Quick Update

Since returning to work after the Christmas break, I have found that I can no longer reach this blog from work, which is a real pain. I don’t think my workplace has done anything to stop me. I believe it has something to do with the problems I’ve been experiencing on this website for the last few weeks. Anyway, in the evening, I tend to do everything else except visit my own blog. This means, my blog is being neglected. Part of me worries about this, but the other part of me just shrugs this off with a “who cares” attitude. After blogging for so long, you tend to run out of things to say.

As always, I like to make public announcements when setting goals, because I’m more likely to stick to them that way. It took me longer than I thought to save the people of Miu, two whole weeks, but save them I did. Now, my plan is to return to Cat’s Eyes. I feel I have to reread the manuscript and add some things I know are missing now that book 2 has been written. This sounds like a mammoth job, but it’s not. I’m hoping to have it finished by the end of the month.

My problem is, I’m reading a book at the moment, and really want to finish that before I start reading Cat’s Eyes and doing the edit. Sounds pretty stupid, really. However, I’ve never been able to read two books at one time and I am enjoying the Charlie Bone book that I’m reading and don’t want to put it down at this stage of the story. If I continue reading like I have been in recent weeks, I should have the book finished by the weekend.

This will mean I’ll have less time to do the edit, but so be it. Besides, if I’m not reading anything I’ll be able to put all my attention and 100% of my focus into the edit. That’s my plan, anyway.

The Miuan People

Yesterday, I spent several hours working on the image of the people of my world – Miuans. After many “not pleasant” results, I finally ended up with a “race” I could be proud of. I would share the image, but I feel that a writer should know in their own mind what they are describing, but allow the reader to come to their own conclusion too.

The description given of my new race of people in words came over just fine, but when I translated those words into a drawing – eek! Total freak! Due to this discovery, I had to work on the image until I was happy, otherwise I wouldn’t work on the story again. I knew that to be a fact.

Thank heavens I found something that satisfied my inner critic. This was no easy job, because I can’t draw and this meant I had to manipulate existing images. This took many, many hours over many days.

The Miuan people have been saved. 😀

Into the Night

Yesterday, I complained about the heat and made a prediction that I won’t be able to sleep. You know, sometimes I hate it when I’m right and this is one of those occasions.

It felt like I was trying to sleep in a sauna. The slight breeze outside came from the wrong direction, so missed my bedroom window altogether. I tossed and turned for hours, counting the seconds, which seems to be a habit of mine lately.

Needless to say, I got up this morning feeling irritable and cranky (some would say “what’s new?”), but being the perfect person that I am…I find it hard to move through a day in this subnormal condition. I had this great set of goals for today, and so far I have felt to sluggish in body and mind to do anything other than sit in this chair and surf the net.

The good news is…it’s overcast outside, and much cooler. Maybe I’ll have a nap after lunch and that might help get my batteries recharged. Maybe.

Turn Down the Heat

I heard on the news a few nights ago that the Australian summer has been milder than any we’ve had in a long time. With temperatures staying in the mid twenties (Celsius) most days, with only the odd humid day, I have to agree. It’s been a great summer so far. They said we were in for a heat wave at the end of summer. It’s the middle of summer now.

Anyway, yesterday and today, the temperature had the last laugh and the heat soared! After such mild weather, the sudden 40+ degrees Celsius in our backyard today was a little (OK, a lot) over bearing. Everyone outside was walking around with beads of sweat running down their faces, and probably their backs. It was awful.

Right now, there has been no change in the heat. There is nowhere to go to get away from the oppression, yet lightning is putting on a lovely show for us and thunder is roaring in the background. The three spots of rain we’ve had has only made it more humid. I envision little sleep tonight.

Unfortunately, when it’s extremely hot like this I can’t write. It’s too uncomfortable and I feel drowsy (although when I go to bed, I’m suddenly wide awake).

This week, I’ve been working on an image of my “people”, who feature in my fantasy series. If I had a clear picture when I wrote book 1 (which I’ve come to the conclusion that I did), it disappeared when I wrote the second book. Anyone reading the story wouldn’t realise they are reading about non-humans, so I have to fix that error. I think I’m spending a bit too much time on this, so I will ensure I have this issue finalised over the weekend.

Although I planned to start the edit of book 2 this month, that hasn’t happened. I have decided to make changes to book 1, which I want finished by the end of this month. The list of changes is short, so this goal will be easy to reach. This means February will see my attention turn back to book 2 and the big edit.

Offline Again

Yes, my website has been offline again. It’s fixed, or so I’m told, but I no longer trust anything around here. I don’t have time to move the site to the other database right now (maybe it will be safer there, but then again…). Anyway, that’s something for me to look forward to.

In the meantime, I might leave off posting for the time being. I’ll wait and see what happens with the site first.

Tick, Tick, Tick

The seconds hand on the clock invades my privacy. It shatters my peace. That never ending sound slowly sets my nerves on fire as I listen to its beat.

I watch the slender hand move slowly around that drab looking face.

I sit in my typist’s chair aware that it is playing games with me. On and on it goes, forever persistent and never stopping. One second, two seconds, three…

Looking away, I try to dive into something, anything, to keep me busy. For some time I think I’m winning, but my gaze is drawn slowly back to that nasty, moving piece of torture. Is it possible that only two minutes has passed? It’s not true, it can’t be! It has to be longer than that.

My eyes become heavy. The ticking of the clock is luring me into another world. I will resist. I know I am strong. It can’t have me, I won’t allow it. The enemy forges closer and closer, but I remain firm.

But my gaze cannot resist the temptation. I look again. Five minutes! Liar!

And so the first day back at work went…on and on and on…and on. If a clock face was designed to fade a little whenever we looked at it, I would have had a blank circular disc on the wall in my office by the end of the day (and maybe that wouldn’t be such a bad thing). But the seconds hand carried on with its steady march and, unfortunately, it will be waiting for me tomorrow morning.

How boring the day was. How slowly it dragged its feet. How I wish I had a holiday to look forward to. I hate the first day back at work.

Tick, tick, tick.

I Had a Dream

How often do you dream at night and when you wake up you forget the dream within minutes of getting out of bed? This happens to me most days.

This morning was different. I woke up at 5.15am and lay in bed staring at the ceiling, the dream clear in my mind. I couldn’t fall back to sleep, I didn’t want to. I went over and over the dream to ensure I remembered everything.

In the dream I was taking an international flight to somewhere, I don’t know where and it’s not important. An international flight to anywhere from Australia means a long, tiring flight. Anyway, I sat in the aisle seat. An empty seat was beside me and the seat beside that was occupied by a woman. A woman about 10 years older than me.

The plane took off and the seatbelt sign went off. I, and the woman two seats from me, immediately unclasped our belts and leaned over to grab a laptop at each of our feet. We smiled at each other as we settled back in our seats and booted up the system. And then we went about our own business.

We sat quietly tapping away at the keys. Occasionally, one of us would rest our head back against the seat and stare up at the circular fans above our heads, and then that person would turn back to the laptop and type furiously.

After an hour or so of doing this, I sat back…thinking and scheming because I was stuck in my storyline. After a few minutes the other woman looked at me.

“What are you typing?” she asked. “You’ve been deep in thought ever since the plane took off.”

Shy, I didn’t want to go into details. I felt embarrassed for some reason. “Just a story.”

“I thought so,” she said. “Are you stuck?”

I nodded.

She smiled. “It happens to the best of us.” We stared at each other for a moment before she continued. “I write too. I’m writing a sequel right now. My editor is pushing me to get this one finished soon.”

We laughed and I relaxed a bit.

“Tell me why you’re stuck,” she said.

The woman was easy to talk to and I found myself sharing snippets of storyline with her. She asked many questions. Some of which I didn’t know the answers to until I gave my reply. I learned a lot about my story in the next 30 minutes.

“So, you see, that’s where the first two books are at, and the third book isn’t coming together at all.” I paused. “It’s frustrating.”

She gave a flash of white teeth and a chuckle. “I can see why you are frustrated and why the last book isn’t coming together.”

“You can?” I’m sure my mouth dropped open with astonishment.

“You planned each book, but not the series,” she said. “Your world wasn’t fully built when you started book one. Situations and places in book two have no resemblance to what happened in book one. You are trying to sweep together the crumbs for book 3.”

She paused to let her words sink in.

“You need to bring all three books under the same umbrella,” she continued a moment later. “If all the problems are solved in book 1, what is left for the next two books? You have three main characters, so each of their inner conflicts should be solved in the book you plan to write from each of their viewpoints.”

The conversation continued for a while longer. The woman gave me exact information on what I needed to change. And then I woke up.

The dream is so clear in my head…even now. The changes required are just as clear. Now, I ask you, was this my muse breaking through the madness and chaos in my brain to tell me where I’ve gone wrong, or was this simply a dream that just happened to give me the answers I needed to the many questions I had?

I don’t know, but I’m certainly glad I had this dream. I’m off to do some more re-planning.

Secrets

secretsI’m coming to the end of my two week holiday (I still haven’t managed to relax yet and I return to work on Monday), and I have managed to read several books. Three, in fact. And that is excellent for me.

This morning I woke up quite early. I wasn’t ready to face the day, but I couldn’t return to sleep so I decided to make myself a cup of tea and sit in bed and read.

Secrets by Jacqueline Wilson is the current book I’m reading. I had already reached the half way point last night and I sat in bed until 9.30 this morning (which is uncharacteristic for me) and finished the book.

Here’s the blurb:

Treasure and India are two girls with very different backgrounds. As an unlikely, but deep, friendship develops between them, they keep diaries, inspired by their heroine, Anne Frank. Soon the pages are filled with the details of their most serious secret ever.

In my opinion, the story started out a little slow. I like to get straight into the action, but the author took several chapters to set up the two characters – Treasure and India. The book is written in diary form – a chapter from each girl’s viewpoint. When the story finally started to unfold, I was completely hooked and the little things that I thought were just page fillers suddenly became important.

The book covers a number of “real” issues too, ie broken families, broken promises, aggressiveness, friendship and more. All these issues are handled well, and they certainly endear the characters to the reader. I was able to relate to the girls and their individual problems. I wanted to see how things would turn out, and to do that, I had to keep reading.

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl is woven into the story. I won’t tell you how, because I don’t want to spoil the story for anyone wishing to read Secrets, but I did think this was well done too.

Recommendation: Yes, go out and get this book. You’ll enjoy it.