#WIPpet Wednesday and #ROW80 Update – In which we get a little bit meta

wednesdaybannerHello! It’s Wednesday and I’m so determined for my WIPpet Wednesday post to go up on time this week that I started writing it last night. Since I posted late and missed the linky, some of you might have missed the news that I figured out a lot of stuff in Operation: Nutcracker and have been working on it again! There is still a lot that needs working out, but I feel like I’m getting somewhere with it again and it’s been really exciting visiting Max and Clara again. Though I did have a moment while I had my Nutcracker on Ice DVD on (my neighbours were blaring techno all weekend, so I figured blaring Tchaikovsky back at them was only fair) and I realised I kept referring to the Nutcracker Prince in that as Max. So that’s a thing.

Anyway, for this week’s WIPpet, I have four lines (2 + 2 for the 22nd of January). I didn’t even actually think about what I was writing when I wrote this, and it wasn’t until I sat back and read it and went, “Wait…”

“So now everyone is waiting for their long lost Prince to return home and save them,” Clara summarised, though Max heard the skepticism still in her voice. “I can’t decide whether your life is the plot of a fantasy novel or a Disney movie.”

“Disney movie, definitely,” Max declared seriously.

Silly Max. If only you knew.

Also, on the subject of meta, I found out a thing the other day and it kind of broke my brain a little. The actress who plays Cait in my dream AMCF cast was in a workshop for a musical version of the movie Ever After: A Cinderella Story. Which might seem like not too major a thing, until I add that the character of Prince Felipe is very, very inspired by the character of Prince Henry in that very movie. So I had a bit of a moment then, though now that I’ve written it down, it’s probably not as mind-blowing for anyone else as it was for me. 😛

row80-2As for writing goals, well, I wrote about a page and a half of Operation Sugarplum on my breaks at work on Monday. When added up, said breaks work out at about an hour. Today I took my print out of the current version of AMCF in with me and have really started working on the edits and the Post-It-Noting. I have green ones for where entire scenes need to be moved or changed, orange ones for timeline-related stuff because I’m reasonably sure my timeline isn’t entirely straight, and pink ones for random little changes, including spelling/grammar/”is this even a sentence?!” issues. Though a lot of those are just being written straight in, in pink pen. So that’s my two hours for the week up already, and I plan on doing more editing this evening if I have some time.

I’ve also met my blogging schedule for the last couple of weeks, so that’s pretty awesome.

If you would like to join in on WIPpet Wednesday, simply post an excerpt from your current WIP that somehow correlates to the date (we encourage creativity with the dates) and then link up with us here and check out others’ offerings. As always, thanks to K. L. Schwengel for hosting us. 🙂 If you are more into the A Round of Words in 80 Days, check it out here.

On that note, I’m going to sign off and go back to drinking the tea I bought from the actual Twinings shop in London and listening to an album of the St Paul’s Cathedral Choir singing Christmas carols and pretending I’m back there for the Christmas concert I attended. Catch you all later. 🙂

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A Late #WIPpet Wednesday and #ROW80 Update

Yeah, so I’m a day late with this. But you see, it’s getting up to nearly 40 degrees (104F, I think) here each day, and so last night instead of coming straight home from work and writing a blog post, I went to see The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. And was totally amused by the fact that Legolas has aged in the prequel. Which is even more awkward than an Elf having aged in a sequel. But mostly I was there for the air conditioning. American friends, may I swap you some of your cold for some of our heat? Not all of it, but if we can meet at a nice, mutually-agreed-upon halfway point, would that work for you guys?

row80-2Anyway, so A THING, YOU GUYS! You know how I kept getting really stuck on Operation: Sugarplum and was at one point considering it mostly-shelved. While I was at the cinema forty-five minutes before my session (well, I wasn’t going to venture outside after dinner, was I?) , I finally figured out the thing that I had been stuck on, namely, what exactly is up with Max’s kingdom and their enemies and why Max is the only one who can fix it. So, y’know, rather big, plotty things to be stuck on. And it still needs to be sketched out further, BUT I FIGURED IT OUT! And that’s SO EXCITING! Particularly considering I think I do need to work on something else for just a little while before diving back into AMCF.

The other thing that I think has helped is the resolution I made with regard to this story. Before, I was trying to be really clever. Every word I wrote had to somehow reflect back to the original Nutcracker story. And that was stressing me out. I’ve convinced myself to relax and just get the general theme. Christmas, magical lands, the name Drosselmeier… that sort of thing.

wednesdaybannerIt’s been so long since I last looked at it that I can’t really remember what I wrote, but I wrote a scene today anyway picking up from where I think I left off, so let’s have some stuff from that for WIPpet Wednesday this week, shall we? But not much. Here are sixteen words for the day plus one for the month that take place after Max explains everything about him being a prince from a magical kingdom.

Clara considered him carefully for a moment. “Do you know how ridiculous you sound?” she finally asked.

In Max’s defence, he did warn her she wouldn’t believe him, and she did say, “Try me.”

To join in on WIPpet Wednesday, simply post an excerpt from your current WIP that somehow correlates to the day’s date, and then link up with us here. A Round of Words in 80 Days can be linked up with here.

I should really go to bed now, as it’s only 33 minutes away from midnight and sadly tomorrow is not the weekend yet. It’s so hot, though, and I won’t be able to sleep! Bahhh…. *wipes brow* All right. Off I go.  See you all soon!

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#WIPpet Wednesday – This is the post that SHOULD have been titled “Aah, cold hands!”

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So I had planned to use this WIPpet last week, hence the title. Except then I decided on an earlier excerpt, but forgot to edit the title to reflect that. Ah well. I don’t know how much attention people actually pay to post titles, but in case you do, this one will probably make more sense for you. This is set after the battle with the giant rat-creature-things, once Max has gotten Clara safely inside. She’s on the couch, he’s gathered some medical supplies to treat the wound on her shoulder where the magic hit her and… yeah. My WIPpet math goes like this: It’s the 16th and 6 – 1 = 5 paragraphs. I say “paragraphs”, they’re mostly lines of dialogue. But whatever. On we go!

Max knelt down beside her placing the bowl of water on the floor and the medical supplies next to it. His next move was to take hold of her shirt to pull it over her head, but she flinched away from him.

“Clara, your sleeve isn’t going to roll up far enough for me to do this properly. Please don’t get modest on me now.”

“It’s not that,” she replied. “Just that your hands are cold.”

“Oh. Sorry.” Making a mental note to clean up the mess later, he tipped some of the hot water over his hands, then dried them on his jeans before returning to the task at hand. “Better?”

“Much.”

It occurs to me that in my mental image of the rest of this scene, Clara still has her shirt on, and is not just lying in bra and jeans, but… I’m going to just ignore that because sometimes my brain doesn’t follow the cues the words on the page give it… this happens to me all the time, in fact.

In other news, I’ve been plotting a bit more on my NaNoWriMo stories. Ginny’s story now has quite a bit of plot, including pirates! [Maybe. It’s more sort of that this people need to get from one land mass to another and they’re also not very nice, so…] And it has a title, An Eventual Happily Ever After, which I thought tied in well with A More Complicated Fairytale and also ties in with some of the themes in the story as well. I usually hate coming up with titles for things, but this one came to me as I was staring at the AMCF notes I have on my pinboard, and I did a bit of a happy dance because I was quite pleased with it.

In other other news, I have a job interview at 9am tomorrow and should probably consider wrapping this up, doing some final preparation and then getting an early night. I am reasonably confident about this one; much more than the last interview I went for. I’ve done a couple of practice runs with my other half, so hopefully I won’t just word vomit like I have been known to do in the past. Now to just cross fingers they don’t ask any weird questions about things I didn’t think of. Also that it won’t be as cold as it has been the past couple of mornings, since I don’t have any skin-tone stockings and will therefore be wearing my dress without any. And even though Octobers are supposed to be NICE in Australia, that has not been the case the last few days. I’ve been wearing stockings under my jeans and up to four layers up top.

Anyway, this was all leading up to me saying goodnight. I will get to as many of your posts as I can tomorrow night, but my parents are visiting for the weekend, which means Saturday morning, when I usually do it, is out. Hopefully I’ll get around to most of you though! Goodnight!

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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.

#WIPpet Wednesday: Last resorts…

Ohai, you guys! How is October already? I know they the older you get, the faster the year seems to fly because it becomes a smaller proportion of your life, but I’m only 24! If it goes this fast now, what’s it going to be like when I’m 50? Or 80? It is now less than 6 weeks until I go overseas, though, which I feel is sort of milestone. Six weeks is a good unit to measure by. And it was six weeks yesterday. Yay! I also discovered that some of my friends in England have won tickets to the 50th Anniversary Doctor Who event for the same day that I’ll be there, so that’s pretty awesome.

Anyway, it’s also Wednesday, which means this is a WIPpet post! How does WIPpet Wednesday work, you ask? All you need do is post an excerpt from your WIP that somehow relates to the date. Then hop on over to the linky and join us! 🙂 As always, thanks to K. L. Schwengel for hosting. I’m just being boring today and posting two paragraphs. They follow on from last week’s excerpt, since I have written very little since then. I have mostly finished the fight scene, though, and am reasonably happy with how it turned out. So that’s something. 😀 Anyway, here we go.

As she watched, Clara didn’t think her heart could have sped up anymore, but as she watched Max’s situation get more dire, this felt like exactly what it felt like it was doing. Not knowing what else she could do to help, she looked around for something she could throw, and on seeing nothing, rifled through her bag for the same reason. The biggest thing she had was her sunglasses case, and she couldn’t see that being much use. Then she looked down at her feet. The boots she was wearing had rather chunky heels on them. If she could hit the creature (the real one, not one of its six clones) with one of them, it might at least distract it enough for Max to regain the upper hand…

She unzipped one of her boots, stood up slowly so as not to attract attention, and took aim. Hoping that it would find its mark, she then lobbed it at the creature in the middle. She bit her lip as she watched it curve through the air and then fist-pumped as the heel of her boot made contact with the creature’s head. The impact knocked the creature forward and as its concentration was broken, the six copies shuddered and disappeared. Clara’s feeling of triumph was short-lived, however, when the creature turned itself on her and with a snarl, formed one of the blue orbs and sent it in her direction.

Well, that’s not exactly what Clara was hoping for. Good thing she’s got Max to look after her in the aftermath.

I’m going to wrap this up so that I can get onto reading others’ posts, and then do some betaing before bed. Catch y’all later!

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#WIPpet Wednesday and Tales from 10 years ago…

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Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) and Lt. Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie), the leads from Sleepy Hollow. Because pictures of attractive people are a thing one should have on one’s blog.
Image pinched from tvline.com

Is anyone else watching Sleepy Hollow, the new series on FOX (also known by the fans as “Ichabod Crane vs. the 21st Century” because that’s actually the best part of the show and no one’s really caring that much about the supernatural element)? Essentially, the premise is that shortly after beheading the Hessian soldier in the Revolutionary War, Ichabod Crane (in this version, a dashing Oxford scholar who defected to the American side) awakens in the 21st Century, along with the Headless Horseman, who is actually Death, of Four Horsemen fame, and this is the start of the Apocalypse. Meanwhile, Ichabod must learn about showers and handguns with more than one shot in them and taxes on doughnut holes.

Anyway, whilst discussing the second episode with my friend, Casey, last night, I remembered about the story I wrote in late primary school/early high school which also had a time traveling character named Ichabod (I had recently seen the Tim Burton Sleepy Hollow movie; he got renamed Archibald when I was typing things up because I wanted him to have a nickname and Ichy just didn’t work for me, even at age 13).

In the ten years since then, our home computer has been replaced a couple of times, and I’m on my second laptop (which is dying! Ahh!) but I’ve always kept the outline in my Stories folder. I pulled it up last night and, for the first outline I ever actually bothered writing (and even then, I’d written the first half when I figured out where it was going), I was kind of impressed with it… so much so that I almost feel I want to give it another chance… Cos, you know, I totally need more ideas.

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I’m taking you back to Operation: Sugarplum this week, as I’ve finally started working on it a bit more. And by that I mean, forcing myself to because I keep procrastinating and that’s just not good enough. This is the scene before the one I posted last time, and basically immediately after this one from a few weeks ago  (I just jumped a couple of lines to make the maths work better). I’m writing this on Thursday morning, but it’s still Wednesday in parts of the world, so this is 25 lines in honour of the 25th of September. Also, disclaimer: I’m actually not that skilled at writing fight scenes, and a lot of this is still in the “at least write something so you know what’s going on and then you can fix it later” stage.

[The creature] shoved Clara unceremoniously to one side. She tripped on the uneven ground where footpath met grass and fell against the brick wall that closed in a front yard from the nature strip. Her shoulder took the brunt of the impact, and she subconsciously raised an arm to rub it, though her eyes were glued to the scene unfolding in front of her.

For the first time, Clara got a good look at the thing which had been holding her. In place of fingers, it had four long claws and its face protruded in a small snout that put Clara in mind of the mice her brother had kept as pets when he was younger. As Max advanced towards it, its body shimmered slightly and Clara’s eyes widened as six identical copies split off from it and took up positions on either side.

The original one in the middle held up its hands in front of it and a glowing blue orb appeared in between them. It grew steadily larger until it was about the size of a basketball and then the creature lobbed it at Max. It wasn’t until Max raised a sword and deflected the blue orb that Clara realised he’d been holding anything. He took a defencive stance, the sword held in front of him, as the energy from the first blue Orb dissipated and it disappeared.

As if responding to some silent cue from their creator, the six clones then raised their hands in unison and all began creating similar pulsing blue orbs. Clara saw Max stiffen slightly, his eyes darting from one end of the line to the other, but then he squared his shoulders and waited for the onslaught The leader of the creatures laughed its throaty laugh again as the first of the missiles was launched at Max.

“What good is a sword, your Highness, against our powers? They sent you here to protect you, but Look at you! Useless!”

“You’d… be… surprised…” Max grunted, but it was true the odds were not in his favour. While he had been able to defend himself from the first couple of missiles, they were coming thicker and faster, forcing him to manoeuvre awkwardly. To make matters worse, each time one of the orbs was thrown, the thrower would immediately begin creating another, and they seemed to be becoming more powerful. Soon, Max was forced down onto one knee, holding the sword up in front of him like a shield and seemingly hoping for the best.

If you would like to join in on WIPpet Wednesday, just post an excerpt from your WIP that somehow correlates to the date (we encourage being creative with the date because you just Really. Want. To Post. This Bit!) then link up at the linky and check out what others have offered. As always, thanks to K. L. Schwengel for hosting. 🙂 And now it’s probably time I go, since I have to finish a job application. Just because I’m having the day off today because of a sore back (damn not being able to get into the chiropractor til later!), doesn’t mean I should be unproductive. I’ll catch y’all later! 🙂

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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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#MirthMusicMon – The Very Model of a Modern Major-General and #ROW80 Check-in: Damn that book being good!

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The other night, I finally got around to doing something I’ve been meaning to do for years and downloaded a version of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado from iTunes. The following night, I did the same with The Pirates of Penzance, and as such, have been listening to them all week. So it only makes sense that something from one of those is my contribution to Mirth and Music Monday this week. I did manage to pick about the longest song that I could, but it really is the best one. This is the version of Pirates that I grew up with on video, and it never ceases to amaze me that the guy playing Major-General Stanley is the same guy playing Nanki-Poo in this production of the Mikado. Said productions were only a few years apart. I think Mikado was second, too. The same company also did HMS Pinafore, that was the only one I got to see live, and I’m pretty sure I was too young to understand half the jokes, but it was still lots of fun. Anyway. I am rambling! Video!

And now onto my ROW80 check-in. Um. Well. You know how I said on Wednesday that I had started a new book and it had grabbed me in the first two pages? Well, it continued to keep me reading so much so that I gave up any plans of getting anything else done until I finished it. Which was yesterday. The book was The Amulet of Samarkand, the first in the Bartimaeus trilogy by Jonathon Stroud. And it was awesome. But that did mean I basically had today to get anything done. And I did write for two hours! The two hours preceding the writing of this post, in fact. I wrote about 300 words on Operation: Sugarplum; not the best result, but  the scene that I’m currently working on is proving tricky to actually make turn into words on a page.

I did, however, also manage to add 500+ words to my Short Story Saturday serial, Keep Your Enemies Closest. Actually, I also worked on that a bit yesterday, going through what I wrote last year and fixing it up and making it better. The story is coming along nicely. I’ve come up with a bit of world-building tonight that I wasn’t expecting, so that’s exciting. Also exciting is that people seem to be enjoying it so far, even if it is basically me foisting a first draft on an unsuspecting audience.

… I am vaguely worried it is going to turn into a full-fledged WIP, but… I could actually live with that. It is a prequel to Friend of the Enemy, so if I end up writing one instead of the other, I’m not hugely bothered. The plan I’ve got for it in my head is paced reasonably quickly, so even if it does take over, hopefully it won’t be for too long.

Anyway, it’s time for me to schedule this post for tomorrow morning and go to bed. I shall catch you all at your check-ins. 🙂

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Job Interview Aftermath, #WIPpet Wednesday, #ROW80 Check-in and a Question

First of all, thank you for all your good wishes for my job interview today. It went… okay, I guess, but it was the first time I’ve been interviewed for a job at this level (despite acting in a very similar position before), so I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect and despite preparing as best I could, a couple of the questions still caught me a bit off guard. I came up with answers, but they were a bit dodgy. If I get this position, that would be great, but I think I will be chalking this one up to experience and will be better prepared for the other couple of positions coming up in my workplace in the next few months. Of the three positions, this was the one I wanted the least, so while I’ll be disappointed, it could be worse.

wednesdaybannerAnyway! Onto happier things. WIPpet Wednesday is here again! Want to join in? Simply post an excerpt from your current WIP that somehow correlates to the date (either [date] number of lines/paragraphs/words, etc, something from that numbered chapter; add some of the numbers together for a different outcome…). Then join us at the linky and see what others have shared. I feel a bit bad because I only got around to about half of you last week. I’ll try to do better this week!

I’ve got another piece from Operation: Sugarplum to share with you this week. I’ve added the 2 and the 1 from the day’s date, plus the 8 for the month, and have 11 lines for you. This is very early on in the piece; the second scene in the story in fact. The opening scene is from Max’s POV, he knows Clara”s in trouble and is worried because she’s not answering her phone, then we cut to Clara. There are a couple of lines of dialogue between Clara and her lecturer before this, but the numbers worked better to just start here.

Clara had not been in a class, but she had been on campus, meeting with one of her lecturers to get some tips for the upcoming assignments. She pulled on an overcoat, ran her fingers through her hair to make sure none of it was caught under the collar, and then slung her handbag over one shoulder. There was a spring in her step as she left campus and began walking home, despite it being dark and chilly.

She’d been walking for ten minutes or so when she first thought she heard footsteps on the pavement behind her. She tried to ignore the noise; it was probably just someone else walking home as well. This part of town was full of student share houses so it wasn’t exactly unusual.

When the footsteps were still following her after she’d turned two corners, though, then she started feeling worried. Casting a glance over her shoulder, she saw two figures in black clothes and hoods. She quickened her pace, hoping to keep them away just a bit longer – she was only a street away from her house now – but they matched her new speed.

row80-2As for my goals, well, as predicted I was so caught up with interview nerves prep that I didn’t get anything done in the first half of this week, apart from add maybe a few sentences to O:S. Once I finish this post, I plan on going and banging on my keyboard for a bit, so that will give me a bit of a start on one of my Mission 101 goals. I was planning on writing during my breaks once my interview was over today, but that didn’t happen because I was feeling more frazzled than I had expected, so I mostly just read my book and daydreamed because that was about all I could concentrate on. Tomorrow I will be in a much better frame of mind.

To finish off, I have a question for you guys. The two most recent books I have tried reading, I have ended up giving up on, just because I felt I should have been more invested in/hook on the story by the point I was at, and I wasn’t. Having said that, I was wondering if I’d given them enough of a chance yet. I was asking my boss about how much of a chance he gives a book, and he told me of the “100 pages minus your age” rule, which seems to be a thing a lot of people advocate. For me, that’s 76, which translates to roughly 15% of either of these books. That’s about how much I give a ebook before I decide to ditch it. Of course, as I get older, that number is going to go down, but I sort of still feel like 15% is a good number (and that of course will go up or down depending on the length of the book). Do you have a rule for how long you stick with a book before you decide not to bother anymore? Or do you just throw it aside immediately if it doesn’t grab your attention?

And with that, I leave you, and go to play some music, before going to bed and reading the book I started today, which captured my interest in the first two pages!

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