Friday, 26 April 2013

Still alive, and afraid

Well, it's been a while.

More than.

One could almost say it's a rebirth of sorts, or maybe it makes me a born-again blogging virgin... judging from how painful it is to write a blog post right now either one probably works as a description of my inner life right now.

I have not, in fact, been writing much lately. Life hasn't allowed for many breathers and I just haven't found the energy, somehow, to give myself over to the page. 

That's what it's like, you see. When I write, I lose myself in worlds of ink and paper (I'm old fashioned that way). I don't hear the doorbell, don't answer my email, don't pay attention to the fact that it's way past midnight and I should be catching a few hours of precious sleep. It's just me and my story. That's not to say I write from start to finish (in fact the 'finish' factor is a real problem for me). I write snippets of my story, conversations, unconnected scenes, descriptions of settings through various characters' eyes, even bits and pieces of their dreams, their hopes, potential diary entries or letters they might write. 

But even so, I lose myself in it, and I've been afraid to let myself get lost lately. Do you ever feel that way? I feel it every time I face my notebook, and all those empty lines... is it, perhaps, a variant of that dreaded blank page phobia that so many writers talk about? Whatever it is, I need to get over it. 

Do you have a fear of that empty page? Is it the starting you're afraid of (the joys of commitment), or the actual doing (like me), or perhaps the finishing (which I believe I'm afraid of, too)? 

Friday, 12 August 2011

Is it hate? - A blogfest entry.

Today is Tessa's Hatefest.

Write about hate, she says. It's a strong emotion - one of the strongest, surely - so it must be there somewhere, in my story, in yours.

Strange how hard it is to find it when you're looking for it. I read through my things, and think, no, that's not really hate, that's just him being tired, offended, hurt, that's just her trying to deflect attention or similar such drivel. Nothing that could qualify as pure hate.

Then I realised the problem - I was justifying the moments of hate my characters go through. He's being nasty? Well, that's just because XYZ. He doesn't really hate her.

See the difference?

So here's a scene where I believe my one MC actually feels hatred, though of course he does so for many, many reasons.

Tay wanted so much to curl up, to vanish into the wall, even, but he could go nowhere. His limbs where held in place by heavy iron shackles that bit into his wrists and ankles. It had been hours - days - since he'd had any feeling in them. 

Time blurred right along with Tay's vision as beatings, hunger and darkness took their toll on the young prince, but one thought kept him there, kept his mind from slipping away completely. 

He would not give in, would not allow the Dark King this final victory. His body might fail him, bits and pieces of him might surrender themselves as he lost the strenght to hold strong, but his mind would remain his own. 

He would find the moment, the opportunity, to get his revenge, and if he had to return from the dead to do so then that's what he'd do. Twice he'd tried to kill the king when he came to check on his prisoner, twice he'd failed. Once, because a spasm in his arm made him drop the make-shift knife. The second time, he'd managed to actually touch Feardorcha's neck before the torturers pulled him back. 

The Dark King had laughed at him, then, but Tay would get the better of him, if it was the last thing he did. 

What do you think? Am I right, is this hate? 

To those of you who've read my other posts on Tay and Doyle, this here is very early on in the story, shortly after Tay was captured. 

Right, now I'm going to go see what the others HERE think of hate...

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Let's Spark our Imagination

Imagination Sparks Blogfest
Click on picture to go to Clancy's Blog and the list of participants.

Thank you to Clancy for coming up with this great idea! Here's one of my all-time favorite writing exercises:

  1. Pick a random novel off your shelf
  2. Get your notebook ready
  3. Let the book fall open to any page
  4. Copy out the first full sentence on that page 
  5. Take a deep breath, sharpen your pencil/open your pen
  6. Off you go, continue on from that line and write for at least a page or a set amount of time. 
I came up with this one myself on one very rainy day. I hope it helps! Now I'm off to see what everyone else uses to get their juices flowing... 

Monday, 18 July 2011

Inspiration brought to us by Summer's Blogfest


I'm a little late (but it is still the 18th, promise!!), most of the participants already have their prompts up, and I'm going to go with the flow and post a picture I made to pretty much inspire myself... hope it does the same for you!

You can find Summer - the host - and the other entrants HERE...

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Blogfest, interrupted....

Hello and welcome all to my post for Sash's Blogfest, interrupted...

The task set is to write/post a 500-1000 word scene where your characters are interrupted doing something - anything.

Here goes my anything...

(Alethaien or Tay is hostage/prisoner to King Feardorcha - called Doyle - and has only recently spent time in the king's dungeons; now he's more or less on parole, Doyle treating him more like a recalcitrant ward or pet than a prisoner; Tay wants to know why...)


The desk was piled high with scrolls, bits of parchment, books, feather quills and charcoal sticks in fancy silver holders. Letters glowed and went dark again as Tay's hand brushed against books of magic. He shuddered and pushed a particularly heavy tome away with his elbow. The power that saturated this room crawled along his spine and made the hair at the back of his neck stand up.

He had to hurry. Being left to cool his heels in Feadorcha's study was a true stroke of luck, but it wouldn't last long. The king was bound to return soon, and if he found Tay searching his papers, there would be hell to pay.

A pile of letters caught his attention. Tay picked up one bearing a red wax seal and held it up to the light of the window.

The red wax had been broken, the letter read by the king, but it was unmistakably the seal Tay's father had used. He touched it carefully, hating the tears that welled up in his eyes. If his father could see him now, prisoner and little more than pet to the heretic king, he'd turn his back on Tay and never speak of him again.

If he knew that Tay's touch made the king's books of magic glow, he'd sign the order of execution himself.

"I see you and I will have to have a conversation about the nature of trust, Alethaien." Tay froze, letter in hand. So close, he'd come so close! He swallowed hard to try to rid himself of the lump in his throat.

"Your majesty," he finally managed to say, though he couldn't bring himself to move, couldn't bring himself to put down the letter.

The king didn't say anything as he moved to stand behind Tay, so close the younger man could feel the warmth of his body. Doyle held out his hand and snapped his fingers when the silent order wasn't immediately followed. Tay shivered and let his fingers go loose. The letter fell into the king's hand.

"I kept this from you for a reason, boy," Doyle said, moving away from his young prisoner. He sat on the chair, unfolding the letter. He looked up at Tay, watched him shiver with tension. "I thought you might do this. You are young, you are in an impossible situation, and you are deadly curious. It was only a matter of time before you tried this."

Tay ducked his head, facing the king without really looking at him. "How did you know?" Tay swept an arm to the side, indicating the desk and its surroundings. "You left me here to wait. How did you know when I would touch the desk?"

Doyle chuckled. "Let me keep some secrets, boy. Maybe I'll tell you some day, maybe I won't have to." 


What did you think of that? Like, unlike? Let me know and then let everyone else know what you think of their entries, please. 

It was nice having you over on the Dark Side of the Woods, thank you for coming. 

Friday, 3 June 2011

Some Days are Darker than Others

I love writing, as I'm sure we all do. But there's some days when my eyes just won't focus on the screen (or paper or whatever), when my synapses won't fire properly and I just cannot find the energy to write.

Life has a way of getting me down on occasion, what with 9-5 (or rather 8-9, if we're being honest) jobs, stressfull business trips with mind-numbing layovers in weirdly homogenous airports in the middle of nowhere, standard contracts that may or may not have hidden clauses you need to figure out (or add, as the case may be) (what, so I'm a lawyer - everyone needs a day-job, even if it's a bloodsuckery one), collegues who text/call/email with stupid questions and bosses who want everything done yesterday, please (while still having sufficient billable hours, of course).

Don't even get me started on family weekends (parents and siblings, not my own family - living the single life, here).

Writing with a day job is exhausting sometimes.

Any tips on how to get my writing spirits up? I've joined Sasha's blogfest (see sidebar) for some inspiration... but I could probably do with another hint or two on getting over the slump.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Dark Ages on the Dark Side of the Woods

I've discovered, much to my chargrin, that I'm miserable at organising myself. My poor blog (Tessa-induced or not) is neglected time and again, left to languish all by itself in the endless ether of 0s and 1s.

(cue creepy music)

And it isn't just my blog. My WIP has been relegated to the back burner, too, condemned to third place behind day job and family. But I'm still determined. I steal what minutes I can.

Like they said, Rome wasn't built in a day, either.

Another reason for my slow WIP-ly progress is a hitch in my plotline. My story takes place in a fantasy world, a make-belief universe filled with magic and swords. Two kingdoms are at war, one ruled by the bastard son of a murdered king, the other by a warlock emperor who has shown no mercy, no humanity, for longer than anyone can remember. Inbetween the two stands Alethaien, who should have been king, who knows nothing of magic but is marked by power not seen in centuries.

Only, I'm stuck doing research. There's a siege involved, you see, and I want to be as realistic as possible. So I'm looking into siege warfare in medieval times.


Does anyone know any good books on the subject? Wikipedia is brilliant, of course, but limited. I want to KNOW, not just know.