Wednesday, May 30, 2007

It's your fault, Guybrush

I admit it, I'm crap with deadlines. I hope no future employer ever reads this, but it's been the same since high school (and no, I'm not being American here, I did actually go to a high school). I always think to myself "oh I won't start that now, I've got plenty of time" only to find myself the night before up shit's creek without a paddle, stressing and crying because I have the impossible task of writing 3,000 words in an hour and making these words into tangible sentences. Sigh. So here I am again, deadline looming, and I have only 440 useable words to my name. It's my own fault for playing 'Curse of Monkey Island' all bank holiday weekend instead of doing any work.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Domestic Goddess

I’m reading a lot at the moment, and it has made my commitment to being a writer even stronger. I want to walk into Waterstones and see my book on the shelf. I want people to like what I write and perhaps even think that it’s good. So I’ve been making a conscious effort to write every day, even if it’s just a paragraph that seems unrelated to any of the stories I’m currently working on. I’m having some trouble with the two short stories I’ve been working on recently, as they don’t seem to be ‘flowing’, and I don’t know whether this is because I’ve not had any time to sit and dedicate to them, as they deserve, or whether it’s because I just don’t have the talent or the stories are uninspiring. Anyway, competition deadlines are looming, so I’d better get my arse into gear and decide one way or the other what I’m going to do.

I’ve also been baking a lot recently, having discovered (yes, I know I’m slow) that you can make most things wheat-free by substituting ‘normal’ flour with wheat-free flour instead. You may laugh at that, but those who know me know that my cooking skills generally amount to opening a jar of ready-made sauce and burning the pasta. So making scones from scratch is a major achievement. And I’ve just found a recipe for carrot cake, and I’m going to try to make bagel soon (they’re a little complicated, but I think I can manage it!). Oh and I’ve found a sausage roll recipe that looks good, when I can afford wheat-free sausage again. If you’ve read this far and are wondering why I’m making such a big fuss about eating everything wheat-free, it’s not some fad diet, but because I have Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and my digestive system goes into spasm whenever I eat wheat. So I’ve been wheat-free for about 8 months now (not counting that Feast ice cream I ate on Sunday when I thought the biscuit on the outside was nuts). There’s a great website with loads of information and brand-testing of wheat-free food at So maybe one day, as well as being a literary success, I will also be the wheat-free equivalent of Nigella Lawson. Well, you never know!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


The new short story I am working on is about a stripper called Honey and her abusive boyfriend, and so right now I'm researching pole dancing and strip clubs. If any of you have ever been to a strip club, please can you give me all the details (or if you wish to remain anonymous, you can email me instead!). I would go myself, but can't afford it. See, this is what Arts Council money should be for! :-)

I have my characters mapped out for my fantasy play (see previous post "Magic"), but in true Lucy-tradition I have yet to write anything since the page of dialogue I wrote in January. But if I stick to my new writing rota, I should be able to work on that tonight.

So, I've created this writing rota, and although it's a little crude it should hopefully keep me motivated and on-track to finishing some of the projects I have ongoing. I was supposed to finish Inter Vivos in April, but that went down the toilet, so my new deadline is a completed first draft by October - that doesn't sound too unreasonable. I also need to begin and finish my fantasy play for the Verity Bargate, so will need a good finished draft by June. At least being too poor to go out anywhere has its advantages.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Tale as old as Time

I love Disney animated films. That's something that most people know about me. My favourite Disney heroine is Ariel, the Little Mermaid. She's feisty, she's independent, she's a little rebellious. However, despite these good qualities, she still feels like she needs to give up her tail (in a painful transformation) to gain legs and barter her voice in order to be desirable to her prince. Putting aside questions of trans-species romance, it got me thinking about how far women will go to try to please a man. Luckily, in Ariel's case, Prince Eric actually fell in love with her voice (I'm going to use this as a metaphor for her mind rather than her singing voice) rather than her looks, and so when she turns back into a fish, he risks his life to save her. Sweet. But not all women are so lucky, hiding their true selves from a man to try to 'make him like me', and then being surprised when the man is not being too happy when his slender sex goddess transforms after 6 months/a year/2 minutes after the wedding into a bloated prude.

And then there's my other favourite Disney film, Beauty and the Beast. Tale as old as time indeed. Girl meets monster, monster learns some etiquette to impress girl, girl falls for him and sets about trying to change him from monster into prince. What if the Beast was just that, a beast who somehow learned how to wield a spoon to eating porridge? I for one went out with my very own 'beast' for a long time, thinking that perhaps I could work a miracle and change his abusiveness and violent tendencies simply because we "loved" each other. Well, love, as great as it is, is not some powerful magic spell, and simply served to give me a temporary (albeit too long) lobotomy, convincing myself that I was happy and could cope with his abuse because one day it would change and it would all be worth it. Belle lost her freedom to the Beast; I lost my self-esteem. And what did I get? A toad. Which I thankfully threw back into the duck pond in disguist.

It's easier to pretend you're someone you're not, or exagerate your good qualities, in order to impress someone who you've only just met. It doesn't hurt so much if someone rejects you in those early stages if you play this game, because you can say to yourself that if they had 'gotten to know you', things would have been different. But if someone isn't pretending, if they really are vile and cruel, don't think you can change them, because you can't. Change has to come from within.

Friday, May 04, 2007


My friends all seem to be having relationship problems at the moment, either breaking up or arguing insanely, and so I'm feeling a bit like Dear Deidre right now, as well as secretly being really pleased that I'm single and don't have to deal with all that bollocks. Other people are weird.

In terms of writing, I haven't written anything since Hoodies was sent off, and I'm really enjoying the break from not having deadlines looming over my head. Going to get back to work over the bank holiday weekend though I think.

Right now, thanks to IcarusGirl, I am listening to Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince on my mp3 player. It's really nice having Stephen Fry reading to me. I can't wait until the last book comes out - I was thinking about having a party to celebrate, but don't have a venue. Have already planned out my weekend when the book is released, so don't expect to hear from me then! I'm such a geek.

(picture of Snape by Laura Freeman, from