I am once again on antibiotics for a chest infection and steroids for my asthma. This is my morning lot of medication.
However, I have been able to work a fair bit on my novel. I’ve made a little rewards chart for wordcount goal I reach. For the first 2100 words, I get a little reward for every 100 words. including, sharpening new pencils, buying a pack of Veggie Percy Pigs and having a bubble bath with scented candles. After that it’s rewards after every 200 words, then every 300 words. That should get me up to 10,000 words of my revised draft by new years.
As most of my ‘writing’ is editing and making small adjustments I am using strikethrough instead of deleting so I can count my cutting as writing!
I am so fricking excited to have a shiny new laptop! I had an Asus Chromebook for a while. It suited me really well, long battery life and light weight. Even after I spilt water on it causing the arrow and shift key to stop working I still had an affinity for my little Chrook (because who doesn’t love a portmanteau).
When it started turning off at random intervals I started looking for alternatives. Not long after that it point blank refused to turn on. It was at that moment I realized how much I relied on my Chrook every day. My mental health took a hit. I am eternally thankful for a loan from my mum, I would have been waiting a long time to save enough money.
After looking at a fair few Chromebooks I decided that I wanted windows based operating system. Scrivener is my writing tool of choice and Chromebooks are unable to support the programme. Browsing John Lewis I stumbled upon the Lenovo Yoga, Super lightweight, nicely spaced keys, decent sound and good quality video. It actually holds up to the claim of eight hours of battery life, really simple battery saving mode too. I’m enjoying using the Cortana voice recognition for dictation. I never thought I’d use the touchscreen or convertible mode, the screen can rotate 360 degrees. However, I’m finding it really useful. My husband and I like to watch shows in bed and folding the keyboard back gives us a bit more space. I’ve ended up using it as a tablet too.
For any writers out there interested in a lightweight laptop I can recommend both the Acer Chromebook and Lenovo Yoga, depending on your priorities. The Chromebook has 12 hours battery and a larger screen.
First off my obligatory apology for not posting in forever! It has been a hell of a month.
Now onto better things. I joined a writing group! It’s literally about five minutes down the road from me and runs every week! Last weeks ‘Homework’ was to write a piece of about 200 on absolutely anything so long as it starts:
Don’t put it there…
I can’t actually make it to tonight’s session as it’s my husbands birthday and we’re staying in and watching some good Polygon videos. I did write my piece as it’s a good ol’ habit to get into. I shall share it with you kind people instead.
The Golden Library
‘Don’t put it there stupid child.’ The Librarian calls from atop her ladder. ‘They told me you were literate. I do not have time to teach you your letters’
‘I’m the best reader in my school. They just didn’t teach us any of that funny writing.’
‘Greek. What kind of school doesn’t teach Greek? Give it here,’ Mary lifts the great gilded tome, sharp corners scratching her arms. The woman takes its weight effortlessly. With a satisfied sigh she slots the book into place. The wall glistens, too many books to count shimmer in the half light. Mary had read all there was to read in in her school, but none of them with a hint of decoration, only faded black leather with simple embossed titles. Once, when she’d been blessed in the big church, she’d gotten a look at the old bible. Gold shone from the pages like sun on the water. Brightly painted figures danced in the borders with bold knowing smiles.
Mary traces her finger along indecipherable lettering. What treasures lay behind the leather?
‘You hear me child?’ a voice sharp and impatient. Mary snapped her hand away from the book
‘Mm?’ she replied before remembering her mother’s warning about mumbling.
‘Lordy they’ve sent me an imbecile.’ the Librarian clapped her hands against her apron, tutted, then slid from her perch with surprising grace. Placid grey eyes surveyed Mary. ‘I suppose that’s another thing I’ll be teaching you?’ despite the harsh gaze Mary felt a small thrill of excitement. A new world had opened up to her when she learnt to read. How many more worlds lay hidden behind gilded spines.
Today I wrote this piece as well as a post for my other blog Today I Made…
I can feel my brain focusing in a way it hasn’t in a long time. I forgot how tiring it can be, delving deep into another world. Today I continued to write up location descriptions using the basic prompt of our five senses. I tend to focus too much on what is seen and ignore the other senses. The prompts force me to be more creative.
So I finished off my location research today and started writing a brief description for each. So far I’ve written two and am half way through the third. I think once I’ve done the locations I’m going to write a solid description for each character.
I’ve been having lots of fun today fleshing out my world. Going through my scene plan I’ve listed all the main locations in my novel. I then collected images to get a feel for space. Here’s a few of my favourite images from the day.
It is taking me some time to get my musings up online. However, I am very much enjoying dipping back into the past. I can almost breathe the fresh mountain air.
Mount Seceda, The Dolomites
28th June 2016, 11.42am
Sitting at ten thousand feet on the peak of mount Seceda, I understand what craggy means. Looking across unending, snowcapped mountains, it’s easy to imagine I’m in a different world. We’re about the walk the plains, to try and spot some edelweiss. Alpine choughs and snow finch dive about the mountain top. A handsome redstart perches on a rock just below.
Mount Seceda, The Dolomites
28th June 2016, 1.15pm
Just stopped at a little cafe after walking through flower-strewn mountains. The great flat-topped mountain, so often surrounded by clouds, stands behind. To my left are rolling hills covered with buttercups and globe flowers, peppered with ash grey rocks. amongst the sea of yellow sits A wooden hut with a tiny chimney extending out of a tiled roof.
Ahead of me a donkey and her foal munch on the grass and flowers. Behind their grassy mound looms a rock face of mottled burnt orange and grey. To my right, past a great sharks fin of a rock, reside a semi-circle of dust grey mountains about a deep basin. Standing watch over long forgotten glacier.
I’ve been inspired by the, quite frankly , Inspirational Dolomites. I spent a week in exuberant luxury,walking about the mountains and lounging in the hotel spa. Tea and cake served each day at three, then a five-course meal at quarter past seven. fifteen minutes after the spa closes. I cannot forget the Aperitifs, my favourite was the Hugo, pronounced Ugo. made up of Prosseco, Elderflower and soda water, all served with fresh mint and a slice of lemon.
I wrote every day, pulling out my notebook whenever we stopped for a hot chocolate or just to admire the view. It’s my plan to write it up here, alongside my musings are numerous plot and character developments for my novel. If you are ever feeling uninspired then I highly recommend a trip to northern Italy, preferably to stay at Hotel Armin in Selva Val Gardena.
It’s just a short post today with a promise that more will come. In the meantime admire the beauty of the Dolomites…and perhaps check out my other blog.