#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! 🙂

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#ROW80 Round 1, 2014

row80-2So the new round of A Round of Words in 80 Days began on Monday, but I only just got home, so I’m hopping in now. In 2014, my goal is to get A More Complicated Fairytale to a point where I am happy to publish it. Based on the feedback I have gotten from betas, I want to write one more version, and then get onto proof-reading and such.

For the moment, I will make my usual “write for an hour two nights a week” writing goal, though once I know what the hours of my new job are, I might be able to add a bit more to that.

My blogging schedule will be thus:

Monday – Mirth and Music Monday
Wednesday – WIPpet Wednesday and ROW80 Check-in
Every Second Friday – Book review

So apart from blatantly stealing the idea of a book review series from Ink and Papyrus, I am aiming to read as many of the unread books on my shelves and my Kindle as possible this year and perhaps a required schedule will keep me on the ball. I don’t tend to bother finishing books I don’t enjoy, but I do want to look at what I’m reading critically and be able to discuss what I’ve enjoyed or not versus others. I’ve  got two written and another one started already so I’m well on my way to creating a good buffer, as long as I keep it up.

I do have other goals that I’ve set for myself for 2014, but they’re not really ones I feel the need to share on here.

wednesdaybannerOnto WIPpet Wednesday. For those who have not heard of it before, WW is where a group of writers come together to share excerpts from their current WIPs. The only requirement is that they somehow correlate to the date. Then join us at this linky and see what others have on offer. Following on from last week’s post, today I have another excerpt in which Prince Felipe is being insistent and Cait would rather like to bang his head against a wall. In last week’s post, she was being told that His Royal Highness insists on her presence at the ball that night. This next part takes place at said ball.

“Cait, isn’t it?” he said when he reached her.

“Yes, your Highness. Short for Caitlin.”

“May I have this dance, Cait?”

“Your Highness, I’m not really one for dancing, I really think…”

“Nonsense, I insist.” He held out his arm and Cait was left with no choice but to take it. He led her right to the centre of the ballroom and then other couples filled in the space around them. The musicians began playing a waltz, and Cait tensed as Prince Felipe put one hand on her waist.

This post has been in the making for about 24 hours, so I’m going to leave it there. I probably won’t see you until Monday, as my parents are driving back to Canberra on Friday and I’ll be getting myself settled back in before heading back to work. I’ll try and get to a few of your posts, though, when I can. (I said that last week, and then only got to about three blogs, but I’ll see how I go!)

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#WIPpet Wednesday: Ah! Cold hands, plus a writing update

I’d written a long, rambly paragraph about how I didn’t really know what to do for A Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80) this round, what with only having four weeks before I go overseas, and NaNoWriMo coming up, and all that sort of thing… then I concluded it might just be easiest to not actually officially participate in this round. I have a few things to work out with regards to upcoming writing projects, but let’s face it, the second I leave the country I’m going to be completely neglecting everything for seven weeks. Of course, if I happen to write something check-in-y and it happens to be check-in day, I’ll link it up, but I’m not going to stress about it. On that note, just to touch base, here are some bullet points to update you on my current writing projects. (If you’re really just here for the WIPpet, please feel free to scroll down to the end; I do tend to go on a bit)

  • A More Complicated Fairytale is still with beta readers. I had an epiphany about one aspect of the plot the other night (specifically the “Cait sure forgets about Guy quickly once he’s dead” thing that has always irked me a bit, but I hadn’t figured out how to fix it until now). I am making sure I write down everything like this, but am trying to convince myself to wait until after my trip to start a new draft. I should be working on my NaNo stories more at the moment, anyway.
  • On the subject of ACMF, I plan on printing out draft 2.5 (the one where I’ve gone through and made my own changes whilst others have also been reading it) and post-it noting things that need to be changed. I’m also planning on going through and highlighting every reference to time passing and then working out whether the timeline actually makes sense. Kate Frost pointed out one spot in particular where something supposedly happens earlier than it should, but too much time has actually passed and it probably happens right on time or possibly even late. Which, y’know, is a problem.
  • I have some betaing still to do for others as well. I’ve learned a very valuable lesson, recently: don’t volunteer to do more than one beta project at a time. I kept getting distracted and putting it off, and I’m sure people are waiting on me.
  • I have plotted possibly the first… two(?) chapters of each of my NaNo stories (you may remember, I’ve decided to rebel and do two 25k stories). One is an AMCF companion/sequel focusing on Ginny, Cait’s sister. The other is a kind of creepy, Stephen King-style story, though as yet, none of the characters have appeared to me, which is a problem, because usually characters come first for me, or at least at the same time as the plot. And I don’t have much of the plot yet, either. So. They still require some brainstorming. My writing group is planning a couple of plotting evenings, in the coming weeks, so that should be helpful.
  • Operation: Sugarplum is… still moving along at a snail’s pace. I got a bit angsty about it recently, because my friends and I watched Sydney White, which is a modern day Snow White set at an American college and with seven dorks instead of dwarves and an evil Sorority President instead of step-mother. At the end, they hack Sydney’s Apple computer (possibly with a virus called “poison” or something; they got a “poison apple” reference in there) the night before she has two major events that she was preparing for. She pulls an all-nighter, falls asleep in the library, and Tyler Prince, the sexy guy from the fraternity up the road, has to kiss her to wake her up. And I was all, “That’s really clever! I’m not this clever!” Sigh… This may be the story that gets shelved for months at a time and pulled out and worked on in small chunks whenever other things are giving me grief

Having said that, though, today’s WIPpet is from Operation: Sugarplum. This scene (9 lines for the 9th of October) takes place after last week’s, in which Clara threw one of her boots at the giant rat-creature-thing (note to self: have Clara call them giant rat-creature-things at some point). It turned on her, but that has given Max the opportunity to regain the upper hand.

Max had seen Clara throw her boot out of the corner of one eye, and had inwardly cheered when it found its mark. Now he only had one rat to deal with, and it was distracted.

He got to his feet and held the sword aloft, jogging towards the rat. It began turning back to face him just as he reached it and its eyes widened as it began forming another orb. It didn’t have enough time to do anything with it, though, as Max plunged the sword into its heart. Its eyes bulged and then as Max withdrew his sword, its body crumpled to the ground.

Max poked its cloak; there was no body underneath. He wasn’t sure where it had gone, but for now he had other concerns…

That’s right, Max, go see to your girl. She’s had a long night.

If you would like to join us for WIPpet Wednesday, simply post an excerpt from your current WIP that somehow relates to the date (eg. 9 lines for October 9, though you can make it as complex as you like). Then post the link here and check out what others have to offer. Thanks to K. L. Schwengel for hosting. 🙂

Once again, I have left it until late to actually write this post, and it is now 10:30. So much for trying to get to bed earlier this week! (It’s failed every night so far). I shall love you and leave you all, and catch your WIPpets tomorrow or Friday. ♥

P.S. It occurs to me upon re-reading this WIPpet that Max doesn’t seem particularly perturbed that his girlfriend has been hurt and knocked out by a creature that’s after him. Let the record show this has been noted and will be dealt with later.

#ROW80 Check-in: Yay, feedback! and #WIPPet Wednesday: “We would’ve believed you!”

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Upon posting this post, WordPress informed me this is my 150th. Yay me! *passes around the champagne*

The other night I was doing some work on AMCF and I got to one of my very favourite scenes (for those who are reading it, it’s the scene in the restaurant). I read through it and didn’t make a single change… and that was when I thought to myself, “It’s a good thing I have beta readers.” I am discovering things I had forgotten, too, like the fact that I was already halfway through this draft when I got around to giving Cait’s mother a name – so I had to go through the first few chapters and figure out which “Her mother”s should be changed. I also had a minor character whose stage name was “Lorenzo the Magnificent”… which I completely by accident discovered was how Lorenzo de’Medici came to be known, so I promptly changed him to “Alfonso”, which I feel gives the same effect, but as far as I know doesn’t reference any Florentine noblemen of times gone by.

I got my first bit of feedback in my email today (thanks again, Shan!), and have spent most of the night reading through it, which is why it is already 10:20 and I’m only up to this part of this post. Reading the comments is much less scary than I initially expected, and even on the bits which I love don’t want to change, I tend to end up saying “… that is a very good point you make,” whilst pouting at it. And then there are other bits where I’m like, “Dude, that is the best idea ever! Why didn’t I think of that?!” And there are other bits again where the comments confirmed the mixed feelings I already had about particular scenes, and make me all the more determined to make it work better. I want to dive into those parts already, but I am convincing myself to wait until I have heard back from a few more people and consolidate the comments from at least a few of them. I sent it to eight people, I think, and I know a few aren’t going to be able to get to it until later in the month/early October, so I’m telling myself to be patient.

I’ve also decided on one plot I’m going to use for NaNoWriMo, which is exciting. If my writer’s group meets up again this Sunday (which I think is the current plan), I’m going to bounce some ideas off them. I have the premise and a vague idea of where the story needs to go, but no idea about the resolution at the moment. So that’s quite exciting.

And now I’d best get onto WIPpet Wednesday, since it continues to get later and I continue to write this post at a snail’s pace. WIPpet Wednesday is where a bunch of writers come together and share something from their current Work In Progress that somehow relates to the date. The linky is here, feel free to join in! As always, thanks to K. L. Schwengel for hosting. Today is the 18th of September, so I’m flipping those two numbers around to get to Page 81, and then adding the two digits,  together to give you nine lines. Also, look I made a banner! Sure, it’s just a screencap from Phantom of the Opera, but on my whole AMCF Pinterest board, it is the picture I feel is most representative of Cait and Felipe (even if by the time they’re at that stage of the relationship, Felipe’s leg injury would prevent any scooping up of Cait and swinging her about. Knowing Cait, she’d probably see this as a good thing).

Anyways. It’s no wonder this post is taking so long to write when I keep rambling like that. This scene takes place just after it’s become reasonably common knowledge in the war hospital that Cait and Felipe are friends, and that she’s the woman there were all the rumours about.

amcfbanner “Why did you never tell us you were the prince’s friend?” Hattie asked, “I’ll admit, even Meg and I thought it a bit strange the way you were always asking about him.”

“I became quite used to rumours spreading about me,” Cait replied, “and besides, most people wouldn’t have believed me anyway, had I said that mine and the prince’s meetings were simply borne out of friendship.”

“I would have!” Hattie exclaimed, sounding affronted, “and I’m sure Meg would have as well!”

All right! That is posted, and it’s now past 11pm, so I should consider going to bed. At least I had dinner and showered and things at reasonable times so that I could then just sit on the computer until bedtime. I shall try to get around to as many of your posts as I can tomorrow night, and will try and catch the rest of you on Saturday (Friday is out, as I have a free ticket to the local production of Footloose, which should be fun! I shall see you all then!

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#WIPpet Wednesday and #ROW80 Check-in: Yes, I sort of dropped off there for a bit.

I know, I know, I kind of vanished after last Wednesday’s post. I wish I could say it was because I was busily writing and forgot to blog, but actually I was just being lazy. Well, Saturday I had a full day, starting with voting in our Federal election, then off to an art gallery in the afternoon and then a friend’s house-warming in the evening. But Sunday I was just lazy. I was also lazy for most of last week and didn’t do anymore writing or editing. I was still reading the Bartimaeus trilogy at that point, though. Luckily, I have finished it now (still dealing with how it ended, though; it took me completely by surprise!), so I don’t have it to distract me. I did finally get back to my editing AMCF tonight, though it took me a while to remember where I’d edited up to, since my file had decided not to save the marker I’ve been putting in the file where I stop. So I sort of ended up casting my eyes over what I’d already been through as well, which is not a bad thing, but means I’m probably not as far along as I might be.

I have sent the MSS out to a few betas and have a couple more lined up (Kate F and Eden, I will probably send it to you guys tomorrow evening). I did have a bit of an “Ahh! What am I doing sending this to people and letting them read it?!” moment the other day, but I am getting past that.

So for today’s WIPpet, I am going back to ACMF. Today is the 11th of September, so I have 11 lines to share. This scene takes place just after Cait has been appointed as Felipe’s full-time carer in the hospital, and is having a chat with the doctor who is also looking after him.

“I must warn you, though,” Doctor Raymond said when they had finished going through all the medical details, “he is already bored and complaining of a lack of fresh air in his room. In a few more days, it should be all right to move him. If I’m not to be found, ask some of the other doctors to help him into a wheelchair for you. A turn about the gardens might keep him quiet for a while.”

Cait suppressed a smile. “Have no fear, doctor,” she said. “I am quite capable of handling the prince’s whining.”

“Good girl. Well, that is all you need to hear from me. You may start these new duties immediately.”

“Thank you, doctor.”

Under other circumstances, I might make an attempt to talk a bit more in this post, but it is already 9:30 and I had an interrupted night’s sleep last night, so I should consider going for a shower and to bed. I’ll get to your WIPpets as soon as I can! You can join in the WIPpet fun here (thanks to K L Schwengel for hosting) or visit other ROWers here.  🙂

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#ROW80 Check-in and #WIPpet Wednesday Post

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Hiho! Confession: I’m not really in the mood for writing a blog post tonight, but I would never miss a WIPpet Wednesday, so this will be quick. Today is Wednesday September 4, so it’s time for me to share an excerpt from my WIP, which somehow relates to the date. I have four paragraphs from Operation: Sugarplum. It’s kind of a placeholder scene, since I haven’t completely finished the preceding scene, but it’s following roughly what needs to happen. This follows on from the last couple of weeks’ WIPpet posts.

When the monster* was gone, Max stood up slowly and looked over to Clara. She was lying against the garden wall that ran around her house, her eyes closed. One of her arms was bleeding; that must have been where the magic had hit her. He jogged quickly to her and squatted down next to her, pulling her into a sitting position.

“Hey,” he said quietly, moving one of his hands to support Clara’s head. “Hey, can you hear me?”

Clara half-opened her eyes and squinted at Max, trying to focus on him but not quite succeeding. “Hurts,” she mumbled, wincing and squeezing her eyes closed again.

“Okay, time to get you inside.”

*Monster is  not actually the word used here, but I don’t want to give away too much about the nature of said monster.

I haven’t done a great deal of writing this week, instead cheating slightly by using my two hours’ writing time this week to start going through AMCF and editing. I didn’t realise I was missing Cait and Felipe until I started spending time with them again. And it’s always fun going back to the beginning when the ending is so fresh in your mind.I’ve also sent it off to a few betas, so it’ll be good to get some feedback from them. The friend who read the very first draft is currently moving house, so I haven’t sent it to her yet, even though she said she’d be interested in reading the second draft. Her house-warming is this Saturday, so I figured I would broach the subject with her then.  Unless I write some more on Operation: Sugarplum this week, though, WIPpets may go back to AMCF for a little while. Oh, and if anyone else would be interested in betaing, it’s not too late to send me an email. fuzzyagent999[at]yahoo[dot]com[au] is my address.

Also, my boyfriend and I started a new writing project together this week, inspired by P.S. Longer Letter Later by Ann M Martin and Paula Danziger.  We have a notebook in which we are writing letters to one another, him in the guise of a Year 10 student named Reuben looking to do a work experience week with the local community theatre, and me doing the voice of Hillary, the outreach coordinator of said theatre. Reuben is rather over-enthusiastic and wants to do EVERYTHING (his words), and Hillary is trying to remain business-like whilst getting the kid to actually make some sort of decision about what he wants to do. We’ve only just started, there are two letters from Reuben and one from Hillary. I have the book with me at the moment to write the next one. So I’ll keep you posted on how that goes.

Anyway, it’s taken me way too long to write this post, so I’m going to finish up here, go and read the WIPpets that have already been posted, and then go and read in bed for a while. I’m onto the third book in the Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathon Stroud now. I pulled the physical copy off my shelf and it fell apart in my hands, so I’m really quite relieved that it’s available for Kindle! As is the prequel to the series, which I did not have a copy of. (What’s that? I was trying to avoid Kindle purchases until I’d read most of the books on my shelf? Yes. Well. Look, over there – a distraction!). I messaged the friend I had borrowed it from, and he said it was a second-hand copy when he got it, so he doubts it was my fault, which is rather a relief. Anyway. Yes. Going. Goodnight!

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#ROW80 Check-in: Accidental new WIP and #WIPpet Wednesday – Wait, what?!

So I was thinking. I had said I was going to do a quick line-edit-type-of-thing on A More Complicated Fairytale before I sent the second draft out to beta readers. But I also needed a break form that story, and I am working on Operation Sugarplum and Keep Your Enemies Closest at the moment, so… instead of just having it sit there, I figured the second draft might as well be being read over by people and getting some feedback. It’s about 37k if memory serves, and WIPpet Wednesday excerpts can be read here if you’d like an idea of the type of story it is (to sum up, for those not familiar with it, it is a quasi-Regency/Victorian setting and there is an outspoken heroine and a war and a dashing prince and drama and romance!). Either let me know here, or send me an email at fuzzyagent999[@]yahoo[dot]com[dot]au. If you aren’t interested/haven’t the time/whatever else, but know someone who might be, please feel free to share this post/my email address/whatnot.

In other news… this is a thing that happened on Monday night:

newwipoopsrow80-2So. Um. Yes. Annoyingly, I can’t really even use it for WIPpet Wednesday posts, since that would get confusing when I’m regularly posting sections on Saturdays. But that’s okay. I spent all three of my breaks (morning/afternoon tea and lunch) on Monday writing new stuff for it. I also realised that the section I’d written last year, I had written before the further world-building I did  in which I discovered all Mireille’s people are all born with magical abilities was done. So I’ve gone through and edited some references to magic in.

A couple of people in my writer’s group have stories that they serialise, and post as they go, pretty much, and it’s interesting hearing them say that one of the perils/thrills of doing it that way is having to live with what you’ve already posted, even if it doesn’t work with something you come up with later. I’m actually planning on cheating a bit with mine. This Saturday will start a few lines before the end of last Saturday’s post, but with an amendment that gives a bit more depth to the end of that scene. My blog may have over 120 followers, supposedly, but I’m fairly certain only maybe 20 of those actually read it regularly, and I think they’ll forgive me. 🙂 Obviously, if something three posts ago affects what I’m writing now, I’ll try and work  with it, but… well, we’ll see how it goes. I was thinking that maybe when it’s finished, I’ll put the whole thing into a PDF and just have it a link on my Writing Projects page, with full disclaimers of it being a bit inconsistent and all.

wednesdaybannerBut on to WIPpet Wednesday! Want to play along? Simply post an excerpt from a WIP, or write the opening of a new one, that somehow corresponds to the days date. This might be as simple as 28 lines (maybe from Chapter 8) for August 28, or you could get more creative and throw in some more complicated operations and such. The linky is here and as always, it’s thank you to K. L. Schwengel at My Random Muse for hosting.

I’m adding 2 and 8 together today to give you 10 lines, because I don’t actually have a huge amount of Operation: Sugarplum to pick from at the moment (kind of stuck on a fight scene where I don’t know how I want it to play out). This scene is not long after last week’s, in which Clara was being followed on her way home from uni. She’s been caught by a creature with long claws and bad breath, who wants to know where “the Prince” is. Clara is trying to insist she doesn’t know any princes when Max (her boyfriend in this newer version, if you remember) shows up, and the creature is all, “Your Highness, so nice to see you.” Or words to that effect.

Wait – Max was the prince the creature had asked about? Under other circumstances, Clara might have laughed at the suggestion. She had known Max a long time and while she loved him to bits, of course, “princely” was hardly a word she would use to describe him. “Adorkable” (with the additional ‘k’) was usually what she went for. It summed up everything she liked about him, but also gave a sense of how he’d been known to cancel a pre-arranged date night to sit in his room and continue work on the app he was building. Afterwards, he’d given her a big, doe-eyed expression, handed her his phone and told her she could be the first one to play the new level, and she found she couldn’t stay mad at him for long.

Right now, however, Max didn’t seem at all surprised to be addressed with the royal title, and was making his way determinedly towards Clara and her captor.

“Let her go,” he said, his voice raised. “It’s me you want.”

In my head(/on my Pinterest board), Max looks like Josh Groban in fetching suits and scarves and things. I wouldn’t be able to stay mad at him after getting doe-eyed expressions either.

And now I must leave you, as I hope to get up early enough in the morning to ride my bike to work. I have a writer’s group gathering tomorrow evening, so hopefully I’ll get my other hour of writing in for the week. I might bounce some ideas off people for that fight scene I said I was stuck with. So it might be Friday before I get around to your posts, but I will see you then! Cheers!

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#WIPpet Wednesday: an Honest Conversation

It’s time for another WIPpet Wednesday! *drum rolls*

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The rules are simple: just post an excerpt from your current WIP that somehow corresponds to the date. Today is April 3, so you could post three lines or paragraphs, or a part of Chapter 3, or Page 3… you get the idea. When you’ve posted, come on over to My Random Muse and click the blog hop to join in.

I’ve chosen three paragraphs from Page 31 of A More Complicated Fairytale… It was going to be page 30 so that I’d have a multiple of 3, but Page 31 is more interesting. This scene takes place after the funeral of Cait’s sweetheart, who is killed in the war their country is waging against the neighbouring one (really must come up with some names for these kingdoms!). Prince Felipe showed up there, and then insisted on chatting to her afterwards. She thought he was going to be irritating, which is what usually happens when they’re in the same room, but she is surprised.

“I know this man meant a lot to you, and while I am sure this would not have occurred to you while you are consumed by your own grief, I understand what you’re going through.” Cait opened her mouth to argue but he didn’t let her. “You will remember I lost my brother to this very war.”

Cait looked away. She had forgotten this fact in her own grief. The Prince Felipe she knew was always so self-assured, always trying to irritate her, and it had simply not occurred to her that perhaps he had once been grieving his brother.

“I’m sorry,” was all she could manage.

“It’s perfectly all right,” he assured her, “I know how I come across to you. It’s quite deliberate, actually, the charming playboy with nary a care in the world act. It’s what I prefer to show the world.”

Okay, I cheated, it’s four paragraphs, but the WIPpet people seem like a nice enough bunch that I think I can get away with it. Besides, Cait’s apology doesn’t really count when it’s only a line, right? 😛

To make up my dishonesty, here’s an extra bit for this post. I spent yesterday properly casting these two characters and now have actual pictures for both of them. So, introducing, Felipe and Cait!

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Also known as stage actors Hadley Fraser and Stephanie J. Block. You do have to imagine both of theme a little younger, since Cait and Felipe are both about 20 when the story starts and 22 at the most when it ends (I still haven’t got my timeline completely sorted). While I had always had a picture in my head for Felipe, Cait proved harder to get an image for. I finally managed it yesterday, though.

Oddly, in the end, they were both cast from the sounds of their voices more so than their looks. I really like musicals, and despite the fact that it failed on Broadway, The Pirate Queen is an album that gets a lot of play time on my iPod. I had long ago decided the voice of Hadley Fraser, who played the male lead, matched the voice of Felipe I had in my head, and a Google Image Search assured me that yes, he was also handsome enough. 😉 Conveniently, he has also played Roaul in Phantom of the Opera, which means there are photos of him such as the one above where he’s actually wearing the type of thing I imagine Felipe would also wear (since the story has a quasi-Victorian setting). So that was nice. I don’t like the Raoul hair, but I’m rolling with it.

Usually, I have a rule of not casting people who have played a couple in actuality as the couple in my stories, just because then I run the risk of just writing fan fiction for those characters rather than the characters I should be writing… but considering a) Felipe and Cait were already well-established in my head when I put these faces to them, b) I never saw The Pirate Queen and c) even if I had, from what I can tell, the characters in that are quite different from mine, I think I’m okay.

This is, of course, how they appear in my head. From the little snippets you’ve seen, how did you guys imagine them?

Also, also! As I mentioned in my ROW80 post yesterday, I got some really good feedback on the first draft of this from one of my post-NaNoWriMo Writing Group (known as PoNoWriGro) buddies. She made a really good point about the climax of the story, namely that I build up some really good tension, and then resolve it basically straight away. So I’ve found a way to keep the tension there a bit longer, but I don’t really know how to resolve it later on in the piece if I follow this course of action. So still I’m puzzling that out.

Anywho! This post is long enough! Catch you all on Sunday, or on your own blogs, or wherever!

~ Emily

#ROW80 Round 2, 2013 – Goals Post

row80 For those who are new around here, A Round of Words in 80 Days is the “writing challenge that knows you have a life”. Round 2 for 2013 started yesterday (April 1) and goes through until June 20. I was rather under the impression that it would not start for another week, hence my goals post being a bit late. In fact, I haven’t really thought about goals for this round yet.

My primary project will still be A More Complicated Fairytale, the first draft of which is currently with beta readers. I have received feedback from one beta already, and it was fabulous and has given me some new ideas for the second draft. That said, I’m trying to convince myself to wait til I’ve heard from a few more so that I can see whether there are any running themes in what people say, and also because I don’t want to be writing a new draft to take into account each person’s feedback.

My secondary project will be my modern-day adaptation of The Nutcracker, tentatively titled Operation: Sugarplum. So far this project consists of half a plot outline and a few character sketches. I’m currently reading a couple of different translations of Hoffman’s original story, upon which the ballet and all the other adapatations are based, and then I’ll need to get started on my world-building… the real-world stuff is set present-day, but currently I have no idea about the magical other world.

I considered doing Camp NaNoWriMo and using this story, but, well, Round 1 of Camp is upon us, I didn’t have enough plot and didn’t really fancy trying to pants it. So I’ll be setting my own writing schedule for the next couple of months, though Camp is still on the cards for July, especially since I’ll be traipsing around Europe in November and won’t be participating then. I have to say,I love that you can now set your own word count goal. Maybe I’ll do Camp instead of the “official” event more often in the future.

So having now waffled on for four paragraphs, I suppose some goals are in order. I found last round that I am much better at setting aside a couple of nights a week for writing than trying to squeeze something in every day. If I do manage to write every day, that’s fantastic, but I don’t want to feel guilty if that doesn’t happen. I don’t have uni to worry about, having cancelled my enrollment a couple of weeks ago, which leaves my weekends nice and free. Therefore, I think my goals for this round will be to work on A More Complicated Fairytale for two hours a week, and spend another hour a week brainstorming Operation Sugarplum. Friday night makes a good week, and for the first couple of weeks, Wednesday can be my other nominated writing night, at least until my Italian course finishes on April 16. After that, I’ll probably go for Tuesday and Friday nights. This round, I don’t think I will stipulate when I write my Check-in posts. Now that I do WIPpet Wednesday, it’s easy enough to do a Wednesday check-in at the same time, and I like writing Sunday ones to sum up the week, so sometimes I’ll do that, too! Yay!

Anyway, that’s it from me. I’m going to go have some afternoon tea and then push through for the last hour or so of work. I’m trying to comment on some of your goals posts as well, so I might see you there!

~ Emily

#ROW80 Check-in #10: Laziness, Uni and the World’s Greatest Shave (again)

This post is fairly long, so bear with me. First of all, I’m going to repost my previous post, just because I think this post will get a bigger audience, and this is something important to me. Apologies to those followers who have already seen it once.

This Wednesday, I will be shaving off my hair for the World’s Greatest Shave. The WGS is an initiative of the Leukeamia Foundation, to raise money for research into blood cancer and to provide support for those suffering this terrible disease, as well as their families. I’ve been wanting to participate for a few years now, but I’ve kept putting it off. This year, however, I’ve decided to bite the bullet!

This is my hair at the moment, all 20 inches/50 cm of it:

Of course, an event like this relies on the genorosity of sponsors, and as such, I’m putting out the call. If you have a little spare cash, even just $5, I would be very grateful if you would consider sponsoring me. The URL for my own efforts is The URL for my page is http://my.leukaemiafoundation.org.au/spaciireth or you can sponsor my team at http://my.leukaemiafoundation.org.au/TeamPage.aspx?teamID=75612. I’ll post up photos along with my final ROW80 post for this round on Wednesday.

On that note, on the writing front, I have been rather lazy since finishing my WIP first draft a fortnight ago. I only fixed the couple of formatting issues and sent it out to my betas yesterday. However, now it is sent, so that’s exciting! I can get on to reading these three different editions of The Nutcracker that I have in order to research for the modern retelling I have to write. I already have the premise, an idea of main characters and at least the first bit of plot… I just need to figure out exactly what the conflict is and… the rest of the story. So I’m hoping reading the original story will help with that. Or you know, if nothing else, give me ideas for throwbacks.

And regarding my third ROW80 goal,  remember how my third goal for this round of ROW80 was to spend Saturdays at the National Library studying? Well, after nearly having a panic attack (or at least working myself into a headache-inducing tizzy) when I was there on Monday afternoon (making up for having to work Saturday and therefore not being there then), and then discussing my options with my boyfriend and my mum, we came to the conlusion that might actually be better for me to drop this current enrolment and think about something else in a year or so. As I posted on LiveJournal, my main reasons for this were as follows:

a) I applied for this degree within six months of finishing my undergrad and in the nearly two years since then that I’ve been working, my priorities have changed. I would rather get more museum qualifications than a librarianship. Two years ago, I desperately wanted to go back to the National Library to work, but now I’d much rather get a job at the National Film and Sound Archive or the National Gallery. (I feel like such a snob throwing around all these “National” institutions, but, well, it is what you apply for if you have my degree and live in Canberra. And someone has to work there, so it might as well be me, right?). Ideally, I’d like to work in some overseas institutions at some point in my life as well, and the places I’d be most interested in working would respond better to museum qualifications than library ones, I think.

b) I really think that part of my struggles is the distance-learning. I’m not cut out for it, I’m not dealing well with it, and I think that’s part of the reason I’m not performing well. The two museum qualifications I’m looking at are both through ANU, which is, you know, my “local” uni, which means I’d have a student card and I can go into the library, find the general area with the books on my subject and then empty the shelves and read all the books. Which is how I had so many sources for my undergrad essays (I was at ANU for that one, too).

When the best hope I’ve got of finding sources is the Internet (which really only gives me journal articles) and the National Library (which is a non-lending library) where I’d have to just try searching various things related to my topic and requesting things to be brought up from the stacks, it makes things much more difficult.

c) Okay, there is every possibility this makes me sound lazy, but… I’m twenty-three years old. I have a good job, and an interview next week for one a pay grade above the current one. I don’t need a Masters degree just yet, and honestly, there are other things I’d rather be doing, such as the Italian lessons I’ve got on Tuesday nights and choir, which is on every Thursday and sometimes on Mondays, because I always say yes to solos and things which require extra rehearsals. And then whinge about said extra rehearsals later, but shhh. I’m taking a break from choir after our May concert, but I want to start going to my writer’s group meetings (I’m theoretically a member, but they meet on Thursdays, so I very rarely see them, except at weekend events). I want to hopefully get the story I’ve just finished up to publishing standard by the end of the year and get my writing out there. “By the end of the year” basically means “by the end of October” since I’ll be travelling in the final two months of the year. I don’t want to be doing these things I love and feeling guilty because I should be home studying something I’m not enjoying.

Anyway. I kind of got distracted from this post because my housemate, neighbour and I decided to watch some old episodes of Doctor Who (and by “old” I mean end of 2005, yeah I know… I actually am a Classic Series fan, Jon Pertwee was my first Doctor ♥) so it is my bedtime now because I have to be up for work tomorrow. So I shall say goodnight, and see you on your own check-ins, and then again on Wednesday for our final one! ♥

~ Emily