This-stopia

I have an Instagram account (@freyathewriter). Instagram is an amazing place to be for writers – the community is great. Readers, writers and others that find themselves caught up in the web of the community are having a great, supportive time over there. I bought a book only 11 days ago that was an independent writer’s first publication – and it was excellent. If I hadn’t joined Instagram, I’d likely never have read it. Congratulations to Nicholas Crivac for getting Apotheosis to print. Take a look at his website if you want to know more!

Anyway, I digress. On my Instagram account I got involved in a conversation about how the way the world is at the moment means that any ideas us dystopian writers might develop seem to have been stolen by, or been the inspiration for, various regimes around the world (looking at you, governments of the UK and USA!). It means we have to push our plots further and harder so that they don’t just end up being non-fiction tomes. Having said that, in my experience what it has meant is that the tiny news articles that slip through when we are all being supposedly distracted by the latest scandal (which seem to focus very much on the Royal Family these days) have been the jumping off point for some quite interesting and unexpected plot twists. I can’t decide whether to be pleased or horrified at my schadenfreude. It just goes to show, we are all a messy mix of light and shade.

This takes me to my next point (I did have a plan for this blog post, honest). I’m so focused on my burgeoning novel that other writing is taking a back seat. I’m in the throes of my first edit of my book. It’s both challenging and revealing and I find that I edit best with a cup of coffee, under the duvet, in bed (who knew?). I wonder if it’s because it reminds me of when I was a law student and the only way I could have access to all the law books I needed when writing and studying (it was before the internet!) was by spreading them out on my bed? Anyway, once I’ve made some more editing progress my flash fiction and poetry brain cells will kick back in. I do have a list of ideas, inspirations and whatnot, I just don’t want and can’t get too distracted by them for now. I used to contribute a lot to DVerse and I want to get back into that, definitely. It too is a fun place to be.

Which takes me to my final point, which is a bit of a shout out to Helena Hann-Basquiat. She too has been off the radar for a bit (I think the youth across the pond are still saying ‘a hot minute’), but I am reliably informed because I follow her and comment on her blog posts (not stalkery at all), that she is also getting back into the writing gig. I’m so pleased because (a) she’s a brilliant writer and (b) because I reaaaaaally enjoyed being part of the Jessica collaboration back in 2014. it appears that the final book in the trilogy is in the works. All being well I can unleash my really dark side on a bloody slice of this final book, if she still intends to go down the collab route with it. I have a dark dystopian soul and an even darker horror soul. And then there’s my fantasy soul too which is really quite a doozy. Anyway, all hail Helena. I’m looking forward to working with you, if you’ll have me.

There. I think I’ve written all I wanted to for now. I intend to be here on a weekly basis, every weekend, all being well. I’ll be in my dressing gown and PJs, allthough you won’t see that – or will you? Who knows who is watching and by what method?

We are in This-stopia after all…

 

IMG_8888

Dark matter

What does this writer do when she’s not writing on this blog?

OK, I’ll start again, because writing about myself in the third person feels decidedly icky!

If I’ve reinvigorated this blog, why aren’t I writing on here very often? You might well ask. I’m not resting on my laurels, far from it! Here’s what I’ve been up to (aside from my day job, because bills still need to be paid).

Back in 2014, I started writing a dystopian novel. I had a germ of an idea and then it became a project I wanted to take in a specific direction in honour of my late father who had died the year before. I made it too big, too important and in the end, I had to put the work to one side – I was in danger of writing myself into a breakdown.

A few more ‘life’ events happened – these things tend to hunt in packs, like rabid dogs or zombies, don’t they?

Here we are in 2020. I’ve dabbled on here a bit, but something made me pick up my abandoned half-formed thing and inspect it. Bit by bit, I started to see my way towards a finished project, and bit by bit, I finished the first draft – at 6.37am on 28th December 2019 to be precise. I gave myself a bit of a break and have now started my first edit. I’m excited to be at this point so unexpectedly quickly. All being well, I want to have edited and polished my novel sufficiently well to pass to beta readers by the end of this year.

Mixed in with that, a random idea has also borne fruit – it basically started with a question – I wonder if Instagram has a writing community? I posted a first image on 18th November – my feet photo that you see on this blog – and it’s snowballed pretty quickly. I’m somewhat stunned to have around 900 followers already! If you aren’t on Instagram I strongly encourage you to try it out – the community there is lovely. I’ve made some good friends over there.

So, there we are. That’s what I’ve been up to, as well as reading a lot.

If you want to pop over to Instagram and say hello, I’m @freyathewriter over there. May as well keep the theme going, right?

IMG_8777

SoCS Nov 30/19 – No tea, no shade

I’ve been infected by popular culture!

I first heard the phrase  “No tea, no shade’ on RuPaul’s Drag Race, not all that long ago to be honest. I’m soooo late to the party with that series! To be even more honest, I haven’t watched them all. I was caught at a weak moment when I was feeling a bit under the weather, and got sucked in to the spectacle which is drag!

But then it got me thinking. Behind all the glitz and the in-fighting and the drama and the make up, RuPaul has done a huge amount to bring drag queens to the forefront of society’s consciousness and, I can only imagine, help this particular part of what used to be an underground culture, be more acceptable to people who may otherwise have been unwelcoming at best.

Did you know that the term ‘drag’ was first used in British theatre in the late nineteenth century, and was used t describe women’s clothing worn by men? Some say that ‘drag’ is an acronym for ‘dressed as a girl’ – which makes sense, but who knows. But then there is the phrase ‘putting on your drags’ which comes from Polari, the British theatre slang that was also popular with the then gay ‘subculture’ (as well as circus performers, wrestlers, merchant navy sailors, prostitutes and criminals. Sadly the language has all but died out, although the positive spin is that it has almost disappeared because gay men no longer have the need to speak in code – back in the 1960s when Polari reached its zenith, it was a crime to be a homosexual.

Anyway, no tea, no shade – or rather no arguments or insults from me!

************************************************************************************

This is part of Stream of Consciousness Saturday, hosted by the lovely Linda – please visit her here to see what it’s all about.

socs-badge-2019-2020