Month 2/3 – Happy

Hello my dearest reader(s). I know we are well into March now, although the weather is firmly set into winter grounds still, so this is a big-ish update, and a surprise:

Hell yes. Victory Rolls, the reading, is live. Enjoy, comment, tweet me, etc. I am very proud of this story and I hope you’ll like it too!

February has been packed with surprises, the biggest of them all being…

I COMPLETED A FIRST DRAFT FOR LIGHTS (working title, obvs.)

I did it. It’s imperfect and needs all the work and care, but gosh, it’s done. After five years!

How did this happen, I hear you ask? Turns out that if you lock me in a spacious room full of fellow writers, unlimited tea and coffee and biscuits, and if you turn off the wifi for seven hours, I work like a madwoman. All credit goes to these everyday heroes for running monthly retreats and for motivating me with pastries and gold stars (shiny!)

I have put the manuscript away for now and will start the inevitable tearing down/revisions in a month.

The other news is that I’ve got my first ever shortlist for an English language story via Creative Writing Ink. It’s such a confidence boost! I am aiming for three submissions per month to various competitions, there is no better way to hone my skills.

That’s all for now, folks! Let’s catch up in April if you fancy?

 

 

 

 

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Month 1 – Light is coming

 

Thank God January is over

So we’re 30 something days into 2018 and my goals are doing okay, despite a cold /bronchitis that brought me down for a few weeks. I usually get very excited about January – there’s the promise of new beginnings, and there’s my birthday. This year I lost the spark a little bit. Blame it on the germs, or the constant darkness after 4pm.

We’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel though.

On to the good things!

I finished the writing course, enjoyed it, and wrote a few shorts. I am very happy with some of the results, and have sent them to three competitions so far. I am obviously bracing myself for impact (the rejections), but it’s a step in the right direction.

This course also taught me that not everything I write should be read. With that in mind, I am giving myself permission to experiment and fail with Lights, which has a great premise but is still a draft in progress, for the fifth year running. I am determined to finish it, but it might not land on your kindle. And that’s okay. I have other plans for you readers (cue enigmatic music).

Next month: my first writing retreat! More tales of conquering fears! Puppies! (That’s a maybe)

 

 

Oh, hello there

I guess it’s time for another yearly post!

Gosh, 2017 did not go to plan at all. But that’s okay.

I have somewhat neglected my writing for the past (two) year(s). I guess hitting my thirties sent me into panic mode and, while I was frantically trying to find some sense of purpose and security by chewing my way into the corporate world, my little stories got forgotten in my old laptop.

But now that I have successfully proven to myself that, yes, I can sustain a career somewhere (hello, Human Resources, my safe haven of policies keeping my need for control in check), it’s time to finish what I started, namely my two works in progress.

And I have a plan.

First, kick starting new habits. I have enrolled in Writers HQ new online course so that should keep me busy and focused in January.

Second, keeping you, my fellow readers, updated. I am not too fussed with newsletters – most of us just delete the damn thing as soon as it lands in our mailboxes – so I fully pledge to write a new blog post every month.

Third, finish the god damn manuscript that keeps haunting me since I first wrote some words in a notebook on a cold October morning four years ago. I am not even kidding. Finishing a first draft is still incredibly difficult/painful for me but I need to stick to it if I ever want to get better at this writing thing, right?

Fourth, more flash fiction/short stories,  because it’s fun and improves my humble craft.

In other news, if you are curious about how I’ve spent my 2017, my Instagram is full of bad pictures and snippets of my life. If you don’t want to click but are still curious, highlights below:

  • Liars’ League Hong Kong picked my short story Victory Rolls for a live reading back in summer. There is no YouTube video or anything, but it’s still a massive achievement for me, and you have to take my word for it. I would love to get that story somewhere and will enter it for submissions this year so keep your fingers crossed.
  • am a certified HR professional – I’ve spent a big chunk of the year writing assignments and performing mock interviews and performance reviews. And then passed Level 3. I loved it.
  • I sang with one of my favourite bands. With their singer. On stage. It was not planned. The lights blinded me. It was fun.
  • I took up sewing. No injury or domestic incident so far.

So, that’s all for now. I guess I’ll see you next month!

 

 

 

 

 

2017

ready

I was planning on posting a 2016 retro post, then I decided against it – I am too nostalgic, too focused on dissecting the past for my own good.

We are a few hours into 2017 already,  I don’t know what the future holds. I don’t know if this year will be as challenging as 2016 was,  or if it will be a positive, radiant one. Or an in-between. Or something else entirely.

I don’t know, and that doesn’t scare me. I am ready. I am ready to work more, I am ready to produce decent words and good stories.

 

Let’s do this, 2017. Let’s see what you’ve got.

 

Happy New Year everyone, let’s make that one count.

 

 

 

Freefalling

i haven’t published anything since 2014. I focused on my first novella- length, Lights, and did a lot of things, words and non-words related. It’s been a packed couple of years.

I am very happy to be able to share new stories with you. Lights will be available next year, and I am very proud of this project. To give you a taste of what’s to come, here’s Freefalling. It’s a story set over Christmas, focusing on Niall, one of the lead characters in Lights. It raises questions that will be answered in 2017 so keep your eyes peeled!

freefalling

Special thank you to Stephen Hamilton for his patience and proofreading skills. I couldn’t do this without you.

Freefalling is available via smashwords for free. Enjoy and don’t hesitate to post a review on smashwords and Goodreads!

 

Happy Holidays!

PS: can we talk about how awesome my new banner is? Thank you Elizabeth Barone! This woman is a magician.

WIP – A soundtrack

I have been working on this manuscript on and off for almost three years now, and as you can notice, the little bar at the right side of the blog is progressing a little.

I thought I would set the mood with the playlist I use when writing the story of Meira, Aidan, Niall and co. Dark fantasy calls for a lot of Zola Jesus and a little bit of The National, in my opinion.

Blurb and finished draft celebration soon, I promise. Before the end of the year at least.

Maybe.

Enjoy.

I Will Never Write an Obligatory Post About Turning 30 and Losing It Big Time

20-year old me.

20 years old, flash at 2 in the morning.

29 years old and 51 weeks me

29 years old and 51 weeks, soothing lights, 1.30 am.

 

I turn 30 next Sunday.

This is what I could tell you: It’s exciting, and I can’t wait to see what the new decade has in store for me. (off-topic, this is weird to think of what us, eighties babies, have seen during the last 30 years: the birth of the Euro; the fall of the Berlin wall; 9/11; terror everywhere; the rise and fall of boys bands; social media; Britney Spears.)

Except that it’s not true. Yes I want to see the other side. But the truth is, I am absolutely terrified.

In my head, turning 30 means that I should have accomplished a lot of things in my twenties, things that I won’t be able to do after kissing my twenties goodbye. Thanks to the general message in the media and in collective minds that if you’re over 25 and haven’t been published/youtuber/entrepreneur/top of the promotion at some point between age 12 and 20, you’re nothing and it won’t get any better once you reach another decade.

But let’s face it, my fears have a lot to do with the way I have been raised: traditional values mixed with the silent pressure of doing greater things than my family. Go to school, get a job, get married, have kids; a path dictated by people who have fled from abusive families, who married too young, for the wrong reasons, who didn’t finish school, who still struggle to get a job. People who suddenly got this kid from nowhere, a weird child who grew up reading entire books in a day and saw herself as a writer; a kid who learnt to speak languages; an awkward, scared girl who didn’t date anyone until her early twenties.

This part of me, the part who wants to make the aforementioned people proud, this part thinks that her life right now is not enough, that she wasted her twenties seeking things she couldn’t get, instead of working on a career that could have saved her a lot of worries and hurtful comments.  And I think this part is still loud enough for me not to see the other side of the story: that I am more at peace now than I have ever been in my entire life. That, during these ten years, I have written a lot of words; a lot of articles have been published, short stories have been created; one of them won a contest. Works have been completed. I went on tours, sometimes as a merch-girl, most of the time as a passionate fan; I went to Sweden on an impulse trip when I found out I was made redundant. I went on music video sets and helped with casting calls. I went to see some of the best gigs of my  life.  I met amazing talents through interviews and random after shows. I have made friends for life. I dreamt of moving to the UK and I did it. It wasn’t a walk in the park, but I’ve made it. I went from self-medicated rape victim to proud survivor. I am in love, and loved – something I could have never thought possible until it happened.

This is for the part of me that always screams about all this being not enough:

Shut up, because you never understood that we have lived far more than the rest of our blood combined. (And that’s a lot of people, trust me.)

There will be more. There will be travels, there will be more words. There will be teaching abroad later in life if I want to, or food related ventures if I’m up for it, as well as adventures, right here, right now. There will be songs, because I still have time for it. Who cares if I record them in the bedroom. There will be more love to give and be surrounded with; there will be new things to try even if it doesn’t work (looking at you, crochet).

But no more trying to please the far away crowd of unsatisfied dreams.

I’m glad I wrote this. I’m less terrified now. And I have an excellent birthday surprise to look forward to.

Let’s raise a fucking glass. Onwards.

xx