Posted in Writing

Nanowrimo 2018

I swear I’m really going to try and complete it this year! It’s been four years since I last won Nano, and that was because I was in exile in Spain at the time.

I’ve already got a good head-start and I’m working on a book that I wrote a long time ago for Nano but now that I’m doing my MA in CW and I know how to write better, I’m fixing and chopping up the chapters as I go… so it is a wholly new written piece.

I’m also tired right now, excuse me.

Plus, I’m in the last three weeks of my 20s!

More to come…

e x

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Posted in Blogging Challenge, Writing

30 Day Blogging Challenge – Day #5

(Apologies for missing day 5 yesterday. Here it is, I’ll follow up with day 6 in a while.)

Day 5 – Your Proudest Moment

I suppose I have a lot of proud moments to choose from and logically it should probably be something like when I finally got accepted into uni or when I graduated. However, my true proudest moment was on November 20th 2003, the day before my fifteenth birthday. I barely slept at all during the night and got up at 5am turning the radio on quietly to listen out for the competition they were running. That was the day that Linkin Park would play in Scotland for the first time ever and the radio competition was to win backstage passes and tickets to the concert that night.

And I won! I had the phone pre-dialled, bar the final number, and slammed my finger down on that last digit as soon as they told us to call in. Producer John took my details and told me to hold while they found an (un)worthy opponent to play against. The premise of the competition was to listen to the first three seconds of a linkin park song (thankfully they only had three albums at that point) and be the first person to shout in with the right answer. Aside from the fact that I was fangirl supreme and nailing the questions, my opponent hadn’t truly understood the rules, but even with the DJs reminding him, he couldn’t beat me. I won fair and square.

Then I had to get ready for school and sit my computing prelim.

Best night of my teenage life. Can’t believe it was 15 years ago!

e x

Posted in Books, Crafts, Writing

30 day Blogging Challenge – #Day 3

Your favourite quote.

My favourite quote is from Maggie Stiefvater when someone on twitter asked her how she is so good at so many things. I screenshot it to keep it for inspiration.

maggie

She’s right, it’s always about consistency and practice, less about talent which can wane if not consistently applied.

I try to follow this advice because I have many different random interests that individually require a lot of attention and practice… I’m not great at it, but practice makes perfect!

e x

 

Posted in Blogging Challenge, Musings, Writing

30 Blogging Challenge – Day #2

Day 2 – 20 facts about you

  1. I’m proudly Scottish and European. I love my country and showing it off to visitors.
  2. I’m a language addict. English is my native language, Italian is my best second language. I can cope in Spanish (reading’s fine, and mostly listening – it’s the speaking I have trouble with) and I can get by in French. I’m constantly trying to self-teach Dutch and Greek. I’ve also studied Latin and Swedish.
  3. I’m afraid of death, electricity, and bananas.
  4. Zombies. Can’t wait.
  5. I’m a Bruce Campbell uber-fan. Hercules, Xena, Evil Dead, Burn Notice… don’t get me started!
  6. I love Batman, but I’m a Nolan purist. Nothing can beat Christian Bale as the Dark Knight. I have no time for Fatfleck.
  7. Sharks, bumblebees, dogs (especially Pitties) are my favourite animals (fight me!) And llamas/alpacas… pigs and goats. Love them all. Except cats, jellyfish, starfish, most marine species.
  8. Apparently I don’t look my age. My age causes shock.
  9. I’m left-handed.
  10. My hair is naturally “dirty-fair” so is neither blonde nor brown enough to look nice and is a weird flat grey colour. I’ve been dying my hair since I was 13.
  11. I haven’t learned to drive… yet.
  12. I waste hours looking at Studyblrs and studyspo on tumblr… when I have my own studying to be doing.
  13. I have an MA in Hispanic Studies, a post-graduate Certificate in Humanities, I’m in my second year of an MA in Creative Writing, and I’m starting a C.Ed in Italian.
  14. I’m a writer – but a lazy one. Trying to hold myself to my own deadlines gets more fruitless as the years go on. So I’m studying CW to have something else hold me accountable.
  15. Pretty much everything I know about American Culture comes from TV and books: Sesame Street, Gilmore Girls, the West Wing… And the OC and Sweet Valley. I cried when I went to high school and we didn’t have lockers.
  16. We went camping a lot when I was a kid. I used to have an obsession with the outdoor water taps. Still do.
  17. I’ve met famous people. Austin St. John who played Jason in the original Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. I was taken onstage with the Singing Kettle and performed in the opening song for the show. I won backstage passes to meet Linkin Park. I shook hands with Willie Nelson and his sister after their show. I briefly met Sandi Thom when she was punting her album in Borders, Jodi Picoult when she was punting her book in Borders, Dave Gorman but he was punting his book in Waterstones and there was a heckler. I met Story of The Year after their show. Kitty and Steve from Mindless Self Indulgence. Bullet for my Valentine. Nice Peter from Epic Rap Battles of History. Maggie Stiefvater when she did a talk in the Mitchell then stayed to sign everyone’s books! Oh, and Jared Leto and the guys from 30 Seconds to Mars… not a great story.
  18. I love to Crochet, it helps to relax me.
  19. I’m a Classical History nerd. I wrote my dissertation on the Roman Conquest of Hispania. I’m dying to visit Carthage in Tunisia and Cartagena in Spain!
  20. My diet is Veganish. I haven’t eaten dairy for a while now and every few months my body decides to reject another food type so I’m on a stripped back diet. I identify as Veganish because sometimes it’s too hard to explain what no-dairy means to people who aren’t sure what dairy even is. Thus, the vegan option is the safe option. I still eat beef and turkey and some fish but not constantly as I love quick easy meals without worrying about meat going off.

You survived it! Gold star for you!

e x

Posted in Books, Education, Writing

Currently Reading – August 2018

I’m slowly trying to work my way through the reading list for my MA course. I’ve never been a fast reader – unless I’m completely absorbed by what I’m reading (see Harry Potter) so when it comes to reading technical books or deep literature then it’s going to be a bit of a slog.

Pictured above is two of my newest additions to my rampant collection. The Self-Editing for Fiction Writers book, by Brown and King, I already know will be an invaluable resource so I’m trying to take notes and read it carefully enough to get as much out of it as possible (and so I don’t struggle to reread it before assessments). It was highly recommended by someone on our course and I promptly picked up a copy on amazon, reasonably cheaply.

The second book Searches and Seizures by Stanley Elkin was a bit of a challenge to locate a copy of! I managed to find an old second-hand copy on amazon again but it was sent from Better World Books in Mishawaka, Indiana! The book has travelled further than me. Also, I’m certain I ordered another book off them before. Alas, this book was recommended through another book on my reading list: Reading like a writer by Francine Prose. The Elkin book is three novellas, but the Making of Ashenden is the one Prose suggested to read… about a man who falls in love with a bear. Odd, but interesting. I’ve only glanced at the first page but Elkin has a unique style of writing and description.

I finished reading Brief Cases by Jim Butcher, the newest collection of short stories from the Dresden Files world. It’s helped a little to ease the pain from waiting so long for Peace Talks to come out, but I understand the author has had major personal happenings in the last few years, so I won’t add to the complaints. I’m likely to do a more in depth review of Brief Cases, as I want to start doing for more books I read – simply because I have a terrible memory after I’ve read something, reviews would be a good way to keep track. The short version is Brief Cases was amazing – especially the original novella Zoo Day – brought Maggie into much sharper focus, not just as a character (finally) but what may come of her in the future.

I’m still reading On Writing by A.L. Kennedy from the reading list last year. It’s a very interesting insight into one of Scotland’s cult (?) writers. I like how she describes her own process as lasting years but a constant slog, even while travelling and ill. Most of the book is blog posts lifted straight from her site, so I enjoy just reading a post or two at a time, hence why it’s taking me so long to get through it.

The Elements of Style by Strunk and White must be top-of-the-list for all writing students whether English Lit, Composition, or Creative Writing, like me. But it really ought to be top-of-the-list for everyone who ever uses English. Ever. It’s a short volume, but concise and definitely something I’ll refer back to time and again.

Other than these, I’ve been working through my new Italian books for my course starting mid-September. They are A1 beginners books and while I do already know all of this stuff, it doesn’t hurt to revise the basics. Language learning is more of a wander than rushing straight to the final destination. Plus, it’s been 3 years since I did my C1 classes in Spain -_-

e x

Posted in Writing

A Zombie Tale

A freewriting exercise to try get my creative juices flowing again. I’ve been terribly blocked lately. This could become more, or not. Enjoy.

There is no time to think. Only react. I jump as the zombie face screams bloodily into the screen. I am the character, I am the screen. I shudder with a cathartic sigh, rippling the bathwater as I reach for another sip of my wine. I am safe. It’s Friday night and I’m lying in my bathtub safe at home, sipping wine and watching whatever zombie flick prime recommended to me on my laptop – a safe distance from the water but at the perfect forty-five-degree angle so I can half submerge my head in water and never lose sight of the gore.

This is the life.

The program ends, and I let the auto-play do its thing. I use these few seconds to contemplate my life, but never long enough to act on anything. This is my happy existence.

I hear a crash outside. I startle but only because I’m on edge already. I have a love-hate thing with zombies. My heart pounds in my chest. I stand up in the bath and wrap my towel around me. A shiver runs up my spine. There’s a weird part of me that loves the electric feeling only fear can give you.

I step out of the bath and hear glass shattering. Or, maybe it was just the water. A little alarm bell starts to ring in the back of my head. I swallow the sudden taste of metal in my mouth and pull the plug out. I can’t move. I stand still, willing another sound to happen, so I can react but hoping to hear nothing… but what if…?

The door rattles in its hinges as something forces its weight against it.

My scream is silent, I bite my hand instead.

The door rattles again, but there is no other sound. Am I being paranoid? Is my flatmate home early, drunk and needing to pee?

‘Hannah?’ I call out.

Silence. And then groaning – wailing. A desperate cry for something.

My hands are shaking. I’m freezing. I have no clothes to wear. I have no way to see what is on the other side of the door. Maybe she’s playing the mother of all tricks on me? My mouth is dry, and I have nothing else to do but stand here. Waiting.

The door rattles again and a fist comes through the door – searching, grabbing. It’s a real arm, with skin, covered in blood, not makeup. The arm pulls back through the door peeling back most of the skin, leaving it in the arm-shaped hole in the door.

There is no time to think. Only react. I jump as the zombie face screams bloodily into my face.

(c) 2018 Evallone

Posted in Education, Musings, rant, work, Writing

Blogoversary!

So it’s around a year since evallone.com happened and I’m thrilled with how my little site has developed in that time. Initially pre-domain name it did start as a blog of a recent graduate trying to find decent work in this pre-apocalyptic world, then evolved, backtracked and evolved some more!

Tomorrow marks a year since I got that fresh out of uni job which lasted all of 10 weeks. I am not ashamed to admit it as I’m much happier in my current job of seven and a half months! I never spoke in great detail on here about what happened in the last job, but since I’ve hardly heard from anyone since I left, there’s little problem if I were to speak about it, but that’s for another time.

The current purpose of my blog is to give me a platform to display all my creative tendencies and to rant. I’ve much in the pipeline, but have been fighting with time to get on with actually writing blog posts. I did go on holiday to York a few weeks ago but I’ve had a hell of a time trying to edit and upload the pictures (I shot them all in RAW and it’s been a while…) Alas, they’re coming soon along with the written-at-the-time blog posts. Check out my photography page as I’ll be posting plenty of additional pictures there.

I spent much of yesterday desperately clinging onto reality after a rare night out on Saturday. I’ve questioned my mortality, my age, the unstoppable passing of time, why I peaked at age 3, and my appearance. So today I got up, my food tasted better than in months, I slept better than I have in quite some time (with lots of wild dreams) and have a plan for today and the next wee while. My course starts back in October so that gives me several weeks to work my way through the reading list (as best as I can, cannot afford many of the books) and trying to really embrace the opportunity this course and year will give me. I know all too well from this past year just how fast time goes, so I need to try and enjoy every single minute of it.

I’m rambling now, I know, but I’m abuzz with ideas and the need to just read for a solid amount of time. I just needed this to break the ice a bit, and I promise I should be back to regular updates from now on.

Thanks for this last year of support!

e x