Hello hello and happy November! It's been a hot minute since I've posted directly to this blog (I'm much more active on tumblr and send monthly updates via newsletter, which you can sign up for here), but I wanted to share a few things in longer form here.
Firstly, I'm doing NaNoWriMo! Or rather, my version of it, as per usual. What that means is, I'm not aiming for any specific wordcount and I'm not even aiming to write for any specific amount of time. Rather, I'm aiming to just write daily and to work specifically on LofM before I work on anything else.
Initially, I'd had the highly aspirational (and highly unachievable) goal of focusing solely on LofM from the beginning of October to the end of December, in the hopes of finishing the second 1/3 of this novel. That...didn't pan out. But I'm happy to say that my 'chill NaNo' goals are mostly being met. There have been two or three days so far where I haven't written, but those days coincided with a pet emergency, family obligations, and getting sick, so I'm taking it easy on myself.
Speaking of LofM though - on November third I had a crisis about it brought on by 1) being sick 2) being stressed and 3) being stuck on the WIP. I am now 1/3 of the way through the manuscript, and I was not liking how it was panning out, for reasons that have nothing to do with it being a first draft and therefore understandably rough.
Reflective of my headspace of late, I've taken to writing short excerpts for Glitch wip and [mostly] out of order bits for Oracle wip. I've also done some brainstorming for my Reaper wip and written odds and ends for wips that don't exist yet. Here's everything so far, in case you missed it.
in which there is a cyborg named sacha and a shapeshifter named cipher
[[ cw: cyborg slavery and related issues of agency ]]
.01 -- sacha’s jerked rudely and abruptly out of stasis, which immediately puts her on the alert because fitz may treat her like a thing, mostly, but he wakes her like he would anyone, with a nudge to the shoulder and not a zap to her temple port.
her eyes fly open and she’s met with a figure dressed in and masked by glitch-wear, which only heightens her alarm. her arm whirs as it calibrates, the pump in her heart picking up speed and filling her with adrenaline. she doesn’t swing immediately only because she doesn’t have enough intel on what’s happening to know if that’s the right move.
the stranger raises his hands palm outward in that universal sign that means ‘i’m harmless’ and also ‘don’t attack’.
I made a post like this for 2021 and I thought it would be nice to do the same this year too. I have a hard time remembering and/or focusing on the positives rather than the negatives, and an overview is usually pretty uplifting. So let's get into it!
It's November, known to some as National Novel Writing month and I...will be participating, albeit in my own way. Rather than aim to write 50k this month, my goal is to write for 15-20 minutes a day at minimum, and to write specifically for Legends of Mourra, and hopefully have a whole (if undoubtedly raw) draft completed by December!
Writing sprints have always worked well for me, and this way I'll be relieved of the pressure of trying to meet a word count. Sometimes, writing 1000 words is as easy as breathing, and sometimes it's a laborious and disheartening undertaking that inspires temper tantrums and dramatic declarations of hating writing, myself, and the world.
But I'm excited about this! LofM feels ready to be told, and I feel ready to tell it, and I got started this morning on the way to work, scribbling away in my notebook. I have no concrete plans; I wasn't even sure who's perspective to begin with, or where in the plot to start, but what ended up flowing from my pen was something folktale-esque, something you might expect from Arabian Nights and other legends, and I'm thrilled about it. It's already showcasing some of my world building and I can already visualize a neat little segue from 'legend' into Plot Happenings™.
You can expect excerpts from me at least once a week.
Are you doing NaNo this year? How are you making it your own, if you are? What other project are you doing/doing instead? I'd love to hear.
Oh, and before I close this, I wanted to mention a couple of things.
Firstly, I've restarted my writing tumblr, and you can find me here, where I collect inspirational posts, writerly advice, fellow writers' works, and talk in a more shorthand and informal way about myself and my writing. There will be some cross-posting but for the most part my tumblr and my site will remain distinct spaces.
Secondly...I sort of failed at Fictober this year, obviously. I don't like the word 'failed' but I did not end up writing every day this month, as was the goal. However, I did write for half the month, and wrote more original work than I had all year, and had fun doing it, and refused to pressure myself with it or get down on myself about it when life events and my health served as barriers to writing, so I will say all in all it was a good, solid effort, and I'm proud of myself.
I hope you're doing well! Happy reading and writing!
In a world of magic that runs like lifeblood through the very earth, Ro is a rare outlier: a null. Magic doesn't affect her or work for her; she instead cancels it out. This comes in useful; as an assassin, Ro slips through all magical defences and snares easily.
When two different contracts come her way, requesting that she assassinate Queen Alyss of Miraré's oracle for a truly obscene amount of gold, Ro happily, eagerly accepts the assignment. For one, she's never killed an oracle before. For another, the reward is practically a king's ransom, and Ro loves nothing as much as gold.
It takes months, but eventually Ro gets herself into the perfect position to kill the mystical oracle...only she hesitates. Not out of any moral quandary, but out of curiosity.
And that single hesitation has far reaching consequences for an entire universe, because the oracle isn't an oracle. He is something else far more influential than that, whether he knows it or not...
Alyss | also called the Red Queen, ruler of Miraré through usurpation, one-time destined saviour of the world, currently attempting to forge an alliance with Teimor.
Ro | also known as Carrow, a null and assassin whose moral compass points to 'gold' or 'would be fun', depending on the situation.
Sage | an oracle who isn't, motivated by a dual desire for revenge and finding a way home, full of secrets.
Fintan | leader of the Order of the White Hare, a rebel organization dedicated to removing Alyss from the throne, also known as Fin.
Jac | Ro's one-time guardian and current liaison for assignments.
Well, I'm back after another long absence. Raise your hand if you're surprised. No hands in the air? Yeah, I didn't expect there to be. You know the drill: I had a crisis, shut everything down, ran away until I felt better, and came back, shamefaced but determined not to pull the same stunt again.
Anyway, you're not here for my personal woes, you're here for writing! Presumably. I don't know if anyone's still around, actually, but if I shout into the void, perhaps the void will shout back a welcome.
So. You may be wondering what's with this post's title. Well, it references both my recent mental state and also the states of two of my wips: Chronicles of Mourra and Wonderland.
Guess what! The plans I had for both? Shattered. On purpose. I picked up both wips, threw them at a metaphorical wall (aka my debilitating writer's block), shuffled through the pieces, picked up the shiniest, prettiest fragments, got a new frame and some glue, and made two different mosaics.
This extended metaphor is getting away from me, so let me speak plainly. Neither of these wips were working for me, so I took what I liked best of them and made something new. Wow, that sounds way easier than it actually was. In reality this took me literal months and serious angst to do.
Let's jump right into it, shall we?
Hey hi hello and happy new year!
Every December I tell myself I won't bother making resolutions because I rarely meet them, and every January I make them anyway. But! I've decided this time to make 'intentions' rather than 'resolutions'. It feels a bit more flexible, hopeful, and aspirational that way, instead of a commitment I already foresee myself breaking, y'know?
As Hyba noted in her positive productivity post (one of a series of three, I encourage you to read them all!), it's important to treat ourselves with grace and compassion.
So here's a non-exhaustive list of my writerly intentions for this year:
✧.* Chronicles of Mourra
There you have it! These are manageable intentions, I think, but also listing them like this is making me a little anxious, not gonna lie. I calm down when I remember this is supposed to be spread out over a full year, and my main 'goal' is to work towards these things, even if I don't finish them! I need to have something to aim for, at the end of the day.
Have you set resolutions and/or intentions for this year? If so, what are they? Comment below so we can support each other!
Best of luck this year babes, and as ever: happy reading and writing.
It has been...a year. Apparently. As this tumblr post put it:
So anyway, it's December and 2022 is around the corner, which means it's time for my year in review! (Shoutout to Hyba for reminding me this is a thing I can do lol).
I did something similar last year and it was fun to see how much I accomplished or what changes occurred that I just plum forgot about, because I have brain like swiss cheese (full of holes).
So remember how I said I wanted to write an isekai novel featuring an "oracle" figure on the run who doesn't actually have the gift of foresight? Well, it's rapidly developed since then into something Bigger™.
Many years ago, when I was still as obssessed with fairytales and folklore retellings as I am now, I dreamed up an Alice in Wonderland retelling that...never really got off the ground.
(Sidebar: it just occurred to me that retellings are the root of my love for fanfiction! I can't believe I didn't realize that until literally this moment!)
My last blog post on the isekai/portal genre naturally got me thinking about Lewis Carroll's story, which got me thinking about my retelling idea, and BAM! It occurred to me I could merge my old story concept with this new one!
For a few years now, I've had this image in my mind of an oracle figure sitting in a dank little cell, and then that same oracle figure on the run, being hunted by pursuers. I think it came about after watching Minority Report (2002) years ago with my dad. These two scenes were the beginning of a story, I could tell, only they were lacking something to truly bring them from the 'spark' stage into 'development' mode.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago. I was talking with my friend Hyba about isekai stories (specifically in webcomics). I have long been a fan of portal and isekai stories, and I love mashing up tropes and adding twists to them. Talking to Hyba got me wanting to dabble in this genre.
For those who don't know and don't want to click on the link, isekai is a Japanese term for a genre of story where a person is transported into another (often fictional) world; sometimes this involves reincarnation. Some of these stories are portal fantasies, however not all isekai stories involve portals.
Some examples of both that I've personally enjoyed include Alice in Wonderland, The Chronicles of Narnia, John Carter (2012), Inkworld, InuYasha, and Fushigi Yugi. (The latter two are manga turned animes).
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