Shakespeare, Macbeth and the uneducated mind. 

 

I have a confession. I have never read Shakespeare- not properly. I don’t think a quick flick of a couple of chapters of A Midsummer’s Night Dream and a handful of notes from teacher count. Luckily, he didn’t come up in my English exam so I passed but I have always felt ashamed of my lack of knowledge in his work. How can an avid reader, an aspiring writer not be educated in one of the most famous playwrights ever? I consoled myself that many say he is boring and difficult to understand; maybe I had a lucky escape but maybe I am missing out.

This summer in York they are constructing The Globe theatre for a pop-up event. I have booked tickets for my daughter and I to see Macbeth. All I know is it has witches in it which is a handy as I love witch-related stories. I am nervous, worried I will sit there completely bamboozled by the whole experience, unable to grasp what is going on.  Therefore,  I am jumping in and reading it first – gulp. Wish me luck!

Poster for hamlet

Are you a fan of Shakespeare? If so, which one and any tips on reading his work would be gratefully received.

Happy writing!

 

 

The love of picture books continues 

Joy of Picture books

The joy of picture books continues this week with the arrival of my niece and nephew. It has been a while since I had a toddler clamber on my knee for story time but it is one of life’s perfect moments. The excitement of meeting the characters, the flow of the words, colourful illustrations and even turning the page is contagious. Pure happiness radiates from the kids as they recite the words of old favourites or learn new ones. Picture books are magic portals into the world of reading and I don’t think they are appreciated by adults as much as they should.

Joy of picture books

They don’t need to be long Jasper’s Beanstalk with minimal words and simple plot captivated them as much as the longer more involved Bumblebear but the illustrations matter as does the rhythm. I have a lot to learn as I scribble ideas down and stories form in my mind. I wish I could draw the images I see beyond the stick person version because they do not do them justice.  These children’s stories are distracting me from my WIP. The more I try to focus on Amber the worse the words and the mental block is so I am procrastinating usefully by exploring the world of picture books and enjoying every moment.

Time to read We are going on a bear hunt again and again and again.

Do you have any favourite picture books I should read? Let me know your recommendations below.

 

Happy writing and reading!

Picture books and more

I should be typing frantically towards my WIP for Camp NaNoWriMo but instead, I have been distracted by picture books.

I stumbled across a folder full of ideas, illustration attempts (they deserve the rubbish bin not hoarded) and drafts of children’s stories I wrote when my daughter was little. Some are ok and could have potential, others just made my daughter splutter with laughter – not the reaction I hoped for. A story about tadpoles in a jar anyone? Since then more ideas have formed; colourful magic, dragons, enthusiastic infants on exciting days out and clouds are filling my mind. This is not helpful when the current scenes in my WIP are based on teenage angst.  It is tempting to focus on pre-school fun  rather than current project. The arrival of Children’s Writers and Artists Yearbook 2018 has not helped either. How do you get back on track when your mind gallops in another direction?

I need a kick to go back to The Ellfaenian Journals. Amber has waited long enough!

But …

With my young nephew and niece visiting next week I may indulge in the beauty of picture books for a little longer.

Happy writing!

 

 

Let the Challenge of Camp NaNoWriMo begin 

 

April has galloped in so today I will be celebrating Easter, unraveling the news from the April Fools jokes -this could be difficult, and starting  Camp NaNoWriMo.

It is 3 am and 255 words have been written. How much sense they will make when I wake up who knows. My target is 10,000 words to break through the 50,000 word count barrier and make a dent in the first draft in the tale of Amber Rose, the first book of The Ellfaenian Journals. It feels as if I am creating an epic because I have not got far in the story despite 44,088 words  – gulp.  No one wants a LOTR size novel or if they do, they expect his level of expertise. I don’t have his flair for the English language nor his talent so I believe a heavy edit will be performed at the end.  this novel I may have a written outline but it has not been looked at. I am winging it and making it up as I go along.

The plan for this month is

  • Write
  •  Write some more
  • Think about writing while cuddling  Nigel or Pip.
  • Let Elsie free and listen to her ideas
  • keep stocked up on chocolate and tea – perfect writer’s brain fuel despite the healthy advice.
  • And KEEP OFF SOCIAL MEDIA!

To do this my husband needs to be occupied so he does not suffer while being a writer’s widow. I am hoping the Easter bunny will bring him some wood for a project and he can be happy in his shed. I have been thinking of an acronym for him; my husband sounds too formal, hubby too wrong and using his name would feel even worse especially as he likes to be in the social media shadows. I have my writing and he has his shed so it could be

  • Man in the Shed MITS
  • Him in the Shed as his mug states HITS
  • Guy in the Shed GITS but that is only apt sometimes
  • Writer’s Widower WW

Any suggestions or thoughts let me know below.

I hope you all have a wonderful Easter.

Happy writing and for fellow campers – good luck!

 

 

Accountability and all that Jazz Part Two

Earlier I tried to take part in challenge Viola Bleu set me to sit between 9 and 11 to work on WIP. I was determined to do it.  I was dressed – I was tempted to wear my PJs to save time but glad I didn’t, a book review for Duvet Dwellers Books was published and the dogs were fed and sorted but I could feel time slipping.

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At 8.57 I was grabbing my tea with the hope of sitting at my desk for 9am.  Viola Bleu was ready to go. I was feeling the pressure.

9.05 am I had not reached my desk. I cringed at the sight of the kitchen and begged my daughter to help tidy it.

9.15 am I was giving medication to our ferret. As an important role model in my WIP, his medical needs come before the words. This was followed by a quick conversation with my husband to say I was writing so did not want to be disturbed.

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9.20 am  I was saying goodbye to daughter and scrabbling to find money for her.

9.25am my friend texted to say she was leaving soon to come over for a much-needed natter – gulp (sorry Viola Bleu I did not switch my phone off).

9.30am I began to write. The scene was there in my head  – the dark, rustic cabin in the secluded woods with Old Al meeting Beetle – an Ellfaenian ferret for the first time.  It is instant hate and Amber is unaware of the danger she was putting him in. I could see it, feel it and even smell the smoke of the fire blazing in the hearth but I only stumbled out 394 words in the following hour. My back ached and in the back of my mind I had nagging doubts about the validity of the words I was writing, I also had to overcome the desire to edit words from yesterday.

Word count accountability after an hour

10.25am I was aware my friend would be arriving any second.

10.30am she was here with much-needed cake and the kettle was on.

I didn’t complete the challenge but my word count has gone up which can only be a good thing.

Roll on tomorrow and I will try again.

Happy writing!