Sea Air And Writing

2017-09-10 003In September I was able to attend a local Writers Retreat at Magnetic Island in North Queensland (Australia).
The day was filled with wonderful company and two workshops on editing and marketing.
Unfortunately, it ended all too soon and we all had to head back to Townsville, but not before I had lunch and writing time.
Another step in my writing journey.

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Finding the Bigger Picture

I’m back.

Forgive me, I’ve always wanted to say that, and it’s been a while since I last wrote on my blog. Why waste a perfect opportunity?

I’ve come a long way since I wrote my last blog. Mind you there have still been downer days, but the moment I’m on a high. Not literally of course, it’s a high from: I have been writing and wrote over 3000 words on Saturday. That is the most I have accomplished for a long while.

After months of mulling my novel in my head I worked out my problem. I was attacking it from the wrong angle. What I thought was important, wasn’t. I was paying so much attention to one section, I forgot the bigger picture. I thought the best way to attack my story was to break it down into three novellas. It naturally has three sections to it anyway. A beginning, middle and end. Duh!

That was my mistake.

It’s obvious, really. And I knew that, but being the nervous writer that I am, I couldn’t help but keep thinking I had it wrong. Then all the doubts creep in; and life creeps in and the situation just explodes. Yet, at the same time it was being able to see the sections apart I was able to redefine my direction and put them back together.

I was asked once: Name a book you think your story is most like?

I couldn’t answer.

Now I have no hesitation, but I won’t answer in books, I’ll answer in Authors: Ann Rice, Charlaine Harris and Laurel K Hamilton (to name three). Of course I am not suggesting that I am in the same league as these wonderful authors, but they are a source of great inspiration to me.

I began my novel long before I had a chance to read Interview with a Vampire and it was two children and a completed drafted series after, before I happened upon Charlaine’s and Laurel’s series. And when I read their works, it was an explosion of happiness.

They wrote as I wanted to write. They wrote what I wanted to write (or close enough).

I realise now, that back then in my ‘emerging’ days, I wasn’t drafting my novels, I was just playing; rearranging ways to say the same thing, maybe improving structure, but playing nonetheless. It wasn’t until a few years ago; I decided it was time to be serious.

One of my other problems was deciding what genre my novel falls into. Paranormal, definitely. Horror? I’m talking vampires here, blood, guts and gore. But is it scary enough? Romance? Hmmm, not in the true sense of romance novels, that is something I think readers will have to decide on their own.

At the moment I’m inspired to write more. This is the first time the idea of writing something for my blog, hasn’t sent me scurrying away from my computer and finding chocolate to nibble on.

Will I continue? I hope so.

Until next time.

Alyson

 

 

Dark Holes and Chocolate

I can’t believe it has been 2 months since I last wrote anything. However, my dear friends Stress and Anxiety have been visiting over the last few weeks, and I’ve been at their beck and call. They even shouted me a couple of trips to hospital and an overnight stay with breakfast. Good news; it’s nothing too serious. Although it’s easy to say it’s nothing serious, it’s not so easy when it feels like your heart is trying to escape captivity.

Unfortunately this has had an effect on my writing.  I can’t get centred enough to concentrate. I write a few lines, and either my mind just goes blank or my energy dissipates.

So needless to say, I’m trying to find my way back to my muse and wacky self – without the aid of medication. It’s hard, but having climbed out of the hole once before, I know I can do it.

It’s just going to take a while and lots of patience. But I know one thing for sure, not matter how much caffeine it has, I am not giving up chocolate!  

 

Walking The Path

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As you can tell, it has been a while since I’ve written anything on my blog.  

There have been times when I wanted to write about events in life but I chose discretion. Let’s just say, over the last few months I have been involved in one of those events that have the capacity to either crush or remake you. After being crushed for a while, I’ve decided I’m in the remaking stage.

So putting best foot forward with a newly empowered me, I took a jump and sent the first chapter of my novel to an editor.

I hated it – the waiting – not the editor. 

There was much chewing of nails, which is kinda hard when you have acrylic ones (black and pointed at the moment).  There was much pacing of floors and being prompted to ‘be quicker’ every time I passed the television. (I will admit I did pause slightly in my pacing when approaching said television).  And there was the inevitable staring into space and wishing to curl up in a corner, cause you know it was just bad, bad, bad.

Then the editor replied.

Good news, he read the first chapter and said I can write and write well – much smiling. He read my short story or novelette as he called it, and ‘thoroughly enjoyed it’ – more smiling.  

Wait for it.

He found it hard to find the plot in my novel.

And there it was.

Thud.

I dusted myself off, looked at the story again, and  *^%$, I had to agree with him.  It was, and still is at the moment, a collection of scenes that flow, and bend towards an end, but there is no string holding it together. No backbone.

Sigh.

So after consuming a whole block of dark chocolate, (to be truthful it was probably more like two… or three…), I forged forward.

It’s been a few weeks now, and I’m still trying to work out how to fix the problem. My story is complication, perhaps too complicated, and I have a lot of characters. However, I like to read complicated stories and stories with two main characters have a tendency to bore me, (there are exceptions). Yet I see the point. I need to cut back on the complications and characters. I need to be able to walk before I can run.

I think the problem is I wrote the basis for this novel over thirty years ago. My skills of a writer have grown since then and I’m still learning. Although the story has seen numerous drafts, the backbone or lack of hasn’t changed. I need to take a step back and tear it down to rebuild it.

It’s like that in life sometimes. We need to take a fresh look at a situation and break it down into pieces before we try to put it back together again.

I could throw my hands up in the air and just give up on the whole thing.

Or I can knuckle down and just get on with the job.

And we all know the saying: Anything worthwhile is never easy.

 

 

 

 

 

Strength

Depression looms like an oncoming storm

I am but driftwood in its path2016-01-12 magnetic Island 071.JPG

Tossed and thrown in the winds

I’m lost without direction.

 

A joy is taken, and thrown aside

Lying shattered upon the sand

Baked and split beneath the sun

A world without respite.

 

Colours in bloom appear above

Reds and orange fade to black2015-01-16_20_magnetic-island-holiday-214

As the sun sinks past the horizon

Here is my place in the coolness of night

 

Silver shivers across the waves

The surf sings a lullaby

Sand caresses with soothing warmth

In arms I gratefully lie.

 

I stand and face the oncoming dawn

Warmth clinging between my toes2013-09-30-magnetic-island_day_131

The tide encroaches with single purpose

A shifting of sands undermined.

 

My path has moulded into something new

Yesterday lies behind me

Today an illusion, unexplored

And I follow the shifting sands.

 

There is always an oncoming storm

A rush of an incoming tide

Of silver shivering and tossing diamonds2013-09-30-magnetic-island_day_128

A solid surface being undermined.

 

No longer a puppet dangling on a string

I take a step, I sink, I continue

To a destination unknown I walk beside the storm

Strengthen with purpose, me, myself and I.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

End of a Year

The end of a year2016-01-12 magnetic Island 104

The birth of another

Of lives that were ended

Of lives that were born

Fears reinvented

Fears newly formed

Love sprouted on wings

Love shattered like glass

Of the wonders of nature

Of the terror it brings

Words spoken with love

Words spoken with hate

A banquet, a feast

A hunger so deep

The end of a year

The birth of another