work in progress, Writing journey

Peeking in secret diaries

My current WIP has been in the making since my teenage years when I was obsessed with astral projection, magic and Nightmare on Elm Street. It has evolved since the first draft written at that time. I hope so, since the ending to that one involved a visit to McDonalds. It is a YA fantasy/supernatural story with some reality thrown in following 15 year old Amber as she is trapped in the world of Ellfaen with only her alcoholic father to help.

It has always been my plan to release Amber’s diary online to accompany my novel The Hollow * as a sneak in to the world of Ellfaen. Her story begins at the beginning of the school year so it was only appropriate (or complete madness)to release  it now. If you want be nosy and sneak a look into her private diary you can find them here.

Her first entry is The Diary of Nobody followed by Sweat and Fear; they are back

Amber comes from a female line of journal writers so other journals maybe opened in the future.

The journals are a WIP which I hope will become something readable for my readers to enjoy so any suggestions or comments please let me know.

Have a good week!

*this is a working title and will probably change.

Writing journey

It is all about dragons – again!

This week I have been researching dragons – not the scaly, fire breathing ones Amber would prefer but Dragon voice recognition. I have had it on my laptop since 2009 when I hoped it would help with an OU course. It didn’t. After several frustrating hours of swearing, misspelt words and bizarre interpretation of my speech I declared my adventure into voice recognition a failure.  The program lay unused, gathering dust in an unused folder on my desktop until this week.
My laptop is a dinosaur. It protests loudly at being woken up and  groans when in use so despite defragging and dejunking it,  this will have an effect on dragon performance so please don’t take this as a review. I am no techie. The version I have is also only v11 and there are newer, updated versions available.
I set up my profile as instructed and completed the test. Reading text out loud was hard work as I had memories of being a nervous  school kid, scared of being  pointed at. After watching  a helpful podcast I read some of my own work to begin with. This worked better than expected but long delay of seeing words form on the screen was  frustrating . I struggled to  speak freely as I stared at the flashing cursor. Maybe in time and as I  gain confidence in its performance,  I will be able to close eyes and ignore the lag.
As a test text I used  the blurb of one of my new favourite books The Path Keeper*.
Results of the blurb of The Path Keeper was:
The first in a thrilling new wife a fantasy series by NJ Simmonds, the pack keypad is the town of first loves and second chances, and the invisible thread that binders.
What if every coincidence was a tiny miracle? What if our life was already mapped out before birth? What if someone had the power to change the path we were destined to follow?
LO hates a new life in London. She misses Spain and she’s struggling to get over her past until she meets that stop he was always loved her but he isn’t meant to be part of Ellis story. Not this time. Not ever. Little did she know that his secret is the one thing that will tear them apart and will force her to live in a world that no longer make sense? The world more dangerous than she could ever imagine stop
This version of Dragon definitely needs time spent on its training to deal with my accent and  voice.
I downloaded  Dragon Anywhere on my Android phone. The results were:

The first in a thrilling new why a fantasy series by NJ Simmons, the past keeper is a tale of first love and second chances, and invisible threads that bind us.

What if every coincidence with tiny miracle? What if I life was already mapped out before birth? What if someone had the power to change the path we were destined to follow?

Ella hates her new life in London. She misses Spain and she is struggling to get over her past until she meets Zac. He has always loved her but he isn’t meant to be part of valour story. Not this time.

Not ever. Little did she know that his secret is the one thing that will tear them apart and will force her to live in a world that is no longer makes sense, a world more dangerous than she could ever imagine.

Now I was impressed. No training  was required for this and straight off, it had a high accuracy and no lag. I could just speak when I overcame my shyness and it felt more natural.  In a press of a couple of buttons, I was able to successfully download the blurb to Evernote (my lifesaver and main writing tool). I am in love with this app but it has  one major stumbling block – the price. As a penniless, would be writer £9.99 a month subscription  is out of my league. It has given me confidence in the Nuance products  and if newer versions of Dragon for PCs works just as well I will be saving up for an upgrade and a new laptop.  I have found a backup for failing hand –  Dragon

20170807_073137

*Original blurb of The Path Keeper.

What if every coincidence was a tiny miracle? What if our life was already mapped out before birth? What if someone had the power to change the path we were destined to follow?
Ella hates her new life in London, she misses Spain and she’s struggling to get over her past until she meets Zac. He has always loved her but he isn’t meant to be part of Ella’s story. Not this time. Not ever. Little does she know that his secret is the one thing that will tear them apart and will force her to live in a world that no longer makes sense, a world more dangerous than she could ever imagine.
The first in a thrilling new YA fantasy series, The Path Keeper is a tale of passion and secrets, of first loves and second chances, and the invisible threads that bind us. Can love ever be stronger than fate?

 

Short story, Writing journey

Flash Fiction: Chickens

This must be one of the  most bizarre ramblings I have written but the prompt below popped up on Twitter via #turtlewriters so here goes.

Chickens

YouTube made it look so easy when we watched it over a few pints at The Beehive. All we had to take a few cells from the dinosaurs DNA we had and insert it into the chicken eggs. Daily,  we watched the clutch of eggs in the incubator Jack had nabbed from work. Waiting and waiting. Day 21, there was movement as a couple of the eggs wobbled. Anticipation filled the air. This was it. This was our key to being millionaires. We were going to be famous. A crack appeared. Then another. We all inhaled deeply and held our breath and out came – a BLOODY chicken!

Where was the clutch of miniature triceratops we were expecting? Simon, the nerd and brainchild of the project  just shrugged his shoulders before downing his pint.

That said we are still rich and famous. After all no one can resist taking part in the Chicken Derby on a Sunday afternoon.

Writing journey

The insecurities of writing

I recently I read a blog  about releasing your insecurities of being a writer and it asks you to share your own. So here goes…

Am I a writer and when can I justify calling myself one?

It has been a topic of discussion recently on social media with polarising views.

I am definately not an author as I do not have a published book but in an age of self publishing I could cobble together a manuscript of gobblygook and send it out in the world but would that entitle me to the label? I don’t think so but the boundaries are no longer black and white and there are many shades of grey. Do you become an author when you have written a book or is it after so many sales or reviews? 

As for a writer, I believe that yes I am a writer. As summed up in the quote:

I am a novice in this craft but I hope to learn it well enough to become a published writer but then grey  shades appear again, I  have published this post so does this count or does it require an external source publishing your work (I refuse to count letter I had published in a magazine at 12). I could go round in circles with is topic and it still not become clearer.

If asked what I do, I would cringe  if I said   “I am a writer” as it is just a hobby and dream but one day I would  like to say it for real.

 Am I competent or good enough to write? 

Ultimately, that is for my readers to say when my novel or stories are released  into the world after my word count increases but one day I hope I can develop to be. Some books enter the world and draw many in with the authors storytelling or clever marketing while others have a small loyal following. My aim  is to write ‘The Hollow’ and if my daughter enjoys it I will be happy.

Will I ever have the courage to share my stories with others? 

Blogging and sharing work at writing group is a start but will I combat  fear of publishing The Hollow – watch this space!

Have I got the stamina to finish?

Not only finish this draft but to edit, find a publisher and do the marketing. The illusion of posting my manuscript off like Jo in Little Women and be published has been shattered with reading other peoples experiences. I want to write – nope, need to write but living with a chronic illness I know life can throw obstacles at you that are difficult to climb over. This is my biggest insecurity  as I struggle daily to balance medication, health and family life with writing. Luckily, I live in the age of technology so when I can’t write, I can type or use apps on my phone and if that fails, once I have mastered the art of Dragon and he listens to me, I can talk. If I can’t manage any of those,  I can imagine other scenes and stories for when I can.

I have many other  insecurites but they will just have to stay  contained for now.

What are yours?