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Posts Tagged irish writer

POKEMON GO!! I’m addicted (o;

Pokemon GoSo, it’s been a while since I blogged about, well… anything. I have been writing here and there among other things such as work and blah, blah, blah…. Book 2 is still on the horizon, though. I’m still pushing towards it (o:

To start off with something I thought I’d never think I’d be writing about. I’m playing Pokemon Go. What started off as a “Download and see what all the fuss is about” scenario has turned into me walking around, phone in hand and scanning the immediate vicinity for virtual characters. It can be a pain in the backside doing this and I’m sure it’s a fad that will disappear like all fads but it has given me a new appreciation for the city I live in. That’s Dublin, Ireland for those who don’t know.

See, the aim it to collect Pokemon. Have them babble and evolve and all that fluffy stuff but what has struck me as genius is the use of specific locations of interest. For those not familiar with the game or app itself, there are locations called Pokestops. At these stops will be items that you can collect, poke balls, health potions etc. What caused me to appreciate this aspect of the game more is that these stops are landmarks and locations, some of which I never even knew were there nor did I know they had any significance. I’ve stopped at many of these locations and actually searched online more about them or read the information found at the landmark itself. I’ve come across historical landmarks, artworks even some enormous murals I never even gave a second look at and funky cafes or bars. I know people will say that a game such as this shouldn’t be the driving force to go out and explore the city you live in but in reality it is a new and exciting way of interacting with some of what your city has to offer. It gives some people a reason to get out and explore while enjoying something such as Pokemon. I would be delighted if more and more games or apps follow suit and get people outdoors and enjoying what’s on their doorsteps. Given the success of Pokemon Go I would not be surprised if a tsunami of similar game and apps are on their way.

So I would recommend Pokemon Go for the simple fact that it will have you look at areas of your city that you may have never thought to look at before.

A word of warning, though!!!
Be mindful of your surroundings. Don’t take risks by going to areas of, well… a poor reputation simply to catch Pokemon. Watch where you are walking and don’t play the game while driving or cycling. I’ve already seen this a few times. It’s just stupid. Not worth causing yourself an injury.

Well, until next time, enjoy and as always, let me know what you think below (o:

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To Blog or To Write, that is the question… or To Tweet

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When do you choose to Blog and when do you choose to Write.

Since starting my blog I’ve enjoyed it immensely. It’s a fantastic was to publish your thoughts, help others using your own experiences and make contact with some great people but I seem to be struggling with choosing Blogging or Writing (by writing I mean working on my novel and short stories). I enjoy both activities equally… and now with Twitter slowly becoming another favourite… what to do, what to do?

My strategy has been to dedicate one hour to my blog at the start of my writing session and one hour at the end, hopefully with two hours of working on my novel and short stories in the middle. It’s working, mostly but still in the experimental stages!

So, to my question, How do others out there slice up their time between Writing, Blogging and social media?

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10 Great Quotations from Writers about Work

This page seemed to inspire me to write today, I’ve a pretty horrible cold… alright its man flu but I’m sure its a real disease (o;

Interesting Literature

Work, work, work: we all have to do it at some point. Oh well. Here are ten fantastic quotes about work, that dreaded but rewarding beast, courtesy of some of the greatest writers who have ever lived. We hope you enjoy these quotes.

‘Hard work is simply the refuge of people who have nothing whatever to do.’ – Oscar Wilde

‘I always arrive late at the office, but I make up for it by leaving early.’ – Charles Lamb

‘Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.’ – Samuel Beckett

‘Work is more fun than fun.’ – Noel Coward

‘The brain is a wonderful organ. It starts working the moment you get up and does not stop until you get into the office.’ – Robert Frost

stephenking

‘I like work: it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours.’ – Jerome K. Jerome

‘Anyone can do…

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New Short Story to be Published Soon

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A short story I wrote over a year ago has just been chosen to appear in a new horror anthology called ‘Nightmare Stalkers & Dream Walkers: volume I I ‘, published by Horrified Press.

My story is called ‘Darkness’. It’s a psychological horror where my main character Ryan deals with the torment of his inner demons. It follows his life’s fear and how they shape the man we meet in the end of the story.

The story came to me one night after I woke up and could swear something was standing at the end of the bed. It was a dark shadowy outline looming, staring, back lit by a pale moon. I politely used a couple of expletives, loudly (being Irish this comes all too naturally). My wife told me to shut up…from where she was standing at the end of the bed after grabbing a midnight glass of water. See we moved into a new apartment and being new I wasn’t used to it yet. Disorientation and midnight sudden wake ups makes everything look ominous. Don’t they! Gladly we don’t live there anymore and my bedroom is in complete darkness, no creepy moon light thanks to black out curtains. No more looming spouses to scary me anymore… just freaky noises in pitch black darkness.

Well that’s my story of the story. I’ll pop a post up when ‘Nightmare Stalkers & Dream Walkers: volume I I’ comes out online and in print. The first volume can be purchased from amazon, lulu.com paperback, lulu.com ebook and Barnes and Noble by clicking on the various links provided.

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Super Charging My Daily Word Count Using Flow

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Camp Nanowrimo has just started. I’m a first timer. I’ve never challenged myself like this before, 50,000 in a month. Consistently write 1,666 a day. For some writer this is a piece of cake, for me, it’s sweet like cake but I can never finish it all. I’ve been a 500 to 1000 words a day since I started writing 13 months ago. It’s certainly not prolific but I’ve enjoyed it and my dream of getting paid a decent enough wage, to give up the day job, get a big antique desk and write all day every day has gained sharp momentum since then.

What I wanted to write about here though is something I came across while reading ‘Write.Publish.Repeat’ bu Johnny B. Truant, Sean Platt and David Wright (I will certainly write a review when I’ve finished the book, it great so far, and Hugh Howey gave it the thumbs up which is a win-win in my books).

The book’s author’s speak about something called flow. I remember reading about it briefly while going through undergrad psychology but like most undergrad anything I forgot about it with scary immediacy. Now as a novice writer I’ve come across it again but this time it’s piqued my interest. Flow they say is total immersion in the activity at hand. It’s complete concentration in what you’re doing there and then. To fall so deeply into whatever you are doing is to be much more focused, much more attuned with the activity you’re completing and for me it’ll hopefully produce a far better product, for writers, that being a story.

So it brings me back to camp nanowrimo. I thought I’d sign up, flail about, maybe get 15,000 words finished, and let that be that. In two days I’ve gotten 10,000 words down and reviewed twice. This number has amazed me. The amount of work has amazed me. My wife commented on how I had my head in the computer non-stop the last two days, hoping I’d come up for air and regular toilet breaks. I told her I think I had. She also said I was more focused, more passionate about the story I was writing and far more dedicated then I had been on anything else I’d written in a long time. This caused me to think and ask myself why? Why had I suddenly began working harder on something I loved doing. Why wasn’t I like this all the time. Here’s a list of what I am writing at the moment, everyone loves lists:-

I’ve began writing a new story. I felt nanowrimo needed a new story so I pulled out the faux leather notebook and picked one I’ve wanted to sink my teeth into.
The simple fact that nanowrimo has given me targets, it is third party and is actually enjoyable helps.
I’m pretty sure I’m in a state of flow with my writing.

The last point I think is the most important. I’m in a state of flow with my writing. New story + camp nanowrimo = flow. Who knew.

I know using a month long writing challenge is not a sustainable way of pushing my word count into the stratosphere but it’s given me food for thought. In order for me to push my daily word count higher, in order to become a more productive writer I need to find a way to enter a state of flow when I write. This is going to be the challenge, finding that sweet spot where I fall into flow.

If you want more information on flow, wikipedia has a good page detailing flow.

When the month of April is up I’ll let you know how camp nanowrimo went and if I gave myself arthritis in the process (o;

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Short Story Published: Kindness Repaid

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I’m all smiles at the moment because another short story of mine has been published. I must again thank Michael C. And Joan M. Pennington for kindly placing my story among the amazing short stories to be found on their literary journal of science fiction and fantasy, Aurora Wolf.

I wrote this story after I came home from work one night following a busy shift. To get to where I live, I have to climb an old stone staircase. Laying in front of the stair care was a dark object of about adult size. It was dark and I couldn’t make out what it was so being a nurse I ran over to it thinking the worst. It turned out to be a couple of black bin liners filled with old clothes. My hero moment was dashed. I felt a little silly, thankfully nobody was there to see me but it got me thinking. That thought became ‘Kindness Repaid’. You can find it by clicking on the link here Kindness Repaid.

The artwork in this post is kindly provided by Michael C. Pennington.

If you find time to have a look then I truly hope you enjoy it.

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The Journey from First to Second Draft

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I’m writing the first draft of the second and third chapters of my novel ‘The Vanishing’ (using my beloved Scrivener, of course) and it has occurred to me to review what I have written yesterday and the morning that has just past. As I read over my work I fix up mistakes, spelling, grammar, bizarre sounding sentences and it has occurred to me that I am actually enjoying the process. Normally, I hate reviewing my work. I find it tedious and long to be able to create something new, new worlds characters and stories.

Up to now I have followed the advice given by many other writers to write the first draft quickly. Get it done ASAP then leave it. Allow it to settle. Come back to it with fresh eyes then start the second draft. Once I do this though I find it hard to get back into the story. The characters don’t speak to me as they once did. The world feels a little alien. It all feel too different and this causes me to fall into laziness where I do nothing or disguise creating a new story by re-writing the first draft and calling it my second draft. Really all I’m doing is writing a new novel that resembles what I wrote in the first draft. It’s a mutated version of my original and the original took a some work to produce.

A really good post which I read this morning found here (The good and bad of writing)got me thinking about my own writing process. Should I review the last days work lowering my daily word count accordingly or just write the first draft and churn through it later once I’ve finished my 80,000+ words. As I said before, I haven’t completed any college or University education on writing so don’t know what the academic thinking is on the subject, only what I have gleaned from other writers.

I feel it’s now time to experiment with the way I do things, change it up a little.

What do others do, how do you move from first to second draft?

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