Saturday, 24 April 2010

Stitching and Writing topic opinions please

I've just seen Justine celebrating because she's nearly reached 100 followers (Congrats by the way), I'm celebrating because I've nearly reached 10 and have just discovered that I now appear in googles blog search, how sad am I? Anyway, two updates today, firstly, as you can see from the picture, a stitching update, she hasn't grown much this week, but I have done a little. And doesn't she look a little weird where you can see the outlines of muscles starting to form, there's something strangely creepy about it. Haven't got much done because I lost my main stitching night 'cos I was ushering at the theatre, but I'm hoping to get some done this weekend, and I've got another stitching weekend planned (hopefully this time without accidently removing parts of my finger with a big knife) next weekend and Ben is going hill walking. Personally I don't think it classifies as hill walking when bits of it will probably have to be achieved on hands and knees, but what do I know? It does also mean that I'm going to spend at least part of each day hoping against hope that he makes it back intact, which probably wont be helped by the fact that they're camping so he won't have much signal, or a charger and probably won't be able to call me. Okay, breath, panic over now :-)
Second update, as I mentioned a couple of days ago, I've got frustrated with my writing and have decided to put it aside and start on something else, as I've got so frustrated that I'm just not doing anything, so a fresh start is probably a good idea, but I can't decide which idea I want to work on. So this is where kindly blog followers come in, I would be interested to hear your opinions on the final three ideas and their pros and cons.
So...

1. Something based around George Boleyn, it'll have to follow the history of his sisters but I want to push him and his relationships to the fore, probably diary style, half written by him and half by the person he falls in love with.

Pros:
  • I quite fancy the double voice writing style
  • It's a period in history that I like
  • The plot is pretty much planned out, firstly by history and then in my head, and I'm fairly sure how I want it to end, and I do like my ending (again, I know, history dictates a lot of how it ends)
  • I quite fancy working my way through a lot of historial (Tudor era) characters and telling their stories, so this would be a good starting point for that
Cons:
  • I'm going to have to do quite a lot of research before I can really get into the meat of writing it, I like the period and have a reasonable knowledge, but details annoy me when other people get them wrong, so I need to show the same courtesy to others.
  • I've never really written something prolonged in first person before, so that may be a bit of a challenge to me.
  • Never tried my hand at a male protagonist before, so another challenge for me, don't know how well I'll be able to write male first person.
2. Something based around Robin Hood and his sister (I know, no sister, as above, I quite like throwing an unknown character into an existing history/legend and seeing what happens). Picture her as being quite strong mentally, and her brother strugglnig to come to terms with the woman she's become while he's been away

Pros:
  • Again, quite well plotted out, partially by the legend and I've got a pretty good idea of where I want to go with it.
  • I'd quite like to have a little romance plot running through it, and would like to see how that develops and where it goes.
Cons:
  • Concerend that I may actually have too much plot and that my head will explode when I try to make sense of it.
  • Has the story and the history been done to death?
  • Again, historically speaking I need to do some research, although this won't need to be quite as thorough and timelined as the George Boleyn one.
3. Traditional Boarding School Story, but from the side of the teachers. When I was a kid I loved Malory Towers, St Claire's and the Chalet School and I figure it would be quite fun to write something in that style, but from the teachers point of view as opposed to the kids.

Pros:
  • First and foremost, I really like the idea and just think that it would be fun.
  • Again, really like the voice and would quite enjoy writing in that style.
  • I hope it's a relatively original idea.
Cons:
  • Going to have to do some reading to find the voice (although, is that really a hardship?).
  • It's going to be slightly removed from reality, as that sort of school just doesn't exist anymore.
  • What's the audience?
Anyway, that's the basics, any comments gratefully accepted :-)

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Writing and Frustration

Just a quick blog today, writing based rather than stitching based (all those stitchers, feel free to switch off round about now)!

I haven't done much writing recently, in fact I've just thought about it seriously and I've realised that I've not written much in nearly two years, this upsets me! I was thinking about it earlier (there's a chance that I should have been working, but managers were on away days and my mind wandered, anyway, I've mastered the art of typing up documents while my mind does something else) and I think it's because I've got very frustrated with the piece I'm working on, and I think I need to put it away and come back to it at a later date, because while I'm getting frustrated with it I'm not taking it anywhere. Therefore, I've decided to put that on the back burner for a while and come back to it at a later date. Guinevere, Lancelot, Arthur and Elaine shall go and have a little snooze and hopefully I'll come back to it with a fresh look at a later date.

But this means that I now have to find something else to work on, not difficult, I've got the best part of 100 ideas floating around on my computer, the hard part is picking what to work on for a while, wish me luck!

Monday, 12 April 2010

Winter's Majesty and an aborted weekend of stitching

Ben was on a stag weekend this weekend, so I had a weekend of stitching and generally just chilling out, and this is what happened, to begin with. The page of Winter's Majesty that I'm on at the moment is lots of confetti, so it's very slow going, and it got slower when I tried to chop my finger off.
Saturday evening I thought that I'd make a nice sweet potato tortilla, cos I'd found this nice looking recipe, then when cutting the potato, I thought it would be fun to try and remove the end of my finger as well. Two hours later I'm still bleeding, two and a half hours later Ben's mother is patching my finger back together, it only stopped bleeding this morning, so as you can imagine, this did put a bit of a dampener on my stitching time, due to the fact that I had no desire to bleed on anything that I'd already spent 15 - 20 hours on, because that would probably have annoyed me, just a little bit! But, having said all that, I did get quite a lot done on Saturday before the incident with the blood, and there's quite a difference between this and the last update I put up, if you squint you can almost make out little white flowers (a little clearer in real life if I'm honest).  This is an incredibly fiddly page with lots of confetti, far to many half stitches and a couple of funky cottons that look lovely, but are a real pain to stitch with, and I am getting a little frustrated with it now, because it's not growing as fast as I think that it should. Having said that I'm persevering (that word looks wrong) because it will look very nice when it's finished, just as long as I havent already thrown it across the room.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

New Title and 'The Owl Killers' by Karen Maitland

Firstly I've changed the title, I decided that my title didn't really mean anything, granted this one's roughly the same, but it's slightly less ponderous and pretentious (I hope) with it.


I finished reading The Owl Killers by Karen Maitland at some unnatural hour last time and thought it was about time that I wrote another book review. Like her previous book Company of Liars this took a while to get into, but once I had I really enjoyed it. Starting in England in 1321 it tells of a village, and the fight between current superstitions and Christianity. A group of religious women have recently moved from Brussels to bring their religion to the British but rather than taking their hope the village priest takes against them and fights them every step of the way.
The story is told by several people, a daughter of the local lord who he banishes from his home, the leader of the religious women, one of the other women, a child from the village and the village priest. Each chapter titled by whoever will be 'speaking' for that chapter.
The story is very enjoyable, but it does occasionally seem to jump without any real explanation, one chapter will end with the expectation of an event and the next chapter will start after it happens so you occasionally feel like you're missing out on information and events.
The voices of all the different characters are clear, and even without the name at the beginning of each chapter, you could probably tell who was talking, and it's very interesting to see everything happen from different points of view, and despite the fact that personally, I have no interest in religion, it was interesting to see the Lord of the manor's daughter find her own theories about religion and peoples faith.

Overall, I'd recommend this is a borrower, having read it I probably wouldn't read it again, but it was enjoyable to read once.

Last weeks stitching

Here's an update of last weeks stitching, the picture that I should have posted last weekend. Three pages plus the first colour of the next page. It's coming along. I'm working pretty hard on it, occasionally anyway, because I'm trying to get it finished in time for Ben's clinic's new brochure going out. Plus one random line down where I didn't want to finish the cotton off when I only had a bit left, hence she's got one line running down where her arm should be.

And now for a weekend of stitching and seeing if I can make a couple of my projects grow a bit where they don't seem to have much recently!

And it's the first time this year I've been able to sit with the window open without freezing myself half to death, so it's all good.

On the down side had a call from Ben last night saying that the car had broken down, so he's taken it to the garage today in the hope that they'll be able to get it running, hope they can other wise it's a long way from Bristol to have to push it back along the hard shoulder :-) Bless him, hoping for updates as the day goes on, in between the quad biking and general stag weekend merriment anyway.

Friday, 9 April 2010

Just a quick catch up

I'm feeling very guilty, I haven't done any stitching this week, and I didn't do my update last weekend, I just kept saying "I'll do it later, I'll do it tomorrow" and I'm lazy, so I didn't. I wasn't even that busy, just didn't get round to doing anything. Didn't get up to much, say Ben's folks a couple of times, went out on walks with said folks a couple of times, went to a Maundy Money festival in Knaresbrough on Saturday, was presented with a very nice Easter egg on Sunday (Bettys, he's a good lad) went swimming on Monday (had to work off the Easter eggs somehow) and swam till my legs weren't certain about holding me anymore, then Ben made me walk up and down hills in the afternoon, I hurt!
I'm also quite childishly because I've got my first followers who are neither my boyfriend or a kindly friend, hello Justine and Momma in Stitches, you've no idea how excited I was when I saw you! Probably quite sad if I'm honest.
Anyway, Ben's away this weekend (stag do = beer) so I've got the flat to myself and how am I spending it, eating all the things that I can't normally eat because he doesn't like them (I just ate macaroni cheese made with chesse so strong that it smelt of feet!), do my stitching and watching the DVDs I don't normally watch 'cos he won't like them, it's going to be a very lazy weekend, can't wait!
As such, stitching updates to follow!