millionreasons: (photo)
About to start on my dissertation, the final bit of my MA. I am reading Stephen King's On Writing which is an engaging read. I don’t think I’ve read any of his novels (although I’ve seen the films) but his style is very appealing; he has a way of getting the exact right word to describe something, even if it is “cussing”. As well as a treatise on creative writing, the book is a memoir of his early life, of punishing poverty, of his classmates wearing the same clothes to school for a year, of his mother being given salt at regular intervals because the temperature in the laundry where she worked was so hot. The idea of small town American 1950s life being the US’s moment in the sun is just nonsense.

He writes:

"If you wrote something for which someone sent you a check (sic), if you cashed the check (sic) and it didn't bounce, and if you then paid the light bill with the money, I consider you talented."

I might use this as the epigraph at the beginning of my dissertation.
millionreasons: (Default)
Another thing published on a website. Sentences about London written over the last 18 years deposited/composited into one stream of consciousness-y piece. Not so much purple prose as heliotrope. The websites seem to prefer the meandering things rather than stories with a beginning, a middle and an end. I prefer stories with a beginning, middle and an end - in that order.

Have set up a wordpress blog to keep track of what has been published where. I know LJ was not at fault for the recent outage, but it's been highly annoying. Russians, attack facebook instead!
millionreasons: (absinthe)
Oh! I have been shortlisted for a thing! I haven't won, but I have come second or third, not sure which (the disparity between the two is £100, so I'm hoping for second, obviously), but anyway even if I have come third, the winner and the other runner up are both photographers, so I am the only writing shortlistee.

I think the last time I actually made any money from writing was a £10 book voucher for a poem published in the Co-operative Society's magazine in about 1994.

The news comes after I did a shift at my old work packing fruit. Four hours on my feet shoveling plums and cherries and lifting heavy crates and I'm exhausted. "From white collar to no collar," observed a colleague. £34.84 in the bank but at the cost of me poor old back.

You can read the thing here if you want. It is faction (the McDonalds thing never happened).

Edit: 2nd prize! £150!!


Jun. 1st, 2011 01:31 pm
millionreasons: (spike)
I have some paid writing work thanks to my exceptional networking skills chum Tanya. £8 an hour, which is less than the people putting carrots in the bags earned at my last job, but still, I have just been given £12 for sitting on my bum for 90 minutes writing about cycling, Naomi Klein and whether the shape of a country influences its national identity and politics. It's for a linguistics textbook, so students can pull apart the various components of the sentences. When I worked in a deaf school, one of the tasks I enjoyed was helping the deaf teachers put together good sentences for school documents* (although it used to annoy me when I had to re-draft the (hearing) Deputy Head's letters), and I thought then that I'd quite like to write sentences for a living.

*profoundly deaf people whose first language is BSL often have poor English writing skills.
millionreasons: (spike)
I wrote a thing and sent it to a website and they put it on their front page. I also have a story published in, somewhat bizarrely, Ohio State University's literary magazine. It's not about Glee.
millionreasons: (Default)

Lookee! There's me! Number 44! Edited from the original 1600 words down to 500 to enter the competition and then again by the Guardian subs to 100 words - but to a third generation Guardian reader, 100 words is better than 0 words. The paper version is illustrated by one of David's photos:

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