Monday, June 30, 2008

Back On Track....

The black cloud that has hung above my head, for what seems like weeks now, has finally lifted and I spent a good chunk of Sunday writing an impressive 2,000 words for my novel. Well the fact that I wrote that amount in one sitting is pretty impressive, I'm not sure if the words themselves are impressive, but there we go!!
I've been trying to get some sort of structure together for my novel. Yes, I wrote the synopsis, did a character profile and a chapter synopsis before I started to write the novel itself, but now, nearly 20,000 words into it, things have changed. The biggest realisation is that the existing main plot wasn't enough to carry the whole book, so a whole new sub plot has now emerged, which was kind of there before, buzzing around in my head, but I didn't quite know how it would fit in, but now it's slotting in quite nicely. I've also redone a chapter synopsis, but just covering the chapters I've already written, to give me some sense of how the story is going, but also to hopefully stop any glaring errors - I'm sure there will be some corkers, when I get to the first draft stage!
For that split second when I sit at my laptop, I wonder if I will able to put into words, this world I have created within my head, but thankfully my fingers seem to find the appropriate keys and slowly but surely a novel is emerging.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

A Happy Bunny

I went shopping yesterday and got my Dr Who magazine, even though Tesco's were trying to hide them within all the lads mags. The smiley cake is a present from my husband, although I have to admit I wouldn't let him read the magazine until I had devoured the Steven Moffat article on how to write a Dr Who Script (I know I'm mean!)
The article on Steven is massively long and is something that I will keep going back to you, but a couple of things I picked out at first glance where that sometimes Steven has three scripts on the go all at once, which makes me feel a lot better, as I currently have two other projects bouncing around in my head, besides my novel. It also takes him an age to work out a title for his script (for Forest of the Dead it took 14 attempts until they settled on a title!) - I also have a problem in working out titles! The most crucial element though is that Steven feels the Doctor Who stories work well if there is a good mystery behind them. I already know the basis around my script, which hopefully will intrigue - just don't know the ending as yet - unfortunately Steven doesn't advise how to write those!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

I Want.....

The new Doctor Who magazine. Not only does it discuss the forthcoming end of season finale, it also has an article from the great Steven Moffat on how to write a Doctor Who story. What better way to gain advice for one of my forty tasks, than from the master himself.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Bored of Nottingham

I'm bored at the moment. So bored, I can't seem to motivate myself to do anything. I can just about make it to the shower in a morning, but then it's an all out struggle to push myself to go to work. I've tried to get motivated by doing items off my list, but try as I might, I can't seem to get excited over reading Anna Karenina or writing my novel.
So in order to cheer myself up, I'm looking for a holiday, or more precisely looking at going to New York for New Years. We already have the flights paid for, courtesy of Rick's air miles (there has been some good over him going away so many times to Japan!) and I was hoping we wouldn't have to spend too much on accommodation, but a quick look shows we won't have much change out of £1000, which could make this trip my most expensive item to complete off my list so far, but if it makes me feel better than I do at the moment then boy will it be worth it!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Russell T Davies Is God

I've just watched the new Dr Who episode, written by RTD. The man is God, it's official. The episode barely featured the Dr, which in itself is controversial, instead focusing on his assistant. It was a fantastic build up to what will be a tremendous finale to another brilliant series. I want to write like RTD. In my dreams, we are sitting in my Tardis shaped garden shed, eating battenburg and drinking lemon tea and RTD would coach me on how to write the perfect Dr Who script. Do dreams come true? I hope so!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


We have a new person that's started in our office. A fresh from university chappie, full of enthusiasm and confidence, he's here for a three month contract. He's full of dreams of going to London, to make it as a Producer in the land of the TV, citing the BBC as his main focus for gaining a job. In our box standard corporate environment, his confidence shines like a beacon. Which makes me think. If had this much confidence when I was his age and followed my dreams, what would I be doing now?
At his age, I wanted nothing more than to write (sounds familiar!) and football was my life - a football journalist was my dream job and was something I carried through into my thirties. A combination of events prevented me from taking it any further. I began a career that took over my life and after a couple of knock backs, I was never confident enough to continue. So I could have been writing for the tabloids, or even commentating, if I had just pushed myself further, but life moves on and things happen for a reason. Football is no longer the main focus of my life anymore, but writing still remains a focus of what I want to do and where I want to be.
I haven't and never did have the confidence of youth behind me, but what I do have is a determination to at least try, hence the fact that this blog was born and writing my novel is going to be my focus for the next six months. I hope this time I succeed.

Monday, June 16, 2008


I've been prattling on about writing my novel for so long, I thought I'd better share some of it with all of you....

Dennis Clifford was an impatient man. Altogether he had paced the hospital room at least twenty times, sat and stared at the four walls and noted the coffee stains on the table that was half piled with women’s magazines.

There was something about hospitals he could not stand. Maybe it was the god-awful smell that brought back memories of past experiences that he would rather not remember. The whole place just reminded him of death and the sooner he was out of here the better.

The receptionist on the front desk, sat and stared at the man, amazed at how after all the expectant Fathers that she had seen in her time, she still found their behaviour unbelievable.

“Anyone would have thought they were the ones that had to give birth” she mused to her colleague that stood beside her and smiled at the thought.

Dennis caught sight of her smile and scowled. How anyone could smile in this depressing place he couldn’t quite work out. It seemed to be almost as depressing as the flat he shared with his wife, Maggie. Sometimes it made him physically sick to think that, that was all he could offer her, after his alleged fame and fortune as a First Division footballer.

Copyright Janette Jones

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Life's An Adventure

After launching into a garbled description of the latest adventure I had in mind to go to Everest, my husband sat back in his chair and sighed.

"Is life with me so boring, that you have to be looking constantly for new adventures?"

"No", I reassured him, "my life with you is the only thing that is anything but boring. It's the life away from you, where I have the problem."

So I will continue to look for things to inspire me and hopefully gain more ticks on my task list and hope that my husband understands that I have to push myself to do these things, to keep my mind active and keep me motivated and by doing this, is in no way shape or form, any detriment to him.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A Script For Dr Who

Just lately, I've been reading this:-
- a blog about a guy, Lance Parkin, who writes Dr Who books. It's full of hints and tips about how to write for the Beeb and how unfortunately they return any unsolicited manuscripts. Although I have to write a script as one of my tasks, I never really saw past doing that, which is perhaps best, considering the BBC return all scripts unread.
I love how Lance admits he has no contacts at the Beeb, as if fearful that he will get a shed load of scripts delivered to his door step! He doesn't know Russell T Davies or Steven Moffat, so sending scripts to this chappie would do no good.

I've decided I will continue with Plan A and write the script at some point, more for the experience of writing 'a script' and because I've loved Dr Who since I was three years old. Anything else that comes out of this is a bonus!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Another task nearly done!

On July 26th, I will be driving one of these babies. I'm a little bit nervous, mostly excited and can't wait until I actually sit inside one! I should be on Radio Nottingham, very shortly after that, to update everyone on my task list.

Toodle pip!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Another Adventure

You know sometimes when you plan to do something and that idea just festers in your mind until it turns into something much bigger then what you started with? You know how reading my blog piece on my Ben Nevis climb, may have given you the impression that if I never saw another mountain ever again, it would be too soon? Well, someone gave me an idea, when I told them about my recent climb and I've been thinking about it ever since
Base Camp Everest

It may not be something that I do before I'm 40. It may be something that I may have to save until I'm a little older, but hopefully one day I can say that I've done it.

I can sense a whole new list emerging after I'm 40!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

An Open Letter To My Husband

Dear husband,

For my birthday this year, I would quite like to see Romeo and Juliet at the RSC in Stratford. The good thing about buying me this as a birthday gift, would be three fold:-
1)We don't have to go to Fawlty Towers again for a birthday meal.
2)Not only is this a good birthday present, it is also enabling me to cross another task off my list.
3)It would make your wife very happy ( I would have been happier if I'd seen David Tennant in Hamlet, but never mind!)
I look forward to your response.
The End

Saturday, June 7, 2008

How I Spent My Saturday Morning

When I got married last year, I really wanted to hire an Aston Martin DB9 for my husband to travel to the church in. Unfortunately the £5,000 deposit, was slightly too much for me to contemplate paying at the time, so I decided to buy him a drive experience day instead.

So, this morning, we went to a circuit just outside of Loughborough and hubbie got to drive his DB9 at last. I on the other hand, got to look at many fine Ferrari's in all sorts of colours and decided that the red one is definitely mine, all mine!

Come Monday morning, I will be booking my drive experience day and it would definitely be in this car - I can't wait!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

I Love It When A Plan Comes Together......

My life for the past couple of months, has revolved around the Ben Nevis climbing mountain thingy, what with trying to up my fitness levels, gaining sponsors and buying the regulatory clothing. So, now the task is completed and the pain and the whole shock to my system is starting to wear off, I decided it was about time I got organised about the rest of my remaining tasks. The plan for the next six months is:-
1) Drive a Ferrari
2) Write a script for Dr Who
3) Finish the first draft of my novel
4) See a Shakespearean play at the RSC in Stratford
5) Direct a video to go onto You Tube
6) Read 20 x BBC Top 100 books
I guess I may be a little busy!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Do A Sponsored Hike/Bike Ride For Charity

When I first started to look into organising this task, I got quite elated at how many different avenues I could go down. I could walk the Great Wall of China, cycle through Egypt or even climb Kilimanjaro. Unfortunately, elation soon turned to despondency, when I found out that each of these required a minimum of a couple of thousand pounds in sponsorship and raising that sort of money, would be a whole new task in itself. So, I was in the local library one day, when I came across a leaflet to climb Ben Nevis. Mmmm, looks challenging I thought, but again the charity concerned wanted a couple of hundred pounds in minimum sponsorship. About this time, my cousin developed cancer and it seemed quite fitting that I do something for a cancer charity. So, after googling Ben Nevis, I came across 'The Ben Nevis Mountain Challenge' for Marie Curie and it seemed to fit just right. Not only would I be raising money for a charity that would go to something that had affected my family, it also only required a minimum of £100 sponsorship.

So sponsors were gained, kit was purchased, I got fit (ish!) and managed to lose a stone in weight and all too soon the climb was here and I was in Scotland.

Husband accompanied me and my sister to the Ben Nevis Inn at the foot of the mountain for registration and then cheerfully waved us off, as we began our epic journey. Although a fairly warm day at 9am, the heat never bothered me, neither did my back pack that weighed a ton and made me resemble a pack horse, as I had my waterproof jacket and walking sticks protruding from the back of it. What did bother me was the sheer scale of what was in front of me.

We followed the traditional 'Ben path' - a mountain track from lower Glen Nevis to the summit. The hill distance is approx. 5 miles and reaches the summit area by huge zig-zags up the western face of the mountain. Yes, they tell you all that before you start climbing the mountain, but what they don't tell you is how steep these huge zig-zags are and how the traditional 'Ben path', is nothing more than a pile of rubble in most parts, that you have to watch every step you take over it, for fear of losing your footing and falling off the side. It was horrendous. I wanted to curl up into a ball and cry, I seriously don't know how I got through the first two hours. Every corner I seemed to turn, had another steep, rubble incline that seemed to go on for ever.

I don't know if it was the thought of a previous trek the day before, that had reached the top in wheelchairs, or the fact that I was doing this for my cousin, that had passed away, but for some reason, I got through the pain barrier and I began to almost enjoy it. I'd given up trying to keep up with the very fit and fast, front runners of our group and I was quite happy to plod along at my own pace, especially when I got to a very nice stretch of smooth path, that felt like I was walking on carpet, compared to the rougher terrain, I had just experienced.

The amount of energy I was using to gain any sort of distance was unreal. I was also eating at almost every stop, as my body was crying out to restore any energy levels it could, to carry me through all this.

As we approached the summit, the path seemed to get even steeper and never ending, with the added bonus of snow, covering an incline, which made any sort of determined effort to reach the top quickly, almost impossible. Through another rubble incline and round another path of snow and then, there it was - I'd reached the summit. There stood the ruins of the old observatory and the war memorial. I took the obligatory 'I've reached the top of Ben Nevis' picture and ate the rest of my lunch and all too soon we were on our way again (if you rest too long, your muscles will seize up) and at quite a determined pace as well.

This will be easier going down, I told myself and in some ways it was. You weren't having to clamber up steep uneven paths, just unfortunately having to descend down them. It wasn't until we were going down the mountain, that I realised just how steep the paths were, or what we had achieved that morning. Unfortunately because of this, it had taken every ounce of my strength and I had very little to give. As more and more people passed us going down (very impatient some of them as well, almost stepping on your heels, before you had the chance to move out of the way) we took our time. To climb over every stone, seemed to take for ever, but we finally arrived back at base at 6:15pm, bruised, battered, in alot of pain and shell shocked!

Now a couple of days after the event, the pain is subsiding. I can actually, nearly walk properly today (the pain in my legs meant I had to hobble around previously) and it's starting to sink in, what I have actually achieved. This, was certainly the most challenging task I've completed so far and perhaps, will be one of the hardest ones that I will have to do. But do you know what, I've done it now, I climbed Ben Nevis, all 4,406ft of it and raised £600 for Marie Curie cancer care in the process.