Feeling the Fear…

C Mead final logoI had a really tough decision to make.  Next week, I have my Romance Writers Meeting, but I also have an opportunity to learn something new, and frankly, something that scares me.  It was a really hard choice between the two, but the course is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

So next Saturday, and Sunday, I am learning how to maintain and use a chainsaw.  Yip, you read right.  I am foregoing writing for learning about chainsaws.

Yes, I guess I am mad, but chainsaws scare me witless, and while the course goes for two days (one of which is practical and one is theory), we learn all there is to know about chainsaw maintenance, sharpening, and how to use a chainsaw.  And that is what I am looking forward to.  I want to know how to use a chainsaw and chop up wood, because you just never know when you need to know how to do it.

A friend lost her husband at the end of last year to a brain tumour.  Before he died, he taught her how to hunt, fish and use a chainsaw.  How is that for practical love.  He gave her all the skills she would need to feed and provide for her small family.

And it has always stuck with me, that if anything happened to my beloved, then I wouldn’t know what to do, or how to use the chainsaw – because I am too scared to really give it a try.

But this weekend, I am facing my fear, and learning all I can about it.

Who's that GirlAnd it got me thinking about my writing.  I want to be published by the end of the year, but there is this niggling fear that keeps me putting it off.  So I took a step last week, two actually.  I resubmitted Scarlet Rose to two publishers, and sent another story off to a friend to proofread it.  It was a big step to do that, but I believe that once I get the story back from my friend who is proofreading it, I will be another step closer to getting it published.

I have also been thinking more about The Gamble, and I can’t wait to get back into it and finish that off too.  It is only a novella, but it would be another good one to get out and published, once I have finished it.

And one other story that really needs to be finished is Curse of the Taniwha.  I have be putting it off, and I’m not sure why.  I guess I am worried that it won’t be a novel and will end up being a novella.  However, I just have to keep writing it, and I really need to knuckle down and get something done, otherwise another month will pass and nothing will have happened.  I don’t want to start working on editing or writing a new story until I have the Taniwha story finished, so I have set a deadline for the end of July to get it finished.  Then I can leave it for a month and spend August editing and reworking The Gamble.

So, I am feeling the fear, and I am taking steps towards diminishing it.  I hope  🙂

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Nothing to See Here…

Curse of the TaniwhaC Mead final logoOther than snot, snot and more snot!  Argh, I normally bounce back after a cold, but I haven’t been able to!  Makes me so damned … ARGH!

So, I managed to get some writing done this week.  Once.  Slack aye.  Really annoys me, and really, I could blame me being sick, my husband being home, my son being home sick… but really, it was all to do with me not getting off my lazy butt and doing something about it.

But I did on Friday – I actually managed to get some writing done, and edited the first part of my Taniwha story – why editing?  Because when I went through my plan, I discovered that I had something in there about comparing the two relationships that Rena has – with her boyfriend and the Taniwha.  So I needed to make the relationship with her boyfriend a bit more substantial, and leaving little tidbits of information in there that would show up with later reflection.

And I think I have accomplished that now.

So this week, I have to make a concerted effort to actually get some writing done.  I am about half way through the story, and about half way through the word count.

Half way, the magical mark.  If I can just get over the hurdle of my illness, then I can really focus and concentrate – so I need to stop wallowing in my illness and get my writing going.

 

Excuse me while I cough and splutter…

C Mead final logoYip, winter is here, and I have the dreaded lurgy.  I hate being sick, and I have to be the worlds most awkward and worst patient.  I don’t like sitting still – even when I am writing I fidget – and I just want to do the normal chores I have every day to do, but if I do, I end up having a coughing fit, getting light headed and wanting to pass out.  Not a good look if you are home alone!

I had hoped that I would get the opportunity yesterday (being Saturday as I forward write my blog posts), to write some on my taniwha story – but no.  I got up, had a shower, felt great, made breakfast, felt OK, made some chicken soup, hang some washing up, did my hubby’s PAYE and then decided that I could handle much more.  I grabbed my Kindle and commenced reading while my computer downloaded a couple of movies.

I ended up spending the day watching Stupid Crazy Love, The Book of Eli and American Hustle.  Lets just say that Stupid Crazy Love was good, Book of Eli had a curve ball that you didn’t see until the very end and American Hustle was long, but didn’t have a very good hustle at the end.  (Give me the UK version any day where the ending is so complex you laugh because it was so obvious!)

So here I am, on Sunday feeling crappy still, but I need to start doing some writing.  So, what better place to start, than a blog post!

This week is a fairly hectic one for me, as most weeks are, and with being sick, that doesn’t help.  Being sick also has the down side of affecting my moods, and I get desperately cuddly and affectionate, but not for long periods of time (remember fidgety above?).

I need to get my A into gear and start scheduling time to write, read my course material for Mauri Ora and Proofreading and Copyediting course, otherwise nothing is going to get finished.  Right now, I do feel like I am in over my head, but I know I am not.  I just need to put my Kindle Fire down (sob – do I have to?) and do course reading at night.

So how is everyone else’s schedules going?  According to plan?  Or is there a spanner in your works too?

Did I really write that???

I have been editing Cursed Love to within an inch of its life, and I have to admit, even though this is a second pass through, that I am surprised by my own prose sometimes.

I love the characters of Jinny and Ethan, and Ray / Steven, although Ray / Steven needs some more work, and according to one critiquer, I need to do some more work on Jinny – to make her more likeable – and to be honest, I actually believe she is right.  I have added another couple of scenes, and have altered a couple as well to make the story flow better, plus more emotional, so that Jinny and the reader connect more.

Here is an excerpt that I just finished editing:

“My beautiful Megan was riddled with the god forsaken disease. They gave her six months, we got ten before she passed away.”

He wiped his eyes, and looked at her, Jinny’s were full of sympathy.

“She died three years ago. Which in some ways seems like forever, but in other ways, feels like only yesterday. I loved her with all my heart, I still love her. But I need to move on, find someone else.”

“How could you? After all you have been through, and the depth of the love you had? How are you able to move on?”

“We talked about it, a lot in fact, before she died. She asked me to find someone else, to be a mother for Lotte. It has taken me a while, but I feel ready now.”

“I don’t. I don’t think I could ever love again. In fact I never want to love again, as long as this curse hangs over my family. If I die, it will die out with me.”

“But the curse isn’t real.”

“Isn’t real? My mother thought it was real, that is why she killed herself. My grandmother thought it was real, because she lost her beloved. I lost the two things that brought meaning to this life. How I haven’t died before now is a miracle. But I haven’t. I vowed never to love again.”

Her words cut him deep inside, yet he couldn’t stop the overwhelming rush of warmth that flowed through him. He loved this woman, and he would show her.

This is at a point where he had confronted her about lying and she had to reveal a relationship she had years previous.  I read through this and was blown away – I felt so much compassion for Ethan, as he struggled to understand the concept of the curse that was affecting Jinny and her family.

There is still more I need to do, but I feel it is coming together nicely.

Oh, and I submitted Scarlet Rose to Entangled Publishing last week.  I expect to hear from them in 5 to 6 weeks.  Fingers crossed people!

February… Really?

Where does the time go?  I reckon last year won a gold medal for speed, but this year will be creating its own record too!calendar

So where am I at?  Mentally, in a good space, although I still have ups and downs, but I won’t bore you with those today.

Writing wise – this year is looking quite exciting to me.  I have grand plans.  First of all, I have a new critique partner who is absolutely amazing and I love her so much!  Thanks Deryn Pittar for stepping up when I asked for new critique partners.  I don’t believe any writer can have too many critiquing friends.

Rosalind AllenScarlet Rose – my Who’s that Girl submission has been critiqued and proofread, and now I will have a final read through before I submit it on Saturday 15th February.  I will have it done before then, and probably submitted too, so I have time.

I am also entering a competition, but I can’t say much about it because then it spoils it for the judging.  So lets just say I am super excited about this one.

I also have Taniwha that I want to write – a modern twist on a fairytale – involving NZ.  I have so many ideas and thoughts about this one that I want to get it all planned out before I go insane  😉 – whoops, maybe that is why I keep getting depression!

Also, I have started on Huntress, and sent that through as my final writing assignment, and I got 92%.  It was critiqued by June Colbert who writes fantasy stories for children, and she was quite fascinated by the story idea – and the other two stories that would follow on.

So I have officially finished my Writing Fiction course and started the Copy Editing and Proofreading course – which is quite exciting.  Have done my first assignment ready to hand in, just want to check through it all first.

This year, is my year.  Last year I felt I bumbled my way through, but my husband is behind me this year, he told me that he would help me with self publishing if that is the road I choose to follow.  I am so lucky to have such support.  But I won’t be releasing anything in a hurry.  I have too much writing to do first!

Writing…?

I have so much writing to do, it just isn’t funny!  I have my last writing assignment to do before completing my writing course – and it is plan out your novel, submit the first couple of chapters, and nominate which publishers you would try your story with.  Fortunately I had Huntress, because right now, I don’t think I could churn out two chapters that bloody quickly – but I didn’t have a full plan for it – because I ended up starting half way through my plan.  However over the weekend, I have cobbled together a plan, and I have one idea of a place I could submit it to, so need to research a couple more.

Rosalind AllenI am busy doing up the critique I have received back from one of my Critiquers on Whose that Girl.  Man this woman is amazing, so many brilliant ideas, and helpful tips, compliments on parts she liked.  Very encouraging.  I was expecting the manuscript to come back covered in red, but it isn’t!  Once I get my second critiquers back, I can add her ideas / suggestions (if they haven’t already been done) and then I can submit!  Yay!

As for writing, I have been thinking about a story about a Taniwha, that would fit in with the romance and the Cursed Love story (also involving Maori culture).  I am so totally in love with the Taniwha idea right now – it is really swamping me and I am finding it hard to focus on the last assignment above.

keyboardAnd then, to make it worse (or better as the case may be…), on Friday, on my way into town, I started thinking about another story idea, and even had the opening line – It’s a tranquil moment, that moment before death.  I have part of the story  – only the beginning, but sounding a little science fiction to me – and a mystery too.  Discovered that morning that I can speak to my cellphone and it will put things into text, so I opened up my Memo, pressed the microphone button and recorded the first paragraph of that story.  Man that was so cool.  Was starting to think I would need a dictaphone because I always seem to come up with cool ideas while I’m driving, but now I don’t have to!  Just have to make sure that I have the phone handy.  Of course it isn’t failproof, but I edit it once I have the car stopped to what I wanted it to sound more like.

So I think this year might be a busy year for writing – don’t know if I can crank out five or six stories – but hey, I did three novella’s last year!  I am sure there is a novel in there somewhere!

New Year, New Goals, New Dreams

I normally would have written something by now, and proclaimed to the world what my goals are going to be for the year, but to be honest – I don’t really know what I want to do!  It has been a tumultuous few weeks, culminating in me being put onto yet another antidepressant, and taking anti anxiety medication as well.  To say that I am not doing well, is a bit of an understatement.

I am working hard though on trying to get my Whose that Girl story edited into the computer so I can send it through to my two critiquers, who have been hanging out for this story since before Christmas.  The paper edits have been done, it is just putting them into the machine now.

I also have three writing assignments to complete before I will allow myself to start on the copy editing course I have signed up for.  Very nervous!  But very excited.

My goal, my one goal this year (so far) is to get something published.  Whether it is through a publication, or by myself, I am determined to publish something this year.

As for writing goals – I will have to have a think on them… I have a story idea brewing, but I have lots of story ideas brewing… will have to wait and see  🙂