Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Wherever I Lay My Laptop That's My Home

Back in May I blogged about my house move and new writing area that overlooked the garden and apple trees. It was an inspiring view. However, the light was making my laptop screen too reflective. Even with the curtains closed and the screen turned up to full brightness, it became a mirror. I could manage during the dark winter months, but the rest of the year it would be just about unusable.

Thankfully, there was a solution - moving into a different room. This was something my other half and I were going to do regardless, we just didn't know if we could fit my writing area into the room as well. After several weeks of redecorating, multiple pencil drawings of possible layouts, we finally got there. Here's my new writing area:

The desk is bigger than it looks, with plenty of room for my writing books on the left and a large draw for all my pens and post-it notes (Like many writers, I'm a post-it note hoarder).


The files for my current writing projects are to the right of the desk. We'll be putting in shelving behind the curtain on the left, which will hold all my files and folders. I will still need to close the curtains when I use my laptop, but it's no where near as bright as the other room. It's also much cooler, as there is a patio door I can slide open.

As you can probably tell, I'm still Spock-crazy!

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Animated Book Covers

I've started reading the final book in Stephen King's Mercedes Killer trilogy. I love the characters in these books, especially Holly Gibney. I shall be bereaved when I finish the final page.

While searching for a book cover image to add to the 'I'm reading' tab on the left hand side of this blog, I came across an animated cover for End of Watch. My first thought was, wow. The moving fish are perfect for King's latest offering (I won't say more than that for fear of giving away the plot) and the animation grabs your attention. Then, how long have animated covers been around? I'm assuming not long, because this is the first I've seen.

My third thought was, I wonder if anyone on Fiverr does these covers? I couldn't find anyone, but I'm sure it won't be long. Of course, I'm wondering how hard it would be to do it myself. I like a challenge, but I fear this is beyond my limited capabilities.

What do you think about animated book covers? Have you seen any more? Do you know anyone who creates them?

While I'm on the subject of reading, if you look to the left you'll notice my pitiful Goodreads challenges stands at just nine books. I had set myself a target of 75 books this year. Unless I break both legs and spend weeks in traction, there's more chance of me visiting the International Space Station than reaching my target. It's been that kind of year so far. The funny thing is I'd planned to do a monthly post on the books I'd read each month of 2016. Sometimes you have to know when to change plans. Perhaps I should start at the end of this month? Give myself an incentive to make more time to read.

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

My First Insecure Writer's Support Group Post

It's the first Wednesday of the month and I've finally joined the Insecure Writer's Support Group. I'd planned to sign up back in January, but for a myriad of reasons it never happened. So, today is my first post.

What is the group's purpose? To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds.

Before I answer this month's IWSG question, I'd like to share what's making me insecure at the moment - finding time to write. 

My life has radically changed in the last three months. I've gone from living alone, and with plenty of time to write, to living with three housemates and my new partner. It's always busy. There is always a list of jobs around the house and garden that need completing. I still have family commitments. I still need to make time for friends. All of those things need to be fitted around work. 

I get frustrated when people with an abundance of free time fail to understand how little I have, and then angry if they try to guilt me into doing things. Of course, I'm always too polite to say anything. You see I've never been good at saying no. I feel guilty when I'm unable to make time for friends or family. When something needs sorting or cleaning in the house, I feel like it's my responsibility. Yet I know that saying no occasionally and expecting others to take on tasks is what I must do to make time for my writing. Will I still feel guilty? Yes. Will I let that stop me? I have to answer no, because the other option is unacceptable.

Do you struggle with balancing writing with all the other parts of your life? Do you have trouble saying no?

August's IWSG question:

What was your very first piece of writing as an aspiring writer? Where is it now? Collecting dust or has it been published?

The first piece of writing I was serious about has to be a science fiction novel I started in the mid to late 1990s. I can't remember the year. It was written on a rented computer and each chapter saved to a floppy disc. It was called All Systems Go. It was terrible. So, I threw the discs away. You can imagine how much I've regretted that decision. Even though I'm sure it would be cringeworthy at best, I'd still like to read my earliest novel-writing effort.

The lesson to be learned here is never throw away your writing. It doesn't matter that you think it's crap or hate it. It was part of your writing journey. You puts words to paper. You created something. And think how exciting it will be to re-read those efforts years from now.