Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Song Challenge: Day 4 & OU Creative Writing update

Day 4 – A song that you hear often on the radio

This one has to be All Summer Long by Kid Rock. I've heard it twice in the last couple of weeks, and I don't listen to that much music radio, so that's pretty impressive.

I'm going to cheat a bit on the story part of this test. Rather than use the song as inspiration for a flash fiction, I'm going to use the picture of the house on the single's CD cover, and use that as a setting for a story. I'm thinking kids exploring an abandoned farm house during the school summer holidays and finding something interesting...

On to a slightly different topic, I've posted off all my registration forms for the Open University creative writing course and now I'm waiting for my books and so on to arrive. All the course material is supposed to be sent out by September 10th, so when it arrives I'll post more about it.

Monday, 30 August 2010

Song challenge: Day 3

Day 3 – A song from your favorite album

I don't really have a favourite album, I just have lots that I listen to a lot. Among the dozens that I listen to a lot - ranging from Seal to Disney to movie soundtracks to Dixie Chicks - is Kelly Clarkson's Breakaway album. It's something I like to put on when I'm driving and sing along to.

One of my favourite songs on the album is Because of You, which I think is really beautiful. The faithful Google image search brought up this lovely picture of a young dancer dressed as a fairy, so she's going to be the subject of today's fiction. Just a short scene today, I think, about the dancer's preparation for her performance.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Song challenge: Day 2

Day 2 – A song that reminds of you of somewhere

The Dixie Chicks' Wide Open Spaces always reminds me of Indianapolis. I first heard the song when I was in a mall there, and when I went back the next year I made a point of finding out who sang it and buying the album. It seemed to fit very nicely with all the driving I was doing, the late summer sun and the feeling of freedom the place seemed to have.

Strangely when I typed 'wide open spaces' into the Google image search, as well as bringing up plenty of scenery it also brought up this colourful little guy, so today's fic is going to be something to do with lizards. And possibly Indianapolis.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Song challenge: Day 1

Day 1 – A song that you can play on an instrument

I've been learning to play Big Girls Don't Cry by Fergie on guitar so I can perform it at a charity concert later this year. It's not the only song I can play, but it's the first one that came to mind when I read the question.

For the scene/story/flash fic I'm going to write for this one I'm going to steal a scene from the music video where she's standing by the doorway watching her boyfriend do a drug deal (as in the screengrab here - click the link to watch the full video).

I'm going to delve a bit into her feelings as she watches him and what leads to her decision to leave. I might post it up here if it turns out okay...

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

The 30-Day Song Challenge

This musical challenge is apparently making the rounds on the interwebs so I thought I'd give it a go. The idea is to share a little bit about yourself by choosing one song a day, for 30 days, on certain themes - and because this is a writing blog, I'm setting the extra challenge of writing a short scene or fic inspired by each song I pick.

Day 1 – A song that you can play on an instrument
Day 2 – A song that reminds of you of somewhere
Day 3 – A song from your favorite album
Day 4 – A song that you hear often on the radio
Day 5 – A song that you know all the words to
Day 6 – A song that you used to love but now hate
Day 7 – A song that you wish you could play
Day 8 – Your favorite song
Day 9 – A song that makes you happy
Day 10 – A song that makes you fall asleep
Day 11 – A song that reminds you of a certain event
Day 12 – A song that you can dance to
Day 13 – A song that reminds you of someone
Day 14 – A song that you wish you heard on the radio
Day 15 – Your favorite song at this time last year
Day 16 – A song from your childhood
Day 17 – A song that is a guilty pleasure
Day 18 – A song that describes you
Day 19 – A song that you want to play at your funeral
Day 20 – A song from your favorite band
Day 21 – A song from a band you hate
Day 22 – A song that you want to play at your wedding
Day 23 – Your least favorite song
Day 24 – A song that makes you laugh
Day 25 – A song that makes you sad
Day 26 – A song that you listen to when you’re happy
Day 27 – A song that you listen to when you’re angry
Day 28 – A song that no one would expect you to love
Day 29 – A song that makes you feel guilty
Day 30 – A song that you listen to when you’re sad

Friday, 13 August 2010

Weekend ahead

This time last week I was on the train with 200 members of the Royal Navy. This week I'm sitting at my desk trying to get motivated to write and thinking about the 101 things I should do when I get home - starting with getting the washing out of the washing machine, and doing the washing up.

Somewhere this weekend I want to try to finish the first draft of a short story I've been working on as well, but whenever I sit down to write fiction at the moment I seem to come up with ideas for things that are entirely unrelated to the story I'm trying to write. I need to try to find the balance between getting the ideas down somewhere to work on another time, and making sure I don't get too sidetracked.

Maybe I should just start with an outline for the bits of short story I don't have, and fill in from there. Girl gets chased, girl gets caught, girl is dead, boy finds girl, boy's dad explains about the monsters, boy goes hunting monsters, and so on... I'll give it a try and let you know how it went on Monday.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Taking a creative writing course

I'm in the process of studying for a degree with the Open University and as I was looking through the prospectus for my next course I noticed they have a creative writing course. It looks quite interesting, because although I know my writing is generally good, I'm sure I've picked up some bad habits, and I'm sure there are a whole bucketful of good practice ideas that I could use to improve my writing.

The course starts in October and I'll post updates and useful things I've learned as I go through the work. If anyone else is doing this course then drop me a note - I can always use a study buddy!

Monday, 9 August 2010

Writing on the train

I've just been away on holiday for a week in sunny Plymouth and had to get the train there from Birmingham - about 4 hours either way. Fortunately I had a good book and my laptop with me, so I was able to occupy myself pretty well.

I actually found the journey was a good source of inspiration - I found myself on the same train as 200 members of the Navy who were all heading off for furlough. Listening to them chatting (nothing about what they'd been doing in service, just normal chatter) gave me a few ideas for scenes, and the reactions of some of the other passengers sparked a few character ideas as well. And then there was the guy who managed to get locked in the toilet...!

I only managed to write one short story during the journey, but that's better than none, and I finished my book as well as having the experience of meeting some great guys.

The book, which I highly recommend, was part of the Temeraire series by Naomi Novik. If you like dragons, swordplay or historic novels, read and enjoy!