Sick…

So I have been a completely useless lump this week.

I enjoy excellent health as a side effect of having horrendous allergies. But this week my allergies combined with a new office work environment to murder me very slowly with congestion, weakness and a lovely hacking cough. This shit super storm happens every once in awhile and knocks me on my ass for a week. Luckily this means no more illnesses for me for like a millennia. So there’s that.

Unfortunately it happened right after I had a huge mental sit down with myself about getting my poops in groups and working on my nano novel from last year. I spent a night destroying and rebuilding the plot. I saved nothing but the main character, her love interest and her dog. The rest of the story went into the chipper shredder because it was garbage. Armed with my new shinier and more logical plot line, I sat down and banged out chapter one. Excited to begin chapter two, I went to sleep and woke up in a brain fog.

I lost a week of writing time to the fog.

I’d like to say I’m exaggerating about the fog, but I literally, not figuratively, drove past my work, ended up in a neighborhood I had never heard of and had no idea how to get back for fifteen minutes. I pulled into a gas station and sat there not comprehending how to work my phone’s GPS. It was a full on ‘sun downing’ moment. I was terrified until Google Maps reminded me that it knows where everything is and took me to work where I pretended to um, not be experiencing dementia.

Now it is clearing up and I can’t waste anymore time. Well, I can waste a few more minutes writing this nonsense. But then it is back to the MS Word to make chapter two happen. Although I am considering never, ever getting sick again, or at the very least getting a bracelet that tells strangers to call my mom in case I am found wondering around in a fever dream.

 

 

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Review: The Singular and Extraordinary Tale of Mirror and Goliath by Ishbelle Bee

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FROM THE BACK COVER:

1888. A little girl called Mirror and her shape-shifting guardian Goliath Honeyflower are washed up on the shores of Victorian England. Something has been wrong with Mirror since the day her grandfather locked her inside a mysterious clock that was painted all over with ladybirds. Mirror does not know what she is, but she knows she is no longer human.

John Loveheart, meanwhile, was not born wicked. But after the sinister death of his parents, he was taken by Mr. Fingers, the demon lord of the underworld. Some say he is mad. John would be inclined to agree.

Now Mr Fingers is determined to find the little girl called Mirror, whose flesh he intends to eat, and whose soul is the key to his eternal reign. And John Loveheart has been called by his otherworldly father to help him track Mirror down…

In this disturbing fairy-tale for adults, a little girl called Mirror is being chased by a demon called Mr. Fingers. Mr. Fingers is determined to eat her and use her powers to solidify his reign on the Underworld. The only thing between the girl and certain death is a shape-shifter called Goliath Honeyflower.

Set in Victorian England, this book is full of dark characters in darker situations doing terrible things under the guise of being upright citizens. A clockmaker, well sought after, fills his clocks with the souls of children. A boy named Loveheart is taken to the underworld and driven mad. Even the heroine, Mirror, is more than she appears after having been stuffed in a ladybird clock by her grandfather.

There is such a bright and beautiful level of madness in this story. The way the pages are laid out with text that grows and swirls around the page adds to the lovely level of crazy. Our heroes are insane. Our villains are also insane and in the middle is a little girl who isn’t human any more just trying to escape back to Egypt.

I think this is the closest you could come to going mad safely. It has the same feeling as falling down the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland but the level of madness is higher, more dangerous and definitely bloodier. The world is well built and easy to slip into. Scents, colors and typography are used to make it into a full body experience.

You are drawn into the world from the first page. Each chapter choses a character’s head to be trapped inside, making you feel closely related to all the characters. Loveheart is more the protagonist than Mirror and he quickly became my favorite character with his flamboyant outfits and black eyes. But Mirror holds her own, aging rapidly to meet the dangers that surround her. And Mr. Fingers is the stuff of nightmares.

For me this was a perfect read. I zipped through the book, caught up in the insane imagery and unusual word choices. It feels very visceral, using all the senses to keep you engaged. If this were a painting you could stare at it for days, the layers would be thick and full of hidden gems.

I highly recommend this book if you are a fan of Lewis Carroll and don’t mind squelchy bloody, gruesome bits in your fairy tales. I would give it five out of five stars. The only thing I can complain about is that it isn’t longer. This story features epic world building with well developed characters.

I am looking forward to reading more from Ishbelle Bee in the future and can’t recommend her enough.

Her website is : http://ishbellebee.com/

Why am I writing about General Hospital?

I love General Hospital. Just accept this. And for anyone who writes and doesn’t watch a soap (nighttime, daytime or web) you are missing out. When you watch a soap opera you really learn a lot about building a character and story line up slowly and then punching people in the face with your insanely awesome payoff. It’s a study in patience. Especially this week on General Hospital.

Being a fan of AJ Quartermaine has never been an easy experience. He’s the son of Monica and Alan. When he was born Alan thought he was Rick Webber’s son so he didn’t bond with him right away. In fact he never bonded with AJ until he got a substance abuse problem and suddenly realized his alcoholic son wasn’t as weak as he had always thought. He was raised with his golden boy brother Jason Quartermaine and his cousin ‘holier than thou’ Ned.

His character was blamed for everything bad that ever happened ever. It turned him into a drunk and once fateful night his dumb brother Jason got in the car with him when he was drunk and got brain damage when AJ wrapped the car around a tree. Even though AJ was going to turn himself in and take the blame for it, the family refused to allow him to do that and he spiraled. And damn it if we didn’t have to put up with his now really boring brother Jason Morgan (Quarterbrain.)

No while everyone continued to love Jason even while he hated all of them, AJ pulled his life together and was doing well until he met train wreck Carly. She destroyed him. She got pregnant and lied giving the baby to his brother and then to a mob boss. AJ spent years just trying to be near his son. After dying and coming back from the dead to bond with his son, AJ was tragically murdered by Sonny the man who stole his son.

But today…ah today was glorious.

Franco revealed a video showing Michael that Sonny killed his father in cold blood and Carly helped him cover it up. Oh how brilliant! Oh how emotional! Justice finally! Sonny and Carly are now dead to Michael. The story line from start to inevitable comeuppance took 17 years.

Amazing. Imagine if I could harness an audience and make them wait 17 years for their payoff? I would be a genius and a millionaire maybe.

Did Some Writing This Week…

Been falling a bit behind in the writing. I had a huge bout of ‘no one is going to want to read this crap ever’ with the Doctor Who story. But luckily I got some fiverr gigs for writing. Then you see, I had no choice. Forced to be productive with it.

So this week I wrote a 5000 word modernization/reimagining of Oscar Wilde’s amazing Picture of Dorian Gray set in modern day London to impress a client’s lovely girlfriend. I wrote my heart out for him and assume he got lucky. Because the praise I got for the story made me feel like a writer again. Cheers!

After that I got a gig for a 1000 story about a mermaid. It was like everyone loved me. I had just finished reading Jackson Pearce’s brilliant Fathomless (I highly reccommend it!) Which is about…mermaids! The client loved it. My ego loved that he loved it and that led me to…

I am now rewriting/editing a story I wrote years ago about a grandmother/granddaughter reconnecting involving candles and witchcraft and other stuff… Back to chapter 2 of the Doctor Who book tomorrow. 

Really the break in writing stems back to a lack of confidence in my writing. Which is stupid. I know I’m a good writer. But I guess sometimes I forget. There are just loads of sites online that sap confidence with their speeches on how you will never be a famous author. Don’t be like me and read them. Because even if you call BS and move on to another advice page that crap sinks into your subconcious and delays your greatness.

Unless you write ‘your’ when you mean ‘you’re’ because come on!

It is Begun….

Outline is finished! 

After my lovely interview with the incredibly talented and congenial Charlie Daye, I thought I might kick my own ass into gear. So I actually sat down a few days ago and worked out what was wrong with my outline: Predictable. So I added some more conflict and changed out who the baddies are and bam, completed outline.

Today is the important one though, because I have actually written the opening gambit of my novel. I have a working title (it is terrible) and an opening gambit (which is passable so far…) and I am super excited to get to the part with the Doctor. He is, after all, the fun part. I’m very excited. Of course this means my Writer’s Block is also very excited. My Writer’s Block likes to get into my head and stop me from writing by making me worry about unrelated things. Currently it is busy worrying about an uncompleted (and maybe impossible) art project I have due for tomorrow. It’s making me mental. But I’m going to keep on being proud of my opening gambit and try to focus on being excited.

My step plan is working in so far as I have done the first couple steps:

1. Come up with an idea(s)
2. Add some subplots
3. Complete Outine

Next is: Write 3 Chapters. 

Wish me luck… In the meantime maybe I’ll haunt some other authors and get the lowdown on how they do it. Stay tuned all.

Outlines Are Boring!

I just got rejected… from a job interview. My story is still sitting in the received bin over at Analog, no worries there. But the job thing was a bummer. I like to eat food when I’m writing. But it’s going to be okay because I have started outlining my Doctor Who novel. 

The ideas all came flooding out of me one night when I was bored. I scribbled in red ink all over my sketchbook. There are diagrams and one sentence ideas plus some ridiculous sketches and things that will definitely be used against me when my boyfriend tries to have me committed (oh yeah, that’s happening in my future.) Two hours later, I had triumphantly crafted my five sentence back of the book blurb to show friends. I sent it out to 3 of my friends. 2 were very excited and said they would be honored to read my sample chapters (whenever I got them written, that is.) I asked the third one if he would read it and he said, “I don’t know.” 2 outta 3 ain’t bad.

After that I stalled out for two days. I had some subplots to think about. I wasn’t writing anything but I was busily inventing the planet and the aliens and the ideas and the themes. I just kept rejecting the subplots as too obvious. But after a while I just said, “Let that develop as you write or we’re never going to get anywhere!!!!” My sudden outburst startled my guinea pigs and knocked the crippled one over. (I am so sorry, Screwball.) And subplots were had by all! Plus bananas were also had by all.

Now it was time for the outline. Boy oh boy did I avoid that for a few days. I cleaned a bit. Played with guinea pigs. Did a job interview. Did a follow up job interview. Went drinking, hoping I was celebrating getting the job. Went shopping and got jeans with a gift card. went to another party…and so on. A few days passed and I got to today. Yep: Rejection Day. In an email. Bummer. I frantically applied to a bunch of jobs and panting, decided what the hell? I started the Outline

So far it is a flimsy thing, filled with only 2 and a half chapters. But it is BEGUN! There’s no turning back now. Only problem is: Oh my God, is it boring to write an outline! I know some people thrive on all this structure but I may as well be an anarchist for how much I abhor organizing a novel. But I researched some templates and I will plug away until this thing is done. Because then I get to write 3 chapters. That will be fun. I can already hear the Doctor’s voice in my head telling me what jokes to add and little bits of scientific data about the planet I’m on… Frankly he’s driving me nuts.

Destiny!

I am a huge Doctor Who fan. I’ve grown up with the show. It is a big part of my personality, it is so ingrained. Just ask anyone who has tried to perpetuate an injustice near me. I will stand up and try to fight it… I’ve lost a job over it and quit a few more because of it. So it is only natural that I aspire to write Doctor Who Novels.

No, I do not want to put myself in the books. No, I do not want to live out some ‘it should have eneded this way’ fantasies. Yes, I do want to write a solid piece of awesome science fiction. To that end-that’s terrible. Whos says, ‘to that end?’ No one.- I have started working on my novel.

I went to the BBC and read the guidelines: (http://www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/classic/books/guidelines.shtml) It was enlightening and hilarious. I really enjoyed reading it. The guidelines were basically, ‘No idiots, please.’ I think if all submission guidelines were written like the Doctor Who guidelines, Twilight may have been averted.

Then I made a page of themes and plots. I did those in red ink because it was more dramatic and I had lost all my other pens… Out of all the ideas, I chose 2 and smushed them together. I then secured my test audience (two of them anyway, waiting on the third.) Tomorrow: Subplots.

Oh, I also had another article accepted on textbroker… But my story at Analog is still marked as recieved. Will it never switch to read? Stay tuned for more writing fun as it happens…