Monday, 29 August 2011

Last Monday Poetry - Writing - Lost and Found

Writing - Lost and Found
by Katy Bennett

The ink in the barrel had dried,
words had lost their meaning,
their power. Just strings
of voiceless letters on a page.

            down something still breathed)

Unread paperbacks gathered dust
on the shelves. Pages stale as time
slid on. The wallpaper was more entertaining.

           down something sighed and wanted to surface.)

Weeks passed and he found a book in his hands
he thumbed the spine, slid his fingers between
the unopened pages. He read the back copy;
some tale that had once interested him.

          down something opened its eyes)

He read the first page followed by the second
meaning seeped back into the open book
and a fresh pen replaced the redundant one.

Missed last month's poetry? Read Love Poem to the Sea here.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Book Review - The Rhysling Anthology 2011

The Rhysling Anthology is produced annually by the Science Fiction Poetry Association. The poems inside are reprints from 2010 and serve as a fantastic introduction to poetry written in the science fiction, fantasy and horror genres. It is a bubbling pot of themes ranging from creation myths down to individual horrors, fantasy lands and explorations of space and time. Too many favourites to chose from, too many newly discovered poets to google. This is one anthology that begs multiple readings.

Rating: 4/5

Sunday, 21 August 2011

ROW80 - Round 3 - Check in 8

My New Goals:

1) Keep up with studies
2) Read fiction/ poetry most days of the week
3) 5 minutes of pranayama at least 5 times a week
4) Write, rewrite and analyse one new poem a week (scheduled for Wednesday nights.)
5) Read one fiction writing related article at least once a week.
6) Continue with prep work for the 2nd draft of a novel.

I've failed on goals 1, 2 and 5 so far since setting all my goals out in my last check in. I decided not to keep up with studies as I was going to be working on it for a few days and then from tomorrow I'm away for nearly two weeks so I'll throw myself back into studying when I return.

I don't know how my reading goal went out the window but I'm planning on doing plenty of reading by the pool until I return. Looking forward to getting started on Adam Nevills "Ritual. Goal 5 I'm hoping to do today.

Goal 4 is part complete. I've written a new poem which I would like to expand. So far no poems have been rewritten and I've not typed up my analysis for the new poem yet.

Goal 3: I managed to do my 5 minutes of deep breathing every night since the 17th Aug. I'm hoping to keep up with this while I'm away.

Goal 6: Have now filled in my novels timeline for the 1st two chapters and figured out a more dramatic solution to my messy beginning.

Hope you're all doing great, and I'll see you when I return:

Thursday, 18 August 2011

ROW80 - Round 3 - Check in 7

Going to make this quick as blogger lost my post when I tried to check in yesterday.

I have finished the initial stage of my spreadsheet. Big yay. Now to figure out my timeline and how my background element develops which I can't see me getting to for a couple of weeks. Also after Sunday I won't be around for a couple of weeks.

I'm increasing my goalage as there are at least 6 things I need to do on a weekly basis and they are:

1) Keep up with studies
2) Read fiction/ poetry most days of the week
3) 5 minutes of pranayama at least 5 times a week
4) Write, rewrite and analyse one new poem a week (scheduled for Wednesday nights.)
5) Read one fiction writing related article at least once a week.
6) Continue with prep work for the 2nd draft of a novel.

Hope everyone is chugging along.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

ROW80 - Round 3 - Check in 6

Goal: To complete prep work for the 2nd draft of a novel.

Wow, another Sunday already. I got back from Newcastle late Thursday. I even managed to do a 10 min freewrite on the train down, which felt really uncomfortable as I had people sitting in close proximity to me so I think I'll stick to writing at my desk from now on. Does anyone else write in unusual places?

I've filled in spreadsheet data up to chapter 16 now and only have 7 more chapters to go to complete stage 1. I'm noticing as I'm moving through the middle part of the story I'm getting more missing data for "days" and "time" so next stage will be to print it out and go over the timeline with a fine tooth comb.

After working on Shroud on Saturday morning, I then flaffed about with the blog all afternoon. I've tightened up on my post labels, started my new feature "My Top 5" where I'll be sharing some of my favourite things in  a catergory. My first few will concern books.

I also decided to test my basic photoshop skills and add a banner to the blog, 20 attempts later it still doesn't fit the space provided but I'll sort that out later today. I think I need to lose 20 pixels of the width. What's wrong with centimetre's?

I've managed to get some poetry reading done and should have a review of The Rhysling Anthology up in the next few days.

I failed on my exercise goal and decided to get back to studying on Saturday which went out the window after I got sidetracked with the blog changes.

As of this week, I'm going to use Wednesday to write new poetry and want to try and read at least one article a week from my writing magazines.

I'm also itching to start a new project. I have no idea what or I may spend a couple of days on my novella.

How's your week been?

Saturday, 13 August 2011

My Top 5 Favourite Stephen King Books

Welcome to a new monthly feature "My Top 5" all posts will go up on the 13th of the month. Access this blog feature anytime by clicking on My Top 5 in the labels in the sidebar.

Top 5 Stephen King Novels:

These are my all time top 5 Stephen King Books. King has such a vast imagination that anything goes. In no particular order:

It - The past and the present were seamlessly integrated

The Shining - Great location, great character.

The Dark Half - Had huge appeal when I was using a penname

Nightmares And Dreamscapes - Fantastic short story collection. I loved the way King used two mundane objects in Chattery Teeth and The Moving Finger

Black House - written with Peter Straub, I completely fell in love with the main character.

What are your favourite Stephen King books?

Other Top 5's:
My Top 5 Favourite Ghost Stories
My Top 5 Favourite Poems

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

ROw80 - Round 3 - Check in 5

Goal: To complete prep work for 2nd draft of a novel

After checking in on Sunday I added spreadsheet data for chapters 5 & 6. I checked over the 4th section of my course. The next assignment seems more about rewriting existing poems than writing new ones so I'm going to schedule in one night a week for writing new poems so I'm still producing fresh work. I did my 5 minutes of pranayama and finished reading and reviewed The Invisible Man by H G Wells.

On Monday, my mind being full of the recent mindless events meant all my goals went out the window but I'm more focused on writing now as it's time to start moving towards getting out of this city once and for all.

Tuesday was a low production day due to only getting two hours of sleep on the Monday night but I began adding data for Chapter 7.

I'm off on a business trip for a few days so I'm planning on reading poetry if I get the chance.

Stay save everyone.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Book Review - The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells

Review - I couldn't get into this at all, unfortunately the narrator came along every few pages and pulled me out of the story. The main character Griffin is pretty much arrogant and his only aim is to abuse his position, as there was never another prominent character in the story that really played on my sympathies I had to force myself to keep reading.

I did enjoy learning about Griffins first few days of invisibility and the way that things most people take for granted or don't really think about caused him problems but by then it was too little too late for me to really get into this.

Rating 2/5

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Website Updates and blog updates

I have added a review index to the blog and removed my reading list as that had become redundant.

On the website:

Issue 7 of Dark Metre, a horror poetry newsletter is now available to read on the current issues page.
Horror Poets have been updated.

That's it this month.

ROw80 - Round 3 - Check in 4

My Goal: To complete prep work for the 2nd draft of  a novel

On the last check in someone asked about my spreadsheet, it's quite a basic affair but first I'll explain what my plans are for tackling the rewrite.

One thing that was missing from my paper thin 1st draft was location details, you'd think my characters were walking around in a blank canvas. As I can rebuild my locations independent of plot and character development I'm focusing on that.

The spreadsheet itself will give me an overview of every appearance of every location in all my chapters. I'll also be using it to fill in the timeline. One thread of my novel starts back in a character's past.

The next stage will be to complete any necessary research for building the locations and writing out a description of each location on a separate piece of paper. I can then keep that in front of me when I start rewriting the actual novel.

Next prep stage will be to:

  • Complete research for vague bits in the plot. 
  • Redo all my character sheets, and figure out my antagonists theory. 
  • Add new location and character sheets for the two story threads I'll be fully developing in the 2nd draft.

Once all that's done, it'll be time to look at individual scenes. I'm trying to break it down as much as possible into manageable chunks before weaving all that information back together.

My spreadsheet has 8 headings for:
Chapter - which chapter the data is for
Location - What locations are present in each chapter
Journey - When characters need to get from a-b
Day - what day of the week each chapter takes place
Time of Day - the time of day i.e morning, afternoon, night
Year - the year i.e 1963 or 2011
POV - The PoV character for the chapter
Character's present - What other character's are present.

I may insert headings for emotion and important info revealed

I've completed spreadsheet data for the 1st four chapters and can already see that I've got space to insert new chapters to follow through the 1963 timeline. I still need to go back over most of my entries to fill in day's.

On my other goals, I finished my current assignment, have done no reading since last check in and didn't do my exercise goal.

How's everyone else doing?

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

ROw80 - Round 3 - Check in 3

My Goal: To complete prep work for 2nd draft of a novel

Even though we are experiencing a rare appearance of something called sunshine in the UK, I managed some productivity.

Wrote another poem and its related commentary which means I'm on track to have my current assignment all finished by Friday. Yay. The end is in sight.

Managed to get some reading done but not as much as I would've liked. I was expecting to be finished with H G Wells by now.

I have a couple of ideas in mind for blog posts but so far I haven't sat down to write them.

Completed filling in my spreadsheet data for Chapter 1 of the novel, which will actually become chapter 2 when I start the actual rewrite.

All in all, slowly chipping away. Visit the other participants below: