The dog is OUT of the bag!

A big welcome to my new readers who were sent here by Dogs Trust! Remember to check out the round buttons on the top right for ways to keep track of this crazy endeavour. :)

As the rest of you will have gathered, Dogs Trust now knows about this project. I was putting off telling them until I’d written more and was more sure of finishing the project, but someone else told them for me! I’m actually really happy – this has given me a tremendous boost when I really needed it.

I’d been chatting to @marleyterrier on Twitter (who I think is the dog of the gentleman I mentioned in my previous post) and came back to find he’d tweeted this: 

I do bring to attenshun of my pals @EveJacques who is raisin munee for @dogstrust by doin amazin fings bit.ly/tI7hnA

(Remember Marley is a dog, so let’s not criticise his spelling. I’m highly impressed that he can type at all.)

Dogs Trust then tweeted: ‘Wow, that’s incredible @EveJacques! Thank you!’ and retweeted the link with the words ‘Fantastic idea’.

So now I’m rather full of the squee, and off home to finish my next story!

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A lot o’news.

Wordbirds has an LJ feed! http://wordbirds-uk.livejournal.com/

Also! Another donation rolled in today, from the highly awesome Lemming. This takes us to £15, which is enough to feed five shelter dogs for over a week!

This is what a string of sixteen wordbirds looks like (with bonus cute pic of my housemate’s chihuahua, Chloe):

I’d just like to disown that dodgy plaid wallpaper border left by the previous tenants. Been here 3 years and this is as far as I’ve got with redecorating…

Speaking of me failing to do things, I’m still having some trouble with depression and haven’t managed to do much since I lost my job – including looking for a new job or applying for Jobseeker’s Allowance, which I really need! I’m spending most of my time sleeping, surfing the internet, and angsting over all the things I’m not doing. This also means I haven’t spent as much time on my stories as I’d like, and have been spitting out a lot of very short ones in order to keep up. Still, I’m proud of myself for keeping up at all given the state of my brain.

To end on a more upbeat note, I must link to this wonderful Nanowrimo pep talk by Neil Gaiman, in which Neil reveals with his inimitable sense of humour that he goes through ALL the same crap that we lesser writers go through. I found it very applicable to what I’m doing and very encouraging.

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First wordbird!

Looking at my origami paper, I realised there was one black sheet in every pack. Obviously, I can’t print on black, so decided to hand-write one of my six-word stories on it in gold pen.

And yes, delightfully, that is the word ‘Words’ visible on its wing…

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Good going!

After being too depressed to write anything for three days earlier this week, I’ve managed to make up almost the whole shortfall in the past three days by dint of writing lots and lots of short, random stories. WOOHOO. I’ve now written 33 stories – one-thirtieth of my total! (OK, one-thirtieth would be 33.3 recurring, but I do actually have another story part-finished.)

I’m actually starting to think that I can do this. And I think my imagination is already improving as a result of all this writing, or at least being forced to go to places that it normally wouldn’t.

There is, however, one element that I haven’t even touched on yet. Craneification. I now have 33 stories waiting to be turned into paper cranes. The housemate is hopefully going to print these off for me later tonight so I can get started. My goal for the coming week (and it’s an ambitious one) is to end the week bang on target at 57 stories AND having made those 33 cranes.

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I get it, George Lucas.

So you recently made a bunch more changes to the original Star Wars movies.

I admit I don’t get why you felt the need to put extra rocks in front of R2D2. Or to CG blinking eyelids onto the Ewoks. And as for that last scene with Vader: NOOOOOOOOOO!!

But I do get why you can’t stop tinkering with your own stories, even though it’s been decades, and you’re a different person now, and the originals were loved by millions just the way they were. I get it because I have the same problem.

It’s that killer combination of idealism and insecurity. My stories can always be better.  My stories can never be good enough. It’s itchy and painful. I tinker and tinker with my stories until they’re like an overworked drawing, a smudgy mess of rubbed-out lines. I overwork them to death.

I’m hoping this project will cure me of that.  Put it this way, it’s kill or cure. Writing 2 or 3 stories a day, there’s no way I’ll have time to edit.  They’ll all be first drafts, and that means they’ll be rough, and revealing, and some of them will suck. This is nervewracking, but I’m hoping it’ll help me learn to let go of my stories when they’re done.

Also: Origami paper came in the post today. This is ON!

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Random particles of inspiration sleeting through the cosmos

So, EVERY year I forget about the existence of Nanowrimo. Because the concept of trying to write a novel in a month? SCARES ME. So clearly I should be trying to write 1000 short stories in a year instead…

And yet. Every year, round about the middle of autumn, I feel writing urges stirring. Strong urges. Every year I can’t imagine why this is happening to me. And then I realise that I’ve once again felt the disturbance in the Force that is Nanowrimo brewing. It’s like thought-weather. Creativity on the wind.

I also sometimes forget about Lent but have strong urges to give up my bad habits in the spring…

Anyway, it has just, just occurred to me that this year I’ve surpassed myself. Insofar as I remembered about Nanowrimo at all, I kind of thought it was happening in October. Just occurred to me to double-check that.

When does it start? The first of November. What date have I chosen to start my own epic writing project? Oh yeah, THE FIRST OF NOVEMBER.

Which means I should have a nice wave of frantically creative thought-weather to surf as I get going. All over the world, people will be throwing caution to the winds and scribbling like crazy. Absolutely what I need.

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A change of plan

Right now, I’m thinking that I’m not going to include ‘guest stories’ from friends and supporters in my project after all. I’d rather write all 1000 stories myself, even if it takes longer. I was advised to add guest stories to lighten the burden on myself and generate more interest, but the closer I get to kick-off the less comfortable I feel with that. Don’t get me wrong, I love my friends and their varied and wonderful writing talents. But this is my project to improve my writing, and to make my wish come true, and ‘I’m writing a thousand stories’ just sounds better to me than ‘I’m writing a thousand stories, except for the ones that other people are writing for me, maybe.’

This is what feels right for me right now. It may change again. I think my best chance of succeeding with this project is to go with the flow and give myself permission to adapt, rather than stick myself with hard-and-fast rules before I’ve even started.

So, attempting 1000 stories in a year, on my own, then. I’ve made a super-geeky colour-coded progress chart to help me pace myself. I possibly had a little too much fun making this…

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