Friday, 18 January 2013

Come Pin With Me...

...let's Pin, let's Pin away...
What am I talking about, I hear you cry? Well, over this past week, I've joined Pinterest! Pinterest is an online pinboard of images, from which you compile, or repin, your favourites onto boards on your own page. I've been having a good look at Pinterest for a couple of months, and finally decided to take the plunge to help me with visual inspiration for Novel Number Two...
I've made boards on general lush things like Tea & Teapots, Books & Reading and Quotations, but also on Novel Number Two specific things, like Paris = Novel Inspiration, Lilli: Novel Character and Anna: Novel Character... So why don't you pop over to Pinterest to see what I've been doing?!
Hope you enjoy!
~ ttfn ~
Disclaimer: Debs Pen Pot does not accept responsibility for the time you'll lose by browsing on Pinterest! I find I only mean to spend half an hour, and in a blink of an eye, an hour and a half has gone by!

Friday, 11 January 2013

Record of Reading

We're 11 days into the New Year and it's still time for reflections and resolutions. Having just finished reading my first book of 2013 (‘A Half Forgotten Song’ by Katherine Webb – loved it!), I thought I’d reflect on my reading in 2012.

I’ve been keeping a Reading Journal for four years, after a university tutor suggested it. I record the author, title and publishing details; the month, time it took to read and its score out of 10 (I am a harsh score-awarder!); then I launch into my thoughts. Typically, I write between 2 and 4 pages of A5, but sometimes a book has me banging on a bit more about it. I don’t include a synopsis or give away plot/character twists, as I like to preserve the surprises for a future re-read, but I do note down themes (blame the literature half of my degree!), and any lines I particularly loved.

Admittedly, recording the books you’ve read can be a quicker, more succinct and perhaps more list-driven process than mine, but, remember, I’m wordy by nature and a wordsmith by calling!

It’s pleasing to track back through my entries and read what I thought about each novel; particularly when comparing the first time with a re-read. Plus, from a writers’ point of view, it’s a way to practise writing more regularly - which is something I can always do with, regardless of any resolutions!

So, how many books did you read in 2012? Would you like to read more this year, or less? Why? Were there any titles that you’d recommend, or ones that you’d avoid like the plague? And how have I done, recording my reading over these last four years?

Well, let’s have a little look...

2008 = 49 books read

2009 = 25 (This was the year I was writing Book Number One, so my mind was elsewhere...)

2010 = 51

2011 = 51

2012 = 53

A book a week, then. Well, not quite... Here’s the monthly breakdown for 2012:

Jan = 2 books                             Jul = 8

Feb = 3                                       Aug = 9

Mar = 2                                      Sep = 5

Apr = 4                                       Oct = 7

May = 3                                      Nov = 3

Jun = 2                                        Dec = 5

Like everything in life, my reading rises and dips, dips and rises – but I’m glad I’ve read the equivalent to a book a week. Could I read more? Possibly – but I’d rather enjoy the balance of reading and writing and the other creative things I do, than become a slave to statistics! This year, I'm hoping to write the narrative for Novel Number Two, so if I can end 2013 with at least 26 books read, then it'll be an average of a book a fortnight and I'll be pleased.

Have I tempted you to reflect a little more about what you read and what it makes you think about, and perhaps to record it? Hope so! Happy reading.


Saturday, 5 January 2013

Whoop Whoop!

I have just finished writing 574 words of...wait for it...actual narrative of Novel Number Two! Whoop whoop!

They almost didn't make it, as I had the idea yesterday right before leaving for work and had to jot super-quick notes down on paper, which I planned to transfer to NNT's own notebook today... And then I realised: don't bother with that, just write them instead! So, armed with a cup of tea (muse-tempting beverage, you see) and a cinnamon whirl (muse-tempting food, ha ha!), I started tapping...

And 574 words later, I'm well chuffed! Of course, they are words of first-draft-on-the-page-ness; not what I intended to start off this new, 2013 attempt at narrative with; and probably not the actual beginning of the book when it's all finished and compiled. is the place to begin for me (this scene always has been, actually, even though I tried to sidestep away from it!), and it is 574 words written - whoop whoop!

Ooh, I need a lie-down to recover, or quite possibly some chocolates (still got a generous box left over from Christmas!), but I just wanted to share my first NNT narrative moment with you.
~ ttfn ~

Thursday, 3 January 2013


I know I'm a WOYWW-day late, but hey! I'm still wishing Happy New Year to one and all - I missed Christmas-fun-ness because I had the flu, boo!, but I'm going to make up for it now we're in 2013 :0)

And what better way to start than by sharing with you fellow nosy-desk-hoppers (courtesy of fab host Julia at Stamping Ground ) the actual, rather inactive (!) state of my desk right now...

Some Christmas gift clutter, as you can see!

On the right, is a pile of craft-stash pressies from my fab friend Zoe, and on the left is her handcrafted gift made up of art-parts and sewing motifs (good work, girl!). In the spirit of actual writing (other than typing this post, obviously!), there's a printer cartridge funded by my uncle's Christmas money (as a writer, there's nothing worse than running out of ink when you need to print-and-edit something...except getting to the shop and finding they're out of stock! - so I always keep a spare to hand).
Then there's an Aufrey Hepburn calendar from my fab friend Sarah, which I need to feed raffia through so I can hang it up in my Scriptorium (or writing room, if I'm slumming it with the terms!), and keep track of my writing/creativity (I did this last year, and it's rewarding to look back on each month and see what work/hours I've achieved on various projects).

And finally, also to inspire me to get on with something creative, is a 'Follow Your Dreams' plaque from my lovely friend Bev and her gift tag, which I want to affix to the back to cherish the memory of her belief in me.

So, I will sort, tidy and glue...but first, let me snoop at your desks!

Oh, now Christmas is over, I can finally share the canvases I teased back in WOYWW 183, which I made as gifts for the aforementioned lovely Bev...


And I couldn't tell you then 'cause I would've spoiled the surprise, but I also made some for the equally lovey Zoe too!

~ ttfn ~