And other confessions

Happy Friday!

I’ve been working on a few short stories, just to keep my mind in writing as I tackle longer projects. I’ve sent one off to a competition so fingers crossed!

On facebook I had a request to write a story for a friend, and here is the result. I keep being very tempted to write about my University years and fictionalise them. It would be a very different genre of novel and voice than I usually use, so I’m still thinking. The working title for the project would be: University and other confessions.

So, here is the beginning;

First things first about moving into University. Despite being ridiculously excited for years, the night before I decided that I didn’t want to go. I was going to stay at home, see the friends I already had, maybe I’d get a job in the local shop. I don’t think I slept.

The next day, I decided to give it a shot. We carried the boxes and the bags up the winding stairs and dropped them on the single bed, ready to be unpacked later. I was itchy with excitement. My heavy, black computer was carefully placed beside the desk. My Mum managed to get trapped in the communal bathroom. She was shouting for help, banging on the heavy wooden door as I smiled a nervous hello to my new flatmates; Rob and Rob, and Rod. At least their names would be easy to remember.

Once security freed her, I ushered my family out of the flat and waved them away from the kitchen window. Goodbyeeee. Dear God, please don’t come back.

The bed was made, pictures stuck to the wall. Computer plugged in and speakers rattling with the sound of Panic! At the Disco. I heard the flat door opening, then slamming shut. I peered out from my bedroom. The corridor carpet had once been blue. It still was blue beside the skirting boards. The centre was grey and worn out with age. Oh, well imagine, As I’m pacing the pews in a church corridor, And I can’t help but to hear.

She said goodbye to her Mother and went to wave goodbye from the kitchen window.

Hi!

Hi there!

Did you want some help setting up your computer?

Yes!

It didn’t take long. I crawled under the desk, kettle-lead in hand. I threaded the mouse and keyboard wires down the back, against the faded green wall. Somewhere in the background, the Killers broke into song. Coming out of my cage, And I’ve been doing just fine.

I had an emo fringe and she had Avril Lavigne hair. I wore a black t-shirt and my nails were painted blue. She stacked UB40 and Offpsring CD’s on the desk and I offered Green Day as a swap. Her TV started tuning, the slow line inching across the screen. We had tea. Milky, but not too milky and two sugars in mugs that still wore price stickers.

We took a walk to explore the campus. It was an end of summer day, bright and warm with stretched-out clouds and golden light. I don’t remember who started skipping first. But we were flying across the manicured lawn.

There was a statue, half hidden behind flowers and long grass. A man, upright in bronze with his hands resting lightly in his lap. I don’t remember who asked, and who answered.

Who’s that?

Geoff!

But they were right. It was Geoff, and we laughed at the incredible coincidence. We laughed and laughed until we couldn’t stand. That was the moment I knew. No matter what happened, we would always be stuck together. There would always be me and you.

I believe!

I’m sure you’ll all be sick of me talking about this, but thank you Daily Prompt for a perfect oppertunity! Another reason to believe….

Currently my reason to believe is the generosity of the people around me. A few weeks ago I put out a call for poems, stories, artwork and photographs to pull together in a book. The purpose of this book was to help raise money and awareness for cystic fibrosis and the fire fighters charity via Alex’s Adventures.
I was overwhelmed by the amount of work I received back, and the immense quality of so many of the pieces.
One of my favourite things is a poem written by my three year old niece about her favourite person. Honestly, it’s inspired! But there are also some gorgeous short stories and many poems dedicated in love to those who have passed on from this world. I’m so proud of the collection and just feel so grateful to all of the contributors who helped make it what it was.
It’s been an emotional journey, pulling it all together but it’s worth it. I hope it does well as all proceeds will go to charity and help raise awareness for things that are close to my heart.
One final, enormous thank you has to be to a friend I contacted, out of the blue just two days before sending the book to print. I asked, because I knew he was into arty things, if he had any illustrations that would fit the theme. His response was just incredible. He managed to get three amazing pictures back to me, for three poems. They are amazing and so beautiful. His website is Unknown Creatives and they come very highly recommended.
If any of you lovely bloggers would want to review this raw and heartfelt collection that would be amazing! Please contact me 🙂

And here it is! You mean the world to me… a collection made and dedicated to love.

Daily Prompt: State of Year – Sunny with bright spells and a threat of cloud.

So, this is my response to the Daily Prompt: Write up a mid-year “State of My Year” post.

Well, the state of my year is currently a mixed bag! It’s my birthday tomorrow, so I’m feeling particularly chipper and excited for the next few days to come. I’ve already been given the most thoughtful and touching birthday present, but I’ll be writing more about this at another time. All I can really say, are children are awesome and I love my little nieces and nephew to absolute bits. (Their parents are pretty amazing people as well!)

Perhaps this year needs a comparison to last year?  This July I have a different job to last year, and I love my job. I thoroughly enjoy wandering into work every morning and seeing where the day takes me. This time last year, I had several very close friends. This year, I’ve managed to maintain the majority of those friendships, but I’ve also gained the clichéd soul mate. Soul mate is a very strange term for me to use, I don’t consider myself to be a new-age hippy by any means. I mean quite like scented candles and walking barefoot, but I don’t want to live communally. But I’ve been very fortunate, that after a very very very verrrrry long wait, I found the right person. Or rather, we found each other. It’s very hard to put into words how happy I am in some areas of my life. A frustrating thing for a writer.

I’m also half way through a Master’s course in Creative Writing, and not only do I have one adorable and personality-filled kitten, I have two!

However, this time last year, I was elated that I had finished my manuscript. I was filled with buzzing enthusiasm and energy and determined to have my name in print. So far this year, I’ve been far more successful in my blog, and I’ve also completed a few other projects as a writer. As mentioned in a much earlier post, Rob and I co-wrote a murder mystery event for over twenty people. I am proud of our achievement.  However, so far this year, I’ve realised that the manuscript needs another of the endless re-writes and I’ve not managed to give it any time.

Writing is something too easy to side-line. It comes after the washing up, the laundry, the tidying. I comes after spending some quality time with friends and family and trying to keep friendships maintained. I can’t help but feel a knot of worry growing. I’ve been provided with an amazing opportunity to send my manuscript to a friend, who happens to be an editor. He may even recommend it to his friends who publish books – in my genre!  I can hardly bare thinking about it. I am currently so excited and so determined to give everything ‘my all’ but at the same time that I feel as though I’m (quite happily) running flat out on a treadmill, or down the road of life.  But if I don’t slow down soon, I’m going to miss an important turning.

New rules are needed. Writing needs to move up in my priority. Blogging is good for this, I’m forcing myself to blog something each day, even just a photo. But if I can take time out to write the blog, I should be taking time out to work on my manuscript – again.  I’ll set myself goals – this week, I will write 500 words of the new beginning. New words, not the words I’ve already started writing out.

I’ll let you know how it goes…

Daily Prompt: A Friend in Need

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/07/25/daily-prompt-friendship/

Daily Prompt: A Friend in Need.

My closest friend is far away.
For the sake of my remaining heart, I hope that way it stays.
It can be a hard thing to be a friend, a true friend.
They are a gift, whose love knows no end.
Celebrations and laughter are easy;
Like sharing jokes and anecdotes.
But would you share unwanted truth?
No one wants, their friends to tears, reduced.
Do you pick them up, when they are low?
Even when they turn, on you, with blows?
It can be a hard thing to be a friend, a true friend.
They are a gift, whose love knows no end.