Friday, November 19, 2010

A beautiful poem

So the year is coming to a close and that means lots of school assignments are due, and the one that I'm enjoying the most is the poetry analysis. Somehow, I stumbled on a beautiful poem and one that's full of technical quirks for me to work with, so it's perfect for what I need to do.

Anyway, I thought I'd share with all of you. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do:)

√Čtude R√©aliste
by Algernon Charles Swinburne

I.

A Baby's feet, like sea-shells pink,
Might tempt, should heaven see meet,
An angel's lips to kiss, we think,
A baby's feet.

Like rose-hued sea-flowers toward the heat
They stretch and spread and wink
Their ten soft buds that part and meet.

No flower-bells that expand and shrink
Gleam half so heavenly sweet
As shine on life's untrodden brink
A baby's feet.

II.

A baby's hands, like rosebuds furled
Whence yet no leaf expands,
Ope if you touch, though close upcurled,
A baby's hands.

Then, fast as warriors grip their brands
When battle's bolt is hurled,
They close, clenched hard like tightening bands.

No rosebuds yet by dawn impearled
Match, even in loveliest lands,
The sweetest flowers in all the world -
A baby's hands.

III.

A baby's eyes, ere speech begin,
Ere lips learn words or sighs,
Bless all things bright enough to win
A baby's eyes.

Love, while the sweet thing laughs and lies,
And sleep flows out and in,
Sees perfect in them Paradise.

Their glance might cast out pain and sin,
Their speech make dumb the wise,
By mute glad godhead felt within
A baby's eyes.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Ah, Spring, the perfect time for a short short! (Even if it is a bit of a downer...)

Okay, I have succumbed to the stress of having too much going on. Until last week, I was running on fumes, with nary a finish line in sight. So what did I do? I got rid of one of them. Totally annihilated it:)

After a long talk with the hubby, I've decided to skip NaNoWriMo this year, for a few reasons. First, the novel idea that I'd settled on wasn't inspiring me the way a NaNo idea should. I mean, if you're going to run a marathon, you'd better be hugely excited about your motive, right? But this idea just wasn't cutting it for me. It was...okay. And that's it.

Second, I'd assumed a personal goal of 80,000 words in November as opposed to the standard 50,000. The theory there was that I'd get the entire first draft finished in November and avoid the post-NaNo slump that hindered me last year.

And third, like last year, I signed on for a Writing.com prep challenge for October that was beating me down instead of gearing me up. And honestly, if I can't develop a 15 minute writing routine, how on earth could I plan to commit to 80,000 words (or even 50,000 words if I allowed myself to 'slip')?

So, I'm marking NaNo off my list of goals for this year, focussing instead on finishing my Certificate on a high note, practicing my toosh off for the editing accreditation exam in May and writing for peace and pleasure as I so love to do:)

Now, all that said, I've got a short short that I wrote for the WDC NaNo prep that, if I'm being honest, will probably never see the light of day. But I love it, even though it's still a bit rough around the edges and not far removed from the first draft at all. So I thought I'd share it here for your reading enjoyment. Feel free to comment or not. And if you hate it, then by all means, write something better and share it with the world:)

Seen and Heard
© Rebekah D. Hay 2010

The three porch steps are a blur under my feet. My heart is a wrecking ball in my chest. And then I hear the baby’s cry.

I was born in 1972 to a vacant shell of a mother and a drunk father who followed the stereotype to the letter. I saw red, swollen faces across from my Cheerios, and I learned the exact position to hold inside the closet with my baby brother so as to be unseen and unheard. And I knew the cry of a beaten child by heart.

This is one of those cries.

The door is already open and the police I am with try to hold me back on the porch. I understand where they’re coming from – this is a dangerous situation for all of us. But when that baby’s voice cuts off, nothing can restrain me.

I barge into the small house and am assaulted by the odor of infection and vomit. A skeletal boy cowers behind the sofa, out of his father’s sight, and I wish I could’ve shared my closet with him.

The baby gasps and readies for the next scream as the man raises his arm back up over his head.

The roar that escapes me is carnal, ferocious. ‘No!’

He spins to me, doesn’t pause to see the pistols aimed at him and punches me in my left jaw. My body flies across the tiny room, crunches against the wall. Dust and bits of sheetrock flutter down over me and I hear two shots ring out.

The man shouts over the baby’s cries as the police move to apprehend him, not caring to be gentle with his limp and bloody arm. I move toward the baby and feel soft crackles vibrate through my shoulder, the broken bones numbed or overshadowed by the need to calm and caress.

I lift the baby to my chest. He is soiled and hot as the sun. I hold him closer, gently as I can, and coo into his ear. I sing the song that used to calm my brother in the late hours of eternal nights. The baby screams louder, but I continue to sing, my voice breaking and tears streaming down my face.

Something touches my leg and I look to see the boy from behind the sofa clutching himself to me, watching his father being dragged out of the house in a violent burst of profanities. He looks up to me and his large, terrified eyes are a silent ‘thank you’.

I wish I could lie to him, tell him that these things never happen, that his case is the worst I’ve seen. But I can’t.

I can only sing.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

This is the part where I collapse... (And a Mockingjay 'review', complete with spoiler)

Well, I'm following my old familiar cycle: get insanely excited about a new project, absolutely kill the first quarter's worth, plateau to a nice and steady pace at about half-way, and then screech to a halt long before the finish line. Okay, well maybe not a halt. A slog. A whiney, pitifully pathetic me slog.

Yes, the only thing more painful than not writing is the guilt of not writing. And yet, we (or at least I) endure it. Day after day after *bleeping* day. How do I make it stop???

What? Write?

Really??

Er...okay. How about a Rebekah-esque review? Yeah? Lovely:)

Mockingjay, by Suzanne Collins

So I obviously had high hopes for Mockingjay. The first two books were excellent YA novels (a guilty pleasure of mine...if done right), and I was so totally excited to see how Collins would wrap up the trilogy and give me my YA fix at the same time.

Unfortunately, although I did look at the book as both a series finale and as a stand-alone, I was disappointed on both counts.

Characterisation: Lacking. In terms of the series, I felt like Katniss wasn't acting with the fire that had come to define her. Sure, she'd been through a bit of trauma, and she behaved as any normal human would. But that's the problem. She should have been more than any human, especially since the story itself was more than normal. In this kind of book, characters need to be relatable, but also extraordinary. And as a stand-alone, I doubt I'd have stuck by Katniss through her whining. I mean, who wants their heroine to be someone who (literally) runs and hides in a corner for days on end? And I have a hard time buying her animosity towards the strict food rationing considering that most of her life was spent in poverty.

Backstory: Good job. For the series, she gave just enough reminders to help the reader recall details from the previous books. And for the stand-alone, she didn't offer up the dreaded information dump, opting instead to work the crucial details into the story.

Narrative: No matter how you look at it, there were large sections of narrative that seemed to only gloss over the events. I get that Collins was aiming to cut down on the time that passed by simply telling the reader what happened. But I want to see it happening. Normally, I'd give the benefit of the doubt (especially for a finale) and say she probably wanted to take us through every detail, but just needed to cull pages (or even chapters) from her manuscript. But in this case, I think she took it too far. If it's important enough to mention, surely it warrants more detail than the token 'she did this and he said that'.

**Spoiler Alert**
Story/Ending: Okay, but not great. In terms of the series, Collins did a good job coming full circle (the whole story really starts when Katniss volunteers to take Prim's place in the Games, essentially saving her life, but then Prim dies anyway). And I did like that Katniss went on to have children, considering her previous aversion to the idea, because of the Games. But I don't think Collins gave enough attention to Katniss' other important relationships (with Gale and also with Peeta). The ending was heavy on the narrative with hardly any dialogue or direct action. And for this reason, I'd have felt pretty let down with the ending (and, therefore, with the entire book) if I hadn't read the first two in the series. Yes, tie up your story and get out, but don't shortchange the readers who have come this far with you. Give me meat, right up until the last page, and I'll love you forever.

Overall: Disappointing. Usually when I buy a book, it's because I know I will almost certainly want to read it again. And again and again. With Mockingjay, though, I'm seriously considering a donation to the local library...

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Best-case scenario

Writers Festival. Brilliant authors everywhere. Amazing sessions with lots to learn. What's the best-case scenario you can think of with that?

Too hard to think of only one, right?

Well today, I got one of my best-case scenarios!

I was sitting in a session about fiction vs. non-fiction when someone in the row behind me made a comment. I turned to see it was none other than Mohezin Tejani, an author I had heard speak yesterday and was totally amazed by!

So, being the eager beaver that I am, I caught up with him after the session to get his thoughts on assimilation (he's lived all over the world and is, essentially, a world citizen), writing and, if I'm being honest, anything else I can think of on the spot:)

Sure enough, "Mo" did not disappoint. For the next half hour, we had what I thought was a very stimulating conversation. He listened to my questions and gave sincere answers, throwing in the intriguing anecdote here and there.

He had such wonderful words of wisdom that I went away wishing I'd had the nerve to ask if I could record our conversation. (Although, I did quickly write down notes of whatever I could possibly remember afterwards. That'll have to suffice.)

It was such an amazing experience, and I'm so grateful that he took the time to speak with me. Hopefully I'll hear from him soon, as he said he'll send me a piece he wrote (for both my consideration and feedback). But even if I never do, I'll have taken away some invaluable advice from a wonderful man and author!

Thanks, Mo!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Melbourne Writers' Festival

I'm on my way, folks! To the MWF, of course. So excited! I'm really looking forward to learning from the amazing authors that are presenting. And I'm very excited about the book launches as well. Today will be pretty much non-stop - only half an hour between all my sessions, starting at 10 and finishing up at 6:30. And then going right back for another round tomorrow! :)

Now, quick update: I'm mostly reading screenplays at the moment. Although, I did cave and buy a novel when I happened upon it at the bookstore yesterday. I mean, c'mon, it's Mockingjay, people!! :) I've been editing a few stories and working on an essay, hopefully for publication, not to mention the schoolwork. And of course, I'm mulling over my screenplay. I've just thrown two unlikely companions into a deadly jungle, so now I've got to figure out what's going to happen to them...

Any suggestions? ;)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Aviator

So it's been kinda quiet on my blog. Apologies, friends:) See, I've just been a little distracted lately, really discovering the screenplay. It's such a different form and, for a visual person like me, can be hugely entertaining in its own way.

I workshopped the first chunk of my screenplay, and got a positive response, excepting the flowery descriptives. I really need to tighten my writing here. So to learn more about scripts and how they're supposed to read, I'm studying The Aviator (written by John Logan, directed by Martin Scorcese) at the moment. I'd seen the movie ages ago, but reading the screenplay is its own experience. You really see into Howard's (the main character) intense obsessions (he's a serious germaphobe).

And of course, I'm seeing the structure of the script itself, and realizing where I've gone wrong in my own writing. (The mental to do list is in full swing, guys!)

Reading this script has definitely made me see that I could easily fall in love with the form. And maybe one day, I'll finally see a script of mine playing onscreen (instead of only in my mind's eye). How awesome would that be?? Note to self: write a brilliant screenplay and get it made!!!

Recommended reading: The Aviator script. Or any others that have been made:) The local library should have at least a few to choose from.

Happy reading and writing!!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Switching gears...or trying to, at least :)

The first re-write of my novel is coming along nicely. It's crazy to be able look at it and see where the underlying issues are. That kind of thing always seemed too abstract for me to understand, but now that I'm actually doing it, it's a breeze. (Noticing it, that is. Actually fixing it will be a whole different post...)

I've ordered my free proof copy (courtesy of CreateSpace and NaNoWriMo) and I'm pretty eager to get it in. Not that anyone will be allowed to read it (it's completely unedited). It's more just to be able to have it in my hands and get the ego boost that I think every writer needs to keep going. If holding the printed manuscript was such an exciting moment, I can only imagine how I'll feel when it's a paperback book I'm holding instead:p

I'm also pretty stoked about how my screenplay is coming along. I've played around with my recently-downloaded screenwriting software and that's been its own motivation to get more scenes written. Hopefully by the time I have to submit the first portion of my screenplay for an assignment on Friday, it'll be a good start to the best first script ever written:) Lofty ambitions, I know... Humor me;)

And last night, I had one of those dreams that lots of writers hope for - the one with a brilliant idea for that next project. I've been trying to come up with the right story for this year's NaNo with no luck. But last night's dream was absolutely what I needed. It's emotional and raw and totally workable. And the best part is, now's the perfect time to get it - I've got just long enough to research, plan, or simply mull it over before the chaos of NaNoWriMo starts in November.

Now, does anybody have any tips on switching gears from one project to the next and back again?? I think I'll need all the help I can get;)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Ah, the life of a writer, er, I mean, transcriptionist!

Okay, I'm finally into the revision stage on my book (though this first revision is less for substance and more for polishing the first draft to be presentable enough for my free proof copy). So far, I'm really loving this part far more than the actual writing. There's a lot to be said for having material in front of you to work with.

I've chopped, changed, cut and amended my way through the first couple of chapters and I'm relatively happy with how the edits are coming along. One thing I noticed this morning was that I was skipping over certain portions of dialogue, sort of thinking to myself, No, I don't need to change that - that's what she said. !!

So does that mean I've gotten the dialogue right? If so, it might provide an excellent guide to the story and make my job that much easier! And on the other hand, I should be able to recognize when the dialogue isn't working if it doesn't feel like my characters actually said it. Right?

It's such an interesting experience, revising. Definitely not something I expected, but totally enjoyable in a whole new way:)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Feel the love:)

It's important to have a good support system in every dream you pursue. No secret there. But when you actually realize you have it, the feeling you get is amazing!

Cam was sick this past week and he had plenty of time to think about our lives and where we are along our journey. When he finally got better, he had a long talk with me about the goals that we're aiming for. He told me how very important my writing is to him and that he wants to do whatever he can to support me in pursuing my dreams.

Awwww!!!

Now, I love my husband. I loved him before and would've loved him just the same even without hearing that. But knowing how much my ambitions mean to him has shown me just how much he means to me.

And that is something I cherish. I only hope everyone else has it, too:)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

A movie moment :)

So I'm working on my outline for the screenplay I'll be writing for school. It's edifying, but frustrating at the same time - I can be creative and adventurous, but I'll only ever be satisfied when I see my work portrayed on screen.

Like I said, frustrating.

Still, if I can visualize the scenes, at least in my own mind, then I have some sense of what the finished product will be like. But that's about the extent of it, right?

The other day, I was listening to the Florence & The Machine album for the first time when I came across a song that I totally love. I set it to replay and enjoyed the track for the next hour, considering my screenplay the whole time. Then, totally unexpectedly, I realized that the song would be 110% brilliant as the soundtrack for one particular scene. I'm talking make your knees shake and your neck sweat brilliant. I grinned like a moron and very nearly cried at the thrill of it...

So since then, I've been replaying the song and the scene in my head on a continuous loop. I've so got to get this thing written! Even if for no other reason than to give at least one beta reader the same rush that I got.

Any volunteers? :)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Contemplative Post...

My book is sitting in a drawer (well not literally, but you get the point). Last night I finished reading a (rather disappointing) book that I got from the library earlier this week. And I have plenty of school sessions to keep me busy.

Still, I'm feeling that spark that tells me creativity is what I need right now. My own creativity. I need to write, and I need to write big. I need a new project!

Last night as I was falling asleep considering what my project could be, I had so many wonderful ideas to work with. But of course, because I was half-asleep, I didn't do anything with those ideas. And as often happens when I get a few bedtime epiphanies, I thought, "Oh that's a great idea! There's NO way I'll forget that by the morning!" And that's all I remembered when I woke up...

Which makes me wonder: How many amazing ideas have been lost to sleepy forgetfulness and our own over-confidence? If I've had so many of these flashes of inspiration, surely most other writers do too, right? And how brilliant might those ideas have been if given the chance to grow and develop?

Commitment time! I promise to always write/scribble/chicken scratch whatever ideas come to me when I'm in bed, no matter how tired I am. Sure, those ideas may sit around in the pages of my bedside notebook, untouched for months, years or forever. But I refuse to let them be lost to my own forgetfulness!

Hmm, I need a battle cry here...

Um.

CHARGE!!! :p

Monday, May 10, 2010

I've finally done it!

Last Friday, I finally finished the first draft of my first novel! It's such an amazing feeling to hold that manuscript in my hands, to flip through the pages, and know that I wrote those words! The elation that I felt when seeing my manuscript in print for the first time was unreal. (I'd give a detailed description of my victory dance, but as I'm sure you can imagine, whatever rhythm I have was lost in that moment...)

Anyway, I've got a lot of work to do until my book is ready for an agent. Luckily, though, I'm learning so much through my course that will make the rewrite better in the end. That's not to say it will be easy to get to the end. (I foresee a much longer future to this project than I initially expected...) Still, I know that I can do it. If not for the sheer power of my own determination, then certainly because I've already come this far!

I think I need some fireworks now:)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Ah, the joys of a deadline...

I signed up for this, right? So I can't really complain that I have WAY too much writing to do. Right? Yeah. I thought so.

Today's the deadline for a short story contest that I'm entering, and I'm feeling good about the piece I wrote. It's in a voice that's new to me, and I think I managed to get it just right. Although there are some tweaks that could be made if I hadn't procrastinated. Yet again. ;)

Anyway, I'm convinced I'll be swamped today (once I can safely say I've spent enough birthday time with my 4-year-old) with catching up on assignments that have been sitting around waiting for me to get them done. I have read through everything and made notes on my discussion posts, so it's not as bad as I seem to think. Still, it's pretty time-consuming to sit down at the computer and get them caught up. So that leaves no doubt as to what I'll be doing on my Saturday night:) (I say that like I ever do anything spectacular on a Saturday night...)

My book is on hold at the moment. The deadlines did it! :) Nah, it's good anyway. I've written to the point where I could just end it now if I wanted to, and it's a surprisingly emotional experience to realize that. All of a sudden, this book is my baby, and I don't want the ride to end yet! The last day I worked on it was...Monday? And since then, I've had a new fondness for my book that's totally new. How can I describe it? It's like I'm saying goodbye to someone I love for the last time. Yeah, that's it. Am I the only one here? Surely I can't be.

Right?

(Sorry for the rambling...early Saturday mornings are never my best time!)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Writing is talking. So let's talk:)

Wow, it's been a while since my last post. Things have definitely changed in our house over the last few weeks. My husband quit work, I returned to work, and he got really sick (in bed with Kleine-Levin Syndrome at the moment). I was able to relax from school work over the holidays, but the lesson modules are back with a vengeance! Factor in the stress of shuffling kids around, caring for the bed-bound, getting to and from work myself, and then making sure everything's ready to do it all again the next day and you've got a pretty clear picture of what my days are like right about now.

So it goes.

Anyway, I've started reading a nice little writing book that I grabbed from the library (because it seemed to tie in nicely with the course I'm doing), and I came across a lovely piece of advice that I've used once before without even realizing it. According to the author, writing should sound like talking, a conversation between writer and reader. Only then will your writing flow in a way that reaches people and resonates with them. (Think of how fun it is to read a technical manual of any kind and you'll get what I'm talking about.)

That said, I'll mention that my book is thisclose to the end (like, in the very last scene), but I've hit yet another block. What to do? What to do with my characters who are showing their true colors only to disappoint me?? Can I use that? Surely there's got to be a way that I can. But how do I figure that out??

I know! I'll talk to myself!! (The best conversation I'll ever have...haha! Sorry, just had to throw that in.) Anyway, I blogged once before about the usefulness of that practice. I guess it just stands to reason that I'll do it again, only this time allowing the process to continue on into the writing itself.

Awesome! I so can't wait for my next writing session... Now when will that be??

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

So apparently, I'm still in love.

With my novel, that is. (Don't worry, the hubby and I are doing fine. But for the sake of this post, let's assume my true love is my WIP, shall we?)

I've made no secret of the fact that working on my novel has been a slog. I got to a point in the book that was just not interesting to me in any way. Hence the hiatus and the whining and complaining about the capabilities I do or don't have.... You get the picture.

Well, I've finally gotten to a point where I LOVE this book again. How do I know? Because I just cried for my main character. The poor guy, he's really getting the raw deal at the moment. Good for me, not so good for him.

Okay, wait. Before you think I'm some sadistic writer who gets her thrills from putting a good guy through the worst pain, give me a chance to defend myself here. I cried for him. That means that what I'm writing is some pretty emotional stuff to write. And if it's emotional to write, the chances are fairly good that it'll be emotional to read. And THAT is what I aspire to - creating things that will bring out my readers' emotions. It means I'm getting my point across.

So, yay! Yay for sticking my guy in the worst possible situation without any foreseeable means to escape or save the day!

Now all I've gotta do is figure out his means to escape and save the day...

Uh, yeah. I'll get back to you on that one.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

It's crazy how things work out :)

So at the beginning of the year (I say that like the year is already half-way over), I set my goals. You may remember them? From a previous post? No?

Okay, I'll remind ya:

1. Finish my book and submit it to a few well-chosen agents;
2. Write another book for my sister-in-law;
3. Get my Certificate IV in Professional Writing and Editing; and
4. Collaborate with my musician friend to get some amazing songs written.

Phew. I'm winded just thinking about all that again. So obviously, I took on a pretty big year. And if I'm being honest, I really started to feel the pressure after I posted those goals - if I'm gonna put them all out there, I sure as hell better live up to them!

But things have taken a nice leisurely turn into a way for me to actually accomplish what I set out to do. I've started the course (and am loving every minute of it), and it's already teaching me things I needed to know for my book. Also, part of the course is a section on screenwriting and, desperate for a good idea to work with, I decided to peruse all of my old writing notebooks in search of something I could adapt into a script. Instead, I found some lyrics I wrote a few years ago that could fit in perfectly with my musician friend's latest acoustic piece. Yay! And finally, still short of a screenplay idea, the light bulb clicked on and I decided to write my sister-in-law her very own screenplay instead of a novel. I already had the ideas, characters, setting, etc. worked out, so it was a no-brainer to just use it. (She's thrilled, by the way.)

And as the icing on my cake, I've discovered that I would love, love, LOVE to be a freelance editor one day. As a way to fund my writing career, of course!

So that's it - my realization that your goals don't have work against you and that there's no reason not to put yourself out there and just go for gold :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The secret to my happiness!

The holiday season is wonderful! The family, the gift-giving, everything. Everything, that is, except for the writing hiatus that - at least for me - is unavoidable.

Until this week, I've hardly written anything in the last couple of months. Granted, much of that is because having two boys off of school for the summer required almost all of my attention. Still, I've felt so disconnected from my writing, and that is NOT a good feeling. Seriously. I get crabby and stressed when I don't write. Not a good combination for me.

But this week provided the perfect incentive to fire up the engines again: a deadline for a submission. I started my story a few days ago (procrastinate much, Rebekah?) and just finished the second half in the last hour (including a few minutes of internet research). That's the kind of writing I love - the rush of words that gets the bones of the story down, followed up with a few revisions to tweak everything in just the right places.

And so, now that I've sent off my story, I can sit back and relish the feeling of accomplishment. Sure, my work may not be accepted. But I've finished a story that I'm proud of, one that expresses what I wanted it to and in exactly the right way. And more importantly, I've reconnected with my old friend, rekindled that old flame, and remembered the passion I have for writing.

Friday, January 22, 2010

I am so in need of some assistance!

Okay, so just as I suspected, I totally suck at writing an action scene. At least I think I do. I mean, I definitely know what happens - the visual in my head is running on a continuous loop at the moment. But I can't write it out without getting a laundry list feel of the action. And I know I need description, but any time I try some here and there, it seems to just get in the way and slow things down.

So...I would LOVE for YOU to help me out. What can you tell me about any action scenes you've ever read - surely there's been at least one, right?? - that appealed to you? I need tips, feedback, anything you can give me to avoid another dead month. A little help, please?

Please??

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Ah, the thrill of the fight...

Okay, so I've slacked. Big time. I've procrastinated and justified my way through the last month with only minimal advances made on my book.

Why?

I could lay out all the possible reasons, the contributing factors that kept me away from the keyboard. But that would be justifying, right? And I've always said (though I struggle to always practice the notion) that if you have to justify something, then it's wrong. Period.

That said, I am intimidated by the problem I - or better yet, my characters - face. The Climax. I've read some great action scenes. And I've seen even more amazing ones played out on the silver screen. Yet, I can't bring myself to get into the details of the scene that plays in my mind, the scene where my poor main character - currently standing just outside the danger zone, waiting for me to plunge him into the action - is thrown into the lion's den and, subsequently, impending doom. I don't know - or at least I don't think I know - how to write an action scene!

Still, I'll never figure it out if I don't jump in, head first...

So I guess I'll stop talking and get to work. See you on the other side!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Four goals in one year ... Am I insane???

Okay, so obviously the first goal I'm tackling this year is to get this book finished. And by that I mean totally drafted, revised, polished and submitted. Sure, that was on the list already. But now that I've realized a major change I need to make before I move on, just finishing the first draft will be a huge success once I get to The End. So yes, getting this book finished is my first goal.

Secondly, I've volunteered (mental case that I am) to write a book for my sister-in-law who is in desperate need of another good urban fantasy to read. Yeah. I'm an idiot. But in my defense, I did tell her that I'll only give her a chapter at a time. At least that way, I can look at it more like writing a stack of short stories instead of one huge, daunting project.

So number three, a writing course. This is a correspondence certificate in Professional Writing and Editing, similar to a diploma in the States. I wasn't really worried about doing it until I spoke to a course coordinator who stressed what a massive undertaking the course can be. Truth be told, I considered putting it off for a year or two. But I know that if I do wait, then I probably won't ever do the course at all. And besides, I'm just too excited about starting it to miss out.

And coming in at number four is songwriting. Yes, you read correctly. See, back in 2008, I wrote some lyrics for a musician friend who actually moved here to Australia around the same time that we did. (Coincidentally, he lives only a few minutes away from us.) We've had a chat and decided that this year, we'll do some songs. Mainly acoustic/folk stuff, but maybe some rock as well (he's closer to a metalhead, so it's a compromise). I'm excited, he's excited, it's a great combo:)

So that's what 2010 looks like for me. In theory, anyway. While I'm not so naive as to think it'll be easy to get those things done (I know I'm taking on a HUGE year), I don't want to consider which of those goals will suffer or *gasp* fail. And we all know that my priority is still my family, first and foremost. So if this is going to work, I'm going to have to just get stuck into it and go.

May 2010 be as massive for you as I'm hoping it'll be for me!!