Tag Archives: thinking

The clocks change… Time for a change ?


Candice : Things have been happening in the Nolan household, and the clocks have changed in the UK, something that always makes me think of Christmas coming but also makes me think it’s time for a new start. Plus I came into work today with an email from Phil rubbing in his return from his jolly trip.

Now, obviously I have done this a lot over the years so it’s definitely time for him to get his own back. He’s not the only wanderer to have returned, my sister has just come back from a honeymoon in Mauritius too. So all these photos of hot countries are just making me a bit jealous (and wanting to book a next holiday… luckily I do have a mini break coming up)

But fundamentally its time for a review anyway, and I don’t just mean of a book.  Things have moved on in the writing world of Nolan Parker. We’ve got a publisher, on line only admittedly, but we still have managed to get one thing that we crave.  I’ve become a Mom, something that has changed me fundamentally (and not just because I’m surviving on less sleep) and made me re-think things.  Phil’s been abroad, further than he has ever been on a plane, and he lived to tell the tale.  So yes 2014 has had a lot going on.

And its not finished yet.  We are off to meet our publishers face to face in a few weeks to talk detail on how, where, when and why.  We are going to have a brain storm next week and start plotting book 2, something I felt so inspired about I whipped off 500 words the other day. And we have a lovely lot of followers who regularly read our musingsand some times comment (though I am terrible about replying, sorry about that). Things are very different from when this all started.

And what will 2015 bring?  Well a new government, which might have a completely different impact on Phil and I than it did last time.

But 2014 is not over yet, so lets get some more writing and thinking in before we have a whole new set of resolutions in January.

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Suffering for your art

P1060954Candice: I’ve been remiss this week and not managed to write the Tuesday post.  I have an excuse, I took a tumble of Friday and managed to end up in A&E. Add on to that a teething baby who kept me up a few nights, this is the first time this week I’ve actually felt human.

How did I managed to plant my face on pavement?  Well I was out running, trying to clear my mind of a few things that were troubling me, and I tripped. The next thing I knew I was picking myself up to start off again, thinking I’d just grazed my hand, when the lady who stopped to look after me said “Um, you aren’t going anywhere.” Is was then she pointed out the rather large gash in my arm and on my knee.

Now, I did feel rather like a tit as I managed to do this on one of the busiest routes into Stratford.  And I had things to do that afternoon so didn’t really want to miss work because of a silly graze.  But when the first aider tells you they can see bone, you think it might be best to go home.

Why was I doing this?  Well it wasn’t related to our book per se, but it was when I was using my thinking time, something we know that regular writers need.  Our interviews with Julia Crouch, Polly Courtney and Daisy Waugh demonstrated they all take a jog round the block when they are trying to clear their brain.  I find swimming or running are good for that (usually), but some times, like Friday, you are so focussed on what is going on in your brain, you actually don’t see what is around you.  Not advisable when you are on a main road with raised grates.

Thinking time is good, tripping not so good so be careful out there.


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Wrestling with a gnarly problem


Candice: I’ve been trying to write a strategy document at work for weeks now – but have been struggling to find the right flow in it to get across what I want to get across and explain the thought process behind it.

I was trying to knuckle down to it at work this afternoon but was still struggling with the why.  So I went for a dip in the pool.  60 lengths later I’ve solved my problem and worked out what the structure should be.

Why is this?  Well I find I can switch off in the pool.  I’ve always loved swimming, and I find it bizarre when people say they find it boring.  Yes the going up and down can be repetitive, but after a while it can clear your brain and help you to sort out the things going round in your head.  In fact, I was so focused on that I actually lost count of the number of lengths I had done.

It seems I am not alone in using swimming to improve the mind.  A small study has been done in Australia to see the impact on immersing you in water on your blood flow. It seems that this can help cognitive function, ie what I have seen for years, swimming can help you think.

So next time you come up against a writing problem, take a break.  Go for a walk, take a jog or go for a dip in the pool and see if that can help you sort out your writers block.

What I need to work out next is how to swim regularly and have nails that don’t break all the time and hair that isn’t dry.  A small price to pay for some good ideas…?

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Thinking in writing

Mmmmmmm, cupcake. Yummy.Candice :  In the midst of our deep and meaningful conversation in the pub a few days ago, we came across a stumbling block that we have encountered in our previous writing missions.  How to explain that a character is thinking in what you are writing.

Example 1: No one is going to be doing anything ghostly tonight, she thought, putting her face in her hands

Example 2: …it didn’t seem any different from any other tour, why had he picked it over the multitude of others?

Now in writing the Book, we decided that we would go with the option of putting , ‘character thought’, by these sections.  I have continued that, as you can see, above.  However, in this short story’s case particularly, the character is thinking alot, which kind of drowns the prose with ‘she thought’. So what to do?  One story Phil sent me the character it thinking all the way through so there is no specific reference to this,but with ours it’s told from her point of view but with conversations with other characters and descriptive scenes.

So, what do you do to prevent over ‘thoughting’ the prose but to explain that some of it is going on in their head?

Can I just point out, we’ve both got an ‘O’ Level in English Language, but that was a lonnnnnngggggg time ago!

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