life, writing

L, M, N… no worries

Well, my A-Z went a bit off track. L was lost in space, and M went missing in a malaise created by sickness and aches and pains (not all of them mine, thankfully).

So now it’s N, and time to get back on track! No worries!

Life is a bit like this sometimes right? And it’s far better to roll with the punches than get caught up feeling stressed about all the things you wanted to do and then didn’t manage.

Personally, I’m just pleased that we’re past this vomiting bug (well, unless me or the eldest gets sick… *crosses fingers that doesn’t happen*) and that things are looking up again. I’ve been getting some writing and study done today and it feels good to have a head clear enough to do so.

Gotta make the most of the good days, and not worry too hard on the bad ones.

Now, I better get my thinking cap on for O! Any suggestions?

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writing

An abundance of M’s

Today I’ve been trawling through every file on my computer, Dropbox and Google drive in an attempt to find  something I started writing 3+ years ago. I remembered that it had been an attempt to write something with more of an ‘action’ feel to it, and that it began as an exercise in a creativity workshop thing I was doing just prior to Natalie’s birth – I’d been too tired, too scared, too anxious about trying to write something novel length since Lauren was born, and this particular piece, stemming from a dream I’d had, was a perfect way to cautiously approach a novel.

Of course, I never finished it, because life with a newborn, a 20 month, and a 5yr old is actually kind of insane.

But I thought about it today as I’m in a weird place in life right now – I have some spare time, but I have to start work on another assignment really soon, I have no pressing deadlines hanging over me (for uni, or anything else), and I want to write, but have nothing in progress as such. I’ve finished the drafts of three novellas this year, but I don’t have the time right now to revise any of those, and there isn’t much point in stressing myself out about that right now because I don’t plan on releasing those until late next year…

So naturally my brain went back to that other time when I was in limbo, waiting, and wanting something to play with. And this novel was the thing.

It has zombie babies, and regular zombies too. I’m on a bit of a kick right now and a friend recently said to me ‘you should write your own zombie novel’, so it was inevitable that my brain latched on that old idea.

I never titled this piece, and I couldn’t for the life of me remember the main characters names, so I went digging through every forgotten file, every ‘untitled’ document I could find.

And I didn’t find the story initially*. What I did find was that I have a ridiculous tendency to give my female leads names that begin with M. Overwhelmingly so. I had no idea!

Madea is the MC in Sun-Touched, and then we have Melanie from Surplus to Requirements, there is Melody in The Way the Sky Curves, and Moana in Shell and Bone. And then we have Meredith, Marama, Meagin, Megan, Marie, and Melissa from various short stories. And finally, Matilda in the Zombie Baby novel. Yes, I’m just going to call it the zombie baby novel for now. I literally have no idea where the story is going, though I’m sure I’ll have a blast finding out.

Not ALL my novels have M’s in the lead – Delaney is in charge in Saving Tomorrow**, and Lyssa is the female lead in Chasing Ascension… Gah! That might be it? Lord help me. I have an obsession with M names. Someone stage an intervention, right now. I’ll have to go out of my way to pick ANY other letter of the alphabet the next time I start a novel. Well, Samantha is the lead in my next novel, so at least she’ll kind of balance things out…

Save me?

Next time I start something new, I think I’ll put it to you to choose the letter the name begins with, because I need help. Obviously.

*I did find the first couple of chapters, thank goodness, but only because I’d emailed them to Anthony and I hadn’t deleted that email. I’m so pleased that my inbox seems to hold EVERYTHING from FOREVER ago. Apparently sending your stories to other people is the best back up method after all!

** It appears I might also have a thing for titles that begin with S… 

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750 words

Last month, M sent me the link to 750words, and of course, I signed up – it has badges, and stats and sends you an email reminding you to write. I’ve been struggling to reform a regular writing habit and it seemed like just the thing to help me out.  BADGES, people. BADGES.

Initially, it didn’t work. I was sporadic. I couldn’t even get the badge for a 3 day streak. Nothing was really working. Then all of a sudden, BAM, I was writing. 750 words a day, every day. I’m currently on an 18 day streak (it’ll be 19 when I do my writing for today), though yesterday was the first day in which all 750 (actually, 829) words were for a scene in Saving Tomorrow. I even wrote my words after getting back from a work function with hubby – I really needed not to lose my streak, even though it was late and I was exhausted.

I’ve used the site for planning, for outlining, for writing a short story for last months challenge, for starting a new short story, for venting, for problem solving, for writing scenes in my novel – all kinds of things. All of them words. Words I probably wouldn’t have got done otherwise.

I’ve written almost 18,000 words (on the site) this month, which is pretty amazing. Of course, not all on the novel, but all useful, all with a purpose. And I really don’t want to break my streak. I want a new badge, I have to keep writing to see when I will get one! Sometimes, these things work for people, and I am one of those people. I know others, too. I think Tama should sign up for when he starts his new novel (don’t worry, I have told him this myself! not just dropping hints via blog posts 😉 ) because he loves games, he loves badges.

It’s a great site if you need a hand getting back in the habit. I know I certainly did, and I am very grateful for it! I might even sign up for next months challenge and see if I can get 750 words every day for September. If you want a little math that would add at a minimum 22500 words to Saving Tomorrow. That’s a good chunk of novel right there. It might be slower than my progress back when I only had one child, but slow and steady is always going to get you there in the end.

And to be honest, I’m just grateful to be writing every day again.