Planning and Plotting

It’s been a week. Work, Monday to Thursday. Friday was Matariki, which is Maori New Year, an opportunity to remember those who have left us, plan ahead for the future, and celebrate those who are around us. My Partner, Mr H and I took his daughter back to Christchurch. He brought her up two weeks ago. She was supposed to drive herself, but she broke her collarbone, and so Mr H went down and picked her up.

It was a lovely drive, and a great opportunity to get some photographs for inspiration around the Murchison / Maruia area. I won’t share them here, but I did share a photo of the Maruia falls on my instagram page.

So, writing / planning / editing wise – I am slowly working through a second edit of Second Hand Daughter. I’m taking my time on this, which I probably shouldn’t be but I’m enjoying reading this again, plus I didn’t really plan to edit this month, it was a planning month.

And planning I have been. I have planned out most of Carol’s Christmas, and have 4 main characters, Carol Sawyer the main character, Emma Thornton, her daughter, Noah Thornton, her ex husband and Iona who is her best friend and business manager. I like the story plan I have in place for this, and will start writing next month.

I’m also still ticking along on my Dragon series. I have a couple of ideas that I can work with. The original plan is to write 5 stories relating to the series, however with a major idea I’ve had, this could expand. I can’t wait to introduce you to some of the characters in this series. Keep an eye out on my facebook page for some introductions.

I’ll keep working on the dragon series for now, and see what else develops. I started writing one of the stories a couple of years ago, so I will have a read through and work out what I want to keep and what I don’t, and I hope to use November to write this novel – or at least complete it.

Anyhoo – I hope you’ve had a good week, and I’ll catch up with you next week.

Kia kaha peeps

Down the Rabbit Hole of Research

It’s amazing what a difference a week makes. I struggled last week, but this week has been much more positive. And I can’t really explain why. I still plodded along. I guess, just being excited about a project helps.

So, I’m doing research for two projects at the moment. Research for Dragons Lore, and for Carol’s Christmas, a modern take on the Christmas Carol. As part of the story, my character is going to discover she has breast cancer.

And I jumped onto the Breast Cancer New Zealand Website – wow, what a resource. I have learnt a lot about breast cancer, and there isn’t actually just one type of breast cancer. It all depends on if it is hormone receptiveness, invasiveness as to whether it is Stage I or Stage IV, stage IV being the worst type.

I also have two very lovely ladies who have been sharing their breast cancer journey with me, so I have a more personal feel for what the character will be going through. To call these two women brave, really is an understatement. The mental and emotional stress, not to mention the physical pain they went through makes them superheroes in my eyes. I am so proud to be friends with them as they share how important it is to examine your breasts regularly and to get any irregularities checked immediately.

As for Dragons Lore, I have been slowly building up some character profiles and a brief outline of the stories that I want to write. At this stage there are five stories, with an overarching story of the battle that is building and needs to be resolved. However, I am flexible, especially is another character pops up and insists on having their story told. I already have one character who has had a wife who was murdered, but he still communes with his dead wife…not sure if he does this through his mind, or if he actually can communicate with the dead. That could add a totally new spin on the story. Hmmm…

The weather is more settled around the country, and hopefully the remainder of winter will be dry, so we can actually do some work out there. Hopefully the weather is being kind in your part of the world too.

Kia Kaha everyone.

Enter July

And like that, poof, half of the year has gone. And I have edited two books and written one. Phew, that was pretty awesome way to start the year.

I have finished my current Organic course, and passed, I have signed up for the next paper, which starts in July, but again, if I pace myself, then I will be able to finish it on time and with some time to spare.

In writing news, I started working on worldbuilding for my fantasy novel series. I have parts of the storyline coming together, some characters developing, I have the setting (West Coast of the South Island) and I am tossing up some ideas regarding the storyline – such as the five elements. However, I am in two minds, because it feels like its over done. So I am thinking more along the lines of the five continents. That way I can have a racially diverse story too, which means studying customs and cultures of those countries.

I have been exploring lots of different software to keep my series bible – which is where all the information about the story is kept. In the end I decided to go back to a tried and true favourite that I haven’t used in a long time – Evernote. I haven’t jused this for years, and was delightfully surprised when I signed in to discover that all of my previous notes have been kept. Which included character and story ideas, including the “Inception” of the world. I knew this had been written down somewhere but couldn’t find it in all of the places I had looked. So that is one less thing to worry about.

But the world building will take some time, and I now have Fridays off work over the winter months to enable to me to spend some time on this. Last weekend was my first weekend off, and I spent it at Mum’s having a well earned break, away from the computer. Instead I read for the entire time I was away – apart from when Mum and I went shopping. I now feel more refreshed and ready to get going with my planning.

Anyway, how is your week going? Hope you have survived the weather hitting the country, and the world at the moment.

Kia kaha

Catherine x

Long Live the King

It is King’s birthday weekend – I still want to call it Queens Birthday, but she is no longer. It’s so weird seeing advertisements for King’s birthday. Oh well,

Auckland was…well Auckland. Smoggy, big and overwhelming. Fortunately we stayed in the coolest place ever. It was on the apartments on The Block Firehouse (A renovation TV show in New Zealand). It was pretty swanky, and I rather liked it. Lots of colour and vibrancy, plus it looked over Eden Park, where Rugby is played in New Zealand.

I managed to do some writing while I was away, because I needed to keep to my routine as much as possible. Not having a routine really does my head in, so being able to keep my writing going was the minimum I could do. Unfortunately, I haven’t managed to write much since. We came home on Wednesday, so I didn’t get any writing done that day. Got some done on Thursday, but not a lot, nothing Friday, or yesterday, because I knew it was a long weekend and was going to be crappy…But the rain has only just appeared, and its Sunday! And I still haven’t written anything.

The good news is, I am not far from the ending, and I guess that is part of the reason why I’ve been a little remiss about writing, because I’m trying to work out how I want the story to end. I have a working idea in my head, and have started rearranging that before I have even got it written down, which makes things in my head very confusing right now (I just about wrote ‘write’!!!)

I also realised that my last assignment for my organic course is 19th May, so I will have to finish writing ASAP so I can focus on that part of my assignment, because that is not quite a week away. ARGH!

So, finish the book I must, once I have uploaded some photos and schedule this post.

Kia kaha everyone.

Working Away from Home

I’m writing this in Auckland, in a swanky AirBnB just above Eden Park! And none of us want to go to work tomorrow! Let me explain. I work for a company that does the garden’s for rest homes. During the Cyclone in February, one of the rest homes in Auckland was severely damaged. The boss asked our team if we would come up and assist with the clean up. And here we are. I am “flatting” with two of my workmates, for a couple of days. Talk about teambuilding. We’re only here for a couple of days, but none of us want to leave.

And I am writing too, I only have a few more chapters to do and I will be finished with Finding Sam’s Family. I find that really exciting because I love writing the happy ending. And Finding Sam’s Family has a happy ending on so many levels, an improved relationship with her husband, and actually finding the other half of her family.

So, I will continue to write while in Auckland and keep you updated with progress. And next week I’ll have some photos of our digs.

Kia kaha

A week that wasn’t

Last Monday, I forgot to blog, because Monday wasn’t a holiday, and we know how much Monday and I get along.

However, we were getting weather warnings about Cyclone Gabrielle that was bearing down on New Zealand. Northland and Auckland had already been hammered the week before with a month’s worth of rain in a couple of days and severe flooding had occurred.

All eyes were on Cyclone Gabrielle, with warnings for Auckland, Northland, Waikato, Hawkes Bay, Wairarapa, Wellington, Marlborough, Kaikoura and Nelson / Tasman.

We were lucky. Nelson, Tasman m Marlborough and the west coast of the North Island escaped the worst of the rain and wind, which is really surprising. We spent Tuesday and Wednesday wondering if we were going to have the gale force winds and rain forecast. Instead, Northland, Auckland, and Hawkes Bay were inundated, with the worst of the damage in one of my favourite parts of our country.

Napier, Hasting, Gisbourne all suffered extensive damage, with some communities still without power and contact – cellphone infrastructure failed, and over 4000 people are still considered as missing.

11 people have died, and the toll is expected to increase.

This sort of thing doesn’t happen here, it happens in overseas, in the Pacific Islands, Caribbean Islands, the US, UK, Europe, not here on our own Country.

While we escaped damage, I feel for those communities that are now in limbo, unable to move forward until power and communication has been re-established, clean ups begin and lives are put back together.

I try not to focus on the news, with regular updates on the progress of locating people, accessing communities, the climbing death toll. I feel lucky, but sad. Such conflicting emotions are hard to express at this time.

If you live in an area damaged by the Cyclone, I pray that you are able to get back on your feet quickly and able to mourn the loss of your home and possessions and able to return and a resolution to your problems comes promptly.

Kia kaha (Stay Strong) New Zealand Aotearoa