Finding Time Can Be Hard

If you love doing something, you’ll find the time to do it.

Of course you will, but that doesn’t mean you have to find the time everyday. Doesn’t even mean that you have to find the time every week. All it means is that you find time to do it somehow.

For me, lately, early morning and late evening work shifts have been zapping my energy completely! It started back in December, and next week, hopefully, I’ll be back to my early morning shifts and the evening shifts will be a past memory! Eventually, I’d like to change to the evening shift completely, but, that’s another story for another day!

Anyhow, although, I do write every day, whether it’s a little bit of story, it’s writing ideas or small bullet-pointed scenes in my notebook or on my phone, writing or bullet pointing blog posts, or writing emails reviewing and critiquing beta-reads! I’ve written, which I’m really proud off, but, more than not, all I can do is write down the ideas, and I can’t find the motivation to write anymore!

I have so many ideas for these blog posts, and I’ll start writing them, and by the end of it, I’m not even sure what I’m writing about anymore. Or my opinion changes because I write about it more, and then I feel like I need to look at in more detail and my brain just doesn’t want too!

I’ve only completed, maybe a chapter and a little since my last blog post for Tales of Monsters, but I have been doing a lot of beta-reading these first few weeks of the year, and I’ve really been enjoying it! It’s really helped me as a writer, as much as it’s helped the other person (hopefully), and the stories I have read, I think can really go places!

I’ve currently finished beta-reading two this year, one that was more of a novella, and the other which was a full-length part one of a novel which I can’t wait to continue reading because I need to know what happens! I also have one that I need to catch-up on!

Still, amidst that, I’m still trying to truck away at this rewrite of Tales of Monsters, and I’m really enjoying it! I’m enjoying what I’m writing and how it’s coming along, it’s just how slow it’s going that’s getting me.

At least I haven’t wanted to scrap it this week yet, although, I have decided to delete one of the characters completely, which means loads of fun for me that I really cannot be asked to deal with right now, and I’m sure I’ll change my mind when it’s all done and want to make his horrible face come back again.

Starting next week though, I’m really hoping that I can put a lot more in to my story writing, that I can get some blog posts done and scheduled, that I can read a bit more, and just finish up the rewrite so I can get it out to some beta-readers! It won’t be perfect, but I think the plot holes will all be fixed, at least.

I don’t know what I’m hoping for with it. I know there’s gonna be a load of flaws with it, I know there’s gonna be so many things people are going to be like, nope, nope, nope. But, I’m hoping it gives me that push to finish it. It’s such a big under-taking, and I’ve been stuck on this first book for so long now that I need to get on to the next ones. I’ll never give up on it, but, I know now, that, until I’ve drafted the whole lot of them, they won’t ever be ready, they won’t ever be fully plotted out until I’ve written the very last word.

Which I’ve come to terms with. I have other ideas I’m sure will make their appearance in the wider world much sooner than this one, but that’s fine, because I need to make sure this little baby is ready to go out into the big wide world, and, if that takes another few drafting and a numerous amount of beta-readers and opinions, that’s fine.

If it never get’s published, that’s still fine, because I started writing it for myself, and I’ll end writing it for myself too – if push comes to shove.

Diaries Of A Child Zombie Killer though, that’s something I think will be so much easier to get done, to get finished, and I’m hoping after this first round of edits (when TOM is out with betas), it’ll be readable enough that I can get it out to beta-readers before the end of the year! I already did it pretty good for NaNoWriMo, but, there’s just a chapter or two that I didn’t write in sequence that needs a quick fix before I’ll let other people read it!

I still swear that I will never write people as moany as Melanie and Al ever again! The word vomit, it worked so well for Nano, and it works so well for this book too.

Anyhow, this wasn’t much of anything really, was it… Just another little update I guess! I’m hoping though, on Friday/Saturday/Sunday (I’m not sure on the day just yet) will be a book review, what book, I’m not sure, but, it’s gonna be a review none the less!

Until next time,

Just Keep Writing (*even if it’s in your head as you slog away at that day-job*)

Jade x

A ‘Tales of Monsters’ Status Update

So, last Wednesday, I told you all about my writerly resolutions for this year, and considering this blog post was supposed to go up about, like, ten hours ago, with a completely different topic, I thought, considering I can’t find any inspiration to finish the one I had scheduled, I’m just gonna talk about my writing plans, specifically ‘Tales of Monsters‘, a bit more!

At the moment, I’m still editing (re-write editing) what is the beta version of Tales of Monsters, and I’ve done ten chapters out of forty-six since the end of November…

Yeah, it’s not been the greatest few weeks, but, it’s getting there. I’ve had some set backs, some chapters that sort of sit there and go nope, none of that is happening anymore, and I sit there and look at it, and then I just be like, yup, okay, next chapter!

There is one in that ten that still needs to be finished, and have a scene just taken away from it and scrapped and thrown in the fire, and then, one of the last chapters needs to be completely rewritten again because I decided on a semi-different ending, which results in the same end ending, but not the same way to the ending….

So, yeah, not to mention that I finally decided what to do with one of my assy characters I wasn’t sure if I wanted to kill off or not, and I now need to put that in, and edit some of my already edited chapters so their not there anymore. And, without this assy character in the book, I also, really, should lose another one, but I like this one, but, without the assy character, although I could easily write them in to the mix, if we looked at it properly, they wouldn’t stay, but not necessarily because they didn’t want too.

But, yeah, more to come with all that eventually, I’m sure!

I too, also decided to swap the first two chapters around, which I’m sure I’ve already said in a blog post, or on an instagram post, but yeah, the more I look at my first line, the more I hate it, so now, I need a new one! Yay

 

So, yes, Tales of Monsters is getting there, slowly, and, I’m hoping that it’s gonna be ready for beta-reading by at least April, so I can participate in Camp NaNoWriMo and start on the second draft of ‘Diary of a Child Zombie Killer,’ which I know, already, will be so much easier to get done compared to Tales of Monsters! The only thing I worry about for DOACZK it the formatting, but, once I’ve figured that out, at least I have a preset for any others I decide to do!

I’ve also been thinking about my NaNoWriMo project, and, I’ve thought  of an amazing idea I really hope I can turn solid by the time November comes around, but, I’ll guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens!

Also, another writerly resolution for myself is to go outside and write in public. Whether it’s at a cafe, or a library, or some place else I find, I need to stop being such a hermit all the time!

Anyway, sorry for the rambley post today! I had a drafted post planned, but, I didn’t have a chance to work on it and finish it until today, and I had one of those moments where the words were like, nope, and then, my back-up post did the exact same to me, so, I thought, why not just update you guys on my terrible writing/editing status!

Heres to the rest of the month being all creative and stuff!

Just gotta keep going, keep writing and I will see you again on Friday!

Jade x

The First Year Of My Happiness Jar

Friday post alert! I wonder how long I’ll keep them up for!

So, Im gonna take you back to my last blog post of 2016, where I decided that I was going to take up what’s known as a happiness jar.

Essentially, it’s a container in which you put small notes in that have something that made you happy written on it! Easy peasy!

Now, I wanted to put a note in every day, but, I slacked most of the time and probably missed out a load. But, still, it got about three quarters full!

My converted glass jar started off it’s life with curry inside of it – which took far too much time to get the smell out of. At first, it was top less – the top still smells of curry even now, but, in the later months, it was topped with some paper from a sweet bag from my friends wedding, with a little slit on the top so notes could get in, but they couldn’t get out.

So, let’s begin!

One of the earliest memories that I remember I put in to it, was seeing African wild dog puppies at YWP in February (and polar bears too, which was awesome)! Its been on my bucket list since I first saw them for real at Chester zoo in my first year of uni.

And now, Chester Zoo have just had a litter of puppies been born too! Which is amazing and means I have a reason (although you never need a reason to go visit Chester) to go back and see the zoo! I haven’t been to Chester for like two years!

The next big memory (and extreme moment of happiness) was becoming a member of the BookBoxClub! I joined during May, meaning I got the Wizards at War box, and so far, it’s still my favourite! It introduced me to one of my new favourite authors, and a new world of books I’m in love with!

Also, last year, I added a couple more to the fur family, which made me extremely happy!

First off, in May (after constructing a new hamster cage out of an old set of drawers that was just gonna go to waste), I adopted Dewi, the roborwoski hamster! I couldn’t have an empty cage, and I’d seen this poor little one sat in a tank for about three weeks, waiting for a home, and I couldn’t let him stay there any longer! It was surprising how easy it took to convince my dad too!

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The second fur child was one hell of a surprise, we knew before-hand that we were going to get him, but, until we knew that was a possibility, we’d convinced ourselves that we wouldn’t get another dog until our older one left, but, low and behold, around about June time, we heard of some not-yet-born little monsters, and, on August the 28th, we picked up Albert and took him home with us

Now, he’s almost six months old and continues to put a smile on my face everyday, so, if anything, he’s like a little happiness jar in himself.

The next big thing that happened last year, and needed a place in my happiness jar, was that one of my university friends got married on August 27th! And it was beautiful! They really are meant to be together, and the day was perfect! It was also awesome to reconnect and see everyone, especially as I hadn’t seen some since the November before, and, I realised, even more, that the best king of friendships are the ones that you can go back to at a moments notice, and it’s as if you’ve never been away.

Cue using the wooden benches as bottle openers…

Another thing, which sort of did deserve a place in my happiness jar, considering the outcome, was that, in October, in among a new job and all those things, my Russian dwarf hamster, Mouse (who had the benefit of moving in to that DIY cage me and my dad made) had an operation to remove an unsightly tumor from his ear, and although, it could have gone either way, he came out of it perfectly and recovered really well! (Then, he got a second lump on his stomach, but, it’s stayed relatively the same size since it came up and, so far, he’s still going strong!) We also celebrated his first pretend birthday/gotcha day!

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Another thing, which made me happy, but also a bit sad at the same time, was that I submitted ‘Tales of Monsters’ to agents! A bit prematurely perhaps, which meant I had three rejections (and some other no-shows). But still, I found the confidence to show complete strangers my work, which, I think, is most certainly enough!

I also bought a load of amazing books this year! And, I read some amazing books this year too! Some of the ones that really stood out were, obviously, Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell (thank you BookBoxClub), HON’s Loved by P.C and Kristin Cast (because I can’t not read about the nerd herd), Wonder by R.J. Palacio which I’m so surprised I hadn’t picked up sooner, A Monster Calls, Six of Crows, Secret of Souls, One of us is lying, Traitors Blade, Shadowblack, 13 Reasons Why, Taste of Darkness… I could keep going, but I won’t.

Also, something huge that happened last year for me, was that I actually completed my first NaNoWriMo! I could of burst with happiness! I finished early too (19th) and I managed to write the first draft of a story I’ve been wanting to write for, forever!

I also learned the importance of deadlines, and because of that deadline, Mel and Als story is now out of my head, and has made room for even more. One of which I believe will by my next NaNoWriMo project if nothing else comes up!

Another big thing last year, and another first, that I got also got to beta read! The first was Melody by Penny Kearney, the second was the first 20k of A Whisper in the Wind by E.M. Redshaw , and the third was Hayley Soon by Andrew Henley! Melody and Hayley Soon are both scheduled for publication this year, and I can’t wait for you guys to read them!

And, to top 2017 off, I also got tickets to see both Ed Sheeran and Fall out Boy this year and I can’t wait, I’m so excited, it’s unreal!

There’s obviously so many more in that jar, but, if I wrote them all down, this post would never end!

I guess, this is sort of my personal run-down of 2017, and, considering the jar came from a blog post I found somewhere on the internet, I think it’s only right that I tell you guys how good it feels that you have something like that in your life! And, it’s so easy to put together that you can use almost anything to store them in! You don’t need a jar, you could have a tupperware box, or even a plastic bag if you’re desperate! This year, I have another jar, but that’s only because my family likes an easy curry every now and then!

But, still, I hope you enjoyed reading this!

So, until next time!

Jade

 

More Editing, More Reading and More More (January 2018 Wishlist)

Another day, another week, another month, and now, another year.

I probably say this every year, but wow, that went fast, didn’t it!

And this last month, well, it wasn’t nearly as productive as I hoped it would be (but I think considering my progress this last year, it sort of makes up for it).

My goals for December went to pot mostly. And, as much as I don’t really want to look back at them, let’s do it for consistencies sake, shall we?

  1. Finish reworking Tales of Monsters – Well
  2. Put together a Beta-Reader survey + Maybe find beta readers if TOM gets finished? – Uhm
  3. Take part in the 12 Days of Blogmas! – Done and dusted
  4. Read some books! Particularly Joe Abecrombie’s Half a King – I tried
  5. Write Al and Rhys’ version of a Christmas dinner in the zombie apocalypse and post it on the 25th! – See it here
  6. Take part in some insta challenges – #FanaticalBirdDecember and #IGWritersDec! – Well, not exactly!
  7. Buy all presents before the 24th – Nope
  8. Try not to eat all the food! – Ahahaha

So, I hardly wrote anything to do with Tales of Monsters! I have rewritten some of the chapters, and I’ve decided that I’m now gonna swap around the first two chapters, and I might even have my first line all sorted. But, it’s nowhere near where I hoped it would be! And other than taking mental notes on what I would ask beta readers in the survey, nothing much has been done about that either!

Blogmas though, blogmas (and promptmas) went well! I managed to keep up with the twelve days, and I had fun! There were some post ideas I never got around to doing, and the last two days or so turned in to more Christmassy ramblings than anything, but, at least, there was still a post!

Blogmas even encouraged some new short stories from my WIP’s, both Tales and Nano’s Diaries! Ryan met Rudolph in Pembrey forest, Url wanted to runaway to bard school, and Rhys told Al and Josie a zombiefied Christmas story!

However, reading this last month has been hard! I started Half a King on the train to Manchester, and read a bit of it on the train home as well, but other than reading a chapter or two after it, it’s stayed untouched. I haven’t read hardly anything, except for a little bit of a beta document I’m reading! And, towards the end of the month, I started reading Seeker of Time by J.M.Butler (As of writing this, I’ve only read the first couple chapters, here’s hoping by the time you get this post, I’m half-way through or finished).

I also said I’d take part in some insta challenges, which happened for like three days and then just didn’t. I did take part in my own promptmas challenge though, which made for a lot of fun during the Christmas period! You can see all the prompts at the bottom of this post!

Buy all the presents before the 24th. That just didn’t happen, at all, and try not eat all the food was a farce too.

This month, other than going to Manchester at the beginning of it, and going to the Christmas markets there, which were absolutely packed by the way (and at one point, having my friends little cousin throw up in his KFC fry box), and eating loads of chocolates, my month was mostly filled with work, sleeping and attempting to wrap presents!

So, in retrospect of how well it did not go last month, here are some new years goals! Or January goals at least!

1. Finish reworking TOM!

2. Get TOM beta reader ready and a survey done up!

3. Keep a bullet journal! I have one of those square dotted notebooks coming in the post!

4. Beta read! I have two I need to get through! One a sci-fi, and the other a steam punk fantasy type novel!

5. Reading! I need to read more! I have three books this month that I’m excited to read, and I should, really, finish Half A King too! I also joined a book club! So, that’ll be fun!

6. Play more video games.

I think, for this month, I’ll stick with six! Last months was a big push, and I think five is a good number! But, as the days have gone on, more have popped up, but you can check it all out on instagram!

Anyway, my Christmas was quiet, the new years celebrations are set to be a blast, and I hope this year brings you whatever you want most!

This post probably should have been more of a reflection and look-back on 2017 (as its the first day of 2018 and all that) but, other than a few memories I’ll be taking from it, 2017 can stay in the past!

Happy New Years guys, I’ll see you on Wednesday!

Jade x

How 2017 Saved My Writing

2017 saved my writing.

Before this year, I lost sight of it all. I day dreamed about it sometimes, but then, university, work, people, they all took me away from my writing, and in the end, I think I suffered because of that, especially towards the middle of last year.

It wasn’t so noticeable at first, not really, not in the first few years of universit. I did it every now and then, and that was okay for me.

It probably didn’t help that I kept it a secret from everyone though. I was embarrassed about it, mostly because I thought it would never amount to anything, that I wasn’t ever going to be good enough, that everything I read was so much better, so much flowier, so much more descriptive, so much more detailed than mine.

I didn’t stop it completely, I wrote here and there, on weekends when house mates were at home or stuck in their bedrooms, but it was never the same, and I was always on the edge of one of them walking through the door, seeing all the papers and asking me what I was doing.

Now, these people, their my best friends, and I couldn’t tell them what I did because I thought I would look stupid.

They know now, sort of, but it’s not exactly something we talk about.

Obviously, I didn’t give up ‘writing’ completely. I still had to write essays and assignments, and stuff like that, but I didn’t delve in to my own worlds as much as I needed.

It was just fact after fact, and research after research, and if I’m honest, it probably made me better at researching stuff, you know, for all those weird things in our search history – so thats a bonus!

But, let’s fast forward to this year, now. This year, it did something amazing for me.

It brought me back to my writing and to my stories. I don’t know how it started, or how it kept going on, but it did.

And, I think, this blog, as well as the writing and bookish community on instagram helped do that for me.

It helped me to take huge steps in my writing journey, maybe a bit prematurely, but it did.

I didn’t think I would ever have the balls to actually do it, but I now have three rejection letters because of it, and even though, their not necessarily something you or I want, it’s proof that I had the courage to send my manuscript to some agents, and that’s enough for me!

Also, this year, I finally managed to write the ‘Diary of a Child Zombie Killer’. It’s been on the back burner for a while and it needed it’s time to shine. Bless you NANOWRIMO, I never would have done it without you!

I also, finally, figured out where A Tale From Aramoor is going! It still needs work, it’s a big world, with a lot of characters and it needs time, but, it will get done. It will get beta ready, I promise!

This blog too, its made me think about things I hadn’t thought about before; it’s inspired things I never thought it could inspire, and, for the most part, I’ve posted at least once a week for the past tenish months.

This year, it’s been hard, other things have happened that have almost pushed me over the edge, but writing, even though it was hard sometimes, its been my staple. It’s made me proud of myself, its made me think that whether my writing is rubbish or not, I can’t wait to see my book on a shelf one day!

This year, despite all the bad, I found myself again. I made some amazing writerly friends, I’ve joined some amazing communities, and I can’t thank you enough for all being here, following on this crazy journey of mine.

Come to think of it, I think it was the people I met this year that helped me through it. So, thank you.

And, until next time,

Just Keep Writing,

Jade x

Day 12: The Christmas Eve Wrap-Up (12DaysofBlogmas)

It’s Christmas Eve, the day before the day we’ve all been waiting for, and, wow, has it been a crazy week or what!

So, my morning was spent helping out my local dogs trust, and then, I came home, got in to my pajamas (at like 10.40am) and watched ‘The Santa Clause’, one of those classic films you just can’t miss out on! It’s one of those that really warms your heart, and is definitely one of my favourites!

However, following that, instead of watching HP & The Chambers of Secrets like I wanted to, the brother had to be picked up from work; and it was the last time I could get out to the shop before they all closed! The worst thing was, that it meant I had to get out of my pajamas!

Anyway, at the shop, a last minute present was bought, a pack of batteries for brothers ”mouse trap” present was bought and some chocolate, because, why not! I also got some baking paper, which, after yesterdays fiasco with the poor ‘thing’ I tried to create, it’s most certainly needed!

Back home, (and back in my pajamas) the presents were wrapped and put under the tree, and the baking commenced! Using the big old cook book, I created something that resembles a chocolate yule log!

A lot of breakages happened, but, with enough cream, and chocolate icing – the bit where it sort of broke in to three pieces, was fixed – and it actually came out looking like a log fo a tree!! A pale one, but still a log! It might not look completely right, but everything tasted good on it’s own, so I’m sure, that when it’s cut in to tomorrow, it’ll taste amazing!

Here’s hoping anyway.

I may have put a little bit too much chocolate in to it…

It’s Christmas, you can never have enough chocolate, right?

But, anyhow, the presents are done, the food that needs to be defrosted is being defrosted, the cheesecake set beautifully! And, I spent the day in my pajamas watching movies!

Anyway, the last twelve days of this Blogmas have been crazy! I had most of it planned out, but, the last few days got rough and posts got rambly! I guess that’s just Christmas for you though, right?

I had more plans and more blog posts for this whole thing, but, nothing really went to plan, and I guess, if anything, there’s still next year, isn’t it!

If anything, its been fun! I’ve enjoyed making myself write a little everyday, if anything, it proved to myself that I could do it!

Although, my book has suffered these last few weeks! I’ve worked on it in some way a little everyday, and I’ve even wrote two short stories about it! One, I posted on here for Day 3 of Blogmas, when Ryan met Rudolph, and another – that’s still in my drafts – and concerns Url and his want to runaway to bard school, both of which were inspired by my 12 Days Of Promptmas prompts! Which I think have been the funnest to do! It’s made some of these blogmas posts so much easier to do!

It’s also let me get to know my characters even more than I thought I could, and I think, if anything, it’s kept my mind on them when the reality of Christmas is trying to take me away from it!


Today Promptmas (and the last one) is:

My characters would most probably resent the fact that they had to invite me in the first place! I’m not nice to any of them, and they’d probably try to poison me with wine or something like that!

But, say I did survive the whole initial thing. I would see Derrick, Tobin and Rhys (who are the least likely to poison me with turkey, thank god) cooking the food, Mel would probably be trying to help, but most likely, she’d just be sat there scoughing her face with chocolate!

As for presents, apart from a knife in the back (or the front, depending on the character), I might get some that don’t include trying to kill me!

Lauryn – A story she’s written

Aran – A drawing of some animal

Harry – The ‘dagger’. (I’m sorry Harry, it’s not real if that makes you feel better, it’s just a story, you’re not real either)

Albert – A book, probably a memoir cause he likes them

Mel – A fruit bar, because it’s the only thing she’ll give up

Jerry – A cloak, a real nice, fine one as well, because he likes them little luxuries

Rhys – He thinks himself a story-teller, so I guess, he’d really enjoy telling me a story. (Whether this story includes my death is another post for another day)


And, just for the sake of it, here are the eleven other Promptmas prompts!


To end this off, I hope your all ready for Christmas, and that the rest of the eve is spent drinking hot chocolate, eating food and watching movies! Or, if it’s nice and hot where you live, that you’re sitting by some pool with a beer or a coke!

I’m gonna end mine with the Anchorman! The Legend of Ron Burgandy!

Until next time,

Just keep writing,

Jade x

Day 11: Rambling Rambler (12DayOfBlogmas)

So, it’s the day before the day before, and you know when you have plans and they never really go to plan?

Yeah, thats what my days been a bit like again! But, at least, I’ve now got all my Christmas presents bought and wrapped, minus some I never ended up finding, so, it’s not been too bad of a day!

My shopping fails, today, included not finding said item for brothers girlfriend anywhere! Although, we did come across one shop that had it, but it was a ‘real’ one and not the sort of one she wanted!

And, trying to find Crooked Kingdom, now! That was quite entertaining! This poor guy was walking around WHSmith trying to find thisbook whilst trying to find another book for someone else, and, in the end, when we could hear him walking up and down the stairs all around us, he came back and told us they didn’t have it!

I’ll get it cheaper online than if I’d picked it up in a store, but I think, thay sometimes, it takes away from like, the authenticity of things, you know?

So, back home, I also attempted to Nigella Lawson it up with a Chocolate Yule Log, and it failed miserably!

Seperating eggs and whipping whites to soft peaks is no fun! Especially when it comes out of the oven a gooey sort of burnt and a film of crisp cakery laid over the top of it!

Safe to say, it went in the bin, and tomorrow, we’re gonna get out the big guns (by which I mean my mums oldest recipe book) and just listen to the professionals before Lawsons time.

However, I think all the wrapping I did today also fried my brain a little!!! It just never felt like it was going to end, and I’m already bad at it! Thank God its all done now! I don’t think there’s anyone else I have to buy for! (Until tomorrow comes and my list suddenly apears again)

So, tomorrow will be filled with chocolate yule logs, caramel cheesecake (which will determine how bad a day today was with how set it is).

Anyway, before I successfully drop my phone on my face, I’m gonna get to bed! Sorry for the rambly post! I had an awesome idea for what I was going to write today; but I guess theres always next year! Right!

I’d choose Rhys, the most righteous character from my nano project DOACZK, and Aran, the most righteous character from ‘Tales Of Monsters’ because I think their the only ones who would feel bothered about how all them poor kids felt when they woke up on Christmas to no presents!

Who would you choose!

Until tomorrows blogmas wrap-up! It’s good night from me!