editing

The Short and Long of It

Writing the shorts for TAK has been incredibly useful. I’ve been able to pick up my writing while on my lunch breaks at work and due to the fact that I had previously written some shorts about The Doctor and Kokoro I’m able to better explain their relationship in the body of TAK. I am writing the chapter where Brexton and Aldric return to the clinic where The Doctor and Kokoro work for the first time in years. It gave me an idea for a separate short I’ll write later about how Brexton and Aldric have used the clinic in the past and their relationship to The Doctor and Kokoro then. It’s quite exciting really, so I’m looking forward to it.

I haven’t written any shorts for a while and before I got to this part in the chapter I was struggling with what I wanted to happen. I have a brief map written out on how I want the story to go, but sometimes when you get right to the point it’s hard to make those words flow and have those scenes woven so nicely together.

I re-read TAK from the beginning and allowed myself to make true edits as I went through. The last time I went through it I was purely reading it; not making any edits even though some jumped out at me. It’s quite empowering to be able to make those changes and this tablet makes that all the more possible.

Sometimes when I’m writing I get really excited for the end and I want to rush right to it. I haven’t done that yet, and I’m really proud of myself. I’m the kind of writer where I find it difficult to bounce back and forth between parts of the story. I like to go from start to finish. This is where the beauty of editing comes in, though, because I can reread those parts that perhaps I wrote too quickly and I can refresh them and sort them out.

It’s almost the weekend! I’m closer to finishing my office at home now. We’re off to purchase our sofa bed at Ikea this weekend. I’m also getting a new cellphone and getting my hair cut. My workplace has determined that we need to have our photos on the site. Since all the work I do is virtual and behind the scenes, it’s quite nice for users to be able to put a face to the name.

But alas, my lunch has ended and I must return to my desk.

Stay engaged in the now, my friends.interesting

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 2 comments

Quantifying My Existence

Everything in life is a measurement. Your age, the ticking of the clock as time passes, the effort you put into your day. We exist here on this planet in this galaxy in this universe. What effort have you put in? What does it matter? Who are we trying to impress by bleeding and sweating our lives away? Are we trying to impress friends? Lovers? Parents? Ourselves?

I find that I am constantly and almost desperately trying to measure myself and my contribution on a regular basis. Have I done enough? Will I be remembered when I’m gone? Will people remember me when I’m gone?

I’m only 32 and yet I think like this on a regular basis. But who am I trying to impress? My kids will remember me. They have no choice. You don’t have an obnoxious mother like myself and then simply forget about her. Same with my poor sod of a husband. The guy will never forget me, even if he wants to.

It’s not like I’m ill and I’m going to die tomorrow. It’s not like I’m one of those people who expects to get crushed by the roof of the mall when I’m shopping (That has happened to people in my country before, though. It was devastating). Perhaps it’s because where I currently am in writing TAK.

There is a lot of death in this book. Some of it is symbolic death. Some of it is true, honest death. There is a lot of soul-searching as the characters try to figure out who they are and what they can offer. Granted, their world is tougher than ours. Well, tougher than the life I lead in my country. There are countries in our world right now who have been dealing with wars for longer than I’ve been alive.

Sometimes I wonder if that’s why I published Black & Red before I was certain it was ready. I  was just so desperate to have something out there, in the world, for others to read and realize that I existed. That the story had been crafted by a human being and although the ending may leave much to be desired, it was still something that was agonized over.

Perhaps it is just too goddamn early on a Monday morning to be introspective. I shall end my ramblings here today and continue on with work. 6 minutes to go until I have to be ‘on’.

Happy Monday, suckers like I who are working. And screw you guys who are all at home without work or responsibilities 😉

poppins

Mary Poppins is the shit.

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, Rantings, 2 comments

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

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Resources! The World for Resources!

I find when I’m writing I prefer to have hard copy resources. These can be in the form of a book, a print out or even a photo. I want to be able to touch it, mark it, file it where I deem appropriate.

Last spring I purchased a used book that is an encyclopaedia of mythical, magical creatures. I already have a very good understanding of this kind of lore due to the courses I took in university and high school. However, sometimes there are things that I don’t know (shocking, right?!) and sometimes it’s good to get a refresher. I’ve been out of school for like, 10 years now.

In Three Abandoned Kingdoms I’ve introduced firearms as a method of weaponry. I do  not own guns, I have never held a gun and I rarely see them (I live in Canada). I wanted to buy a sort of encyclopaedia of firearms. The issue I tend to run into is the cost. Someone was selling a very small booklet, approximately 50 pages with illustrations, for $25 a while ago. That is just not something I could afford. The book about creatures is about 1000 pages long with illustrations and is a hard cover which I purchased for $5. That can be the issue when  you buy used.

Before you say it, yes, I am fully aware of the fact that I can look online and I can Google guns and such. But my issue is that I don’t have the basic background. I don’t even know the different kinds of guns available. Most of my knowledge comes from video games and when you play fantasy games like I do, they aren’t always realistic. There is a particular character that is using firearms; Gavin. He’s the leader of a mercenary group and I feel like he would favour a sawed-off shotgun. I have an idea of what that looks like, but as I said, I would prefer a picture or a diagram that I can write on, that I can copy and paste into my character record book. I may type up my story on a computer but all the other information is in a small lined paper book I received for Christmas a long time ago.

Writing1

Character Record Book, people.

I also use music as a resource. Certain scores or song evoke certain emotions and can make writing a specific scene easier for me. I used to have a hard cover book of baby names that I wrote in, earmarked and carried wherever I was writing. Especially back in the days when I wrote my stories in notebooks because laptops either didn’t exist or were too expensive (yes, I’m old). I got quite a few looks lugging those things around.

Once my funds increase again, I may have to take a trip to the used book store.

 

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments

Tea Rules My Morning

Do you have a morning drink? A lot of people I know have to have some sort of beverage in the morning to set off their day right. Most people drink coffee, some people drink an energy drink or a protein shake. Like a lot of other people, I need to drink tea. I have a thermos that I got from Japan that keeps my tea insulated and warm all day. The tea is made at 6:30am or so and is kept warm until I finish it. Sometimes I don’t finish my tea until the afternoon and it’s still warm. I love this thing. It’s by a company called Zojirushi and it’s my favourite purchase.

I generally don’t function properly until I’ve had my tea. I don’t need to drink it all, but I need to drink most of it. Tea has always been very big in my family. We’re Anglo Indian, which just means that we are Indian with British blood mixed in. My family ranges in shades from white to deep brown. I’m around a beige. I get very offended when people call me white. I don’t see myself that way. I prefer to say “I’m not white, I’m beige!”

My grandparents were born and raised in India before they moved to England where my mother was born. But because we have British blood there are a lot of British things we do. Tea is not only a British thing, but it was for my grandparents. There was always a pot of tea on, and as a grandchild it was my duty to serve it to my elders. Aunts, Uncles, my grandparents, parents; we grandchildren had the obligation to do this at family gatherings.

I get very particular about certain foodstuffs because of this. There is only one brand of basmati rice that I will buy and eat, simply for the fact that my grandparents used it. If I could find the tea my grandparents bought, I would. I might have to look online because my usual grocery store doesn’t carry it. They did at one point, and then stopped. There are some Indian foods I can’t eat because my grandmother would have made them in a different way. If it’s not the same, it’s hard to enjoy it.

I was thinking about these things when I was doing some behind the scenes character development for Brexton. I feel like he is a coffee guy; like he needs a warm cup on a regular basis to function. Aldric I think will drink coffee, but he will prefer tea in the end. He has more patience than Brexton. Edessa also would like tea but Gavin and Raelin are coffee people. Vaughn is also a coffee person but Evaristus could go either way. Kokoro and Lot are coffee people. They don’t have the luxury of waiting for tea. They need that caffeine boost to get them through the day.

Will any of this come up in the book? Maybe. I’ve written a part where they’ve woken up and shared a coffee, but now I’m thinking of rewriting that now that I know more about my characters. I’m also thinking of the vessel people will drink from. I feel like Aldric would drink from a cup and saucer if he was offered, but I’m not sure if that would be his vessel of choice. He is very concerned about his appearance so he might opt for a mug. But we’ll see. I’ll get back in there and write the damn thing. We’ll see where it takes me.

Writing1

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

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!

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments

Keep on Keepin' On

Phew! Between work, the kids, the house and freelancing, I’m starting to get a bit tired.

Things are going well for the moment. I’ve found relatively steady freelancing work (that’s not a typo) which is helping out. So far brings me in close to $100 a week. That’ll be fun come tax-time, but it’s not so bad. Hopefully I know how to claim it properly.

Haven’t done much work on TAK in a while. Finished the read through and every now and then something pops up in my brain so I write it down in a book I started taking everywhere. I’ve mapped out a good deal of the ending and middle now, which is awesome! I was getting so stuck on where I should be going next that I was missing a lot of awesome character-development points.

I’d still like to get Black & Red into a hard copy. I know I can do that through Amazon and CreateSpace but I haven’t had time to deal with the upload of the file etc. My laptop has bit the dust, hard. I can’t even use it unless I use an external keyboard which is painful. I might look into a cheapy little thing. I’d like an ultrabook or Surface, I think. But no money for that right now so it’s just a dream.

Been a bit sick lately; probably from stress, work, kids, weather-change etc. The husband and I are going to try and squirrel away some money to hire a babysitter for a couple hours or so. We haven’t had any ‘us’ time and we’re getting pretty worn out because of it. We don’t do much, but we’ll probably go for like an afternoon to troll the mall and eat at the food court. Maybe watch a movie. Babysitters cost money so we might not be able to do it until November and his work schedule changes a lot since he works part time so hopefully we can squeeze a date in before it gets too cold out.

It’s almost my birthday! The video game I want comes out after the actual day but I hope I get to get it. My husband gave me my present already since my birthday falls on a weekday this year.

One of these days I’ll be able to afford my cottage in the mountains of Jasper where I’ll sit writing all day and having a bonfire outside. If only things didn’t cost money! We do have a fire pit in our backyard but the previous owners were dicks so it probably isn’t up to code. Maybe we can fix it up for next year.

Anyway, time to work the Day Job. Lunch break is over!

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 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