Writing journey

Happy 2nd blog anniversary!

According to WordPress this blog is two years old – gulp. How did that happen?

I started this blog to document my writing journey but looking back, I don’t seem to have achieved as much as I planned. My current WIP remains incomplete at 50,000 words, I only have a handful of worthy short stories and my writing routine is still hit and miss but I have

  1. found new friends. Some of these are amazing writers and support me in all aspects of life.
  2. gained confidence in my writing
  3. discovered how friendly the writing community is on Twitter and Facebook especially #Turtlewriters and #FictionCafeWriters
  4. completed Camp Nanowrimo twice.

As Nanowrimo approaches it is time to prepare and with the help of preptober prompts from Emma-Louise at Read, Write, Inspire maybe this time I will manage it.

Happy writing

Short story, Writing journey

Flash fiction: The Story of Eeyore’s Tail

It’s time for some flash fiction. This was written for my writing group after being given the prompt:

Choose a well known fictional character. Write why they did what they did.

While everyone chose well known characters from literature by Charles Dickens, the only characters I could think about were from children literature including Eeyore from A.A Milne’s Winnie the Pooh.

animated-eeyore-image-0009

The Story of Eeyore’s Tail

Crushed against the wall Eeyore looked up at the small child next to him to see her eyes tightly closed. Maybe if he did the same, he would be invisible too instead of hiding behind a musty settee in the parlour listening to the stampede of feet on the wooden floor in the hall. Doors opened and closed, whispers silenced until all he could hear was the countdown from the hall.

Ten. Nine. Eight.

When Louise chose him from her menagerie of toys to attend Alexander’s birthday party he was so excited and proud he thought he would burst his seams. Instead of the colourful toys and her pretty dolls he, a round cloth donkey with his drab grey coat, had been seen at last and was the envy of all in the nursery. The party was all anyone could talk about; there was speculation on whether there would be ice cream as well as jelly, whether jelly really wobbled as described in the books Nanny read and what the cake would look like. Louise chattered endlessly about the dress she would wear and the need for matching new ribbons. All the toys worried about whether Alexander would receive his much desired catapult and if they would in turn be used for target practise but Eeyore hadn’t cared because it was him who would see the party first hand. Now, all he wanted was to be in the toy box with the others. Anywhere but here.

Seven. Six. Five. Four.

He could feel Louise’s heart beat faster and he prayed they wouldn’t be seen.

Three. Two. One.

“Coming ready or not”, bellowed Alexander. His loud footsteps faded into the distance and Louise took a deep breath.

It started so well. Eeyore was in awe with the scene in front of him; bunting decorating the room, every child wore party hats, the table was spread with birthday treats and was that the infamous jelly he could spy? Louise was ushered in and Eeyore watched as the gift she gave Alexander joined the growing mound of presents in the corner.  The children all sat down in a circle before passing a parcel to each other unwrapping layer after layer of paper when the music stopped until it revealed a prize for Louise and the first tantrum from Alexander ensued. Consoled with the promise he could open his presents calm reigned again but Eeyore felt the first tingle of apprehension. He tried to remember all the gifts he saw but his mind went blank when the dreaded catapult was unwrapped. The nursery toys would not be happy and neither was Louise. She held him tighter and tighter. Further party games followed with Alexander being declared the winner until it was time for hide and seek.

Eeyore froze as a thunder of shoes headed their way and the door creaked open.

“Found her” Alexander loomed over them causing Louise to squeal and run off without him. Eeyore felt himself snatched up roughly before he hurtled through the air from boy to braying boy. “Let’s play pin the tail on the donkey” one suggested. The small toy quivered in fear.  It silently screamed when they ripped his tail from his body. He wanted Louise. He wanted the sanctuary of the nursery. With a scarf tied over his eyes, a boy was turned round and round. It was only when the donkey saw his tail and a large pin in the lumbering child’s hand he knew what was coming. Over and over the pin jabbed into him to the sound of the boys raucous laughter.

“Time for food” a voice called. The children retreated. Left alone and discarded in the corner of the room, Eeyore began to cry. He never saw the cake nor knew whether jelly really did wobble and when he returned to the toys he refused to talk. His humiliation and shame of losing his tail was too great. Eventually he lay forgotten at the bottom of the toy box, shunned for his aloofness until one day he found himself in a different nursery with a boy called Christopher Robin. His life began again but he never forgot that day and he always hated birthdays.

 

Happy weekend and happy writing!

All about Books, Writing journey

September arrival and summer goodbyes

August Catch Up and September Plans

September is here with the promise of my favourite season  — Autumn. Cold, crisp mornings with colourful leaves littering the ground tempts people to run through them like a toddler. They always make me smile. Or am I the only one who feels that urge to do that when faced with a pile of leaves? Colder days also make me want to curl up, read  and write.

 

September Catch Up

 

My visitors left a few days so writing is back on my agenda and I hope to see my word count increase as I get my writing room back but best of all writing group has begun again. Two hours a week of uninterrupted writing time, catching up with friends and of course, eating biscuits or if we are lucky cake. I lost a stone over the summer by not eating carbs – I wonder if this will continue when fresh homemade cakes such as warm chocolate brownies are brought in. I have missed the companionship of fellow writers, the exercises and prompts but especially the laughs our stories will bring either by design or accident. I have my new notebook and pencil ready to be filled.

Last month reads

This month planned reads

  • The Lost Children by Helen Phifer
  • The Amber Maze by Christopher Bowden – watch out for a review this week at Duvet Dwellers books
  • Josie James and the Teardrops Summer by Lily Mae Walters – watch out for review on Duvet Dwellers books this week.
  • Titania’s Book of Hours A Celebration of the Witch’s Year by Titania Hardie – a bargain find in the charity shop

I am cutting back on blog tours and reviews to focus on my WIP but it would be impossible not to read and luckily, writers need to read. I wonder if there are any writers who find reading a chore.

Happy writing and reading!

 

Just life, Writing journey

For the love of trees and solitude: Forest Bathing continued

Reading Forest Bathing Retreat has made me long to be surrounded by trees, soak up the atmosphere and hear the sound of the woodlands; the bird song, the trickle of a nearby stream, the creak of a branch, the rustle of leaves as they dance in the soft breeze and my breath as I inhale deeply the fresh air. I dream of sinking to the base of a large tree shaded under its extensive canopy and write in the dappled green light. I miss the solitude of being able to write in nature alone; the oneness I feel and the creativity it encourages. It is one of the top things I miss since losing my mobility and independence. Herbie, my trusted scooter is lovely. He takes me out of the four walls into the countryside lanes to see and hear the world outside but the true places of interest, those off the beaten track away from cyclists, zooming cars and trundling tractors remain inaccessible. They are tantalizing close. I can see them over the bridge wall or rickety stye and it is hard not to think if only.

If out, I also rely on others to accompany me; gone are the days when I could leave a scribbled note on the side declaring I will be back soon. I dream of being left in a wood for a few hours or even an hour with some goodies – a flask of coffee and cinnamon roll will do, a notebook, a phone to type on and just be.

Be happy

Be creative

Be me.

And mainly be alone.

 

Writing in solitude without interruption is when I write my best work. My mind is free to grasp the thoughts and words without competition of conversation, expectation and general activity. Sentences flow easier and the clarity of images and dialogue are stronger. The only battle I have is from my own distracting thoughts but add nature into the equation and it is easier to block these and allow creativity in.

I miss the days when as a child, I would grab my notebook or novel and sit by a brook near my home in the shade of trees hidden from view. No parents, arguing siblings or frantic pets. I did not care it was on a public footpath nor that the silence was interrupted by the roar of a busy A road 100 yards away. To me, it was a little bit of heaven and the seeds of Ellfaen were planted.

Now, I must leap into my imagination and allow Amber to amble through the forest. I will focus on bringing nature into my writing room, snap photos of trees I can get to and peruse the web for images to create a forest on my laptop for inspiration and cyber forest bathing.

Do you have a favourite place to write, read or be? Let me know in the comments below. Even better, if you visit or see some wonderful trees and nature on your travels share the joy tag me on Instagram.

Happy writing, reading and if you are lucky a walk in the trees.

 

Writing journey

A Visit to the Moors

It is years since I have driven through the North Yorkshire Moors, never mind stop for a picnic but today we did.

Empty pages ready for inspiration

The scenery is breathtaking. The patchwork fields, dramatic dips and hills with an abundance of purple heather make you stop, look and breathe. The air is fresh, the gentle breeze a relief from the sweltering sun. It is a little piece of paradise.

While family explored and munched through the food I was able to take the time to be inspired, listen to the characters as they formed in my mind and  write notes for another day. Being only 7 miles from Whitby it was only natural for my mind to drift to Willow’s story rather than my current WIP. She plays a significant role in the Journals but she has her own tale and she is eager to tell.

The moors are atmospheric and it is easy to place Willow as a child there and explore how they would have affected and moulded her into the character she is as an adult. This is the part of writing I love most – the brainstorms, the excitement as one idea leaps to the next forming a backstory, plot or personality. The difficult part is moving it forward to the completed draft but it will get done.

Do you have a place which triggers ideas? How do you stay focused on one project?

Happy writing!

Writing journey

July’s Success and August Goals

July's Success and August Goals
White Rabbits – hello August and goodbye July

Whooohooo! I did it – I won Camp NaNoWriMo. A week ago I thought I would fail especially when my visitors arrived a week early but I managed it. Phew! I could not face another admission of failure.

And as of today I have made the momentous leap over 50,000 words in my WIP. How many of those will stay once I edit? Who knows, but they are there on the screen for now.

July's Success and August Goals
New month, new word count

And I submitted to 3 competions too. I do not expect any success there but it is enough to be trying at this stage and I wrote that blasted synopsis. I am no longer in Hell.

This month is a difficult one due to said visitors and the expectation that I should be social. So it’s happy smiles and nod in the right places while I dream of places and plots instead of writing them down. The plan is too sneak my phone out to take notes when I can. I do not want to slip after July’s successes.

Currently reading: Mark Edwards The Retreat

Listening to: Lucinda Riley The Pearl Sister

Happy reading and writing!

Kate Kenzie's Blog

 

 

Ellfaenian Journals, work in progress, Writing journey

Welcome to Synopsis Hell

I thought translating an idea and characters into the first draft was hard but I have discovered writing a synopsis for your book is a writer’s version of Hell.

Writing a synopsis: Writer's version of Hell
Welcome to Hell

How do people do it and do it well? I was lulled into the belief I had my synopsis all wrapped up but my 15 page ramble of plot points is not a synopsis, it is an outline and I need to condense it to a page. Yes one page. I have lots of characters jostling to be heard, two threads of a plot; one in based in our reality while the other is in Ellfaen with Amber where she is trapped as well as backstory of the fantastical land. There is also Glenn’s fight to face his demons and try to guide her. My attempts so far are too long and I am unsure if they make any sense.

Links to help with synopsis writing

As usual I have sought help online. I thought I would share, in case you are facing the same dilemma.

https://fabricatingfiction.wordpress.com/2017/10/12/hook-an-agent-part-iii-the-dreaded-synopsis/

http://www.firstnovelsclub.com/2013/04/WriteANovelSynopsis.html?m=1

https://www.awelltoldstory.com/publishing-writing-book-synopsis-5-tips/

http://www.marissameyer.com/blogtype/6-steps-for-writing-a-book-synopsis/

If you have been through Hell and back, how did you tackle it? Any tips?

I am under pressure as time is ticking for our visitors arrival. WW is frantically cleaning and stressed while deadlines for this opportunity of a place on a writing course and the picture book competition are looming. As you can tell a tidy house is not priority for me. A bit of dust has never hurt anyone. I am consumed by the need to write but being on PC is not a recipe for happy marriage so I am limited to sneaky moments when no one is looking.

It is time for a cuppa and a break of the diet for at least a ginger nuts or two.

Happy writing!

Kate Kenzie's Blog

Nano hours: 13

Word count: 48,121 (somehow I have lost words on Scrivener – never a good sign)

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