Saturday, 19 May 2018

Another Week

Hey! The weeks just seem to be passing by way too quickly, if you ask me.

But I still managed to squeeze a whole bunch of stuff into each day. I DNFd another book, one that was supposed to be a horror story and instead ended up being a very slow account of someone's dull psychotic life. Then I started one that was promising, but ended up being the most boring vampire story I've ever had the displeasure of reading. There was much skimming involved, and a 2-star rating.

Since I finished GREMLINS a few weeks ago, I haven't been able to get into anything I've picked up. *sigh*

Although, I did read an excellent short story Stephen King gave away for free on his website. It's called LAURIE and is about a grieving widower whose life becomes shinier when he reluctantly welcomes an adorable puppy into his life.

My two main goals for this week were:
  1. Finalise short story
  2. Finalise synopsis

And I can happily say that I did both. Yay.

The beginning of the week was all about reading and re-reading the short story on my Kindle until all the typos and last minute issues were fixed. 

The final word count is 4,877.

Now I just need to find a market to sub this to.

The novel synopsis was a pain in the butt, but I did revise and revise and revised some more. So it's pretty much done. Well, I'll give it one more read through before starting on the subbing/query circuit.

Essentially, this means that the two projects that have kept me from moving on to other stuff are now done (and done) so hopefully this week I can rework my goals list and figure out what to work on next.

I caught up on the latest Siren (ep 8) and The 100 (ep 5). Man, these two shows are really great. I love how well the mermaid and human stories are developing in Siren, expanding the world and the emotional connection. And how The 100 is always so brutal and gut-wrenching and continually pushes the endurance and boundaries of each character.

Oh, and Westworld continues to be super enigmatic and fucking awesome.

Another show I watched was an Aussie production called Picnic at Hanging Rock. This is based on an old book that's become folklore, about a group of girls who disappeared in 1900 without a trace when they went to Hanging Rock in Victoria.

This was a period piece with a super creepy edge. It was also a great character study about a group of girls and women who wanted to survive and live their own lives during a time when society only wanted them to become devoted wives. It portrayed a bunch of strong female friendships too, and a variety of women.

I started out thinking it was okay, but by the time I finished the 6th episode, I realised just how much I loved it. I'm really glad to see a great and different approach at storytelling in Australia. Hope they keep this up.

We also finished Curb Your Enthusiasm. Phew. Watching 8 seasons during a two-month period was pretty exhausting. There's so much Neurotic Larry one can take.

Last night we went to watch Deadpool 2 and unfortunately, I didn't enjoy it much. There were some cool characters (Domino, Negasonic Teenage Warhead) but mostly I just didn't find it that funny. So disappointed about the movie using my most hated trope two minutes into it. Ugh.

So, there was my week. How was yours?


Tight Little Stitches in a Dead Man's BackTight Little Stitches in a Dead Man's Back by Joe R. Lansdale
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well, that was a fucked up little story about roses. And not the pretty kind you're expecting.

Twenty years after a nuclear war, one of the assholes who helped make the weapons that destroyed the world lives in a lighthouse with the wife who hates him. She blames him for the loss of their daughter, and their only connection is a tattoo she's putting on his back...

Yikes. This was bleak. But then again, what other kind of story could you tell after a nuclear war has turned the world to shit?

It's written in journal style, as this man recalls what happened to get them here and is so riddled with guilt that he's pretty much going insane and is continually haunted by his daughter. Very disturbing, but also interesting, in a totally fucked-up kinda way.

I really enjoyed it.

The awful imagery, and even the monsters that rise from the earth, didn't disturb me as much as the inappropriate thoughts about his dead daughter. Now that I had a problem with. I know he was going crazy and was totally delusional--because he couldn't live with the weight of the guilt--but IMO, that daughter stuff wasn't necessary. And it's the only reason why I'm giving this story 4 stars instead of 5.


Friday, 11 May 2018

Sometimes writing is about more than word count...

This is something I got to thinking about this week.

I had plans to start a new novel project next week, but by Wednesday I realised that because of the smaller things I've been focusing on, there's no way that's going to happen.

I might not be a big plotter, but I need to have a story plan and notes. An actual project to concentrate on. 

When I first admitted to myself the new story wasn't going to happen yet, I was disappointed. Felt like I was letting myself down because I was determined to get lost in a new story during May. But as the week moved along and I got stuck into revising a short story, as well as the synopsis I've been avoiding for ages, I realised there was no point worrying about any future projects until these two things are done.

I don't enjoy synopsis writing. It's kinda painful, and hard to condense a 70-80k-word novel into a few pages. But I managed to do it, even if I'm not too happy with it yet.

That doesn't matter, though. I'm just happy (and relieved) to finally have something on screen. A synopsis I can read, re-read, revise and polish until I'm happy. And of course, once this is finalised I can actually start querying this little book of mine.

As far as the short story goes, it's one I wrote late last month. A story that came out of nowhere but was sparked by a lovely pic and some sleep. Just like the first draft, I ended up revising (both second & third drafts) on my phone while watching Curb Your Enthusiasm. BTW, how crazy and frustrating is this show? 😲

Anyway, after some very cool changes and additions the word count is 4,941. I even ended the week by adding the doc to my Paperwhite for one final read.

This is when I realised this: Sometimes writing is about more than word count. Actually, a lot of writing involves no actual new words. Or sitting down and having fun while creating a new world. 

And I'm okay with that, because getting these two smaller projects done means I can start subbing both.

Asides from that, I also watched two very disappointing movies: Goosebumps and Winchester. Goosebumps was silly and terrible, badly acted and not remotely fun. Winchester was a try-hard psychological horror movie that fails in every way. Ugh.

At least Siren and The 100 are still super AWESOME.

So, this month might not be turning out how I originally imagined but I'm really happy about taking care of some of the things I've had on my to-do list for ages.

Have a nice weekend!

Sunday, 6 May 2018

GREMLINS by George Gipe

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Gremlins is a movie that I've seen many times. Of course I have, I'm a kid of the 80s and this movie was HUGE. Like everyone else, I fell in love with Gizmo and have collected Gizmo merch/toys for years.

I might or might not be wearing my Gremlins tee right now. *whistles*

Anyway. Let's get back to this book. A book I had no idea was written. Not until I read an article about it a few months ago, which is kinda strange because when I was a kid, I went out of my way to read movie novelisations. LOL.

Hubby found a copy on ebay for me, and I couldn't wait to get stuck into it as soon as it arrived. You know, for a book published in 1984 it's in pretty good shape. This makes me happy because it's always lovely to see well-loved books.

We know how the story goes...

An adorable Mogwai lives a quiet and content existence in a store in Chinatown, but when the store owner's grandson sneaks the little creature out and sells it to a travelling salesman, the trouble begins.

Rand Peltzer takes Gizmo and gives the Mogwai to his son Billy as a Christmas present. And so we meet the residents of Kingston Falls, where Billy (with the help of young Pete) accidentally breaks all the rules essential to keeping the Mogwai from becoming something truly horrifying...

I had a total blast reading this book! It's pretty much the same as the movie, but with much more detailed insight into the characters because it's told in multiple POVs. It also focuses on the gremlin phenomenon to a much greater degree, which was really cool.

There's a lot to like about this book, but my favourite bits include the casual writing style, how different each POV is, and that both Gizmo and Stripe get a chance to tell their stories. I loved how we found out the origins of the Mogwai, who created them, why they're on Earth, why there are rules, and that whether Mogwai or Gremlin, they're highly intelligent.

I also liked Billy and Kate, and how well they worked together before and after the green terrors start their crusade. Kate was an especially smart, kind, strong and hardworking character, and this book totally conveys that. Billy is a nice shy guy who likes to do the right thing, but gets himself into trouble without intention. Pete's great as the pesky kid who sets the bad stuff rolling and then mysteriously disappears when everything goes to hell.

Yeah, this was a great book. Whether compared to the movie or not, either way the story worked for me. Actually, I think it added a deeper appreciation for the movie because the nitty-gritty details revealed in the narrative add to the experience.

I'm so glad we found a copy, because this is going on my Keeper Shelf.

Saturday, 5 May 2018

A Strange Week


How was your week? Mine was a bit strange. A little topsy-turvy because after almost three weeks, my daughter went back to school.

That means that my brain needed to switch gears before settling into any new projects. My head is just too full of ideas right now to concentrate on just one. Not until I get the chance to make a plan.

So what did I do? My daughter was home on Monday, so of course we watched SIX episodes of Pushing Daisies S2. We're seriously addicted to this show. A show I was going to watch alone but my daughter ended up getting as hooked on as quickly as I did. 

After she went back to school I decided to finish a short story I wrote several months back. That's what I spent most of Tuesday doing. By Wednesday I'd read it one last time and found a few final teeny things to fix.

On Thursday, I finished. I'm really happy with how it turned out, and the final word count is 4,215. I just need to find a market to sub to... 

I also caught up on Siren, which is turning out to be quite a violent and suspenseful show I'm really enjoying. And The 100 is as fantastic as ever. I was a bit worried about how they were going to show what happened to those who went underground, but I LOVED how everything played out. It was so clever.

There was also a lot of walking, plenty of washing, a bit of sorting and even some reading. But not enough planning. That's for next week. Probably.

Anyway, have a great weekend!

ETA: Because we loved Pushing Daisies SO MUCH, we managed to watch the rest of S2 by Friday night. Loved how it ended, even if I was sad it was over. I can't believe such a unique and wonderful show was cancelled. 😞

Monday, 30 April 2018

Another week of Stuff


I somehow managed to get a lot done during my daughter's last week of school holidays. Even with a public holiday thrown into the middle of it.

Actually, I wrote a 3,431-word short story on that day. We got the chance to sleep in on Wednesday and while checking my Twitter timeline, I spotted a beautiful pic. A picture that sparked a sentence, followed by another, until I ended up typing several paragraphs on my phone before breakfast.

And throughout the day, while watching Curb Your Enthusiasm, I wrote the first draft on my phone. It was just one of those pesky stories that wouldn't let me go until I was done!

Funny thing is that the day before, I got another idea. I started a folder, filled it with pics, notes and setting. But I'm not sure if this one is going to be a short story or novella. Not yet.

This happens a lot while I'm in between projects. There's really no downtime for a writer, just time to let my imagination rest... and that's when sparks happen.

Asides from all this idea stuff, I spent the beginning of the week updating my files, pics & photos. It took forever. I finally completed the third draft of my Woods shortie. Caught up on Siren (which is fast becoming one of my faves), watched first ep of Westworld (still hooked!) & The 100 (WTF is going on?!), plus watched the first season of Pushing Daisies.

Okay. Let's talk about the awesomeness that is Pushing Daisies, because I am SO IN LOVE WITH THIS SHOW. Seriously, from the first episode I knew it was going to be something that I would adore. And I wasn't wrong. This is the quirkiest, most romantic and adorable show EVER. Not to mention the murder mysteries are peculiar, it's full of hilarious banter, and the characters are so real and unique.

Everything about this show is so awwwww and wonderful and makes me gush. 💕

I also read a twisted book that infuriated me and had the most awful ending. But I couldn't stop reading because it was SO well written and intriguing. This happens sometimes. *shrug*

Oh, and we went to watch a little movie called Avengers: Infinity War. An ambitious movie that tore my heart out several times, and is SO fucking EPIC. A totally awesome and super emotional roller-coaster ride that doesn't stop.

That was last week. 

This week I'm going to figure out a few things. I want to write a synopsis, finalise my Woods shortie and update my Projects Plan.

Have a good one!

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