Thursday, 10 May 2012

Let's Talk About Teachers

For today's Blog Me MAYbe, may I tell you about my amazing teachers?

I had AWESOME teachers when I was still at school (a massive two years ago). Mrs May was, I think, slightly insane, but in a good way. There was Miss Price who I suspect had a slight case of the raging feminisms. Some of them were super cute - my year 7/9 English teacher Miss Knowles, who is Canadian and the daughter-in-law of my across-the-street neighbours, and is basically now just my pal. Mrs Ferris was the kind that terrified everyone walking down the hall and still terrifies me when I see her doing her shopping. Miss Cain was also very scary, and since she was one of my A-level teachers there was only seven of us in our class...hard to hide from her. And then we have Mrs Martin...ah, Christine.

She taught me for GCSE and A-level and she was my tutor: I suffered through her minibus driving (terrifying), her love of restoration comedy (torture), the time she made us all sit under two tables so we could feel what it was like to be in a slave ship (not a particularly successful task!). She never got too annoyed when my answer to, "Where have you been? Registration started ten minutes ago!" was, "Well, I left the house...we walked here...and here I am." She also never kicked me out for asking if we could watch a video, every. Single. Lesson.

They read all my weird stories, about volcanoes and treasure hunting girls, ninjas and the Yakuza, married assassins, mermaids...actually, I'm not sure how I came to write contemporary, looking at that list. But they read them and liked them, encouraged me and didn't think I was too weird. Without them - well, I'd still be writing, but I wouldn't have so much belief in myself. The last time I saw Miss Cain, she said she was waiting to see my book on the shelf, and I think I'm getting closer each day :)

Monday, 7 May 2012

Dust It Off Bloghop: Day Three

Today's task: Post what you learned from this WIP. You become a stronger, more rounded writer which each manuscript and we want to know what this particular work taught you. 

  • I think the main thing I learnt from this MS was that I could actually write an MS. I started it when I was sixteen, when the longest thing I'd ever written was a 2,000 word essay. I was so scared of the idea that I'd need to write thousands and thousands of words, I actually used to use this old blogging platform called Uber to write tiny sections at a time which I pasted into Word. Now I'm not afraid of the blank Word document anymore! 
  • I learnt that it doesn't matter when you write or how much or how long it takes; it only matters that you do write, and keep writing. I wrote and revised through my A-levels, which was probably not the best idea but it all came good in the end :)
  • And I learnt that sometimes you can't control your characters! You can't force them to do things just because it's what you want them to do. 
So that's that! I really enjoyed this bloghop, especially reading everyone else's entries (I still have to get round to most people's though...). Thanks to Theresa and Cortney for hosting, and thanks for everyone's comments on my pitch and extract! They were all so nice :)

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Dust If Off Bloghop: Day Two

Let's pretend I actually posted this on time! 

Today's (yesterday's) task is:  Post your favorite excerpt (300-350 words)

     The sun refused to appear; instead the sky was blanketed with thick, ominous-looking clouds, through which the sun merely filtered, the horizon still a blurry navy. The wind whipped at the lingering snowflakes and half-frozen leaves scattered on the ground; it ran whispering through the trees and pulled at her clothes, chilling her skin.
     The early hour meant that the picturesque cemetery was deserted, except for the girl whose red hair billowed in the breeze, waving like a flag. She stretched out a trembling hand, fingertips grazing the weathered tombstone. Her lips moved as her eyes flickered over the familiar words, although they were already embedded in her memory.
     Cyd sat cross-legged on her mother's grave, pulling her hands inside her sleeves to protect them against the biting wind, and lowered her eyes until she was staring at the muddy ground rather than the marker. “I miss you.” Her voice was almost lost in the sound of the rising wind. “I messed up,” she admitted. “I don't know why I can't do anything right. And no-one will tell me what to do anymore.”
      “'s like when you wake up from a dream, and you haven't yet realised that it was a dream. I imagine calling you and hearing your voice, and then I realise that I can't. It's only a split-second thing, but it...” She bit her lip, then laughed at herself. “Whenever I was biting my lip, you always said that there must be something I was hiding. That's why you could always tell when I was lying to you.” She rubbed her fingers across her lower lip gently. “I have a bruise there, now.” She raised her eyes to the sky and sighed. “I miss you so, so much.”