Part Three of the Dead and Talking series is now published on Amazon worldwide.
Today was one of those tedious days at work. The hours seemed to tiptoe along at a snail’s pace. I’d completed my work within a couple of hours of getting into the office and was desperately trying to search for something else to do. Some days are like that and others are crammed with tasks which need doing yesterday. I prefer to be pushed – I need deadlines.
I hate being idle. I loathe being at work with nothing to do. I was so glad when my lunch hour arrived (yes, I took an hour today). I’d taken my obligatory notebook with me to the office kitchen/chill-out area and, whilst enjoying a pot of gorgeous home-made French onion soup from the little café down the road, I managed to sketch out the plot for the second part of my series. Gossip is rife and overheard snatches of conversation can be great fodder for a novel. I’m definitely of the persuasion that snatches of conversation, spoken in a public space, can be used and abused for other purposes, especially by someone writing a novel.
One of the most interesting things about working in a large office is the many different characters to be found therein. Some of them are rather eccentric (I’m desperately trying to become an eccentric), others are quiet and mouse-like, quite a few males, and not a few females, are loud and very opinionated – you know the type – their voices boom whenever they talk but they’re the first to look at others if their voices are impinging into their own workspace. Some think they’re extremely important and others just get on with their work. All types are represented in any large normal office environment.
Wait, what have I said? Normal? What, exactly, is normal – I’m certainly not normal – at least I don’t think I am. I don’t see anyone else writing furiously in a notebook every chance she gets. I don’t see anyone else surreptitiously eyeing up potential characters for their plots – although maybe someone else is and I’m going to end up in someone else’s novel… No, wait, I think that’s more along the lines of paranoia. I’m often meeting the eye of someone I’ve been eyeing up as a potential character in my next story and I wonder what they think I’m writing about. They possibly/probably think I’m slightly mad or even, oh please, eccentric.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you.
This year the festive season has been (for us), far less stressful than previous years – so far at least. We’ve made visits to our children’s homes to see the grandchildren (the eldest one is pictured above with our new furry girl, Mischa). We’ve been treated to afternoon tea and a pantomime whilst visiting the youngest grandson, been royally catered for whilst visiting the eldest grandson (just come back home today), entertained our neighbours on Christmas Eve and my parents on Christmas Day, and we’re celebrating another neighbour’s 90th birthday tomorrow before bringing in the New Year with our Christmas Eve guests (collectively we’re known as ‘the usual suspects’.
It’s lovely to be able to spend valuable quality time with family. We don’t live near each other now. so the time we do spend with the families is very special.
The park pictured in the image above is in Huddersfield and it is very beautiful. Lots of paths to walk round, plenty for all the family to do, and very dog friendly. The perfect family park really. There’s also a café which was open for cakes and coffee yesterday morning – very handy after playing ‘throw the ball’ for a very demanding and impossible to tire out furry girl, and a three and a half year old little boy who has walked his socks off.
Perhaps the dog walking is having a beneficial effect on my stress levels – if not my ageing joints! I love going out in the mornings, walking Mischa along the seafront at home. The time allows me to think about my story plots, the story and character arcs and the plot holes which need filling. We’re very lucky as our new furry girl has settled into our home and our lives almost seamlessly. She is very well behaved off-lead which means I don’t have to constantly be on the look-out for possible issues ahead. She’s pretty bomb proof, very friendly and biddable. In fact, I’m pretty sure that just having her around has brought down my stress levels!
I’m now working on the 2nd draft of a short story and will be starting a follow-up story on New Year’s Day (although I think that might depend on my alcohol intake tomorrow night – see 1st paragraph). Once I’m happy with the first short story I’ll be publishing it through Kindle Direct Publishing – hopefully that should be towards the end of January. Once that one’s published I’ll start on the 3rd part of the series and get the 2nd ready for publishing. I’m feeling very excited about it to be honest, as it’s something I’ve been wanting to do for so long now. 2016 is going to be my year for taking the first steps to following my dream.
I’m thinking of using Fiverr to create the book covers for me – has anyone every used Fiverr before? If so, could you possibly let me know how you found the process – and if you used the site to have a book cover designed I’d be especially interested to know how that went. I’ve played around with Canva and Publisher, as well as dabbled with Photoshop, but I’m no good at designing – I’m well aware of my creative limitations 🙂 What I’m wanting is a design which I can use to run through the series, but with subtle changes for each story, and also an overall look I can carry through into other cover designs. I guess I’m talking about branding here. I feel it’s important to get it right from the outset but, as I say, I’ve never gone down this route before so don’t know what to expect or what I can ask for. Any comments, suggestions, etc., on that aspect, would also be very helpful …
Now that NaNoWriMo is finished for this year I can, at last, get back to writing about other things which have been on my mind for a while. During November I managed to plot out another two novels – nothing grand, just basic plots, one of which has a time-slip theme. The problem is I want to start writing it now, before I’ve even started to work on reading through the first draft of the novel I’ve just spent a month pushing out of my head!
I’ve just realised it’s been a week since I last posted, so I thought it was high time I brought you up to date on everything.
I’ve had a busy week, working, cooking, cleaning – the usual, but the weekend – well that’s where it all got interesting for Hubbie and myself.
For the past couple of weeks we have been waiting to hear whether or not we had been successful in adopting a new furry baby. This weekend we had our home check and, as all went swimmingly, we had a phone call an hour later asking when we would like to collect said furry baby. To say we were over the moon would be an understatement. We were ecstatic. We dropped everything and made the 90 minute journey to the rescue centre so that we could spend some valuable time with her this weekend.
We are now the proud parents of a 5 year old lab/collie cross girlie called Mischa. What a little treasure she is. I haven’t yet managed to take a decent photo of her as the weather has been pretty awful and the daylight so short. I’ll post one as soon as I can snap a good one.
I also managed to complete 51,000 words for NaNo by late afternoon today. I’ll keep writing until I finish the full first draft but I’m so relieved that I’ve managed to meet the official target. This week I haven’t been able to keep to my writing schedule at all, with three full days of no words added at all. Still, a week to go and I know I’ll finish it. Just need to verify my word count on the NaNoWriMo site now – once I’ve figured out how to do it 🐶
Secrets – we all have them
For the writing assignment today I have chosen to write about secrets, more specifically the secrets that my characters are hiding from each other. I’ve been working on character development – taking each character and visualising them, hearing them speak, dressing them and creating their homes around them. However, that doesn’t make them any more multi-dimensional from my point of view. Each character has to have an inner voice which propels them in all their actions. Each character must carry secrets which he or she doesn’t want to share – at least not with everyone. After all, we all do that in reality don’t we? Everyone has things which they don’t particularly want to share widely, if at all. Everyone has an inner voice which determines their actions and responses to everything else. So must fictional characters.