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Music: Music to Write to – “Might As Well Get Used To It”

I have this song in my “inspiration” playlist. This song, but a different version (without all the extra little add-on bits … I think the version I have is less distracting, and much nicer), but, heck, you take what you can get when it comes to sharing from Youtube.

This is NZ band The Dead Flowers – much better known back in the ’90s with songs like “Dead Boy”, “Same Same“, and “Watch Her Play

Read more…Music: Music to Write to – “Might As Well Get Used To It”

Milestone: WoW 75%

I just wanted to record this:

Yep, that’s 90,000+ words – actually managed to reach 90,094 before the toddler woke this afternoon. And I still have a month before the competition deadline. I’m really feeling like I can do this. Barring some disaster, I really think I can . . .

Anyway, 90,000 words is my projected 75% mark. 25% (est) to go. My characters have been rock bottom. Things are starting to look up (but, I still have more for them), and then we will be onto the tidy up.

Well, keep watching this space over the next month. I’ll keep you posted.

The goings on

Oops, it’s been a whole week since I posted anything. The shame.

And here I had been trying to come up with plans of regular post-types – music, snippets, other stuff … But, well, you know … Good intentions and all that jazz.

The story goes that I have decided to take a shot at a novel manuscript competition, because it happens to have come up and my manuscript is kind of nearly finished. Nearly finished enough, I think, for me to bash out the last bit, hopefully leave myself time for a couple of read-throughs and a little finessing and submit. That won’t mean it is finished to my satisfaction, but it will be “good enough” to be assessed on story, which, if I were to be one of the top three winners (yeah, unlikely, given the last-minute rush, but maybe the others are in the same position …), would win me a critique (the three prizes include critiques – which would save hundreds of $$). A critique would be fab. If I don’t win, I will go through the story a few more times, see if I can get away with a few tweaks, or if I’d be better off re-writing huge chunks … I can imagine that being the case. And then, I would find my own manuscript assessor.

One of the potential outcomes of the contest is an invitation to be published through Steam Press. Something tells me my story won’t be a fit for their company, but we shall see. There are no promises, no expectations.

Anyway, it’s been good for me. I’ve been powering along. And some of the writing isn’t terrible. I might be in with a shot at this.

It’s great because I’ve had the opening of the next novel sitting in my brain for months, now, so it’s nice to think I’m getting close to writing that down and sussing out the rest of the story … and I’d like to outline a 3rd book at the same time.

I get those voices in the back of my head saying “What makes you think you can actually do this? You haven’t been writing long enough. You’re not that good.” But, I figure, a huge chunk of success comes from determination, and I’m determined. My goal is publication and continued writing. Yes, I want to continue with this story, and yes, I want to write others.

I have found several readers who have found pleasure in the journey I have taken with this story. I hope to find several more with the final version. But, you know, it’s a gamble. We shall see.

Read more…The goings on

Share and Share Alike

I don’t do a lot of description – settings or characters. Here’s one that came to me last night. Is it doable, a piece of drivel or, even, crap?

Another villa hall with as many wall-hangings might have been considered cosy, but Braph’s walls exhibited a hardness that reflected the man himself. Metal gadgets of various shape, size and purpose adorned either side of the dark hall. There were no windows – the only light emanated through those doors that stood ajar. Large and small polished copper and steel cogs hung from the walls, their purpose, if any over and above decorative, unknown. Copper pipes ran along the bottom of one wall, the tinkle of water flowing through metal underpinned every creaky floorboard and each errant breeze.

EDIT: Here’s my revisited version – this with just a trip through the thesaurus, which may not be ideal …

Another villa hall with as many wall-hangings might have been considered cosy, but Braph’s walls exhibited a hardness that reflected the man himself. Metal gadgets of manifold shape, size and purpose ornamented either side of the dim hallway. There were no windows – the only light ducked through those doors that stood ajar. Large and small polished copper and steel cogs hung from hooks on the walls, their purpose, if any over and above decorative, unknown. Copper pipes ran along the bottom of one wall. The tinkle of water flowing through metal underpinned every creaky floorboard and each errant breeze.

So, was that all the opening needed? Or was I nowhere near the target to begin with?

About That Cover . . . Another Indie vs Publisher discussion

. . . if you can call me ranting to myself in a blog a “discussion”. Don’t look at me like that. You probably like writing, too. Yes. Exactly.

Right, several weeks ago, I talked about cover art. Today, I read this rather interesting article about going indie. It’s not the first time that I have seen mention of the author losing power regarding cover design (among other things) and I think it’s about time I threw my two cents into the pot. You never know, I might win this hand. (I’ve had a very long day with the toddler and am extremely tired, please excuse what passes for humour this evening). Anyway, I have lots and lots of words to write in my WiP, so I will be brief, and get to the point (Ha!).

One of the example covers I used was the one for Brent Weeks‘ The Black Prism (Book 1 of the Lightbringer Series). Well, now the cover for The Blinding Knife (Book 2 of the Lightbringer Series) has been revealed. I’m really looking forward to this book. I loved the first and I’ve read the three chapters available online. I’m really looking forward to this book. But, you know what? The cover sucks. There, I said it.

And, I honestly wonder how truthful Mr Weeks is being when he goes on about how great it is. Because, honestly? He’s had good covers. He’s had great covers – as I showed in my last post.

So, I picked up The Black Prism after seeing this on the bookstore shelves:

Cover for The Black Prism
The Black Prism – sexiness in print

But, if it had looked something like this:

Read more…About That Cover . . . Another Indie vs Publisher discussion

A Sunday Snippet

Here, just ‘coz:

“I did it. And now the poor bastard has to live every—” He swung his knife arm back, and Llew stepped out of his way. Then he drove the blade into the wood, almost to the hilt. “—day of his life—” He pulled the knife from the tree. “—feeling the pain of that loss.” He sunk the knife back into the wood. “And all—” He yanked the knife free again. “I had to do—” In. Out. “Was look.” He turned to Llew, his face twisted in an ugly smile. “But all I could see was you.”

Llew stood facing him, her breathing slow and deliberate. She had to deal with this. She couldn’t afford to let herself feel the elation welling up at his words. “You couldn’t have known,” she said quietly, not knowing what else to say, and suddenly realizing her own innocence. “We . . . we didn’t know.”

I don’t like ice

It’s only 8.30pm and already the black “donor”-car in our backyard has an impressive covering of white ice crystals (The “project car” is probably a topic for another time, but, basically, my husband plans to drop the V8 from the Celsior into the body of the 1983 Corona – same shape as my first car, which is why I let him buy it – taking up most of the room in our garage. It’s just a shame we have run out of money, because it would be nice to see it get done).

QuoteAnyway, I thought that since it is so horribly cold, tonight might be a good night to reflect on another icy day . . .

It was early July (I think it was the 6th, but it seems I have finally started to put some details behind me) 2006 – winter here in the southern hemisphere. As a regular walker, I looked outside to check for ice and all looked clear – the ground was dry, the day was crisp but not freezing. Fabulous. I could walk to work free from fear of falling. Oh, how wrong I was.

Read more…I don’t like ice

Music Discovery: June 2012

I’ve mentioned before that I am a member of the online music voting community The Countdown. Here is the Youtube video for the June entries, for those interested:

The list of entries (alphabetical by artist):

:Australia: Allday x C1 feat. Luke Gray – My World – AU
:Latvia: Black Apple Market – One of These – LV
:Switzerland: Brass’n’Jazz – Di per di – CH
:UK: Clinigol feat. Nia Medi – Cyfrinach – UK
:Lebanon: Darine Hamze, Zeid Hamdan, Marc Codsi & RGB – Ya habibi ta’ala – LB

Read more…Music Discovery: June 2012

Raine Maida: The Sexiest Man In Rock Music?

Quite possible. All depends on taste, I suppose. (See, I covered my butt … it’s OK if he doesn’t do it for you).

I make it no secret that I am a big fan of Our Lady Peace. And, I am so glad they’ve really found their stride again with their latest album, “Curve”. So, here is the latest single from said album:

And Jeremy Taggart (drummer – @Taggart7) is worth a follow on Twitter. He’s funny, insightful … a fan of golf, but no one’s perfect.

Okay, here’s the proof that I suck

Here … I talked about this in my last post, but wasn’t brave enough to show it.

Jonas and Llew - a cover idea
Jonas and Llew – a cover idea

Anyway, Llew nicely covers the crappily drawn right hand of Jonas, but, I don’t know … she’s looking older than I want her to, and I don’t know exactly why, or, therefore, how to fix it. If you’re an artist, give me some pointers, please? (it’s not completed, by any means … but I’m not sure that I will bother, now).

Actually, I have a new idea for a potential cover design now, anyway.

I just knew taking that screen shot from a Criminal Minds episode would (might … might not) pay off.

I realize I am meant to be putting forward a professional front here, if I want to be taken seriously as an author. But, I’m not a published author. I am not a paid digital artist. I am a practising writer and a practising illustrator. If people like what I have done to date, great. But, there’s more to come, and I’m not afraid to admit it.

So, thoughts? How old do you think Llew looks?

Also, over on Authonomy (see what I did, there? {wink}), I have been discussing openings in a forum. I’m considering doing a post on openings.

I have some questions:

What’s your favourite opening line from a novel? (or several, if you like)

Do you think blood smells, and how would you describe it (this is to help me get my latest opening right)? Of course, I may change it, yet. I like to play.