About Me

My photo
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.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Editing for England

Hello there.
I've been a pretty busy bee this evening, been going through lots of older work from a few months ago as well as more recent things, just editing and reprinting for hopefully more work shopping and feedback. I'm trying to put together a collection of work for my next book which will be about 40 pages long. So far I have two poems that I am happy with to go in, so a fair bit of work to do yet! I've plenty of material, it's just getting it to that top notch standard at the moment. It'll be a mix of page poems, prose poems and maybe short short stories too. So fingers crossed I can continue to receive feedback on my stuff and get it all sorted out.
Looks like I'll be spending this weekend indoors anyway as I'm coming down with a cold :( so plenty of time for reading and writing I guess. Still cracking away at Dawkins, fun fun fun, as well as several other titles.
Fingers crossed, more updates soon!

Friday, 20 November 2009

Friday Morning

Hello there.
Yesterday I attended a reading by the poet Luke Kennard. I was very impressed. Sadly a lot of the work he red were things that I had already red myself, but it was still nice to hear him read them aloud. It always changes the poem to how you imagine it, like when you pronounce a character's name from a book one way, when others say it differently. He didn't put the pauses where I thought they'd be, particularly in the murderer poem. I would have left pauses in different places for effect, but he seemed to power through these bits I would have treated delicately. But hey, they're his poems so I shan't complain!
What am I reading now? Well I'm hitting a bit of Dawkins, couldn't get a copy of the selfish gene out the library so I've opted for the blind watch maker instead, which is just as good I'm sure. I studied the watch maker analogy (william...paley?) in A level philosophy so I feel I have a heads up for getting to grips with all of Dawkins sciencey stuff. So far...very interesting, and I'm disappointed to say (as a christian and a soon to be conformed (maybe) Dawkins hater) that he is coming across and witty and very clever indeed. But there we go.
Writing? Well I've written chapter ten of the novel and typed up to and including chapter six. Those first typed chapters are totalling about 10,000 words which is okay-ish. I was hoping for a little more. But never fear, I have a three part plan. 1. Write the first draft, which will be the bare bones, coming in seriously under word count. 2. Bulk out the entire thing with a series of re writes where I focus on adding. 3. Proper editing, which consists of course mainly of cutting things out. So I'm hoping the end product will be of a reasonable word count :)

Dawkins and coffee are calling...

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Where did it all go?

Once again I have set aside an evening to crack on with some work, and alas, between dying my hair and wrapping Christmas presents, I discover it is already nearly 11 and I have achieved...nothing. Never mind, there's always another day I suppose.
I've been trying my hand at short stories recently which is fun as they are quick to do, so I can complete something rather than feeling I haven't got anything done.
I'm planning my second collection to be published, fingers crossed before the new year if I can get myself together. A medley of poems and short stories, and who knows what else. All very exciting.
I performed my first poem this week at the Raven storytelling circle, which I adore. I feel it went quite well, it was one of the last pieces so by then i think people were ready to go home, but I'm glad I got my first time out the way and over and done with. I red 'The BBC Stole my Crocodile Clip', which is likely to appear as it's new edited self in my booky wook.
That's about it for today if I'm going to get anything done...ta raaa xx

Saturday, 14 November 2009

I have already reached my annual quota of books I should read which I'm pretty chuffed about, hopefully squeeze in a few more before the new year to get an awesome grant total. I aim to have read 24 by the end of the year, which averages 2 a month. Of course it never works out that way, I usually reach around August when I realise I've only got halfway, then I read like mad until Christmas. SO very pleased indeed to be so far ahead of myself.
I've just finished Nation (Pratchett) and was very impressed by it. I think that perhaps it could have done without the last 2 chapters, but then it would have left a lot of things very open. It was one of those 'tell them all or nothing' situations, so I guess that's just the way the cookie crumbles.
I am very proud to announce that I have acquired my first writing job. I write articles and blog posts for a website that I think is a sort of search engine for reviews about cars. If you know me, then you will know I do not drive, nor do I know very much about cars, but with a creative mind and a determined will you can achieve anything so... mental though it is, bing-bang-bong I land myself a job writing about cars. Can't complain eh. Here we are in a recession and I, a student, have three jobs :) Just greedy I guess.
So what have I been writing recently? Usual story I'm afraid, not very much. I've been writing a few prose poems / flash fiction short stories (what are the difference between these, by the way? Week 3 of class and I STILL don't get it) which is quite good, means I haven't abandoned prose altogether. Poetry happens when the mood takes me, so maybe... a poem a fortnight at the moment? Not too hot. I'm doing a fair bit of editing though which is good... still little progression with the novel, but I SHALL be writing some this evening, so there!
As Christmas looms I suppose I shall be setting down my pen in swaps for knitting needles (my talent knows no limits, I know!) and gifting away, but maybe not. Who knows.
So yes, that's me. Over and out.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Springing up like daisies

It's great to see so many people (as in, my Creative Writing buddies from Bath Spa) getting blogging accounts and Twitter, etc, but there is also that innate human pang of jealously that stabs in when I see another friend has joined the networking world. Competition, I guess, but luckily that feeling quickly evaporates and I am very proud to see them stepping up their game. It's second year now, things are getting serious I guess.
I don't know about you, but I often feel very torn between books. For example, there is a book I have to read (Stuart, a life backwards) for one of my courses at uni, and a book I want to read (Nation). Of course I am more likely to read what I want to read, after all its the book I picked for myself rather than having it forced on me. It's probably my own fault for reading two at once. If I had only stuck to one then the other, I wouldn't be feeling this resentment and boredom when I pick up the book I have to read.
I remember quite vividly when I was younger and going on a family holiday, I was given two books to take away with one. One was a Jacqueline Wilson - I red almost exclusively of her for a time - and another by Michael Ende. Naturally I wanted to Wilson, but my Dad insisted that I read the other first - with it's boring cover picture, lack of pictures throughout, it seemed far too grown up. So I ploughed through against my will, but found the book to be surprisingly...fantastic! Momo by Michael Ende has remained one of my favorite books of all time, and I can't even remember which Jacqueline Wilson book it was that I coveted so much. I always this of how things can surprise you.
Battery low....taaraa! x