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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Reading vs Writing: Priorities
Writing journey

Reading VS Writing: Priorities

I have checked my progress in the Goodreads Reading Challenge 2018 and I am doing better than expected – much better. It also highlighted how much I read versus write. If I spent as much time writing as I do reading I could be 90% through my first draft rather than the challenge.

Reading versus writing
My progress in the Goodreads Reading Challenge 2018

 

It also highlights this in this tweet I have seen today

I have completed more hours for NaNoWriMo and now I have had a swift kick up the bum it’s time to do more writing and less reading. I must catch up and go beyond.

The only problem is I am a book addict and my new library stash is not helping my resolve. Is there a bookaholic anonymous?

Reading vs Writing: Priorities
Today’s library stash!

Happy writing and not reading!

Kate Kenzie's Blog

WIP update: 48,274

NaNoWriMo hours: 10

and Percy is still alive

 

work in progress, Writing journey

Camp NaNoWriMo: Day One Empty Pages

Day One of this July’s Camp NaNoWriMo is over and the progress I have made is zilch. Nothing. Nada. No increase in my word count nor any interesting snippets of information gathered which could be classed as research. A failure of a day except –

I have tidied my writing room and cleared my desk of clutter. Every writer needs a clean workspace right? I just need to remember where I put everything.

 

Are you joining in Camp NaNoWriMo? Let me know how you are getting on below.

Happy writing!

 

Kate Kenzie's Blog

Word Count: 48, 106

Hours complete: 0

Writing journey

Introducing Percy – my new writing companion and inspirational tree. 

After much thought and mithering, I finally have my very own bonsai tree – Percy. He is a pepper tree and I hope he realises I do not have green fingers and he needs to be strong while I learn his requirements.

Inspirational little tree
Percy the pepper tree (Xanthoxylum piperitum)

I love trees and The Ellfaenian Journals are inspired by the quirky unique trees I have seen in reality or in a photos. They all have a tale to tell even tiny ones like Percy. My hope is as he grows and develops so will the word count of the journals. Fingers crossed he will survive.

If you are a bonsai expert any useful tips would be much appreciated. The responsibility of Percy feels more pressing than the responsibility of looking after Nigel, my dog. At least he can tell me what he wants.

 

Happy writing.

 

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