Monday, 22 July 2013

Time to post, time to write

After breaking up for the summer holidays (I'm a teaching assistant not a child...) I am now painfully aware of the need to do...something. Anything really. I am hoping this new found freedom of time will allow me to write. 

I am already a third (roughly) of the way through my sequel and have some related short stories on the way. The plan is to post some of the short stories on here to get a feel for what people think and I am hoping to put a website together (in the near future). 

What all of this means is unless I get incredibly lazy - there will be more writing on its way soon :) 

X

Monday, 15 July 2013

Just a quick one...

The hardest thing with being creative is trying to tie yourself down and be organised. 

Writing the book was remarkably easy looking back, and even the upload to the Internet was pretty straight-forward. But for me what I find difficult is the business side of things. How do I get the book in front of more people? 

So far I have sold 50 books - which for a complete novice in two weeks is OK (in my mind). Out of those 50, everyone I have spoken to has been overwhelmingly kind about the book and 5 star reviews are rolling in. So if I could get it in front of hundreds or maybe thousands of people I am confident the results would be the same. 

But how?

So far I have no idea, but I'm working on it...

I'll get back to you! 

Sunday, 7 July 2013

The Day I will never forget!

OK, so it is definitely getting time to stop with the tennis blogs and I promise this will (probably) be the last one I write on the matter for a while. However, for the rest of my life, I will always remember the 7th of July 2013 because today, the 77 years of heartache for British Tennis is over. Today, (Sir) Andy Murray lifted the most important trophy in the world - the Wimbledon trophy!

What a match it was too - Andy winning in straight sets, but what tough sets they were and Novak making serving out the match for Andy as difficult as humanly possible! Truly breathtaking. 

But what is more remarkable is the weight of expectation that Andy had to deal with. As soon as Nadal and Fed went out the tournament people expected Andy to breeze through but no one stopped to think how tough playing tennis is with 60 million people sitting on your shoulders. Almost impossible. 

No matter what Andy goes on to achieve, this will never be forgotten. For no man could have worked harder and in the golden era of tennis to win 1 grand slam is surely a superb achievement. But to win 2 slams and Olympic Gold is something pretty special!

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

The Book is Live!

So this is pretty much the biggest day of my life thus far (with the obvious exception of the wedding day if my better half is reading this). Today my debut novel, 'The Pursuit of Emma', went live on the kindle store! 

Due to technical difficulties, you cannot search by title or author until the weekend but you can find it by visiting:

Http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00DQVNN8G


Even if you don't have a kindle you can get it to read on any laptop, ipad or smart phone. It's only £1.53!!

I am deliriously happy to have got this far which seems an achievement in itself but I really need your help. Please, please, please ...buy the book, buy it again, review it (preferably nicely!), tell everyone you know and make them do the same. If I can move it up in the charts I have a chance of being an author (proper)! 

I am really proud of it and hope you all like it to. 

It's the perfect summer book...if I say so myself! Enjoy!

Saturday, 29 June 2013

'Oh Nostalgia - I don't need you anymore...'

...as Patrick Stump so aptly put it - I have decided I don't want to experience nostalgia anymore. 

I work at a school and at this school there are some kids. Lots of kids in fact. Now most are bland and boorish, a few are infuriating but now and then you meet some that are special.

As a teacher you occasionally get a group of kids that get you and work well with you and when it happens...you feel like Charlie with his golden ticket. 

The problem is - they grow up. Over the last year I have spent almost 12 hours every week with the same group of Year 11 kids, helping them to grow and improve. Some I have had no impact on but one or two I would like to think would remember me for at least 6 months. 

Due to school being boring and me being fairly young, we have grown quite close and I used to like the fact that they couldn't wait to see me. Finally a group that will listen to me. And they did. We had a fantastic year and yesterday they enjoy their final assembly and prom. 

Now it is time for the world to take them and look after them and I highly doubt if I will ever see them again. I only wish them well and have high hopes that they will all succeed in whatever they chose to pursue. But what about me?

As self-centred and conceited as that sounds - what about me? I get left behind and the carousel starts up again. This, I am learning, is the life of a teacher. I have not developed the skill of staying detached and wouldn't want to but for now it means every year I get left behind by people I am used to having in my life.

I don't want to look back on the times we had with nostalgia. I want them to leave and have great lives and God knows it would be weird if they wanted to still see me but I hate change and have ended up in a career with bags of the stuff. 

I don't like it. 

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

The draw that opened up

OK so I should write for BBC Sport now. This is another Wimbledon blog - deal with it. It will last for two weeks ...unless Murray wins - it which case I will NEVER stop! 

With freak loses for Federer, Nadal and Tsonga I cannot see anyone who could stop the rampaging Murray making the final in double-quick time. 

Next for Murray is the rejuvenated Robredo but surely he cannot give Murray anything but a feeble challenge. In fact, in his half the highest ranked player left is Nicholas Almagro, the 15th seed. A decent player but nowhere near Murray's ability. 

In short, unless a ridiculous freak performance from one of the lesser players occurs, injuries are the only thing that could stop him!

In the final, he is most likely to meet the imperious Djokovic, but if he can save his energy and be fully fit he will fancy his chances. Could we have a British Wimbledon Champion in 11 days? Only time will tell but more than blind optimism leads to the answer yes at the moment. Good luck Andy!


Follow me on twitter: @chrisdohertywriter


Monday, 24 June 2013

The thing about Andy...


I am slightly worried that this will come across worse than I want it to. After watching the documentary on Andy Murray and am developing what can only be described as a non-sexual man crush on the man. 

This crush is not without justification either. I am not jumping on the trendy bandwagon now he has won a major and the British people actually love him. I have been obsessively following him since he won the US open juniors. As an ex-tennis coach I have 1% of an idea of how hard he has worked. 

Physically he is a beast!



The Dream Gold and silver medal Sunday win happened to fall on my birthday and what a gift that was. 




And of course his heroics in New York last year to end our wait for a grand slam winner was a moment I will remember forever. 


Now he just needs to win Wimbledon this year and I can build a shrine/10-foot statue of the man. 

What a legend!

There may be a theme growing here...

I have no intention of turning this into a sports blog. Furthermore, I have no intention of becoming a sports writer. However this blog is going to follow on from yesterday's and I have no doubt for the next 2 weeks that they may often follow a similar theme. Because this is a special fortnight!

It's Wimbledon time and I for one am buzzing about it. After one day we have already seen enough drama to satisfy an eastenders fan. Nadal out, Murray through and Hewitt forgetting he is no longer number 1. 

Whilst the other Britons struggled and fell at the wayside, Murray looked as confident as he did a week ago at Queens. With Nadal gone who can stop him? Fed? Maybe but I doubt it. Djok? Possibly but to do that he would have to make the final.

Although it can all change, as of 21:58 on the first Monday of Wimbledon things are looking good for Andy. Long may that last. 

Check out my twitter page @chrisdohertywriter for more of my nonsense! 

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Now I'm not usually a fan of...

...reality TV, with the exception of Strictly Come Dancing (yeah I know...just deal with it!) but I would openly admit enjoy series 2 of the Voice Uk. 

What is more surprising to me is the fact that I managed to enjoy it despite the obvious flaws in the show. Not only do the contestants have to jump through such ludicrous hoops but the way the show is set up means one from each judge goes through - not the best 4 singers. When did it become a competition between the judges and not the singers. Chasing ratings officially sucks! 

However the best thing about the show is the talent it attracts. Any act that makes it through to the first round would destroy 99% of the 'talent' found on BGT or the X-Factor. So many singers were incredible ...Joseph, Matt, Mike, Ash, Leah, Sean ...the list goes on. And of course a huge well done to Andrea - a worthy winner. 

So despite the problems, well done for an enjoyable series...let's just hope that the winner gets a career or at least a top 100 album this time! Otherwise who would go on the voice series 3? 

Saturday, 22 June 2013

It's been a while...

It seems a long time since I wrote one of these...probably because it was. Apologies for that - I have been busy (honestly). 

But here's the thing:

I hope to put the debut novel on the kindle store next week! Except the name I had for it has been taken (twice) and it has left me stuck. 

As of 23:54 on the 22nd of June I am leaning towards 'the pursuit of answers' but that could definitely change. It's probably will! 

Ill keep you posted! 

Sunday, 12 May 2013

I hate it when I'm right...

No I don't. I actually enjoy being right like the rest of us really. But today I wish I wasn't right. 

As I mentioned before, today was the family fun-run and we took part in the knowle lion's bid to raise money for great causes. 

However, I decided in my infinite wisdom to run in old tennis shoes instead of the expensive running shoes I have, due to the fact I was too lazy to look for them. 

"Surely they weren't too bad?" I hear you say. Well you would be wrong. 

Those of a nervous disposition please look away now ...

 

That is one of the matching blisters I am currently harbouring on each of my feet. 

Note to self: never go running again!

It's my opinion that....

It seems to me that anything with the label 'fun' attached to it is in fact the very opposite. 

'Fun-houses' - aka carnivals and mops are actually just dangerously poor machinery run by questionable people who no doubt appear on certain legal registers. 

'Fun-sized' chocolate bars are a piss-poor advertising campaign by the big brands to make me happy with the fact I am getting half the usual amount of chocolate. Pathetic. 

But what is really driving me to write this blog is the fact I am due to take part in an annual family 'fun-run' today. There is nothing fun (for me at least) about running and doing 5 miles constantly is even less fun. 

Still...it's a tradition in the family and it must be unquestionable upheld...

Saturday, 11 May 2013

The thing about Shakespeare is...

Firstly, this is not me slagging off Shakespeare. It has become trendy to knock Shakespeare. I am not one of the knockers, generally.

From my experience working in a school, trying to enthuse teenagers about Romeo and Juliet, nobody seems to like Shakespeare. For the most part I would say those that don't like, don't have the intelligence to appreciate his genius. And I'm not a huge fan of his but I can respect talent.

That being said, I don't like worshipping things just because they are difficult to do. I had a deep discussion with a teacher about how his work was so impressive because he constantly wrote in Iambic Pentameter (which for the normal people who don't care about pompous phrases like that is: pairing ten syllables on a line of text, into five pairs.) If you crack open any Shakespeare play you will most likely find this and whilst it is difficult to do it is not something worthwhile on it's own.

Surely that is not a reason to celebrate the works of Shakespeare. Rejoice in the way he controlled language or whatever but conforming your writing to strict rules for no reason seems restrictive at best and arrogant at worst.

I could develop a technique of writing my stories whilst simultaneously humming and doing a headstand. It wouldn't make my work good - it just makes me weird.

So, yes Shakespeare is amazing but he is for the words he writes, not the STUPID rules he may self-enforce upon his plays.

The First of Many...


I guess it seems apt to start my debut post with a bit of a 'hello' really. So...Hi!

My name is Chris and for want of more mellifluous phrasing, I want to write. All the time. Not just blogging here, although I can already see how addictive it may become. But, I want to write professionally. I'm not tied down to a specific format at the moment, but in my current mental climate, I want to write books.

It is something that has fascinated me for as long as I can remember, really. Why books? I don't know really. I think it's the discipline which entices me, at least on the surface. Anyone can write a script or poem that you would struggle to stretch over a few thin sheets of A4, but how many people have the concentration to write a detailed novel. Well...according to the millions of published authors around the world, apparently quite a few do but I want to be one of them. And believe it or not I've done the hard bit.

My blogging journey begins at a crossroad (or T-junction) in my life. I am 23 years old and if you cannot tell (and there would be no reason to, just by the tone of this blog) I am male. 23 seems a decent age to begin my writing career. I am old enough to hopefully be taken seriously, but young enough to recover from the inevitable knock-backs I'm going to receive. Writing is a tough game and if I want to last in it, I'm going to have to toughen up a bit.

So we move on to what I want to write. I have recently finished my debut novel, which I am tentatively calling 'Finding Emma'. Yes I realise there was a popular children's film called 'Finding Nemo' but surely there is enough within the plots to distinguish the two? Seeing as no one has read it yet I'll answer for you...yes there is!

Over the next few weeks (and possible months) I am going to take the steps needed to prepare this manuscript for its unveiling on the Kindle Store. I say 'unveiling' which seems to imply people are waiting to read it. As of now they are not, but fingers crossed that will soon change.

Expect to hear more from me...Chris

PS - I envisage building a friendly environment online here to discuss the book and other things with like-minded individuals. I want blogging to be a fun experience and welcome any feedback as I provide details and segments of the book. However...I am well aware of how some people like to knock and sneer at other people for no reason except that it makes them feel big or important somehow. Please don't waste my time doing it here. I fully understand that these sorts of people are usually compensating for a lack of some sort of phallic prowess but (in the nicest possible way) just DO ONE! (I realise that if I want to be an author I should probably come up with a better way of insulting someone. I'll get back to you on that!)