Thursday, May 31, 2012

Friday Flash - Like Totally

Like Totally
'So I said, with all due respect what do you know about it?  And he said, something 'bout his qualifications.  And I said, yeah I like totally get that.  But I like, know stuff first hand seeing that my Dad owns like this restaurant, stroke spa, stroke amusement arcade, worth like totally loads of money!  So like with all due respect, I think, I like totally know what I'm talking about.  I'm like totally into everything Chinese.   I eat Chinese every week.  I've like totally, watched Memoirs of a Geisha, like a hundred times.  Ouch that really hurt!'

'Sorry do you want me to ...'

'No it's nothing Alisha,it just burns like hell.  What was I saying?  Oh yeah, the sign.  So I said I got a real Chinese dude to draw the symbol for freedom out at the restaurant on my napkin.  And he was like, no really let me show you on the Internet.  And I said like, no 'cause...'

'You're done.'. He said putting the tattoo gun back in the tray.  He folded his floral and skulled pictured arms and held up a mirror.

'Er look Alisha, like, can I phone you back in a mo?  I just want to check out my new tat, aw it looks awesome, just like totally what the guy drew on the napkin.'

Things slipping through the net

We've had a drop in attendance at The Writers @ Lovedean over the last couple of months.  Some of which have been easily explained by members holidays and work commitments. However, a  regular has explained he wants a break for a while and this has caused a concerned ripple.

While walking the doggie this morning I had a chance for a bit of quiet reflection.  When I took over the group three years ago I had very clear goals over what I wanted.  Being woman and mother I have to deal with a lot of feeling of guilt.  So I wanted a group where if you didn't come for a week or two ( or during the six week holidays), or if you hadn't managed to write that week you didn't feel guilty or inadequate.  

I wanted a group that gave members an opportunity to do some writing, even if it was just 45 minutes every fortnight.  Because so often it is an impossible task to make time for yourself.

It was going to be an opportunity to learn from other writers who had 'made it' in the form of meet the author events and workshops.  A bit of a kick up the bottom to encourage members to enter competitions, read out their work and step outside their comfort zones.

Plus a good dash of a social element, write out days and meals out when someone has had a success.  An anthology to show case or prove that we have done something over the last twelve months.  I was all excited and geared up about it.

But mainly a place were you don't feel obliged that you have to do it.  And for the most part it has worked, sometimes it hasn't.

The group runs Friday mornings, and usually Friday afternoons and Saturday mornings I have the answer phone and email box of little rumbles.

The last couple of months I haven't had the time and not really the inclination to make the return calls and visits and it's shown in the attendance.  So it was good to have some real thinking time this morning.  I'm a people pleaser.  I don't like cliques, and will have a coffee with anyone.  And I'm very familiar with the black dog of depression and I try to make time for someone who is feeling low.

I think some people do need a little more encouragement and feedback than others.  It's nice when you can be a shoulder to cry on, and great if you can give some encouragement, and sometimes a loving push to have a go at a new challenge.  Or reassure to someone that they haven't hurt anyone's feeling and the group doesn't hate them. That's okay.  But I think I've made a bit of a guilt mill stone for myself.

I was watching doggie pursue a squirrel, he didn't get it and I thought.  Why are you feeling guilty and put yourself under more pressure?  You're paid the room rent, made sure there tea coffee and biscuits, and got a writing activity ready for tomorrow and plus made time to do the anthology next week.  When you can, you make the call, listen to the grumble and make the visit.  But sometimes, when there's cakes to be made for school and Brownies, the accounts and mileage needs to be done.  You're already getting up at 5 to do the ironing and mowing the lawn at 7.30 in the evening.  Sometimes things slip through the net.  Sometimes you forget to buy the aluminium foil and bathroom cleaner and come home with more toilet rolls instead. There are going to be times when you have bought a box of malteasers to say thank you to a member for their hard work and you have got up in the middle of the night and scoffed the lot.  There are going to be times when you ditch what you know you should be doing to have a coffee and a chat with someone, because quiet frankly you like having coffees and chats.

 If I was one of my own members I would be saying, chill, you're doing your best, don't worry see how it goes.  I put the dog in the car, determined to get my business head on ready for the appointments in Winchester and Fareham.  I was focused and determined until I got home, when I phoned the member of the group to see if he was alright and pinged off a hopefully reassuring email to another.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Penguin down under

I got extremely excited when I received a tweet from a friend saying that Penguin Books are accepting unsolicited manuscripts for children and YA. After searching the net, it is sort of true. Penguin Books Australia are accepting unsolicited manuscripts. Is there anything stopping UK, would be authors from sending something in? I have until July to decide.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

A step in the right direction

Quite a productive day. I have finally got round to sending my competition entry to Words With Jam, it is a great online magazine for writers.

You send the first 400 words or page of your novel, and the first prize is £500. So far my highest cash prize is $250 for a science fiction story. I could do some writing now but it is such a nice day; the children are outside playing, I have finished my chores and I fancy curling up with a novel. But definitely a step in the right direction.