An Update at the end of October 2015

I started writing this on my Facebook Page, and then I remembered that I really, really needed to post something here. So… here’s the goss:

Quiet me…

I’ve been full up with a cold over the last month (actually 2 colds… I was nearly over the first when the second struck) and, of course, I’m still full up with baby. And so, when I haven’t been doing the things I need to do in life (office job, house work, childcare, midwife appointments, scans, obstetrician appointments…), I have been sleeping (or coughing).

Somewhere in there, I strained an abdominal muscle (better now), and now I’m just working on clearing the last of the gunk from my lungs.

Our house is on the market… Not sold yet, sadly, but neither has anyone whisked the other house out from under us (the vendors have a “cash out” clause, so if they get a better offer than ours they can take it… unless we can pay right then), so all fingers still crossed. The vendors for the house we want were planning to restart an advertising campaign around now, though, so… eep! Nervous times.

An image from the lifestyle block we hope to buy
Give me land, lots of land, under starry skies above…

The struggle we have is that even though we’d love a swift sale (therefore, a low price would be ideal), we are constrained because we simply can’t afford to grow our mortgage by too much… We’re already taking a financial risk just contemplating moving. But… mental health vs. financial health… Hopefully we can achieve both. And I need more space around me. And horses.

Aaaand… my baby has a mid-November due date… and tomorrow (NZ time) is November… And the pressure is on. My first son was born via c-section after several days of labour, so, of course, another c-section is very much on the cards. For the sake of quicker healing after, though, I’m aiming for VBAC (vaginal birth after c-sec). However, the hospital is watching me closely. I have another large baby in me, and if he goes past due date + 10 days, the hospital won’t risk artificially inducing me (which I don’t like the sound of anyway) because the added stresses introduced would put me at risk of rupturing my scar, so they would be pressing for an “elective” c-section at that point. Hence, pressure: on. Come on, baby. Feel free to come early (I have had to make peace with still being in this house when he arrives).

Needless to say, the creative juices are not flowing. This happened in my last pregnancy. I wrote very little of Healer’s Touch in the year I was pregnant with my first son. But I got back into it the following year, as I was up at interesting hours with a silently feeding baby, which allowed my mind to wonder, and then  that baby slept for two decent chunks of the day, which allowed me to write. Obviously, things will be different this time, with an older child already, but he is 5 now, so he has school (o:

Both Warrior’s Touch and Magician’s Touch are in limbo at the moment. I have ideas floating in my head for how to tackle my editorial letter for Warrior’s Touch, but I won’t likely be actioning those until the new year. My apologies. Of course I want to get these stories out to you (which would help me a–very–little financially while I’m not working, at the very least… but, come on… I’ve created something and I can’t wait to share it and–hopefully–you’ll love it, but I don’t know until you guys have it in your hot hands…).  I can’t wait… but I have to. I have to get it right.

And, then I’ve been a little bit naughty as I simmer ideas for a whole new project to come after Magician’s Touch. Which, I guess is a good thing. If you like my writing, hopefully you’ll like more stories by me. But, if you just want to conclude this series, that might make you a tad grumpy. Don’t worry. The next project is very much just a collection of jotted thoughts for now. I won’t allow myself to actually write any of it until a decent 2nd or 3rd draft of Magician’s Touch is winging it’s way to Kristell Ink. So, never fear, I’m doing what I can.

At least next year, while I’ll have a new baby and (hopefully) a lifestyle block to get my head around, I’ll have some breathing space from the office job. More of my headspace, while I do the not overly mentally stimulating work I need to do, can go to my fiction. Woo!

Right. Well, that’s a bout it from my brain today.

Time to get on with nibbling dates and pineapple.

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July Update

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Hey, hey…

So, I have been thinking about the way life works and how it’s really tricky trying to fit regular blogging into life, but also how regular blogging can be a good thing. And so I have come up with a plan… a monthly recap blog post, interspersed with the occasional “I gotta share this” blog post…

Also, down the track I’m looking to redesign my website so it has a better landing page and the blog is more of a side project — and I’d probably separate out the different topics I like to touch on.

Writing Progress

Early July saw a few more Beta reader comments come in for WARRIOR’S TOUCH which I worked to address. I also still had a few of my own niggles about the ending, but I thought to wait until I received feedback from

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And so it begins… again

The blank page.

That dreaded blank page. It’s horrible!

Why do we do this to ourselves?

I think, largely, it is because writers are gluttons for punishment. We’re never happy, and if we should be then we will find something to keep us down. And what better way than to start a new project?

Read a 1-star review of our work, you suggest? Yes, that is a good plan, too… Unless you get the kind of 1-stars you’re proud of (and I have been, lately… I’ve really liked them).

I am lucky this time around in that I’ve written two previous books in the same series I’m continuing on, so I have a decent string of events I already know I need to cover to tie off the loose ends. But

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Blog Hop

What a fab way to finish the year: With a re-cap/where-I’m-at post as part of an Author Blog Hop. So, here goes.

A brief run-down of 2013 from me: My book, HEALER’S TOUCH, was released at the end of January by Kristell Ink (part of Grimbold Books). I think it’s done not too badly for a debut novel published by a small publisher. My understanding is that Kristell Ink are really taking off, so I feel privileged to have got in on the ground floor. It’s all up, up, up from here.

We hit a bit of a snag when we split from Holland House to become Grimbold authors, but that’s all done and dusted now, all smooth sailing (Gosh, look at the cliches! Just look at them!).

As far as the rest of life goes, my son turned 3 in September and finally moved on from his terrible twos soon after and is becoming quite a pleasure to have around (phew!). And work has just seemed to get busier and busier. I’m sure it’s all very positive, but we (my husband and I) are stressed a good deal of the time (we work at the same company). Not super great for our parenting and my writing, but we’re managing. There are positive moves being made at work that may lead to reduced stress… or more, who knows?

Anyway, back to the Blog Hop. I was tagged by Elaine White. You can also see what she’s up to on her Facebook Page, Twitter and Goodreads profile.

Here’s how a blog hop works. Elaine tagged me, so I answer the four blog hop questions in my blog, which I will link to Elaine’s answers to the same questions on her blog. Then I will reach out to five random authors to continue the hop!

Read on to find my answers to the blog hop questions.

What are you writing?

I am currently (still) working on

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I feel I have succeeded

Hey yous fellas… and fella-ettes…. is that how it works? I must ponder on that… (perhaps “fellas” is asexual… sure… I’ll take that).

I’ve been quiet.

Basically, I’ve been writing, or working, or mothering, or (heaven forbid) tidying and cleaning… (shudder)

Sometimes I think to myself “My blog is part of my “author platform” (I quote because I totally understand what that means), I should make it interesting so people will want to read my book”…

The thing is, I may be published, but I am an amateur. I have no guru-spec-tac-u-lar to spill over you and imbue you with the magic of “you can do it too” (although, by the way… you can do it too).

I have me. My book exists in digital and paperback formats…

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Round, round, get around, I get around…

I think I’m getting better at this interview thing

On another note… I was struggling with making progress on WARRIOR’S TOUCH over the past couple of weeks. Then last night, I had a thought about a scene that was OK, but just wasn’t quite doing it for me… Write it from another POV! At the moment, the scene is in Llew’s POV, but I’m going to have a go at Jonas’ later today. As soon as I had that thought, a whole lot of new dialogue came flooding in, and even a whole new scene! I had thought I’d keep WT in Llew’s POV, even though the story is more about Jonas’ issues because, as a reader, I get quite attached to reading through a particular character’s eyes. But I think it’s going to go a little closer to 50/50. There are a couple of Braph POV scenes again, too. And a new POV…

Oh, and I crossed the 60,000 word mark last night. Yeah, na, I’m not 50% through the story…

The long hard road from anonymity…

Guess what.

My book was published at the end of January and I’m not famous yet.

I know!

Seriously, though, I’m sure we all know by now that selling books comes down to more than a matter of having a book out there. First and foremost, it has to be a good book. If you would like it to sell well, it also has to find wide appeal (and sign a movie deal). Now, that sort of thing is hard to predict. It’s a matter of giving the world what it wants when it wants it. You can’t guess this based on what’s been selling. By the time you finish your book, the world will very likely have moved on. So we come back to the good old: Write what you want to read and hope. It’s all about hope.

There is one thing that will help your book sell (once you’ve already written a good one): word-of-mouth.

But how do you get it

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It pays to ask the tough questions… of your characters

So, I was reading this blog post by Kristen Lamb, and I got to thinking what a good exercise it would be to ask my own characters the questions near the bottom of the post. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve spent a whole book and nearly a half with these guys, I know them pretty well. But, do you know how easy it is to just carry on thinking you know your characters without really stopping to think? I’ll tell you… really, really easy.

The questions are (paraphrased):

  • What is his/her greatest strength/weakness? (Bearing in mind, the greatest strength is often also the greatest weakness)
  • What is his/her greatest fear?
  • What problem could make him/her struggle the most?
  • What problem could force tough moral choices?
  • What problem has the highest stakes?

Now, the last three questions are more “story” questions that are derived from the first two, which are “character” questions. The last three only develop real impact once the first two are answered.

I asked the questions of Llew and Jonas. Llew didn’t surprise me much. Jonas shouldn’t have. And yet,

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