Wednesday, 23 July 2014

On not being the next Christopher Paolini

After reading Inheritance not long ago, I started thinking about all my super-unrealistic-dreams of being some kind of prodigy.

One of those super-unrealistic-dreams was to be published by the time I was 18. I, at 15, thought this was reasonable, seeing as I wasn’t going to be 18 until, like, forever. {How it escaped me that that is only three years, I don’t know. It feels longer when you’re that young.} Perhaps I could have, I don’t know, but I started studying writing and never finished that novel I drafted at fifteen. Just as well, I really wasn’t good enough yet.

When I first started out on this writing journey, I had no idea how publishing worked, how hard it was or how long it would take for me to get good enough. When my sister told me that Paolini was 18 when he was published {I know this isn’t totally true, as he was self-published younger, but that isn’t important for this story}, rather than feel encouraged, as she hoped, it dismayed me. Here was another teenaged, home-schooled, fantasy writer who was already published and successful and I was fast losing hope of ever being young & successful.

Now, of course, I find reading Paolini to be inspiring, mostly because my style is in a similar vein to his and seeing what he’s allowed to do is encouraging. But also because he’s skill level is reachable for me. He’s still a better writer, but I feel I’m only a book or two behind. That’s really heartening {so long as it’s true and I’m not deluding myself...let’s go with it’s true or I might fall down a black hole...}. He’s improved so incredibly as a writer since his first book came out and that’s so exciting because it shows me how vastly it’s possible to improve.

It’s funny, I’d actually kind of forgotten how much of a thing being published super young was for me. Now I’d just like to be published before I’m 30, which I’m reasonably, sort of confident is possible. It’s hard to say with something that to a certain extent is out of my hands.

All I can do is my best and that’s what I’ll do.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Hair // lilac strands

I feel this hair kind of fulfils a childhood want. I loved {but never actually watched} A Little Snow Fairy Sugar when I was little and really wanted light pink hair, but, because my hair was dark, I’d have had to bleach it, which seemed to made the whole thing impossible.

But now, even though it’s purple not pink, I’ve got my crazy, bright hair. {The purple is inspired by my favourite Dead or Alive –a game I love when I was younger- Character Ayane} Strangely, I don’t find it strange to look into the mirror and see purple hair. I think due to the constant changing of my hair lately, I’m getting use to my hair being odd.

This purple hair took more time, effort and money than I’ve ever spent on my hair before, so that made the process a little scary. But I’m really happy with the finished product, so I can now say it was diffidently worth all those hair appointments!

Photos were kindly taken by Vickie, who put up with my strange faces and not having a clue what to do. Thanks, Vickie!

Friday, 18 July 2014

5 things | goals and projects for 2014 {update}

It’s the middle of the year and, as well as sharing how my writing is going, I thought I’d update the status of the five goals I shared at the beginning of the year when I still had no clue how I was going to operate in a post-study world.

1. Read more. So far I’ve read 5 books (currently on no. 6) and I’m feeling more than a little confident about completing my goal of 8 books by the end of the year. I’m also thinking I might surpass it.

2. Write every day. I’ve been doing really well with this one, there have been periods of struggle but mostly it’s been easy and fun. I’ve only forgotten a handful of days (which I then fill in the next day), so overall I’m really pleased with progress!

3. Be playful with my hair. Defiantly been having fun with this one, from blonde to red to blue tips to cut off, I’ve loved every stage. Can’t wait to show off the latest phase next week, it’s been weeks in the making.

4. Be able to play a song on the piano. This one’s been a bit tougher. Sometimes piano practice is just another small thing to do among everything else and I don’t get around to it. But lately I’ve been getting back into it and I’m determined to complete this goal.

5. Send more birthday cards. We’re making our way through our list and, although not all get out on time, we haven’t forgotten one yet!

All going pretty well at the moment! I’ll share the results come December.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014


22, it fits quite nicely.

My birthday and the day we celebrated were pretty great, spent writing, watching tennis and whatever else I felt like.

As always, my family spoilt me with lunches made, endless cups of tea, beautiful gifts, amazing cake and two awesome celebratory meals.

I gave myself a long weekend and, even though it didn’t rain, the weather was perfect.

All in all, a pretty fantastic birthday!

Monday, 14 July 2014

Fourteen Fiction | The Queen is Dead

July’s Fourteen Fiction is quite long thanks to my mad decision to ask everyone for a word. But it actually worked out really well; I wrote this one on my birthday, so I had plenty of time to play with the words.

Tennis in the background, characters I enjoy, birthday good vibes and having a blast with a fun story, perfect!

The words!

Singapore {Amy}
Fragile {Dad}
Biscuit {James}
Eternity {Christopher}
Enlightenment {Vickie}
Penultimate {Adam}
Flabbergasted {Mum}

+ the calendar prompt – “the queen was dead and the new kind would crowned the next day.”

The arms of the clock moved unseemingly slow. Sebastian glared at them, willing them to move faster. He had decided against rejoining the team in the hall, his reappearance would be more of a distraction than anything else and he needed time to think.

When the doors finally opened and Lucy entered, a large biscuit in her mouth and a cup of something hot and steaming in hand, Sebastian was no closer to solving the problem. She kicked the door closed and took the biscuit from her mouth.

‘Where did you wander off to?’ she waved her hand and the glow of the fire grew bright enough to chase away most of the gloom. Outside one of the hall clocks chimed midnight.

‘I was called away on some business.’ He said.

‘Must have been important for you to leave the tournament.’ Lucy said, no trace of annoyance in her voice. She moved behind her dressing-screen and appeared on the other side a moment later, still with cup and biscuit in hand, but with her tournament robes replaced by purple silk pyjamas. ‘I met a fascinating young witch, exchange teacher from Singapore; she told me the funniest story about a bear and a kettle of fish-’

‘Lucy,’ Sebastian interrupted. A frown flitted across her face and she turned towards the fire. He got up and joined her. ‘I’m sorry, but there’s rather a more urgent topic to discuss. The Queen is dead.’

Friday, 11 July 2014

A few things...

1. My birthday was last week and both my actual birthday and the day we celebrated were lovely! I’ll talk a bit more about it next week.

2. Vickie’s back! Actually been back for a few first, it was kinda weird {but mostly great} to have her home again. I’m looking forward to all the gorgeous photos and travel thoughts I’m sure she’ll be sharing on her blog in the coming months.

3. Vickie brought back lots of interesting things from Europe, including one or two gifts.

4. I wrote a new short story!

5. We’ve been taking Holly to training and she’s improving so quickly.

6. Mum and I have been sewing up some little toys to sell at our next market. Lots of fun!

7. I finally finished Inheritance, it was awesome.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

2014 | half way

I started this year feeling at a loss without study, but slowly I’ve worked things out and got into a kind of rhythm.

My projects have changed around a bit, which I honestly didn’t think they would. But I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, I chose the projects partly so I could stop stalling and get back into writing, some adjustment were bound to occur.

I’ve decided to focus on one of my young adult fantasy novels, The Wizard of the Hill, for the rest of the year. Young Adult is the area of writing that interests me the most right now, so I’m really pumped about this change in direction. I’ll continue to work on Agatha, just not quite so much.

I’ll be working on the first few pages and a synopsis of WOTH in the coming few months to submit to a competition, fingers crossed I get to go to an awesome masterclass next year. But even if I don’t win, the competition has made me rethink what I want to work on and set me on a path I’m even happier with, so it’s really a win already.

As for my screenwriting, I’m still be working on the Magical Detectives script and I might start writing some shorter pieces. I thought I’d try writing some MD short stories to then adapt in the hope that it will help me get my mind around tv structure.

I’m also refocusing on getting some new short stories done, which is exciting.

It’s nice to be starting the next half of the year refocused; I’ve reminded myself that this year is for building skills not completing work. Although, I still think it would be cool to have a draft of a novel completed by the end of the year, it’s not a pressing issue right now {however, if I win the scholarship for the masterclass, it would be very handy}.
Hopefully in the next six months I’ll actually have some snippets to share, I’m sure I’ll have many more thoughts about the process to talk about.

Other than that, I’m pleased to report that bi-monthly lists are working well and I’m more or less happy with my current schedule {needs a little tweaking}.

I’ll leave you with a brief summary of my 2014 projects, as they stand now:

The Wizard on the Hill – my main project, I’m working on completing the first ten pages and a synopsis by mid-August and then I’ll plot it out and continue writing.

Magical Detectives – I’ve almost finished the first draft of the script, which I hope to edit, and then I’ll start a short story to adapt or maybe just write some mini episodes.

Agatha – working on a synopsis and polishing the first chapter, I think it will be a good way to not lose touch with the novel.

The Heir of Pentrova – I’d love to start writing scenes and world building, but I’m not sure how much I’ll end up doing.