So, it’s been a while, flash fic notwithstanding. Once again my poor blog’s been neglected. But, the bright side is, I have things to report.
My script’s been making progress in leaps and bounds. There are still a lot of edits to make, but my word count is much more healthy. I may or may not post a short preview–I would like to, but would have to check whether any form of publishing even part of it would spoil my chances of having it accepted by a television company. So, we’ll see.
I have entered another fiction piece into a competition–this time, written specifically for it. The plot is a mesh of ideas I’d already had, so it wasn’t too hard to whip up in an hour or two, and I’m quite pleased with the result. The judging is ongoing, so as yet I have no idea how it’s fared; but I’m mentioning it because the writing process made me explore a different part of one of my ‘verses that I might not otherwise have written.
The short story will, I think, be set in the same universe as my one-day ficblog, although with different characters. It’s posted on IdeasTap, for the prompt ‘Apocalypse‘.
Well, the brief never said it had to be the end of THIS world.
As far as I am aware, my portfolio is visible to non-members. If you can’t view it, let me know. I’m not sure if I could post it elsewhere until the competition is over but I’ll bear it in mind.
With regard to the ficblog itself–I have written a few chapters, but it needs a lot more planning before I would feel comfortable beginning to post. So it may be a while. Especially since I want it to tie into (be the prequel to) a novel, which is still only vaguely plotted. It’s not in diary/email format, as I originally intended; I realised I could get a lot more out of the story if I wasn’t always in first person addressing the protagonist’s parents. So I suppose it’s more like a series of flash fiction, than a fictional blog.
My plan is to write the novel this November for NaNoWriMo–since I’ll have finally finished my degree by then, praise the Lord!–so hopefully I’ll have got something for you by the new year.
This entry was posted in Writing News, Writing Process and tagged aliens, apocalypse, aquila, author, blogging, creative writing, creative writing competition, ficblog, fiction blog, fiona major, flash fiction, flash fiction series, literature, nanowrimo, science fiction, script, short fiction, short story, student, writer, writing, writing insight, writing student, young adult.
I guess blogging, like with anything, there’s a time to know when to break the rules. Today, I am rambling just like I used to.
For starters, sorry again for the gap. Birthday + nasty cough = letting things slide. Not that the cough and the birthday were at the same time, thank goodness. I had one, then the other. And talking of my birthday, see photo below!
The Doctor Who decorations and cake kit were a bit of a surprise from my mother. It certainly added a little something to my party, which consisted of four friends and two brothers coming over and all of us stuffing ourselves with pizza then talking geeky stuff until … uh, quite late. Late in my book, anyway. I’m no night owl.
The cough hasn’t been nice. Usually I can stave off colds with what I call my “magic tea”–it’s not magic, just a Chinese herbal tea called Xiasangju Keli. I just have a cup or two when I start getting the sniffles and it clears up–much better than First Defence, which I’ve never liked. I’ve never got a full-on cold since I began drinking it (the time I forgot to drink it aside), though sore throats seem to be something else. Either that or I just didn’t drink enough. Anyway, I’m just coming out of my lack-of-sleep haze enough to be able to write something coherent and hopefully interesting. I’ve spent most of the last few days watching House of Anubis (series two, second time!) and reading Percy Jackson–finished the first series for the second time, and just finished the first in the second, for the first. The two combined have given me some strange dreams and story ideas. I’m itching to write something with weird puzzles and time travel.
Today, for only the second time ever, I did an entry at 750words.com. It would be a very useful site if I remembered to use it more often. I wish I had the gumption to do it every day, but when I look at the little link in my toolbar I think, I dunno what I would write/I feel dry/my brain’s not up to the task, etc. But I managed to get my fingers moving on the keyboard again and spurt out a load of random stuff, some of which I have just re-written for this paragraph! I’m hoping using it will get me back into blogging, and give me more randomness to offer the world.
I’m changing the subject back to the cupcakes, but only because I didn’t want to put this earlier for formatting purposes:
Nothing says “I love you in all your geekiness” like #Dalek cupcakes from Mum on my birthday.
— Alex Harlequin (@aharlequin) January 26, 2014
My copy of You is For University, in which “Nutshell” is published, is in the post! Finally I can see my name in print for the first time. And in my final bit of news, I received an offer for someone to translate some of my Doctor Who fanfiction into Russian! I actually got the request a while ago but I’ve just said yes (I thought I had already for ages). I’ve already had a Harry Potter drabble posted in French … does this make my work trilingual? Okay, probably not, since I’m not doing the translating. But still!
This entry was posted in Fan Fiction, Food, Geekiness, Misc Rambles, Writing News and tagged alex harlequin, alexannah, anthology, aquila, author, blogging, creative writing competition, dalek, dalek cupcakes, doctor who, fan fic, fan writing, fanfic, fanfiction, fantasy, fantasy short stories, fiction, food, foodie, freewriting, geek, genre, house of anubis, neo writers, nerd, percy jackson, poem, poet, poetry, poetry anthology, prose, rick riordan, science fiction, short story, sleepless night, social, the student wordsmith, time travel, young adult.
I’m currently agonising over the last question for my yearbook profile. “What experience at uni will you always remember?” Well to be honest, most of my good experiences over the last three and a bit years have nothing to do directly with my uni. Most of the friends I’ve made during that time are through outside things–NaNoWriMo and church. The friends I made in Fresher’s Week I had a great time with then, but lost somewhere down the line. Because I’ve never done much social stuff at uni, I was out of mind.
Okay, I’m going to stop this here before it turns into a poor-little-me routine. That’s not the intention. I’m just expressing my dilemma. I will probably end up saying something about Fresher’s Week, but I wish I knew what to write.
Anyway, moving on, I spent an interesting Monday morning plotting one of my villains for Aquila. It’s the second time I’ve used my giant whiteboard, which is a great tool as long as I write it all down somewhere permanent and wipe it off fairly quickly. I took a photo this time, although I’ve had to black a few points out to avoid spoiling too badly. OK, half the points.
Here’s a little taster:
I’m getting there with the first draft. I reached the end of my plan with 2,000 words to go, but since plotting my villain(?s) out I’m making progress with filling the gaps. It still reads a bit stilted to me, but maybe I’m being a bit hard on myself. I need to print out the whole thing and scribble on it. That always helps. I might even post an extract.
One last thing. I’m considering submitting the Aquila original short story in a competition to be published in a YA anthology. Maybe one of my other stories as well (it accepts multiple submissions). Watch this space! Unfortunately one of my poems, Reasons to Sing, might not now be published due to the anthology not receiving adequate funding. This is the donation link.
This entry was posted in Misc Rambles, Uncategorized, Writing Examples, Writing News, Writing Process and tagged alex harlequin, anthology, aquila, author, brainfog, cfs, character development, charity, christian, christian poetry, christian writer, chronic fatigue syndrome, church, coursework, creative collection, creative writing, creative writing competition, fiction, fiona major, genre, gospel according to poetry, literature, myalgic encephalopathy, nanowrimo, neo writers, poem, poet, poetry, poetry anthology, poetry competitions, prose, publication, published poet, published poetry, reading, reasons to sing, science fiction, script, script frenzy, short story, social, student, superhero, wordsmith, writing, writing insight, writing student, young adult, young writer.
My Aquila project has officially begun. I have drafted a plan of the pilot and begun researching the genre and other things. You may find I am talking about superheroes a lot for the coming months! I’ve invested in plenty of books on writing for television, as well as a few box sets to work my way through. I need to be a superhero expert by the time I come to write my critical essay, so that seems like a good place to start.
I began writing the plan out in script form, and feel it’s falling rather flat–it’s also turning out a lot shorter than it needs to be, which is worrying.
Hospital Waiting Room
(DAD is staring at a magazine without reading it. FIONA comes rushing in.)
DAD: Fiona! (stands up quickly) Well?
FIONA: I’m fine. Just a bit of a bump, nothing to worry about.
DAD: Sweetheart, you have amnesia. I’d say that’s something to worry about.
FIONA: Dad, I’m fine. Look, they’re letting me go, see? And if my memories come back, they come back; if they don’t, well, I can live with that. Come on, let’s get out of here. Please.
Fiona’s Bedroom, Night
(FIONA is in her own bed, asleep but fitful. The flashes continue.)
DAD (v.o.): Sweetheart, you have amnesia. I’d say that’s something to worry about.
NURSE #1 (v.o.): I can’t make out what this is–it looks like some kind of implant …
(The words BEWARE REDTHORN is superimposed over her.)
GEORGIA REDTHORN (V.o.): Come on in my dear, let’s get you dried off and warm, and then something to eat …
(FIONA sits up with a gasp.)
Major’s Kitchen, Morning
DAD is brewing coffee. ALFIE is in school uniform eating breakfast, wide awake. MUM is on the phone, holding a list.
MUM: … I know we should have called, but it was the early hours and our primary concern was getting her to bed safely. … Of course, I’ll give her your love. Bye, Dad.
(Phone is replaced. MUM crosses a name off her list.)
MUM: So that’s Grandad notified …
FIONA enters in her dressing-gown. The room stills as they all look at her.
FIONA: Um, morning.
MUM: Morning, love. What do you want for breakfast?
DAD: Do you want some coffee? Or tea, I could put the kettle back on.
MUM: You could let her answer, Doug.
ALFIE: Mm, Daddy’s being rude.
FIONA: Do we have any bacon?
MUM and DAD look at each other.
MUM: No, but I could pick some up when I drop Alfie off at school. Come on, Alfie, you’ll be late.
(ALFIE finishes his breakfast speedily while DAD proffers the cafetiere at FIONA.)
FIONA: Coffee, please, Dad.
(FIONA sits down while DAD pours her a coffee. MUM ushers ALFIE out into the hall.)
ALFIE: (from hall) Fiona, you’ll still be here when I come home, right?
FIONA: Of course I will.
(Sounds of MUM and ALFIE leaving house.)
DAD: Are you all right, sweetheart?
FIONA: You’re all acting so weird.
DAD: You can hardly blame us, it hasn’t exactly been a normal few weeks.
FIONA: No, it hasn’t.
DAD: We all want things to go back to normal as soon as possible.
FIONA: I know, Dad. I just wish it were that easy.
Fiona’s Bedroom, Morning
(FIONA is alone with her laptop, and searches REDTHORN online. Too many results. She tries REDTHORN SUPER EYESIGHT and REDTHORN IMPLANTS but also gets nowhere. Tries variants with RED THORN, still nothing useful.)
School Gates, Morning
(FIONA stands in a milling crowd of students, nervous. She looks around, noticing minute details. She looks behind her and reads the menu of a cafe the other end of the road. Swallows, but with great reluctance joins the crowds.)
(FIONA turns and sees VICTORIA and EMMA standing behind her.)
FIONA: Vicks! Emma!
FIONA goes to hug them both but they don’t respond.
EMMA: Where’ve you been?
FIONA: I … I’m not sure. Amnesia.
VICTORIA: That’s not what I heard. Everyone’s saying you ran out on us for the Gymnastics Championships.
FIONA: What? They’re not! That’s not what–
EMMA: No, you just chose then to do a disappearing act on us, your teammates. We always said you were a drama queen.
FIONA: But–I didn’t–really–
VICTORIA: Have a nice life, Fiona.
(VICTORIA and EMMA walk off, arm in arm. FIONA stands there, stunned. The bell goes and she runs into school.)
I’m looking for some constructive criticism (not about the format, I had to do some jiggling to get it to be readable as a blog post). This is the first time I’ve posted something on this blog specifically for feedback, I’m hoping to do it more in future. I’m very very sorry for neglecting my blog, but the stress has I’m afraid been getting to me.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized, Writing Examples, Writing Process and tagged alex harlequin, aquila, author, character development, constructive criticism, coursework, creative writing, family, fan, fiction, fiona major, geek, nanowrimo, nerd, novel, reader, reading, science fiction, script, script frenzy, student, superhero, wordsmith, writing, writing discussion, writing feedback, writing student, youn, young writer.
“The Unofficial Harry Potter Joke and Riddle Book”, by R.U Kidding M.E. I stumbled across this in my Kindle recommendations this morning, but sadly it did not live up to expectations.
This book needs a lot of work before I would pay money for it. I didn’t need to read further than the free sample–most of the jokes are not actually HP-related apart from the author sticking a character name in front, some are Americanised and just don’t fit with the feel of the books, and there are persistent errors: in the Herbology section, Professor Sprout is consistency referred to as Madam Pomfrey. The few jokes that were actually Harry Potter jokes and I as a Brit appreciated and were factually correct, just didn’t merit paying for.
If you’re looking for a Harry Potter joke book where the author knows their stuff, I highly recommend “Harry Pottiness: A Totally Unofficial Book of Muggle Fun”.
I’ve thumbed my way through this book time and time again when needing some laughs. It’s true it’s incredibly cheesy and the jokes are BAD, but most do fall into the “so bad it’s good” category. The highlights however have to be the more creative pages, such as the Invisibility Cloak care label, and the music chart–always worth a giggle. Highly recommended, and you don’t have to be a die-hard Harry Potter fan to understand most of the jokes; having seen most of the films once is probably good enough.
Since we seem to be having a Potter themed post, why not? I don’t normally discuss my fan fiction on this blog, but as it happens, the (Harry Potter) fan fiction chapter I mentioned in my last post that got mostly wiped, I have managed to re-write to, I think, a pretty good standard. It’s a couple of hundred words shorter so I’ve obviously lost some content forever, but I’m pretty sure I covered everything I meant to cover. Even a lot of the dialogue reads like it did before, which is brilliant. My prayers have been answered. The chapter in question is actually on a story that’s not public yet, and won’t be for a long time–but that doesn’t mean I don’t write something on it when the thought strikes. It’s actually one of the sequels to Six.
Moving away from the Potter stuff, I am so close now with my coursework–just got to figure out this bibliography, and some proof-reading, and I’ll be free to work on Aquila! (And hopefully a few days’ holiday!) I got a 5 for my Children’s Writing module–I have to say I was slightly disappointed, as the first draft of one of my stories was predicted 4-6 before it was redrafted, and it means I just missed getting a First on another module. I’m not totally confident in the report I’m about to hand in, so my hopes are pinned on my Aquila script.
Pin of the Week
This entry was posted in Book Reviews, Fan Fiction, Geekiness, Writing Process and tagged alexannah, aquila, author, book review, books, coursework, fan, fan fic, fan writing, fanfic, fanfiction, fantasy, geek, harry potter, harry potter joke book, jokes, reader, reading, science fiction, script, superhero, writing, writing student.
A while ago I submitted my poem ‘Nutshell’ to The Student Wordsmith. And then yesterday came some wonderful words in my inbox …
I am writing to you to thank you for entering The Student Wordsmith’s debut creative writing competition,‘YOU’ is for University.It is with great pleasure that I inform you that your work has been successful, being selected for print in our first creative collection, due for release this October.
This entry was posted in Writing News, Writing Process and tagged alex harlequin, anthology, aquila, coursework, creative collection, creative writing competition, nutshell poem, poem, poet, poetry, poetry anthology, published poet, published poetry, student, superhero, the student wordsmith, wordsmith, writing, writing student.
I promised, so here it is: my Aquila book cover.
Much more clearly a mock-up than the previous post, but you get the idea. The leotard probably took me the longest; there were no images on the internet that fit the description I’d already written in the story, so I had to improvise by overlaying a feather clipart image over a plain gold one and cutting out all the white.
Other points of interest: The ‘keep out’ sticker, made from scratch in Photoshop, and my favourite (of course), the star stickers on her wardrobe door, arranged in the constellation that gave Aquila her name.
With regard to my superhero, I’m not certain what I’m going to do with her. Her short story could be expanded into any number of longer works. Watch this space.