Overnight Change.

So yesterday I was feeling full of self doubt and misery and stress – needlessly I might add – about whether I’m ready to write the first draft or whether to keep planning etc. But I realised this morning that I’m actually really excited to just get on and do it.

So once I woke up and did the things I never have time to do at 6:30am because I’m normally asleep, I made a check list of things I actually need to do before I start, and then I can just start. Normally I’m really organised and do things that way with the scripts I’ve written but I don’t know really, since the masters degree ended it’s as if I forgot how to do it properly. Like, not the actual work, but the beloved bullet journal is still in a box, where it’s been since before we moved, no checklists were made, I don’t even have a proper desk, I’ve been using this weird desky-shelfy thing and the dining room table (which is old and wonky and came with the house). I feel like in order to stop those nagging thoughts I need to be organised af. Fingers crossed I can get my head in the game in that sense and then I won’t have any distractions when it comes to the actual work.

Just have to stop rabbiting and get on with it!

Don’t tread on the flowers!

F x

 

Advertisements

Planning and Preparation.

I feel like I am so close to being ready to start writing this novel. But at the same time it feels like I’m in danger of rushing into it. I’ve spent the same amount of man-hours slogging over the planning stage as I did with my last script, but part of me feels a bit weird about being almost ready to write it because normally this gestation period takes about a year – where I plan a little bit and leave it for a week or so, then I’ll do a bit more, leave it and so on and so on. But it’s not even like when I put it down for a bit anything happens, not like with a finished draft, where after a bit of time you can see all the mistakes etc. I just sort of left it and nothing happened until I picked it up again. Planning is like that, for me at least.

I guess having all this time to do it in one go is making me doubt myself. Surely though, someone who does this all the time for an actual living would be doing the same thing? So when (if) I get to that stage too this will become the norm? Things will happen much quicker without other priorities and actually this is supposed to be my number 1 priority anyway. Just feels weird and scary. And I’m doing it off my own back, and I’ve got a barista job (oh yeah, I got a barista job! Yay!) in order to be able to work full time hours in a job I know and love, so my brain isn’t filled with new training and other work things. I’ve been making coffee (and other things) for so long now that it doesn’t distract from my writing, and when I get back in the evenings I am so used to having to crack on with uni work that just changing from script writing to novel writing – in that sense – is an unnoticed transition.

One thing I have noticed about moving from script writing to novel writing is the amount that goes into a novel is so much. When I went in the other direction at the start of my film course it was so cathartic stripping away all the shit from my stories and only including the really important bits. So now I have to be really careful with what I’m putting in – I don’t want to pad out a good story with bullshit. I’m hoping that by just changing the format, and the narrative style, that will flesh it out without it being filler. I have a lot of anxious thoughts about this (not proper anxiety though, thankfully I seem to be on a good streak at the moment).

Another thing that I don’t want to do is fall into a perpetual planning stage, out of self-doubt that it’s ready to go. The last time I did that was out of self doubt of my ability, then I started uni and got better (so much better) at writing but that novel still hasn’t been written. I still keep going back to it and trying to change it and make it better and then dropping it again in favour for a different project. I can’t really afford to keep doing that, you can’t publish the planning stages.

I’ve reached the stage where I start to doubt everything. And that’s not a bad thing, as long as I don’t entertain it too long. On the one hand it pushes me to write better quality stuff and on the other hand once I get this bit out of the way I can just write the thing. The first drafts are always the worst right? I just have to push through and get it done. There’s nothing wrong with changing everything about it after I’ve written it. I’ve almost got everything I need so I just need to write the thing and get that done with. At least then the most difficult part over with. So what if there are plot holes and things don’t add up, that’s what editing is for.

I think I just want people to read it and like it.

Don’t tread on the flowers.

F x

I’m Sorry Ms Jackson.

It is sunny today for the first time since I’ve moved to Wales. Ironically today is the day I decided I would sit in the office and do nothing but write. I think that might be postponed, I haven’t seen a sunny day in weeks and I would rather like to go for a walk. Although having said that, the hills round here make Cornwall look flat. When will I ever escape them! Mind you I am in a Valley (not the Valleys, just to be clear).

I also need to catch up with the Autumnal telly that’s going on right now, Stella and Strictly mostly. And the reason I haven’t spent the weekend watching them is because Shannon and Rosie, two of my favourite people in the whole world, came to stay. We ate chinese food and went out in Cardiff (best night out ever btw, should you ever get to go), and did a bit of shopping in the day time. I tried a pumpkin spice latte for the first time and it’s sugar, it’s just sugar and I don’t know how people drink so much of it. But these girls mean the world to me and I’m really glad we got to meet up again and spend some quality time together, for the first time in a long time. Next stop is Christmas and we’re hoping to go to Birmingham German Market. I need to keep lots of things planned otherwise I’m going to get a bit claustrophobic here.

In other news I have been planning this novel. On someone else’s blog they referred to it as ‘composting’ when you just digest the story and the characters until you’re ready to write. It’s true, sometimes I’ll compost for a year or two, particularly with feature scripts. Other times it won’t take me long at all. I think this is one of those times – although this may be to do with my current situation (read: hours upon hours of free time) rather than this composting bit speeding up. In all honesty though this weird stage of suddenly having hours free, where I would otherwise be working, is proving to make me quite productive. Aside from my busy weekend, I’ve written all the character bio’s I can think of needing, a brief synopsis and a more in-depth story outline, done the scenery and the maps of the sort of world building (easy because this world is a forest and a fictional town in our world), and today I want to do a chapter by chapter breakdown – this will be more time-consuming but the sooner I do it the sooner I can begin writing.

I’ve also been doing more in-depth reading of the Leshy creature I spoke about in the previous blog, and I have decided that I should embrace it in my story. Not directly, nothing in the story is going to change per se (well it’s not even written yet so it’s got nothing to change from), but I can embrace the fact that my monster is inspired by an actual slavic myth. And what is also interesting is that it’s quite a unique myth to our culture – my research isn’t as in depth as it could be right now but it’s early days yet, however when looking at Celtic culture all I can find so far about the forest protectors were actual animals, not creatures. However I am sure I have seen stuff before about elves or fairies etc. I need to keep reading that kind of stuff to inform my monster better but I have been preoccupied with the Leshy stuff. It’s very, very interesting. One thing I do want to be sure of is that my Birdman monster doesn’t look like a Leshy, which is believed to be human-like, a bit more like a peasant or a beggar with leaves and vines as his beard and hair. I have a very clear picture in my mind of what I want my monster to look like – hopefully if this should find success then an illustrator will do a very good job of it and I won’t have to attempt to draw it myself (I have zero skills in fine art, and it would be insulting to others if I tried).

And with that I better crack on. Gunna make myself some scrambled eggs on toasted ciabatta (We ran out of normal bread) and I am going to make a new wall decoration out of colour coded revision cards with scribbles on them.

Have a good day, enjoy the sunshine if you have it wherever you are, and fingers crossed you’ll be as productive as I aim to be (but probably won’t be because it’s me and I get distracted easily).

Don’t tread on the flowers.

F x

 

Ps. This photo is of Ms Jackson – I don’t know why we dubbed ourselves that, but it’s something to do with the song, hence the blog post title.

IMG_3678

WE MOVED!

We have now moved from rainy Cornwall to rainy Wales. And the big move was less exciting as it looks in the movies. After a lovely goodbye with all the Falmouth lot I set off at 8pm in the evening, and arrived at half past midnight and after reuniting with my partner in crime, ate some food, watched some telly and went to bed. Since then we haven’t done anything particularly exciting. Monday, I recovered from the long drive and the huge amount of work I did before I left. Tuesday we visited Bridgend for like, two hours which included a miniature food shop and then today, well Dan was very productive. I was less so. We took down the wallpaper in what will eventually be the bathroom, but until then will be a smaller office which I think I will be using until we get something else sorted. But then while Dan painted and cleaned I worked on my PhD portfolio. And the novel I might just write off my own back if I don’t get accepted.

We’ve got the homesick blues. I need a job but I made myself take a week off before job hunting, just to take a break and get the things done that need doing – like the PhD application. And sorting out whose names are on what bills. Ew.

But this novel research has led me down a very interesting path. I discovered a Slavic mythological creature called a Leshy which kind of resembles the ‘Monster’ of my story. Which makes for interesting research, because it seems that its very split down the middle in terms of personality types: one is a very strong stoic guardian and healer of the forest (the vibes I’m going for) and the other is very mischievous, leading wanderers astray in the woods and confusing them in order to get them lost if the Leshy doesn’t think s/he’s a good person. One source said that the Leshy goes as far as to disguise himself (always a male) as a human homeless man and lures people into the woods to mess with them. I could add those elements in quite easily and have it add to the overall story. But I’m obviously not ready to write it yet. I want to look into them more thoroughly, and see if there’s an equivalent in mythologies from other cultures.

I’ve also been looking into the symbolism of common blackbirds but there isn’t much beyond baking them in pies and that they’re known for their beautiful songs, like most thrush breeds. I kind of gave up on that pretty quickly as a research area though.

Well I’m off to bed because there’s not a lot else for me to do this evening. I will leave you with a picture I found of a Leshy on pinterest which I’ve saved as inspiration for my story. Unfortunately I don’t know who the creator is.

Don’t tread on the flowers

F x

Leshy - pinterest

Sorry I’ve Been Absent.

Hello readers of the blog I have neglected.

For the last few days of my masters I was really poorly, so it took all my strength to get the work done and finished on time. Worth it though because I’ve come out with a merit overall (thank god!).

Since then I’ve been reading all the fiction I can get my hands on and recovering, mostly under a cosy blanket because the weather has been awful. And working on the John Yorke coursework. I have just uploaded my final project, a treatment for a TV Pilot episode. I’m really proud of it and I have been working harder on that than I feel I have throughout my whole masters course, which is a bit silly of me but what’s done is done.

Other than that I have been preparing to move out of Cornwall. In one week and two whole days I will be a confirmed Welsh resident. I need a job, and an agent, but I’ve got projects to keep me in the writing game, and plenty of shite for you to read (or not, I won’t judge). I’m also applying for PhD things so it’s all systems go for me. Fingers crossed, by Christmas my life should be in some sort of order and that order will be writing. The projects in question are: October – Myself and the other half will be doing 31 days of horror, where we watch a horror film a day and write about it. I will also be pairing this with my own project (although it’s probably a thing already) where I will read one horror book every week in October and reviewing it. And November is NANOWRIMO – so that’s a thing I will be doing. I’ve always wanted to do it but education has been my priority for the last decade since I first heard about it. This year will be my year. I’m all signed up and ready to go. Links to follow at a later date.

I’ve also got my Creative Writing Anthology open for business. A year in the making, Camomile Creative is now in Open Submission phase. So if you would like to submit anything, follow the link at the bottom for more info (and another word press website).

Anyway, I ought to go, I’m working all day tomorrow with my pal Hulsifer. Gots to get that dolla dolla as a float for Wales until I find new job. Priority number one.

Don’t tread on the flowers.

F x

https://camomilecreative.wordpress.com/

Reflective Essay Woes.

First things first why are people loud?

Go away I am working – I shout internally as I drag my eyes away from my computer screen for the first time in days. I look out the window, there is a world outside, a world that I have forgotten. I have been sitting here for hours, my back hunched forward and my arms looked in the T-Rex position behind the window of the room I have locked myself away in, like a shit rendition of Quasimodo.

Reflective essays are the hardest part of this course. I, of course, have been spending time recently with two very lovely ladies who know an awful lot about magical history, in particular the Golden Dawn which had a lot of very good writers in it and thus I have been allowing myself to get distracted by their work with the incredibly poor excuse that it is helping with mine. This is not entirely bollocks but it is definitely not as useful as I am making it out to be because I am supposed to be writing about my own processes and not that of very old very dead play-writes and poets.

So today as I sit sipping ribena from a wine glass behind a pile of books so tall I can’t see the other side of my bedroom, I am attempting to get something written about why I have written what I have written. The short answer is, I don’t actually know. The long answer is much more along the lines of ‘I think I know until I start trying to figure out what the thing I think I know is and then it all falls apart and I have to drink a childs’ drink out of an adults glass while still wearing my pyjama’s lest I get another headache.”

Two weeks left. This time in two entire weeks I will be done and I will have nothing else to do other than make milkshakes at work and read all the books that I want to read and sit and talk for hours about all the wonderful work that my two lovely lady friends are researching. And in turn put all this silly nonsense behind me and move on to a better, brighter and more magical (hint hint) future as a hopeful PhD researcher in a years time (as long as it all goes to plan). The end is in sight now, I am on the precipice of a home run. But I can’t seem to get there any quicker.

Just a short (*in terms of time spent writing this blog) one today as I have to get my head back in the game soon. And I also need to refill my glass.

Don’t tread on the flowers.

F x.

Sixteen Days To Go.

All I can think about is that scene in Braveheart where Mel Gibson chats shit and shouts about freedom. Not for the cultural history, but because there is sixteen days until my deadline.

My stress levels have been through the roof since I got back from France, which is the total opposite of what I wanted and it’s all because I can’t get out of my head that I have a lot left to do in not a lot of time. Which I knew from the start. And I’m ahead of my targets so I don’t know what on Earth I thought I was going to do if I fell behind. Never mind.

I’ve not been blogging because I’ve been banging my head against a brick wall. Figuratively in that I’m trying to type up my feature while my insides squirm with cringing and I want to crawl into a hole and bury myself in the cold damp earth and just wait until I am flower food, and also literally in that migraines are happening and thus I am losing valuable working time.

This is the low point in my writing for uni, where I hate everything I’ve written and don’t want to do it any more. Or at least, I do, but at my own pace and for my own benefit. I don’t think you can rush this sort of work, you can’t make a flower bloom any quicker by looking at it and willing it to burst open. And if you pop them like I did as a kid (sorry Nanna for your fuchsias) you damage the flower and hurt the plant. But I feel like my work is being popped and I’m aggressively trying to will it into something beautiful before it gets damaged and my writing is ruined and worthless.

But I have decided that to cut out all this stress I am doing it on my own terms, in my own way. Migraines do not benefit anyone so I am simply not going to have another one. I am going to rearrange the furniture so that I can be as close to the outside as possible in this pathetic excuse for summer weather and edit and type up and make the conditions perfect for my writing to flourish. None of this sitting in a cave with fluorescent light and unhelpful droning of useless white noise. This needs natural light, vitamin D, healthy home cooked food, good company and lot’s of care and lot’s of lavender oil. And lots’ of Coldplay. Who play with the idea of using light as musical motifs and also in their concerts and thus is actually relevant to my work. But that’s okay. 16 days.

AND THEN NEXT STOP IS WALES.

I can’t wait to finally get out of Falmouth and be somewhere new. And hopefully start my PhD sooner than I had previously thought. But that’s another story for after my deadline which I won’t fail because sunlight and no more stress.

And lot’s of sage.

All the sage.

Don’t tread on the flowers,
F x

Sorry-Not-Sorry For The Lack Of Updates.

Hi everyone!

What an incredible week I’ve had! Lot’s of things to update you all on so get yourself a cuppa, get snuggly in bed or on the sofa and play some Coldplay because I’m gunna express my head full of dreams! (I am aware that was a terrible link but never mind).

As a quick aside, I am currently sitting at the table where I wrote my first treatment for “Our Perennials”. Looking out at the most beautiful garden in existence (biased but true) and watching the thousands of birds, bee’s and butterflies having what can only be described as a nature-rave. Honestly the sound tweets and buzzing is deafening. Little bit emotional as I am preparing to write the final scenes in the place it all started. Seeing how much my characters have changed and the story has developed. It started out as a nice story about a gardener but now it’s this huge, intense frankensteins monster which has taken on a life of its own. It seems as though, now, the story is telling me how to write itself, because it can’t pick up a pen so I have to do it instead. I could have been anyone, I feel privileged that it chose me as it’s vessel. I’m starting to sound like Elizabeth Gilbert (ps. Read ‘Big Magic’ it’s f@cking brilliant).

So I have done many a thing since I last posted. I have been to Godrevy, and made new friends, started writing a sci-fi short film (omg right!), developed and begun writing a short story for a competition, wrote no less than 14 poems, designed social media and develop the website for Camomile Creative – my new writing anthology for all of you lovely lot to submit your own writing to (ready to launch when I get back to Blighty), been to Paris (more on this in a minute) and gone back to my parents house in Breton and am currently waiting until 2pm when I can go and fetch my beloved Poppy from puppy-prison (Kennels). Oh and somehow managed to almost finish a feature script in that time. First draft true. I am wiped out I have to say.

Paris was fantastic. I arrived Thursday morning and had to wait until half one for my parents, although I didn’t know what time they were arriving until about an hour before. I ended up having to wait patiently in a cafe for longer than the eurostar train journey took but it was fine because I ate my weight in chips and wrote stupid poems about how I really needed the loo but was too scared to walk around to find them and the staff couldn’t understand me because my french has a Breton accent and I panicked and started speaking Spanish instead (butchered Spanish, I am a novice). That evening we went for a meal in the Artists Quarter. Beautiful. Everyone was American though.

The following day was BASTILLE DAY!! My favourite day of the french calendar. We watched the parade of the armed forces, but I got my water container confiscated. Also weirdly enough we bumped into the crew from channel 4’s “The last leg” who were being searched to within an inch of their lives by security. Had a nice albeit short conversation with the exasperated cinematographer, who was very sweet and let me be nosy and ask him lots of questions. Then my mum referred to the boom mic cover as “That fuzzy thing” and I lost the small amount of credibility I had left. Funny though.
That evening we watched the concert and the fireworks at the Eiffel Tower. Stunning. Just absolutely brilliant. Try and find a link online and watch it because words cannot describe. Following that, all the tube stations were shut in the local area for some stupid reason so we ended up having to walk about four miles to get to one that would take us back to Garibaldi (like the biscuit but without the raisons). At least it didn’t rain.

Then, Saturday, the best day of my life thus far. Giverny followed by Coldplay.

Giverny is beautiful. Busy AF in July, but that doesn’t matter. Unfortunately we didn’t have much time after the train journey from Paris and the queue’s so I chose to spend it all in the garden. That garden is so beautiful. So many lillies! Not enough alliums for my liking but who am I to question Monet. The garden and the pond have such a beautiful juxtaposition. I mean this in the sense that the garden has been designed and ordered, kept well over the last century, every flower and plant chosen with colour, size, texture in mind. Everything (mostly) is fire coloured which gives the impression of wildness, like a rollercoaster. Made by hands but still wild and thriving, showing off each petal and leaf like “Yeah I see you checkin’ me out Frosh, but I’m too wild for your garden, I am fire incarnate, stick to your pastels and pinks, I am too loud for you”. But then you go through the underpass and out the other side is this tranquil pool of calmness. You follow the stream and it’s darker, cooler tones, lot’s of whites and greens and pastel pinks and then you realise you know what’s round the next bend. There it was, the pond. You can stand on the steps where he painted his (probably) most famous painting of all time and I stood there and cried. Like a baby. In front of all those annoying American tourists who laughed at me (uncultured swines!). Just thinking about it is bringing a tear to my eye. Honestly I cannot describe what actually happened I just got overwhelmed. It was so beautiful. I stood there for a whole ten minutes and wrote a poem about it. The scenery not the fact that I cried over it. That would be almost as sad as the fact I actually cried. What a dork!

Now I need you to do a thing, you’ve made it this far so you might as well. Find “Charlie Brown” and play it.

Coldplay are without a doubt the best band to watch live ever. Without. A. Doubt. I don’t care if you don’t like their music (I don’t see why you wouldn’t but personal taste) you HAVE to go and see them play live. They gave everybody two wristbands that looks like £5 versions of the apple watch with no screens. When they started playing the wrist bands lit up and everyone became a part of the performance. They had fireworks and confetti and that thing that shoots jets of fire into the air. Crazy. And so much colour!!! The whole concert seemed to be this amazing play with colour and lights. As is Coldplay’s USP in a sense. Well, in their video’s and at the concerts I’ve seen on television. It’s interesting because that is a huge focus of what I’ve been writing for this semester. Not so much about light specifically but while I’ve been writing I’ve paused each scene to think about light and colour in a way I haven’t ever really done before. Especially in the tree’s script. I just hope that comes across and I don’t get marked down for unnecessarily going into too much detail. Even so, I think that it’s been an important exploration for me, both in my own work and in other peoples creative work. I’m not exactly Eva Figes, or Monet, or Coldplay, but I’m still a baby in the world really.

Anyway I have to go and get the dogs (mine and my parents) so I will speak soon!

Don’t tread on the flowers,
F x

Ps. Game Of Thrones tomorrow! Excited!

All Settled In.

Good evening everyone.

We have finally settled in in our new temporary home. It’s lovely because we have places we can put things instead of things being shoved in various spaces of the floor. Also, we have a garden with actual plants and actual sunlight that doesn’t look like a prison cell without the ceiling! Happy days!

I’ve been working really hard this evening to try and get all the things I needed to do before tomorrow actually done and I think I’ve just about managed it. I’m very tired now though, because I also did an eight hour day at work which was busy af!

I uploaded my John Yorke Coursework this evening too! Lot’s to do this session so fingers crossed I’ve done alright with everything thats been happening. It doesn’t help that one of the tasks was to create a storyline for one of ten different tv shows, none of which I have watched in the last year and none of which I’ve followed closely ever. But I chose Casualty because its’ badass and BBC iPlayer have character profiles which made my life a trillion times easier.

I also have been working hard getting that zine/anthology off the ground. I found a graphic designer (Blue Rue Designs – amazing artist and thoroughly professional, had 5 designs to choose from in less than 24 hours) to come up with a logo and a banner image to go on all the social media, and I got the notebook with all the passwords and usernames out of storage so now I can log in to all the stuff I set up last year, INCLUDING a website where I can share stuff about the writers who submit things to us. Any submissions would be welcome, I’ll let you know when it’s going live.

I must go to bed because I have to go into uni tomorrow and have tutorials and then cry in the library because all the books are gone and I miss them already.

Don’t tread on the flowers

F x

Moving House and Hardly Moving.

The last few days have been stressful af. Packing, moving, driving around (okay, that part I like), headaches, back aches and pulled muscles (not mine). I am currently sitting on my friends bed as I write this because since Friday at 10 am until tomorrow at 10 am I have no where to live. Most of my stuff is in storage, the rest of it is in my bosses van (Shout out to Great Shakes) bar a couple bags I have here. Which is literally underwear and writing books.

One thing that has come out of this bizarre weekend though is that I have rekindled my love of writing poetry. Well I always like it while I’m doing it and editing, but then once thats done I kind of just put it away and focus on longer formats, and then the motivation is gone to write more for a few weeks. Which is silly because it’s the format I’m most successful in. But Bec leant me a couple of poetry books by R.H. Sin, and I really got into them, so much so that I read them both during this house move which is crazy because I haven’t even had time to breath properly. It reminded me of the writing zine I started last summer, I planned it to go live when I got back from France in September, but my Masters course hit me like a train and thus it, like most of my poetry, got put in a draw and forgotten about. So now, after actual work, and finishing off the second short script, I am spending the evening restarting that project and getting that ball rolling again. The main goal was to collect bits of writing from people who weren’t published yet and get them published in a collective so that they could add it to their portfolio and hopefully get an agent. But not just in poetry or prose, but like scripts and radio plays and creative non-fic too which is something I don’t very often see (it’s probably out there, having said that). So that’s very exciting, watch this space.

In other news my tutor liked my ‘Fog…” script! There are notes and constructive criticism that I will be taking on board when I get round to editing it, but until then I am just listening to the compliments and boosting my ego, because every writer needs that to fight off imposter syndrome.

Following my philosophical blog post last week (or the week before maybe??) about protagonists and such, I ransacked the uni library and found the entire works of Plato, which I aim to at least skim read. I found that whole thing so fascinating in “Sophie’s World” that I thought I’d look more into it and make use of the library resources while I still have access to it. I have no idea what I’m going to do when I leave uni and can’t go there any more to find books. I honestly have about 30 on loan at the moment. It’s less of a pile now and more reminiscent of a room divider. I spent about an hour dancing round the library after work listening to Ariana Grande and searching for books by creatives about their craft.

And now I should stop talking about doing work, and actually do some work.
Don’t tread of the flowers,

F x