A fond farewell to an at first floundering and falsely final, but eventually fair and fantastic year.

Someone once said, ‘there’s nothing wrong with me that a book deal can’t fix.’ It might have been me, but the point still stands. Every little ounce of self-doubt, self-flagellation and self-sabotage seems like it would just fade away once I’ve got that little piece of paper signed and sealed, locking me into a book deal with one publisher or another. Of course, it’s a gross simplification, some things will take longer, require more effort and generally just be a painfully obnoxious needle digging into my psyche. By and large though, despite a need for perfection that will likely never die, there will always be a trace of that doubt in me. I believe in my writing, I believe in my characters and my story, but those who know me will tell you quite freely that I do not accept compliments easily. I’m getting there, though, and that’s the important thing.

Back to the point at hand though, I rang in 2012 with the same, monotonous celebrations as most years, spent at a pub, having a good time, I confess, but enjoying the end of one laborious year about as much as I enjoyed stepping on a rusty nail that one time, only to welcome what I thought would be another trying year, where all I looked forward to was waking up on December 22nd and being able to laugh at the crazies who spent all year and most of the previous decade stockpiling supplies for the apocalypse. In the end, 2012 turned out rather well indeed, and I spend the end of the year in Switzerland with new additions to my family, eagerly awaiting what I hope to be a grandly rewarding year for me.

It could have been better, it could have been worse. Same shit, different day, etc. 2013 will no doubt have ups and downs but already my life is changing, moving forward and showing signs of bringing me closer to that which I have hungered for so savagely.

To all of you reading, liking, following this blog, have a great night and I hope for you all a year like the one I am eagerly anticipating. *waves* 

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Boxing Day Blues.

It’s that time of year again, when the realisation comes, the knowledge that it’s another big, fat, bloated year until Christmas comes again. But 2012 turned into a good one, and I have high hopes for 2013, not least of which contain the desire/expectation and confidence that at some point I will have a full blown, published novel to be proud of.

Tomorrow, all going well, I will be venturing into Basel’s city centre, hunting down a wonderfully quaint little writing shop and buying a good deal of antiquated writing goodies including but not limited too a very fancy quill and a nice, big, leather-bound journal to pen my nonsensical witticisms and far-fetched, ponderous, harebrained and fantastic notions.

I’ve never written with a quill, but it ought to be interesting. The ink, too, will nicely fit a rather lovely alchemist’s pouch that was gifted to me this Christmas gone. All in all, I think 2012 has turned out very well indeed and I look forward to more of the same from 2013.

So, I suppose ‘Boxing Day Blues’ was not entirely accurate, but alliteration won me over.

First Drafts

I managed to quickly put out a piece of fiction for the W&A shorts competition yesterday, and it miraculously finished dead on 2000 words but currently sits at 1995 and awaits redrafting. I’ve never actually entered into a fiction competition so it will be interesting to see how my story progresses.

Although it was tentatively titled ‘The Wandering Minstrel; A Winding Road Leads Home,’ I will  have to conjure something else as it is no longer about a minstrel but a soldier returning home. Something will come up, it usually does. I tend to find titles when I least expect them to surface, but they are most definitely one of the hardest parts about writing. I was fortunate enough to have a good idea of some of my titles long before I started writing, including those of other books in this series and other, yet to be planned trilogies and stand alones.

I feel like a writer now, and I love it. For so long I wanted to be a writer but never actually managed to finish anything. Now I have a completed first draft manuscript over 700 pages, a completed first draft short for submission to competition and I am making steady progress on another short for submission to competitions and/or fiction magazines/collections etc. I’m on the way, I think. The road is long, but the joy and accomplishment that awaits will make it all worth while.

W&A

So, I’ve decided that I ought to prioritise doing a couple of shorts over any immediate plans to start seriously working on a second draft. The Writers & Artists Yearbook 2013 Short Story Competition is just around the corner, so I have decided to work on a piece to submit. At just 2000 words, it will be a good opportunity for me to practice concise and accurate description, as well as, importantly, getting some exposure on a professional level. Above all, it will be nice to see where I come. I’ve no real desire to write outside of Taldain, at least not yet, so it will be a self-contained short within the world tentatively titled ‘The Wandering Minstrel; A Winding Path Leads Home.’ I don’t rightly know what it’s about, except to say that it will in some way be tied to the theme of ‘freedom’ as all submissions must.

Aside from TWM, I will continue to work on Isle of Dogs, with the view of getting it done by the end of January, when it will become full speed ahead on the LMMHV 2nd draft.

On an unrelated note, I’ve just finished wrapping gifts ahead of Chrimbo and I have to say, writing has nothing on the pure, undiluted relief one experiences upon placing the last present under the christmas tree. Thank the Gods, is all I will say.

In case I don’t post again before then, I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas.

I am certain be…

I am certain before I begin writing a piece that I will not be able to put sentences together, or worse, that all I have to say has been said before, that there is no purpose, that there is no intrinsic authority to my own words. – Susan Griffin

The second draft is underway, albeit at a slow and casual pace for now, the first of my changes/additions has begun. The trail is littered with bloodied fingers and frayed nerves, all of which I will need to confront again and somehow overcome, but the prospect is quite an exciting one. I’ve always had a somewhat negligible tendency towards sadism, never had I thought that writing would both nurture and encourage that aspect of myself, but I am coming to learn that in order to write, we must be willing to both hurt and ruin our emotional selves.