am writing

Fleshing it Out

If you’ve noticed, the last few posts have been songs. Or song-like pieces. These may or may not actually show up in TAK, but I felt it was important to start writing down those little bits of information that swirl in my brain.

I’ve never really paid much mind to the songs and legends that crop up in fantasy-adventure stories, unless of course the story heavily relies on them.

I once wrote a story that involved a travelling band of musicians and not once did I write anything about the songs. No lyrics, nothing. Descriptions of the music but that was it. In TAK no one is involved with music. That is to say, there are no musicians and no bands or the like that play. At least, not right now. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be music. Music is an exportable commodity from one of the kingdoms. They make their living off of the arts: tapestries, paintings, pottery, clothing and of course, music.

So bear with me while I flesh this all out.

I created another character yesterday. I don’t want to say too much about her because I don’t want to spoil anything in the book. She won’t show up until mid-way through. There may be a mention of her in passing earlier (since I’m convinced I need to rewrite the entire thing since I haven’t touched it in like, 2 years) but she is a bit of a special character so I don’t want to spoil things.

I know I haven’t written any shorts in a while either. That was a new way to flesh out the story that I was trying and I think I like it a lot. It allows me to analyse and look at what could possibly make a particular character tick. It also gives a bit of a candid view of that character that you won’t see in the actual novel. The little three story piece I wrote about the Charlatan and Kokoro is my favourite, I think.

The Charlatan and the Flower

The Charlatan and Kokoro

Kokoro and the Charlatan

You will not be seeing this development in TAK at all.  You will meet these characters, but you won’t get to see how they came to be where they are. So take a gander if you’d like.

Happy Tuesday and may your day be comfortable!

cyanide and happiness

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Book Excerpts, My Book Stuff, 0 comments

Putting Grumpy Cat to Shame

I am grumpy today.

I’m not even 100% certain as to why I’m grumpy today, but I am.

I forgot my book at home which means I have nothing to read during my lunch break. Which makes me irritated because I have grown accustomed to giving my eyes a break from a screen and reading a book in print, in my hands. My options now are to read something on my phone. Maybe nap. Although I know that napping is not realistic. I get even more irritated if I nap.

We’re still waiting on the payout from my husbands previous job. It’s been 4 months. I am getting to the end of my rope, both emotionally and psychologically. I’m tired. I’m stressed. I can’t do the things I want to do. We all know that money runs the world.

All this stress is sapping my creative juices and I can’t even write a short about Edessa like I wanted to. I was going to write about her experience leaving her home and finding Brexton and Aldric. I can get that far in my thoughts, but I can’t get any farther. I can’t get the ideas going when I’m grumpy which in turn is making me even more grumpy.

I’ve got a plain scratch pad in my office I haven’t touched. Perhaps I will take that to lunch and see if I can get anything moving. I won’t know until I try!

How is everyone doing today? The weather has gotten nicer. It’s -15°C today. Only feels like -22°C with the windchill. The last few days it has been feeling like -35°C or so with the wind. A friend posted an article how in Toronto they received 10cm of snow and the kids are bitching that they didn’t get a snow day. The responses from the school board to the tweets is absolutely hilarious.

But yeah. It’s freakin’ cold here and the kids still go to school. Depending on the temperature they may be relegated to inside recess, but they still go. Buses still run. If it’s really cold the buses won’t run outside of town so that means a day home for those kids, or that their parents will be bringing them in for school. I can’t think of a day when school was cancelled in the almost 3 years I’ve lived here and it’s been even colder than what I stated above.

Any way, hopefully I’ll get happier before the day is done.

Funny-Cats-Top-49-Most-Funniest-Grumpy-Cat-Quotes-4

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, Rantings, 3 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

I Came, I Participated, I Left

If you’ve been following me at all lately you’ll know that I was going to a group therapy meeting last week for people with Depression and Anxiety.

I was hella nervous going because that’s my anxiety and it’s just ‘normal’ nerves at that point.

It was a nice place. It took place in an old house in a library. There were couches, a fireplace, and books. Obscene amounts of books. The people there were really nice. One of them is going to be our facilitator going forward.

Will I go back? I don’t know. I learned that there are those out there struggling with something I can’t even begin to imagine. While I am certain that my issues are very real, I do not have to be on disability. I am not living with any parental figures.

I came to understand that I need more than just a group discussion. I need personalized plans. I work better that way. I was able to go to kick boxing for the first time in a month and I felt absolutely fresh afterwards. I think a lot of my issue was the fact that I was under immense pressure with no outlet. I have managed to convince my husband to allow me to keep my subscription for my kick boxing class. As long as I go at least four times a month it will pay for itself.

So where do I go from here? Perhaps I need to make contact with my employee assistance program and source out a personal counsellor. I don’t think I need intensive therapy like I did in university and I also don’t think I require medication.

The pressure I am under is immense and real. I need real tools to combat the concerns I have and someone external to hold me accountable for completion.

It’s a long and potentially slippery slope that I’m on right now. But I can climb it.

In other news, we’ve taken one of our vehicles off the insurance and I now walk home from work. We’re trying to save money while we wait for the payout to come. As you may also know, I live in Canada. Which means it’s freaking winter right now. Goddamn is it cold! I have to pull my snow pants out this weekend so I don’t freeze on my way home. Good thing I have a tolerance for the cold. It’s not a super high one, but it’s  better than most people.

Also, using a gift card my in-laws gave me for my birthday I got a perm done! It’s already fallen out but the remaining body looks fabulous. I am still happy with it.

In the meantime, work continues to be done on TAK. Just little bits here and there. Puttering along. Keep your eyes peeled for a new short! I should have that one done next week!

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

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

Bringing Writing to Work

I was asked to write a blog-style piece for my job the other day. Part of what my Day Job is involves providing customer service via online chat, e-mail or telephone to users of one of our websites. We have a section where we wanted to write more blog-style posts to help connect with our users and offer them support and tips with their educational goals.

So I wrote a piece and I am now nervous as hell to let my co-workers read it. I get the honour of working with very talented people and I am just deathly afraid that my post won’t be good enough. I don’t take criticism well sometimes, especially with writing and especially when I can put faces to the critics. I know I’ll get over it but I’m still nervous nonetheless at this point in time.

I’ve been slyly working on TAK during my lunch breaks. Like I mentioned before I had the mapping for the novel roughly written out. I think I’ll spend some time today to make that more solid. I’m not used to mapping as I usually just write and see where it goes. Not that that’s a bad thing, but mapping isn’t a bad thing either. It helps me flesh some stuff out and notice any potential inconsistencies.

I’ve gotten some more freelance work which makes me happy. I also applied for an unpaid internship with an anime website I frequent regularly.

It’s actual lunchtime now, so I’m going to go get started on that mapping. I have a new pen for the job and everything!

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

This was pretty cool to read! Thanks to all those who made it possible 🙂

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 700 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 12 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments