Tuesday, February 17, 2009


So what is my day job? Well, in a nutshell, I give advice to people about going to university. I am paid to promote one university, but I try to keep my advice as neutral as possible, emphasising the importance of the individual doing what is best for them. I give careers advice, I advise about student loans, about UCAS, about filling in the application form, and also about the different courses that are on offer and what an individual might need in order to secure a place at the uni. I like my job. I mean, it has its bad days, but so long as I feel that I'm being helpful, then I'm happy. Yes, there are problems in terms of the soon-to-be too many graduates for graduate job opportunities (especially in this economic crisis), but university is a life changing experience, and I believe that if someone has the potential and aspiration to go, then they should, regardless of what background they are from.
Anyway, you see, my job is even infringing on my blog now! Crazy!
Sorry to my... I don't know... three readers who have been peeved that I haven't been updating more regularly. I'm going to try to do better from now on (ooh, school parents' evening flashback!).
One of the reasons for the absence of posts recently is that I've actually been busy writing. And it's been pretty good, so far. I know the story, what's supposed to happen, and so I've been working through the first draft of Inter Vivos, and in some places merely connecting the dots, but in others I've had to do a major overhaul of the chapter, else start from scratch and add scenes where none previously existed. I'm on chapter fourteen at the moment, now known as "the longest chapter in the history of the world" because I've been working on it for about a week and I've still not got to the part where the chapter ends! I think when I come to do the proper edit that I'll end up splitting it in two, but I'm not worrying about that now. It will just be a relief when I can finally save it and move it into my "Finished Chapters" folder.
And seeing as activity breeds activity, whilst writing my chapters I also had a new idea for a story. I think I might toy with having two narrators, one a banshee, the other a wannabe rock star university student. Not a love story, but a death story, about losing someone and the futility in not only that loss, but in being powerless to prevent it. It's a work in progress, anyway; something to work on when my Volunteers are reading through Inter Vivos looking for spelling mistakes and huge plot holes (there's still plenty of time to become a Volunteer, btw, so let me know if you're up for it. I might even make you t-shirts).
Just a note about the picture - I was searching Yahoo images for a pic to use for my Banshee, and I came across these slightly creepy but really beautiful dolls. Anyway, the website is: http://www.enchanteddoll.com/ Absolutely lovely, but extremely expensive! (I even found one that looks like "Nox"!)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I realised a couple of days ago that I had written just over 50,000 words in 2 weeks during my rewriting phase. Not bad going, right? Especially when considering that most of the words I'm actually happy with.
I'm approaching the busy time at work, which will see me travelling to Manchester, Portsmouth, reading, Sheffield and middlesex in the space of three weeks. And I still can't drive, so its good old railroad for me!
Saw The Pillowman at Curve at the beginning of the week, which was really good. The play is fantastic (sickeningly dark, twisted And funny), acting was good, and set designer brilliant. Great use of the space. It made me want to write something for the stage again. Maybe next month.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


I've been slogging my guts out recently, trying to get this draft of my novel finished. I'm currently almost halfway through, and hoping to finish by next weekend. It'll be champers and cocktails afterwards, I'm telling you.

It is difficult to write when you have a full time job, but not impossible. It takes a lot of discipline, something that I never thought I had, but have managed to procure some from somewhere. I've found I can write in 90 minute chunks before my concentration and bladder get the better of me, so in the evenings after work I've been managing to write somewhere between 1,000-2,000 words, and at the weekends (when I'm not working) I can polish off on average 2 and a half chapters.

Which is all very good, except I'm becoming a bit of a "novel bore". The only thing I can think about is the novel, the only line of conversation I have outside of work is writing, and I've had no time to see anyone or do anything even remotely worth blogging about. Have booked a holiday to Berlin, so now I at least have something to look forward to.