Welcome to my blog!

I am a lefty. I write vertically, cannot use can-openers and was recently foiled by a right handed ladle (I will have my vengeance...) but more than this, I generally seem to approach life from a different angle. I appreciate that this may have nothing to do with being a lefty and may just be my own dysfunctionallity, but after earning the nickname 'Lefty-Flip' after a frustrating game of Guitar Hero, it seemed an appropriate title for this blog.

Friday, 30 March 2012

Five Minutes Peace

It’s been a strange ol’ week. I have pretty much been swamped 24 hours a day! Expected to solve other people’s problems so not had a moment to sort out my own!

I have had no time to read, no time to write, and as a result am feeling drained of all energy and severely lacking in inspiration.
The most peace I have had all week was a precious few minutes at my choir concert Wednesday night, where a lady played Chopin’s Raindrop Prelude (incidentally one of my favourite pieces of music to write to) and I managed to disappear into my head for what felt like the first time all week!
Was beautiful. I wish she could have played it all over again.

So please forgive this lacklustre post! Or maybe take it as a lesson not to let yourself get swamped by life and to take five minutes to enjoy to solitude of your own mind every once in a while!

Have a good (and peaceful) weekend!


Friday, 23 March 2012

Editing Sea-Witch style?

This week, I have mostly been deleting.

As is inevitable with a rewrite, things have changed.
Things have changed to the extent that in my previous version of Chapter 14, my two MCs were bumbling along together. Only now I have decided to split them up for a bit (reckon they can cover far more ground on their own, besides the time apart will do them good!)
Only it does mean I am having something of a difficulty with my re-write.

My current method is to take the previous version, sit in the garden/living room/bath/bus and doodle all over it, crossing out the rubbish, tweaking here and there – any extra scenes or other big changes are made by post it notes (preferably in a wide variety of colour – I like the green best) But now I have hit a problem not even my trusty post-its can solve.

My current editing style is not working! I have been tweaking and pruning only to find the wrong characters popping up where they no longer should be!
It has got to the stage where it is actually more of an effort to patch up what is already there, than it would be to wipe the slate clean and start again.

Which is a little nerve racking!
The main reason I wok so closely against the previous version is that I am worried I will miss something – forget some key fact, or lose a really good line…

The truth is, I won’t. If there really was some gold in there somewhere, I’m sure it’ll resurface at some point. And anything that stays forgotten? Well, it can’t have been worth remembering in the first place.

So I hit delete. Erased the whole chapter!

I then got a little drunk on the power of it all and had to restrain myself from deleting the entire thing and cackling wildly like a demented Disney villain (I’m thinking Ursula in The Little Mermaid when she grows all big and turns the sea into a giant whirlpool! Mwah-ha-ha!!!)

Um… where was I?

Once again it’s about finding some kind of balance – don’t be too precious about every little word you’ve written, but don’t get too trigger happy on the delete button either!

Well I’m off to do some more work (although oddly feeling like watching a bunch of Disney films now…)

Have a good weekend – see you next week!


Friday, 16 March 2012

My pledge to my blog...

I had something of a light-bulb moment yesterday with regards to my blogging. It started with Talli’s blog post on ‘blog fatigue’ and how it can sometimes feel like a burden being such an active blogger.
As you can imagine from the sparseness of my posts – I am in no danger of any kind of blog fatigue! In fact this blog is more likely to wander off in search of a more caring owner if I don’t pay more attention to it.

I make my excuses, I don’t have much time, I don’t currently have internet access at home (shh – I’m meant to be working right now!) when I’m not writing I’m currently running… Wah wah wah, what a load of rubbish excuses.

My biggest problem is that I’m not sure what I should talk about.  
I don’t feel like I have any great pearls of wisdom worthy of sharing, or that anyone will be interested in what I am thinking about. What do people talk about on blogs? What do people want to read about?


To all the writers out there – what is the single most important piece of advice anyone has given you with when you ask what you need to do to be a writer?


Read anything and everything you can lay your hands on, read the genre you write, read what you enjoy, read the same book over and over until it falls apart (that would be Prisoner of Azkaban for me!)
And I do read. Constantly, if fuels my imagination, gives me ideas, shows me how a good story is structured, teaches me different writing styles – and of course entertains me!

I have gone off on a tangent – my point was this:

If you need to read books in order to write one, then surely to write a blog you need to read them!

Simple huh? I had the answer all along.

I think I was a little overwhelmed with all the blogs out there – my twitter feed is full of interesting links and posts, reminding me that all these people are far cleverer and more articulate than me. Far from inspiring me it just made me feel rather inadequate!

However, yesterday I found myself with a precious half hour to spare, so I decided to catch up on a couple (yes just a couple) of blogs posts.  

One of the posts I read was from Emma Pass whose blog can be found over here. It was a really lovely post, one that resonated with a lot of people on feeling like an outsider, but finding a sense of comfort in being there. It was certainly a point that resonated with me. I have to make a conscious effort (and at times it really does feel like an effort) to involve myself in social activity, otherwise I run the risk of becoming a hermit. And not just a regular hermit – on no, if left to my own devices my world would become rather warped indeed – I would in fact become the mad cat lady on the corner.

It was this point in particular that sparked of my thought for this post:

What’s helped is the realisation that I need a balance. Too much time alone and I start to feel stale and cut off from reality – and as a result, so does my writing. Conversely, too much time with other people, especially in large groups, just wears me out. I need time with others to stimulate me and draw me out of myself, but time alone to allow my creative well to refill.

Anyone else feel a light bulb go off?

When I apply this thought to my writing (in particular my blogging) I see quite easily that I need to find that balance. Trying to follow too many blogs is exhausting, overwhelming and uninspiring. But attempting to write one without reading any, I seriously run the risk of becoming cut of from reality, and just as uninspired.

So my challenge to myself now is to find some balance! I have earmarked a grand total of three blogs to read during my lunch breaks over the week, in the hopes that I will be inspired enough to blog on a weekly basis!

So that’s it there in black and white - my pledge to my blog! I promise to be more attentive in future, and fill you with reasonably sane and interesting thoughts!

Have a good weekend - and I'll be back next week!

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Cancer Research - The Training begins!

The race looms closer… On June 9th I will be running the Cancer Research Race for Life – and yes I actually plan to run it!
So I thought I’d best get some training in if I’m to make it all the way around this course in one piece, and after a few trial runs to scope out the area I have finally found myself a nice little route.
Little being the word! Turns out, once I actually measured the distance, it is a puny 2.5k! Which is half the length I will need to run on the day!
Still at least it has given me some idea of what I’m aiming for – am currently pooped before I’m halfway round!
Good thing I have 13 weeks to build up some stamina!

Sponsorship is ticking along nicely – I plan to get some fabric pens this weekend to start decorating my t-shirt with the first messages – pictures to follow!
If you want to take part in my t-shirt challenge and have someone remembered, or want to tell to world you beat cancer, please head over to my just giving page Here!

Thank you all, you lovely people.


Thursday, 8 March 2012

Race For Life - The Challenge!

Last year I ran the Cancer Research Race for Life and raised £253! Which was a good start. So this year I thought I’d double that!

For those who don’t know, Race for Life is the largest women-only fundraising event in the UK, and has been running (ha ha – running - gettit?) since 1994.

Anyone who has been to an event will know they can be pretty emotional affairs! The sheer diversity of entrants is always inspiring, as they run, walk or get pushed round the course in their buggy. It’s a wonderful event in which people come together to share their sorrows, their triumphs, but mostly their fighting spirit!

This will actually be the fourth time I have run for Cancer Research and for some reason I always struggle with what to write on the ‘I’m running for…’ banner you pin to your back. I don’t know why I struggle with this, it’s not like I don’t have a reason – like most people I have had personal experiences, and have lost someone very close to cancer.

Like almost everyone.

I think that’s the problem.

I am no different to anyone else.

If you can put your hand up and say you honestly don’t know anyone who has been affected by cancer in some way, then you have led a very blessed (and possibly quite isolated!) life.

If on the other hand you are one of the millions worldwide who have suffered, have lost someone, or have come out fighting the other side - then I am running this race for you.

So I’m scrapping the banner this year – it’s too darn small. Instead what I will be doing is selling space on this here t-shirt.

Anyone who sponsors me, buys themselves a message space – all messages will be written on here and worn with pride.

So if you would like your memories and well-wishes paraded around Lydiard Park in three months time go here to my just giving page.

 You can leave me your message details there, or by commenting on this blog post. You can also find me on twitter @lm_the_sarge and contact me there.

And if I run out of room on the t-shirt, I will write on my socks as well.

PS Training began this week – Updates to follow!

Monday, 5 March 2012

Friday on a Monday

I posted this on Friday, a day when the internet was not my friend! Fingers crossed I have better luck today...


Last Sunday I finally unearthed the computer from beneath a mountain of boxes, and managed to clear a tiny corner of the room fit for writing. And boy did I write! Even Dancing on Ice had to wait so determined was I to finish that blasted chapter!

It had been three weeks since I moved, and three weeks since I’d written, funny how typing away for half an hour made me feel more at home than three weeks worth of cleaning and decorating. Even amid a fortress of boxes I felt more settled than I have all month!
So not surprisingly I managed a fairly epic writing spree, and spruced up was previously a fairly lack-lustre chapter.
Only now I have created more problems for myself. 
As is often the case when I take a break and come back to a piece, I notice glaring mistakes and huge leaps in logic that I swear were not there before!
Right now I have a rather important sub-plot that I am aware is full of holes. I think, think I have now patched them up. In my head that is – what I need to do now is go back several chapter and weave it back in.
Question is, do I go back and do that now, or push on with this draft and leave the weaving to the next re-write? Part of me can’t face going back to chapter nine when I really want to crack on and move forward! The other part of me now resents working on what is now a pretty duff draft!

What’s a girl to do in troubled times as these?  Well I only have one answer.

Post-it notes.

Blessed, blessed post-it notes. I shall go back and insert my various notes and new scenes in glorious multi-coloured sticker-dom leaving me free to carry on as before and tackle the re-write another day!

All hail the post-it note, saviour of the scatterbrained writer!

Have a good weekend folks!

Thursday, 1 March 2012

World Book Day!

It's world book day!!!! Hurrah!

So what did you buy?

On a whim I bought Paul Hoffman's The Last Four Things. Then I realised there was a book that came before it, so went back and bought the Left Hand of God as well!

If there's one good thing to be said about having a stinking cold it's that I now have an excuse to stay in bed and read!

Oh and also - Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus! Help yourselves to daffodils.