Today’s ramble

Suzie Eisfelder

I’ve changed the day I publish my article on this website. I did that a few weeks ago in an effort to force myself to write. I’m finding I’m too busy doing things for, or with, other people to find time to write my blog. The thing is I am able to log into Live Write most Tuesday nights and that gives me the structure for a half hour of scheduled writing per week. Instead of using that time for writing my story or research I decided it would work well if I wrote for my website. I’m really grateful to Noè Harsel for creating this lovely online retreat during the first Melbourne lockdown in 2020. It is a friendly, welcoming half hour zoom where you get to choose what to write. Hosted by Writers’ Victoria, we are given a prompt which we can use if we choose. We’re also given some places where we can submit our work for potential publication, or for prizes.

I’m also tuning into Live Write on a Friday at lunchtime. I’m using that half hour to work on some writing. Sometimes I’m actually writing, but other times I’m researching a specific point for my novel. Currently I’m looking at both Amalfi and Pontone in Italy at the turn of the 12th Century. Did you know there were two eclipses in the year 1098 which fit perfectly with my timeline? No, I didn’t either. Sadly, I’ve not been as lucky finding detailed information about either of these towns as I was with Southampton. I’m going to keep an eye out for something as fantastic and useful as the Sotonopedia for all the places I’m planning on including, but I’m not going to hold my breath.

The other thing I’ve been doing is listening to podcasts. They’re great for when I’m doing mindless things such as gardening or dishes. I don’t like them so much for when I’m driving in the city, but for long distance driving they’d be great. I went back to listening to So You Want To Be A Writer. I used to listen to them when I first started my degree at uni. It was great to listen to all the advice and the interviews with writers while on the bus. When I upgraded from the iPad to a laptop it wasn’t that easy. This time I’ve gone conventional and I’m using my phone. They tend to have much more data than they used to and it’s working really well. While listening to an interview with Liam Pieper (Episode 593) I started thinking about their discussion on narrative arcs and how it would work in my novel. I promptly took a little time out to scribble down the results. I now have a good structure in mind (and on paper), and I’ve also got the beginnings of a tagline. Well worth the listening time. I’ve got a few episodes to catch up on, I seem to recall episode 100 and that I gave them a review back then, I included something about typewriters.

I’ve also picked up some more podcasts from Live Write, thank goodness I have lots and lots of mindless stuff to do!

I’m lucky with my friends. One young man spends his time travelling to various places in Australia. While there he takes a photo of the book shop and sends it to me. It’s almost as good as being there. He also asks me if there’s anything I want, but I’m not that organised. I mostly buy books on recommendation or on spec when I’m there. I’m not naming and shaming here as you know who you are! And I’ve not asked if I might name him. But the photos are lovely to see. Sometimes the name of the book shop is familiar, probably because I’ve been there before. He’s as mad about books as I am, and he’s given me a book that I don’t want to unwrap. It’s wrapped in clear plastic, if I do unwrap it I’ll do so on camera for my Youtube channel. A book about bookshops, I’ll probably want to visit every single book shop. That’s a hell of a bucket list.

I will get back to my scheduled writing about books next week unless my brain is fried. We will see.

    1. I have considered opening it on camera. But the issue is will I then remember to talk? You might get 10 minutes of me sitting there looking at the book, drooling

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