The Ever Evolving Story

I am a plotter, I like to have an outline of the story before I proceed. I have tried to ‘pants it’, but I seem to lose steam fairly quickly because…well, I have no idea where the story is going to go.

In saying that, I am also flexible enough that when I’m writing the story, new ideas can develop and be fitted into the story.

Case in point, Compromising Positions. Originally this story was about a relationship between a gardener and a cantankerous old man that she gardens for, with a side story of a romance with the estranged son. This initially had the working title of The Gardener. However, upon reviewing what I had already written, and further ideas, I decided to focus more on the romance, and have the friendship with the older gentleman as a subplot. Then came the idea of having the two main characters catching each other in compromising positions, hence adding to the conflict within the budding relationship.

Then, I started adding back story to the characters, and the cantankerous old man was an ex prime minister, and being seen with a young lady sent gossip magazines into overdrive. So I wondered how this could impact the plot and subplot.

The latest evolution of the story involves a personal attack against one of the main characters, which adds a whole other depth to the story.

Its funny how stories sometimes take on lives of their own. What seemed like a good idea at one stage suddenly isn’t so shiny and good, and becomes lacklustre and ‘meh’, and often, I find, that my stories really need some flexibility when I’m writing them to allow more punch.

And I find that conflict is a good way to add punch, so I often look for ways that I can throw more at my characters, to see how they react. The more I put them through, the more they grow as people within my pages, and the more real they become to the reader.

When we write the stories of our lives, it evolves in ways we don’t expect. I didn’t expect to get to be in my 40’s and twice divorced with one child. I expected to be happily married with two or three children. How different that life would be from the one I live now. But I am happy with my life, I have a partner I adore, a son that is my world, a wonderful place to live, I work full time in a job I love (writing it a side hustle for me), and I can afford food for my table. I have faced hurdles, and I got over them and moved on. My life has evolved, and the conflict that has been thrown at me over the years, has provided me with a chance to mature, develop character, and become (according to me and my friends and loved ones) a better person.

I challenge you today, to look at your life, and see how it has evolved, and how it has made you the person you are today. The choices that you made have given you character and created the path for your life as it is today. Are you unhappy with your life? You can choose to change your path. Its your choice to evolve your life.

Have a great week

Catherine x

Chipping Away

How learning about myself and ending my procrastination reign led to a more fulfilled life .

Its taken me three goes to write this post. Ever ytime I log onto my website, something else has changed, including how to write posts. But where else can I write about my process / progress?

Earlier this year, I decided I really needed to get back into writing, but I just couldn’t seem to fit it into my day. Then I found an advert for learning how to stop procrastinating. The course was 3 months long, but I thought it had to help.

And help it did! I learnt the reasons why I procrastinate (perfectionism, lack of goal setting, self confidence, time management), and discovered ways in which to overcome those overwhelming feels I get when I do procrastinate. As a result, I found time, feel more happier with my writing, I know I don’t have to be perfect the first time, and that I don’t need to spend hours each day writing. Just 10 to 15 minutes a day is all it takes.

And that was all it took. I got out an older story I had been working on, and started editing it. I got it out to three people for them to beta read. I have had feedback, and it was wonderful. The comments made were helpful and insightful.

That was all I needed to dig out another story that needed to be written, and I had already started one, temporarily called The Gardener. After reviewing what I had already written, I got back to the drawing board and came up with a new scenario for the story, and the story has a new title, Compromising Positions. Its a story about being found in compromising positions, or perceived compromises. It will be a humourous sweet romance following the lives of Jo, Logan and Edward. Jo is a gardener who is employed by Edward’s daughter to clean up his garden. Edward is a grumpy ex politician who doesn’t want anyone around him after the loss of his wife. And Logan, his son who ran away at 16 because of his father’s demands on him. A whirlwind of funny circumstances bring them all together to create a maelstrom of romance and conflicting characters.

I’ve really enjoyed bringing the story to life, and each character has developed as the story has progressed. I only manage to write for ten to twenty minutes each morning, once I’ve been for my walk and done the dishes, but it is something, and better than writing nothing and wondering when I will get some done. And occasionally I manage to get some writing done in the weekend, just in a spare few minutes between other jobs.

I’m loving my new lease on life, and would recommend doing an anti-procrastination course if you have a problem like I had. I no longer complain that there isn’t enough time in the day, and in fact have taken on a couple of new endeavours. But more on those later.

Enjoy your day


Welcome Back

It’s been a while, I have kind of been ignoring this site, mostly because I was devastated when I lost my original site. But I have realised that it allowed me to make a clean start.

So what do I do now, because the last time I blogged, I have a feeling I was a part time worker. Well I have just finished working full time with a great company, but it was rather physical work, and being on the wrong end of 40, I was struggling to keep going. So I found a job gardening in several rest homes around the Nelson area. I already know most of the people because we have been mowing there. A lot of them were really happy (and I even hugged) when I said I would be gardening and they would see more of me.

So writing, I’m in the process of editing a wee novella, 25k words, which is rather short to publish in a book, so I am looking around to see if there is a publisher I can submit it too, for an anthology or something. It’s a 1920’S based novella, about a Burlesque dancer wanting to escape her world. I’ll continue on with the editing and then see what happens.

The next story I want to write will be under the Finding Yourself series, about Samantha who finds out her family isn’t all it seems. An intriguing tale which mulled in my head after seeing an episode of The Repair Shop.

Anyway, the weather is cooling down, and I need to dig over my garden again. Please keep in touch through any of my social media below.