Two New Books

Not two to have arrived by my own pen or fingers but, I collected these from the local Post Office this evening, after a little bit of spending at Amazon, earlier in the week (ironically, this follows the news this week that HMV have gone bust and also, that Blockbuster may be heading towards a similar fate). It’s kind of ironic also, that I’ve taken this photo against the backdrop of my laptop!

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I recently e-mailed someone who was in the writing course that finished before Christmas (everyone’s e-mail address was included in the weekly writings from the our tutor). She seemed to welcome the message as I had asked about a book she bought in to share on our final day (that reminds me – I still haven’t shared the poem, of someone else, that I read aloud).

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2013

In this post, I’m looking forward to the new year. In another post recently, I reflected back on all that I am grateful for from the year of 2012. Now, I’d like to set out a list of ambitions and aspirations for the new year. Some that I will aim to accomplish; others that aren’t a necessity but, they might give me something to hope for.

If I hadn’t deleted my previous blog, I’d be able to reflect on the goals I set out for 2012. I remember one of them being to find a girlfriend; someone to share life with, as I’d just begun internet dating. Well, I may still be living the mostly-single life but, I do feel as though I’ve moved closer to that target. I now know what I like and must look for in a person and I’m less concerned about meeting ‘anyone’ than I am in sharing with someone uniquely special to me.

Let’s carry on with my new list for the new year then, in no particular order:

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‘As Water Falls’ (Poem)

This is one of several poems I’ve written in the last few days as we were asked to write a poem to share with the writing class this evening. What I’m about to share with you know is the one I had intended to share with the class… But, the greater news is that I didn’t share this one. Instead, I shared the one I posted last night (‘Courage’) and it went down very well.

My tutor commented that I ‘describe a lot with very few  words’, or something to that effect. I also heard a definite ‘I like it!‘ from one of the others in the class! 😎

It was great to hear everyone else’s work and how, again, everyone had created and shared something different. I was worried that people  might think of mine as being a bit dark or something but, no other comments were made and it wasn’t as if people began to inch further away from me with their seats! 😉

We’ve got two weeks before (along with the others) I’m expected to share the short story I haven’t even begun to write yet. We also have another homework assignment and I really need to sit down and put myself in a position to write freely and in good time. I have bad habits that lead me towards blogging and e-mailing others that distract me from my work. No disrespect to any of you and please do not feel as though you may have to change anything; I’m the one who needs to stop procrastinating and leaving things until the final evenings when I’m already tired from work.

I manage to pick up on a few points in the story we read through tonight, which is good, considering I have such difficulty concentrating and remembering what I have read, especially when someone else is reading aloud. I feel kind of guilty sometimes as others seem to pick up on some much more. I never grasp it first time. If there’s one disappointment though, it’s that I didn’t seize a potential opportunity to help someone who asked the group for a lift to her car. No-one else was going that way and, although it would’ve meant a minor diversion on my journey home, I would’ve been happy to help. I felt it would’ve been awkward though as we’ve not even said hello and, to be fair, she seemed to direct her question to the other end of the room.

Still, I shouldn’t dwell on things like this. Please continue reading to see the poem that I was going to share:

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Fortnight of Fortune

It looks as though I now have an extra two-weeks to complete the homework we were assigned last Thursday evening. I found an e-mail from the course tutor earlier to say that he’s had to cancel tomorrow’s class due to personal/family reasons. We should be able to ‘account for’ this lost day by adding it on to the end of term in December but, with half-term next week as well, we’re now left with a whole fortnight between classes.

We were set the task of writing a ‘scene of dialogue’ between two people and, during the conversation or scene, there has to be a point of conflict. An example we were given came from No Country for Old Men (I’ve not even seen the film),where one character enters a petrol/gas station and confronts the clerk/assistant behind the counter.

My first idea, even six-days ago, sat in the class that evening, was to write about someone who arrives at one of these National Trust-type outdoor places and is confronted by someone demanding they pay a car parking fee. The premise here is that the main character (protagonist?) has been coming to this site for several years but this is the first time since parking fees were introduced. It comes as a surprise to him (or her) as the signage and forewarnings apparently aren’t’ or were not clear enough.

You see, I can ‘visualise’ the scene (beginning, middle and end) clearly enough. I even know where the conflict is likely to come in, along with its subject. But, creating a conversation is a whole new challenge altogether and I’m stumped.

I do welcome this extended break as it gives me time to try something. Until I read that e-mail, I was prepared to walk in tomorrow evening and confess that I had found it difficult and, therefore, not written or completed anything.

If I can get that done or, perhaps if I just fancy a break, I’ll try the ‘optional’ homework, which was to write a list-style description of each person you pass in a single day. Yes, that does sound quite fun and thought-provoking! It could be a good way to distinguish how two people really are not perfectly alike 🙂

Clock Watching

Earlier this evening, I completed my second day (and second week) on my short fiction writing course. It was a great lesson in the sense that I know I’ve learnt several things about writing and character development, even in such an early stage of the twelve-week course. Yep, it sounds quite scary when I put it like that – only ten-weeks to go and then, I’m supposed to have my short story complete…! :-S

Although I know I’ve made a lot of progress (through counselling and meditation) in taking steps towards combating my social anxiety; being in that classroom again, today, I continually noticed myself watching the clock (my watch), waiting for the two-hour lesson to end so that I could ‘escape’ and get out of there.

It’s a terrible feeling that has always haunted me throughout school and other college courses. It doesn’t seem to matter even when I’m enjoying my time there; I would much prefer to be in the comfort of my own life in my own home. I can’t figure it out!

I’m managing to stay positive in these lessons and it’s not as though I’m falling behind with the work. If anything, I’m more open with my opinions than ever before in our discussions. The persistent thought of having to ‘share’ at the end of each session does concern me and, I’m sure it adds to my writer’s block in the class but, I really don’t know why I can’t just enjoy it.

I feel fairly relaxed and would like to try and get to know some of the people. But, I fear that, as before; these twelve-weeks will be over before I know it and, I’ll have little to show for it apart from a few thousands words on a page (or two).

I’m just running with my thoughts here. I’m not currently depressed, anxious or even that worried about this; it’s simply a concern that I’m aware of. Taking my watch off wouldn’t help much, I feel, as I’d still be stressing over what the time could be…

If it comes to it then, I’m sure at least one person will suggest we all meet in the cafe/bar for a drink after our final session together. It’s a short-course and a pretty intensive one at that. With such limited time, there’s no space for people to bring in and share their favourite books. No time for socialising, even though we do interact within the classroom.

Writing is Hard

It’s been a long day today. I was up at 6am getting ready for work at 7am. As I awoke, I realised that I still had my earphones plugged in from my night-time meditation session! Did I listen to any of it?! I hoped so! After breaking my routine recently and entering a bad habit of not listening to it every night or day, I really felt as though I was going to need to reassurance this evening.

Only thirty-minutes after arriving home from work, I wanted to be ready and out of the door again for a drive in to the centre of Bristol. Today, was the first in my Short Fiction writing course.

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