Struggling to keep it together

Depression

I’ve been working on character profiles for my WIP about a school teacher which I’ve been sharing with you. So while I’ve been doing that I haven’t been writing.

So I’m sharing with you something different today. It’s from a story I was working on some years ago, but never finished. It’s a highly personal tale – you could say it’s semi autobiographical. I would like to finish it one day and maybe publish it.

It’s about a girl of about 15 who’s struggling at school.  She has few friends and is very unhappy.  Then a new girl joins the school and she’s kind to my MC.  They become friends.  But unfortunately for my MC it doesn’t last.

I’m sharing with you 23 lines for the 23rd July:

I withdrew into myself, trying to talk to as few people as possible.  If Mum and Dad asked how I was, I put on a brave front, smiling and saying I was fine.  No one guessed how I was feeling.  At school, I tried to stay by myself as much as possible, not wanting to be seen.  At lunchtimes, I didn’t go out, I just stayed in the library, trying to absorb myself in a book, hoping that somehow a good story would make the pain go away.  Christine had been the only friend I had had in as long as I could remember, and now she was dead.  I couldn’t bear it.

   I stopped sleeping.  My nights were ones of restless tossing and turning, throwing the bed covers away from me, and then in turns gathering them towards me.  I was always very quiet, not wanting to wake my parents or Bryony.  Even so, Mum started to notice a change in me.  Whereas before I had answered her questions, be it monosyllabically, now I didn’t say anything.  When I went down to breakfast a couple of days after the announcement of Christine’s death, she was sitting at the breakfast table reading a newspaper.  Looking up at me with a serious expression on her face, she said,

   ‘There was something in the news this morning about a girl from your school who was killed in an accident.  It was Christine, wasn’t it?’

   I didn’t answer.  Mum sighed.

   ‘Kate, why didn’t you tell us?  Your dad and I wondered what was wrong with you.  Lately you haven’t been yourself.  We had no idea of what you were going through,’ she said, coming over to me and laying a hand on my shoulder.  ‘We want to help you in anyway we can,’ she added.

I’d love to know your thoughts on this so please comment. :)  And if you would like to take part in WIPpet Wednesday, all you have to do is post some of your writing (old or new) on your blog.  It should (ideally!) relate to the date.  Once you’ve posted it, add your details to this linky.

Thank you K. L. Schwengel for hosting.

Feeling misunderstood

Misunderstood

Hello one and all and welcome to this week’s WIPpet Wednesday here on my blog. Well technically it’s still Tuesday here, but I’m posting early again. :) My apologies for being absent last week – though I did manage to comment on a few WIPpeteers’ posts, I didn’t do my own.

This was down to fatigue – I’m working quite hard at my day job and sometimes I just don’t have the energy for extras (for want of a better word), such as WIPpet Wednesday.

Anyway I read some good excerpts last week and I’m glad you’re all keeping up with your writing.  Which I am with mine, though not quite every day.  I did manage over 600 words on my WIP last night despite feeling shattered so I was happy with that.

For this week’s WIPpet,  I thought I’d share with you 11 sentences (9 for the day + 2 from 2014)  from my current WIP.  (I’m definitely gonna need to think of a title soon – I’ve done over 11,000 words now!) In this scene my MC Rebecca, a teacher, is talking with a colleague about the way her family and friends don’t seem to be able to understand the pressures of her new job:

‘That badly, eh?’ Jenny’s sympathetic tone forced Rebecca to be brighter.  She wasn’t going to have anyone feeling sorry for her.  That was one thing she wouldn’t be able to stand.

‘Actually no,’ she replied turning to Jenny and smiling with an effort.  ‘It’s just that teaching is a lot of hard work.  I knew it would be when I decided to train, but it’s made harder by my family and friends not really understanding that.’ She looked away again, remembering her spat with Michelle which she still hadn’t resolved.

Jenny was nodding.  ‘I completely understand.  When I first began teaching – well to be honest with you it led in part to the breakup of my marriage.’

If you would like to take part in WIPpet Wednesday, all you have to do is post an excerpt of your writing on your blog.  Only stipulation is that it must relate to the date in some way.  Then add your name here.

Thank you to the wonderful K. L. Schwengel for being our hostess with the mostess!

Unsure

Unsure

This is going to be a quick post as I haven’t got a lot of time this evening. But I just wanted to share with you a little about what’s been on my mind today.

As with many of my thoughts it’s to do with my writing and how it’s going.  To update you, I’m about to send my upcoming novel Reunion of the Heart to my proofreader. Once I have it back from her, I’ll start making the final preparations to publish it – hopefully by the end of the summer.

But it’s not Reunion of the Heart I’m stressing over – well not much anyway! ;)  It’s actually my new WIP, as yet untitled.  I’ve shared bits of it on WIPpet Wednesday; you can read this week’s excerpt here.

What I’m unsure about is the fact that it’s about a teacher (it’s a romance), a young woman, who works in a secondary school (11-16 yr olds), but I don’t know a huge amount about secondary schools in the 21st century – I haven’t been at a secondary school for the best part of 20 years.  I’m kind of feeling that I may be out of my depth.  I just don’t know enough about, for example, how technology is used in schools nowadays.  I’m sure it’s light years away from when I was there.

Also, although I’ve planned quite a lot for this story (I am DEFINITELY a plotter not a pantser!!), I feel that it’s still not clear in my head the way it should go in the middle.  I know the beginning and the end, I even know part of the middle, but it’s the in between scenes I’m trying to create now which are wearing me down.

So I was wondering… what do you guys do when you’re in a similar position to me?  Do you keep going and plugging away at it?  Or do you think ‘I’ll stop and do something else, or go back to the drawing board’?  And have you ever been writing something where you’re unsure you know enough about it?  If so, what do you do?

It’s  a lot of questions, I know.  But as always your thoughts are welcome. :)

Something new for WIPpet Wednesday

Hi all.  As the title of this blog post suggests, I decided to do something a bit different for my contribution to this week’s WIPpet Wednesday.  I haven’t actually written anything new for ages – I’d put my new WIP on hold while I was editing Reunion of the Heart.

Anyway, I decided that because I hadn’t done anything new I’d create something new.  What follows is something I’ve written in about half an hour.  I don’t know if it’s good, I don’t know if it’s bad, so as always your comments are welcome.

It doesn’t relate to the date, but hey you can’t have everything!  But it’s not too long either, so that’s a bonus!!  I won’t say anything else about it, so just enjoy. :)

What am I doing? she asked herself as she turned around and left him standing there in shock, his mouth hanging open, as though all the words he wanted to say had deserted him just as she had. 

But she kept walking on and didn’t look back; she couldn’t.  This was it.  She had to take a stand – she couldn’t do this anymore.  Her life had been one big lie for the past ten years.  If only she could make him understand.  It’s too late for that, the merciless voice in her head told her.  There’s nothing else you can do.

Tears pricked at her eyes as she thought of what might have been.  She blinked them away and trudged along, the one bag she was carrying heavy on her shoulder.  She half expected him to come running after her, to grab her arm and wrench her back into his life.  But she knew him better than that – the indifference he showed her that had threatened to engulf her.

Her mind carried her back to their wedding day, how happy they’d been.  The hopes and expectations that they and all their friends and family had had.   She remembered the smiles of her father, the happy tears of her mother, her own joy at celebrating this perfect day as she was marrying this wonderful man.  Was it really only ten years ago?  Somehow it felt a lot longer than that.

The road she was on, literally and metaphorically, was not one she would have chosen for herself.  It would be an uphill climb, and there would be no one to share her heavy load.  She stared at the narrow pavement she was walking along; it was the evening rush hour and vehicles of all shapes and sizes were rushing past her, some narrowly avoiding crashing into her, all oblivious to her presence, her pain.

Barely aware of the traffic, she soldiered on, remembering the clichéd saying: To thine own self be true.  Reaching the pedestrian crossing she’d used on multiple occasions, she pushed the button and waited for the signal of the green man.  Its beeping jolted her out of her reverie and she began to cross, never seeing the car, whose driver was talking on her mobile phone, until it was too late.

There you have it.  If you would like to take part in WIPpet Wednesday, it’s easy.  Simply post on your blog any piece of your writing that you want – preferably relating to the date – and then add your name to this.  Then you can read all the wonderful things that the other WIPpeteers have written.

Thank you K. L. Schwengel for being our hostess with the mostest!

How I’m blogging now

I just thought I’d continue on from what I was talking about the other day – blogging, gaining more followers on my blog and how to go about it.

Well I’ve signed up to follow a fair few more blogs in the hope that that may be a way to gain more followers myself.  And, of course, it’s interesting to read others’ blogs and see how they’re successful, what they do or don’t do that I could learn from.

I’m a bit flummoxed by one thing though.  For a long while I didn’t add tags to my blog posts as I wasn’t aware of how useful they could be.  I think I may have gained a number of followers through tagging my posts.

But the thing that’s puzzling me is this: when I Googled certain words that I use as tags in my blogging, intending to see if I could find other writers’ blogs, it came up with very little that was helpful i.e. hardly any relevant writers blogs at all.

So it got me thinking – how exactly do tags work?  Are they what other people use to find blogs to follow – do other people Google certain words to find a blog they might like to follow, or do other people know something I don’t about tags?

Anyway I’m confused by that.  Any info about that gratefully received.

To go back to the main point of this blog post, as well as working hard at blogging myself, it’s been interesting to see how various other bloggers go about… well blogging.  Some of them list targets they’re trying to achieve (I don’t find this particularly helpful, in fact it’s a bit boring!), others intersperse anecdotes about their non-writing lives (which I find fascinating) and then of course many blog about how their writing is going, their plans for releasing their novels, details of when their novels are being released etc.

I have found that the most successful blogs engage with their readers; they provide good content that others want to read; they ask questions and the blog itself is attractive and looks good.

As for my own blogging – well I’m trying to comment on others’ blogs as much as I can – though I do delete a number of posts as I haven’t got the time or energy to look at them all.  I’m only human!

With this blog, I’m trying to post more often, as obviously that is so important.  I also intend at some point to start linking more to other blog sites.  Some of the most effective blog sites have great links to helpful sites for writers.

Here are some that I enjoy:

Catherine, Caffeinated

Daily (w)rite

Shannon A Thompson

Joanne Phillips

I think I’ll leave it there for now.  But before I go, here’s a question for you.  Do you have a favourite blog that you keep returning to and why?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

1 year of my WordPress blog!

1 year of blog

As  of today it’s officially one year since I started my WordPress blog!!  But I can’t say that’s when I started blogging because I began that with my Blogger one. However I can honestly say that WordPress has taken my blogging to a whole new level. Yes it’s more complicated to use than Blogger and can at times be infuriating.

But it’s also hugely rewarding to be able to connect with so many other wonderful writers so easily, to be able to interact with them in ways I feel I just couldn’t with Blogger and to have all this support from the international writing community.  You guys are the best!  I’ve grown so much as a writer over this past year, thanks in no small part to the encouragement I’ve received since I started this blog.

Using this blog has been and continues to be a learning curve.  It’s only recently that I’ve discovered the importance of tagging my blog posts, something I had no clue of for a long while.  I’m sure it’s something that most of you take for granted.  And I know I’m not especially great with WordPress – there’re still things I want to do with it that I can’t at the moment and I’m just figuring out as I go along.

But I’m getting there and as it is I’m able to interact well with other authors which is the important thing. The rest can wait for now. I would like to thank all of you who are following my blog once again – I really appreciate that you take time out of your busy lives to read my blog and comment on it.  Thank you!

I will raise an invisible toast:  Here’s to many more blogging years!