Sunday, August 28, 2011

Brain Hail

If I wasn't so worn out, I would start the first page of the second book of Lividia Blackwell's story. But I am worn out. I think I have performance anxiety or writer stage fright. It's always difficult to start the first page of the first chapter of anything, it seems. But it shouldn't be. Editing is your best friend, and rewriting is not a problem. Why, then, do I still feel nervous?

My problem is not knowing where to start. - To quote Lewis Carroll, "Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop." Simple, huh? Not so much. We humans complicate things, and ideas are as delicate and skittish as feral kittens. We have to write them down, before they get away.

When inspiration hits me I feel a tidal wave of scenes, characters, and concepts crashing over. This is when freewriting all my brainstorming ideas comes in handy. It'll get it out of my mind, and onto paper (or a Word document) where I can make more sense of it.

Right now I have visions of creepy dolls, mushroom faeries, underground pipeworks, and sexy fae violinists dancing in my head. Not sure which of those - or all of them - I'll use in this book. There is so much I want to put into this series that it tumbles through my head like laundry in a drier. Eventually I will decide what parts to put into the second book, what parts into the third, and so on.

My enthusiasm about this project is through the roof! I want so badly to share this world I'm creating with as many people as possible that my first book can't get onto shelves soon enough! This is bigger than me. My head is just the gateway that lets it into the world.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Introduction of Good Fridays

Technically, now it's Saturday, but I thought of a great way to celebrate my Fridays on this blog. It's with something I'm going to call Good Fridays. I'll write about something - one thing, maybe two - that really made me happy, or made my Friday especially good. Fridays to me are already good, but these are little nuggets that make them even better.

My Good Fridays thing this week is the movie "Little Black Book", starring Brittany Murphy. It came out in 2004 but I somehow missed it, until my Netflix suggested it recently. At first, I thought this movie was going to be your average, run-of-the-mill romantic comedy. Girl has guy, girl nearly loses guy, girl gets guy back and everyone says 'aww'. But it's not. And I'm glad.

In this movie, you see girl get insecure and start opening her eyes about her too-good-to-be-true boyfriend. She gets snoopy in his stuff on the pretense of her job - which is associate producer of a talk-show - and finds out she simply has to know about his old exes. And she does get to know about them, one by one. She discovers that the truth is a very difficult thing to face up to, and what she does with her knowledge might surprise you.

I loved the ending of this movie. I didn't think I would, but I did, and I thought it fit. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. (It may leave you wanting to listen to Carly Simon when it's over.)

And if you have any Good Fridays movies or tidbits to share, go ahead and post them in the comments. I'd love to hear them.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My Inner Aching

Lately, I feel much like Tiffany Aching in A Hat Full of Sky - only instead of witches and magic, it's writers and the writing community. Like Tiffany, I feel like I'm bumbling, and brilliant to myself, but no one pays you any notice until you've made a name for yourself. Let's face it, I'm no Mistress Weatherwax... yet.

Tiffany has all this power in her. She defeated a faerie queen! But the other young witches don't believe her. They can't even see her invisible hat! No one is there to teach her the ropes, and even the witch she's apprenticed to seems nothing more than a lonely old woman desperate for someone to talk to besides herself.

I'm not a witch (though I have a black cat), but I definitely understand how Tiffany feels. You're not like those around you. You have something inside you you just have to share with the world or you might burst. It would be nice to have a friend in this new, and unfamiliar world, wouldn't it?

It's hard when no one cares about your magic but you, and those who do care are far, far away. It's hard when you know you're someplace you've always wanted to be, and you don't understand any of it. No one can come with you but others like you, but they are so caught up in their own magic, their own egos, or trying not to look like bumblers themselves, that they can't stop to help the 'new girl'.

All you want to do is fly on a broomstick - soar high and marvel people, but every time you get on a broomstick, you throw up. All you want is the chance, but all you see so far is a lot of work, a lot of waiting, until you are allowed to show the world your magic. You've already worked for a long time, and now you are with someone who could teach you the magic, but she makes you wait. It's all bottled up inside you, and still you wait.

I understand you, Tiffany. I understand you very well.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Chapter One of Lividia's Story - teaser

(I do not own Nox Arcana's song or the image. This is the song that played through many of Lividia's night-time scenes.)

Since you requested it, here it is, the first paragraphs of the first chapter of my first book of the story of Lividia Blackwell. It's a historical, YA fantasy set in Victorian times and filled with boogeymen and a few faeries. I really hope you enjoy it!

Chapter One: The Man in the Dream
Lividia lay awake, gazing at the ceiling past the posts of her bed, wondering what secrets her mother never told her. At seventeen, she had learned to live without her, learned to be a proper young lady, with proper goals and dreams. But there was always something there, an uncertainty that plagued upon her mind.
She pondered for hours, until the wick of her candle had burnt down, and the wax filled the dish. The shadows cast were long and gaping, engulfing most of the room, except for the halo of light around her side of the bed. Within that vast amount of shadow something stirred, but Lividia didn’t notice, for she had fallen asleep.
            In her dream she was looking upon herself sleeping in her bed. Beside her bed was a figure just a little taller than she was, with charcoal hair and skin so pale it was almost white. Only a face, and elegant, pale hands. He was dressed in a dark blue jacket with a high collar and loose bowtie. Shadows consumed the lower half of him.

(To be continued...)

Friday, August 19, 2011

A New Day

With my very own internet account, which I'm no longer sharing with someone else, I'm cozying into my spot on the net once again. How I've missed it! And to celebrate my return, I've redesigned my blog. The background is from Madame M and the sideways mirror header was drawn by me (hence the initials).

This New Day, my brother is married with five children - and it all happened on the same day! (Yes, she already had five when she married him.) Also, I have a job which pays well, and uses my digital skills, along with advertising skills I never knew I had. I'm still hoping for the day when I can quit all jobs and focus on writing, but until then I have to pay the bills somehow!

This New Day, I am admiring a clean house, trying to organize myself, getting myself into better habits, and reading as much as I can. The books on my list now are Terry Pratchett's The Wee Free Men, A Hat Full of Sky, and Wintersmith. They're about a little witch named Tiffany Aching and her adventures with the Nac Mac Feegle, a band of very tiny, very blue, celtic faeries. You can't squash them, you can't poison them, you can't drown them... very well. And you certainly can't scare them.

I've read the first in that series - The Wee Free Men - and I've loved every minute of it. I thoroughly enjoy Pratchett's sense of humor, and wish I'd discovered this wonderful author earlier. After all, he's been churning out books for a very long time. I hope he keeps churning out more.
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