The power of the words “I’m an Author!!!”

As an apiring author and bumbling writer, there is nothing as inspiring and procrastination-busting as news someone you follow and admire, Spoon Shortage Sue, has acheived their goal and published their book.
A review will be posted shortly on Duvet Dwellers Books and I look forward to reading her next one but in the mean time, I need to write some of The Ellfaenian Journals otherwise my NaNoWriMo goal will fail spectacularly.

Happy writing!

Spoon Shortage Sue

I published my first short story today, on Amazon Kindle!!! And already I’ve sold a number of copies and had a really positive review!!!

My author pages are in the links to the left…


My next book, a longer, more in depth, short story will be published on 1st January 2018! Pre-order is available.

I’m also writing a much longer book, which will hopefully be published in November 2018, so watch this space…

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Controlling an unorganized mind in time for NaNoWriMo 

I am disorganised in everything I do. No matter how many blogs I read, planners I download or notebooks I have, my WIP remains in disarray. Currently, I use Scrivener with my outline set out on the corkboard and several scenes written but I also have several unfinished notebooks, Evernote, Google Docs and endless scraps of paper with ideas, scenes and random sentences dotted around the house. As my family said if I found all the words I have written over the years I would have more than the target of 90000 words for my WIP instead of my measly 30000. Many 1000s have been lost including some from NaNoWriMo last year so it is time to get organized and rein in my grasshopper brain. I could be a lost cause. I am sure I am, after all, I can not make a cup of tea without the use of timers to remind me what I am doing; waiting for the teabag to do its thing always gives my imagination time to slip into the world of Ellfaen.

It is time for Project Organisation if I have any chance of completing my New Years resolution.

So far:

  • I have deleted 100GB from my old creaky laptop in the hope it will last another November. I didn’t even know it was capable of holding that much.
  • Dug out my plot board and gathered  all the post-it notes which have fallen off.
  • Collected all my notebooks and paper together.
  • Had an afternoon snooze while my laptop decided to update. It has only been 2 hours and on 25%

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  • Bought more notebooks with the intention of having a dedicated on for Ellfaenian Journals with separate places for Amber, Mathilde and Violet.*
  • Downloaded a NaNOWriMo booklet and monthly planner from Megg
  • Explored NaNoWriMo resources by Eva.
  • Bought more bags of Yorkshire tea to keep me going.

      Are you taking part this year and how are your preparations going?

      Happy Writing!

      * I am unsure why I need more notebooks apart from the desire to own something pretty and the notion my mind clings to that a writer has to write with a pen and paper. It refuses to accept typing is readily available and is always legible unlike my writing most of the time. Deciphering my handwriting to type up later is time consuming and in NanoWriMo time means more words.

      The Cottingley Fairies Backlash Group

      Bollocks! I could do without her at the meeting. I watch Edna creak in with the aid of her zimmer frame. Yes, you read that right – Edna. Not quite the elegant, ethereal Shakespearian name people expect. The days of Titania, Oberon and Morgan le Fay are over. Our parents thought they were being modern giving us up to date human names so my generation have an abundance of Ediths, Ednas and Mauds. They forgot popularity of names in the human race change in a blink of an eye and quickly disappear from use. They have come to their senses and becoming more creative, descriptive and nicer with naming their offspring while we are left with ours for many years to come, I hope.

      “So is he coming?” they ask as they arrange themselves on these uncomfy hard, plastic chairs; they are not designed for wings at all. At first, I think they are inquiring about Zachariah, our oldest member but quickly realise they are asking about Trevor.

      “He said he would”, I reply quickly crossing my fingers. No one can abide the man and his sneaky, slimy ways but we do love the black market wares he brings especially our favourite, Yorkshire Tea. We are quite happy to listen to him drone on and repeat his fictious tale about how he helped inspire this delicious blend of tea as long we can have some cups of this forbidden drink. I say forbidden, they are not as strict as they were about us drinking caffeine as they were in the soul crushing years of the Prohibition in the 1920s and we are unlikely to be raided for indulging in a few sips of brew.

      I breathe a sigh of relief as Zachariah arrives with the help of his carer, Joseph who I hope will remember to shut the door behind him. The cold draft is causing my wings to ache. I need to tap into Zachariah’s wealth of experience of dealing with these pesky humans. We just need to keep his mind in the here and now rather than allow him to reminisce about his time with Shakespeare and his mischievous antics when he called himself Puck. He is a rare breed. As many of us have withered and died before our alloted time, he is centuries old and only now is rapidly showing signs of his age. I should be along with the others here having the time of our lives, dancing, being merry and luring unsuspecting men into our world with our flirty ways not flying with battered, creaky wings, fighting wrinkles and having shooting pains in our knees when we land. Many blame environmental factors, loss of habitat and the vices we enjoy but we know the truth.

      It is all their fault, those Cottingley girls. Elsie and Frances.
      Our elders warned us they were trouble and letting them see us then ultimately photograph us would come back to hurt us threefold. Being young as we were, we knew the world was changing with the advent of science and people wanted prove for everything including our existence. Without the power of human belief, we do diminish and die. Barrie and Disney were right about that part of fairy lore. The plan to allow a photo or two was perfect until the eldest child, Elsie placed paper fairies in the ground with hat pins and continued to photograph those instead. Paper fairies! We were all dressed in our finery ready to share our existence to the world and they took photos of cut outs instead. Some reasoned Elsie was at that age of teetering on adulthood and could not see us clearly so decided on direct action but others were fuming. The anger was mainly aimed at myself and those gathering here today. The air was blue that day, I can tell you.

      It all came good for a while. People did believe the photos were real. Humans are gullible that way, especially when their worlds are turned upside down with war and catastrophe. The desire to believe in magic, supernatural and all things mystical flourishes which is perfect for us. They came in droves to visit the beck in the hope of seeing us themselves. Even big wigs and that fancy author, Arthur Conan Doyle from London. It was wonderful. The area was buzzing with anticipation of catching a glimpse of our ethereal forms. The energy their belief created boosted our population and we thrived. Our wings shone. When things began to crumble we let the youngest child, a sweet quiet thing see us again and catch us on film for real so our legacy could continue. We became world famous and it was all down to me.

      Then they ruined it.After years of denial, they betrayed us. Both of them, even Frances who was adamant to many she did see us at the bottom of her garden. We know they have long gone now but their story has not been forgotten and those final headlines declaring us a hoax still exist but worse they are constantly being shared on social media. It is the final nail in our coffin. People are believing we are nothing but a figment of imagination, a joke or inspiration for online fiction. No wonder our wings are wrinkling and our hair is going grey prematurely. Our children have given up curdling milk and shooting Cupid’s arrow but prefer a bit tinkering on Tinder to find the perfect love match for people or create chaos by being internet trolls.

      I have tried to calm my rage and hurt but it continues to grow. Direct action is needed. We need to take control. It is time to fight back and let the Cottingley fairies tell their side of the story about the girls at the beck. Heck, we may even share the secrets of the villagers. You wouldn’t believe the things people reveal and do when they think they are alone – that will get people tweeting or whatever they do and maybe they will begin to believe again.

      But first, where is that cup of tea?

       

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      The Curse of the Abandoned Writer’s Muse

      ElsieLast time I introduced the world to Elsie, my  Dr Marten stomping fairy muse. She has been busy sharing ideas and gossip at silly o’clock in this morning. One of thoughts was what happens when a writer’s muse gets ignored. Do the ideas get flitted away to someone else more reciprocal to them, do they vanish in a puff of smoke or does the fairy responsible for them become despondent and depressed? Maybe the muse gives up and looks for attention elsewhere leading them into the criminal  shady underground world of the fairies where alcohol and drug addiction is rife. When their assigned artist/writer finally takes note their muse is battered, bruised and shared ideas are half remembered, distorted, scary and on the verge of madness or not there at all. The writer fumes he or she has writer’s block leading them to become despondent and depressed so a vicious circle commences.

      November is coming and with it NanoWriMo. Old writers, new ones beginning their journey and those who have lost their way all open their minds and become enthused with the idea of getting words down on paper or screen. At the same time, muses everywhere get themselves ready.  Old ones iron out their wrinkled wings, despondent ones dust themselves off and patch themselves up as much as possible to give it one final chance while new ones nervously set off to find their creative mind to work with.

      J M Barrie said you have to believe in fairies or they will die. Maybe he is right and knew something about these muse fairies. If you have an idea jot it down. If it keeps coming back, develop it into something. Keep your muse happy, believe in them, your ideas and let them flourish.

      Happy Writing!

      Illustration by Debra McFarlane. For inspiration for your own fairy muse visit

      https://www.instagram.com/debimcfarlane/

      http://www.debramcfarlane.co.uk/

      https://www.patreon.com/DebraMcFarlane

       

      A Writer’s Muse; introducing Elsie

      According to the Oxford dictionary the definition of muse is

      ‘A person or personified force who is the source of inspiration for a creative artist’

      A while ago I came across a writing prompt simply titled The Muse.

      In the past when I have thought of a muse I have imagined a serene, elegant lady draped in a slender 1920s dress who glided into a room inspiring an artist to sketch, draw and paint. She would be gentle and encourage the artist out of his doubts and inevitable artistic slumps. When I think of my muse, the source of my ideas, I see Elsie.

      Serene, gentle and elegant, she is not and forget about encouragement. She is more likely to tell you “you will make it  rubbish anyway” than utter sympathy. As a tiny fairy she is hard to pin down. Flitting here and there, she visits and shares ideas when she chooses and no more.  Dr Marten boots are often stamped  in frustration if she thinks she is being ignored usually because it isn’t time for me to stop and write.

      As a night owl, she insists on waking you up at 3am with a bagful of ideas that make your head spin. If you don’t act quickly enough or act enthused she will hold her inspiration and perfectly formed words close to her chest and fly off in a huff for days. No matter how much you beg her to return to relieve the frustration of writer’s block she refuses to come. in her eyes, writer’s cramp, illness or exhaustion are not good enough excuses to not write.

      As you can tell, her temperament is extreme but luckily, her hair changes depending on her mood. You smile if she is adorning pink tresses for romance is in the air or if there are shades of rainbow, exciting things are ahead.  It is time to hide under the duvet if her hair is raven black. The ideas she will deliver will inevitably  be full of doom or sorrow.

      Why do I keep her and not search for my 1920s muse? Because as bristly as she is, she is funny and has moments when her childish, fun streak peeks through but most of all, I love her and the worlds she creates in my mind.

      So when she arrives: I listen, try to take notes and hope when I read them later I can understand the blurry, tired scrawl because, as you will have guessed, she will never repeat an idea or perfect paragraph twice.

      I would love to hear about your muse, if you have one in the comments. How do you control them or like my Elsie, do they control you?
      A special thanks to Debra McFarlane for bringing Elsie to life and encouraging me to write. If you would like to see more of Debra’s work she can be found at:

      http://www.debramcfarlane.co.uk/

      https://www.instagram.com/debimcfarlane/

      And she has just launched her  page on Patreon

      https://www.patreon.com/DebraMcFarlane

      Ellfaenian Journals: Amber’s story catch up

      I haven’t managed to do much writing, apart from some entries for Amber’s journal as blogged about in Peeking in secret diaries . School has started and so has Project Nightmare.

      The Ellfaenian Journals are a side project of my current work in progress which gives an insight into Amber, the main character’s life while the magical realm of Ellfaen is making itself known. It is a YA paranormal, fantasy fiction. You can catch up on her story so far here:

      Panic

      Same Old Hell

      Project Nightmare

      Project Nightmare success – ish

      Endless Loop

      Does the Ellfaenian Journals work as a blog? Only time and followers will tell but I am enjoying writing Amber’s thoughts. It helps place scenes in order for The Hollow and banishes the dreaded writer’s block. If I find myself glaring at an empty screen, letting Amber talk gets the imagination flowing. Any words on a page are a bonus.

      Happy reading and happy writing.

      Addicted to words

      September has brought the distinct warm light of Autumn that transforms the rural landscape from pleasant to stunning. It is one of my favourite seasons with the trees changing colour, temperature dropping slightly so snuggling up with a good book and cup of tea is even more pleasurable.

      My reading pile  has expanded dramatically in the last couple of days after listening to a talk at York Library by Mark Edwards and Rachel Abbott. There is nothing quite like listening to enthusiastic authors to give you kick to finish your own story. I couldn’t resist a signed copy of one of their books as well as a jazzy pen from Mark Edwards. The flashlight on the end will be very useful while I burn the candle at both ends in the attempt to reduce my expanding TBR pile, write reviews and Amber’s tale while visiting relatives.

      The problem with writing regularly is once imagination is allowed some freedom, it is a hard beast to control. I have been told not to read or use my phone (scribble notes for writing, research and  the dreaded lure of  social media ) all the time while I am away. The thought of not having a book in my hand or ability to write when needed, makes my hands tingle and heart panic. I am addicted to words. Being a bookworm was bad enough but now the joy of writing has been rediscovered, it has become harder.  Past experience says if my imagination is contained and kept into reality for too long without a release, it has an inspiration explosion. Ideas flurry, plot bunnies come out in force and sentences materialise fully formed. Not being able to get these out in a tangible form makes me angsty, fidgety and it is all consuming. I am not a good house guest. Everyone wants to socialise and I long to hibernate with my phone and its writing apps. Like a secret smoker, I make excuses to be out of the room, snatch a few minutes to jot things down but I am  inevitably caught. Judgemental tuts and the rolling of eyes always follow making me feel like a naughty school child.  Other hobbies such as knitting, sewing and crochet are seen as acceptable in company but sadly writing and reading are not. Silly thing is, I am more grounded and less likely to drift off into daydreams if my hands know I can do something about the random thoughts that pop up.* I wonder if sketching and drawing stickmen is classed as anti – social too. If there is ever a time for writer’s block to loom, it is when I am in the company of others.

      My local  writing group has  begun again after its summer break so I can indulge in   two blissful, guilt free hours of writing, coffee and cake. These treasured hours keeps me sane and I may share some  ramblings and flash fiction with you soon.

      *Please tell me I am not the only one who feels like this. Maybe things will change and my addiction will become more accepted if I ever become a real published writer.