Thursday, 28 January 2010

Busy, busy, busy

Things are rather hectic here at 22... we're in the midst of packing and relocating temporarily before our big move "up North", we're applying for jobs and looking for houses to live in, and we've decided to bring our wedding day forward to this coming autumn (a provisional date has been set, whoo hoo!)

This means the blog and my story have gone on hold for a little while, but so much is running through my head and nearly everyday I figure a little bit more out and know where I am heading with both my life and this novel. It's a very exciting time, if rather stressful at moments.

I'm covered in bumps and bruises from hefting sofas and tables and cabinets up and down stairs, into vans and all round the houses (quite literally as well as metaphorically) and emotions are becoming strained with sadness at ending this part of our lives and fear of the next unknown, but on the whole we are positive, happy and excited. Besides, as Tim put it when we had finally managed to manoeuvre the sofa up the stairs, round the bend and in to our temporary abode "we can achieve anything, if we stick together"... and he's right. Sometimes it really is just the two of us left alone to deal with all the crap that life throws at us, but look how far we have come and how close we are because of it - if we can survive the previous two years at the very beginning of our relationship, we can survive anything. Bring it on world, we're ready for ya!

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Readers' Panel

Following on from my previous post, the chapters for the first book are all planned and I am so excited as I get to grips with expanding them all in reality as well as figuring out the chapters for the following two books (if all goes to plan). It is exciting, though sometimes hard not to fall into skimming over the details in order to get to the more juicy bits of storyline...

For this reason, I am considering setting up a Readers' Panel - a group of people who I can rely on to read through a few chapters at a time, giving me their feedback on whether the characters and environment are "real", if the amount of detail is enough and more than anything else, whether it is enjoyable.

Tim is my only reader at the moment and I will more than likely draft in my sister and a couple of friends from my real-life world, however I realise these people may be "biased" and want a wider spectrum of people to read through it. With this is mind, I would like to open up this post to comments from any of my blog readers who have an interest in becoming one of my Readers' Panel... if you're interested, leave a comment saying so!

Of course, there are a few requisites:

  • The story is based in a fantasy world, so you will need to have an interest in reading a story that includes magic and Gods
  • I need to have known you for a while (i.e. you've commented on here several times) so that I know you are not going to run off with the story and make it your own
  • You need to be prepared to give constructive criticism as well as praise - I need to know how I am doing as a writer, not just as "a friend"
  • You need to be aware that the story will come in several stages, updated as I progress through the chapters, which dependent upon my time restrictions may be several weeks/months between one part of the story and the next (that means you may have to be patient!!)
I'm a little scared of putting my work "out there" like this, but realise that if I am ever to live my dream of writing for an audience then I have to take this jump into the unknown at some point. I'll see how much of a response I get to this post and then figure out if and how I will create this Readers' Panel and then email anyone who was interested with the details (which means I will need your email address if you sign up).

Right now though I am off to write some more... my weekend has been eaten up by wedding planning and packing boxes ready for our move and I want to make the most of the few hours I have left. Hope you've all had a wonderful weekend xx

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Fantasy Worlds

Following on from the success of the poetry series last month, my writing enjoyment has increased no end. I have re-found the joy of creating a whole world for myself and others to enjoy, whilst finding a new faith in my ability to do this.

For many years my dad has been convinced I was going to "write a book" that would be enjoyed by many, but it never seemed more to me than the belief of a proud (and slightly biased) parent. Even though it was a dream of mine to do exactly that. In fact, I have often thought of what I could write and started something last summer during one of my many breaks from work due to my health. But once I got back to work I forgot all about it and it all just ground to a halt.

Over the Christmas period I re-read one of my most favourite fantasy trilogies, one I never knew existed until I met Tim (fantasy worlds are one of our shared joys). The world was so real and the characters so "touchable" that I longed to produce a similar success and for once thought I might have a chance. With a few tweaks, my idea began to take a much stronger form and the world started taking on a life of its own. In one day I wrote the beginning chapter which, when added to the prologue, took my word count up to 7,000. I have never found it so easy to write that many words, making me realise that I was really on to something.

Of course, in a fantasy world, it is not just the characters that have to become real, but the land it is set in, the lives of the people and the little things that make the world unique. It is fun, yet challenging, and I have enjoyed spending my lunch breaks this week planning out the chapters and working out these finer details. There is still a long way to go, things I am not so adept at, like drawing maps and plans to the abbeys and villages and even the palace where this is set. But what fun...

When I first got Tim to read what I had written so far, the doubts began to creep in... what happens if it is not as good as I think it is, what happens if I have put too much detail and not enough dialogue in, what happens if it just isn't "real" to anybody else... so many thoughts running through my head. And yet, Tim absolutely loved it and cannot wait to read more. He may be biased, of course he may, but he does read an awful lot of fantasy books and I am sure he knows what makes a good one.

So, 2010, my year of possibility, really has started with a flourish and although I do not want to put too much about this book on my blog just yet (here's hoping it may one day be publishable, either by normal means or online somehow), I hope you will join me in celebrating the joy of creation and how much fun it can be. I never thought I would get to this place, but then again I also never thought I would write a whole series of poems like I did last month. You really can do as much as you set your mind and heart to. So tell me, what does your heart desire?

Monday, 4 January 2010

Quick hello ...

Hi id thought id wish everyone a happy new ! i dont post on here much at the moment as i am rubbish at organising time to write as i work shift on a busy neuro ward at a hospital . Im always quite happy to sit and do nothing after running around after sick patients all day ! Still I love my job and i work as part of a great nursing team looking after acutely ill patients from all walks of life.

We all love Christmas with all its festivity's and we all hope for a prosperous new year but please remember that this time of year is the coldest so try to take care great care on snow and ice and to look out for old people as we see a lot of head injury's which can claim lives and alter lives there familys life forever. I hope you all get through this period safely and please spare a thought for loved ones who need extra support this time of year.
All my love Tim x

Saturday, 2 January 2010

New Year, New Blog...

... well a new template at least. I spent this afternoon putting away the Christmas decorations. Christmas is over and so is the old year, it is time to bring in the new, right now. 2010 is going to bring many changes for us, including a move from number 22 (what are the chances of us moving into another house number 22?!) But as this blog is so very new I don't want to change it yet again, and, well, 22 is a magic number in many ways... it was at 22 I discovered I could paint pictures that really moved people. It was at 22 that we celebrated our engagement and began to dream of what the future could really hold for us. And it was at 22 that I started my poetry series which made me realise how much scope there was for spreading my work on this blog.

I want this blog to become more than just a rambling of thoughts, I want it to showcase all that I am (yeah, I know Tim is involved in this blog, but trying to get him to write a post is like trying to draw blood from a stone, so his job is now to take photos, make tasty foods and be the one who does the "important stuff" so I can get down to business on here - so he is still a major part of the blog, you know!) Therefore, as I am the one writing the posts I want them to focus on every aspect of what is going on in our lives, from the day-to-day happenings right through to my lifelong dream of writing for a regular audience.

Dreams have always been a focus in my life, I am a dreamer there is no getting away from that fact. Sometimes I become downhearted when reality just doesn't seem to live up to my dreams, but you know what, they still have such a big part to play... if I couldn't dream I wouldn't strive for anything, I wouldn't have written my advent series and I certainly wouldn't be considering some of the things I am right now. Dreams are good and it was at 22 that these dreams were created, refined and given power to become reality... 22 really is where dreams do come true.

So, welcome to the new, revamped 22, I look forward to seeing you here over the next 12 months and beyond. Right now, however, I have a bit more editing to do until the blog looks exactly how I dreamt it would - ta ta for now xx