Missing In Action

I have been for a while. This is not to say that I’ve been battling orcs and got mislaid during the bloody onslaught. It does, however, mean that I must once again apologise for slow posting due to an increase of stuff in my life.  If you follow my twitter or my facebook page, you may be aware that I now have a second job and that the lady I work with at my first job has been ill for about a fortnight. You may be wondering how the latter would affect my time regaling you with my insane tales and rather weird ideas.

Well, we work as school crossing patrol officers (that’s lollipop ladies to you and me) on an extremely busy T-junction, which is all fine and dandy when there are two of us to patrol it. With one, however, it poses more of a problem. Surely there should be a stand in, right? Someone to step in when we’re sick? A person to plug the gap when we’re holed up in bed with boxes of tissues, forced to watch that ghastly orange man (David Dickinson) flogging peoples precious possessions?

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OverByte Coming To A Stop & Other Things

[ #OverByte ] I thought you might all like to see the two comics I provided for OverByte, an independent Game Maker magazine. The magazine has since been cancelled, but I’ll go into that after I post the two comics I created for it.

Continue reading “OverByte Coming To A Stop & Other Things”

& 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)

Midnight Workings Weather Down The Story Line

Firstly, thanks to whoever left me the formspring comment about some bad grammar in an excerpt of my first unpublished book. It was an honest mistake that I can only attribute to the dialect in the area that I live, because when it was pointed out I already knew it was wrong and I am subsequently kicking myself in the teeth about it. So whoever you are, many thanks. If anyone else sees any such error, please do tell me.

My intentions for today are to clean the kitchen up a bit, figure out what to cook for dinner and then make a start on uploading photos of my mother’s jewellery to her site. If I have any time, I may attempt to write a piece of flash fiction. One of the lovely people that follow my facebook fan page has provided a statement for me to base it on. It’s much nicer to get statements from other people because it feels so much more communal. I like getting people involved, too. There’s also the fact that when other people provide me with statements, they’re usually statements that provoke writing from me that I wouldn’t normally consider scribing. This, in itself, is fantastic because it makes me broaden my writing horizons. I love new challenges where my writing is concerned. One of the most recent challenges I faced, whilst finishing off Secrets, was that I’d never written a proper battle scene before and the last few chapters required this. I don’t mind telling you that it really worried me. They were critical scenes and I didn’t want to get them wrong. Around the same time, however, I noticed a post show up on my blogroll at the side. The post was from the This Business Of Writing blog and it was a how to on writing battle scenes. I may not have used everything it said, but it did help me to make sense of how I was going to sort out the scene. I figured out a basic choreography for it – who was injured, what their injuries were and when they received the injuries during the battle.

What made my battle particularly difficult, however, was that it had been foreseen by another character. She’d witnessed deaths in her vision and so I had to get these events in exactly the right place, making sure that the right characters were in the right place too! You could say that this was a bit ambitious for my first real battle scene, but somehow it worked. Admittedly, the scene still needs a bit of editing to polish it up, but I’m incredibly happy with what I managed to achieve. I think it managed to flow well and it got all of the correct bits in.

It may be slightly obvious that I get carried away when discussing how writing a scene has gone, especially if it’s gone particularly well. My favourite anecdote about my writing at the moment is that I managed to make Andrew queasy when he was reading a torture scene. If I can make it realistic for a reader, then I feel as if I’ve done well.

Speaking of realism, I had a very realistic dream in amongst other dreams. For a short while after I woke up, I was under the impression that the dream was real, which is dreadfully upsetting because I’d dreamt something that I wish with all of my heart and for a couple of moments I felt thoroughly happy. Don’t you just hate it when those things happen? I really do.

(Lyrics in the title are from Wonder by Megan McCauley)