Wednesday, 3 August 2016

IWSG August 2016


Hosted by Ninja Cap'n Alex J. Cavanaugh, today's group posting of the IWSG - a safe haven for us writers to share our doubts and insecurities - is co-hosted by Tamara NarayanTonja DreckerEllen @ The Cynical SailorLauren @ PensuasionStephen Tremp, and Julie Flanders.

Well, it's August and it's also my first post here in two months. Last time I said I was hoping to shake things up - well, this time last month we were just heading off on a two-week road trip through Scotland, England, France and Spain on a mission to rescue a puppy. It was fun, the weather and scenery were fantastic, we got some time to relax and we were shown great hospitality by our dog rescue friends in Spain. Our new baby Benji is a big boy for four months old, but so sweet. In the couple of weeks since we got back we've been acclimatising and bedding him in with the other dogs and I think he's going to do great.


Hard to see what he's cuddling, but it's a toy dolphin we got for him on the ferry from Spain to England that he has to go to bed with every night. Such a baby!

So June was more of the month for writing. I did spend more time planning than writing, but I had a go at those mind maps and I think I've got a clearer idea of where things are going. I'm looking forward to getting stuck back in this month.

I don't want to have an insecurity about my writing, I just want to keep my attention focused, but I do have one about keeping up on the social media side. I've hardly been around and I'm also late on a couple of reviews I had promised. I hate this, as I feel like I've let people down. The plan is to rectify this and then stay on more of an even keel - with only a couple of weeks until school goes back here too, I'll hopefully feel in more of a routine. Looking forward to seeing what you've all been up to!

Also, having just been to the IWSG site, I thought I'd jump in on the interactive side and answer the group question that has been posed. This month we are asked: What was your very first piece of writing as an aspiring writer? Where is it now? Collecting dust or has it been published?

I guess 1997 was when I first thought about pursuing some sort of writing career. I was 16, just finishing secondary school and going to sixth form (where I joined a journalism group). I wrote a story while I was finishing school that was my first conscious effort at writing a proper, polished short story - it was typed, rather than being a piece of handwritten scrawl. Set in the not-too-distant future, it concerned a worker on an extension of the Channel Tunnel that was being dug throughout France encountering the ghost of a soldier from the World War I trenches. I remember being quite satisfied with it, but I didn't do anything with it, and that computer has since bitten the dust, so it only exists in the ether and in my memory. Still, I guess it means next year marks my 20th anniversary as an aspiring writer. Gulp!

Go here to check out more IWSG posts!

25 comments:

Heather R. Holden said...

Aw, Benji is so precious! Sounds like you guys had quite a trip.

And I can relate all too well to the social media insecurity. I often feel like I fail at keeping up with it properly. Good luck getting back into the swing of things!

Suzanne Furness said...

Welcome to Benji, he looks so sweet.
Keeping up with everything is a never ending struggle, Nick . . .you are not alone in that worry. Glad to hear you managed some planning, I love a good mind map too when I'm at that stage of a piece. Hope you get to dive back into the story real soon.

JeffO said...

Love the dog--have to ask, what kind of hoops do you have to jump through to bring a dog in from another country? I envision paperwork and quarantines and more paperwork.

I can definitely feel your pain on the whole out of routine thing--I actually managed to get a good chunk of writing done this July, but my routine is all fouled up and I feel like I spend half my time schlepping from one place to another. Carve out the time when you can, and keep things moving forward. Keep on, Nick!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Benji is adorable!
Twenty years since you started writing. Wow. I definitely don't remember how many years it's been.

T. Powell Coltrin said...

LOVE your new baby. He's so cute. Keep on writing. You're good at it!!!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Love how Benji has a favorite stuffed animal he sleeps with - so cute!

And a lot of bloggers seem to take breaks in the summer so no worries there. Come back when you can!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Nick - well that was a nice break .. especially collecting Benji - a dolphin as a playmate - obviously successfully accomplished.

Oh - what a great sounding storyline ... I think you need to resuscitate that book ... good luck though ... as you have great ideas with words ... cheers Hilary

Sophie Duncan said...

Aww, what a beautiful doggie :)

Losing work because the computer is no longer with us is a very modern problem - I haven't lost any work due to a computer, because I'm fanatical about backups, but I do have pieces that were in such an old version of MS Word that MS Word would no longer read them. I had to extract the text out of the document and write into a new one and save that. I'm not sure what the long term solution is, because those formats will eventually fail as well. I don't fancy printing out the very large collection of bits and pieces, notes, half-written novels, dialogue excerpts et al that exist on my drive at the moment. Let alone imagining copying it all back into an electronic system if (heaven forbid) I did lose it all...contemplating that has made me slightly wobbly, I think I may need to go and sit in a darkened room! ;P

ttfn,

Sophie
Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles

betty said...

Benji looks mighty comfortable there! Good looking dog! Sounds like a wonderful trip you all took, always good to hear that it is relaxing too.

I don't think you saw it, but I reviewed your book (along with 2 others) on my blog last month. Here's the link to it.

http://viewsfrombenches.blogspot.com/2016/07/a-book-review-times-three.html

betty

Crystal Collier said...

20 years? Way to stick to it!

He's such a cute puppy. I'm looking forward to the routine of fall too...and not looking forward to it. School around a book release is going to be...busy.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Benji is adorable!

My writing story journey began 37 years ago. LOL - before you were even born.

Bish Denham said...

Benji is going to be one big dog, look at those paws?! He looks like a Shepherd mix, sweet.

The first thing I wrote was when I was 8. It's long gone, but I still a bunch of stuff from high school.

M said...

I have a lot of writing that exists only on floppy disks I no longer have the means to access--and that's assuming the disks would even work if I could access them. One day I'll take them to a computer shop and see if anything can be extracted . . .

Jennifer Hawes said...

What a fun trip! I hope you got lots of book ideas from all those locations. What a cute puppy too!!

Chrys Fey said...

A two-week road trip to rescue a puppy? That's awesome!

20 years. That's a good number. :) And I love ghost stories. I had written a couple of books that got deleted by accident and now only exist in my mind. One day, I hope to write them again. I hope you do, too. That story sounds fascinating.

Liza said...

Gosh, I love that idea for your story all those years ago. It would be wonderful if you could resurrect it...

Liz A. said...

It's been that kind of a summer for a lot of people, seems like. Good luck with getting back into the swing of things.

Michelle Wallace said...

Benji looks so comfy curled up with his toy.
Good luck with the writing and reading, Nick! Keep at it!

Mark Noce said...

Such a cool trip you got to go on:) That would certainly inspire me:)

Jean Davis said...

Benji is so cute. What pretty eyes! A new dog and a great road trip sounds like a great way to spend a couple weeks.

Medeia Sharif said...

Working on a typewriter in my teen years seemed so much more official than handwriting. Cute dog.

EEGiorgi said...

Awww, he's adorable! And a road trip to rescue him? Sounds like you have a new story right there :-) Congratulations!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Benji is so sweet! Love that you took a road trip to rescue him!

Your Channel Tunnel story sounds interesting. It's good that its still in your imagination - a far better place for storage than a computer. :)
Happy writing this month!

diedre Knight said...

Good to see you again,Nick!
Benjy is adorable - and obviously well pampered ;-)
Gosh, I'd love to traipse around the countryside on mission for a pup. Lucky you! Write On, share often ;-)

Lynda R Young said...

I try to make a point of not remembering how long it's been since I started writing ;)
Benji is gorgeous.