Bye March

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Another month has come to a close. I spent most of it waiting on things that didn’t arrive and trying to write amongst the anxiety that came with waiting on those things that didn’t arrive. Suffice to say, March has been utterly exhausting.

Rewarding, but exhausting.

I was looking over my submissions for the quarter and I’ve subbed twelve stories and two poems. With five stories still pending completion. Not to mention I’ve written a whopping thirty-two blog posts. While I’ve had two rejections this year, on stories I felt had promise, I’m trying to not let that get me down.

And right now, I’m battling the clock on two projects. Le Fay is probably the most pressing, but another… so far untitled, is proving a mite more interesting. It’s what I like to call Arthurian Legends meets The Vampire Diaries. I couldn’t resist throwing vampires at fire breathing dragons and seeing what came about. Turns out even with Le Fay not quite finished, Morgan’s not letting go. Not that she ever has and I doubt if she ever will.

It’s early days but I’m hopeful I’ll be able to finish the third instalment, Pendragon, ready for a late May release.

So, that’s what I achieved. What’s something you achieved?

 

 

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Tips for Surviving NaNoWriMo

Yep. It’s November and you know what that means. It’s NaNoWriMo.

I had hoped to get this post out earlier, but illness kind of prevented that, so better late than never, I suppose, right?

It’s the morning of Day #9 and my word count isn’t where I want it to be, but I still have hope.

Having participated in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) since 2005, I like to think I’ve picked up a tip or two along the way.

So, I’ve decided to share.

Tip #1: Pace yourself. Writing 50,000 words in 30 days may seem like a massive undertaking and leave you feeling completely overwhelmed, but the truth is it doesn’t have to. 1,667 words per day is completely doable, and if you break it down into even smaller goals… say 834 words in the morning and 834 words at night it’ll be an even easier goal to smash.

Tip #2: It’s never to early to kill off a character. In NaNoWriMo… anything goes. I once killed of a main character in the first chapter. Surprisingly, it worked and pushed the other characters forward. Death scenes take up a lot of words. So, does sex.

Tip #3: Editing is for December. Turn off your inner editor. Yes, it’s hard, but completely doable.

Tip #4: Turn off distractions. Procrastinating is the worst enemy to any NaNoer. If it helps set a timer, and turn off the WiFi. Research is fun, but time consuming.

Tip #5: Have fun. Because if you’re not having fun while writing, there’s really no point.

 

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.

Submissions & Works in Progress

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I just submitted a flash fiction piece to a flash fiction anthology moments ago. I have another longer piece that I’m writing and two other short stories on the back burner that I plan to write and submit to other anthologies if I get the time.

I might be juggling just a little too much currently.

Between several novel projects and short story projects, coordinating book reviews, writing up author interview questions (and trying to mix it up a little each time with each new author – not so easy) as well as keeping on top of three social media platforms and a blog. All while trying to keep up with a house, hubby, for kids… not to mention fulfilling job networking requirements when looking for suitable employment for part time work.

That’s the really sad part about this. Having spent the past eleven years raising kids, I’m kind of unemployable. And freelance work… as I’ve said before is kind of hit and miss. The jobs I have gotten, while promising to be ongoing have dried up after a month or two.

That said, I am hard at work making improvements to my novel The Winter Princess. It’s coming along slowly because there’s one PC for six people… and my children have found a few PC games that they like to play on weekends… so stealing time at night is very much my routine of late… unless the hubby beats me to it and steals it for himself.

And because I’m feeling generous, I’ve decided to share a small portion with you.

Here it is, the opening of The Winter Princess

The Winter Queen lounged on an icy crystalline throne as her gown of dark grey silk and taffeta billowed out around her. The hair piled atop her head held a darkness that paled the silk; the tiara of silver and sapphires shone in contrast. Having counted silently on my fingers, one hand held the sum of occasions that I had entered the drafty throne room before now. Setting foot here was unusual for me which led me to be painfully aware of every detail as I approached.

I hope you enjoyed it. If you did, let me know in the comments and maybe I’ll share more.