HobbyHarri











While Valentine’s was uneventful (except for the incident), today was delicious. After my morning lecture I wrapped up in 5 torso layers plus two sets of skinny jeans and 2 pairs of socks, filled a thermos with tea and headed to the Bay again…

 

Cardiff is finally warm! Summer’s coming! The sun was out! They were selling ice-cream! I had one with a flake and strawberry sauce – at the Bay in February! Kids everywhere, laughing and running and staring at me (I probably did look a bit funny all wrapped up with my coat, scarf & leather hat)! And, ok, there were a few annoying youths out & about on their scooters (are those cool now?) who use their speedy entrances & speedy exits from your zone of attention to get away with being rude to strangers. But most everyone was lovely, and that was only a few of the many young people. Ah. Maybe I really could bring my guitar next time.

I’m going to avoid the Bay for the time being – the half-term busyness plus the fact that I don’t have many guitar tunes memorised makes me think I should stay back here & blitz the practice. You know what? I’ll promise – if there are any days next week that are as good weather-wise as it was today, I will take my guitar down on one of them. Regardless of how good or bad I think I am at it or how many things I have memorised or whether I’d have the confidence to sing along to anything, I am gonna do it. Yeah.

 

While I was down there, I came up with a good basic premise for next week’s creative writing project: I’ve decided to write a short story (not script) in the Doctor Who world. I’m keeping things simple so that it’s the storytelling I’m focusing on rather than inventing believable, original characters and entire alien societies and so on, so here’s the brief I’ve made for myself:

  • Write every day of next week
  • Minimum of 500 words per day (you don’t get words off the next day if you go over the limit (I know you too well…)
  • Doctor: 11th
  • Companion: **** (an own character (OC) I’m very familiar with)
  • Setting: Present day Cardiff
  • Situation: Haunted House
  • Additional Characters: Small group of kids/teens, challenged to spend a night there.

I figured out a bunch of important things like the nature of the Haunted House and why they go there, and playing through the scenarios it looks like my OC actually complements the Doctor really well. I was kind of nervous about the idea this morning, but I’m really looking forward to it now. I might even get started early… No! Get to guitar practice!

 

And lastly, the casting website I’m signed up to has started to pay off. While I haven’t heard anything back from the acting jobs I’ve applied to (probably due to my profile picture not being a professional headshot), I have received an offer for modelling. I’ve been offered a free photoshoot with a genuine (I’m good with research) & fairly experienced photographer. He gets to increase his portfolio & practice his art, I get a professional headshot and full-length photos for my acting portfolio – it’s win-win!

 

I’m on the up.

 

Night night. xox

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{October 13, 2011}   3 Day Weekend!

With my special timetabling skills and luck, I now have a permanently academics free Friday, giving me a 3 day weekend. Praise be to Metatron. Wow, poor Metatron… not even spell-check knows who you are.

 

Anyway, given that I have this time available and I’m finally entirely settled into life at University, I won’t be blogging till Monday – this way I can funnel my (almost) daily writing habit into my story writing and start at some of the projects that I’ve got planned. I think tomorrow I’ll start with some writing exercises (offset with physical exercises), and then get down to the project of my choice in the early evening (I would have said afternoon, but being a student with a day off, my morning will be starting at 12:00). If I get tired of writing, I’ll do my best to keep productive and work on my other hobbies. Perhaps I’ll have something to show on Monday…

 

Right, that’s enough explaining – I’m off to eat cheap chocolate, drink fruity tea and watch ‘Spaceballs’. Night-o!

 

 

Oh yes, and I have an Outnumbered episode to watch on iPlayer.



As a young student, one of the topics that worries me most is my sense of identity. It’s not like I’m not sure who I am and what I like or anything like that – I have a very strong character. It’s that despite having a very strong character and strong views and beliefs and apparently being very secure in who I am, when I think about the people I admire… I don’t really know why I admire them. Isn’t that something you should be really sure of? If you feel strongly enough about someone to say to others that you admire them, to hold them in high regard and think of them when you need inspiration, it’s really important that you know why you do that. Obviously I have vague ideas along the lines of “He’s got such amazing joie de vivre” or “She doesn’t care what people think”, but if your role-models have such a strong influence on your life and way of thinking, surely you should be able to be more specific about it?

Here’s my new writing technique, which should sort these things out if I just stick with it. It combines fun fantasy with proper identity exploration, so if you don’t want things to get too heavy, you can easily redirect the exercise to make it lighter;

1. Choose a role model (RM)

2. Think of a comfortable scene – one in which you could easily imagine you and your role model relaxing in. My personal scene would be a cosy, quiet café, smelling of tea and cakes. You might prefer to relax with people in a local park, or in your own home, or on a sunny beachside abroad.

3. Imagine that for some reason or another (you don’t have to come up with a reason), you’ve found yourself there with your RM. The time you have together is unlimited, in so far as you can always keep writing about this scene and your interactions and time won’t interfere to take either of you away. No one else has to be there, but if you decide to have anyone around, you should keep them in the background for now – you want the focus of your writing to be between you and your RM. And no matter what your RM’s typical demeanour is, in this scenario they are infinitely patient and interested in you and what you have to say.

4. Now that you have that image, start writing it. Do a small intro to the scene to get yourself in the mood for this kind of writing. My shortened example would be describing my cosy little café with the warm coloured walls and homely smells, walking in through the door (a bell above the door chimes on entrance), and having a look around, noting what I see, seeing my RM sitting at one table, looking over the top of a newspaper to see me, then smiling, closing the paper and gesturing to sit at the table with them. I do so, and…

5. Now that you’re in the zone, you have free rein to explore your relationship with your RM. Ask them questions and see what your mind comes up with in their voice. If you don’t get a satisfactory answer, note the question down and come back to it later. You could chat with them about the things that they’re good at, the things that you’re good at, what their opinion is on a certain topic, or about something of absolutely no importance. The point is that you can now choose what you want to do in this scene either to best explore your relationship (and therefore your identity) or simply to best enjoy yourself. Don’t worry too much about the details, such as recreating their speech patterns and mannerisms – just let it all come instinctively, from the heart. Don’t think, don’t plan, just write.

If you’re not so interested in solidifying your idea of who you are, then why not do this anyway and turn it into a wish-fufilment writing exercise? Go on – go to the cinéma with your celebrity crush and go adventuring with your most admired hero.

I might post some of my exercise up here when I’m finally done, or I might just post about how the exercise has helped. All I know is that right now I’m tired, so goodnight. x



{October 10, 2011}   Fantasy Writing

I heard on Inside The Actors Studio, can’t remember who… that the actor being interviewed sometimes wrote diary entries, embellished with fantasy because they’d just get bored otherwise. Feeling down & creatively frustrated, I thought I’d give it a go when I finally got some downtime.

It’s really good. It’s like a kind of private therapy, plus wish-fufilment, plus creative pastime.

It’s great because if anything frustrating happened, you can amend it in your re-telling, say by challenging the cashier that gave you a dirty look like you’d just tried to shop-lift to a duel using only store products. Or something comforting, like instead of rolling out of bed at 11 and inexplicably losing an hour before anything happened, you roll out of bed at 11 and are treated to a fry up made by your flatmate Stephen Fry, which, now that you’ve come up with the idea, is something that always happens when you’re ill. You could change your luck, so instead of sitting near a drunkard who’s so drunk that they refuse to allow themselves to tilt even slightly on the train back home, you were sitting opposite to your favourite comedian, who wanted to try out some new material on you. Or some fantasy being whose sole existence is to give hugs to those that want them. Or simply to have a cinema carriage playing that film you wanted to see but missed in the cinemas.

Or you could just ignore the day altogether and use your diary format as a starting point for some crazy adventure. I think I might try a Doctor Who adventure diary myself.

Anyway, whatever you do with it, it is so freeing to just write, knowing that you are writing purely for yourself, that only you will ever read it, and because it’s your fantasy, you can’t be critical of it.

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I wonder if writing about tackling past events differently can make people behave differently when similar moments come around? Perhaps you’d just go through it happier, because this time you remember the silly story that you wrote around it.



et cetera