1 – 10 days

The first ten days of trying to get myself back into writing did not go well. I got distracted by games and even today played a good six hours of The Sims. And to top things off, I had my giant cross-stitch that I ordered online arrive a few days early. Here is a breakdown of what I did.

  1. 1 1/2 pages edited.
  2. 4 1/2 pages edited.
  3. Nothing.
  4. 8 pages edited.
  5. Nothing.
  6. Nothing.
  7. Nothing
  8. 7 pages edited.
  9. Nothing.
  10. Nothing.

My goal of doing something every day seemed to be too much of a reach. After weeks of not doing anything towards my writing, I am still disappointed by what I have accomplished. All this editing was on one story and I had gone and done substantial changes on it despite this being old ground. Maybe I’ve levelled up again, but who knows.  Below is the track changes I have done. It ends after the first page on the third row.

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100 days of writing, editing, and story-making.

My arrival in Utrecht coincides with the coronavirus shutdown. The beginning of my six months of freedom should be documented to make me more accountable. I plan to make the most of this time and make up for the last year of general disappointments. I’ll be updating my progress in 10 day lots as opposed to weekly because I’m now running in a different time zone. So look out for my progress reports and see if I either fly or fall 🙂

30th Birthday and travelling with cats

I arrived in the Netherlands half a week ago just in time for everything to start closing down 😦 I’m in Utrecht and all restaurants and coffee shops have closed. The nearest mall is like 90% closed with only a few places still open. I’m glad for that, though I’ve noticed that there are quite a few elderly employees. The supermarkets are thankfully still open. My husband is working from home and is usually on Skype, so he’s taken the desk and chair I scored from an op-shop just a few stores away. I also turned 30 yesterday. Couldn’t really do anything because everything is closed down, but it didn’t matter.

But I’ll tell you what. Getting to the Netherlands with two cats was a nightmare. I managed to get one confirmed for the longest time but not the second one. The KLM helpline was no use because frequently I would be told that wait time would be over 30 minutes and the line would then disconnect. By now, Facebook/Twitter and WhatsApp (I had also sent more messages through there) had gone dark. Things were not boding well. 

By now it was only a few days before takeoff, and I was beyond stressed. I went to the airport directly and spoke to someone. There I found out that I couldn’t get the second cat on because me and Chris were both in the same ‘cabin’ and they allowed only one animal per cabin. So I had to upgrade to business class as it was considered a separate cabin. The kind person who helped me was also on hold with their airline. (FYI, the business section of the plane was nothing special. It just had a divider between economy. Don’t waste your money). I wish I was told that before. (Forget the conversations I initially had on Facebook about cat carrier sizes and been rejected a few times. I ended up lying about the dimensions. No one ended up checking.). 

Anyway, with the charge to my card I went to check-in online it didn’t show the upgrade or the extra cat. So cue more stress. The next day we get to the airport to check-in our luggage and confirm the cats (I don’t think they even looked at the pet passports even though I showed it). But it turned out all was good. And it was only after we got to our new place that I realised that they hadn’t charged us for the pets 🙂 So because of the Coronavirus, we got free pet travel. 

Then days after arriving, I got a response to the messages I left in the three apps that said something about getting back to me when they could.

2020 two book goal

I’ve decided what my two stories are for my 2020 goal are. It’s the witch story and Tune In (landing page TBA). I’ve already got my prequel Jumpstart almost completed and are now working on the next book in the series. I have no idea where about the story will end, but I think I will have a lot of fun with it.

I’ve given myself the goal of writing 500-1000 words a day on either story so I can at least finish it. I have no idea how long either is and I’m mostly winging it by planning a couple thousand words ahead each time.

My first pre-made book cover

My first attempt at buying a pre-made book cover has been a great experience. I wasn’t intending to buy one but as I was looking at covers for inspiration; I came across the one I wanted. The moment I saw it, I knew I had to get it.

I found this one by simply searching for pre-made book covers and found the website The Book Designer. I searched for witches and boom. This one came up I think on the first or second page. The text was not the same but damn the picture spoke to me. I paid US$95, which worked out to around £75 and I got it done in under 48 hours. I’m very satisfied with how everything went and I will do it again with either the same website or a different one.

 

Good Witch, Bad Witch, and the Undead

New work in progress

Good Witch, Bad Witch, and the UndeadDon’t I always have something I’m working on but never finishing? But this time I’ve committed myself to this new story. I’ve even bought a book cover image to go with it. That’s a first.

Good Witch, Bad Witch, and the Undead is set a few hundred years ago and revolves around four sisters. Temperance, Prudence, Constance and Mercy. Its genres are magical realism and folklore and historical fantasy. It’s not really a historical novel because I’m not focusing on events of the past, I’m just trying to channel a feeling for the novel. It’s also a more character-driven story that revolves around the four sisters.

The story set up is more episodic. With the chapters being 5000+ words long, almost like short stories. Currently, I’ve completed the second chapter. I do not know how long the book will be or when I finish it. However, I am planning on this to be my next publication.

I’m mostly pantsing my way through this novel, writing a chapter at a time and then planning the next one with a few key events in mind. If it’s novel-length, then I might make it a physical copy through Amazon.  

Using a plot outline for the first time

I had a loose idea of a story that I wanted to write. It involves witches, ye old times and maybe the undead but I didn’t really know where I was going with it and how to get there. So instead of doing my old and tried true method just doing a rough outline with points and ideas added to it as I go or just winging it, I decided to find a novel template (something I hadn’t bothered to do before) and see where it takes me.

I found Derek Murphy’s ‘The One-Page Novel Plot Outline‘ and was like, this looks put together, so I printed it out and started to fiddle with my story. With brainstorming with the ideas I had and intending to set up the inciting incident, I somehow ended up with a 6000-word first chapter that maybe is its own contained story with leads to a sequel. I’m not tossing out what I wrote because I like it and maybe that’s how I’ll set my book up. Long chapters that contain mini-stories that push towards an overall story, why not?

I’m working on chapter two and brainstorming ideas that will lead to connections to later on for foreshadowing or something. Who knows what I’ll think up of.