Tag Archives: writers

The Love of Naked Paper. I’ve got it Bad.

Nothing excites me more than naked paper – I love paper, I have reams of office paper, stacks of notebooks – small, large, lined and unlined – I have tiny ones that fit in a pocket, larger ones by my bedside, even some that stay in the car and I always – always – keep a fresh supply stashed somewhere in my desk. I have lever arch files of loose-leaf foolscap that I take with me on long journeys and a small regularly assaulted stack of used envelopes out in the open on my desk.

What was that? Used envelopes??? Yes, that’s what I said. Even a used envelope is a source of naked paper, in fact the first thing I reach for in this orgy of paper is often a discarded envelope I have “rescued” and stashed for later use.

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At least I remember to put them on!

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In the past, I’ve gone out with my top on backwards and never noticed it until I got home, and I almost went out once wearing my slippers.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not addlepated – or maybe I am – I’m not sure. No, it’s just that I have my mind elsewhere, I live in other worlds, other dimensions. All illusionary, certainly, I admit it’s all made up. But that’s the lure.

I can pick and choose everything – any adventure, any background, any set of heroes and enjoy with them all their challenges and successes. I can ride the waves of excitement, travel the galaxy, explore the unknown, then come back and write about what I’ve discovered and the feelings I’ve experienced.

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Getting back to normal… Whatever that is. And a Thank You also.

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The last eighteen months or so have seen some huge upheavals in my life as my husband prepares for his retirement – an interstate move into a new location, forced separation so far lasting over a year, and all the uncertainty that comes with the whole shifting and changing of our financial concerns as we move from one way of life to another.

I guess that sums it up pretty well and it’s no wonder my writing has been greatly thrown out of whack.

So… What of the science fiction series I am writing?

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2016 – Wow, already into a new year and off to a good start.

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I meant to write a Merry Christmas to everyone – but things happened – mostly holidays when some very good health and energy arrived along with a brand new method of not being stupid at Christmas time (food-wise).

Things are looking great.

I’m sorry I missed the festive season in Blogsville and I hope you all had a wonderful time, keeping happy and safe. I also hope you all have a wonderful year and that 2016 will prove to be one of the best.

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Sometimes it’s good to know you aren’t alone.

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If you’re a writer, you know it isn’t all play and sunshine, you know that following your dream is not always easy and that your efforts are rarely recognized for what they are.

Those nearest and dearest to you know that you are aiming high, but fail to grasp the sheer size of the journey. Sometimes it seems they are not with you at all.

A massive amount goes into writing a book. It’s not enough just to come up with a plot and characters enough to fill it. There’s an huge amount of understanding necessary for each character and research to do on every angle and profession. Your plot, your characters and their actions must be based in truth for them to come across as realistic and believable.

You have to understand the human animal too, and not just from your own perspective. You have to be in the heads of everybody you write about, villain and hero alike. You have to understand psychology and (depending on the nature of your villain) criminal psychology as well. You have to “be” the police officer, the psychopath, the thief and the victim. You have to understand immense fear or immense loss. Gain too – joy, excitement and love so grand your heart wants to burst. You have to understand adventure and the thrill of danger.

But that’s only part of it. You not only must put that all together and make a story out of it but put it together in such a way that it sings and shines and sweeps your readers up into a world that makes them forget all else, even if just for a time.

So, a very important part of being a writer is learning to be artistic with your words, with pacing and the weave of your story. You want to build pictures in the minds of your readers so that they easily and effortlessly fall under your spell and see what you see and live where you live in the finished result. You not only want to lure them into the world your have crafted, you want them to want to stay there. That’s important! Anyone can put a book down, you want them not to want to put your book down!

Understandably, that mastery over the translation of your mind’s landscape and adventures into words and images your readers can enjoy is the biggest and most important part of your craft.

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First Day of Winter for a Writer (and when the heck am I going to publish Book Three?)

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1st day of Winter. Photo taken from my back yard 2015.

 

We had snow on the ground here in our new home in the mountains – a lovely sight to see and a promise of things to come – a good feeling, despite the water pipes frozen solid twice (and not defrosting until mid afternoon).

The house is frequently cold, but that’s to be expected in the early days as we sort out new curtains and carpets, clothing and fuel. A kero heater in my office makes a big difference and so do socks, a scarf and a hat. I have fingerless gloves for typing in, although they feel cumbersome so I rarely use them.

Yes, I’m still typing away and my latest manuscript in the Khekarian series (The Bastard Line) is growing and taking good form. At last the various issues I’ve had with it and the multitude of delays seem to be behind me.

I expect to publish towards the end of the year. This latest book has coincided with an assortment of events that have held me up. The break I took after writing two books back-to-back and an unexpected illness cost me the first six months, which was half my allotted time right there with not a word written. On top of that there have been minor emergencies, delays and the most important move interstate. It’s been a very busy time.

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A Glut of Characters – Ah, so that’s what I was doing.

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Too much too soon, as it turns out. Yes, I know I’m late with Book 3 and this post by no means excuses that, I’m just letting you know Why and What and where I am currently in the Khekarian sci-fi series.

Each book in the series is a stand alone book, with a beginning, a middle and, most importantly, an ending – a conclusion. At the same time, the background story continues to roll on, so parts of the story move forward or the series would not mesh into a whole.

Each of my books contains two main threads, often split into further threads, but in the main there are two stories interwoven. I think of each as a double book (certainly each are thick enough at 500-600 pages).

Book 3 of the Khekarian series, The Bastard Line, continues the overall story, running two stories side-by-side. One of the threads, however, I had in mind to contain more of the story than it should. That notion needed the addition of other characters and other stories to reach that particular conclusion, and this led me into an area where I was, in effect, trying to write two books (four books?) as one and squash way too much in.

That’s where I got mired. Not so much a tangle as a glut of characters and small stories that needed sorting because, as it was, everyone would get mired!

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