From One Thing to Another

So yeah, Nano is over for 2009 (thank God). It was a very busy month, not made any easier by me also trying to cross stitxh x-mas card to everyone. Well needless to say few x-mas cards were completed by December 1st, and I’m now struggling to get them all finished to send off. At the moment I need to finish 1 more for the Norwegian side of the family tree and 3 for the scouse family tree, and then of course they need to be mounted (get your minds out of the gutter now!). I’ve given myself Wednesday as send off date. They’ll prolly arrive at the two locations too late for crimbo, but it’s the thought that counts, right?

I really do apologise for not posting more often though, hopefully etisalat will install our internet soon and then you’ll all be sick of me. I have been writing a few post to publish, I’ll finally be giving my opinion on Pride and Prejudice and Zombies – apparently saying it’s “blah” isn’t good enough. There will be a few other book reviews as well, a New Moon rant (the film not the book), another rant connected with the Twilight Saga (I’m gonna have to spread those way apart, people will start to think I’m obsessed and I’m really not), then some updates on my cross stitching projects, some pictures and opinions from the Killers concert at the Emirates Palace, National Day pictures from Abu Dhabi, and my pre-New Year resolutions 🙂

Hopefully a couple of these can be posted this week, it all depends on how quickly my cross stitching goes, plus I need to clean the flat (room) for Christmas and get the decorations out.

At least the weather has turned a bit colder, really puts you in the Christmas mood.

So for now, how yourself a very, merry run up to Christmas and please stick around and comment when the content is finally up.

Auf Wiedersehen ( I think)

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Day 16 – Long Overdue Update

For those who thought I’d fallen off the writing wagon I must apologise, I just haven’t been near an internet connection since my last update. My home computers are working fine however and I’ve been writing, if not quite according to schedule.

As you can see by my sidebar widgets Novel 1 is almost at 50k now, the wordcount is slightly lower than it should be by the end of day 16, I attribute that to not having written anything on Thursday, Friday and Saturday as I was busy sending time with my hubby 🙂 By tomorrow I should hopefully be back on schedule, although since Sunday my muses have been suspiciously absent. Probably sulking after I ignored them for 3 days, but I’m sure I can get on their good side again.

As for story 2, that is even more behind. It really should be about 26-27k by now, but it’s been a real struggle all the way. Our main character finally has name, I wanted something traditional in the sense that it’s a name used by a mythical/fictional sorceress/enchantress, however as I searched I found very few names. Greek mythology had Circe and Medea, the first one is bleh and the second not an option, I am not naming my character after a woman who killed her kids to spite her ex. Then there was celtic names where only one came up Anu, kind of a crappy name. Anyway i was feeling ready to break and just compromise with the name of a famous witch, when I finally hit upon Ceridwen, welsh/celtic goddess of Magic, Kerry for short 🙂 From there more names came into the story and most characters now have names. The story is still untitled though.

I have to admit since my writing break this story has been coming more easily, I spent a lot of time thinking my way through the story over the weekend and it seems to have really helped, so fingers crossed the fantasy muses stay happy.

Right I think that’s it for an update, I promise I won’t wait a week and a half for the next one 🙂

Day Two – Quicky Update

Alright, since the word count widgets seem to be dead still I’ll just post a quick WC update here.

Novel One is going great, writing on it at the moment and the latest WC is 4899 words. A little behind what it should be by the end of day two but I still have a few hours to remedy that.

Novel Two is currently at 3545 words after stuggling with it most of the day today, let’s just say inspiration is not flowing in a steady stream when it come to this one.

 

So as I leave you now Carolyn is just about to arrive at the ball which will change her life, and my unnamed sorceress has found out just who she is supposed to ‘punish’.

About WordCount Widgets in sidebar

Ok, so I’ve put the word count widgets in the side bar underneath the participants badge. Now you can look all you want, but they aren’t showing yet, apparently they are not turned on yet so I’m hoping that’s something which will be fixed in the first few days. If not I’ll go a-looking for them somewhere else. You’ll notice once is named Carolyn and Her Reluctant Suitor, the second one is just named for genre at the mo while i find the perfect (or at least a working) title.

 

Alrighty, that’s enough updating. Back to the writing.

Just a few minutes to go now and then the madness starts

In the last week I have decided on what to write, at least sort of. My supernatural historical romance has been dropped for the time being; instead I’m doing a pure historical romance with characters who first surfaced back in 2006; my reason, a pure historical romance would be far easier to get published, at least over the plot of the supernatural historical. However I will also be writing a supernatural fantasy story with a contemporary setting.

Yes, you heard right, I’ll be writing TWO stories this year!!! It was the logical thing to do really, last year I wrote a 120k romance novel, that’s about 40-45k longer than Mills & Boon like their Historical Romance novels to be and I had not written the ending. The only reason it was that long was that I had a personal target of 100k and once I hit that I just keep writing dragging things out. So this year I have set a target of 130k, 80k for the historical romance and 50k for the fantasy novel.  I’ll be working on both of them throughout the month, which means there should be a word count update each day although as I don’t have internet access at home there might sometimes be two or three days between updates. I’m gonna set up a second profile on www.nanowrimo.org for the second book, that way people can easily see how far I am on each one. Otherwise it would just be one word count per novel which wouldn’t tell you much about how they were coming along individually, now would it. Hopefully I’ll get a Word Count widget up for both profiles within the next few days. Then again it might take a bit longer as wordpress can be a bit fiddly with widgets.

Ok so that’s the basics explained. Now do you want to hear more about the two novels? Of course ya do, well here we go.

Novel One

Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance

Title: Carolyn and Her Reluctant Suitor

Daily target: 2,667

What’s the Story:

Well Carolyn popped into my head a few years back when I had bought this writer’s software for the Mac, I guess it’s supposed to help you flesh out your story and characters when you do the outline, and in theory it sounds great, but it never quite worked for me and so the only time I used it was when I was testing it out and came up with Carolyn Mainwaring, a fresh out of the schoolroom debutant. She is a little flighty, a little flirty and a little silly, because that’s how she’s been taught to behave in public, but secretly she longs to sit in the salons of the great hostesses and discuss politics and literature. Anyway, as she is flirting her way through the ranks of eligible gentlemen she comes across the jaded Duke of Strathclyde, Lachlan McGillvary (think that’s his last name, can never remember), and falls head over heels in love with him. Unfortunately this is an entirely one-sided infatuation; Lachlan doesn’t have the best of experience with flirty, beautiful debutants and as a rule stays far away from them and their scheming mamas. True he is in the market for a wife, but she needs to be steady and practical, and there is certainly no need for her to be more than pretty, women who are too beautiful are in Lachlan’s experience trouble.

Carolyn’s not that easily deterred though and starts a very public campaign for her Duke’s heart. Suddenly jealous ex-fiancée’s, over-protective mamas and resentful would-be suitor’s get involved and it’s not just about her and Lachlan anymore. Will Carolyn get her Duke? Will Lachlan discover that his ideal duchess can be beautiful and practical, flirty and steady? Or will the people around them succeed in keeping them apart?

Novel Two

Genre: Supernatural Fantasy

Title: No Title yet (Suggestions welcome)

Daily target: 1,667

What’s the Story:

This is totally a spur of the moment story, just popped into my head a couple of nights ago. The character’s don’t even have names yet.

The main character is a sorceress, the only sorceress in existence as this power is something normally only passed down through the male bloodline. She is raised by her father in a supernatural community and grows up with many different races around, however she feels like an outcast and is often made to feel like one by her brothers and other sorcerers. Then a coven of witches move into the community and she finds another outcast, a half-demon witch. They become best friends, inseparable through their childhood and teens, until it’s time to go into the adult world of work and responsibility. The sorceress stays with the community and works for her father’s organization as a kind of supernatural police, making sure no one draws too much attention to themselves and punishing those who manage to anyway. The witch leaves as she doesn’t feel like she belongs with the witches or the other half demons and decided to find her own way. And that’s pretty much the back story which would be told by flashbacks, reminiscence or maybe a prologue.

As for the real story here it is in the words of our heroine:

I’ve killed before, punishing those not following the law as laid down by my father and the Congress of Sorcerers. Not once have I questioned my orders; I’ve taken pride in my work and done it flawlessly, at least as flawlessly as it can be done. I’ve never felt guilt, I’ve never had sleepless nights, I’ve never doubted myself; until now. Now I’ve been ordered to kill someone I once knew, a friend, the only friend I ever had. And I’m afraid; because I know I could do it and what kind of a person could kill their best friend? So what do I do? How do I save us both?

 

As you can see the first story is far more fleshed out then the second, and if you have title suggestions and character name suggestion for me for Novel Two please post them, I’d be grateful for any suggestions.

So to sum up:

2 Novels, 130k words, 30 days, 4,335 words a day

See ya all in December…

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) 2009

As I said a week or so ago, tis quickly approaching the season to be CREATIVE. As some of you might have noticed there is a brand new page on the blog, going by the name of National Novel Writing Month. The page is basically a recap of previous years, I surprised myself by actually having everything from outlines to participant and winners badges, I even have the banner for one of them, and I think I know where the other banners are lurking.

So if you want to know my NaNo history please take a look, and throughout November the 2009 section will be updated with current word count as well.

As for other updates on the 2009 Novel, they will appear here. For now there isn’t much to update you on. I thought I had decided on Modern Supernatural Fantasy, but then Historical Fiction always makes a bid for my attention which in turn has me thinking Historical Supernatural Romance (stop groaning there in the back, you don’t have to read it).

So yeah, less than a week left and no genre, no plot, no MC, it’s a little daunting. I’ve never been this unprepared before, I’ve at least had one of the above sorted before the Midnight Hour strikes on Halloween. And I know Chris Baty Says ‘No Plot, No Problem’, but I’m pretty sure there is a reason he didn’t say ‘No Plot, No Genre, No Characters; No Problem’!

So anyway, I’m off to the jungle that is NaNoWriMo Forums to find some inspiration. And failing that, I’m gonna hunt down my missing banners and post the on the National Novel Writing Month Page

It’s That Time Of Year Again…

NaNo time. Okey I suppose it is just over two weeks away, BUT this is officially the longest I’ve left it without planning anything. My excuse is pretty good actually, I had an exam on the 14th and spend all most of my time studying for that. Yeah it went ok actually, thanks for asking. Struggled a bit with the poetry, but everything else was alright.

Sooo, moving on. For those out there who haven’t heard me harping on about NaNo before, here is the short version: NaNo is short for NaNoWriMo which is short for National Novel Writing Month. It’s not so much national as international theses days and anyone can join. The rules are quite simple, you write a 50,000 word novel/novella in 30 days i.e from November 1st-30th, yes it must be in November, one of the unchangable rules I’m afraid.

Now I guess the next question would be ‘What’s in it for me(or rather you, erm you know what I mean)?’ Absolutely nothing, except the awesome feeling of accomplishment you get when your progress bar changes colour and everyone can see your a winner. I’m not gonna lie to you, it’s probably not something which will appeal to you unless you are a writer, but then I don’t see why you would even bother joining up if you aren’t. Actually I am a bit of a liar(what ever Drew), last year and the year before all winners would receive a free proof copy of their trade paperback book from self publishers ‘Create Space’. If I remember correctly you got a voucher on the winners page and you went to their site and arranged it all. I’m not sure exactly how you did it coz I never took advantage of it, most of past NaNo novels are still in that editing phase and likely to never emerge from it.

No one at NaNo headquarters actually reads your story though, even the verifier is automatic so no one is likely to steal you brilliant idea, or give you a book deal. Thought I should mention that as I had a friend once who claimed she had got an e-mail from the lovely people at NaNo offering to publish her book. Funnily enough she couldn’t remember her username when I asked if I could add her on my buddy list. Aww well probably just didn’t wanna be my friend. As it turned out though her NaNo publishing claim was one of her least fantastical stories 🙂

Sorry went off the topic a little there, back to the issue at hand. So after all this why should you sign up for NaNoWriMo 2009. If you are a writer and you feel you need an extra push then a month of working towards that 50k target should help you get a little rutine, also the NaNo community is great and with regional forum where you can meet likeminded people in your area and lots of other forum focusing on everything from genre to procratination and research. Basically everything you could want 🙂

So if you find you have some time to spare in November, look it up, get the more in-dept explanation from the site and start writing (well in 15 days time), here is the website anyway and you can look me up by clicking on the NaNo badge in the side bar.

Website:

www.nanowrimo.org

National Blog Posting Month

Right, so I always get sucked into these gimmicky things, NaNoWriMo and ScriptFrenzy to name but a few (ok so I haven’t completed Scriptfrenzy, but seriously, YOU try to write a screen play, it’s hard!!), and today as I was tinkering around on the WordPress Dashboard THIS was one of the WordPress News Items.

Long Story Short: From today (which is 19th of July here in UAE) until 18th of August I will endevour to post at least one thing every day as part of National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo). I don’t actually have internet at home so this should encurage me to get out of the house and in to town every day (YES, I will indeed brave the heat), and I might even get a tan, although with my usual SPF 50 that is less likely …

Unlike NaNo, which is where the NaBlo peeps got their idea, this challenge is not restricted to one month out of the year, instead you can pick which month to do it and even start mid month like moi. The only rule really is you have to post every day for a month. The helpful people over at http://nablopomo.ning.com/ even post monthly themes for inspiration and this month’s theme is ROUTINE, using the theme is optinal, but I can see how it would be helpful when feeling a bit uninspired.

So keep your fingers crossed that I’ll get into a routine and not eff this up 🙂

Oh yeah, before I forget, here is a link to My Page at NaBloPoMo.

Music…and Writing

It’s amazing the power music can have over a person. The ability to conjure up memories, long forgotten ones, repressed ones and, most often, cherished ones. Then there are times when the memory cannot be accessed and deep emotion is called forth instead, so strong and real it’s like it’s happening for the first time.

I’m sure everyone has at one point in their lives been asked the inane question, “If you could choose, would you rather be deaf or blind?” Frankly I’d rather be neither, but there you have it. Now, if being made to answer I would have to say I’d rather lose my sight than my hearing (knock on wood). I suppose many who know me would be surprised by that, after all it is a well known fact that I am never as happy as I am when I have a book to read. But then with today’s technology books can be accessed in so many ways; Braille is of course the age old option, although I’m not sure how much fiction is published in Braille. Then there is the firm favourite, audio books, my current favourite audio book(s) is the Harry Potter series read by Stephen Fry, I actually prefer listening to Fry read them than read myself now (well, except for his Tonks voice, I mean, come on!). But back to the subject at hand, blindness wouldn’t stop my reading. Being deaf on the other hand would mean no more sound; to never again hear the love of your life telling you how much he loves you, never hearing your name called out unexpectedly in the street by an old friend, never again recalling fond memories when hearing a song for the first time in years or making new memories with new songs. Of course there are many ‘never agains’ with being blind too, but none of those seem as important to me.

I was watching a film called August Rush the other day, which tells the story of an 11 year old boy who lives at a boys home outside NYC. He hears music in everything and is convinced music will lead him to his lost parents. The film starts by explaining his parents circumstances and why he’s not with them, and then begins the journey to find them. What I really loved about the film was how fitting the music was, a lot of the themes start out as normal city noise and then it’s all put together, making music the main character of the story and the film. The actually human relationships and plot of the story is forgettable, there are dozens of similar films out there, but as pure entertainment and fluff it’s definitely watchable. But no, it really needs to be watched for the music, using everyday noise as a basis for the soundtrack of our lives, culminating in August’s Rhapsody at the end. So while on the one hand it’s a story about a boy looking for his lost parents, the main story has to be music and how it influences our lives. Did I cry? Well of course, I cry at the drop of a hat remember.

Hmm, well the point of this post was really just to say how much I love music. As always I end up going off topic for a while, but hopefully it all makes sense. Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of scores, the Twilight, Torchwood and Doctor Who 1-4 scores being played rather a lot these days. For me it’s the best music to write to, as I think I’ve mentioned before, and I try to download a wide variety of them. In this task my DH helps a lot, he has pretty much all the scores from his xBox games and a few of those songs are ones I’d actually listen to. Then there is the excellent web radio, Radio Rivendell, which plays game and film scores all day long, since we don’t have the internet in our place it is a rare treat for me to listen to, but seriously if you are likewise inclined check it out. It definitely is a firm favourite amongst the NaNoWriMo Fantasy writers, though I find it works just as well when writing Historical fiction.

Talking of fiction, the last few weeks have been filled with sleepless nights, yet again. The Writeroom app on my iPhone is getting a lot of use as story ideas, plots and characters keep invading my brain, and you know that’s great and all. Except I have about 6 stories unfinished that have just stopped, how about I get some inspiration for them, huh? At the moment though I can’t get to most of my files as they are on the mac and in Scrivener, and I don’t have a monitor for it where we are now. I knew using the TV as a monitor was a bad idea, how am I gonna lug around a 32″ flat screen? I’m sure I’ll find a way, where there is a will and all that. Besides I have quite a few handwritten things to type up at the moment, my ‘epic’ Forgotten Enemy springs to mind, epic because it’s now 10 years since I started writing it. I still have 50 pages of handwritten story, the first few chapters actually, waiting to be typed up and the writing is becoming faded so I should get it done sooner rather than later.

Basically, it’s not like I have nothing to do or write. I could even do some house work, let me just hook up the iPod first.

Explaining the magic new (but old) posts

You might have noticed an increase in the archives, but then again you might not have. The reason for it is of course that I have used wordpress’ nifty importer tool and imported all my old blogs to this one place. There are about 5 different blogs mixed into this one blog now, so you might come across 5 posts saying welcome to my blog, this is my first post la-di-da, then there will be about 5 posts with the usual, OMG I haven’t posted for month’s soooo sorry, will do better now. But I never do.

I had two NaNoWriMo blogs, one for 2007 and another for 2008, these were without a doubt the most neglected ones, mostly because once I actually got to November and NaNo started the last thing on my mind was blogging. I had fiction to write don’t ya know. The Nano blog posts refer to winners badges on the site, but I don’t actually have them here. Maybe I’ll make a little bragging page where I can display my achievements, but that’s not really at the top of my to-do list at the moment.

Now I think that was it, no more important info to announce.

And yes you will get a proper blog post soon(-ish)

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