Friday 25 August 2023

More Revision!

Hey! How are you?

Well, the sun is shining and it's Friday, so that's very cool. What did you get up to this week? Anything exciting?

My week turned out to be quite hectic. As you already know from last week's post, I'm in the middle of revising a novella. But early this week, I had to divide my time between two projects. I had to add an edit for a different novella, followed by the final proofread. 

So, yeah, super busy. Kinda mentally exhausting too, but I don't mind because I enjoy spending time in my fictional worlds. Also, tightening the story to make it better is something I love doing. 😁

Anyway. Back to the revision.

The word count is now: 47,608.

Although I trimmed quite a few sentences and moved others around, I also ended up adding new words. At this stage, if something doesn't make sense or stops the flow, I cut it. If a word or passage makes me pause, it needs to go. Or has to be replaced.

I'm very happy with how this story is shaping up. I love how the foundations of this idea grew from a very sad situation in my life, but became something else. A dark story that really surprised me.

Writing really is kinda magical. Hard and pesky work, but always very rewarding.

Okay, that's about it. I just like to post these progress updates to hold myself accountable and celebrate my achievements. Whether big or small, I think it's important to reward yourself at every stage of completion. Otherwise, the creative well dries up and leads to restlessness.

At least, that's what happens to me.

My reward for this week's hard work is taking today off. Then, on Monday, I'll start reading this novella one last time on my Paperwhite. I'm hoping to finish it completely by next Friday.🤞

Have a great weekend!

Thursday 17 August 2023

Revision Time!

Hey! How are you today? I know I'm a little late, but welcome to August. Yay.

I have big plans for August. ☺️

As you already know (because I posted about it) I finished writing a novella during the first week of this month. Then, I took a week off to read and have a small mental break. But I got back into writing this week.

After spending about eighteen months revising a bunch of first drafts that I kept abandoning for years, I made a promise to myself. That I'll never put projects away for longer than three months. Depending on the length of the story, one or two months is enough distance between drafts. This is a good plan to have. Especially since I don't want to go through that again.

The hard work I put into revising those unfinished projects was time well spent. I don't regret it. I'm glad I put in the effort and came out with a bunch of completed novels and novellas, but it's not something I want to tackle again. It was a LOT of work and nearly broke my brain.

Actually, SUFFER THE DARKNESS was one of those abandoned stories, and look at where that little novella is now. It's my highest reviewed/rated published book!

Anyway, back to my current revision.

Do you remember that story I wrote in June? The idea that came out of nowhere and helped me process the sadness/grief I've been suffering over the loss of my beloved writing buddy. Loki was more than just a cat and he spent most of his sixteen years stuck to my side while I wrote the day away. Losing him hurt a lot. It still does. But this novella helped me process some of my feelings of loss, while giving me the chance to create characters facing a completely different set of problems.

It ended up being a story of self-discovery and acceptance. Of finally realising what's really important, while enjoying a few pleasures along the way. This tale became something very different to what I first envisioned, but I'm very happy with how it's shaping up.

Last night, I reached the end of the second draft. I cut some words, added even more, smoothed things out, made it bloodier, more violent, and changed one character's name twice. Think I might have a title too.

The new word count is: 46,622.

Now I'm putting it aside until Monday. When I'll get stuck into the third draft. This will be an even deeper revision to make sure the story doesn't have plot holes. I'll also figure out the chapter settings, which is something I really enjoy doing during the final round.

Well, that's it for now. Sorry this post veered off into several tangents, but it's all part of the same process for me. ☺️

Have a great day!!

Thursday 10 August 2023



My First Book of Girl PowerMy First Book of Girl Power by Julie Merberg
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My husband found this book today while we were thrifting, and of course we had to buy it. I mean, it's a book about girl power featuring a bunch of very cool women who also happen to be superheroes.

I think this is a terrific way of introducing comic book heroes to kids. I think both girls and boys would benefit from reading this. Little girls so they can feel represented, and little boys so they learn early that it's not only men who can be superheroes. Besides, the characters in this book will appeal to everyone.

The pictures are bright and lovely. The superpowers are simplified perfectly for a much younger audience. And I love the message.

Oh, and I might not be the target audience, but I really enjoyed this book! 😁

KINDRED by Octavia E. Butler


KindredKindred by Octavia E. Butler
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've had this book on my TBR pile for a while. It was one I found during our pre-Covid thrifting. So, I decided to see if I liked the sounds of it... and once I started, I couldn't stop reading.

On her twenty-sixth birthday, Dana is transported from her comfortable life in 1976 to another time. A time in history when white people used slaves and didn't much value anything or anyone. While she struggles to find the reason why this is happening, she's forced to endure awful hardships that alter her life forever...

Wow. Saying that I really enjoyed this book sounds both blasphemous and accurate. It's such a powerful work of fiction, an essential book that delves deep into the harsh and unjust lives of slaves in the nineteenth century. What Dana is forced to endure, as well as what she witnesses and hears about what others are put through, is despicable. And so very sad.

I was uncomfortable during most of this book. My heart broke with every new chapter. I found Dana's voice compelling and strong. A modern woman who is thrust into a past that is full of danger for someone like her. And in spite of all the cruelty and pain, she remains determined to see this mysterious circumstance to the very end.

While I REALLY liked Dana and Kevin, as well as Nigel, Alice, Sarah, Carrie, and all the other unforgettable slaves, I DESPISED Rufus and John. Actually, all the white people (except for Kevin) in this book were atrocious. Absolutely vulgar and heartless. A product of their time and willing to be awful just to satisfy their own status. Utterly disgusting.

Anyway, I have a lot to say about that, but I won't. Instead, I'll praise this extraordinary piece of literature.

One more thing: asides from the obvious themes, it's also very much a sad tale of an obsession that threatens to destroy everything Dana cares about.

Tuesday 8 August 2023

SCARLETT by Brian Bowyer


My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I picked this up and read it in one sitting. Yes, it's that good!

Myla's had a bad year and pretty much lost everyone she cared about. At least she's still got her job, which is how she ends up getting back into dating. With some unexpected consequences...

As soon as I started reading this novelette, it hooked me in. I felt so bad for Myla because she suffered a lot of heartache and loss in the last year. No wonder she has trust issues and isn't keen on dating. But then she agrees to meet a mysterious man. He's good looking and seems nice enough, but the story he shares is a lot more interesting than he could ever be.

That's how Myla meets the painting. The one made from the blood of the victim. One who has a lot to say to anyone who will listen.

I love the unpredictability of this short tale. It's fast-paced, fascinating, and leads to a very satisfying conclusion.

Brian's writing style grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go until you've raced from start to finish. And then you want to grab another one of his books!

View all my reviews



Real Life Sucks Losers DryReal Life Sucks Losers Dry by Cassandra Daucus
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I picked up a copy of this novella the other day and was looking forward to reading it. I mean, look at that awesome cover. And how can I resist a book named after a quote from Heathers? I love that movie!

When Blade—Archibald to everyone but himself—meets the new girl in school, he's totally smitten. Chrissy is different and she actually likes him. Listens to him. And even though she keeps him at a safe distance, she does make him feel good. Until everything changes...

OMG. This story is SO engrossing. I almost read it in one sitting, but it got too late and I had to put it aside to get some sleep.

Anyway, I really enjoyed this vulgar little tale from the POV of a guy who's only real concern is getting off. 😅 So, when he meets a girl who seems to match his energy, he's ecstatic. Except, all is not as it seems. And before Blade realises what he's doing and what is happening, it's too late.

This is a great, bloody story with a nightmarish vibe. Definitely worth checking out.

Monday 7 August 2023

D&D DUNGEON CLUB: ROLL CALL by Molly Knox Ostertag


Dungeons & Dragons: Dungeon Club: Roll Call (The Dungeons & Dragons: Dungeon Club Series)Dungeons & Dragons: Dungeon Club: Roll Call by Molly Knox Ostertag
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have to admit that I'm not a huge D&D fan and have never actually played the game. But between Stranger Things and the Dungeons & Dragons movie, I've managed to enjoy D&D from an outsider's perspective.

So when we found this graphic novel for a bargain price over the weekend, we picked it up. And I thought I'd give it a go.

Olivia and Jess are best friends who attend middle school. They're also D&D fans and have been for years. When Olivia wants to invite other players to join them, Jess is opposed to the idea and their friendship hits a rough patch...

Well, this turned out to be an utter delight! The characterisation is amazing. Not to mention how easily these characters managed to weave their way into my head and affect me emotionally. Olivia is an outgoing nice girl who wants to make new friends. Jess is a shy introvert who is happy with the way things are. There's a lot about her past that has shaped and twisted her, made her mistrust and not want to get to know anyone else.

She's also getting bullied, which only adds to her anger and frustration. And when those two emotions combine, she ends up hurting the one person she truly cares about. 😫

Seriously, this is such a great story about friendship and growing up. About not letting the past sour the present, and realising that new people aren't the enemy. It's also about two very creative girls who love D&D.

Loved the artwork, too.

E.T. by Arie Kaplan & Chris Fennell + JAWS by Geof Smith & Kaysi Smith + BACK TO THE FUTURE by Arie Kaplan & Meg Dunn


E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (Funko Pop!) (Little Golden Book)E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (Funko Pop!) by Arie Kaplan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was really young when E.T. was released back in the 80s, and I went to the cinema to watch the movie. I never forgot this adorable alien, or the human friends who loved him enough to help him find his way home. 😢

The story contained within the pages of this adorable Little Golden Book might be simplified, but it still captures the magic and wonder that E.T. always brings out in me. The illustrations are beautiful and bright.

I loved everything about this. It's definitely a keeper! 🛸

View all my reviews Jaws: Big Shark, Little Boat! a Book of Opposites (Funko Pop!) (Little Golden Book)Jaws: Big Shark, Little Boat! a Book of Opposites (Funko Pop!) by Geof Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As soon as I saw this book, I HAD to have it. I mean, it's Jaws. A classic movie we've all watched and enjoyed at one time or another. Sometimes more than once.

I was also very curious about how they would adapt such a violent and bloody story to make it kid-friendly. Well, they TOTALLY did. Not only is this set in the same place and has the same characters, but it constantly mentions the iconic music we all know and love—Da-dum, Da-dum.

And Jaws, well, if you're wondering how that man-eating shark can be portrayed as cute, you'll have to read this beautiful book. Loved the ending, too.

This one's another keeper! 🦈

View all my reviews Back to the Future (Funko Pop!) (Little Golden Book)Back to the Future (Funko Pop!) by Arie Kaplan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ah, Back to Future. Another 80s classic! Who can ever forget Marty McFly and Doc? No one, I suppose.

This is another cute adaptation that follows the story exactly the same way the movie did. It's a lot simpler and very fast-paced, but it's very much the same. Unfortunately, though, even a Little Golden Book with its pretty illustrations and bright colours, can't erase the cringe situation between Marty and his mum in the 50s. 😬

This will be a lovely addition to the growing library! 🕔⚡

Friday 4 August 2023

A little (unexpected) writing...


How are you today?

Well, I didn't expect to be posting any sort of update this early in the month, but productivity hits when it wants to. LOL.

As the title states, I wasn't planning on starting a new writing project this month. Instead, my plan was to revise the novella I wrote in June. I mean, I would still like to tackle this revision, but had to push it back a bit.

During one of my daily afternoon walks a few weeks ago, a new story idea struck. It's an unexpected tale that came out of nowhere. It's also one that I dismissed as soon as it struck. I mean, there was no way this story was going to work! 😅

The problem is, the next day more moving parts slid into my mind. Still, I didn't want to commit. I already had plans to revise and besides, this thing that wanted to be written was not going to happen. Seriously. How could it when I kept fighting against it?

Yet, in spite my own personal protests, bits and pieces continued to swamp my brain. So, I finally stopped fighting and decided to start taking notes...

Before I realised what was happening, I had PAGES full of stuff. I even started doing research, and naming characters, casting them too. This story was demanding to be told and wasn't going to take no for an answer.

Finally, against my better judgement, I gave it a go. Tried it on for size. And I kept writing, writing, and writing some more.

Here's how it all went down:

  • 26/7: 4,563w (+2344 to original beginning) 
  • 27/7: 7,454w (+2891) 
  • 28/7: 11,128w (+3674) 
  • 31/7: 15,112w (+3984) 
  • 1/8: 19,687w (+4575) 
  • 2/8: 23,256w (+3,569) 
  • 3/8: 27,498w (+4242) 
  • 4/8: 30,161w (+2663)
As you can see, the first draft is done!

I might have been unsure about whether this strange idea was going to work, but I now have a finished novella. One that poured out of me and ended up consuming my every thought until it was out of my head! LMAO.

There's some sort of lesson here. I should stop second guessing myself and just write the damn thing. If it's not going to work, it'll be clear early on. And if it does work, why the hell did I put it off in the first place?

Anyway, that's it for today. Just wanted to post a little writing update. I'll probably end up taking a break next week and then get stuck into the revision I mentioned above.

Have a great weekend!

PS. I finally have a Linktree with all my social media places, plus more.

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