Three Abandoned Kingdoms

Need to Scratch

I’ve been thinking a lot about TAK lately. I wasn’t satisfied where I had stopped it last time. I found myself up against a wall; unsure how to move the story forward. My next concern was how I got myself in that hole. This hasn’t ever really happened before. Usually when I hit a wall I just find some way to push through it, even if it seems weird and crummy in the story itself.

But I find I can’t do that with TAK. So the question becomes: where do I go from here?

I’ve figured out where it all went wrong. I had the main characters depart on a job in a small town which lead them to the remaining group of main characters. Only now that it’s been a few months (okay, almost a year) since I wrote that I can see that it was unnatural. I wasn’t truly in the mind of my characters and the story-line suffered for that. Of course, this made me feel like those forty pages I had written since were useless and I rejected doing anything to it.

So it sat.

And sat.

And sat like a fat cat on a chair. (I just wanted to write that)

cat

It’s not on a chair, but you get the idea

Now I can feel that itch in my fingers: the one that wants me to just sit at a desk all day and type frantically. The one that wants to get the story out of my head and into the world.

I have a few issues with that which are making this itch hard to scratch.

Issue 1: I have a Day Job. While this day job has been incredibly sloooooooow lately and I’ve been way up to date on all my work, I’ve been using the time to work on my courses.

Issue 2: I’m a crazy person working full time and taking two classes online. Both of these classes are ridiculously heavy with the classwork. I have weekly discussions, two group assignments, 2 tests and an exam. And that’s just what I remember.

Issue 3: I’m a parent. This means I have limited time and I can’t just lock myself away in my office (which is super cold all.the.time. for some stupid reason) without drowning in guilt.

So these are my issues. I need some tissues. (HA! I’m a bit delirious. I got out of bed earlier than normal today).

Those who write and somehow manage to balance a life, how do you do it? Any tips to spare? I’m usually great at self-motivation but I could use some extra support right now.

glasses

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

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

Daymares in the Daylight

I had a daymare today. I classify a ‘daymare’ as those waking dreams. Where your mind wanders but you ‘see’ or ‘dream’ things.

This daymare is recurring. I have it every so often that it’s almost come to be something like an omen; a prophecy. Which would be kind of cool and the only good thing about this whole situation.

My daymare starts with a phone call. Not a text. This lends intense urgency to the whole thing. No one calls me. Unless something is wrong. In my daymare my cousin has called to tell me of our grandfathers passing. At the time of writing, my grandfather is very much alive. I have not seen nor spoken to the man since my grandmother passed almost seven years ago.

I make it a point to not go to Ontario. There are people there I would rather not see. I joke that I only go back when people die, as the last time I was there was when my grandmother passed.

The phone call is disjointed and I can’t make out the words but I know what it is. She is giving me dates and times.

Time is not linear in a daymare and suddenly I am there. I am in Ontario at the funeral. I pay my respects and touch base with my cousin and my collection of aunts and uncles.

And then I hear it.

Her voice.

It’s grating and the anxiety I feel whenever I think about her rushes over me. I’m consumed and it becomes hard to hear. She’s yelling, as usual. I can’t make out the words. It’s just….noise. Everything else is muted and I’m surrounded by her noise.

I break out of the daymare, eventually. It feels so real that sometimes when this happens I will text my cousin and ask her for an update.

The positive out of all of this is it’s just a daymare. It hasn’t happened. It’s like training for when the real thing happens. So that’s good, I suppose.

Daymares can be good fodder for writing, but I have to be at work now. No time to break out the tablet and start typing away. Perhaps at lunch time I can channel this into something. Aldric and Brexton have just returned to Vanecia after all. Debating on having them meet with The Doctor (no TARDIS here. Not that kind of doctor) or have them go straight to their destination. It’s a bit muddled in my mind here so I might write and rewrite this section a few times.

I made a story map of what I want to happen here, I just need to review it. Maybe approach it from a different angle then what I’ve got going on right now.

Happy Monday folks! Try to stay awake!

awake

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

Productive! So Productive!

I was so crazy productive this last weekend. I had the Friday off and just went nuts painting rooms in my house. You may remember I talked about redoing my office and getting things all spruced up in there. I started Thursday night and ended up painting the entire office over Thursday and Friday! I then started on the kitchen and painted until late on Saturday. What a busy long weekend for me!

The office is almost done. There are only 3-4 pieces of furniture left to grab and then the space is going to be bloody perfect. PERFECT! I’ll post pictures of that once it’s done.

 

In the meantime, enjoy looking at the majesty of my kitchen!

The orange is called ‘Japanese Koi’ by Behr paints. I hemmed the curtains you can see in the second picture. It was nice to get the sewing machine out and make it look all pretty-like. Those curtains used to drag on the floor. Now they look much better!

As well, you’ll be happy to know I can do a lot more writing now! My husband made the ‘executive decision’ to buy me a little gift while he was out running errands on the weekend.

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That, my beautiful friends, is a Microsoft Surface Pro 3 with a very lovely purple keyboard! I’m actually using it right now! The keyboard is taking a little to get used to, but I just had to take my watch off and it was easier to type on. After I inhale my sandwiches for lunch I can continue writing TAK!

All in all, it was a really good weekend. I am pleased and that’s the most important thing.

I hope you all had a great long weekend (for those of you with the opportunity)

Happy Monday!

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

Personalities and Characters

When I was a late teen until I was an early twenty-something I dated this guy who was  the most pretentious, ridiculous person I have ever met. For seven years I had a relationship with this guy and I almost married him. I had accepted a ring and plans were being made and everything!

Then one day I left the ring on the table with my keys and left.

It’s an embarrassing time of my life and I don’t like to remember it. He probably doesn’t like to remember it either.

He was a mechanic who wanted to be a doctor or an actor (he couldn’t make up his mind). He drank wine while bitching about the ‘low-brow’ humour that occurred on the shop floor. He was so full of himself watching Frasier and House like he wanted to be those guys it made me doubt my own intelligence.

Even now; I used to think I knew everything about writing but I don’t. Boss and BSP are far more educated than I in that realm. It made me feel like the one thing I had going for me was gone. I know that’s not the case, but it’s hard not to think that way sometimes.

And that reminds me of Brexton and Aldric.

Brexton is a showy, loud, confident guy. He’s probably not the sharpest tool in the shed as he leaves all the strategies and planning to Aldric. He discounts his own intelligence and is comfortable with the fact that there are those who know more than he does. He is happiest in battle, slicing his katana through the air and through bodies. That is his niche and it is where he feels his best. It’s part of the reason his relationship with Dessa broke down. Brexton wasn’t ready to discover who he could be without his sword.

Aldric is not confident. He has confidence in his battle skills, but that’s it. He is the smarter of the two in terms of planning and strategies. He also has more street-smarts than Brexton. But because Brexton shines like such a star, it makes Aldric self-concious. He feels that perhaps he’s too low to keep up with Brexton. It’s like Brexton is the cool popular kid that everyone loves and Aldric is the smart, quiet nerdy guy with no friends. In reality, they are the best of friends because they have traits that compliment each other. Aldric and Brexton have always been together so there’s that fear that they are only together out of habit.

The funny thing is, they both feel that way. Brexton feels like Aldric could do way better than him and that he is only with him because of familiarity and a sense of responsibility. Aldric feels the same way about Brexton. They don’t talk about it, but there’s that awkward concern under the surface.

I love writing scenes when this comes up. They’re both so ignorant with their emotions and that’s because they were never shown how to express them. Maybe that will change by the end of the story. I can’t tell you now though 😉

I channel a lot of my personal experiences in my writing. Of course I do! I don’t know a writer who doesn’t. This is what I know best because I lived it. I am living it. You could probably learn more about me by reading my book/musings than  you could reading a blog post.

It’s enjoyable to write about Brexton and Aldric. I can’t wait to write more! The office is getting painted this weekend and that makes me so happy! Soon, everyone. Soon I’ll be able to lock myself in there for hours on the weekend and just let my fingers fly over the keyboard.

My husband got his new laptop so I’ll be getting his old one. That will make it much easier to type as well.

Enjoy your Tuesday! Try to stay awake! 🙂

Stay-Awake-Funny

 

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments

A Godless World

In a fantasy world, there are times when  the appearance of various gods or goddesses is warranted. I once wrote a story that I may rewrite and polish for publication in a few years that followed such beings.

In Three Abandoned Kingdoms there are gods and goddesses. However, we don’t really see them. The followings are established and the information about the gods and goddesses is well known.

Here’s the gist:

  • The world itself is called Tessera
  • It exists in an almost bowl like formation. There are mountains or oceans that surround the kingdoms. Beyond the mountains are deserts. This may connect with a previous work I had written years ago.
  • There are four kingdoms: Byrnan, Haima, Hieros and Allos
  • Allos was said to have been loved by the gods. Their people were said to have been touched by the goddess and that is why magic came easy to them.
  • During the First Wars it was said that Allos had an incredible power capable of wiping out an entire kingdom. It was also said that power could save an entire kingdom from famine and drought.
  • Brynan has always been a war-nation. Before they were just proud of their prowess with martial arts and strategy. Their main exports before the war were metal, smithing skills, science and martial arts.
  • Haima’s main exports are literature, medicine and science.
  • Hieros has exports of art, music, and silks
  • Allos had exported magic, education, science, medicine, music and arts
  • If you think of Tessera like a box, Brynan is in the top left, Haima in the top right, Hieros in the bottom left and Allos in the bottom right.
  • In the First Wars Brynan breached Allos’s kingdom walls. It was said that when Brynan stole the Weapon the entire kingdom began to crumble. Brynan brought the Weapon back to their labs which sleep under the castle and for the next 500 years they tried to unlock it.
  • It was said in one last act of sadness the gods and goddesses closed Allos off from the rest of the world by causing the earth to shake and break. If you were to come to the border of Allos from either Hieros or Haima you would not be able to enter. There are sheer rock walls that encase it.
  • During the events of TAK Allos is closed off and Brynan has basically conquered the entire world of Tessera. The gods and goddesses are absent.
  • Our protagonists are attempting to retrieve the Weapon, return it to Allos and destroy Brynan.

And that’s all I’ll tell you right now. This is just a bit of back story that will be covered in the book itself. So don’t try to steal it. Everything I post is copyrighted so I will hunt you 😉

I might write up another short since I haven’t done that in a while. Maybe I’ll write one about Allos before the Fall. I haven’t decided yet.

I hope you enjoy what you’ve read so far, even though it’s more like thoughts at this time. Happy Tuesday!logic

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

The DownFall

The revolution came and went

It rang out like a gong.

The kings of Brynan razed the land

And took our queens and kings along.

Through the dark and dusty years

Our pride fell farther down.

‘Til rebels came and burned it bright

And brought it back around.

The North, South, East and West

Cried out and loud while severed.

Yet the East is dark and empty 

A legend for forever.

The kings of Brynan razed the land

And took our queens and kings along.

Abandoned as we ever were

We sing this sad, sad song.

-The Downfall – A song of Brynan’s reign

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments

Good Morning Starshine

The Earth says hello!

Our administrative assistant/superwoman is out of the office today. She was out yesterday as well as the sickness has finally gripped her. I do feel a little bad about it because it seems like she’s got the version of the illness I had.

They’ve been calling my office-mate/brain-sharer and I the ‘Toxic Twins’ which is quite funny.

Since our Superwoman is out of the office I made coffee for everyone. I’m generally here first, and even though I don’t even drink coffee myself, I know my co-workers really enjoy being able to have a hot cup first thing in the morning. We have meetings this morning too that we need to get through. For some of them, being able to do that uncaffienated is frightening. But the pot is on the brew so there’s nothing to fear now.

I have my thermos of tea, as usual, so all is right in my world. It’s nice and warm and lovely.

It snowed last night which has made things interesting so early in the day. Even though I live in freaking Canada and we have snow like, 6 months out of the year, people will still forget how to drive and it will take ages to get anywhere. It’s pretty funny because I now live in a relatively small town so instead of 5 minutes to get somewhere it takes 10.

Not much work has been done on TAK while I’ve been sick. Since we got the notification that the money is on its way, I’ve been dreaming of redoing my office at home and getting things organized and set up the way I like. Since my husband wants a new computer that means I get his old one. My current laptop is less than wonderful. It’s died one too many times. I can’t even have it unplugged because the battery won’t hold a charge.

Hopefully this means that soon I will be able to give you all either another short, or an actual book!

Have a happy Wednesday! The Work Week is almost over! That is, if you work Monday-Friday.

funny-pictures-coffee-at-the-office

My co workers

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments