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.

Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner: Art in the Eye of the Beholder. 


” So what do you think?” Paul asked his husband. “It’s a print of a famous painting and the ocean and sky is calm and relaxing. You don’t like it?”

Trevor looked at the print hung over their bed: “Paul, it’s a print. I think if you’re going to buy a copy of a painting, you should at least buy a copy which is actually painted. This is a poster, how much did you pay for it?” Paul smiled with strain.

“Oh, it was only a cheap print framed. Maybe, we can go find an actual painting soon. I only thought this was a serene piece of art perfect for a bedroom.” Paul said sounding hurt.

Trevor sighed deeply; he hated it when Paul made him feel guilty.

“The ocean and the sky are serene but we could go down Whyte Ave this week during Art Walk and find an original actual painting, while supporting local artists. I’m sure a peaceful ocean and sky will be a common theme.” Trevor remarked, trying to convince Paul’s high taste.

Paul grinned.”That sounds fantastic! There is this great restaurant where they have real Italian food on Whyte and…” 

Trevor tuned Paul out and flicked on the TV opposite the ocean print. An NFL game was on; true art, Trevor thought with a grin.

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Thanks to Roger Shipp for hosting FFftPP each Friday.

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Catching Up


Hey everyone! I know my blogging has been sparse lately, sorry about that. I have had a real decline in my health this summer and it’s been difficult to concentrate on activities such as writing and brainstorming  blog ideas.

I’ve been extremely fatigued and tired. For 2 weeks I think I just about spent most of my time sleeping. Maybe, I was sick, I think, as illness seems to hit me harder with whatever larger illness I have. Although, sleeping 24-7 has passed I still find my health declining to a place it was at about 2-years after my first episode.

I managed to enjoy my birthday “month” and this past week hasn’t been an exception despite extreme fatigue. I had a lovely dinner with the ladies at Earls Tin Palace last Tuesday and thank goodness it was $4 Bellini night because I needed alcohol. It was great to see everyone who came even though I couldn’t be involved in the conversation as much as I wanted to be.

I’m sure no one noticed but I notice these things and hope that soon I will be able to be more chatty again and less tired. By 9:30 pm I was so so sleepy and by 10:15 pm I just had to leave and take a cab home. It was fine with my friends but I felt sick the cab ride home until I went to sleep. As I often do when I’m fatigued-out, I get flu-like symptoms that go away when I become rested. It’s something I always had but am just recognizing what it is now. I think I have days that are just bad days that I feel like I have the flu but really I’m just so utterly fatigued I feel ill.

But thanks everyone who came out I really did have a great time despite my symptoms. I was so happy to see you all there and hear all about your lives, especially those of you who are travelling to fun places and having or have had kids recently in your lives.

I was also very blessed to have a ride to a friend’s Wedding shower that Sunday via Tara. And the shower was great. A beautiful bride got to be around all her best girl friends, bridesmaids, and women relatives and she seemed to enjoy herself immensely. The weather was perfect and I felt good that day ( which hasn’t been happening so much) and everyone was so nice. The bride received many nice gifts, particularly kitchen based. I decided to go with a couple sets of dishware for the shower and the wedding, the bride picked out a beautiful light blue color for her dishware. It is the same color I would have chosen. 25-years from now everyone will know when our dishes from because we all like light blue dishes.

I can’t wait for the stagette night and only hope I feel as good for that night as night’s have been particularly tough me at times. I more worried about lasting the entire night so I think I will arrive around 5;30 pm for a couple left over jello shots and the comedian and probably take off a bit earlier then everyone else from Cook County on Whyte Ave. I am so excited to go to a country bar it has been so long and my 2-stepping is probably worse than it ever was but I might be able to figure out some of the line dancing again.

Moreover, I am finally going to see my psychiatrist tomorrow. I have to tell her all about how much worse I’ve felt this summer and get her to look into Chronic Fatigue as a definitive diagnosis for what I have. Basically, Chronic Fatigue is going to sleep and never ever waking up feeling rested. There are different degrees of Chronic fatigue and I received the definitive diagnosis definition and charts/symptoms for Canada from the M.E. Society of Edmonton. I now have to take this information, along with filled out charts/symptoms (why I think I have CF) to my doctor. I printed out a list of Doctors that deal with CF in Edmonton, but I’m hoping my psychiatrist who knows my situation best can diagnose me.

If I actually have CF I’ll tell you all about it and how my individual symptoms fit in. I don’t know that this makes treatment any easier but it does tell you that yes there is something physically wrong with me that I can tell people and use for health disability status/AISH etc. I’m positive I fit the criterion, or else I don’t know what disease I fit and it could open new possibilities I haven’t thought of. Possibility can be a great thing sometimes.

— 2 days later — I have visited my psychiatrist and presented my research. Apparently, CF is very difficult to diagnose because of all the other illnesses you have to rule out first. I feel we have ruled out plenty of illnesses but my psychiatrist sent me for some blood work and she is going to send me to a rheumatologist who specifically deals with CF and Fibermielga — 2 similar diseases. It might be a whole year before I see him but I am very excited to start the process and finally get a real diagnosis on what I have dealt with fatigue wise. I may have initially had a psychotic episode caused by depression but sometimes illnesses can result in other illness such as CF. You can get better from CF but you also cannot. I hope that the fact that I was young when the fatigue first hit me (23-years-old) means that might be possible someday or that there is some treatment being developed out there that can someday help me. Although CF has been written about since the early 1400’s the medical community has only recently begun to deal with it and try to come up with ways to help patients.