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Currently

So this is my first attempt at an author’s website, so I’ll ask you all to be patient with me.

I have finished the alpha (hopefully, beta) versions of Consequences and have sent them to beta readers to have a look over. I am hoping to send one of them to the editor (the wonderful Jeanne) by the end of the month (I can see Jeanne’s face now!).

Now that I am in waiting mode, I have returned to Dark Reign, the sequel to Dark Dimensions. I have a page exclusively for Dark Reign and will pop some information in it there.

I do hope to have Consequences out soon for all to read. In the meantime, please keep the word going about Dark Dimensions and, just as importantly, KCEditions, my publisher.

Done for another year

Yay! National Novel Writing Month is done for yet another year. (I know one day they’ll call it the International Novel Writing Month.)

There are probably people out there who wonder why I do it since I only get a certificate and no money prize at all. Well, it’s not about the prize. It’s about the fact that I have written 50101 NEW words in 30 days. So I had a few days where I couldn’t write, but I got them all done within the time. I like to think Angie was with me for the last couple of weeks, but she was probably really busy herself.

As usual, with NaNoWriMo, there are the rule followers and the rule breakers, the planners, the pantsers and the plantsers. I think I touch on something between the pantsers and the plantsers. For those who don’t know this jargon – and yes, it is jargon – a pantser is a writer who writes by the seat of their pants – without planning or anything and I do that most of the time. I have now learnt that I can do a lot more with just an extremely loose plan – hence plantser.

Sometimes, this does lead to problems with “hello, characters, where are you taking the story next?” with no clear avenue of movement. Sometimes I’m able to swap scenes to pick up something else while waiting for a character to give me that direction. (Did I tell you? It’s perfectly normal for a writer to talk to their characters? Others would call us schitzophrenic or split-personalities. We just call them characters in our novels!)

But it also leads us to finding out how far a character can take a story. Oh, that’s right. I was talking about those who follow rules and those who don’t. I didn’t this year. Again. I started with one story, didn’t have enough to go on (and it was starting to head towards someone else’s story) so swapped. Which is how we got The Sefindarfin Accords. But that ended really quickly (in NaNo I want to write fast, not try and figure out boring scenes) so I sat at work for a day figuring out what else to do. Yep, got it. Ended up writing about Delta Recoveries in its first years.

It didn’t help that Andrew told me he had some great feedback for Dark Reign and we had to get together. No, that didn’t help at all. For a few days after that I found myself thinking about Troy and his misfortunes instead of what I was supposed to be focussing on. It’s called shake oneself and get on with the main job. Stop daydreaming!

Comes along today and I had 1800-odd words to write. What am I going to end on? What is a great ending for Nano? Oh, that’s right. I haven’t killed off a main character in this one. Oops, click, click on the keyboard, CEO of Delta no longer lives. And up goes the word count. I’m such a nasty person to my characters (shut up, Marek, I can see you nodding from here!).

A day of sadness

We said goodbye to a wonderful lady today. Full of joy and a smile whenever we saw her, we’ll never forget that great beam.

We’re brought up to believe that everyone should die in a linear fashion. First great grandparents, then grandparents, then parents, then ourselves. Life doesn’t work that way.

Angie was a soul that brought sunshine to wherever she was. I didn’t know her as long as a lot of people but what I did know of her was that she was kind and went out of her way to help anyone she could.

I should have spent more time with her, but life catches us in blindsides sometimes.

Goodbye Angie. You will be in our hearts forever.

Butterflies

No, I don’t have butterflies in the stomach – although maybe I should. Anyway, yesterday we went to a presentation of butterflies. What scientists want is for the ordinary people in our wonderfully beautiful city to get out into native bush and photograph butterflies. They’re trying to build a national database of native butterflies and it ended up being very fascinating.

Like, we didn’t realise we had a tiger swallowtail caterpillar (not sure Eastern or Western) hanging around our pond one year. Don’t know what happened to that one, in the end. But it was fascinating to learn about it yesterday.

We had a walk in the education area of King’s Park, which showed us a few different things, like we found what were probably an egg sac of a spider but there were also other things that our scientist-guide, Andy, asked to take photos of. So we’ll hopefully find out what they were one day.

All-in-all, it was a nice break from writing and now we’re set to upload photos of butterfly species whenever we see them when walking. Nice to know we’re doing our bit for the environment as when endangered species are found through photos, their location is kept separate from the public information.

When is it too much writing?

So this really is not what this topic is about.

This is about setting up your days for writing – or even art – and then having other work piled on top. Not that I mind the other work, but it becomes challenging when you’re trying to finish NaNoWriMo.

And not to say the other work is not important, just ill-timed! So it’s a matter of setting out time to do both. But when paid work gets involved, suddenly the days are numbered.

Nevertheless, it’s all a challenge to see how much you can do in a short timeframe. I can do this! I will do this!

NaNoWriMo

Yes, it’s that time of year. It’s National Novel Writing Month. And I’m currently sitting at 15,708.

And, yes, I ignored the rules again – for the second time. I started with one story, but that needed a heap more thinking than I had done – given it was only 30 Oct when I had the dream that inspired it, I’m not surprised.

So I have gone to what I had half planned.

When writing Delta Recoveries, I accidentally created a whole new hybrid race. Yes, the particular 2 halves have been done before, but that’s neither here nor there. My two had their genes manipulated, then spliced, then manipulated again, then spliced once more. So there. Science behind it. (Just kidding.)

I realised, however, that Killion’s race has a complete and complex history behind it and I needed some of that to be written so I could work on his reactions in Delta Recoveries. So suddenly I’m writing his first diplomatic experience. So far he’s survived with just bumps on his head. I’m being very nice to him – knowing full well that he will have quite a long time in cryogenic suspension by the time he meets our team in orbit above Earth!

Of course, when it’s NaNoWriMo, I’m not supposed to be checking FB – unless it’s writing related. Well, not sure what happened, but got involved in 2 conversations about climate change and one convo was a sub thread on another topic. Not sure how that happened but that’s what happens when a group of writers get together.

Now it’s time to get back into writing this diplomatic encounter!

Holidays

It’s holidays time and it’s November. Which means only one thing, really, and that’s National Novel Writing Month (or, NaNoWriMo, for short). It’s amazing how many years I’ve been doing this challenge and thoroughly enjoying it every year. 12 years.

And I have to thank NaNoWriMo. Out of it has come Clans in Conflict and Consequences. Soon to come from NaNoWriMo will be Delta Recoveries. But that’s for the future.

The subject today is – finally, I’m free-writing. No editing, just writing the story as it comes to me.

I had a few things on the go – my murder mystery that is currently waiting on the backburner, a historical story to go with Delta Recoveries and, of course, 3 nights before NaNoWriMo came the dream. Therefore, I started with the dream but there just wasn’t enough oomph in it to continue, so I swapped from super powered humans that included demons, etc., and aliens to just aliens, even if they are hybrid.

I’m pleased with how it’s going but I’m amazed that it’s another political story. Oh well, I suppose a lot of life is political and it just depends on how you look at events. But I’m not going there. This is not the platform for me to comment on life’s events, this is about how life affects my writing and how I write.

So I’m gearing up to do a lot more writing over the next 2 weeks and hope to hit the 50000 word finish line before I go back to work. Whatever I write after that will be a bonus!

And I’m attending 2 write-ins, this year – one in Midland on 13 November and one in Pinjarra on 16 November. I’ve got my NaNo shirt to proudly display on both days. So those of you in each area, watch out for the mad lunatics writing furiously away in a corner of the Dome cafe in each place.

Real Life

So I was working on Wednesday and I suddenly realised all my main characters have at least one of my traits – I hate waiting for something and not being able to do anything else because – well, because that’s how the situation is. Which made me laugh, of course.

We also watched Guy Pearce, Kylie Minogue, Julian McMahon, Jeremy Sims and Asher Keddy in most of Swinging Safari. When I first saw it, I thought it was something from the 60s. But then we got stuck watching it. Talk about bringing back some memories. It was really quite funny, even though I felt they mixed some of the 60s stuff with the 70s stuff.

Stu asked, at one point: “Where did they get all the retro stuff?” I turned to him and said: “Did you see the kitchen? And the wall unit? They’re the modern thing, now. And Asher Keddy’s white room is a modernistic room that would fit in any house today.” So architecture and decor have done a complete 160 degree turn and are revisiting some of the most iconic times.

And when you think about it – the 60s and 70s houses were amazing – at least those that had money to build whatever they wanted really changed how housing could be built at the time. Now? Well, I think our city’s nickname has gone to Ikea. All the buildings and houses seem to be flatpacks …