Sunday, January 29, 2006

My new writing blog

Well, after (not so) long considerations, I have decided that I will continue writing more stories or whatever comes to mind and I don't want to force any of that stuff down people's throats.
SO - I will post all my creative output to my other blog - Maky Writes.
Feel free to visit and comment anytime. I shall continue to make entries here whenever I've got a new story posted, to keep you updated.

To creativity! This is going to be MY YEAR!!! :-)

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Office hanky panky

I really, REALLY don't ever notice anything going on between people in the office. With any place I've worked, I was always the last one to hear the rumour about "did you hear, he and she hooked up and bla bla bla...". Whether I'm too stupid to see the signs or I just don't care enough to notice, I'll never know.
Today though, it was hard NOT to notice.

I was looking for someone to talk to about something and with a brisk step I walked past an office. The door was wide open and as I passed the office I saw him and her (boss and assistant) holding hands. At the sound of steps (and clearly WAY too late) they jumped as if bitten by something and let go off eachothers hands.
I had walked past the office but then my brain computed that the person I wanted to talk to (the assistant) was in that office so I just stuck my head around the door and started chatting. I swear, the guilt on their faces was PRICELESS!!!
I should add - he is married with children... she used to be a temp and kicked the original assistant out of the way, making space for herself. You picture the rest.

And all I've got to say about that is - I'm no longer clueless! :-D

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Creative Writing... my first attempt

Well, just got back from the Creative Writing course. If you've read the entry from a week ago you'll know what this is about (if you haven't read it, don't expect me to repeat it all again).

So, without much further ado - here's my first short story based on the homework we were given last week. I'll add the comments from the teacher and the class afterwards. Enjoy! :-)


Resolutions

The leather felt heavenly... so soft and smooth, she knew she HAD to have it. The color was a deep blue, so mesmerizing that she had stared at it for a few minutes before realizing that it might look weird and she would attract unwanted attention.
Lauretta moved away from the bags quickly before she would break her New Year’s resolution. Well, one of many anyway. She’d made a list of things she wanted to improve this year. Stop drinking, she thought. That was quite high on the list. Stop procrastinating, stop complaining, stop being a perfectionist – all these resolutions featured prominently on the list that was still stuck to the fridge door at home.
Maybe she’d bitten off more than she could chew, she thought. So far, from the list of ten or so resolutions, only one had not yet been broken and she suddenly felt proud of moving away from those bags so quickly. Maybe this one resolution would be her success this year. But temptation lingered everywhere around her.
She decided that the best thing to do was to concentrate on the job at hand. She had a good reputation as a skilled and successful department store detective and she intended to keep that reputation. For a long time it had seemed that acting was her calling but after many years of failing one audition after the other, she was forced to accept that maybe she just didn’t have what it took to be an actress. Her smarmy worm of an ex-husband had told her this many times but she knew he was just jealous that she was following her dreams while he was stuck doing accounts in the same old boring office where nobody liked him.
And because she was an independent and strong woman of the new millenium, Lauretta Teal (she had taken her mother’s maiden name again after the divorce) had decided that her not so perfect acting skills would be just enough for the one job she’d wanted to do since she was a little girl. She would become a private detective!
After two years of working in Sole’s detective agency as a secretary, she had been promoted and within three years she was one of the most in demand private detectives. Being hired by Harrods had been the ultimate honour. She knew after this case, she would finally be able to open her own agency.
The thought cheered her up no end and she found herself grinning from ear to ear. She couldn’t wait to open her own agency. It would finally mean that she had made something of herself, despite all the naysayers encountered along the way. All she needed to do now is find out if any of the employees here in Harrods were dishonest. The director of security in Harrods hadn’t told her exactly what he meant by dishonest but she wasn’t one to second guess her clients. Whatever they wanted from her, they would get.
Looking around after taking the escalator to the first floor, she’d picked up on two sales assistants looking uncomfortable by the cash register in the ladies fashion department but on her way to them she stopped dead in her tracks.
The most beautiful blouse had caught her attention – it was pure silk and a look at the price tag confirmed her worst fears. It was designer and she knew she HAD to have that blouse. Feeling the silk between her fingers, she felt the excitement infuse every particle of her being. She could see from the cut of the blouse that it would fit her perfectly. A voice in her head kept telling her “Remember your resolution, remember your resolution” but Lauretta was already on her way to the changing room with the blouse in her hands.
Five minutes later she stood in front of the mirror and sighed. Just as she had expected, the blouse hugged her figure perfectly, the color suited her and would go with just about any skirt or trousers she owned. It was then that the voice spoke again, this time louder and more insistent. Lauretta couldn’t help but acknowledge it. It had been a day where her willpower was stronger than her need to own something new so she took the blouse off, sighed as she put it back on the shelf and walked out of the ladies fashion department without so much as a last glance.
In the jewelry department a group of Japanese tourists had gathered around something and were excitedly taking pictures. She could see that the sales assistant was growing more and more aggitated with having so many people around her precious jewels. As Lauretta approached the gleaming display case she held her breath. There it was the most perfect ruby ring she had ever seen. It was very feminine and silver, with three rubies creating a triangle shape at the top. The sales assistant moved away from the Japanese group and before she knew it, Lauretta had the ring on her finger and admired the perfect fit. Before she could think twice, she had decided she HAD to have this ring. She looked expectantly at the assistant but before she could say anything a loud crash interrupted them. The Japanese tourists were now even louder and the assistant rushed over to see what had happened.
Lauretta ignored the voice in her head and five minutes later she had exited Harrods, stopping only at a red light a few streets away. Admiring her new ring she thought "Damn it, so much for my New Year’s resolution... Nevermind, I’ll stop stealing next year".

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Comments from the teacher:
- funny story, likeable character
- good character description, by mentioning that she wanted to be an actress made it more believeable that she could be a private detective and act as needed
- clever way of distracting the reader by describing the things like the bag and the blouse which don't really matter but move the story on
- unexpected, humorous ending
- need to tell more about the Japanese group, make them more part of the story

The class really liked the story too. I could tell by the laughs I got while I was reading it to them. I was so damn nervous that I could barely breathe! They were all complimentary and also made comments about what they liked. It was so cool. The other stories that were read were absolutely fantastic too. We're quite a talented group, I have to say!

So... for next week we're supposed to pic a picture out of a magazine or an ad and make up a character for that picture, describing them in the 4 different characterization techniques we've learned about today. I'm really not sure that'll be very interesting to read but if any of those descriptions lead to a story, I will post it :-)

Off to bed now... good night!

P.S. My back seems to behave again - let's hope it keeps till tomorrow and it's not just the painkillers doing their job!

My back

Well, clearly being sick over the entire Christmas period hasn't been enough so my body thought "Let's do Maky's back in, she hasn't had back pain for a while now".
I can now barely move, the only halfway comfortable position for me is sitting hunched at the PC (very practical for blogging, obviously) and trying to sleep was a bad idea. Even worse was trying to get up from the bed and start moving again... I'm really hoping this is not something that'll strech out for an eternity, I'm fed up with being sick!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Please let others off first

I saw this in the Metro today and had to post it here.
Anyone who's ever been on a rush-hour Tube train knows too well how realistic the picture actually is! Fantastic ad!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Catching up

Sorry for not posting in such a long time.
I've only started feeling better a few days ago and I didn't feel like doing much before that, including blogging.
The cold I've had over Xmas and New Year's resulted in having to go to the doctor and getting antibiotics to battle that annoying bronchitis and the wheezing I still had in my chest. I wish I could say it's completely gone but it still isn't. I'm giving it a few more days, if it doesn't get better I've gotta get back to the doc :-(

Choir has started again and I'm trying to keep positive about the piece, even though I hate it. Not the music, don't get me wrong. But the words still bug me bigtime. I've managed to turn some of them into either perverted or funny phrases so that I can at least have some fun singing. This piece feels a lot easier to sing than the Missa Solemnis too so it's not like I have to concentrate on getting the rights notes either. Oh well, can't have it all I suppose.

And whilst on the topic of singing - during the rehearsal break we were told that the caroling at Woking train station has raised over £400!!!!! How cool is that??? I mean, for two hours of singing it's fantastic! And it was so much fun too! I'm so damn proud! :-D

I've started a creative writing course as well - it's only 10 weeks and I've only had one class on Thursday but I already love it! We were paired up in groups of three and each group was given a choice of two characters to choose from. We were supposed to choose one and create a history for the character. It was so much fun - I had so many ideas, they came fast and furious. Of course when working in groups, you have to kinda hold back and let the others have a say too and it worked out alright but not as well as it would have if I'd done it on my own.
Anyway, after developing the character, the teacher told us what she wanted us to do with it. We are supposed to make up a New Year's Resolution for the character and write a short story of less than 1000 words (easy peasy for me after the 50,000 for NaNoWriMo!!!!), including three obstacles the character has to overcome (or not) in order to be successful (or not) with the resolution. Again, we were supposed to agree on one resolution but I had to leave early and the other two in my group couldn't and wouldn't make a decision so the teacher allowed us to each choose our own resolution. Gotta write the story by Thursday... yikes, I've no idea when, I'm busy all week. I'll post it here though, along with comments from the teacher. We're supposed to read them out to the entire class! Another yikes!!!

Have started practising the piano daily too, not much, just about 15 minutes or so but it's better than nothing. I found some piano teachers here in Woking, I just need to give them a call and get started. I can't wait!!! I'm fed up with just playing the first bit of Fur Elise, it bores me to death.

Work is fantastic at the moment - our stupid asshole of a Team Leader is on holiday for 4 weeks!!! YEY! The entire team is so happy, we're all joking around, smiling a lot, chatting and generally feeling much more positive. Random people in the company have noticed and asked us why we're suddenly so happy LOLOL It's good to know we're not the only ones noticing. I actually got so much work done last week - astounding how much more motivated I am when that idiot isn't on our backs watching every step of what we're doing. It's so apparent how much we loathe him, especially now that he's gone. People are more open and relaxed, the atmosphere is breathable again. Very freeing, I have to admit. If only he'd bloody stay away in Australia. They're welcome to him - Eric, won't you convince him to stay please??? Not that I'd want you to have to go through what we're going through, but I'm sure your manager wouldn't let that happen anyway!!!

Can't think of much else to write now, besides it's already more than enough, me thinks ;-) I'll go back to updating this regularly now, promise!