Tag Archive: Writing


And Then

So I was hoping to have finished the read aloud edit of my short stories by now but it wasn’t to be. It seems that sometimes life likes to throw us curveballs. In my case it has been a family emergency. the details aren’t necessary, needless to say my focus has been elsewhere.

Still I’ve at least been able to start transcribing the NaNo draft to my computer and it is currently sitting at over 50000 words. It looks as though next year may be a year for two releases, even though I got none out this year.

And what a year it has been.

I was in the fortunate position that nothing about my job changed. I work in an industry that has to just keep going despite things such as pandemics. In that respect I have been thankful. Though to be completely honest when I am making enough money from my writing I will absolutely quit.

Still on the topic of work, I have spent most of my year acting in a more senior position and I recently made the decision to step away from that, now I have the choice. So many people don’t understand my decision. Here it is summed up in a question a good friend asked, ‘do I want a job or a career?’ The answer is a job, see the point about me walking away.

When I am in my regular job my work/life balance is better. I have less stress. It is easier for me to focus on writing and other creative pursuits and it is those things that feed my soul. Work is a job. It is something I do and I’ve proven I can to the senior position I just don’t need it.

It seems to me that some people out there are driven by their job title, they have to have a certain standing and will do anything to get it even if they really aren’t qualified. You know what? Good luck to you. Just don’t think a title gets you respect, but I hope it makes you happy. I would prefer to be doing the things that make me happy and we all know what that is.

Thing is I would have thought this year would have been the year that made people realise the value of the things that truly give your life meaning and bring happiness to it.

As we step into a new year and people do what they do at this time, don’t lose hold of what you gained having made it through 2020.

I understand there are probably some who say I can’t possibly understand not having lost my job. And that part it true. And admittedly the social restrictions didn’t effect me a lot as I’m not a very social creature. That doesn’t mean 2020 didn’t have it’s problems for me.

2020 reinforced to me that friends and family are a core requirement in my life. It showed me how valuable my creative side is to me. It pushed my budgeting skills and laid me on my face before God on more than one occasion.

We have two options I think, stepping out this other side into 2021. We can pretend things can go back to normal (whatever that is) and we have learnt nothing, or we can learn – see how in some places the earth healed as certain industries were shut down, see how deeper connections are what get us through because they hold the most meaning, we can remember to tell those we care about how much they mean more regularly because we sometimes don’t know when/if we will be able to see them again.

It would be good if we could see the interconnectedness of our actions, but it seems for some that may not be a thing. There will perhaps always be those who are more concerned with their own selfish desires than the bigger picture.

I hope for most of us at least we have learnt more about ourselves this year and what things matter to us. Stepping forward these are the things we need to hold on to the tightest.

As for me I will hold my family tight, continue with my writing and invest time in those friends who hold a place in my heart.

Bring on 2021. I have more things I need to accomplish.

NaNo Victory

I did it. I hit the 50 000 words.

So now I have a completed set of short stories that I am doing my last edit on before I give to a beta reader and read aloud to my hubby (it has proven to be a very useful form of editing and he had dyslexia so reading isn’t his thing).

I also have the first draft of the first book of my new series, which I’m thrilled to have written. It was a book I had started but gotten stuck on and had my breakthrough when I figured out what rewrite I needed to do. And it worked and I am really happy with the way it is beginning to form. Beginning because first draft is always very rough and unformed.

Then today just when I was getting ready to get stuck into editing mode and type my new book into a document, yes I write my first drafts by hand, I find it a better creative process for me, I new idea came and I got roughly 2000 words down for that.

All in all I have to say that creatively my leave time from work has been very productive.

NaNoWriMo

So it is November, which for many in the writing community means NaNoWriMo, or national novel writing month. It is, for the uninitiated, 30 days writing with the goal of hitting a word target of 50 000.

I have done NaNo before, years ago. This year as I am conveniently on leave, I have decided to sort of participate. I don’t have a new project to work on but I do have three ongoing ones and so one of those is what I have chosen to work on.

At first I was going to edit the selection of short stories which will be my fifth book and then I was going to chug along adding the hopefully 50 000 words to the next book set in that world.

Then as is the way of things, the muse spoke differently. There was this other project that I had started it had been chugging along and then it stopped, there was an issue with my main character that I wasn’t sure how to figure out.

Coming into NaNo my hubby helped me figure it out, it’s nice to have someone to bounce ideas off.

Much to my delight my Kat has started to just leap off the page and as I write it feels so good. The story feels so right and I’m not sure that makes sense to someone who isn’t creative, but that is how it is.

So I am pottering along with this project, and if it keeps working then I will be close to a final draft by the time this month is over and I have to go back to my day job.

It hasn’t all been easy because there have been those dark days where I just struggle to focus, but I learnt years ago that sometimes the best thing to do in those moments is to write anyway, even if it is just a few sentences. I treat writing like a job on those days, something I have to do. Mostly I do this because if I don’t so something creative it becomes increasingly harder for me to move forward on those days where it feels like I’m slogging through a swampy bog.

Moving Forward

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For most people this year has been one full of changes and unexpected pains. Whilst COVID did very little to effect most of the areas of my life it has without question changed things in the bigger picture.

However I am not going to talk about that.

I am going to talk about the fact that life goes on and in amongst all the difficulties this year has presented us, sometimes normal life just likes to throw us the shittiest of curveballs.

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Now my job is a tough one and one I don’t talk about all that often, certainly not in specifics. This year I changed work locations, I needed to. Thing is I was worried about the move because change isn’t always comfortable. I have settled in, I think but it hasn’t been smooth sailing.

The new people I work with have been welcoming and truthfully as adults we know that we are not going to get along with everyone we work with. Which makes this place like any other place I have ever worked.

What was different, was I was thrust into a more senior position because they needed people to fill them. Very few people actually wanted to fill those roles during a period of transition because transition is difficult. However I did step up and at times felt like I was barely keeping my head above water for reasons I cannot go into.

Then I started to feel as though I was more than competently doing the job. If my line manager wanted something done he would come to me. I have been told repeatedly that I was doing a great job.

Into this mix throw a critical situation that I would have preferred not to have had to deal with but I did and it’s part of the job. I got nothing but compliments for that too.

But…

The transition period is coming to an end, and now other people want that permanent position. And it turns out that I’m not so good on paper saying look at me I’m great, give me the job. I truly feel that my ability to do the job should speak for itself. Even though really I should know better because I’ve seen this promotion process repeatedly promote people that make no sense to me.

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It was crushing. Particularly seeing as some of those who applied … oh it doesn’t matter.

Back to being crushed. People have said several times, words to the effect of  ‘but I thought you were a definite’, as if that was supposed to make me feel better. It doesn’t because now they are saying how can the writer write a bad Expression of Interest application. Crushing blow number two. So not only am I shit at my job I am also a shitty writer.

What do I do?

Well I fantasised about pitching a fit and telling them to shove it, to which my hubby looked at me, basically shook his head, asked if I felt better getting it out of my system, then asked what I was really going to do.

I love him, he keeps me grounded and focused.

So what am I going to do?

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I am going to do what I always do. Pick myself up. Look at what matters. Remind myself that it is a job that pays my bills and like most employers I am just a person who gets the job done, I am no more important, or less important, than anyone else.

Then I am going to focus on the things that make me happy; family, and the creative life. Oh and axe throwing, I do like axe throwing.

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See because life is full of these moments for most of us. And it is how we face it, pick ourselves back up and move on that matters. I will say my piece because going quietly into the night isn’t my style, and I will remind myself that if I actually had a choice in it all, my job of preference would be writing – fiction.

And maybe I need to remember a little of those writing skills when I write my next application.

I don’t give up in other areas of my life, (I still haven’t made my millions from my books, though I’m still holding onto that dream), so I won’t give up now. And I’m not the only person in life to be passed over for a promotion. In life we face the storms, buckle down and get on with things, knowing that tomorrow is another day.

Keep On Keeping On

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I’m not very good at stopping and doing nothing. Part of me wishes I was. I didn’t even watch two and a half hours of shows today before I switched the tv off having had the constant feeling that I should be doing something else.

Reading is the closest thing I get to a day doing nothing and yet I can’t remember the last time I even let myself do that for a whole day without picking up a pen or filming something.

I actually like the creative part of my life, it focusses and energises me. Whilst I was on leave it was all pretty great. I was producing heaps and my life felt balanced. I was in a zone.

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Then though I had to go back to work.

It is a new work environment, and whilst most of the people there are great some aspects of it all are less than ideal, making what is already a stressful work environment even more so.

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I have found myself saying more and more often that I don’t give a crap. Last night my hubby told me that I had said it so much that it was beginning to worry about me because that kind of sentiment is just not me.

There are of course plenty of things I do still care about, but I have started to use that phrase as a way to distance myself from things. I am an over thinker and certain things eat away at me, even when they are not of my doing. Right now I don’t have the energy to deal with all those things and I think part of me hopes that if I repeat this sentiment over and over often enough I will stop feeling so much about the things I have no control over.

Problem though is if I start down this path am I going to be able to stop it? Because I never want to be a person with a hard heart that no longer cares for anything. I don’t want these frustrations I’m dealing with to poison my life.

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So I need to find a better way going forward.

Usually one of my best coping mechanisms is being creative but even that has changed.

My focus at the moment isn’t a world I’ve made up but a project called RAW, Rough Authentic Worship, and I’m really enjoying it, mostly. I don’t think my faith, for all my obvious and not so obvious flaws, has even been stronger. I am also really enjoying working with my husband. It definitely contributes to helping me maintain.

Thing is though when I went back to work, not only did my stress levels increase, the hours I got to be creative decreased. It was like a double whammy and we are still trying to find a new rhythm.

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Then in amongst all that is the doubt and second guessing of myself that is harder to block out when my reserves are as low as mine are now. There is that voice that is telling me to give up RAW because it is a project designed for interaction – to reach out to others, and that side of it seems like a failure, (even though I know these things take time).

Admittedly the feeling of failure is a struggle I have gone through before. Lots of people say positive supportive things but few give action to platitude. Sometimes words are the perfect solution and sometimes they are not.

The difference between RAW and writing a book only a few people read is that RAW is put together with an outward focus and fiction is simply a story I want to tell (and then if someone likes it all the better).

So how do I, in the midst of all this change, when my  feelings are so close to the surface all the time because I don’t have the energy to monitor them especially when I am safe at home, keep hold of my peace and keep moving forward?

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I don’t really have the answer to that yet. Like usual I am a work in progress. I am trying to shift my RAW focus – to be grateful for the things I am learning, the skills I am developing.

I am trying to stop the work issues from encroaching on the time I am not at work – finding ways to deliberately distract myself to stop over thinking.

Also I am trying to again find some form of balance. Trying to tell myself again that it is okay to do nothing, as well as getting in time reading just for enjoyment not research and maybe dipping my toes back into fiction as well.

Hopefully one day I will figure it out.

If you are interested in my faith journey you can always check out our Patreon site : https://www.patreon.com/roughauthenticworship

 

 

 

 

New Directions

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So I have made it to February and I have no idea how this much time has passed since my last post. I have been busy writing, a lot on my new project which is actually not fiction and very solidly grounded in my faith.

It isn’t something I was planning on doing, if you had asked me this time last year where my writing direction would go I’d have told you something very different. In fact I do still want to keep going with my fiction and I have started a new paranormal urban fantasy series but for now  this other thing fills my time.

I have been working on this new project, which will not be a book, so intensely because I need to have enough content to keep me going when my life gets so incredibly busy, which is does at times.

This is a new chapter of my life and life is full of chapters so I guess we will see how it goes. When the time is right I will share more.

Finally, and Thanks to My Readers

embracing fate kylie calwell 20191101cSo I have finally finished the Oparna Legacy series. Book 3 is now live and it has been one hell of a journey.

I have to thank all my readers for their patience. There is a story there and I feel you deserve to know it.

The writing of book 3 was interrupted by the all consuming drive to write a presentation that took me to Montreal to speak. it didn’t slow me down a lot to be fair because the characters were desperate for their stories to be told, the words just flowed.

The problems started when my original artist was diagnosed with a brain tumour and had to pass on my cover. Absolutely not something within anyone’s control and I hold no grudges there. I found a replacement artist and the deadline for my cover was I believed more than reasonable, certainly more than a month, quite a bit more. Then it became apparent that other things were far more important to him, it was as though because I was a friend my commission wasn’t as important as other things. In the end I had to ask if he was even going do it as the deadline had well passed and he hadn’t even started it. It pissed me off because if I had been any other paying client he would never have treated their commission in this manner, not for what he charged – fortunately I hadn’t paid anything yet.

By this time the story was finished and had been sent to both my beta reader and the editor.

I had other projects to work on but that delay had really set me back, I had wanted the book out before July and that was now never going to happen. I set about finding another artist and ended up with a lovely lady whose cover I am very happy with. Even that didn’t turn out to be so simple, because her previous commission took longer than expected for reasons. Again in this instance hardly something within her control.

Due to lack of cover art I hadn’t pushed my editor, but when I got that stuff back on track I realised I hadn’t heard from her. When I did get in contact I discovered that she had had internet problems that had delayed her ability to get the edits to me.

Things were looking like they’d be back on track but unfortunately I had further issues with getting the graphics on the cover and by this time these silly little hiccoughs just had me shaking my head and saying well of course it can’t be simple.

Then when I thought I had everything in place I went to do a final edit check and upload my already edited manuscript, only to discover the edited file had vanished, both copies of it, as I didn’t have just one.

I had one saving grace, I had sent a locked PDF of the final edit to someone. Only to discover that even though it was my file I couldn’t edit within it and to transfer the file from PDF was not a simple as all that. I had to do a complete format edit in the process.

Finally though it is here. I was never going to give up. Swear a lot at the universe but never give up.

If you are interested this is the Aus link but it can be found in all regions.

 

Glitter Tits

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I have done a thing. Being a volunteer at a pop culture conventions, was an awesome part of my life for a bunch of years. Through that time I made some incredible friends, had some amazing experiences and some not so great ones.

This year I had to make the choice to walk away from this part of my life. I kind of knew it was coming but wasn’t ready when it did. To help me get through I started to write down some of my memories.

This little book, mini book if you will, is the culmination of that. I don’t mention celebrity names, I don’t mention any names except mine. I don’t think it makes that much difference, the stories are still great, or not so great as a few of them are. And there are a few ‘what were you thinking’ moments of mine that made the cut, so feel free to laugh with me.

If you are a pop-culture convention goer, or fan, please buy it, read it – my little love letter to this awesome scene. Share the link with your friends, boost the signal. I love this scene and know there are still experiences I want to have.

 

Holidays

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I am currently on leave from work and I am busy, but in a way I like to be. I am writing. I have set myself various goals for these weeks off and I aim to be productive.

So many people were asking what my holiday plans were and then wondered if I wouldn’t get bored being as I’m not going anywhere this time.

Thing is for the last little while all I have really wanted to do is write. I have a novella length project that I’ve just finished the main edit on and it will hopefully be published before the holidays are done. I have also gotten my edits back from my editor and after a pain in my butt stuff around by my cover artist, I have commissioned a new artist and will hopefully have that soon, so Book three in the Oparna Legacy can be published.

Also my faith has hit the forefront of my life again and I have a project tied into that which I plan on making substantial headway on during this time off.

Then of course there is the new series I have started working on as well, an urban paranormal crime series that I think will be kind of fun.

So that’s it for my holiday plans and I can’t help but think my 6 and a bit weeks leave isn’t going to be anywhere near long enough for me to get all the writing done that I want to do.

Being An Author

I guess I really am an author. I have two books published now and a third in editing stage.

I love the cover for my second book and the thanks for the art go to the amazing Mel Schwarz, and the graphics were done by the awesome Peter B.

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I’m pretty happy that the second one finally got out, later than what I’d hoped but what are you going to do, some times life simply doesn’t go according to plan. It will mean (hopefully) that the gap between two and three won’t be as long because the first draft for three is already finished.

Other huge things are happening for me I’m about to venture into the unknown. I’m going to speak at a conference. It’s not the first stage I’ve been on, not by a long shot but it is the first where the audience is made up of professionals expecting to hear from another professional. I believe I can do this but there are still occasional doubts. I had a moment the other week when I was thinking about the people I will be talking to and I wondered why I thought I could do do this as they are all grown up and the like. Then I realised I too am a grown up I just somehow seem to forget that about myself. What it is is that I don’t take myself as seriously as I seem to think these kind of professionals do. I guess I will find out.

Also on the writing front, I jumped out of bed this morning to write down another idea. It’s good to know I have enough ideas to keep me writing for a while yet, I only wish the need to work and pay bills didn’t interfere.

I know I haven’t got a proper handle on keeping regular with my blog updates, I really wish I was better at it, I used to be. Again though, life gets in the way and sometimes something has to give. For me it is this. Here’s hoping that I will get better at keeping this updated sometime soon.