Tag: writing

On Writing and the BiB Awards

The lovely Samantha invited me to join in the Writing Process Blog Hop.  I love a good Q & A especially if it involves books and writing.  So of course, I couldn’t refuse.

Questions:

1) What are you working on?

This is embarrassing, but I’ve been working on a few short stories for about a couple of years now (maybe even three!)  It’s just so difficult to write creatively when you’re a mum of an excitable three-year-old who is at that lovely sometimes annoying stage, you know the Why do we need hands? Feet? Eyes? so on and so forth stage.  I can barely write a decent blog post!

But I’ve been specifically trying to work on this story I wrote about two strangers who meet in a small coastal English town.  The man is German and in his 80s.  He’s been going back to the same seaside village for the past fifty years.  He likes to sit on this particular bench facing the sea and one time he meets a woman (a foreigner too, though it’s not really mentioned where she’s from in the story) and they start a conversation.  Since the woman lives there, they eventually over the years keep meeting on the same bench.  It’s one of those “talkie” type of short stories, where nothing much is going on and it’s purely conversation which of course, others might find boring.  I like it though.  It’s a quiet and simple story about strangers who form an unlikely friendship.

2) How does your work differ from others in the genre?

I write from personal experience, though that’s really no different from others I guess.  While the story mentioned above was loosely based on myself, the German is fictitious of course.

3) Why do you write what you write?

Was it Mark Twain who said “Write what you know?”  But I bet though, other writers before him has said that too.  It’s always easy to write what you know about.  I think your writing also comes out more sincere and not constrained or worse pretentious.

So yes, I like to base my fiction on something I’ve experienced or something I’m at least familiar with.

4) How does your writing process work?

I haven’t had a “writing process” for years now.  I used to when I was single and living on my own.  At the moment, all I can say is that the only “writing process” I have is to sit down and just write as if your very life depended on it.

I wrote the story mentioned above – “Same Time Next Year” in one sitting.  I think my husband took my daughter out for a little outing without me so I could have a bit of a rest.  Instead of putting up my feet on the table, I typed furiously away.  That’s the first time I’ve ever done that.  You know, start a story, from the very beginning and actually finish it till the very end.  I have loads of attempts, first drafts on my files, most of them rubbish actually.  But I think the trick there is to silence your inner critic and just keep writing as fast as you can and see where it takes you.

The German character in that story actually “appeared” to me.  No, nothing ghostly as an actual apparition, but I really saw him vividly in my head, walking up the headland.  What he looked liked, how he walked and I just knew him right away.

I entered that story in a major writing competition here in the UK.  Of course, I didn’t win.  I just figured at that time, no harm in trying right?  The contest had a three thousand word-count, so I had to edit it down a lot.  I want to re-write it and maybe make it into a novella.  Perhaps when my daughter starts proper school, I’ll be able to get down and finally do it once and for all.  And who knows, enter it in another contest and even win?

For now I think I’ll stick to trying to write decent blog-posts in between answering my daughters questions like Why do we need eyes mummy?  

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Incidentally, I received an email from Britmums inviting me to nominate myself or other bloggers in the 2014 BiBS Awards (Brilliance in Blogging).  I’ve already shamelessly emailed all my family and close friends to nominate me for the MAD Awards.  But stayed mum about it in my blog, however I’ve decided to make a go for it this time (and spare my family and friends from pleading with them to vote for me again), so if you think I have a chance, thank you for nominating me, though I have a feeling it will be a bit like that time when I joined a major writing competition and it went pfft.  I tried at least, right?

I’ve already voted and in case you guys need a little nudge, here are fantastic bloggers who really ought to win and the good new is that there are lots of different categories and I’m sure you can all fit them in.  They are all British bloggers by the way, I’m not really sure if it’s only open to British bloggers or at least bloggers who live in the UK. If I’m wrong, please correct me.

Hurrah for Gin (A sure Winner.  Yay, go Katie!)

PODcast

Coombe Mill

Space for the Butterflies

Over There to Here

Ramblings of a former Rock n Roll Mum

The Secret Father

Englishman in Italy

The Adventures of Sonny and Luca

P.H. Davies

Verily Vocalises

Mum turned Mom

3 Children and It

The Coffee Table Years

The Fat Worm

Thank you!

This post is linked up with #PoCoLo

Post Comment Love

What are your hobbies?

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she asked, not looking up from the computer screen in front of her.  This of course was asked after answering a series of family medical history questions.  My mind went blank, as if the optometrist just asked me to solve a  complicated mathematical equation.  What are your hobbies?  She repeated the question, this time she looked pointblank at me.  This unnerved me even more and I stammered like a complete idiot.

Where’s my mommy?  I heard my daughter ask behind the closed door.  My husband said I was in the room having my eyes checked.

She’s a handful.  I blabbered on – I barely have time for myself.

I could almost kick myself thinking about it now.  Why didn’t I answer something like reading?  I’ve always loved to read, it doesn’t matter that I’ve been reading the same book for months now or that I’ve probably read the same page ten times already because I keep getting interrupted with a litany of I want this, I want that!  Or I want a a cuddle NOW!   And blogging?  Blogging keeps my mind working, my creativity well-oiled and not rusty, hoping against hope that the words won’t fail me like it does sometimes (a lot of times actually).  Or hoping that I have something more to say or write than Today my little one did this, did that, or said this, said that. 

So what did I answer?  I said, no.  I don’t have any hobbies.   What I should’ve really said was My daughter is my hobby.  After all, what is a hobby?  Isn’t it something that one does regularly in one’s leisure time for pleasure?  Although I don’t really have any leisure time at all and if I do – I sleep.  Oh yes, sleeping is also my hobby.

What are yours?

The Second day of the New Year

and we haven’t done anything much except play with the little one.

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So many new toys … her room is getting smaller!

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I don’t have anything impressive planned this year.

I do hope to be able to:

1.  Write more in my journal.  Hopefully make it a daily habit again.  A cousin gave me a lovely journal last Christmas 2010.  I’m not even half-way done with it yet.  And this is really bad for someone who has been keeping a journal since she was a child.

2.  Do more creative writing.

3.  Actively search for more writing jobs online.

That’s about it.

This year though, I’m hoping to be able to go home (my other home – my country – the Philippines) and stay more than just a couple of months.

 I miss my home and family.

What about you?  Any small or big plans for 2013?