3. Wednesday · Characters · Editing · Plots · WIP Wednesday

Rebooting the year!

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Monday was one of the hardest days of my life so far as I said farewell to my grandma, the funeral went off well and the service was lovely.  After a day of reflection it is time for me now to press on and concentrate on the future.  I stayed at my grans house the night before the funeral and it hit me then that she was really gone, it is the little things, an empty chair, no cup with a tea bag in sat next to the kettle.  I am saddened she will never get to read my writing but then again the last few years she would not have been able to anyway plus when she did read it was always Mills  Boon romances, not sure what she would have thought of the genres in which I write but she would have been proud nevertheless.

So today after I finish writing this I will head off to the day job but tonight I will focus and spend a couple of hours working on the projects I have going, getting ready for publication in a few months. I also made a step forward in terms of self belief and submitted a flash fiction to a quarterly competition that has a small cash prize.  While I really do not expect to actually win it has been a big step forward to me to actually hit the submit button and put more faith in my abilities.

So just a short post today mainly as I seem to have misplaced half my belongings at the minute as I also got it into my head to begin spring cleaning the house so fingers crossed I can find my work clothes lol

Characters · Editing · WIP Wednesday

Motivation Meltdown

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I am struggling to motivate myself, the actual act of having to rewrite stories I have written once is taking its toll.  I have nine stories that have survived the computer disaster unscathed in paper form and in some form on the computer.  Most of them just require me to go through and correct the edits and change a few points.  I have three stories that are half done, that had been finished, there were to have been 17 stories in total this leaves five unaccounted for and I am really frustrated by this because they are showing as basic outlines not the stories that should have been there.  I know the auto save had failed to work but it is still very frustrating to be redoing work you thought you were almost done with.

I have a couple of options I can finish up redoing the work on the other three stories and publish with just the twelve making it a smaller book and use the other ideas at a later date or I plan a later release date possibly the end of May rather than early April and try to get back up to at least fifteen stories.  At the minute I am torn and if the book were just about me I would take the first option but as this book represents a tribute to little Charlie I want it to be good and hopefully raise extra funds for the charity, you see my predicament.

I think I shall leave making a decision until the end of this month, as Monday is my grandma’s funeral and my emotions will be running high next week.

For tonight I am going to write another book review or two and schedule those, mainly so I can shift the pile of books sat waiting on my desk, then maybe try to get an extra post or two in the bag as a back up for busy days.  I am a huge fan of using the scheduling button both here and on FB, I find I can spend one day at the start of the month and schedule my daily music FB post and Final thought for the day posts for the whole month.  That is the one area I am getting better at actually managing my time in a way that means when I sit down to write I have more time without worrying about breaking off to post other things.

Anyway off I go to review a book about a Werewolf and one about a serial killer, I am sure you remember the post about what my bookshelves say about me lol

5. Friday · Characters · Editing · WIP Wednesday

Flash Fiction Friday!!!

I decided to cheat and instead give you a teaser from one of the stories I am working on this week for Voices, I hope you enjoy it….(subject to editing and change before publication)

She dragged her suitcases inside, and admitted defeat immediately, no way would she get them upstairs with their contents intact. Over the course of the next few hours she traipsed up and down carrying her belongings up to the bedroom before beginning a more in depth exploration of the downstairs. Keys in hand she headed into the kitchen and found the key to unlock to back door. Once the door was opened and letting in a little more light she discovered that the cottage had far more modern conveniences than she had anticipated. Carefully hidden behind doors were fridges, freezers,a washing machine and microwave, most impressive were the radiators carefully hidden behind wooden panels, everything gave the appearance of belonging in the previous century while requiring none of the hard work. She had had the foresight to pick up the basic essentials such as bread and milk by slipping the taxi driver a few extra pounds to pause at the local shop.

The shopkeeper had been naturally curious at a new face but there had been something that passed across their face when she had mentioned why she was here. She could not exact put a name to the emotion and anyone less inclined to pay attention to the details would have missed it but she had definitely seen the shadow that had briefly flitted across the face before it was replaced with a smile and what appeared to be a heartfelt welcome to the community.

It was early when she arose the next morning,a thin shaft of intense sunlight had crept between the edges f the this curtains and bathed her face in golden light. She was amazed at how well she had slept, she had expected the thought of sleeping in a dead woman’s bed to keep her awake but whether it was the fresh country air or fatigue brought on by the days travelling she had fallen into a deep slumber almost as soon as her head had hit the pillow and for the first time since discovering the infidelity she had slept soundly and without tortuous dream plaguing her.

Could you sleep in a dead woman’s bed?

3. Wednesday · Characters

What Are You Listening To?

As I have mentioned previously most of the time I like to listen to pod-casts, especially when I am writing.  For me music makes my mind drift more whereas a voice talking to me I either listen to or if I am really focused I block it out (and have to listen to it again later) possibly because as anyone who has children will tell you the sound of silence usually heralds disaster and therefore without the normal noise levels I find it impossible to relax.  But the last couple of weeks I have been listening to a little more in the way of music, mainly because in my madness putting the Christmas tree away on New Years Day I decided to do a little rearranging and found a box of CD’s (one of many stashed away in various cupboards) and added a little more music to my laptop I haven’t heard for a while so as I am not back to my normally blogging schedule yet I decided to share a few with you, feel free to add you listening preferences in the comments 😀

And the final one and amazing version of an old favourite

3. Wednesday · Characters · Plots · WIP Wednesday

Writing Vs Reading.

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As you all know as well as writing I am a book lover, I love reading but recently I am finding it harder and harder to not only fit in reading but to focus on other peoples words.

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This was my TBR pile last christmas rather than reducing it continues to grow and the number of actual books I have read this year is less than it has ever been before.

My problem is I always used books as a way to relax, they were new worlds in which to disappear and be absorbed by but now when I sit down and pick up a book my mind races away to the worlds which I am creating, constantly new stories, plot twists for ones I am writing spring to my mind and the book in my hand remains unread.  I would love to be able to switch off and just enjoy a book once more, but instead if I manage to focus on the words on the page before me my mind questions each choice the author has made, would I have had that character do or say that? 

Don’t get me wrong there are still certain authors whose judgement I never question I just stand in awe of them, two of them I have added to the new fangirl tab above,  but they are few and far between though thankfully I have new books to look forward to from both of the two named authors. 

So the question for my writer friends, how do you switch your brain off in order to just enjoy you reading? Do you still read for pleasure rather than research?  Do you find some authors easier to immerse yourselves in than others?

Please leave so answers in the comments would love to know if I am alone in this.

Characters · Editing · Plots · Research · WIP Wednesday

Eeekkk Here We Go The Cover Reveal

Well you have been teased with storylines and extracts so I suppose the next tease is to show you the amazing cover the wonderful Mel over at Melchelle Designs created for me.  So without further ado here it is….

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I know it has been a long time coming but it shall be out next month hopefully both as an ebook and in print through createspace…watch this space for details.

Characters · WIP Wednesday

Staring at the Screen

Today my muse has left the building, I suspect she snuck off yesterday after my post because I intended to move onto my favourite example of intertextuality.  So that shall now wait until monday and by posted in the reviews section where it really belongs.

Rather than staring at the blank screen I had a little scribble in my notebook, wrote what a terrible day it is in my journal and wasted an hour playing games on Facebook.  The I stuck a DVD on.

It was one I hadn’t watched since getting it, you know how it goes you read the reviews fancy it but not enough to go to the cinema so you wait for it to come out on DVD only to discover it wasn’t as good as you expected it to be, not terrible but not great either just mundane.  For me Forgetting Sarah Marshall fell into that category despite the sexy Russell Brand being in it.  (Cue gratuitous clip of Russell…)

But what really struck me was the song over the end credits, a familiar song that even though you cannot understand the words you know each and ever one.  It reminded me of a day many moons ago when I accidentally placed a favourite record the wrong way up and fell in love with the spanish version.  So for your enjoyment I share the song from today and the one from years ago which both remind me that the sound of words can be almost as important as the meaning.  If not we would not write literature we would merely read dictionaries

Characters · WIP Wednesday

So Back to Getting Creative

Well yesterday I sat done and knocked out 900 words towards the ghost stories.  I am woefully behind schedule and it is going to be a very close call whether I am ready for the proposed release date I had in mind.  If you remember the idea behind this collection was to be able to order some myself as christmas presents but the op and recovery has made this harder than anticipated.  but I shall crack on nevertheless I still have a couple of weeks and as all the stories are outlined or in first draft form you never know I may still make it.  For now I shall share a teaser with you and post the opening few lines from one of the stories…

The girl dropped to her knees. She reached out to brush her hand against the lush, green grass, then recoiled in anguish. Her hand passed through the blades, a slight tingling sensation all she could feel in her fingertips. She turned her gaze back to the house, the whitewash looked faded,paint flaked slightly round the windows. The lawns and hedges though still tidy, did not quite live up to the exact standards she remembered. It was as though several storms had passed without the careful repairs taking place in between to put everything back as it should be. Out of the corner of her eye she caught sight of the orchard off to the left of the house, apples which should have been picked and stored weeks ago, lay strewn across the grass beneath the trees wasted and decaying. Memories came flooding back to her, she recalled happy times here, not always, that she knew but at this moment it was the laughter that came to her she could almost hear it now as she sat looking at the imposing white building before her. She could almost smell the food the cook had prepared in the kitchen, grand sumptuous meals, not for their consumption. They would wait secretly hoping for left overs to be returned from the dining room even though they knew should this happen cook would be in a foul mood and they would suffer. It had been a hard life but she knew compared to some she had been lucky.

Their mistress was not kind but neither was she particularly harsh rather she treat her servants and slaves the same way one would treat unruly children, the master left those who worked in the house to his wifes control something she was grateful for if the stories she heard whispered in the slave quarters were true. She doubted the master or even the mistress knew anything more of her existence than they knew of the chickens in the yard, she had be taught to be invisible that those who provided her daily bread should never have to look upon her face and that if they ever had reason to she would be lucky if she lived to regret it. She shuddered as she thought of the warnings the cook had given her and the other young girls who worked in the kitchen and yard, she had always done her best to obey, to be a good girl.

So what do you think?

 

Characters · Photo Friday · Research

I Have Joined the Rejection Club lol

Well there has to be a first for everything and today I recieved my first rejection for the novel from Legend Press.  To be honest I was prepared and expecting it and am actually a little pleased.  I realised that in rushing to make the deadline I was not entirely happy with it and now at least I have the freedom to go back and rework it before if starts its flight out into the big bad world of traditional publishing again.  I have also realised that the option of self -publishing also means that rejections are not as disheartening as they once would have been, once it is ready if no agent or publisher shares my passsion for it that does not mean it will never see the light of day only that I will have to work harder to make sure it reaches those who will love my world as much as my friends have.  Like so much in life it is merely a matter of faith anf belief.

Characters · WIP Wednesday

The Next Big Thing

I have been tagged by the lovely Vikki to take part in The Next Big Thing you can read here answers here if you missed them.

I quite like these ones as the questions are already done for you and all you have to do is answer so here goes…

what is the working title of your next book?

Voices Across The Void – A Collection of Ghostly Tales

where did the idea come from for the book?

it came from writing a few flash fiction posts featuring ghosts

what genre does your book fall under?

I would guess supernatural/horror though the stories are not really horror

what actors would you choose to play the part of your characters In a movie rendition?

Hmm tough because there are different stories but hell i would find a role for Johnny Depp somewhere

what is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

eeckk… how do you that for a group of stories.  Maybe.. A collection of tales to make you laugh cry and the hairs stand up just a little.

will your book be self published or represented by an agency?

Self published although I would still try the traditional route first on my novel

how long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Two months so far or possibly 6 years if you take into account I wrote one of the short stories I am expanding on while doing my Access course

what other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I hope the mix of different angles on the ghost story will make it stand apart a little

who or what inspired you to write the book?

Actually the comments from my blogger friends here who commented on each of the ghost stories that they would like to read more hence the inclusion of the flash pieces worked up into short stories

what else about your book might pique the readers interest?

There really is something for everyone and I am donating 50% of anything I make to Cords4Life which is baby Charlie charity as part of the Anthony Nolan Trust helping children fight Cancer.

Would love to hear your thoughts? How do you feel about reading a book that is somehow connected to 9/11?

It would depend on the angle the book took and the way in which the situation was handled, having a friend who was part of the emergency services that day makes it more personal despite the fact it happened thousands of miles away.

So now I have to tag 5 fellow writers Your post should go live next week I wont be around for part of the week to check but I hope you will join in and I will catch up when I can.

1]  M.S. Fowle

2]  Christopher De Voss

3]  davidmcgowanauthor.com

4]  “The Light-Bearer Series” Novelist, Emily Guido

5]  Breezy Books