Routine Whilst Writing – Why It is So Damned Important!

So, as you are all aware, I’m supposed to be writing a novel consisting of 60,000 words in the month of April. With my current word count far more behind than it ought to be (2921 words), I’ve been thinking about why I’m finding this challenge far more difficult than I ought to be.

I guess it is because of the fact that I’ve not been very strict about my writing routine. This is a fundemental part of the writing process. When I was in my initial meeting with my IP tutor prior to the challenge, he said that setting aside a couple of hours a day, daily, at the same time each day would be a sure-fire way of succeeding with the challenge. He suggested in the morning, before carrying on the rest of the day.

And, on Day #1, this idea worked out pretty well. I guess it was a mix of excitement to get started, the idea being very fresh in my mind, and not booking any activities until later on in the day.

However, as time rolled on, I was ending up doing activities in the morning, like seeing relatives and friends, and getting distracted with shopping, television and Sims 4. I’d get told off by my aunt, then be asked if I wanted to go out the next morning. The whole routine was thrown out of whack and completely de-motivated me, I lost my train of thought within the story I was trying to tell, and am feeling completely and utterly lost. Add an extra week away that I wasn’t planning, and days merging together, and you get a novel that just isn’t being written.

But I’m back home now, and in complete control of my routine once again.

And I’ve realised that I’ve not been working to my advantage, as I don’t work very well in the morning. My creative and energetic peak tends to be mid-afternoon to early evening. And that is when I ought to be planning my writing time, not in the morning when I am lethargic and tired. I’m one of those oddballs that gets more awake as the day goes on, rather than more tired. And that is something I should actually be working with rather than against.

Sure, writing in the morning works well for a lot of writers, but it isn’t a one-time-suits-all kind of life. One time might work for my IP tutor, but not so well with me. No one writer is the same as another when it comes to their writing routine, and this is something that I have come to realise whilst working on this project.

So, having a routine makes life a lot easier when writing, as well as in general life. As someone on the autistic spectrum, as well as dealing with ADD, I find once I get a very good, settled routine, I am able to be very productive and motivated. I just need to learn how to figure out a routine for myself without someone else having to support me in the process.

So, how does one set up a writing routine?

Think about these points:

1) When do you find yourself at your peak in productivity? Morning, Afternoon, Evening or Night?

2) Also, what other commitments do you already have? Work? Education? Housework? Social?

3) When do you find yourself feeling lethargic and tired, and more likely to procrastinate?

4) What do you intend to achieve in the time you set in your writing time?

5) How long can you focus on a creative task comfortably?

Once you’ve thought about these things, plot them onto a piece of paper in a way that is appropriate to you (I draw out my routine based on an academic timetable so I can fit in my lectures and seminars, study sessions and support sessions), just make sure everything is clear. Then pop it onto somewhere you’ll see it every day (I pin mine on the fridge), and make sure you stick to it. That last part is up to you disciplining yourself to keep on track with the routine.

If, like me, you find it really difficult to stick to something like this, don’t fret or panic. You are not a terrible writer/housekeeper/student/employee/partner/parent/human, promise! Just make sure you timetable time for slip-ups, and don’t beat yourself up about it!

So, in all, routine = more writing!

Nailed it.

How To Write a Novel in 30 Days…. #3 – #12

Let’s just say I’ve not really had the best of times over the past several days when it has come to this project.

Lots of factors come into this, including being away from university longer than I was initially planning on (I’ve literally only just gotten back to Bath this afternoon), getting distracted with family activities and Sims 4. Add in an excellent dose of Writer’s Block and forgetting to take my medication, and you have the recipe of novel-writing disaster!

I spent a lot of the first week away spending time with my foster mum and the kids, who are all very happy and boisterous as normal. I also hung out a bit with my cousin’s friends in a brilliant Cards Against Humanity session and a few jager-bombs thrown in. I also went out with my grandparents for an afternoon, to the pub for lunch and a drive to the seafront for a quick ice cream cone. When we got back, I helped Nan sort out her iPad (she’ll be a silver surfer yet!) and petted their cat.

This week was more chilled, with me spending a lot of time milling around the house and napping, as well as playing on Sims 4. There were plenty of opportunities to write, but as I felt so behind, I barely had the motivation to write very much, so only added about 600 odd words to the last word count total. It’s not good enough, and there is two weeks to go before the end of the project, so I need to get a wiggle on!

But now I’m back in Bath, the distractions should be minimal, as most people are still away, making campus nice and quiet, so I can slip off to Commons or the library for a change of scene so I can sit and write as much as I can. I’m not sure that I’ll hit my target final word count, but I can sure as heck try to write as many words as humanly possible. I’ll probably get started tonight after my shower…

How to Write a Novel in 30 Days #2

Day #2…

Not at all as successful as yesterday. It’s mostly my fault, so I shall hang my head in shame, knowing that I have to write double what I need to do tomorrow in order to get myself back on track.

Last night was the night the brand new Sims 4 expansion came out on midnight release. I’d preordered the game, and was sat staring at my laptop in anticipation, ready to spend the night gaming in the virtual world where I am the creator of the universe.

However…

I played until nearly 4am.

It’s a very addictive thing, Sims 4. Especially when you can now go with them to their workplace and wreck havoc on their working lives as well as their social and personal lives…

After noticing that I’d spent all night waiting and gaming, I reluctantly shut everything down, and trotted up to bed. Four hours later, my aunt was giving me the wakeup call that I’ve asked her to give me each day I’m in Portsmouth to ensure I get some writing done, I could barely open my eyes, or grunt much of a response. She popped my cup of tea on the side, and went off to her driving test (she passed, by the way, so congratulations to you Auntie!) and then work.

And I didn’t actually get out of bed until 1pm. The time I’d agreed to pop over to my grandparent’s house for an afternoon trip to their favourite local pub…

It was safe to say that I was occupied all afternoon with catching up, eating icecream and teaching Nan how to download things onto her iPad, and how to use Facetime (she’ll be a silver surfer yet!).

After getting home and having some dinner, me and my aunt and uncle watched the Leader’s Debate on ITV, and ended up debating heavily on what we thought of the issues (mixed results about immigration, the NHS and young people in education, work and training). We ate cake, did a bit of Ancestry.com, then everyone went to bed.

Well, nearly everyone…

And that was when I realised, at 1am, that I haven’t written a single word. Not one. Great work Heidi, great work! I’m going to have to write an extra 1917 words on top of the usual 2000 target tomorrow, and I have only myself and my gaming/terrible sleeping habits to blame. Ah well, there is always the morning…

And the evening.

Auntie wants to go out for the day tomorrow, to watch a film and go for lunch. So it’s going to be a frantic day to juggle everything, but I’m sure I’ll manage!

I think…

IMG_2373

Starting Word-Count = 2083

Target Word-Count of the Day = 2000

Word-Count Total = 2083

Total Words Written Today = 0

Minimum Word-Count Target for Tomorrow = 3917

How To Write a Novel in 30 Days #1

Day #1 is here!

I’m in Portsmouth staying with my aunt and uncle for a week or so, so I’m using the change of scenery to help me focus in the initial stages of the project.

So, my aunt woke me up at half seven, and I rolled out of bed at eight, and started writing at nine. I had a mug of very sweet coffee, a couple of biscuits, some notes and my laptop, and got down to business.

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By ten, I had about half and a bit of the day’s target total, 1035.

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My initial aim was to have it all down by eleven, but it was about half past eleven when I hit gold…

With 83 extra words to the chapter! Huzzah!

I feel really good at this point. I’ve noticed how much easier it has been today after taking my ADHD medication first thing before sitting down to write. Starting a routine of writing a chapter a day will also probably help, as will writing a summery of each chapter down in my notes to remind me of where I’m at in the story so I don’t get side tracked. I can also write a quick line of how I want to work the next chapter, so I have an idea of where I’d like the story to go, but allowing the opportunity for my imagination to run wild and add other parts. It’s nice to be focused, and do things in manageable chunks. Says me on Day #1. By the end of the week I may feel differently, but who knows? At the moment I’m feeling pretty darn good about everything.

IMG_2362

I’m looking happy at the moment, though how long that’ll last, I haven’t a clue. Milly had better behave herself in the next few weeks, otherwise we might just fall out. Writing an ADHD character as someone with ADHD is proving to be an interesting experience. As I’m handing parts of the book in for university work, I won’t be sharing excerpts until I’ve had my marks back, just to be on the safe side of not self plagerising, yay?

The story was initially going to be a chic lit style novel, although already in the first chapter I feel the genre is going in a whole new direction, probably just a comedy, to be honest. Even though ADHD isn’t always fun to live with, you can get an awful lot of material from personal experience for both stand up and general comedic writing. I really need to hone my comedy writing skills, so I’m hoping this novel will be very good practice!

So, Day #1 is done, bring on Day #2!

Stats

Starting Word-Count = 0

Target Word-Count of the Day = 2000

Word-Count Total = 2083

Total Words Written Today = 2083

Minimum Word-Count Target for Tomorrow = 1917

How To Write a Novel in 30 Days – UPDATE!

So, just came out of my meeting with my IP tutor…

I’VE BEEN GREENLIGHTED!

YEEEAAAAHHHHH!!!!!

Though, on one condition…

He’s asked me to up the wordcount to 60,000 words…

Yes, you read that right, 60,000 words.

That’s 2000 words EVERY SINGLE DAY.

And that’s on top of the Journal, blogging and general life. No pressure then!

I’ve never upped my word-count before, considering that when I usually take on NaNoWriMo, or the Camp equivalent, I get to about the 15/20k mark before I end up throwing the towel in, and hiding in my room for the rest of the month, so that no one can spot me and ask how the novel is getting on.

But, this time, there is more at stake than just the half-written manuscript. My grade, my reputation at university is also on the line if I don’t succeed in this challenge.

My IP tutor said one main thing to me:

‘Just get those 2000 words a day written!’

And, you know what? I may be terrified, nervous, wanting to throw it all out and run in the opposite direction, but by Gods I won’t! I am more determined to prove that you can indeed write a novel in 30 days. Even if you have ADHD, a messy flat, piles of paperwork and a weird life in general.

I am a writer, and it’s about time I started actually being one.

Independent Project – How to Write a Novel in 30 Days

I may have briefly mentioned this in a previous post, but after dropping Performance Poetry, I was given the opportunity to transfer to the Independent Project module.

What this means is that I can choose to do any creative writing project I wish that doesn’t fit in with any of the usual modules taught at Bath Spa. I had a few ideas, but then I realised that both Camp NaNoWriMo and the deadline for the 4000 word Creative Portfolio for Writer’s Workshop 2 were creeping up on me…

Why not kill two birds with one stone?

So, ‘How to Write a Novel in 30 Days’ was born! Alongside the usual Camp NaNo process, I will be keeping a written journal about the progress of my challenge, how I’m feeling about it and what I’m learning as a writer/novelist in the 30 days of the challenge.  I’ve typed up the proposal for my tutorial with my IP tutor later on this afternoon, and I am really hopeful that I’ll be given the green light for this crazy idea.

The journal is already being started, with the planning process being carefully documented. As I’m giving myself over completely to the NaNo process, I am using the two books from the NaNo team, No Plot? No Problem! and Ready, Set, Novel! and using prompts, exercises, and tips from these books as my main resources. Kinda scary, considering that I’ve just written, without someone telling me how my writing process should happen. And that’s why I’ve decided to do that with this project. I want to show that I’ve grown, adapted and developed as a writer during the project.

I also have to write a reflective essay at the end of the project to hand in alongside the actual written work that I hand in. It’ll be interesting to see how I feel at the end of the 30 day challenge, and to write in detail about how I feel the project has gone and my final opinions/thoughts.

I actually can’t wait to get started!

Summer Blues

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I started this post sat in the beautiful grounds of Bath Spa, overlooking the lake, whilst sipping my blackberry liquor and soda water, listening to a cute guy and his friend writing a song to an acoustic guitar. Now I’m typing on a bus, where there is free wif fi, with the drizzle and a Starbucks take-out.  I never really liked summer, but now I recon I do. This summer has already changed my life forever, and I know that it will continue to change.

I’m not performing in this, as I didn’t get selected into the cast, but The Idle Playthings are going to Edinburgh Fringe Festival! They are writing a blog about their adventures, http://ctrlaltsketch.wordpress.com/ so check it out, and if possible, donate a little bit of cash, as they need every penny they can get so they can get up to Fringe, and stay there for the duration of the festival. Every little helps 🙂

I also did my hair, so it is now a lovely rainbow colour! I decided on the radical makeover because I wanted to show off who I truly am inside, this crazy, multi-coloured soul who isn’t afraid of being out there any more. And it looks pretty wonderful, if I say so myself! I’m really proud of it, and intend to keep it this way for as long as possible.

Solstice was wonderful! We drank cocktails, played Cards Against Humanity, before heading out to the amphitheatre to show off talents. I performed some of my poetry, whilst my friend V performed some original songs and a stunning cover of ‘Wherever You Will Go’. After that, we went to the summer house by the lake, set up our altar, and burned paper with things we wanted to get rid of written on them. It felt really good to see the paper smolder and burn into ashes. Drinking mead, watching the stars was also amazing, and we headed back to the amphitheatre to watch the sunrise. All I can say is that I was so glad to have my closest friends with me to celebrate my freedom, and to welcome in a new season, a fresh start for everyone, especially me.

I’ve been on a few more dates, after the guy I was seeing turned out to be rubbish, and I’ve realised that maybe this way f finding love… Isn’t for me. It’s nice to take a few hours out of your day to meet a new person, be bought coffee and cocktails, talk sweet nothings until I’m blue in the face. But, that’s really not who I am, if I’m perfectly honest. I’m back to square one, and, you know what? I’m cool with that. For the first time in a long time, I’m comfortable being… Me. Me is a pretty alright person to be, to be defined by my talents, skills and personality, not for the person she has on her arm. Those days are over for me, and I’ve realised that I’m in no hurry at all to run back that way. I do like someone from back home, and I’m keeping my eye out, but what will be, will be.

Arthur is at a tiny bit of a block right now, as I’m juggling coursework with my personal situation, but hopefully I should get back into a proper routine with the novel soon. However, I’ve been writing an awful lot of poetry, mostly about matters of the heart. Maybe I’ll share a few with you all at some point or other.

But, in the meantime, I’ve started up another hobby. You see, I’m working on becoming a mixologist. Yes, a person specialising in the making of cocktails. I’ve started collecting the equipment, buying in the basic ingredients/spirits required, as well as cocktail recipe books. On top of that, I’ve started inventing my own cocktail recipes. At some point, when I perfect them, I’ll share them with you.

The last post I wrote turned out to be my 200th! A bit dark, I know, but that’s the way things go. I’ve had a lot of support from my friends and even people who I’ve never met before, and that means so much to me. I only hope that one day, young people won’t be afraid to turn round and say ‘no’ to an abusive partner. That when they cry for help, they’ll be listened to, and supported, without question. How can someone lie about being attacked, or controlled, manipulated or raped? How does that even work? Grrr, it makes me angry!

So, on that note, thanks for sticking around for 200 posts. Here’s to another 200!

I’m Writing!!!!!

 

For once, something good has come out of all the crap that I’ve been through in the past few days. So, before I go off to sit this awful English Literature exam in an hour or so, I thought I’d give you a good old catch up.

On Monday, I travelled back from London Comic-Con (I’ll dedicate a whole blog post to it another day). As I was sat on the train, I heard a little voice that I haven’t been able to quite catch in a while. It was Arthur.

“Hey, now that guy has gone, do you recon you could get on and write my story now?”

Considering that I was trying not to bawl my eyes out about a love that I can never have, he took me quite by surprise! I had missed attempting to write Arthur’s story, it’s taken so many forms, it’s crazy. He’s morphed from an angry detective to a love-lorn knight, to an English Literature professor. But he is always best when he ambles into my mind in an awkward manner, a young man without a clue, tripping up on his undone sneaker laces and smiling with a crooked grin, much like I do. Often, when I’m in a relationship, I tend to engage how well it’s going by how productive I am with novel/poetry writing. Considering in the two years I was with my ex that I wasn’t able to properly put pen to paper, that says a lot about how I feel. I’m just putting it out there.

So, after clearing my head with letter burning, lake side walks in the rain and borrowing books for revision that I intended to do, but never got round to actually doing, I sat down at 11pm and began writing furiously…

And the first chapter of Arthur’s story was written.

Basically, Arthur is a university student studying creative writing, all whilst balancing a demanding long distance relationship with a girl who never loved him in the first place. So when she unceremoniously dumps him, he draws up a ‘bucket-list’ of things he wants to do with his life, hoping that he’ll finally discover who he really is… So, here’s a quick extract to tease you with before I start properly uploading chapters onto this blog!

 So, this is a story about love. I say that, not because I’m a soppy bastard, but because it’s what the story involves. It also involves adventure, impulse and rebellion. all stories involve love, you can’t escape that. It’s what happens in between that, that’s what people want to read. So I thought it was about time I told my story. I’ve ummed and erred about it for a while. But, you know what?

Fuck it.

It’s a story that ought to be told. A story about how a boring, lonely guy went on the adventure of his life, how he changed his stars forever. And the girl that showed him that there is so much more to life than wishful thinking, what-ifs and maybes. This is her story, just as much as it is mine.

So, I guess you want me to get on and actually tell you this story, reader. You are probably wondering why this story is worth telling. Why is this something you’d want to read, rather than some other story on the shelf? You could of chosen any other story, any other love. You could of gone on a wild adventure to another universe, hung out with people who are out of the ordinary, even mythical. But you chose to read this story instead. And I’m grateful.

This is a story about love. A story where two lives were forever changed, when a girl decided to share her dream, and a lonely guy decided to close his eyes, and leap into the unknown…

Let me know what you think!

In the meantime, I have to get my exam stuff together, and make a break for the exam hall, where I’ll reemerge in two and a half hours even more muddled up than when I went in…

 

Writer’s Q&A!

Lynette over at her blog (http://lynettenoni.wordpress.com/) did this Q&A and encouraged us to think about our own responses. So, to pass the time on a sunny afternoon, I didn’t see why I shouldn’t give this a good go. This ought to help my readers see the writer side of me, and to see an insight into my life. So, enjoy!

1. Where do you write?

Call me clichéd, but I love writing in coffee shops. It gives me ample opportunity to people watch (a favourite sport of mine!), drink good coffee, and get my focus on my writing rather than on everything else around me. That said, I now have started to carry my trusty fountain pen and a notebook in my handbag now, so whenever a poem comes to mind, I can whip out my writing equipment and jot it down before I forget it. I like writing outside too, in the sunshine with a drink in one hand, pen and paper in the other.

2. What are your writing habits?

I like to drink fizzy pop if I’m writing at home, in the late hours, with cola being my drink of choice. I’ll drink all sorts of types of tea as well, although I’ve gotten back into coffee after two years of hating the stuff (I take it milky with a LOT of sugar). I also like to have a bowl of sugary snacks next to the PC, so I nibble and pick whilst I’m writing. Sherbert lemons are a favourite during all-nighters, whilst during the day I quite like jelly beans. Sometimes I shake things up and buy Doritos…

I write in solid bursts for 20 minutes, and take breaks for 10 minutes. It’s how lawyers get through all their paperwork, and how me and my friends work when we meet up for a study session. I like it because you race to get as much on the page as possible, before clearing your head for 10 minutes, and getting back to work. You don’t frazzle your brain, and you get more done! Result!

 

3. How do you write your first drafts?

When I’m writing poetry, I tend to hand draft it first, and type it up later. I find that when you go back to type up a poem later, you sometimes end up adding or taking words away, adding or taking lines away. I even once added a whole new stanza into a poem during the type-up. When I’m writing short stories, I take a similar approach, but when writing longer stories/novels, I write notes about what I want to happen in each chapter, much like a flow-chart, then write it straight onto the computer. Sometimes the plot will take control and deviate from the chart, but most of the time I write ‘the bare bones’, then go back later if something happens later on that I should add into the previous chapter.

4. Which writers have most influenced you or inspired you?

In my early teens, I would of said Jane Austen. My first NaNoWriMo was an attempt at Regency Romance, which failed miserably. But as I’ve been at university, and been able to meet writers, and listen and read a wider variety of work, I’ve realised that recently I’ve been influenced by Allen Ginsburg, and Jack Kerouac, two of the Beat Generation writers, writing experimental poetry and prose, pushing literary boundaries and changing the way that we see literature. Sometimes, though, I’m inspired more by individual works rather than writers as a whole. I loved The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer, who won the Costa 2013 Prize with it, and now teaches at my university, which was about a nineteen year old man living with mental health issues, writing his story. I loved the way that professional paperwork weaved into the protagonist’s own writing, and the use of different fonts to show that he was writing in different formats. This would be something I’ll attempt in the future. Another book series I’m obsessed with is C.J Sansom’s Shardlake series. These five novels, set in Henry VIII’s England, are thriller-mysteries involving a hunchback lawyer, Matthew Shardlake solving mysteries involving the politics of the day, all whilst living in a turbulent age. It’s a relief from all the historical romances out there, all the Philippa Gregory novels that actually irritate the heck out of me for not being properly accurate (I worked in a Tudor museum as a tour guide for a while, so hate inaccuracy about the period). And romance novels when not read on holiday, make me want to vomit. Just saying. So C.J Sansom (who is also a lovely guy, I met him whilst on the job!), has inspired me to try my hand at historical writing.

5. What genre(s) do you (aspire to) write?

I’m currently dabbling in writing historical fiction. I also enjoy experimental writing, both poetry and prose (I seem to be better at experimental poetry). I would like to attempt fantasy again, after writing a fantasy novel aged 17, and re-reading it and cringing at the Mary Sue characters, terrible clichéd plots and over complicated story lines, I might give it another go.

6. What’s your biggest challenge as a writer?

Writer’s Block. I also have issues with worrying that my work isn’t good enough, that it is badly written, or that the plot doesn’t flow right, or the character’s speech being wrong. I worry about inaccuracy, especially when I’m writing historical fiction, so spend way too much time googling everything rather than actually writing.

7. Do you have any advice for other writers?

Don’t be afraid of criticism, as long as it’s constructive. And never, I mean, NEVER allow non-writer friends or your partner read your WIP, as you’ll only get glowing reports, which is actually more destructive than someone telling you that certain things just don’t work. I have a couple of close writer friends at university who I let look over any work that I might submit at university for feedback, because they are honest, and straight with me. Leave work for a few weeks without reading it, then re-read it with fresh eyes, as then you are more likely to see flaws in plot, construction, etc, and feel more ready to edit. Writing is re-writing, but never do it alone. I tend to do my re-writing with my friends, for support and kicking up the ass when someone puts a cool Youtube video up that I struggle to resist watching.

And enjoy it! Don’t carry on writing something your heart isn’t in, you should be enjoying your work, feeling passionate about what you are writing. Or, if you’re writing to a brief, find a subject in that brief you feel you can enjoy writing about, for whatever reason.

 

 

 

And, on that note, I’d love to hear your responses to this! I’ll be going back to writing the rest of this short story now, and get it sent off for feedback. That’s if I’m not watching cute cat videos…

Back to Work!

It’s been a while since I last posted onto thi8s blog, I know.

I’ve been back at university for a fortnight now, and it’s been really manic. My laptop has been sent back to the manufacturer to be fixed or replaced, as the actual company who were supposed to get the laptop actually fixed didn’t bother to do so, meaning that I haven’t really been able to do much in the way of studying, blogging or writing. It really does wind me up that people have been messing me around, but there you go. 

I’ve also had my Irlen assessment done, as the university have discovered that I suffer from visual stress, especially when reading and working off of a computer screen and bright white paper. I’ve now got to wait for the report to see what recommendations the assessor would make to DSA and the university. I’m hoping for special glasses to help me to read better when working, but we’ll have to see. I’m just waiting on my ADHD assessment in order to see whether I’ll need medication and extra strategies in order to help me study properly. Not only that, I’ve got to see the doctor as I’m struggling to sleep properly, something I’ve had a problem with even when I was a girl.

But enough of the gloomy stuff, and onto my life.

I’ve got a big gig coming up with The Idle Playthings, and I’m really nervous as it’s such a massive gig! It’s at a big comedy club in Bath, where the likes of Russell Howard have played in the past. I’m in a sketch involving lots of swooning and ankle flashing, so it ought to be a rather awesome night. Not only that, but it’ll be the biggest audience I’ll have played to, so it’s very exciting!

Not only am I rising up in the Playthings, I’m also beginning the research process into a novel! Yes, a novel. I’ve been intrigued for a long time about the world of the geisha, and now I’m aiming to write a YA novel (50k words) set in 1920’s Kyoto, telling the story of a young girl who is sold to an okiya, and ends up changing her life forever. As I said, it’s not a polished plot yet, as I’m still trying to research on the subject, which is proving very difficult as there isn’t much good, wholesome information in the library, or the Internet. So it looks like I’ll be relying heavily on Memiors of a Geisha and Geisha of Gion to influence my work. I suppose that’s not a bad thing, although I’ve heard that the former isn’t the best interpretation of what it was like. I’ll reread it and make up my own mind.

Other than that, it’s all about my university work, which I’m behind on due to my laptop going to hospital again. I can write short stories and poems by hand, but I would like my laptop back so I can actually study properly, I need the software that has been installed on it so I can focus on my work and be a proper student again. I know tomorrow I’ll be helping to write a very strongly worded letter to the company providing the equipment to put in a formal complaint about everything that’s happened. Exciting stuff!