Damn It Words…

I lost momentum, again. It is so very easy to do,  you go from trundling away up the highway of creativity at a hundred miles an hour, and next thing you know, you’re on some unlit country back road with no headlights, and no idea which direction is which. Your stuck, frozen.

Whether it is writing a story, or a blog post – everything you try struggles and doesn’t seem to take you in the direction you want to go. It’s a frustrating experience, it’s not quite a writer’s block so much as writer’s ineptitude. Every idea stumbles, good or bad idea, it just doesn’t work. That frustration leads to some temper tantrum like feelings that are very unbecoming of grown up.

I started writing another block breaker, I had an idea – but I missed something. And whereas before, I at least had ideas to fix it, though they took effort. I don’t now. All I can think to do to is restart it, with plotting… so not really a block breaker.

It’s not just the block breaker though, I was struggling before that, the block breaker was this fantastic idea I’d been playing around with in my head, in hindsight I should have just banked it, and done some planning on it later and done something different. Maybe I still will – it might not be a bad idea to do in November once I’ve finished my main NaNoWriMo project, assuming that I don’t mess that up and don’t finish.

Sometimes these things happen, I know – they’ve happened many many times before, and will no doubt happen many times in the future. All I can do is choose to keep relighting that flame. Which is ultimately what this post is about – it serves no other purpose than to share some feelings and be a finished blog post.

Next up, either a post with some actual content or a block breaker, however short and sweet, there’ll be something.

28th Birthday Poem

So in the interests of establishing my own personal traditions, as with last year I’ve written a birthday poem, and as with last year its later than my birthday. We are getting closer though, last year it was a week, (or two),  this year its just a day, (or now two, as its one in the morning).

I make no claim to it being especially good, or an annual highlight to the poetry scene, (though my 27th Birthday Poem is the most read page on site – from people Googling for the exact words of the title I guess), its just a poem about my birthday and what the day means to me.

A Year to be Surpassed

A shadow fell over yesterday,
I turned twenty-eight,
It’s not that aging is bad,
But that another year has gone.

For every joy I’ve had to pay,
Yet seek joy come what may,
The same old slate,
Without a wipe date,
I will not say it was all sad,
And it didn’t make me mad.

The beast of success I did not slay,
My performance didn’t rate,
Yet for moments I am glad,
With a niece as lovely as a chiffon.

Another milestone be gone,
Next year I’ll have myself outdone.

©, Jonathan Lawrence 2010

P.S. I should add, as a cautionary note – I haven’t listed anything other than my niece being born as being explicitly good or bad. So I should note, that since my niece was born, I’ve enjoyed a fantastic time, being an uncle, thanks to some fortunate circumstances I’ve lived like a king, I’ve been to Prague, and I’ve come here to the Science Festival with some great people. Things like this were the moments I am glad for – just in case anyone thinks that I think I should be so rich and fortunate in life that the past two or three months have been less than notable.
When I think about it, it is quite strange that my niece coming into this world has marked such a massive turn around for my year, right at the end. However, life returns back to normal from here on in, I need to to start saving to make next year that bit more magical, all year round.
So to all my family and friends who have provided the highlights to my year, those moments I am glad for, have helped keep me sane when all else might have rendered me mad – I would like to say thank you. I hope I can do the same for you.

Annoying Writing Habits…

Doing NaNoWriMo in the company of others has shown me something – how many annoying habits I’ve built up

I’m not talking about actua writing issues, I’m talking behavourial one. The one I’ve noticed most often has to be the tapping of keyboards. Not the keys themselves, but the frame or rest area, when I’m trying to think around a problem, or plotting my next move.

I also seem to  a very emphatic gesture when hitting the carriage return, it’s like every new paragraph is a victory. Also, it seems full stops too.

The other one I’ve noticed, though I’m trying really hard not to do this in public, is the chewing of my tongue during tense, or really busy period.

There’s a few more, but those are probably my biggest crimes against the people around me.

It has led me to wonder, what are your annoying writing habits? Answers on a post card – however since I’m not giving you my address, probably best to answer in a comment.

Losing My Flow

Flow, what a wonderful thing when you’re in it. I’m not saying it’s easy there, there’s a lot of work to do, a lot of time and effort – but when you’re there it’s easier. Inspiration is less of a battle, and getting words down is far easier. When you’re in a flow, "the zone", it’s harder not to write.

Woe betide that flow being broken. That’s what happened to me, having suffered a series of technical set backs, and professional distractions, I lost my flow with this blog, and writing in general. My attention snapped. It’s not a nice place to be, I’ve not written much in the past two weeks, which is a travesty when you consider I’ve had two weeks holiday in that time, and didn’t go anywhere.

I feel bad, I should have done more – but life isn’t always that simple. Besides, what’s done, is done. I can’t change it, I don’t know the secrets of controlled time travel. I can only move forwards and hope to reccapture my wayward writing spirit.

Suffice to say I’m back, I may not be as prolific, but I’m going to write again.

Imagination: Worlds of My Creation

Writing is a truly amazing thing for me, it allows me to dump my big random imagination, and allows to keep it for all time. Even if I don’t get far into a novel, anytime I want to relive that imagination I just read what I’ve got.

I’m one of those writers that are blessed with hardcore imagination. Ideas come easy to me, anything can trigger an idea. There isn’t any work involved in shaping the imagination, if I let it just run wild, and I can reconjure an imaginar episode with just a few mental or physical prompts.

Of course if I want to shape this into a story I have to harness it, and that requires a great deal if force.

I imagine whole world’s in my head, a litany of characters, intensive situations, there’s detail o’plenty, as a character slams into a building, I’ll be stood at the bus stop opposite, I’ll see every half broken brick, and bits of mortar. As the protagonists of my imagination move closer for that all but inevitable kiss, I can see it happening, I can see the lines in the woman,s lips, I can see the guys forced face as he struggles not to go too fast, he wants to project a certain image with that kiss, and I see the car speeding towards them, the one who’ll brake hard, and speed away, the moment spoiled. The driver by the way has brown hair, a blue denim jacket, and was smoking – he’s actually fleeing the scene of a crime, which he had nothing to do with, but he’s got form and doesn’t want to go back to jail on a mistake.

The reason it needs to be strong armed is two-fold, firstly my imagination can run rampant at the worst time, I can easily switch between genre’s, decades (even centuries), and characters, it takes practice to keep it on track. The second reason is writing for a mythical readership, I love my imagination – most of the time it’s better than TV, but it’s to my tastes (most of the time, there are occaisionally things I can’t stand, and even offend me), however whether it’s to the taste of a reading audience I’m less sure. Therefore if I want to write an imaginary scene it has to be guided, and then censored and modified further as it flows from the pen.

There is of course another downside, an overly rampant imagination can completely change tracts, starting a whole new story when your only part way through the current one. This does happen frequently, and usually coincides with me losing the will to write. You put all that effort in, and lose the zone for that story, it’s a terrible thing, you’re not interest in the new scene unfolding – or rather not interested in writing. I have to find a way back to the original imaginary story, if I want to continue. That’s one of the things I had to learn during NaNoWriMo last year.

Most of the time, me and the left side of brain are usually on excellent terms, feeding things between us. Living the ideal life, the scary life, the exciting life, the romantic life, and the mysterious life.

The final great thing is I find it wasy to roll into an imaginary story details from research and such.I’m a sponge for information, and I can squeeze me out and spread them over my stories. So if I’ve read something about a theoretical form of space travel, and find myself in need of a mechanism to travel through space, (in my story, if only I could craft the real world as easily as my story ones), I draw through the details, and give my world a touch of realism that sets it shooting for wherever it needs to go.

My imagination is my most treasured asset as a writer, were I to lose that, were I to go in life without that – I honestly would rather be dead.

A poem very close to my heart…

This morning, I couldn’t sleep and went for a walk. Up the slanting street I went, and found myself by the field behind Osmondthorpe Lane, facing the bridge I’d climbed up after I came back from hospital, the night my Granddad died.

I wrote a poem for him after that, I’d intended on reading it at the funeral – I messed up though, it was the first funeral I’d ever been to, and I left it at home, and even though I’d practiced it, I didn’t dare stand up and read it, in case I spoiled it.

By no means is technically a great poem, but it’s a poem that means more to me than any other. Since I ended up at the bridge, and the memories and chain of thoughts led me to rekindle my blog, I thought it was fitting I put it out there once more.

One of the last great heroes has gone

One of the last great heroes has gone,
A warrior of sea and life,
Lost to us, but for memory,
And love in our hearts,
He will be there for us in the strife,
And always too when life is merry.

But on that sorrowed night I prayed,
Just for two minutes,
Two minutes, to say my love,
To share my heart,
He had given his all to life’s fight,
And from his body he flew, released like a dove.

I wish I could have said more in the time we had,
How much we all cared for the tailor,
I know, I hope,
With all my heart,
That we loved with out failure,
Only with that faith could I cope.

By Jonathan Lawrence, 5th April 2003