Missing out

There goes Kate rushing past. Again. She is so focused on her life that she misses everything. She is so intent on getting things done that she misses everything around her. So consumed by making her life run exactly as it should that she skips the pleasures. She doesn’t stop to admire places, or see the people around her, or take in beautiful things. Had she stopped in that place, she may have gotten her dream job. Had she seen the people around her, she may have met her soul mate. And had she stopped to take in that random piece of nature, she may have found the perfect place to live.
Life is what we make of it. But it’s also about the moments that define us. Those small instances that fate tries to intervene to guide us.

My writing process

Let me clue you in on my writing session today.

I had finally sat down to write a scene that I’ve been avoiding for a few days. It’s not a bad scene in any way, it is a bit technical but that’s fine. I don’t really know why I was avoiding it, just one of those things. Instead I had spent that time working on my other project which I’d put on hold for a long time – the dystopia story I wrote here is going to fit into this existing project.

Anyway, so I started the scene and then realised that it was going to get technical so I had to go back to find the other time I’d mentioned the same technique. I write in Scrivener, so all my parts are split up and there’s this nifty outline feature which I mastered the other day. So I was looking at the outline and it has the chapter names and the synopses of each chapter. But I’d stopped at chapter 7 and hadn’t written any more synopses after that.

I’m now in the middle of chapter 12, so I went back to chapter 7 and filled in the synopses of each section. DISTRACTION NO. 1.

Of course, to get the synopses I had to read through everything again to make sure I put the right events in. And as soon as a reread happens, editing does also. DISTRACTION NO. 2.

Then when I’d made some tweaks and finished all my synopses, I decided to go back and go through the notes a proofreader had made and keep those changes. DISTRACTION NO. 3.

And now here I am writing this. DISTRACTION NO. 4.

Now that I’ve done all that tomorrow morning I should be able to sit down and do this scene without any problems. We’ll see how true that is!

Journey part 3

The final instalment in this short story collection.

They were both wary as the other approached. She drew a sword she had picked up along the way. He had no weapon but was still able to defend himself. They were both at the ready to strike any second.

Slowly, as they got nearer, the fog cleared and they faced each other. It took them a few moments to assess the situation, after which they had they seemed to come to a truce and relax a bit. She dropped her sword arm and held it loosely by her side. He released the magic he was holding at the ready.

They introduced themselves and in a few words summed up their reason for being there:

“I’m urgently needed in the village over the mountain.”

“I’m exploring,” she admitted. Her reason sounded so feeble compared to his desperate need to get to his destination.

She tentatively asked, “Shall we pool our resources and make it through the mountain together?”

He looked at her questioningly. He could not figure out if she needed help or thought he needed the help. He supposed it would help if he had a companion. It would ease the burden of travelling alone and split the duties needed in the mountain.

Gruffly he agreed.

Having met someone else, he suddenly felt very self-conscious. She was clearly a normal person. She also didn’t seem to have a care in the world.

He was neither.

He had been banished to this world from another. He had the burden of trying to earn his way back there.

In the meantime, he had decided to use his magic to benefit the people around him. He had wanted to fill his time and help people. He had always been set on helping others, but he had lost the right to do that.

He worked his way from place to place growing his reputation as a miraculous healer. He had never stayed long enough to make any friends. He didn’t want the added burden of making those connections and having to explain what he was.

But now, company was forced upon him and he didn’t know what to do.

He just had to get over the mountain without letting anything slip and they would be able to part ways. Just hang in there, he kept telling himself.

Journey part 2

Here’s part 2:

Although she had run away from home, she wasn’t running from anything. That is, she wasn’t running from a danger of any kind. If she was running from anything it was boredom.

She had been restless for weeks. Nothing she did could keep her occupied for long. She had a constant feeling of being cooped up even when she was outdoors. She felt like she had no freedom, even when she could do anything she wanted to.

She decided she needed an adventure.

So she had gathered a few of her prized possessions and left in the night.

She wasn’t really sure where she was going, all she knew is that she wanted to be on the move.

She had wondered from place to place, taking in all the sights and sounds, having new experiences, and meeting new people.

In one place she stopped, she was getting advice from the locals about where to go next. They told her to avoid one path because it led to a steep and difficult mountain. They pointed out a better route that led around the mountain.

This had the opposite effect on her. She decided to take the difficult path over the mountain. She was up for a challenge.

She was walking along the path that led to the difficult mountain. She was walking at a comfortable pace. She was in no rush to get anywhere. She had no place to be and no obligations. She was genuinely happy. She had wanted freedom and so she had found it.

She didn’t push herself passed her limit but she was able to keep up a steady pace.

When she got to the base of the mountain it was late afternoon. She couldn’t see far up the mountain because clouds had rolled in. It was daunting but thrilling.

She had worked her way up about a quarter of the way when she saw an odd figure.

It was dusk so the light wasn’t very clear. She saw a shape up ahead that looked vaguely human. This got her thinking.

She hadn’t come across anyone since she had left the town. Up until now she had been happy in her solitude.

Seeing this human figure, however, made her realise what she had been missing.

She suddenly felt the loneliness crash around her. This was new to her; she had always preferred to do things by herself.

This journey was proving more revealing than anything she had ever done before.

Journeys part 1

I wrote this a while ago. I had written the first bit meaning it to be a once off, but with some encouragement it turned into more. I considered expanding it into something more but I haven’t done anything more with it. This is the first part. 

Journey’s near end

Standing at the base of the mountain was very daunting. The man standing there was weary from a long journey already. He looked up at the mountain and sighed.

There was a path leading the way up the mountain. But it was filled with trees and rocks. It was a very difficult path to navigate.

The man adjusted his heavy bag that burdened him. He took a deep breath to steel himself, then set off.

The journey so far had been long and fraught with difficulties. But he knew that if he could just make it over this last mountain he would reach his destination.

The destination was the only thing keeping him going. Contrary to popular belief, this journey was not the best part. The destination would be the best part. The journey was merely a means to an end. A means that had to be endured with difficulty. But that would make the relief of the destination all the better.

 

The man on the path was on a long journey. He had come a long way and still had a long way to go. He had been alone the whole time.

The loneliness was terrible.

When he got to the mountain he knew it would be even more difficult than it had been up until now. And as he was alone he had nothing to distract him from the arid landscape.

But he accepted his fate. He had after all chosen this. Well not exactly chosen – as he would have done other things if he could have, but he knew what he was getting into.

He had gone up about a quarter of the way when his luck changed. He had stopped for the night and was now unpacking. He sat for a little while longer enjoying the breeze blowing.

It was then that he heard the footsteps in the distance. A figure was approaching him.

Rejections

I received another rejection today. I’ve lost count of how many that is now. 

This time the rejection was particularly disheartening because of the way they phrased it. I know it’s a standard reply – or at least I’m hoping it is – but it just sounded worse. They wrote that they don’t think they’d be able to find a publisher for my book. It’s just so negative!

One step closer to self-publishing I guess.

I just don’t know how to go about it. It sounds complicated! I’d like to have a hard copy as well as an ebook. I think ebooks are great and make my life easier in terms of travelling around and shelf space, but I still like having a physical book. 

Marketing my book is probably the most scary thing about self-publishing. 

Aaah this is so complicated! 

Undoctored nature

The sun shone through the woods like a torch in the dark. The trees were set wide enough apart to allow people to walk through the woods. In a clearing there was a man-made garden of flowers. Roses, daisies, dandelions, and bluebells. All neatly lined up in boxes.
While development marred the surrounding areas, the woods have been undoctored save for the fantastic flower garden. A small sanctuary in the busy world. The animals frolicked in the safety, protected by the confines of the trees, like a person donning an invisibility cloak.
Deeper in the forest was a pond. It was beautiful, glittering in the occasional streams of light. It’s a source to many creatures who depend on it for survival. In the trees surrounding the pond, the bird sang, their melody carrying across the pond and down the river.
This forest serves as a beacon of hope for many humans and animals alike.

 

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Word count

Lately word counts are all I’ve been thinking about.
Of course, as writers who hope to publish we think about it a lot especially in the editing stages. Too much or too little?
Generally with any type of writing, including academic writing, I’ve struggled to get very large word counts. I guess in a way it’s good: I write succinctly? But on the other hand it’s bad: I don’t have enough description.
Description is always a tricky topic though, how much is too much?

When I reread my work I do always manage to find parts that I can tweak and add more. But at what point do you stop? Every time I’ve finished something I think that is it, I’m done. But then I find more things to add.
One of my favourite authors, Trudi Canavan, was tweeting about the last book in a trilogy as she was writing. She had decided to go back and reread all her previous books in the series, and even though they had long been published, she had wanted to add and change things.
(On a side note, that has made me want to read the series again, hmm maybe I’ll put my too read pile on hold for a while).

Lately all my free time has been consumed with writing an academic paper for uni, as I mentioned in my previous post. I think I’ve finished but I had to employ the 10% word count leeway because I’m 200 word under my 2000 word essay. The last 200 words I wrote, I really struggled, it was like drawing blood from a rock. And I have no idea why.

Anyway, so I think I’m done with my academic writing, and I can now go focus on my creative writing for the next month before hopefully the academic writing starts up again (please please let my essay be enough to get me through to next year!)

Windows

Out the window, up to the sky. What will this day bring?

Up high in the sky is a plane flying far away. Full of people looking out their windows and down at the group. Looking at the ants and toys boxes far below. 

Down on solid ground is the daily hustle and bustle of busy people. Rushing off to work, mind racing miles ahead, rushing to important things.

Dotted in between the bustling are the leisurely. the stroller out enjoying the day. The dog and its walker getting fresh air and stretching their legs. The jogger enjoying the rush. And the dreamer in a world of their own.

Out the window a whole world lies. Out the window, reality waits.

Update on life

I just wanted to give an update. I haven’t given up the blog, or quit it like I have other things.

I’ve just been so busy lately with uni and work. I’m at uni for 4 days a week this month, and while it’s only for 1 and then 2 hours with an hour in between, I spend an hour on the train there and another hour back. And I spend about an hour in the library before class. So in short that doesn’t leave much time for anything.

I have been writing, although not the kind of writing that I do for fun. I’m writing a 2000 word essay and that may seem easy but it’s really not. I’ve got to about 1200 words and I’m struggling to do the last 800. To get to that number I’ve had to read about 8 journal articles. And articles are somewhat boring! Although, they actually explain how to read them – not all in one go but to go to the sections that are important. It may seem obvious but I always read them all in one go and hated it. 

I’ve bought some books to help with all future writing, as this is going to be with me for a very long time. Of course, the books aren’t going to help me write a fictional book as they’re all about writing reports and articles. But I suppose any writing is good right?

So anyway that’s where I am. I haven’t forgotten my website.