A blog about everything I love! From Astronomy to music and everything in between. I cover 'sudoscience' - We've got aliens, and conspiracy theories, disclosure, want to ascend? Me too..... Then I spin it the whole other way and give you 'factual science' with cool stuff I've been learning at university. I share choice music, books, funny websites, silly hobbies, people, fun and food. Join me on a crazy ride through my life on this wonderful planet we call Earth!

Wednesday, 30 April 2014


You can be my little bitch

Seriously why do I keep doing it to myself? Some things will never change, but I can change how it affects me! 

No longer will your lack of interest, respect and game playing effect me - you can have your fake weird friends who are all pretending to be something they are not - "look I'm so cool, I took a couple of photos and spun a couple of tunes made some weird card and drew a few lines and wore the right outfit and hung out with the right people and went to the right places so that meand I'm so left of centre and there is nothing you can do to convince me that I'm not the coolest thing ever!"

Fuck right off - I don't care what you do anymore - I'm better than this bullshit - peace out muthafuckers!!!!

What I dig....

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Dolphins ‘protect’ long distance swimmer Adam Walker from a shark during charity swim

IN a scene reminiscent of the 60s television show Flipper, a long-distance swimmer has been protected by a pod of dolphins who scared off a shark during a charity ocean swim off the coast of New Zealand.

Swim coach Adam Walker was tackling the 25km-long Cook Strait last Tuesday as a part of his quest to become the first British man to conquer the Oceans Seven — a group of seven long-distance swims around the world — when he spotted a shark in the water below him.

Just as he began to panic, Walker said he was surrounded by a pod of about 10 dolphins that swam with him for more than an hour.

They swam around him playfully getting close enough to touch.

“I’d like to think they were protecting me and guiding me home,” Walker wrote on his Facebook page.

“This swim will stay with me forever.”

Video of Walker’s swim with the dolphins was posted to YouTube the next day, April 23, where it has since garnered more than two million views.

In a weird coincidence, Walker’s swims are in aid of the Whale and Dolphin Conservation charity.

With the English Channel, Gibraltar Straits, Catalina Channel, Molokai Strait, Tsugaru Strait and now the Cook Strait under his belt, Walker’s final swim of the seven takes place this August in the Irish Sea.

For the record, he finished the Cook Strait swim in eight hours and 36 minutes.

Check Walker’s website for more details on his swims.


Your call is important to us!

After my sleep today, I spent half the day on hold to a company that shall remain nameless, due to the chance of being called a slanderous bitch - but I will say this ~

You are a bunch of assholes that don't deserve my business.

 Not only was I on hold listening to, or rather being reprogrammed by a highly annoying and somewhat anger provoking sound being forced down the reciver, I had to deal with the bullshit that followed, which seriously pissed me off. 

On a side note - (FYI - I am a lover of the arts in any form and have a particular liking to music - all sorts if you must know. But how anyone is expected to sit through a whole rendition of a flute solo TWICE is beyond me. Seriously you need a new CD and psosibly a lesson on how the repeat button works on your music system- something a bit more upbeat with words that I can sing along to would be greatly apprecated of I actually do decide to stay with your company and choose to utilise your services. You're making me wait because of a mistake you made, don't make it hell on earth by filling my brain with stuff I don't want to hear. Make it an enjoyable experience if you want my business - have options like they do on the plane. At least let us pick our own station.)

But then, when I do finally get through, I am put on hold after explaining my entire life story to this one guy, then manhandled  to three different opperators who asked me what seemed to be the problem, over and over again - 'like seriously lady there are no problems here, just slight inconviences that could be avoided if you werent so stupid!'

 I would just like to say, could you please attempt to get it right in the first place, you are after all making a lot of money from all your customers and secondly to have me converse with someone that speaks clear decipherable English, as I am finding it extremely difficult to inderstand and relate to the array of Indian people who you are paying minimum wage to, to listen to my stream of complaints about your company that happens to be based in Australia - not in fact in India, where the, no doubt lovely, but heavily accented call centre operators reside.

Monday, 28 April 2014

Prying it out.....

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Today I plan to take over the world, I just need to find the right pair of heels!

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A conversation about Women's Private Parts!

Somehow I came across a blog that I found very interesting and very risque! (Don't click the link if your prudish, as you might get a very rude shock)


One particular article caught my attention.


It describes an article that this particular blogger (Jill Hamilton) found about the color of a women's vagina and what lengths women have to go to (as much as what they are expected to go through) to please men.
It quotes an article by Lindy West and shows a commercial from India about a feminine wash that claims not only to clean your vagina but lightens the color of it, because whatever you have in the way of a vagina isn't the right color, among the many other things that is wrong with your 'private parts'

Your Vagina isn't just too big, too floppy and too hairy. It's also too brown!
'Good news, ladies! Society has discoveredanother new thing that's wrong with you, which means another opportunity for you to make yourself more attractive for your man. Score! Turns out, the color of your vagina is gross and everyone hates it. So bleach that motherfucker. Bleach it right now!'    Lindy West.

Check out the full article here!


This got me thinking about women's vagina's in general and what is considered normal (whatever that means anyway) and what is considered the wrong size shape and color of each vagina. (Why is this even an issue...last I herd guys will do anything to get a bit, I didn't think in general that these where issues as long as they got their end in!)
Are you kidding me! I MEAN EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT ! They all do the same thing, they all are called a vagina. Color would be based on where you come from, what nationality in particular and definitely genetics!

Jill Hamilton then goes on to say;

Vag bleaching is yet another one of those "body enhancement" products--like bras with built-in nipplesvaginal rejuvenationshapewear for sex,mints to hide the taste of semen, etc...--that, in the quest for "beauty" screw with basic biology.*** Screwing with biology, as in, how we experience pleasure (i.e. a boob job making a woman lose sensitivity in her now For Display Purposes Only rack) and screwing with biology in how we communicate sexual signals to each other. A highly aroused woman, for example, will get a vivid dark flush of color between her legs. This indicates, "Hey, you're doin' fine. Please proceed at once." (If it's really really dark and very flushed, it indicates, "Oh, god! Please please please proceed at once!")

An artificially light vag indicates...what?
"I am an Indian woman possessing an improbably Caucasian vagina."
"I may be aroused or I may be thinking of stocking up on cereal when it's on sale."
"I'd better not pee because, as I vaguely recall from chemistry, ammonia and bleach mixed together create a toxic cloud." 

At the bottom of Jill's blog post I found various comments responding to Jill's post~ This one in particular from a man made me smile and luckily my faith in what I thought was right was restored -

The Blue Orchid said...
As a lover of women - and all of their lovely "ladygardens" I found this interesting and disturbing at the same time. I think all of this is a symptomatic of a deeper issue in our larger culture. There seems to be a silent message running under the surface that says that not only are you and your body parts unpleasant and unattractive but that to not modify them through surgery, or staining, etc. is sort of missing out on life. I've long been convinced that many men want women to be hairless in their southern regions and curve-less to be more like little girls. Anyway, ladies - I think you and your parts are delicious, amazing works of art. Don't ruin yourselves because of the madness of idiots who deem themselves lords of what is beautiful.

I don't think he could have said it better. So ladies whatever your lady gardens look like brown, white, or any other color for that matter - its all good and alright!

Die Antwoord - Zef Side.

High on Heels

Oh My - I could just die!

My obsession with heels, knows no bounds!

Saturday, 26 April 2014

You have to make me laugh.....

You have to make me laugh,
I have to learn from you.
Am I going to like her?
Well, we'll see....

Friday, 25 April 2014

A date on Friday....

crawl back into bed.....

Thursday, 24 April 2014

What I imagine paradise would be.....

(But overlooking a magical blue ocean/bay with palm trees and big fluffy cocktails and coconut oil)

Bedside books.....

Say ‘bookstore’ in 18 languages on World Book Day!

World Book Day - yay! My kind of day.....

Today, April 23, is World Book Day, and to mark this very important day, Living Language wants to teach you how to say ‘bookstore’ in 18 languages, so wherever you go, whomever you ask, you will find a bookstore!


Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Too many emails not enough action.

So I received yet another email from my book editor to review stage 1 of 3 of page blocks for Gold Digger to make sure there are no errors.
After reading the book maybe 50 times, I'm pretty sure that we have got them all! I understand human error can always occur, but surely I don't need to review every single change - let's just get to the exciting part please!!!

Escaping real life......

My life.....

living several lives......

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

So you want to be a writer …

Last week Hanif Kureishi dismissed creative writing courses as 'a waste of time', yet they have never been more popular. Other leading author-teachers reveal their advice to students here so if your interested in becoming a writer - here is some sound advice from the experts.....

Good writing is a mixture of the calculated and the instinctual. No one writes through pure dazed inspiration; questions of craft and calculation enter in quite quickly. Last week, speaking at the Bath festival, Hanif Kureishi cast some doubt on the existence of transferable, teachable craft in writing by witheringly classifying 99.9% of his students as "untalented" and saying that writing a story is "a difficult thing to do and it's a great skill to have. Can you teach that? I don't think you can." (Kureishi teaches creative writing at Kingston University, apparently ineffectually).
What lies, or ought to lie, beneath the growth of creative writing as a subject is the conviction that a good deal of the best writing derives from conscious craft, if not all of it. Commentators sometimes say that writing can't be taught; that beginning writers either have "it", in which case they don't need to be taught, or they don't have "it", in which case money and time is being wasted by the exercise. But writers can perfectly well have native ability, a feel for language, an inventiveness and a keen eye towards the world and still not quite understand how they can do something well, not once, but repeatedly. A good creative writing course will explore underlying principles of good writing – not to impose invented "rules" on writing, but to introduce ways of thinking about writing that are strong and purposeful. You could teach yourself how to make a chair by taking a lot apart, and experimenting with joists. A furniture-making course might school you in some unsuspected skills, and save you some time.
A bad creative writing class will look like this. A student has submitted some work with the words: "I don't think it's very good." The class has (mostly) read it. After a long silence, one of the student's best friends, primed, says: "I really like the way you … " The student says: 'Thank you." Another one says: "I didn't quite understand about the bit where …" The student explains. Half the class stay silent; the student leaves with ego intact and work unimproved.
I've seen the experience of becoming a writer from both sides. When I began, it didn't occur to me to go on a creative writing course – there were few in the late 1980s, and it seemed more pressing to do an academic PhD. I taught myself to write. I still think, for a writer who is also an insatiable reader, there is a lot to be said for the self-taught route. But since 2005, I've started teaching creative writing in universities, and now teach at Bath Spa. When I look at my first novels, they seem to me to have no idea about some technical features of the novel. I don't think I really had a solid novelistic technique until I wrote my third or fourth novel, and in today's publishing world, that would be a serious disadvantage in a career.
Adam Gale 3Illustration by Adam Gale
Creative writing, as a discipline, may not be entirely selfless, despite any beneficial results. It is no accident that it started expanding at precisely the moment when traditional financial props of the writers' trade such as the Net Book Agreement were abolished; when traditional supports of writers' incomes such as book reviews started being eroded by budget cuts; when publishers, under their own pressures, started savagely cutting away at their standard advances for authors of all levels. The days when VS Pritchettcould run a house in a Regent's Park terrace on the proceeds from short stories and book reviews are long gone. In 2014, a professorial salary may be anything, financially, from a useful support to an absolute necessity.
Forced into the academy, a writer might run a good seminar something like this. We would probably talk about an exercise of street observation undertaken in the previous days – how people groom themselves, or attract the attention of strangers. We might discuss an aspect of technique with reference to a passage from a published piece of fiction – last week we talked about character from the outside, looking at a page of Elizabeth Bowen. We might look at a classic book, or an absolutely new novel – it's an obligation on a creative writing course to keep up with new work, and we're investing not just in new work, but in new digital techniques for writing.
Other ways of thinking about humanity might prove relevant. There are writers' statements or thoughts about what they do as writers – Arnold Bennett's glorious book on the subject, or Virginia Woolf's counter-statement about the exterior and interior world of the mind, or any number of interviews with present-day authors. Or we could have a look at sociologists' analysis, like that of Erving Goffman, or psychologists', or anything else that seems interesting and relevant. When student work is discussed, it has to be a safe but rigorous process. Constructive comments are insisted on; not ego-massaging niceness, but specific comments on where something has gone wrong and how it might be improved. The focus is on technique as well as emotion and experience. Is the presiding consciousness the right one? Does he need to filter everything through his awareness? Is this the right tense? What is this thing called free indirect style? Does enough happen? Do students say: "I really like the part where you …"? You bet your sweet bippy they don't.
Classes, at Bath Spa and elsewhere, differ greatly. With a faculty that includes very varied authors, there is never going to be a uniform approach. But we often find ourselves addressing recurrent issues. How can I create characters that are memorable and engaging? (Top tip – introduce them in small groups, and out of their customary context.) There doesn't seem to be enough happening – my characters just keep telling each other how they feel about each other, and then they have an affair or kill each other or have a baby. But then what? (Top tip; incident has to keep coming from outside, and the unexpected illuminates character. Try experimentally dropping a giant block of frozen piss through the ceiling of their room and see what they do.)
Adam GaleIllustration by Adam Gale
There are also possibilities that writers just haven't perceived. You don't have to present action as a one-off series of events; actions can be beautifully recurrent in a sentence running: "Whenever Amir visited Brenda, he always took the second-cheapest box of milk chocolates from the newsagents for her. She would always thank him effusively." You don't induce emotions by talking about those emotions; you are much more likely to do so by describing facts of the world, quite objectively. Go out into the street and watch human beings attentively; you will probably realise with a shock that your vocabulary of gestures – which now runs, in its entirety "he shrugged, she grinned, he frowned, she shook her head, he rolled his eyes, she sighed" – is totally inadequate. (And how rude and rare is shrugging, anyway?)
Personally, I like to irritate as well as inspire a class, sometimes by saying sagely: "A short story consists of an introduction, five OR seven episodes, and a coda in which the weather changes." (Worked forChekhov, anyway.) Or: "If you're going to have an animal in a story, have a dog and not a cat." (Dogs are easier structural principles, running up to strangers in parks, and so on.)
Your students are not, thank heaven, going to be much like you as writers. They are going to react against you with their own thoughts and creative principles. Yes, there are courses where people who write present-tense historical novels, apparently about 21st-century women in a crinoline, produce students who do exactly the same thing. But a good creative writing course will produce independent-thinking, craftsmanlike innovators with critical, widely curious and energetic minds. I don't know why this goal isn't more common in universities, anyway.
Philip Hensher is a professor of creative writing at Bath Spa University.

Jeanette Winterson

Jeanette WintersonJeanette Winterson. Photograph: IBL/REX
1) I don't give a shit what's in your head. By which I mean if it isn't on the page it doesn't exist. The connection between your mind and the reader's mind is language. Reading is not telepathy.
2) I don't care whether you like the texts we study or you don't. Like or dislike is a personal thing and tells me something about you, but nothing about the text. If you don't think something is well written, convince me. If you do think so, convince me. Learn from everything you read and understand how to learn from everything you read. And above all read! My classes use texts I am pretty sure they won't know because I want them to see how wide is the world of books and thought and imagination. I am trying to reposition them in relation to, in response to, language.
3) Writing is a love affair not a solitary pleasure. You can write about anything you like but there must be a connection between you and the material.
4) Do not take any "advice" on how to write from anyone who has not written and published a significant piece of work. (Ezra Pound was right.)
Jeanette Winterson is a professor of creative writing at Manchester University.

Rachel Cusk

Rachel CuskRachel Cusk. Photograph: Ulf Andersen/Getty Images
Many creative writing students start with the belief that writing is entirely the operation of point of view; in other words, that the world only exists in so far as it is perceived by a human personality. Most of what I teach involves encouraging students to exteriorise their subjective world by fixing it to objects, instead of routing everything through the persona of Jane or John. For the reader, being trapped in the head of Jane or John, and dependent on them for every scrap of information, is the precise opposite of their own experience of existence. A story that starts with "Jane looked out of the kitchen window and thought about her life" – despite the fact that it may be perfectly true – will always be struggling to free itself from a basic unreality.
Many students find this idea counterintuitive, but the easier and more effortless something looks, the more thoroughly it is underpinned by technique. The desire to write comes easily; writing itself is technical and hard. I give my students exercises in which a certain object has to feature. I choose the object myself: the more alien it is to their subjective processes the better. The object represents the impingement of reality, and it nearly always has the effect of turning their writing inside out. Over time I've learned which objects work the best: some of the things I've used – a violin, a pair of scissors – have been too easily conscripted into the student's subjective world. Others – a lawnmower, a new pair of shoes – unfailingly make the writing more objective. The narrative has to find a way around it, like water has to flow around an obstacle, and the result is that the whole enterprise is given form.
Rachel Cusk is professor of creative writing at Kingston University.

Michael Cunningham

Michael CunninghamMichael Cunningham. Photograph: Sarah Lee for the Guardian
I teach a class on the craft of fiction-writing at Yale, which is a hybrid of a literature course and a writing workshop. If a more traditional literature course has to do with why we're interested in writers like Henry James and James Joyce, my class focuses on how they did what they did, using only ink, paper, and the same vocabulary available to everyone.
If a more traditional workshop is largely based on trial and error – write a story and we'll tell you what's wrong with it – my course is based at least partly on why writers write as they do; on the basis for their decisions.
I do remind my students, periodically, that fiction contains an element of ineluctable mystery along with its elements of craft, and that a great story or novel is great in certain ways we can elucidate, and certain ways in which we cannot. We don't dissect great literature in the belief that once all its organs are spread out on the table before us, we've got it figured out.
We read extensively and, each week, do our best to determine how certain effects were achieved by a different writer. How did James build his characters in The Aspern Papers? How did Joyce structure "The Dead"?
The students perform writing exercises as we go along. During the week we spend on character, for instance, I ask them to write a single paragraph that conveys the appearance and essential nature of a character. During the week on structure, I give them an impossible welter of information – seven different people, with twice that many interconnected dramas and conflicts – and ask them to sketch out a story, with the understanding that they can omit as much, or include as much, as they like.
During the final third of the semester I simply tell my students to take what they've learned, and write a story. Any story they like. Which can be anywhere from one to 25 pages long (though I encourage them to lean more toward single-digit page counts) – I stress economy and precision throughout the semester. The stories they come up with are often surprisingly good.
Michael Cunningham is a senior lecturer in creative writing at Yale University.

Tessa Hadley

Adam Gale 2Illustration by Adam Gale
Last week we spent half an hour or more looking in minute detail at two versions of a paragraph from Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea. She seems to achieve the compression and electric intensity of her final version through minimising the connective engineering of the syntax in her sentences, taking out explanations, excising the mediating voice from around the things seen. The students went home to work on a paragraph of their own, cutting and intensifying in that way, taking out what's flabby and banal.
In the short-story class, we spent lots of time thinking about endings. Why do the endings of short stories carry so much more weight, in proportion to the whole, than the endings of novels? We wrangle over the endings of particular stories we've been reading together –Dubliners, Eudora Welty, Agnes Owens and others. What satisfies, what doesn't? How can the writer tell when it's enough? Why has taste turned against endings that clinch too tightly, or have too much twist in the tail? The students are working on their own stories: with that reading and discussion behind them they can think with more scope and more audacity about where to go, how to sign off. Rehearsing these things collectively loosens the tight fit of fear and inhibition, imagination relaxes.
The writing course offers an audience. Everyone lifts their game in response to the exacting readers they'll face next Tuesday. Student writers are under pressure to learn to hear themselves, to hear how they sound, to make essential judgments about tone and pace and transition. Of course, all writers have always had to learn this; a good writing course just crystallises the opportunity. In the past apprentice writers practised with a coterie of friends, or with their family, or with a mentor. Writing courses aren't free; but I'm sure they do help to widen the circle of opportunity, beyond the metropolitan and university cliques.
Tessa Hadley is a professor of creative writing at Bath Spa University.

Gary Shteyngart

It helps to be clean and presentable when teaching. Students react to sharp odours. It can't be like the University of Iowa during John Cheever's time when you could just wander in drunk and fall asleep for two hours. Today's MFA students expect you to be awake. I also try to get students to bring in snacks because I have low-blood sugar. But the snacks are really for everyone.
Gary Shteyngart is associate professor of creative writing at Columbia University.

Naomi Alderman

1) The most useful thing you can do is read someone's work and give them specific advice regarding what is and isn't working in their particular book. That is what goes on. It's the non-universal stuff that is the most useful. Are you using description to cover the fact that you don't really know your characters? Have you given your particular character a motivation that makes sense? It's not general, it's specific.
2) Another key thing you can help with is finding the writing routine that works best for each student. For me, when I'm working on a book, it's around 800 words a day every single day. Five hundred words a day is too few. A thousand is too many. I can't take the weekend off; if I do the book has dissolved to mush when I get back. So a teacher can talk to you about your process. Suggest different ways of working, different times, places, different rituals to get you in the right mental place for it. Again, this is very particular to the individual.
3) If you're a responsible teacher, you talk to your students about money. You say: most novelists earn around £5,000 a year from their writing. You watch them blench. You say: so if you're going to do this, you have to think about how you're going to support yourself. I tell my students about journalism, about other kinds of writing, about crowdfunding, about grants, about balancing the day job with the novels, and the pitfalls of all of these. Most people can't make a living only from selling their art, but almost anyone can put together a life in and around the artform they love if that's what they really want. You help them work out how to do that.
Naomi Alderman is a professor of creative writing at Bath Spa University.

Don Paterson

At St Andrews, we tend to teach that most problems writers encounter have already been solved by other writers: students learn to be good readers first. Often the most useful exercise is just to compare some bad writing with some good, and then learn how to articulate the difference between the two. This is most bracing when the bad writing is your own. Here's Robert Frost; here's you. What's the difference? Ouch. I teach in three ways: seminars on poetic composition (I take a fairly technical and linguistic approach, but not everyone does); workshops, where students can hone their editorial and critical skills; and one-to-one sessions, which address the very personal business of "art practice". There are many useful textbooks that can help with the first two, though very few of those are about "creative writing" (a term I try to avoid anyway). Almost no books I've read address "practice" very satisfactorily, though many students have benefited from reading (ex-marine!) Steven Pressfield'sThe War of Art, which is basically the Allen Carr method for writers: just do it already.
Don Paterson is a professor of poetry at the University of St Andrews.

Chang-Rae Lee

Chang-Rae LeeChang-Rae Lee. Photograph: Tim Knox for the Guardian
My classes are undergraduates only. Our primary activity in the workshop is to read very closely both the workshop material and a published story, which is assigned weekly. It's as simple as that. No use of "exercises" or discussion of "technique". While what the pieces might "mean" to us will no doubt arise, we first and foremost pay zealous attention to the words, going sentence by sentence, considering what's being instituted by each clause in every way possible (language, idea, structure, trope, tonality, perspective etc), appraising how the prose is developing its world and characters as well as shaping our apprehension of them.
Chang-Rae Lee is a professor of creative writing at Princeton University.

Kathryn Hughes

1) Lots of people can write beautiful prose, it's structure that's tricky. Novelists can afford to just start writing and see where it takes them, writers of non-fiction need to have a plan. Draw up a list of "landing places", points in your narrative where your reader can have a bit of a sit down and admire the view so far. Your job as narrator is to lead them from one landing place to the next, neither chivvying them along nor allowing them to lag behind. Make sure, though, that you don't come over like a drill sergeant. The trick of good narrative non-fiction is to allow the reader to feel that they have worked it all out for themselves.
2) Just because you are trying to learn how to write, it doesn't mean that you need to employ an entirely new vocabulary. Be ruthless about cutting out any word that you wouldn't use naturally in everyday speech. In real life no one calls a book "a tome" or says "she descended the stairs" or refers to "my companion". A book is a book, people walk down the stairs and a companion is actually a friend, or a lover, or a colleague or someone you were standing next to at the bus stop. Be specific and be real.
3) It is entirely normal – in fact, it is entirely right – to feel despair during the writing process. At some point in the relationship between a creative writing tutor and a student, there will be a conversation that runs exactly like the closing lines of Samuel Beckett's 1953 novel, The Unnamable:
You must go on.
I can't go on.
I'll go on.
When you hear these words coming out of your mouth, the best thing to do is shut up shop for the day and go and read someone who is writing the kind of stuff that you would like to. You'll start work the next day with a better pair of ears. And good ears, actually, are what good writing is all about.
Kathryn Hughes is director of UEA's MA programme in biography and creative non-fiction.

Toby Litt

Adam Gale 1Illustration by Adam Gale Photograph: Adam Gale
Although we give classes on the technical aspects of writing, one of the most important things we give is more basic. It's permission. Permission, for example, for a student on the MA to say, "I'm sorry, I really can't come out on Friday night – I have coursework." Because however supportive of a partner's or friend's or relative's ambition to become a writer people are, they often aren't very good at granting them the necessary time. And, for most of us, it's easier to say, "I have coursework" than "I'm writing a novel – it'll take me about five years, and might not get published."
We also give students permission to experiment, and encouragement to try things that they think might fail. Even quite late on in the course, when I'm advising students about what to write for their final dissertation, they will ask me, "Can I try this?" They know it's what they should do, they just need permission to do it. If they didn't have someone they respected (because that person is a tutor, because they've been published) to say this, they might never dare – and much of their best work wouldn't happen.
Finally, we – the teaching staff – give students permission to believe they might become "real" writers. Because, by being in the room with them, week after week, we help demystify what "real" writers are. Too many people write badly because they write up to their idea of what "real" writing should be or what a "real" writer should write. They put on literary airs. If someone holds writers in too much esteem, they'll never become one.
Toby Litt is a senior lecturer in creative writing at Birkbeck University of London.

Joyce Carol Oates

Students in graduate writing programmes are already seriously committed writers by the time they enrol for a workshop; prospective students must apply, and only a small number are selected. Certainly in the US, many, or most, have already published short fiction. No one "teaches" young people how to write in fiction workshops; the classes might be described as intensely focused editing sessions in which manuscripts of substance are examined with the close scrutiny with which they would be examined by editors at such magazines as the New Yorker and Harpers, or in such literary publishing houses as Ecco/HarperCollins and Farrar, Strauss & Giroux.
Joyce Carol Oates is a professor of creative writing at Princeton University.

Curtis Sittenfeld

Curtis SittenfeldCurtis Sittenfeld. Photograph: Katherine Rose for the Guardian
Establish a writing schedule ahead of time for the coming week or month. This is more important the less time you have. If you work full-time, you might plan to write for an hour at 6am on Tuesday and Thursday, or at 4pm on Wednesday and Saturday. Write this commitment down in your diary or calendar, don't schedule anything that conflicts with it, and sit alone somewhere you can focus when the time comes. It's OK if you don't produce sentences during that time, but don't do anything else – don't check email, don't text, don't go online (and for heaven's sake, if you're using a computer, shut all files and windows except for the one you're working on). If some nagging errand you need to do occurs to you, write it down, but don't start doing it.
Create an outline. This will give you a roadmap to follow and make you less likely to write yourself into a corner. It's fine to deviate from the outline, but it's very useful to think about the overall structure of what you're trying to produce. Similarly, don't go back and revise until you've completed a first draft. Solutions to problems tend to reveal themselves much more clearly when the whole work is finished than they do along the way.
If you don't enjoy the process of writing in some way, you probably shouldn't do it. While there are people who make lots of money from books, most don't, and many writers I know have found the experience of having a first (or subsequent) book published disappointing and anticlimactic. I agree with some of what I understand to be Hanif Kureishi's viewpoint, but I don't think anyone knows who does or doesn't have talent without that person giving writing a try.
Curtis Sittenfeld has taught creative writing at the Iowa Writers' Workshop, Victoria University in New Zealand, and St Albans School in Washington.

Blake Morrison

On the MA at Goldsmiths, I work individually with students in a range of forms (novels, short stories, poetry, non-fiction) but also run a specialist seminar in life writing. One key strand of the seminar is memoir, and among the exercises we've done this term are:
1) Restricted point of view. Recounting an episode from the perspective of someone whose eyes are sharp but whose capacity for understanding is limited. There's a wonderful example of this in Seamus Deane'sReading in the Dark, where a small boy recounts a traumatic episode (his dying sister being taken from the house by ambulance-men) while hiding under a table – all is revealed by what he observes in the movement and appearance of adult feet.
2) Bearing witness. Working in pairs, student A speaks of an episode he or she witnessed, and student B writes it up, selecting, exaggerating or even inventing key details – an exercise in how to create authenticity and demonstrate "I was there". Orwell's essay "A Hanging" offers a brilliant precedent, as does the first chapter of Tim Lott's The Scent of Dried Roses, which reconstructs the day of his mother's suicide.
3) Narrative pace. Forget what creative-writing handbooks say: narratives can't be all showing and no telling. A 10-minute scene that runs to 50 pages might be followed by a paragraph encapsulating two years. Lorna Sage's Bad Blood, Tobias Wolff's This Boy's Life and Martin Amis's Experience are bold and inventive in the way they vary pace, and I encourage students to do the same.
All such workshop exercises have the same end in sight – to help aspirant writers find the right form for the story they want to tell. The luckiest go on to publish and win acclaim – two of our former students (Ross Raisin and Evie Wyld) made Granta's recent list of the 20 best young British novelists. But even those who don't win prizes or publishing contracts usually benefit from the course, by articulating their ideas and experiences, and by putting writing at the centre of their lives.
Blake Morrison is a professor of creative and life writing at Goldsmiths, University of London.


Monday, 21 April 2014

Bang Bang

Nothing better that putting on a sexy SEX outfit and some killer heels and reclining on a glass table - this screams - BANG ME NOW!!!!

Goodnight x

Damaging your ignorance....

Tip for publisher rejection

I totally agree with this because I have had plenty of rejection. Not only from Publishing Houses directly but also from Literary Agents. Rejection is had to face, but it makes you more resilient to the rejection and instead of bawling in the corner, you take a more realistic approach and say oh well I'll wait and hear back from the other one. The initiation to become a writer - a paid writer is that of rejection and uncertainty but it is totally worth it in the end.

My advice t anyone who is thinking about becoming a writer or who has taken the plunge and started actually writing something that you will be rejected you will feel like there is no point but you should keep trying, keep asking and keep writing.

Sexy Heels


Telling it like it is - Aspiring is another word for hasnt attempted.....

Seen a lot of folks giving advice to so-called “aspiring” writers these days, so, I figured what the hell? Might as well throw my dubious nuggets of wisdom into the stew. See if any of this tastes right to you.


Here are the two states in which you may exist: person who writes, or person who does not. If you write: you are a writer. If you do not write: you are not. Aspiring is a meaningless null state that romanticizes Not Writing. It’s as ludicrous as saying, “I aspire to pick up that piece of paper that fell on the floor.” Either pick it up or don’t. I don’t want to hear about how your diaper’s full. Take it off or stop talking about it.


You can aspire to be a lot of other things within the writing realm, and that’s okay. You can aspire to be a published author. Or a bestselling author. Or a professional freelance writer. Or an author who plagiarizes his memoir and gets struck with a wooden mallet wielded by Oprah live on primetime television. You should aspire to be a better writer. We all should. Nobody is at the top of his game. We can all climb higher.


Nobody respects writers, yet everybody wants to be one (probably because everybody wants to be one). Point is, you want to be a writer? Good for you. So does that guy. And that girl. And him. And her. And that old dude. And that young broad. And your neighbor. And your mailman. And that chihuahua. And that copy machine. Ahead of you is an ocean of wannabe ink-slaves and word-earners. I don’t say this to daunt you. Or to be dismissive. But you have to differentiate yourself and the way you do that is by doing rather than be pretending. You will climb higher than them on a ladder built from your wordsmithy.


There exists no one way toward becoming a professional writer. You cannot perfectly walk another’s journey. That’s why writing advice is just that — it’s advice. It’s mere suggestion. Might work. Might not. Lots of good ideas out there, but none of it is gospel. One person will tell you this is the path. Another will point the other way and say that is the path. They’re both right for themselves, and they’re both probably wrong for you. We all chart our own course and burn the map afterward. It’s just how it is. If you want to find the way forward, then stop looking for maps and start walking.


Point is, fuck the One True Way. Doesn’t exist. Nobody has answers — all you get are suggestions. Anybody who tells you they have The Answer is gassy with lies. Distrust such certainty and play the role of skeptic.


You will always have days when you feel like an amateur. When it feels like everybody else is better than you. You will have this nagging suspicion that someone will eventually find you out, call you on your bullshit, realize you’re the literary equivalent of a vagrant painting on the side of a wall with a piece of calcified poop. You will have days when the blank page is like being lost in a blizzard. You will sometimes hate what you wrote today, or yesterday, or ten years ago. Bad days are part of the package. You just have to shut them out, swaddle your head in tinfoil, and keep writing anyway.


You learn early on how to write. But for most authors it takes a long time to learn how they in particular write. Certain processes, styles, genres, character types, POVs, tenses, whatever — they will come more naturally to you than they do to others. And some won’t come naturally at all. Maybe you’ll figure this out right out of the gate. But for most, it just takes time — time filled with actual writing — to tease it out.


I’m just going to type this out a dozen times so it’s clear: finish your shit. Finish your shit. Finish your shitFinish your shit. Finish your shit. Finish your shit! FINISH YOUR SHIT. Finish. Your. Shit. Fiiiiniiiish yooooour shiiiiit. COMPLETO EL POOPO. Vervollst√§ndigen Sie Ihre F√§kalien!Finish your shit.


…in order to know when they must be broken.


… in order to know why they matter.


Writing is a technical skill. A craft. You can argue that storytelling is an art. You can argue that art emerges from good writing the way a dolphin riding a jet-ski emerges the longer you stare at a Magic Eye painting. But don’t get ahead of yourself, hoss. You still need to know how to communicate. You need to learn the laws of this maddening land. I’ve seen too many authors want to jump ahead of the skill and just start telling stories — you ever try to get ahead of your own skill level? I used to imagine pictures in my head and I’d try to paint them in watercolor and they’d end up looking like someone barfed up watery yogurt onto the canvas. I’d rail against this: WHY DON’T THEY LOOK BEAUTIFUL? Uhh, because you don’t know how to actually paint, dumb-fuck. You cannot exert your talent unless you first have the skill to bolster that talent.


Why are the days of our youth known as “salad days?” Is “salad” really the image that conjures up the wild and fruitful times of our adolescence? “Fritos,” maybe. Or “Beer keg.” I dunno. What were we talking about? Ah! Yes. College. Do you need it? Do you need a collegiate education, Young Aspirant to the Penmonkey Order? Need, no. To get published nobody gives a flying rat penis whether or not you have a degree. They just care that you can write. Now, college and even post-grad work may help you become a better writer — it did for me! — though, I’d argue that the money you throw into the tank getting there may have been better spent on feeding yourself while you just learn how to write in whatever mousetrap you call a domicile. You can only learn so much from someone teaching you how to write. Eventually you just have towrite.


That’s the old piece of advice, isn’t it? “All you need to do is read and write to be a writer.” You don’t learn to write through reading anymore than you learn carpentry by sitting on a chair. You learn to write by writing. And, when you do read something, you learn from it by dissecting it — what is the author doing? How are characters and plot drawn together? You must read critically— that is the key.


You’re going to starve for a while, so just get used to that now. Don’t quit your day job. Yet.


If you think commerce somehow devalues art, then we’re done talking. I got nothin’ for you. Money doesn’t devalue art any more than art devalues money — commerce can help art, hurt art, or have no effect. The saying isn’t Money is the root of all evil. It’s The love of money is the root of all evil. Commerce only damages art when the purpose of the art is only money. So it is with your writing.


Suddenly on your radar screen is a big giant glowing mass like you’d see when a swarm of xenomorphs is closing fast on your position and it’s like, “Hey! This author appeared out of nowhere! Overnight success! Mega-bestseller! Million-dollar deal!” And then you get it in your head: “I can do that, too. I can go from a relative nobody to America’s Favorite Author, and Oprah will keep me in a gilded cage and she’ll feed me rare coffees whose beans were first run through the intestinal tract of a dodo bird.” Yeah, except, those who are “overnight successes,” rarely appear out of nowhere. It’s the same way that an asteroid doesn’t “just appear” before destroying earth and plunging it into a dust-choked dead-sun apocalypse: that fucker took a long time to reach earth, even if we didn’t notice. Overnight successes didn’t win the lottery. They likely toiled away in obscurity for years. The lesson is: work matters.


My theory in life and writing is this — and it’s some deeply profound shit, so here, lower the lights, put on a serious turtleneck with a houndstooth elbow-patched jacket over it, and go ahead and smoke this weird hash I stole from an Afghani cult leader. The theory is this: meet the universe halfway and the universe will meet you in return. Explained more completely: there exist components of any career (but writing in particular) that are well beyond your grasp. You cannot control everything. Some of it is just left to fate. But, you still have to put in the work. You won’t get struck by lightning if you don’t run out the storm. You must maximize your chances. You do this by meeting the universe halfway. You do this by working.


Self-publishing is a viable path. It is not, however, the easy path. Get shut of this notion. You don’t just do a little ballerina twirl and a book falls out of your vagina. (And if that does happen, please see a doctor. Especially if you’re a dude.) It takes a lot of effort to bring a proper self-published book to life. Divest yourself of the idea that it’s the cheaper, easier, also-ran path. Faster, yes. But that’s all.


I really don’t. And neither does any other working author. It’s nothing personal. We just don’t know you from any other spam-bot lurking in the wings ready to dump a bucket of dick pills and Nigerian money over our heads. That’s not to say we won’t be friendly or are unwilling to talk to you about your work, but we’re already probably neck deep in the ordure of our own wordsmithy. (Or we’re drunk and confused at a Chuck-E-Cheese somewhere.) We cannot take the time to read the work of total strangers. Be polite if you’re going to ask. And damn sure don’t get mad when we say no.


All writers get down on themselves. It’s in our wheelhouse. We see other writers being successful and at first we’re all like, “Yay, good for that person!” but then ten minutes later we get this sniper’s bullet of envy and this poison feeling shoots through the center of our brain like a railroad spike: BUT WHY NOT ME? And then we go take a bath with a toaster. Fuck that. Those feelings don’t matter. They don’t help you. They may be normal, they may be natural, but they’re not useful and they’re certainly not interesting.


Needs no further comment.


Aspiring writers lock themselves away in echo chambers filled with other aspiring writers where one of two things often happen: one, everybody gives each other happy handjobs and nobody writes anything bad and everybody likes everything and it’s a big old self-congratulatory testicle-tickling festival; two, it’s loaded for bear by people who don’t know how to give good criticism and the criticism is destructive rather than constructive and it’s just a cloud of bad vibes swirling around your head like a plague of urinating bats. If you find yourself in this kind of echo chamber, blow a hole in the wall and crawl to freedom.


Agents, editors, reviewers, readers, trolls on the Internet, they’re going to say things you don’t want to hear. A thick skin isn’t enough. You need a leathery carapace. A chitinous exoskeleton. Writing is a hard-knock career where you invite a bevy of slings and arrows into your face and heart. It is what it is.


As a writer, the world you create is yours and yours alone. Someone will always be there to tell you what you can’t do, but they’re nearly always wrong. You’re a writer. You can make anything up that you want. It may not be lucrative. It may not pay your mortgage. But we’re not talking about that. We’re talking about what’s going on between you and the blank page before you. It’s just you and the story. If you love it and you want to write it, then wire your trap shut and write it. And write it well. Expect nothing beyond this — expect no reward, expect no victory parade — but embrace the satisfaction it gives you to do your thing.


Is “write.” Write, write, write, motherfucking write. Write better today than you did yesterday and better tomorrow than you did today. Onward, fair penmonkey, onward. If you’re not a writer, something will stop you — your own doubts, hate from haters, a bad review, poor time management, a hungry raccoon that nibbles off your fingers, whatever. If you’re a writer, you’ll write. And you’ll never stop to look back.