Tuesday, 10 March 2015

New Short Stories, I Need A Job, And Getting Fat!

Dear all, 

It’s one of those good news bad news posts today. To get the bad news out of the way, or rather I would say, the embarrassing news... 

Second blog

Since coming back from Spain and getting myself settled in London again I have not been able to secure a local part time job. It's been two months now and as I enter the third month I have had to be strict with myself and cut down on all spending. That means stopping my second blog, ‘The Story of my novel’ for a little while. To blog doesn't cost of course, but the travelling around London does! I thought it would be a good idea to blog about the parts of London I visit as I work on research for my novel. Research makes it sound much grander than what I am doing in truth, for my novel I want to use lots of different towns and landmarks in London and I just want to visit them to be able to describe them better, in a more realistic style. However, I thought it would be fun to dig a little deeper while I am at whatever place I am at (this was intended to be a weekly trip) and find out about the area’s literary history and connections. I’ve really enjoyed it so far but travelling up town and the associated costs are too much to spend until I know I have an income. If you want to see what I am talking about you can visit the blog over at www.rgrankine2.blogspot.com

That’s why I say it’s more embarrassing than bad, I've only just started and I'm already putting it on hold! I am incredibly keen to get going but I have to be realistic and practical and there is no point in risking debt ( I have had my time of going through all that in my 20's thank you very much!) when I am in no hurry. Looking back, maybe I was a bit hasty in kickstarting all of my projects in the very first weeks of arriving home. I perhaps should have waited a bit longer and made sure I got a job and was fully settled into a routine but there we are. I'm just excited to work hard.

Getting a job…

Okay, so I am looking for a part time local job and I haven’t found one yet. Bugger. The thing is, I am set upon writing and I knew it would be tough going so I am not feeling down about it. I made a decision not to go back into full time work and restart my career so it is the first time I have ever looked for part time work and maybe I was slightly overoptimistic about my chances. There are lots of organisations near me and I have already applied for several roles but no luck so far. I would like to do something in the region of 15-20 hours a week which will give me enough to live but still allow me lots of time to devote to writing and developing my company. What this means in reality is that I am just looking to get by and survive and I am fine with that. I am not worried in the slightest about the things I used to worry about before last year: saving for a mortgage, the central London commute, new clothes, eating out in restaurants or drinking in fancy bars, building up a pension, holidays (okay, okay, a year in Spain counts so I'm not complaining!) and all the rest of it. I just want enough to be able to have a roof over my head and eat…

This may sound incredibly naive and stupid and I am willing to accept that criticism but I have made my mind up. I want to be a better writer and in order to do that I need to write... a lot. It is not the easiest thing to admit to people that at 35 years of age I am probably going to be incapable of achieving all of the 'normal' stages of life development most of my friends already have or soon will but I am past that now. I’ve talked about that before and I won’t go over it again. All that matters to me is trying my best to produce work I can be proud of and I am willing to sacrifice everything for that. 

Applying for jobs for the first time in over ten years was quite testing though I have to admit! In depth applications and questionnaires, updating the CV… trying to remember where I was in the 90s… it took so much time! I feel so sorry for the modern job seeker who has to apply to every company in their own format, the ‘send in your CV’ days seem to be gone ( I think I knew they were gone a long time ago). The more I look the more I realise how nice it would be to work for a local organization. The whole situation feels strange, no doubt about it, but I hope something comes up soon and I am able to get into a routine and start writing with confidence knowing I have everything set.

New Stories

Okay, finally some good news. I would like to draw your attention to my latest short stories, '15 Soon' and 'Three Minutes'. Although my finances are restricted I am still cracking on with all my other projects that do not involve spending money! I self published these recently so if you want to take a look the links are below. 

Colin’s caught on the ropes. Through blood, sweat and pain he’s trying hard to be the person he wants to be but is he lying to himself? Maybe it was the person he wanted to be, could have been… once… is he ready to admit that was the past and move on with his life, with the woman he loves… does he realise he is fighting much more than the man opposite him in the ring?

Contains swearing and explicit language.
Not suitable for under 16s.

Amazon (US)

Amazon (UK)

Or just search on any Amazon site using code: B00UCHVPUU

It's such a hard task, to trust your instincts. When you are a schoolboy trying to cope with emerging new feelings it's even harder. Nicholas has tried to understand what it is to grow up but isn't sure he is ready, and the conflict he is facing between building new relationships and destroying old ones is an uncomfortable test. He must challenge his emotions and confront what he wants against what he is being asked; it is difficult to find a path between right and wrong, but it is a lesson in life he knows he cannot avoid.

Contains swearing and explicit language.
Not suitable for under 16s.

Amazon (US)

Amazon (UK)

Or just search on any Amazon site using code: B00T0MG4A4

There are two subjects I would like to blog about concerning these stories. The first is about using accents and dialects in fiction, and the second is using swearing and explicit language in fiction. I was worried about my use of language in these stories because it is the first time I have released works only suitable for adults and I was extremely nervous about how I had used explicit language. I will talk further about these two issues in my next two blog posts. It was a very interesting dilemma for me.

Getting Fat

You know what else…I’m getting fat. Since being back in the UK I have had to be very careful with my money, all that business about having none and needing a job I previously mentioned. So there are things you forego, put on hold and tell yourself you will, ‘sort out once I’ve got a bit of money coming in,’ … for me, that included gym membership. I’ve had a troubled relationship with training. I’ve been involved in fitness since I was a very young teenager and I have a passion for keeping fit… however I also have a passion for curries, beer, fried chicken and dry roasted peanuts.

The reason I am mentioning that is because it is actually starting to trouble me in terms of unsettling my focus and attention span. Healthy body healthy mind and all that I suppose. The trouble with coming back in winter is that – to state the bleedin’ obvious – it is bloody cold! I tried running (which normally I enjoy) but after a year in Spain I wasn’t ready to immediately embrace the bitter cold and I probably comfort ate a fair bit too in order to get my mind through the transition of being back in London. I’ve wrote about this before too so again I won’t go over it but it was more difficult than I anticipated to settle. It was only a year but I really felt different and as much as I wanted to be back in order to progress with things I miss Spain very much.

Spring is almost here now though and the sun is out often (still cold mind) and I’m sure it won’t be much longer before I find a job so soon enough I will be able to get back to regular training and that will help sharpen up my concentration. I can’t talk for anyone else but the un-fitter I become, the lazier I become too, the more lethargic and the more unhappy. As contradictory as it sounds I have more energy when I train and feel confidant about my body and that is essential when waking up to face hours at the laptop… even though you are just sitting on your backside doing nothing, your mind is racing and that takes up a lot of energy. Sounds fanciful but it’s true.

Okay, I hope you enjoy the stories and I look forward to getting back to more literary themes in my upcoming blogs about the language used in my writing.

Have a great week everyone,



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