About Me

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Tokyo, Japan
In 2011 I graduated with 1st class honours in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University. I lived in China for nearly two and a half years, where I was working as an English teacher. I just moved to Tokyo where I will be spending my time teaching and writing. This blog is about my experiences of TEFL teaching and living abroad.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Happy birthday to me....almost!

As per usual I've been far too busy to get any writing done these past few days, but ((SHOCK HORROR!)) I have actually written about half a chapter of the transplant novel today, so not such an epic fail as I thought.
I'm really looking forward to getting back to Uni so I can be more spurred on about my writing. It's quite difficult 'being your own boss' and motivating yourself to write if you are not particularly inspired. So although I'll have less time for my own writing what with lesson time and 'homework' (oh how I miss homework!) I will probably be writing a lot more because of class etc. So I feel that attending my lessons is all for the best really.
A student who studied at my uni a few years ago is currently trying to set up a creative writing magazine called 'Dumb'. It sounds quite good, I've just sent him an email asking what kind of thing he is looking for so I can submit, so fingers crosses I will get some luck there. As to other publications, I got a letter back from 'The People's Friend' saying that although they like my most recent submission, they aren't currently looking for any stock, so a disappointment, but a step up from 'nope sorry we don't like it'. So I guess things are going in the right direction. The second world war short story I wrote is sitting still at the moment, I was going to email it to the author of a website where I did a lot of my research to see what he thought of it, but the email bounced back so no luck there. Just got to figure out what to do with it now!

Time for something a little different. I wrote my first ever radio script a few months back and submitted it to BBC Radio 4, for their afternoon plays, but naturally they weren't interested (which is rich considering some of the tat the actually do air! Which is a bit mean, some of it is very good...but some of it is not). I thought I'd put a bit up here so that my adoring fans get a diverse range of my work. I'm not sure the formatting will come out on this, but on my word copy its all underlined and in bold etc so it looks like a real script! Somewhere I've got a poem I wrote about how the BBC stole my crocodile clip...but I can't find it so that will have to be for another day.



JOYCE: Coming!
JOYCE: Hello, Amanda, come in, come in.
JOYCE: How are you?
AMANDA: I'm fine thanks, just fine, though the traffic today was
unbelievable, I really think it would be quicker for me
to walk.
JOYCE: Here, I've made some tea. Yes, sometimes when I'm
coming to yours I'll just walk through the park, it’s not
that far really, even on these old legs!
AMANDA: Mmm! You do make a good cuppa! So, how’s Roger?
JOYCE: Roger is (PAUSE) well, he's Roger isn't he? Nothing new
as usual. The firms had him working in a posh garden the
other side of town, and he's saving up for some new golf
AMANDA: These men and their golf! I was telling my John that he
really should get into it - he's reaching that age, as it were!
AMANDA: But of course he won't have any of it, he's far too content
just walking that rotten dog!
JOYCE: Oh, poor Scruffy!
AMANDA: Poor Scruffy indeed! You wouldn't believe the mess that
dog made this morning … (PAUSE) Oh! Here I am blithering
on about the dog when you said you had something exciting
to tell me. Do go on!
JOYCE: Well (PAUSE) It's less exciting, more sort of...scary I'd say.
AMANDA: Scary? Gosh, tell me all! The suspense is killing me!
JOYCE: I'm being serious, I'm genuinely worried about it.
AMANDA: What's happened?
JOYCE: I suppose this might sound silly (PAUSE) but I think
I'm being stalked
AMANDA: Stalked?
AMANDA: How do you mean?
JOYCE: Well, there's this man that's been following me.
AMANDA: Goodness! When was this?
JOYCE: Last week I was doing my big shopping trip when I noticed
him - a distinguishable character so I couldn't really
miss him. Then after I'd put my bags in the car I noticed
him again in the car park. About an hour later I was eating
lunch in that little cafe in the park, and he was there again.
AMANDA: Mightn't it be a coincidence?
JOYCE: But there's more - yesterday I was dusting the ornaments in
the front window, when I happened to glance across the road
and there he was!
AMANDA: No! Oh Joyce, how terrifying! What did he look like?
JOYCE: Quite young, mid twenties perhaps, and he wore a long dark
coat, what do they call those things?
AMANDA: Trench coats?
JOYCE: Yes that's it, a trench coat, and he had sort of dark greasy hair,
quite long, one of those goth types I guess. Altogether a quite
frightful appearance.
AMANDA: Goodness me! Have you told Roger?
JOYCE: No, I didn't want to worry him, but now (PAUSE) it's like I
can't leave the house, I constantly feel like I'm being
watched or hounded. What should I do, Amanda?
AMANDA: Now now, there's no need to get silly and emotional. It's
really quite simple, you just need to confront this young
fellow and tell when to back off.
JOYCE: What?
AMANDA: Honestly Joyce, these young hooligans are all talk, all they
need is a bit of discipline. You just march up to this young
man and tell him you're not standing for any of his
nonsense, mention the police, that'll scare him off.
JOYCE: Oh, but I couldn't possibly-
AMANDA: You must! Don't let it become a problem. If you give these
young so-and-so's an inch, they'll take a mile.
JOYCE: But what if he retaliates? Just think of poor Mr. Grainger.
AMANDA: Mr. who?
JOYCE: Mr. Grainger, don't you remember? He lived down the
road from me for years, then last summer there was that
incident where he gave those vandals a telling off and
one waved a knife in his face.
AMANDA: I had no idea! Whatever happened to him?
JOYCE: Well he moved away, Australia I think, said he wouldn't
put up with the lack of respect in kids these days, and I
don't blame him.
AMANDA: It's not all kids mind, just them few that turn out rotten.
JOYCE: Of course. (PAUSE) I'm simply at a loss Amanda, I
haven't a clue what to do. Listen, there's something you
don't know, I haven't told anyone, but I think it could be
AMANDA: Really? What is it?
JOYCE: It’s something that happened a long time ago, not even
Roger knows.
AMANDA: A long time ago? But you said the stalking has only been
Occouring recently.
JOYCE: Yes, I know.
AMANDA: And you said you don’t know this man at all, do you?
JOYCE: No, I don’t.
AMANDA: Well then, I really don’t see how this little thing from your
Past can have anything to do with this. Listen, if I were you,
I’d take my advice and stand up to this chap. Just be brave and
Tell him whose boss, right?
JOYCE: I suppose you’re right

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

September already?

So what with family weddings, moving house and other exciting stuff, my poor bloggy has been a bit neglected. So has my writing actually. I've been plodding on slowly with the transplant novel, but I haven't written in the kidnap one for months, so I think I'll leave it until I have less projects to deal with. I've polished up a short story called 'Move to America' which is for a young female audience, and also completed the WW2 piece about the combat medic. Not much else to report I'm afraid.

The 'Move to America' is written in a letter style between a young girl and her grandmother. I've tried to emulate the writers age in the language used, which is why the piece comes across as having a simplistic lexis and basic plot. Below is the opening letter extract.

Dear Gran,
we have been in America for one week today so Mum said I should write and let you know how we are getting on. The house here is very big. My room is on the top floor and has a window seat with lacy cushions. I’ve unpacked all my toys and I have a corner of my room with my craft box and art books. The garden has a swimming pool which I go in every day and there is lots of room for Mum to plant some flowers.
I already miss my friends from home. I am starting my new school in a few weeks so I will meet people there, but until then I will be on my own. I wish I had a brother or sister to play with. Dad is starting his new job tomorrow so we are keeping our fingers crossed that it goes ok.
I hope everything is good back in England. The weather is much hotter over here than it was at home but I hope you are having a good summer too and it is not raining too much. Have you found a new Bingo club to go to since your old one closed down?
Write back to me very soon. Mum said she would give you the address in her letter and our new phone number too so you can call us. Lots of love,