Procrastination Addicts Anonymous

I love to do everything but what I should be doing. Think that’s true of quite a lot of people. I remember when I was studying with the OU for example, when ever there was an assignment my house would end up spotless, I never cleaned as much as I did when I had essay deadlines.

These days I have self imposed deadlines, like my August submission deadline for my M&B manuscript. I gave myself 8 months to finish it and edit it, and with 2 months to go it’s been a journey with both ups and downs. Finishing the story wasn’t really a problem, there were some holes here and there that needed filling, but that was about it. The hardest part was the wordcount, I had written the novel during NaNoWriMo and it was quantity not quality that mattered. Consequently I was left with about 120k words, by the time the holes were filled it was closer to 130k, and M&B Historical has a word limit of 85k. Of course there was a lot of dross amongst those 130k words, and getting rid of the majority of the 45k I had over was no problem, the last 10k was hell. But it got done, the ms is ok-ish and off to my beta readers at the moment, before I get it back and can craft it into something great.

So this is where the procrastination comes in, I don’t expect my ms back for a month and I’m banned from working on it till I do. What to do with my time? Unfortunately I came across a great way to spend my time – Harlequin’s BI3M (Book In 3 Months) challenge. You are supposed to write your novel in 2 months, then edit for 1 month and then submit. Sounds like great fun to me, plus I have a plot which I’ve been wanting to write since February. But once my current MS comes back I need to be focused on that and not have my head full of other characters and plots. So I’m trying to be good and not participate. I’ll just pop by each week to read the articles. I’ll let you know how it goes…

If you want to try the challenge yourself, head over to the eharlequin community site and get involved.

What do I want NOW? Some willpower would be just super…

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In Awe of Twilight

I have a confession to make and I can’t write this post until it’s done; I never had any plans of reading Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga. Nothing against Ms. Meyer, I didn’t even know what they were about. My aversion stemmed from the over hyping of the serious, millions of screaming teenage girls etc. I got sucked in by the whole hype thing with Christopher Paolini’s Eragon, and decided there and then, NEVERMORE. I’d love to dedicate a whole post to how much I loath Paolini’s books, but I feel that the least said the better, let’s not add to the hype. So that is my I was unfairly prejudiced against Twilight and I hope all fans can forgive me.

Luckily for me Twilight got made into a film and for that I will be eternally grateful. When I saw the film at Christmas I was struck by the raw emotion of it and of course (as anyone who knows me would have guessed) I was near tears for the majority of it. I decided then that I would read the books, that I HAD TO read the books, however due to various other reading commitments (reading lists for uni, the huge pile of unread books in out living room) I never quite made it out to the shops to get the series. Then came May 2009 and I had mostly finished my writing course, handed in one of my essays for A210 and the pile of unread books was no more, so when I saw Twilight on one of my weekly shopping trips I picked it up to read after the weekend.

One chapter in and I was hooked! I started reading on Sunday and on Wednesday morning I had finished all four books (on Monday after finishing Twilight I went straight to the bookshop and bought the New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn). Inbetween reading I watched the film twice, first on the pirate copy we bought at Christmas, and then the proper copy as I went and bought the special edition because I just had to see the special features. And then of course I bought the soundtrack, which was perfect. So yeah I am now a Twilight fan, and proud of it.

Because the books were labled as YA fiction I did have my doubts, most if it would be insanely and unrealistically angsty as teen fiction tends to be. Well there is angst, no doubt about it, but good angst, the kind you can believe in. The raw emotion I felt in the film is even more evident in the books, and I cried, if possible, even more whilst reading. I was in awe of Stephanie Meyer’s ability to write in 1st person, it’s something I’ve experimented with myself on occasion, but I’ve never quite got it right. This story is perfect for it though, by seeing everything through Bella’s eyes the reader gets more invested in the tale meyer tells. And as Bella is without a doubt the character who changes the most through out the series the reader is given a more complete picture of why Bella changes the way she does and why she makes the decisions she makes. Without  Bella there is no story, without her Edward can just go on with his life as he has for the last 90 years, he won’t miss what he’s never had.

In any case, reading Twilight inspired me to dig out an old story I started about 8 years ago and now i have two pieces for my ECA. Both are the beginning chapters of a novel, the first one, the one I was originally planning on sending in is a Timetravelling-ish story where our heroine jumps from 2009 and right into 1815 and the Battle of Waterloo. It let me combine my love of sci-fi/fantasy and the Regency era and I’m quite please with it, even if the ending is a bit weak. But now of course I have a contender and this is more a urban fantasy/ supernatural drama kind of story. It started out 8 years ago as a Buffy the Vampire Slayer sequal, except there was no one there from Buffy, the similar things ware The Watcher council, slayer lore and Watchers. There isn’t a single vamp in sight, instead we have other things which go ‘bump in the night’. As the story developed and I stopped plagarising Joss Whedon, the Watchers Council became the  Assembly of Elders and consists of humans, ‘good’ demons, witches and other beings (this is still a bit sketchy), the slayer becomes an immortal warrior who can live for ever, but who is not indestructable. So she could easily live for several millenia without aging, but shot her in the head, plunge a knife in her heart she is as dead as the next person.  The watchers are called mentors or companions, and can be human, or not. They live their normal life spans, so are regularly replaced, once a warrior has lived a while and gone through a few mentors these are usually relegated to the post of research assistant because that’s really all the use they are. In any case the story begins with the current warrior, a girl who looks ot be in her 20s, having almost lost a fight. She survives but has completely lost her memory, the beginning of the story is really her quest to get her memory back and identify who her true allies are. It’s changed so much since I started writing it, and I think some more changes are waiting to happen as there are quite a few things I want to change, need to change, but these are more in the later story so the beginning chapters should be fine as they are.

To make things even harder for myself I do have a third story ready for the ECA, a pure Regency story with quite a bit of drama. I am reluctant to send it in though because while I am really happy with 90% of the novel, I am not happy with the beginning and that is the part i would have to submit. Well I still have a few days to decide and polish so at this point everything is possible.

I’m not entirely sure how I went from a post on how much I love Twilight (wanna-be teenie that I am) to talking up my own writing, but oh well. All I wanted to say was THANK YOU Stephenie Meyer for a brilliant books series.

It’s been a while

My beloved blog, I have missed thee so much. Living without Internet is a real pain and not something I’d recommend. However it is a self-inflicted problem as ordering the Internet is something I could do instead of lazying about everyday.
Well enough of the self pity and loathing. This is just a quick update to say Hola, and to confirm that I am still among the living and enjoying Abu Dhabi and UAE VERY much.
The weather is great, quite cool at the moment, but summer is fast approaching. Apparently once we hit June leaving the air-conditioned comforts of your house is not an option, so we’ll have to enjoy it while it lasts.
Well that’s all for now, busy getting A210 stuff in order not to mention A215 so have enough to do but once internet is install I’ll be back with a vengence.

The Waiting Game

It’s been a month now since I last saw my hubbie, and at the moment I’m eagerly waiting for my visa to come through so I can join him in Abu Dhabi. How ridiculous is it to be married for 5 days before your brand new husband leaves the country? I’m just really fed up with it now.
At least my writing course keeps me busy, I’m really enjoying it despite the near disaster of not being able to submit the first eTMA. Luckily my tutor was very helpful, and I was able to submit it a few days later instead, crisis averted. I just hope it was worth reading, I’m so nervous about getting it back, what if I don’t have what it takes to be a writer? Apparently it’s due back on Friday, until then I will have to continue my fretting and sleepless nights. I have this heavy lump in my chest thinking she is going to hate it.
In other news Nanowrimo is going really well, yesterday I hit the 50,000 mark which means I’m more than half way to my target of 100,000 nifty spiffing words 😉 I love writing this story, it’s like 3 years of thinking coming together making it all fit nicely with each other.
Tomorrow is the last day of the working week in Abu Dhabi so if I have no visa news then it will be Sunday at the earliest that I will know. Fingers crossed everyone

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Almost ready to start

Well I have my course materials, I can get in to the course forums and I’ve been allocated a tutor and tutorials. All that is missing is the tutor group forums and Divine inspiration, although I’ll be happy to just get the first one
After getting my TMA08 score today I can put A103 behind me (I don’t really fear that i got less than 30% on 09, so nothing more to worry about), THANK THE HIGHER BEINGS, is all I can say. It will definitely NOT go down in the history books as my favorite OU course (hmm what am I unwittingly saying there?) TMA08 earned me a respectable 79%, which with 600 words missing I can’t be unhappy about.

I’ve had a little look in the BRB (Big Red Book), done a few clusters and freewrites. I definitely prefer the freewrites, I get a much better mind flow when doing them, with the clusters I struggle and it is very forced. Saying that though I don’t think my freewrites are very free, I can’t seem to just from word association to word association but stick with one theme. Hopefully the tutor won’t mind too much, I guess that is one of the things I’ll have to ask about once the tutor group gets going

I am not a happy bunny!!!!!

(wonder why people started saying that?) I am currently in the Siberia of OU study. The forums won’t let me in, not through the FC client and not through StudentHome, in fact it would even allow me to go to http://www.open.ac.uk/ . Mr Line has been joking about my OU forum addiction for a few months now, but today it’s really shown it self. I feel I might as well go to bed, as I have nothing better to do. Which, ok, is quite silly coz I have a whole lot of things to do. I have now abandoned my darling Mac mini to Mr Line, and have stolen his green Alien to play around with. It’s huge compared to the very small mac, but I love the color. It also runs Vista which I’m not very used to so it’s nice using it every now and again.
Anyway Mr Line called OU tech support who were very helpful, but it was only as he mentioned our broadband provider in passing that we got to the route of the mystery. It appears Virgin now has a connectivity issue with the OU, which has only just been reported and this should hopefully be fixed by tomorrow, saturday at the latest (personally I have no faith in Virgin sorting anything out so will not place any bets on how quickly the issue is solved). We (Mr Line) also called Virgin, who were the most unhelpful b*****ds imaginable. Glad we’ll be rid of them in Abu Dhabi!!

IN OTHER NEWS, the A215 materials have landed and the course website/forums have opened (fat load of good that does me at the moment). The amount of messages pasted in just 2 days though is amazing, I’ve been keeping up through work pc and iPhone (very trusty iPhone), but people post so quickly it’s hard to keep up. No tutor news yet, though I’m sure that will come up in the next week or so, hope my tutorgroup buddies from A103 will be in the same tutor group, at least we won’t all be total strangers. And I’m also crossing my fingers that the first day school will be before I head to UAE (and it’s not on my wedding day).
Talking of wedding days we will actually decide this tomorrow, we’re heading into town early and going to the registry office to give notice of marriage. Once I know the exact date the stress can begin, not too bothered before then Wedding dress is decided, going to buy it next friday, I have a hairstyle in mind, got an appointment at hairdressers to see how realistic it is to get my hair that way. So just need shoes, a wrap, flowers and rings, oh and clothes for Mr Line (he refused the Mr Darcy look, oh well thinking cap back on). I’m thinking a morning suit for him though, will have to go and source prices on the weekend.

Right, think it’s think for some more drabble postage, don’t forget to tell me what you think

Copyright © 2007-2011 Line Sletvold Finnan
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