) and headphones (headsets with both are also perfectly acceptable). Webcams are not required, but if you have one and don't mind using it, that would be lovely.
I have a few dates and times available. I can do Tuesday 29 March - Friday 1 April and will be aiming to start 10am-8pm on the Tuesday, 5:30pm-8pm on Wed/Thurs and 4:30pm-10pm on the Friday. All times given are UK times (note the clocks go forward in the UK on Sunday). A Saturday date may become available, but I am not totally sure on this.
The show will likely last between 90 mins and 2 hours. I need at least two people to sign up to this, preferably three. There will be no quizzes, just a few WdC friends having fun.
If you are interested, please reply to this post or email me directly. State which dates/times you will be available.
You can watch the previous 2 WdC Live! events by visiting the event home page: "Writing.Com Live" Elle played 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire', and A E Willcox played 'Some Sort of a Gameshow'.
Writing.com - Live!
|Well... I've currently got 20,000 GPs worth of questions written for WdC Live (more info here: "Note: Writing.com - Live!...") and just over a week until the show.
I know I can produce a decent show in that time, but I want to do more than a decent show. I want it to be really fun and enjoyable for those watching and playing. I'm adding little bits to the show that no one will take much notice of, but will increase the overall enjoyment. But that makes the creation process much slower. Don't get me wrong, I am enjoying creating the show, but I wish my computer was mind-controlled so I don't have to fiddle about with every last detail to get it just right!
But, I guess my biggest worry is that all the effort will be for nothing. No one is a definite YES yet. So please, if you have a webcam, mic and headphones get in touch. I don't bite, honest!
Even if you don't want to play, you can still get involved. You can submit a question, and I might add it to the game. You could even donate a bonus prize if the contestant gets the answer right. You will, of course, be given full credit!
I am nearly two-thirds of the way through one of my new year resolutions. I started reading the Hunger Games on New Year's day and finished it in record time for me (a week). I am now nearing the end of the second book in the trilogy. I have one word to describe the books so far: gripping.
Now, for a few more words to describe the first book.
The Hunger Games works because of its relentless pace. Some books try to end every chapter on a cliff-hanger and fail. The Hunger Games succeeds for several reasons. I care about the characters. Therefore when there is a cliff-hanger, I want to learn how it plays out for the characters. Second, the pacing of the plot is perfect. Not all the cliff-hangers are life-and death, some are smaller. But because I have confidence in the author's ability to manipulate the pacing to the plot's advantage these are no less exciting.
Although the pace is varied, it is never slow for very long. When the pace drops, the tension is cranked up. I, as the reader, know that this peaceful moment won't last long and am constantly looking for clues as to where the story will twist next. I will be honest, I picked up on a lot of the twists in advance. I guess that's because the book is written for 12-18 year olds and I'm 21. It might also be that I write stories and so am more tuned into plot devices than the average reader. But, to me, that adds to the excitement. If I've predicted a chapter or so (in some cases several chapters) ahead what might happen, I'm excited to see a) if I'm right and b) how it all plays out.
Yes, I am raving about the book. Yes, I would give it 5-stars. No, I would not say it is perfect. For me a 5-star rating is for a book the far exceeded my expectations, kept me hooked throughout and made me not want to put it down (if I'd had the time I could easily have read it in one or two sittings). It was so unputdownable, that I actually looked forward to going to bed and am going earlier than usual simply to get more reading time in!
So, what wasn't so great about the book? Although I engaged with the characters, some were a little one-dimensional and didn't seem to exist 'beyond the page'. The protagonist was well-developed, but I felt there could have been more danger thrown at her in the Games. The book doesn't really give justice to quite how much luck she had throughout. If the book had been a bit longer then there could have been more physical danger shown.
Once I'd finished the book, I deliberated about whether to start the next one or to read something else in between. I loved the first one so much that I kind of wanted to prolong the series, but at the same time I didn't want to lose the momentum. In the end I decided to start reading the second in the series. I passed section three last night and think I may finish the book within the next couple of days. It is a different kind of story, but told with the same kind of style. The pace is a little slower and considered and the plot is a little more intricate, but it is still an easy read.
No, the Hunger Games isn't the height of excellent literacy. It isn't filled with elegant prose and wondrous language. It is something far more important: it is bloody good fun to read!
|I've been thinking about the kinds of activities I could run for WdC. I've noticed a massive popularity in what I call 'endurance events' where you have to complete activities regularly. For instance the 30 Day Blogging Challenge requires you to follow a prompt for a blog post every day for 30 days. I ran the September Flash for the FSFS where challengers had to write a flash story every day throughout September following some pretty tough prompts.
So, I really want to run an activity in a similar vein. I already run "Three Prompts" in February, so I will probably run this activity in March. My basic idea is that over a course of 10 (or possible 20 days wit two days for each challenge) competitors have to create 10 different types of writing (eg a poem, a short story, an article etc...) based on prompts. BUT, they can only do each item type once and they don't know the prompts in advance. So you might write an article on day 2 only to discvoer on day 6 you would have rather written an article and have to do some kind of poetry on the Roman Empire or something.
Does that make any sense? Do you think it's a good idea?
|Well, this is going to a great post for people who like lists. If you're listphobic then you should probably stop reading now. I have quite a few resolutions this year. I am going to separate them into categories to prevent it just being one mega list.
1. Read at least 15 books (only managed 10 in 2015)
2. Read at least 3 non fantasy/sci-fi books
3. Read the Hunger Games trilogy
4. Read SPQR and at least one other non-fiction history book
5. Read at least one historical fiction novel
1. Write at least 4 short stories
2. Get a good way into writing a new novel (and don't give up on it)
3. Enter at least 2 writing contests
1. Run a successful Special Event month for the FSFS
2. Complete (or get a good way towards completing) the special FSFS project (currently a secret to WdC)
3. Run a Halloween and a Christmas WdC-wide event
4. Start a new regular FSFS-only activity
1. Learn to draw (see video after the lists)
2. Improve knowledge of history (at least one ancient civilization, non-ancient historical period, and modern history)
3. Learn to compose music
4. Swim at least twice a week
5. Be more assertive
My decision to learn to draw stems from my perceived inability to draw. Recently I watched this TED video and was surprised that I could draw decent cartoon faces. I even had a go at drawing an anime face from a reference and it wasn't awful!
So, will I succeed with these 16 resolutions? Who knows? But I hope you will come along on this journey with me. Pester me when I don't post an update. Pester me if I'm getting behind. Cheer me on if I deserve it. 2015 was a good year generally, but I feel like I didn't develop much (aside from academically in uni). I intend 2016 to be the year where I grow as a person both externally and internally.
So, this is me.