Saying Goodbye to 2015

There’s always something quite nice and refreshing about a new year. I always find myself gearing up ready for exciting things. I make goals for myself and put in plot points to reach them. I relish the idea of starting afresh and while 2015 has not been a particularly arduous year, I feel like 2016 is signalling great new things to come.

Already I have had news that a co-written novella by myself and David Owain Hughes has been accepted for publication. I have a novel in with Dark Chapters Press which I hope to hear about come February and already a couple of short stories lined up to be in anthologies.

I have plans to finish writing a series of novels that I’m working on. This year I wrote two which means I’m challenging myself to write five novels next year in that series. I have another idea brewing that could possible be something in the middle grade/YA range which I’m excited about and of course I’ll try and keep up with short story submissions.

In other things I want to challenge myself to read more. Although the latter half of this year has gotten relatively better, I’ve picked up an actual reading challenge and started compiling a list of books that I want to acquire.

And of course there are those usual personal goals in amongst all of that including being more organised and certainly more assertive. That’s always a hard one, isn’t it?

Whether you’re a goal setter or not, I wish you all the most happy of New Years and hope that 2016 brings everything you could want.

 

 

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Elena talks about her Writing

Name: Elena

Age: 33

Where are you from? Ripley, NY, USA

Tell us a little about yourself ie. education Family life etc. I have two sisters (twins) who recently had babies just six days apart! I am a speech therapist and have my Master’s degree in Communication Disorders and Sciences. I love my job!

When and why did you begin writing? I have always loved writing and began when I was about in 3rd grade. I always had stories floating in my head!

Do you have a novel/collection published? Would you like to tell us about it? Not yet…

What inspired you to write your first book? I was walking home from school in 7th grade and had an idea for it. It literally popped into my head. Maybe an angel gave me the idea like in The Bishop’s Wife…..

Do you have a favourite character from your book? If yes, who is it and why?   My main character is Charlotte, a teenager who lives with her stepmother who gradually becomes an alcoholic. She is my favorite character because she has overcome a lot in her life. I also like her friend Lara because she has juvenile arthritis and has to use a cane or wheelchair and makes Charlotte appreciate what she has.

Is your book part of series? If so what can readers expect to find in your series? It’s not yet but it could be

Do you have a specific writing style? Hmmm….not really

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?   Sometimes I am not sure where to go with the story and don’t work on it like I should

What are your current projects? My Charlotte story, a story about a non-Jewish persecuted person in World War II and a kid’s ghost story

Can you share a little of your current work with us? It’s too long

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life? Not really, it’s pure imagination!

What books have most influenced your life most? Do you have a mentor? I love Eva Ibbotson, Roald Dahl, Bruce Coville, Ray Bradbury, Tolstoy….   I don’t have a mentor though

Have you ever been able to travel in regards to your books? What was it like?   No, unfortunately

Do you have any advice for other writers? Keep working on it no matter what!

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?  Read my work!

What book are you reading now? The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury and Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

Do you remember the first book you read? If not tell us what your favourite book is and why.   It’s Spring!

Other than writing do you have any hobbies? I love to read, walk and hike. I also enjoy movies

Do you have a day job? If so, what do you do? I’m a speech therapist

What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching? The Simpsons, Disney films, I love Lucy, The Addams Family

Favourite foods /Colors/Music.   Lasagna, silver and purple. I like most kinds of music (except country). I listen to classical when I write

 

Twitter:  Elenaspeech

Purchase links for my novel: Hopefully coming soon!

Emotional Writing

Something hit me this week while I was writing. If you are a fan of my facebook page you might have noticed that I’ve talked about writing something new this week. I’ve been working on it ever since I woke up from a dream and it’s flowed from my pen (and my fingers to my laptop) with so much ease it’s unbelievable. I’ve loved every minute of it so far and want to keep working on it, maybe once I figure out where I want it to go!

The thing is, while I’ve been writing it, I’ve noticed a certain sort of emotional, and perhaps even physical response. I think I noticed it more because I was working on a genre I don’t normally write and so I guess I reflected on the process a lot more.

What it brought to my attention is that (as it’s a romance sort of genre) that I felt my heart racing along with my main character. I was as excited as she was and a little hot when she realised how much she liked the guy. It got me to thinking… do you experience emotions while you’re working through writing a story? It doesn’t necessarily have to be romance but I write a lot of horror and suspense and come to think of it, I get all that too. I tense up and feel my shoulders tighten, my toes curl and I can’t stop typing. I sometimes type so fast just finding my way through an action scene or something that is so tense, I get lost in the moment.

Getting lost in your story must be a good sign because if you’re lost as the writer it means the likelihood of your reader getting lost is high. What do you think? Do you ever get an exaggerated emotion while you’re writing? Do you react the same way as your main character? Let me hear your thoughts!

Day 100 of 100!

You might remember me blogging about writing 100 stories in 100 days or have seen my guest blog spot here:

http://incompetentwriter.com/2014/04/14/write-a-story-every-day-for-100-days/

I finally finished! Today, May the 13th, was day 100! I have to say that I have been through some thick and thin moments. Sometimes I’ve been so bursting with ideas that I had to keep going. Sometimes I’ve been so tired that the thought of writing anything has been almost ludicrous. Sometimes my muse has simply left me alone for a while and I have stared at a blank piece of paper–or screen–for a long time. But nevertheless, I reached my goal. I did have a few days off (which was allowed) and it seems that my goal changed slightly from writing short stories everyday to just writing. I started a new novel and got it up to forty pages before I hit a wall (editing required before I can continue). I wrote a lot–and I mean a lot– of short stories. Some of them were so short they were micro fiction, others were longer. I even started participating in a story with another author which we are adding to bits at a time. It has been one hell of an experience.

Would I do it again? Yes. I think so anyway. Not for a while. Would I continue on to do the 365 day challenge? Not right now. I recently got seconded at work and my new job is keeping me both busy and tired so for now, I’m going to pat myself on the back, enjoy my moment of creativity and take a rest. I’m sure I’ll be back!

The First Chapter

So last night I wrote a short story intended for a contest. I had no idea what I was going to write when I started typing but the main character from the newest novel I’m working on popped into my mind and from there it just spiralled. What came from that was something that could potentially be the first chapter for my novel! I’m quite happy with it, especially since I wasn’t intending to write that.

What happens when you put pen to paper? Do you feel that you have to have something to work with, say an outline, before you start writing or can you just start with a very basic idea and go from there?

For me it depends on how I’m feeling at the time. I try to be organised—I really do!—but it doesn’t always work and sometimes a story takes it’s own route and I think when that happens it’s important to try and stay with it and see where it goes. Writing something, even a short story, can be an adventure in itself.

In other news I finally joined the world of Twitter! You can find me @AliceJBlack

It’s a little scary and I’m still not convinced I have the hang of it but I’m getting there!