MFB and an attempt in culture

The city of York hosted its annual Festival of Ideas in the beginning of June. Since I’m a good bit more local to the city now, and since it’s always good to try and broaden your mind, I thought I would give it a go. The festival is a huge event that is run by the University and you can read about it here: http://yorkfestivalofideas.com/2016/

I was pleased to get tickets to four the events I wanted to attend:

  • Mythology: Our Imagined Worlds
  • Ideas for Publication: What Works for Us
  • Battling the Gods: Atheism in the Ancient World
  • Towards a Maritime Deep History of our Planet

A lot of it was maybe too deep and scholarly for this little brain, somewhat removed from the academic sphere, but I really enjoyed them all. Three were lectures and one was a workshop held by the York Novelists, a local writer’s group about how to set up a similar group as an opportunity to meet like-minded people and get some proper constructive criticism. That was super useful for me – I hadn’t even ever thought of a writer’s group, and I think it is really going to be the best next step for me. I can hone and tweak and write and rewrite to my heart’s content, but if it’s only me reading it, it’s no good. I need someone to tell me this is good, this is bad, I hate that character, I love this scene, I think the mood or the tone is a bit off here. Hopefully the writer’s group will be the perfect scene for that! I also hope that for all the constructive criticism I get back, I’m not reduced to tears and anxiety like I was in the feedback sessions from my teacher training. It would be nice to hear if I am on the right track, or what I can do to make sure I’m on it. Continue reading “MFB and an attempt in culture”

#MyStyleWednesday – Summer baby

As it was my birthday, I of course got lots of lovely things from my wonderful family and friends. Thank you all so very much for your gifts and kind words! Now I was planning on taking loads of cool arty pictures, but instead my DSLR decided it would flash up an error message, so instead we get dodgy iPhone photos. Hurrah!

How do you guys get your photos off your phones? For some reason my Photostream won’t sync to my phone, and so I have to save them to my Dropbox, and then decide if I can be bothered to edit them or not.

We had a lovely BBQ at my house with lots of food, and were very lucky because a couple of days later my patio table broke!

I know people say birthdays mean less and less the older you get, but I still look forward to mine, even if I don’t do anything big or special. For our eighteenth birthdays, Steffi and I had a big party at the pub in my village, the Middleton Arms, and really we should have maybe gone back there for a meal to reminiscence. Continue reading “#MyStyleWednesday – Summer baby”

MFB

You might have seen “MFB” dotted around my posts, elusively made reference to and never explained.

My first book!

This is something I’ve been writing since I was 18, and is by no means the first book I started. I have another novel in my head that I started dreaming of when I was 13/14, and another when I was about 15. Those are in great states of infancy, but MFB is in a much better position for possible publication. Screamy face. Some elements have been borrowed or adapted from another little short story I started when I was 12 – nothing is ever thrown away, it is merely repossessed!

I’ve been writing MFB on and off since I was 18; it was massively influenced by my time at the University of York. Consequently after graduation it fell to the wayside as I was focusing on work and sorting out a life that’s never really got all that much more sorted. I picked it up, playing with it a little more, and put it down again. Other parts expanded, were added, were moved around, and it got to the point where it was a big ole mess and there was no rhyme nor reason, but I knew there was a beating heart in there somewhere. So in September 2015 I decided to sort myself out and go for it. Other things had got in the way: jobs, boyfriends, Masters, PGCEs, summer schools. Not any longer! I was determined, and so determination became. I got a new house, a new job, and a new sense of vitality. Continue reading “MFB”

Celebrating 26 years of my little life

Can you believe I’ll be 26 this weekend? I can’t! It feels like two minutes ago I turned 25. I still feel like I’m a wee little teenager, and judging by the amount of times I get ID’d, I must look it, too! I don’t know whether to be insulted or overjoyed when the cashiers in Morrisons question as to whether I am old enough to purchase a bottle of rose. It seems to be happening less and less, though, which is a little worrying. Either that, or they know me as a regular – still, the worry remains. Continue reading “Celebrating 26 years of my little life”

Half a Year Gone Already

Can you believe it’s July 2016 already?

No 71

I’ve been living in my little house for over six months now! Simultaneously it feels like time has flown by yet like I’ve lived here for a long time. I’ve had quite a few big changes, including starting a new job, and moving into my little house. Both of those things were arranged last year, and they ticked off the two main things on my list of aspirations for the year. Coming out of a time when the media (here’s looking at you, Mailonline) and the general voice of the public seemed to have a downer on young people in general, with a difficult job market and a nigh-unscaleable property ladder, I very quietly set my mind to those two things, and I’m so pleased that I achieved both.

My favourite flowers
My favourite flowers

For 2016 I have the one main goal: to get writing, properly. It’s been easy to get distracted with new house, new job, new kittens, and the new Game of Thrones, but I set my mind to finishing off “My First Book”, shall we vaguely call it. This is a book I’ve had in mind since I was in first year of university, and have dibbed in and out of over the past few years. From about September time last year, I embarked on the not-inconsequential task of pulling together all the random vague chapters and drafting in the remainder, pulling together a sketchy first draft. That came to a close in February of this year, at which point I began the great editing process. As it stands, I’m about halfway through, having cut down on about ten chapters so far, and rejigging a lot of the pacing, action and some of the relationships. So far I am still really enjoying it.

It’s been quite an intense half a year so far, from a horrible start into a gloomy, dark sort of non-summer.

Bursts of colour
Bursts of colour

Things I’ve enjoyed so far

  • Wheel of Time – I finally finished this mega series! I actually cried at the end, and was pleased with its final execution, especially when you consider its original author and instigator, Robert Jordan, died before the last few volumes were to see the light of day. I’ve got the prequel to read yet, so it’s not quite over for me.
  • Game of Thrones – obviously! I got Sky TV just in time for series 6, which has gone beyond the books now. The past couple of years have seen me get back into a fantasy zone, which is great, considering MFB is definitely in the fantasy genre, though quite a different take to WoT, which is straight-up epic fantasy on a far-reaching, dazzling magical scale, and GoT, which is a much more human, visceral approach on it, with a smattering of zombies and soaring dragons flitting here and there.
  • Living in Casa Katy! While paying for everything is a bit annoying, I really like my little house. I have a lovely little corner set up for writing, and my front room is coming together nicely, as is my little garden, which I’m looking forward to working on a bit more once this summer *hopefully* gets underway… will it… ever? Who knows!

Things I’m looking forward to

  • Finishing MFB’s second draft. It’s picking up a bit of momentum in the middle section now, and I’m excited to charge on through, and see how things go. I’m adding structural pieces and frames to tighten things up, and I’m getting a definite buzz.
  • Winds of Winter – who isn’t? And is it ever coming? 2016 might be over and we might not be anywhere. One can dream.
  • My birthday! The mid-point of the year of course brings my little birthday, and without the summer school to distract me, I can look forward to it, though July as a whole is a busy little month anyway. I haven’t any special plans for my birthday as such, though I’m going to the Great Yorkshire Show so that will be exciting.
  • Summer in Casa Katy – I’ve bought some nice cushions for my patio furniture and it’s done nothing but rain since I got them. I would like to get them out of the plastic wrapping sometime, please.
Come back, Mr Sunshine!
Come back, Mr Sunshine!

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