adventure

Oh Darling

Oh darling

My love for you is wild like Quorum

No man can sail it safely.

Oh darling

My hate for you is deep like Quorum

No man can see the bottom.

Oh darling

My tears for you flow swift like Quorum

No man can ford it securely.

Oh darling

My fear for you is cold like Quorum

No man can find warmth.

Oh darling

My hope for you is boundless

No man can contain it.

From the Songs of Hieros

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments

Character Record

I never used to do this, but for the last four or five stories I’ve written I started keeping a booklet of information for each story. I mentioned this a bit in my previous post about resources.

For TAK, I’ve got more than that. Right now I have a booklet with character descriptions for all my major and sometimes minor characters. Basics like eye colour, skin tone, hair colour and length, body type and height are recorded for each character. Their name and age heads the top of the description. That used to be it. As I’ve been writing and honing my craft my resources have grown with me. Now my character descriptions have more information. They contain the types of clothes the character may wear on a regular basis; do they wear boots or shoes? Leggings? Tunics or shirts? Colour preferences? A character in TAK wears glasses. So I’ve recorded the shape and colour of his glasses. Sometimes I’ll put in some information about their background or little blips about their personality. A character in TAK, Gideon, doesn’t speak much. Read that as hardly ever. I made a note of that in his record.

Sometimes when I’m writing if I bring up a character I haven’t used in a while I might forget what they look like. Usually the little details like hair and eye colour. I find these records helpful in that they are separate and keep me from searching back through hundreds of pages just to find the information I’m looking for.

When I would write when I was younger, it was common for characters to change eye colour or hair colour. I would reread what I had written and realize the character had changed personalities somewhere along the line. This is obviously not good.

The book for TAK is way more involved than any other before. Not only do I have character descriptions, I’ve started writing the background of the world within it. In TAK there are four countries: Byrnan, Hieros, Haima and Allos. Each country has a ‘speciality’ and the people from each country are slightly different in terms of mentality, skin colour and talents. For example, Hieros is a country steeped in art. It is one of the southern countries and it’s people have an olive skin tone. They produce magnificent pieces of art such as paintings, fabrics, architecture, music and so on. I’ve also drawn a suuuuuper crude map in my booklet. I am not a cartographer and this will most likely not make it into the book itself. It’s for personal reference so I can remember where the countries are located, where the major cities that are mentioned in the story are located and what the terrain looks like. In keeping with Hieros, it’s very flat. Lots of grass and open plains. Hieros is also known for it’s food production.

20160112_082211

Don’t judge my lack of mapping skills

As you can see, it’s not professional, but it serves it’s purpose.

The problem I sometimes run into is running out of book before I’m done with everything. This means I have to transfer all the information into another book. I write everything by hand in this book and I’m not in the mood to switch to digital. The story itself is being typed on a computer, but I just can’t get behind the idea of writing this information in a word document as well.

What things do you do to keep your writing on track?

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments

It's Almost Winter Break Time!

The best thing about working for a post-secondary institution is the winter break. My office is closed on the 24th and we don’t return to work until the 4th of January. This gives me lots of time to spend with my family and a nice long break to chill, bring in the new year and just relax in general. Lots of sleeping in will be had and hopefully the kids will be happy to have us home.

Sometimes they get grouchy when we’re  home too much. They probably get as tired of us as we get of them. It’s good to have that space and that time without each other.

I haven’t been writing very much in the past little bit. Things have been a bit insane with the holiday season, the kids being sick and the husband stressing about school. I haven’t been to kickboxing in 2 weeks which is pretty crappy for me. Hopefully I can make it this Thursday like I want to!

I have been looking into the idea of yoga or Tai Chi or something. I need to be more zen. A lot of my issues are I’m too riled up and don’t know how to relax properly. I’m not very good when I have to do things like this on my own because I’m easily distracted by everything I need to worry about. There is a yoga studio not too far from my house that has led meditation. The problem is the cost is something I can’t afford at the moment.

The husband is still waiting on a payout from his previous job. It’s already 10 weeks over the quoted time. Which is annoying as hell. It’s expected, but annoying.

While I was packing up the gifts I made that need to be shipped I asked my friend if she wanted any pictures of my kids. I feel I have to ask because I don’t want to just force pictures on people hahaha. She’s my best friend and she was all excited for pictures. I’ll have to send some to my in-laws and ask if they could print them out. I suppose I could just go to WalMart and do it, but the cost! THE COST!

I will need to print some photos out for my dad as well. He’s asked for some and really, he doesn’t have any. It’s weird to trust in him and send him pictures when it’s been so long. But as the least crazy of my parents and the only one willing to be an adult, I’m okay with it. I don’t have any pictures of him so the kids don’t know who he is at this moment, but that’s okay. I’d like our relationship to get a bit better before I start telling my young children of a grandparent they will probably never see. That’s what happens when you live provinces away. It’s too expensive for us to go out there and I doubt he’d be coming out our way any time soon. He does have responsibilities and children to look after.

But I digress.

I was thinking of writing another short about Edessa, the one of the main female leads in TAK. I wrote about her family before in Skeletons in the Closet (Remember, this story has crazy amounts of objectionable content) but I think telling the story on how she left the family would be good as well. There won’t be time in the main story to get that out there.

So sit tight my pretties, I shall work on it!

ALSO! THIS IS POST 200!!!! Thank you for reading with me!

Miso-Happy-4

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

Title 1

I can’t think of a great title for this post today and that’s okay.

I was just talking with my co-worker about writing and books and things. He’s got some really awesome insights. It started me thinking on my own book which I am sadly ignoring.

I miss writing. I am hoping to get myself a new tablet in the next little bit to keep up. I want something light with a built in keyboard. I have a tablet now but the keyboard is external and bulky. It suits it’s purpose but it makes it hard to write on.

There is so much I want to say, to write about. I have worlds to develop and systems to figure out. I mentioned before that I was mapping out the end of TAK. It’s an amazing feeling to have an idea of what I want to end it on. I used to think that you had to write a book in succession: beginning, middle, end. That you could’t write the end without knowing what happens in the middle. That may be true, but I now see that if I have an ending I can work on making the middle adapt. That was my problem with TAK. I was starting to lose sight of the middle because I didn’t know the end.

I hope that you are all as excited as I am and that the short stories I’ve been able to post are keeping you satiated for a bit. I will write another one soon. I think I will write about Edessa and her journey from her home and how she came to join the mercenary band. There are also stories of Edessa and Brexton. How they met, how their relationship developed and how it crumbled.

Look forward to it!

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Demands of the Trade

Since I started freelancing I’ve been writing more and more….interesting things. I have done product reviews, I have done articles on tech support and skin tags. I have a job coming up where I need to write 8 individual articles about Home Renovations to fit the style of the 8 destination websites. And they’re due in 25 hours.

I know I can’t pick what I write about, which is kind of sad. I’m not established enough to do something like that and I don’t even know how I would go about doing that. I have applied to do an intern-ship writing for a site that I actually use and enjoy. They won’t review the application until the deadline is up, which is in December and it’s not a paid position. But that’s okay. The more experience the better.

I guess today I’m just feeling overwhelmed when it comes to writing. I have personal writing I want to do, freelance writing I need to do and writing for work that I need to start thinking about.

There’s nothing wrong with taking a bit of a break and the articles aren’t due for quite some time. It’s the occupational hazard of the craft. I’m sure many people would agree with me on this as it can be crazy.

I submitted a draft blog-style post to my co-workers for them to pick apart and suggest changes for. I know they would only be giving suggestions from an unbiased and constructive viewpoint but it still makes me nervous. I wonder how much they are expecting and I worry about not meeting those expectations.

It will get better and I will get more confident. I suppose it’s just been a long time since my writing skills were desired and potentially respected.

I will brave the storm and see where this takes me!

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

Returning So Soon…?

It’s kind of my lunch break right now at work so I wanted to write a proper post.

I’ve been asked before why I write. I have been writing since I was in my early teens for a lot of reasons. Sure, the stuff I wrote then wasn’t amazing, but it was good enough. Even now, I am my own worst critic and I have issues taking constructive criticism. I try to get edits done by people I don’t know personally  because then any criticism can be taken better.

Since I started my new job and my husband has been gearing up for his inevitable return to school, I found myself wondering what I would do. I am surrounded by extremely skilled and intelligent people at my new workplace and I’m finding it a bit hard to maintain my self-confidence. Without having time to write I am feeling more and more bogged down by all my “can’ts”. Rational brain realizes that this will pass and it’s just a matter of getting comfortable with my co-workers and identifying my place within this organization. My irrational brain does not realize this and consistently drags me down.

However, the sadder I get the stronger the creative juices flow and I am reminded of why I started writing in the first place.

I didn’t have the best childhood and I’ve beaten that topic to death. But I started writing as some form of self-therapy. I spent a lot of time when I was younger in a depressed state and it was then that I wrote, what I consider, some of my best. It’s as if I need that conflict to create and I don’t like that. I am in a great place and I want to continue writing TAK but I’m having so many issues just getting to it that it’s driving me crazy. My laptop is toast. My tablet is alright but the Bluetooth keyboard is less than responsive. The word-processing program on my tablet is also less than desirable. I want a new tablet and now I am just waiting for the funds because apparently I can’t have cheap taste lol.

Keep your eyes peeled because I will be reducing my book, Black & Red, to FREE in the coming weeks. It’s time. It’s been out for 2 years already.

Until then, brace for the coming Fall, best season ever!

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments

There's a Reason My Eyes are Green

You’ve heard the phrase “My eyes are green with envy” before, right?

It seems I’ve got a bad case of the envy bug. I don’t like it, but when I get stuck in ruts it comes out more than I’d like it to.

I overheard a coworker talk about her recent house-hunting trip as she’s moving up north with her boyfriend. Apparently while she was up there she was essentially offered a job as the guidance counselor of the school there. This turns me green with envy as that has been my dream job (aside from being a writer, of course) for a long period of time. I am super happy for her and hope she goes for it if she wants it. I have nothing against her as a person, it’s the situation I’m jealous of.

For me to do that job in the current area I live in I need to have a Bachelor’s of Education and a Master’s of Education. I’ve already priced it out (because I’m crazy prepared, okay?) and that would cost me around $15,000 for the entire go ’round. This coworker of mine has experience working in the local women’s shelter and also possess a diploma in Applied Counselling. It still makes me jealous because it seems like far less education and, for lack of a better term, red tape for her to do the job I’d love to do.

So it gets me a bit green. And blue. There has been A LOT of crap going on at the homestead lately. My husband is gearing up for college in the Fall and we’re going to have to put out around $5,000 in the next few months due to an issue in our house that needs to get repaired sooner, rather than later.

Maybe it’s because I’m an education geek and would spend all day at school if I could. I’m not good with research and thesis’s but I love learning. Sounds a bit silly, doesn’t it?

I have finished teaching ESL for the foreseeable future which means I have extra time. I’ve been doing some freelancing on the side so I will be able to bring in some extra cash. I’m hoping that I can get started on this next project I’ve been hired for as soon as possible as it’s pretty decent pay.

Until then, I will have to make due with what I have, which isn’t really bad at all, and try to work on my next book. That might keep me happy for some time so we’ll see how that goes.

Thanks for putting up with my whining 🙂 You know you love it 😉

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

To Everything Turn, Turn, Turn

I’ve been undergoing some changes lately. This summer I’ve lost my extra source of income as an ESL teacher at the local college in my town.

But I’ve found something interesting out of that.

After reading a post on LinkedIn I read about some Freelancing websites that seemed legitimate and safe. I started doing some research and I ended up joining elance.com.

At first I was a bit nervous applying for jobs. I looked to see which employers had a good reputation and which ones had confirmation of payment. I didn’t want to get stuck doing so much work and putting a lot of effort into something and then not get paid for it.

I am happy to report that I have completed 4 jobs for one employer quite successfully and they are planning to use my again. I also won a job creating articles based off of key words provided by the client and another one which is basically the same thing. I’ve also applied for a job I really want to get which would almost replace the income from teaching! It would be very nice to be able to do these things in the comfort of my home.

I have been noticing that my children are missing me and are acting out as such. I need to spend more time with them, but supporting them is also important. As my husband gets ready to change from his full-time job he’s had for about 8 years and head to College our income is going to drop considerably. We’re trying to pay off as much debt as we can before he stops work and he has been looking for jobs.

Sometimes I have to find the positive and I have been working really hard at that. I’m doing my best to be understanding and supportive.

So things are looking up!

My book, on the other hand, is going to start calling me and threatening me if I don’t pay attention to it. I haven’t touched it in sooooo long! I am hoping the spare/extra time I should get when classes end on the 28th will help with this.

Then I’ll need to full on manage my time better! I can do!

Right…?

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

Close One Door

So the “Another World” contest with Inkitt has ended and sadly, my stories didn’t quite get up there.

HOWEVER.

Inkitt is having a new contest! I’ve updated my sidebar Contest menu to reflect that.

The links are the same, and if you voted at all last time you can use the same account. I’m hoping that since I jumped on this quicker my stories will have a fighting chance!

When I get home tomorrow after work I plan on selecting a great excerpt from TAK and uploading that.

You can vote for more than one story, so if you want to vote for both, you can. Or if you want to vote for one of mine to show support and then vote for another story, that’s okay too!

If you vote on my stories and you have stories of your own posted, leave the link in the comments section and I’ll check it out to return the favour!

We should all help each other when we can.

Sorry in advance for the irritating posts that are going to NAG YOU TO VOTE in the coming weeks.

Well, maybe I’m not that sorry 😛

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments

Voting Closes May 5th!

I added links on the sidebar of my page and I’m going to post (again! I know, I should just shut up) to see if people are willing to spend some time voting on my stories.

These are completely voter based and either my stories are actually pretty crappy, or no one is reading them.

I know we are all busy people, especially my writer friends. But if you could take the time to place your vote I would appreciate it. Please vote for either or both, whichever strikes your fancy.

You can do so here:

http://www.inkitt.com/stories/12258 and http://www.inkitt.com/stories/12247

I would really appreciate any feedback too. You have the option to write reviews when you vote so if my stories need work, please tell me! 😀 I can’t get better if I don’t know what isn’t working.

Thanks for your time! I’ll probably post this ALL OVER AGAIN in a few days.

Don’t hurt me 😛

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments