Okay, slight exaggeration, more like 47, but who’s counting? I feel like every day I should wake up to the Big Brother voice over or, at the very least, be making daily updates into the star log.
I hope April was kind to you. Despite good intentions, I think the reality of being home 24/7 is so alien to most that, particularly if you are with your whole family, it messes with your motivation. Too busy working, cooking food, trying to locate said food like the hunter gatherer you’ve now become, along with homeschooling, daily exercise (ha!) and making sure everyone else under your roof is happy, you don’t want to socialise on the local forum that Barbara invited you to. You don’t want to join yet another Facebook group, do that course to better your skills, or get outside and make your garden look pretty. Even getting settled into a book, despite how good it is, is just not happening, so it’s no wonder you end up sitting in front of the TV at 2am drinking another glass of wine, and then feeling slightly confused as to why it’s taking you until 10am to crawl out of bed every day.
Just me? Oh well, I’d best get on with my monthly update then.
The highlight of April, for me, was Camp NaNoWriMo, and I’m pleassed to say……(drum roll)…………..
That’s right, I’m a winner! Somewhere within the chaos I was able to delve into my brain that is slowly turning to mush and pull out 21,317 of my 15,000 word target. I also did the 5 hours of research that I had planned for my ‘Otsana’ project. It’s likely to be what I work on during the main event in November.
I had hoped that adding so many words to Sorceress of Flame would bring it close to the end of my first draft. Not a chance. It currently sits at 78,479 words and is nowhere near finished. I don’t want to drag the story into a third book, as I don’t think it warrants one, but it will mean that the second installment will be longer than the first.
So, onto May, and what does that have in store?
For me, it’s much the same as April. I’m aiming for 15,000 words towards Sorceress of Flame and, hopefully, the completion of the first draft. I’m also going to try and fit in a read through of the first half so I can get that over to my editor, to make sure I’m going in the right direction.
As predicted, my husband, and possibly daughter, are feeling a little neglected after Camp NaNo, so I need to try and fit in more family time too.
I’d love to know what you’ve been getting up to so, feel free to comment below or follow me on Instagram. Right, back to it! These housemates of mine won’t feed themselves, unfortunately.
It’s safe to say the world has imploded and any goals I set for myself last month went out of the window. I’m guessing you may have had similar issues.
In summary, my Facebook live with Cassidy Reyne in the World Indie Warriors Group went ahead as planned. We are now starting Camp NaNoWriMo, and you can follow along on Instagram with our daily challenge.
I did manage to go to the spa for my wedding anniversary. I went with my Mom, Auntie and one of my best friends. We had a lot of fun and laughs, good food, and plenty of time to relax and enjoy the pools and steam rooms etc.
I’ve been a few times now but, if you ever get an opportunity to go to Hoar Cross Hall, you really should jump at the chance. I didn’t get to do as much writing as I had hoped, although I did manage a bit of reading, but time seemed to pass so quickly while we were there. It’s a good job we were able to relax though as when we got home on that Monday, the situation changed rapidly.
There was a press conference in England announcing that anyone who showed signs of Coronavirus —a cough or breathing difficulties— should stay home for 14 days along with everyone else in their household. Unfortunately, that night I developed a cough, which meant we were imprisoned in our own home.
My hubby had already been given the go ahead to work from home, but I did feel really guilty about keeping my daughter off school. She’s only seven, so isn’t in the middle of a big year, but I knew she would miss her friends and being able to go out to places.
Anyway the cough amounted to nothing, I think it was just the effect of the steam room clearing my sinuses and chest, but by the time our 14 days were over the country was pretty much in a lockdown situation anyway. So, since 17th March all I have done is go to the corner shop once, been for one run and went to the doctors for a blood test, and that is it. We are trying to make use of the garden, and I have done the first cut of the season and jet washed the decking, but now there is a whole load of painting to do. Let’s hope some nice weather heads our way over the next few weeks as this last one has been very cloudy and windy.
The self isolation itself hasn’t been that big an adjustment for me. As a stay-at-home-mom and author, I tend to spend a lot of time at home alone anyway. Plus, I detest doing the food shopping and often keep putting it off until eventually I either do an online shop or decide that actually, we really do need food, and head to ASDA. Even having the hubby around hasn’t been too bad, generally he keeps himself to himself in his office upstairs. My main issue has been having Amberley at home and trying to attempt the dreaded “homeschooling”.
Before she started in primary school I did consider homeschooling her, there is a reason I didn’t. There are a few actually, but the main ones being, I am not a teacher and I’m under no illusions that I could ever be. I just don’t have the patience. Another, Amberley is a very active child who needs a lot of stimulation, and certainly needs space to run around. Finally, she just does not listen to me.
I don’t mean in a “no, you’re not having that chocolate” or “off Minecraft, it’s dinner time” kind of way, she’s actually not too bad at that, it’s in those instances where you are trying to explain a maths equation, or that she can’t write about a pony because the task is asking for dinosaurs.
I’m not stopping her creativity, by all means she can write her pony story after she’s written the dinosaur story, but herein lies the problem. She won’t write the pony story when I say she can because she doesn’t want to anymore. Sigh.
I’m sure I’m not alone and, unfortunately, we may have this situation for many months.
To top off my never-ending-March, my Mother’s Day plans of travelling to the Netherlands were cancelled. I had hoped to meet up with Cassidy and another of our writing friends, Kara S. Weaver, but instead I was treated to a homemade card and a healthy dose of self-isolation because the hubby hadn’t planned ahead and thought to order anything. It wasn’t too bad though, I ended up blitzing the entire house and cooking Sunday lunch for my troubles.
With all that happening, I achieved nowhere near my target of 60,000 words towards Sorceress of Flame. I did, however, manage to have a look at each chapter and condense them so it feels like I’m more in control and know exactly where I need to fill in the gaps.
So, April is now upon us and I must set some kind of target, which is kind of easy as it is Camp NaNoWriMo and I already have a graphic ready and waiting.
I’m aiming for approximately 15,000 words over the course of the month on Sorceress of Flame. I am absolutely making this my priority, and even finished the book I was reading right on time. This will take my total word count to around 75,000 and I should be finished, or close to finished, with my first draft. I still really want to aim for a November publishing date, but it’s going to be tight.
Underneath that you may have spotted another little project. This has been niggling at me for the past year and I’ve finally given it a name. Otsana. Google it, and it may give you a clue what it’s about. I wrote a snippet from a prompt on Instagram this time last year and I’ve come to realise that it is an ideal prologue. I’m still not fully sure where it’s going to go, but that’s why I want to do a bit of research and see if something comes to me.
Well, I’ve been rabbiting on for ages now, so I’d better leave you to get on with your day.
So, February didn’t go quite to plan. How about yours?
My main goal had been to reach 60,000 words on book 2, Sorceress of Flame, to stay within target of publishing in November. I knew it would be tough due to the school holidays. What I hadn’t factored in was a month of storms resulting in my daughters school being flooded and gifting her an extra week of holiday. It’s safe to say by the end of two weeks, I’d had enough.
The worst part was there was never a dry day, so it really limited where we could go, but we did manage a little trip down to London and met up with fellow author and World Indie Warrior, Cassidy Reyne.
A visit to the Natural History Museum and the Tower of London have certainly given me some sparks of inspiration, it’s just a shame they’re for a completely new and unrelated story idea.
I managed to reach 54,790 words, which isn’t great, but I found the story grinding to a halt and I couldn’t figure out why. I decided my best course of action was to read through everything I had written for Sorceress of Flame and do a mini edit. After moving a few chapters around, and updating my timeline, I feel like I might be onto something.
So, what am I up to in March? I’m glad you asked!
The first item on the agenda is a Facebook live with Cassidy Reyne on the World Indie Warriors Facebook Group (It’s free to join!). We will be discussing the upcoming Camp NaNoWriMo, including what it is and how we are getting involved as a group.
The second exciting thing is my wedding anniversary on the 14th March. And, how am I going to celebrate? I’m going to spend a night at a spa with a close friend and family, leaving hubby at home alone with Madame.
To top it off, the following weekend (Mother’s Day in the UK), I am travelling to the Netherlands to meet up with Cassidy and another of our writing friends, Kara S. Weaver. We are crossing everything in the hopes that it can still go ahead, what with the Coronavirus trying its best to sabotage us.
Writing wise, I really want to get past the 60,000 words mark. I have a huge gap in the middle of the book, as I knew how I wanted it to end, but I’d really like to close that up in preparation for April’s CampNaNo.
I’m going to continue with my Author Q&A and Book Review, and I also have a book to beta read, so I’m sure there’s never going to be a dull moment. In fact, I’m so busy right now that I’m doing my best representation of procrastination by writing a huge shopping list for Ikea.
Here we are in 2020 already —it only feels like a few years ago when we were seeing in the millennium— and we are almost reaching the mid point of January!
I’ve decided not to set resolutions this year. I don’t want to blow my own trumpet or anything but, besides being podgy around the middle and having difficulty saying no at times, I’m fairly happy with who I am at the moment.
How about you? Have you set any resolutions? Do you ever stick to them?
For 2020 I’ve created a list of tasks I want to work through instead, and I thought you might like to have a gander. Plus, in the spirit of accountability, if they’re out there I have to do them, right?
Sorceress Of Flame * Complete the first draft. * First round edits. * Arrange m/s review. * Second round edits. * Beta readers. * Third round edits. * Proof read. * Arrange cover. * Arrange formatting. * Arc readers. * Publish (Hopefully Nov).
Other Tasks * Read 20 books throughout the year. * Finish batching up the murder mystery for testers. * Attend 3 events as an author. * Organise some swag. * Take part in CampNaNo (April). * Take part in NaNoWriMo (November). * Enter DofA into competition (by Feb).
Website * Monthly book review. * Monthly Author Q&A. * Monthly writing tip. * Post regular updates. * Redo my ‘Releases’ page. * Bring all of the pages up to date. * Add an events page.
Social Media * Spend more time interacting with the #writingcommunity on Twitter. * Talk to more reviewers/book bloggers on IG. * Create new aesthetics for IG. * Get back into having a pretty and organised grid. *Post more SofT snippets etc. * Try to organise my Pinterest board. * Add F1 story to Wattpad.
Don’t add any more books to my TBR pile!
On top of all of this, I will also try to make sure I don’t lose my daughter under a mountain of washing, that everyone remains fed and watered, and the walls don’t crumble under the weight of dust and clutter.
I wish you all a successful 2020. Now, what shall I tick off first?
Last, but certainly not least, in my character series is Lucas. For some he’s a bit like Marmite. For me, he’s been a slow burn that has gradually grown on me, to the extent that he is now one of my favourite characters to write.
After doing a little Google search I came across an actor called Alessandro Etrusco and, apart from the eye colour, I thought he would make a great Lucas.
Age – approximately 3000, in his current guise.
Birthday – Not sure he has one.
Height – 6′ 3″
Build – Light to Medium
Skin Colouring – Tawny
Eye Colour – Powder Blue, almost colourless. The skin around his eyes are quite red.
Hair – Black
Occupation – Self proclaimed king.
Relationship Status – Erm, you’ll have to read and see.
Fears – He keeps this close to his chest, but Tory figures him out.
Hobbies – Drinking blood laced wine and throwing the occasional ball.
So, as you can tell from the info above, Lucas isn’t quite what he seems. I can tell you that he is an original vampire with a starring role. Although we don’t meet him until well into Sorceress of Truth, his past, present, and future is tied up with Tory and her journey. But, as for why, you really will have to read the book.
The years haven’t been kind to Lucas, and he can sometimes come across a little crazy, but he is extremely intelligent and aware. He’s bored with life, having been there and done that, so there’s not much that will surprise him. That is, until Tory arrives. She appears to give his life purpose again, to awaken thoughts and feelings that he had long suppressed. But, what will that mean for Tory?
Star Sign – As I mentioned before, we have no idea about his birth. If I had to choose a star sign for Lucas, I would go with Scorpio. Scorpio’s lie in wait and strike when least expected, they know what they want and don’t mind playing the game in order to get it. They can be very calculating and keep their cards close to their chest. Being ruled by Pluto, a Scorpio can appear ambitious and exciting but, they have a relentless desire for control. They aren’t all bad though. A Scorpio enjoys building deep and soulful connections and, if they trust you, they will show unparalleled empathy and commitment.
Favourite Food – Blood. Come to think of it, Tory never see’s him eat, only drink different types of ruby liquid.
Favourite Decade – The 30’s/40’s. Sorry, to be clear, the 1530’s/40’s! Henry VIII was a hoot, and all those beheadings? Such sport.