Hobbies

Country Music, Writing Goals, and Camp NaNoWriMo

Today I spent some time shopping. Surprisingly, no – I didn’t buy any books! Instead, I bought some clothes and – wait for it – a Blake Shelton CD. Because no shopping trip is complete without a little country music.

I legitimately can’t seem to go into a HMV store without buying country music nowadays. I think I have a problem, but the ACM’s are only a week away so I consider it preparation, not that I really need it. Country music is always on my brain. I love it so much it’s a part of my dissertation and I’ve lost count how many books I’ve got stacked up against my desk on the subject.

Okay, maybe I do have a problem.

But today was a good day. I actually felt fresh for a change. You know that feeling when you don’t get out of the house for days and you just need to get out? I felt like stale pizza – isn’t that a nice image. I just needed OUT, so today helped with that. Some quality time with your sister, new clothes and good music is just the solution.

And because I feel fresh, now I can concentrate on writing for the evening. I promised myself I would write 1,000 words of my novel in prep for Camp NaNoWriMo tonight and – BOOM – in the car earlier I got some inspiration for the next few scenes. I was listening to Luke Bryan, so I’m guessing I’ve got him to thank for that. Word count, here I come!

Thanks, Luke.

I’ve got Cornish Story Magazine stuff to work on later – (like I said in my last post, we are always looking for new submissions on interesting topics, so get in touch if you think you could offer us something!)

It’s looking like a good evening.

Hobbies, Writing

Pent Up Energies

Tomorrow I want to do things. Actual things. Tonight I’ve just scrolled endlessly through my Twitter feed and changed my Facebook profile picture and cover photo. All this has, coincidentally, amounted to very little.

I want to change this.

So I’ve made a list and I want to stick to it! If only to stop me checking my Twitter newsfeed every five minutes.

1. Go for a walk

I want to go for a walk through the woods, across farmland, or simply just walk somewhere near the sea. My creative energies are all pent up right now and I feel like a walk – alone – will help me get what I need. Ironically, perhaps getting lost in the woods will help me find what I need right now, creatively.

2. Write a fresh post

I am guilty of not posting here as regularly as I could. Whether I write about my day, post a picture I took out on my walk, or tell you all about my new writing project I’m taking on for Camp NaNoWriMo, I want to do more. I don’t want to just let this blog die.

3. Write 1,000 words

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Here’s the tricky part. I’ve signed up to Camp NaNoWriMo again this year (which I am insanely thrilled about) and want a head start in the game. So I’ve promised myself to write 1,000 words of my novel, even if it’s a load of dribble. At least it’s something, right?

4. Do some work for Cornish Story

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I work for an online publication called Cornish Story magazine. We celebrate all things to do with Cornish culture. Although we have an academic background, we are always looking for fresh material on any subject from anyone who’s passionate about Cornwall. So if you’re looking to submit to us, just drop me an email! My email is emily@cornishstory.com. We’re really friendly, I promise.

And voila!

Of course, if I could get some more research done for my dissertation (which is on cowboys and country music, y’all!) then that would be marvelous. But, you know, I don’t want to take on too much.

Until this is done, I don’t feel like I’m going to be a very happy writer person. So I guess I’d better get started.

Hobbies, Writing

Hey, look, I’m writing!

This is my seventh cup of tea today while writing and planning and eating croissants. I’m having a productive day and I wanted to share that feeling with you all.

So far, I’m happy.

I’ve written 12,624 words of my novel and reached my goal of 500 words today. This is something of a struggle for me lately because I’ve been juggling my degree with friends, family, working for the magazine company I help run, and doing daily basic human-like things such as eating, washing and sleeping.

Oh, plus I read a lot so that too.

So I haven’t been able to write chunks of my novel so regularly as I would’ve liked. I know it’s a pathetic excuse, but where is the time? I’m trying to fix this and I love the feeling I get when I actually write it and revisit the characters I’ve gotten to know.

I write YA fiction which I love on many levels I just can’t explain. So I love my two characters who are hell bent on not falling in love, but do. Well, one of them, at least. I love their relationship and the dynamic it takes. They’re two of my favourite ever constructed characters I’ve created – and I didn’t even plan this novel.

Listening alongside to country and folk music gives me a release I simply just love. Silence can do this too. But today it is country and folk and I’m happy.

Who cares if I haven’t eaten properly today, or showered, or brushed my hair? Writing really does need to take priority sometimes.

Hobbies

Summer Read

This summer I have a big plan. That plan is to read a big book. It’s a book I’ve had in mind for the last two years and it’s sitting on my top shelf right now, snug right next to my Sarah Dessen collection and my all time favourite book Roses by Leila Meacham. That is how important it is. It just has to be read.

I want to read it during the perfect summer. I think it’s about time that that perfect summer is now. What better time to do it than when I’ve come through my first year of university, have a house with amazing friends and a whole 3 months to stretch out and relax before term starts again?

Gone With The Wind.

I just can’t wait. It’s my motivation for getting me through the two books that I’m reading at the moment. I’ve been reading both of them for just over a month and they’re just so slow. I don’t even know if I can take it anymore. I skim most of the pages I read, but they’re whopping great novels. It’s almost painful just trying to get through them.

So Gone With The Wind is my motivation and The One of this year that I just can’t wait to pick up and peel back the pages.

What will be your read this summer?

Baking, Hobbies, Writing

Good Morning!

It’s Sunday, and as much as everybody else really rather hates Sundays, I have grown to love them. I have no classes to go to, I have usually done all my readings for university week, I have no part time job to attend, and basically I can do whatever the swive I want! Technically I don’t even have to leave my bed (apart from dietary & toilet necessities). So it’s great having Sundays! I really actually love them.

I can get more writing done (which I definitely plan to do!) I am writing a short story submission on the theme of flowers/light inspired by Eva Figes beautiful poetic novella Light which is a fictional take on the life of the great painter Monet who lived in France. It has been struggling these last few weeks or so, but I feel today’s the right day to do it. I have it all thought out! First draft: hello!

I can bake a cake! Now, this one probably won’t happen today because I already made triple chocolate muffins last night. Despite the fact they didn’t rise very well, we still all ate them whilst sitting round watching Flight of the Conchords. I’m sorry I didn’t watch Eurovision, but … FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS!

I can make a soup without time constraints! Today I will be making potato and leek soup. I’m so excited. I love making soups. They just taste so yum.

I can read more of The Selection by Kiera Cass. YES! Aspen is so far my favourite, but that might be because I am just imagining him to be William Moseley.

I can watch Father of the Bride! I have been wanting to watch this film for about a week and a half now, just haven’t had the time or the company. But now with it being an empty Sunday I might just get round to it!

On the plus side, I am also feeling better from being ill this weekend too! Bonus! And all it took was two cartons of orange juice, five bowls of chicken/mushroom/homemade butternut squash soup, three bowls of strawberries and plenty of time in bed reading. Great way to get better!

Look alive, people. It’s Sunday! What will you be doing with yours?

Book Reviews, Cornwall, Hobbies

IT’S HERE!

I received this beauty in the post after ordering it from Waterstones. Can you believe that no book shop has it stocked in Cornwall?! None that I could find anyway. I even looked up its availability online, just so I could go and get it physically. But no such luck.

I hate buying books online because

1. What if they don’t look right?
2. What if there’s a crease on the front pages?
3. What if – God only knows how – the spine is already marked or slightly broken?

I’ve had this experience with brand new books bought online, so you can see why I’m a little shady at committing to that way of consuming. Books are a very huge part of my life, therefore I want them to look pretty sitting there on my shelves! Who wouldn’t?

But this came through in the post two days ago and I am ridiculously happy about it. I did expect it to be thicker but it is a trilogy after all so I let that slide. It’s so pretty. I keep picking it up, putting it back down, then picking it up again. I’ve vowed to get through my current Lionel Shriver book quickly so I can read this beauty as soon as possible!

Once I’m through, I’m going to buy the other two! Despite if it even has to be online!

Cornwall, education, Hobbies, university, Writing

Prose Before Hoes

I’ve come to realise that I’m actually really, really lucky. To be in university – and such a unique, inspiring, close-knit and FRIENDLY university too – has been a Godsend to me. Studying my course has led me to writing pathways that little young teenage me would only ever dream about. It sounds cliche but cliche’s exist for a reason. I am incredibly lucky, to have the opportunities to work with amazing lecturers who are so attentive, to have so many resources available at the university where I’m studying, and to basically have this kind of an education!

So I came across a phrase today – ‘prose before hoes’. I took it lightly, but it kind of has significance. Sometimes, you just have to put your writing first if you want to get anywhere in this industry.

I discovered today through a writing correspondent that students can actually attend the London Book Fair for FREE.
How incredible! To actually be able to be at an event with published authors and writers, book agents and people who work for real life publishing houses! It’s a dream, and I hope to go there next year – one year in the future at least! I’m so grateful to have a lot of things right now. I also have so much to look forward to recently it’s unbelievable!

  • I have recently been fortunate enough to work with award winning author Lionel Shriver, who is a pleasure to work with and have her read my work and give positive (and negative) feedback is something I still can’t quite believe I’m doing …
  • I am an official weekly features writer for an online magazine, Her Campus. I know I’ve mentioned this before but knowing I’m a part of it still a few weeks on after being asked to do it is still exciting to me! I love writing features and coming up with ideas every week, and some of the posts on there are actually really funny!
  • Lionel Shriver signed my book/writing ideas notepad at a book signing and actually recognised me! It was awesome.
  • I got to spend some time with another published author C.J Flood. I spoke to her about her books, how she finds writing and my own novel I’ve been writing for some time now. It was an experience I hope I am never, ever going to forget. She offered to sign her book for me and even wrote an inspirational message inside the front cover!
  • I’ve also spent some time with a really lovely second year student, who writes for Booked Magazine which is aimed towards 11-18 year olds on general pop culture topics, like films, music, book reviews etc. She opened up windows for me and made me realise I can actually do this. Hearing her speak about all the amazing things she has done was uplifting and so inspirational for me. It gives me hope!
  • On a non-writing note, I am going to visit the Harry Potter Studio Tour in London at the end of May, leaving at 2am and spending the WHOLE DAY THERE!!! I am going to spend so much money in the gift shop. I just know it.
  • Also, I AM SEEING MCBUSTED AT THE END OF MAY as well!!!! I am perfectly accepting of the fact that if I spontaneously combust through lack of air or just pure excitement then that’s a good way to go. I kind of embrace that. Seeing them has been my dream for oh so many years, I was just always too scared to do it. But now, finally, at aged nineteen, I AM DOING IT.
  • Hopefully, I will go to the Fowey Festival of Words & Music this coming May as well. I am in the process of writing an article on the festival for Her Campus so will be sure to post it up here as a link once it’s up and running on the site!

I can’t believe how lucky I am. I am looking to get some writing or editorial work experience/internship this summer as my first year finishes late May so will have a lot of free time to keep busy in! If you know anyone or ARE anyone who would like to have me work for them this summer, let me know!

Lionel Shriver

Her Campus

C. J Flood

Booked Magazine

Harry Potter Studio Tour

McBusted!!!

If you know  anyone who would like to have me work for them this summer, let me know! I don’t even care if it’s unpaid!

Hobbies, university, Writing

Writerly Reflections

Why did I want to be come a writer? It’s a fairly simple question to ask but rather a difficult one to answer.

I suppose first of all I wanted to write because I loved reading. My story isn’t one of reading J.K Rowling and desperately wanting to be the way she is as a writer, which is odd because I love the world of Harry Potter a lot more than anything else. The world of Harry Potter comes up fairly frequently in my blogposts. My story came from being twelve years old and desperately wanting to be the girlfriend of famous boyband members. In particular, members of McFly. I could gush on about them for hours in my little notepad I kept hidden in my wardrobe.

What they looked like when I thought I could be their girlfriend. That’s right. All of them.

In order for that to come true, I started writing fanfiction in little diaries I bought from Clintons. I wrote so many stories, and they were all filled with bad writing, bad romance, and probably some really bad dialogue. I still have them, but they’re far too embarrassing to read. But without them I wouldn’t have gotten this far! I would stay in my room for hours every single day of the summer, endlessly spilling my pen into the pages that I kept private. Because nobody was allowed to read it.

Bad writing = good writing!
(Eventually!)

 

Gradually, I moved onto writing from paper to Microsoft Word but still in secret. I would wait until my whole family had gone to bed before I could start tapping erratically on the keys of our shared computer keyboard. I don’t know why it all had to be kept in such secrecy. It just felt so private. I’d never done it before.

When I started to grow older, I realised that – yes – I wanted to become a writer, an author, unconditionally. And all I did in my spare time was fantasise about how incredibly amazing that would be. I have drawings in my old collected notepads of book covers with my name on them, that one day I could actually be a published author. I still have that dream today and am not going to stop writing, ever. Now, I am pursuing a writing course at university. People say it’s a waste of time, choosing Creative Writing as a degree, but I would never have come across the writing opportunities I’ve been given without enrolling onto this course.

Since September, I’ve started a new novel in my own time, written short stories almost every single week during term to submit, become a weekly feature writer for a worldwide online magazine, submitted to a number of different writing competitions, gotten the chance to meet famous writers and poets, and next week I get to be in a workshop with an award winning author!

Really, I don’t think I decided at any point – yes I want to be a writer. I kind of fell into it, and as I got better at it, I then just grew into it.

Writing is awesome.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/24/writing-challenge-reflections/

Cats, Hobbies, Mal

BABYSITTING

I realised I haven’t done a blog post about cats in absolutely ages. It’s not that I’ve become bored of them – AS IF! I have just been without internet for a while so without further ado … LET’S TALK ABOUT CATS.

My friend from work has told me she is going away for the week and was struggling to think of anybody to look after and stay with her kitten whilst she was away. Needless to say, I told her, why are you looking any further than at me? She agreed, and I’m now babysitting for the week a three month old kitten – who despite his age is like a GIANT compared to my own cat. She is seven months but is still a little titchy thing! I vow to be the best temporary mother that this kitten has ever seen. I’ve even stocked up and got his favourite treats in the cupboard for when I go and see him.

I’m terrible for feeling guilty when I leave animals alone, especially at night. Even at the zoo, I feel bad leaving them there, I just feel like they need some company. Although animals in zoos probably love it when the public all go home. Back at my non student-y home, we keep the rabbits indoors so they don’t have to spend all their days outside and alone in complete darkness at night times. What can I say, I’m a softie for the softies!

I am so excited to be this little chap’s new temporary mummy. His name’s Oreo, which is adorable, although I’ll try not to sneak him any of the actual biscuits. I know Mal – my kitten – has already had the pleasure of eating mine and only leaving crumbs while my back was turned. My friend said I can spend however long I like at hers, looking after him, keeping him company etc. I’m pretty sure she only asked me to feed him everyday but I can’t bear the thought of him all alone so I’ll set up camp there for the week and come home at night times to tend to my own cat. I’m even going to bring her along with me to meet him at some point during the week.

I will openly admit, I am hoping they might fall a little bit in love.
It’ll be like having little playdates. I just hope they don’t hate each other. They’re both black and white, so they’d have gorgeous babies! Even though I’ve made sure that’s quite impossible to happen by taking her to the vets some time last month.

Imagine, baby kittens as a result of a week long kitty romance!

I love spoiling my cat. She sleeps right next to me, and on my shoulder at night times and always comes running if I call her name. If I go shopping, I always look if there are any cute things I can get for her. She is my baby. Through and through. Cats are way better than human babies. Yesterday I went to Pets At Home and bought her a few treasures. I bought her some Dreamies – she goes completely beserk for them and has already tried to run off with the packet in her mouth every time she gets into the cupboard. I also got her a new nametag for her collar. It’s silver with three tiny, pink gems dotted along the bottom, in a heart shape, of course, and with her name in capitals letters stenciled in to it. She looks just gorgeous.

I also got her a bow.

Isn’t it cute?

Here’s one of her face, just so you can all see how grown up she’s looking now! If you scroll through my older blog posts you will be able to see photos of her as a teeny tiny baby, with matts of fur and fluff flying fuzzy all over her body. Now, she’s such a big girl, although still very tiny.

Once I am babysitting Oreo during the week I will be sure to take lots of photos of him. So keep holding your breaths for photos of that once I do my next post! He just has the cutest face, I have to commit it to the rest of the blogging community. Maybe I’ll even take photos of him with a packet of Oreos by his side.

TTFN.x

I have so missed blogging about cats ….

Hobbies, university, Writing

4,000 Words

Following my blog post about the author workshop I’m thrilled to be participating in, I received an email yesterday outlining the work we’re going to be doing to work with Lionel Shriver. Basically, the most pressing thing to do is come up with a piece of writing that is 4000 words long and submit it to her so it can be evaluated and critiqued.

I know, it sounds simple enough really, doesn’t it? It sounds like this is the most work we actively have to do within these workshops, aside from critiquing others’ work and really buckling down with all the fiction writing activities. It’s exciting and I already have loads of pieces that amount to either just below 4000 words or over. All I’d have to do is tweak it up a little and then submit, let her read it, and go!

But that’s just a little way too terrifying.

Writing 4000 words within two weeks is pretty simple and easy. That’s plenty of time. I have no issue with that. But coming up with 4000 words to submit to a real live – award winning author – FROM AMERICA is scary, to say the least. It’s incredibly daunting and I don’t even know where to start.

Giving her the first 4000 words of my novel is slightly embarrassing, as the protagonist is a womanizing jerk and in the second chapter there is a drunken bathroom scene in which two teenagers get a little too excited with each other (to put it that way). But it’s the most recent writing I’ve done and I have to admit I’m a little  bit in love with it. I am proud of it. But to give her something else feels odd, as I don’t feel my other writing is as good as the novel I’m writing right now. The piece we submit can be anything, on any theme, and can be complete, or a work in progress or something entirely different. Just as long as it’s fiction.

I think I am struggling. Being intimidated by author power-status is a little bit unnerving! Especially when you get to meet them!