First the apology...
A week ago I started writing a blog post on the subject of fame. I had just seen a very interesting YouTube video on John Steinbeck and it made me think of the relationship between fame and criticism, both literary criticism and general 'celebrity' criticism that has nothing to do with your work. I got stuck in and was really enjoying the subject, I found some good clips to embed, some interesting links and so on...then I re-read it...
Quite often when posting a blog I will rewrite it a few times to make sure it reads fairly fluidly and although I don't take too long (usually an hour to draft, an hour to find and upload relevant content, an hour to re-read and edit - and they aren't necessarily consecutive hours, they can be separated by many hours or even days sometimes) it is always there or thereabouts so it's more a matter of tweaking...
...but this time I really didn't like what I had written. It didn't convey what I was trying to express, it seemed too jumbled and not getting to the main points I wanted to explore. I tried to re-write it and over the course of nearly a week I made several attempts but I have to admit defeat and say that I am unable to write what I want on this occasion. I think I need to shelve it for the time being and come back to it later on after a lot of time has passed and I can look at the topic again with a fresh perspective. So apologies for such a long delay between blogs and having to eventually give up!
So on to something entirely different. I thought I would share with you some photos of a recent trip. There is a local town named La Azohia and a friend who I am doing Spanish/English exchange lessons with lives there and he kindly took me to a historic tower/fort named Torre de Santa Elena (although there are a few alternate names too). It sits on a high hill that is the part of the cliffs that overlook the sea and on a clear day you can see the north Africa coastline. Standing on the edge was breathtaking and if you would like to find out more about the area this is the link for the region's (Murcia) tourist board: http://www.murciaturistica.es/en/homepage/
So as well as the above, which if I am honest I shared with you because I outright failed to write the blog subject I wanted to, things have heated up a bit here in the literal sense, I’m coping well with it as I am constantly covered in 50+ sunscreen but it takes a bit of getting used to especially as I don't drive so I walk everywhere and carrying the shopping back can be a real workout! One bit of fantastic news mixed with typically ridiculous news is that I found a gym to join, I’m really determined to lose all the weight I put on last year and get back into shape. It’s about a 45 minute walk there (and of course 45 mins back which isn’t so pleasant when I’m swaying with exhaustion) and it’s a great place with friendly staff and customers…but making the same rookie mistake I have made ever since I started exercising in my early teens I went too much too quick and I haven’t been able to lift my arms above my shoulders for the last two days and they are actually locked at a 90 degree right angle…I’ve nearly screamed out with pain on occasion I don’t mind saying! Although, weirdly that is a fantastic angle to type with if the elbows, wrist and shoulder align in a certain way so it’s not been all bad. That aside, the language lessons continue apace but really don’t expect any updates in Spanish any time soon…I think I may even be getting worse if that’s possible, I really do need to revise more.
So I’m nearly finished with the first draft of the second short story. It’s an exploration of a young man’s conflict between continuing the way he is going in life - which he loves but deep down knows isn’t right for him – and having the strength to change. He can’t admit it, but he knows he is risking losing a lot if he doesn’t take control of his life, yet breaking away seems too hard for him.
It had its root in a specific real life incident that is one of those funny stories you remind yourself of once in a while, and upon its millionth retelling a few years back someone said that you have to write that as a story, it would be hilarious. Well, hilarious as the real incident may have been, once I decided to give it a go, with the intention of it being a very realistic depiction of a boxing match, it turned into something entirely removed from that, the characters grew from the typing and before I knew it a five thousand word punchy (excuse the pun) tale has become a much deeper twenty five thousand word domestic growing up story about the significant moments in youth that propel you to adulthood – and in this case the pain is represented by the emotional turmoil, not the physical pain inside the ring. I still wanted to depict a fight so I’ve kept that element of it but it’s now a thousand miles away from its original concept. As with everything, my vision far outweighs my skill and I don’t think I have got anywhere near the symbolism I wanted, but never mind, I’m happy with how it has gone and now I just need to finish the first draft so I can get some feedback and crack on with the next story.
Take care everyone,
P.S: Remember that searching for authors thing in my last blog post? Well, I can’t tell you what memories were brought up when I put into Google (videos) Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone. It popped into my mind from nowhere but brought me straight back to being a kid absorbed by the many Fighting Fantasy books my brother owned and how I loved the adventures. They were such great times and I remember how I spent one period of time (days, weekends, weeks, months? I can’t remember now) collecting as many pennies as I possibly could trying to raise the few quid the book cost and I remember both the disappointment and the anger when one of my local shops would not accept the cost of the book (what must it have been five pounds max?) in penny and two penny pieces! It felt like a real injustice but then all was saved when a shop a bit further up the road happily took my kilos of coins with a smile and a wink and I went home happy with my new book. There are some really great videos you can find on YouTube of the authors of the Fighting Fantasy series - who before last week I had never seen in the flesh or heard their voices - and by the magic of modern social media technology there they are talking about the history of their lives, their books, their companies and so much interesting stuff. I must admit I got a bit teary actually because I suddenly remembered how much I loved those books and I distinctly remember one period of time when I would not put one particular futuristic science fiction episode of the series down, I was absolutely, totally immersed. Anyway, after all that, there was one video I found which is a short message from Steve Jackson describing the Kindle version of their books, how could I not share that with you! I’ve got so much of my own writing to do…BUT I’M TEMPTED!
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