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Author Topic: The good morning, good night thread  (Read 589586 times)
Geoff_N
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« Reply #4650 on: April 02, 2015, 06:39:10 PM »

I quite like facebook when I filter out the unwanted ads and ignore the what-I-had-for-lunch posts (even John Jarrold does that a lot - though mainly what wine... he's the UK's main SF lit agent). fb is the main way our family share photos and news - ditto with my SF/F pals, both readers and writers. It can get addictive and disrupt the real world, whatever that is.
There are several fb users with Ed Blunt names - are you one of them? I am geoffnelder.

I twitter a bit too. I'm @geoffnelder

Most of the writing forums I joined years ago are still going but as shadows of their former selves. Yahoo Groups have become incomprehensible to follow - could be my computer but more likely I've become inept.

Many folk use goodreads for social as well as book info. In fact I have an ARIA promo going on there now if anyone here would like a chance of a signed copy of ARIA then go to https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/132885-aria-left-luggage

It finishes on the 7th.

Some use LinkedIn as a forum.
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elay2433
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« Reply #4651 on: April 04, 2015, 01:08:52 AM »

Dead as this place is lately, it's the only forum I haunt. I've had Zoetrope recommended to me by several other writers in the past, but I've never yet registered. Could be worth a look.
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marc_chagall
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« Reply #4652 on: April 04, 2015, 12:42:06 PM »

Facebook's fun. As for other forums, the best one I've found wouldn't suit you Ed, as you don't get on with the guy who runs it. 
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Geoff_N
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« Reply #4653 on: April 05, 2015, 07:20:43 AM »

Haha, we know that guy, Delph. Alex is a friend on facebook too. I'm in two (or three) minds about his personality but there's no denying he has shed-loads of competition-winning writing talent.

I'm on the UK-Authors forum http://ukauthors.com/
(so is Delph - you must be on so many that I lurk on!) Partly I'm there because I like some of the writers I've met personally and I like to go on the writing retreat weeks with them. Nothing arranged so far this year. In the past we've been to Greece, South Wales, Northern Cyprus, Southern Cyprus and Newcastle! Hoping for a sunny, warm week somewhere in the Med this year. Has anyone any suggestions?
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Ed
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« Reply #4654 on: April 05, 2015, 08:38:27 AM »

Thanks for the recommendations, Geoff. I'm not one of the Ed Blunt names, I'm Ed Dempster -- my profile pic is me leaning on Edgar Allen Poe's gravestone. I haven't even logged in for about two years now. Those 'what I had for lunch' posts and the banal pop wisdom type wannabe viral repost things were what put me off FB and Twitter. Twitter doesn't even give me enough characters to make a post, either. Can't get on with that I had an account at UK Authors, I think, a long, long time ago. I posted some terrible early stories, I seem to remember. Might be worth resurrecting that account just to delete them grin

Delph -- yeah, that one was really interesting at times, but when he's got it in for somebody posts get edited, his goading (which happens when there are no witnesses) gets deleted altogether and with no build-up to the explosion the stooge is left looking like the unreasonable lunatic (see some of the VG exchanges). I managed to sidestep the trap on several occasions as I'd seen the same MO used against her and others on EOTW. Keeps life interesting, I suppose, but it wasn't for me. Partly because of him, and mostly because what I write isn't literary -- I don't think I am capable of it. Just can't see what people see in it. It must be there, because plenty of people do see it and love it. Maybe I'm just too thick, or unobservant, or insensitive, or all three. I lost count of how many stories I read where I'm left scratching my head at the end thinking, "well there's another story where absolutely nothing happened" scratch My shortfall entirely, I'm certain.

What I like about this forum (when it's busy) is the exchange of thoughts and ideas on a level playing field. I really liked the critique sessions, though it was sometimes hard work on top of the daily grind. The drawback was the more I learned about writing the harder it became to just switch off and write, which in a roundabout way is a good thing, I suppose. It's good to be at least semi-conscious otherwise you're likely to come up with an uneditable tangle of twaddle, but then I've been told several times by people who should know that a good read is born as much in the editing phase as it is in the writing phase. To be a good writer you have to be a good editor, or hire a good editor, and do several drafts. Fairly often, I'll write something and then see what I should have done, but there's so much I like in the first draft that it's hard to let it all go and start again. The last story I tried to write was like that. I suddenly realised that my main character was all wrong -- I'd stumbled into making all the mistakes despite supposedly knowing what makes for good drama in a story.

I had made the main character somebody in a position of power and influence, when a common man's helplessness would have made life harder for him and resulted in more dramatic tension. I made him a widower -- duh -- when fighting to protect his family and kids would have made a better story. It's just subconscious laziness. It's easy to write pap.

But then I thought maybe it's better for him to be in a position of power and find himself powerless in his situation and yet still have people looking to him for help, adding pressure to the man with civic responsibility who's also trying to save his family. I'm torn now. Stories are generally about change, and the more profound the change the better the story should be scratch

The other thing I did was have a victim tell him what had happened to her, to recount her ordeal, whereas to 'see' it happen to her would have made better reading. It was this distance that first caught my attention and alerted me to the other faults. But then that throws up PoV issues if you're wanting to write in close third person, unless you're looking to turn it into a novel and tell it from several converging points of view. The other way I could keep it would be for her to recount what happened to her and it match what the MC had experienced with his family. That's what I'm going to do. If it wasn't for Borderlands Bootcamp I wouldn't have known half of this. Fingers crossed it will be a good story when I get around to re-writing it. Whenever that may be. I keep thinking about it, but not getting on with it.

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elay2433
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« Reply #4655 on: April 09, 2015, 06:14:43 PM »

Quote
The drawback was the more I learned about writing the harder it became to just switch off and write, which in a roundabout way is a good thing, I suppose.

I know what you mean, Ed. It's similar for me. Though when I actually sit down to write, and give myself enough time to get flowing, it comes pretty nicely (so long as I promise myself there's always later to fix whatever hangs me up). I really get kinked up when I get to what I feel is the maybe the end of the first part, or even halfway through a story and realize I'm going to wind up with a 25,000 word piece that needs considerable editing before it's in decent enough shape to send out -- and is there anywhere I can send a story like this that is this long?

Or maybe I'm just talking myself out of it. I don't think that's it, but it really could be. Subconscious fear of rejection and all that.

Be interesting to see where you take your story when you get around to it. Maybe the crit-group will see a revival.
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Jerry Enni lives in a small house in the center of the San Joaquin Valley with his beautiful family. By day he makes signs and by night he writes stories. To learn more about him, check out Clear Perspective, Blurry Lens
Geoff_N
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« Reply #4656 on: April 11, 2015, 04:07:18 PM »

Sorry about calling you Ed Blunt. A senior moment I suppose...
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Ed
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« Reply #4657 on: April 13, 2015, 02:56:13 AM »

Sorry about calling you Ed Blunt. A senior moment I suppose...

Doesn't matter, Geoff. I sometimes have trouble remembering my kids' names, and I've only got two of them scratch

Jerry -- I hope the story does hit the crit group sometime, but the more I think about it, the more it's looking like a novel length story, so it could take me even longer than currently anticipated. I've got another story brewing that I really like. Hopefully that one will come eventually. I tend to work in phases. One day I'll just sit down and get on with it.

I keep thinking I would like to do something like LotLD to help people get into print. Writing stories for their anthologies was a great spur for me, because there was a better than average chance of getting published. The trouble is I don't have time to oversee it, read all the subs, etc.
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Planning is an unnatural process - it is much more fun to do something.  The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. [Sir John Harvey-Jones]
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« Reply #4658 on: May 03, 2015, 04:42:41 AM »

Urghhh... the past few weeks have been a real trial for me. I've been trying hard to get enough work in to keep the guys busy and stay on top of the overheads, planning marketing campaigns, etc., on top of the day to day running. Thought I had it sussed when we landed this nice big job worth £150,000. Got a nice big deposit from the client, ordered everything to get the job going, actually made a start, then we found out that they hadn't held up their part of the deal and now the whole thing is cancelled. We're seriously out of pocket and I'm going to have to lay off half our men as a result, which in turn impacts on our future ability to take on larger jobs. All a bit crap, really. Plus on top of that we uncovered irrefutable evidence several of the men have been fiddling their timesheets (guess who's going first).

I'm tempted to wrap it all up and walk away. Reason being, the future doesn't look very rosy for the business anyway, plus I'm tired-out. I've put everything into it for the past few years, which was fine while I was enjoying it, but now I'm just waiting for every weekend, getting through the week a day at a time, and it's making me stressed and unhappy, which is no way to carry on. I can afford to take a year off, and I'm sorely tempted to do it. Might get my writing back on track, finally afro
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Planning is an unnatural process - it is much more fun to do something.  The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. [Sir John Harvey-Jones]
elay2433
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« Reply #4659 on: May 04, 2015, 07:47:57 PM »

That's a bummer, Ed. Hope you work it out one way or the other. With a year off, you'd have time to finish and polish a novel length work. Then, if you can sell it well, you might not have to go back to work. I've seen crazier things happen. And I've read a few crap popular novels lately.
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Jerry Enni lives in a small house in the center of the San Joaquin Valley with his beautiful family. By day he makes signs and by night he writes stories. To learn more about him, check out Clear Perspective, Blurry Lens
Ed
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« Reply #4660 on: May 05, 2015, 02:53:27 AM »

Thanks for the commiserations and encouragement Jerry afro

I quite like the idea of taking a year out. That's what I thought was going to happen five years ago, or whenever it was that the big financial crash happened. Then instead of a year off I ended up being busier than I've ever been with work, so you never can tell what life's going to throw at you.
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Planning is an unnatural process - it is much more fun to do something.  The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. [Sir John Harvey-Jones]
Russell
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« Reply #4661 on: May 06, 2015, 08:22:46 AM »

Not happy news warning!

I'm sure many, if not everyone reading this, already knows that putting something off until 'next year' or 'better times' or 'when I retire', is just another way of saying 'never'. I'm not suggesting we should live each day as if there is no tomorrow - because there normally is, but as I have found out, there will be a time for all of us where there is no tomorrow - and it might not be so far away as we think.

At Christmas my wife was healthy and happy, on my birthday at the end of January she was healthy and happy, on valentine's day she was healthy and happy, but then it started.  A repeated sharp pain in her side and a scan for gallstones, becomes in just six short weeks, an incurable and  untreatable cancer.  It's probably pancreatic spread to the liver, but it doesn't really matter.  Her health started to decline from Mid-March - a steady, almost daily, change - never for the better.  She has two to four months.

I'm not looking for sympathy, just sharing some wisdom found too late, that as I said earlier, will not be news to many.

That future that looks like such a better time to put something off until? It's an illusion.

Have something you want to do? Do it now.

PS My risk averse nature (I am VERY risk averse) wants it to be "(Within reason) do it now", but I am sure you'll all get the point.
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Ed
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« Reply #4662 on: May 07, 2015, 08:50:57 AM »

That's awful, Russel. It's not something you could ever plan for, and you're right, we all put things off until tomorrow, always taking for granted there will be a tomorrow. It's a sobering thought.

If there's any consolation to be had, and God knows it's of little comfort, at least you have time to say goodbye.
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Planning is an unnatural process - it is much more fun to do something.  The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. [Sir John Harvey-Jones]
marc_chagall
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« Reply #4663 on: May 07, 2015, 08:55:12 AM »

So sorry to hear this Russell.

Point taken. Wise words.
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delboy
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« Reply #4664 on: May 07, 2015, 04:16:47 PM »

That's terribly sad news, Russell. My thoughts go out to you and your wife, and I hope that what time you have remaining together is well spent.

Your words are wise words and I wish I could take them on-board more than I do. I'm one of those people who put stuff off, not through procrastination, but through trying to ensure that financially I've secured what I can for the family. It's hard, because no matter how many sacrifices I make in the present, it seems impossible to set things up the way I want for the future. So I tend to put everything off that I'd like to do for myself.

A year off sounds wonderful, Ed. Though the story leading up to it isn't so good. I hope you get the business back on its feet and your own mojo working again.

My own woes pale into insignificance here so I shall keep them to myself. Nice to see a bit of activity on this site once again!

Cheers
Derek
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