End of Year Wrap Up

How did I go?  Well, to be honest, it was a rough year!

January saw me editing Medusa’s Garden, and I was struggling with it.  My depression returned and I spent the first part of January trying to work it out, and had the BGAC to attend to.  I helped a friend shift house, and was up to Chapter 4 by the end of January, and rambled on a bit about driving at night!

February started out with my goals, as usual, and nothing was crossed off.  Doesn’t surprise me really.  I came to a realisation, that life has always been about obstacles and overcoming them.  Still trudging along with editing Medusa’s Garden, but progress was good, I actually finished editing it in February.  An entire week was devoted to Blogging about KiwiWriters, a group I am fanatical about  🙂

March was all about NZ Book Month, and I interviewed a couple of my writer friends about their books.  Cherie Le Clare, Simon at SteamPress and Cassie Hart.  Evil Editors Unite is my favourite challenge and this took up most of March for me, editing Of Kings Queens and Noblemen and Ice Planet – both at the same time!  Major undertaking, but caused some mental health issues.  I purchased Moods and Moods II on CD, and now listen to them a lot on my computer while writing (they are playing as I write!)

In April, I discussed my propensity to dream – A LOT!  I thought about having a blog devoted to dreaming, but no one seemed interested  🙂  No worries, have a dream journal now anyway.  My depression returned, although I was not entirely certain why.   I blogged about Writers Block and Forced Writing, neither of which I like, but had to face.  I found time to publicly thank those who had supported me through my depression and played a blog game, all about the letter M.  The end of April brought about a community Tragedy with the death of a local school girl.

May found me thinking how Actions speak louder than words.  Depression still played a part in my life, but I am able to recognise it now too.  I introduced a poll on Medusa and whether I should keep her human, human with supernatural abilities, or the snake haired monster.  The end result was keeping the snake haired monster.  I started rewrites on Medusa’s Garden, because a friend had found a home for it at… wait for it… Entangled Romance.  It meant a serious rewrite, but I was writing again!

June was taken up with rewriting Medusa’s Garden, and I used HalfNoC to try and clock up my 25k that I would need to finish it my 31st July submission.  I learnt to recognise stress and that I really didn’t need it!  Memories from my past came back to me, and I blogged about Grandad and his Caravan.  I also advertised my writing friend, LaVerne Clark’s latest eBook, Affinity.

I was still working on Medusa’s Garden in July – and even had a storyboard created.  I didn’t post much during July, I was frantically trying to get Medusa’s Garden finished!  And I got it done, and submitted!

August was the End is Nigh – a completion challenge over at KiwiWriters.  This time I would focus solely on Of Kings, Queens and Noblemen.  Discovering a fine line between balance in life and insanity was a topic of discussion.  I decided to have a go at creating an Author Platform and creating Brand Catherine Mede.  It was an interesting exercise!  And I found out more about Showing and Telling!

September was a quiet month, I finished editing Of Kings, Queens and Noblemen. I heard back from Entangled and Medusa’s Garden wasn’t accepted, which was fine, because I REALLY didn’t like the romance version!  I like the original tragedy of the tale.  I made a decision to attempt romance writing in a serious fashion.  Still having issues with depression, but there was light at the end of the tunnel!

In October I focused on Ice Planet and escapism of writing.   I was nominated for a blog hop, and I actually enjoyed doing this one – it was The Next Big Thing.  It really got the creative juices flowing.  I worked on working out my depression Triggers and looking back now, I can recognise that this is when I started going backwards again.

November saw me still plodding with Ice Planet, one of my triggers, but I was determined to conquer the demon.  I did some serious thinking in November and wandered where I wanted to be in life.  I also came away with 4 plots for romance novels!  Then tragedy struck again, and Mark Fowler was killed in a Motorcycle accident.  Fortunately I had a post all ready to go for the end of the Month, a blog from Anna Harte about Above Ground, her latest book.

And so December found me once more contemplating my life and my goals.  Christmas found me in a mixed state of mind.

So here is what I have done this last week.  Nothing.  Here’s what I have done today – finished off 29 scene cards for Ice Planet, including 4 chapters that need to be written, but at least I have a plan now.

Recap on my 2012 Writing Goals

1. Edit Ice Planet – Getting there, but not quite

2. Plot out and plan my paranormal romance story – very excited about this!

3. Edit the Gothic novel (Tobias and Arabella – aka the bloody gothic novel)  Didn’t even look at it in the end.

4. Finish writing “Son of God” – On the back burner, I do want to finish this project.

5. Edit Medusa’s Garden. – finished and reworked!

6.  Revise and edit Medusa as a romance novel(!?!)  Did this and submitted it.  Was rejected

7. Edit “Of Kings Queens and Noblemen”.  Finished editing it, will need another go over!

My Writing Goals for 2013?  Well you will have to wait and see!

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September Goals 2012

September.  

The first month of spring, daffodils showing their beautiful yellow faces, blossom is sprouting forth, tuis are chasing each other around.  A glorious time of the year.  And as it is the beginning of the month, I now have to update my goals.

I am pleased to say that I finished the edit of KQ&N – I finished it yesterday and I am happy with the results.  It is now available if anyone wants to beta read it for me.  It is a fantasy romance, from a man’s point of view.  Yip, I like doing things differently.

So my goals for September are:

1. Finish my Ice Planet Story

2. Edit Ice Planet – 1/2 way through

3. Edit the Gothic novel (Tobias and Arabella – aka the bloody gothic novel)

4. Finish writing “Son of God”

5. Edit Medusa’s Garden.

6.  Revise and edit Medusa as a romance novel(!?!)

7. Edit “Of Kings Queens and Noblemen”.

I am wondering if I need to take some time off, so I will probably put the writing of Ice  Planet over September and October, just so I have some time to me, although I did enjoy the rewrite of Medusa.  I guess I have found it hard to write the missing section of Ice Planet because I liked it the first time around.  Just serves me right for not backing up my work.  Every time I work on my laptop, I back up the work I have done.

Haven’t heard back from Entangled in Romance yet, but when I received the confirmation email, they advised that is could be up to 6 weeks.  So I am guessing, because I wasn’t notified by 31st August, that I didn’t get accepted.  And I am OK with that.

The End is Near…

No, I’m not talking about December 2012 – and I don’t believe in it either – I mean Medusa, the end is finally in sight!  The cut off date is 31st July 2012 for submissions, and I finished rewriting it last night.  Which means, that instead of my usual month to let things settle before I edit, I have 6 days.

Yikes 6 DAYS!

Can I do it?  Yes I can!

Funnily enough I have enjoyed rewriting this story and started plotting for my fairy story as well, until I had a well meaning friend tell me not to do the fairy story, which threw me a little.  Perhaps I need to reassess the storyline?  I don’t know, but I don’t want to put details on here in case someone steals the idea, but if anyone wants to know, comment and I will email you the storyline.

Back to Medusa.

It has been a bit of a roller coaster ride, and I suspect that the story drags in places, the ending has taken a while to write and strangely enough there are about 3 climaxes before the final one, which needs a little bit of work, but I think I have it.

The romance is there, but not the burning smouldering looks, the burning desire, but I guess I can work on that too.

Next month is the End is Nigh Challenge over at KiwiWriters, which I have offered to host.  And while I have several projects on the go, I am not sure which one I want to work on.  There is the Ice Planet, Tobias and Arabella (aka Bloody Gothic Novel) and Of Kings Queens & Noblemen (aka KQ&N) – I want to work on all of them, so perhaps I will use my 20 hours to flick between the three of them.  I wouldn’t mind getting the T&A one finished off to get it out to beta readers.  I guess we will see what happens during August.

Update on the depression – I have learned several new things this past week.  Restless Legs and Depression go hand in hand, and now I am on mild Parkinson’s medication to keep that under control at night.  The other thing I learnt was my short term memory is gone.  We had a Non Violent Physical Crisis Intervention course at the school recently and there was a test at the end of it.  I couldn’t remember a single thing from the theory.  Not good considering I want to start studying again next year.  Just might be a case of seeing how things go once I get off the medication (will fix the restless legs and the short term memory thing).

So this week the plan is to finish editing Medusa (Medusa’s Garden or Medusa and Perseus – would appreciate thoughts on the title) and get it away by next Monday.

Eeeek!  I’m about to submit my first story!   AAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGHHHH

Medusa Update

All during the month of June I participated in HalfNoC, a 25k word challenge (Half a Novel), and I was using this to rewrite Medusa’s Garden into a romance, because one of my lovely friends had possibly found a place for it to be submitted.

So I wrote.  And I wrote, and the more I wrote the more I felt the novel drift out of my reach.  Why?  I couldn’t put my finger on it, but it just wasn’t going where I wanted it to go, or do what I wanted it to do.  I had most of my major scenes happen in the middle of the story which meant the ending was going to be lame… Hmmm, how was I going to fix my dilemma?

Research had told me that Medusa lived on an island called Cisthene, just underneath the Turkish Coast.  Yet Perseus flew past Ethiopia on the way home and saved Andromeda.  So that didn’t make sense.  Why would be fly away from Athens to fly back there… Hmmm, another problem.

More research followed, and no matter what I did, I couldn’t seem to make my story gel, until I found a very interesting point.  The island that Medusa lived on, could have been in the Red sea.  Now the Red Sea is bordered by Egypt, Sudan and… Ethiopia.  Click.

I now had a way to make my story go forward, but something wasn’t right with the rest of the story.  On Thursday night, I needed a real solution, something that would help me to see the story as I had currently written it, yet I could manipulate the story to change it around, move scenes.  Click.

I found one of my noticeboards and using lots of stick it notes, I wrote up the scenes I had already written (they were in a series of chapters) and scenes that would help to fill in the story.  I found some pins and starting working the story.

Suddenly, I realised that with a few new scenes and rearranging some of the key middle scenes to the end, I already had most of my story written.  I only have 5 key pieces to really finish my story, and by moving scenes, I am able to create more sexual tension.

It was a light bulb moment.  A moment that made me realise that the story could be worked, and I have been itching to get back to it ever since, and I would have yesterday, except I was feeling really grotty and needed a Nanna nap!  But I have a story now that I can work with.  And with a little luck, and some time to myself, I might just get it done in the next two weeks, plenty of time for me to get an edit through before I have to submit the story, but I am feeling more confident about the story than I did a week ago.

I’m Actually Doing It…

I AM WRITING!  

I honestly can’t believe it, I am writing and I am enjoying it, and I have already done 5k towards HalfNoC!  Wow, I am seriously so stoked at the moment!  Wahoo, have a glass of wine to celebrate for me!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!

It has been challenging, and a lot of the first part of the Medusa rewrite is just deleting irrelevant parts, but I am up to the nitty gritty now, where Medusa and Perseus meet – and I have set it up so that they have a relationship – but the ending is still elluding me.  It is for a happily ever after romance story, and we all know that Medusa gets her head chopped off, and my writing buddies LaVerne, Cherie and Sacha all like the idea of the curse ending with Medusa’s head being cut off, and she emerges from the ugly body as her new self… but here is the problem – we also know the Perseus marries Andromeda after rescuing her… So where do I go?

Initially my thoughts are to have Perseus claim that Medusa is Andromeda and comes up with a far fetched story, but it doesn’t sound whimsical enough for me.

Still, I have three weeks to mull ideas over, but if anyone can think of something interesting, do let me know, because I am all out of ideas at this stage.

But while I am talking about writing, I am so enjoying this process, that I am considering writing another story later in the year.  I might not participate in NaNo, but I might just spend a couple of months writing a fairy story that I have in mind (if only I can come up with an ending for it!)

Anyway – I AM WRITING!  Isn’t that just so exciting!

Goals for June 2012

I wasn’t in a good space at the beginning of May, so I forgot to update my goals.  So I thought I would take the opportunity now to update the goals for June.

So here is the update for the month:

1.  Revise and edit Medusa as a romance novel(!?!)

2.Edit “Of Kings Queens and Noblemen” – 1/2 way through read through.

3. Finish my Ice Planet Story

4. Edit Ice Planet – 1/2 way through

5. Edit the Gothic novel (Tobias and Arabella – aka the bloody gothic novel)

6. Finish writing “Son of God”

7. Edit Medusa’s Garden.

SoCNoC month is nearly upon us, and I am not too sure how to approach this.  I am considering doing HalfNoc (25k words) instead as work on revising Medusa, because once I remove most of the inappropriate comments, it will only be about 1/4 of the size it is now.  I have to make it spicier, get it more interesting and have a stunning handsome hero who is able to save Medusa and the day.  I am rather nervous about writing again, because I know that I haven’t had much success with it of late.  It isn’t writers block, it is more a feeling that my work just isn’t up to its usual standard.  I have until 31st July to rewrite Medusa, revise it and send it.

The other stories have all been passed in at the moment, not that I don’t want to work on them, but I really need to focus totally on Medusa.  So HalfNoc it will probably be.

Medusa Rewrites

A writer friend found me a submission place for Medusa’s Garden… except it is a romance site, and Medusa’s Garden has little romance, and the story is far from romantic.  So the girls organised a get together to discuss how I might be able to change the story.

Lets just say, I have written a story that I am happy with, but to make it a romance, it will require a lot of work – even though they say the backbone is there.  If I remove half of what they have suggested, then I will be doing some serious rewriting, something that I am finding rather daunting at the moment.

The rewrites involves Medusa and Perseus getting it on, and staying together in the end… and that is part of my problem, because we all know Medusa dies at the end and that Perseus marries Andromeda.  They have made some useful suggestions on how to make Medusa “die” and I can do that, but I can”t reconcile Perseus and Medusa marrying… unless I make Medusa into Andromeda – and how does that happen?  See my dilemma?

I have been working through this all weekend, and while I know that people like poetic license when it comes to retelling the tales, I originally wanted the story to reflect the human aspect of Medusa, her pain and betrayal.

Now, I have to turn Medusa into Andromeda – which will work, I think – and also make Athena, goddess of wisdom and womanly virtues into a jealous goddess.

Why am I struggling to take a simple story and rip it apart?  I guess because it took me a while to research and write the story, and then to have it basically turned on its head, at a time when I don’t feel very confident with my writing.

I have until 31st July to do this rewrite, so I have a bit of time.  But I have made a decision.  If it isn’t accepted as a romance, it is going back to the way it is, and I will eventually find a home for it, as I intended the story to be –  A story about betrayal of innocence.