Procrastinators Anonymous

Meeting is now called to order… Or should we wait another 5 minutes.  I think 5 minutes isn’t long enough… or is it?

Ugly foot.

Anyway, while we wait, I have something I want to discuss, at least I think I do.  I seem to have a problem.  I can’t seem to get motivated enough to write.  I have been confined to barracks, signed up for Nano, but I don’t want to write.   Actually, I do want to write, but i guess because it is 50k, I am a little nervous.

This year, I have written three stories, one at 19k, one at 35k and one at 25k.  So 50k seems like an astronomical number to reach.  And considering it is the 6th today (while I am writing this) and only 1k done, I am definitely behind the 8 ball!

My story is quite exciting really, and I have already decided to change the beginning of the story, which means the beginning is now about half way through where I wanted my story to start.  And now I have to make up more of the story to get to 50k, but I don’t want to pad it out.

Halloween 003

Ugly Foot

To go along with that, I have a crook ankle – aka ugly foot.  Hence confined to barracks.  I fell a few weeks ago and damaged the ligament on the top of my foot and bruised the one going down from my ankle.  I have since fallen again and the ankle is twice the size it was and I am on crutches.  It hurts – no matter what I do with it.

I am so tired, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually and I am wondering if my higher power is letting me know that I need to rest.  I wish he would also give me the will to write and write and write.

So, I will attempt to finish my latest novella and start working on my NaNo novel.

Wish me luck… or don’t, depending on where you are at with your own procrastination.


Catch up Time

I entered the Page and Blackmore Short Story competition – and it sounds like the top 10 entries have already been decided.  Kind of excited to hear back, because the first 100 entries get feedback on their stories, with the top 10 getting more indepth.  I hope I am in the top ten, but I am not holding my breath.  Short stories aren’t my forte.

Yesterday, I finished the ending of my novella.  So now I only have the middle to work on.  I have some of it, but I need to incorporate more of the Gamble / risk (as I do to the ending too), and how she changes from being frightened to a confident woman.

Planning is also proceeding on The Cursed Love, with a wide awake session last week when my muse insisted that he didn’t want to be a player, but a widower instead.  It does fit in with the story, and he is able to sympathise with the heroine, I just wish he didn’t have to wake me at 1am to tell me… I guess the muse can strike anytime, anywhere.  The story seems to have taken on a life of its own, with lots of interesting twists and turns… just have to work out how to recover from them and progress the story.  I want to start writing this in June for SoCNoC.

Which leads me nicely to KiwiWriters.  The site will be up and running on 1st June, earlier if we can manage it.  It is coming together nicely and looks fabulous.  Hopefully it will be more interactive and user friendly and look a lot more like an NZ site, rather than a generic site.  There are lots of wonderful widgets and plugins that we have been able to use and the site does look magnificent (although I think I have already mentioned that!)

My articles have appeared on The Rural site, a list of my articles is available here.  It has been a very exciting time, and I have enjoyed writing these.  I intend to do a series on Women in Rural Businesses, and my first appointment is with a kinesiologist on Tuesday.  I am looking forward to the experience and to write about why she went into business in a rural area.

All’s Quiet on the Western Front

And not because I want it to be… nooooo, it is quiet because I have had to severely restrict my son’s computer time, and therefore every time I even look at the computer or laptop, he is right by my side…

I love my son dearly, but I don’t love that I can’t get anything else done, and that makes me grumpy, and grumpy mummy pushes son away who in turn gets separation anxiety and tries harder to reach me… see where this is going?

Today is the first day back at school for term 2, and I can’t WAIT for 8:20am which will occur in just over 20 minutes! Hallelujah!

What also doesn’t help is the muse for the novel I am planning for SoCNoC in June, waking me up at 1am to discuss that he doesn’t want to be a player, but a widower.  But that doesn’t suit my plans.  Man, I have not had an argument with a muse for quite some time.  I can see his point of view, and it adds to the pain, and then the heroine can assume that the pictures he looks at on his phone are his lovers… builds a little more tension I guess.  Now if only he told me how he wants the story to end!

I still have my Novella to finish, and thinking back over the title, it has given me some ideas.  It is called The Gamble, so it can be about taking risks.  The ending is coming together, I like the beginning, but now I need to fill in the middle.  It currently sits at 9k, so needs a fair amount in the middle to really flesh it out.  I really wanted to get this finished in May so I had a clear deck for writing the romance.  Oh well, will have to wait and see.

Best I get going and get the monster out of the house before I explode!

2013 Writing Goals

pen writingOK, so I am not being totally specific this time around, because I want to do more writing this year, but I do have some real projects I want to get finished, like Ice Planet and The Gothic Novel.  I am aware that I am coming into my third year of depression, and while I have come a long way, it still feels like I have a way to go before accomplishing the dream of writing 2 or more novels in a year.  This year I want to write one novel, and possibly one novella, though if that stretches out into a novel I will be happy with that.

So my goals are:

1.  Complete Ice Planet

2.  New Year Novella

3. Evil Editors Unite – Gothic Novel

4. NZ Book Month, NZ authors blog a day!  13 so far, room for more!

5.  SoCNoC

6. the End is Nigh – Ice Planet

If I decide to want to add more, I will.

Plodding Along… Again

Well the end is nigh, for me, for KQ&N anyway.  What am I talking about?  The End is Nigh Challenge over at KiwiWriters.

I am the challenge host because I love this challenge, along with Evil Editors Unite, in March.  It is an opportunity for me to get some stories whipped into shape.

I have picked Of Kings Queens and Noblemen (KQ&N) because it is the second SoCNoC novel that I wrote, but I thought it sucked majorly.  When I reread it recently, I realised it wasn’t quite as bad as I originally thought, and the storyline was actually quite good.  So I have resurrected this project to try and breathe some life into it.

It is a fantasy romance, something quite outside of my realm, but after writing a romance novella about Medusa, I think I can fine tune this one better than I could have before, and therefore able to give it more justice.

It has only 21 chapters, but some are quite long so I think I will do what I did for Medusa and make the chapters only a couple of pages long, I like short sharp chapters.

So hopefully, at the end of August, I will have a novel ready for some readers.  I will let you know when I am ready for that.

In the meantime, I really need a new keyboard! This one keeps skipping letters on me.

Reading and Stupidity

“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.”

Catherine Morland – Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

I found this delightful little quote in Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen.  Yes, I am once more reading the classics, thanks to my Kindle.  (I am also reading The Crown Conspiracy, Excelsior, The Secret, The Sword Lord, the Sword, A Different Hunger and Wild Sight on my Kindle – but back to the topic at hand.)

Northanger Abbey is supposed to be a gothic story… I haven’t encountered that yet.  What I have encountered is very poetic prose, delightful turns of phrase and a very confusing story.  Why confusing?  I think it was the period it was written in, and often I feel myself just drifting along in the monologues that happen, rather than reading them, because they seem… Archaic.  But the story is a classic.  I haven’t read it before, so I can’t tell you what it is about – other than a young woman, named Catherine, who is taken to Bath by family friends, Mr and Mrs Allen, where she meets a lot of interesting characters including Mr Tilney – whom I gather – is a priest.  Catherine is rather smitten with Mr Tilney, although Mr Thorpe is also vying for her attention.  I am at the point in the story where Catherine’s new acquaintance Isabella is soon to be engaged by Catherine’s brother.

Why am I rambling on about this story?  Well, the story tells of their favourite past time – reading, and the girls are quite proficient at it.  The quote above stood out on the page – and I guess I actually believe it to be true.

OK, so people aren’t stupid if they don’t read, but if you can’t get pleasure in a story, then they aren’t reading it right, are they?  They must be stupid not to see the world that someone else has taken the time to create (whether it be present day, historical, science fiction or fantasy) and to appreciate the craftmanship that goes into it.  People read for enjoyment, to escape the mundane, to feel alive, to relax, and a multitude of other reasons.

As a writer, I want people to enjoy the stories I write, to appreciate the skill and effort that goes into it.  Catherine Morland and Isabella often discussed the books that they read, Catherine totally wrapped up in the world created by a Mrs Radcliffe in Udolpho (The Mysteries of Udolpho by Anne Radcliffe, published in 1794 apparently – I Googled it!), and she was quite disgusted if anyone said anything bad about the book.  Catherine (and I am presuming Jane Austen did too) enjoyed the story so much that she had to tell everyone in her acquaintance why she enjoyed the story.  She liked the turn of phrase, the characters, the settings, she was able to envision the coast of France even though she had never been there, so the description was also something else she liked.  I hope that someday, someone will enthuse as much about my writing as Catherine (a fictional character) and Jane (a writer who liked the story enough to go on about it in her story) did about Mrs Radcliffe.

So, in conclusion of this rather rambling post, writing is a pleasure.  But to read and to not enjoy it… well that is just stupidity.

Writing Goals – May Update

May was a rather hectic month, with SoCNoC Preparation, Creativity Workshop and other personal issues going on within the family and life.  Boy, I am pleased they are now all behind me and working towards my next goals.

# Get Chrystias finished off and start looking around for a publisher / agent for it. – Lee is reading this at present, and I am eagerly awaiting his response.  He has already told me that the start of the first book is wordy, but I already kind of knew that.  Still, he is reading it.  What more can I ask for now.

# Get Kings Queens and Noblemen edited to the second edit – with a view to getting it finished by the end of the year – I haven’t been very vigilant about editing this, only because I wanted to give myself a break between editing Chrystias and this one, but I am hoping to start seriously looking at this one this month.

# Create more short stories and really start to focus on developing this skill further – Working on this creativity workshop, I actually have two short stories done this month, neither of them are finished, but one is going to be used or incorporated in my SoCNoC novel.  The other one is a gothic tale that I will continue with at a later date.

# Get one short story published (in a magazine / e-zine) (something other than my own blog site!) – Red was crittered, and I have to find time now to work on this.  The anthology I want to get this into closes in October.  My time travel story was declined, but I can see why and it didn’t have anything to do with grammar!  It is one that I will work on later, I have some new ideas for that one anyway.

# Finish off some story ideas and start writing the next novel – the first draft to be completed before the end of the year (2010) –  Today is officially the start of SoCNoC, so I am getting ready to write .

# Encourage some of my writing friends – Gareth sent through another part of his novel, so will get onto that.  Lee has sent through some proofreading, which I need to pull my finger out and start doing.

After all the hassles and stresses of May, I am looking forward to settling into a month of writing solidly.  Medusa is really coming alive for me and I want to see this story get published.  It is too early at this stage to make those kind of plans, but I think this could be the breakthrough novel for me.