Tag Archives: fiction

Week Two

Today marks the end of the second week of the 365 Writing Challenge during which I’ve written 2,878 words, which is a huge improvement on last week and I’ve even submitted two short stories for publication. Fingers crossed they’re well received!

I’m currently half way through writing my 4th contest entry for Fantasia Divinity Magazine & Publishing, which is proving to be an interesting little tale, just as the last three have been.

My scores are even half way decent and I’m holding my own quite well it seems.

All in all a good week, writing wise. I hope to be as productive next week.

I promise I’ll keep you all posted.

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Week One

I’m writing this retroactively, because it’s just ticked over to January 8th.

In December, I signed up for the 365 Writing Challenge. It’s something I’ve participated in for a few years now, but this year I’m determined to write every day. It’s something I haven’t quite managed to accomplish in previous years.

It’s the first week and I set myself a goal of 300 words a day. So far, it’s not going well. I wrote 1,296 words out of 2,100. But I did manage to write a little each day, so that’s a huge plus and ultimately what I set out to do. Write each day.

Fingers crossed I do better during week two.

I Just Hit Publish!

I just hit publish on the kindle version of my short story Morrighan and I’m so impatient that I’m literally sitting at my computer compulsively clicking refresh hoping that it’s gone live in the last five seconds. And, finally it has!

So, why did I decide to publish a few short stories? Well, because I’m still working on the edits of The Winter Princess I wanted to share something instead of appearing idle to the publishing world. And hopefully build up a bit of a readership along the way.

The first story, Morrighan, deals with a retelling of the Arthurian Legends from Morgan le Faye’s point of view with a paranormal twist.

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It is available for purchase on Amazon and Smashwords for 99c.

Here’s an excerpt from the story…

The wind whipped through her hair, tossing the dark strands over her face and obscuring her vision. High above the sea, on the rocky crag the aerie was full.

Nemain settled on Morgan’s shoulder; the bird’s talons digging into the soft leather pauldron. She had become so used to it now that she didn’t even wince as the bird took its time hoping about on her shoulder before settling down.

As she turned her head and looked Nemain straight in the eye, the bird cocked its head to one side, its beady onyx eyes staring back at her. “Where are your sisters?” Morgan asked.

Nemain cawed once before raising one wing upwards, just as two more birds few in, circling once around Morgan’s head; the beat of their wings echoing in her ears. Badb and Macha landed one after the other on the leather gauntlet that covered her left arm from her fingertips right up to her elbow.

Smiling, Morgan gave a brief nod to each bird in turn. As she picked up the reins in her right hand, she nudged the dapple grey gelding on with her thighs, while being careful as she navigated her way down the steep path, that that had been worn into the cliff face after years of repetitive use and headed across the field for home.

It was true that she could have spent all day up at the aerie, looking out at the sea below while observing the hatchlings, but Morgan knew if she did she was only putting off the inevitable. That eventually she would have to see Arthur, and while she quite enjoyed the solitude, in having only the birds for company, she feared his wrath more.

Arthur, like most fey, was deathly afraid of birds, ravens in particular. It was said to see one was a bad omen, to lay eyes on three signified one’s own death. So superstitious was Arthur that when he and Morgan had been presented the murder of ravens as a wedding gift he’d threatened to spill their blood then and there in the reception hall.

What had been seen couldn’t be unseen, however; Arthur was destined to die.

Had it been anyone else but the Queen of Camelot’s kin that had presented such a gift to the newlyweds, the lives of Badb, Macha and Nemain, wouldn’t have been spared at all.

Pressing her thighs to the gelding’s flanks she worked him up to a trot before she gave the animal its head and allowed him to lengthen his stride until he was pacing at an even canter. Spying Arthur not far from the castle she brought the horse under control, knowing full well what was in store for her, should feathers wind up shedding on his clothing.

Bringing the ravens out of the aerie at dusk was not entirely wise, but Morgan was never one to play by anybody else’s rules but her own.

“Those creatures belong in the aerie not out here by castle walls,” Arthur said facing her.

“And fey belong in children’s story books,” Morgan spat.

How to Deal with Rejection

1C4CDA24-390A-47D4-A4FC-A2410B9F55B3I hate to say it, but life has gotten busy. Looking for work has taken up the bulk of my time and I’m still no closer to being employed. So, as a result, August has given way to September and Spring is beginning to leave its mark, ever so slowly.

My story Owl Eyes has yet to be picked up, despite sending it out to a few different anthologies it’s been rejected. I’ll likely add it to the pile of stories I’m collecting to put into an anthology, but even so it doesn’t lessen the sting of rejection.

So, on that note I thought I’d share a few ways to deal with rejection as a writer.

1. Try not to take it personally. I know, it’s hard and you’re first instinct will be to take it personally, but do try not to. I promise good things are just around the corner.

2. Allow yourself time to be disappointed. Let’s face it… rejection hurts. Take a moment, but don’t dwell.

3. Have something on the go. Don’t force the words but have something to throw yourself into. Hope springs eternal and you won’t get published if you don’t keep writing.

4. Let it go. Let it go! (Sorry! I couldn’t resist. Hazards of having a daughter who loved (loves?) Frozen. But it’s true. Patience is a virtue and humility even more so. Don’t get angry. It’s no way to have a writing career.

5. Try to get rejected. I know it sounds crazy but you can’t get published without taking a risk and sending your work out into the world. For every two rejection letters you might receive an acceptance letter. How great would that be? A dream come true, I bet.

I hope this list has inspired you to keep going, even if at times it seems hopeless. If it’s has, drop me a line in the comments. If not, I encourage you to also comment, perhaps with your favourite song. You know, the one you just can’t get out of your head? Inspiration comes from everywhere after all.

 

 

 

 

 

Missed Deadlines

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And… I had this post all written out and then it got eaten by gremlins.

So, I’m forced to rewrite it.

24th of July on a personal level is hell. Every year I dread the clock ticking over to today because nobody likes to be reminded of tragic events in their past. I’m certainly no different.

And today, well today marks the anniversary of my mum’s rather unexpected passing. Worse… today marks 10 years since she passed away.

And it’s no less easier than the year before. It’s hard and sad, cause my kids don’t remember her… two never got to meet her… which is crappy.

Anticipating the sadness and tears and the general blanket fort and tv binge that was in store for me given the nature of today, I attempted to put a positive spin on today.

In doing so, I gave myself a deadline. Finish Nightshade by today. Sadly, that didn’t quite happen. Life, as they say, got in the way.

But I am closer to finishing the novel at least. Which is a good thing and I’m trying not to dwell on everything else. At least for the moment.

Since I wasn’t successful in my endeavour, I’ll leave you with a question to ponder, until next time…

What do you do when you miss a writing deadline? Let me know in the comments. Because I am rather curious and desperately in need of a distraction.

The Wild Hunt

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With 24 hours until the Twisted II Release Party, I thought I’d share with you the opening to my short story, The Wild Hunt. It appears in the anthology and ties into the world of my novels in the Eldritch Series.

If you like Celtic Mythology then I hope you’ll enjoy my tale as it’s steeped quite heavily in myth.

Here it is…

The wildwood swelled before my eyes. Fey and beast mingled together so much that it was hard to tell one from the other. The smell of death mixed with blood, dirt and fear, hung heavy in the air. Although the fear that I sensed around me was my own.
Ahead of me, sitting astride a huge black stallion, was my father, Herne. Instead of his usual leather kilt, he wore brown leather pants, while an antlered crown sat atop his head.
My older brother, Kit, sat next to me. The lure of the Wild Hunt bored him. I knew he had participated at least once. He had regaled me with stories that were scary enough I’d had nightmares for weeks afterwards. What was even more frightening to me, was the knowledge that fey couldn’t dream. Or have nightmares, because nightmares were the stuff of dreams. Dreams were mundane things. Human things, or so Kit had told me one night when I’d awoken him with the sound of my screams. I was not human.
Everything about me said faerie, so my ability to dream was strange.

I hope you enjoyed it and please do purchase a copy. My full story clocks in at almost 3,000 words. It will be available on Amazon on Friday, 13th July 2018.

It All Starts With Coffee

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Yes, it’s true! I’m a coffee addict. Like you didn’t know.

So, by now, it’s no secret… or at least I hope it’s no secret, that I write every day. Some days not as much as others, but I do write daily.

It’s not something I’ve always done. In fact, it took me two years to make the habit stick and it wasn’t easy.

Now, I’m not going to tell you what to write… that part is up to you. Blog, novel, short story… journal? Whatever. Nor am I going to give you story ideas… although, that might make for an interesting series of blog posts sometime in the future.

For now though, let’s get back to developing daily writing habits.

Decide what you want to work on. Is it a short story or a novel? Does it have a deadline? How many words is it?

Break it down. And keep your daily word count target small. There’s nothing more overwhelming then setting a daily goal of a 1000 words and falling short because you were so caught up in writing ALL THE WORDS. Trust me, small is better.

Take my goal for instance. In January I set a goal to write 275 words a day. Some days I write more, others I write less, but in six months I’ve never missed a day.

I know many writers who churn out upwards of 5,000 words one day and then don’t write for days afterwards. I don’t get it. I mean, each writer’s writing process is different but I’d much rather see the progress on the page, bit my bit, than multiple zeros on a spreadsheet. But then, I also like accountability. I like seeing proof of my progress.

Make time. I cannot stress this enough. Even ten minutes. My biggest time saver when stealing time for writing is my iPhone. I often find I’m more productive if I just use the notes app, but I have MS Word on there too and I save everything to OneDrive, so its all right there waiting for me to pick it up the next day on whichever device I choose to work with.

You’re probably sitting reading this and going but I don’t have time, right? Wrong. Back in April I felt the exact same way. I asked other writers how I could fix it. How I could up my productivity and stop procrastinating. I’m time poor. I have four kids and a husband, along with a house to take care off. Something had to give, and it couldn’t be any of those three big things. Family is important.

So, what did I do? Well I began tracking my time for a whole week. 7 days. It made me accountable to the house, the kids and my husband, and I soon saw a pattern forming and I was able to identify blocks of time where I could write.

Back in May, I posted this about finding time and while it’s not a concise picture of every day of the week, it is a rough idea of what a week day looks like for me. It’ll likely change when I get a part time job, becoming even crazier, I suspect, but I’ll deal.

So, I made time. Two hours at night. And not every night mind you. Some days I blow off writing at night in favour of TV and when I do I make up the words in other ways. By blogging, for instance. Yes, I multitask.

Pick one project. You don’t have to do everything at once. I have… three, no four novels on the go at the moment. I switch between all of them depending on the day and my mood. It helps me to keep the story fresh. And tricks my mind into thinking I’m working on something new, even though I’m clearly not.

And, I could go on, but I won’t. So… if you think there’s something I’ve missed or you have a question, pop it in a comment and I’ll be sure to reply.