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 Ā£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

 

 

I Wrote Lot’s Today

I know that it’s only mid afternoon but I’ve been really productive today. Dan and I went out for a few hours to sit in a cafe and had a nice lunch, both doing some work for a while before coming home before the weather got too bad. I have commandeered the desk for a while so that I can do some work and spread out without hurting my back. Normally this isn’t an issue because I’m so used to doing work on my laptop but sometimes hand writing gets a little bit backache inducing because I tend to slouch more. Also I forget that I normally type up properly at the library on campus. Which is great for essay writing but it’s really not a great place to do creative writing. And I associate it with academia anyway.

I’ve also been working on a few poems and a short story for literary competitions that are opening over the summer. I am really keen to get my work out there and I don’t want to keep putting my non-script stuff to one side if I can help it. But obviously I’ve paid through the nose for this course and script writing is my primary medium so that will have priority. I’ve also been looking for script writing competitions and stuff too but it’s more difficult for me to trust them – obviously there’s the legit ones that I’ve heard about through uni or stuff like BBC writers room but some of them look proper dodgy and I don’t have any way of judging whether they are actually dodgy or whether I’m judging a book by it’s cover. Feel free to suggest any though šŸ™‚ I’m shameless I know.

I don’t have anything else to report to you. Weather is crap today so now that I’m home I’m going to crack on and actually get this script draft finished today. I am not moving until it’s finished! I want to have it typed up and sent off before we move this weekend. I need to get cracking so I can get the feature underway. It’s starting to make me a bit nervous, I think I said this the other day. The sooner I get started the better really. So I’m gunna go crack on with it.

Before that, check out this awesome flower we saw on our walk last night! I haven’t found out what it is yet but I’m going to look it up after I finish writing today.

Don’t tread on the flowers

Fx

A Bit of Light Philosophy.

I just found out why we call the main character a protagonist.

I was pontificating as Dan was playing Fallout 4, reading my book (Sohpie’s World – Jostein Gaarder. I found it in the book swap and work and got really into it), when the narrator started talking about philosophers who called themselves theĀ Sophists, basically a wise, informed person (like me obviously). One in particular was called Protagoras (protagonist – basically) and he said “Man is the centre of all things” popular philosopher quote that people repeat out of context all the time. Ā He also said, to quote the book directly:

“By [‘Man is the centre of all things’] he meant that the question of whether a thing is right or wrong, good or bad, must always be considered in relation to a person’s needs.” [p.54]

Hence literally everything I’ve every read about how to build a character. We relate to the protagonists actions depending on whether we believe what they are doing is right or wrong depending on their needs. Is it right for John Wick to go around killing a shit ton of Eastern European gangsters, in order to track down Alfie Allen? Absolutely not, but Alfie Allen killed his beagle puppy so we get behind it and root for John Wick as he kills a shit ton of gangsters.

I just thought it was interesting that the original protagonist was a real person. I’ve never really thought about it before, but it makes so much sense. Obviously in order to put it in my essay I need to do loads more research (God, Frosh, change the record already). But there you go.

I haven’t really got any more writing done so I think I’m going to try and fit a few pages in before Twin Peaks (at 2am, don’t tell my mum she’ll reprimand me for staying up past my bedtime). Apparently it’s going to be a really good episode tonight. No spoilers though folks.

Don’t tread on the flowers,

F x

Salvator_Rosa_-_DeĢmocrite_et_Protagoras

DĆ©mocrite et ProtagorasĀ by Salvator Rosa.

Grey Saturday.

It’s amazing how awful I am at remembering to update this.

My tutorials were cancelled on Thursday so I sent my tutor the first draft of ‘Fog…’ for him to peruse at leisure. I still need to rewrite the ending, like, desperately. Until then I have started writing the second short. This one is so very different. It’s so much easier to get into the head of the main character. This might be because I’ve been a bookish thirteen year old girl who likes camping and growing plants, and I’ve never been a man in his late sixties. I found the original notes I wrote last year for “if a tree falls” and even though I’ve taken time out from writing since then it changed so much. For the better in my opinion. I had to strip so much from it and take it right back down to basics. Originally the apple came from an allotment that she stole it from.

I also started reading things for the essay. I’ve come up with some sort of plan on how to write it. I want to delve deeper into writing about death, not so much as a catharsis like I did in my undergraduate course but more in a sense that it’s such a universal thing we have to deal with, but everybody experiences it differently. It’s both like, universal and completely independent. I also want to talk about the philosophy of stories and how we tell them to make sense of the world around us, which I guess is catharsis in itself. But why do I need to tell these three stories? Why was it so important for me to write them now? And there’s that whole ‘There are seven basic storylines” theory, which is accurate af apparently. I need to do so much more research of course, but I am currently preoccupied with first drafts and moving house (oh yeah I move house in a week). I feel like the essay needs to sit on the back burner for a bit. Not completely, because whenever I write or read anything it’s stuff I can add to the notes and plan BUT it’s not the priority until the drafts are done.

I finished all my tasks for the second session of the John Yorke course already so the weekend is my own. The third session starts on Monday so thats going to be a busy day. I have work tomorrow all day but I’m going to really push for the handwritten draft of this short to get finished by the time I go to bed Sunday evening. I should probably get back to it now, especially as I just got caught dad-dancing to the Sing Street soundtrack by my boyfriend. Can you Dad-dance if you’re not a dad? I’m going to say yes, you can do anything, (“you gotta put the peddle down, and drive it like you stole it, roll it, this is your life’).

Don’t tread on the flowers

F x

Ps, Shout out to Lia and Chris, missed you guys, it was great to see you both.

holding an apple
(Image from pinterest)

 

 

Things I Learned About Ice Cream

I was at work yesterday, and in between serving customers and sorting the delivery I had an idea for a scene in ‘Fog’, where Peter and Robert met as kids. I decided they would meet as pre-teens by an ice cream van – but then it struck me that I didn’t actually know when mister whippy ice cream became and thing, and whose (genius) idea was it to put a flake in it? So I googled. Turns out Mister Whippy ice cream became a thing in the late fifties and it started with ice cream trucks in West Philadelphia, different from the ones that sold packet ice cream (which descended from a horse and cart) these were fitted with machines that made the soft ice cream 99’s. In America they were known as mister softies (try not to giggle, like I did) by Lyons but in the UK the ice cream company Walls decided to compete with their own brand of mister whippy, sold in ice cream VANS (not trucks) around London and Kent. Business boomed and ice cream van owners were willing to pay the extra Ā£3k+ for one of these vans instead of the traditional packet ice cream vans. And that’s how it became the traditional British staple we know and love, around tourist spots everywhere. There are no less than five in Falmouth in summer. And on Pendennis Point there are two that compete with each other in the car park.

So once I got home I managed to FINALLY finish typing up the first draft, just in time for my tutorial today. I’m still behind schedule, and no where near where I want to be by now, but I feel like it’s an achievement worth mentioning. I had a dream where I sent it to my dad to see what he thought and he hated it and didn’t speak to me for three days – which would never happen irl. It’s because his poem inspired it and I want to do it justice, for his sake. The poem is really good and brings a tear to my eye whenever I read it.

I’m not particularly happy with the ending right now, it’s a bit naff but I’ve got an idea of how to change it – I might talk it through with my group at lunchtime and see how they feel about it. Dan likes it though, and he is also a writer so I trust him to be honest.

I should probably get dressed and start the day.

Also I have a Vlog to edit after the gym this afternoon so keep your eyes peeled.

Don’t tread on the flowers,

F x

 

lyons ice cream

I Hate First Drafts.

IMG_2975First drafts of everything suck. It’s the law. They have to suck. And reading over what I wrote the other day as I type it up makes me cringe. It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve done this I still feel really rubbish whenever I try and edit a first draft.

My friend Shannon wrote a musical for her dissertation recently and she had “The first draft of everything is shit” written on a big piece of paper above her work space. Why is this such a universal thing?

I reckon it’s to stop people who aren’t serious about it. Especially creative stuff. If you’re not ready to take that honkin’ pile of toilet fodder and make it less and less disgusting, you won’t do it. And that’s fine.

And to be quite honest I’ve had to stop for the day before it ruined my mood. I’m not ready to ruin this treatment with my crap actual writing just yet. I’ll carry on tomorrow, and because I’m not working I might go and find a nice coffee shop somewhere and spend the remainder of my allocated spending money (yes, I give myself an allowance because I am both responsible and completely irresponsible with money), on coffee. And I’m not going to the gym tomorrow because guess who overworked themselves today then forgot to stretch? That’d be me. Typing hurts.

On the plus side I could get very used to this working from home stuff. I know it’s for my course and I still have to go to my actual job but it’s not the same when I’m doing sixteen hours and then writing the rest of the time at home (or wherever I feel like writing). And I’ve got some new housewifey friends at the gym. I say friends, I mean this term totally loosely, where we share small talk before I jump onto the thing I was waiting for.

Also weirdly enough there are so many guys that go to the gym during the weekday. They’re probably doing similar things to me, service industry jobs that mean their weekends are the opposite of you people’s weekends, so they have time off in the week. By why so many?? Crazy. I’ve gone off topic.

I’m a third of the way through typing up ‘Fog’ and because it’s such a ballache I feel like I’m falling behind with my work. But it’s cool. It’s not like it’s anything important – OH WAIT.

But seriously I need to be so much more disciplined. I’ve also let my bullet journalling slide which is probably my problem. We all know I live and breathe because of that thing. I might spend some time after work tonight getting organised.

I’ve also just remembered I need to do my task for the John Yorke stuff tomorrow, in time for Wednesday. Oh tomorrow is going to be a long day of creative writing! And that isn’t a bad thing.

Anyway I have to go have dinner and then head to work.

Don’t tread on the flowers
F x