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Writing Wednesday: progress?

I won’t keep going on about not having time to write or to read and keep up with blogging. Although I honestly don’t know how you do it!

I did make some progress this week but not much.

paper pen write study desk education school black and white

There’s this worry I have that I will never be productive with my writing and as each month passes where I haven’t met my goal I worry and try again and again.

Sometimes like recently a lack of time and energy has been my problem. And I wondered if I’d ever get any writing done. But then one morning I was itching to write…. If I haven’t written in a while I’ll get this urge to, I just have to! I sat down with no idea what to write but after reading what I wrote last I continued with the story I’ve been writing.

It still doesn’t have a middle or end because I don’t have the idea yet. Brains work in odd ways.

Whilst not having time to write maybe the best thing to do is keep open to ideas and relax. Enjoy the free time when you get it. Enjoy the sunshine and maybe something will spark an idea and you’ll be ready when you have time again.

Time, clock, beach.

Thanks for reading. I’m on holiday soon so it’s going to continue to be a quiet blog. Crossing my fingers that I find time or find a way to fit blogging in with my job and everything else. 🙂 Suggestions?

 

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How To Stop Time By Matt Haig

I heard a lot about this book on social media, which made me want to read it more. I’ve only read one other book by Matt Haig so far: The Radley’s, which is a funny story about a family of vampires. It’s an original vampire story, much like How To Stop Time is original, Matt Haig is one of those writers who you can’t say is like any other writer. His ideas and words are original and fresh and you know you are going to get a good story when you pick up one of his books.

How to Stop Time by Matt HaigSynopsis from Wordery:

“Tom Hazard has a dangerous secret. He may look like an ordinary 41-year-old history teacher, but he’s been alive for centuries. From Elizabethan England to Jazz-Age Paris, from New York to the South Seas, Tom has seen it all. As long as he keeps changing his identity he can keep one step ahead of his past – and stay alive. The only thing he must not do is fall in love . . .”

My Review

Who doesn’t wish that they could be young and live forever? Since reading books about vampires I have been convinced that I would not like to, not unless my loved ones could also. Tom Hazard suffers with a condition which makes him age slower than normal humans and he has seen so much and been through so much.

His story is amazing, we’re told it in his voice dipping back and for through time. We’re told so much in such a small space of time. In the present he’s started a new life and is a school teacher, returning to London which brings back memories of his life and love from the time he lived there before.

This book is an effortless read, one you could sit down and read at once it is impossible to stop reading it. Once it’s over you wish there was more, although the story is told with no loose ends it’s a character you could happily read more about and learn more about his life. Matt Haig’s writing is exquisite, with sentences that have so much truth in them, pearls of wisdom:

“If only we could stop time…. That’s what we need to work on. You know, for when a moment of happiness floats along. We could swing our net and catch it like a butterfly, and have that moment for ever.”

“This is so often the way with life. You spend so much time waiting for something-a person, a feeling, a piece of information – that you can’t quite absorb it when it is in front of you. The hole is so used to being a hole it doesn’t know how to close itself.'”

“But the thing is: you cannot know the future. You look at the news and it looks terrifying. But you can never be sure. That is the whole thing with the future. You don’t know. At some point you have to accept that you don’t know. You have to stop flicking ahead and just concentrate on the page you are on.”

That last quote is the basic principle of mindfulness, being in the here and now rather than worrying about the future or dwelling on the past or wishing your life away because you can’t wait for something to happen.

I’d love to reread this book just to find more quotes like these and also to read more by Matt Haig as this book was uplifting in the end and speaks to everyone.

Did you enjoy this book? Share your favourite quotes.

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I’m still here 👋

My blog has never been so quiet. I’ve been working a lot more than usual lately and had a few things going on. So my reading, writing and blogging has not been normal.

But I’m still here. Currently reading:

How to Stop Time by Matt Haig

Just A Job by Patsy Collins

Terrible photo sorry, I’ll talk more about this soon.

I keep meaning to read one of Patsy’s novels but ended up buying this short story collection instead and reading it on my break in work. I have a lot of books to read…. I can’t help it.

Hoping I get back to normal blogging soon. ☺

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Poldark

I haven’t been reading many books lately, so there haven’t been frequent reviews here,  I’ve been busy and:

I’ve been catching up with my Poldark books before the new series starts tomorrow 🙂
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I managed to read the rest of this book in about a week! I didn’t think I could do it!

I love the Poldark series and the books. I will admit: I didn’t read the book first!Image result for poldark

I watched the series, (maybe because I remember Aidan Turner from Being Human) loved it and it led me to the amazing books by Winston Graham. His writing is  atmospheric and … it’s amazing!!!  Then last year I visited Cornwall. I hadn’t been since I was a child and it’s strange how I never saw anything about Poldark back then.

Cornwall for me, when I was younger and visiting for the first time, was The Mists Of Avalon country (Tintagel) and Daphne De Maurier (Jamaica Inn I read then possibly bought during my visit).

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But now it’s Poldark country. Of course Cornwall is more than that, it’s a beautiful place. I stay in Boscastle and last yr I visited a Poldark exhibition in Truro museum and Charlestown where they filmed the Truro scenes. (You can see my blog post about my holiday last year here)

I going back  again this yr and hope to go to Bodmin jail where they also did some filming. I love Cornwall. It’s funny how books can be so connected with a place.

Boscastle is also a Thomas Hardy town. You wonder when you wander around if you are following in his footsteps. It’s where he met his wife and wrote A Pair Of Blue Eyes, the main character is based on her.  The book is set in Boscastle but the places have been disguised (Castle Boterel). I bought a copy from Boscastle last year, I’d never heard of it before despite being a Hardy fan. There’s a memorial stone for his wife in the grounds of a chapel in Boscastle.

Of course Dorest is true Hardy country I’ve been to Swanage and Weymouth but not to any places connected to Hardy.

Do you have any books that connect you to a place?

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova is my favourite book, it connects me to one of my other favourite places Tenby in Pembrokshire because it was where I bought it and the first place I read it. I don’t have any other books connected to Tenby unless you count the history book I still haven’t read. I need to find more, or write one 😉

Excited for the return of Poldark on BBC1 tomorrow at 9pm!!!! Any Poldark fans out there?

 

 

 

 

 

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Insecure Writers’ Support Group

 

It’s time for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group blog hop. How does it work?

To quote from the website here

“Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!”
I’ll be in work today -again- so I’ll have to catch up with everyones posts later. This month the optional question is:

 What’s harder for you to come up with, book titles or character names?

I’ve always found thinking of character names tricky. Even when I research on online sites it takes me some time to decide on the right name. One year during NaNoWriMo my character was called ‘Friend’ all the way through because I couldn’t think of a name.

I can’t really say anything about book titles. I haven’t finished any yet. I struggle equally with short story titles. But these are the least of my worries, generally finishing a story to a good standard (or just finishing it) is enough of a challenge at the moment.

I was recently reminded about the Name Generator on Scrivener, I think I read it on the Scrivener Virgin page but I can’t find it now. (One thing on my writing to do list which I never get around to is: learn how to use Scrivener and read the info on that website). I found more info on this site http://www.atfmb.com/2012/01/23/scrivener-quick-tip-name-generator/

If you go into the ‘Tools’ drop down menu and then onto ‘writing tools’ you will find this little box. You can select the letter the name will start with and male or female.

 

I’ve always used babyname websites in the past- discreetly- there’s some websites that allow you to search for names by meanings: http://www.meaning-of-names.com/search/ I often use this website http://www.20000-names.com/ because it has fantasy names and deity names which is helpful if you’re writing something that fits that genre.

At the moment I need to focus more on finishing stories and then I’ll worry about these types of problems.

Facebook reminded me yesterday that it’s been three years since I won the writing competition, that flew and I’ve done nothing since. I really need to do something. Thanks for the knock down Facebook. I am so tired of not being productive and complaining about it. I can only keep trying, though I do feel like waving a flag with the word ‘help’ on it. I really fit the description of Insecure Writer.

Keep trying and thinking positive…. Use this little reminder (thanks Facebook!!!) to spur me on. Work brain work.

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My Favourite Literary Character by Hannah

Thank you to Hannah from A Cup Of Wonderland for joining in with my guest series. 

“I am very excited to be writing this post on my favourite literary characters and a huge thank you to Jen inviting me to take part in this project of hers. Now I just have to say I have a great many literary characters who I adore but unfortunately I could only pick one to showcase so here we go!” 

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Introduction to the Character: 

The character which I have picked to showcase is Death. Yes, it does sound strange that Death is a character but he is in Marcus Zusak’s novel The Book Thief, which I completely adore and it is certainly a book which is due a reread.

 When did you first read about this character?  

When I first encountered the character of Death, it was when I actually watched the film adaptation of the Book Thief. Which pushed me to pick up the book, which I finished in a single sitting at 2am in the morning. Death is actually not only a character but the narrator of The Book Thief, which in case you haven’t read is a novel set during Nazi rule in Germany following a young girl called Liesl as she learns to read, steal books and help hide a jew on the run.

 Why do you like this character? 

I think what attracts me to a character like Death is because of how articulate he is. The film at one point depicts him as a sophisticated man with a bowler hat and walking stick, creating a quite elegant figure. Zusak makes Death become civilised opposed to the image which can be imprinted on your mind that Death is a villian who will steal life freely. Really in The Book Thief, Death becomes somewhat humanised.

 Best moment:  

Throughout the novel we see Death become fascinated with the tale of Liesel and her own adventures particularly as he visits her more and more due to the death around her. But I think particularly with Death, his best moment is that he doesn’t appear to be prejudice against anyone throughout the novel, rather he allows them to move on. He’s neither villain or hero.

 Worst moment: 

I don’t think there is a worst moment for Death, I don’t think we can begrudge him for taking those who have died as that is simply his job.

 Has the book been adapted? 

Yes, The Book Thief has been adapted into a film. Death is actually played by Roger Allam and he is truly the perfect choice in portraying the character.

 Quotes: 

I think the only quote which comes to mind is the most significant and is actually the final line of the book.

“I am haunted by humans”

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About Hannah

Hi, my name is Hannah and I blog over at acupofwonderland.com. My blog consists mainly of books but others things which are important to me – particularly Disney, Star Wars and odd stories about my life. Huge thank you to Jen for inviting me to take part in this series and the chance to talk about one of my favourite literary characters. 

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Thank you Hannah.

I enjoyed the The Book Thief and the character of Death was what makes this book stand out. I’d recommend it. Haven’t watched the film properly yet but the book is better.