Monday, 30 May 2011

BuNoWriMo in June

So I've been trying to decide which project to work on for June's BuNoWriMo challenge, and right now I think I've narrowed it down to...6 possibilities? Hehe. No, seriously, I think I did decide last night that I'll be working on a project I tentatively titled THE NEW WORLD back in the day. I've had three chapters sitting there for years, though the third one needs to be rewritten. Maybe they all need to be rewritten. It'd be really cool to have it as a complete novel though. It's a concept I still really love, even after all these years of it lying dormant.

There are other projects I have in mind, and they are in two categories at present:

  1. Novels I plan to write during NaNoWriMo 2011 - there are two of these
  2. Novels I could potentially write by expanding on Chrysalis stories

It was tempting, for a moment there, to use one of the NaNo novels for BuNoWriMo, but I made myself move on from that idea. I want to still be inspired at NaNo time, after all! As for the Chrysalis stories, I'm thinking that I may do some work on plotting those out during whatever my fellow Chrysalis folks and I do in July - our novel-plotting month. We haven't finalised those plans yet, but details will be posted here and elsewhere when we do.

So yeah, I may have fallen off the Revision Train, but I see another train coming into the station and it's the "write like mad without a care for what comes next" train. Hehe. It's one I haven't been on since NaNo last year, and I miss it!

Ooh, I just realised I need to add BuNoWriMo to my Goals page.

Anyway...hope everyone out there is going well with their goals and/or challenges! May the inspiration (and motivation) be with you!

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Tagged, critique win, blog critique win, award, blogfests

So, I got tagged a while back by the super-groovy Golden Eagle, and more recently by the lovely Danette. So here's what I have to do: answer some questions, then tag some people, then move onto the next part of this entry. Hehe. So anyway, here goes with the first part:


Do you think you're hot?

Ya know, I'm not a traditional "must be a movie star" beauty, but I am pretty happy with myself... However, there's a catch - if you take a photo of me, it's 99% guaranteed to turn out crap and I will hate its guts. And when you put it up on Facebook I'll secretly resent you with a lot of gusto. Hehe. I am NOT photogenic at all.

Upload a picture or wallpaper that you're using at the moment.

This is my current desktop, and a screenshot taken from iTunes' fancy
graphic thingy that you can have going while listening to music. Hehe.

When was the last time you ate chicken meat?

Last night - went out for Thai dinner, it was niiiiice... And yeah,
as I tell everyone, if we had to kill our own meat I'd be vego in a flash!

The song(s) you listened to recently.

Right now I'm listening to "A Harbour Fair" by The Good Ship,
a band I don't really know at all. I'm in the midst of my A-Z listening task,
which I've slacked off a lot on lately, but I'm up to "H" and that's the song
I'm specifically up to. Other than that, I've listened to a few other H songs
today, and the last song I listened to last night was "Panic Switch"
by the ever-awesome Silversun Pickups.

What were you thinking as you were doing this?

Umm, doing what? The survey? Or listening to the song? LOL.
I guess I'm thinking that it's Saturday morning and I'm getting a pedicure
and neck/shoulder massage today, then having a cards night tonight, woo!

Do you have nicknames? What are they?

Do I ever?!?! My name is Trisha (well okay, it's Patricia) and I get all sorts of
shortenings (or lengthenings) of both those. Mum calls me Twiddy,
Twitty, Twit-face, that sort of thing. Her boyfriend has adopted Twitty
as his favourite nickname for me. Most people call me Trish,
but one very suicidal man I deal with at work calls me Pat sometimes.
He really should know better... hehe. In high school I got called Fish Face
by my best friend, until I told her she better stop it OR ELSE...
I also had a "code name" in high school - Carrie.

Tag 8 blogger friends...

  1. Brooke R. Busse
  2. Jenni Merritt
  3. Madeline Bartos
  4. Robyn Campbell
  5. Rusty Webb
  6. Sheery @ Sheery's Place
  7. Charity Bradford
  8. Susan Fields

Who's listed as No. 1?

Brooke, who I THINK I met through Chrysalis but who I may
have known earlier... It all seems like so long ago! LOL.
Brooke is an amazing young writer and great blog-friend!

Say something about No. 5

His blog is cool, it has lots of different stuff - including some great artwork!

How did you get to know No. 3?

Pretty sure it's the same as Brooke - through Chrysalis.
I honestly can't remember which of these gals I got to know first,
they sort of come in a pair. :D

How about No. 4.

Pretty sure I must've met Robyn through the A-Z? :)

Leave a message for No. 6.

"Hi Sheery, good to still know ya!! :)"

Leave a lovey dovey message for No. 2.

"Jenni, I'm glad I found your blog because
I love to keep up with you and your projects!"

Do No.7 and No. 8 have any similarities?

Ummm they are both cool? hehe.

Okay, now that that's done, moving onto the next part of the entry!

I won stuff

The award was that Blog in Fire one that I won recently, so I will just redirect you to that entry.

Some upcoming Blogfests:

I think/hope those are all I've signed up for (i.e. if I've signed up for more, I can't remember, and will probably miss them!! LOL).

Incidentally, somebody on Summer Ross's blog suggested that there may be a current dearth of Blogfests because "we're" heading into summer. So I suggested that my fellow Aussies and I, plus the Kiwis, and anyone else in our region, should take on the task of doing "Summer" blogfests (since for us it's actually winter). However, don't look at me for ideas - I got nothin'. LOL.

Thursday, 26 May 2011's all I do

I guess I can be thankful I'm still well on track with at least one of my 2011 Goals - reading!

2011 Reading Challenge

2011 Reading Challenge
Trisha has read 20 books toward her goal of 25 books.

Just finished reading Cat Dreamer by Isobelle Carmody, and now I'm onto another relatively short book, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. I'm at page 32 and loving it so far. I had to choose short books as when June starts it's time for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass. Also June is when BuNoWriMo starts. It has a Facebook group page now - check it out!

I'm thinking that it'll be fun to give over with revisions for a time and indulge in a major writing fest instead. It's been too long since I just wrote and wrote with no care about what was to come later (revisions, argh!). Maybe after I've done BuNoWriMo, I'll be more invigorated and refreshed when thinking about revisions.

I have done a bit more on NAUSICAA revisions, but not much. I'm also wanting to get back to SUNDOWN, but I think I need to give it more of a rest. I have chapters 1-16 up on ElitistCritiques, and if I can get more feedback on those then I'll be able to go from there. I haven't done the print-out yet of course, since I haven't finished that "latest round of revisions" I mention in my Goals list.

How are you guys going with your goals right now??

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

The Power of Tension blogfest

It's time for the Power of Tension Blogfest, and here's what's required:

"Give us an excerpt (up to 300 words) from your manuscript or recently completed work (or just a random scene) that just drips with tension and will tie us up in knots wanting to know more. It doesn’t matter what the piece is about, as long as it screams tension." - Rachel Morgan & Cally Jackson

I'm going to share an excerpt from one of my Chrysalis stories. I'm sorry to say it's 12 words over the 300-word limit. I snipped what I could but I think I left the essentials. I could be wrong of course. :D Feedback is of course welcome!

The story was originally in past tense, but I switched this excerpt to present because I felt that would increase the "immediacy". I think I caught all the "need to switch that from past to present" moments.

Anyway, here goes:

I make it to the corner store with minutes to spare.

Rushing down the kitchen and bathroom aisle, I dart around the corner and see the storeroom door. Suppressing a yell of triumph and relief, I fly at the door and rattle the handle—it turns. I fall on it, push, slip inside. My breaths are harsh in my ears, but at least they’re still coming.

Time, time, so little time.

I begin to whimper as I lock myself in and throw my dusty backpack on the grimy white tiles. Sometimes I can’t help making those sounds. It’s been so long since I spoke to another human being. Talking to myself is a substitute. And when the words won’t come I just make sounds.

Human sounds, I think.

Sometimes it’s hard to remember.

Silent tears make tracks through the dust on my face as I kneel and rummage through my pack. Compulsively I check my stopwatch and nearly cry out.

Less than a minute to go.

The syringe is in my hand, but I can’t find the scarf. I curse and dig deeper, fingers scrabbling. Where the hell IS it?

I look around in mounting desperation, and see a bungee cord. I don’t even stop to wonder what that might have been used for originally. I snatch it up and wrap it around my arm, breath tearing in and out of my throat. My veins pop out under my skin, and I quickly fill the syringe with sleep syrup. Then I stick myself.

When it’s over and a tiny speck of blood is all the sign that I’ve made it in time, I pack away my materials and lean back against the door, eyes closed. Tears continue to bubble over, making my eyes sting even more. But I’ve made it in time. I’m
sure I have.

Reality fades, and I play dead.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Another confession (I'm a slacker)

Today is Monday, and for me this particular Monday follows a weekend full of absolutely nothing at all. Well okay, nothing in relation to revisions. Instead, I had a "date" on Friday night, spent most of Saturday adding all my CDs to a "rate your music" website (I have a lot more CDs than I thought, as it turns out!!), then on Sunday I caught up with the girls for snacks, coffee and a movie (we saw Water for Elephants - very cute movie).

So yeah, I'm a slacker. I've really fallen off the revision bandwagon. And oops, I have a Chrysalis story pick to do today. Better get on that... Speaking of Chrysalis, I've slacked off there too. Usually I will get around to every participant's blog and read their stories, but I haven't done that in a couple of weeks. I'm wondering if I burned myself out on all this stuff in general! Hehe.

On another note, my fellow Chrysalis ladies and I are plotting something special for July - relating to JulNoWriMo but not relating to actual novel-writing, more like novel planning. It's going to be open to anyone who wants to participate. The details are not yet entirely figured out, but we'll get there. It'll be nice to have a break from short stories & get onto something different for a month.

I did get one thing done over this weekend though (other than my hair on Saturday) - and that was finishing another book. I read Mother Love, and you can see my (spoiler-riddled) review here. Now I'm onto reading Isobelle Carmody's Cat Dreamer, which is part of The Quentaris Chronicles that various authors write stories for. I'm just past page 50, and so far I like it!

So anyway, that's my current status...and I also haven't read any blogs over the weekend. So I need to get on that. But first thing's first - Chrysalis!

Friday, 20 May 2011

Some awards

I won some awards! Thanks to Dawn Kurtagich for the awards. I really appreciate it/them. :)

I've received the Versatile Blogger award previously, but the Blog on Fire Award is new. I like it! Yesss, maybe I'm a little mesmerised by flame... hehe.

I'm going to pass this award onto the following (please feel free to take either of them or both, depending on what you've won before :D Or if you can't be bothered, don't take any! lol):

Thursday, 19 May 2011

"Projects" update

So...since that blog entry where I mentioned I had taken everyone's advice and stepped back from SUNDOWN, I've been working slowly but surely through NAUSICAA. But I really do mean slowly. I'm only on chapter 6 or something. This, my friends, is procrastination. Still, I am editing, and that's one of the items on my Goals 2011 list. I've found myself alternately inspired and excited by the story, and bored by it. When I really think about it, I'm not bored. But I still feel like maybe there's something missing.

Part of me wondered if it was a passionate romance subplot that was missing. There is romance, but it's not particularly fiery. I like to have the addictive love spark in my works, if I can at all help it (SQUEAKY being the exception...he's a mouse! Mouse love would be weird...). One of the sexiest characters (in my opinion) in NAUSICAA is a guy who dies midway through the novel. So now I'm wondering if maybe he should come back from the dead (not as a zombie, but as one more person who survived the massacre). I can imagine him meeting up with Nausicaa later, after Kyam's downfall. I can imagine her returning to Persas with him in tow. He would have been drastically changed by his experiences - from good, obedient soldier to betrayed, disillusioned refugee. But Nausicaa would/could be his solace.

So yeah...just a thought for the time being. My main "love interest" in the novel is meant to be Jonathan. But Nausicaa needs somebody more enthralling than him (originally I really thought he'd be totally enthralling, but he didn't really turn out that way in the novel...their love is more chaste and...well, sexless...than I expected). She and Jonathan are just too...similar, or something.

In other words, I'm undecided about plot!! But I'm thinking about it.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

My TBR list

I thought I'd list a few of the books on my to-be-read list, just out of interest's sake. GoodReads will tell you I have 129 books on that list, but those are only the ones I've bothered to add yet. I went through and added all the books on my "to be read before any other books" shelf - yep, I have an entire shelf devoted to this. But there is almost a full bookcase of "books to be read after the first books I am going to read". ;)

So the ones I added to the list last night (as well as some that have been on the list since 2009...) are:

  1. Mercy - Picoult, Jodi
  2. The Complete Fairy Tales - Grimm, Brothers
  3. The Earthsea Quartet (The Earthsea Cycle, Books 1-4) - Guin, Ursula K. Le
  4. Farmers and Mercenaries - Drake, Maxwell Alexander *
  5. Phantom Waltz (Kendrick/Coulter, #2) - Anderson, Catherine
  6. Trace (Kay Scarpetta, #13) - Cornwell, Patricia
  7. Of Mice and Men - Steinbeck, John
  8. Shakespeare's Sonnets - Shakespeare, William
  9. The Picture of Dorian Gray - Wilde, Oscar
  10. Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Other Stories - Stevenson, Robert Louis
  11. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Twain, Mark
  12. The Anatomy of Wings - Foxlee, Karen
  13. Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You - Gosling, Sam *
  14. The Importance of Being Earnest - Wilde, Oscar
  15. Bleeding Violet - Reeves, Dia *
  16. Colour, the - Tremain, Rose
  17. The Pilot's Wife - Shreve, Anita
  18. The Crimson Portrait - Shields, Jody
  19. Love and the Platypus - Drayson, Nicholas
  20. Bear is Now Asleep - Verity, William
  21. Spiral (Book 2) - Suzuki, Koji
  22. Ring (Book 1) - Suzuki, Koji
  23. Hollywood Wives - Collins, Jackie
  24. Audrey, Wait! - Benway, Robin
  25. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass - Carroll, Lewis
  26. On Writing - King, Stephen
  27. War and Peace - Tolstoy, Leo
  28. The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure - Goldman, William
  29. Fortune's Rocks - Shreve, Anita
  30. Mutiny on the Bounty - Nordhoff, Charles Bernard
  31. Break No Bones (Temperance Brennan, #9) - Reichs, Kathy
  32. Second Glance - Picoult, Jodi
  33. The Pact - Picoult, Jodi
  34. Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha - Doyle, Roddy
  35. The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary - Winchester, Simon
  36. Blinking with Fists - Corgan, Billy
  37. Cat Dreamer - Carmody, Isobelle
  38. Lord Minimus: The Extraordinary Life of Britain's Smallest Man - Page, Nick
  39. The Distant Land of My Father - Caldwell, Bo
I'm pretty sure all or most of these are on my "TBR immediately" shelf. ;) Of course, the Alice in Wonderland book may well be bumped to the top, if I reach June by the time I get to my next book. That's what we're reading for the A'vron Classic Book Club June session.

I also want to mention that I am finally the proud owner of some of Isobelle Carmody's Obernewtyn books - I found #4 and #5 in K-mart (I think it was K-mart...) for the major bonus price of $3 each!! So now I just have to order the other 3 books (I'm planning on Book Depository, which will be even cheaper what with their current 15% off by the end of May deal), and I'll have the whole set to date. I'm thinking I may have to wait till 2013 to see the third book of the Legendsong come out. Hey, what's another couple of years - already been waiting since 2002!!

So, basically I've got no shortage of books to read - and this isn't counting all the books I have yet to acquire, like the second Hex Hall book, the second Mortal Instruments book (which is actually in the mail headed my way right now), and other books.

And for a Goals update:

2011 Reading Challenge

2011 Reading Challenge
Trisha has read 18 books toward her goal of 25 books.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Laughter is the Best Medicine Blogfest

Okay, it's time for the above, hosted by Leigh T. Moore and Dr K. From the moment I signed up for this, I had a joke in mind. It's the joke I always tell people whenever they ask me to tell a joke. It's the only joke I really know off by heart. I love it, because...well, it's lame. And I like lame. ;)

So here joke! (Paraphrased slightly; it's been so long since I heard/saw the original that I don't know EXACTLY how it goes...)

The baby tomato was walking along the street with his mummy and daddy, and he was falling behind. The daddy tomato turned around and yelled, "Oh, KETCHUP!"

I guess it's a little ironic that I love this joke so much, when I'm an Aussie and we don't even call it ketchup - it's tomato sauce, people!! Still, that's my joke and I'm sticking to it. ;)

Sunday, 15 May 2011

A blog worth following

Okay, so there are heaps of those! But I wanted to share this particular blog, especially after seeing the latest entry in it, one dedicated to old photographs of cat ladies.

The blog is Vintage Everyday and this is the description:


It features photographs on all sorts of different themes, but I can say that every single entry that gets posted is fascinating in some way. I personally love the really old photos, but it's also really awesome to see old photos of famous people, including legendary musicians and the like.

So yeah, just wanted to share my love of this blog and recommend that you all check it out too, if you haven't already!

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Inanimation Blogfest

Today is the Inanimation Blogfest, hosted by The Red Angel in celebration of her 100 followers (now 118 :D). The guidelines are as follows:

The idea is to write an entry of NO MORE THAN 1000 words that somehow incorporates the personification of inanimate objects. It can be a poem, a short short, a letter (perhaps to your favorite childhood toy?), a fairytale, a scene from a dream, or even a song--anything you want! It can be something you've written in the past or it could be totally brand's all up to you! - The Red Angel

I decided to post an excerpt from a Chrysalis story I wrote wayyyy back when. I have posted another excerpt from this in the past, which can be found here. There was another Chrysalis story I could've posted which was actually about inanimate objects, but it was too difficult to choose an excerpt, as it was one 1000+ word piece that flowed quickly from start to finish.

So here's my entry for the Blogfest:

By far, the house's worst feature is the painting.

It hangs on the living room wall, opposite the room's gaping entrance. A grotesque face stares out of it. Twisted and leering, it is a face out of nightmare. It has yellow-white teeth, haphazardly placed between mottled, cracked lips. Those teeth dominate the scene.

Then there are the eyes. Cold, flat eyes that used to follow me all around the living room. They usually followed me out of that room, too. Floated in the air behind me as I headed for the kitchen. In childhood, they'd tracked me as I left by the front door for school each morning. Followed me as I crossed the lawn and stepped onto the footpath. I'd always had to round the nearest corner before the 'watched' feeling finally left me.

I've long believed in ghosts. Returning to that house each day after school, my belief gradually cemented itself. I shouldn't give the house all the credit, I guess. I could blame my little sister. Or my parents with their haunted eyes. But really, I hold the painting responsible.

Today is a bad day. Today is a worse day than I've had in a long time. Because I've got to go back into that house. And I know that painting's still there, waiting on the wall.

I've got to pack up the house.

But what to do with that blasted painting?

Maybe I'll burn it.

Boooo to lost comments!

Whatever happened with Blogger yesterday, I lost a bunch of comments. NOT impressed! Oh well, at least I didn't lose any posts (that I know of...).

It better be over now, anyway!

If you left a comment on any of my recent posts, I would have responded if your comment still existed ;)

Just editing to add that I am sticking another Blogfest on my list, the What's the Score? Blogfest. Check it out, looks like fun. :)

Thursday, 12 May 2011

May Blog Chain @ Absolute Write - character relationships

It's time for another Absolute Write Blog Chain, and this time our theme is as follows:

Show a character's approach to relationships in a short scene. A harmless exchange between mother and daughter? A submissive character overwhelmed by a dominant partner? A passionate lover's quarrel? A forlorn, unrequited letter?

Use your characters' interaction to show the dynamics of their relationship, show how they're growing together or growing apart, or just have silly fun. Character descriptions at the beginning are forbidden this time around--let them speak or act for themselves!

I've chosen an excerpt from CARNIVAL (after a loooooot of deliberation about which novel I should pick an excerpt from, since I considered about 3-4 different ones). This is the second book (sort of; more like a prequel I guess) in the SUNDOWN series. I'm not allowed to tell you about the characters, but have to let this writing speak for itself. It'll be interesting to see if it does or not:

Adelai helped the unsteady girl up and supported her on her feet. Then she started making the rounds saying farewell to the others. I waited eagerly for her to tell me goodbye too. This was my chance. I'd wait until she was gone, and then I'd slip out quietly and head back downtown. The CBD was within easy reach, only ten minutes walk away. And nobody here would notice my disappearance. They were all off their faces.

It was a good plan, until it dissolved before my eyes.

Adelai stopped in front of me. "You coming?"

"Um…where?" My mind was suddenly working overtime.

"If he wants to stay, that's cool!" the bartender called, and others added their agreement.

Oh hell no. I climbed resignedly to my feet.

"I told you there'd be a couch available," Adelai murmured, her gaze steady. "It's a bit crowded here. You're welcome at ours."

"I'm all right," I said. "I'll just head on home."

"How will you get there?"

My mind couldn't keep up. I just ended up staring at her stupidly.

She shook her head. "Well, there you go. You're coming with us. And remember, I'm the one who dragged you into this. I wouldn't want to leave you stranded." I went to protest, but she continued smoothly, "I remember you spent all your money, too." A small smile appeared on her face. "We're getting a cab, so why don't you come along? Our couch is really comfy."

I just stared down at her, increasingly frustrated with the situation, and with myself for being so slow-witted. I tried to buy some time to think by handing the bass guitar back to the bartender. But that didn't take long, and when I turned to face Adelai again, she was still watching me with an unreadable expression.

What the hell did she want from me anyway? She was being kind and generous, some might say to a stupid degree…but what did she get out of it? What would hanging out with a walking train wreck like me do for her?

"John!" she yelled out of the blue, startling me. She turned her head slightly in the direction of the hall.

I heard a voice call out faintly from elsewhere in the house.

Adelai called loudly, "We're going home right now! You coming?"

Another muffled response followed, and Adelai smiled faintly and shrugged. Then she gestured for me to follow her.

With consternation, I did just that.

Check out the other participants in this month's Blog Chain:

orion_mk3 - (link to this month's post)
Proach - (link to this month's post)
Yoghurtelf - (link to this month's post)
AuburnAssassin - (link to this month's post)
aimeelaine - (link to this month's post)
Della Odell - (link to this month's post)
jkellerford - (link to this month's post)
juniper - (link to this month's post)
Steam&Ink - (link to this month's post)
LadyMage - (link to this month's post)
pezie - (link to this month's post)
xcomplex - (link to this month's post)
Inkstrokes - (link to this month's post)
dolores haze - (link to this month's post)

Uh oh - more blogfests

It's happening again! My list of Blogfests is filling up. Thankfully not very quickly. There are only three on there right now.

But I'm still twitching from March's ridiculous number of Blogfests, plus the A-Z in April. That's why I want to say...

Geez, you people write a lot!!

I guess that goes without saying in a community of blogging writers, doesn't it? Still, yesterday I had about 70 unread blog entries in Google Reader (okay, that's more than enough to be going on with). Today? I've got 174. Maaaaaan!

In other news, I finally figured out how to sort my subscriptions in Reader. I didn't do anything fancy - they're all sorted in alphabetical order, i.e. all blogs starting with "A" are in the A Blogs folder, etc. But it looks so much tidier this way. I feel more like I can breathe, even when I see that I have 174 unread entries...

Last night I went to see Kyuss at Club Capitol in Perth. Firstly I'd like to say to anyone who claims mosh pits are a thing of the past: you're wrong!! Secondly, I'd like to say I didn't need to wash my hair last night, at least not before going to that show. Afterwards, I had no choice unless I wanted to sleep with alcohol-soaked hair. And no, it wasn't my alcohol. I'm pretty sure it is just that particular venue that attracts these sorts of people. I've seen two rather different bands there lately and have been roughed up in the mosh both times! I'm too old for this, people!! Hehe. Whereas at other venues I've gone to, there's no crowd surfing, no surge of the crowd so that you think you might lose your footing, none of that old school stuff.

Anyway...the show was great, and they played all my favourites!

With revisions, I'm on chapter 5 (I think) of NAUSICAA. It's kind of slow going, as perhaps I'm still twitching with the urge to keep revising SUNDOWN. But oh well...I'm enjoying the story. I have however found myself wanting to push it out to beta readers so that I can find out if they think it sucks or not. Hehe. My main question right now would be: are you bored yet?

I'll resist the temptation though, and keep plugging away with this first (yes, first) revision.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Advice: taken!

As advised by many of you out there, I set SUNDOWN aside and got to work on another of my novels. I chose 2010's NaNo novel, temporarily titled NAUSICAA (yes, I know that there are other works (characters too) called Nausicaa, but damn it, it's from Greek Myth, so nobody else is being original with it either! :P). One of my Goals for this year is to get through a preliminary read-through/edit of this novel. So I guess I've started on that.

I really should be looking at SQUEAKY, since a lot of people seem to think it's my most marketable work. But I'm going by the list, people. The list!!

Reading Update

Just a heads up, I recently finished reading ACROSS THE UNIVERSE and HEX HALL, each book 1 in a series. I loved them both, but found the latter a lot easier to get through. I loved the voice of Sophie in Hex Hall - she cracked me up on many occasions. As for Amy and Across the Universe, I definitely found that book to have more substance, and to touch on much deeper issues. But I can't say I liked it better than Hex Hall, which was pure entertainment. However, I don't condone stealing other girls' boyfriends. :P Currently I'm reading CITY OF BONES by Cassandra Clare. So many series, so few sequels to get on with reading. :P (Yes, I need to order some more books)

You can check out my book reviews here (beware of spoilers).

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

It's that special day when we spend more money on our mums than usual and act as if they aren't awesome EVERY single day of the year! Just kidding, it's more a celebration of how awesome our mothers are all year round!

First off, a BIG happy Mother's Day to all my blogging friends who are mums! I honestly truly do not know how you do it! You are an inspiration, though I must admit just hearing about your lives and how you juggle kids with all your other commitments makes me tired. LOL. I hope you all have a great day and get pampered like crazy!

Secondly (but not, happy Mother's Day to my awesome mum who helped make me the awesome person I am today. *clears throat* Okay, moving on... lol. For a lot of my life my mum was a single parent and she did an amazing job raising my lil brother and I (he's not so little now, at 6'4") with pretty much no help! She is my best friend and my friends have always been envious of me for my mum. Today I'm going over to her house with a bunch of books for her to choose from (she asked me for some on Facebook. hehe). I am also taking my DVD copy of North & South (the Richard Armitage version) for us to watch (we're giving ourselves 4-5 hours to get through it, including breaks :D). Then we'll go out for dinner at a nearby Thai place.

In closing, meet my mum (the last one is of me and her in 2005):

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Revision burn-out #2

I wrote about revision burn-out back here, and now I'm back to write about it again, because I'm suffering from a mild case of it. As I mentioned to the folks at the awesome Write-Brained forums (in the even more awesome EdYoFOffMo group (Edit Your Face Off, if you wondered! :D), I have been working on my SUNDOWN revisions and was doing really well up until about chapter 15 (there are currently 33 chapters). Then I sort of entered a slump, wherein I was reading the words and shuffling them around but not really making any major revision progress.

I think I got to some parts where I'm not sure if I need them or not. I think I have this habit of keeping lines of dialogue from much earlier drafts just because I love them. I'm not sure my characters really need to say these lines. I'm not even sure what point I'm trying to get across with the scenes. My characters are getting to know each other, and that's important. But do I really need all those beloved lines?

Karen Hooper suggested that I take a step back for a while, give these revisions a rest and come back to it with fresh eyes. But typical of me, I want to keep going at least until I've done this latest re-read. Then I will print out a copy for my paper edit. But Karen's advice was very sound, and I will take it. At some point. As I said in response, it's not like I don't have enough other projects to spend time on while I'm on break from this one. ;)

And because I feel like it (this may become a habit), here's another of my drawings:

P.S. Have I mentioned how I've had to restrain myself from posting every day since May began? Haha. It's not the A-Z's fault either. I was like this before April!

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Drowning in ideas

I've seen many other people talk about this - when they're working on one particular project, they're suddenly assaulted from every angle by new shiny sparkly ideas. I guess I'm feeling inspired, which is hardly news - I've felt that way most of last year, and this year too. I can credit my CP group, ElitistCritiques, for a large part of that. We started Chrysalis, but even before that we were hyperactively stoked about last year's NaNoWriMo, and we're already thinking about this year's too! Those ladies, namely Jenn and Winter, are completely inspirational with how many projects they're working on at any given time. Maybe their crazy busyness rubbed off on me? Hehe. my last Goals update I mentioned those two NaNo ideas I have, and last night I started a third bit of writing. Then there's this, from Hart Johnson at Confessions of a Watery Tart. I already know what I'm going to work on for this, and it's none of the above ideas. It's not a new idea, but it's one I've wanted to get back to working on for yeeeears.

In short, the ideas are flowing, and I leave you with this, one of my drawings, just because!

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Rejection #1 (I feel all proper writer-like now!)

Today I'm going to talk about rejection, because I recently got my first one! This will also double as a bit of a confession (it's been a while since my last confession...). Today, I confess that I'm not ready to query! I shouldn't enter contests where the prize is a chance to send pages, or to have a partial or full manuscript considered, or anything like that. Why? Because I'm not ready. I know this. So from here on in, I'm going to remember it! rejection story. A while back I entered one of those pitch contests with my MG project. I didn't win, but my 140-character pitch still got some attention. I received an email from pretty big deal agent, requesting that I send in my query and pages. Because I knew I wasn't ready for that, I wasn't expecting much to come of the whole affair. It was still flattering, and exciting. Still, I had to wonder if I should email back saying, "Sorry! I'm not ready! Entering that contest was a mistake!" Then I thought, how stupid - no way could I do that! So I did some last minute frantic revision, ending with a totally new query and a half-new first chapter (and no time to get either critiqued). I was happy with the changes, but still sensed I wasn't ready. Particularly as my word count remains just a little too high.

Turns out I was right - and rejected. However, it was one of those "nice" rejections. I was told I'm "a terrifically strong writer". My project got a lovely compliment too. It just wasn't suited to the agent in question. Maybe not to MG in general, either. This is something I've worried about, but I also think my introductory pages don't completely reflect the overall silliness of the story. Something I need to think about when I get to revisions.

Anyway, that's it - my first rejection! And all in all, I was pretty pleased with it. I've seen other writers blog lately about how they can't wait for their first rejection, because at least it means they're out there making a go of this writing thing! I know how they feel...and I now know the healing power of a good, kind rejection, too. :)

In other news, this is what happens when I don't pay attention. My former first chapter of SUNDOWN was an entrant in this contest, and I only found out after the voting week was over. D'oh! I got one comment, which came in today, and it was nice: "Good writing style! I'm not big on first person reads but this was done very well. Story pulled me in!" I'm pretty sure that's the only attention anyone paid to it (including me, the damn writer!) but I'm okay with that. That chapter is gone now anyway...

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Goals update (+awards)

Ironic, really, that I've only had one day off blogging since the A-Z Challenge ended. I guess that's typical of me, though. Still, it's just so tempting to do a Goal update now that I can; now that I don't have to worry about what letter I'm writing about.

Firstly, I want to mention that I find this weird...

That's the URL to my Goals 2011 page. Notice that the "a" is missing from 'goals'? Weeeeird! Why choose the 'a' to miss? Why not the 'o' or the 's'? Anyway...

  • Goal #3 in the list has been reworded so that it requires me to complete my latest round of revisions for SUNDOWN. I am relying on my ElitistCritques buddies' critiques for this, but once I'm done with my own current rewrite/revision, I'll print it out & start my paper edit whether or not they've given me crits to go on for all of it. It's a big job, critiquing an entire novel. Rather a daunting prospect, for me at least. And they are all busy with their own stuff, including exams and our own Chrysalis Experiment.
  • Speaking of Chrysalis, Goal #7 in the list is coming along nicely - we are up to Week 18, and the prompt is up. Last week I started my story on Saturday (with a Sunday deadline), and it was for my own prompt. Generally I like to get started a lot sooner than that. So I might have a crack at story #18 this evening. Then again, considering the wild weekend of hardly any revision I just had, I'm really quite desperate to get stuck back into SUNDOWN.
  • Goal #8, writing at least once a week in this blog, is not a worry at all, as you may or may not have noticed.
  • Goal #9, win NaNoWriMo 2011 - well, I have two novel ideas now, so I'm thinking this year I might set myself a new kind of challenge. Writing two novels. I've seen others do it, and do even more in some cases. So why can't I? I figure I'll give myself till Nov 15th to work on Novel #1, then move onto Novel #2, regardless of whether the first is done. My goal will be finishing both. Last year, I hit 50k by day 6, so I'm sure I can complete novel #1 by Nov 15th.
  • Goal #11 - I haven't touched NAUSICAA since March 6 this year. I never did get around to revising for that submission, either. But I will get to it!
  • Goal #12 of reading 25 books this year...

    Trisha has read 15 books toward her goal of 25 books.

    FYI, currently I'm reading Across the Universe by Beth Revis!
  • And finally, Goal #13, the Classic Book Club at A'vron - I have read all 3 books for this so far, but we are having a break for May (not my idea!), and in June we'll be reading Alice's Adventures in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass. I can't wait!

In conclusion, as mentioned recently I won this award:

So a big thank you to Deirdra at A Storybook World for this award!


Monday, 2 May 2011

The ay to zee challenge (2011) wrap up post!

First off...

Thank you to Elizabeth Mueller for the very cute award above! I was indeed one of those who survived the challenge, even if I still feel the need to sleep and sleep and sleeeep some more! I spent the month of March participating in an insane number of Blogfests and other similar activities. Then came April, and the A-Z Blogging Challenge. Heh, and I thought March had been full-on! Not only did I have to write a blog entry nearly every day (I actually wound up writing one per day, including Sundays. Insane!), but I had to try and keep up with over 1,200 other bloggers doing the same thing!

Needless to say, I clicked that "Mark all as read" button at least once or twice during the month. Still, I'm pretty satisfied with how I managed to keep up with a lot of bloggers, and also to meet a lot of new people! I saw a huge range of topics covered by different people. It's amazing how our minds work differently, isn't it? People took different approaches - some had scheduled posts for the entire month, yes, they had it all planned out. I'm wondering if all the people who did it that way are in the Plotter category of writer. ;) In my case, my Pantsing status came across in this challenge too. I flew by the seat of my pants, even if I did have the odd entry planned out (in a vague Oh yeah, I'll write about that book! Who knows what I'll write, but I'll write something! sort of way), but for the most part I started each morning drumming my fingers until a word popped into my head.

The last few entries were more of a mad scramble to think of any random words that started with the letter in question. That worked out okay, too. Honestly, by the end it was all my poor flailing brian (work injoke) could manage. Hehe. Towards the end I started thinking about next year, and if this runs again and I participate, I will do something a lot easier. Again, I won't have it all planned, but at least I'll know what kind of thing I'll be doing each day. That's the closest I usually get to being a Plotter, folks.

Anyway, to conclude, I had a great time but they don't call it a challenge for nothing!

Thanks to those who shared my journey, and thanks for sharing your great blog posts with me.