An idea, I haz it!

Sometimes you get ideas at the strangest times. This probably isn’t one of those times.

Yesterday morning when Ivy and I were working on one of the modules for her ‘Becoming Human’ anthropology class, I was struck with the memory of an idea I’d once had. The video had just been giving us information on a woman who supposedly had given birth to 69 babies back in the mid 1700′s, and it brought to mind a story that I had begun writing at some point last year, and never followed through on. Naturally, it features a mother. (One day, my stories might stop centering around mothers).

I felt that instant jolt of ‘OH!!!!!’ and then once I’d finished helping Ivy study I went and dug out the file for the story, buried so deep that I had to use the search function to find it. The idea needs a lot of fleshing out, so I’m really excited to spend some time doing that this month, and I’ve signed up for the minimum word count (10,000) over at Camp Nanowrimo with the intention of writing the bulk of it in April. My first assignments aren’t due until May, so it *should* work out. 10K isn’t too much, and with luck this will run on the shorter novella side of things.

I knew something would crop up :-) For the first time in ages I am really excited by research and world-building, and it will just be so nice not to be editing or revising for a bit!

And then it was May

It was almost 9am this morning before I realized we’d entered a new month. A bright, shiny new month. I love those. Aren’t we lucky to have 12 of them every year?

I’m feeling a little silly this morning (in a good way). I have this huge smile on my face and I’m filled with zest for most things. For starters, April was actually pretty successful. I looked back on my first post of the month and checked in with what I wanted to get done. Despite my slackness, I finished Sun-Touched, which was my primary objective!

I also planted a garden, made my new office space my home (my book shelf is where the TV was! yay!!!), purchased a second hand sewing machine (an old Singer, in a table – love it), day dreamed about upholstering my office chair, started writing my first essay for my Counselling paper, polished and submitted a short story, and many other things.

One of which was to enjoy the first beta weekend event for Guild Wars 2. I LOVED playing the game. I tried out a bunch of the classes, and all the races. I love it. LOVE it. Can’t wait until the game is actually released, and am very excited for the next beta weekend as well – hopefully the other two races will be playable!

I was meant to have the whole weekend off after finished Sun-Touched. And it was my intention to. Strangely, I really missed having a work in progress though. Missed having a novel to use as my home base. So really, it was just Friday that I took off. Saturday rolled around, I played in the beta, attended my writers chat in Google Hangouts, and um, opened all my documents relating to TCM.

For some reason, something this simple has really confirmed for me that I AM a writer, through and through. I could have spent all weekend delighting in GW2, but I spent quite a lot of time playing in my own world, tracing character arcs and solidifying plot lines. I love Mel, the main character, and I am loving figuring out how to make her story the best it can possibly be.

A week ago, I would have said to you that May would be the month I’d finally finish Sun-Touched. Get my essay completed and sent in, and then spend the rest of the month planning. I need to fully outline the novella that I’ll write next month, as well as finish off the planning for TCM.

Now that goal has shifted slightly. I still want to do all those things, but I also want to revise the first 10,000 words or so of TCM. (Funnily, that’s in line with my post from the first of April! – I’m amazed how sometimes things work out to plan, even when you think they can’t possibly). I don’t know if I can get it polished to submission standard by the end of the year, but I am certainly going to try.

What has May got in store for you??

The End

Yesterday, for the first time in almost four years, I wrote those words at the bottom of the last page of a novel.

That’s right, folks. The first draft of Sun-Touched is finished.

WOOOOOOOOOOO. It feels amazing, and yet at the same time, I know that it is in no way a finished novel. It needs a lot of love, a lot of filling in and fleshing out, it needs plenty of tweaks and changes.

But for now, it’s done. I can step away from it, happy that I’ve finally cracked my novel-drought, having proven to myself that I CAN still do it. I think it’s got oodles of potential, and when it’s the right time, I’ll get back to work on it.

So, a few thoughts. I started this novel back in October, on Wednesday the 12th to be exact. I wrote in chunks, some weeks being really good, and others not good at all. I had to contend with Christmas, a road trip, two sets of school holidays and a number of other family/friend troubles. We started going to Playcentre, and I started studying…

It took me seven and a half months to write the thing, but I got there in the end. I’m sure the next one won’t take so long ;-) With everything else that went on, I think that time frame for a first new novel post baby isn’t too bad.

Anyway, yesterday my friend Leigh tagged me in a ‘Lucky Seven’ post, and seeing as pretty much everyone I know has been tagged by now, I am not going to put anyone on the list.

The rules are that you must post an excerpt from one of your books and this excerpt has to be seven sentences, lines or paragraphs from page 77, seven lines down.

Without further ado, here is a snippet from Sun-Touched.

The creature hesitated for just a moment before entering her body. It broached the skin of her chest, half disappearing. She felt sick watching it, so she shut her eyes, blocking out the sight of it.

The same sensations as yesterday crashed over her and she lost the ability to tread water. She began to sink, catching a mouthful of liquid before finding herself buoyed by the creature. It wasn’t doing anything that she could see, and yet it was the only explanation Madea could think of. She felt lighter, stable, despite the emotions that were overwhelming her.

What’s next? Well, I have some major planning to do for TCM, as well as some on another project, a novella which I will be writing in June. I still have to finish polishing off Longing and submit that (Today’s task), and then there is the essay… Funny how I said I was going to do that, and then finished my novel instead ;-)

I intend to take the weekend off! I totally deserve it. Though no doubt I will find myself being drawn to something or other… We’ll see. I’m flexible. I feel positive and full of excitement. I mean, I finished my novel!!! How great is that?

I hope April is turning out better than you expected – I had high hopes, realized there was no way I was going to get everything done, and then found a way to do it all anyway – so it’s never too late to turn your month around.

Admission time

I was going to have a great April. I was going to get SO much done. I was going to finish the first draft of Sun-Touched, among other things.

And all those high hopes went out the window, pretty quickly! It’s been a tough month, with many of my friends and loved ones having some pretty difficult times. I’ve had some difficulties as well, though I’m past those now, and trying to regulate things once again. School went back yesterday (YES!!) and so we can start to return to some kind of normal routine.

I have no idea why I told myself that this month was going to be a productive one. Two weeks of school holidays? Not a recipe for success when it comes to writing.

Anyway, I am forcing myself back on track. I’ve made a list of things that need doing and rather than dividing my time, I am focusing on one thing until it’s done, and working my way through. The last few days have felt reasonably good, and the list is getting smaller. Saturday was AMAZING, because I managed to tick off a whole bunch of things. Now if only I could get another day or two like that before the weekend…

I say before the weekend, because it’s the very first Beta Weekend Event for Guild Wars 2, which I pre-purchased mid last week. *shakes with excitement* I’ve been waiting a long time for GW2, and this will be my first taste. I can’t wait.

But, I need to have some more done before I can play. Namely the completion and submission of a short story (Longing), and the first draft of my assignment for my counselling paper.

Sun-Touched may have to wait, though I would like to crack the 70K mark before the beta opens. I no longer think it will be done this month, but I am looking forward to writing the ending once these other little tasks are ticked off my list.