Tag Archives: stories

First draft, done and dusted!!!

SO…I finally made it.

There were a few moments that were touch and go but in the end I got there, which is the only thing that matters, right?

My first and a half draft (because I’ve been semi editing along the way. I’ve already been bitten once with The Last True Blood where editing is concerned and no, it had nothing to do with writing about vampires) of Un-Belonging has been completed, just under 80,000 words which I am happy about because all my previous novels have been so much more longer. If nothing else, I now know I can write something short and sweet. Don’t snicker 😛

Now the editing phase has begun, du du duhhhhhhh (that is meant to sound horrific and horrendously, spine chillingly terrifying). If I could have only sang it to you in my “melodious” voice, I wouldn’t have to explain the emotive reaction you should be having right now.

Once this first bout of editing is done, I’ll get some beta readers on the task.

Hope you’re all well. I think I’m going to go have a strawberry milkshake as a celebratory drink on my lonesome. Oh the perils of writing, it’s so isolated, at least that’s what I tell myself when my friends mysteriously remember their last load of washing that needs to go on the line every time I venture going out with them. I like to think it’s my cranium’s splendid ability to think that sets me apart from the rest. Eh, what can I say, I’m a positive, everything is peachy type of gal.

Now, I can really hear you snickering.

Do you enjoy pushing the envelope?

There’s something so exciting about writing outside your comfort zone. It’s like learning how to story tell all over again and coming across all those wondrous side alleys you can’t remember forgetting along the way on your creating journey.

I’m 50,000 words into my novel now, yesterday it was a little over 57,000 actually and I’m still loving how this book is evolving into a story on its own. The writing path is still truly fascinating at this stage and so very cathartic.

I hope to tell you all a little more about my Un-Belonging as and when it chooses to reveal its intrinsic, interwoven novelties to me!

See you around my beautiful fellow lovers of the written word!

Why Writers shouldn’t end up with one another …

Okay, so we’re constantly being told about how it’s nice to end up with someone on the same page as you, you know, so you can share your trials and tribulations of a hard day’s work with that special someone.

If you’re a teacher, why wouldn’t you want to come back home and explain how you just received a letter from that student who you thought was your best one yet outlining twelve possible reasons why he wants to kill you slowly and meticulously? On the other hand, as a Doctor, what could possibly be better than coming back home after an arduous twelve hour shift and sharing why that patient you “accidentally” left a pair of scissors in after slicing them open is going to sue you for everything you got?

Hey, at least your partner’s got your back, right? Plus, as an added bonus in the Doctor’s case, your divorce hearing is going to be short and sweet.

Even if you can’t quite wrap your brainy tentacles around why anyone on earth would ever want to get with someone who is most likely to have had exactly the same day as you (unless you are truly aiming for the award for the most boring life ever, then please go ahead), there are some absolutely undeniable facts as to why writers should stay clear of one another – at least in the “relationship” field:

1. Every time your partner politely asks you to go shopping, frantic alarm bells ring uncontrollably in your head because you know the shopping list is going to read like a novel and the last 24 hour Walmart in your area has a restraining order out on you because you never leave the premises. Seriously. It’s not your fault; it just took you that long to get through the list, that’s all.

2. Your children end up falling asleep before you get through the first line of a bedtime story because you and your partner are too busy discussing the appropriateness of commencing a fable with “Once Upon a Time”. You’re still discussing how Snow White taking an apple from the Evil Queen (and anyway – who would fall for that pathetic disguise in the first place?) is not realistic enough considering all the “Stanger Danger” lectures out there when your kids wake up in the morning.

3. A surprise ending is always so predictable because you understand the way your partner’s mind works for a climatic end. They wine and dine you and it’s already playing out in your head because you’ve been editing their novels for as long as you can remember. The only move that may shock you – the “you’ve been served” rendition when the postman hands you your “out of the blue” divorce request. To top it all off, instead of being devastated, you’re proud of them and you ring them up to say that that elusive cliff-hanger ending they’ve been working so hard to achieve is in the bag, baby!

4. Your partner cooks you (or at least what you believe to be) a subliminal inducing dinner and you are unable to give them false criticism because you take your role as a critic very seriously but you still want to be encouraging about the devastation anyway and end up saying “It’s nice honey. I mean it’s no Pulitzer Prize but just keep at it, You know, practice does make perfect. No matter how impossible it may feel right now. To both of us”.

5. Wait though. There’s more. The most devastating result of ending up with another writer. Your children have been so severely traumatised by having to grow up in a household with two people who believe everything they do (including the act of breathing) should be penned down, when career day comes around, they finally build up the courage to tell you, wait for it – they want to be Doctors!

Now what could possibly be worse than that? It’s settled, you’ve officially failed as parents.

On the bright side though, you may finally have that tragedy you’ve been meaning to write for years but haven’t been buoyed adequately enough for by that gut wrenching experience you absolutely need to feel in order to do so. Nobel Laureate in literature – here I come!

Sex, Money and more Sex

One of the first lessons that my Journalism lecturer taught us bright eyed, news hungry students at University was that all stories only ever came down to two things, and two things only:

Sex and Money.

The more you probed, the higher the bet that at the core of all news worthy stories, it was likely to have been caused by a raunchy sexual encounter somewhere down the murky line of the very first remnants of when the story evolved.

I read a blog post here a couple of weeks ago (by The Journal) about how enticing people to read your work involved reeling potential readers in with a catchy headline that was most imperatively, sexy. This made me think about my lecturer along with that very first lesson and as I took a trip down memory lane, I made a mental note about how many stories I had written, investigated and/or read since that time that involved the three main vices on our planet – sex, drugs and money.

I’ll be the first to admit that though I would like to at least represent a little of Einstein’s brain activity, he has made his firm and staunch negatory position painfully clear to me in terms of my maths skills, but even I could see that stories that boiled down to drugs, naturally gave way to money which was often lost pathetically or more aptly, downright stupidly due to some poor bugger being unable to, well (excuse my lack of eloquence), being unable to keep it in his/her pants!

It’s funnily (and a little depressingly) ironic that the human race has, after all these centuries of being slaughtered, murdered and idiotically perishing, still not quite grasped what more often than not does us in, something that is at the core of our being, a basic human need and genetic requirement – sex!

It’s a little like that great, mouth-watering present we’ve all had menacingly tucked away flimsily under our Christmas tree for thirty days or so before we can claw it apart with our hungry fingernails. The one that keeps us up at nights leading up to D-Day, the cause of our many tosses and turns before the big day until we can finally reveal what we expect to be amazing, the Holy Grail of all presents out there, ready for us to devour in all its grandeur and splendour. And then we open it, and before you’re able to mask your stomach guttering disappointment at the contents of your façade like package, everyone already knows what you’re thinking. This sux.

I always tend to feel the same levels of jumbled disenchantment when I follow a story for months only to find out how the tell-tale is brought down to its knees at the very end, by sex. It’s almost brutally tormenting to have to inflict that sort of dumb explanation on my brain every time I sit down to watch how another one of the world’s “greatest mysteries” has been cracked open.

Why are human beings still so cruelly stupid? I get it, the allure and all its associated bling, but really, seriously? Is it worth all the shaming, ridiculing, money and face losing?

Why can’t we have our cake and eat it too? We can, it would just involve using all the muscles in our body, not just one. You know the one I’m speaking about; the brain as well! I ponder on how many clicks my title is going to get because it has the three letters of s-e-x in the order it does, even though the pesky phrase tells me nothing of relevance really (not that I’m complaining). What I do bet on though, is the disappointment many of my readers will have once they get through this article, that is if they do at all.

So, I apologise in advance for including no porn, dramatic sexual encounters and any 18+ related material, though I have absolutely no problem in pimping my blog out.

What? A girl’s got to make her living somehow, and often whoring out your writing is the only way to go. Sorry, apparently this blog post has had absolutely no impact on the author itself. Eh, you know how it goes – if you can’t beat them then you got to go join them! What can I say? It’s a cruel world folks. 😉

What Dwarf are you?

I got asked the other day what dwarf I felt the most connected to. After I had looked at my enquirer perplexedly and conducted my civic duty aptly by wondering aloud about all the lines of political correctness my friend had grossly surpassed, I was politely chastised to stop reading between the lines and just answer the bloody question already.

It was then that I realised that the reference was alluding to which one of the seven dwarfs in the ancient Snow White fable I felt I was most like. Seeing as I can never ever answer a query straightforwardly, I asked if the question was multiple choice. My friend told me to forget it and muttered something under her breath that sounded a little like “I should know better” mixed with a whole heap of curse words, but my other friend (who is a shrink by the way and I am still not quite sure why I feel the constant need to bring that up) has been telling me to let things go lately. So instead, I bit my tongue profusely and decided to go home and write a list of why I thought this exercise should have been multiple choice in the first place.

Even though I lead an amazingly exciting life, I somehow fit in the exercise when I (cough cough) had some free time and thought I’d share the results with you. Okay fine, I had absolutely nothing to do, so as soon as I ripped through my front door, I slammed my bag hard against my kitchen counter and wrapped my eager beaver fingers around my felt tip pen to release my maniacal onslaught by proceeding to scribble down my ideas on the half used serviette I had left near the sink in the morning.

I don’t think it’s possible to imprison yourself into a simplified notion of one personality group and when I think about it, the seven dwarfs in Snow White are just that, personality groups. I go through all the dwarf representations numerous times and often repeatedly in one day itself. Take this morning for example. I was happily Sleepy before an uninvited Grumpy pounced after I had realised that I had put my alarm on for a whole hour earlier, which lasted till about mid-morning when after scratching my head in confusion for the better half of a dawn, I felt Dopey for forgetting about the 24 hour format lessons I had promised mum I had learnt appropriately in Year 2. Then when I got home and saw my alarm unashamedly tauntingly flashing at me, a light bulb moment hit – my clock isn’t even in 24 hour format! So that was Bashful.

To top it all off, I have allergies early morning so waking up at the ungodly hour I did didn’t help my situation making me Sneezy all afternoon when I decided to self-medicate myself because I sincerely believe that being a Doc was my higher calling which meant that Happy was the only feeling left to experience.

I must admit, this was a tough one but I wasn’t about to let my friend win [because apparently I am quite competitive as someone very wise on this blog once told me – you know who you are ;)]. Then as I commenced reading down my list, my eyes glazed over in gleeful victory, the kind you feel churning in the pit of your stomach when it dawns that you may be on the outskirts of a very promising “told you so” victory because it was settled – my friend had lost. I had made six out of seven dwarfs in a little over half a day already and voila! That made me Happy. Score, 7 out of 7!

I tore the phone of its carrier thingy ma-gig and quickly punched in the numbers of my friend yelling maddeningly, “you lose, I win, you lose, I win. I made 7 out of 7”.

My friend who apparently DID have better things to do with her life asked if I had forgotten to take my Prozac again and about what the hell I was talking about.

I continued to give her a heated rundown and summary gawking at her inability to recall past events of only moments ago to which she dryly and succinctly replied “you need a shrink”.

Before I could barely get the “well the joke’s on you, I already have one” words out, I heard the dead end dial tone bullyingly boring into my right ear drum.

Anyway, it doesn’t matter – I console myself by knowing that I won, so there…