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A Scarf's Dreams

Here's another story I wrote for Square Pegs. I was given ten minutes to write a story from the perspective of an object I had with me. I chose my scarf. This is the unedited version.

A Scarf's Dreams
I'm a good scarf, I am. All white and cream and golden sequins, warmer than anything. At least, in my opinion.
I've been around a bit, wrapped around a few people's necks, been to a lot of places. Been on holiday to the New Forest (those donkeys, though). Been to Chester Zoo too. Got to say that those elephants were my favourite. They've got nice big necks and really long noses. Looks like they catch cold easily. I could keep them very warm, make sure they don't get sick. Someone should make a scarf for an elephant. I'm sure it would make them happy and keep them from getting ill. I worry about stuff like that, you see?
What does a scarf have to worry about, I hear you ask? Well, I'm glad you asked, 'cause no one ever seems to care what a scarf thinks…

The Bronze Statue

Hey guys! Something that you probably don't know is that recently I've been attending a series of workshops about writing down in London run by Mainspring Arts. These are happening on various Saturdays over the course of a few months. Over the course of it, I'll write a separate short story and that'll be published in an anthology with the other writers attending.  So yeah, pretty exciting stuff.  This isn't really a blog-post, that won't be coming until December, but I wrote a bunch of stuff as part of these workshops and I thought I'd share one of the stories I've written. So here you go.

The Bronze Statue

Annalise had not gone in to steal the bronze statue, not at all. In fact, she had gone to the ball with the express intention of donating to the charity in question. Run by the Count Broccio, a tall, imposing man with beady green eyes and grey-and-black hair, the ball had promised to be quite the event, with even the most reclusive of barons in atte…

Beautiful Books 2016: How's It Going?

Hi guys! I'm back this month with another link-up. I know, I know, I swear I'll start writing proper blogposts again in December/January. Promise! This one's kind of a sequel to last month's link-up. It's supposed to see how you're going with NaNoWriMo. So that's what I'm doing now. It was made by Further Up and Further In and Paper Fury. So head over there to grab the questions and so on.  One thing I should mention is that I ended up changing the novel that I was writing for NaNoWriMo. I might write a second version of the last link-up answering the questions for this novel. Maybe.  This novel is a sci-fi-ish story about teenagers in space. It's tons of fun.  Anyways, here we go!
Overall, how is your mental state, and how is your novel going?: 
I'm not doing too badly. I'm ahead by a bit, so that's good. I like to try to stay at least one day ahead in NaNoWriMo, so I can conceivably skip a day without worrying. I'm up to 7584 words…

Beautiful Books 2016: Children of the Storm

Hey guys! I know there haven't been any posts for the last couple of months and, as I have quite a few busy months ahead, that probably won't change too much. I'll try and post at least something like this each month, but I can't make any promises. I'll start posting regularly again in December, at least that's the plan.  Anyway, more importantly, today's post. So, as you might know, each month over on Paperfury and Further Up and Further In, they post the Beautiful People linkup. I've been doing it for a few months now (well, before my impromptu hiatus anyway). Because it's NaNoWriMo in November, this month they've done something a bit different. Beautiful Books.  The idea is to answer the following list of questions about your WIP for November. I decided to go for one of my darker, more emotional stories to write for this, as I really want to just get it at least kickstarted. So I chose Children of the Storm.


What inspired the idea for your novel…

Beautiful People: July Edition

Hi guys! So today is yet another Beautiful People Questionaire. Once again, credit goes to Paper Fury. For this one, I’ve returned to the tried and true characters from The Gatekeeper Chronicles. This time around, I’ve chosen my character, Marcello Di Mercurio. He’s my main character’s other best friend. Yay, friendship! So here we go. 
Do they want to get married and/or have children? Why or why not? I think Marcello’s fairly unsure on this matter. He has no particular urge to get married and, in fact, would probably choose not to simply because his grandparents want him to. He generally likes doing whatever they tell him not to do. Because they’re horrible people.  What is their weapon of choice? (It doesn’t necessarily have to be a physical weapon.)  Marcello uses a rifle a lot of the time. His other weapon of choice is a sword or rapier and his skinchanging ability.  What’s the nicest thing they’ve done for someone else, and why did they do it?  He saves people’s lives a lot...but the ni…

On Planning (Or Rather A Lack of Planning)

Hey guys!
So the other day, I got triggered into a rant about this particular topic by my sister's writing course. My mum and sister are probably laughing somewhere because they know exactly what I'm talking about. What got me ranting, I hear you ask? This course claimed that the only way to write was to carefully plot out everything and that those of us who just write without a plan are somehow awful writers. 
Yeah, I know.  So some of you may have figured out that I'm a complete pantser. Sort of. If you're unaware, pantsing is a rather American term for writers who write without planning. Writers who write 'by the seat of their pants', if you will. 'Pants', for those of you who are British, meaning trousers.
I tend to have a basic idea of my characters, a basic idea of the plot and where I'm going and I pretty much always make a Pinterest board for my ideas now. But that's it.  I don't plan. Like, at all. I normally start writing and figur…

Beautiful People: Childhood Edition

Hey guys! Yes, it's time for this again. In case you're new around here, every month or so Further Up and Further In and Paperfury host the Beautiful People blog meme. I've joined in several times so far and I'm hoping to make it a regular thing. Personally, I find it really helpful for character development.
Anyway, I decided to go with a different character this time round. The last few times I've done this blog meme, I've answered using characters from my main series The Gatekeeper Chronicles. But not this time. This time I'm going with Prince Bail Everrest from my space sci-fi (with space battles and death and war and sadness), Our Bloody Fingers (name still uncertain).
This is the nerd in question:
What is their first childhood memory? The first memory he has is of watching a sparkfly display for his fourth birthday. It fueled a life-long love of sparkflies.
What were their best and worst childhood experiences?  His best experience was learning how to use c…

Writing Setting and Character

Hey guys!

Last Saturday evening, I attended a writers' group that I've been attending for a few months now, run by Hannah Retallick. While we were there, we talked about setting and character, specifically how to combine the two for good descriptions.  I thought it'd be a good idea to post what we talked about over here on my blog, along with the writing exercises that I did. So, here goes. This is being written directly from my notes, by the way, so if it feels awkward or strange in bits, it's probably me trying to convert my notes into an article, which is harder than it looks, let me tell you.

The first thing we did was go through a brief overview of what it meant to combine Setting and Character. This bit was all about using details in order to bring the setting to life. Then we did our first exercise. For this exercise, we had to write two or three sentences describing our respective houses, using unique details rather than bland ones in order to bring it to life.…

On Research (Specifically, How to Stop Researching)

Ah, yes. Research. For some writers, it's the bane of their lives. For others, it's the best thing ever and they want to do nothing but research.  Personally, I fall into the latter camp most of the time. Sometimes I'm in in the first, but that's not normal. So today, I am going to give you some tips on how to stop researching and how to get on with your writing.  So let's get started.  1) Plan: Now I can hear my fellow pantsers groaning. Yes. Planning. It's important, okay?  Why is this important for all you research-lovers out there? Well, because if you have a plan of what you're going to research, you're less likely to get carried away.  So what I do is I make a list of stuff that I need to research. After that, I divide that list into two portions. One that is made up of stuff that I don't need to know for the first draft. So in this list, I might have something like the symptoms of flu, or whatever. While it's helpful and allows you to writ…

Beautiful People: April Edition

This one is kind of late, because the link-up in question was late. But ah well. It doesn't matter, right?
Okay, so this time around I'm going to write about my character Lily Smith from The Gatekeeper Chronicles. She's one of my main character Hubert's best friends. (If you want to know more about Hubert, then I did one of these questionnaires for him in March). She is also my precious sad child who deserves love and affection and hugs. Although she would probably stab someone if they tried to hug her.
Here we go!


How often do they smile? Would they smile at a stranger? 
Rarely and no. Never. She rarely smiles at her friends, why would she smile at a stranger?

What is the cruelest thing they’ve ever been told? And what was their reaction?
Do you want the list? Seriously, this one is hard. Lily had a really depressing childhood, so there's an awful lot of these. So, I don't really know. Maybe when she was bullied for her weak wings?

What is the kindest thing they…

Beautiful People: March Edition

So this week, I've decided to do another of these things. I should probably do these more often, but I keep forgetting they exist.  So this is a link-up hosted by Paper Fury and Further Up and Further In in which you answer the questions then put your blog-link into the post in question. Something which, incidentally, I forgot to do last time.  So this month, I've chosen to answer these questions for one of my characters from The Gatekeeper Chronicles. Specifically the main character, Hubert Herrman. 

What first inspired this character? Is there a person/actor you based them off?  I don't really remember who he was originally inspired by, it was a few years ago that I first had the idea. But I can tell you that his name was originally Ivo and he was a World War Two veteran with a missing leg. Now he's Hubert and he's never been in a war and will probably start crying as soon as I throw him into one. And he has both legs. Yeah, things have changed an awful lot. I think I…

Writer's Block

Recently, I've been attempting (keyword: attempting) to continue with the second draft of the first book of The Gatekeeper Chronicles. And it hasn't been going too well. I was hoping to get a second draft done by June, but that's not happening. I started out the year with about 17000 words and I've now got nearly 19000.  I could come up with any number of reasons for this, I've had assignments to write for my Open University degree, I often didn't feel well and so on.  But the truth is I've just been having some real trouble. Every time I sat down to write it, I'd end up cringing at every single word I'd written then deleting them. Nothing felt right. I regretted writing historical fantasy, writing a character with a concussion and literally everything. 
So, I started avoiding it. I procrastinated on Pinterest. I started watching Man from UNCLE and Hornblower, as my last post stated. I started about three new stories. I read books. I read writing b…

Book Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Hey guys!
So I haven't written on here for months and I...don't really have an excuse. Although I have recently been swallowed by the fandom pits that are Hornblower and The Man From U.N.C.L.E. respectively, so I suppose that kind of is. *shrugs*
Anyway, I read this book around Christmas and I adored it so I thought why not do a review on it? So, here you are. Also, I'm going to use Hornblower and Man from Uncle GIFS because I can, so deal with it.

Okay, so onto the actual purpose of this post. A review of Illuminae. Right. First of all, this is the book in question.


First, what's it about, you might ask?
Well, it's about spaceships and corrupt authority and zombies and a really adorable romance that I got really attached to. Also there's an evil computer who's only sort of evil and you'll get attached to him too. And there's other stuff too, like an actual plot. I don't know, I'm not good at describing books. I'm also doing my best to a…