Monday, October 31

Tagged by Nell

I've been tagged by Nell for a "Threes" list, so here goes...

Three screen names that you've had: jess0910, jesswriter, jessica.mary

Three things you like about yourself: my blue eyes, my neverending yearning to learn stuff, my small feet

Three things you don't like about yourself: my over-analyzing, my square butt and my boobs that don't fit my frame

Three parts of your heritage: Irish, South London and original Romany Gypsy (it's far back, but it's there!)

Three things that scare you: panic attacks, seeing real violence, not knowing how people I love really feel about me

Three of your everyday essentials: moisturiser, something -- anything -- to read, some time to myself

Three things you are wearing right now: black lacy PJ bottoms, white cross-back vest, knickers

Three of your favorite songs: D'Ya Know What I Mean (Oasis), Everlong (Foo Fighters), Anna Begins (Counting Crows)

Three things you want in a relationship: feeling safe, sexiness, a sense of humour

Two truths and a lie: I'm twenty-three, I don't have a spleen, I re-heat egg fried rice the night after I have a Chinese

Three things you can't live without: air, love, moisturiser

Three places you want to go on vacation: New York, Italy, Vermont

Three things you just can't do: division without a calculator, reaching the top shelf in the supermarket, to stop daydreaming

Three kids names: Isobelle, Gracie, Carlos

Three things you want to do before you die: see a book I've written for sale in a bookshop, be rescued by gorgeous SWAT-style hero in style of romance novel, go to New York

Three celeb crushes: Chris Evans (not the UK one! Johnny Storm from the Fantastic Four), Jason Statham, Josh Holloway (Sawyer from Lost)

Three of your favorite musicians: Dave Grohl, Sarah McLachlan, Jack Johnson

Three physical things about the opposite sex that appeals to you: big capable hands, gorgeous eyes, wearing a dress shirt with the collar open and a tie pulled loose {cut to me melting on to the floor like a gibbering wreck}

Three of your favorite hobbies: reading, writing, gossiping

Three things you really want to do badly right now: vow to go to sports shop tomorrow to buy new trainers so I can start my jogging program, get an email back from a friend, have the team on Most Haunted Live capture a ghost on camera

Three careers you're considering/you've considered: physiotherapist for England Rugby Team, receptionist at film studio, writer (aaah -- which one really happened??)

Three ways that you are stereotypically a boy: I'm not a boy, but if I was -- pretend not to hear what girls say until they repeat it for the second time, think moisturising is for sissies, be incapable of thinking 'hmm, maybe I'll change the bed linen'

Three ways that you are stereotypically a girl: always feel better when my hair looks good, not being shy about telling people my feelings for them (most of the time), appreciating prettily decorated rooms

Oh, And.....

P.S. " Happy Halloween !


Quiet day at work today. I brought in my iPod because I burnt about 70 new songs on to it last night and was dying to listen to them all (Hello 'Sinnerman Remix' by Nina Simone and 'Aurora' by Foo Fighters). Luckily nobody minds me listening to it while I work. I don't turn it up too loud so I can still hear the phone. I've been playing it since about 9.30 this morning apart from an hour when I went out for lunch, and I'm only on song 66 of 165 ('All Along the Watchtower' by Jimi Hendrix, should you be interested, fact-fans).

Yesterday I found some poems I wrote about eight years ago. I'm thinking about posting them on here but am unsure. I've never really been one for poetry, though I have a notebook with favourites in (including song lyrics). Saying that, though, I've not added any new ones to it for God knows how long. I think this is to do with an earlier post I made about not finding magic in stuff much any more now that I'm a "grown-up". Poetry, music, movies, letters, clipped-out pictures, and feelings were how I expressed myself when I was sixteen or seventeen, hence I used to copy out great poems into said notebook, but I'd never do that now. *Sigh* Where did the Me from Then go?

Anyway, I'm going to think about the poetry. When I wrote the poems they were very personal to me, so you might get to read them, you might not!

Sunday, October 30

Songs for My Characters

... I mentioned in a previous post how I was getting hyped up by music while I was writing chapter seven the other night. Bearing this in mind, I thought I'd make a list of songs for my characters. You know how you have certain songs that remind you of certain people in your life, times in your life, relationships, things that happened, etc? Well, these are the songs that represent my characters (all of which are on my iPod "Writing Mix") :

  • Saltwater by Chicane
  • Everlong by Foo Fighters
  • Seven Cities by Solar Stone
  • Angela Undress by Thomas Newman (from American Beauty, the original score)
  • Finished Symphony by Hybrid
  • Tubular Bells by Michele Simone
  • In The Arms of Sleep by Smashing Pumpkins
  • Evenstar by Howard Shore (from Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers original score)

I don't think that's all of them yet, so I'll probably add more in at later dates.

Rain and Contemplation

Though we've lived in the new house for just over two months now, today -- Sunday -- is my first full day at home on my own. You see, my sister was staying with us for a while until her property chain pulled itself together, and she moved out yesterday. Bloke's at work, so I'm at home with Popple, running the washing machine and tumble dryer, writing, listening to music, and watching the rain.

It's really coming down outside. From where I'm sitting I can see right out the French doors that lead into the back garden. The raindrops are falling down so hard that they're bouncing back off the path to the back gate. I also haven't mowed the lawn in a couple of weeks so it's a bit longer than normal and the wind's picking up, rippling the blades of grass every now and then. I feel cozy inside with my cup of tea and laptop.

Today I voted for Everlong by Foo Fighters on the Kerrang music channel's "select your song" thing. I love the song but have never seen the video. I rang up at about half past ten and they finally played it at two o'clock! I didn't like the video that much. I find the song quite emotional, but the video was kind of jokey, but not as good as some of their other funny videos, either (like Learn to Fly or Breakout). And talking of Everlong brings me on to my next post of the day...

Saturday, October 29

Time For a Change

It's about time I put a new picture on my profile as the one I currently have on there was taken about three years ago (though, to be honest, I haven't changed that much). So I'm in the process of trying to remember how to upload an image and at some point you should get to see what I look like now...

Thursday, October 27

Emotional Exhaustion...

...and bad news for Helen, because I have just now completed Chapter 7 -- my third chapter in less than 10 days! I'm not even going to guess at what's making things go so well, because if I know I'll only tempt fate.

So we've just had the first kiss and I am D.R.A.I.N.E.D! I had my iPod on, as per usual when writing at home in the evenings, and was listening to a lot of songs that were inspiring me and hyping me up. I wonder if tomorrow, in the cold light of daylight when I re-read the chapter with no music, it'll be awful and OTT. But when I was reading it back over just now to correct misspellings etc, my eyes watered a little...

Is that normal?

These Are My Characters

I almost cried when I read this...!

“She is so full of love and loveliness, that it really does seem as though bells ring when he is in her presence. Her bells are deep, like the chimes you hear at Easter Sunday sunrise. It’s all part of the music of Venus, and you can just imagine the effect it has on his sentimental heart and sensitive, finely-tuned awareness.

To add to the dreamlike quality of the experience, the girl who has enchanted him looks an awful lot like an angel. Venus never fails to bestow upon those who are her children a haunting beauty of feature… if not that, a smile that can gladden the weariest soul. She may be fortunate enough to have received both of these Venus blessings, and if so, he doesn’t stand much of a chance.

He has a sensational sense of humour, so the first thing he’ll do to impress her, shortly after they’ve met, is tell her a funny story. She will laugh… not an ordinary laugh, but a laugh very much like the one Peter Pan told Wendy about, that breaks into a thousand pieces and creates the birth of fairies… and he will hear those chiming bells again. Not only is her laughter musical, but her smile is a symphony, and she has the good taste to appreciate his humour.

Not long after this he’ll learn that, in addition to being beautiful and witty, softly fragrant and feminine, and overflowing with the velvet mystery of woman, she’s also extremely intelligent and can match his own cleverness in anything from chess to charades. She’s certainly smarter that all those dunderheads he’s used to dealing with who don’t laugh at his jokes and have to be told a dozen times how to accomplish the most simple tasks.

And here is this charming man, whose eyes are alive with intelligence and humour, whose manner is so warm and affectionate, who is so reflective and sensitive. He makes her feel so feminine, yet he admires and encourages her intellect. He makes her feel that he truly needs her, and somehow, she feels so safe and secure with him, as though he would never allow anything ugly or gross or upsetting to trouble the new tranquillity they’ve found. There’s something just a little old-fashioned and gallant about him, and it lifts her spirits in a strange way, making her feel pleasantly protected.

His mother once told him it’s more sensible to be safe than sorry, and that smartness succeeds better than softness in this cold, harsh world. So he’s always tried to be safe and sensible and smart. And now here is this beautiful, intelligent woman trying to make him be careless and impulsive and free. He’ll fret privately over her extravagant nature. She’ll tell him he’s smothering her very soul and refuse to answer his calls.

But she misses him, she needs him, so she’ll try to see it his way… again. He panics when they’ve quarrelled, because the moment they’re apart, her air of happy optimism and the sheer loveliness of life when they’re laughing and loving together haunts him. Will there ever be such beauty again with anyone else? He fears there won’t.

When they’re making love, they’ll say silently to one another, “Let’s don’t think, let’s just feel.” And so their physical intimacy makes their troubles fade. When he submits to pure emotion and feeling, he’s being his true self, free of the restrictions of his fears and worries. He brings her peace and contentment as a lover because of the deep waters of his emotional nature. Sometimes, when they make love, she’s reminded of a cool stream, and she’s a leaf, floating on its surface. The tenderness and imagination she brings to their union has the same quieting effect on him, and he relaxes, allowing love to fill his whole being, so there’s no room for anything but joy. The way she makes him feel at these moments is not something he’ll ever want to lose.

Their divergent viewpoints aren’t easy to overcome. But if he uses his tenaciousness to pull their differences together, and if she uses her fairness to comprehend his caution with more compassion for his feelings and less concern for her own, they just might try again… and maybe this time, they’ll make their poem rhyme. His need to hear those Easter Sunday chimes again may cause him to take another chance, and her need to be loved by a man who both cherishes her and respects her may bring her back in his arms to be told once again how beautiful she is.

While she’s gone, it’s funny how he still feels her head against his shoulder, now and then, in his dreams… and last night, he was sure he heard her speak, but her voice was sad. He thought her heard her say to him, gently, “You have so much to learn, and I hope you never learn it, because it will bring pain as learning always does, and I can’t bear for you to be hurt any more.” The Moon both curses and blesses him with a vivid memory, nearly photographic, sometimes, in its clarity. When he wakes, there are tears in his eyes, because her presence had been so real, he almost heard the music he’ll never quite forget.

These two can find their way back home to each other if their need and their patience are both strong enough. But if not, even after the song between them has ended, his vivid Lunar memory will return to him… haunting fragments of the lyric. Then he’ll regret certain things he didn’t say when she was near… so he’ll just think about them sometimes when he’s alone… and hope she hears them, wherever she is…”

Paraphrased from "Love Signs" by Linda Goodman, Pan Macmillan (1980)

Wednesday, October 26

Late Night Inspiration

And it's nothing salacious!

I've simply had a very successful writing night. After being roughly 1,000 words into C6 for the last few days, I popped on my iPod while the bloke was watching CSI, hoping to snatch maybe an hour of writing time. 3 hours later, it's now past midnight and I've finished the chapter. 4,549 words (check out the new running total across the page) and we're building up to the first kiss!

I am so excited, and I want to carry on, but I've got to go to sleep because I have work tomorrow!

And I thought today was going to be crap...

Tuesday, October 25

Cheating at Tests

I wondered about something today. Why is it, when you take one of those magazine quizzes -- you know the kind: Who's Your Type? Is It Love or Lust? What's Your Star Career? etc. -- you never answer honestly? You always pick the answers you know will lead to the answer you want to hear. Which is weird, and kind of defeatist. I did it with a test today. I was looking for some reassurance on something but I answered with rose-tinted glasses on, so the answer I got didn't help me whatsover. *Rolls eyes*

In other news, C6 is going well -- check out my new word count bar to the right!

Wednesday, October 19

My Milestone

This afternoon I completed chapter five of my book. (By the way, I just want to let you know I feel quite pretentious when I say "my book".) As I think I mentioned previously, this is now the furthest I have ever managed to get! I also ran a total word count after I'd finished, and I've broken 20,000 words -- my official total progress so far is 20,075. So I feel like I've broken two barriers today.

It feels really good! But I'm not going to wallow in my pride too much -- in fact I will probably write the first couple of sentences of chapter six after I've finished this post, and will likely carry it on tomorrow. But for tonight, I'm having a mini-celebration. I bought myelf a 1lb box of chocolates (though I promise you -- I don't eat that much chocolate so they'll probably last me at least a month!) and am having a nice glass of whisky and coke. Then, later, I'll drool over Sawyer from 'Lost' for an hour.

It's fun to wallow, but what feels even better is that I'm kind of eager for the wallowing to end so I can get started on the next bit...

Wednesday, October 5

Et Voila -- Le Petit Chien Lunatique

I've decided I haven't made enough use of the picture facility on my blog, other than putting a picture of myself in the profile (which I hope to update sometime soon). So here, for your enjoyment, are a few pictures of my dog, Popple.

Popple is a 5-year-old Jack Russell. She is also a freak. Among other things, she:

  • Loves drinking tea
  • Burps a lot
  • Hates football on TV but is quite partial to the live-action 101 Dalmatians film
  • Sneezes more than any dog I've ever known
  • Smiles when you scratch her chin and behind her ears
  • Occasionally freaks out for no reason and starts running in circles or up and down the stairs at high speed, tail tucked under her bum like a greyhound
  • Sometimes gets hiccups

I got her when she was six months old, from a family who didn't want her any more. Her name was Scampi then, but I changed it to Popple, which I thought suited her. A Popple was a kind of toy my sister and I had when we were a young -- a fluffy bear-type thing that could turn itself into a ball. Funnily enough, the name suits Popple quite well because when it's cold she will curl herself up into a little ball right next to you and keep you warm. We call this the "Doughnut Dog".

I have a terrible habit of improvising on names, so some of the other things she gets called are:

  • Pupa
  • Buttmunch
  • Pickle
  • Piggle T.
  • Piglettina
  • Little Shemille
  • Mini-Freak
  • The Cuteness
  • Pupini
  • Poplington
  • Popplino
  • Minnie Mouse Head (because of the pattern of her fur)
  • Foxface
  • Applebutt
  • Pigsville
  • Mini-Minx
  • Little Ribena
  • Pork Chop
  • Monchichi

She is indeed a freak, but I love her very much!

Tuesday, October 4

Four Down, Five Next!

Yay! I *love* how my writing is going at the moment! I thought I was going to be busy doing something else this evening, but plans changed and as the bloke volunteered to cook dinner, I've been sitting in the armchair -- iPod on playing my non-intrusive chillout/classical "Writing" mix -- tapping away.

I've finished chapter 4 --another 2,000 words, making the total for this chapter 4,250!

Yay me, yay me!

I wonder if my new house has been built on some great writer-vibe site? Like a less skeletal and more bookish version of Poltergeist?

So next up is chapter five: the point I have never reached beyond. If I can complete chapter 5, I am going to celebrate. It seems like an odd point to throw a self-congratulatory party, but for me, 5 is a big milestone. Hmm, I'll have to start thinking of something to treat myself with. If only I had Jason Statham's telephone number...


And not the song by Boyzone.

Chapter three is finished, and I actually went over my original estimate, ending on just over 4,200! I was a very good girl and started chapter four straight away, and it currently stands at 2,250. I'm hoping I might finish it by this weekend.

There's a lot of sexual tension in this chapter so far. I'm not sure if it's too soon. Can you have too much sexual tension in a romance novel? I don't know, but knowing my luck you can, and I've overstepped the mark by about 1,500 shuddery breaths and skin prickles. I have to say though, I do love a romance with great sexual tension in it. Especially when they don't even kiss until, like, chapter 14! The build-up is so great. Diana Duncan's "Bulletproof Bride" has the characters kiss quite a bit before chapter 14, but the, er, "main event" doesn't happen until quite a long while after and it was great! Talk about feverishly turning the pages... I hope mine reads as good.

Saturday, October 1

Almost 10,000...!

It's 10 a.m. on Saturday. Yesterday I did about 1,800 more words of chapter three -- the last couple of hundred of which I did while... sitting on the toilet. You see, my boyfriend was busy watching late night comedy on Channel 4 and having got home, folded laundry, put more washing in the machine, washed dishes, and cooked and ate chilli con carne, I was itching to write. So I departed upstairs with my laptop and immersed myself in chapter three.

Then about an hour later he arrived upstairs, ready for bed. At a crucial juncture, I continued tapping away. Then while I paused to think of a word, I realized my bloke was lying in bed next to me, a cushion on in his face to hide the light, trying to go to sleep. It was ten to midnight and he had work today. So I got up and padded into the bathroom, where I continued tapping for another twenty minutes until my battery started blinking. Then I returned to bed with a Diana Duncan book and went to sleep.

And now I've plugged my laptop back in, and am hovering on the edge of 10,000 words. So what the hell am I doing on my blog? I need to finish my chapter!