& The Cure Ain’t Aspirin

It’s been days since I made an entry. For that, I’m sorry and apologise intensely if you felt you were missing out on my incredibly exciting life, but, if truth be told, I really haven’t felt much like blogging. This is really all because of Saturday.

I went out to see a friend on Saturday during the day. I hadn’t seen him in quite a while so it was nice to have a catch up, plus I think he needed to have a chat and get some things off his chest. Poor little worrier, he is. Anyway, it was nice to have a chat with him. We rarely see each other because we lead such busy lives… apart from me. So really, only he leads a busy life. He has a habit of forgetting to see his friends a lot, though. Most of the time, I don’t think he does it on purpose. He’s just a bit scatty. Anyway, my intentions for the day were to see him for a catch up and then watch Doctor Who followed by writing a piece of flash fiction. The last two things were not achieved, as you may have guessed.

My dog hadn’t been well since the previous day. He was getting really old and his back legs were going through arthritis, but on the Friday.. he just refused to eat. He didn’t want to eat anything. Even stuff he really likes. By about five o’clock on Saturday my mum was getting really upset about it. So she called the vet… And we ended up going to the emergency clinic with him in Bridlington. We had to use a blanket to lift him up into the car because he couldn’t do it with his back legs… and the vet had to help us get him out of the car and across to the surgery. It was horrible. She said he was just old and that it was best just to… well… put him to sleep. So my mum, who was really distressed, agreed. And we both ended up crying. And we stroking him when his heart finally stopped beating. It was horrible, but at the same time it was the best thing we could have done for him.

When we got home, my brother turned around and accused my mum of murdering the dog… which distressed her even more. She asked me if I thought we’d done the right thing. We had. We really had. According to the vet, there seemed to be something wrong with his liver too. Sadly, he was such a big dog that we couldn’t take him home to bury in the garden. Instead we agreed to have him cremated so we can scatter his ashes. I guess it sounds silly wanting to do that for him, but we loved him. He’d been a part of our family for eleven years and now the house seems empty without him. My mum has been rearranging furniture, which is her way of dealing with something that upsets her. Now we just have to wait until we get Ollie’s ashes back so we can put them somewhere nice. I think the cats are missing him.

Anyway, as you can imagine, I really didn’t want to blog about it much and I had nothing else to talk about really.

Other than that, I’ve been revising how to write a proper query letter thanks to reading the Query Shark’s blog. I think I’ve managed it. I damn well hope so. It’s been sent to an agent in the hopes that she decides to say yes. If she does, I’ll be ecstatic. Still, that is only the first step, I realise. After that there’s the fact that the agent needs to be able to get a publisher onside. Still, I’m hopeful. I’ve been getting quite a bit of positive feedback about the excerpts I put up on my site. I linked to them on my facebook recently and there are quite a few people who’ve sent me positive comments on them. If you’ve read the excerpt and you liked them or didn’t like them, as the case may be, please do comment below (you don’t have to log in to post a comment). I really like getting feedback. It helps me to know what I’ve done right and what might need improving.

My plan for the rest of the day is to make some dinner, editing and sending my CV etc for a job, edit Secrets & Ghosts a bit, possibly organise plans for book 4, and then to possibly write a piece of flash fiction to post tomorrow (this latter may or may not get done).

Also, thanks to those people who have given me their condolences over Ollie. I really appreciate it.

(Lyrics in the title are from Here We Go Again by Pixie Lott)

New Book Cover. New Entry.

Dear readers, gather ’round, gather ’round. Okay, that was patronising. I’m sorry. Don’t beat me. I just like amusing myself with silly statements sometimes.

Anyway, as you can see, my friend Andrew has mocked up a book cover for my second unpublished book in the JLM Series. He’s doing these off his own back and free for me. I personally think they’re really well done and it makes me really thankful to have such good friends around me. The second book is called Shadows & Ghosts (in case you hadn’t guessed).

I’ve heard on the grapevine that is twitter (from the lovely iamJaymes who cheers me up greatly with his tweets) that Stefanie Meyer has written a new novella. Unfortunately it is still following her silly saga about sparkly vampires. That still grates on me. I can see how it’s a clever idea, but it’s the most un-vampire thing I have ever heard. Couldn’t they have glowed? Wouldn’t that have been better than them looking like they’ve been decorating Christmas cards with small children? Maybe that’s just me, but I find it stupid. And I find the number of people obsessed with it even more ridiculous. Especially when some of those people are mothers. I mean, really, what is the world coming to when mothers are convincing their daughters to read about boys who sparkly? I’m sorry, but the only boys I know who sparkle generally don’t do it to attract women. I’m pretty sure that they have an entirely different agenda. I also fail to see how vampires having kids would work, as well. I mean, I’m pretty sure the guy’s supposed to be dead down there unless I’m missing something and corpses really can have children. I’d explain this in more detail… but I think that clever individuals will see where I’m coming from anyway.

Anyway, I’m going to try and finish off my editing of this chapter. When I do that, I intend to write a piece about book fandom battles. It’ll be fictional and basically my own little mad twist on the situation. I may post it here. Then again, I may make it too long to fit here and just link off to it.

The Butterflies Are Creeping Through My Spine

It must seem like I blog a lot. I do, but it’s because I either have too much going on in my head or I just like to ramble to anyone who’ll listen. Kudos to you if you’ve put up with reading my entries so far. It’s much appreciated. I’d like to think I’m not too boring. If I am, then I sincerely apologise. I realise that nothing I have to say is of much importance in the grand scheme of things, but if it helps you to brighten a dull corner of your time then I’m sure it’s worth it.

How late do you think is acceptable to send a Christmas present? Is now too late? I thought so. I still haven’t sent my friend her present. I’m pretty useless in that respect, as it’s nearly her birthday already and I still haven’t sent it. It’s not that I haven’t meant to, but our post office is out of my way and when I have time to get there it’s usually after it’s closed, which is useless when trying to send a package. She’ll get it eventually, but it may still take a while. It’s sitting off to one side all neatly wrapped. There were originally two like that and there still would be if the person to whom the second parcel was going to be sent hadn’t visited me over New Years. I’m considering waiting to send her the present for her birthday, complete with birthday gift too, instead. I’m a poor, lowly student so I guess it would cost me less to send it as one package than to send two separate packages. I don’t know if that’s true, but that’s what my logic says. Sometimes my logic is a bit shot, though, so I could be entirely wrong. If I am, please inform me. What would be nice to hear is how long anyone else may have delayed in sending anything they were supposed to send. It would be nice to think that I’m not the only one who is just generally rubbish at this kind of thing. And if you’re not rubbish like me and actually had a good reason for postponing then please share. I’m nosey and I like to hear other people’s stories – I think that’s partly why I got myself a formspring account.

You may have noticed that I added a list of links to my various pages and sites on the right. These are not going to be permanent. As soon as my new site is finished and this is iframed in, there will be no need for them as you will be able to use the site navbar to see everything that is described to the right. This is to help with my whole idea of integrating all of my social networking and everything else into one place. Not only does it make it easier for you to find stuff… but it makes it easier for me to show you new stuff! It will be clever and cool like that. As you can probably gather, I am extremely excited by all of this. I will be quite proud of it when it’s done and moreso of the people who are sorting it for me. They really get all of the credit for how it will work out. I am simply giving directions as to what I’d like to see and what I’d like to be attempted. I’m fully aware that some of it may not be possible, but as long as they try as hard as they can (which I’m certain that they will), then I will be pleased and thoroughly grateful. 


This is where you get excited because I have taken a break from constant edits and have started on the last two chapters of what will either be known as Secrets or Spilling Secrets (see the poll to the right and have your say!). It’s a major scene that includes a battle, so I’ve been putting it off a little whilst I did my editing. I wasn’t just putting it off due to the fact that I’ve never written a proper battle scene before, but because I wanted to try to accomplish as much editing as I possibly could before I jumped in. It needs a lot of thought. Certain characters need to be in certain places at certain times to make sure that I can get a particular piece of writing to play out. I realise that this doesn’t sound very difficult, but by places I don’t mean that they need to be in a set room or anything like that. By certain places, I mean that the battle has to be meticulously choreographed so that the characters who die are in the right place to die and the characters who are saved are in the right place to be saved… or the characters destined to die might accidentally live and those who are supposed to live might fall down a rabbit hole or something. Is that as confusing as it sounded in my head?

I’ve only really had to choreograph one scene before and that was definitely not as complicated as a fast battle scene. I have to ensure that I write in third person, too. If you read the formspring question I was asked then you will already know about the viewpoints in the stories: In Shadows & Ghosts I noticed chapters generally alternate between first-person Jocasta and a separate third-person subplot. Do you think of these as paired off, with two consecutive chapters happening simultaneously or is it all chronological? This is done consciously; however, I usually leave the first person scenes to my main MC (unsurprisingly, perhaps, that’s Jocasta Lizzbeth Moonshadow). This is different, though. Jo will be in the scene and yet it is going to be third person. This means I have to make sure that I don’t slip into it by accident. Usually, I like to let Jo tell her story where she can and I write the other things in third person, but in this case it is imperative that Jo does not record it. This isn’t to say that she wouldn’t record it if she could… but in these ending chapters and their battle scene there is the distinct possibility that she may never write anything down again…

I’ll let you wonder why that may be and hope that I haven’t given anything away. 

You never know, I might leave it all at a bloody end right there. After all, I do so like destroying the lives of my characters and putting them in pain. Happy hypothesising and please don’t forget to comment!

(Lyrics in the title are from Roses And Butterflies by Making April)

Procrastinators of the World Unite! …Maybe Tomorrow

The title really has nothing to do with what I’m writing today, but everything to do with a discussion that I’m having on my SD (Sinfully Delicious) chat room. If you’re really bored, then the link is here. The discussion was about how we waste time on the internet. If I’m honest, my amount of time wasting has gone down drastically ever since I got the twitter plug-in for chrome (the chromed bird one – it’s really rather good if you’re looking for a chrome plug-in). I used to spend ages with twitter and facebook open, checking to see if anybody wanted to talk to me, because, let’s face it, I like social media and I like talking to people about random things whilst still being able to shut myself off in my own little world. I think that’s possibly one of the best things about social media on the ‘net. I don’t actually have to interact half as much as I do in real life. I can withdraw and go into my own world whilst still being amazingly accessible to the people that I like. I’m naturally quite reclusive. Sometimes I just need to withdraw into my own little place. This usually means that I lock myself up in my room for hours on end either writing or hiding out on the ‘net where I’m there… but I’m not there at the same time. For example, I have an awful habit of signing in as offline on msn, despite the fact that the reason I used to appear as offline is now completely void (the reason was an ex that I may or may not explore later – probably not. I’ve been through my phase of griping about him. I moved onto someone else and now I’m working on getting over him too. Don’t you just love L.O.V.E?).

My point is, I’ve cut down a lot of things that meant I wasted more time than I spent doing productive things. The twitter plug-in has helped me to resist keeping the page open and the fact that I’ve started using twitter has reduced my usage of facebook. Of course, my tweets are imported to my ‘official myspace’ so I don’t even have to bother going on there except to approve new friends and check out any comments I have, which is limited to about twice a day as I no longer like the myspace framework. As for facebook, my formspring questions & answers are sent there & twitter automatically. The same goes for my journal entries. I have them imported by twitterfeed.com (which also tells me how many clicks I receive) to both my facebook pages and my twitter. It’s a really good set up and means less faffing about for me as well as a reduction in the amount of time I have to spend going backwards and forwards.
This time should be even less when my new site is completed. My friend tells me he’s going to ‘iframe’ things in. I’ve been informed reliably that this is where you embed another page into your site, which will be great because I can then have this blog and my formspring all integrated into my main site. I also plan to have my tweets incorporated into it.
It brings me to something else I was going to discuss (Ha ha! Yes. I actually wrote a list of things I wanted to talk about today – I got the idea from one of the writing blogs I follow which is full of helpful advice for writers trying to get a bigger web presence). I’ve been thinking that I might quote some of my formspring questions here and go into a little more depth about them as there seem to be some questions that I get asked where I could ramble on for hours with a lovely long answer. The problem is that formspring seems to have a pretty unreliable server. It’s always crashing or having technical difficulties, whereby you have to return hours later in order to ask your question or answer a question, again. It’s really quite irritating, but at the same I quite enjoy using formspring as you can ask questions anonymously of your friends or of people you don’t know but do admire. There’s the option of deleting questions and not answering them, as well, if you get any that are abusive or simply inappropriate. It wouldn’t surprise me if formspring got a lot more popular than it currently is. If it does, I’d like to reserve the right to say ‘I told you so’ in a couple of months time. This is a good example of a question a friend asked me where I’ve run off a bit with my answer, ‘What was the earliest story you can remember writing?‘ There are other examples of good questions on there that relate to the writing of my JLM Series (Jocasta Lizzbeth Moonshadow). These have mostly been asked by my friend Andrew (NALGames) – you can find his blog on the right under the list of blogs I follow. He’s currently charged with the unfortunate task of proof reading for me. He’s halfway through Shadows & Ghosts and seems to be enjoying it, which is always a good omen.
I seem to have gabbed enough, today, about my various thoughts. So please click in tomorrow to read some more. And feel free to comment – sometimes I wonder if Andrew is the only one who reads my rubbish!