Posts tagged ‘writing’

February 13, 2013

Daily Prompt: All About Me | Hellcat Origins

Today’s Daily Prompt asked bloggers to explain why they chose their blog’s title, and what it means to means. 

Although I’ve only been posting for a short time, the search for the name of my blog started quite some time ago. I didn’t have a theme for what I would write about, I just intended post anything; from anecdotes, to reviews and opinion pieces, to works of fiction. It’s just a place to practice writing in all it’s forms. I really had no idea where to start looking for a name. To begin with I just looked at the things around me, and these were added to my shortlist:

  • Checkered Trunk: inspired by the blue elephant on my mug of tea and the checkered pattern on a calendar in my office.
  • Butterfly Mountain/Mountain Butterfly: inspired by the dress I was wearing, which has a butterfly pattern on it, but in my sleepiness I imagined the butterflies to be snow-capped mountains.

I tried to think of something that described me, but that proved difficult. There was nothing iconic that I really identified with. In my early high school days I considered myself a bit of an odd ball, and I used to wear one of those multi-coloured hats with a propeller on top that slack-jawed kids holding ice creams wear in movies. So I considered for a time calling my blog “Propeller-Hat Girl Grown Up” based on my nickname from the time. But I’d moved on from that identity, and for the most part the people I knew then, so it didn’t really feel like me any more.

I really like wordplay and especially anagrams, so I considered using one of my favourite anagrams “Dynamo Monday”, but I felt that I would feel obligated to post on Mondays and only Mondays. ‘Dynamo’ also conjured up various connotations in my mind, and I’m just not sure I’m ‘electrifying’ enough for a title like that.

This thought got me onto the path of anagrams. I started to explore anagrams of my name (both with and without my middle name), which is how I found “Miry Mosey’s Hellcat”. Some of the rejected short-listed names included:

  • Systemic Holler
  • Most Silly Cheer
  • Comely Slithers (what a combination, huh? So sexual and sleazy),
  • Lily Rot Schemes (for some unknown reason I really like the sound of this one, although it does come across more sinister than I consider myself to be)
  • Chilly Somerset (kind of sounds like a hideous suburban estate, don’t you think?).

But eventually I came to setting on “Miry Mosey’s Hellcat” mostly because I like the sound of it. I was also looking to move on from my previous online alias, which had been “somethingbetterthanmylastidea” (or “somethingbetter” for short) since I was about 9 years old. “Miry Mosey” and/or “Miriam Mosey” had a nice sound to it, I think it suits me and I checked that the username MiryMosey was available on the vast majority of websites I was likely to use (Twitter, Gmail, Tumblr, etc). I’m not a huge fan of my “christian” name anyway, so I liked that is sounds ‘real’ enough that I could use that alias if I am ever published as well.

Eventually I intend to adopt a cat, so perhaps at some stage the “hellcat” part of the title will have more significance, but for now it just has a fun ring to it.

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February 6, 2013

Weekly Writing Challenge: Digital vs. Paperback, or ‘My Humiliating Confession’

A few months ago, I had a shameful realisation. It truly pains me to share this with you, my dear blogosphere, but here goes: I have not finished reading a single book since high school. I have managed to get through a few books, but only those old favourites that I’ve gone back to reread. I haven’t finished anything new.

To be fair, I am only 22. But even so, 4 years is an awfully long time to not finish a single new book. Especially when you toy with the idea of being a writer.

So, how did this happen? Thinking back, it started as a combination of two factors. Firstly, I was a bit worn out by high school. Lot’s of people will think I’m crazy, but I needed a break from books. I needed to get out of other people’s stories, out of the high school universe, and into the real world for a bit.

Secondly, and I think more importantly, I fell in love. It was only a few months after I graduated that I met my boyfriend, and that was a pretty big distraction. What kind of 18-year-old would choose books over fooling around their a hot new flame? I much preferred getting to know him than ditching him for a paperback.

Eventually, of course, the excitement and distraction of new love evolved into the comfortable kind of love; we’re your life is entwined with, but no longer completely engulfed by the other person. But by this stage I had a full-time job, which quickly progressed into a stressful full-time job. With overtime. Suddenly I felt I had no time to read. My daily commute (which is where I might have found time to read) was cut short when I moved closer to work (which was awesome), and when I got home I just wanted to relax and fall asleep watching a movie.

Getting back into reading has only been one of my priorities for perhaps the past 18 months. I got an iPad, so I could get books cheaply, and I didn’t have to clutter up our tiny one bedroom apartment with books, or worry about reading fast enough to return them to the Library. And it was wonderful. I could carry it everywhere I went. It was easier and more comfortable to hold than a book. I could read when it was dark, without disrupting my boyfriends sleep. I had a world of books, and recommendations and reviews at the tips of my fingers.

Some people like the ‘feel’ and the ‘smell’ of a book, but I don’t have that nostalgia factor. I suppose it comes from reading of a monitor from a young age (but then again I know heaps of people my age who love paperback books). It’s the content that count for me.

So I loaded by Kindle app with Shakespeare, which I always loved in high school, and Jane Austin (who I’d never read) and I bought the fantasy novel Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke which my sister recommended. I started to read all of them and others, but never finish a single one.

I thought that since the last books I had read were for school, where someone else had prescribed the text and given me a deadline to read it by, that maybe I needed that structure to get back into the habit. Or perhaps what motivated me was the discussion around the books in class. So I decided to try the books from ABC’s First Tuesday Book Club. But I found I wasn’t interested in reading half the books. I tried reading How I Became a Famous Novelist by Steve Hely. I was enjoying it, and got most of the way through it, but for no real reason I lost interest. After their rave reviews of Silence of the Lambs, and having loved the film, I really wanted to read that. But there was no digital copy of it, and even finding a hard copy proved difficult. I did eventually find an old copy at a second-hand stall at a market, but I’ve moved interstate and it would completely blow out my baggage allowance to bring a giant hard cover book in my carry on (it also contained the other stories in the series).

I’m at a loss as to why I’m finding it so hard to get through a novel. It only occurred to me when pondering this writing challenge topic, that perhaps it was actually the format that was the problem. While I currently think wholeheartedly that digital is the best for me, maybe it has actually been my reading downfall. Maybe the convenience of switching over to check Twitter, play a game, read a blog, or watch an episode of Dr. Who is too tempting for me to resist. Maybe being able to physically feel how far through the book I’ve come, and what is left to read is important in keeping me interested. I can’t be sure.

Some time soon, I will drag my butt to a library and attempt this strategy for curing my novel-reading drought. I just need to pick a book…

February 1, 2013

My Writing Game – origin and rules

Like many of us, I do not have the best memory. I’m constantly forgetting where I put the remote down just a moment ago (this applies to any hand held item: cooking implements, keys, my phone..), my boyfriend often tells me anecdotes of events that I have no recollection of, it takes me half way through the second viewing of a movie to realize I’ve seen if before. You name it, I forgot it. When it comes to learning new names, most of the time I don’t even try to learn them. I accept that I will only learn one or two names at once and ignore the rest. When I started university, I was thrilled when the two lovely ladies I introduced myself were both named Emily; one less name to learn!

Late last year I attended a friends party. The guests of the party were from a social group I am only on the fringes of, so I knew I’d be meeting lots of new people. After an hour or so I came across someone I’d met when I arrived. “Don’t tell me,” I said “Alice?”. And I was right! “Hooray!” I celebrated. “Ten points for me!”
This little interaction gave me the idea to award myself 10 “points”  for every name I learned. I didn’t get anything for the points, but i did celebrate every time i earned them. To my surprise, it worked very well. Naturally, after I had around 70 points I forgot where I was up to and stopped keeping track.
I have recently, finally, started having some success in weight loss. I’ve lost about 5kgs in 7 weeks. I owe this success to myfitmesspal.com. On this site you log the food you eat and the exercise you do and it counts the calories for you. It occurred to me, that this was a little like my name learning ‘points’ system, it worked like a game. Every day I am challenged to have a calorie deficient and I am rewarded with results.
So I have an idea to try and apply this game mentality to other aspects of my life. One of the things I would like to be doing is writing more. I’ve always enjoyed it but I know I will never get anywhere if I don’t write more. So, I will award myself “points” each time I write something, and post it to this blog. I will keep a record each month, and see if I can improve my score as time goes by.
This will be my scoring system:
Points:
10 points each day I make a post
10 points for each 100 words in a post
50 points for posting a (complete) fictional story
30 points for posting a review or article
5 points for each new follower
5 points for each comment on a post
I’d love it if others joined me in this challenge! Feel free to adopt my Writing Points system, or create your own tailored to the type of writing you’d like to do. Or, you could make a points system for some other goal you have.
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