I Will Be Blogging More Often I Promise and Other Stories…

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Okay, so I know it’s a far too long since my last post and I keep promising to get back into a regular blogging routine. But I really will this time. I pinky promise. (You can’t break a pink promise. If you do, it makes you the worst person in the world, or so I am told.)

If I had posted this a little bit closer to New Year, this would have been your standard customary reflection on 2015 and hopes for 2016 post. (I’m not making resolutions this year because I never keep them and well,if you want to change, why wait til New Years to do it?)  But as it happens, life as usual got in the way and in between spending time with friends and family during the Festive Season and attempting to be a responsible adult, (Huh? When did THAT happen?) I just never got round to it until now. As New Year was two weeks ago, my original post no longer seems like it would be relevant so now you have this (very) self-indulgent post instead.

So, what have I been doing in the months that I’ve been neglecting this blog?

Well, mostly I’ve been really busy with work (the run up to Christmas was crazy busy) and I’ve been working on my current novel as well as a short story (that I still need to finish). I also spent November completing NaNoWriMo. I actually managed to reach 50,000 words whilst having a full time job. Despite the fact that pretty much all of those 50,000 words are pretty awful and some of the worst I’ve ever written, (up there with my teenage emo poetry phase) I consider this to be my biggest achievement of 2015 (aside from not dying) because I honestly didn’t think I’d have the energy to write 50,000 words whilst working 35 hours a week. But I managed it (it made me crazier than the past NaNos I participated in) and although the words I wrote were awful, (I’m not being modest here. I honestly can’t look at it) I’ve written 50,000 words of a story that wouldn’t have been written if I hadn’t done it.

So you see whilst I went on a rather longer hiatus, (longer than I originally intended) I was still busy writing. It just meant that I spent more time on my writing projects and actually get closer to finishing something. (That’s my main goal. Not just this year but in general.) I guess it didn’t help that I had a chronic case of blog block (Yeah, yeah I know what you’re thinking. Writer’s Block is just an excuse writers use when they can’t be bothered to write.) and had far too many ideas as to what direction I wanted this blog to go in. (The fact that it never had a strong focus to begin with probably didn’t help.) But now I’ve got a pretty good idea on the sort of topics I want to talk about and now I have plenty of time to actually post on a regular basis once I’ve gotten back into a routine. (I may even post some short stories on here at some point. Ssh! I’m not promising anything though.)

So what else has happened since I last posted on here?

Well, 2016 did not start as smoothly as I would have liked. My fixed term contract did not get extended, so I am now officially unemployed. The downside to this is, apart from worrying about money, that I now have too much free time (and there is such a thing as too much free time. Trust me. This blog is living proof of this) and now have make endless job applications and go to interviews. (Ugh! Why can’t they just let us take an exam instead? I could get a job much easier that way.) The upside to this is that I have too much free time, which means that I have more time to spend writing and blogging as well as finally catching up on some of the TV shows I’ve been meaning to watch and play some of the games that have been sitting in my Steam library for far too long *cough* Mass Effect *cough* or even read the books in my ever expanding ‘to read’ pile.

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Don’t worry, I’m not going to turn this into a whiny post about how it sucks to be unemployed or how I can’t find a job. I know that being negative and falling into a big black pit of despair won’t help me find a job. (After all, I can do something about it by actually applying for jobs and big black pits of despair tend to smell funny.) So I’m trying to stay positive and see it as an opportunity to try and get into a career that I want to get into. (Also, employers like confident people and whoever heard of a negative confident person?) It seems to be working out pretty okay so far. I’ve been unemployed for two weeks now and I’ve already had some interviews which is definitely a better situation to be in then the last time I was unemployed. I just really hope that it means that I won’t be unemployed for too long (having too much free time tends to send me crazy and I end up biting people. I’m not even kidding.) because as much as the idea of being a starving artist (or in my case writer) has been romanticised in our culture, there’s nothing glamorous about worrying about money and having enough to afford food so you can eat. *touches wood*

I think I am going to leave you there for now. You don’t need me to ramble on and on about how having a positive attitude makes such a difference to your life because it would be annoying and boring. Also, I’ve had a can of Relentless and it’s almost four in the morning (another upside to being unemployed is that you can stay up until stupid o’clock writing because you don’t have to get up for work the next day.) and I should probably try to get to sleep.

 

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Just Another New Year Related Post…

Okay, so it’s finally 2015, and I know it’s a few weeks late, but  after all the busy excitement that was Christmas and New Year, it’s time to take a breather and reflect back on the, um, interesting year that was 2014. Don’t worry this isn’t going to be a gushy post about how 2014 was such an incredible year for me (because quite frankly, it was a mixed bag) and I’m not going to go on rabbit on about it being new year, new me. (If you really wanted to change something, why wait until New Year to do it? Just saying.)

Anyway, yes New Year. It’s generally the time to make New Year resolutions and forget all about them by February. As you can probably tell by the last paragraph, I’m not one for making New Year resolutions. Also, when I do, I tend to make them around my birthday because I find I’m more likely to keep them, it’s weird. But this year, just because I can, I am going to make an exception and make a couple of simple (and hopefully easy to keep) resolutions. So in no particular order *cue fanfair*, they are:

1. To get back into a regular writing habit.

2. To get back into a regular blogging routine.

3. Finish my online novel writing course.

4. Read The Silmarillion and actually finish it this time.

There. I think those are all very doable and realistic goals. I really want to get back to a semi regular blogging routine because I have a lot of ideas for this blog and the direction I want to take it in. Also, I miss having a regular writing habit and I can’t let my characters all fall into oblivion now can I? Besides, I know that finishing the first draft is only half the battle but it’s still better than having yet another unfinished novel lying forgotten on my laptop. And by finishing something I’ve started, I know I’m already doing better than the people who keep saying they want to write but never actually start. Right?

Well, I think that’s it from me for the time being. Sorry for yet another brief rambling post I will try and get back to a regular blogging pattern again. I know I’ve been saying that for months now, but it’s hard trying to fit writing around work and seeing friends.

Dragon Age and a Mandatory Life Update

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Okay, so I have been extremely busy for the past week and it’s meant that I have had to put my writing on the back burner. This is partly due to the fact that Christmas is coming up and I’ve had to get presents and things sorted. But also because I started my new job last week and am currently completing my training, which has been very mentally draining. (Though I think I’m starting to get the hang of it now) Also, I have been immersed in Dragon Age: Inquisition.

I don’t want to dedicate the whole post to Dragon Age because I haven’t got that far through the main quest yet and I don’t want to spoil it for those who are waiting for it to be patched or are getting it for Christmas. (and I can’t decide who to romance. Though if it goes by all my other DA romances,it’ll probably end in disaster) But I am enjoying it so far, even though the game lags on my poor laptop and I’ve encountered a few bugs, one that almost made the game unplayable. (But luckily found a work around.) It does feel a little bit like an MMO with some of the little fetch quests you have to do (I hate fetch quests) but I am getting to the point where I’ve started getting attached to the characters. (Dorian and Iron Bull are my BFFs and Varric is my bro.)

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Anyway, enough about Dragon Age, now it’s time for a life update. So, I’ve finally got a job and I am doing the training. It was a bit overwhelming at first, but now I think I’m starting to get the hang of it. The thing is that it’s full time and quite brain-stretching (in a good way) so when I come home, I’m completely tired (I am hoping I’ll get used to it though) which means that I haven’t had as much time to write my novel. Especially as I needed to focus on my training as I have had to revise for assessments for the first time in about three years. (Which I passed. So I am theoretically now fully qualified.) Also, with Christmas coming up, I won’t have much time to write because I’ll e spending it with friends and family/ keeping up my Christmas tradition of spending the day reading and waiting for everyone to fall asleep so that I can watch the Doctor Who Christmas special. (It won’t be good. The Christmas specials are rarely good.)

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But after Christmas, I should be fine. Hopefully, by then I will have gotten into some kind of routine and gotten used to my job so that I won’t feel so overwhelmed. Once I do that, I can find the time to write my novel and, who knows? actually finish it. There’s no way I am going to just let my characters fall into oblivion and I don’t want the past year to be a complete waste of time. Whilst the job I’ve got is not what I want to do, I still want to pursue my writing and I can do that now by actually having money to pay for things like electricity and food.

And I think that’s it. I haven’t got anything else left to say except that hopefully I will update my blog more often and I hope you all have a Merry Christmas.

Doctor Who and Another Confession…

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Okay so I haven’t written about the new series of Doctor Who on purpose. With a new Doctor, I thought it would be better to watch the new series before blogging my opinion. And now that series 8 is over.

Overall, I like Capaldi’s Doctor. He’s a breath of fresh air from the previous bouncy Doctors. He’s grumpy and a lot darker than eleven. Pete Capaldi isn’t the problem. *sigh* The problem is that it just doesn’t feel like Doctor Who any more.

The thing is, since the show’s revival, Doctor Who was almost always compulsive viewing. It was a show that you could have theories about and discuss them with other people. It’s always been the TV equivalent of a warm hug to me, but it increasingly doesn’t feel like that any more. It’s getting tired, and there are a lot of things that I find problematic about the show, like the way the Moff treats the female characters. (FYI Moff, you don’t need to constantly sexualise lesbians, it already happens way too much in the media. Also, in case you haven’t realised, most women want more than a boyfriend/husband and babies.) Oh, and I wished they would stop with the mysterious female character series arc that they seem to like so much. It gets boring after a while. Also, they did nothing to improve Clara’s character and I didn’t care about her leaving because she never had an actual personality. Her relationship with Mr Pink needed more time to develop as it felt too rushed and not believable.

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But this doesn’t mean that I’m ready to give up on Doctor Who just yet. It’s become entrenched in my life as much as Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter have. It’d be weird to not have it in my life. But, I don’t want to encourage shoddy writing by buying the DVDs and watching the show. Ah dilemma!

I think that’s enough of my thoughts on Doctor Who, that’s pretty much all I can write about them without repeating myself anyway. In other news, I’ve officially failed at NaNoWriMo. The work experience thing that I had to do to keep the Job Centre happy ended up being more hours than I anticipated (I spent four weeks, working full time for less than minimum wage. Yeah, I know. But I’m not going to rant about it because it will just make me angrier.) so by the time I’d get home, I was too tired to do anything aside from eat and sleep. It’s a lame excuse I know, but tiredness kills creativity (It’s a fact.) and I’ve fallen way too far behind to even hope to catch up with my word count now. On the plus side, I did manage to get a couple of chapters written that would have taken me much longer to write had I not taken part. So in the long run, maybe I didn’t fail at all?

I’m going to go with that.

In other news, things are starting to look up on the job front. In that I’ve actually been offered a short term contract. I don’t want to talk too much about it until I have a fixed start date (hopefully, soon!) and whilst it isn’t my dream job, it’ll be my first job where I’m being paid more than minimum wage so it’s still a huge deal to me. Also, it will take a huge weight off my shoulders and whilst it means organising my time slightly differently so that I can find something more permanent, it’ll be miles better than staying on JSA and having the Job Centre breathing down my neck all the time.

I think I’d better leave it there to be honest. I don’t have anything much more to say. But hopefully things are starting to improve. Once again, I’m sorry for neglecting my blog. It’s kind of hard to get back into the swing of posting things on a regular basis, but I will try. Though if you don’t hear from me in a while, it’s because Dragon Age: Inquisition is coming out on Friday and I’ll likely be playing that forever.

Blog Block Strikes Again…

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I googled Birthday Cat and found this…

Okay, so I seem to still be suffering from my bout of blog block and I’m not sure why. I mean, there’s a tonne of things I could blog about, I had my 25th birthday a week ago (thanks to everyone who helped me celebrate it by the way. As for those who couldn’t for whatever reason, you were there in spirit.) and it was great. I guess I could write about what I’ve learnt in that time (not an awful lot, I must admit.) and get all reflective about life and the past year (it has been a bit of a chaotic one, I guess) or I could write about my thoughts on Matilda when I watched it the other day and all the happy nostalgia it brought back. I’ve tried, but neither of those things particularly interest me right now. (Though Matilda was brilliant.)

I dunno, I think the problem stems from two places. The first is that I have way too many ideas for posts and when I try to write about them, I get bored. The other is that I’m still a little unsure about the direction I want this blog to take. I mean, I really want to switch things up a bit (short stories will be coming at some point.) but I’m also wondering whether I should have a blog that’s a little more focused. (The answer is probably yes. But I like writing about a lot of different things.) Another problem is the fact that I’m working on a lot of things at once (Something that I’ve only started doing writing wise in the past year.) so I still have a couple of short stories I haven’t finished  and a load that need editing and re-writing as well as the story I kinda want to publish on here. (The first draft is finished. I just need to redraft it because I’m trying something different) I’m also trying to finish the first draft of my gorram novel which is proving more frustrating and stressful then anything. (Mostly, because I have a lot of things I want to change and also I’m a little indecisive about what direction I want the plot to go in. Curse my indecisiveness.)

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I’m not really sure why I’ve started writing so much in the past year. It might have been because I had to write a lot for my internship and I tend to find that the more I write, the more ideas I have to write about. (I guess that’s why my old creative writing lecturers meant when there’s no such thing as writer’s block.) This is the whole reason for this post I guess. I dunno, I guess having writer’s block when writing for the internet is no different for when you write for yourself, you still lose the momentum of writing every day, except with novel writing, your characters fall into the abyss and you walk around with terrible terrible guilt for weeks.

Talking about writing, I’ve started a novel writing course. It was a birthday gift from my parents. I’ve only completed one of the modules so far. But it’s been really useful. It’s reinforced some of the things I’ve already learnt from my degree as well as teaching me new things, such as not writing when I’m tired. (Which I’m not totally doing right not. *shifty eyes*) It;s also keeping my passion for writing alive (It sort of become more of a habit. Something that I have to do so that I can sleep at night.) and I actually feel like I’m learning something which is always good.

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Um, also on a life related note, my housemate (Hi, Matt!) is starting a Dungeons and Dragons campaign, I’m really looking forward to it because it’s going to be interesting how everyone’s characters will play off each other. I am actually playing a female character this time which is a first for me as I usually play male characters for some unknown reason. (I dunno what that says about me. It’s just what happens to come out of my head, I guess.) I’m playing a Drow (Yeah, my DM loves me) warlock. I won’t go into the back story here because this post is starting to get rather long and rambling, and there’s some aspects of my character I don’t want the others to find out about yet.

I think that’s about it for now. Sorry for the rambling, unfocused nature of this post, I guess that’s what happens when you start writing with blog block.

To Publish Online or Not To Publish Online?

Okay, so I’m in the process of improving my LinkedIn (and actually finishing setting it up.) and I am kind of unsure of whether or not I should promote my posts for this blog on there. I mean at first glance, it seems like the right thing to do, doesn’t it? I want to be a content writer, I should show that I can actually write content for the internet, right? That way anyone who might want to potentially employ me will get a good idea about my writing. But the dilemma for me is, do they want to read slightly sarcastic rants about popular geek culture or whiny posts about writing? It would look out of place on a social media site that’s specifically about making professional connections.

Promoting my blog on Facebook is one thing. It’s about keeping in touch with family and friends, those who want to read my posts/rants can do so. Those who don’t can just simply ignore it. But LinkedIn is more about first impressions, about being professional and whilst I haven’t written about particularly controversial topics, (At least I don’t think I have.) I’m not exactly sure they’ll be interested in my A Song of Fire and Ice theories. It might look a bit out of place on a social media site where you need to be as professional as possible. Of course, it would mean being even more careful in what I post here and the language I use. I usually think twice about posting ANYTHING on the internet. (Mostly so that I don’t have to waste time getting into stupid comment fights.) It’s highly unlikely that you would find out anything too personal about me on social media, unless you are a close friend or family member. It’s nothing personal, I just don’t see why someone I used to be acquaintances with in school five years ago would need to know what’s going on in my life.

Errrrgh! Dilemma. So what do I do? I like writing this blog, it’s been fun and I am rather attached to it. Also thanks to my degree, I look at things critically by instinct now. I can’t help it. If I were to start a new blog, that would mean starting again from scratch and I wouldn’t even know what I would write about. (I don’t think I have the energy to regularly post on two blogs)

Because it just isn't a post without a cat picture...

Because it just isn’t a post without a cat picture…

This moves me on to the second part of this rather long and rambling post. Um, yeah speaking of being unsure of posting things online, I was thinking of switching things up a bit and maybe start posting some flash fiction I found in my notebook. (Nothing that I intend to get published, just in case.) I also have some ideas for some short stories that have been floating around my head for a few weeks now. (One that is kind of linked to the events in my novel.) I probably won’t post any from my (slowly growing) short story collection because well, they’re kind of interconnected and they’re maybe too weird for this blog. (Like worry about my sanity weird.) Also they still need to be redrafted and one of them actually needs an ending. (Don’t worry, baby, I’ll come back for you…)

So yeah, don’t be surprised if you see some random fiction appearing on my blog. (Now, that I’ve actually posted it, it means that I’ll actually have to follow through and post some fiction.) Um, I think that’s about it for now. For those that want to know, I’ve finished my course. I really enjoyed it and found it useful. I also learnt a lot and met some lovely people. Hopefully, now I can use the new skills I’ve learnt to help me find a new job. And now I’m really going to end it there before I start waffling.

An Explanation and a Shameless Plug…

Okay so as you may or may not have noticed, I haven’t been very active on here in recent weeks. There are many different reasons for this. For one thing, I have had something of a creative block when it comes to blog posts. I do have a couple of ideas planned out, but it’s the classic thing of me getting bored halfway through when I start writing them. Hopefully, that will change soon.

Also, I have been focussing a lot on my novel in recent weeks as you all know. Things kind of get put on the back burner when I am on a novel writing frenzy. It’s weird how you can have a lot of ideas for one thing, but come up blank for others isn’t it?

My other reasons for my unplanned hiatus include life stuff. I have a lot of it going on at the moment. (Nothing bad, don’t worry.) Without going into specifics, life is getting a bit chaotic. I have a lot of things to get done, a lot of things that I really need to get sorted out but I am short on time. One of the main reasons for my hiatus is that I’ve started a three week digital marketing course with The Prince’s Trust. It’s been really useful so far (if tiring. It’s hard to get back into the routine of 9-4 after you have been out of it for a while) and I have week of work experience at an advertising agency which will hopefully boost my CV a little bit.

Which brings me to my next point. Wait for it, here comes the shameless plug. YAY!

I Googled 'Shameless Plug' and this happened...

I Googled ‘Shameless Plug’ and this happened…

*Clears throat*

Okay, so as part of my course I have to help build a website and it would really help my group if you guys went and checked it out. It’s a website that reviews films and talks about the fashion and music used in them. We also keep up to date on all the latest news in the world of film. So without rambling on any further, I present you Popcorn-Films!  So yeah, tell your friends.

That’s about all I have to say for the time being. I do have more posts coming and fully intend on getting back into a regular posting schedule once things have calmed down a little.