Update from My Writing Desk

It’s the second month of the year already. Time flies when you’re having fun … or just when you’re older. Not sure which is truer these days.

Today, I’m glad to say that during the month of January, I averaged about 800 words per day. It may not sound inspiring to you, but to me that is one hell of a job well done. I am super proud of myself.

I’ve been working on Book 3 of The Land of Miu series, The Lion Gods. And, I might add, I am very close to writing those magic words “The End”. I should finish the first draft by the end of February. In fact, if I continue with my current average, I should finish it by mid-February. Then the editing stage begins. Without putting pressure on myself, I feel as if I will meet my goal.

In other writing news, the consistent writing has also awakened my mind to thinking about other ideas. I’ve written them down, but refuse to allow them to distract me from my goal. However, the ideas are quite vivid and I find myself thinking about how I might expand the ideas into another series for young readers. But this set of ideas will remain just that for the time being. Perhaps I will do something about writing these ideas when I’m in editing mode to give myself a break. I’m not sure yet. All I know for certain is that I do not want to lose the consistency of writing every day. So maybe writing 800 words for this idea and editing for an hour or so each day may be the way for me to go. I’ll see.

Lastly, I’m super excited to say that I purchased a cover for another of my manuscripts, known here as Mirror Image, but will be published with the title “Domino Effect”. The first draft of the manuscript is complete. This one is NOT for kids. It’s a very dark novel for adults. Totally the opposite to the stuff I write for kids. I have done a read through and corrected obvious errors, but that was in 2015 and my plan is to work on this one after The Lion Gods has been published.

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Question: Do you like to write one project while editing another?

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eBook Review: Gregory and the Grimbockle

MagykGregory and the Grimbockle by Melanie Schubert is a middle grade book. What am I doing reading middle grade books, you may ask. Well, I write for middle graders so I should read books for middle graders. It’s that simple. Plus, I enjoy them.

This book was offered for free through Bookbub, which is a place where they email you great deals each day. I’ve got some great books through them, so it’s worth an email per day. (No, this is not an affiliate link.)

It was a classic case of judging a book by its cover. I saw it, liked it, downloaded it. Yes, it was free, but I don’t download every free ebook offered to me. If it doesn’t appeal to me, I just keep going straight passed it. In this case, I downloaded it and a few days later when I finished the book I was reading at the time, I decided to read this one.

I am so glad I did. Because this book was excellent. I had no idea what to really expect. Or what it was about. The first chapter was well written and pulled me in. And then the grimbockle arrived and I was hooked.

It’s a story about how our lives intertwine with other people’s. And shows what we do in our life and the decisions we make can affect others. It was brilliantly put together and a fun lesson for middle graders to learn. However, I suspect they wouldn’t even know they were being taught something valuable. The characters are rounded and believable. The plot is plausible, as far as I’m concerned. The writing style was excellent. Truly, if you have a youngster in your life who loves to read, get this book for them. If you haven’t got a youngster around who’d enjoy it, get it for yourself.

Highly recommended.

Book Review: Magyk by Angie Sage

I used to write book reviews for all the books I’ve finished. However, due to circumstances I could not control I haven’t done so for many months (even years).

I wrote the reviews for others to find and read, and hopefully give them a feel for what they might be in for. But I also did it for myself as it became a permanent record of what I had read and gave me the opportunity to look back and find out, again, if I enjoyed the book or not.

As it’s a new year, I feel it is the right time to try and start the habit again. Here’s my first review, it’s ultra short but, hopefully, that will change as I get back into the swing of things.

Magyk by Angie Sage

I’ve had this book on my bookshelf for some time. Like most of my books I bought it second hand from an opportunity shop. I can’t say, because I don’t know, why I left it so long to read but I’m glad I finally got around to doing so.

I wasn’t sure about it at the beginning. It wasn’t anything I could point my finger on, as the saying goes, but I felt uncertain about the characters to begin with. However, I soon came to like them or accept them as they were, and I wanted to know what would happen to them.

I liked how the book “finished”. By this, I mean I appreciated that the author didn’t leave me hanging by stopping the story in mid stride. The book could be said to be a stand alone story as I don’t feel I HAVE to read any more of the series.

However, although I feel I don’t have to, I want to. I want to revisit this world of Magyk and find out what else might be in store for its people. I intend to return to this series shortly.

Happy 2018

Welcome to the New Year. Last year wasn’t the best for us, but 2018 is going to be so much better. G’s health WILL improve, I will continue to write and will publish the third and final book in The Miu Series, and life in general will provide us with reasons for laughter, love and happiness. This year is going to be great!

We saw the New Year in, however reluctant it may have been at the time (I really needed to go to bed, I was so tired). This morning I am heavy eyed, but the birds are singing and the world out there is sunny and otherwise quiet. Blue sky, warm sun, peace and quiet – the year has started well.

I have two New Year Resolutions that must be said “out loud”:

  1. This one has two parts: I will continue to write. I have been writing regularly for a few months now. Sometimes it is only a few hundred words, sometimes a few thousand. I put no pressure on myself and the manuscript is growing steadily. I’m pleased with the outcome so far. And, even better, I am approaching the end. The second part of this resolution is that, this year, I will publish book 3 of The Land of Miu, The Lions Gods.
  2. Due to the circumstances around G’s health, for the first time in my life I turned to emotional eating and have put on weight. This year, starting immediately, I will stop the emotional eating and I will lose the weight I’ve gained. I need to loose 10 kilo.

With that said, I would like to wish you a very happy New Year. I truly hope that 2018 is good to you and your family and that your life is happy, healthy and that you are surrounded by love and laughter. 

The Software I will Use

Once I move and set up my fabulous, new writing space, I then need to consider the software I will use to get the writing done.

For planning, I like to use two software packages. The first is Snowflake Pro Software. I purchased the software years ago and swear by it. Of course, you don’t have to buy the software, you can just follow the steps as set out on the linked page. I’ve done it that way too. Both methods work fine. I find using the Snowflake method gives me a clear outline so I know where the story starts and ends, as well as giving me focused details for the middle. If you have never heard of the Snowflake method of writing a novel, then you should seriously consider giving it a try.

The second piece of software I use for planning is a wiki. In all honesty, I can’t remember the name of it, but it is compact and extremely easy to use. I know it’s free and I find it useful in keeping my facts in order. Things like character profiles, setting details, research notes, links and images and anything else I need to keep track of. I hope I still have a copy of it backed up somewhere.

For writing, I also use two programs. One is a blank Word page. I will write and write and write. Filling one page after another. Once I do get into a flow, I can write for hours. But once the flow is interrupted then I find myself writing a word, a phrase, a sentence and then pausing for the longest time before I write another word, another phrase or another sentence. I’ve used Word for many years and love it, because I know what I’m doing with it.

The other software I use is yWriter. I started using this software a couple of years ago for a novel I’m writing for young readers. I don’t use the software to its full potential, but I found it helps me keep focused, and helps encourage me as stats are visible that inspire me to keep to a certain level of writing each day. I didn’t finish that novel and intend to return to it. And, yes, I will also continue to use the software.

Over the years I’ve tried other software, but I always come back to these four. I like them. They suit my needs. And that’s what’s important, isn’t it? The tools we use must be right for us. I use these tools, you might use something else, but as long as what is used helps get the writing completed, that’s all that really matters.

Having said that, it will be interesting to see if my tastes and needs have changed after such a long break. I will have to wait and see, won’t I?

Upcoming Writing Space

At present, most of my belongings are packed away. This has been the case for over three years. However, in October, that will change. We will move into our forever home and we will finally unpack everything we own. It will be exciting to see what we have. It will be even more exciting to see and touch and use our things again.

Amidst the excitement of that, I feel especially excited to have my own writing space again. I’m not sure what that space will look like as yet. I can envision an assortment of wonderful writing spaces. Some include a deserted island with everything I would ever need. Or one of those grass huts suspended above tranquil water, with a beautiful blue sky overhead and a temperature to die for. But I doubt I’ll end up with anything of that nature.

I will settle for a cosy space, that is quiet. It would be nice to have light and airy. And it would be absolutely out of this world to have two screens. In fact, I will not settle for less this time round. On all of this. By that I mean the peace and quiet, the light and airy and the two screens. Not the island or hut over water. No hope of that.

Anyway, my upcoming writing space is taking shape in my mind. I look forward to seating myself in that space in the near future and delving into old worlds and new.

WordPress App Trial

I downloaded the WordPress app to my iPad in the hope it will be easier to post. However, I just saved a post and it threw formatting to the wind. 

Will it again, with this post?

If it does, then I fear the app isn’t for me as I will not be happy with crazy formatting. Unfortunately, I can’t log in to the website right now for other reasons so the formatting will have to wait. But I am aware of it and will fix it when I can.

What a shame, the app would have been a good alternative. Never mind.

Still Getting Back into the Swing of Writing

I notice my last post was written in April this year — five months ago. Seems a lot longer to me. Things continue to be difficult, draining, and I continued to not write.

However, thoughts of writing remain with me. I find myself looking at book covers and wondering if The Lion Gods or Domino Effect would suit them. Scenes of their plots play out in my mind. Character faces (how I imagined them when I wrote about them) pop up unexpectedly for a fleeting moment. Difficult scenes I need to write twirl around and fly away. I’ve even found myself on Pinterest reading writing tips and saving them to my writing board.

The urge to write is growing. I feel it will happen soon. It makes me happy to think and believe this to be true.

October will be the start of (another) new chapter for me. Between now and then I will move (again). When I unpack my belongings, which have been boxed up and stored away for over three years, I will hopefully be living in my forever home.

I intend to set up a writing space for myself. I have promised myself that when I get that space, I will write.

I will write!

Yes, I will write. My plan is to start with a short period of time, or a low word count. 10 minutes a day sounds good to start with. No pressure. Then I will allow myself to increase that to half an hour and eventually to an hour a day. The promise I made to myself does not go beyond that. One hour a day. No pressure. I want to write because I want to, because I have a story to share. Not because I have to.

Roll on October. 😀

Getting Back into The Swing of Writing

Getting back into the swing of writing is a post written by Australian author Alison Tait. The title grabbed my attention and inspired me to write this post. Let me be honest, I haven’t written a thing in three years. Not a single word. In my defence I’ve had a lot on my mind, and I’m told I’ve been through multiple highly stressful situations during this time, however, in the past that’s when I write the most. But not this time.

I’m starting to find my feet and I have discovered over recent weeks I’ve thought about writing. Thinking and doing are two different things, I know that, but for me thinking is a step closer. 

There are five things I really do enjoy. Well, maybe I should say, I used to really enjoy. They are, in no particular order:

  1. Reading
  2. Writing
  3. Researching my family tree
  4. Playing the PlayStation
  5. Taking long walks with G and our dog.

I’ve never stopped reading. However, I can’t say the same for the other things on my list. Over the last few months though, I’ve restarted four of the five things. The only thing left to restart is the writing. I want to start. I guess this post is the first step. I wrote the post. I acknowledge my desire. I now have to … write.

I’ll get back to you in relation to this.