What’s in a name

January 31, 2011 at 8:23 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 32 Comments
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One thing that I generally have trouble with is thinking of titles for my stories. Sometimes they come easily, but mostly not. I get a lot of my titles from quotes and/or song lyrics, but sometimes nothing really presents itself. I’m on the verge of submitting a novel, which has a name that I’m not sure I’m happy with, which is annoying. I tend to like snappy titles, short and to the point, with at least a tenuous connection to the story itself. Titles can put a reader off – I know that I’m more reluctant to buy a book with a title I don’t like, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. But then what makes a good title? What appeals to one person won’t appeal to another, so you need to be happy with it yourself, so at least one person likes it, haha.

So, authors – how do you find inspiration for titles? And readers – does the title influence your decision to pick up a story? Do you find yourself favouring certain types of titles over others? Enquiring minds want to know.

Imprinting

January 23, 2011 at 9:04 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 12 Comments
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I’m gradually settling into the new house, although a week is hardly any time to live somewhere when you lived in your last place for 5 years. I own this house though, which of course makes it different; when I see things that annoy me (which I have, it’s amazing what you don’t notice when you’re just looking at a place during an open home) the thought that follows on from that is that when I have the money I can just get whatever it is changed. It’s a good feeling. I spilt tea on my brand new sofa today, which means it’s christened. Last week I also dropped a dining table on my bare foot and bled all over the carpet (seriously, blood was positively gushing out of my big toe. Toes bleed A LOT, FYI), so I guess that means that me and the house now have some sort of mystical blood bond or something.

Anyway.

The thing I’m most looking forward to is putting pictures up. In the years I’ve been renting I’ve actually not lived in a place with existing picture hooks, and it always seemed like too much trouble to ask to put things up, but ever since I’ve been planning to buy a house, I’ve been thinking about finally putting up some of the things I’ve collected over the years. I’ve travelled a lot over the last 10 years or so, and I have a lot of photos from those trips. Over the past 5 years or so I’ve also been collecting art, either prints, sketches, or paintings of the places I’ve been. I have quite a few of those now, so I’m going to put those up, mixed in with my own photos. I’m really looking forward to doing it too, although going through all my photos will be a mission.

I was thinking of doing this before, and wondering what photos I’d choose. The travel photos from before 2005 are all printed and in photo albums (so totally old school, I know), and the albums are lurking somewhere in a box I haven’t unpacked yet, so I was restricted to the ones I have on my hard drive. The earliest ones are from a trip to Italy I took in January of 2005, and I was just idly picking through them and decided to fish some out and post them here; they’re not necessarily the ones I’ll choose to get framed, but they’re ones I like all the same. I love Italy, it’s a beautiful, quirky country positively bursting with personality, but in the end I had to stop going there, mainly because if you can walk around Rome without a map then you’ve been there too many times, and it was time to remind myself that there was all of the rest of the world to explore as well.

Italy – Tuscany, Rome, Venice, Pompeii

First post of the year

January 1, 2011 at 11:46 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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2010 was quite a good year for me, particularly professionally, but also personally. I wasn’t under as much stress as I was in 2009 and 2008 (2008 was the Year of the Huge and Stressful Project(s), and 2009 was the Year of Ridiculous and Chronic Insomnia), and it really made a difference. Long may that continue.

I’m quite looking forward to 2011 – soon I’ll move into the house I bought, which I’m looking forward to so much I can’t even say. I think living in a house that’s mine will really make a difference to my outlook; maybe that’s silly, but I think it will. I’m really having to stop myself buying all new furniture for the place, haha! Those furniture places are so seductive with their rows and rows of bookcases and chests of drawers. I need another bookcase, too.

My goals for the upcoming year are relatively simple: write more (and hopefully publish more) and blog more. That seems achievable now while I’m still on holidays, of course; mind you, I have managed to fritter away the day and haven’t done a scrap of the editing I was meaning to do, so it’s not like being at work will make my procrastination any worse. I haven’t started packing either, but never mind. I’m not moving for 2 weeks, there’s still plenty of time! (Famous last words if I ever heard them.)

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