Eventually the authorities caught up with me and kept me in a dark room with small doses of science fiction until I broke the habit and now I can walk past a book with a dragon on the cover and my hands hardly sweat at all."
— Terry Pratchett, “Why Gandalf Never Married” (via twin-city-ankh-and-morpork)
It wasn’t really planned thing, though. I read The Deptford Mice series when I was about twelve and I loved it, but there were parts I wished had been different, so I rewrote them. Cue my first fanfiction! (May it never see the light of day)
Ever since then I kind of just kept scribbling away, writing my own stories and expanding on the stories of other people, and I knew I wanted to do this for the rest of my life. The trouble was that I had dyslexia (I still do) which caused me to struggle with basic English, so when I told people I wanted to write I was immediately shut down. Such is the school system! Instead, I was encouraged into Floristry - mostly because you didn’t need particularly high grades to go on to college for it, and I don’t mean to brag, but I’m pretty good with my hands.
I finished college and worked as a florist for about thirteen years. I’m not going to lie, I didn’t hate it. It was relatively well paid and I was good at it, I liked the atmosphere, and it was fun. I still wrote a little, but almost exclusively fanfiction, simply because I didn’t have the time of confidence to work on anything original. Being told I couldn’t write had left a mark on me, I suppose, and I believed I had no right to even try.
Then the recession happened, and my boss cut back my hours so much that I had to find something else. I worked a succession of really terrible jobs, met The Man, cut and grew out my hair about three times, and wrote very little of anything. I barely even had time to read, it sucked the life out of me.
My little sister introduced me to Rurouni Kenshin and I was bitten by the fandom bug. I cracked out about sixteen fanfics, and the feedback I got was just incredible. It reminded me of how much I wanted to write. I started writing short stories and vignettes on my breaks at work, began reading under the counter between customers, and one day, after reading “Not My Best Side” by U.A. Fanthorpe, I found myself thinking quite hard about dragons.
It didn’t take long for a story to take root, and before I knew what had happened, I had a main character with a backstory, and some semblance of a plot. No idea what to do with it, of course, no time to really get stuck in, either, but it ate away at me wanting to be written.
A friend sent me a link to “The Next Big Author” competition, which called for the first chapter of a book to be written in a set time, then submitted for reviews. Well, I did it. It was awful, but I did it. The reviews I got were dreadful, nothing like the sweet encouragement I’d had from fanfiction, but somehow I still managed to come in twenty-eighth out of about three-hundred.
I was so angry with the feedback I’d had, you have no idea. Furious. I think it made me so cross because I knew ninety per cent of it was right, and I felt sure I could do better. From there it sort of took over my life, and six drafts and a whole lot of miserable feedback later, here I am.
I still don’t know if it’s any good or not, and maybe I’ll never be really certain, but I’m proud of how far I’ve come no matter how it all ends up. I have plans and back-up plans and back-up-back-up plans, and one day I’ll get there. For now that’s what matters to me.
Not wholly sure what the point I’m trying to make here is. Perhaps just simple encouragement to others? Don’t let anyone tell you what you can or cannot do, don’t let money rule your life, and don’t give up. Perseverance seems to be a highly underrated attribute, and I think that’s a shame. If you have the drive then there’s nothing you can’t accomplish.
Don’t buy a girl flowers. Flowers die. Buy her a dragon.
I was thinking about where I would go with my writing after I finished this quartet, and I’m pretty surprised by how many ideas I actually have. I suppose because I’ve been so focused on this project it felt like there wasn’t anything else.
It’s good to know I can stop being worried about never having another good idea when I’m done with Naomi!
Tagged by slytherpuffed :D Thank you! (Someone else on this site who has a mutual dislike relationship with cats! WOO!!)
- answer questions
- write 11 new questions
- tag 11 new people
- let the 11 new people know
1. Where are you right now?
Right now I’m at my desk at home.
2. Would you rather cook dinner or wash dinner dishes?
I frikkin hate doing the dishes, you have no idea. I cook and then The Man washes up.
3. How much time do you spend on tumblr mobile vs. tumblr website?
About 20% on mobile and 80% on the website.
4. What do you have on the walls of your room?
Well, the room I’m in right now has a few wedding photos, the “family” coat of arms (The Man bought it while we were on our honeymoon, and I’m sad because my maiden name had rabbits), some generic wall art and two beautiful paintings by the wonderful and skilled taijavigilia (:
5. Do you sing in the shower?
I do indeed! I always have music on when I shower and I like to sing nice and loud along with it!
6. What are some of your biggest goals for the next year of your life?
I’d really like to see my book published. In addition I’d like to have the sequel done within the space of a year!
7. Favourite quote or poem?
8. What is your favourite thing about yourself appearance-wise and personality-wise?
Appearance-wise I quite like my upper arms (I like how unreasonably angry they make complete strangers who think I should keep then covered), and personality-wise I’m quite possibly the most driven person I know.
9. Who do you look up to most?
Myself. Having heroes didn’t work out for me.
10. In your house/dorm/whatever, do you usually wear shoes, socks, or go barefoot?
Barefoot all the way!
11. What would you consider to be the best day of your life so far?
The day I looked at TRQ and felt finally ready to think about submitting (:
- What is your favourite song right now?
- What is your favourite book?
- What is the best thing you ever ate?
- Tea or coffee?
- What is your favourite smell?
- Who is your favourite person?
- What colour ink do you prefer to write in by hand?
- What do you like most about yourself?
- Where is the best place in the world to you?
- What is your favourite piece of art?
- What is your favourite film?
- Guy: What do girls do at sleepovers?
- Me: Pass the Bechdel test.
bookywookybookitybooks said: anynews about ur book yet? will u tell us wen u hear any thing?
I promise to keep you guys updated as soon as I hear anything, although I don’t expect it to be anytime soon! Your eagerness is uplifting, but it could take anywhere between six to twelve weeks before I get any kind of response about my submission :)
This is half the reason I wish I hadn’t been done with the first draft of book two so quickly… I really could do with being busy at the moment!
I often catch myself making the faces that my characters make, as I’m writing them.
I can only imagine what people who see me writing would think.
We’re testing them out, to make sure we describe them accurately. One time I put my husband in a headlock just to make sure I could do it with one arm so that the other would be free to break a bottle over his head. Just to be sure.
I’m just wondering what other writers do with the gap between first and second drafts? You’re supposed to leave your first draft four to six weeks to percolate before attempting rewrites, which is fine, but this is day three since I finished my first draft and already I feel ready to rip my own face off.
The fact is, I didn’t mean to finish it as quickly as I did. I thought it would be done just in time for me to participate in NaNoWriMo, but I’m about six weeks ahead of myself. The last third of the book kind of just grew legs and ran away, and I don’t want to complain about that -except to say I will more than likely be letting Sue (the head-editor who lives in my head) tear through that like a hamster through a toilet roll.
I thought about using the short story idea I had for NaNoWriMo and working on that, as right now I really don’t know if I’ll be able to participate or not, but I don’t want to waste it. I need to write every day, because getting back into the habit after a long break is ridiculously difficult. Maybe prompts? I considered doing a short story a day.
Any tips or advice would be greatly received! I’m going a bit mad.