Tag Archive: Writing

A New Year, A New Focus

Somehow we are at another new year, and I’ve been a published author for more than five years.

This year though I have decided something. It is an extension on a decision I made last year when I realised my job was causing me more stress than ever before. I’ve given so much to my work and know first hand, just how much they don’t care. More than than I will not go into, suffice to say it is why I went back to study.

This year I’m taking significant time off work, thank heavens for long service leave, to focus on the things in my life that make me happy. For me those things are study and writing.

I have the first book of my new series almost ready to send to my editor and I’ve started looking at cover art.

For study I am overloading the semester I am off work because I have a goal to finish my study this year. By Christmas I should have completed my Masters Degree.

As for work, well we will see where that all goes. Now though, even as I am still at work counting down my shifts till my leave starts, I am hitting word targets in my WIP, getting words down in a short or two, and working on a non-fiction project.

And just to be really ridiculous, I’ve booked myself in for an audition (because I’m going to have so much free time).

Oh, and my vow with my loved ones this year, (the year I turn the big 5 0) is to have a year filled with memory creating moments. Cue show tickets, good food and fun times.

Funny Turns

It’s been months since my last post. So long in fact that my computer made me go searching a long way around to find my own blog. I knew it had been a while but time seems to slip away from me these days.

Biggest change is I’ve gone back to uni. I’m studying something I love and to be honest it’s kind of what is getting me through.

Work is really rough for so many reasons and sometimes in life you just know when you need to change things. I need to change things, hence the study.

I haven’t forgotten my first passion though, I wrote a short for submission for a sort of prestigious short story comp. To be honest I’m a little tired of hoping someone will love my stuff, well someone who can turn my writing into something akin to money that is. I love the fact I’ve gotten my books out there, and even more love the fact that some people had read those books and love them, but I’m not too proud to say it would be awesome if I could truly catch a break.

Clearly today is not the best of days. I said good bye to another friend today. A beautiful lady who was such a lovely presence in my life. That’s two incredible people cancer has taken in the last couple of months. I’m tired of the tears. I’m tired of seeing some incredible people struggle.

Yet we still go on. On days like this when I’m a little down I do what I can to keep putting one foot in front of another, then I go to bed knowing it’s likely I’ll feel better when I get up tomorrow. Well when I wake up enough to have actual thoughts.

So here’s my real thought for today: cherish those you love, we never know how long we are going to get with them, and more, do what makes you happy. Yes I know sometimes work doesn’t fill that spot but the best thing to do then is know, work isn’t the most important thing, most bosses wouldn’t care much if you left, mine certainly wouldn’t, and yet if you have to say, believe me I hear that, make sure you fill the other spaces of your life with things that make you happy.

Me I write, I throw axes and I study. It doesn’t matter if others don’t get it, as long as you find your happy place.

PS. One way or another I’m really hoping to either have a publishing contract or another book out before July next year. Oh crap, I do believe I just gave myself a deadline.

One More Step

It’s April. It’s Easter and I’ve been in a slump.

Slumps happen, this one was just a bit of a bitter pill to swallow after the writing had been coming so thick and fast. I had been very productive writing for Vocal, and working on new book projects, it was going so well. Then it wasn’t.

I finished book three of my new series and wasn’t sure what to do next, it seemed my old world, that of Leira and the Oparna, was again begging for attention. Then I don’t know what happened. Everything stopped. The flow dried up.

I took a different position at work for a while, which was good, a sort of promotion but more it gave me the chance to learn things again and I do like to learn and master new skills. Problem was my dissatisfaction with my normal working life was becoming more obvious. I’d go to work and come home completely drained, I wanted nothing more than to curl up on the couch, even on my days off all I did was binge shows.

I made sure I still worked out when I could, after a month of doing nothing more than a walk every now and then. And I would still try and write a few sentences everyday. Until that dried up. I couldn’t even really pick up a book to read for any length of time, vey unusual for me.

Life though is choices, and I couldn’t keep going like this, even if the plans for me that I have for the future don’t happen, doesn’t mean I have to let the couch win. I have back up plans for my back up plans and finally my characters started talking again with clarity. Geez that last one felt good.

Thinking about it though, I wonder if my characters were looking after me for a bit, they know how tired I am so they forced me to rest.

I know this gives them way more life than they really have, but hey, when these guys talk to me the way they do who the heck cares. Their stories want to be told, and I want to tell them. I love writing and always feel a little out of sorts when that part of my life is not flowing properly. I can deal with the rest when the creative is in play.

I love a challenge and I love a deadline, what I’m not so good with is cutting myself some slack and allowing myself to rest. I think though I’m ready for my next deadline, I’ve got leave coming up shortly, let’s see how much of my next book I can get done.

Also there is that first draft copy of book three that needs to be typed up.

Oh and if anyone is interested I’ve just finished another short featuring Evayn, I just don’t know what I’m going to do with it yet.

Holding On To Hope

We’re already well into 2022, in some ways I can’t believe it is February already but here we are.

Here’s the thing, I write a post and I often promise myself I’m going to be better at this, more regular with my updates and then I find out it’s been three months since my last post. Do you think I will get better at this?

I have to wonder I suppose if I was better at this, would I get more book sales? Would my author profile be better? The answer is I really don’t know. I wish it was as easy as some people make it look.

My time is taken up by 12 hour shifts in a really tough job and somehow I have managed to write the drafts for four books in the last 18 or so months, which is no mean feat, I’ll admit that. Writing though is only part of the battle and it is the bit I really like. It’s the promoting myself I’m not really any good at. I wish it was easier for me to yell ‘hey here I am my books are awesome,’ but it’s not.

I could do with a little luck truth be told. If only the right person saw and liked my stuff. I suppose that is the dream of many though, and some will be good and some not so good, added to which writing is a very subjective thing.

Sometimes it is so very hard to hold on to the dream of traditional publication. Yet there are times, especially when it seems hardest, that hope is one of the most important things to hold onto. We have to hope in order to keep moving forward.

So I hold on. It seems at times with the barest tips of my fingers.

I recently was fortunate enough to submit to a publisher and not be shut down immediately – always a good thing. But waiting is hard. You’d think after all this time I’d be better at it. I’m not. I know time is the key and no matter how much I would like answers on my timetable that isn’t how it works. And those who have my stuff on their desks have other priorities, though maybe one day that priority will be me, that day is not today.

I need to remember until the rejection comes, you haven’t been rejected.

My mind though likes to play a different tune and it is sometimes difficult to switch it off, or play something else loud enough to drown those negative thoughts out.

I still have a sliver of hope and there are times that is all we can hold onto.

Into this limbo land of hope I got a little good news. A little boost I had hoped for but not counted on. I was short listed in a short story fiction competition, over 13000 entries and just over 1000 short listed. It goes without saying I’d like to be one of the winners – for both the accolade and the prize money. It would be nice to earn a little from what I work so hard at.

So here I sit, at my keyboard, still holding on by my finger tips.

It’s Been A Rough Few Weeks

After my last lot of leave where I was so productive, I had to go back to work. It seems that has put a stop to the creative flow. Or a least slowed it down. The problem with that is creating is my happy place.

Today though has been a good day. I wrote a piece that has been on my mind for one of my things, then I did a piece for a competition and now I’me writing this. Somewhere as well I’ll make some time to get some editing of book two done.

The biggest issue I’ve had, apart from work in the last little while had been my computer, it apparently has a glitch where is saves things in the system disk that is shouldn’t and that means I don’t have enough memory to do things like upgrade my OS, which was desperately in need of being done. I also wanted to get Final Draft to help with a couple of the new projects I was working on, which necessitated the OS update.

After more messing around than I would have liked, we found a solution, it’s not perfect but it did what was needed so now I’m adjusting to so many updates and new programs it’s almost like I have a new computer.

Added to all this there have been a few family issues to stir into the mix and I just feel frustrated that I can’t write more. Just when it feels like I’m at the end of my rope I have a day like today where I got up, decided ‘screw it’, I’m not going to let the grey clouds close in today, or at least not until I’ve managed to be a bit productive.

On the upside, I’m dabbling new projects, working on others and am happy when I get anything done on any of them. Shame I’ve still got work to go to this week. The good thing is I worked my 6 weeks leave so that I had 3 (4 with some swaps) weeks, then go back for 5 and have 3 (4 with some swaps) more – this is the advantage to working shift work I suppose. So while I may feel in a creative slump right at the moment, I know I’m slogging through and that the end is in sight and the flow will return soon.

Creative Explosion

So I’ve been on leave from work fro the last few weeks and it has been great. Thing is people don’t get me because I haven’t gone anywhere, or really done anything outside of my house (excluding couple of catch ups). These weeks though have been wonderful, I have thrown myself into all things creative and it feels so good. It really is my happy place.

I published a book, I submitted another book from my new series to a publisher, I finished a red pen edit of book two of that series and I’ve thrown myself back into the world of screenwriting. I just love it. I’m learning, reading, watching, researching and creating characters and places for them to play. I only wish I could do this full time.

Unfortunately it as yet doesn’t pay my bills. I look forward to the day it does. In the mean time I am throwing myself into these things because I am passionate about them, they make me laugh and cry and I want to share these stories with others.

To be honest it is probably the most productive, creatively I’ve been in a while. Sure I never stopped, but I threw myself into work, and for a while I got passionate about that, but guess what? Work didn’t care. They didn’t care when I wrote a paper and got invited to speak at an international event. They didn’t care when I suggested some ideas I later found out they tried to pursue leaving me out of the equation. And so this year I turned away from applying for a permanent promotion for the job I was already doing and said, this year I’m going to focus on the creative.

And I have. It is my heart and my happy place and work exists merely to pay my bills. There is no challenge there, there is no dedication to my job and no respect for those who sacrifice employees for their own positional climb.

I respect creatives. I love spending time with them. I love their passion, because bottom line, most wouldn’t be doing it if they weren’t passionate because so few make huge amounts of money from it. Which isn’t to say making piles of money isn’t something I wouldn’t like.

This year I have performed as a voice actor, an actor, and once again published something new. The words are flowing, the emersion into characters, worlds and their lives has been a wonderful rollercoaster.

This is my happy place and I think I want to stay here. Now just to figure out how to get paid enough to leave my other job. Till then though stay passionate people, it is the heart of living.

Happy Book Birthday To Me

I set myself a couple of goals this year, one was to get back on stage (a couple of weeks ago the show I was in finished it’s run) and I wanted to get a book published. I have now hit that goal as well. Yesterday/today, depending on time and where you are in the world, my new book Origins and Legacies went live on both Amazon Kindle and Kobo platforms. Reaching my goals feels so good.

This book is actually a collection of short stories set in the world I created for my first series. See for me sometimes I get to the end of a book and wonder what happens to the characters later on down the track. The beauty with writing the book yourself is you have the opportunity to answer that question, if the characters like you enough to keep talking to you that is.

I already had one story, The She Wolf and the Dragon, I wrote because I needed to know what happened between book two and book three of my series, and I kind of thought I might be able to use it someday, if I ever got big enough to be able to do bonus stuff or even a Patreon account of some sort.

Then Evayn came back and told me I wasn’t done with her yet. Sure mostly this was when I was working on the second series set in that world, but quite a way in the future and with a whole bunch of different people. Yep Evayn stuck herself into that story, which then led me to changing the story, making it bigger and more diverse. This is a story I am still working on. With her back in my head several stories came into the world and I really like the way they turned out.

Also I think most writers have characters they particularly like, for me they were Quinn, my werewolf spy guy. His origin story surprised me a little, particularly when it became intwined with my she-wolf, but then, I’m not the sort of writer who plans, I think I’ve said that before.

The bottom line is, I’m super happy with the way this collection turned out. Feel free to use this collection as a tester for my series and buy the lot, I will be forever grateful.

Adding More to my Plate

So my 14 year old came up with an awesome idea the other day, and believe me I’m not the sort to say it’s an awesome idea because my kid said it. In this case though I really believe it has a lot of potential. Thing is the last thing I need is to add a new project to my plate, let alone one in a different field, but here I am looking at show bibles, researching locations and how to write a pilot for a tv show.

While I’m doing this I’ve just finished the season of the show I was acting in, (yes I achieved my goal of getting back on stage this year) and am hip deep in editing book one, then maybe book two of my new series, as well as hassling my beta reader for feedback so I can get my book of short stories out this month when I’m on leave.

Thing is I’m not on leave yet and well I still have bills to pay, so if anyone knows of any rich benefactors who’d like to support a writer who is working two jobs as well as being a parent and an actor please let me know.

I figure it’s a good thing I thrive on challenge, I love creating, that simple fact has never been more clear than this year when I have struggled so much at work. Focusing on creative projects what ever they be, has kept me grounded, has made it so I am able to get up in the morning and keep moving forward.

And it really is a good idea, in the future you will look back on this post and remember the importance of it.

I will keep writing, there are just so many stories I have left to tell.

Life Has Chapters

I’m very good at my job, the problem is my job is changing and to my mind, not for the better. Needless to say I’ve been struggling with what the best thing to do is. Yesterday I came to a sad conclusion and was in a pretty down headspace, to put it mildly. I’m resilient, so I knew I would be able to continue on and even maybe have a better day.

Today, when I woke up I had a message regarding a possible new beginning, that wasn’t a no. That by the way is something my youngest likes to say when I don’t shut down her suggestions right away. Not having yet another door slammed in my face, or having to dig another knife out of my back, was a good way to start my day. It meant I started my day with a smile on my face before I got out of bed.

Speaking of bed, while I was lying there, partly wishing for more sleep, I got to thinking about this last chapter of my life, the one I’m still in. As difficult as it has been at times, there have been some positive things to have come out of it – a couple of things that look pretty fine on my updated CV, and a few really awesome people I wouldn’t have met otherwise. Thinking about those people, I realised I’m glad my life path crossed with theirs, then I thought about how you can’t take the next step, if you haven’t taken the previous one.

To bring things back to my title analogy, any reader knows you can’t really get to the final chapter if you don’t go through the ones in between. Sure you could read just the final chapter but what would be the point; you won’t be invested in the characters, you will have no understanding of their character arcs and in truth you will have no context for their end point.

When it gets difficult, we should remember that life is a journey, it’s about the path and those who’s paths cross with ours, it’s not really about the end. Life isn’t smooth and easy, well it hasn’t been for me, but the sun rises after it sets, a new day is another day for amazing opportunities we haven’t had yet. I just live in the hope that one of these days I will wake and find I’m making enough money from writing that I don’t need to worry about income from other sources to pay my bills.

Today was a happier day, and I am again holding onto hope and looking forward to the events that will be revealed once the right page has been turned over.

Plans, They Don’t Always Work

So today was just one of those days. I thought I’d get called in for OT at work, which I kinda need because, unexpected bills – like car failure. I didn’t.

Well I did but I thought they’d call at a certain time and they called way earlier than I expected, so no OT.

That’s fine, because it means another day to get my word count cracking. I had a very definite plan for the things I wanted to accomplish.


My youngest wanted a lift to school, and be picked up after. Then I had to go to school at a reasonable time to sort out some stuff for her.

Then I had to take my newest student to the train. He had, had plans to help a friend which didn’t go as planned, so he volunteered me if the need arose.

Factor in a short amount of time for writing before the eldest needed to be taken to a job interview.

Pulling into the driveway after the interview and the friend calls for the aforementioned help. So I head out again.

Then there are complications with the task at hand and we don’t get done until pick up munchkin time.

On getting home I figure I sit on my arse and get a few words written maybe, or I go for a run, like I had planned to fit into my day.

Run it is, and then I barely get through the door before I have to head out again to pick hubby, the oldest student up.

Now I am at the end of the day and I’m writing this because I needed to get something up on here and I figured focusing on anything else much wasn’t going to happen.

Then I’m back at work tomorrow.

But you know what, it wasn’t a bad day, and sometimes for someone like me who sets goals and has plans it’s not always bad to have your plans messed up a bit. It is good to be reminded that life is about those who are in it with you.