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Getting things done

There is nothing quite like finishing something off. Oh it feels good, and it’s something I haven’t done in far too long.

Today I finished editing The Comfort of Wood – I started the story so very long ago, and finally, it’s finished! I’m going to do a final read through tomorrow before submitting it. I think it’ll be my first submission for the month, which is a shame seeing as it’s almost the end. At least I’ll have something out in the world looking for a home again.

It’s reminded me just how awesome it feels getting a piece to this point. It’s a feeling I now want more of – which is great – hopefully it means I’ll have a few more pieces done by the time the end of April rolls around.

Of course, most of my energy is being directed towards Tales. There is a lot of editing/proofreading to do before release, and only a few weeks to get it done. I’m confident that we will though πŸ™‚ The line up is fantastic and I can’t wait to see the final ToC! It’s going to be amazing when I finally have a copy in my hands. I’m looking forward to reading through and enjoying the stories just for themselves, and not in an editorial way.

I’m working on ticking more things off my list, seeing as it’s such a good feeling, and tomorrow I’m going to reward myself with a little play time πŸ™‚ Oh I’m so excited. I’ll tell you more tomorrow πŸ˜‰

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Writing, writing, writing

I got up early this morning – okay, to be honest, I’m up before 6am most mornings – but this morning I didn’t get up and launch into work on Tales for Canterbury tasks. I cleared my emails, got breakfast for the little ones and got stuck into some writing. Boy did it feel good! I have missed this. I haven’t written since the quake hit, even though I had the best intentions Friday night, and I feel refreshed and renewed.

Sometimes, you just really need to be putting your own words on the page. As much as I love reading other stories, as passionate and driven as I am about the anthology project, I am still a writer myself. I still need to feed my own creative side.

The influx of emails has thankfully died down a little now. We’ve got loads of work ahead of us, but I’m feeling more balanced. Back in control. It’s a good feeling to have – especially seeing as March is right around the corner and I still need to get back to work on the novella. I don’t think I can wrap Comfort up in the next couple of days, so I intend to keep working on that over the month ahead – plus there is March’s challenge story to write! I do love a good challenge.

It promises to be an exciting, and incredibly busy month. I’m feeling alive and great though, kind of like I can tackle anything. It’s really true that doing something for others has positive effects in every area of your life. Nothing like a disaster to bring people together, to break down barriers, to heighten your sense of community and place.

I’m very proud to be a kiwi. I’m proud of all the amazing things people are doing to help those in Christchurch, and while I wish I could be on the ground, helping out in person, I can be content that in my own way, I’m doing all the things that I can.

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Scene dilemmas

Never before have I had such difficulty with a story – a story I’ve always known the outcome of and had a good idea of what needs to go in even! I can’t quite pin down WHY it’s causing me so much trouble, all I know is that it’s incredibly frustrating, and I hope that the end result is worth the hassle so far.

I am pretty sure I’ve deleted as many words as there are currently in the document. Maybe more. I’ve written half scenes only to delete them entirely when I realize they start in the wrong place and go about telling the story in a way that I don’t think works. Or don’t work as well as I want.

Actually, now that I think about it, there has been one other story that’s been like this. The Comfort of Wood. It’s got heaps of potential but still needs to be reworked and polished. And have the first few thousand words cut…..

Female main characters, death, fantasy settings, conflicted emotions, deception, and secrets. The stories have those things in common.

Ah, and they also have vital pieces of information that need to be kept from being revealed too early to prolong reader enjoyment. A balancing act of showing enough, without telling, without info dumping, without destroying the tension of the piece.

Obviously, this is something I need more practice with. I usually have a good balance and can write with a fairly subtle hand when required, but these two stories have challenged me.

It’s GOOD to be challenged.

It’s also good to begin a blog post with a question and end with a solution – so thanks for reading my thought process as I worked out the cause of the frustration!

Back to the story now….

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Huh…

I’m sitting here while the little one sleeps, wondering what to do. For the first time in a long time I’ve reached the end of my immediate list of Β and am left wondering ‘what next?’

I finished the first draft of ‘The Comfort of Wood’ last night (amazingly, I wrote around 2,000 words yesterday), and while I had told myself I’d also like to have Meredith’s story polished and submitted before the writing for the workshop began, I don’t feel the pressing need to get onto that right this minute. I could also find a new place to submit The Feud to. Yeah I should do that at least.

Maybe it’s because I’m sick. Yup, the girls got me with their darn cold. It’s okay though, better to get on with it so that I can get better sooner.

So I’m not feeling like I HAVE to do anything. I’m poised, waiting for the workshop to start. I’m obsessively going over my goals (which is more fun than it might sound!) and am looking forward to posting them tomorrow. I keep changing the order in which I want to do them. Keep switching projects for one of them… ah so much potential, so many things I want to explore. I’m focusing on FUN rather than problems, though I intend to keep my issues in mind with each story I write.

Just thinking about that makes me want to do stuff though. So I am off to search duotrope for a new potential home for The Feud, and then I think I’ll make some pinwheel scones.

Yum.