Chased Stars, Cat Save-age, and Comic Superheroes (Reading Wrap-Up – May 2016)

Chasing the Stars by Malorie BlackmanThis month, I finished We Were Liars by E Lockhart (the ending almost ruined me, I swear!), read A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Wolf, and X-Men: The Unlikely Saga of Xavier, Magneto, and Stan (a graphic novel, binding up four individual comics).

I also started Save the Cat: The Last Book on Screen Writing You’ll Ever Need by Blake Snyder.

Buffy and Angel ComicsSpeaking of Comics, though, I was lucky enough to attend Showmasters ComicCon in Belfast this month, at which I picked up three Angel comics, and a Willow comic, as well as Malorie Blackman’s new novel: Chasing the Stars.

Goodreads Update: 18 books into my 45 book goal for the year = right on target.

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New Ideas to Replace the Old

No sooner had I pitched out a boatload of ideas that were only weighing me down* did I get the brand new idea for a novel. But not just the general concept – several chapter outlines, a title, a log line, and a synopsis, too!

I know I’m trying hard not to start anything new, right now, but this story has really grabbed me, and I’m scared to miss the opportunity, so I’m going to run with it for a while.

With all of that in mind, I also had another idea for a story, and this second idea I am not chasing. I will put it down here just to get it out of my mind, however. As always, feel free to resurrect it and make it your own.

So, here’s the idea: what if there was an alien invasion of earth, but the aliens didn’t come for us? What if the aliens had, in fact, no interest in humans one way or another but had come with the intention of wiping out something else? This is the part of the story I haven’t got worked out. I don’t know what the ‘something else’ might be. Maybe mosquitoes, or cockroaches, or lint. Maybe tacos.

I want to see how that changes the standard tropes of us going to war with them (aliens, I mean, not tacos… though, maybe that could- no. No more plot bunnies!); the standard thing of always having our own race at the center of everything.

Someone write that story. I dare you!

*read about that here.

Women Aloud at the Belfast Book Festival

Belfast Book Festival CakeOn Tuesday I was at the Crescent Arts Centre for the launch of this year’s Belfast Book Festival. I was there as the Women Aloud NI representative, as Jane Talbot (founder of the Women Aloud movement, who also has an event in the festival program) wasn’t able to make it.

As it happens, there are quite a few other Women Aloud women taking part in the festival, which runs over the course of eleven days (9 – 19th June).

Keith Acheson, director of Crescent Arts, says 2016 has more of a focus on women writers than ever.

I’m personally very excited to take in as many events as I can. There’s a good range, in both genre and price, with many events being free.

Belfast Book Festival Speaker

Jan Carson

See a digital version of the program here.

The Idea Graveyard – Part One

The Idea Graveyard - Part One (Blog Image)A long long time ago*, in a corner of the internet far far away**, I said that the new plan was to clear out some ideas for projects I know I’m never going to finish from the back of my mind, where they only serve as distractions from the real projects I should be focusing on. Well, I’ve been semi-successful in this, so far, but I want to clear out some more, and I’m going to do that right here, right now. Consider this post a kind of idea graveyard. And hey, if you like the sound of any of my abandoned ideas, then feel free to resurrect them, by all means. I’d love to hear from you if you’re inspired by anything below.

Ideas Currently Being Ditched:

  • A Doctor Who fanfic telling the story of what Rose and Faux!Ten got up to in their alternate timeline
  • A different Doctor Who fanfic in which the sonic screwdriver is a massive euphemism (gasp!)
  • A Christian Romance novel entitled If God Used Computers (…don’t ask. That really was a long time ago.)
  • Three separate Christian non-fiction books – one about dating, one about legalism/balance, and one about self care
  • A Christian children’s picture book
  • A book of religious poetry (is there a theme here or is it just me?)
  • A sci-fi short story that seemed original when it first occurred to me but is actually a trope that’s been done to death by writers a lot better than me
  • A fantasy short story that seemed really original to me, at the time (slightly different theme emerging over this way)
  • A book of animal/nature photography
  • A Buffy fanfic which is essentially a eulogy for a character no one remembers or cares about, from the perspective of a character I can’t stand

Phew. I thought that’d be hard, but it was actually a relief to put all those drafts in my scrap folder.

Onwards and upwards, pigeons!

*February 2015, to be exact
**This blog post right here

Writing Review – April 2016

Camp NaNoWriMo GraphHere it is: my first monthly round up of what I wrote during the last thirty days, (as promised here).

The goal was 17,000 words, and I made it to 9,000 including:

  • Five thousand words of fan fiction (across three separate fics)
  • One thousand seven hundred words of a short story
  • One thousand five hundred words in blog posts (four separate posts*)
  • Eight hundred words towards my novel

And this is the part why I tell you why it’s okay that I didn’t meet my goal: *takes deep breath* …I have tossed out the most recent draft of my first novel, replotted, and am starting again from scratch.

For maybe the fifteenth time.

Yes, seriously.

Am I crazy? Probably. But I’m doing it anyway. I swear one day this thing will be finished, and I will be happy with it.

’till then, I’m setting the goal for next month at 10,000 words.


*I’m counting posts for this blog and the blog over on my other website, but not the blog posts I wrote for clients.