life, new zealand independent book festival, NZIBF, writing

Up, again.

Sun catching
Sun catching

The sun has been shining here for a few days now and I am feeling much, MUCH, better. I took the pressure off, allowed myself to just take it easy and do the things I wanted to rather than doing everything like I normally do (or trying to, anyway).

It’s under a week now until the book fest (in fact, one week from today you can expect a wrap up of that event here on the blog!) and I am feeling in a really good place about it. I know I’m going to be nervous as heck, but also that I will be there with some great friends and we’re going to have a kick ass weekend regardless of whether we sell any books or not. Plus, a few days kid free just being an author? That’s pretty awesome too. I could use the downtime from parental duties, and I am going to enjoy the hell out of the road trip listening to just my music, really loud!

I’ve finally started work on Flare again. I’ve spent some of my ‘medication adjustment period’ reading Take Off Your Pants, a book about outlining. This has always been the bane of my authorial life. I never outline properly and I always pay for it. However, seeing as I was only a few thousand words in, I got to put the tactics to practice and work on the outline for this novella. Which made me realize I had started too late. So I’ve slowly been drafting the new opening scenes (mostly on paper with pen, while lying on my sunny deck), and then I’ll finesse what I already had to line up to my new, stronger outline.

It’s interesting, because I am noticing this happening a lot more. I had until now been thinking that for some reason I was suddenly bad at writing. Like, I’d forgotten how to do it, and it was just that much harder now. While admittedly I am a bit out of habit with first drafting these days due to the heavy editing loads I’ve had, I actually am realizing that I’ve moved past the ‘blindly writing shit because words are better than no words’ stage of my career, and am actually thinking more carefully about plot, and character, and everything else. There is definitely still a place for first drafting quickly, but this being the sequel I never intended to write (my plans for the Mother book of this trilogy changed after people wanted more from Carmel) I need to tread a little more carefully, and develop the world accordingly. I’m actually invested in getting it more right than wrong on my first take now, and not willing to leave that to chance.

Generally, in the past, it’s taken me a good 10K on novels, and half that on novellas to really get a feel for my main character, but I’m working on knowing them better before I go in now, and that should hopefully help cut down my revision time later on.

Anyway… Life is good. I’m actually feeling happy which is kind of wonderful. I’m hoping it lasts this time.

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Sunshine in winter

School holidays hit, and so did the sunshine! After almost a month of rainy days, the clouds cleared and we have been given the best of winter – frosty mornings, followed by gorgeous, sunny, warm days, and chilly evenings.

And it’s simply too lovely to spend time inside blogging. Or writing. Or anything else much…

I am enjoying this set of holidays more than any that has come before. I’m not sure why, but my best guess is a combination of the great weather, and the fact that every round of hols, the kids get older and our ability to do stuff increases. While we’ve not ventured far from the house just yet, we’ve been utilizing the trampoline, the sandpit, the swing, weeding gardens (clearing the backlog of washing! lol), and otherwise just hanging outside, enjoying the sun. Oh and we washed the car – well overdue, and lots of soapy fun at a friends house. The kids got saturated, and loved every minute of it.

We’re off to the zoo this morning with Mil and GrandMiL – they arrived yesterday afternoon and its been so cool having them here. The kids are loving it πŸ™‚

I am hoping to sneak in some writing later today when the littles sleep, and our big girl is out with her Nana’s. Wish me luck! I have a challenge story to finish and a fire inside me. I got another acceptance email yesterday morning and it has me itching to get more stories out on submission.

Today, I might actually take some pics to share with you. I keep meaning to, but then…I’m having too much fun to stop and think about it πŸ˜‰