My week, as it was / waiting & watching

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Last week finished with a nice long wait.

It seems that we’ve lost the patience to wait, demanding things NOW and being able to find info on-line in seconds; ordering deliveries with a few clicks with many promises of ‘next day delivery!’.

I had made an order for an item of jewellery and I had to wait. It was being hand-made. So after 4 weeks: it was ready!

Stretching out the anticipation, I drove to the shopping centre but headed to other shops first and spent some time elsewhere. Even then – with the jewellers a few metres away – I walked on and went for lunch.

Another wait.

I sat alone and simply looked around. Most of my fellow diners (solo or not) occupied this brief waiting-time busily on their phones. But I just watched; them and other shoppers.

It was a pleasant feeling and reminded me of what we can gain from waiting.

It taps into our sense of being present now which is what ‘mindfulness’ tackles. And when my lunch arrived, I was happy.

I felt excited finally walking to collect my jewellery. There was no rush to grab it and go. I had a lovely cup of tea and chatted to the assistant. He told me about working on ships and serving famous people whilst I shared my own story about leaving a career for a passion (to write).

The whole experience was a joy. A quiet, calm joy.

  We should all embrace the waiting. Do more watching. Along the way you’ll find enjoyment in little things, appreciation for important things and maybe a little space & time to simply think.

I found inspiration in those moments. This blog post, of course but also ideas for poems/stories/characters – little snippets that I jotted down on the restaurant receipt.

So the waiting was worth it 🙂

And I aim to do more so it’s a NO to the box-sets – I will just be patient and hang-on for the next episode/series. So no spoilers please!

Oh for any followers of the British Bake Off, the final was a great show and x’#’.m deserved the win 😉

Lizzie HW

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Indie Publishing – some ideas?? Get creative!

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So if you have written a book or posted some work GREAT. What next?

Besides all the self-promo and learning the business – you must still write.

I may schedule two days every fortnight to all the Business Tasks {managing my social media, planning next book release, looking for contacts, events, general reading etc} but I still want to write creatively even if I don’t have a project. It’s practice.

This can be more difficult than knowing what story you want to write. But this is about training yourself, learning skills and techniques.

So here are some Inspirational Starters / try them …

  1. Write one sentence describing the weather as it is now.
  2. Now re-write that sentence into a paragraph. Explore the colours, sounds, textures, temperature.
  3. Add a character. Anyone you want. Describe their relationship to the weather & how it makes them feel. Mirror their inner feelings/emotions using the weather.
to do, to dream, to wish - list...

to do, to dream, to wish – list…

Take a notebook & pen and go for a walk! Now find a spot to sit and watch. Note down your observations. What catches your attention? People? Sounds? This exercise is simply to train yourself to pick up potential ideas. You don’t have to use them but it’s useful to have a selection of notes.

If you want to focus a scene say in a supermarket or train station – go to one. Listen, Look and make notes.

Another technique I am learning is to de-construct a style. Great if you want to try a different genre. Get books (borrow ideally) and read them with a critical mind-set. Have a notebook and consider:

What is the dialogue like? Is it sparse/often? It is plain or explicit?

How much action is there and how is it shown?

Look at the types of words used to signify the settings. Is there a lot of detail or little?

By analysing genre books you can understand what makes them work. Obviously it’s best to use a book that you know sold well!

I am currently researching YA books and I have 3 books on the go. If I think of YA as the main category then each is a sub-set: fantasy, horror and coming-of-age. My interest leans to sci-fi but I am starting with a broad set to gauge how violent I can be and what’s acceptable.

Finally – as there is plenty to keep you busy here – write a bio for a character. You can create a new one or use someone you know or a player you’ve used. It’s up to you. But the key is creating their full history. You can be very detailed here, down to scars, religion, school, favourite cake, first kiss and so on.

If you write characters in stories a lot of their back-story should be hidden (unless crucial to the plot) and all you do is drop clues and hints here and there. You don’t have to ever mention that first kiss but it adds to the personality and helps you retain consistency.

Need a starting point? OK – here is Jane. She has long brown hair. She likes horses. She reads maths & chemistry. Go… decide her age, other features, likes, dislikes, family relationships, secrets, her fears… You could even try writing a journal/diary in her voice.

Any good writer should tell you to: write and write and write.

 

You should always be practising, always.

flowers for you, hot lavenders, mint - shall we make stew?
flowers for you, hot lavenders, mint – shall we make stew?

And for some added inspiration: here is a picture of Anne Hathaway’s cottage where she lived with her husband William Shakespeare…

~~~~ see you, out and about with your notebooks perhaps?? 

Lizzie HW