4 May 2016
It's been an unforgivably long time hasn't it?
I kinda stopped writing regularly over the Christmas (summer) holidays. Keeping the kids occupied took maximum-energy. Yeah, I was left feeling pretty ragged by the start of the new school year.
I did do some work on the novel Once Were Angels, although most of the progress was during April's Camp NaNoWriMo. More about that later- in an actual, legit blog post- when I can snatch the time.
Onto a slightly different subject I've been doing some art, and photography lately. I'm just soaking in my surroundings, and refilling the creative well- I think it's needed.
If you want to take a look at what I've been up to on that count, pop on over to my art blog- Amuri Art, it is *points up* on the menu up above.
That's it for now.
Entry 214 December 2015
Nano is finished and I reached that much lauded word goal, 50K and I'm happy, happy, happy-yeah! (And exhausted). My brain is now in post-nano-forget everything mode. I forgot to do something really, really important the other day and there will be consequences- Yikes. Can't really use NaNo as an excuse but *points finger* "It was! It was all NaNo's fault!"
The "thing" isn't finished yet I'm at 56,000 words and there's still a way to go. I'll plod away at it. As with most first drafts certain details of this story are still in conception stage. There is the occasional element which isn't meshing-- namely the antagonist of my story, Athon. It always seems to be those antagonists that give me the most trouble. They're VILLIANS! THE LOT OF THEM! *smirk*.
Entry 207th November 2015
If you have been following my blog you would know I'm currently participating in NaNoWriMo...
It's going OK. The mind-story isn't quite matching the page story yet, but the right shape is there and that's a start. The themes are sneaking in, the right moody-schmoodyness, and the story world is coming alive in my head. Even if it wasn't I would still have to push on, suck it up and spit those words out.
The exciting thing about this story is I'm only 12,000 words in an already I have a overflowing cup of liquidy-like feels for these characters.
It's a funny thing because the story idea wasn't mine to begin with, my sister actually came up with this particular plot bunny-- because yeah, she's awesome! She's done some amazing illustrations for it so we will likely make this into a graphic novel hybrid novel thing when it comes to publishing it. Her aesthetic matches mine so well. It's a dark, moody, gritty, cynical, each scene saturated with tension between the characters. So much lurking, potential conflict, and secrets. Oh, the grand revelations to come, I can barely wait...
Ok, ok back to writing. I have a word count to meet today.
Entry 195th September 2015
Under the guise of writing I visited the Chaotic Shiny Writing Generator site today. I gotta say the plot generator- mashup mashup was a hoot! So here's what I got...
Labyrinth avengers of fire, chaos champions of warding and blood magic in far future Panama. Valiant heroes battle chemical warfare, giant bears and dimensional rifts. Some things you might run into: the end of an era and a great victory. (this one really sounds kind of fun)
Metarogue-spys of treachery and withering, totems and theocracy in Modern London. Be worried about hailstorms and contaminated areas. Some things you might run into: an unexpected death, a purchase, a deception and a prophetic dream. Don't forget about the mages' university, mask, psychic and cellar.
Rune mercenarys, mobius pirates and trade wars in Modern Denmark. The world is ravaged by bioengineered plagues and nuclear experiments gone wrong.
Here's the link for your own amusement. http://chaoticshiny.com/index.php
Entry 182 September 2015
Holy-flipping-heck. Has it really been a month since I last wrote on here?
Don't mistake my absence for proof that I've been slack...
You would've noticed an official blog post about The Moons of Saturn Anthology- If you haven't GO THERE NOW!
But no, wait until you read this first.
So some new things afoot. I created a place to put my little pretty/strange/grim picture-scribbles. An official Art blog: https://amuriart.wordpress.com/ Check it out!
I'm also doing some beta-ing at the moment for someone, so less time has been focused on my own writing. However I have managed to find the time to work on a short story for a New Zealand Fantasy Anthology as well as a little bit-on-the-side planning for a future project.
September through to the start of November is going to be all about revising (she says, trying to sound enthusiastic and determined). I have 4 completed novels in varying degrees of tatty draft-age. Now after taking a month long break from them it is time to try and make them faintly prettier and much more awesome, with sparkles! I love sparkles. The Rising is the first scheduled for this makeover madness.
YES! IT WILL BE DONE! (cue dramatic music.)
Entry 1731 July 2015
So two days ago this was the situation...
Camp NaNoWriMo update: Ah well I caught up on WC but...huge but. So I knew where this was going, yup, I had a plan for the end and it was totally gonna work. Then at a pivotal moment suddenly another character rushes out of the wings and, and, and... really screws stuff up!
It was my fault I had left things unresolved with him and now...argh, crap-canoe! A main character has a sword in his chest and he's looking at me accusingly, mouthing silently-- WHY!
Yes Ami, good question. WHY the F@!# would you do this? It was almost done! The novel is ALMOST DONE! *Sob*.
This atrocity was the result of a word sprint-- that thing where you write as fast as humanly possible in the allotted time frame.
So what am I going to do now? *bites nails, jiggles in seat, looks nervously behind*
I just finished the book! Oh wow! You know that incident yesterday? Yes, well it was the best damn thing that could've ever happened. The final big scene is written! Yes, I'm feeling all sorts of awesome right now! So glad it worked out. Geez I was pretty worried there for a while. I was almost ready to slam this carnage ride into reverse (backspacing really, really fast).
I included songs, poetry, and faux academic excerpts in the first book. They were a fun galaxy-building element, so I will probably continue to do that.
So today I've written a short preamble drawing from the Divinity Chronicle of Uzual, Shaper of Worlds and a few other little snippets of made up history. The Sanctuary of Shadows will continue my exploration into Hylozoism (The idea of a universe being alive).
Here's a few other excerpts from my world building files. These will probably set the theme and tone for this book.
"…repeating the same mistakes over and over again. I can imagine that would be the medicine of madness". (Feros- The Beast of the Black)
"Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Whispers from the deep. Creep. Creep. Creep. Do you see? See see. A dream, not. A life? Barely. Look and see. Watch the rise but then close your eyes. Don’t look at me." Ode to Reconstruction, written by Odessa Mia Shanzan, First Archsai of the Jethron Ministerial
Entry 1619 July 2015
Bad weather, family sickness and all sorts of random colliding little dramas made these school holidays one big singularity of suckiness. Creativity dried up and fizzled on a hot plate of stress.
Thankfully the kids and I have almost completely recovered from our sickness's ( though I wish Mr Stomach Flu and Mr Cold hadn't decided to come and stay for the holidays-- yeah, not fun fellows). This last week we managed to get out and enjoy several school holiday activities to make up for the disappointing first week. But it's all over too quickly. Tomorrow, the kidlets are back at school and I will be back to having regular writing times. Ah, It will be nice settling back into routine I suppose.
Entry 1510 July 2015
Cripes, it's been a while since I updated!
You are probably wondering how JuNoWriMo went? Well...>>>
Yup I got to 50K, but not before realizing that the novel wasn't quite ready to be written. I still had too much world building to do. The process was lots of fun but also plenty of floundering about with the words "this is not what I had in mind" stuck on repeat at the back of my mind.
This month is Camp NaNoWriMo-- so I set myself a less punishing goal of 30,000 words. I'm using this month as an opportunity to finish The Rising/The Final Battle (my first fantasy novel's). The whole leviathan is currently sitting at 233,000 words. If I finally manage put those wonderful words 'The End' ( been long time coming) then yay!!! I can make a start to the next in the Liberty Series; The Sanctuary of Shadows (science fantasy). These two series are actually inexorably linked so it'll be good to finally place those last cap stones, which join these two very different worlds.
Plenty to do, and not enough time...Yikes!
Entry 145 June 2015
It is day 5 of #JuNoWriMo... and wowsa-blazing-typing-fingers! This story is becoming, happening and finally taken control of its own destiny! Here's the badges I have earned thus far....
Right I better get back to it. I'm aiming for 15K by the end of today.
Happy writing everyone!
Entry 1331 May 2015
So much has happened this month. I finished a short story for Lillicat Publishers Moons of Saturn and sent it away. It didn't end up being a survival horror... it ended up quite family friendly actually. The story just decided to go it's own way-- funny how that happens.
I also finished the book cover for The Future Is Short; Science Fiction in a Flash, Volume 2.
Here's the front cover my colleague Heather MacGillivray and I came up with. She came up with the initial design concept and then I put it together in PS elements. We were a great team-- I totally would not have thought to stitch and slice my illustration in that way.
I think the cover is about as refined as I can get it now. Too late for changes now as the book will be coming out very soon. Eek-citement overload!
Watch this space for details.
Achieving those things was great because half of this month was lost in the haze that is the dreaded head-cold. There were several days where I sat wrapped in a blanket, doped up on cold meds while playing Borderlands The Pre-sequel (a slightly surreal experience). I also read two books, Anita Shreve's The Weight of Water (shrug, it was OK) and Donna Tartt's Goldfinch (frigging awesome book, damn it was sooooo good)
I'm now gearing up to start JuNoWriMo. It's less than 5 hrs till midnight kick-off! Whoop,whoop! I'm going to be writing myself some dark, dark, horror/fantasy baby! Done heaps of world building, sussed my characters out. Heck, I've even drawn a map of their world. It's so unlike me to be this organized pre-first draft. Could I have moved from Pantsing to planning this? I'll let you know how it goes.
Entry 1230 April 2015
CampNaNoWriMo update. Last night I reached my not-so-lofty goal of 25,000 words for the month, but hey, a win is a win!
I'm mainly celebrating the fact that one of my older novels is now preciously close to being a finished draft. Also in the process of this month my writing-groove-moves came back (come on, shake that pen for me, baby). Some parts of the novel sparkle all pretty like! Oh and the last chapter made me sob fan-girly tears as I wrote it. That's a good sign, right?
Now it's back to short stories: mainly finishing Gustav Valentine's tale and also getting a sweet-ass survival horror piece ready for this:
http://www.lillicatpublishers.com/?page_id=274 -- been playing some Deadspace on the 360 lately and those juicy jump-scares have inspired the crap out of me!
Carrying on, writing on...
25 March 2015
It's the home stretch! I can feel it.
So I've been working (intermittently) on a troublesome short story submission (since January) The story is called Gustav Valentine's Bad Day. It's about a rather bureaucratic fellow (Dark Elf) named Gustav. He works for the Board of Dimensional Integrity (BODI for short). BODI handles the realignment of magical folks homes, which may have been negatively affected by their sister dimension's earthquake rebuild (Christchurch). Nervous little Gustav craves order and stability. He follows daily rituals to ensure life remains on an even and predicable keel. However one day everything goes very wrong, and an illegal dragon happens. His life is turned upside down.
This was where the story swung off the rails a few times. I kept taking wrong turns and writing poor Gus into a quagmire ( you know the usual pantsing problems). Now at last, this horrible day of his might end well...maybe. ;)
7 March 2015With the book cover designing almost finished I've actually been productive again, writing-wise. I have to thank Carrol Fix of Lillicat Publishers Link -Lillicat Publishers and my wonderful friend Paula Friedman Link (amazon) for the creative boost. They are great encouragers and amazing writers. I'm blessed to know them.
So, in the last few days I have managed to do a rather interesting flash fiction piece for the Literary Science Fiction Critique Group. It was fun dabbling in something a little different ( imagine a zombie on social media type thing- *shrugs* no, not hard to imagine really). I was pretty pleased with it. It certainly turned out much better than the fanfiction I started scribing last month. 'Shhhh we do not talk of such things'.
I also pushed through an editing run on Rise Of A Dead God. Yes, this draft will RISE from the ashes left by my scorching red pen! Like a glorious book phoenix! * giggle *. I'm hoping to do at least a few hours editing/ rewriting a day and have the third draft finished by the end of March. It is a short book, so that should be easy-peachy lemon-squashy right? No that's not right, urgh...you know what I mean...
Also on my to-finish list this month is a short story for the Christchurch Writers Guild Anthology-- Chiaroscuro. I hit a wall with that one the other day. *Smack! Oof!*... Nope you're not going anywhere, mate! Yup, I spent a good hour writing myself into a hole the other day and didn't realize straight away.
It's terrible when you realize that you've made a really bad, wonky, effed up turn in a story. Now I have to back-track and try to fix things. *Heaves a sigh*. Back to work then... Where's that sledge hammer?
Entry 917th February 2015
It's been all about book cover design this month. Alas, so little writing done, despite ideas attacking me whenever I dare to relax. Even got a great, wonderful, fantastic idea for a fanfiction ... I know, urgh, fanfiction!
Don't worry, I'm ignoring it ... trying to anyway. So it's been a really interesting experience this cover designing thing, and I've learn a lot about what works and what doesn't (sobs). What is this cover for you ask? Well, our science fiction Microstory group (38 writers strong) is putting together their yearly anthology (The Future Is Short or TFIS for short). It's a fun group of people and this years anthology is going to be great! I've contributed three stories this year and I'm pretty darn proud of them. It's going to be uber-awesome and hopefully the cover will look great too! Squee!
7th February 2015
Settled down to do some writing this afternoon and started a new chapter called 'When Shadows Are Shadows No More' ... then felt compelled to pick up my sketching pad and start drawing. The result was this grim character scratched out in ink and charcoal. Yikes! (nothing to do with my story whatsoever!)
Is my pencil possessed? Was staying up late last night to watch Evil Dead a bad idea? (probably)
Maybe he/she's a new villain, or perhaps a new protagonist (albeit a spooky one).Hmmm the possibilities -- thank you, my oh-so kooky imagination. Whatever this is meant to be, I'm rather fond of the disturbing little scribblet. :)
Entry 71st January 2015
HAPPY NEW YEAR! *Pops cork* cheersgulpslurp (hic)
I hope you've all had a nice holiday season. We have had VERY nice weather down here at the bottom of the world. Ah sunshine, allowing for lots of outside fun. Down here in NZ we partook in swimming, BBQs and there was an irresponsible amount of sunburn occurrence. We even went sea kayaking on boxing day. That was amazing! We saw seals, hectors dolphins and white flippered penguins. It was a truly awesome experience for my daughter and I.
Naturally no writing happened while this was going on...
When we got back home from our adventures with extended family my christmas pressie was waiting for me. A season pass for Tell Tale Game's Tales of the Borderlands. No writing got done while I played through the first episode, neither during my subsequent borderlands DLC gaming binge. I love the World of Pandora: Its strange (nutty than a squirrel covered in testicles) characters and the frequently lethal local fauna. (oh look that pretty bug just impaled a truck). So much fun...so much gun. Pew pew pew!
Then to compound my non-writing problem I picked up the 2nd book of Stephen King's, Dark Tower series (The Drawing of the Three) finished that in a day in half, now reading the next one...I can't stop...
And why would I want to? Reading is awesome! Haven't felt this absorbed in a series for a while, not since GRRM's A Song of Ice and Fire or Karpyshyn's Bane trilogy.
Once I finish reading The Waste Lands, then I'll get back to that third draft of Rise of a Dead God. I promised to myself I would get it ready for betas (New Years Resolution Alert) yes! It will be done.
Entry 69th December 2014
I think I have sufficiently recovered from NaNoWriMo to speak about it. I finished the novel. 108,000 words 57,000 of them written in the month of November. *Fist pump* Another Nano win! And it wasn't a whole month of lamenting the crappiness of my writing either. Yeah sure, I had moments where I rolled my eyes at the word-lavatory appearing before me...then magical things happened, plot happened, characters developed minds of their own and strong voices...some of them even got really bossy-like. Yeah, I like to be told what to do. And the END! My antagonist's true nature was revealed...to me! Gave me a wonderful surprise! The plot seemed to develop organically, and wow I'm feeling really good about it! I think this has the potential to be a really good novel, eventually...
Thank you Nano! And thank you God, for keeping those flitty-flutter-fly muses on board. :3
Entry 56th November 2014
NaNoWriMo has begun. I'm almost 12,000 words in on day 6. I fully admit I could be doing better.
By the way, I just baked a lemon cake and apple spice muffins instead of writing this afternoon because... procrastination. That is all.
Entry 417th October 2014
Another book is out. Yay! A short story anthology which has one of my stories in it -- super-yay with a cape! So it's called Consortium and was the brain child of Jot Russell ( he's actually the guy who got me into the short stories racket). Without his Science Fiction Microstory contest I would have just struggled on with the novel wondering why everything I was writing smelt faintly of crap. His contest and the friendly participants therein taught me a lot. Hey I'm still learning! But things really started falling in place because of them.
"Now you are just being silly".
Pfft fun flattening brain *takes another swig* take that brain cells *villainous cackle.*
Here's the link just in case someone reads this random page of writery dribblings. Ewwww grosss... No seriously here's the link to: Consortium , So bestow your spare coin unto us and use the magical review button, reviews are nice, well, not all reviews are nice...but they are useful... right I'm going to go now.
Entry 39th October 2014
NaNoWriMo is less than a month away, (twitch). What to write, hmmmmm, I know if I make my decision now, I will probably change my mind by Nov. 1st. Why? Because I'm subconsciously averse to preparation perhaps? I know one thing, I must resist writing anything new. No new novels. Rewrite something? yes, fine. Finish an existing MS- yes, also fine, but writing something new is absolutely prohibited! (smacks twitchy fingers and the plot bunny quickly retreats back into her burrow.)
My current task is finishing (fantasy novel part 2) The Final Battle before the end of the month. Easier said than done...it is school holidays. Two extra distractions during the day?
Yeah, I'm screwed.
"Be positive, you can do it. So you have had a week and a half of crap writing days, it'll get better."
"I love you, Muse"
Entry 222 September 2014
It's been a long time between entries. Yeah I kinda forgot that I did this. Me and 'Remembering Stuff' seem like indifferent acquaintances sometimes... nah, a lot of the time...
So even though progress has been slow on the novel front >>
I have managed to edit, reedit and get a few short story babies out into world. Go and soar my pretties...*lots of wobbly flapping ensues, but momma's proud anyway*.
Only a month and a teeny bit until November (smack! Bang! Crash!) arrives. Even though November isn't really November anymore its now known only as NaNoWriMo! Yes it's one of those times of the year where I am a pretty productive writer. The other months where stuff gets done is Feb and July (both are Camp Nano months). It seems I do well with structure and deadlines - the rest of the time...well that branch over there looks mighty comfy.
Regarding NaNo This year, I'm at a loss. I'm not sure whether to continue an existing work or do a rewrite or do something dazzling and new. I know what I probably should do. FINISH SOMETHING, REWRITE AND POLISH.
Entry 1Tuesday 29th July 2014
Is this writers diary thing a Good idea? or a bad idea? I ponder. My muse rolls his eyes. I know what he's thinking! That I'm procrastinating again. *damn slave driver*. Today among the things I'm meant to be doing is continuing a novelette 10-18,000 for a special anthology project for Dark Regions Press. I am finding it a tad difficult since I've technically killed off my main character... I had to kill her, I had no choice...
The crux of the project is your character's brain is experiencing that final burst of activity before death. Maybe within that surge of encroaching death, an alternate/ internal world might be born -- one that shadows the character's former life. It is in this shadow world where the character looks deep inside themselves, faces death and who they once were. Does madness linger there, or acceptance? Not sure where this one is going to take me...Times a wasting, I guess I better fire up a spookifying playlist and continue this harrowing journey and find out.