July Goals Progress Update

I realised I forgot to do this last week – apologies! So I’ll cover the last two weeks in this progress update. Long story short – some great bits of progress, and some definite failures…

Reading:

  • I have read 53/117 chapter of the Count of Monte Cristo. Between keeping up with Camp NaNoWriMo and ‘One Short Month’ short story project, I’ve not had a huge amount of time to read this. I need to accept that I’m not going to finish it this month, so I’ll just try and get as much read as I can next week and aim to finish in July!
  • I fell off the wagon for a few days on the ‘One Short Month’ project, but I’m back on with it, and I’ve found my new favourite story – ‘Uncle Chaim And Aunt Rifke And The Angel’ by Peter S. Beagle – if you haven’t read it you should definitely check it out! Looking forward to the last few stories of the month!

Writing:

  • Excerpts #23, 24, and 25 are finished, and I’m 212 words into #26, with the outline fully written. I will definitely get it finished this week and hopefully get started on #27 which would put me ahead of schedule.
  • I’m 41 hours in to my Camp NaNoWriMo project with only 9 hours left to reach my goal. I’ve finished my rewrite of chapter 1 and the epilogue, and now I’m on to the next part of my revision: writing full descriptions for my characters. I’ve cobbled together a list of questions to answer and have started filling them out for each of my characters. It will be a long process because I have a LOT of characters, but it will be worth it when I’m done so I can go back through the book and make sure that all of them are reacting the way they should, and that I’m tightening up my “show don’t tell.” When that’s done and I have one more recheck for grammar mistakes and typos, then I’m ready to read through the whole thing and check for plot holes, etc…

Okay that’s it for me, only one more week to go and it’s the end of July! How are all of you doing? I hope your writing is going well!

Slán!

C.x

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Love Your Writing

I have a confession to make: I like the stories I’ve written; the short stories for my current project, my random drabbles, the novel I’m working on, pieces I’ve written for writing challenges. I find myself smiling, laughing, feeling giddy, content, and sad when reading them. I enjoy reading them.

Do I think they’re perfect and don’t need any more work?

Absolutely not.

Just because they’re not perfect, just because they could do with more editing, more revising, more work, doesn’t mean that I can’t enjoy them, or that I should hate them. I’ve noticed that there’s a trend of always hating what you’ve written, never being content with it, and never admitting to liking your own work. Why is this? It doesn’t make any sense to me not to love your own work – it’s yours, you created it all by yourself. It is the product of your time, effort and imagination. It’s your creation – why would you hate it?

What we need to be doing is evaluating our writing critically – yes I enjoy reading what I’ve written, but for the pieces I want to expand on or do more with, I’m always thinking, ‘How can I improve it? How can I make it even more enjoyable to read?’ Even with old pieces of writing that I find absolutely cringe-worthy, I read over them, searching for something that I like, something that reminds me why I was excited to write it in the first place.

Continue reading “Love Your Writing”

Excerpts From Unfinished Novels #4: Glass Hearts

Genre: fantasy romance

Warnings: mild sexual scene, mention of violence

Word Count: 3,051

Summary: Spurned on by diaries from her forgotten youth, Ellie travels far and wide in search of someone who can help restore the memories she took from herself, and help her find her long-lost love.

 

Excerpt is from the start of the book, around chapter 3/4.

‘I found a spell that will reveal my soul mate to me; I’m going to try it tonight.

Oh my Gods…she’s amazing; funny, clever, and absolutely gorgeous. Her name is Angela and she is an angel.’

Ellie shivered and pulled her cloak tighter around herself as the fierce easterly wind dragged sheets of icy rain with it, pelting the side of her face and extinguishing any hope of sustaining a fire; without a flame she had no hope of creating a charm to keep herself warm. She had hoped to try and find a more sheltered place in which to make camp, but the wind and rain were getting worse, signalling an incoming storm. Sighing, Ellie scanned the area around her and managed to spy a small copse where she should be able to set up a shelter for her horse and anchor her caravan. She quickly directed her horse to the copse, and once there, worked as quickly and efficiently as possible to get a shelter up, set Milly up under it with a blanket and a bucket of oats once she’d been rubbed down, and then made her way inside her caravan. By the time she entered her small home she was soaked through; her teeth were chattering and her fingers felt numb and useless as she struggled to light her lantern. She could barely grip the flint properly, and she cursed as she failed to get a single spark. She angrily threw the flint on the table and slumped into the nearest seat, curling up and bringing her fingers to her lips so she could breathe warm air over them while rubbing them together. She started shaking, but eventually the strength returned to her fingers, and she hastily took up the flint again.

This time she was met with success and she soon had her lantern and the stove lit, their flames creating shadows that danced merrily around the caravan walls. Once the flames were strong enough, Ellie shed her wet clothes, closed her eyes and pulled what heat she could towards herself, wrapping it around her body like a blanket. The effect was immediate; her body instantly felt warm and the strength returned to her bones. She revelled in the heat for a while longer, and once her body had fully dried she grabbed a pair of undergarments, britches, and a loose tunic, and quickly dressed. She held the warmth around herself as she cooked and ate her dinner, and it wasn’t until she was buried under several layers of blankets that she finally let it go, extinguishing the fire in the stove and lantern in the process. She sighed and buried herself further under the blankets, closing her eyes in anticipation of a good night’s sleep.

Which was not meant to be.

After what seemed like an eternity of tossing and turning Ellie officially gave up on sleep and gave in to the thoughts and questions banging away in her brain. Luckily there was enough heat left in the embers of the stove to allow her to light the lantern from her bed, and once the caravan was once again basking in the glow of its flame, she reached under her mattress and pulled out the old, leather-bound book that was the cause of her journey. She opened it and read through the entries for what must have been the twentieth time, her heart still pounding at the now-familiar words. She couldn’t believe that it was all true; she’d long thought it all a dream, a fantastical fantasy, that she had experienced a love beyond anything she could have hoped for. But her diary, hidden for so long, told her otherwise, told her that it was true, that Angela was real. And that it was her fault she was gone. Tears welled up in Ellie’s eyes as she read over the last few entries.

“No one believes me when I tell them about Angela. I know it sounds fantastical, that I am in love with and am loved by an ethereal being, but surely it should be obvious, surely there should be some outward sign. I don’t know why it is only I that can see her and hear her and feel her; I wish more than anything that someone else was able to acknowledge her existence so I would be justified in my insistence that I have found the love of my life.”

“My parents think I am going mad. Maybe I am? If everyone else tells me that Angela is not real, then who is really right – I alone, or everyone else together?”

“They want to send me to the sanatorium. I cannot go, I WILL not go. There must be something I can do…”

“It…it is done…Oh Gods what have I done? My love…my Angela…I’m so sorry. I have ripped out my heart in doing what I have done…I cannot bear to remember it, so I will lock those memories away with my love. I pray that my future self never finds this diary. Ellie, if you do, do not go looking for Angela; you will not find her. There is no going back from what I have done.”

“You’re lying,” Ellie whispered into the pages as she pressed them against her face which was wet with tears. “I know she’s out there somewhere; I know I can find her. I just need the right spell.”

“Why don’t you just try summoning me again?” a familiar voice said huskily, and Ellie felt a delicious thrill run through her as an arm slipped around her waist and a body pressed against hers from behind.

“Because it doesn’t work Angela,” she replied, torn between wanting to relax against the other woman and push her away. “The best I can do is summon you, and you are a mere apparition.”

“How do you know I’m not the Angela from your youth?” the apparition purred into her ear, gently licking her neck.

“Because you’re not real,” Ellie said, stubbornly holding in a groan.

“I feel real though, don’t I?” ‘Angela’ ran her hand over Ellie’s body, raking her nails gently against the skin of her belly before cupping her breasts.

Ellie whined, her body instinctively arching into the touch.

“See? Just as good as you had it before.” ‘Angela’ tugged at Ellie until she had turned to face her, and then cupped her face in her hands, stroking her thumbs along her cheeks. “Come on Ellie; be with me. Please?” she whispered, before pulling Ellie in for a kiss.

Ellie whimpered and kissed her back, before suddenly stiffening and pushing ‘Angela’ away.

“No,” she gasped. “No you’re not her, I know you’re not her.”

“How do you know?” ‘Angela’ demanded, her face thunderous with anger as she sat up. “Why can’t you accept that I’m who you’ve been looking for this whole time? Why am I not good enough?”

“Because you are not her,” Ellie said gently, sitting up and facing her. “You’re something my mind created in a moment of desperate loneliness.”

“How do you know that that’s not what you did when you were younger? It would explain why only you could see me.”

“I just know.” Ellie shrugged and pulled her knees to her chest, hugging them lightly. “Reading those diary entries…it brought all these memories back. I remember Angela, I remember her and how real she was. You’re just…a pale imitation of her; an amalgamation of all the wonderful things about her without any of the depth. I want the real Angela, I need her.”

The apparition’s lip wobbled and a few tears rolled down her cheeks before she hastily wiped them away.

“I understand,” she said gruffly. “Then why am I here?”

“Because I’m lonely. Because I miss her, and you’re the closest thing I have right now,” Ellie admitted.

‘Angela’ snorted in derision and lay back down, turning her back on Ellie. Ellie stared at her for a long while, trying to fathom just what was going on with her magic and her mind when she summoned this apparition that seemed to feel so deeply, and wanted so badly to be the real Angela, or at least, to have Ellie accept her as the real Angela. There was a small part of herself that wanted to give in, to accept this version of Angela and scrape together some semblance of happiness, but the larger part of her knew that she would never be at peace until the real Angela was back in her arms again, regardless of the cost.

Continue reading “Excerpts From Unfinished Novels #4: Glass Hearts”

Weekly Update (1st – 7th July 2017)

As promised, here is my progress update from the past week!

Reading:

  • I have reached chapter 46/117 of the Count of Monte Cristo. I had some great days of reading when I got lots done, and then others when I read only short stories and didn’t even glance at this. So, need to do better this week!
  • I have managed to keep up with the One Short Month project, and have read and discussed the stories on tumblr. It’s been really fun, and I’ve discovered some really great stories including: Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers by Alyssa Wong, and Combustion Hour by Yoon Ha Lee – both are well worth checking out!

Writing:

  • I have managed to dedicate 18 hours to editing and revising Wild and Free, and am currently in the middle of chapter 9, which is taking a bit longer than the rest because it involves some pretty heavy fight scenes. I have hit one snag though – I’ve realised that I’m a bit ‘meh’ about my first chapter, so I’m going to be completely rewriting it (here’s so Wild and Free Version 3!) – glad that I’ve figured this out now though than when I pass it on to other people for reading!
  • I have send in my application for the competition; I’ll be hearing from them on August 16th about whether or not I’ve been successful, so fingers crossed!
  • I have written 2,071 words of excerpt #23 of my short story project. I’m more than half-way through the story and I WILL finish it tomorrow and get on with excerpt #24.
  • I have chosen three prompts that I want to answer – two from wordpress and one from tumblr. I am determined to answer one of them next week, so we’ll see how that goes!

That’s all from me – I will be spending eight hours on a bus tomorrow, so at least four of those hours will be spent editing/revising Wild and Free, and with the other four will be spent getting some new stuff written!

How is your writing and reading journey going? Are there any Camp NaNoWriMo people here?

Slán!

C.x

July 2017: Camp NaNoWriMo, Submitting a Novel, Short Story Reading Group and More!

Hello all!

I joined wordpress eleven days ago, and have already found some wonderful blogs to follow, have read beautiful short stories and poems, have posted a few pieces of writing and received some lovely comments for them – excellent! Hello to everyone who’s following me, and thank you to those who’ve liked and commented on my posts!

I’ve found that without some sort of deadline, schedule, or goal-setting, I get very little productive work done when it comes to my writing, so every month I set myself some goals to accomplish, and I thought it would be fun to share them with all of you and my progress as I go along!

July 2017 Goals

Reading:

  • I have been plodding my way through The Count of Monte Cristo for about three weeks now, and it’s time I actually sat down and just READ it. It’s not that I don’t like the story (because I do, I think it’s intriguing and ridiculous and funny and dramatic), but I keep getting distracted by reading short stories here on wordpress as well as on wattpad and tumblr. I have an overall goal of wanting to read at least twenty books this year, so I need to get cracking if I want to meet and hopefully exceed it!
  • I’ve joined in with a short story reading group that’s being run on tumblr by user amormadeofbooks. It’s called ‘One Short Month’ and we’ll be reading and discussing twenty-two short stories from a variety of genres and authors. Since I’ve gotten more in to writing short stories I really want to get into reading them more, so I’m hoping this reading group will be a good starting point.

Writing:

  • My main writing goal for this month is to completely revise and edit my first novel “Wild and Free.” I’ve joined July’s Camp NaNoWriMo in the hopes that it will keep me motivated to get it done.
  • I’ve also recently found EXTRA motivation to get my editing finished as I’ve found a competition for unpublished authors to join a mentoring programme and hopefully get their work published and the application date is July 16th. So I will 100% be focusing on getting my manuscript ready for then!
  • I want to keep the pace of writing one short story a week for my short story project ‘Excerpts From Unfinished Novels’, which means that by the end of the month I should have written short stories #23 – 26.
  • And because I love giving myself too much work to do, I would like to also have answered at least one writing prompt from tumblr and one writing challenge here on wordpress.

I’ll post weekly updates on my progress – which should hopefully ensure that I keep up with my goals REGULARLY rather than cramming them all in at the last minute which is my usual M.O. hehe… Are there any other goals of mine that you would like to know – life/blogging/travel/other?

Have you set yourself any goals for July? What are your thoughts on goal-setting – yay or nay? Let me know in the comments!

Slán!

C.x