Writing, blogging, and Reading, oh and coffee

After the previous glorious sunrises of the last two days, today is dull. The sun has not shown its face, the wind is howling by the windows. I haven’t like the previous days gone out. I have done something new today.

I made fresh coffee in the metal pots I discovered in the cupboard of the holiday cottage, stocked up, switched on the electric blanket and opened the laptop. I have been trawling through wordpress.com/tags/writing.  I have discovered such a wondrous community, with varying degrees of ability but all people taking the time to write. I have read tips and gained valuable knowledge which will make my blog better. I have read moving stories of peoples real lives, short inspiring stories, people with amazing gifts for words. I have followed people, wanting to find out more as they post. Will this be a burden on my time I wonder? I have been up hours and just spent time immersing myself in the writing world, this is the time I don’t often have. Even less so with NaNoWriMo around the corner, but I feel finding it and not carrying on would be a loss.

I constrained myself to a post a day, I didn’t need to. If you have something to say, say it, shout it, write it.   I have also dropped the [XX] number from the posts, it seems no one does that.

[36] Writing tools

It has been a few days since the last post. I am concentrating my efforts on completing and editing the book. I have also been away on a writing break, it didn’t initially start with much writing, as the family joined me. I was pleased with this, apart from my son’s insistence he wanted to go home, that was on the way to the cottage.  Additionally, he is nearly sixteen and not six. The cottage is very rural, several miles from civilisation but it is such as great place.  I was looking forward to it from the point the owner sent through a dossier of things about the cottage. It was thirty pages long, it had detailed instructions, step by step guide to reach my home for the next three nights. It looked to be deep across the moors. The instructions had dry day walks and wet day walks. The nearest pub is an hour and a half away on foot. It is everything you would expect for a rural cottage in the lakes. A massive open fire, a basket of chopped logs, coal, brilliant sunrises and sunsets over big hill and silence. I sit here writing this with just the sound of a ticking clock. The place doesn’t even have a television, the Wifi is slow. I love it.

The blog post is called writing tools, and there is a reason to this. I have purchased the full subscription to Grammarly. I have mentioned this device before, but I decided as it aids editing it would be worth the investment in the premium version. This came about as I thought as it was an online based tool, I would try and edit my Word document online, through Office365. I, however, came across an issue, it doesn’t work with Office online, however, it had a Word plugin. I heartily recommend it.  It was showing things missed that Word’s grammar checker wasn’t picking up. It also suggested quite a few premium items it had noticed. The number of them, shall we say I will keep to myself.  There were additional discounts that could be found as well.

I have just completed a section of my book, I needed some practical guidance with. Let me explain, it involved ( This might be a minor spoiler for unfriended, but doesn’t give too much away) the board game Scrabble.  A certain scenario occurs that requires the use of Scrabble as a means of communication. The cottage had a scrabble board.  I have spent the last hour recreating this scene and spelling out numbers with letters, SEVEN, FOUR etc.  I then thought I would see how it read and came across this website which allows you to paste text in and it can be read out by several different voices.  You can tailor the speed, change the auditor, probably my favourite is the one I think sounds like Graeme Garden from the Goodies. He’s done lots of things but will never lose that tag.  It’s still mechanical in part, but it also gives me another tool in the toolbelt.

I have just listened to this blog through it and will make changes, I did smile when Graeme said Office three hundred and sixty-five.

[23] Story challenge

A couple of days ago [21] I got some random works to create a story around

Orphaned child

Fierce

Pursuit

Polluted river

Wedding video

This is what I came up with:-
She was nearly out of breath, but she still kept running, she had to. She ran as fast as she could manage. She had managed to wriggle free when the man had grabbed her. She had lost her coat as he pulled her towards the open van door. She was starting to get cold. She was only 14 and very scared. She pushed through a hole in the hedge. Thinking the man would give up the pursuit but he hasn’t. He looked much older than her step-parents, she had grown up with them since she was orphaned at the age of six after the accident. The man had been very angry when she had managed to get away from him. He was a grey-haired scary man with a contorted screwed up face. He had this fierce look about him and called her a bitch as he struggled to get through the hedge. It has given her some precious time else he would have caught her. She knew the area and was navigating around the local river. It wouldn’t have been good to end up in the river, all the locals knew it was polluted. She cursed that she hadn’t got a mobile phone getting it confiscated that day at school for playing with it. She felt for her rucksack and cried out when she realised she’s lost it in the struggle. She gasped,  in the bag, in it was the only images she had of her parents on their wedding video

(Words 250)

The image was created from https://wordart.com/create

 

[22] The Train Journey

Travelling on trains in the north-west of England is such a frustrating experience. People in the south might also have their own challenges I don’t know. It’s 2 hours since I set off from Manchester. I’m still probably 20 minutes away from my next connection. To make it worse I drove to another station this morning, so the car even isn’t at home. I don’t know if there’s a connection yet. I considered collecting it in the morning, then realise I can’t there are no trains, there is a strike. There’s been an accident which can’t be helped, but they are so disorganized and don’t tell you anything. You just sit and wait. The train moves a few minutes, slowly, then stops and waits some more. I have with the time provided me from Northern Rail wrote two blog posts, listened to radio 2 BBC Friday night comedy. It’s been productive. The blitz spirit comes out when it’s gets like this I note. People talk to one another, everyone’s in the same boat. The train smells of wee which tops off a bad day. That said I should be gracious, I will make it home eventually the reason the train was delayed I believe might have been a fatality. That unfortunate person won’t be making it home, his or her family will be impacted by it. My journey hasn’t been that bad when I put it into perspective, I got to write longer than I would normally and will eventually get home safe.

(word2 250)

I also managed to write a short story of 250 words with the words from yesterdays post but I will save that till tomorrow.

I got home 3 hours late in the end.

 

[15] Ask your self what do you see?

Ask yourself a question. Look around you what can you see? What’s happening where you are at this exact point in time? Feel free to post in the comments what it is. I’m curious. I’m sat at work writing this as someone taken control of my PC, on purpose. So, it seemed like a good idea to write today’s blog hence the question. The window blinds a few feet in front of me are all at different heights in different windows some offering a grim outlook of the streets of Manchester. There’s an old building with pillars which on looking I note an absence of birds. There’s a building with scaffolding looking forlorn just beyond the girl with purple hair. My focus wanders more to the interior of the building, on the desk next to mine is one of the little wooden toys. What are they called? It’s a woodpecker on a pole that pecks away when sliding down the pole. I’ve never seen it move. I now wonder if anyone would say anything if I learnt over and made it peck. I decided I will. I pull to the top. I have been cheated, the little wooden woodpecker sits at the top of the pole. It’s not moving. Its eye looks like it’s looking at me. If it could speak what would it say? ‘Who put me up here, the bastard?’ Do woodpecker swear? does anyone know? Will the girl who sits at the desk even notice, I  wonder?

(Words 250)