Wednesday, 27 July 2011

More sketching

About half way through with my sketch now.  Didn't get chance to work on it today, though was itching to pick it up and have a scribble.  

I am actually itching to do something creative for a longer period of time than ten minutes without being interrupted.  But this is the way it is in the holidays when you have three young children (or any number of children - I'm sure it's the same with one as it is with three).  It wouldn't be fair of me to expect to have lots of time to myself, so I resign myself to the fact that I won't get much done for six weeks.  No problem really.  I do get twitchy hands though - I'm dying to sit with a coffee and do a bit of writing for a couple of hours.  Too tired in the evenings though.

Instead, the holidays are a time to do other things that we might not really get chance to do at any other time.  Cloud watching is a good thing that we've discovered this week.  The clouds were amazing yesterday (we didn't see them today as we were ridiculously lazy and stayed in all day!), and the boys were fantastic at spotting different shapes and animals and fantastical things in them.  James was particularly imaginative, and he saw things that I would never have thought of, such as bird skeletons and wolf eyes!  I took a couple of pictures of the clouds.

Maybe if the weather is nice tomorrow we'll get to lie in the garden and look at clouds properly.  Oh, it's a very hard life, he he! :D

Monday, 25 July 2011


We've had a lovely day today.  The boys have been great - heavily influenced by the lovely, and well-behaved kids that they played with on our camping weekend I think.  It was so nice not to be breaking up the fights and bickering, which is what I've been doing a lot lately.  I think that nice weather that allows them to stay out in the garden all day really helps.  Oliver was in in the afternoon, so I didn't see much of them for a couple of hours in the afternoon, so chatted with my dad for a while and then decided to find something to sketch.  It's not easy to find time to write in the holidays, I don't like to sit in front of the computer for a long time when the boys are all home with me.  But I'm finding that I need to find some kind of creative outlet so as not to start getting grumpy.  I can't write much over the next few weeks, but I can sketch.  I can do this because the boys like to spend a lot of time drawing and writing: Thomas is still producing work at a rate of knots, and the work is becoming more detailed and more mature; Matthew usually joins him once he's finished whichever bit of mischief he's been working on; James doesn't draw as much, but when he does he creates masterpieces with no effort whatsoever.  I'm thrilled to bits that they can all draw so well - they may not use art to make a living (although they may, I don't know, of course), but it's nice that they each have a good eye, and the ability to see the world in colour and form.  

Anyway, this is how far I got with my sketch today.  It's a small section from a photograph of King's Circus in Bath.  I'll show you it again when it's finished.  I'm quite pleased with it.  It's not perfect, but it's amazing how easy architecture is to draw.  I'm really enjoying it.  I've been wanting to sketch for a long time, but I just can't do people at all, I'm terrible.  So I'm pleased that I've found something that's within my capabilities!  I'd like to try to complete a sketchbook of drawings of buildings - but you should know me by now: I never stick to one thing, and rarely finish anything!  Though saying that, I do feel as though I'm settling down now, finding a bit of a niche, and being comfortable exactly where I am, and doing exactly what I'm doing.  That's nice :)

King's Circus, Bath.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Just keep going...

It's not a lot, but it's something, and it leads to more things, and before you know it that's everything on the list, and a new list of more things can be made, and you can start all over again with a brand new thing.  Easy really, you know?

I was sitting about this morning, having palpitations about all my little writing jobs that I wanted to get through, and I spent ten minutes staring at a page that contained the beginning few paragraphs of a hub that I could not really be bothered to spend time on right then (ironically, it was a hub about positivity, the ability to move on, and the will to keep motivated!).  Sometimes the task that you've set yourself just isn't going to work if you're not into it at that precise moment, and there's very little you can do about that.  And then you have to just have a look at all your notebooks, and do a mental check of all your tasks, and decide which one takes your fancy.  So I started on a letter; actually I started on finishing a letter that I began a few weeks ago.  And that's all it takes really: starting something, anything, breaks the stalemate and allows you to begin again (strictly speaking, I don't think that a stalemate can be broken, but it's just a little metaphor to illustrate my point).  A letter, or a diary can just remind you how to write if you'd forgotten.  I forget all the time, or my words just can't be bothered to come out.  So if I started scribbling down any old thing it's like a warm-up for my brain.  The writing muscles get a little stretch, and they're ready to go.  I still didn't work on the hub that I wanted to finish, but I did write a blog entry for my other blog, 'From Austen to Woolf', so it turned out to be quite a good morning.  I don't think I wrote a particularly good review of Inkheart, but at least I wrote it.

This leaves me with an evening to go through some proofreading notes, and to possibly get on with a little bit of my novel.  I'm well on with preparing the story, and have a good solid synopsis now, so I can really just sit down and write it.  I'm happier with it now than I've ever been, and I'm quite itching to get the first draft done.  I think it's going to be good.  Whether it will be sellable, I have no idea, but I don't really care.  I just want it to be good enough for me to be pleased with it.  I doubt a publisher will touch it because it's probably not original enough.  But I have to write it anyway.  And in any case, I've lots of ideas for other stories, both fantasy and literary, so I'll not be dismayed if I finish my masterpiece and no-one wants it.  My kids will enjoy it :)

I tell you what though, this no-telly thing in the evenings is brilliant.  I'm not missing watching the telly at all.  We watch a very little bit each week, maybe one or two hours, but that's it.  I don't have any programmes that I regularly watch, I just stick the telly on if I'm in the mood for just doing nothing, and see what's on.  Usually I'll resort to Dave and watch a bit of comedy because there's sod all else on.  Or there might be a documentary that grabs me.  But you can keep all of the CSI whatever-they-ares.  I'm sure they're great and all, but I can't be bothered!

Just killing a bit of time now, while I wait for it to be 5o'clock.  Err, think I'll go and finish that letter then.  Ta-ta.

Here is a blog that I love:  Kristin Cashore, This is My Secret.