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Blog

Hello readers, Alice here.

Things have been strange for me recently. The book I’m writing has reached over 50,000 words, and has taken a turn that I didn’t think it would when I began. Without giving too much away, it has become about something that is quite difficult to write about, and something of a sensitive subject.

The past… I don’t know how long, I’ve been thinking differently to how I used to do. It is almost like something has released in my head, and I have finally realised that I am here, and I exist, and I am the one who chooses what I do. Ugh, *flops on floor*.

I’ve always been the quiet one, unless I’m with my friends, but since this realisation, I have been trying to put myself out there more (not always, but more than I used to), working with different people and talking about new things. I’ve discovered that most people, just like me, simply want to get through the day and look towards the future. Talking to people you wouldn’t usually talk to might seem scary, but when you take the first plunge, it gets much, much easier. It’s surprising how many people are surprised when I talk to them (in a good way), and has made me think that I should have done this much earlier.

There has been ongoing drama with one of my (ex) closer friends, but that seemed to have fizzled out until things were good between us. We are no longer super close, but I would still consider her a friend, however she seems to be trying to rekindle the tension, which is annoying, but we’re heading in the right direction (I hope).  To be completely honest, I am happier with us the way we are, civil, but not best friends. Is that

I’ve been talking to my crush more, still not that much, but it’s getting there and we’ve had a couple of nice conversations.

April and I are planning a project for the summer, and have lots of new collaborative writing things planned that we’re looking forward to starting.

Things are going well for the most part, so why do I feel so strange?

My book’s change in storyline is somewhat dark, and I can’t help but think it is mirroring what’s going on in my head. I can’t really explain much more about that, because I might post on here once it is finished and edited (if I’m happy with it) and SpOILerS.

I’ve found that if I have writer’s block, writing poems increases my creativity and gets the words flowing, but everything I write is pretty miserable, and I cannot write anything positive (though to be fair, I haven’t tried that hard).

Anyway, the point is, I have realised that I am me. I don’t know who I am yet, but hopefully I will someday. At the end of the day, this is my life, and I should do what makes me happy, even if I’m not sure what that is yet. I’m not going to let school suffocate me anymore – next year will be stressful, so I need to try and enjoy now. This has caused a bit of a build up in homework that needs to be done, but it has given me time to do things for me.

I wouldn’t say that I’m happy at the moment, but I’m not not-happy, and I have no idea what is even going on with my emotions.

What I’m trying to say is that you should do the things that you love. Do not throw everything away and stop doing any work, but put some time aside just for you; sometimes work can wait.

April has commented that I have ‘changed’ recently. I don’t think I have changed, I think I’ve just released a part of myself that was hidden away before.

Happy reading,

Alice

 

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The Light Behind the Dark – Chapter One

So, this is Alice, and April and I decided to both write a story based of a writing prompt on @awriterslifeforme on Instagram, which is the first paragraph of this story, and publish them on here without showing them to each other so that neither of us could influence the other. The aim was for them to be short, but as ever, I am seemingly unable to write really short stories, so this is going to be published in several instalments, the first of which is below; enjoy!:

The first thing that caught their attention was the window at the end of the room. It had broken blinds and a plastic seal, but that wasn’t what made it interesting. It was the light that shined through and lit up the whole room. Everyone knew it was dark outside.

Most of the others had seen it before, but for some, like me, this was the first time. Several of them clamber forwards to take a closer look, but I do not.

“Oh, go on,” Charlene tells me, rolling her eyes. I shake my head, hiding my deeply awed feelings deep inside.

I know that light is dangerous. They have not learned that yet.

Maybe they will soon.

Maybe they won’t.

But I’m Mavis, and I know it all too well.

Light only ever brings darkness, and I for one would rather live without it.

“Jeesh, you’re such a killjoy.” I ignore Charlene’s backhanded comments and stay firmly at the back of the room, willing my eyes to stay rooted to the ground, hoisting them back when they wander towards the light. Soon, the general chatter is broken up by a figure of authority, clearing her voice and clapping her hands. I stuff my hands into the deep pockets of my jacket, pushing them firmly against my camera, my shoulders relaxing at the reminder of its presence.

“Don’t concern yourself with the pain, you should adjust over the next couple of times that you see it.” I look around, puzzled to see that all the other new recruits are blinking rapidly and shielding their eyes. Shoot. I return my eyes firmly to the ground, hoping nobody noticed my reaction, or lack of, to the light. “Now, firstly, I would like to welcome you on behalf of Lux Aeterna. All of you have passed extensive tests to be here, and I’m sure that the old hands will make you feel comfortable around the place.” She passes her gaze across those she is fond of, smiling supportively at the nervous new ones. I stay hidden at the back, with Charlene, suddenly painfully aware of her burning gaze fixing itself to me. Mavis is special. My reports, be it from school or elsewhere, always focused on that one fact.

I’m not like everyone else.

She knows. Her eyes are still focused on me, and people are beginning to look around to see the subject of her attention. Me. I let my eyes flit up and meet hers, smiling weakly before proceeding to stare at my shoes – plain black trainers. The welcoming speech swings into full flow, and I zone out, knowing everything that is being said anyway.

When we leave the window room, the lack of light is blindingly obvious. Everything is so dark. The absence of brightness is like a hole in the place, like how someone’s birthday party would feel, if the person it was for never turned up. Small clusters of people chatter excitedly, thrilled with what they have just witnessed.

I feel cold, wrong. Different. Charlene’s grip is tight on my arm as she pulls me aside.

“What was that all about?” I shrug, playing innocent,

“Huh?” She shakes her head, white blonde hair flipping in a perfect fan of pretty. People think I’m insane not to fancy Charlene, but I don’t see her sky blue eyes or her cute nose, I see past the blonde hair and stunning face to the person beneath, who is also pretty amazing. She is my friend, my best friend, and I do not have a crush on her.

“Don’t act dumb. You could fool someone else, but not me, Mavis. I know you, don’t forget that.” I shake her off,

“Please, Charlene, it was nothing.”

“No.” Her voice is sharp, unlike the high girly voice she puts out to the world. This is Charlene in battle mode, the sharp, calculated girl that hides beneath her facade. This is the real Charlene, and I’ll admit, if I was going to fancy her, it would be because of this person who hides beneath the surface. “Mavis Jones, I have known you my whole life. I’ve sat through detentions with you, broken the law with you. You know my secrets and I know yours. But I don’t know this.” She scowls beautifully, “I know you’re hiding something, but I don’t know what. And that makes me angry.”

She’s right, there is something I’m not telling her. I know everything about her, every last thing. She knows everything about me too. Everything but this. Nobody can know. Mavis is different. This is the girl who stood up for me when the other kids said Mavis was a girl’s name. She’s the one who chased them away when they beat me up. She fought my demons until I could fight them myself, but I can’t tell her this one thing. I swallow, my throat tight.

“Char, honestly. If it was a big deal, you’d know about it, you know you would. Nothing, and I mean nothing is up.” I shake my head, dark hair, almost black, flicking into my eyes. “I’m just nervous. This is what I’ve wanted my whole life, and now I’m here, and I’m scared.” Her eyes, which had become ice, melt back into their soft gaze that most guys find irresistible, holding me in a warm embrace without even touching me.

“If you’re sure.” She bites her lip, even white teeth worrying at the flesh. “I worry about you, Mavis.” I cough,

“Yeah, I know.” I look down, “but I’m better now.”

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Blog Post #20

Hey readers!

It’s currently Saturday night as I write this, so the week is coming to an end. It’s been a fairly busy week for me, with lots of school stuff going on (mostly homework). But I have managed to get in quite a bit of reading, which means I have finished Blood Ties by Sophie McKenzie… for the third time xD

Even though it’s the third time I’ve read this book I still completely enjoyed it, as it’s been a while since the last re-read so I couldn’t remember all the details. I also still found myself rolling around on the floor squealing in excitement when something happy happens towards the end.

After finishing Blood Ties I began to read Lie Kill Walk Away by Matt Dickinson. I’ve not quite finished it yet, although I’m a fair way through, but so far I’m really enjoying it. The start definitely throws you right into the action, there isn’t any build up or setting the scene first, you just dive head first into the drama. It then settles down slightly for a bit, although the tension is still quite high, then BAM everything happens at once. And I happened to be reading this bit just as I had to finish and go do something else and it was TERRIBLE. I was with Alice at the time and kept just shouting “my book!” at her in strange voices and getting weird looks from people around us…

– – –

Hey readers!

So as I’m writing this section of this blog post it is Sunday (I gave up writing last night) but rather than scrapping what I’ve already written I decided just to keep it, put a little divider in, and then start a new section! Since last night I’ve finished Lie Kill Walk Away and I absolutely LOVED it. It’s definitely a book for you if you like reading things filled with action, and perhaps a bit of detective stuff/mystery involved too? I really really enjoyed it, it’s definitely going onto my recommends list!

I think the next book I’m going to read is The Medusa Project Hostage which I believe (/hope) is the second book in the Medusa project series. It might take me a little while to get into this one as I actually read the first book in the series about 2 years ago… it was either July or August 2015, if I remember rightly. But we’ll see how that goes!

Anyway, I think that’s all I have to write about for now… I wish I had more, but I don’t think I do. Perhaps by next week something interesting will have happened that I can blog about, or I’ll have read 24246236 books that I can recommend to you all?

Bye!

~ April

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Hello (my blog titles are a lot less organised than April’s…)

Hello Readers! (It’s Alice)

April and I are keeping up our promise of a weekly post, and this week is no exception 🙂 In my last post, I wrote about the writing workshop we had been lucky enough to be a part of, and I’ve decided to post it on here so that you can read it if you want 🙂

Will Phoenix story

So, on with the blog: I hope all of you are fantastic, and if not, I hope you are soon. I’m in a good mood today, unlike yesterday… I’m a teenager, so mood swings affect me 😦 anyway, it wasn’t really over anything of any significance, just this girl who seems to find it amusing to be horrible…

Other than her, things are good – there’s not too much longer until the school holidays, and I’m going to a concert soon 🙂

Last year, April and I spent most of our lunchtimes (at school) holed up in the library, writing together. At the time, we thought our idea was genius, and our writing was even better. This week, we went back to it, and let’s just say there was a lot of laughing and groaning. It is TERRIBLE. Hilariously so, but who’d have thought that one year could make so much difference to the quality of our writing? (Or at least I hope we’ve improved…)

We’re both still fans of the story line, and have planned to keep going with it, typing up what we already have, then (very heavily) editing / rewriting it and continuing with the story.

We’ll keep you updated on that, and maybe one day, if it ever reaches a standard where it wouldn’t be incredibly embarrassing to share it, we’ll post it on here!

Happy reading,

Alice

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Will Phoenix story

“Hey, Will.” The band teacher corners me on my way out of school. Pulling out one of my headphones, I step towards him to see what he wants to tell me. “You don’t have time for a quick extra practice, do you?” I make a show of looking down at my watch, shaking my head.

“I’ve really got to get home, sorry.” He frowns, his thin face almost collapsing in on itself. I’m the guitar player for the school’s notoriously terrible band, and Mr Simpson, the teacher who runs it, often reminds me that I hold it together, using that as an excuse to draft me into extra rehearsals.

“Never mind,” His features morph into an expression of deep thought, “Another time then.” I nod, twisting my headphone back into my ear and letting the music wash over me.

A couple of hours later, after returning home and being fed by my foster parents, Simon and Rachel, I’ve snuck out of my bedroom window and am faced with a mirror. The person looking back is not me. Gone is my normal freckly blond face, replaced with a green eyed, dark haired stranger. The lady behind me smiles,

“All done.” I thank her and hop off the tall leather chair that I sat at as she transformed me. I’m handed the case notes, and run my eyes down the page to quickly remind myself of the key details.

A couple of years ago, I got picked up by an agency to do some undercover work – a one off thing. Apparently it’s fairly common (out of those chosen to do spy work) for kids in care to be chosen, because we tend to be lower profile, more off grid. Essentially, we don’t have parents that ask lots of questions about what we’re doing. It was all top secret; I put on a disguise and was sent to find out some information for someone (I haven’t been told who). I must’ve done something right, because since then, they’ve used me for numerous other jobs. Most of the time, I don’t even know what I’m doing, only that it is important, and crucially, that I cannot tell anyone anything about what I do.
Tonight, my name is Harvey Sallow, and I’m going over to see someone I’ve befriended over the past month or so (as Harvey). I don’t know the details, but I am aware of the bare facts: his dad is in some sort of trouble, and I have to find some documents proving his guilt.
I’ve done plenty of jobs like this, so it should all run smoothly. I love every second of my work, so much so that it is just fun, with the added bonus of a fairly large pay check.

I’m fifteen years old, and have been in and out of foster homes since the age of three, never finding a family that wanted me enough to adopt me. My parents anonymously dropped me at a care home when I was a toddler, leaving me with nothing but a battered edition of ‘A Collection of James Bond Stories’ book. That’s what spurred on my love of all things spy related, what made me accept the job as a sort of spy myself and what left me with the fantasy of my parents lives. In my head, they have the same line of work as me, but are highly skilled international spies working for the government. They were forced to give me up for my safety. They’re not dead. They did want me.

There is a parent shaped hole in my life, and no foster parents can fill that. Don’t get me wrong, Simon and Rachel are great, I’m just painfully aware of how temporary they are. They’ll never be the real deal.

With my job, I have access to facilities that let me encounter things that regular people can’t. I’ve been trying to track down my parents, but it’s near to impossible when I don’t even know their names. I’m working at it though, spending spare hours in the research labs and scouring through information.

So far, I’ve had a few leads, but nothing that ended up working out. There are no records of my parents at all in the Care system; they didn’t give their names when they gave me up. All I know is that they’ll probably look vaguely similar to me, and that ‘James Bond’ was significant enough to them to be the only thing they left with me, their child. I’ve treated the book like a clue, maybe it was just that they told me spy stories before I went to sleep, and they gave me the book to read when I’d grown up in the hope it would trigger a memory. As much as I know how unlikely it is that my parents gifted it to me so I’d discover their true identities, I know I haven’t got much hope in finding them, and it isn’t a bad fantasy to have.

I know they were alive when they gave me away, the records say that, and very little else. I’m fairly sure (and hopeful) that they haven’t died since then, and in my heart I feel they are out there. And nothing will make me give up my search for them.

Before I climb out of the car that is dropping me at the end of the guy’s – Thomas’s – street, I take the cool metal gun from the driver’s outstretched hand and tuck it into my pocket, carefully out of sight. It’s not too be used, or shown to anyone unless my life is threatened. I’ve grown used to being armed when on a mission, but that hasn’t stopped my heart from skipping a beat at the thrill of the adrenaline coursing through my veins. We exchange curt nods, and then I get out, making my journey to his house.

Later, when I leave the house, calling goodbye to Thomas and his mother, the papers tucked safely in my pocket alongside the gun, I walk down the dark street with a spring in my step, on a high from the art of my deception.

My driver drops me outside Simon and Rachel’s house, after returning to the base to be quickly turned back into me, William Phoenix, removing the contact lenses, prosthetic makeup and wig. I thank him, and then sneak around to the back, scaling up the wall via my practiced route of the drainpipe and some slightly stuck out bricks. In no time, I’m in my room, pyjamas on, sat at my desk with school books open. A couple of minutes later, my bedroom door is opened, Rachel’s head peering round it, smiling in a satisfied manner when she sees me, supposedly hard at work.

I rush through my homework, completing it all before picking up my guitar by its neck. Flopping on to my bed, I sit and strum it, running through the fairly basic riff for the school band, and then playing a couple of other songs I like. Simon comes up whilst I’m playing, and I stop sheepishly when I look up to see him stood in the doorway. His eyes are shining with some sort of pride, which he inexplicably feels whenever I accomplish something despite the fact I’m not actually his son.

Later, just before I lean across to my bedside table to switch out the light, I do a final check of my phone’s inbox in the desperate hope of news. It’s something I do every night, and it always disappoints me, leading to a night of broken sleep, half formed dreams of varying made up memories filling my head. Tonight is different. The subject of one message leaves me shaken and short of breath.

New intel on Phoenix parents

I click the link.

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Blog post #19 (I think?)

Hey readers! Happy International Women’s Day 🙂

It’s just under a week since my last blog post, but I just posted a short story and it kind of inspired me to write another blog post, so here it is I guess?

Not much has happened this week – I feel like I say that in every blog post, but it’s true. I go to school and do my homework, and that’s about it xD However, I have finished a book this week which I’d like to recommend to you all.

The book is called “At Yellow Lake” and is written by Jane McLoughlin. I actually picked it up because I was attempting to write a story out of book titles for a competition that I wanted to take part in (I never did it in the end, because I wanted my sentences to be grammatically correct and coherent but that wasn’t really an option), but then I decided I would actually read it.

Basically, the story follows three different people (Peters, Jonah and Etta) who live very different lives. However, despite their very different lives, they all end up in the same place and share an… adventure? ordeal? (something like that – can’t think of exactly the right word at the moment)

I really really enjoyed reading this book, much more than I thought I would when I first decided to read it, and I definitely recommend it! I’m trying not to give too many stories away, but it’s kind of a teen fiction/YA novel/adventure book if that makes sense? (I’m terrible at describing genres, sorry >.<)

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The book I’m reading currently is another one I picked up for the competition. It’s called Hidden, and is written by Miriam Halahmy. It’s about a girl called Alix and her new friend Samir who one day save an immigrant from drowning off shore and then find themselves in a dilemma as they don’t know what to do (that’s not spoilers because it says that in the blurb)

I’m not very far into the book so far so I don’t have any concrete opinions on it yet, however at the moment I don’t think that the characters are portrayed as their age… I was quite shocked when it mentioned that they were 14, they seem more like 16 or 18 year olds to me. But I’ll try to keep an open mind as I go along, maybe they’ll seem older as I read more.

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I’ve also already decided which book I’m going to read next: Blood Ties, by Sophie McKenzie (who is well known for her other book “Girl, Missing”). Blood Ties is a book that I’ve already read a couple of times but I really enjoy so want to read again. It follows a Theo and Rachel, two children who are mysteriously linked by the firebombing of a research clinic. (I took that from the blub so sorry for not much detail – but I don’t want to give away spoilers!). I really do love this book and would definitely recommend reading it if you can, especially if you’re a fan of action/adventure stories full of plot twists.

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On the subject of books, let’s talk about Sherlock xD Both Alice and I are fans of the TV show Sherlock (although I’ve not get round to watching Seasons 2 & 3 yet – hopefully I’ll get to watch them soon though), and so both of us decided to try and read the books. Alice bought the full works and I think is still persevering with it, whereas I bought a book with the ones that Mark Gatiss and Steve Moffat picked out as ‘the best’ and have since given up. Actually, I think given up is the wrong thing to says, it’s more like I’ve… taken a break. I was finding it quite hard and slow to read for some reason (like when I read the Hobbit) so I decided to read some other books for a while, as I was getting a bit bored by it and was avoiding reading because I didn’t fell like it, which was a problem as I’m trying to rea a book every week this year and it had already taken up two weeks and I was only on Chapter 2 of A Study In Scarlet.

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Now, as I’ve written about 700 words about books, perhaps I should move onto something else? I know this is a writing and book orientated blog, but there is other stuff I’ve been very excited about recently.

The first one of these things is the new Ed Sheeran album that came out last Friday (was going to put a divide symbol here but there doesn’t appear to be one on my keyboard WHAT IS THIS I DON’T UNDERSTAND). I might be slightly obsessed with it… my favourite song from it has to by Nancy Mulligan, for sure, followed up by How Would You Feel and Bibia Be Ye Ye. I also quite like Supermarket Flowers but I’ve only listened to it once because it made me cry :/

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The second thing that makes me excited is the new Beauty and The Beast film that’s coming out! I saw some behind the scenes stuff the other day, and ITS AMAZING OH MY WORD SO GOOD I LOVE IT. It does make me a bit sad that soon there’ll be a whole generation of kids who know Emma Watson as Belle not Hermione, but the pros of this film outweigh that con by far. And to make things even better… Disney announced that was a LGBTQ+ character in it – and not just a random person in the background either! LeFou (Gaston’s sidekick, played by Josh Gad) has been announced as Disney’s first ever LGBTQ+ character, as a was of honouring Howard Ashman (who was the lyricist for the original 1991 animated version). IT’S SO EXCITING. Obviously this has had some negative backlash (*cough cough* Heagardriveinthreatreinalabamai’mlookingatyou *cough cough*) but it’s so exciting and aaaaargh I love the film even more now! SO BASICALLY YEH I’M VERY EXCITED I DUNNO IF YOU CAN TELL.

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Anyway, I think that’s all I have for this post… an overload of information about books, and fangirling over Divide and Beauty and The Beast. Yup, that just about sums me up xD Oh, and I’d also like to apologise for the formatting of the last post, I don’t think the computer wanted to cooperate with me and so all the line breaks are messed up, sorry.

Bye!

~ April

(also sorry for typos I can’t be bothered to spellcheck at the moment but I also can’t type and make hundreds of typos all the time. maybe i’ll spellcheck another time, maybe i wont *shrug*)

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Colin Banks – Short Story

(PSA: this is terrible. apologies)

Colin Banks had always been a bit of, for lack of a nicer word, a loner. He hadn’t had many friends in school, and he’d only ever been in one relationship. Not one serious relationship, one relationship, full stop. And now that had ended.

At 32 years old, most of Colin’s peers and acquaintances were now married, many even had kids. Colin, on the other hand, was still attempting to make his way up the ranks of the opticians he worked at, and where he’d been working for the past 9 years.

And now he didn’t even have a girlfriend… Colin had thought that their relationship had been going well. They’d been coming up to the year-long mark, when she had decided that she couldn’t stand him anymore. Apparently it was something about his taste in music and the fact that all he ate was spaghetti… he didn’t know for sure, he had been too busy crying when she had been telling him. Not his proudest moment.

It had been roughly a week now, 6 days, 5 hours and 9 minutes to be exact, not that he’d been counting, but the optician still wasn’t over it. In Colin’s mind, moving on was the hardest and the worst thing in the world. He’d been so devoted to her, he’d even bought her a bunch of £2.50 flowers from Sainsbury’s on Valentine’s Day, it was hard moving on from that. But she didn’t seem to feel the same way about him; it was over, forever. So now he was just getting on with his life, going to work, testing people’s eyes, coming home and watching, no, re-watching, some of his favourite cheesy romcom films. He tried to avoid the ones that made him cry, as the one thing he’d taken away from his split with his girlfriend was that apparently he wasn’t ‘manly’ enough, but that was hard, as every film seemed to make him cry.

So on the sixth day of the breakup he was going through the motions. He’d got to work on time, greeted his co-workers with a weak smile, then retreated into the room that he worked in. He wasn’t in the mood for a friendly morning chat in the staff room – he hadn’t been since the breakup. He just went straight to his room and began filling out forms. Sure, it was boring work, and the part of his job that he disliked most, but he preferred it to the sympathetic glances cast in his direction and the questions whether he was alright that he still seemed to get. So, he sat down at his desk, and began the day’s work.

Colin had seen a young girl getting her first pair of glasses, an elderly lady who couldn’t see even with the glasses on, and a young man who really didn’t need glasses but insisted on coming back every six months for another test, ‘just in case’, and was preparing himself for his last patient before lunch when Jonah Williamson walked through the door.

Now Colin prided himself of being professional at work, just going through the motions and helping people to see well. However, he couldn’t help but admire this man as he walked through the door, escorted by Mary, the small and annoying manager of the practice who insisted on micromanaging everything that went on. He was so engrossed in admiring his tanned skin, his broad shoulders and his smooth brown hair that he only became aware of Mary talking when she suddenly said:

“Mr Banks? Are you listening?”

“Why yes, Mar- Mrs Aklesonn.” Colin said, slightly flustered after being brought out of his trance. “You want me to test this man’s eyes.” It was hardly likely she’d want anything else of him, after all, he was only a junior optician, but he wasn’t wrong.

Mary gave him a suspicious glare and then turned on her heel, not even plastering a false smile onto her face to keep up appearances as she left. He wasn’t the best at reading signals, but Colin was willing to hazard a guess that she wasn’t the biggest fan of him. The optician gave the other man a look that said ‘women’, and a slight eye roll, meaning to lighten the tense atmosphere that had been left behind by the bird-sized woman who seemed to hold a lot of power for such a small person. The man laughed as Colin gestured to a chair for him to sit in. It was the first time he’d made a joke or sarcastic comment in a while.

“Please, have a sit. No, wait, seat.  Have a, have a seat.” Colin fumbled. He felt his ears turning traffic-light red, as they always did when he was embarrassed. What had got into him? He just hoped the attractive man didn’t notice, that would be embarrassing. Not that he wasn’t already embarrassed enough… oh dear, this wasn’t a very good first impression.

“You are… Jonah Williamson, am I right?” He asked, checking the notes on his clipboard. Jonah nodded. “So… it says here that you don’t currently own a pair of glasses, but you sometimes feel as though you need some?”

“Yes, I just feel as though I can’t see things sometimes when I should.” Jonah replied, nodding.

“Well, that tends to mean you need glasses.” Colin muttered sarcastically under his breath, as he tended to do a lot. He was a sarcastic person by nature, he couldn’t help but make these little comments. It appeared he wasn’t quite as quiet as he thought he was though, as just then Jonah let out a loud laugh.

“That’s why I thought you could help me.” He replied with a grin. Colin felt his ears glowing an even brighter shade of red, if that was possible. But the man didn’t seem hostile, he seemed to just be as sarcastic as Colin was, so it wasn’t too bad.

The test went ahead as normal, with Jonah reading out letters from the screen and telling Colin whether the dots were clearer with “option 1…. or option 2… option 1… or option 2.” It was only when he had a torch and was looking into Jonah’s eyes when he found the thoughts on how attractive he was creeping back into his mind.

He has such nice eyes… Colin thought to himself as he inspected at them through his own glasses, which could do with being cleaned. Not physically of course, his vision is terrible, but they’re very pretty…

“Uh, thanks?” Jonah replied, somewhat awkwardly. Colin jumped backwards so suddenly that his torch flew out of his hand and across the darkerned room into a far corner. He hadn’t realised he’d spoken out loud!

“Uh, they’re just, um, they’re a nice colour.” He muttered as he crossed the room to retrieve his torch again and switch on the lights. When they came on again he saw that Jonah was just about as red as his ears were, if not more. Colin didn’t know what else to say – it was clear to both of them that he was lying. Jonah’s eyes, after all, were just brown. Plain brown. Nothing special at all.

Luckily, he had almost finished testing Jonah’s eyes, so there wasn’t too much awkward interaction following the accidental speaking out loud and then it was time for him to leave and Colin to go on his lunch break. It was only when Colin called one of the sales assistants to take Jonah to look at some frames for his new glasses when they had another interaction that wasn’t solely about eyesight.

“You, uh, you have my number, on the forms, right?” Jonah asked as he was leaving. Colin nodded, slightly confused, and almost missed the man’s wink as he left the room. What? The optician was slightly, no, very confused. He wanted to check that the opticians had his number?… ooooh, wait. He understood now. Wait, what?!

A year passed, and during that time, Colin went on many dates with Jonah Williamson. After the first hesitant text message, send during the lunchbreak following the awkward appointment, their interactions had grown more and more frequent until they messaged each other daily and met up with each other almost every weekend. Colin felt happier than he ever had before – even happier than he had been with his first girlfriend. He even splashed out a bit and not only bought a £2.50 bunch of flowers for him on Valentine’s Day, but also a cheap box of Christmas chocolates in the sale section of Sainsbury’s. Jonah had made him spaghetti in return and they’d watched a cheesy film together. Despite his best efforts, Colin did cry (very loudly), but it was okay, because Jonah said he didn’t mind the crying. He said it showed he cared.

Every morning Colin would catch the bus to work as he’d always done, but then he’d spend a bit of time in the staff room drinking a coffee and having a natter with his co-workers, enthusing over a cheesy film he’d watched with Jonah or a new rock song that Jonah had introduced him too. Jonah, Jonah, Jonah… his co-workers often complained he was all he ever spoke about (in a nice way of course, as he was now a senior optician, and was therefore above them). But Colin didn’t care.

Another year on, and Jonah proposed. It was the happiest day of Colin’s life, hands down. And it was in the moment that Jonah got down on one knee that he realised something, something very important.

Maybe moving on isn’t so bad after all…

Posted in Uncategorized

Overdue Blog Post About Writing

(so this was technically written yesterday but I got distracted and started listening to Ed Sheeran’s new album instead of proofreading so it’s only being posted today, sorry!)

Hey readers!

 

First of all, I’d like to apologise for the severe lack of posts recently. We did Write-A-Day and posted solidly for a week, and we haven’t posted at all since… which has been over a month. Let’s say we were doing a no-blogging February challenge? Maybe? Yeah, let’s just go with that…
Anyway, moving on to what I want to write about today. Alice and I are sitting together writing blog posts after we’ve attended a creative writing workshop with an author. I won’t say which author, as then you could stalk him and track us down, so let’s just call him Dave.
The creative writing workshop was quite different to what I thought it was going to be. I’m not really sure what I was expecting, but basically what we did was create a character and a storyline for a story (that I’m now going to go home and write) rather than listen to a monologue on all the usual boring stuff about the importance of metaphors and personification in your writing to enhance it. I really dislike those talks, as I get that all that stuff is important but when I’m writing I don’t want to have to interrupt my flow to add in a couple of similes and some alliteration, if you get what I mean?
Anyway, Dave began by writing 3 lists: facial features, personality traits, and jobs (he wrote the titles, we gave him words to put into the lists). He said that he personally always made a character first then formed the story around them, which actually seems like quite a good idea, as usually I think up of a story line but then have no idea what type of character to put into the situation. So perhaps this is the solution to my problems?
The next thing we did was create our character. We had to pick one from each list that had been written, so I ended up with a bespectacled and sarcastic optician. Then Dave gave us some more categories which we had to put answers into about our character (I don’t think that sentence made sense. Sorry if it didn’t make sense) :
Age
Gender
Where they live
Whether they like their job
What music they listen to
What their favourite food is
What films they watch
Whether they’re sporty
Whether they’re in a relationship
Whether they have kids
Once we’d all written down our character and had this outline of their personality, Dave asked us what was the thing that started off a story? Not just a story, but anything. A film, a soap opera, a play. What was the thing that kicked it all off? The answer is a problem (in case you’re wondering)
We then had to think of a problem for our character, a reason for the events to happen, a reason for our story to be talking place. It could be a big problem, like aliens taking over the world, or it could be more mundane and every day, like not having a washing machine so all your clothes stink. I personally found that basing the problem around the character worked quite well, although it won’t work for all. This way I’m not forcing a character that doesn’t fit into a position that they won’t be able to fulfil, which is what I find myself doing quite often.
So now for my story. I’ve not started writing yet, but I know how it’s going to end. Maybe I won’t say that, and then when it’s written I’ll post it so you can see how it develops… yes, I think I’ll do that (if I ever write it – I’m not very good at doing things I say I will. Although maybe putting it out there on the internet will help motivate me?)
My character is a 30 year old man called Colin Banks who works as an optician. He enjoys his job but is sometimes frustrated by his patients, which is when he becomes sarcastic. Colin likes to listen to heavy metal and rock music, his favourite food is spaghetti, and he likes watching cheesy comedy films. He’s very un-sporty, some might call him overweight, others would say he’s ’rounded’, or ‘portly’. He has no kids and is single. That’s his problem – he’s getting over a bad breakup with his old girlfriend. She didn’t like rock music or spaghetti, and so they just weren’t getting along.
Anyway, that’s my story. And I also think that’s all I have to write for now. Perhaps I’ll think of something more later but I’ll put it in a different post – the more posts the better, right?
Bye!
~ April
Posted in Uncategorized

SORRYSORRYSORRY (and writing advice from a published author (and me))

*Sheepish voice* Hello, It’s Alice.

I am very (very very very) sorry that neither of us blogged at all in February, but it’s March now and we have vowed to try harder. We are aiming for at least one post between us per week (seeing as we are called writeaweek…) and will try our best to fulfil that.

So, what happened during our month of silence? I’ve just sat and thought about this for a moment, and sadly, the answer is: not a lot, other than the fact that I just found a random fire extinguisher under the desk… (I’m writing this at school whilst April is writing her own blog at my side). Life has just gone on as normal, and although I’ve had something of a large fall out with someone who I once considered a friend, things are going okay. The ‘argument’ has been good for me, as it has made me realise some things that I had overlooked beforehand.

Basically, if there is someone in your life who never brings anything positive and / or tries to control what you do, chances are that you don’t actually like them very much but have just grown accustomed to the way things are with them (or at least this was the case for me). I see said person a fair amount at school, and although things are quite awkward between us (she is very good at death stares…), I feel much happier at school, because I can see whoever I want (mainly April) and be happy without her constantly putting a downer on things and not letting me go anywhere without running it by her first.

April and I had signed up to go to a creative writing workshop with an author, and I know that April is writing (and has probably finished by the time this is posted) a blog all about that, but I’ll summarise – he took us through the basic steps that he took before writing any story:

  • List as many different: features of appearance, personality traits, and jobs as you can think of in different columns and then pick one of each to make the basis of a character. (Write this down)
  • Note down key facts about your character: Do they like their job, are they in a relationship, any kids, favourite food, music they like, etc.
  • From these things, start to think of a problem that your character can be facing: has their relationship broken down? Have they been fired? Anything that will cause your character issues.
  • Next, develop an outline of the story revolving around your character (this should be between half a page and a page)
  • Write!

Okay, so, coming up with ideas might seem difficult, but once you have a strong character, I tend to find that they won’t leave me alone until they have a story. The hardest part about writing is, in my opinion, not coming up with what to write about, but doing the actual writing and not giving up or getting bored! I am a huge procrastinator, but this isn’t always a bad thing, as in the back of my mind, there is always something whirring away, and things sometimes piece themselves together. Writing is largely a battle of will, so don’t let yourself be an obstacle, as at the end of the day, the only thing stopping you from writing your story is you yourself.

I hope this has helped / given you something to do for a couple of minutes, and remember, there are always good writing prompts online, and great instagram accounts that provide you with inspiration / motivational quotes. Our instagram account is @ writeaweek, and we keep that updated through posts or stories, also letting our followers know when we post something new on here, or if we reach a landmark point in out writing, or just to ask the important questions in life, such as ‘is there such thing as a metaphorical question? – Are you the lean green killing machine?’ and ‘is ‘you’re a metaphor’ a metaphor?’ 😀

This has been a bit of a random mishmash, but remember we are both VERY sorry for not posting anything last month and will not let March be a repeat of that! Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read this, and happy writing!

Alice

Posted in Uncategorized

Collaborative Post! Day 7 of Write-A-Day

Hello Readers,

 

This blog is written by both of us, so hopefully it will be doubly as good?! 🙂

April can’t log into the shared writing place for some reason, so she is sat beside me, occasionally adding in a few lines of semi-colons for me to delete.

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For me, January seems to have gone really fast (April is nodding in agreement) and when this is published, there will only be two days left somehow. April is now ignoring me trying to pass her the keyboard and is instead taking pictures of the computer screen, I’m guessing to upload to our Instagram story, but who knows with her 😀

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Well, thanks (this is April by the way)

I finally managed to get into the document we’re writing this on! Yay!

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Right, so, some time has passed since we wrote the beginning of this and it is currently Sunday evening, we’ve only go this far on the blog and it’s only me (Alice) online, battling against incredibly bad wifi. So, what to say? Maybe I’ll update you on what to expect from writeaweek:

We plan to continue doing what we are doing at the moment, but with more frequent posts and activities. If we find any articles or anything that we particularly like and think you may enjoy, then we’ll link to them so that you can see them too 🙂 Also, for a while now, we have been planning on writing a collaborative story, like we did at Christmas time for the ‘The Present that was Left Behind’ story, but obviously not a Christmas themed one, and maybe a bit longer?!

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Recently the two of us have been pretty busy with school and just general life. Things are beginning to get a bit hectic, what with tests, extra curricular things and heaps and heaps of homework 😦

(Ah, the joys of being a student ~April)

(Yay, April has come online, I’ll let her write something now, as honestly I haven’t got a clue what to talk about)

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(This is April again now)

So, it’s the last post of Write-A-Day! This week has been fun (being so active) but at the same time it’s been quite stressful (I’m not so creative that I can come up with 3 posts in a week!)

Anyway, on the subject of posts… I was very excited when I logged on to the site yesterday to find out we had gained a new follower who had also “reposted” a post of ours! (link below)

https://allaboutwritingandmore.wordpress.com/category/uncategorized/

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Anyway we hope you’ve enjoyed this post, and the rest of Write-A-Day! Also we’re sorry if the format of this has been confusing too – it was written over several days. Thanks for reading and bye!

~ Alice & April