#WIPpet Wednesday – I’m back!

Hello! It is I! I have returned to the real world from the depths of the Salem Witch Trials (though I will say that Abigail Williams is proving a difficult character to let go of). Our production of The Crucible went really well. Audiences on both days were very impressed (even though we were all really tired by Sunday and it was not as good as Saturday’s performance). We raised $2500 all together, $1500 of which will go to the charity we support and the other $1000 of which will pay for theatre hire for our next production in October. Our director is still forwarding us emails from people telling us how great the whole thing was. One of my co-stars has given me the details for her agent and told me I should get on her books, which is incredibly flattering, and I am thinking about it, but she also gave me the details for some people she’s done various acting classes with, and I think I might follow those up first. I have no desire to make a career out of acting, but there are some short film festivals in Canberra and that sort of thing, and it would be fun to have the contacts to participate in something like that.

Here are a couple of photos taken by our director’s daughter-in-law (whose daughter played my little cousin, Betty). The first one is from Act 3, when I’m claiming that Mary Warren is sending a cold wind on all of us because she’s clearly a witch (this is what happens when you decide to dob on Abigail Williams). The second is earlier on when I am arguing with John Proctor over whether or not he’s still into me (he totally is, at least a bit, and we both know it, hence the look on his face).  Also, check out those wigs. I have a pixie cut, only the bangs are mine.

"Oh, Heavenly Father, take away this shadow!"

“Oh, Heavenly Father, take away this shadow!”

 "I have a sense for heat, John, and yours draws me to my window, and I have seen you there, looking up and burning in your loneliness. Do you tell me you've never looked up at my window?"

“I have a sense for heat, John, and yours draws me to my window, and I have seen you there, looking up and burning in your loneliness. Do you tell me you’ve never looked up at my window, John?”

All right, you’ve now indulged me enough, so I shall give you what you came for. It’s Wednesday, and that means a WIPpet is in order. To be honest, I haven’t actually done any work at all on my writing in the past couple of weeks. Rehearsals are my main excuse, but I am basically up to give-it-to-a-proofreader stage, and I really need to find myself a new writing project, since AMCF really is in its final stages. As such, today I’m just going to pull five paragraphs (for the 5th month) from one of last year’s NaNoWriMo stories, An Eventual Happily Ever After, which is a sort-of-sequel/companion piece to AMCF, starring Cait’s younger sister, Ginny, in the lead role. Ginny is only 12-13 in AMCF, but she is 18 in this one, and certain people are thinking its time she got paired off with a nice gentleman somewhere.

“I hope you’re not going to meet Sir Kieran with that expression on your face.”

“I don’t know. It will depend on Sir Kieran.”


“I’m sorry.” Ginny turned on the dressing table stool to face her mother. “It’s just that you and Father and the King and Queen have decided that this man is a good match for me and I don’t know a single thing about him. Cait was a commoner and Prince Felipe convinced his parents to let him marry her because he loved her. I’m not a Crown Princess, why do I have to marry someone of a certain station?”

“Unfortunately that’s the way it works,” her mother said, and Ginny thought she sounded almost as glum as Ginny felt. “Cait’s a part of the Royal Family now, and by extension, we are, too. Sometimes we have to go along with these things.”

If you want to join in on WIPpet Wednesday, please do! It’s very easy. Just post an excerpt from your WIP with some correlation to the date. Then join us at the linky here. I’m going to dash away now, and continue to cross-reference this GoodReads list of novels set during the Salem Witch Trials with my public library’s catalogue. Since I have no rehearsals or performances this weekend (sadface!), I hope to be able to get back to visiting you all on a more regular basis. 😀 Laters!


#WIPpet Wednesday – Sunshine and artworks

A quick FYI first off: I’ll probably disappear from the blog next week, as I have rehearsals  for The Crucible Sunday afternoon and then every night except Tuesday and I am going to be pooped. If I’m on the ball this week, I’ll schedule some posts in advance, but I won’t be around much for comments, most likely.  We are performing on the 24th and 25th, which is far too close for comfort and I’m absolutely terrified (I usually have to be forced to eat on opening days because I’m so nervous, and that’s just when I’m doing fun musicals; this is the first time I’ve ever done serious drama), but all being well, everything will go smoothly for here on in and we’ll be fine.

Anyway, onto more interesting things, remember how a while ago I said that I had commissioned my artist friend to do an illustration for A More Complicated Fairytale? I picked it up on Friday afternoon, and I have to admit, I squealed a bit when I pulled it out of the folder the first time. This is Cait and Felipe at the end of their more complicated fairytale. 😀 (Admittedly the quality is not amazing because it’s too big for my scanner, so I had to take a photo with my phone. But I think you get the idea.) Frankie said she was worried that Felipe’s crown was wonky, but I think it adds to his charm. And I like to think Cait’s about to fix it for him. My favourite part is that floppy bit of Felipe’s hair.

2014-05-09 18.07.06

Illustration by the very amazing Frankie Sunflower.

For WIPPet Wednesday this week, I’m giving you 70 words (14×5 for the 14th of May) from AMCF. Cait got knocked out at the end of the previous chapter, and then there was a bit from Felipe’s POV, and this is when it switches back to Cait as she comes to.

Cait felt the sunshine on her face before she opened her eyes. She was lying in a bed far more comfortable than the one she had been used to for the past several months and her head was nestled in a plump pillow. When she opened her eyes she saw that she was in a big room with a tall ceiling and glass doors that opened out onto a spacious courtyard.

If you would like to join in on WIPPet Wendesday, please do! Post an excerpt from your WIP that somehow correlates to the date and then join us at the linky here. Many thanks to K. L. Schwengel for hosting. I must dash, shall see you all soon!


#WIPpet Wednesday – Promise me. (#ROW80 also)

row80-2After finishing my edits on A More Complicated Fairytale over Easter, I then proceeded to be lazy for a fortnight and do nothing. I resolved, however, that this week I would get back on track with things. I had Crucible rehearsal on Monday night (only 8 rehearsals left now – eeeek!) so that really only left last night. Even though it had only been a couple of weeks, my discipline had all but disappeared, so I just aimed for 500 words, and in about two hours I ended up with 611. I actually had a rough version of the scene I was trying to write saved in Evernote; I wrote it back in November. Guy as a character appeared in my head when I was wandering the Egyptian galleries at the British Museum and had an entirely unnecessary Irish accent in my mind, which I blame on the fact that I had seen the musical Once the day before and it’s set in a bar in Dublin.

(Semi-related side-note: I just looked up the Wikipedia article for Once to check which city it was set in, and have learned that the main guy is now being played by Arthur Darvill, who some people might remember as Rory in Doctor Who. Why was he not in it when I saw it?! Not that the guy I saw was anything short of amazing, I was verging on some serious ugly-crying by the end, but…!)

Sorry, anyway, as I was saying, I had a rough draft of this scene, and it’s mostly still rough, but at least I got the words down. With luck, I will work on some more tonight.

Today is also Wednesday, which means I also need to post a WIPpet. No tricky maths for me today, just seven short paragraph for the seventh day of the month (related: how is it even May already?). In this scene, Cait is saying goodbye to Guy before he leaves for war, and he finally has the guts to ask her out. Well, sort of. For the future.

amcfbanner“All right, when I come back, would you consider… I don’t know, accompanying me to a dance or to dinner some time?”

Cait’s shoulders had tensed as Guy began the question, but relief swept over her as he finished it. She laughed, a wide smile crossing her face. “I thought we were going to reach a point where I would have to ask you that.”

Guy’s relief was also obvious, and he laughed, too. “Well, why didn’t you? It would have made it so much easier for me.”

Cait absently reached up to straighten his collar. “Well, you did fine in the end. I must go, my parents will be waiting. Promise me you’ll stay safe.”

“I will.”

“No unnecessary rushing into battle.”

“I’ll do my best.”

To join in on WIPpet Wednesday, just post an excerpt of your current WIP that somehow correlates to the date, and then join us at the link over here. Many thanks to our fearless leader, K. L. Schwengel, for hosting. A Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80) is hosted by Kait Nolan and you can find out more here. I’m going to head off now and get a start on Friday’s blog post, since I have rehearsal again tomorrow night and usually like to have Friday posts up in the morning. Catch y’all later! 🙂


#ROW80 Update: FINISHED!

Where my writer friends and I stayed Friday/Saturday.

Okay, it’s 9:30pm and I am only just starting this post, so it’s not going to be long. I did almost just not bother posting at all, but I did want to share my main bit of news.

So remember how my goal for this round was to edit two chapters of AMCF per week and finish said edits around the end of May? And remember how I was about halfway through the first of two chapters last week, but I was going on a trip with my writing group and figured I would make up the rest of the goal by the end of Saturday?

Not only did I make up the rest of the goal, but I finished the edits completely! Sure, there are still one or two scenes that I need to insert in places, but overall, it’s done! 😀 I’ve basically let myself have this week off in celebration (also, two days of intense edits has put me not in the mood for a bit), but I’ll get back to it soon. There’s still plenty of work to be done on the non-writing aspects, but this does put me about a month ahead of schedule, which is pretty awesome.


In other news, today being Wednesday also calls for a WIPpet. Today is the 23rd, and 2 + 3 = 5, so here are five lines. They are actually from a more fleshed out version of this scene from a few weeks ago. Cait is giving Felipe a good-natured telling off for tempting her with the hedge maze.

“I’m sure it would be too much to expect you to feel apologetic for getting me into this mess?” Cait asked as she rose to meet them.

The prince’s eyes widened in exaggerated innocence. “Me?”

Cait shook her head, her lips quirking in the beginnings of a smile. She moved closer to the prince and jabbed a finger in his chest. “Had I tried to say no to your challenge, you would have made it clear I had no choice in the matter.”

To join in on WIPpet Wednesday, simply post an excerpt from your WIP that somehow relates to the date, and join us at this here linky. Thanks to K. L. Schwengel for hosting us. A Round of Words in 80 Days is looked after by Kait Nolan and you can read all about it here. I’m going to go now because it’s getting late (I kept getting distracted reading the IMDB boards for the first episode of Salem; I can’t decide whether I’m refusing to watch another episode or if it’s my new watch-it-so-I-can-complain-about-it show) and sadly the public holiday around here isn’t until Friday. Goodnight all! 🙂


#ROW80 Reminders and #WIPpet Wednesday Jerkiness.

row80-2So it occurred to me on Monday night that while I took in the notes my betas gave me for AMCF, and did a pretty thorough edit on the same draft myself, having the files with my betas’ comments open as I work through the next draft would probably be beneficial. While it has been overall, there have certainly been moments that have given that reminder I’m sure we all dread. Namely, that there are always going to be things that people don’t like and I will never please everybody and it’s probably better not to try. I mean, there are more instances of “Yay, they liked that!” or “Ooh, that’s an idea, Imma run with that” than the negative stuff, but it’s funny how we always get hung up on the things people didn’t like. There was also a moment when I was rereading one of Regi McClain’s comments and realised there was a bit of a plot-hole and I maybe had a bit of an overreaction. I say overreaction because it’s actually quite fine and easily fixed, but I didn’t realise that til a bit later.

My ROW80 goal for this round is to revise two chapters per week… As on Wednesday night, I’m probably about halfway through the first of these chapters. However, my writing group and I are going away over Friday/Saturday to have a full-on editing blitz. So I’m hoping I won’t have any trouble meeting my goal by Saturday night, and may even surpass it. Last week I managed to complete two chapters on Monday night, but then didn’t get any more work done the entire week. Mostly because I got distracted by books written by people other than me, I will admit.

It’s just occurred to me that writing this blog post on the shiny new laptop I just bought on my way home from work is all very well except for all my AMCF stuff is still on the old laptop and that’s going to make posting a WIPpet difficult. I did have one in mind that was only short, let’s see if I can remember it.

“Word is you’re the prince’s mistress and if Princess Maria had been unable to conceive, they would have had you do the job.”

I’ve gone backwards slightly; this is the sort of thing Cait is responding to in the excerpt I posted last week. However it is phrased in the Word Document, it was 25 words, which is adding all the digits for the date except the 2. According to the online word counter I just used, it’s 23, which I suppose is all the digits added together except one of the 4s. Either way, the WIPpet maths works. Please do join us on WIPpet Wednesday! All you need to do is post an excerpt from your current WIP that somehow relates to the date (and we’re pretty lenient about that, really), and then join us at the linky. Thanks to the wonderful K. L. Schwengel who keeps us all in line. 😉

Anyway, as I have Church tomorrow night due to it being Holy Thursday, and I am going away Friday/Saturday, there are a host of things I really need to get done tonight. As such, I will leave this here, and head off. See you all soon! Have a wonderful Easter! 🙂


Today’s #ROW80 and #WIPpet Wednesday

row80-2So I was all, “I probably won’t do a ROW80 update on this first Wednesday of the round, because mine is a weekly goal, and it’s unlikely I will have made a huge amount of progress in two days.”

Which would usually be true, except then I finished editing my two chapters for the week on Monday night. So that was pretty awesome. It helps that the first of these two chapters was one I had already written a fair amount of the new material for, anyway, and the second didn’t require many changes, so it was mostly just copying and pasting from the previous draft and making little edits here and there.

(Last night I then proceeded to write one sentence, before being invited up to my neighbour’s house to run Crucible lines [she is also in the production]. Except we ran no lines whatsoever in the two and a half hours I was up there, and just talked about what we’re reading and the upcoming Jane Austen Festival and how one year we’ll be organised enough to actually attend, and things like that.)

Most of the drastic changes between drafts do take place earlier on in the story, and apart from a few little things to do with the order of certain events, much from where I’m up to through to the end will remain pretty much how it is. There are a few spots where I’ve

I’ve also decided on the subject matter for either August Camp NaNoWriMo or official NaNoWriMo, (depending on what month it is when I am finally done with AMCF) so I’m doing some preliminary research on that to try to figure out an actual plot. Which is weird because I never do research (well, not at the outset), but I’m really set on this topic and the reading is really fun. Sorry my vagueness, I want to keep it to myself for a little while yet.

wednesdaybannerAnyway, today being Wednesday also means WIPpet Wednesday. I am going with something short today because I’ve spent way too long trying to figure out what to post. As for my WIPpet math, I added up all the digits of today’s date and got 20, and then I subtracted 1 because… that’s how many words there are in my excerpt. So ner. Or I guess I could just add up all the digits except for the 1. Whatever. Last week, quite a few of you admired Cait’s forthrightness towards Prince Felipe. This is another example of that, though in this scene, she’s dealing with one of the doctors in the war hospital who is rude to her on a number of occasions.

“Most people here realise that the nurses deserve as much respect as you; perhaps you should do the same.”

The ROW80 linky for today can be found here, and I encourage you to and cheer on some other writers. To join in on WIPpet Wednesday, simply post an excerpt from your current WIP that somehow relates to the date, and then join us at this linky. Many thanks to K. L. Schwengel for hosting. And speaking of Kathi, I have a review of her latest novel, Emergence, scheduled for this Friday, so keep an eye out for that. I’m going to head off now, visit some blogs and then do some more writing. Catch you all later! 😀


#MirthMusicMon – Flash Mob! and #ROW80 Statement of Intent

This week on Mirth and Music Monday, a video that was shared by either the Disney page or the Lion King page on Facebook earlier this week. I can’t remember, I follow them both. Anyway, it’s the new Australian cast of The Lion King flash mobbing their fellow plane passengers on a trip back to Sydney with a rousing rendition of The Circle of Life. I wish I had been on this plane.

And for some more Flash Mob fun, here is another musical number:

Mirth and Music Monday is run by the very lovely Regi McClain. Visit her blog for the linky. 😀

row80-2In other news, the new round of Around of Words in 80 Days (ROW80) starts today. My writer friends have instigated a challenge we’ve named “April-o Edit-o” in which we aim to have a fully edited novel by the end of April, at which point we pass it on to someone else to read, but I can’t say I’m stressing too much about whether or not I actually manage this. My goal is still to edit two chapters of A More Complicated Fairytale a week, which will see me finish roughly at the end of May. I’m thinking maybe a release date sometime in August, maybe? That’ll give me time to go back and fix the bits where I’ve just left red exclamation marks, get the non-writing aspects of it all organised… that sort of thing.

But anyway, that’s the longer term plan that goes beyond this ROW80 round. Two chapters a week, that’s my goal. Over the past couple of weeks, people have got used to me basically holing myself up at my desk, so they can continue being used to that. 😛 As for check-ins, I’ll just do them on Wednesdays, when I’ll be doing my usual WIPpet Wednesday post anyway. I never really feel like I have enough to say for two check-ins a week. I’m going to finish this off now, and will be back later in the week!


Drive-by #WIPPet Wednesday Post

I… don’t really feel like writing a blog post tonight. Wednesday sort of snuck up on me. I apologise for getting around of barely any of your WIPpets in the past week, or even responding to comments on my own. I can’t even really claim to have been too busy or anything, just lazy. Ah, well. I’m still plodding away on AMCF edits. I’ve had this kind of gnawing feeling in the pit of my stomach lately because I really would like to write something else, but I had no real ideas. Nothing too big, just a flash fiction or something, for a break. I browsed the “Adopt a plot” thread on the NaNoWriMo forums and there was one that did take my eye and is percolating at the back of my mind. Depending on how far I get with AMCF (I’m hoping to have edits done by the end of May), I might participate in the August Camp NaNo. Or you know, just start my own thing. Whatevs.

Anyway, my WIPpet math for today is very basic. Two very short paragraphs for the second of the month. I’m trying to flesh out Cait and Felipe’s first post-ball conversation, and actually have it go on for a little while before Cait loses her temper with him. Felipe asks Cait if she has any siblings and when he learns she has no brothers, with his infinite supply of tact, says something to the effect of, “Soooo, if your dad were to die, the rest of you are kinda screwed, huh?” to which Cait essentially replies, “Well, if certain royal families would change our stupid laws so we could inherit stuff, maybe it wouldn’t be a problem.” Felipe thinks this is a silly suggestion.

“But surely you don’t think your own upbringing, or that of most other women in the kingdom, would prepare you to manage property the way your father does?”

“My father studied history, your Highness, not economics or property law. Does that help him any more than the music or the languages I’ve studied?”

This is the bit where I’m relieved Cait is not of the Tumblr generation, because then I’m sure that the term “male privilege” would come up in this conversation, and that’s really not a place I want to go to. I’m all for social justice and activism and such but… Tumblr.

Anyway, I titled this post “Drive-by WIPpet Wednesday” and yet I’ve been writing it for the last hour and a half. Some of that time has been spent actually writing, though, and some of it was spent sending a detailed description of Cait and Felipe and the final scene of AMCF to one of my writer friends, who also happens to also be an artist friend and is going to do me an illustration. I’ve seen some of the art she’s done some art for one of our other friends and I’m really keen to see how this turns out. I’ll scan it to show it off to you all when I receive it.

To join in on WIPpet Wednesday, simply post an snippet from your current WIP that somehow relates to the date. Then join us at the linky and have fun! I’m off to bed now! I’ll catch you all soon!


#WIPPet Wednesday – Sounds about right.

You know how two WIPpet Wednesdays ago, I was bothered by how to make Felipe seem affected by his brother’s death, but not too sympathetic? I figured out a way to do that, namely, by ending the scene about halfway through what I had written. He reacts quite strongly at first, and became more vulnerable later, but there was a spot I could stop when he was still being cranky. Thanks for your suggestions on that. The idea that the way he dealt with the news and treated others in the light of it was something a few of you brought up and was what made me take this direction.

In today’s WIPpet, which takes place at the end of the first day of the big festival at the start of the novel, Ava and Cait are trying to convince their respective younger sisters, Bridget and Ginny, that they did meet Prince Felipe that afternoon. Ginny is annoyed at me at the moment because originally she got to meet him in that scene as well, but now that Ava’s part of things, I decided to swap them.

“Did you really meet him?” Bridget asked.

“We did,” Ava said. “It seemed he was running away from meeting princesses.”

“And what did he think of you two?” Guy asked.

“He said we were charming,” Cait replied with a quirked eyebrow.

“He didn’t even seem to mind when Cait started scolding him,” Ava added.

Cait!” Ginny moaned. She looked mortified, as though Cait insulting the prince might have blackened her own name in some way.

“Well, that certainly sounds like Cait,” Guy replied. “No man is safe.”

That’s my girl. 🙂

Question: does it feel like there are too many dialogue tags in here? I can’t really see any other way to do it, since there are five of them talking, unless I mention actions as well. They’re not really doing much, though; just standing around waiting for their parents to come and meet them.

In other news, I’ve made a tentative goal of working through two chapters of revision each week. They’re not really long chapters, so I think I should be able to manage this. That’ll give me a completion date of around the end of May (approximately). I’m hoping to commit to A Round of Words in 80 Days again when Round 2 starts next month, and this will be my main goal for that as well.

Anyhoo, I think I might leave this here for today and head off. To join in on WIPpet Wednesday, simply post an excerpt from your current WIP that somehow relates to the date, and then hop on over to My Random Muse and join us on the linky. Catch you all soon! 😀


#WIPpet Wednesday – When BFFs know too much.

Happy Wednesday, all!

You know when you’re about to go on a long car trip with a small child and you really want them to go to the toilet beforehand? And they say they don’t need to/can’t and you tell them to “just try”? This has been my attitude to writing this week, and it has worked. I’m not feeling listless/restless/unable anymore, and all because I just tried to write for a bit. I’m also discovering that not all the new material I had made notes about for this next version of AMCF is going to work, and realising that is okay. Just because I had an idea at one point doesn’t mean it HAS to be included. I’m also just doing some idle note-taking for extra material to be worked into scenes that already exist for the most part. I think I was trying too hard to rewrite entire things that didn’t need changing, then I’d get annoyed because I was handwriting things that were already in the old MS.

On a similar note, since I didn’t get around to responding to your comments on last Wednesday’s post individually, just wanted to extend a huge THANK YOU for all the suggestions you gave re: that scene. I have some really good ideas to play with now that I didn’t have before and it is thanks to you folks.

wednesdaybannerSo onto today’s WIPpet! I have ten lines because it’s the nineteenth and 1 + 9 = 10. You know how when you were a teenager or maybe even into your 20s and you had a massive crush on someone, but you thought you were doing a pretty darn good job of hiding it? And then it turns out your best friends know you far too well and it’s apparently really obvious to her(/him)? That’s what Cait’s going through in this excerpt. It’s worse for her because the guy in question is her BFF’s older brother.

I’ve revamped the opening of AMCF so that news of the Prince Sebastian’s assassination and the upcoming war is revealed through a conversation Cait has with Ava, her best friend and Guy’s younger sister. They are wondering whether Guy will be able to come home between National Service on the borders and marching into a full-blown war. Ava has just said she’s sure that Guy would want to see Cait, too, if he is able to get home at all. Oh, and for those who have read earlier version of AMCF, no, Cait and Guy aren’t an official couple anymore. It works better this way, I think.

Warning: I am actually typing this from memory, as I’m on a desk shift at work, and can’t really go on with my actual work because this computer does not have Photoshop, and basically all my non-desk-shift work requires either a photocopier/scanner, of which there is not one in the reading room, or Photoshop. So I figured I might as well do something semi-constructive. Anyway, this is about writing, and writing makes books, and I work in a library, which contains books, so it’s totally work-related, right?

Cait looked down at her hands. “I’m sure he’d rather spend the last weeks before he goes to war with his family.”

“Oh, Cait, you’re not fooling anyone. I’ve known you fancied Guy since… oh, I don’t even remember when I first noticed. And he likes you, too. One of you should hurry up and say something to the other!”

By the time Ava finished speaking, Cait’s face had turned a dark red and she refused to meet her friend’s gaze. She only looked up again when Ava placed a hand on her arm.

“Well, I’ll let you know when he’s home. I’d best be going, I suppose. I was on my way home before, but I thought I’d drop in quickly.”

Cait walked her Ava to the door and then returned to the sitting room, where she tried to read the rest of the newspaper’s headlining article. She was distracted fairly quickly by a fluttery feeling in her stomach, though whether that was concern for Guy going to war, or a kind of giddy delight from Ava’s confirmation that Guy also had feelings for her, she couldn’t tell.

That last paragraph is a bit dodgy and not exactly what I wrote last night, but you get the drift. Where I left off last night, Guy is home, and we are actually get to meet him. He was always an off-stage character before. I am sort of wary of the story turning too much into a Guy/Cait/Felipe love triangle, because I generally despise love triangles, but I think it should be fine.

If you would like to join in on WIPpet Wednesday, we would love to have you! Simply post an excerpt of your current WIP, or the beginning of a new one, that somehow correlates to the date. Then link up with us here and join in the fun! I’ve still got 19 minutes of desk time remaining, but I’m going to go find something else to do for that time. I’ll catch you all later! 😀