JUNE Update: As Life Flows, It Goes. #amwriting #update


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It feels as if it’s been a while since I have posted a personal update. I would think a month, then again, I start writing and get lost at times, not realizing for instance, how far along we are in June. I hope everyone is having a fantastic month and is  looking forward to July and August, our summer here in Canada and many other places.

As many of you know, How Was Last Night For You, my novel is finished in first draft. In second draft, I have edited until about Chapter 6, but you’ll want to note, the finished version, will probably have more chapters than the thirty-one chapters, the first draft has. When I start to realize I’m at three-thousand words or over, I consider splitting the chapter if it’s possible. It isn’t always, but sometimes it is, I only have to insure I hook the reader into the following chapter. I have connected chapter 1 to all chapters proceeding it in first draft. If you wish to read, you can start here: Chapter 1

At the moment, I’m letting my novel sit for a couple of weeks. I’ve read you’re supposed to leave it months, but I feel separation anxiety when I think of leaving my could-be book, for so long. As it is, some of the first few chapters were originally written more than a year or two ago anyways, so I think it is fine for me to go back and edit those chapters. By the time I get to the end chapters, I’m certain it will be late August or September, so I think I’m okay for editing as a whole.

Some issues I want to work on is developing my main character Nina. I feel as the central character, and main point-of-view for the novel, she is a bit flat as a character. I’ve been reading and researching, and would like to give her greater depth. I believe her lover John develops as the story goes on and has depth, so does my antagonist Talise or Tia. Talise has an interesting background, and so does John. Nina needs work though. She is a flirt right now who believes in the paranormal, and that things occur that can’t always be rationally explained. She also believes the best of people, this can be a flaw for her as well.

One blog I read said that we need to be careful we don’t create our characters after ourselves. They might share bits of us, as our so called “darlings,” or our “children” in a sense; it follow that they would. But there are all kinds of people in life and in stories and they need distinctive features and personality traits. This blog suggested, giving your main character a trait which is opposite of one of yours, this immediately makes them different than you. It makes you think about your character in a significantly changed way. So I’m pondering this advice, one reason for the editing break.

Another thing I have been considering a great deal is setting and how it impacts characters and the story. In my novel, I have set this story in Adare, a small fictional city outside Vancouver, BC , Canada. Adare’s down town has a harbor where there is the Sirene Lake. Many events happen at this harbor and in downtown Adare, as well as by or at John’s house, which is beach front property. Although, I have changed much of what I told into dialogue, this isn’t possible with everything. A descriptive setting is still important. 

Funny enough, a great writing blog I follow, posted an article today about working “showing” into your setting. It is exactly what I needed to read, having your setting represent a characters state of mind or mood. Or setting showing certain character attributes. The article is called: Setting – Why A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words. I recommend the article and following Kristen Lamb’s blog. She also holds online courses and I thinking about taking her course on character and plotting, I believe it would be quite helpful. 

On a sad note, I lost my beta reader for my novel, so I’m working on doing corrections on my own, as well as comments you all have left. My plan is to do my best, then higher an editor to look through the whole novel in a substantiative manner, and after those corrections I can decide whether I want to self-publish or start sending off query letters on the outside hope I can get an agent. That’s the plan, but one day at a time.

I have also been submitting smaller works to be published. I have had some success with poetry, but not so with fiction. I’m searching through literary magazines, and other websites etc. which publish writer’s work, jotting down what each place wants in terms of style, writing, and submission standards. I enjoy the rejection emails which give you ways to improve your writing the most. Either way, a rejection email means they at least read your work and considered it. Many places who don’t even consider your writing, don’t send any rejection email. You get nothing. 

Submitting is an ongoing process, and I hope eventually to have some fiction pieces published. As well, I’m beginning my work on a Masters Application. Haven’t started yet, in the thinking stage. I’ll let you know how it goes. Application at UBC isn’t open until late summer so I have a bit of time.

Also, I’m hoping to go on a small vacation somewhere. I’m not sure where, but somewhere in Canada. Probably go somewhere with my Mom or my eldest brother. But I’m trying ‘adulting,’ in some places, putting money away every month for RRSP’s and got some extra life insurance/accident insurance, so if something ever happened to me, my parents and brothers are covered for cost. I want to be out of debt and put more of my money away. It’s difficult in as all budget.

Happy to visit a friend on Whyte Avenue tomorrow, at a favourite newly renovated Cafe called Block 1912. Also, attending Shakespeare in the Park at an amphitheatre outside on Thursday, seeing Loves Labour Lost. I’ve never read this Shakespeare play so I’m excited to see it. What is more exciting than Shakespeare, is Shakespeare, good friends, and beer. 

Working on the weightloss, slowly, it’s coming. I wish it were easier, but it’s not. Birthday’s are coming up in July, which makes dieting difficult. But I try. 

Have a great week! 

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

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Writing 101: Nonfiction – If We Were Having Coffee #everdayinspiration


Today’s Writing 101 prompt is the: “If we were having a cup of coffee. . .” structure prompt. I have seen many bloggers do this so I think it will be an interesting prompt to try.

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If we were having a cup of coffee . . . I would tell you I’m struggling with the closing chapter or two in my novel. I’ve been stuck for a couple of weeks. What I need to do is sit down and write, no matter what comes out. But I stacked my plates with #Mayday prompts and Writing 101 prompts. I’m learning a lot but I need to finish the novel in full. I think I’m almost scared to because I know the next steps are full of editing and revision. As a first time novel writer, I know this will be taking up a large chunk of my spring and summer.

If we were having a cup of coffee . . . I would tell you I don’t drink coffee; I’ve never really drank coffee. Sometimes at church when I was a young teenager I drank coffee because the gym where coffee is held after the service was incredibly cold and I needed the coffee to keep warm. But I despised every drop which went down my throat and usually choked on it. I prefer tea. I drink a blend of green tea, sometimes fruit teas, and sometimes chia tea. I drink tea cold and hot. I’m considering buying this cold tea container from David’s Tea to make cold tea for summer in a bigger quantity because then, it will be in the fridge ready for me to drink.

If we were having a cup of coffee . . . My weight is frustrating me. I try to stick to a diet and reduced calories and I track everything on My Fitness Pal. I take vitamins to help and it’s such a problematic issue for me. All I want is energy and I will exercise. I love cardio and I have no problem getting sweaty in a fitness class or lifting weights. The allergies get me outside but I want control over my body. 

I don’t want to have a body I can’t make strong and fit. I hate being the weight I’m at and I’m terrified to gain more. Losing thirty-five to forty pounds is a lot of weight, but it is what I need to do to put my body back at a healthy weight. I just don’t know how. If I can see something is slowly working I’m okay but if I can’t I get frustrated and cheat because I figure, why not?

If we were having coffee . . . I’m going to a clothing exchange event a friend is putting on next Saturday. There are snacks and I’m bringing wine and nice clothes that don’t fit or I never wore. And we go and see if there is other clothing from other people which we might like and might fit us. The remaining clothes go to GoodWill. This is an inexpensive way and a fun way, to add clothing to your closet. I’m excited. My friend hosting the event has a side business, helping people make outfits and clothing combinations from the clothes in their closet. She helps them go through and keep certain items and donate others. 

If we were having coffee. . . I’d be saying good night and calling a cab. I’m tired tonight and I have to be up for a blood test tomorrow morning around 11:00 am or noon. Talk to you later. By the way did you notice the new blog theme? How do you like it? 

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

One Lovely Blog Award


Thank you to Mark from Colouring Outside the Lines for nominating me for this lovely award.

 

The Rules:

  •  Thank the person that nominated you and provide a link to their blog. (See above).
  • Display the award on your post of the award.
  • List seven facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 15 bloggers for this award and comment on one of their posts to let them know you have nominated them.

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Seven Facts About Me:

1. I’m currently on an eight-day detox using some supplements that many people have had excellent results with. On the detox you can lose anywhere from five to fifteen pounds. And after, you can continue to lose weight. I’m going on the weightloss program but you can use these supplements to support an active lifestyle, help with issues such as fibermielga, arthritis, high blood pressure, and to maintain a healthy lifestyle. They are great products and I plan to do a post on them at the end of the month showing my results. If you’re interested in the redbox before then, let me know 🙂

2. My favourite yoga brand is Lululemon. The company first started in Vancouver,  Canada. The pieces can be expensive but I have found few yoga outfits that compare to Lululemon’s quality. Despite the fact, they too did have issues in the past, for the most part they make fantastic athletic clothing. I’m happy to support a Canadian company and I love to do yoga as much as I can. It makes you limber, stretches out aches and pains in your body, and tones muscle. The meditation aspect of it, while doing certain kinds of breathing, can be useful too.  I meditate on God and pray as I do this, I feel unburdened when I’m finished meditating.

3. I love beautiful art whether it is a fantastic drawing or a painting. One place I follow on my Facebook wall only shows paintings of different artists. It is one of my favourite posts to see when I log on. I love beautiful bright colours in paintings, with vivacity. I love to see all the different styles people paint in according to their personal style. Going to the Alberta Art Gallery is a fun visit some afternoons.

4. My favourite chocolate treat are dark chocolate mint melties at a chocolate store called Purdy’s. On the inside the chocolate is soft and melts in your mouth literally. I used to prefer milk chocolate it now I find I prefer dark chocolate better. Not only is it healthier for you because it is less calories, it has great anti -oxidants, and I love the flavour of dark chocolate. Pretty much anything ‘mint’ from Purdy’s is delicious. I also enjoy Lindt chocolate wherever I might find it. The best place to buy Lindt here (and the most dangerous), is the Lindt Store in South Edmonton Common.

5. My favourite clothing stores to shop at besides Lululemon, for clothes you can wear out (etc.) are RW&CO, Banana Republic, Anthropologie, Le Chateau, Loft, and Simons. I find when I sign up for emails for these stores I can always time my purchases for a time when there is thirty to forty percent off instore or online, free shipping online, spring/winter/fall/summer sales, and a certain percentage off or a gift card on your birthday month.

6. Both my Grandma’s are still alive and I am thirty-years-old as well as the eldest Grandchild on both sides. Grandma is eighty-six-years-old and Baba is ninty-three-years old. Both are doing well in senior’s homes. 

7. I have two younger brothers. The youngest who is four-years younger is in University and doing a degree in Human Geography. He is an avid cyclist and his minor is in German. He is going to Germany this summer for a student exchange program. The eldest younger brother is two-years younger then me and works in IT. He has always been gifted with computers and has worked in the same place since he was a High School student. He received the extra-mile award for his hard work. He loves to travel and has been to Australia twice. I think he wants to go to Iceland next. 

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As for nominations, it is too difficult to nominate people I find because many blogs go award free after awhile. So I would like to nominate any blogger who is within their first-year of blogging for this award. I am nominating YOU for this award.

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©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.