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.
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.
May slipped by and June has been here a week so it must be time for a quick cuppa and a catch-up.
Though I have made inroads to my WIP with nearly 50,000 words, I began to be overwhelmed by the disjointed scenes my brain had conjured and my inability to arrange them in a coherent chronological order. I found myself caught in a writing slump. Luckily, I heard that Shaunta Grimes was doing a course – ninja write a long (NWAL) and this was an opportunity to revisit my synopsis and characters; to get back on track. It is early days but I feel more upbeat and determined to finish Amber’s tale and a secret project, one Elsie is excited about.
My plans to be organised for the beginning of NWAL fell apart with an injured hand and then a weekend hospital admission. Though my hand is better than before, physio and painkillers are the way forward to get it back to full use. If I was slow before, I am on snail pace now.
This is the month for taking stock and moving forward towards my goals.
I plan to
follow NWAL’s mantra to read and write every day
enter two writing competitions
solidify my characters and backstories
arrange my scenes into chronological order – a big task
research settings for Amber and Willow
research Whitby history and folklore
delve into the world of witchcraft and Druidry
Make mood boards for my main characters
Books read in May
Some unique and wonderful books have been read in May including my favourite of the year and possibly my lifetime.
The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton. I was eager to read this after reading the short story Alive. It did not disappoint.
We Others by Sue Bentley. This book has got under my skin for its imagery, setting, and characters. If you love fantasy and magical realism find a copy and enjoy. My review on Duvet Dwellers Books is here. It is Elsie’s favourite book too so I apologise in advance if it is talked about a lot.
The Songs of Us by Emma Cooper. A romance it has a unique premise of a woman aptly named Melody sings when anxiety kicks in. It’s funny, heartbreaking and clever. There is an accompanying playlist to give the reading experience an added layer.
Health has thrown me a curveball with episodes of vertigo on top of everything else so duvet days have become the norm. At first, I was fine with the idea of snuggling down with Nigel or Pip to recover; I had books to read and review, jelly beans to eat and of course, an imaginary world to explore and write about but then I realized screens made my vertigo worse. It is hard to read or write when the words tilt and swim. My euphoria of hitting the 40,000 word count a week ago has dwindled. It is now increasing at snail’s pace as I snatch a few legible words here and there on paper and screen. I just have to remember the number of words is getting higher. In the back of my mind, I have Louise Jensen’s voice telling me she wrote 200 words a day on her novel and she is a successful best seller author. If you haven’t read her books you are missing a treat. My reviews for her The Gift and The Surrogate are on Duvet Dwellers Books.
Thank Goodness I have an old-fashioned Kindle with no backlight and several books from the library to read – these are much easier on the eyes. Getting the reviews written and published to Duvet Dwellers Books is harder but I will share them soon – hopefully.