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Writing Update

You were supposed to see this post at the end of July, I know. Apologies. I’m more scatterbrained than usual lately and I forgot. But better late than never, right?

The writing has been going exceptionally well. After The Great Word Draught of 2017, I never imagined I’d be writing so much, especially now that The Physician’s Apprentice has been completed (again).

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Before you Share…

It’s a normal Tuesday and you’re scrolling Facebook. Everything has been going great today and you feel chipper. You’re happy for your cousin who’s pregnant again, you like the pic of that high school friend’s new puppy and you laugh at the ridiculous Star Wars meme.

The following post though, it ruins your day.

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Write by the Rules

I read an article this morning about why you should write romance novels only in third person point of view. In the past few weeks, a few people made comments on the writer’s groups I belong to about writing in a certain point of view and being criticised for their choice.

I gag a little in my mouth every time I read something along these lines.

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Writing, as Taught by Kids’ TV Shows

A year or so ago, I read a writing exercise idea on a blog that changed the way I view watching TV. The blogger in question would make notes of, then dissect the episode she was watching. She’d figure out which plot points worked, which didn’t, where the dialogue fell flat, where it rocked, and how she would have improved the episode. By doing this, she swore she learned better writing techniques. (I’m sorry I can’t find the link to this article now.)

I’ve never taken an episode apart like that, but I haven’t really viewed anything on the telly in the same way either. This thing about learning better writing from TV has remained in the back of my mind, so my viewing has become more critical.

MLP Suits

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Help a Blogger Out

Here’s an interesting turn of events. I don’t know what to blog about.

At first, I couldn’t understand what the hell this caused this sluggishness. Sure, blogging is difficult sometimes. I’ve been doing this for six years and I know ideas dry up at some point. That’s why the blog changed its direction even before I moved here from the Couch. Still, I was on a roll a while back, so this drought is both unexpected and seriously annoying.

Help a Blogger

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Uninspired

Some days, it’s difficult to get inspired. I’m having one of those days. I talked about this problem on Friday too, so you’ll know about my predicament if you’ve been around the blog.

The recap version? Today, I have no idea what to blog about and I don’t have the drive to put in any real effort. #yayhonesty This is me winging it.

UINSPIRED

A quick Google search on ‘how to find inspiration’ offers some basic results. Take a walk, read a book, listen to music. You get the general idea.

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Being in the Moment

A while ago, a friend suggested that I write something on this topic. Yea, I’ve been trying. Do I have a nice, glowy outcome planned for this post? No. Not at all. #idontknowwhatimdoing

All I know is that this is something I struggle with immensely, especially when I’m obsessing. As in now.

Being in the moment is difficult enough in our day-to-day lives. I mean, we’re bombarded with things to consume from all angles. We can access anything from our phones, which means from anywhere we have wifi reception. So checking Twitter while at a coffee date with a friend is totally doable, and also kind of the norm.

BEING

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Book Review – Raven Kin

It’s a well-known fact (at least if you’ve hung around the blog) that I really admire my editor, Nerine Dorman. She’s taught me so much about writing that I barely recognise my old work these days, and I’m hopefully still improving.

A while back, I grabbed a compilation four of her stories on Amazon. No, I’m not a stalker! *creeps back into my dark corner* I got it for research. Really, to learn. Obviously, I learned something, or I wouldn’t be writing this. 😀 So, this entire post may read like a big quest to gain brownie points, which is why I’ve been putting it off for so long.

The truth is I want to howl at the moon over this novel.

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You Are What You Make

I’ve been watching Tessa Violet for around two years now and she’s become one of my favourite YouTubers. Why? Well, she’s what I’m not. 🙂 She shares, openly, all of her thoughts and fears, and even rethinks some of her older video topics. If she’s evolved, she’ll explain how she’s learned to accept parts of herself that she previously denied or disliked.

I find that both brave and admirable. Sharing so much of yourself on the internet is (IMO) a scary choice, but it’s also a great way to document growth. And that’s what I’m attempting.

To continue Monday’s tone, I’d like to share some of my thoughts on handling creativity while dealing with angst, in a kind of late reply to a video of Tessa’s. Hers is specifically about creativity and depression, but I find many of the core ideas are totally relatable even when measured against mental issues other than depression.

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Downtime

Hi there.

I know Mondays are supposed to be for Weekends in Pictures, but this weekend didn’t go down in that kind of way. While I do have a few photos, they’re just of stolen moments in between, and I want to keep them for our personal records.

So, this is another update post, to keep you informed and my schedule running. 🙂

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Sympathy

In a way, this is a continuation of my train of thought from the stigma post. Maybe you want to click there before you continue. 🙂

sympathy

For the most part, this post focusses on someone who suffers in silence, but the general message can be applied to anyone who is hurting – even when they freely talk about it. With that said, let’s get to it.

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A Quick Update

Nothing feels real in my life anymore until I share it here. ◄ That’s healthy. 😛

I had some awesome news this week and I want to share it with you. You know, so it becomes real.

update

I belong to a writer’s group and they’re releasing an anthology later this year. Submissions opened November 2016, with the theme ‘elements’. I figured I’d submit – a thing that came loaded with first-timer’s angst. I didn’t believe I’d be selected, but there’s nothing lost in trying, right? What can go wrong when your story is scrutinised and poked at by people with much more experience than you?  *Yolandie laughs forever*

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Book Review- The Real

The truth is, I’m not good at writing reviews. Not at all. It’s difficult to explain why you love something without including spoilers, nerve-wracking to find the good points in something meh, and I don’t even want to go into didn’t-like territory.

This book though, speaks for itself. It made me feel things. I held my breath and my heart made little jumps at times. I bit my lip until it was raw. I smiled when I caught up with Elke and Meisje, and went along with whatever Ndlela and Isabeau got up to. I laughed aloud a time or two. The ‘oh shit’ moments made me afraid to turn the page, even when I couldn’t not turn the page. My husband laughed at my reactions more than once, so it entertained him too. 😛

This is the kind of book that will stay with you forever, with the kind of characters that become your tribe. To say I loved it feels too weak, like I want to add a million exclamation marks to bring the thought across!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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On Stigma

I guess I should make it clear from the get-go that this is going to focus on mental issues, though you could probably use the message for any other kind of stigma too. I don’t know yet, I’ve just begun to write this post. 😛

This is a topic close to my heart. It’s one I’ve failed to voice too frequently. In fact, I failed yesterday when an opportunity presented itself.

A big promoter of stigma is false information – a thing we spread or allow to keep spreading too easily. So. This is my chance to redeem myself and add some facts to my ramblings. Please click the links, learn something, and hopefully, understand certain illnesses better.

 

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Stuff for Writers

When you tell people you’re writing a novel, they’ll probably react in one of three ways. 1) You’re insane. 2) Ooh, that’s cool! 3) You know, I’ve always wanted to write a novel (this, by the way, is said with the greatest frequency). This post is for everyone in the third group.

I’ve been following some authors on YouTube (because what can’t YouTube teach you) and I thought I’d share some of their stuff with you today.

Writers

 

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The Threes

My kid will turn three in under a week, can you believe it? I struggle to.

Kayla is a happy, sweet little person. She loves to cuddle and kiss and say ‘I love you, Mama’, which obviously melts my heart. She and I have a blast together, and that’s a good thing, considering she’s home with me all the time. Honestly, I adore her and being her mom.

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To Be Proud

When I first started writing, I had no idea what I was doing. I still don’t, but I’m growing. If there’s one thing in life I hate, it’s stagnating. I’ve mentioned this before.

Where writing is concerned, I really think I have grown and I try to learn more with every word squeezed out through my fingertips. All I want to do is share the stories in my mind with you, in such a way that you and I pass something between us telepathically, like Stephen King says. I want the stories that keep me up at night, to keep you up too.

So, growing.

These are my first babies.

Books Comp

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Story Cube Challenge – Week 10

Hi there!

I’m happy to report that I’ve broken the 10,000 word mark for this week. Coming up for air to type this post feels strange, as if I’m going to be struck by lightning for doing anything other than work on my book. This isn’t even really coming up for air, because I’M STILL TYPING! Good grief, I’m strange. I think this is the problem anyone with a naturally obsessive personality will face. And also, that obsessive personality is going to make me hurry this, so I can get back to work. 😛

So, this our hero this week:

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Story Cube Challenge – Week 9

Hello there.

You may have noticed that things look a little different here. This is due to a bout of website-altering creativity that took me by surprise during the week. I was never completely satisfied with the way things looked on the website, but I’m glad to report that I feel a lot better about all of it now. So, please, jump around the site and let me know what you think, where it can improve and what you like. Also, stick around to the end of the post for some announcements.

Week 9’s hero looks like this:

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Story Cube Challenge – Week 8

Hello there.

So, this is week 8 of the #storycubechallenge. Once again, I left my story to the last possible moment. I don’t know why I do this to myself, but in my defence, it was a crazy week with a sick 2-year old. At least I wrote something.

I’m also working on a short story that I plan to submit to an anthology and I got back my editor‘s notes on The Physician’s Apprentice. A lot of brainstorming and prep for a new round of revisions have been happening. Watch this space.

If you missed the place where all of this began, here’s week 1. Also, week 7 and the Pinterest board for the story cubes.

Here’s our hero for week 8:

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Story Cube Challenge – Week 7

Hello there, friends!

So, this is week 7 of the #storycubechallenge already. This week, I actually wrote something. Yeehaw for schedules. The cubes for this story certainly made more sense to me than those ones did last week. 😛

If you’re new to this, here’s where it all started. I also have a Pinterest board for the cubes, check that out here. If you’re participating in this challenge, please use the #storycubechallenge on social media, and I’ll go have a look and thumbs up!

OK, this is how our hero will look in week 7:

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Story Cube Challenge – Week 5

You’re not going to believe this.

This week, I actually wrote the story cube story on Monday. No, not so late last night that I couldn’t focus on the keyboard anymore, on MONDAY. What’s happening? I feel like I don’t know myself anymore.

I don’t want to jinx everything by saying that writing all of this getting easier with time. Especially not after seeing the cubes for week 5.

Good. Grief.

Not to discourage you, or anything. 😛

These are the hero cubes for week 5.

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Story Cube Challenge – Week 4

Hello there. It’s that time of the week again!

I seriously hope someone out there is doing this challenge with me, because I don’t have anyone to complain to. 😛 It’s challenging, that’s for sure. But it’s also kind of fun. It is getting easier to get the story going, once I have a basic idea of what the story should be. My husband has been an incredible aid in working out that part. He comes up with the story and I just write.

In case you missed it, click here for last week’s cubes.

This is how our hero looks this week.

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Story Cube Challenge – Week 3

Why do weeks move so quickly when you’re supposed to be writing for a story challenge you created yourself? I find myself doing anything BUT working on the cubes, until the night before. I really need to time manage better and procrastinate less. In the words of my friend Charlie Brown. Good. Grief.

Before I get to the cubes, I’ve created a Pinterest board for the challenge, because a reader asked me to. You can follow the board if you want to, so you’ll have all of the cube photos in order and in the same place. You know, without having to search through all of my random waffling. 😛

Here’s what you’ve missed if you’re new.

Week 1
Week 2

Please remember to use #storycubechallenge if you’re planning to upload your story somewhere, then I’ll have a look and give it a like.

Create a hero :

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Story Cube Challenge – Week 2

Well, that was more interesting than I anticipated…

Here we are in week two of the story cube challenge. I’ll just say that this thing lived up to it’s name. Making a story out of pictures was challenging, but heck, I did it! Woot woot! Did you? Please link me to your story, I’d love to see what you got out of it!

If you want a recap of last week’s cubes and the rules, here’s the link.

This is what our hero looks like this week:

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Story Cube Challenge – Week 1

This year for my birthday, I wanted something different. When Jan spotted Rory’s Story Cubes on Amazon, I was immediately sold.

You think I’m mad, don’t you? What would a 31-year-old mom want with story cubes? Well, inspiration. I find, as a writer, that the writing prompts online are few and far between, and the ones that are available are so, so tired.

So, I got story cubes for my birthday.

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Write What You Know…

I’ve been following a lot of writing coaches, editors and authors via social media and blogs lately, and I’ve learned a TON about writing. The things to avoid, to embrace and habits to form to become a better writer have really impacted me. It also scares me.

When I sit down to write now, I’m so caught up in what not to do, that I feel like I’ve forgotten how to write. 😛 Even so, I have to admit that there’s a notable improvement, though it still isn’t flawless. I’ll keep working at it. There’s no such thing as a perfect writer, but we can aspire.

One of the most freely floating bits of advice is to write what you know and that’s what I want to talk about today.

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It’s Chaotic

First of all, I’d like to thank everyone for their condolences and beautiful words concerning my grandmother. If you missed it, my gran passed away last week. It wasn’t a surprise, because she was sick for a long time before she passed. It still hurts though. I wrote a tribute to my grandma here.

Since this is a current chaos post, I want to start you off with the song I’m listening to on repeat at the moment. It’s called ‘Build me up from bones’ by Sarah Jarosz. It’s amazing.

If you’ve been following the blog and had a look at my social media (check it out in the sidebar), you’ll know that my editor, Nerine, suggested I flesh out the world where my new series will take place. This added work is my own fault, sure. I finished The Physician’s Apprentice’s first draft in seven weeks, after all. If I had done all this stuff I’m doing now to begin with, it would have meant a lot less double work. Lesson learnt.

So, for close to two months now, I’ve been focussed on adding details and working out those things that don’t make sense in my world. Paired with my tendency to obsess, it’s been interesting.

Picture

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Current Chaos – The Editing Game

So, it’s finally happened. I got the notes back from my editor a while ago and since then, only writing has been on my mind.

Let me first fill you in. I went through a bit of a bad patch last year with an editor. Not because of bad critique, but because of the complete lack of critique (there were only a handful of corrections throughout the entire novel). I don’t want to make a bad situation worse by muddying someone’s name. But I will say that when you pay someone for a service and they don’t provide that service at all, anyone would be angry.

Taking the step to hire an editor is a big one. Anyone in a creative field – or any field where your work will be dissected and scrutinized – will know how difficult it is to trust someone with your creative baby. Editors are there to tell you where you screwed up, whether it concerns grammar to characters acting crazy. It’s their flipping job to pull your work apart and tell you where you can improve it. THAT is what you pay them for.

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This Mothering Thing

I often wonder when the exact point is when a person becomes a mother. And I don’t mean the ‘having the kid’ part. I mean the internal shift to ‘mothering’. Is there a moment when you suddenly just know instinctively what to do? Do you have to learn how to mother? It’s probably different for everyone, so I can’t claim to know the answer.

What I do know is that I was that woman who never handled babies before they were at least three months old. I never changed another kid’s diaper (and I still haven’t) and I gladly gave them back to their mommies when the tears started coming (and I still do).

And then I had my own kid. I was terrified before she was born, because I had so little experience with babies. What if I couldn’t dress her, because she’d be so little? What if that I sucked at changing diapers or couldn’t bathe her? What if she cried and I couldn’t soothe her? What if I couldn’t feed her? What if she woke up in the middle of the night and I didn’t? What if, what if, what if?!?!

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