Archive | April 2014

Return to WIPpet Wednesday

Hi all.  No, I’m not dead.  I’m back!  I started a job, then quit it.  You can read about that here.  But anyway, I’m here once again for WIPpet Wednesday which I’m really pleased about.

I’ve done something different for this week’s WIPpet.  Seeing as I haven’t done any proper writing for absolutely AGES, I thought I’d do what a couple of my beta readers of Reunion of the Heart suggested, and write an interview with one of my characters.

They felt if I did it would give me a greater insight into her personality and make her a bit more… 3D!

She’s a lesser character in the story, but still important.  When my MC Anna was at school with her, she felt betrayed by Rachel when Rachel decided to side with their mutual friend Lizzie in an issue concerning a boy.  I should say that this WIPpet doesn’t have anything to do with today’s date and it’s quite long.  I’m grateful to you all for taking a look. :)  Here it is:

Me:  Hi Rachel.  Thanks for agreeing to this interview.  It’s great to finally meet you.  I wasn’t even sure what you looked like, not having a photo of you.

Rachel:  Thank you.  I must say I was looking forward to meeting you too.  Anna has told me a great deal about you.  She says it’s thanks to you that she’s happy in her life.  The way you directed things… well she says you’re just the best author of her story she could have hoped for.

Me: Aw thank you, that’s sweet.  Anyway, I haven’t got long for this interview as I’ve got another appointment soon, so we’d better crack on.  I’m just gonna cut to the chase:  Why exactly did you side with Lizzie at school when Anna was having such a hard time?

R: (taken aback) That’s a bit below the belt don’t you think?  And didn’t you explain my motivations in the story? (folds her arms indignantly)

Me: Not entirely no.  I just wrote that you told Anna and Melissa you’d been friends with Lizzie for a lot longer than with them and so you wanted to be loyal to Lizzie.

R: (closes eyes and leans back in chair) Isn’t that enough information for you?

Me: Look, I just want to hear your side of the story properly.  I want to understand you better as a person.  You are an important character to me after all.

R: (opens eyes, leans forward, nods) OK.  But it’s complicated.  (sighs)  I didn’t join Mayfield Secondary until I was 13.

Me:  Really?  I didn’t know that.

R:  I’m not sure Anna and Melissa know.  I can’t remember if I told them.  It was a long time ago, so they may never have found out.  The reason I moved school is because I was being bullied at my old school.  I had a hellish time – I was so miserable I ended up being suicidal.  The one person who stopped me from topping myself was Lizzie.  I’d known her for years.  We’d been friends since primary.  But then when I went to secondary, I managed to get a scholarship to a school called Grove Grammar.  Lizzie went to Mayfield so we ended up seeing each other only at the weekends.

Me: That must have been a tough time for you.

R: Tell me about it.  Like I said, it made me want to end it all.  And I was only 13.  So anyway, when my parents sent me to Mayfield, things began to get better for me.  People were friendly, and of course I got to hang out with Lizzie again.  I began to feel like a normal person.  (pauses) It’s such a shame that Matt and Will were so cruel to Anna.  They really singled her out for harsh treatment; I’m not sure why.

Me: Maybe they were trying to get her attention?  Perhaps they liked her?

R: (smiles wryly) You’re the author, you should know.

Me: True, but I’d like to hear what you think.

R: I honestly don’t know.  If they did like her, they had a funny way of showing it.  Anyway, I thrived at Mayfield.  I got good grades in the exams; I got on well with everyone.  Getting to know Anna and Melissa was like the icing on the cake.  And then it went sour.  Lizzie fell for Matt, I’m not sure why, and it put the kibosh on our friendship with Anna and Melissa.

Me: So why exactly did you side with Lizzie?

R: (annoyed) You’re really pushing this, aren’t you?  Like I said, Lizzie had been very good to me.  She was my best friend and she’d stuck by me my whole life.  I wasn’t about to give up that friendship in a hurry. (pauses) Having said that, I do regret my decision.  Anna was my friend too and she was going through hell.  I should have been there for her. (clears throat) And there was another factor.

Me: What?

R: I didn’t have enough confidence in myself to do the right thing.  I was a coward, so I sided with Lizzie and let go of my friendship with Anna and Melissa.  I’ll always regret that.

Me: I think you’re being a bit hard on yourself.  School is a hard time for everyone.  You’re friends with Anna and Melissa again.  Anna’s forgiven you, hasn’t she?  So maybe it’s time to forgive yourself for what happened.

R: (stares at the table, twisting the ring on her finger and nods) You’re right.  (looks up) What else would you like to know about me?

Me: Just what your life is like now, if you’re happy?

R: (nods) Yes, I’m very happy.  I have a new boyfriend called Oz and he’s fantastic.  I see Lizzie, Anna and Melissa all the time.  We’re going to go to Rome together in the New Year.  I’m really looking forward to that.  Things are great.

Me: Oh, I’m so pleased to hear that.  That’s such good news.  Well I think we’d end it there.  I mustn’t be late for my dentist’s appointment.

R: Dentist’s appointment?  Poor you, sounds bad.

Me: (shrugs) Should be fine.  Anyway, hope to see you again soon.

R: Yes, I hope so too.

As always I’m grateful for your comments.  If you would like to take part in the Wonderful World of WIPpet Wednesday, all you have to do is post some of your writing on your blog.  Really it should relate in some way to today’s date –  I cheated in that respect!

Once you’ve done that, post your link here.  Thanks once again to K. L. Schwengel for hosting. :D

 

 

My Monday Blog

Well I’ve been absent from my blog for a while – over 10 days in fact.  The reason for this is that within the space of two weeks I started a job and left it.  Why you might ask?  Without going into too much detail, the answer is that I wasn’t the right fit for it; it overwhelmed me and I would have been working alone a lot which wouldn’t have suited me.  There’re other reasons too which I won’t go into.  I was given an initial two sessions of training for it, but it didn’t feel like enough.

So after a lot of thought over the long Easter break, during which I was really stressing out about what to do, I decided to work the first week and then bow out.  Thankfully the manager of the office was very good about it, which helped me.  And she was probably glad that I was being honest and giving up now, rather than hanging on for ages, getting more and more stressed and therefore that much less capable of doing the job.

Suffice to say that my writing has really suffered.  But today I’ve gone back to it with gusto.  And I have to say I’m LOVING it!  I’m currently editing my second novel, Reunion of the Heart, and going through the comments which I received from my beta readers.  There’s a lot to do but it’s so much fun!

It feels so good to be back to normal after having a really stressful week last week and feeling like I was only just holding it together. I’m feeling like myself again and I fully intend to return to WIPpet Wednesday this week, though I may have to improvise a bit with what I post as I haven’t written anything new for ages!!

I hope you’re all well and not suffering too much from stress!  Have you had a similar experience with a job?  Please do share your thoughts.

Till next time…

 

Not doing WIPpet Wednesday – working

Yesterday I started a new job.  I’m working as the administrator for a small charity here in Bristol (UK) called Bristol Disability Equality Forum.  The charity seeks to improve the rights and treatment of disabled people.

It’s early days for me yet, but so far it’s going well.  It’s a lot of work to do – hence me not doing WIPpet Wednesday.  Also I haven’t really got anything to share as I haven’t done much writing this past week or more!  I’m currently either doing further planning on my school-set story or I’m editing my previous story which I hope to publish later this year.

So it’s exciting times for me and I hope once I’ve got into the swing of things with my job that I’ll have more time again for writing and blogging – maybe even a bit more tweeting.  Who knows?

I hope to catch up with you all (virtually) again soon. x

Editing, editing, editing…

So as the title of this blog post suggests, I’m editing my latest novel, Reunion of the Heart.  But I was wondering – what’s your method of editing?  Do you go chronologically through your story and edit that way or do you do what I’ve been doing and kind of flit about from passage to passage?

The thing is I had eight wonderful beta readers read my novel and comment on it for me, so I’ve got eight different opinions on it already, which is great.  But I’m wondering do I change every last thing that every one of my beta readers has suggested, if even if they might contradict each other?!

Or do I take elements of what each of the beta readers have said to me and follow my intuition, change what I feel from the general opinion I’ve been given is right?  So far I’m doing the latter, but I’m not sure that’s the right course to take.  It’s so confusing!!

But actually so far, having said all that I’m not doing too badly with it.  So wish me luck!  Oh and any info on how you approach editing gratefully received. :)

I’m back!

I'm back

Well it’s been a couple of weeks since my last WIPpet Wednesday. I hope you’re all OK. My work experience at Bristol City Council has begun. It’s going well and I’m really enjoying it.

Also on Monday I had an interview for a paid job. I’m waiting to hear back from them to tell me if I’ve got it or not. I have to say I think I fluffed the task they set for me at the beginning as maths is not my strong point and one of the tasks I had to do involved a maths calculation.

Anyway we’ll see what happens with that one and I’ll let you know how I get on. Back to the main event. For this week’s WIPpet I thought I’d do something different and share with you an excerpt of a fantasy story for children I was writing a few years ago and never finished.

Confession: technically I haven’t written any more of this since 2011 so shoot me now if I’m breaking the rules!  (But maybe you could read my excerpt first. ;) )

To set the scene Stephanie and Thomas are staying at their dad’s house.  Their parents are divorced and they see their dad every weekend.  But while they’re staying there something strange happens.  Cue 9 paragraphs for the 9th April:

Thomas opened his notebook and began to write.  He and Stephanie were stunned at what happened next.   Instead of Thomas’s messy handwriting appearing on the paper, a beautiful script emerged from the pen.  It was as if the pen was writing by itself.  The two children were mesmerised by what they saw.  Then something strange happened. 

As Stephanie watched the writing appearing on the paper, everything around them began to change.  Their surroundings went blurry and Stephanie felt as though she were spinning.  She tried to speak but no sound came from her mouth and she couldn’t see Thomas although she could feel his hand in hers.  Frightened, she screamed but again there was no sound.  But it didn’t last long.  All at once the blurriness disappeared and Stephanie saw Thomas standing next to her looking dizzy.  Then as their surroundings came into focus, Stephanie realised with a shock that they weren’t in Thomas’s bedroom anymore.  Her mouth hung open in amazement.

‘Where are we?’ she said.

‘I don’t know but we’re not at Dad’s anymore.’

They were standing on lush green grass, greener than anything they’d seen before.  They were in a beautiful meadow, covered with tiny flowers of many colours, some pink, purple and yellow.  The flowers seemed to be giving off light, Stephanie noticed, almost like mini suns.  But unlike the sun, it didn’t hurt her eyes to look at them; in fact she felt soothed by them and less fearful. 

They could hear the sound of bumble bees droning around them and Stephanie saw some settling down on the flowers to collect the pollen.  In the distance they could see enormous mountains which had snow on the top of them.  But before they had any more time to look at their new surroundings, there was a sudden huge explosion like a bomb going off near where they were standing.  Stephanie jumped and clutched at her brother’s arm.  She hated loud sudden noises.

‘I want to go home,’ she said in a small voice and began to cry.  She was even more worried when there was the unmistakable tramp of feet.

‘Come on, Steph, we’ve got to hide,’ Thomas said urgently, pulling her away from the sound of marching and across the meadow.  But it was huge and there was nowhere to hide.  The marching was getting closer.  Thomas propelled her towards the longer bits of meadow grass.

‘Lie down quickly,’ he commanded her.  She did as he said and they both lay quivering with fear in the tall grass.  The children heard the sound of footsteps approaching.  Then they stopped.  Stephanie knew they’d been discovered. 

As always you too can take part in WIPpet Wednesday.  Just post something writing-related on your blog, making sure it relates in some way to the date.  Then add your name here.

Thanks to K. L. Schwengel for hosting. :)

The Inheritance by Elaine Jeremiah

Elaine Jeremiah:

A fantastic review of my debut novel ‘The Inheritance’ by Ionia Martin.

Originally posted on readful things blog:

The Inheritance The Inheritance by Elaine Jeremiah
When Emma uses blackmail to force her father into giving her the inheritance owing to her early, it sets in motion a chain of events that will change the lives of her and her elder sister Kate forever. Although Emma and Kate have grown up on their father’s farm together, they each want two very different things. Emma is fed up with her boring, suffocating lifestyle and longs to break free. Kate by contrast is happy living and working for her father on the farm and can’t understand her sister’s urgency to leave.

With her inheritance, Emma is soon off to London with her wealthy friend Natalie. She begins to live a life of luxury whilst her sister Kate is left hard at work on the farm. But things are not all they seem. Before long Emma is finding that London life is not all…

View original 290 more words

This entry was posted on April 3, 2014. 1 Comment

What’s going on in my world right now

world

I know I’ve been absent from my blog for a while. Well actually from my writing my novel a bit too. I didn’t even take part in WIPpet Wednesday this week.

The reason is that I’m preoccupied with work matters. May sound boring, actually quite exciting. Today was my first morning of my work experience with Bristol City Council (here in the-sometimes-sunny UK!).

It went really well, but I was very nervous last night and apprehensive, not to say completely knackered, which is why I didn’t take part in WIPpet Wednesday.  The people I’m going to be working with were really friendly though, and welcoming which was great.  I think the work is going to be good and I’m excited about it.

Just to confuse you, I found out today that I’ve got an interview for a part time paid job (the work experience is unpaid).  So I feel like I’m in a win win situation – if I get the paid job that’s fantastic, if not I’ve still got the work experience to be doing.

In the first paragraph of this post I mentioned that I’d been absent from my writing.  I can explain!  I’ve done well over 4000 words on my new WIP.  But although I know where I want it to go at the end, as well as some of the action that takes place in the middle, I wasn’t sure how to carry on from where I’d initially got to.

So I’ve gone back to the drawing board so to speak.  I’m fleshing out scenes that could take place between my MC and my other characters immediately after where I’ve got up to on the computer.  This is going well but taking a while, so I’ve been away from my lovely pink laptop for a while and curled up on the sofa scribbling away in my notebook.

Phew!  So now you’re pretty much up to date with where I’m at.  I hope to be doing more proper writing soon and taking part in WIPpet Wednesday again next week – lack of tiredness permitting!

Happy Writing Everyone! :-D