A Beautiful Library, Writing And Goddamn Snow (Now With Picture!)

Today I met up with my Aunt in Newcastle to discuss my book, and the progress I’ve made since we last spoke. I had a good day and the confidence in my writing has skyrocketed (not in an arrogant way though; think of it as me finally realizing I might just make it). There are several points I want to cover in today’s blog, but first I must complain about the weather. You know, for old time’s sake.

Stupid Snow

Where did this come from? We had no snow whatsoever then this morning I suddenly find myself trawling through at least an inch of the stuff! I don’t know how I managed it, I really don’t. People were getting trapped, buildings were on fire and the air was filled with the sound of sirens as the emergency services did their best to save the weak and vulnerable BUT I made it through unharmed.

In all seriousness it wasn’t too bad. I did slide my way from my house to the train station and back, but that was more to do with the fact not a single pair of my shoes have any grip to them. I’ve found that to be rather problematic when the conditions outside are anything worse than ‘completely dry’, which, considering I live in England, is a frequent occurrence.

What? Is that all I have to say? No more complaints, no real moaning of any kind?

Hey, I told you I had a good day.

The Lit And Phil

The Lit and Phil library in Newcastle ( a quick google search tells me it stands for Literary and Philosophical Society) is a fantastic place. I’ve never been there before but my Aunt suggested it as a meeting destination, and as I’d heard so much about it at my first writing squad workshop, I decided it was the perfect time to go and check it out.

And it really is fabulous. Imagine a traditional old library and the Lit and Phil probably won’t be far off your mental image. Loads of old weathered books, long wooden bookshelves, antique tables and furniture and really high ceilings with ornate trim. And the best part: a spiral staircase with a gangway around the room. I know. I wish I’d take some pictures but I didn’t want to draw any attention to myself. I did go up the stairs though. I couldn’t help myself. I even had a look in the conference room that was up there. Old portraits, more bookshelves and a fancy mahogany table….what else could you ask for in a conference room? I was tempted to sit there but I was good and went back downstairs for our chat instead. Meh, not as fun.

So what did you discuss exactly? I hear you ask.

Well, we went over an extract of my book, which at the end of the month, I plan to submit to the Northern Writers’ Awards.

And what are the Northern Writers’ Awards? I hear you ask, because you can’t wait two minutes (honestly, you people are so demanding).

The Northern Writers’ Awards were created to support new, up-and-coming writers of fiction and poetry reach their goals of becoming published and successful writers. And, as a writer from the north wanting to publish my book and be successful, I thought I’d give it a go. If I don’t win, I intend to write my book regardless, so there is no risk involved. And, if I did somehow manage to win one of the awards, I will have, well, won an award! Add in cash, the prospect of editorial support and much-needed publicity/networking and I’ll have taken a HUGE step towards my life goal.

So,needless to say, I’m taking my application seriously. I need to send in 3000-5000 words of my book, preferably from the beginning, plus a short synopsis of the plot. This past week or so I’ve been fine-tuning my first two chapters in preparation for that end of the month deadline. And, as I said in my introduction, I’m pretty confident. I actually feel like I have a realistic chance of winning something!

I’m not expecting to, of course, but it wouldn’t be a complete surprised if I did manage to make the shortlist of winning writers. I was invited into the Writing Squad after all, so  clearly I must have some talent. I’m starting to believe that my plot, and my writing, is worthy of being published. Wish me luck!

Oh, and here’s a picture of me looking thoughtful.

See. Thoughtful.
See. Thoughtful.

Poetry Workshop

The next Writing Squad meeting is next Saturday, and it is safe to say it involves an area of writing I am less than confident about: Poetry. Yeah. With eight other poets in the room, I am somewhat…reluctant, let’s say, to  read out my efforts to them. They’ll probably wince in disgust as they hear my awfulness read out loud. Urgh. My dad’s suggestion was to begin with ‘I wandered as lonely as a cloud’, which was incredibly helpful. By that I mean it was no help at all. Thanks anyway, pops.

But then again, I might be actually really awesome at it. How amazing would it be for me to write something that was on par, perhaps even better, than the people who are wanting to write poetry professionally?

It won’t happen, obviously. Again, wish me luck. I’ll need it.

And finally…

Trains

I used the train to get into Newcastle and it was so so much faster than the bus. I got there in ten minutes. There were no issues because of the snow, and, because of my railcard, it was cheaper than buying a day pass for the bus. I know what mode of transport I’ll be using in the future. No more sitting in traffic for me.

Cheers

Alex

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