Finding Inspiration Where You Can

This week is my reading week at university. For most this means focusing on your upcoming assessment, maybe going home for a few days and generally taking a chance to recharge your batteries a little. But not me. Oh no. I decide to tech one show, rehearse for another, do my coursework, write blog posts and continue to write a novel. I did take the week off work though. That’s something.

Thanks to this rather hectic schedule I have been writing wherever and whenever I have had the chance. Some things are more well formed than others, some things are snippets that (I hope) will lead to bigger and greater things. When you’re as busy as I am at the moment you can’t question it when something comes to you. You have to just grab a pen and paper (or napkin, or ipad, or phone) and write it while it’s there. Sometimes it’s golden, some times it’s less so.

One little snippet came to me tonight while I was waiting for the show to begin and before the button pressing went all wrong (teching can be pretty scary when the technology decides not to do what you tell it). This is currently untitled and unfinished, but I hope you enjoy.

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The Power of Music

University is hard! Everyone told me. They warned me that third year steps up a notch and you won’t realise it until you get there. I took it all with a grateful smile and a roll of the eyes.

I’m sorry.

You all tried to warn me.  You tried to tell me to prepare, to plan ahead and focus on it one day at a time.  Well, I’m not. Not even a little bit. I am panicking and taking on too many things and worrying and making myself severely stressed out.  Tonight was just an awful example.

I got home and my light bulb had gone.  I had to walk down the road to pick up my lamp from a friend’s house – who was his usual charming self and made me smile a little.  I got home, plugged in said lamp and sat down to work.  Then the internet crashed.  That was all I needed.

Now I know these sound like silly, trivial moments – and they are – but you’ve all been there.  You’ve not been in the best of moods for whatever reason, then one tiny thing goes wrong and it tips you over the edge into completely unreasonable. you know you’re being mad or crazy but it doesn’t matter, you’re in a bad mood now and there ain’t nothing gonna make you feel better… Or is there?

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You Not You (a sort of poem)

I am horribly, mournfully, soul-wrenchingly aware that I haven’t posted anything on here in a very long time.  This upsets and frustrates me but NaNoWriMo is slowly taking over my life.  Combine that with university, writing for a million different publications and spending the weekend with my family for various celebrations I have decided there just aren’t enough hours in the day.  So today I dig deep into the vaults and give to you all a sort of poem, which I like to call You Not You.

I saw you walking down the street today.
At least, I think it was you.
He might have been a bit too tall, with curlier hair and cleaner shoes.
I didn’t see his face but I felt his smile.
It was the same lemon flavoured, Thursday afternoon kind of smile that you always give me in the car park at five o’clock when we’re both too tired to talk.
And I didn’t hear his voice but I knew he would be singing American sitcom theme tunes completely out of tune with the wrong words if we weren’t, you know, in the middle of the street.
The stride may have been yours.
I took two steps to every one of his and found myself watching my feet and depending on you not you to tell me when to cross the street.
He wore some twisted chinos that you wouldn’t be caught dead in but I just thought that maybe someone had bought them for a gift and you hadn’t the heart to be rude so wore them regardless.
You not you are so cute!
That little flick of your curls that you don’t do made me melt a little, especially when we waited for the lights to change and the wind kept blowing your hair in your eyes.
And the way you not you bit your nails but kept stopping yourself because you’re obviously trying to quit.
I was so busy following you not you that I found myself in the newsagents I always avoid because the guy behind the counter always winks and calls me ‘darling’ in a voice that brings to mind Hannibal Lecter and fava beans and a glass of Chianti.
We reached for the same Red Bull and you not you smiled your lemon flavoured smile except now it was more coconut flavoured.
And you not you stepped back and bowed your head in a ‘go ahead’ kind of gesture and turned instead to the Relentless.
Thinking about it perhaps he was too polite to be you.
And more well dressed than I’ve ever seen you even when we had that fancy dinner and you tried to wear a tux but you didn’t realise the stains that were on your jacket.
He wore a shirt and tie and his top button was done up in a way you always complain about because it pinches your neck and makes you feel like you’re being strangled.
Instead of a stack of comics and sports magazines he carried a leather bound hardback copy of Doctor Faustus and I know that’s not your kind of thing because it’s fancy and pretentious and no one reads that kind of shit any more.
Except you not you.

Beaufort War Hospital

Glenside Hospital Museum is looking for information about anyone who stayed or worked at Beaufort War Hospital between 1915 and 1918. If you had a parent, grand-parent, uncle or aunt who spent time at the hospital, either as an employee or as a patient, they want to hear from you. Perhaps in your attic there is a photograph or letter that you have previously overlooked. Any information is welcome. The hospital is keen to turn the people in their pictures into individuals with real lives and real histories.

The hospital, Bristol’s first purpose built asylum opened in 1861, was appropriated by the government during WWI. Thanks to funding from the Esmeé Fairbrain Collections Fund, the team at Glenside, led by Stella Man, are trying to find the personal stories behind the many photographs and postcards in the museum’s collection. Though they have many pictures the figures within them are largely unknown, without any names or personal stories attached to them.

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Fantastic Beasts – who’s excited?

Today I’m after your opinions!  I am in the process of writing an article about Harry Potter fans and whether or not they are excited about the new ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ movie.  Now personally, I’m really looking forward to it and am excited about seeing the wizarding world before it went really bad.  But I am only one person, and ‘fans’ is definitely a plural.

So I ask you all, readers and Potterheads, what are your thoughts?  Are you dancing for joy in your Gryfinndor pyjamas at the prospect of more Potter, or would you rather the whole magical mess be put to rest?

Please post your thoughts, comments, musings below and let me know exactly how you’re feeling.

Onwards and upwards

So today my first ever paid article has been published!  I am so happy and excited about it and am sharing it as much as I possibly can.  I have my friend Dan to thank for putting me onto the Yahoo Contributor Network, where I was given this article to write.  I have a second article for them in the pipeline as well at the moment.  I just can’t quite believe that I’ve actually been paid to write something!  It feels so good and makes me feel like I’m actually progressing towards that dream of being a ‘real’ writer when I graduate.

If you’d like to read the article please feel free.  You can find it at:

http://uk.movies.yahoo.com/potter-characters-might-fantastic-beasts-100500993.html

Here’s to many more paid jobs in the future!

Sneaky peeks

Ok so I’m offering you all a deal.  If I can get the likes on my ‘professional’ Facebook page up to 100 I will post the opening of my new novel ‘The Cyborg Act’ here for you all to read and enjoy.  But I need all of your help to get those likes up!  So please, share my page, publicise this blog and help me get my words out there into the big wide world!  The page people need to head to is here:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Natasha-Mcgregor/263172860474196

Thank you all in advance, and hopefully very soon there’ll be some real writing here for you to enjoy.

NaNoWriMo so far…

So this year I decided to take part in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) which takes place every year during the month of November.  The goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days by hitting daily targets.  It breaks it down into pretty manageable chunks of about 1,600 words a day so that by the end of the month you have yourself a brand new novel (or more like a novella but still, a full length story).  Of course I don’t have enough going on at the moment, with university, work, blogging, volunteering and article writing so it seemed like a good idea.  What have I let myself into!

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The idea I’m working with is one that has been with me for some months now.  I’ve been gradually building up the storyline in my mind so that when I decided to do NaNo, around the beginning of October, I was pretty confident I had a story I could work with.  I jotted down the key plot points and decided to leave the rest to chance.  During NaNo you are either known as a planner or a pantser – I think I slotted nicely into the middle this time.

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What is a beautiful body?

Last night I visited the Arnolfini for the first time.  Which is pretty terrible for a drama student who has lived in Bristol her entire life.  I went thanks to a last minute email from one of my university lecturers offering complimentary tickets, and I’m very glad I did.  I will openly admit my tastes in theatre are what most people would consider fairly mainstream and also quite narrow, which I have only realised once I started university.  However, this performance really opened my eyes to some of the other ways theatre can be performed.

In Between Time is described as a ‘baroque inspired performance’ concerned with the politics of the flesh.  I went into the production knowing very little about it except it was about dance and there was some nudity involved.  I don’t know what I was expecting but it certainly was not what I witnessed.

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