#DystoniaAroundTheWorld Challenge, Dystonia Around the World Challenge, work in progress, Writing journey

The first 10 miles of #DystoniaAroundTheWorld Challenge: New Ideas and Beginnings for Stories

 

Yesterday, I shared my intention to raise awareness and much needed donations for dystonia by signing up to the Dystonia Around The World challenge. I have downloaded an app on to my phone to time my writing and the journey has begun. According Dystonia UK, ten minutes of an activity equals one mile. This is a lot less daunting than I originally thought when I read it as one hour equals a mile. Maybe I will complete 1000 hours on this project depending on the length of time the challenge runs for and the donations, but for now we will focus on one mile at a time until I travel 100 miles.

Where can we go?

This morning, I had achieved over ten miles of writing. This made me think of where I could virtually visit in my 100 miles target. Manchester is always an option and it would be nice to catch up with friends but yesterday I saw a wonderful shop I long to visit, The Curiosity Society in Haworth, North Yorkshire. It looks full of atmosphere and magical inspiration to get the creative sparks flying. At 80 miles away, it fits perfectly with a quick detour to one of my favourite places to relax, the sea.

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So with my ten miles I am banking them for a Horlicks and a tea cake on Bridlington beach to blow away the cobwebs of shielding and isolation. One day soon, I will do it for real, but until then memories and imagination will have to do.

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My progress so far

With those miles, I have written the beginning of a short story about a cursed locket and a potential scene from my current work in progress inspired by the prompt, the scarecrow, given by my local writing group for homework. I doubt I will use it in the manuscript, but it gives an insight into one character. Watch this space; it will be available to read in September.

Catch up soon.

Happy writing and stay safe!

Love

just Kate

If you would like to sponsor or follow my journey for the Dystonia Around The World challenge my page is here. Or follow me on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.

 

#DystoniaAroundTheWorld Challenge, Short story, Writing journey

Writing Challenge to Support Dystonia UK or what have I let myself in for? #DystoniaAroundTheWorldChallenge

August has arrived and with the speed time is flying this year, it will soon be September. September is Dystonia Awareness month which I always try to participate in. I was diagnosed with a rare form of dystonia, dopa responsive dystonia, in 2012 after many years of doctors scratching their heads. I have been lucky; medication gives me some relief during the day and I have adjusted to being wobbly and a new way of living. Awareness of this neurological condition is crucial for better treatment, diagnosis and research for a cure. Many people suffer for years before they see someone with experience of diagnosing and treating this condition despite it affecting at 100,000 people in the UK.

Writing has been my escape throughout my dystonia journey and gave me a focus away from hospital visits, disability and more recently, the four walls of my home during lockdown. To help Dystonia UK which supports people affected by this condition, I have signed up to the #DystoniaAroundTheWorldChallenge. I can not run or walk 100 miles even with my walker but I can write. My aim is to write for at least 1000 minutes in many sprints. I will post the resulting short stories/flash fiction here from September.

I'm taking part

If you would like to know more about dystonia, click here and if you would like to find out more my writing challenge click here.

Thanks for reading and your support whether it is through donations or encouragement, it all matters. 1000 minutes seems a daunting task and I am now doubting my ability to achieve the goal and producing something readable. If anyone has any writing prompts or inspiration for short stories please comment below.

I had better get writing. Take care and stay safe!

Love

just Kate

Uncategorized

A Writer’s Life: After Rejections A Magical Boost

Rejections are part of a writer’s journey. We have all heard about how hard it is to find an agent or publisher for the manuscript you have spent hours on and given part of your soul to write but I don’t think anyone quite prepares you for emotions you feel when one arrives in your inbox. This time last year, the idea I would have a complete manuscript to submit seemed unlikely. I had received positive feedback from my first 1:1s at the RNA conference, but my word count was lacking. With The End now reached and submissions to agents began the dreaded rejections have appeared in my inbox. I thought I was prepared after listening to agents and publishers talk about the criteria and slush pile, but I was amazed at how low you feel when you read the words it’s not for us. Thankfully, I have my tribe of writers to rely on to lift the mood and remember each rejection is a rite of passage in the transformation of becoming an author. As they stack up, it is proof I have finished my book and had the courage to send it off into the world. It is a sign of how far I have come from; in my local writing group I was scared to say my name, never mind share my work with others, and now I can chat about my characters and read aloud my flash fiction.* Rather than aspiring to be a writer, I am one. Next step up the ladder is the coveted title – author.

 

*I am still scared to speak to people I don’t know, but that is another work in progress.

 

My reward for finishing A Blend of Magic – a painting of The Enchanted Emporium by Jess Titcombe

 

Another way to battle the low after receiving a rejections is to highlight and collect the positives you have heard about your work. Stick them in a file,  a book or copy them on a trusty post-it note to remind yourself someone liked it or loved a character.  A comment I have nearby from my NWS reader:

Everything needed for a cracking good story is here in this full length draft.

Along with the positive feedback from my first beta reader, it gives me hope that with polish and changes it can become a novel readers can enjoy.

 

How do you deal with rejections? All tips are welcome.

Stay safe, keep writing and reading!

Love

 

 

 

 

Just life, Writing journey

Writing, Lockdown and June Update

I have written June update in the title but it should read 2020 update because this poor blog has remained largely untouched since the RNA Afternoon tea last year. Why, when I have exciting good news to tell you? The answer may not be what you expect. 2020 has been a dystopian year throwing life unimaginable challenges but the main reason I have been missing is I have been writing. Yes, writing, editing and The End has been typed on the last page of A Blend of Magic.

But first, a catch up of the year.

This Year’s News

  • Last year I won a free six-month mentorship with Alison May, which started in January. This has been a turning point in my writing, confidence and determination to finish A Blend of Magic and not hide it away in a drawer but send it out in the world. I just need to keep my fear of failure under control. Her advice and support has been invaluable.
  • I was given another bursary for the New writer’s Scheme at the Romantic Novelist’s Association. If you write any form of novel with a romantic thread, check it out. As with my mentorship, the warmth and support of the Association has had a massive influence in my writing. Or check out the speech from the Queen of Romantic Fiction Milly Johnson speech. She says it all.

 

 

  • Lockdown happened and I was placed in the shielding category. As I am usually at home not much changed except, I can not see my aunt or meet up with my local writing group on a Friday. It is amazing how much two hours a week of human company can be missed. Thank heavens for WhatsApp. As doom and gloom raged outside the bubble around me, I decided to hide in my imagination. I have surfaced to catch up with my writing friends and drink tea. This was the best decision as I have been productive and words have been written (except on here – oops).
  • I finished umpteen drafts of A Blend of Magic and sent it off to be critiqued with the NWS and within 3 weeks it was returned. The reader liked it and only a few tweaks are needed to improve it – phew!
  • For the first time I sent it off to an agent  (eek) and I have entered more competitions.
  • I have started a new project which I am so excited about. I wake in the morning wanting to connect with the characters and write their stories. Where they will take me? I don’t know and it is exciting to find out. I hope the enthusiasm lasts and does not dwindle the further I am into the manuscript as I am only 6000 words in. It is a step away from magic into the world of dance.
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All about the dance

The question is should Willow and Vincent make a fleeting cameo appearance or should it be set in a completely different world?

I hope you are all staying safe and as lockdown is easing you remain so. I have chosen to remain in my creative bubble a while longer and am grateful I am able to do so while others can not.

Take care

Love

just Kate

 

 

Book review, Writing journey

Book Review: 52 Weeks of Writing – Author Journal and Planner by Mariëlle S.Smith

It has been ages since I last posted and I will update you soon but today I am excited to share with you a review for a journal I have had the pleasure of using, 52 Weeks of Writing Author: journal and Planner by Mariëlle S. Smith.

Book Review: 52 Weeks of Writing – Author Journal and Planner by Mariëlle S.Smith

52 Weeks - cover-image
52 Weeks of Writing – Author Journal and Planner by Mariëlle S.Smith

Title: Book Review: 52 Weeks of Writing – Author Journal and Planner

Author:  Mariëlle S.Smith

Publisher: Independent

Release date: 25th Nov 2019

Genre: Writing Non-fiction

Blurb:

Are you ready to become the writer you were always meant to be?

52 Weeks of Writing will get you cracking by making you plan, track, reflect on, and check in with your progress and goals an entire year long.

52 Weeks of Writing will help you dig deep by offering questions and writing prompts designed to unravel whatever truths about your writing you’re ready for.

52 Weeks of Writing will keep you inspired by delivering a thought-provoking writing quote every week.

 

  • Do you struggle with setting goals that reflect your daily reality?
  • Do you want to practise breaking goals down into manageable chunks?
  • Would you like more insight into your writing habit(s) and figure out why you keep getting in your own way?
  • And do you want to create a sustainable writing practice that honours your needs and desires as a writer?

 

Then the 52 Weeks of Writing: Author Journal and Planner is for you.

52 Weeks of Writing brings together every lesson Mariëlle S. Smith has learned as a writing coach and writer. Wary as she is of comparisonitis and unhealthy competition, this author journal and planner was designed to help writers develop and fine-tune a practice that works for them.

If you’re ready to get out of your own way and become the writer you’re meant to be, pick up your copy of 52 Weeks of Writing today.

Purchase Link

https://mswordsmith.nl/journal/

My Thoughts.

I love writing. It is an ideal way to escape reality and I love exploring my imagination, meeting new characters and world building but I struggle constantly with self-doubt, motivation and organisation so the blurb attracted my attention. It offered to tackle my issues.

The introduction is an encouraging pep talk and gives you an understanding of how to use the journal and why. It made me eager to grab my favourite pen to get started.

Each week begins with a writing related quote and then split into sections of clarity, which encourages you to delve into your views on your writing, goals, planning and a writing prompt. The layout is clear, and easy to understand.

I loved this journal and one day would love to own the physical copy rather than the digital. By making me sit for a few moments weekly to answer the questions it helped me focus on my writing, reignite my passion when it was flagging or doubts crept in and made me more accountable to myself. There is a Facebook group to join for added accountability. Obviously  to work you have to be motivated to use it but I hope in a few weeks opening it up at the beginning of the week will be part of my routine.

Author Biography

52 Weeks - Author Photo
Enter Mariëlle S. Smith

Mariëlle S. Smith is a coach for writers and other creatives, an editor, (ghost) writer, and custom retreat organiser. In 2019, she moved to Cyprus, and island in the Mediterranean Sea, where she organises private writer’s retreats, is inspired 24/7, and feeds more stray cats than she can count.

Social Media Links 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mswordsmith

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mariellessmith/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtnYOpjmj83mvMM2L348F1w

Giveaway

I am thrilled to share this opportunity to win in this wonderful giveaway. Prizes available are:

Click here to enter.

52 Weeks - Giveaway

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources and Mariëlle S. Smith for an advanced copy so I could give my honest, unbiased opinion.

Happy writing!

Love

Kate Kenzie's Blog