A Farm!

It’s done! It’s sorted! I have a place to move to!

As mentioned before in a previous entry, I got on the website Work Away with the crazy plan to find a farm that would be willing to put me up in exchange for room and board. Well, the first farmer I contacted got back to me right away, and yesterday I went to visit the farm.

It was a long drive, all the way up to North Yorkshire. But it was a nice day, and a nice drive, despite my injuries. My back was killing me the majority of the way, and my wrist I think is just progressively getting worse rather than better.

However, after arriving at the farm and being shown the aviary (with some 2-300 birds of all types), a couple of pigs, the cat-breeding, and meeting a few dogs, we arrived at the caravan. It has a shower (Mom will be pleased), two bedrooms, a kitchen, and most importantly to me, a table–all with full permission to modify it however needed. He even said that it might be wise to install a wood burner rather than the current heating, which he would pay for entirely.

As far as work, he just hopes for a couple hours a day (I can totally clean out bird pens or horse stables for my keep, no prob! (she declares as she pops some ibuprofen for her wrist and back)), and essentially will provide the rest.

Did I mention there’s an orchard? And that I can plant and grow whatever I want? I can have my own little garden!

Also, he said there’s a village at the bottom of the farm with a pub, the owners of which he’s friends with. He said he spoke to them, and they would be happy to take me on part time for some actual money-making work.

It is a 40 minute drive to Durham, which I generally don’t mind. However, there’s also a train from the next town up which is only 14 minutes. If the student passes are cheap enough, I might opt for that.

Everything is falling into place! I’M GOING TO UNI!!!!

Work Travel to Live

Welp! I did it! I finally took the next step of my plan.

Part of my idea for how I was going to survive living prices in Durham while being a full time university student is to look in to work travel, or travel work. I’m not really sure the correct terminology for this. I’ve always just called it WWOOFing, but that no longer applies.

The idea is that you find a farm or group of people who are looking to provide food and housing in exchange for work. Quite a few people travel in this way, and I, myself, have a few friends  who have done this as well. I looked into this the last time I lived in Wales, though the organization I looked into was the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (hence WWOOF). But I was deterred when it wanted me to pay for an annual membership.

Now that I’m looking into moving to Durham, and seeing that the cost of living is fairly high in comparison to the wage rates (mostly because of the student population), looking into this option again has seemed like the wisest course of action.

So, I registered. Though I ended up going to Work Away, and I’ve already gotten ahold of two farms–well, sent messages to them any way. So we shall see how it goes!

The key idea here is that when there doesn’t seem like a solution, you need to get creative. This will absolutely work. Just wait. You’ll see (she says hoping to whatever deities there might be that she hasn’t just jinxed herself).

I went to Durham Again!

A very quick entry, mostly to express my excitement. I went to Durham again today. This is no easy feat. It’s quite a trek there. And, unlike the last time I went, I was able to spend a little more time there. And all I can say is:

I’m Home.

Read about it here: Durham and It’s County

Newest Flash Fiction Piece

This is a quick entry to sort of self promote. Part of my new website is pieces of Flash Fiction, which I put up every Friday. It’s great, for me, any way. It forces me to write so that I fulfill a promise to my readership (which is a laugh, if you’ve followed this blog for any amount of time at all!), but it also makes me write as a result, and write fiction. Really, that’s where my heart is.

So I have a variety of genres. I did a fantasy piece last week, about a little dragon girl, I have a science fiction bit, a contemporary piece about a man alone on a couch (but seriously, you should really read that one!!!), though recently I’ve been centering around horror a bit. I think that’s because of my recent writing gig with Carpe Nocturne.

This week is horror. I’m starting a series. I’m thinking it’ll be once a month, perhaps a bonus episode every so often? I haven’t quite got the gist of how I’m going to go about releasing it all yet. Either way! Allow the direct promotion of this episode to ensue!

In this piece, Eve is driving with her partner, and sees that familiar, yet still chilling woman walking down the side of the road. Eve remembers the haunting story she was told by a few hitchhikers weeks before hand, about that very woman. And from there, you will just have to read on!

The Walker: Episode 1
A story from Snowdonia National Forest
to you, dear reader.

Road to Trawsfynydd 2

Impulse

I got a little weird earlier. Ok, not in a way that should be worried about, mind you. But just wait and hear the story, or read the story, rather, and then make the distinction of weirdness vs. good business choices.

As regular readers might have picked up on, I’m a little addicted to podcasts, especially as of recently. I mostly listen to philosophy and writing podcasts, but recently I’ve been trying to branch out, take recommendations of other people. And in doing this, I got the idea that my friend should do a podcast on tarot and that I would help her with it.

To help her design the podcast, i decided that I needed to research similar podcasts, which, of course, makes sense. I started listening to a few, but there’s on in particular that I’m fond of called “Rune Soup“, which a guy interviews authors and the like who are participants in the occult. The most recent one was interviewing a couple who started a publishing company in Northern England.

It was the weirdest thing: The more and more I listened to it, the more and more compelled I felt to get in touch with them. So I did. I just sent off the email, explaining to them exactly what I’ve explained here, and said that I was moving to Durham in less than a month, and that they should consider me for an internship. main-qimg-8fd7d9897448e44c84865aaa4dd64ee44

yep. that’s what I did. it is either weird or charming and bold. Either way, it’s an experimental first. I’ve never been so arrogant as to ask for an internship0–no, that’s not true. I asked for one when I was 14 at a local tea shop because I wanted to be an herbalist. They were rather rude about it.

Considering Poetry

As I’ve mentioned several times, I’m a podcast junkie. Especially since I drive so much for my goat cheese gig. One of the newer podcasts that I’ve come across is called Examining Ethics. I’ve only listened to about an episode and a half of it so far, and from my understanding is run by students at DePauw University in Indiana. The episode that I listened to in full was called “What Good is Poetry?” In it, they interview poet Tarfia Faizullah, who wrote a book of poetry called Seam. The poems are written about the women she interviewed in Bangladesh who were raped during their war with Pakistan in 1971.

After listening to this episode, I was completely blown away by poetry. It has never been my thing, never really been anything I’ve wanted to pursue (except when I was nine and wanted to be a singer and tried to write my own songs, but I don’t know how much that counts).  This woman told a story through her poems.

Of course, this is nothing new. I’ve taken plenty of literature classes that I’ve read old poems that were the telling of stories (“Epic of Gilgamesh”, “Beowulf”, etc). However, this was so different, so simple, so perfectly formed. I fell in love with it.

Seemingly separately, I posted on my author Facebook page that I wanted to write a page a day for August, since I failed so direly at my attempt at Camp NaNoWriMo (I think I only made it to 27k of my 50k word count goal). I sat down this morning, and decided I’d get going on that page-a-day goal. Except that I had no idea what to write. All I could think about was the half-written novels I’ve been working on, whether or not I should continue them for my page-a-day, or if I should start something new–and if something new, then what? I couldn’t really stomach working on my stories any more, not right now. I would get sucked into the editing of them rather than the continuation of them, and my most recent project is such a mess that I can’t bare to look at it.

But…

But…..

This poetry thing was kind of ringing in my ears.

I began thinking about the story I wrote for NaNoWriMo 2014, and my most recent project. There’s a shared theme to both of them…If I could only just tap into that….

Before I knew it there was a poem on the page.

Not a good one. Well, it might be a good one. I don’t know. I’m terrible with reading, writing and analyzing poetry. It’s never been my thing. However, I’m quite inspired by Tarfia Faizullah to try my hand at it. So my goal is to take my stories that I’m struggling with, and see if I can summarize each chapter into a poem. That’s my goal for the month.

And no, you can’t see the poems.

How to Make Your Life Revolve Around Writing

As mentioned yesterday in my Declaration of Independence, my goal is to make my life revolve around that which I aspire to do most: write. And to do this, I have devised a plan.

  1. Write Every Day
    This might seem like a no-brainer, but is more to it than simply making sure pen meets paper:
    Journaling–A personal journal is something that I think is important for anyone and everyone, even those who don’t want to be a writer. It helps to organize thought and find out what you really think or feel. It can help you become more open to what you might be ignoring, whether consciously or subconsciously.
    15 Minute Writes–What I mean by this is turning off of covering the monitor of your computer and just writing for fifteen minutes straight. This is something my English 100 teacher taught me when I attempted college the first time ten years ago. What this does is helps you to write on command. You write anything and everythign that comes to your mind, without looking, without thinking. If you don’t know what you want to write, you write over and over again “I don’t kow what to write” until you figure out something you want to write about.
    Spending at least an hour working towards fiction–This is a huge thing for me. Either I’m all into fiction, or I’m far from it. So either I’m just writing blog entries/essays/journaling, or I’m just writing fiction. Considering that I want to be a fiction writer, this is something I need to work on.
  2. Schedule Time to Write
    By wanting to be a writer and get paid for my wrods, I’m basically making this a business model. I need to be able to have scheduled time every day to write, whether  it’s creating a new project, working on an old project, editing, journalling, outlining–whatever. I need to be able to schedule a time, daily, that I am not disturbed, that all I do is write.
  3. Read Every Day
    I am a terrible reader. I don’t read fiction, hardly every. And non-fiction I basically skim over. It’s not that I’m not a strong reader–I am. But I think that with technology the way it is (smart phoens), I just don’t have the focus or discaplin to stay interested in something to read it all the way through from cover to cover. I need to fix that.
  4. Be A Better Blogger
    Aside from the fact that I’m not a regular writer any more, I need to do other things to be a better blogger. This means reading other peoples’ blogs and interacting and promoting them. We are all striving for the same goal: to make money on our writing. By reading what they have to say, I’m not only supporting them with their taletns and ambitions, but I’m learning how to strengthen my own blog as well.
  5. Be A Better Reader
    As mentioned before, I have no ability to stay focussed. I want to start making myself read articles from top to bottom, reading blog posts in their full, as well as maybe even reading magazine articles. By being a better reader, writers can gain ideas and perspectives on how to improve their own writing as well as passing the karmic buck forward.
  6. Surround Myself with Writers
    I’ve started doing this, though vaguely. I do have a confession though: other writers scare me. I have always delighted in writing being solitary work, but really, I need other writers. This goes along side of being a better reader: I need to be able to increase my skill and find out my weaknesses. The best way to do this is to network with other writers who experience similar problems and might feedback.
    This doesn’t have to mean physical people in front of you either. This can be finding networks of writers via twitter, NaNoWriMo, WordPress, Hubpages, and so on.
  7. Writing Podcasts
    No, I am not creating a podcast. I went down that road for all of four seconds and it was just not for me. However, I want to expand the podcasts that I listen to so that they are mostly about writing. I’m doing a fairly good job of this so far. I only listen to philosophy podcasts and writing podcasts. But if I’m honest with myself, I’m more into the philosophy stuff than I am the Writing Podcasts. I listen to Writing Excuses and Writers on Writing–both are amazing podcasts that I love. However, if anyone has any suggestions, I’d love to hear them.
  8. Find Alpha and Beta Readers
    I’m generally terrified to let people read my writing. But I am getting better at it. What I need is to find my group of supportive readers who can help me make my writing and story telling better so that I an eventually start submitting to publication. Without readers, I can’t submit anything. They will see that which I can’t see because I am too far into my own head. So I need to suck it up, and let some people read my work.