Monday, 26 June 2017

Editing, music, and study

Latest revision update - I think I might be at the point where I can leave SUNDOWN III alone and let it stew for a while. I've continuously been tweaking bits and pieces, but now even though I recognise bits that I want to improve, I'm committed to leaving the poor thing alone and letting it settle after being thoroughly worked over.

I have started to look at fixing some of my novel ON THE OUTSIDE now. That's another book I've read and re-read over and over on my Kindle, and have wanted to edit for ages. I may not do a proper systematic edit for now but I'll fix bits as I stumble across them.

Something else that is emerging from this SUNDOWN III edit is what I'm referring to as SUNDOWN 1.5, which is the Jared POV parts that were in the original SUNDOWN novel being put into a new novel or novella or whatever it's going to turn into. I don't know what will happen with that in the long run, but I still want to get it done.

Some of the artwork for our
forthcoming album.
Despite all the stuff I wish I could focus on right now in terms of editing, I have to focus instead on my upcoming studies and also trying to get my vocal tracks down for the new album (OBLIVION) coming out this year. I'll just have to save up all my editing energy for the end of the year once my studies are done.

On another note, I'm now behind in my annual Goodreads reading challenge, due to all the time I've spent reading my own novels instead of other people's. But I hope to catch up, if not now then at least during my week off work which is happening in late July.

Friday, 9 June 2017

SUNDOWN III revision update

To give a brief update on my revision progress, I'm ready to do one last sweep through to correct any little niggly mistakes, and then I'm going to let the revised novel sit for a while...maybe even until the end of the year since I will be busy during the second half of the year with studies.

I'm pretty happy with the progress I've made, having corrected a lot of annoying problems that have been known to me for years through many re-reads of the novel. But I definitely think I need to have fresh eyes before I go through the novel again, so I'll give it a break once this last sweep is done.

When reading through parts of the second novel in the series, I recognise so much that needs changing. It's another novel that has a lot of bloating, so it needs to be whittled. I'm not sure where it should start, but I'll have to stew on that and see what I come up with. There are also obvious changes that need to be made that are the result of me changing various plot points / settings in the first book. I'll get to that someday, but I have plenty of novels that need editing, so I might work on a novel from a different 'world' next.

In other unrelated news, I finally finished reading Jessica Bell's autobiography Dear Reflection: I Never Meant to be a Rebel. It was a fantastic read and if you didn't know it was non-fiction, you'd think you were reading some compelling novel. I'll do up a proper review to put on GoodReads / Amazon, but for now that's my quick thought on it.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Compelled into revision mode

The last time I posted a writing update, I was writing something new. Well, my writing ground to a halt when I suddenly got re-obsessed with editing my first SUNDOWN novel. I had been part of the way through a rewrite that was bringing it from present tense into past tense, last time I opened the file.

Since starting up with that again, I'm now almost done with the present-to-past transition. But a complicating factor is that my previous editing had led me to remove all sections of the novel that were from Jared's point of view, leaving me with some gaps to fill from Louise's point of view. I'm now nearly done with that part too, I think. Along the way, I've also done some other editing, like removing sections that were too wordy and / or boring, and unnecessary, and trimming unnecessary words here and there. I have a lot more work to do on that. The first few chapters I think are pretty strong, but after that there is a bit of bloating that needs to be addressed.

On another note, I was looking back through my blog posts here and found this one: Knowing your characters vs. showing them. It's a little scary that that was back in September 2012, and I am still grappling with the problem today. But I'm slowly bringing my characters into line with their actual character. I just have some more work to do on it. It's all part of the joyous editing process. ;)

This current rewrite is titled SUNDOWN III (whereas the one I spoke about in 2012 was SUNDOWN II, my first total rewrite). This current rewrite is less drastic, as the setting and plot aren't really changing. But it's still taking me some time and patience, of course. As much as I'd love to be done with this and ready to think about sending my book out to beta readers (again), I'm also enjoying the process of refining the book into what I hope will be its best shape to date. Maybe because I know that in not too long, I'll have to put it aside because I'll be studying for second semester this year.

I'm getting stuff done while I can! And it feels very good to be inspired about my writing again. I've had a tough few years on that front.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

My review of ALIEN: CONVENANT (** contains mild spoilers **)

** Contains Spoilers **

Alien: Covenant - A Review

Source: IMBb - Alien: Covenant
I went with a friend to see Alien: Covenant last night, and we were surprised to find it was more of a comedy than an actual scary movie. I don't think they intended it to be funny, but we laughed a lot. Unfortunately, I was disappointed in the film - that will always happen for me when there are so many stupid characters who do dumb things and therefore end up dead.

The whole movie plotline wouldn't have even existed if not for one very idiotic decision early on that set the spaceship on an unplanned course. "Oh yeah, let's go check out this mysterious planet that is just PERFECT, but that we somehow never found before when we scanned everywhere for suitable planets." The captain was warned not to divert from the planned course, but he just took it under advisement and went ahead anyway and did a dumb-arse thing.

So, that set the tone for the entire movie - lots of stupid decisions, like "Oh I'm just gonna go do a pee, I won't be long." YEAH RIGHT. YOU WILL BE VERY LONG. YOU WON'T BE COMING BACK FROM THAT PEE.

Basically I was disappointed, particularly thinking about the original movies and how epic they were. And I'm sorry, but this new "bad-ass lady" character can't hold a candle to Ripley.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

When inspiration strikes

Light vector created by Freepik

You know how sometimes you're really busy with all sorts of non-writing-related stuff, and you're getting more and more exhausted and you know you need a holiday? Well, my next holiday's not till late July, and I'm definitely weary, but I have also been struck by the compulsion to write. That's not even including the fact that I'm eager to edit basically every work I've written so far (novels, at least). No, this is about writing something new.

Well, sort of new. I'm compelled to write yet another SUNDOWN-related story. So I've started that. I should be editing what I already have, like I've sworn to do. But this story I'm writing is filling a gap that needed filling - it's the story of Jared and Jenna and their love...and their ultimate grisly demise.

I don't know what it is about this series that always pulls me back, but there sure is something! So I'm writing the story of Jared and Jenna, and it's flowing really well so far. I know how it ends, so that's not a problem. I know a lot of what goes on throughout, but I had to think for a while about what point to start at. I had one false start, before settling on where it should all begin - their actual first meeting.

It may end up being a novella, which is fine with me. Once it's done, that'll be another main gap in this series filled, and I can move onto editing everything and anything.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

My kitty cat

Smog, a cheeky and cherished kitty. 2008 - 2017

I lost my beautiful kitty last week. It's been a pretty horrible week but time waits for no woman, so I've had to "get back on the horse" in terms of going to work each day and getting through the day. Still, it's not really getting any easier. I miss my naughty boy.

Just today when thinking about updating this blog, I was reminded of this below average quality poem I wrote in 2005 after losing my childhood kitty (she got to age 18 though, unlike my boy above who was only 9). I thought I'd share the poem:


Back in your box - 11/8/2005
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Baby in a box
You touched her hand so tenderly
Tentatively
You knew not where you went
But you felt safe enough to return her gesture of kindness

A little one
Left alone at such a young age
Your sister gone
Who knows who had the better fortune
You or her
But we all know you had great fortune indeed

My little one
A face I cannot imagine forgetting
But I bet the image will fade in time

I think I need another thousand photos
To remember you by
Before we put you back in your box
And bury you


Anyway...my plan is to make a big photo book of my boy's life, to remember him by. I'm not really the type to bring ashes home, and don't have much room to bury pets in my back yard (it's mostly paved). So I will have to hang onto his collar and paw print given by the vet, even though it totally does not look like the Smoggy paws I knew so well. I will have to flip through his photo book once I have that done, and hang onto his memory.