I’m Proud of My Baby

The end of the month is less than a week away, which is meant to be the deadline for my read through and final edit of Cat’s Eyes. I have to admit to lagging behind on this goal. However, being as today is Australia Day – a public holiday – I decided to buckle down and get stuck into the work.

This means I have finished the read through and have added, on paper only, the things I felt were missing from the first manuscript after I finished writing book 2. All that needs to be done now is to transfer this work into the computer file. I’m taking a break now, but intend to start doing this a little later.

Would it be crass to tell you how much I like this story? Well, I do (like it, I mean)…a lot. In fact, after this read through I’m even more determined to finish the series and get it published. I only found one awkward paragraph that needed fixing and one typo. Other than that…Cat’s Eyes is great! I’m proud of it.

I think it probably is crass to say that, but I’ve said it anyway. 😀

The Problem with Wisdom

What is wisdom exactly? The dictionary tells me it’s: The ability to discern or judge what is true, right, or lasting; insight. Some say it is knowledge, but I believe that wisdom and knowledge are different things and that wisdom comes with age and experience. Yet some people never find wisdom.

Then there is the artificial getting of wisdom. This comes in the form of what is known as the “wisdom tooth”. There are four all up and they are the rearmost molars in your top and bottom jaws. They are called wisdom teeth because they usually come through in your adult years and I guess that is saying that you should have some wisdom by then.

I call these teeth, especially lately, painful! I would have liked to have placed some nice descriptive words in front of “painful”, but I don’t know who is reading and don’t want to encourage swearing.

Three of my wisdom teeth pushed their way through the gums many, many years ago. The fourth, being stubborn and selfish, decided that it would follow suit, and then changed its mind half way. For twenty years, I’ve had this half a tooth causing me trouble two or three times a year. However, being a lazy tooth, it never did much more than ache for half a day…a full day at most. By the next morning, I would be back to normal and it hardly seemed worthy of a visit to the dentist. Besides, dentists are expensive and, more importantly, I have a fear of them.

And then on Friday I woke up with that familiar ache. Hmmm, never mind, it will be better by the afternoon, I thought. It wasn’t. In fact, it was worse. Never mind, it will be better in the morning. It wasn’t.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. That’s not an afternoon, or a day at the most. And it wasn’t an ache. It was … painful! I want to use that colourful description again.

It was so painful, in fact, that I braved my fear and went to the dentist. I endured having to have a treatment – you know, cleaning, fluoride, and some other fizzy green stuff that makes you dribble everywhere. I sat rigid in that seat, staring blinding at the poster stuck to the ceiling, listening to the awful sound coming from the machine they use to clean your teeth. At one stage, the dentist pulled everything out of my mouth and asked if I was alright. I discovered that one leg was shaking so badly, they thought they’d hit a nerve or something. I was only having a clean. Heaven forbid, what would happen if they actually tried to inject me or, worse still, use the drill.

I was given a lecture and then x-rays were taken, and then I was told that my tooth is large and weird shaped…and runs deeper in my jaw than the nerve. Great!

I’ve been referred to an oral surgeon and have to have the tooth out. The good thing is that I will be put to sleep for this to happen. I think the dentist feared for her safety and that’s why she referred me. However, it might have something to do with my warped tooth and the nerve too.

What am I going to do? A quarter of my wisdom is going to be removed. Thing is, I don’t have all that much to lose. 🙁

Cat’s Eyes: Read Through

Although I promised myself that I would start the read through on Cat’s Eyes on Thursday night. I didn’t. I let worries get to me and distract me. In fact, I let those worries take hold of me on Friday too.

This morning, however, I woke with the birds and sat in bed with the manuscript and my notebook. As I read the story, my story, I have to admit that I felt chuffed. The first three chapters only had a couple of minor changes to be made. The characters, I feel, are well defined and the plot is unfolding nicely. This lifted my spirits, because I can see that the story is well written, even if I do say so myself.

Today is hot and humid. In fact, just half an hour ago (at 4.30pm) it was 46 degrees celsius in our backyard. It’s not much cooler in the house. It’s too hot to do anything. I tried to find a cool place to read, but there is no such place. Soon I’ll go and have a cold shower and get changed. We’ve decided to go to an air-conditioned restaurant for dinner. Maybe that will cool us down for a while and maybe we’ll actually eat something while we’re there. And maybe…here’s wishful thinking…a cool change will come along, while we’re in the restaurant and cool everyone down so that we can actually sleep tonight. We can only hope.

Midnight for Charlie Bone

midnight_for_charlie_boneMidnight for Charlie Bone (The Children of the Red King, Book 1)
I bought books 1 and 2, brand new, for only $4 on sale, which I thought was a bargain.

First off, I have to admit that I bought these books because I thought (maybe I saw this on the internet somewhere, I’m not sure) that the story was similar to the Harry Potter books.

Yes, there is an 11 year old boy who has a magical “ability”. Yes, there is a special school for children with these abilities. Apart from that, the story is quite different. I had to push the Harry Potter thought out of my head and start thinking Charlie Bone, because wherever I got that idea…I was wrong…and it was wrong of me to continue reading with that thought in my head.

This was a slightly longer children’s book than normal, but it draw me in and captivated me from the beginning. I loved the characters and the setting. Although I never worked out when the story took place, it didn’t matter. It felt “up-to-date” and that was enough for me.

Reading this book showed me that whilst characters need to learn and grow throughout a story, their problems don’t have to be resolved completely. I think this is the main problem with my series. I tried to resolve all their problems and make the world perfect in book 1, which makes it difficult to undo all that hard work in book 2.

As I mentioned before, Midnight for Charlie Bone is the first book in a series. Although the immediate problem in the story was solved and the author gave the impression that everything was fine for the characters, it was quite obvious that it wasn’t and the very last line of the story confirmed this. However, I didn’t feel cheated and I don’t feel as if I have to read the next book (although I will, because I’ve already got it). So this story also showed me that it is possible to have stand alone books in a series, which is something I’ll be aiming for in my series. I never want my readers to feel like I’m conning them into buying more books, because I hate it when I feel that way.

Recommendation: A definite “yes”. Read this book.

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.