Sunday, 25 June 2017

Weddings, Birthdays and Exhaustion

This past week has been consumed by busyness, meaning I have not had time to prep or write this post until today.

My daughter had her birthday and party last weekend. My son had his birthday in the week but his party isn't until next Saturday. Then of course there have been wedding preparations in earnest, with less than 4 months to go until the big day!

Also, with it being the end of the school year, there has been a lot of activity at my daughter's school, mainly about moving up. Monday it is her sports day, and I have a meeting beforehand with the Special Needs Co-Ordinator at my son's school.

So I am sorry that this post is a bit awry, and not at all what you were expecting. Normal service will resume shortly :)

Monday, 12 June 2017

A load of Hot Air

Last Saturday, I went to the final talk at my local Literary Festival.

It wasn't what I had expected or hoped. In all honesty, I am not sure what it was that I expected, or hoped!

There was free tea and coffee, and after the talk there were free pasties and cider, which I couldn't take advantage of as I had promised Him Indoors that I would go and enjoy some wine and pizza with him.

I went to listen to screen writer Debbie Horsley, who has adapted the Poldark novels for the BBC. There weren't any novelists or short story writers at the event this year, and Debbie was the closest I was getting to fiction. She has written other TV dramas which weren't adaptations. So she was the most obvious choice for me to go and listen.

It was interesting, but I couldn't say I came away feeling inspired. I have figured that a Literary Festival - or ours at least - is more for readers to attend.

I pointed out to the director of the festival that I would like to see more novellists and short story writers, and was told I wasn't the first to have said so. One person had said 'It's not very literary is it?'.

I am not writing it off for next year. But I am aiming my sights a bit higher now. I will have a look in the writing magazines, and see what is available locally, and each year I will cast my net wider, and wider, and wider. I would love to go to the Crime Writer's festival, and will probably look into that. But this year is expensive enough, and busy enough to add another commitment.

Have you ever visited a festival? If so, which one(s)? And would you say it was worth it?

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Police, Camera, Action!

June kicked off with a trip to the Staffordshire Police Headquarters for their annual open day.

We have been going for a couple of years now, and this year it was probably the best it has been, despite there being no helicopter. We did have a fly by from the Midlands Air Ambulance on their way back to base following a call out though!

I met 'Mozza' from the current episode of Cops UK: Bodycam Squad. I tried to get a selfie but it didn't turn out right! I am new to this selfie game. I also had a go on Virtual Reality. I couldn't get up and walk around, but  had an Xbox controller to make 'myself' walk forward etc. but to look over things I had to lean forward. At one point I ran, but it made me feel very woozy, almost travel sick like! The man who was showcasing it said that there will be VR available with headphones and sticks for your hand so it will be a more wholesome experience. However, this is not yet widely available. I am not a tech geek, but I really want some VR. I can't wait until it becomes more commercial.

My son experiencing Virtual Reality for the first time © Ingrid Senger-Perkins 2017

We also had a drive in a police car with the sirens going. It wasn't as fast as I expected but the track was small with lots of twists and turns. The sirens were surprisingly quiet, and barely audible inside of the car, though they were obviously much louder if you were outside.

The Police cars that we got to ride in. © Ingrid Senger-Perkins 2017

Finally, we watched a demonstration about public order. It was really interesting. One of the shields was broken by the trainer. They showed all the tactics they have to make arrests, and it ended with petrol bombs. The riot police can walk through the fire and not be set alight. They also have steel in the soles of the shoes so any glass is prevented from going into their foot. Only an idiot would take on these fully armoured, fire proofed, chemical proofed and glass proofed police. Their visors have a special rubber seal to prevent any liquid going onto the face - such as acid. They are indestructible. I wouldn't like to hedge my bets against them!

They are ready to calm some public disorder © Ingrid Senger-Perkins 2017

It was a long day but very interesting. I highly recommend going along to these sorts of events. Not only was it interesting for the general public, I have a better knowledge on some aspects of policing. It is a brilliant way to meet people you would otherwise not meet.

My son on one of the bikes from Shropshire Staffordshire Cheshire Blood Bikes, of which I am a volunteer.
©Ingrid Senger-Perkins 2017

Next week will be a recap of the Stoke Literary Festival. I am only going to one talk, due to other commitments, but I hope to be able to get a lot out of it.

Until next week, keep writing!

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Time to Take Stock

Focus. That is what I am always being told to do. I think lack of focus is the catalyst of procrastination.

I've been trying to refocus on my goals, and realised there are just too many. So I decided to focus on one or two. I chose two because I made a commitment to myself and a fellow blogger to post here once a week. The second is that the novel needs to be my primary focus. I might enter a short story comp once a month or so, but the novel is the priority.

And since I made this decision, writing has been more satisfying. the story that has been trying to escape for ages is finally beginning to take shape. It is in the outlining stage at the moment, but I am getting a clearer idea of where it is going to go. This will be much better than my previous stop-starts where I get a few chapters in and find out that I am going in the wrong direction.

I will be blogging more about the outlining process as I go through it with this book. I must say, the excitement I felt at finally writing down a one sentence premise is something I have never experienced before. I know I am on the right track. And thankfully, no one other than my Fiance know what that sentence is. Keeping it quiet is very tough, but I don't want to share it with the world. Maybe when I am near the end, I will.

Today I will be going to the local Police HQ for their annual open day. We go every year. It is interesting though only useful to crime writer's if you can get them to give you some time. It is a very busy event. I will post more on that next week.

If you are struggling to focus, perhaps you have too many things going on at once?

As they say, too many cooks spoil the broth. In this case, too many projects spoil the focus.