Writing update: June 2018, part 2

Well, May and June turned out to be very good months when it came to publication!

Publications

My short story, “Pandjieswinkelgoed”, appeared in the 22 June 2018 issue of Vrouekeur and this was the first print magazine short story that I’ve sold. Huzzah!

I now also have two article on The Mighty under my belt — the second of which has almost 500 likes! I did not expect that…

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WIPs — Porselein and The Knowledge Stones

Believe it or not, I am still busy with my outline for Porselein. It is taking longer than I thought, simply because of the worldbuilding that’s going into it.

The Knowledge Stones is still not finished. Alas, I had really thought that it would be done by now. I’m not going to rush it and give a mediocre thing for everyone to read, though. And I’m adding quite a few extra scenes throughout the story, so keep your eyes peeled!

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SASMARS 2018, aka the medieval conference

Of course, I shouldn’t forget that I still need to finish my paper for SASMARS in August… While I’m well on my way, I am struggling a bit with putting everything in a structure that works for me. So, at the moment, I’m stuck with lots of notes and bits and pieces that I have to join up properly.

I am greatly looking forward to the conference, being back at Mont Fleur, and meeting some old and new faces!

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Camp NaNoWriMo, July 2018

After the dismal performance that was Camp NaNoWriMo April 2018, I hope that this Camp will go better. Actually, it has to go better otherwise I’m in big trouble time-wise. For this Camp my plan of action is:

  • Finishing The Knowledge Stones
  • Finishing Rememberer of gods and kings for SASMARS
  • Finishing the outline and worldbuilding for Porselein and writing at least three chapters.

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Are you taking part in Camp NaNoWriMo? I’d love to hear what you’ll be working on!

May Writing Update – Fiction, Camp NaNoWriMo, and an Academic Paper

Can you believe we’re in the thick of autumn here in the southern hemisphere already? Although, I’m already working on July mags at work, so my mind is a bit split in two and apparently have decided that it’s June. (Mostly because I worked on weekly mags for 8 years and my brain seems a bit slow to catch up to working on monthlies…) This has given me moments of shock a few times thinking that I only have two months in which to finish my “Rememberer of gods and kings” paper for SASMARS instead of three!

Speaking of which, I still have quite a bit to do on this paper, so I’ll be taking a few days off just to focus on the paper and put the fiction aside during that time. I also still need to finish re-reading Heimskringla, but don’t tell anyone…

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On the fiction front – shorter fiction

I’m working on some shorter fiction – mostly under 2 500 words – that I’ll be sending off for publication (holding thumbs). These include a ghost story, at the moment titled “Anniversary” and “Forgotten” part 2 and, maybe, part 3. The full “Forgotten”, though, I’m thinking of publishing as a Kindle Single or something like that.

Then I’m also hard at work on Jozi Flash 2018! So far I’ve finished three stories and am pondering what to write for story four based on the prompt. It’s all top secret though, so I can’t show what exactly it is I’m working on, sorry. What I can say is that, for once, the romance story didn’t end with an “and everybody died” kind of ending!

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On the fiction front – longer fiction

I am still busy with The Box of Secrets, part 9 (and getting all the strings tied off while also hinting at the next book) and am hard at work at finalising the whole outline for Porselein.  I’ll put some links here once I’ve posted some of my Porselein writing homework over on Hersenspinsel – at the moment it’s only available in Afrikaans, though. I’ll do some translations as soon as I have the chance.

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Patreon

Also, there will be big changes over at Patreon over the next couple of months! I am so excited! However, I’m only going to elaborate once the timeline is in place… But the excitement levels are very high!

Camp NaNoWriMo

Let’s just say this was a complete flop. I didn’t reach the goal I had set for myself, but, BUT, I did do a lot of other writing, so I won’t say the month was a complete flop.

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April Writing Update

Or, some days… the dragon wins.

Sometimes it feels as if I am taking one step forward and two steps back when it comes to my writing. Not that I suddenly suck one day (I mean, obviously some stories don’t quite work, but I don’t mean that), but it’s like the month that there is a Camp NaNoWriMo I suddenly get ill and stuff and can’t seem to have the time to write.

Okay, work has been crazy busy, and writing for a living for your day job can make it very difficult to do the switch to writing fiction during the evening. Especially when there is the always-present chronic crap wanting to flare up. (Let’s just say that I am not amused when this happens. The exact vocabulary I may use sometimes will not be repeated here.)

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And then — blissful weekend — or so I thought. Turns out I woke up on Saturday with my right arm (my dominant arm) completely useless thanks to hurting my elbow and my elbow doing something with a nerve in my arm. I don’t know, it’s been happening for years, I don’t bother going to the doctor as it’s usually fine within two days or so.* But, though I was okay to knit, typing and writing by hand was out of the question.

So I basically lost a whole weekend of writing part 9 of The Box of Secrets and did not work on Porselein either.

Good news is that my arm is basically back to normal and I caught up on some of my podcasts over the weekend at least!

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Happy thoughts — Jozi Flash 2018 and other projects

Good news, though, is that everyone taking part in Jozi Flash 2018 is busy writing away at the first of the stories!

To read the previous Jozi Flash Anthologies, simply go to this page.

This week I’ll be working on Porselein to get my next scenes finished and then I’ll work on The Box of Secret’s final part over the weekend. Good thing that there is still another long weekend left in the month to try and finish Camp NaNoWriMo!

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* If you don’t read the blog often, you won’t know that I have various chronic illnesses. Basically, if I had to go to the doctor every time something went wrong or I felt ill, I would never leave the doctor’s rooms. Fun.

Camp NaNoWriMo & Other Bits and Pieces

I think someone went and pressed the “fast forward” button on 2018. Days are flitting past faster than I can keep track of, it seems, not to mention not being able to keep up with all the projects I have in mind for the year!

Alright, the only project that I 100% have to finish is the paper for the conference in August, but still. (BTW, good grief research as an independent scholar is expensive. I am so thankful for the little library I was able to build up during my MA years! And thank goodness I don’t need to work in a laboratory!)

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Camp NaNoWriMo April 2018

I am planning to take part in Camp NaNo next month, though, as I think that that will be a good way for me to keep a track of my writing as well as forcing myself to finish at least the first quarter of Porselein and finish The Box of Secrets.

The feedback I’ve received on Porselein thus far has been positive and is also helping me to make my writing a lot stronger, I think. Hopefully this will even (start to) show in my first drafts.

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TGD of 2018

That said, I seem to also like adding more and more projects as I go along. The Great Declutter (TGD) of 2018 was not planned or part of my New Year’s resolutions, for instance, but I’m almost halfway there (I only work on it on Saturdays so I don’t exacerbate all my chronic symptoms too much) and plan to have it all done by the end of April. Huzzah! And then I will be able to spend my Saturdays working on fiction again. It might have been the decluttering articles I’ve been writing for work that initially inspired me, though! Then there were also two books on hoarding which I read and which was extremely insightful. Oh, the rabbit hole one goes down in Kindle when looking for something like a book on “natural cleaning recipes”. Mind you, the same also happens when I’m on JSTOR* – I get pulled into researching one topic and before I know it my list called “interesting articles” (very creative, I know) is growing faster than my research one.

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*A repository for a great many scholarly journals and their articles. Fascinating reading!

Book reviews

I also want to start doing book reviews again. I have not been reading as much as I want to, but have read and listened to some fascinating and thoroughly entertaining books since last I did a book review.  I seem to be on a non-fiction stint again at the moment…

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Writing Update – On a roll again

After I (at last) wrote The Scene I spoke of in a previous post, it seems that my writing is flowing again. This means that I will most probably reach my goal of 10K words for July’s Camp NaNoWriMo.

I’ve now posted part five of The Box of Secrets on Patreon! You can start reading The Box of Secrets over here.

At the moment BoS stands at around 30K words, so it will probably end up being around 55K words at the end, yay!

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Other writing news

In other news I am slowly bringing my crochet and knitting blog (Trebles On My Mind) up to date as well as working on part six of The Box of Secrets.

I still need to do some micro plotting on part seven to nine of Box; an absolutely lovely head cold kept me from proper writing as well just to top it off. But I am finding that plantsing the story is working out a lot better than simply pantsing it and hoping that it will sort itself out as I go along.

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Writing plans

I have a few days off during August, which will give me some writing time to spend just working on Box and plotting out Aidan Wright’s story (the grave-robbing-soul-photography one).

If all goes well I will be able to finish parts six and seven of Box for August, leaving part eight and nine for September and October. Yup, this story got a bit longer than I had anticipated… If all goes really well, I will be able to finish the story in September, leaving the whole of October open for planning and preparing for NaNoWriMo in November. (I honestly cannot believe I am already planning for NaNoWriMo!)

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But, as I am starting a new job in September (eeeeeek), I do not want to promise that the story will be finished that month.

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Adventures in Camp NaNoWriMo and Writing

In which I end up lessening my word count goal – by a lot

After a whole lot of excitement and not as much writing, I decided to change my word count goal for Camp NaNoWriMo to something I would actually be able to reach.

At first I did not want to, but decided that, rather than putting that amount of stress on myself during a stressful month, I’ll rather give myself a goal that I can reach and still be proud of.

In the end, ten thousand words in a month is nothing to be sneered at and forty thousand words was a stretch goal to begin with — and one which I had made before July turned into such a busy (not to mention exciting) month. However, I am still forgetting to update my word count on the website every day. *sigh*

Plotting and plantsing

Last weekend, though, I had a chance to just sit for a few hours every day and do nothing but plot and write and this really worked out very well. I just refrained from writing the fight scene in the local coffee shop in case I start to cry. Which would have been awkward for myself, the poor waiter, and the patrons around me.

Aidan Wright/“A Corpse and a Ghost Flower”

This weekend I have finally decided to rather set the story about Aidan Wright in another world to ours, but with a still distinct Victorian Era flavour. I am also definitely mashing together the two story ideas which I can loosely describe as “ghost flowers” and “soul photography”.

News on The Ruon Chronicles

I chatted to a friend about one of the legends of Airtha-Eyrassa the other day and realised that, after the “world-overhaul” that happened a few months ago I needed to change some details of the legend as well.

This legend is about the Tellerassar shapeshifters (the ones who turn into eagles) and the water women/Ailala’s Daughter’s. The water women are going to play a part in part six of The Box of Secrets and I do not think that I have said much about them at all on the blogs.

Once the legend has been revised and rewritten as needed, I will post it both here and on the Ruon Chronicles website. I hope to revise it this coming weeked.

Writing plans for the week

I have a number of writing plans for the week.

The first of the plans is to finish the editing course by Shani Raja I am currently busy with. Including homework, I think I have about three and a half hours left, and will do that during lunchtime. I cannot say how much I am enjoying the course and how much I think it will help to better my writing.

The next is to write blogposts, especially ones for Folklore Thursday that I have been seriously neglecting of late.

I also want to take part in the Microcosms and Cracked Flash Fiction competitions. My fingers are itching to write some flash!

Then I need to finish version one of part six of The Box of Secrets. I can then spend the following week simply editing the part to post by the 31st of the month.

Lastly I need to finish outlining the final scenes of The Box of Secrets beyond the bullet points I have at the moment. I also want to re-outline the story “A Mask of Paper and Porcelain”. I’ve been busy with the story for about a year (though on and off) and I feel that I just need to look at it with brand new eyes and try to outline it again.

Music and writing inspiration

I’ve been listening to such an eclectic variety of music while writing these past few weeks — hardly keeping to my usual listen-to-what-suits-the-scene type of music.

While “epic music” still makes up quite a bit of the music I listen to while writing, I also find myself listening to music like Die Heuwels Fantasties, Linkin Park, early music, and postrock.

My only problem is that there is so much wonderful new music out at the moment that I have no idea where to start or where to get the time to listen to everything!

Camp NaNoWriMo: Update 1

In which I write, outline, and knit and crochet a lot

All right, I’ll admit it, it is a bit late in the month for an “update 1”, but bear with me. If you’ve been following the blog, you’ll know that the past month has been quite a whirlwind of happenings.

The first happening

The biggest of these happenings — a new job — I spoke of in my previous post. As you can very well imagine, it kind of took my mind off of writing a bit, though I did end up doing a lot of stress-crochet and -knitting. I finished nearly a whole scarf on the day of my interview!

The second happening

The second of the happenings is that, though I am finished with the fiction writing course I did through FutureLearn, I then started some other short courses as well. The ones, though, which have been taking up most of my time, is writing and editing courses by Shani Raja. And, boy, can I recommend them if you are at all able to take them through Udemy. (You can also check out his website over here.)

A stork tea — not mine!

Added to the whirlwind — though I cannot say that I mind at all — is that a friend’s stork tea/baby shower (I got a really weird look the other day when I said “stork tea”… is it really such an odd term? But I digress) has been moved earlier, which meant that I needed to get a move on if I wanted to finish her gift in time. Good news: the gift is almost finished!

If you’d like to see what I’m getting up to for the gift, you can check out Trebles on My Mind, my crochet, knitting, and crafts blog and my Instagram feed.

Writing — The Box of Secrets

First off — if you have not yet done so, go on over to Patreon and check out part one to three of The Box of Secrets. It is, like Grove of Graves, a story that forms part of The Ruon Chronicles. You can also check out the The Ruon Chronicles website over here.

(You do not have to be a paying Patron to read them [nor do you have to pay to follow me — there are many public posts as well].)

I’m hard at work on parts five and six of The Box of Secrets, although it is going slower than I had imagined. This have led me to believe that I may only finish BoS in September and not in August as I have been planning all along. Oops. Which brings me to the other stories I am working on.

Writing — Aidan Wright, grave robbery, and ghost flowers

While outlining what I am calling the “full story” of Aidan Wright (as opposed to “A Corpse and a Ghost Flower”, which is only flash fiction), I decided to mash up this idea with a previous story I had started writing and which had also started out as a flash piece for one of the Friday flash fiction competitions.

Although both ideas takes place in Victorian times, I am undecided as to whether it should be “our” Victorian era or whether I should rather place it in an alternative world’s “Victorian era”. That said, I put the outline aside for a bit, but will pick it up again this weekend to work on it and, I hope, figure it out.

Moar writing — other short stories

The main reason why I ended up changing my word count goal for Camp NaNo this time around, is that I now see that I am doing a lot more outlining and planning than actual writing. I have firmly become a plantser, leaving the old pantser behind…

The short stories I am working on are those which I started during my fiction writing course, as well as two others; one which needs a rewrite and proper edit and one which I am yet to write and plan.

As you can see, I have a lot of writing to do this weekend. Bring out the notebooks and pens! Pour the tea! Eat the cake! Play the writing inspiration music!

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Camp NaNoWriMo July 2017 – Before I Start

Who else can’t wait for Camp NaNoWriMo to begin? (And is glad that 1 July falls on a weekend…)

This weekend I will be (word) sprinting from morning to evening, hoping to burn as much calories as jelly beans contain. Jelly beans — the snack of champions.

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Before I start scribbling away at my 40 000 word goal, though, I first have to make a proper list of everything that I plan to work on during Camp NaNoWriMo. You see, I’m going to work on finishing the short stories I started during my Start Writing Fiction course — like “A Corpse and a Ghost Flower” — and continue with The Box of Secrets.

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The Box of Secrets

Good news! Parts one to three of The Box of Secrets can now be read on my Patreon page even if you are not a patron!

To start reading, simply follow this link.

Hey, I just found your blog – what’s The Box of Secrets?

The Box of Secrets is my current Patreon fiction and takes place in Airtha-Eyrassa, the world in which The Ruon Chronicles will take place. To read more stories set in the world of Airtha-Eyrassa, simply go to the The Ruon Chronicles site.

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Flash fiction and snippets of short stories…

The third draft of “A Corpse and a Ghost Flower” got good feedback from the writing course, I am glad to say! This “draft” is part of the flash fiction I had to write for that course. The story I am planning to set in the same world and with the same characters, however, will be about 10 000 words in the end. Except if I get a surprise like I did with The Box of Secrets…

 A Corpse and a Ghost Flower

Beneath the full moon the muted sounds and earthy smell of the graveyard were more visceral than in the brightness of the day. Aidan picked his way through the rows of graves and sentinel-like tombstones. An owl hooted and Aidan swung to look at the ancient elm tree. Widened brown eyes relaxed and he ran a hand through his short hair when he realised that the owl had only taken fright at the spectral figure that was always waiting by the tree when the moon was full. He lifted a hand in greeting. So did she.

Like his uncle before him, Aidan had started to grow fond of some of them. At the very least they helped him to find the elusive ghost flowers that were sought after and was said to be able to heal a thousand maladies. And in a large city like this, there were always more than enough maladies to go around.

He reached the oldest part of the cemetery. Here, most of the lichen- and moss-covered graves had been long forgotten. They had been here long before all the factories, machines, and smoke drenched the city and its masses in black fog. The lantern he carried spluttered and he took a moment to check it before moving on.

The only spirit that still remained in this part of the cemetery was that of a girl no older than five, dressed in her best white dress. She was sitting idly on one of the tombstones now, legs dangling down as if it was a garden bench.

“I found a ghost flower,” she said when he spotted her. Her grin showed two missing front teeth.

“You did?” Aidan asked. “Where?” He held out his hand to her, as if she was a flesh-and-blood child. She jumped down from the tombstone and skipped over to him. The hand that slipped into his was deathly cold.

“Over here.”

Aidan’s dark eyes roved over the grass and dead leaves until he spotted the sage-like plant with moonlight-white seven-petalled flowers that had sprung up during the night. He knelt down, placing the lantern carefully beside him. Hands that may in a different life have been suited to play the piano, had been hardened by work; the soil of the graveyard worked into his pores so that he felt as if he could never quite be rid of it. As a gravedigger and groundsman he was as much a part of the graveyard as it was of him.

He took a knife from the pocket of his hand-me-down coat and cut one of the three flowers from the plant. Aidan grimaced as the ghost flower stained his fingers with red, blood-like sap. He carefully wrapped the flower in a clean cloth and slipped it into his pocket after the knife. When he straightened, the spirit girl had once again disappeared and he started his walk back to the newer graves alone. He patted his pocket. The flower – and the health it would return to his neighbour’s daughter – would serve as penance for the other job he had tonight. The long breath he let out misted in the air in front of him. He had to pay his debts somehow.

 

He fetched a shovel and length of canvas and headed to the newest grave.

“They tell me you were an awful miser,” Aidan said to the grave. “That some of the biggest buildings in the slums belong to you,” his voice trailed off. “Yet I am still sorry that I cannot leave you undisturbed. But I am not taking the woman who died in childbirth. And that is the only other grave new enough. Perhaps this will be some payback for all the suffering you have caused. All I know is I’ll be dead before I see a ghost flower bloom on your grave.”

Once the top of the casket was revealed, Aidan broke it open and heaved the man from his resting place. It did not take long to strip him of his clothes and wrap him in canvas. He put the clothes back and filled the grave once more before leaving the damp soil of the cemetery behind him.

 

Aidan shifted the heavy canvas into a more comfortable position on his shoulder and shuddered. For all the times he had done this, he still gagged at the idea – and smell – of carrying a dead body through the misty streets of the city after the witching hour. He struggled down the putrid night-black alleys as fast as his limp would take him, an old handkerchief bound over the lower part of his face to try and keep the smells at bay.

When at last he reached the school’s door, he carefully placed the corpse on the ground and knocked twice. Muffled footsteps sounded within and a man not much older than Aidan, and clutching a lantern, opened the whitewashed door. The light shone into Aidan’s eyes, making him squint and lift a dirt-covered hand in front of his face.

“Good evening, Master Gregory,” Aidan said in a low voice. “I brought him.”

“Put it inside.”

“Aidan heaved the body into his arms and carried the miser’s corpse to one of the tables. His hand lingered on the dead man’s brow for a moment, a silent prayer sounding in his mind.

“I’ll need a new one next week,” Gregory’s voice broke through the holy words Aidan were reciting.

Aidan nodded. He knew his fate all too well; the freedom he had sacrificed for Gregory’s medical help.

“Mister Wright, I do believe you have forgotten something.”

“I —”Aidan checked the canvas before he realised what Gregory referred to. “Thank you for your help,” he stuttered and headed back out into the early morning cold, making for home. He wrapped his patched coat around him as the wind tousled his hair and stung his nose and ears. In the distance a bell tolled.

Here are two of the other short stories I will also be working — and building — on.

Character Sketch – “Telling Half a Truth”

Markus looked at himself in the mirror for a moment, taking in the gaunt features before starting to apply a thin layer of makeup. Through the years he had learned well how to mask the signs of what little sleep he managed to get. He sighed as he put the makeup back in the drawer. So many of the spirits would just not leave him alone until he’d listened to their messages.

The face that looked back at him from the mirror had a healthy glow now – now he could start seeing clients. His cheap plastic watch beeped the hour and the carnival music started playing outside. He pulled at the white shirt he was wearing. He preferred calling his work clothes costume-party-gypsy-chic. It was what people expected him to wear.

He walked the short distance from his trailer to the tent where he plied his trade. Some of those who had arrived early at the carnival grounds already gazed at the red and purple tent with curious expressions. Markus knew that, before the end of the day, at least one of them would have come to visit him. It was like people just knew when spirits were there to speak with them.

Markus ducked into the tent, bending almost double because of his height. Green eyes that had seen too much of life darted around the tent to make sure everything was in its place before he sat down at the table and ran a hand through dark shoulder-length hair.

Tightness gripped his chest as the spirits closed in around him. He sat down at the table, drumming his fingers on the wood.

“You’ll have to step back,” he said to the spirits only he could see. His voice had a subtle English lilt to it, betraying a youth spent in England.

All but one of the spirits stepped back — an elderly man with a thin grey moustache and a birthmark covering part of his face. Markus glared at him.

His first clients — four bubbling teenage girls — entered.

“So,” one said, sitting down and sticking out her palm, “what does my future hold?” She giggled and Markus wished his childhood years had been so carefree.

The elderly man stepped forward.

“I am her grandfather,” he said.

“Coming to… take her to the light. There’s going to be a car crash this afternoon.”

Markus took the girl’s hand and stared at the lines on her palm.

“In your future I see a lot still happening,” Markus said. “You will have one great love in your life.” The girls giggled.

“And Peter is here, hoping to see you. You’ll find him by the cotton candy.” Markus grinned at the girl’s surprised expression. It was difficult as hell being a real psychic, but when he could give someone some happiness it seemed worth it.

The girls paid and rushed out of the tent.

“Thank you for not telling her,” the elderly man said and Markus nodded.

“Blogger in church”

She shifted her weight slightly to one side and felt the thin prayer cushion, with its embroidery of a trinity knot, give way under her knees. Tendrils of hair that would not be tamed by hairspray fell over her face. Around her the church had fallen silent after the end of the sermon. Outside were the sunlit sounds of cars leaving the premises, of people talking animatedly, of a newly baptised baby crying. Behind her, on the worn wooden pew, lay an open prayer book that did not match the others in the church and bore her grandmother’s name on the inside of the front cover. Beside it was her laptop, purse, and a Bible as worn as the wood below it.

“Our Father,” she mumbled below her breath, but the next words of the well-known prayer would not come; the words drowned by her racing thoughts and the comments she had just read. No words would come.

A tear dropped from her chin onto the red shirt she was wearing, leaving a darker red stain on the fabric. She wiped over her face with one hand, not caring if she smudged what little makeup she wore. She was after all, she thought, hardly the stock photo, picture perfect blogger that she’d hoped she was going to turn out to be when she first started leaving posts on her own site. Long but frizzy auburn hair, a face covered in acne marks and arms always covered by long sleeves to hide the lines of scars that marred them, hardly said ‘cover girl’. “All she really has going for her,” she’d overheard her mother once say, “is that her eyes are two different colours”.

She clutched her hands together and leaned her forehead on them as if the act of supplication could reverse time and take her back to before she had opened her laptop and read those comments. In the darkness behind her eyes an old demon awoke once more and bared its razor teeth in a wide grin. “Just one cut,” it whispered to her and she wondered how it was possible for this demon to have not only woken up again, but to be whispering to her in the very church she sat in every Sunday. Just like that he’d invaded her safe space, just like the trolls who spewed their vitriol into the ether of the internet ruined the one way she had of showing her true self to the world. Just like that, with one whisper from within, her holy space had been defiled. She looked up at the wooden cross that hung in the front of the church, stared at the coloured glass scenes of the windows on either side, and saw the world blur around her as more tears welled up in her eyes.

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Camp NaNoWriMo – The End

So… Camp NaNoWriMo was a bit of a flop word count wise. I ended up completing around 11K of my 25K word count goal by midnight on 30 April. The “half NaNo” that seemed so easy to attain in March turned out to be a far cry from what I was able to accomplish in April. But, that said, I did end up doing quite a bit of writing nevertheless.

While the 11K words include Part 3 of The Box of Secrets (BoS) and the beginning of Part 4 of BoS (which at the moment is about 4K in length), most of my writing time and a lot of the energy went into the preparation and worldbuilding that goes on behind the scenes. This is partly because BoS was supposed to be a short story of about 7K words that only treated Trevian becoming a Seeker of Knowledge. Little did I know that it would almost instantly morph into a story which will in the end be around 50K in length. I am, however, having a whole lot of fun writing this story and bringing back characters which have already appeared in earlier stories (like Grove of Graves, which you can read over here).

So, all in all, I’m not going to beat myself up too much that I did not reach the word count goal that I had set in March. Some days the dragon wins, after all. But I do think that I should set up a word count goal every month going forward and building up to the big 50K in November.

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Camp NaNoWriMo – Into the Last Stretch

Okay, so my Saturday of Epic Writing did not pan out quite as I had planned.

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This weekend, thanks to a monumental headache, I only managed to finish part three of The Box of Secrets (which has now also been posted over here on Patreon). Which is a far cry from the 10K I had wanted to write. In my favour, however, is the coming long weekend. Thanks to a day of leave and two public holidays I have five days of what I hope will be Epic Writing Days.

To finish the 25K words I had set as my goal for April, I still need to write 16K words, so I have my work cut out for me. However, should I finish part four of The Box of Secrets this weekend, I will already have about 12K words. Add to that some other exercises, or the beginning of part five, and I may just still make 25K by Sunday!

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I am really excited about writing part four — as well as having some trepidation as the one scene is quite a big one action-wise. I also get to introduce a new character and say hello again to two characters who also appeared in Grove of Graves (*does happy dance*).

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Other Writing News — In which I forget about a writing course, want to write all the things, and get to work on some articles again

I kind of forgot that I enrolled for a free online writing course that started this week… So during the following weeks I will probably post some of the bits and pieces I write for the class on here and on Patreon.

Also, thanks to The Box of Secrets going so well, I am quite in the mood again to Write All The Things and just write up every idea I have scribbled down in my notebooks. Luckily, so far, I am able to keep my focus on Box first before I go on to write any of the other things! One of the projects I am setting aside for later is set in the world of “The Tree-seller” (amongst others) and will be either a novel or a series of novellas. So you see my predicament in not trying to write everything all at once.

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It is also high time that I work on my academic articles again. I put them aside so that I can look at them with new eyes and I really hope that my eyes are now inclined to see where work is still needed before I even give them to someone else to read! These are proper academic articles, mind you, not my satiric stuff I sometimes write for Speculative Grammarian. (For those interested – one of these articles I’ve taken from my MA and the other is from the paper I read at SASMARS last year.)

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So… what’s the deal with Patreon?

If you become one of my Patrons on Patreon (it costs $1 per month), you get Patreon-only fiction every month, as well as a look behind the scenes at the creation of The Ruon Chronicles. While there are some Worldbuilding, etc. on Hersenskim, the detail given on Patreon is a lot more in-depth. Maps! Mind maps! Other cool stuff!

And, while you’re on Patreon, why not check out Nthato Morakabi as well? His fiction is simply brilliant!

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