Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Common Themes and Abandoned Stories

The year is 2017... I feel like I have been writing and subsequently abandoning stories for at least five decades. Ironically I am only 4 decades old.

As I began pushing far too many to count worksheets around on my desk; my head began pounding.  My brain was aching from having to think! While it slowly drained any and all thoughts, I asked myself WHY?

Why am I doing this again? I keep starting and putting aside. I am fearful of one day putting myself out there and publishing my work - let alone letting actual PEOPLE read my words. It all feels like a great big WASTE OF TIME.

Yet a persistent, niggling story idea began to grow and gain strength and I began brainstorming. At the end I have this idea. No hero. No plot line. No scenes. An idea, a study into human interactions and families and choices we make.

It made me think of all my abandoned stories and wonder if there isn't some common theme within them all. Today I thought I might revisit some of those stories...

2011 - Rosie Speaks... a story of my late Nan's early life in the 1930's. She was separated from her mother for several years.

2014 - Two Islands... a missing woman, a frantic grand-daughter and a parallel world

2015 - Little Book of Horrors... a series of short stories about ghosts, murderers

2015 - RIP Uterus... the breakup of my girl bits.

2016 - Finding His Ghost... losing her love, losing her sanity, searching for answers

Separation. Loss. Family. Relationship breakdowns. Dramas. Searching.

You guys! I think that the entire theme to this years story has been growing from all of my above thwarted attempts. I cannot wait to begin writing and see where this years story, with years of learning behind me, may take me.

Monday, October 2, 2017

The Mystery is in the Sneak Peak

Today is all about GENRE. Choosing a genre that I might like to write in for NaNoWriMo.

With still a month to go there is every chance I may change my mind. For now though I keep coming back to a kernel of a story idea that began as a funny story on a girls roadtrip. Since the idea won't leave me be, I decided I may as well dabble with a little planning.

For the past twelve months, I have been busy building a library of books on both solved / unsolved cases.  

Today for Preptober I am following this worksheet by EA Deverell.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Return to the Writers Circle

Lately I have been feeling...


Untethered I felt myself flapping about as though I was caught in a wild storm. Several light bulb moments that shone dimly within 30 days of excessive brain dumping every single morning; I have come to the conclusion that it is time to tether myself once more.

The easiest way to do that was to set myself a few small challenges and go do them.

*cough* SMALL *cough*  

The list seems huge, but I have already been doing three of these tasks during September. It does not feel like much of a stretch to do the remaining three (preptober / blogtober and 6 word challenge, which if all goes well should work together!) 

BUT... I do not do things by halves. For the past few months I have been setting up my Jane Davenport travellers Notebook for all things writing.

The beauty of a Travellers Notebook means I can set it up with what will work with this months challenge. For October I have added: 

1 blank Midori TN - A new intuitive journal  
Watercolours and Washi 
1 lined TN - for creative writing snippets 
A stack of printable worksheets (from EA Deverell
An etsy printable to track Preptober and Blogtober  

So during Blogtober I am planning to blog my Preptober progress. Today I announce my word count goal. Which is the ultimate NaNoWriMo goal.  

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Sands of Time

I am a creature of habit. Change has become a foreign concept. I like to know where I stand, where I am going and I resist turning in difficult directions. 

Yet this year as I watch the seasons come and go, change has been etched on the horizon. It is edging ever closer to me and I am finally allowing it a place in my home. 

The beach is my favourite place. Mornings I walk along the passage watching the changes evolve. Man-made changes as dozers reposition the sand and push it this way and that. Natural changes as the tidal ebb and flow push that sand back in the opposite direction.  

Each Friday we take a stroll up the beach, watching as tide and time press and mould the sand. Nothing remains stagnant for long.  

Change is inevitable. 

These past few years have seen major changes in the flow of our lives. Most changes were for the better and while I may have resisted initially - like the landscape of a beach, the changes occurred anyway.

Time is a fickle thing. Time is a relentless march forward. There is no stopping. Or turning back. There is only onward.

So much time has passed since I connected with this space, I considered whining about it. Or closing it down for good. Yet a spark niggled, a nagging voice in my head grew louder and I wondered if it was possible to adjust my sails and begin a new voyage.

The beauty of change is possibility.

Anything is possible if you allow yourself to be open to it.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The truth of an underwhelmed would be writer

The past few years I have written so many words. Between my personal journals and my creative writing pursuits I have probably logged in excess of 100K, 200K words. Serious!

Back in 2014 I WON NaNoWriMo. I may have already mentioned this fact several times. I won't lie I was super proud of this achievement.

As for the story - well I spent 28 days writing a fairly (in my opinion: mediocre) mystery type fantasy. It began strongly, I fell in love with my lead characters as they played out a mini secondary love story on the sidelines. Then. STOP! The story came to a screaming halt. Brakes squealing, burnt rubber drifting across the air. 50,000 words later, I wrote myself to the middle section and found I was out of my depth.

A change of scenery - heck I changed the laws of the universe, there were a whole cast of NEW characters who were neither human nor beast. I floundered. I kept making notations, return to this section and add this, this and this! Go there and add that. "what were you THINKING"

My neat little mystery became a horror film.

{the horror mainly the RED pen that I used to correct my many meanderings of words}

While I did have the very best intentions to actually plan the story and draft it, the sheer volume of words buried me. I then began to question every single word I hand wrote and wondered if I simply wasted the entire month?

 What was I thinking trying to write a fantasy when I don't even particularly like reading fantasy!

So I filed it. One day I will see if I can de-frankenstein it &/or restructure it to a small series.

What I realised is I set out to do what I planned to do - I wrote 50,000 words in 30 28 days. I reached NaNo stardom. The winners circle was heady!

During October 2016... the whispers NaNo, NaNo, NaNo niggled at me. I dreamt of pens scrawling across blank pages. I envisaged holding the trophy high at the end "I would like to thank.."
I went out and purchased new notebooks and new pens. Internally I groaned at myself. Writing like a crazy woman was just plain... crazy.

I then planned. Sat. Twiddled my thumbs and twirled my pen. Wracked my brain.

Until I came to the conclusion I had ZERO clue what I would write about.

November 1st arrived... 27 days later (YES 27!) I finished a story. 50,000 words. Not including THE END. Which I also wrote. You see this time I actually wrote the beginning, the middle and the end. Then realised I have a skeleton with no muscles. Or blood. Or flesh. Eh. That is another entry for another day in the future!

Why am I musing about these past goals today? Well CampNaNo begins on April 1st. Of course I signed up immediately. Count me in. Take my money already.

Hold up. What will I write?

And that folks - is the end of this little tale. Now you may have a small iota of how I have been feeling since my ill-fated win of 2014. It is frustrating. Yet it would appear not so frustrating that I am willing to begin writing ANOTHER story. Perhaps one day I will actually look at what I have written and look at some kind of publishing. Or perhaps they will languish until some long lost relative discovers them on some weird little USB stick and finds an ancient Mac Computer and begins reading my crazy pipe dreams.  

Saturday, January 28, 2017

The one where she returns

A goal, a friendly challenge and a desire to re-connect has me once again opening the draft page of this blog and attempting to write a welcome back post. 

I am back. 

Hi! Did you miss me? 

How do I fill in a SIX month absence. 

This post is attempt number 226 (well not really, that number is a slight over-exaggeration) However many drafts do lie discarded, never to see the light of day even though the words make my heart sing they are not the words I need to record forever. 

So where do you start when you have allowed your favourite corner of the internets languish, broken, lost and abandoned. Heck you can practically see the dust bunnies if you peer close enough (nope... turns out that is just my dusty computer screen!)  

Perhaps I SHOULD NOT start with the word SO. I apologise that word is following me at the moment. I am conscious of it's overuse in my journal writing and online nattering but still it pops up... So... 

I would love to say it has been a glorious six month break. It was and it was not. 

Instead it was a time for reflection. 

I feel I have emerged from this cocoon. Change is all around me, yet as a creature of habit I resist it. I try to hide from it and then I come here to try putting it all into words and I am left deleting more than I write. Which isn't like me dammit!  

Ironically I am lost for words yet I sit here and wrote out a list of 10 potential posts. Go figure. 

Friday, July 29, 2016

Walk with Me

Last year I found myself pulled toward water. As my body slowly healed, my soul was nourished with weekly walks along the waterfront. 

Sadly 2016 kicked our butts, and changes to our weekly schedule has seen us prioritising other stuff. Our slow meanders along the waterfront stopped altogether. 

This term I decided enough was enough! No matter how exhausted we were by weeks' end, we needed a moment to let the wind mess our hair, to feel the sun on our faces and the squishy sand between our toes. On Friday's you can usually find me stuffing ice-cream into my face then taking a wandering stroll up the beach (which is actually down because technically we are walking south!) 

There are few people up this end of the Island and as we wander I can usually capture nature photos with only my child photo bombing. 

The squishy-ness of the crab balls delight us and the small one tries to jump on as many as she can, or pick up a handful without breaking them. 

I delight (and never tire) taking photos. The small pockets of water that remain long after the tide runs out. The mank smell of the stagnant water, the way the shadows fall across the small stretch. 

And of course I am photo bombed by my own shadow (who somehow thinks it might be batman!) 

My tired feet push on, leaving a gentle footprint or five hundred through the cloud of crab balls. They crumble softly beneath my feet as we walk. 

We search for shells, broken glass worn smooth by the wash of the water and collect seed pods or strange looking crab like flowers. 

The small child runs and cartwheels. She writes words with a stick and even buries treasure complete with an X marks the spot. Her face is smeared with ice-cream and she squeals with wild abandon (having been locked in class the entire day) 

Some days I wish we lived in one of the houses backing onto this stretch of water, alas we are not millionaires and I wonder if we would appreciate if it was at our doorstep. I yearn for a sea change, and then I return home and I look around me and I realise that I have everything I need and more right here. It is grand to dream a little though!