#WIPpet and #WWW Wednesday – 25 May 2016

First of all, I’m excited to announce that I’m doing a giveaway! Launching a book in the middle of semester was perhaps a silly thing to do, as it meant I couldn’t properly promote it at launch time. But that’s all done with now, so here I am with two signed paperback copies of A More Complicated Fairytale to give away. It’s open to everyone, anywhere in the world, because if I restricted it to Australian entries I’d probably get maybe two. 😛 You can go here to enter. Good luck!

(If you want to know a bit more before entering, the Amazon and GoodReads links are both in the sidebar to the right)/;’

My goodness, this has been a good writing week. You can read a long ramble about the reasons for the sudden upturn in my progress in Sunday’s post, but suffice to say – you know how last Wednesday I was all like, “It’s taken me from November to now, but I’ve just reached 20k on Worlds Apart”? Well, I’ve added over 5k just this week. My aim for the ten weeks between uni semesters was to add another 10k, but I’ve upped that goal to 30k, which will bring me to a total of 50k by the time I return to uni. Fingers crossed I can keep up the momentum! I’ll still try to keep my WIPpets somewhat in sequence so as not to cause too much confusion, but at least I don’t have to worry about running out of material to share from now.

wednesdaybannerFor today’s WIPpet I have five lines, which also happen to make up two paragraphs in my Scrivener file (and it’s the 25th). Quite a lot has happened prior to this scene, but all you need to know is that Princess Adelyn and Carrie Cortain had the royal guards catch up to them while they were trying to escape. Due to circumstances that would take far too long to explain here, Carrie has been taken by the guards and Adelyn has lost all of her memories of who she is, etc., and has been left alone in a giant forest. And yes, there is a reason she thinks she may be Carrie, but again with the “too convoluted to explain” thing.

The girl wandered the forest, her hands brushing against the rough bark of trees as she passed. She jumped every time she heard a noise. The pack on her back made her shoulders ache, but she kept moving. She didn’t know if it would be safe to stop, though she didn’t know where she was going, either.

The other girl had called her Carrie. Was that her name? She assumed so, though they had seemed to be in trouble. Perhaps she had been using an alias. Why didn’t she know who she was, and why was the other girl so keen for her to get away to the point of sacrificing herself? And who was Milton Nethercote, the man she was supposed to somehow locate?

If you are unfamiliar with WIPpet Wednesday, allow me to elaborate. It’s a blog hop where writers get together and share snippets from the WIP that somehow relate to the date (eg. my 2 paragraphs/5 lines thing for today). You can reach our link-up by clicking the blue guy in the right-hand sidebar. Please feel free to join in with us! We’d love to have you.

wwwwednesdayNow onto WWW Wednesday! This is a blog hop in which we answer questions about what we’ve been reading this past week. This is hosted by Sam over at A World of Words. You can join in by commenting on today’s post over on her blog.

  • What are you currently reading?

The Kingdom of Little Wounds by Susann Cokal. Ive only read the first 100 pages so far, but I’ve already witnessed the marriage of a twelve-year-old girl (thankfully, despite my fears, there is no wedding night described), and the violent miscarriage of another girl not much older (it’s set in the 16th century, so basically everything is awful) yeah. It’s going to be a bit harrowing, I think.

I also made a very decent chunk in the audio version of The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor. I got the email from my library that was available this morning, so I delayed leaving for work slightly and downloaded it. I’m already halfway through. I’m quite fussy about Alice in Wonderland retellings/adaptations, but I am actually liking this one. I think the fact that the Mad Hatter-equivalent character is not the love interest for once is helping. His connect to Alice/Alyss is entirely different. (I know that in Splintered, the Wonderland love interest was based on the Caterpillar, but I hated that book, so it doesn’t count :P)

  • What did you recently finish reading?

disclaimercoverI finished two audio book thrillers this week. The first was Disclaimer by Renee Knight, about a woman who has to confront her deepest, darkest secret when she is delivered a novel which clearly references said secret. It required a fair bit of suspension of disbelief, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. It made me think. Second was Viral by Helen Fitzgerald. It’s about a girl whose worst moment ends up as a viral Internet video. It was good, and really drew attention to the woefully inadequate laws we have around video uploads and that sort of thing. But one of the two POV characters was quite unrealistic, I felt, which let it down a bit.

As Friday night was the beginning of my first weekend with no uni work, I spent it in bed reading The Poison Diaries by Maryrose Wood, which was a very quick read in the end. While there were some parts I didn’t especially like, the ending was really gripping!

I realised that I wasn’t going to get The Last Days of Magic by Mark Tompkins finished by today, when it was due back to the library, so I gave up and returned it on Monday. However, I’ve put it back on my GoodReads TBR shelf rather than my DNF shelf in the hopes I’ll be able to come back to it when I’m in a better mood for it. It’s one that I do want to give a proper chance to.

I posted two new reviews this week, one for Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton (3 stars) and one for World War Z by Max Brooks (3.5 stars).

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

A Gathering of Shadows FinalMy next audio book is Reluctantly Charmed by Ellie O’Neill, which sounds cute and lighthearted and charming.

It’s not so much a case of reading next, but getting back to reading. The Edge of Darkness by K. L. Schwengel  and A Gathering of Shadows by V. E. Schwab have both been sitting, started but not completed, on my Kindle, waiting for me to get back to them once I got rid of all my library books. Kingdom of Little Wounds is the last of my library haul for the moment, so I will actually be able to return to these.

Whew this was a long post! If you’ve made it all this way, you have my thanks. I’ll sign off now, and go and catch some of you on your owns blogs!

~ Emily

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#WWW and #WIPpet Wednesday – 18 May, 2016

Once again, I have failed at keeping up with everyone’s blogs! However, on the brighter side, I handed in my final two assignments for the semester this week, and now I am free for ten glorious weeks! My aim is actually to get a lot of writing done in that time, but it will mean increased blogging time, too, I hope.

Anyway, now is time for WWW Wednesday, a blog hop in which we answer questions about what we’ve been reading this past week. This is hosted by Sam over at A World of Words. You can join in by commenting on today’s post over on her blog (though I’m posting quite early, so if the post isn’t there yet, check back later).
wwwwednesday

  • What are you currently reading?

lastdaysofmagiccoverThe Last Days of Magic by Mark Tompkins. It’s not exactly wowing me and the writing feels a bit clunky, but it’s early days so I’m not writing it off just yet.

  • What did you recently finish reading?

rebelofthesandscoverRebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton. I actually realised about two thirds of the way through that there was no indication from the book that some of the things I had been expecting would be there, so I guess I did a bit of a disservice to myself and the book by having unfounded expectations. I still enjoyed it, but not as much as I might have otherwise. My review goes up on Friday.

I also finished World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, which I was listening to on audio. My review will go up on Monday. I enjoyed it, though my mind wasn’t blown.

I  posted my review of Rivers of London by Aaronovitch on Monday.

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

kingdomlittlewoundscoverThe Kingdom of Little Wounds by Susann Cokal, which I mostly picked up because of the stunning cover (seriously, go check it out), and The Poison Diaries by Maryrose Wood are the last two of my library books. I will probably read the Poison Diaries first because it’s shorter, and hopefully I’ll get through it before the due date, though I’m actually keener to read The Kingdom of Little Wounds.

Now for WIPpet Wednesday. My WIPpet maths this week is such – it’s the eighteenth, and so I have a nine-line paragraph because I added the two digits together. Carrie is getting Princess Adelyn out of the city, but they have to go on foot, and they’re getting into the dodgier parts of town.

Princess Adelyn kept her hood raised as they walked. It was still dark outside, but the street lamps lit their way. She wasn’t sure how much longer that would remain the case, though, as they headed into the poorer parts of the city. Once they reached the forest Jasper had mentioned, she didn’t know what they would do to see their way. Carrie seemed to know what she was doing though. She walked confidently through the streets. Adelyn was surprised that a young woman from the part of town where the Cortains lived would know her way out of the city by this road so easily.

If you are unfamiliar with WIPpet Wednesday, it’s a blog hop that I coordinate, wherein us writer types share an snippet from our current WIP (hence, WIPpet) that somehow relates to the date. The date correlation can be as tenuous as you like; we enjoy creativity in that respect. 😉 You can join in by clicking the little blue guy to the right. 🙂

On the subject of this WIP, I am very close to hitting 20k on it! Which isn’t a lot given I started it November, but I’ve had some rough patches lately, writing-wise, so I’m getting excited at any and all milestones.

Now that I’m done with uni for a while, I’m hoping to do some proper promo and marketing for A More Complicated Fairytale. Some people actually bought it despite my lack of marketing! But I’d like to see a few more! (If you’re keen, you might like to use the link in the sidebar to buy your own copy, but I am going to hopefully have a giveaway up and going in a week or so, so you might like to hold off until then).

Well, I’d best be off now. I’m going to the circus tonight! 😀 Hopefully this week I’ll actually manage to get around to a lot of your blogs. Until then!

~ Emily

#WWW and #WIPpet Wednesday – 11 May, 2016

I’m sorry I haven’t been a great blogging friend/colleague lately!  Time has been of the essence and while it’s one thing to put a post up, actually getting around to the rest of you guys and interacting is a whole other story. I’ll try my best this week and hopefully once I get uni out of the way for the semester next week, I’ll be able to hang out with you guys a bit more.

Anyway, now is time for WWW Wednesday, a blog hop in which we answer questions about what we’ve been reading this past week. This is hosted by Sam over at A World of Words. You can join in by commenting on today’s post over on her blog (though I’m posting quite early, so if the post isn’t there yet, check back later).
wwwwednesday

  • What are you currently reading?

Technically, The Edge of Darkness by K. L. Schwengel  and A Gathering of Shadows by V. E. Schwab, but they are both still on hold while I get through my pile of library books.

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton is the next book from my library haul! It’s received mixed reviews but I’m hoping I’ll enjoy it. I have been craving something else with djinn since reading The Golem and the Djinni last year. At time of writing this post, I’ve read 14 pages, but I did like them! It feels a bit like a Western, except with an Arabic-inspired setting.

  • What did you recently finish reading?

I finished Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch just this morning. It was due back to the library yesterday, but they generally give you a couple of days’ grace before fining you, so I think I have got away with no fees. I wasn’t too fussed on it and don’t intend to continue with the series. I’ll write a full review to go up on Monday.

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

The Last Days of Magic by Mark Tompkins, as it is the next one due back at the library, and also the only one of those that I had on my TBR, rather than just randomly picking up.

Excitingly, I am also making a return to WIPpet Wednesday! Hurray! I know how much you all missed me. 😛 I didn’t have the best writing month in April, because I was stressing about how I really didn’t know where nay of my three WIPs were going. However, I have returned to Worlds Apart, which is the one I actually have outlined right to the end, even if the world-building isn’t complete yet. My plan is to just finish the damn first draft and then fix things. If you are new, you can read previous excerpts from Worlds Apart by going to the relevant blog category.

This scene follows on from previous ones I’ve shared, where Jasper Cortain and his wife, Helena, are being questioned about the Princess’ disappearance by Captain Eli Masden. Masden is using his mind control magic on Helena in order to get information out of Jasper. Jasper tries to go to her. The two words mentioned in the first sentence are just “No, stop.” I’m sharing 2 paragraphs because it’s the 11th and 1+1=2.

As Masden spoke the words, Jasper something inside his head. It was like a worm was crawling around in there, preventing his normal brain function and instead making him do as Masden instructed. He froze mid-step.

Jasper grimaced, and tried to move his legs. The worm in his head resisted, but he could feel it give. He summoned up the magic he used to drive out ailments in others, but instead of letting it blast out through his hands and into another affected person, he directed it at the spot in his own head where he could feel Masden’s magic setting in. The force of the blast took him by surprise, and Masden as well, by the looks of it. While Jasper staggered a few steps backward, he saw the other magician get thrown roughly into the back of his chair.

If you are unfamiliar with WIPpet Wednesday, it’s a blog hop that I coordinate, wherein us writer types share an snippet from our current WIP (hence, WIPpet) that somehow relates to the date. The date correlation can be as tenuous as you like; we enjoy creativity in that respect. 😉 You can join in by clicking the little blue guy to the right. 🙂

Well, I’d best be off now. I’ll try to catch you all soon!

~ Emily

#WWW and #WIPpet Wednesday – 23 December 2015

So I drove up to my parents’ place yesterday, and they have very minimal phone reception, not to mention, my phone battery was basically dead by the time I arrived. Which meant we nearly had a WIPpet Wednesday disaster, because I didn’t see the reminder to update the linky for this week until I was putting my phone on the charger just before bed. Luckily, this is one of those times when being Australian comes in handy, because it meant that 7am this morning was only just midnight in the UK and still only 2pm American EST, and all crises were averted in plenty of time.

seanbeanwippetAs my Christmas present to you all, I thought I would actually share a WIPpet this week. For those unfamiliar with this blog hop, it’s one in which writers share excerpts from their current works in progress that somehow relate to the date. Today’s the 23rd, so I’ve added 2 and 3 together, and have five short paragraphs for you. Then I’ve added an extra line because it’s Christmas (and because it worked better to end it there). If you would like to join in, simply write up a post and then follow the little blue link in the top right to link up with us.

I finished plotting and started writing the first draft of my new WIP, tentatively titled Worlds Apart, a couple of weeks ago, and so far have just under 4000 words. I’m writing at least 200 words a day. Sometimes it’s sitting just at that total, though I’ve had a few good days of 750-1000 words. This scene is right at the beginning of the book. Princess Adelyn has been dragged back to the palace after it was discovered she was sneaking out and associating with some fairly shady commoners She’s trying to (quite justifiably) wriggle out of her punishment.

“I know what you’ve done. I was starting to piece it together and my friends in the city figured the rest out.” She moved further up the bed away from him, but Captain Masden simply moved around to the side of it and caught up to her. 

“A princess doesn’t have friends in the city, your Highness.” 

“Please don’t take away my memories again. You can tell my father that you did, and I’ll never mention anything about it to him. I’ll feign complete ignorance.” 

She saw him beckon to her companion, Maisie, who had been standing at the head of the bed, and she flinched as Maisie took her by the shoulders to hold her still. Captain Masden placed his fingers to her temples, paying no attention to her pleas. 

“I’m afraid I can’t risk you letting something slip, your Highness. These are your father’s orders. Now, please listen closely.” He ignored the small whimper she let out. “You were never in the city yesterday. You never met any healers, or their children, and you certainly weren’t about to let them lead you off to the shadier edges of town, where illegal magic is rife. You spent yesterday reading your favourite book, and sewing when the fancy took you. Your father came by and discussed plans for your mother’s anniversary next week. Do you remember?” 

“I remember,” the Princess repeated, her voice a monotone.

Oooh. 

wwwwednesdayI’m almost hesitant to go on to WWW Wednesday, because it’s been such a slow reading week for me. But on I shall go. WWW Wednesday is a weekly blog hop hosted by Sam over at A World of Words, in which we answer three questions about the books we’ve been reading this week. You can join in by leaving your link over on Sam’s blog.

  • What are you currently reading? 

Very little movement on The Crash of Hennington by Patrick Ness or  The Magician’s Nephew by C. S. Lewis. I ended up having my dad in the car with my yesterday, so I didn’t actually get to listen to the audio books I had planned to on my way home. Otherwise I would be well and truly finished Magician’s Nephew at least. I also started The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater, because even though it’s three years old, I feel like everyone is reading it right now. I’m only around page 50, but I’m not minding it so far. I quite like Gansey.

  • What did you recently finish reading? 

I spent Saturday doing absolutely nothing but reading Melophobia by James Morris. James got in touch with me on GoodReads to ask if I would like a review copy, and as I had heard good things, of course I said yes. There was one particular character whom I really didn’t like and that pulled me up a bit, but the alternate history was good. It’d been a while since I’d read an alternate history as opposed to a straight dystopia.

  • What do you think you’ll read next? 

I’m hoping I’ll manage to finish The Magician’s Nephew while I’m home, then I can just pop on The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror  for my entire drive home next Tuesday. I won’t finish it on the drive, but I’ll make a fairly decent hole. Time Lord Fairy Tales also came in for me at the library after ages on hold, so that will probably be my next print book. I’m at 72 books for 2015 at the moment; I’m hoping I will reach 75 before the year is out.

This will be my last post before Christmas. I’ll be back for WWW/WIPpet Wednesday next week, but my next book reviews won’t be up until January 8. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season, whether you are Christian, of another faith, or secular. I’ll see you all on the other side!

~ Emily

#WIPpet Wednesday and#ROW80 Update: Drastic Measures

I’m unexpectedly at home today, after falling off my bike halfway to work. I think I’m okay, though I have two rather large bruises on my right thigh. Earlier, my ankle was also causing me grief and my head was swimming when I walked, but that seems to have cleared up. The lovely folks at work have told me in no uncertain terms to not come back tomorrow unless I am feeling completely 100%, so we’ll see how I’m going.

I finished the first draft of Unicorn Love on Saturday. It only needed another 300 words or so, which goes to show just how lazy I had been in the week and a half prior. But anyway. Somewhat fitting that a story in which the main character is a cupid, and which explores the idea of true love, was finished on Valentine’s Day. That was the only Valentine’s Day-related thing that happened on Saturday, since the partner and I tend to ignore the day usually (though it is also International Give A Book day, which is something I can get behind).

The first draft ended up being just under 9000 words. However… I am not entirely sure if I am going to keep more than the first 2700-odd. It works really well up until the time travel happens, at which point it practically becomes a different story. At first, I was just trying to figure out ways to bring in aspects from the first part and tie it all together better, but my other problem was that I was having trouble coming up with an ending that was neither too easy nor too unrealistic (both of which were the case in the first version). I was driving a friend home after a theatre outing on Saturday evening and bounced some ideas off him. He has given me something to work with, though it will require deleting some stuff I’m quite partial to… I’ll have to see if I can work that in elsewhere. Either way, just as with AMCF, it sounds like the second draft of Unicorn Love will be drastically different to the first.

cupidOnto WIPpet Wednesday, and this scene follows the one I posted three weeks ago. Lydia is surprised that the Chinese boy and the girl in the bookstore are already together when she and Aphrodite spot them the next morning.

Lydia narrowed her eyes at Aphrodite. “Did you do something?”

“Lydia! I’m surprised you’d even suggest such a thing!” Lydia arched an eyebrow. “All right, maybe I gave them a little push.”

“I knew it.”

“But look at the boy! He’s beaming! And she is clearly smitten.”

“And how much of that is thanks to you?”

“Lydia, you’re not thinking about this in the right way. No wonder you’ve become disillusioned.” Aphrodite motioned for Lydia to follow and they continued past shops towards a crowded food court. “We are partly responsible for so many couples being brought together. Does that make their love any less legitimate?”

“I guess not. But why can’t you let it run its own course, once we’ve set it on its way?”

“Well, after today, I will. But while your job is simply to give prospective couples the push they need to come together, mine is far more complicated than that. I have to make decisions about which relationships should continue and which ones should end. I intervene a lot more than you know. But that doesn’t mean the rest of the work that couple does to stay together isn’t any less important, or that the tears that are cried when it doesn’t work out are less justified, just because I nudged it in one direction or another.”

“But the tears might have been avoided if you didn’t meddle.”

I realised while reading through the whole thing the other day that Lydia does an awful lot of eyebrow-arching. Something else for the second draft.

WIPpet Wednesday is hosted by K. L. Schwengel and you can find out linky here. To participate, simply post an excerpt from your WIP that somehow relates to the date. I posted 9 paragraphs because I added together the one and the eight from the eighteenth. A Round of Words in 80 Days is hosted by Kait Nolan, and you can check out the blog for more info. Now I’m off to do some uni work!

~ Emily

#WIPpet Wednesday – Matchmaking

This is wippetwednesdaya bit of a drive-by WIPpet post, as I started it on Wednesday night and then my Internet browser went funny, and I sort of forgot to come back to it. It’s now 7am Thursday morning in Australia, but it’s still Wednesday in plenty of parts of the world, so.

I apologise to everyone for not getting around to your WIPpet posts this past week, or even replying to comments on mine (I intend to still do that much, at least). I can guarantee anything this week, either, since I am heading up to my parents’ place on the weekend and while Internet there is not as scarce as it used to be, I’ll be trying to keep of it regardless. I probably won’t post a Wednesday post next week either, though I do have my Monday and Friday posts scheduled, at least.

As for the WIPpet. I have added the two digits of the day together and have three paragraphs from Unicorn Love to share. Lydia has gone out on her Cupid rounds, despite still not feeling the job any more. This is the first draft and yes, I am aware that a few words and phrases are a bit repetitive.

She saw a dorky Chinese guy in a bookshop furtively glancing at the sales assistant. Probing a little into his thoughts, she learned that he had been there the past several Friday nights because he knew this girl worked the late-night shopping shift, but so far he hadn’t worked up the courage to actually talk to her.

Despite still feeling all the frustrations with her job that she had earlier that day when she was with Aphrodite, she found herself taking some pity on the guy, and strung two arrows in her bow. She fired them off and then used her fingers to guide them towards their intended targets. Each of them blinked slightly, and the salesgirl took a step backward from the shelf she was tidying, nearly bumping into the Chinese guy. She spun around to apologise to him, but her words caught in her throat.

Lydia watched as the awkward small talk took place, hoping that if this was to be one of her last jobs, maybe it would work out. There was a time when this first meeting of two supposed soul mates would have made her heart speed up a little and her head spin with giddy euphoria, but those days were long past. Now she couldn’t help the cynicism.

Join us for WIPpet Wednesday by posting an excerpt of your WIP that somehow relates to the date, and then link up here. I need to start getting ready for work now, but I’ll hopefully see you all soon!

~ Emily

#WIPpet Wednesday and #ROW80 Update – Holy progress, Batman!

I’m going to start with a ROW80 update today, since there is lots to report on that front.

row80Goal 1: Spend half an hour a day before or after work formatting AMCF into the CreateSpace template.

This is actually complete! Sort of. It ended up only taking me about 45 minutes to get the text all copied into the CreateSpace template (the advantage of having written a short novel). There are still some issues I need to fix but this is well on its way.

Goal 2: Spend one hour on Tuesdays and Fridays on writing projects.

I didn’t strictly do this on the days my goal suggests  last week, but the weekend ended up being very productive, as has the first half of this week. My boyfriend was insisting that I have a lazy Saturday, which meant I was not allowed to any housework (I did get the dishes done and one load of washing before he started going on about this). This meant that I was able to sit down and concentrate on Unicorn Love, and as I said on Facebook, the pieces that hadn’t fallen into place already did so that afternoon. I ended up writing 4000 words before I went to bed. Maybe 1500 of those were copied and pasted and from the original Camp NaNo version, but most were new. On Saturday I also figured out the ending and how to get there, so I had the complete story before me.

… Of course, on Sunday, I only managed about 600 words, and I’ve been averaging around 450-600 every day since (work has been taking it out of me). That’s still ahead of my goal of an hour’s work/between 500-1000 words two evenings a week.

It’s actually going to probably end up under 10,000 words, so I’m not entirely sure what I might do with it. There is an Australian spec-fic magazine that accepts stories up to 8k, so if it comes in under that I’m considering submitting it. I’m not trying to force it to be under a particular length, though. I can always publish it for 99c or something down the line.

wednesdaybannerSo, today being Wednesday, I also have to find a snippet to share with you. For those new around these parts, WIPpet Wednesday involves sharing an snippet of your current WIP that somehow relates to the date and link up here. Today I’m sharing 14 lines from the Unicorn Love Scrivener file. Aphrodite has just asked Lydia (who used to be Lexie, then became Alex for a while before I realised I didn’t want to two ‘A’ names, and is now Lydia) if she has considered what work opportunities she might find if she quits Cupid-ing. This is basically the crux of the plot.

Lydia fidgeted under Aphrodite’s gaze. She had considered that, and the answer was “there aren’t many.” At best, she might end up working in a dating agency, which wouldn’t be much better than where she was now. At worst, she’d have to take a job on a late-night sex hotline and the thought of that made her feel sick to her stomach. Still, she didn’t think she could stand another day in her current position.

She looked Aphrodite square in the face. “I still want to quit,” she said firmly.

Aphrodite sighed and then folded her hands in front of her. “All right,” she said, “I’ll make you a deal. Let me spend a week with you and see if I can change your mind. If I can persuade you that true love still exists in the modern world, then you will continue working for me as a cupid. If, however, you remain convinced that your elusive ‘unicorn love’ has become a fairy tale, then you can hand in your bow.”

Lydia thought about it for a minute while Aphrodite watched her expectantly. Finally, she asked, “How do I know you won’t rig it so that I stay on?”

“You have my word as a goddess.”

“Like that means much.” Lydia bit her lip. “All right, I accept your stupid deal. What choice have I got?”

A wide, lazy smile spread across Aphrodite’s face. “Indeed.”

It occurs to me that Aphrodite does kind of rig it, actually, but it works out okay for Lydia in the end, too, and that’s the main thing.

It is now 9:35 and I am yet to type up the stuff I hand wrote at work today, so I guess it’s time for me love you and leave you all. I’ll be back over the next few days to check in with you all. Much love.

~ Emily

#WIPpet Wednesday and #ROW80 Week 1

First of all, I have a request, though given the crowd that visits this blog, I’m probably preaching to the choir here. Can we stop fussing about how other people read books? I’m just really sick of the ebook vs. print “debate”. People seem very concerned about how other people who have nothing to do with them read, and I can’t understand why… if you like print books, read print books. If you like ebooks, read those. If you like going with whichever option gives you the fastest and most affordable access to the book you want, like I do (my process is check library, check Amazon, check bookstore), then more power to you. Now let’s all stop the fuss, yes?

(This rant brought to you by a very stupid video I saw on YouTube today)

In other news, you know how I face cast my characters? I have this perfect image of the actor I want to cast as Armand in my NaNo 2014 story… The problem is, I can’t actually place who this actor is. After it had been bugging me all day, I literally figured it out just after I typed that sentence. Actor in question is Hugh Dancy, but from about 10 years ago, around the time he made Ella Enchanted. You guys have no idea how much of a relief this is. I could see his face and even hear his voice but couldn’t work out who he was. To the Pinterest machine! *points dramatically*

All right, I’m back from Pinterest. Firstly, an update on the ROW80 front. I am yet to start putting AMCF into the CreateSpace template. Once I finish writing this, I will go get my USB and put the relevant files on it so I can work on it at work with the dual monitors.

While I didn’t meet my “write for an hour on Tuesday” goal either, I have been working on my writing at other times. I sat down on Saturday or Sunday to start working on overall goal “Work out the plot holes in Unicorn Love”. Some of you may remember that Unicorn Love started out as a very different story to the one I thought it had become. On Saturday, I realised that a) that stuff with Aphrodite was really quite good, and b) the reason that I had so many plot holes was because I was trying to weave two stories together that really should be told separately. Lexie and David’s problems can be solved with Aphrodite’s help (and to think I was going to take her out of later versions), but even time travel can’t really help Grace and Anna. Not plausibly, anyway.

As such, I’ve returned to the original version, in which Lexie is the cupid who has lost her faith in true love, and I’ve got about two thirds of an outline written. It’s not going to be a long story. I’m expecting maybe 20000 words? Though I really don’t know? I haven’t entirely decided how to approach Grace and Anna’s story, though I have some notes. I don’t know whether I’ll sit down to write Unicorn Love and come back to Grace and Anna (who now have their own story but no title) or outline them both and then start writing. Either way, I’m glad I came to this realisation.

wednesdaybannerOn that note, today is Wednesday, which also means a WIPpet. For those unfamiliar with the blog hop, WIPpet Wednesday requires that you share an excerpt from your current WIP that somehow relates to the date. Then you link up here and see what other people have shared. Since the rest of today’s post is Unicorn Love themed, here is an excerpt that takes place not long after this one I posted back in July. For the 7th of January, I have 7 paragraphs.

“Lexie?” He stood up, and in a couple of strides had made his way to her. He took her hands in his as she stood up to meet him.

“David.”

“What am I… what is this place? How am I here?”

“I don’t know. I… oh, you’ve got no idea how good it is to see you.”

“What is this place?”

“It’s hard to explain. Please stop talking and just hold me.”

David seemed happy to oblige. He slid his arms around Lexie’s waist and pulled her close. She put her arms around his neck and buried her head in his shoulder. That was when she sensed something was wrong. David had no scent that she could inhale, and his clothes were too crisp and clean. This was not David, but a very good reproduction.

That Aphrodite, eh? She’s a pesky one.

Anyway, I started this post late, which means it’s even later now. I was tired four hours ago when I got home, so I think it’s time to turn in for the night. See y’all soon!

~ Emily

December 26 – A Blind Date Gone Wrong…

Prompt: Your main character is an anxious 39-year-old woman. The story begins in a stately home. A blind date is the start of something big. The theme of the story is pride.

“It’s a… uh, nice place here, isn’t it?” Judy sat down in the chair the waiter had pulled out for her. She placed her hands on the table and tried to wring them too much. She didn’t want to show how nervous she was.

“A beautiful spot,” Eric agreed. “The house was built in the 1740s on the instruction of Lord Matheson.”

“I see.” Judy didn’t really know anything about the history of the stately home in whose restaurant they were eating, or who Lord Matheson had been. She wondered how much else Eric knew about it.

“Would sir and madam like to begin with drinks?” the waiter asked.

“Oh, yes, please,” said Eric. “Judy, what would you like?”

“Oh, um… red wine, please.”

Eric scanned the wine list and pointed to one. “A bottle, please.”

“Of course, sir.”

When the waiter was gone, Eric leaned forward toward Judy and it was all she could do to not lean back away from him. She bit her lip.

“So,” he said, “tell me about yourself.”

“Oh, well, there’s not much to tell, really. I work for an insurance company. I have an English major.” She shrugged, not quite making eye contact. “What else do you want to know?”

“Oh, come on, I’m sure there’s plenty more to know. What’s your favourite colour? Favourite holiday destination? What are your hobbies?”

He was asking the questions very quickly and Judy tried to remember them in order. This felt more like a job interview than a date.

“All right. My favourite colour is yellow. I… I don’t really have a favourite holiday destination. I don’t really go anywhere much.”

“That’s a shame. Why not?”

“Well, I… I don’t like going to places I don’t know.”

“You came here today.”

“Well, yes, but I’ve driven past this place before. It’s sort of familiar.” From his expression, Judy was fairly sure that he didn’t buy that reason, true as it was for her. “What about you?” she asked quickly, steering the conversation away from herself. “Where do you go on holidays?”

“Well, I’ve been quite a few places around Europe, recently. I took my daughter to Greece over the summer, for instance.”

“Greece. Lovely.” Judy was trying her hardest not to feel in adequate.

“Oh! I almost forgot.” Eric leaned down and picked up a small bag that he had placed under the table earlier. “I know we don’t know each other yet, but I brought you something.”

“Oh… you didn’t have to do that.” Judy wondered if that was customary, and if she should have brought something to. It was a blind date. Surely gifts weren’t expected?

“Give me your hand,” said Eric, drawing a silver bracelet out of the bag. Judy’s eyes widened. It looked expensive. She drew her hand back, not letting him slip the bracelet over her wrist.

“I’m sorry, Eric, I can’t accept this.”

“Oh, don’t be like that. Please, take it.”

“No, I…” Judy took a deep breath. She hated having to do this. “Look, Eric, I’m sorry, I’m not sure this is going to work.”

“We haven’t even been here that long.”

“No, we haven’t. And you’re already giving me expensive jewellery. I’m sorry, that’s just too fast.”

“Well.” Eric looked as embarrassed as Judy felt. “At least help me drink the wine we’ve already ordered.”

“All right. I’m sorry to be like this.”

“No, it’s… it’s all right. I suppose I should have thought a bit more.”

Thankfully, the wine arrived soon after, and they were able to distract themselves. The waiter did seem a little surprised when Eric informed him they would no longer be staying for lunch, but he didn’t ask questions.

Once they had finished, Judy pulled some money out of her purse and gave it to Eric before he could object. There was no way she was going to let him insist on paying. The wine wasn’t the cheapest, so she was certainly chipping in. As they stood before Eric went to pay, Judy held out her hand.

“I’m sorry it didn’t work out,” she said.

“Better to nip it in the bud than let it quickly turn into something awful, I suppose.”

“Yes. It was nice to meet you, though.”

“You, too, Judy. Good luck.”

With that, Eric moved towards the counter while Judy made her way to the door. When she reached her car, she couldn’t help but sigh in relief. Perhaps now the people who had been trying in vain to set her up with someone would let up.

December 14 – White Christmas

Author’s note: I didn’t like any of the prompts I generated today, so I just came up with something on my own. Another Christmas story, Yay! Sorry for any typos and such things, I wrote this on my tablet on the bus and I’m posting using shopping centre wifi before I head to a rehearsal for a Christmas play I’m helping out with next week.

“Pete! Pete! Wake up, wake up, wake up!”

Megan bounced onto the bed and shook her boyfriend. He groaned and pulled the duvet over his head. Megan immediately pulled it back again.

“Pete, it’s Christmas and it’s snowing! You told me I wouldn’t get to see snow on Christmas!”

Slowly, Pete opened his eyes halfway and stared out at Megan. “What?” he said when his brain finally managed to communicate with his mouth.

“Snowing!” Megan exclaimed again. “Come on, get your coat!”

Megan was already half dressed, and only needed to pull on another couple of top layers and her coat before she was ready. While Pete dragged himself out of bed and began getting dressed, she pulled her hair up into a ponytail that she then stuffed into a beanie.

A few minutes later, Peter found Megan by their front door, bouncing from foot to foot in anticipation.

“Haven’t you seen snow before, woman?” he asked, nodding towards the door to indicate he was ready and that they could go out.

“Where I come from, we start complaining about the cold when it hits ten degrees. Celsius.”

“Bloody Australians.”

The snow wasn’t very deep, but it was enough that Megan could mold snowballs in her hands and peg them at Pete. He was much adept at ducking them than she was, and she ended up with a few wet patches on her jumper where he managed to hit her. Other families, mostly children, were appearing in the their own front yards and joyful squeals abounded up and down the street.

Soon the cold was starting to seep through Megan’s several layers of clothing and her teeth were chattering. She squatted down long enough to make make a tiny snowman (his body was only four handfuls of snow) and stuck a twig in his head for a nose, then she and Pete headed back inside to begin getting ready for the rest of the day.

“Well, you got your snow, then,” Pete said, turning the heater on the crossing to the kettle to fill it up. “Do you actually need any other presents now?”

Megan grinned. “Not really,” she said. She moved closer to him and kissed him on the nose. “Merry Christmas.”