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Disconnecting To Reconnect

Have you ever had the feeling that you needed to disconnect in order to reconnect to things that matter, to the things that you should be focused on?

I had that today.

Over the past week, I’ve felt like I have been consumed by things that I have allowed to ensnare me. I have focused all my time and energy on things that could, quite frankly, fall under the classification of ‘addiction’. And so, this morning, I made a concerted effort and a firm decision to disconnect. I needed to.

Today was the first day that I barely checked my phone. And when I did, it was to check on posts I’d made to my writer account on Twitter to see responses to questions posted, or to check on the odd DM here and there. The rest of my day, I spent editing my manuscript and binge-watching a Korean Drama that I’ve had on my list to watch on Netflix since I discovered it. And when I wasn’t doing either of those things, I was reading.

This is what I needed to reconnect to. I needed to reconnect to my writing, to my editing, and to my reading. But that is only a few things to name that I’ve needed to reconnect with. There are still more things to reconnect with, like doing blog entries on my page.

I know that it is going to be difficult to shake, like any addiction is but, the thing is, I’ve done it before and I can do it again.

Has anyone else found themselves sucked into things that they wish they could disconnect from? Have you got any suggestions on how to keep yourself from getting tangled up in the constrictive vines of an addiction? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

 

The Start of a New Year

I’m kicking this entry off with wishing you all a very Happy New Year!

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I didn’t post much last year so there is a bit of updating to do. So let me just jump right into it.

November 2018 saw the beginning of National Novel Writing Month. It was my second time partaking in NaNoWriMo and whilst I did achieve the goal of 50 000 words, the story I started is not complete. I must admit that I had some difficulty writing the story that I had planned for November. It was the first time I actually sat and plotted out a story like that. I made up a realm for the story, gave each of the lands names, I created house names and did a lot of character plotting, fleshing out the characters as much as I could. I did a lot of planning and plotting and outlining and when it came time to write the story, I actually found it difficult to even start and get to the point that I did.

I feel that perhaps for me, planning out stories isn’t a thing I should do. In 2017, I just had a bare-bones idea for a story and just wrote. I wrote more than 50 000 words and finished the story too. So, for now, my story that I started in November month has been placed on the back burner.

December 2018 I actually just took a break from writing. Well, for the most part of December I did. Work was insanely busy and when it wasn’t that, it was Christmas madness that demanded my attention. So yes, December was not very productive.

Usher in January 2019 and I have just submitted a short story for another Anthology call. I am hoping it will get picked up. This year, hopefully, will be a little more productive for me, both in story writing and blog entries. This year, I believe, will also see the release of the Anthology series I submitted a story to last year that was accepted so I am really looking forward to that.

This year, I plan to edit my first draft written for my story entitled ‘Pure Born’ that I wrote during NaNoWriMo in 2017. I have already started on that. I’d like to also continue with the co-authored piece I started writing last year. And, at the beginning of the new year, I’ve already received information from a friend regarding submissions that have opened up for next year already in two anthologies. But, seeing as those are for next year only, one in January and the other in July, I have some time to think about what I’d like to write.

I have also been toying with an idea for a bit of a retelling of some classic, Gothic horror tales, or at least taking elements from classic Gothic horror tales and incorporating them into a story of my own. That is a major project though, I believe, with the ideas I’ve had so that will take a bit of time. I want to find some more submission calls this year to write for because I really enjoy writing short stories for anthologies. I feel that short stories may actually be my strong suit when it comes to the writing game.

So for the year 2019, I’m going to endeavor to do a lot more writing and a lot more reading. I’ve lost touch with reading and it’s made me a little unhappy. I have a few books I need to finish and I want to read more. I also want to try and do book reviews on my blog so reading is definitely something I want to get back into doing because there are so many excellent stories out there waiting to be read.

So, if you have any book suggestions you’d like to make, please, put them forward. I’d love to read them and review them.

 

NaNoWriMo 2018 – The Road So Far

It’s Day six of National Novel Writing Month for 2018 and so far it’s been a good start.

I have managed to meet the word count each day of 1667 words and add in a little extra, day six being the best word count day for me of 1915 words. I have also managed to meet each day’s total word count goal. Today was 10 000 words and I managed to make it a total of 10 718 words. In comparison to my first year, that being last year, I have taken a slower pace at writing this story than I did last year. And what’s funny about this is that last year I did slim to no planning for the story, had a bare-bones idea for the story I wrote and yet, in that year I was flying through the word counts. I reached my goal of 50 000 words in three weeks last year and ended the month of November with more than 50 000 words and I was proud of that.

This year, I did a lot of planning. I did more character profiling for the characters I had in mind. I did a map for the realm I’ve created, I even did a couple of chapter plot outlines. I threw ideas back and forth with two of my friends to see what worked and what didn’t and built the story up like that, jotting notes down furiously in my journal. I even found pictures on Pinterest to serve as ideas for what the characters would look like. I put a lot of planning this year and now I’m working at a casual pace for writing this year. I am not setting word goals this year. As long as I get the word goals each day and do my 1667 words and a little more, then I am happy with that.

I will admit that self-doubt and a bit of a panic attack threw a bit of a spanner into the works and I was beginning to question why I was doing this particular story for NaNoWriMo. I’ve done a couple of stories already but it wasn’t really in this particular genre and because of that, right before NaNo started, the self doubt started hitting me and I was scared to even try this. But, a talk with my friend and I was calmer and I decided to continue with the plan. She reminded me that this is just a first draft. It’s to get the ideas down and then work with them in the editing process.

But, because of this, when I started writing the story, there was still a lingering whisper in the back of my mind that my writing this was a bad idea. But, I’ve pushed through that, ignored that voice that has been telling me I’ve been writing absolute trash and just wrote. And at the moment I’m happy with what’s been written so far. There are some points when I cringe a little, like this:

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But, I’ve ignored that for now and had a mantra going in my head…

It’s just the first draft.

All in all, it has been a bit of a slow start this year but, even though I’m not racing ahead with the story, I am happy that I’m at least meeting the goals for each day.

Prep work for #NaNoWriMo

Yes, it’s been a while since my last post but let’s forget about that and focus on the fact that I am posting now…

Firstly, to all those that are just as happy that it is the month of October:

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Yes, this is the reason I love October…Halloween. So, for all those that are eagerly awaiting this wonderful day…patience. It will be here very soon.

On the Halloween front, I’ve actually taken to watching horror movies throughout the month of October because, unfortunately, Halloween falls on a weekday this year and so, I cannot stay up late watching all the wonderfully chilling horror flicks that I would like to.

But, this gives me the perfect excuse to always have a horror movie playing…

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On to what this blog post is meant to be about. The prep work that is being done for #NaNoWriMo.

So, last year I took up the National Novel Writing Month challenge for the first time. I went into the challenge with barely a skeleton of an idea and just wrote. Needless to say, the story flowed well enough, a few tough days here and there but, in general, it was a great experience.

This year, however, I’ve done a little more prep work. The journal I carry around can attest to that as it is now filled with research, brainstorming ideas, chapter plot outlines for a couple of chapters, short scene ideas and yes, pictures of the characters, of how I’d see them. I am wanting to work on fleshing out the characters a little more and have downloaded a character sheet template for this so I can get a better feel for my characters. Right now, I feel that they may not be complete. I also have to sit for a little while longer on Pinterest so that I can find just the right imagery for the land of Gristrym.

This is just a little post to wish everyone a great October and to give you an idea of what prep work has been done for #NaNoWriMo this year.

Let me know if you’ve done any prep work if you’re doing the challenge this year. I’d love to know how others prepare for the challenge.

NaNoWriMo – Novel Announcement

I’ve done it!

I’ve announced my novel that I will be writing this November for NaNoWriMo and I am really looking forward to getting a start on it.

The story will be entitled ‘Gristrym: Istolla’ and it all started with this cover that I won after giving a story idea for the image and original title for the cover which was ‘The Black Witch’:

Gristrym-Istolla

This amazing cover was designed by the very talented Bree Suzanne. She has a page on Facebook called Trinity Author Services where she sells amazing book covers so feel free to check it out (link below):

Trinity Author Services

So, the idea for my latest story started with this cover and it has grown and evolved a great deal since then. I’ve changed to plot up for the story about two or three times already, I’ve brainstormed new ideas with a very good friend of mine who writes too and I have to say it has been a whole lot of fun since the beginning watching how the story shifted, changed, evolved.

I’ve found visuals off Pinterest for each of my characters. Help was again given to me by my friend in choosing just the right ones and I’m quite happy with the choices made. I’m now working on character profiles as well as a map of the world I’ll be creating for the story to unfurl in, just so that I remember where everything is and where things happen. As I said to my friend last night, can’t very well have men taking a leisurely stroll into enemy territory…or can we?

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A little bit about the story…

It centers around a dark elf named Azariah. She is an assassin who will take up the mantle her mother held as an assassin.  The original idea I had was meant for the assassin to be human but, like I said, the idea has evolved since then and it went from human to dark elf so now I’m working on fine-tuning the story. I’ve been toying around with a few ideas for this but it is something I will focus a little more on once I have completed character profiles as that may offer a little more insight into how she gets that name.

This story is about deception, bitterness, jealousy, betrayal. But it’s also about discovery, laughter, love (possibly romantic) and friendship. It’s all the good things and the not so good things, wrapped up in a fantastical world with elves, dwarves and yes, perhaps even a dragonkin or two.

That’s all coming in November which leaves me a little over a month left to prepare for. It may sound like a lot of time but it’s really not and, as much as I am excited to get this started, I am also a little nervous. It is, after all, only my second year doing this challenge.

So, there it is, my announcement for this year’s NaNoWriMo.

Are you going to be participating? If you are, tell me about your story you are going to be writing. Are you preparing for NaNo or are you just going to ‘wing it’? I’d love to hear about it all.

To those who are participating this year, I wish you all the best.

Let’s do this!

 

 

Fresh Start

A new site deserves a new entry to kick it all off.

I began a website last year and did a bit of posting on it. I spoke about my beginnings along the road of becoming a writer, shared my experience of embarking on the exciting and, a little daunting road of National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo. It was my first time ever sitting down and actually having a goal of writing a full-length novel. And while it was a little scary at first, I managed to complete the task and it was absolutely worth it. Needless to say, I already have my second story brewing only this time I hope to be a little better prepared as far as plot and characters go.

I shared my other achievements and writing projects achieved and I have enjoyed it very much. But, after much thought and a look at my social media platforms which I had created for myself, I felt that rebranding was needed. My previous website address and usernames across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Wattpad felt too…restrictive. I felt that I was pigeonholing myself, placing myself into a certain group when I knew that I would expand and grow and would find myself either writing for more than one specific genre or even writing for a totally different genre altogether. And so, I felt I needed something that expressed who I am, not only as a person but as a writer too.

And so, here we have it. A quirky creator is exactly what I am. I am a quirky person by nature, a lover of the strange and unusual and perhaps that quirkiness finds its way into my writing too.

But what of the old site?

Well, I brought everything across to the new site. I couldn’t just leave it behind. It’s my beginnings.

I just wanted to do a short post to announce my new site, to welcome back those who followed me before (my site was solovecraftian.com) and also welcome new followers. Just to give you an update on the things that are currently in the works.

At the moment, I am posting a short story to my Wattpad page. You can find a link to that story here:

Time To Squeal

I will also be announcing the new project that I will be writing for NaNoWriMo this year. Keep a lookout for that. I am just working out a few small kinks in order to do the announcement but I should have that sorted out by the weekend.

I’d love to know if anyone else is participating in NaNoWriMo this month and I’d absolutely love to hear about the stories those participating have planned for this year.