Busy Minds, Hectic Shifts, Changing Schedules and Editing

This week, I broke my blog post Monday rule… I know it doesn’t really matter, but I just liked the regularity of it. I liked thinking there was something new on my blog on a Monday morning! It’s the start of the week for most people, and I enjoyed having something up and posted and maybe making at least one person feel a bit more inspired, or motivated. Or anything.

But, as always, life get’s in the way.

This last month has been hectic for me. My nights off from work never stayed the same, and at one point, I went a whole two weeks without a night off. I know it’s not terrible, but it’s night shifts, and even though I’ve been working there for more than six months now, my body hates sleeping in the day time sooo much, and it makes me feel terrible if I sleep past ten o clock. Even if I get to sleep at seven! And, man, if I have a nap during the day, I turn in to a monster!

It all just leads up to the conclusion that I’ve had no real motivation to write up a blog post; even though I have the ideas for it. My mind is so busy, but so tired at the same time that it’s just took a back seat.

What, fortunately I didn’t lose motivation for, was the ‘looking over’ of my fist manuscript. I’m just tweaking it here and there, making sure the characters sounds like they should, and that it’s all ready to follow in to the next one. Although, it’s mad how I keep finding silly mistakes in my writing.

The long nights shifts have given me more time to think though, to think about the history of the world, of what the characters will go through, how the characters will cope, how the story ends. It’s good thinking time, but someday, I’ve found that by the end of the night, my mind has clouded over and it starts to dissipate in to nothing! This is when I have to rush home and write it all in my notebook before I collapse my achy self in to bed!

All of this, no matter how much I love my blog post Mondays, means that for the time being, my regular weekly posts will be on a Wednesday morning! It’s my day off, and I’ll have no excuse not to post. (Unless certain work colleagues decide they can afford to not show up to work!)

Also, the end of this month is a busy one for me! I am going to the wedding of my university friend, and I can’t wait to see everyone. And, I also get a new little writing companion called Albert! And then, next month, I have a whole week off! (Praise the Lord) Whether I get any writing done is a whole different ball game, but if anything, I’ll make sure to steal a few moments here and there!

Just keep writing guys…

Or keep doing what you love…

There isn’t enough time not too!

First Batch of Submissions Sent!

So, just a quick little update! And for me to document this momentous day!
Today, the 8th June 2017, I sent my first finished novel to some agents!

I thought I’d feel better, but the nerves are already bubbling inside of me, and although, I’m a pretty patient person, I think this wait may be one of the hardest of my life so far!

Now, I’ve told myself I’m not allowed to even look at my novel because I know, that despite the amount of times I’ve looked over it, I will find something wrong with it and just make myself feel bad!

So, to keep my mind from it, my aim for the rest of June is to try and put a dent in my TBR pyle!

And I’m also going to continue writing the second novel in my quadrilogy, and start planning out a new novel I’m hoping to complete for Nanowrimo! I’ve always tried, but never successfully completed one so hopefully 2017 is the year of success!

Although, if it’s not, I’ll take it on the chin and try even harder next year!

Just keep writing guys!

When Do You Know Your Novel Is Finished?

This blog post is a bit late. Oops
However, the title of it explains the reason why quite simply. Oops again.

The hardest part of writing a novel is knowing when to stop. When is it ready for the world; For the agents and the publishers your itching to send it too; When have you finished what you set out to do.

The simple answer is the worst answer ever: Never.

No matter how much time you put in to a manuscript, how much world building and character building and editing you do, no matter how many times you rewrite, it is never going to be perfect. In an instagram post, I said that knowing when to stop was the hardest thing, but you have to do it sometime. I may need to learn to practice what I preach…

I’ve recently started on my second book, and I found it so easy to write the way I wanted it to go that I almost panicked a little, worried that I wasn’t portraying the characters correctly. It made me go back, to re-read it, and after convincing myself that re-writing wasn’t the answer, I decided to edit it one last time.

I realised that it was something else bothering me as well. The basis of my story focuses on prophecies, prophecies I weren’t sure worked, but during the night, when I work, I have loads of times to think about it (and doubt myself), and it’s when I realised that I had all the elements there and I just had to put it in to words. It fitted with everything that had happened, everything that’s going to happen and something I was even unsure about.

So, about fifteen thousand more words later, I think I need to send it away before I ruin it.

I still want to rewrite the whole thing, but it’s only because I worry others won’t love it like I do. But! This month, I am sending it away. I poured my heart in to this book and hopefully, even if they think it’s terrible, they can see that.

So, when do you know your novel is finished? You don’t. I’m sure that even published writers have things they wished they’d changed, even J.K Rowling wishes she’d shipped Hermione with Harry rather than Ron. So, just know, that even the writers you look up to still regret things they’ve written, even when it’s been published for nearly twenty years!

So, once you finished it, send it. You may get a load of rejections, but you may just get a letter saying they want to see more of the world you created!

Just keep writing… Or don’t, you know what I mean…

I Finished my Novel…

I’ve been writing for years, and although, I’ve made tons of first drafts, I’ve finally finished a peice that I am happy to share! It took seven years, god knows how many drafts and 105,477 words to finish and I can’t explain how fulfilled I feel.

Now, my next aim is to get it published.

I’m not sure if I’m ready for the rejection letters to start coming, but even world-class authors were rejected at first, so maybe I have a chance!

Although, it does depend on whether or not I find the right words to put in to a synopsis. I’m sure someone said once that writing is a breeze compared to writing the synopsis…

However, I’ll be sure to share it with all of you! Here’s to the next step. Hopefully it doesn’t take as long this time!

Although for the moment, I’m going to try and rest my brain, read some books and maybe start writing the next tale in the story.

Inspiration on The Shore

The water is one of the greatest sculptures of our time!

I think the shore is one of the best places to find inspiration. The sea and the tide mean

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the land is always changing and always being sculpted in to something different!

It’s also a great place to walk the dogs and explore all the caves and holes the sea carves out for you!

It inspires me to no end when I go there and makes me remember that nature creates beautiful things – like these pebbles!

It also plays a part in my Adult fantasy book, and will forever remind me of my Serpents Cove and the Rocky Shore!

Here is just a load of photo’s, of the sun setting, the rock formations, the crevices, the small caves, the rocks, the sand and the water (and a Springer Spaniel thrown in for good measure).

My Writing Journey So Far…

This piece is an insight in to some writing projects I did as a kid and my main WIP, which I am on the cusp of finishing.

I have been writing stories ever since I was small. It was a way for me to escape and create, and even though my childhood wasn’t terrible, I never really had many friends, so I guess, spent my days writing about all the adventures I wanted to go on.

My first big project, from what I can remember, was a series of short stories on ‘The Adventures of Taffy and Friends’. It was handwritten with ‘lovely’ illustrations by my younger self and based on my old German shepherd. I think it’s what cemented my way in to writing.

I also made some little picture books on the story of a saber-tooth cat and his family.

The next big project I would undertake, was a 52? page book about me living on a farm and showing horses. It was called Show Girl, and it was followed by another two books of a similar size. I’ve never ridden a horse before, so I have no idea where the idea came from.

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Just before I started writing this, we had just got internet for the first time, and I was fascinated by being able to google photos of anything and slot them in to my story. However, when I look back at it now, I cringe. I also remember my Nan falling asleep while reading it. I don’t know if it was just old lady syndrome, or if it was just really terrible.

It’s very obvious that I was a girl going in to teen-hood whilst writing this. Some of the scenes are so bad, and so unrealistic, I don’t know what I was thinking…

Since then, I’ve moved on to things I hope I will not be so scared about showing another human being. I’ve wrote some short stories, and wrote some first chapters for some novels, but my next big project would be something that I still work on to this day, even if my main WIP takes over most of the time. I think I started writing what I ended up calling ‘The Banished Series’ in late 2006/early 2007.

I remember that at the time, life was really hard and loads of stuff was happening. I wasn’t happy and I needed something to get my mind off of all the bad. So, I looked up at my bedroom ceiling and I asked for an idea. Low and behold, a dream came to me and I was able to turn it in to a novel. I wrote drafts of two books and outlined the third, and even though it’s not finished yet, it gave me that escape that I needed. It’s something I’ll go back to, but more because I want to know how the story goes than anything.

My present WIP, ‘Tales’, I’ve been working on for about six, maybe seven years now. It all started with an idea I got whilst playing Skyrim and my character was stood there, sucking up the soul of a dragon. I’ve always loved olden day games (Fable is my favourite), so I thought I’d give it a crack at writing a story based in medieval times, which over time has turned in to so much more. In the last few months alone, I’ve incorporated qualities from Celts, Saxons, Vikings and Romans.

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Its unbelievable how much it’s changed over the last six years. It’s had a few name changes, a few people killed and brought back to life, a few people killed that I hadn’t intended to kill at all, and I’ve learnt so much about writing that I think it may be the first one that I could give to the world to read.

I know six years may seem like a long time, but as always, life get’s in the way. I had school, college, university, and grown-up stuff to do like going to work and worrying about bills, but it was also because I wasn’t in a rush to finish it. My life was a bit too all over the place and full of drama to be able to do anything with it if I did.

My WIP is a series that has been outlined in to approximately five books, with the first novel having been through seven drafts and the second being on it’s first. I’ve also got future scenes jotted down in my journal and on various pieces of paper here, there and everywhere.

I’ve went through many styles of writing, with the one now being the one I think I’ll stick too. I’m not an overly descriptive writer, I don’t think. I like to get to the point and not ramble (which I realise I have done a lot of here, but it isn’t a book, so it’s okay); but keep a bit of mystery in there as well. I like my characters to be just as confused as the reader.

The most important thing I’ve learnt, other than my style, is that I shouldn’t limit myself to my main WIP. If an idea strikes me for another novel or a short story, I’ll take time out to write it a bit, even if it’s just an outline so I can go back to it later. I find writing other things, whether it’s a piece inspired by a prompt, a blog post on your favourite thing or a baking recipe, it all helps you develop your style and gives you a break, meaning writers block doesn’t come as easily. I’ve found that having a writing journal handy works well for me, and even though I have a make-shift index page at the front, I just use sticky tabs to make the mess easier to navigate.

Maybe in the last year or so, writing took a step back. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to do it, but more because my life was so hectic, with work, university and family issues, that I needed time for other things. But now, I’m back in my rhythm again and I feel like I’m actually getting somewhere.

Although, at one point, I did almost give up because I lost about sixty pages worth of story because I didn’t press the save button. It happened a second time, but atleast I was only editing this time.

For me, I think my worst fear is it not being good enough. Which I think might stop a lot of authors in their tracks, but you never know, there might be someone out there waiting to read a book just like yours, and one smile is better than nothing.

I’m currently on the cusp of finishing my final draft of the first book, and now I finally have a grasp on how I want the series to flow and sound, I think the next few won’t take so long. It’s a been a very long learning curve, but I think I needed it.

Maybe in a couple months, I’ll be able to write a blog post saying that I’ve finally submitted my novel to a literary agent or publisher, and be able to tell you about all the trouble I had writing the synopsis and cover letters, because, I think, that’ll be harder than writing the book itself.

🙂

A Tribute to 2016

So the year is officially over and for some people, it’s been the worse year of their lives and for others, it’s been one of the best!

Like every year, its been a rollercoaster of a ride, but if the last hundred years have been anything to go by, we shouldn’t be that surprised.

2016 saw Britain leave the EU and Donald Trump being elected as President of the United States. I guess The Simpsons were right again!

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We have lost countless innocent people to terrorist attacks all over the world, with even more being lost to war! You’d think we would have learned by now that fighting fire with fire only indulges the inferno!

We also lost a number of childhood heroes and role-models to 2016. Alan Rickman, Carrie Fisher and David Bowie are just a fraction of the people who left us this year! But instead of festering over what we lost, we have to celebrate what they gave us!

I’m sure you may have lost someone this year aswell, but you have to celebrate the life they lived, which is what a tribute is really about!

So now lets look back at all the awesome things that 2016 held, and remember it for all the good things that it gave us!

  • For starters, that Ice Bucket Challenge that took the world by storm – and probably gave a few people pneumonia – has actually brought us one step closer to beating ALS!
  • We have a Ebola vaccine now! I’m surprised the whole world hasn’t been hailing this year as a success just based off of that!
  • More people are kicking cancers butt!
  • Child mortality is decreasing all over the world!
  • You can control robotic arms with your mind now too!
  • Even teens in the UK and USA are finally getting their shit together with teen pregnancy currently at a record low!
  • India managed to plant 50 million tress in one day!
  • And, even our dear friend, the Ozone layer is repairing itself! Thats a breakthrough and a half!

To add even more, the animals are hitting back too!

  • Tiger populations are up!
  • Panda’s are no longer endangered!
  • The Manatee is making a come back!
  • And there’s even wild Wolves in Europe now!

All of this just proves that we’re capable of looking out for each other and the world around us. It’s not the answer to all our problems, but its a start!

So, aswell as our breakthroughs in science and the natural world, there were a number of other great things to happen in the life of 2016!

First, just some of the movies that made 2016 a kick-ass year for cinema goers!

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  • The magical world of J.K. Rowling brought us Fantastic Beasts and an adorable Newt Scamander, and even came to our stages with a Cursed Child. The magic isn’t over yet!
  • Marvel finally gave us Deadpool and more Chris Evans!
  • DC’s up’d their game with a Suicide Squad and a battle between Gods and Men!
  • Ellen Degeneres brought back our favourite forgetful fish!
  • The bear necessities of life finally hit the big screens with The Jungle Book!

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On the small screen, the man, David Attenborough, returned with Planet Earth 2! He showed us Tom Daly in sloth form and the Mo Farah of iguanas! What more could you want out of a tv show?

In the gaming industry, we had Far Cry, Doom, Uncharted, Dark Souls and Fallout all make an appearance. We were even able to become PokĂ©mon trainers!! Also, the much anticipated ‘The Last Guardian’ was released after ten years of development!

Trico is adorable though, right?

Leo finally won his Oscar!

Aswell as a ton of other stuff that made 2016 pretty awesome!

All this may seem trivial, but for part of it, these things made someone somewhere feel happy! Even if it was just watching Deadpool give an etiquette lesson.

For me, 2016 has been a mix of emotions. Theres a few things I”ll leave unwritten, but theres stuff that needs to be. The stuff that made it great!

My best achievement was finally finishing my dissertation and graduating with my best friends!

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I had to say goodbye to a little fluffball called Pepper, but also gained a couple in the form of Rami and Mouse! I wouldn’t change the sassy Syrian for anyone, and the little Mouse can continue to scream and hiss at me – for no real reason – all he likes.

I got to help a load of greyhounds and lurchers get the best start in their search for a forever home! An experience I’ll never forget!

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However, I think the best thing about this year is that I came out of it alive, and so did you!

You can just brush this year off, try and forget it and hope 2017 will be better, but really, it won’t. Bad things are always gonna happen and the news is always gonna show it! You just have to look around for those little peices of happiness!

Which brings me on to my next point! I see them around social media every year, but this year I’m going to make it happen!

‘The Happiness Jar’

Whenever something makes you happy, you right it down and put in a jar. Then, on the last day of the year, you open your jar and look back at all the things that made the year great! It’ll remind you that amongst the carnage and the devastation that will likely grace us with it’s presence, there were moments of happiness in amongst the mess!

Here’s to the next year, hopefully full of more unforgettable memories, achievements and more blog posts!

  • Light can be found even in the darkest of times as long as one remembers to turn on the lights – Albus Dumbledore

Merry Christmas from Jades 101

I hope you spend this day and every other day surrounded by love, kindness and most importantly food!

Heres a little photo of my little dwarf Mouse enjoying his homemade christmas treat! My syrian Rami took hers straight to bed without as much as a thankyou. I think she’s the grinch in furrie form!

Remember that today is all about giving! I promise that the feeling of watching someone opening a present from you is much better than getting one yourself!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

The Right Decision..

So, this is something I felt like I had to write. More because I think writing has always made me feel better, and I’m able to explain myself better and come to terms with things. This is a long post, and I think I may have rambled a bit, but I wrote this in the moment.

Maybe it can help someone else. You just gotta remember that not all people will think the decision your making is important, whilst to you it could be the most important.

For me, I’ve always had a problem making decisions. I’m so indecisive. I can go shopping, telling myself that I’m going to buy new clothes and come back with nothing ninety percent of the time. Or I can spend more time looking for a movie to watch than actually watching it. Little things like that just seem to scare me a little.

I think the problem is taking responsibility for the consequences or being judged for my tastes, even if it is just deciding on what to eat or what to watch. However, I think after living in halls and in my own house, I’ve got better at it. I’m not so sensitive anymore.

Very recently, I’ve had to make a really big decision. A decision I may not have been able to make three years ago. One that I honestly thought I couldn’t make, but if I hadn’t, I think I would have fallen in to a pit of despair. It is going to completely change my way of life, but I think it might be for the best.

So, I’ve been working and living in my job for the last three months. Before then, it was perfect. I had it all planned. A masters, driving, saving! As well as a few other things that never came to light, maybe things that could have made it easier.

But, alas, it didn’t go that way. Something happened and I think it just threw me off my track, even if I didn’t realise it at first. I’m not in the right frame of mind to carry on with my plans, I’m not ready to do that masters.

So, despite loving my job, the people and the dogs. I decided that it was time for me to go home. Things had changed and I feel like I needed to be there now more than ever. I haven’t lived at home for the last three years and I miss my family. My mum, dad, brother. It wasn’t easy to just jump in a car or on a train to go see them. I had to plan it in advance, the four hour journey isn’t always a pleasant one.

It wasn’t a rash decision. I bottled all of my emotions up because I thought things would get better, that somehow, magically, they’d change. I shouldn’t have. When I first talked about the opportunity of living and working in the same place, my life was so different to what it is now.

I got so caught up in everything that I didn’t think about me. I was honestly scared of letting others down. My friends, my family, my boss. I was given something that most people wouldn’t get, and I feel like crap throwing it all away, but I’m not in the right mind set anymore. It sounds so selfish, but sometimes, you can’t help but feel a certain way.

The most important thing to do in life is not lose sight of yourself, and I did, and hopefully, by going home, I’ll be able to find myself again and just be happy.

At the end of the day, you have to make the right choice for yourself. Even if you do hurt others because of it.

And I think that’s the worst bit. I never want anyone to feel used, because despite everything that happened, those sorts of things never even went through my mind. One night I just snapped, I just couldn’t stop crying. I feel terrible about it all, I feel like a horrible person, but what would I have gained by not saying anything? It would never have got better, the situation couldn’t. It would of only got worse, even with stolen moments of happiness.

So, when you do have to make that horrible decision in your life, whether it be about a partner, a job, a house, something that’s significant to you, you’ll know you made the right decision because you’ll feel happy, you’ll smile more; and the heaviness on your heart will go.

Even if you feel sad about it, about the people, or the place you might be leaving behind. You’ll just know in the bottom of your heart that you made the right decision. The right decision for you!

I’m expecting to make a load more decisions for myself, especially in the next couple of years, maybe months, but I think that now I’ll be ready for it. Life never seems to go to plan, but just take it on the chin and carry on…

The following is one of my favourite photos ever. This is little Tilly-mint on her walk in to the near-by village. She’s a lurcher puppy that stole my heart the day I saw her walk down the path. She found her home in six weeks on a red leather couch surrounded by love and most importantly for her, patience! She filled my heart with those little moments of happiness that I needed in my worse times! I’m happy she was homed with such lovely new parents and in a wonderful home!

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If your shadow stands tall, then so should you!