All posts by kate

A crafty update: July 2017

I finished my latest sampler! It’s the dinosaurs and superheroes one for Logan, and I’m just in time – he’ll be two in August. It was great fun to do!

 

 

 

And I have sort-of finished Totoro. I wanted to do a full background: I don’t like the purple now and I’ve gained some bits of green that I’d much rather use, but I don’t really want to unpick and as he’s now off to a new (temporary) home along with a laptop, I’m just glad to have finished his belly.

Also, have some bonus (badly taken) cat pictures. I recently moved bedrooms, and he seems to be insistent on making the room his…

 

Empty Skies & Sunlight is published!

empty skies coverIf you haven’t read the first book, Green Sky & Sparks, then you’re in luck – the Kindle edition is just 99p at the moment!

Empty Skies & Sunlight is the fifth book in the GreenSky sparkpunk series, and you can get hold of it from today in Kindle or paperback.

When Anoé Meerla is given the chance to escape a war-torn city with her daughter, she accepts an assignment to find missing people on the beautiful islands of Tao. But she finds more problems than she expected waiting for her; a Floating Island that roams the waves, a Mage trying to forget a war, an old lover with plans of his own, and a tangled web of runaways and murder – and there’s her daughter to protect as well.

And if you want to hear an excerpt, have a listen to the Bristol Fringe podcast for a teaser!

Happy Things: The start of June 2017


I have to do this, because the world is getting overwhelming, and I’m struggling badly. I need to focus on the positives and the good, and need to remind myself there is some out there!

    • Moana. LOVE LOVE LOVE. I’ve watched it three times and have been singing the soundtrack pretty much endlessly. My most freakin’ irritating and annoying friend keeps texting me lines and THEN I HAVE THAT SONG AS A DAMN EARWORM and it’s the. Best. Thing. Ever.

  • It’s a small thing, but Cadbury’s Marvellous Creations chocolate. I love the jelly bits. I probably shouldn’t eat as much of it as I do, but it’s the best when I’m feeling down! (Also, Ben&Jerry’s Peanut Butter. WIN.)
  • I’m still really really appreciating my friends. Everyone’s been wonderful, and I’m grateful for the normality they’re giving me – whether it’s watching Moana for the third time or tearing a story to pieces and then putting it back together, you’re all wonderful.
  • Clouds. I’ve been walking to work and watching the clouds over Stroud hills, and the sunsets recently have been lovely! I think it’s the mix of sunny days and rainstorms that has meant a nice change from overarching grey.
  • The cat. He might be a complete bastard and wakes me up at 2.30am because he’s forgotten where his food bowl is, but he’s also been curling up next to me at night and greeting me at the front door each evening. He is a git, but he’s also a cute panther who shrunk in the wash!

(Pssst – I now have an extra button over on the sidebar! I don’t have the energy for a Patreon or anything like that – you’ll just have to cope with blog updates – but if you’d like to show support, or keep me sane, there’s a little button there for you to buy me coffee. I may spend it on tea, because I’m a rebel like that.)

Motivation and Getting On With It

I was trying to work out today what motivates me to write. I’m in a bit of a slump at the moment – I’m not feeling inspired and struggling to motivate myself, despite having time to actually write (and read, and research…)

It’s not finishing something. That’s great, but it doesn’t give me a satisfaction, doesn’t give me a buzz; it’s just another step, because I know that even if I’ve finished something, then I’ve gotta send it to a reader and then edit and then re-edit and then…it’s just another step in the process.

Wordcount doesn’t motivate me, either. It always feels too close to the NaNo 50k or bust thing; it doesn’t matter if they’re good words, just words. And frankly, that just annoys me, because if I write shit words then I’ll just end up rewriting, so what’s the point? I can appreciate that it’s good at some stages of a writing journey, but for me, I’d rather not write than write shit that I’m just going to have to redo later.

Ideas? Sure, I have a few things that I think “hey, that’d make a great story”…but unless it’s there, it’s got the inspiration behind it, then it just sits. I’ve got quite a lot of snippets and odd fragments of story that have never got further than that “hey, that’s a cool idea” stage.

So what does motivate me? I guess, as far as I can work out, it’s getting the voices out of my head. It’s writing a story that needs to be told. I can have a great idea, but it needs to live. I need the characters in my head. I have no idea what the process is that puts them there, but it’s something I try to make sure I have it when I write.

So…at this stage, I guess the best I can do is just keep going. I’m re-reading my work in progress(es), trying to see if I can continue with any of them even with my current slump. I think there’s one that I can continue, so…

This freakin’ sucks. But hey, such is a writer’s life with a screwey brain. Some days, I have everyone shouting in my head – other days, I just get tumbleweed.

All of the possibilities

So, I made the mistake of asking two of my writing friends what they thought my next book should be. I outlined a few plots, and then…

Well, we had an hour-long discussion – aka. they tore my ideas to pieces – and we went off on tangents including spinal fluid, Regency, superheroes, Brighton Pier, love stories, killing people by burying them in sand, and the importance of alcohol. Yeah. Writers are weird.

The major issue that I had with the story was that it lacked a pull; the protagonist didn’t really have any reason, any stake. In addition, we decided the story needed a twist; sure, standard plots are fun, but what you really need is the “ok, that sounds normal….what?!” moment when someone hears your tagline. So together, we came up with a roughly workable idea based on this original concept, and I’ve been refining it. I’m currently in the thinking stages – it always feels like I’m not really doing anything, and I have to resist the urge to start writing. But I need the time; I think as I’m walking, and as I give it the time to expand, it grows and twists.

I throw out ideas, too, and throw them in, and mix them up. My characters change; a group? A city? One person? A love story? What would tell my story best, what fits the world, what lets me have fun? The entire thing is malleable, and in many ways, this is the most fun part – where entire plotlines change because I suddenly want to add something, or I throw out whole ideas because something else works better. It’s a frustrating and a fun stage.

I’ve got scribbles and notes, and I have a feeling that I may try this for my 2017 NaNo; I should have a rough plot by then, and have my world figured out. But at this stage, the whirlwind includes Romeo & Juliet, castles, mafia, alcohol, death, necromancy, robots, romance…

The ideas are just bouncing around!