16th December, 14.32
Hi guys! Sorry I haven’t been here in a few days – I’ve been catching up on 101 things to get done before Christmas! For those of you that don’t know, I am quite a multi tasker; as well as putting the finishing touches to my upcoming novel, I work full time in an office and am studying full time with the Open University. Having done so for the past year or two, I’ve picked up a couple of tips for anyone juggling multiple projects. Please let me know if you find any useful, and enjoy the rest of your weekend!
- Buy a diary. Write in said diary at least once a fortnight, pencilling in EVERYTHING you know you have to do and when you have to do it. I’m talking times, locations, all details if you can. Honestly, this was the best thing I did. It’s like when it’s written in a little book it’s law and you have to do it (or try your very best to!)
- Give yourself deadlines. I have those already with uni, but in regards to writing, I found these really useful. Pop them in your diary, or as a reminder on your phone – GET 1000 WORDS DONE TONIGHT, for example.
- Reward yourself. Lots of people forget to do this and when I do, I get cranky. These don’t have to be extravagant, unnecessary rewards – these can be ‘You finished the chapter! Go make a frothy latte’ or, ‘You kept on top of your diary this week! Buy yourself that candle you liked.’ But they are very important. Ultimately, your reward at the end will be AMAZING, but it’s best to have some little ones along the way too.
- Let your friends and family know that you’re busy. I don’t mean go on a moaning rampage (though this is still effective). You just need to let your loved ones know you’re juggling some stuff right now. This will prevent any guilt-tripping into impromptu dinners etc, and some nice people may even ask if there’s anything they can do to help!
- Equally, remember to make time for yourself. Use your diary for personal appointments as well as professional ones – your walk with the dog at midday is just as important as getting up to that word count by 5. You won’t function as well without some fresh air and relaxation, so make sure you get it!
6th December, 19.34
Happy Thursday one and all! Just a quick one tonight – though helpful (hopefully!) nonetheless. I’ve complied a list of links to the most helpful pages I found in my writing journey. Check one out, check some out, check all of them out if you have the time – they really are worth a look.
28th November, 18:49
Hi guys! Hope you’re all having a great week and if you’re not, at least we’re at the halfway mark! Tonight I thought I’d share a little prelude I’ve been working on for my upcoming novel Beyond which will be released early next year. The story follows teenage boy Alex in his quest to discover what lies beyond this life after finding out his sister has been diagnosed with cancer. Find out below a little more about his character, and life before everything changes …
‘Now,’ smiles Miss Chang brightly, ‘we’re going to go around the room and tell everyone our names and one fun fact about ourselves!’
The class groan in unison. Great. Another stupid introduction game. I don’t want to sound rude here; I know the teachers are all doing their best. I get that they’re just trying to ‘ease us back in’ to life behind the desk after six weeks of sweet nothing. But come on. Aside from the fact that I’ve heard Judy Anderson describe her nine pet gerbils multiple times today already, the main reason I hate this get-to-know-each-other crap is because I have nothing to say about myself. Honestly. There’s nothing remotely interesting about my life whatsoever. People think I exaggerate when I say this; Cal always tells me to shut up and get on with it. But how? What can I say that will be of any interest to anyone at all? Hi, I’m Alex. I live with my Mum and Dad and sister and dog. I like football. Science is my favourite subject. Ugh. Already I can see people yawning, rolling their eyes. It makes my skin crawl, the thought of everyone looking at me, waiting to see what I have to say for myself. And what do I have to say for myself? Nothing. Nada. That’s what.
‘We’ll start here.’ Miss Chang nods at Daniel, sitting in the front right corner of the classroom. Not his choice obviously; he’s always put closest to the teacher. Probably because a couple years ago he set fire to his Maths book in the back corner.
Daniel turns and waves at us all. ‘Hi guys! I’m Daniel.’ He catches Callum’s eye and sticks his finger up. ‘And I love school.’ The class burst into laughter.
‘Well that’s… lovely, thank you Daniel,’ Miss Chang calls over the noise. ‘And your name is?’
I zone out as Eric starts describing his holiday home in Florida. It sounds like people are just re-using their facts from earlier. But this doesn’t make things any easier. I can’t talk about my dog again, can I? Or can I?
‘I’m Gee and I dyed my hair pink over summer.’ Gee Davis winds a strand of it round her finger.
‘Very unusual. And you are?’ Miss Chang moves onto Marley.
Oh God, she’s almost at me. Think, Alex, think. I mean, I could talk about Roscoe. The lads always laugh when I describe his dribbling and farting habits. But it’s not a story the girls are ever interested in. I overheard Gee Davis and her friends once talking about how a boy down the road brought one of those sausage dogs and how good he looked walking it. That’s been the one time I’ve ever wished, a teeny tiny bit, that Roscoe was different. But I quickly realised how weird I’d look walking anything other than my massive, slobbery bulldog. And I don’t really want to change Roscoe, not one bit. The girls would like him if they just got to know him…
‘I’m Marley and I’ve got four sisters.’
‘Four sisters!’ Miss Chang exclaims. ‘How lovely. No brothers?’
Marley rolls her eyes. ‘No brothers.’
‘Your Dad must have his hands full! And you, behind Marley? What’s your name?’
There’s silence for a moment as everyone turns to look. Callum kicks me under the table.
‘I dunno.’ I mean, I kind of know. I recognise her from our Science class earlier, but she managed to duck out before she had to introduce herself. She’s trapped now though, like a lion in a cage. Her hair reminds me of a lion – sorry, lioness. It’s red and wild, framing
her face like a mane. I’ve never seen anything like it.
‘What’s your name?’ Miss Chang repeats brightly. The girl looks like she wants to crawl under the table and never come out. I can feel my heart beat a little faster; I feel bad for her, I really do. I can’t imagine having to do one of these games as the new kid. She’s not red in the face or anything, though. She looks more angry than embarrassed, like Miss Chang’s just asked her a really personal question. Come to think of it, this game sort of is an invasion of privacy.
‘I’m Daisy.’ She answers finally.
Daisy. Like the flower.
‘Great.’ Miss Chang sounds relieved that she’s finally answered. ‘Tell us something about yourself, Daisy.’
She rests her head on her hand, elbow on the table, and scans the classroom. She catches my eye, just for a second. I feel myself go red.
‘I’m Daisy and I used to live somewhere else.’ Her gaze goes back to Miss Chang, in a way that says go on, ask me where. Ask me why. Before Miss Chang can open her mouth, though, Joe swoops in to save her.
‘I’m Joe and I learnt to ride a quad bike over summer.’
‘A quad bike!’ Miss Chang laughs. ‘My goodness.’
They keep going round, but I’m not listening. I’m just looking. Looking at the lioness. Looking at Daisy.
It’s not until the end of the day when I’m waiting outside the gates that I see her again. I looked a little at lunch, but not many girls come down to the football pitch. None with red hair and freckles, anyway. She’s making her way through the sea of blue jumpers towards the hill, clutching her bright yellow satchel like she’s got something really important in there. I want to talk to her. I need to talk to her. She’s all alone again, like she was in the classroom. I can’t stand to think of someone so lonely.
I say it before I can stop myself as she brushes past me. For a moment I think she’s not going to turn around.
Okay. What now? She swings the satchel onto her shoulder and folds her arms. She’s sort of scary.
‘Yeah, I know. And you have a bulldog called Roscoe.’
Crap, yes, she knows my name already. And the funest fact about me. So what more is there to say? This was a bad idea. Abort mission. ‘Um…’
‘Gum?’ She pops a piece in her mouth and offers me the packet. It’s a weird looking fruit-flavour that I don’t think I’ll like, but I take it anyway.
‘Alright?’ Callum appears, football in one hand, water bottle in the other. ‘Sorry, just had gym. You ready, Al?’
‘Sure.’ I wait awkwardly for a minute to see if Daisy says bye, but she doesn’t. She just stands there between us, chewing her gum. ‘Um… where do you live, Daisy?’
She holds the packet of gum out to Callum, who shakes his head. ‘I’ll show you. C’mon.’
Cal and I look at each other.
‘Come on!’ She spits her gum out and kicks it with her shoe; it flies through the air and lands on the back of Gee Davis’ head. Daisy laughs and beckons us again, tossing her red hair and skipping ahead. I look at Cal. His mouth’s hanging open. I’m probably wearing the same gormless look.
‘You can say that again.’ Cal and I trail behind her. ‘But she seems to like you.’
‘Me?’ I echo, laughing. ‘Shut up.’
‘She’s weird. But so are you.’ Cal gives me a shove. ‘It’s a perfect fit.’
I shove him back, but I’m too excited to feel mad. This is weird. I feel weird.
‘Come on! Stop talking about me!’ Daisy yells, grinding to a halt.
‘We weren’t… I mean, we would never…’ I trail off as I realise she’s smiling.
‘I was joking, Alex. But you covered that well,’ she laughs. Daisy nudges her way between us. ‘Everyone talks about the new kid, anyway. It’s only natural.’
Cal shrugs. ‘I don’t think that many people noticed you were new.’
Daisy laughs again. Her laugh makes me think of sunshine. ‘Thanks. I hope not.’
Callum asks her a question and, as Daisy answers, I completely zone out. I know I should be listening, drinking in every little fact about her, but I can’t concentrate on words right now. A far more exciting thought is flinging itself around my brain, making my palms sweat, my heart skip. And I know it’s stupid, I know I’m getting ahead of myself, but that doesn’t make it go away. I picture it; this time next year. First day back at school. Around the room we go with the stupid fun-fact game. Eric and his holiday home. Judy and her gerbils. Then me. And I look at the teacher, flash them a smile, and say, super-coolly; ‘Hi, I’m Alex. And I have a girlfriend called Daisy.’
19th November, 16:41
A quick note this week to say I have joined the world of Twitter! My handle is @GeorgiaSpring8 (get it, get it? My full name is too many characters) if you’d like to give me a follow! I’m aiming to follow everyone back – I’d love to fill my timeline with writing/reading related quotes/moans/tips especially! I can’t believe I’ve only just noticed the world of writers/bloggers/readers/reviewers living on Twitter! Better late than never, right?
Anyways. I’m going to make myself a cuppa and munch through a biscuit (or 2, or a packet…). Have a lovely week all!
10th November, 1:40
On this incredibly grey and gloomy Saturday, I thought I’d post one of the poems I wrote for my Creative Writing degree last year. Sonnets are harder than they look!
We approached it with caution, attention, care,
for the panels were rickety; damaged
by clumsy feet, the elements, ravaged
by wildlife. The find itself was rare;
the rush of the water, the warmth of the air,
a secluded paradise, packaged
neatly just for us. How we managed
to cross it, I’ll never be quite aware.
But once we did, what a place we found!
A utopian world for girl and boy
sharing whispers and secrets, feet on the ground,
heads in the clouds, indulging in ploys,
our earlier worries and fears drowned;
crossing the bridge brought us infinite joy.
3rd November, 2:33
Hi all, today I thought I’d have a go at the ‘A book for…’ challenge. See what you think!
A book for …
When you’re feeling happy: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
When you’re feeling lonely: Wonder by RJ Palacio
When you’re feeling philosophical: Candide, or Optimism by Voltaire
When you’re feeling down: The Gift by Cecilia Ahern
When you’re feeling like a good cry: The Leavers by Lisa Ko
When you’re feeling bored: Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith
When you’re feeling spooky: The Woman In Black by Susan Hill
When you’re feeling nostalgic: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling
When you’re hungry: Mary Berry Fast Cakes by Mary Berry
When you’re in love: Where Rainbows Meet by Cecilia Ahern
When you’re feeling angry: Straight Outta Crawley by Romesh Ranganathan
When you’re feeling young at heart: The Lorax by Dr Seus
When you’re feeling dramatic: Othello by Shakespeare
When you need a good laugh: Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
26th October, 7:2pm
This evening I thought I’d share a short story with you all. I have lots of short stories and poems that I’ll be posting twice a month to my blog, so make sure you subscribe to be the first to know when they’ll be posted!
Hope you enjoy.
The Secret of Great Gap
It was a Tuesday morning like any other in the sleepy village of Great Gap. The cold, bright November sun shone down on the thin layer of frost covering the streets like a sprinkling of icing sugar. The roads were relatively quiet, the shops not yet open, the local park empty. Mrs Grunning swung open her front door with floral bag in one hand, dog lead in the other. The icy air hit her soft, creased face with a pang and she shivered, snuggling further into her thick scarf. Closing and locking the door behind her, she adjusted her glasses and glanced up at the neighbouring house. Though it was similar in size and stature to her own, the resemblances ended there. Mrs Grunnings’ beautifully kept front garden and neatly painted door contrasted eminently with the overgrown weeds and peeling paint of the adjacent building, with its broken windows and littered front step. Like every morning, Mrs Grunning walked her pug Betty in the opposite direction of this unattractive sight and pretended not to hear the loud sobs of the young girl who lived there.
Upon Mrs Grunning’s return home, the streets were beginning to fill with young children on their way to school. The girl next door was no exception, though unlike many other children of the village, she did not walk to school with her mother or father. Instead, like clockwork, at 8:45 every morning she waited on the corner for Reggie McDonald and his mother and joined them on their journey.
‘Morning Maddy!’ Reggie greeted her happily. Shifting his school bag to his left arm, he reached out to hold Madeline’s hand. She took it and the two six-year-olds trailed after Reggie’s mother, conversing as six-year-olds do. They spoke of clouds, trains and feet and had almost reached school before Reggie’s mother ended her important phone call and had a proper look at the children.
‘Oh Maddy, sweetie!’ She straightened her jacket and bent down to Madeline’s level. ‘Did Mummy not have time to do your hair again today?’
Madeline did not reply, but stared at Reggie’s mother, her sea blue eyes piercing.
‘Maddy’s mummy doesn’t like doing hair, I don’t think,’ Reggie commented thoughtfully. Reggie’s mother smiled, producing a hairband from her pocket; one she always carried for Madeline
‘Come here sweetheart.’ She gently turned the young girl and scraped her knotted hair into a ponytail. Madeline said nothing.
Once inside the school gates, Reggie ran off to put his coat on his peg whilst Madeline wandered into the classroom. She caught sight of her reflection in the small mirror on the door and gave herself a rare smile; she liked her hair in a ponytail. The children began filing in and Madeline quickly took her seat, disliking the commotion. She sat on the same table as Reggie, though not next to him as she would have liked. Instead, she sat next to Mary Clarke who always sat up straight and knew the right answers. ‘Hi Maddy,’ Mary greeted her, sliding into her own seat. Madeline took in Mary’s neatly plaited hair and freshly washed face and said nothing.
At lunchtime Mr Green was on duty. A tall, bald man, he worked only at the school for a small but steady income and lacked interest in the children. He filled the rest of his time selling large quantities of substances he kept in his cellar to local teenagers and business men and Madeline’s mother. When several children approached him that lunchtime claiming that Madeline was scratching her wrists with sticks, he of course sent them away without another thought. Resolving those kinds of incidents were above his job description.
When 3.30pm arrived, the children spilled out of Oakley Lower School clutching bags and books and important letters, and the teachers stood at the doorways waving them out. Reggie McDonald went to After School Club, so when Madeline was ushered out of school by Ms Harrison that day it was assumed that she would tag along with another child to walk home. To some extent, this was true; Madeline simply followed the crowds of children and their parents down Oakley Street and took the third left to Johnsons Way, to the house next door to Mrs Grunning. If Mrs Grunning or Reggie’s mother or Mr Green or Ms Harrison suspected anything about Madeline, they kept it to themselves. Perhaps if any of them knew what was going to happen once Madeline returned home on that Tuesday afternoon, they would have acted differently.
14TH October, 7:18pm
Hello lovely reader – welcome to my (very new and a little rough around the edges) website!
My name is Georgia and I’m a soon-to-be-published writer (eek!) My first novel is about a young boy Alex, learning to come to terms with his sister’s cancer diagnosis; the fear of where she will go when her life ends leads he and his friends on a voyage of discovery. Moving, philosophical and exciting, the novel shines a light on a little-discussed but incredibly important aspect of life. It’ll be available online and in store in the upcoming months – you’ll be first to know exact dates if you subscribe to my website.
I’m aiming to blog on a weekly basis – topics will include more about me and my life, my lovely publishers The Burning Chair, and my writing journey so far. If you’re interested in a particular aspect of me or my writing, please let me know and I’ll do my best to write a blog post just for you!