She lives!

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This year I have managed to outdo myself, really I have.

Nano has not felt very real for me this year, and I have a pretty good idea why: I’m not at home. That is to say, I’m not in London. And although I only took the leap into my region last year, I really miss the support and the sense of a community.

This year, I’ll be novelling from France. Which is a country with many good points (a lot of which are wine, others being food with a focus on cheese), but the whole of France is covered by only one region with one ML. It seems that there are no other Wrimos near me, and so I’m doing this one on my own.

I’m eight and a half hours into the first, with only 188 words. I don’t mind though. I’m just happy with what I get at this point.

More from me later – gird your loins for a possible extract!

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The Versatile Blogger Award

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So, this is an award I’ve been nominated for twice. Maybe this is cheating, but I’m thanking BOTH people who nominated me: Joshua, at Kuya’s Notebook and Linda G Hill at … well, lindaghill. Thank you to both, you made me incredibly happy and also very embarassaed. – Me? An award? But, but – ME? – was the tune of my thoughts.

So. Here goes! The rules for nominees are as follows:

  1. Thank the person who gave you this award.
  2. Include a link to their blog.
  3. Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers to nominate. Contact them to let them know they are now one of the elect!
  4. Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.

One and two being done, I’m going to go ahead and skip to number four. Seven things about me:

  1. I love reading, but I am very terrible at finishing books
  2. I love writing, but I am also very terrible at finishing drafts.
  3. So, I have no sticking power.
  4. I love languages. All languages. (I think. Maybe not one or two, but I won’t name them in case they start to feel sad!) As such an obsessive lover of languages, I welcome people talking to me as if I understand them, no matter the language. I’ll give it a good shot before google translating 😉
  5. I’m a person more shy than many people realise, and definitely more shy than I act. I’m also very loud without meaning to be and I can’t help but talk a lot, which is probably why no one notices how shy I am until they observe me shaking in a queue to return clothing in a shop…
  6. I am very messy. Everything that is important is likely to be on my bed. Today it’s pretty tame, with only clothes; a charger; a cd player; several water bottles; a purse; a brooch; my teddies and a selection of notebooks in it. In the past it has contained such bladed lovelies as knives and scissors. I’ve never died, so I don’t worry myself.
  7. I have a punctuation mark that I favour over all other punctuation. It is the semi-colon. What more could you want?*

Now to the hardest part. The bit where I nominate 15 other bloggers. This is mostly what prevented me from doing this the first time, because I wasn’t sure if I could find fifteen blogs that I loved. And then I realised I could find way more than that – how could I choose? But here goes:

  1. Ac Klingenberg at Girl Shaped Guitar. Ac posts fiction and fiction-styled journal entries.
  2. Bottled Worder at Bottled Worder. BW is a reader, a writer, and a blogger. Posts are therefore about reading, writing and blogging
  3. Catana and Tracking the Words: a yearly cycle. Catana posts about writing, self-publishing and if you’re luck, you even get excerpts!
  4. Chris at Write to Perfect. Chris writes on writing, believe it or not. A few extra lovelies are thrown in too 🙂
  5. Drew Chial at Drew Chial. Drew posts writing, and writing about writing. Fictional, semi-ficiton, mostly real, sometimes silly. Dive right in 🙂
  6. Johannes Punkt at the Flaskpost. Johannes posts flash-fiction, fiction and occasional humorous essays.
  7. Miss Risabella Rambler at The Risible Rambler. Miss Risabella (teehee) posts lovely ramblings on life and writing, a some fiction/poetry too 🙂
  8. Myothervoices at My Other Voices. First person pieces from the point of view of others of varying animacy.
  9. Raluwrites over at awritingaffair. Ralu posts fiction and feelings in an enviable and beautiful mix of English, French and Romanian. Entirely accesible (mostly), I promise!
  10. Robotic Hermit over at The Robotic Hermit. RH posts fiction and musings on life.
  11. Steph Snow at Bare Knuckle Writer. Steph’s posts are hilarious and she doesn’t just go five rounds with the muse, she get into it with your excuses, too!
  12. Tercentumquadragintaquatuor at And The Imperfect World. Tercentum posts about conlanging, world building, her life and a little fiction, when we’re lucky :3
  13. Tradersolstice at Structured Roots. TS posts mesmeric writing about travels and life and all the things these two carry. It’s real life filtered through fiction.
  14. Seth at Seth Snap. Seth posts his photography, which is vibrant with fabulous colours and light.
  15. The Ranting Chef over at Rantings of an Amateur Chef. Accessible food blog with very minimal ranting and good guest posts. I’m in!

There you have it. Enjoy!

*Obviously, the ‘what more could you want’ out of punctuation is a mark to remind you that you should be reading everything with Morgan Freeman’s voice. It’s easy to forget this, and it’s sad because Morgan Freeman’s voice is a good one to narrate your internal monologue.

Les Cygnes

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Guess what?

Yours truly has FINISHED something. Yep, I have reached the end of something, wrapped it up, written fin – and it is a something with a plot.

Okay, so it’s not really as big a deal as I’m making out. That is to say, it’s a huge deal for me, but it’s not really a magnum opus* or whatever. It’s my retelling of The Wild Swans / De Vilde Svaner by Hans Christian Anderson. I’ve been working at it for an unreasonably long time now – could even be about two years.

And it needs editing. It needs quite heavy editing, in places. Something may need changing. There are parts of the original that I have changed, that I wish I hadn’t – although my biggest departure from Hans Christian Anderson’s story is also my favourite. Go figure.

So. I just thought you guys should know, seeing as you stick by me through all my authorial trials and tribulations. You should know that, finally, I finished something.

And it feels good.

*… I don’t really know what that means. Perhaps I should have said Chef-d’oeuvre. Stick to the languages you know / I don’t follow my own advice.

An Unhappy Camper

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This will be short, but not sweet.

I’m not going to finish Camp. I’m not even close. Why not?

Because I simply have no more words for this project. I have reached that point in my story where I’m sort of sitting there, saying to myself: well, go on, Lilian. Go on. Just a few more words.
A few more words of what?

I’m writing filler. And I’m no good at that. Oh, I can ramble on plotlessly along with the best of them, but writing nothing in order to get from point a to point b is not my strong point.

I’ll just have to do better next time.

Butterfly

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Oh hey, you lucky, lovely reader types. Guess what I’m about to post?

Nope, you were wrong! I don’t usually do this here, but I’m going to, today. I’m going to give you an extract.

This is the opening paragraph of something I started a little while ago, and I wanted to share. Enjoy ^.^

The view from the bedroom window was of the back garden, of other back gardens, of more houses and of the palace, rising above all else in its tattered, ramshackle glory.

It felt like a view she didn’t deserve, and yet still she let her eyes greedily linger on it this morning, tea in hand, as she did every morning for the past six months.

She imagined someone stirring in the bed at her back; padding up to lay their hands on her waist, to kiss her neck and wish her a good morning, to grumble lightly about where’s my cup?

But that was, and always had been, a dream. It had not happened, and perhaps it never would.

I know this feeling well. Sometimes it feels like the only words left are the bad ones that don’t work towards mygoals but are, instead, just place holders until better words come along. It’s a pretty poisonous feeling; it paralyses me, and stops me from doing the things I want.

Sometimes, what tercentumquadragintaquatuor (- which is a handful to type!) feels about poetry is what I feel about writing. Anyone can write, anyone can tell a story: I’m not special or different. But we are special and different, because not everyone does and, truly, not everyone can. I, for instance, cannot for the life of me sit down and write a decent piece of poetry, and I can’t really sustain any level of beauty or ‘worth’ over longer pieces of writing. But at least I touch on it sometimes. Other people’s beauty and creative ability show themselves in different places. Maybe this is because I’m the sort of person who sees beauty in the curve of a train rounding a bend and bus stations in the morning as much as I do in a beautiful painting, or antique books and a piece of poetry and prose, but I believe beauty takes different forms. It’s not absolute, and it’s not quantifiable, and we definitely can create it 🙂

I kind of touched on this issue on one of my other blogs, in a post entitled ‘Why didn’t I write that?‘.

And, for the record, I think a well written essay is a lovely thing.

And The Imperfect Word

Sometimes it feels as though I cannot make anything good.  Beauty, there is beauty all around me; anywhere the eye lights is something beautiful, and me?  What can I do?  I am no artist of any kind, and I feel despair.  I want to create beauty, but I do not know how.

This can spiral.  I know I can write sonnets, but what of it?  It is not a difficult form.  (And oh, I know, I know this is not the case for everyone, but what does it matter?  I cannot make them beautiful.)  I can manage most poetry forms: with a sense of meter and a rhyming dictionary, so could anyone.

I can write essays, at least, I think.  This is probably my strongest skill, indeed, the one I have spent most time honing.  And even then–they are strong for a first year undergraduate.  Hah.  How helpful.  Can an…

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Oops!

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A ‘Camp WriMo’ post!

That ‘Oops’ is ‘oops I did that thing that I always do when I fall off the WordPress wagon and fall behind the daily WC and oops :/

I’m severely behind. I’m talking over 10K.

It happened like this: I got a little bit of bad news. And then I stopped writing for a while. Not completely stopped, but stopped enough.

And that’s all there is to say. I don’t know if I’ll be able to catch up – I doubt it – but I’m not scrapping this story.

I also think I owe you about fourteen days worth of favourite lines but oh well. I don’t have one, so you don’t get one. Maybe next time.

Over and out!

Camp Wrimo : Day Two

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This post must necessarily start with a confession: I forgot to write yesterday.

How terrible! Not yet two days in and I forget to write!

I realised this with an hour left to go, but my furious effort only got me a little over three hundred words before midnight.

What to do? I had decided to write no more and no less than 1500 words a day… Well, that plan was obviously screwed. So I just kept writing. Told myself when I hit 3,000 words overall, I’d take a break, and return to the effort for another 1500 later in; treat it like a new day.

That’s exactly what I did. And it looks like luck was on my side, because I managed to reach my target without even realising it. Day one ended with the sentence

She’s so innocent, and I’m torn between preserving that about her, or messing her up like

– which I’m sure we can all agree is definitely lacking something.

Yesterday/today’s portion ended rather nicely with

Gabriel is the kind of person you can have conversations without ever having to actually open your mouth.

Much better, right?

I have a favourite sentence contender, but I’ll post that later, when I’m decided.

How’s it going for all of you lovely people? Sticking to targets?

Camp : Day One

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Et hop! On est parti!

Camp started yesterday, and I’m pleased to say I achieved my target of exactly 1,500 words (although this is only according to my dodgy counting skills :/ ). I ended with a difficult character, (the cliché with little-to-no substance,) and so while I was VERY happy I had to stop yesterday, I’m not so happy I’ll have to pick him back up today :/.

I’m pleased to say that two of my characters seem to be quite talkative and fairly easy to write. But Annie Valens is not one of them. She’s meant to be incredibly cheerful, but also have an underlying uneasiness about everything and, oh Annie you are so difficult to write 😦

My favourite sentence from yesterday is:

It takes him a while to find both his balls, and then a couple minutes more to actually use them…

Said by my closet bitch, Mirijam.

And today is another day, with another 1,500 words to go.

How’s it going with you?