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Posts Tagged ‘writing’

It’s gratifying, really, to land yourself a tiny freelance writing job on the side. Since time immemorial I have wanted to earn money by writing… and experience deadlines.

A deadline is something that resembles a tip of a loaded gun pointed at your temple. Or a ticking timebomb. The deadline is something terrifying for me because I’m a bloody lazyass and it makes me want to curl up in a ball and whimper my days and nights away.

The deadline also forces me to do my best, even if it’s a last-minute best. I still meet the deadline ’cause I am so terrified of being a – quoth Twilight Sparkle – tardy.

It is quite easy for me to fall into the Pit of Desperation once the deadline is nearing its end. All because of me taking everything so seriously.

Instead, I ought to wind down a little bit, sip my favourite coffee, watch the clouds drift in the gray Irish skies and stop taking every single thing, every single moment of my life, every single mistake (be it a writing one or not) so seriously! This is what hinders me the most, to my mind.

This is what hinders my writing, my actions, my positive attitude.

So it’s best to remember that other people are not monsters and will not cut your head off if you don’t meet your deadline once due to personal problems.

 

What is more, the deadline set by a stranger is more powerful than the deadline you impose on yourself. So you have to give it everything you’ve got. In the end, it really pays off.

Stop worrying, self, and fill your days with reading and writing. It’s the least you can do to make yourself happy.

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Jumping on the Six Sentence Sunday bandwagon. Do I hear a collective sigh or hoorays?

(I think I hear crickets.)

The Blacklands is my main novel. Main meaning: my first baby and the first novel to get published. Main, as in: every other novel/short story idea that has ever sprouted from my brain’s soil is somehow connected to this one. I have been working on The Blacklands for a really long time now. Should have finished the first draft by the end of 2011 but my laziness got in the way and ruined everything. Same old, same old.

I only have myself to blame.

With the arrival of 2012 I decided to put my heart into it. So far it’s working.

Here’s a snippet for you! The Severan Thieves Guild and the protagonist – Anfimeier – at your service:

Burglars and thieves, this collective bunch were, but not back-stabbers, no: they had decency and good manners engraved into their souls, despite being outlaws. No one would dare steal loot from another thief, though, as that would call for an execution, and everyone cherished having two hands.

Not that he would trust any of them to begin with. Guarding another thief’s possessions while they were out on a mission was not a wise thing to do, under any circumstances; the Severan thieves knew better than to put trust in each other.

Cheats, burglars, pick-pockets, looters, swindlers, pirates – all of them.

A family of a sort, Anfimeier thought fondly, locking his hands behind his head and relaxing in the chair.

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The OfThePistol community for original fiction I have recently joined provided its members with a wonderful prompt.

I decided to share my response to said prompt in here. In this particular piece, two OCs from my 2009 NaNovel (an unfinished one, alas!) have been brought to life yet again. Unforseen, that; strangely liberating. Confusing, too. They have been silent for so long, these two, I haven’t the slightest as to why they re-appeared. I’m glad, though.

On with the prompt response, then~!

There is this hissing noise at first; she backs away slowly. The firework makes its way upwards, arrow-like and still hissing, booms overhead and sprays orange-red sparks in all directions. They highlight the night for a short while. Other colourful fountains join in and the sky’s blooming. The sky seems happy.
Emma looks at Henry; as opposed to the sky, the man appears irritated.

“Happy New Year,” she finally says.

“You too,” comes the reply, a strained one. “We should go back,” he almost growls, hands balling into fists.

She merely stares back.

“We have to – ”

“You know, I haven’t celebrated New Year for five years. This year, my brother promised to visit me, make it worthwhile. He’s not here, though, all thanks to you.”

You have to let me linger this time, her gaze tells him.

Henry frowns. Emma knows she went too far. Her brother will never be anywhere again. Unless he is, miraculously, alive; unless she finds him in a different timeline. She turns her back to Henry and observes the fireworks, wishing she hadn’t said anything, wishing she was at home, huddled in her rocking chair, sobbing into her blanket, wishing everything was different.

Now she’s with him.

She blames Henry, constantly, but he never walks away.

I have you, you should be enough.

Henry gulps down whatever alcohol’s left in his bottle, walks up to Emma and they remain there, never rejoicing, never exchanging looks or words, and the time flows by way too fast.

We only have each other.

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For me the hardest part of the writing process is not paying attention to possible grammar and structural mistakes or dwelling on the first pages for too long. Regardless of how inspired I feel, the moment can get ruined (quite cruelly at that), since I cannot bring myself to focus on the writing itself; I already skip to tweaking whatever words I’ve managed to spit out, correcting a plethora of mistakes that may not actually be there… chiselling, shaping it into what, by my standards, might be perfection.

This is a mistake every writer should avoid doing.

The time for corrections and polishing your baby will come soon enough – for now you ought to be entirely immersed in the notion of sharing the story, getting to know the characters.. Not the most tiresome and boring process. Once you plunge into the depths of correcting and thesaurus-ing (don’t ask), you become nervous. You shy away from writing more because somehow you make yourself believe that you’re not good enough if you gave birth to so many errors! At least that’s the case with me.

Your self-esteem and the will to fight may, as a result, wither away, slowly, deliberately giving way to higher expectations.

Don’t do this. Focus on the joy of telling a story instead. Focus on unfolding history, doing research, an occasional rendez-vous with the lovely and charming thesaurus (spending every minute with the guy can be destructive for your relationship), but don’t overdo it. Too many cooks spoil the broth, as they say.

Nowadays, I tend to ditch the urge to go back and check everything I’ve typed/written by hand, as it has finally occurred to me that doing so inevitably leads to the Bloody Writer’s Block.
Said Bloody Writer’s Block usually clinges to me for weeks on end, months even, and eventually I am left with nothing, standing on the crossro… I mean, I feel abused by my own conviction (deeply rooted inside me since the beginnings of time) that my first draft should be perfect.

WRONG.

The second draft won’t be perfect, either. Same goes to the final draft! I am not telling you to suck big time and to pay little to no attention to what you’re scribbling. The point is, it’s what makes all authors different from one another. We make different mistakes, our outlooks on life are never the same, we create our own voices through those errors and victories. Every single one of us is unique and it shows through writing.

However, make sure you learn from your mistakes as you go because that’s important as well.

And happy writing!

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I had a hard time choosing the right poem, you know? I was seeking one that would not reveal too much, nor be too vague. Had to have something in the middle; a balance.

With the written word I strip myself bare, admit things I would have never utterred out loud, even to myself. Some of my works can easily be deemed incomprehensible, however, they all serve a purpose: to make myself comprehend how my mind works. With the written word comes a bargain I couldn’t refuse.

The bigger portion of my poems orbits around forest imagery; around lakes, rivers, waterscapes; around the darkness, the stars and the moon; around mythical surroundings that breathe life into them. This are my ‘panic rooms’, so to speak. Let’s take all this one step further, then!


I TURNED TO GAZE UPON A GROVE

I turned to gaze upon a grove

Those quivering grasses

Tall to my thighs, palms of my hands;

Air claims the trees

As they sway in the liquid rhythm

The greens, the browns

Crouching between the grays



The grove in which I was born

The dryads have tended to

By force of habit, by rule of the forest;

Their giggles flew right to the bark

And crawled inside it, feeding, testing,

Gorging the treacherous tree-leeches,

Bankrupt gone the evil worm world


With sunrays detached from the sight

At times the core of the woods is gloomy

Its ghost-like demeanour

Stings the eyes

Of the newcomers who do not see the

Miniscule sun-symbols carved into the bark;

A lion’s share is what’s inside



I turned to gaze upon a grove,

Arrived to clean the branches

Render it unblurred and seemly

The perfect house to dwell in

The shift in space

And time occurred

And I – the fresh air – remain still

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Hello, everyone!

I would like to revive my old review/booknerd blog.  Since I am quite intent on plunging into the publishing world in about two years, and have vowed to myself that I shall publish my own stories because they need to be told, this blog is – doubtlessly – something I ought to stick to. No matter what.

Being a Libra can be such a frustrating thing oftentimes.

Too many ideas, far too many ‘do-wants’, the overwhelming desire to try everything, be everything, experience everything.  And, in the interim, the actual goal is still very much untouched, awaiting my arrival at the Door of Logical Thinking.

Which I have succeeded at recently.

My ideal career would be post-editing, publishing and/or translating and writing fiction alongside it.

Because it is perfectly doable now, and I find myself determined at this point in life. Determined to do what I’m meant to be doing.

In the meantime I will let myself be myself and simply write.

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