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Life with Lavendar in London town

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

The Writing Life

I am trying to finish the first draft of a children's book that I started last October. It is frickin' hard. Everytime I sit down to write, I have to resist the urge NOT to write. I have a series of well honed avoidance procedures to avoid the laying of font onto the blank page. My writing process goes something like this:


  • Drink coffee at a cafe. Surf social media.
  • Remonstrate self and get off social media.
  • Write a few sentences. 
  • Feel disillusioned about the crapness of the sentences just written.
  • Suddenly remember something urgent that needs doing. Such as Googling a random fact or Whatsapping a friend to say Hi.
  • Look at the time. Only an hour left before writing time is up.
  • Read through the last page that was written. Write a few more sentences.
  • Sigh. Look out window. Get more coffee.
  • Sit down. Get up. Go to the toilet.
  • Sit down. Feel a sense of urgency.
  • Call the Husband who is really busy at work. Moan about nothing. Look at self from above and think self needs a slap.
  • Write a paragraph.
  • Review total word count of the 'day's work'. 
  • Word count is 246 words.
  • Shit. Self imposed writing rule is 1000 words per session. Minimum.
  • Write nonsense for 10 minutes. No clue what I am writing about anymore.
  • Look at clock. 25 minutes left.
  • Force myself to write up to 900 words, knowing at least 800 of these words will be cut in a future edit.
  • Eavesdrop on the guy sitting next to me in Starbucks.
  • Decide to write a random blog entry on writing.
  • Write the blog entry in 5 minutes.
  • Check phone. Clear emails and messages.
  • 10 minutes left.
  • Write. Time's up.
  • 1251 words further in to a story that is a complete mess.

Welcome to first draft hell.

Amen to that 







Thursday, 18 August 2016

Stranger Things

Netflix is a phenomena I have been slow to embrace. For someone as compulsive as me, the opportunity to watch whole seasons of desired shows in one long sofa visit is dangerous. However the Husband loves to embrace technology so a few months ago, we got Netflix so that we could watch the fourth season of House of Cards (in about 3 days). Afterwards I surfed it randomly, finally settling within the documentary section whereupon I watched Chefs Table, Going Clear, I Am Not Your Guru and Under the Influence; all well worth a view. However I was still not 100% sold that Netflix was earning its keep. We had access to zillions of shows but too much choice is a killer at times. Where was the wow moment?

Well....

I had read that Winona Ryder was featuring in a Netflix drama called Stranger Things. As a child of the 80s, I grew up with Winona and will watch anything she is in. All the publicity material for the show hearkened back to my childhood. I could have been looking at a poster for E.T, Indiana Jones, Goonies or Star Wars.

This poster screams 80's!

A few weeks ago we sat down and started to watch it. Instantly, and I mean instantly, I was hooked. By the actors, the plot, the incredible, incredible detail to all things 80s within the scenes. I thought they didn't make shows like this anymore. The synthesised score plunged me back into a time where I was a kid riding my bike and having adventures. When Atari was cool and tape decks meant that you could record music off the radio.  I was in homage heaven. It was Pans Labyrinth merged with the Goonies. It was a nostalgic gluttony and I lapped up every single episode of it.  Nostalgia aside, the show itself was excellent, propelling the suspense and action along via the portal of some truly wonderful child actors with not a scrap of  'drama school diva' affection between them. These are kids that I would adopt.

We whizzed through the season in two nights flat, the Husband as enthralled as I with the journey into our past. Landing back in 2016 with a bump, we scratched our heads and got off the sofa, suffering from escapist withdrawal.  The wow moment had been had. We were now truly Netflix converts. Addicts some might say. We were not alone though, proved by websites like this one:

After our true Netflix baptism, we went on holiday which meant we could not feed the beast. Upon our return, I fell ill which meant nights in and sofa time.

'Have you heard of this show called 'The Killing?' asked the Husband, 'I think you should watch it.'

It's truly killing me but I'm enjoying the slow death

And bang. Instantly hooked. We've been up past midnight every night since binge watching and getting by on little sleep. I'm not sure which it is that is killing me. The Killing, my flu or this strange new world of Netflix.

I love it though. I'm a believer.