Monthly Round-Up: June 2019
Reflections and rambles:
Summer arrived with mild and indifferent weather. WriteMentor got real as I reached halfway through a major redraft and realised I had no idea how to go forward. Talk about cresting a hill to find a mountain. My blogging and creating mojo has been low, although admitting this to people made me aware just how normal these moments are and how they are almost always signals that it is time for self-care.
Out came some old favourite novels and I was soon scribbling away about techniques I wanted to apply to my own work.
That’s June. Sounds underwhelming but sometimes we learn more from those months than we realise.
There was one special moment. I was standing in the front garden and noticed the wildflowers which spring up around this time. They were vibrating. Looking closer, I saw huge numbers of bees gathering pollen. Bee after bee after bee. With numbers of bees in crisis and the environment generally in crisis, it was lovely to see nature hanging on in there. If we allow the wild spaces to thrive, and replace what has been destroyed over the past decades, nature will come back.
What have you been up to this June? Literary or otherwise, I want to hear it.
In other bookish news I …
Watched the Mortal Engines film.
The series I always wanted filmed and a bar of Dairy Milk Oreo. Happy night in.
I had concerns about Peter Jackson as director (because the second Hobbit film is 2% derived from the book and 98% spinning it out. And even the road to Mordor can’t be that long) but the plot is relatively faithful to the original and any changes haven’t affected the pace.
Every single character felt real to the story, especially Anna Fang and Shrike.
Tom and Hester look my age, and it took me until the end of the film to figure out that no, they really weren’t suggesting that actors close to thirty could play teens. In the original series, Tom and Hester are teenagers in the first book and adults in the remaining three. The film series cuts out the years between and presumably alters the timeline.
The traction cities were everything I had ever dreamed of, and they way details from Old London [or London as we know it] have been incorporated into the great moving beast of a city is quite spectacular. Although I have wanted these films for more years than I can count, I am pleased they were delayed. Any attempt to create them with earlier CGI would have made them redundant pretty quickly.
It is also a delight to see the books brought to a new generation of readers.
Bought a storage trolley for my review books.
In the immortal words of the Toy Story crew: NEW TOY.
Dived into Writer’s HQ
At the very end of May, I had some exciting news. I was chosen for a Six Month Writer’s HQ bursary, which gives me access to online courses and writing forums.
I haven’t explored these as thoroughly as I would have expected, for various reasons, but I have logged in most evenings for a nose. Everything I’ve learned so far has helped my writing, and the material tells it like it is. The team behind the courses understand that writing is a hard slog, that sometimes we just need to let it out, but at the end of the day, the only thing that makes it happen is maintained effort. And the odd biscuit.
I’m looking forward to getting into the serious business of working with Plotstormers and Plotstormers 2 to construct a new plot and to pull the two I have into the best shape possible.
What have you been up to this June? Any books stand out especially? Let me know in the comments below. Don’t forget to link to your June round-up post or reflections.