My son, the budding literary genius

When my elder son, Handsome, won the class merit cup recently it was suggested to him that maybe he’ll be a scriptwriter or an author when he grows up. He took this to heart and has started writing his first Doctor Who fan-fic.

As I’m a good and kind mother, I offered to type the ‘manuscript’ up for him. I started yesterday but gave up after the first page and a half, as it is something of a struggle to decipher.

As you can see, Handsome is in far too much of a rush to empty the contents of his brain onto the paper to bother about trifling things like legibility! So, my evening tonight will be spent typing up the remaining six and a bit chapters. Wish me luck! (I’ll be demanding commission if he ever gets published!)

Some artwork for your viewing pleasure

Given that today is another uncheery grey day I thought I should post something happy. My younger son asked if I could share his artwork with the world (or at least the very small part of it that visits here!) and I was happy to oblige. So, drawn especially for you we have two mini-masterpieces.

He has thoughtfully labelled his creations (although he’s not so good at the word spacing as yet, but that is something we are working on!). I’m sure you can read it – it says ‘it is green and yelow'[sic]. I like the little caterpillar – I think he looks very happy!

The description reads; ‘this thing is a pe of glarsis thut ar [unneeded words] multi coloured wuns’ (this thing is a pair of glasses that are multi coloured ones). I’m not quite sure why he felt the need to draw pictures all over the frames, but I think they look very interesting! I can’t remember what all the pictures were. I know there was a cat, a train, a house, a building, a rocket, a golden retriever, a couple of birds and┬ásomeone fighting with a light saber.

So, two drawings to brighten your day. He loves his drawing time, and I’m hoping that he will start to do more painting in the near future. He’s had a go at a ‘paint by numbers’ thing with acrylic paint, but it did dry out a bit too quickly so we’ll try him with watercolours next.

Happy Wednesday!

Update on handwriting

A few days ago, I posted about a survey type thing that the BBC were conducting into the varying styles of handwriting among different age groups. I submitted mine (as I blogged here) and it has been put on the BBC website! Most exciting! Well, I’m excited anyway! If anyone shares my geek-like excitement and would like to see my handwriting in a second website, head over there now. And while you’re there, have a look at Mr Richard Norfolk’s handwriting, situated a little over half way down the page. How gorgeous is that? I’d love to have handwriting like his!

Thanks very much to Sandie for pointing out my moment of fame!

Genetics or chance?

I apologise in advance for the poor picture quality of my ‘letters’ – I photographed them rather than scanning them onto my computer, purely out of laziness – the camera was right by my side, whereas I would have had to walk into the next room to use the scanner! However, it’s readable, so I’m not going to the extra effort now!┬á

letter to blogletter to blogletter to blog

Dad's handwriting sample

Dad's handwriting sample

My handwriting sample

My handwriting sample

Mum's handwriting sample

Mum's handwriting sample

letter to blogletter to blog

NaBloPoMo day 30 – I made it!!

Here it is, the last day of NaBloPoMo ’08, and I’ve posted every single day! Yay me! So NaNoWriMo didn’t quite happen, but I managed this, so I’m proud! I’ve also got quite a long way into my Christmas preparations, so all in all, a good month has been had.

I’ve enjoyed the challenge of composing a blog post every single day, as it forces me to sit quietly for a little while and reflect on my thoughts about the world (!) and on my progress. Which is a good thing. I think!

Also, well done to my mum, who has been doing NaBloPoMo with me, and, so long as she posts today, will also have risen to the challenge and reigns with me as a NaBloPoMo winner!

So this is a bit of a cheat of a post, posting to say that I’ve posted every day. I’ll try to think of something else to post about later on, but I just wanted to say woohoo! I made it!

NaNoWriMo wasn’t this hard last time!

I apologise in advance for the whiny blog post. However, I committed to doing NaBloPoMo this month, and I’m damned if I’m failing at TWO challenges! Yup, NaNoWriMo is not looking good to get done by the end of the month. I’ve got ten days to write thirty thousand words. Now, this is eminently doable, if only I could find the inspiration to carry on with my lacklustre attempt. I can’t even think of rubbish to write, never mind stories that I actually enjoy committing to my laptop.

I’d like to say that I’m going to sit down later today and chuck out a couple of thousand words, but this is extremely unlikely. I’m far more likely to carry on with one of my Christmas projects, or make more marmalade. Tomorrow, I’ll wake up in exactly the right mood to churn out thousands and thousands of words…but I’m in work tomorrow, so that’s not going to happen. Grrr.

I don’t like failing, and over-analyse myself when I do. Each successive failure reminds me of others that have passed before – failing at a diet, or a fitness regime, not doing as well as I would have hoped in University (just managed not to fail that time!), failing to get the house decorated before winter set in…the list goes on.

Ah well, this self-indulgent twaddle is definitely not helping to get the book written. I think my main problem is that it is supposed to be a feel-good book, but I obviously don’t feel positive enough to generate the imagination required to write about genuinely happy people right now.

What a sad case! I’ll pull myself together soon, I promise!

Avoiding the issue, or, musings on inadequacy

Fuelled by cup upon cup upon cup of hot, sweet tea as well as plentiful minutes of gazing, unseeing, out of the window, the frantic NaNoWriMo author tried desperately hard to find that elusive inspiration which struck such a┬ámighty blow two years ago and yet is providing nothing but the slightest tickle this time around. Last time the words tripped merrily from the Author’s fingers almost faster than she could type them, and she paused only for necessary refreshment. This time, her fingers feel stiff and uninspired. Her mind is full of other things that she feels she could be doing, the urge to bake cookies and flapjacks diverting her attention from her previous vision of literary acclaim.

So what is the matter with her? Verbosity has never before been a problem for her. Eleven months of the year she manages to successfully ignore the call of the housework; why should November be any different? She tries lists, mandated time given over to typing, mandated time given over to not typing, even more cups of tea, rewards in anticipation of progress made (flapjacks, mmm!) but to no avail. The manuscript does not grow significantly fatter. The author remains a day behind target. Even blog posts, previously easily rattled off in just a few minutes, grow cumbersome and awkward to write.

Maybe inspiration is at the bottom of the cookie jar? Or the back of the fridge? Or hidden underneath the chocolate bar in the cupboard? Maybe a walk to the local bakery or sweetshop would fuel the creative juices?

She looks back over recent events to seek fruitful thoughts to commit to the page. The bang, crackle and hiss of the previous evening’s fireworks bring no more colour to her mind than the proverbial damp squib. The power to express the pleasure she felt in watching her son make rice crispie cakes has vanished; this will have to wait to be recorded another time. The marathon baking session of the previous day and the pleasure that was taken in eating the fruits of that work has escaped her memory. All she can think about is her word count, and how it stubbornly refuses to grow. Ten thousand words, her target by the end of her sixth day of writing, grows ever more distant.

The dull realisation creeps in, depressingly akin to the feeling of waking up and realising that today is the first day of the working week and there are many days to get through before the weekend, that maybe this year the NaNoWriMo winner’s certificate is not for her. Not for┬áher the glory of the purple bar on┬áher word count, signifying that┬áshe has┬ámade it to 50,000 words.

But no! She will be strong! She will persevere! She will type her way through this early slump in confidence and power on towards the finish! Her finished manuscript will be a work of such profound insight and depth that the literary establishment will marvel at the raw ability of this rookie novelist. The world will be her oyster (although she’d rather not have to eat any, thank you all the same) and the sky her limit. She will prevail!