February 6th 2001- No Tears in the Writer, no Tears in the Reader

School. It had been snowing again through the night so it was really deep. The bus didn’t get to school until just before the bell because there was traffic jams going all the way past Westerwood and the Wilderness Brae wasn’t moving very fast either. It rained a lot later so the snow all turned to slush.

I had to tell Tina that I can’t go to the Feeder gig, she is still going, I wish I was too. Some of my teachers where off because of the snow, both Mr Belkevitz and Mr Ward. Kelly forgot to bring my tapes in today but she said she would bring them tomorrow, I hope she does because I have double graphic communication and I want some new music to listen to rather than the same old stuff. In my free period I started writing some more of ‘World Against Me’. I mentioned that I was going through a bit of a rough patch but I’ve managed to get it going again. I often think writing can be like pushing a bolder- some times it all rolls along easily for a while and then it’ll get stuck on something and it takes time to get it rolling smoothly again, it never rolls freely all the way to it’s destination. I was plotting out some rough scenes for some quit emotional part of the book such as Travis’s reflection on his time in Throngate and Lee’s pleas for help. I often get quite emotional writing, close to tears sometimes. I once read somewhere “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader”. Hopefully parts of my book will provoke some strong emotion in the readers. This could be something to work on whilst redrafting the novel as some parts of it, I don’t think, are strong enough to create the kind of reaction I am looking for in it’s current state. I want to make people feel sympathy and understanding towards Travis even though he is a vampire, a killer. That’s why I need to bring the conditions he lives in in Edgefield to life. I think it’s possible. I have certainly fallen in love with him even though he’s a murderer. I couldn’t help it.

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February 5th 2001- Snow Day

It has been snowing heavily all night and it was still going when we got up this morning, it’s deeper than it’s been all year. We didn’t go to school because a man told us there would be no teachers there as they couldn’t get in because of the snow. Thank you snow for extending the weekend and and allowing me to miss English with Mrs O’Donnavan this week, that is a blessing.

Once again Grandma was worrying about the snow- worrying it would stop the trains from running, worrying about Mam driving the car in it. She kept asking us to put the teletext on every two minutes so she could check up on the trains even though every time we did it just said exactly the same thing over and over. When she was making her sandwiches to take on the train we had some turkey slices of her to put in them. She was complaining that they smelled funny when they actually smelled perfectly normal. As she was making them she was saying, “Eee this stuff absolutely hums, I’ll have to put tomato sauce on to cover up the taste.” If we went round to her house and started complaining about the food the way she was she wouldn’t be too happy so why does she think she can do this to us? See, it’s that old lady thing again. She eventually left to go home and she hasn’t reappeared so I’m assuming the trains where running ok. I don’t know why she even bothers coming since she obviously doesn’t enjoy it, she moans about practically everything. She keeps trying to force us to move back to Newcastle as well even though none of us really want to. She keeps saying that me and Lynne and Michael should live at home forever and never have our own houses even when we have jobs, she even thinks that me and Lynne should put all our money together when we are working and share it. I don’t know where she gets these daft ideas from, how many people share their money with their siblings and stay at home forever?

I wrote some more of my book today but I’m stuck in a bit of a rough patch. It happens from time to time and usually doesn’t take long to get moving again.

February 4th 2001- Old Folk

More people came to look around the house today, two lots this time and they both moaned about there being no fitted wardrobes. It was snowing all day so Grandma was panicking because she was convinced that we were going to get snowed in even though the snow is hardly very deep. Does she think we live in the middle of nowhere in the dark ages? She really thinks that it will be so bad that we won’t have enough food and we will starve. It really gets on my nerves when she goes on like this, she’s completely obsessed with getting snowed in she was acting like this at Christmas as well. All you get, all day long is “Eee, will I be able to get home alright?” Even if she couldn’t get home what’s the problem? She can just stay here. It should be us who are worrying cos we would have to put up with her for an extra few days. She was moaning about the music charts swell. She was saying “It’s just a load of noise, I don’t know how you can put up with it.” If we went on like that about her beloved Daniel O’Donnell music she would go mad, in fact she did one Christmas when me and Lynne and Michael where laughing at his suit in a video she was watching. In typical old ladies fashion she thinks she can say anything she likes to us but we can’t say anything back to her, you must go like that when you get old because all old people seem to be like that. I hope I don’t end up like that.

I was looking through all of the writing I have done over the last year and half and there is quite a lot of stuff. When I look at it all and think of the hours and effort I’ve put into it I know I have to push and push until I make it as a writer, I can’t let all of this work be a waste of time, it can’t all be for nothing and I’m sure in the end it won’t be.

February 3rd 2001- Human Zoo

Today I spent most of the morning lying in bed with a hot water bottle in agony as ravaging cramps so severe even pain killer couldn’t touch them tore through my uterus. Some stupid people came to view the house. It gets on my nerves- they invade your home like a plague and stare at you as if it is some kind of human zoo. It’s getting ridiculous as none of them seem even interested in buying it, they’re just being nosey. There has been millions of them coming recently, all swarming in droves so they can critiszie the house: “You can smell the dogs”, “It doesn’t have fitted wardrobes”, “It’s too small”, “It’s in the entrance of the estate”, “We’ve seen much better”, “It’s too expensive”…those are just some of the pathetic excuses given for not buying it. I really do hate it, having your house invaded by strangers everyday, I wish they would just get lost.

We went into Glasgow and looked round the St Enoch Centre. I managed to get through a shipping trip for the forth time without spending any money. I usually spend money the second I get it. Grandma was getting on my nerves again because she can’t accept the fact that we live here now and we aren’t moving back to Newcastle.

February 2nd 2001- Broken Dreams

School again, but at least it is the last day before the weekend and for once the library was actually open! I had to make a stained glass window in art and as my theme is sports I decided to make the window a kind of Wembley memorial because the old stadium is being demolished. So it has two footballers and behind them is the famous twin towers and it’s all done in England’s colours: Red, white and Blue.

It doesn’t look I’ll be going to see Feeder after all. It’s in Edinburgh and Mam doesn’t seem too pleased about this. She was calling Tina a ‘twit’ for thinking we could go to Edinburgh. It wouldn’t be hard to get there on the train, it’s less than an hour, but I didn’t want to argue as it would just have caused trouble. She didn’t actually say I couldn’t go but she made it very clear that she didn’t want me to and so I can’t really because if I go knowing she doesn’t want me to then I’ll just feel guilty. So it’s goodbye to my first gig, the others will just have to go without me, leave the baby to sit in the house because she isn’t old enough to go anywhere by herself. It annoys me sometimes, I’m really upset because I was looking forward to going to that concert. It seems as though Mam thinks I can’t be trusted to go anywhere on my own. I’m going to loose all my friends because every time they ask me to do something I have to tell them I can’t, they’ll just think I’m boring. But no matter what, I won’t argue because I don’t want to cause trouble, so I’ll just have to put up with it and wait for a time when I have a job and am not at school and I can go to all the concerts I want. It’s not fair, things are so boring doing nothing at all but going to the shops and out with the dogs every week with Mam. I wonder how old I’ll need to be before I’m allowed to do things on my own? Grandma came to stay for the weekend. She was moaning because we didn’t have three spare sleeping bags for her bed. She was saying she was going to be very uncomfortable with just one. She’s never happy, every time she comes to stay she finds something to complain about from the cereals we eat to the programmes we watch.

February 1st 2017- Thing to Look Forward tp o

School, as usual. This week is really dragging by. Feeder are playing a gig somewhere near here in March and Tina was asking if I wanted to go because she is a fan too. I’d really love to go because I’ve never been to a proper gig before! Yes, I did go to see Ant and Dec and the Royal Concert Hall a few years ago but that doesn’t really count, they aren’t exactly a proper band, are they? Feeder are among my favourite bands at the moment so it would be really great to go and see then, it’s on March 11th and Barry and Jack might be going too. I really didn’t think Mam would let me go though after the way she was acting last Sunday about my music but I asked her at dinner time and she said I could! Great! I could be going to my first real concert, I can’t wait! I’m getting sick of listening to the same cassette tapes over and over again so Kelly said she would copy Green Day’s album, The Offspring’s album and the sound track from ‘The Crow’ for me so at least Monday I will have some more stuff to listen to. She is also going to lend me a video that has Ash and Feeder and The Offspring on it.

Today I sent off that form to get some information about that writing course so hopefully I will hear something from them soon. So I’m starting to feel a bit more cheerful, perhaps things are not so hopeless after all. Things are starting to look positive and I have a few things to look forward to now: a possible first step towards a writing career, going to see my favourite band live in Edinburgh. It makes me wonder what I had to be so miserable about! Well, other than school, of course. I know when I find out more about the writing course I will just hate being there even more because it will all be utterly pointless, I’ll just want to get away from it so I can start that course that will educate me in was I like doing most of all: writing! I really feel I have some talent and if I can get some constructive criticism and advice on how to improve I could really make a quite good go at it and I know I will make a living writing one day. It’s my destiny!

January 31st 2001

School, and the library was shut once again when I had a double free period, it’s starting to get on my nerves. I found something interesting in magazine at school today though, something that might come in really handy for me: it was about a writing course. It’s one you do from home. It sounds excellent. It gives you help on getting things published and if you haven’t earned back your tuition fees from writing by time you finish the course you get a full refund. It had a form to fill in and send away for more information so I might as well send it away and see what it says. It’s the kind of thing that I would love to do┬ábecause you just do it in your free time so I could have a job at the same time then I would have money for the fees. At least I’ve found a lead because previously I had no idea where I was even going to start in getting my writing career off the ground, this looks like it could be the help I need.

At school today the police came in. Apparently some people had been throwing eggs at someones house, Mr Ward was telling us in English, and a drug addict came out of the house and pulled one of the boys inside. He said one of the boys in his class was ‘in hysterics because he though he was going to loose his friend’. A little way through English Mr Ward went to check what was happening and the boy still hadn’t been released. It’s a bit ridiculous when things like that happen. Typical of Cumbernauld. I didn’t find out what happened in the end.