Wednesday, 3 April 2019

I am still alive in 2019!

Sharing some of my art, because I feel like some graphics
are needed.
Well, hello there!

Ummm, so yeah. It's been ages since I last posted! I'm probably going to be saying that for every future blog post I do, until I someday get back into the swing of posting regularly. I'm not sure when/if that will happen, but I still have a big soft spot for this blogging community so I hope it does.

I think one thing that's affected my blogging here is that I'm in touch with a lot of bloggers I met here via other means - on Facebook or Instagram namely. I'm also not really writing or editing at the moment. Things are very busy (again) with the cat rescue, and it's that time of year again when we have to prepare our financial documents for the annual audit. So that's taking a lot of focus.

I have many story ideas churning away in the back of my head, but really do want to concentrate on editing what I already have. The same old problem that I'm always tackling!

On the music front, my bandmate is already working on new songs for the next Woody's A Girl album, and he has asked me to send through songs that I'd like us to work on as well. I'm still working on narrowing down the list, but one problem I've run into is that some songs are missing tabs - I never recorded the tabs at the time I originally wrote/recorded the demo versions of the songs. So that's a slight spanner in the works. Still, I have enough of a list to send through to him as it is.

Elsewhere, I'm still a part of the little critique group, and comment on other members' shared excerpts when they're posted, etc. But I haven't posted anything new myself in quite some time.

Another thing that I'm getting off to a slow start with this year is my GoodReads Reading Challenge. I'm something like 7 books behind schedule, partly because I read some really tedious books that took ages to get through. I'm hoping to get some good reading time in to catch up. And speaking of reading, I'm part of a workplace book club that meets every 6 weeks or so (I think). We've already read one book, and we're currently reading the second. So I'll be checking out books I probably wouldn't usually as a result of that.

Anyway, I'm hoping that once the cat rescue stuff calms down again, I'll have more time for my creative pursuits. I do miss it when I'm not able to really get stuck in, so it's not like I'm not motivated.

I hope you are all doing well out there. Let me know what you've been up to!

Monday, 17 September 2018

NaNoWriMo 2018 plans (and plotting)

Wow, it's been a while since I wrote here! I thought I should check in because NaNoWriMo 2018 is coming up, and I do have a plan for what I'll be writing.

I have a new adult romance mostly planned out (temp title = FOLLOW), with a little way to go. I'm quite enjoying this whole planning thing, which I never thought I would back in the old days.

I've also been writing another novel (CLAUDIA AND DL) after planning the story out down to great detail, putting said plan into a custom beat sheet that combines a lot of different 'beat theories', and then starting to write. The writing has been flowing nicely for the most part, though I've had a few moments where I've stopped and given myself a little break, e.g. during chapters that didn't seem to flow quite as easily.

As usual I'm writing more words than expected/planned, but my bloated chapters will be honed later, during edits.

All of the above is helped by the great (albeit small) critique group I'm a part of. I think we have really helped each other in the last year or so. It's nice to be enjoying a moment of strong creativity, which is also partly inspired by my critique partners' own sense of inspiration too.

Are you planning on writing something for NaNoWriMo this year?

Friday, 27 April 2018

[APRIL UPDATE] The Cephalopod Coffeehouse Book Club & GOALS

I missed last month's update, and this wasn't intentional but it happened and I decided to just let it go. I guess you could say I've been busy with my rescue group, with work, and with life in general, so that has sort of taken over. But I'm here this month, and I've got a book to talk about! I must say that it's not a particularly amazing book, but it's certainly the one that entertained me the most this month. That book is ... 

R.L. Stine's Point books were a staple of my childhood/tween years, and I still enjoy re-reading them today. As an adult woman it's interesting to read back and realise how un-pc certain aspects of these books are through the viewpoint of today's lens. This book, for e.g., features a teen girl getting both scared and a little excited when she's surrounded by menacing dudes in heavy metal t-shirts.

Still, despite the awkward moments like the one described above, I found a lot to love about this re-read. One of the things I loved most was the description of the garishly 90s clothing the characters wore. Examples:

• The dudes in Def Leppard shirts paying to get their white "high tops" polished
• Jerry's tie-dyed jean cut-offs and a black-and-white striped crew-neck pullover (wuhhh?)
• Karen's short pink skirt over black bicycle tights and a white midriff top, and of course her rollerskates (date with Jerry!)
• Jerry's white tennis shorts and a shiny blue, sleeveless t-shirt
• Vince's faded cutoffs and no shirt (hey, Vince? You had me at your metal shirt from earlier in the book!)
• Ann-Marie's Day-Glo green bikini

There was a lot else to like, too, such as these favourite moments of mine:

• The jellyfish. Oh man, that amused me!
• The part where we get the imagery in the narrative that matches the book's front cover. Noice!
• The fact that certain expectations of characters' natures get turned on their head in the end
• This quote which is a thought from Karen after she finds a note from Ann-Marie on the fridge, held by a magnet: "How did people ever communicate before refrigerator magnets? she thought." Keep in mind this was before mobile phones were a general fact of life.
• The phrase: "... bombed off to the hospital."

And my personal favourite quote from the entire book, which made me burst out laughing:

"She could hear the wet suit ripping, a frightening sound,
like a lobster being torn apart."

So this re-read was quite a bizarre experience for me. For one, I didn't really remember much about the book at all - I'm not 100% convinced I ever read it in the old days, but then I think I must have. For another, it was extremely dated, but in a delightfully amusing way.

This is the GoodReads blurb:
"It's the ultimate beach party in California. And Karen, who's just broken up with her boyfriend, is going to enjoy every minute of it--especially having two new guys who like her. But the party takes a nasty turn when Karen realizes someone is out to spoil the fun by getting rid of her."

Currently (re-)Reading:
Currently Reading:

Each month, a group of bloggers report on what goals they have been working to achieve in the last month. A while ago now we set longish-term goals (and they were meant to be big goals, so we could feel bold and daring!) and each month we're tracking our progress towards achieving those goals. Check out the Do You Have Goals? blog for a list of participants, and feel free to join our hop if you want to have some extra motivation for achieving your goals. :)

This month's updates on my own creative goals:

  • EDITS/WRITING - Things have really slowed down for me lately, as mentioned above - rescue chaos is getting in the way of my story plotting/editing/etc. But I've still got thoughts churning away in my head, and I'm eager to get stuck in as soon as I can. My little critique group is my main lifeline to this at the moment.
  • Music - It's all completed from my end, in terms of vocals and final thoughts, but apparently my bandmate's computer just died, so not sure if that affects our project's outcome or not. ;) 
And that's about it for now. How are you doing with your goals/projects/etc?

Friday, 23 February 2018

[FEB UPDATE] The Cephalopod Coffeehouse Book Club & GOALS

Wow, here it is! My first post for 2018. I've done a lot of reading so far this year, largely because while I was overseas I was sick practically the entire time, so on those days when I did a lot of lazing around I took to reading. And reading. And reading. Anyway, for February this is the book I enjoyed the most, keeping in mind that I didn't rate any of my reads 5 stars during January or February.

I've had this book on my Kindle for aaaages but only just read it now. Even though it was a light-hearted kind of simple little story, I really loved it - it had me cracking up on a regular basis, and the romance was pretty steamy even with two virgins as the main characters. ;)

Emma annoyed and (totally) exasperated me sometimes, but I couldn't hold it against her when she pretty quickly realised what an idiot she was after every idiotic thing she did. Guy had a lot of patience considering he's 70k years old and definitely knew better in some instances than the 22-year-old (yep, quite the age difference, and Emma comments on this at one point too!) with far less life experience.

I'd recommend this for anyone who wants a fun, light read that includes some parts that may or may not make one gigglesnort.

Some of my fave quotes:
  • It was like being trapped in a huge spinach salad.
  • This coming from someone who'd seen it all over the course of tens of thousands of years: the rise and fall of dozens of empires, entire civilisations disappearing, some into the ocean--countless genocides and wars, the birth of gangster rap and reality television.
    Yes. Terrible, awful things.

  • “Holy crap, woman! What was that?' Guy stared down at the twitching right half of the body. He was morbidly shocked and incredibly proud.

    She shrugged casually. 'Payback. Hell hath no fury like a Payal scorned. Can we go now?”
  • "You're an awesome god of death and war."

This is the GoodReads blurb:
"Twenty-two-year-old Emma Keane has a secret friend. He’s powerful, mysterious, and devastatingly handsome. In her dreams, anyway.

In real life, he’s an enigma. Maybe just a teensie jealous. Definitely overbearing. He’s also a voice only she can hear.

So who or what is he? He won’t say. But if she wants to be free, to be normal, Emma will have to trek to the jungles once ruled by the Mayans and find the forgotten ruin holding the answers.
However, the ruthless deity she’s about to unknowingly unleash on the modern world, might not be so easily extracted from her life. Bottom line, he’s got enemies, and now, so does she."

Currently (re-)Reading:

Each month, a group of bloggers report on what goals they have been working to achieve in the last month. A while ago now we set longish-term goals (and they were meant to be big goals, so we could feel bold and daring!) and each month we're tracking our progress towards achieving those goals. Check out the Do You Have Goals? blog for a list of participants, and feel free to join our hop if you want to have some extra motivation for achieving your goals. :)

This month's updates on my own creative goals:

  • EDITS/WRITING - I keep getting assaulted by new story ideas! They are more enticing than trying to untangle the messes that are the existing stories. But I have my little critique group to keep encouraging me to do the "hard" stuff as well as nurture my shiny new ideas. Currently I'm trying to figure out how my novel SUNDOWN fits into a template of accepted romance story 'beats', to help me identify what needs working on.
  • NaNoWriMo '18- I know, I know, it's REALLY early to be thinking about this, but with the numerous ideas that have sprung themselves on me in recent months, I will have a big decision to make come November. Still, I'm pretty sure I know which idea I'll be running with ... at least until the next "better" idea leaps at me, anyway.
  • Music - My task at the moment is to have a good listen to the final mixes my bandmate has sent me and send him back any notes. From what I've heard so far, there's one song I'm not sure I'm happy with in terms of the vocals, but I hope I'll get over that and realise it's great as is, so I don't have to do anymore recording. :P I'm hoping to have my notes back to my bandmate by this coming weekend.
And that's about it for now. How are you doing with your goals/projects/etc?