Saturday, 31 March 2012

My first. . .

One of my first books, as you can see my spelling has not improved!

One of my first attempts at writing. I know, it's very embarrassing, the spelling again and how I kept joining up all my words as though I just had to get them all out in one go. As for the end, well that is just so weired but perhaps I was thinking about being a writer!

One of my first paintings. This is Dick Turpin with Black Bess, who the heck is holding those reins?

My first little writing desk. I walked into the room one Christmas morning and my Mom had bought this for me. She had sat a beautiful fluffy panda toy up to it which was also a present. I feel a little guilty that I booted the Panda from his position and immediately fell in love with my little desk. Now after such a long time it is back with me and I may even write on it again - I never grew much taller since then so this will not be too difficult!

My first diary. This is very interesting reading. I read the whole thing again the other day and at this point of time I must have been obsessed with Horses, Skateboarding, a game called Scarper and managed to come second in the 200 metres race on sports day. I recorded it all.

All these first things in my life were and still are are very important. It's odd, as when I was a child I never thought that I wanted to be a writer. I know some people know from an early age exactly what they want to be and strive to do just that. I was obsessed with horses and mermaids, dinosaurs and the great outdoors and every day whatever I was doing, I would write about it. I even recorded when I got my ears pierced and if I fell out with my best friend (who I am very glad to say is still my best friend). I didn't even think about it, I just did it. I wrote in my diary every day. I kept things in my little desk and I imagined different worlds that I could escape to.

The diary was a very small pocket one. It only had a few spaces for an entry every day which I filled and now over 30 years later, I have a real glimpse back to the past of things I may have forgotten, if had not written them down.

Just a thought, but it's never too late to start a little diary, you don't have to write loads but in years to come, when you read them back or pass them on to someone else, it's a very special way to share a moment of time that will last forever because it happened to you and you wrote it down.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Can I ask you a few questions?

Simon Whaley and Julie Phillips

I attended my Wrekin Writers meeting today and Julie Phillips gave a great talk and demonstration on how, or how not to interview people when you want a story. She brought it home about paying attention to people you are talking to, researching and thinking about suitable questions before you go ahead and interview someone.

Simon Whaley pictured above with Julie was a willing interviewee and showed how interviews can go very wrong if you do not plan and take an interest in the person you are talking to.

This is something I still struggle with. I have spent years writing my novel which has been a very solitary experience and I kept the story to myself for years before sharing it with anyone else. Most of the articles I have had published did not require any input from another party so I have not had much experience in interviewing other people.

Julie's workshop gave me a boost of confidence to try other ways of approaching people for an interview, new angles and how to conduct a successful interview so now I have to go out and try it for myself.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

A new toy!

I finally got my Kindle this week. It was a great way of celebrating the end of my Fabulous February theme where I made a promise to do something connected to my writing every day. I had a great month and put a lot of work out so now waiting to see if I get any results.

March the 1st was World Book Day so I decided to buy my Kindle then to celebrate. Of course I have not given up on paper books, in fact I also bought War Horse by Michael Morpurgo in paperback on the same day. I love reading proper books too but this is a great way of having some reading material wherever I am without having to carry too much. I was thrilled to see it even has a dictionary on it which is great as I would not like to carry my huge dictionary/thesaurus around with me everywhere I go.

The second reason for getting one is because I want to publish my own novel in the autumn so I thought it would be useful to see how it reads on a proper Kindle machine. For the next few months I hope to be reading my own novel on my own machine. I hope it will help with the editing process as reading it in a different format may make some obvious problems stand out.

I am also hoping to publish a small non-fiction book shortly which has illustrations so it will be useful to see how they look.

I shall still continue to try and get my work published in the normal way but I see the world of publishing ebooks as an exciting new alternative and I have nothing to lose by trying.