Saturday 6 March 2010

I always did have a soft spot for Miss Havisham.

It's a common problem for creative types that finding the motivation to get the idea down on paper can often be a bit of a struggle. With this in mind, my friend Scott and I decided to set each other writing assignments. The idea was that with a deadline, and an intended audience, we would be more likely to produce. It didn't last, but during that time, I did write a few things of which I'm actually rather proud. The first piece is the exercise below, in response to the prompt; "Describe an object of great importance to a character: a car, trophy, dress or ring, for example. First, write a paragraph using details that portray the object as sensuous, beautiful, and tempting. Then write a second paragraph in which the same object is described through details that make it seem repellent." Guess which is which.

1) The wedding cake drew gasps of admiration from the guests clustered around the table. Three feet high, mock Greek pillars separated the five thick slabs of alternating chocolate and fruit cake. Angels of white icing cavorted among sugar roses along the top tier, and a small plastic couple clasped hands beneath a delicate lattice arch. Iced scallops ran around the lower tiers. Dried fruits embedded in the icing looked like jewels waiting to be mined. Spun sugar draped across the layers to echo Magda's veil. It seemed a shame to cut this cake, but she had been waiting for this day for her whole life.

2) Magda sat by the table, gazing at the remains of the cake. Insects had long since burrowed into the soft innards, chewing out the chocolate and the dried fruit. Only the icing remained, hardened into an impenetrable shell. Dust clogged the scallops and the roses, and the angels lurched across the top tier. Some of their limbs had snapped off, and lay discarded among corpses of flies. One angel was even missing its wings. The spun sugar disintegrated years ago, replaced by soft cobwebs. Magda occasionally watched spiders scuttle across the icing, chasing those flies tempted by the last remaining crumbs of cake. The plastic couple lay shattered on the floor under the table, pieces of the pair scattered across the grimy parquet floor. Tears welled in her eyes, but at least she never had to cut the cake. She could never spoil anything so beautiful.

Thursday 4 March 2010

Happy World Book Day!

World Book Day is marked by over 100 countries around the globe, and originates from Catalonia. Books have been given as gifts on St George's Day for over 80 years, and most countries will be holding World Book Day on 23 April. However, the UK and Ireland like to be different, so our World Book Day is today!

Reading is a wonderful pastime and a brilliant way to help children learn, and understand the world around them. Why not give a book to a child you know? Check out the World Book Day site to find out what specially produced £1 books are available. (Make sure you let their parents know so you don't get accused of anything underhand!) Happy reading!

Wednesday 3 March 2010

Shameless Self Promotion

Today, it is my turn to be unveiled as part of the new Chinese Whisperings project! It's really rather exciting, seeing oneself on a web page that's not yours (and, I would venture to guess, less confusing than seeing yourself appear someone distinctly unpleasant). If you'd like to take a look, have a wander over here, although it pretty much will redirect you back here! I even answered five questions on the website, the answers to which are here.

I feel like I'm bursting with ideas at the moment. I'm redrafting the third instalment of The First Tale, from my Tales from Vertigo City serial, and I'm redrafting my first novel, Fowlis Westerby. The redrafting process hasn't been as painful as I thought it might be, mainly because I did a lot of revision while I was still writing it (I know you're not supposed to, but yah boo sucks to the establishment). I do have a couple of plot holes I want to fill, and I want to expand a couple of secondary characters, but hopefully I'll have my first revision complete by the end of April, at the latest.

I've also got another idea floating around in my brain, but I'm letting it simmer just below the surface before I even attempt to get anything solid on paper. There is, after all, the possibility of biting off far more than I can chew...