Yay! It’s Wednesday again. And yet again I am writing this post too late for sanity. I’ll try to keep it level but no promises. As usual, we’ll start with a ROW80 update and then move onto the WIPpet (this gives me a chance to work out what I’m going to share with you).

Edit Queen of Hearts

Moved onto editing Chapter 9 this week. It feels great to be finally making progress on this goal. Especially as it took me about four and a half months to edit the first seven chapters. Oops.

Social Media

On top of everything though I’m admittedly more active on tumblr at the moment. If you’re interesting om seeing all the exciting things I’ve put together in my conlangs you can find them there. :) Could have been more present on twitter.


I did some actual writing this week. I know, unusal. :P I’ve also been planning out my stuff for NaNo although I realised that I didn’t write out a proper plan for one of the works I’ll be continuing and I cannot for the life of me remember what is supposed to happen.


This seems to be the one I goal I consistently meet which is fun and encouraging. This week I explained the noun making system for Sabhalin on my tumblr.

Uni Work

Had my last assessment (a presentation) today and planned the take-home essay that came out today before I let myself go on the interwebs. Hence why I’m writing this blog so late.


I haven’t exercised as much as I should but I’ve been eating healthier so that’s something.

Onto the WIPpet hosted by the lovely K.L. Schwengel! Oh bother, I’m meant to have it all worked out by now. Oops. <– that word seems to be appearing a lot today. Sorry.

Ok. Today’s WIPpet is again from Rebellion Rising  and follows on directly from last excerpt. It is 11 paragraphs according to my word county thing and 11 is half of 22. Yay maths.

Tasyn took a moment to process this information.

‘It was to get your attention.’ Aline’s tired voice muttered reproachfully in his ear as she sent Tekmal a venomous glance. Tekmal had the decency to look ashamed.

‘Certainly did that.’ Tasyn replied.

Tekmal ignored him and continued, ‘You see, we’ve been watching you for some time now.’ Tasyn opened his mouth but Tekmal held up a hand to silence him. ‘And I have reason to believe that you and I share a common goal.’

Tasyn fought the urge to roll his eyes, ‘Enlighten me.’

Tekmal smiled, ‘Anrien.’


‘Difficult, yes,’ Tekmal admitted, ‘but not impossible.’

‘And what makes you think I’m interested?’

‘Because I know who you are and, more importantly, who you can become.’

Tasyn’s interest was piqued, ‘And who is that exactly?’

*for those wondering about the title of the post, I was lacking inspiration and craving sugar.

Exams are looming, progress is zooming.

^That right there folks is poetry.

You may have noticed my absence on Wednesday. I figured it would be better to wait until I actually had something to update rather than do another post about how much progress I haven’t made.

Edit Queen of Hearts

Chapter 8 is edited! Mostly, I’ll have finished it by tonight which means so far I’m on track to edit a chapter a week.

Social Media

On top of everything though I’m admittedly more active on tumblr at the moment. If you’re interesting om seeing all the exciting things I’ve put together in my conlangs you can find them there. :) Could have been more present on twitter.


Okay, some rewriting was achieved. Mostly planning though.


Met this goal. Again. Yay!

Uni Work

On top of things, assignments submitted, upcoming presentation under control, exam prep conveniently ignored.


Could be better but still mostly sticking to the schedule.


Oh, and, because I feel like I need to tell someone, even if that is internet someones, I’m officially going on exchange to the UK next year. :D So excited!

A week escapes too quickly.

How is it already a week into round 4???? How does time pass so quickly???? Why does the word speckle remind me of the colour purple????* These are the questions that baffle me. This week was also my first week back at uni after a very helpful week-long break.

Edit Queen of Hearts

Although I haven’t exactly stuck to this schedule so far, I’m still set to finish editing chapter 8 by the end of next week. Yay, on track!

Social Media

All the blogging. In fact, I’m blogging now even though its super late and I really should be a) sleeping or b) doing my assignment or c) prepping my presentation. Yay obligations! I think I only made one tweet this week instead of two but I’ve been activeish on tumblr.


My writing sessions also came to naught this week. Oops. I promise I’ll be more ready for next week. Probably.


This goal always seems to be met which is nice. My new tumblr blog is helping with that to and I’m participating in a NaNoWriMo thing but for conlangs which is really cool and super fun.

Uni Work

Ok, as always I underestimated the work load. I went to an honours session this week and oh my gosh I need to study more. Eek.


On track :)


*Forgive me, I’m really tired.

A Wednesday in October

As ROW80 Round 4 has only been underway for about two days, my update will be brief. :)

Social Media

All the social media! All the platform building! All the tweets!


Missed Monday session…but wrote two blogs so not all bad.


I’ve been participating in this thing on tumblr which is a sort of fledgling NaNoWriMo for languages so I created the sounds for one of my languages this week and worked out the pronoun system for it aswell.

Uni Work

On top of things! Revision for exam is under way and assignment 1 has been looked at, assignment 2 (a group project) is in the organisational stages. Everything is at the stage I hoped it would be. Yay! (Though to be fair, we’re only three days back into the term :P)


Exercise happened Monday and Tuesday.


So, on we hop to WIPpet Wednesday, hosted by the lovely K.L. Schwengel. This week I’m sharing something with you from Rebellion Rising which I haven’t shared for a while now. This is one of the earlier scenes when Tasyn first meets Tekmal (you may remember them from these posts). It is from page 8 of the document on my computer. :) Just prior to this scene, Tasyn was flogged and dismissed from the army for disobedience the day after he received a nasty arrow wound to the shoulder. Bashraani horsemen escorted Tasyn from the desert where the army had left him to a nomadic settlement on the edge of the steppes.

Tasyn was led into a tent and seated on a pile of cushions.

‘Aline will tend to your wounds,’ the soldier indicated to an old woman standing in the shadows, ‘The chief will be with you shortly.’ He left.

Tasyn was left alone with the old woman who was now pushing and prodding at his face, a quizzical look on her own visage.

‘The wound’s on my back.’ He said.

‘Shush!’ Aline remonstrated, ‘Similar enough, yes…yes, those eyes…I’d know those eyes anywhere.’ she muttered to herself.

‘What did you say?’

Aline ignored him, digging through the pouch of pungent herbs hanging at her waist. She settled behind him and began to dab at his wounds with a wet cloth.

Suddenly, a large man, a huge broadsword hanging at his side, burst into the tent. ‘Well met, my friend! I see you are being cared for.’ he said by way of greeting before directing his speech to Aline, ‘Gentle with him, and make it thorough, can’t have him dying now, can we?’ He settled himself on a pile of cushions opposite his guest. ‘I suppose you have many questions.’

Tasyn looked his host up and down, wary of his friendliness, ‘I seem at a disadvantage; you know who I am but I don’t know who you are.’

The man grinned, ‘I am Tekmal, adopted chief of the tribes of Bashraan, leader of the rebel movement within Anrien.’

‘Dangerous claim to make.’ Tasyn observed.

Tekmal shrugged, ‘We live in dangerous times.’

Tasyn was about to reply when Aline began to dig around in his arrow wound, viciously extracting the barbed head. Tasyn cried out in pain, letting out a string of curses to make a pirate blush.

‘Ah, yes, the arrow,’ Tekmal remarked casually, ‘an unfortunate accident on our behalf.’

Tasyn glared, ‘I heard rumour you never missed.’

Tekmal’s eyes narrowed slightly, ‘We don’t.’


And so it begins again…

Today marks the beginning of ROW80 Round 4. This will be the second time I’ve participated in this challenge. My decision to participate in Round 3 was spur of the most, badly planned and poorly organised. This round I intend to adhere more to my actual goals and not allow myself to get as distracted. Because NaNoWriMo starts during this round, I sort of have two sets of goals, my normal goals and my during November goals.

Unlike last time, I’ve designed these goals to be broken down so I can properly measure how successfully I’m working through them.

Edit Queen of Hearts

Last rounds plan – edit some chapters by the end of the round. Sah specific, I know.

This round – edit for about an hour each on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Hope to edit a chapter per fortnight.

Social Media

Last rounds plan – blog twice a week.

This round – blog twice a week, minimum; tweet every second day.


Last round – write OR plan a short story of about 3000 words once a month.

This round – write for at least an hour three times a week on Sunday, Monday and Thursday. (+ blog writing, essays etc)


Last round – keep doing what you’re doing

This round – keep doing what your doing (+ one focused hour on a Wednesday). Also update the language page on my blog and post two more language posts. :D

Uni Work

A new goal for this round which should be pretty easy seeing as I only have three more weeks of actual classes and one exam to sudy for. Although I do have a ridiculous number of essays due so…


This is another new goal for this round and although not directly writing related, I think it will help in terms of brainpower and overall health. At least Monday, Friday and Saturday as these are currently the days that I don’t do much physical activity.

Did Anyone Else Realise There Was a Wednesday Every Week?

Guess what I did today? I went to a castle! A real (sort of) castle! Such excitement. Much road trip. Which is why I’m posting a tad late today and why this post may be incoherent.

Over the past week or so since ROW80 ended, I’ve actually been able to get a lot done. By the end of tonight, I will have finished editing the first seven chapters of Queen of Hearts that I got back from my betas in June/July. Then its on to the rest of it. I’ve also started learning Swedish online.

Other things I did this week:

Replied to my nomination for the Liebster Award

Created a tumblr to document my conlangs (and I’m looking for blogs to follow as well!)

Now, once you’ve had a chance to look at these links, I’ll move onto today’s WIPpet. The following is from the motivational speech the Master at Arms gives Kara and her companions on their first day of training. (From chapter 10, for the month.) As always, thanks to K. L .Schwengel for hosting, you can find us here.

You think you know how to fight? Fine. I’ll let you continue your delusions for a while longer but you’re here to learn how to be warriors. By the time I’m finished with you, your bruises will have bruises and you’ll be begging me to face a highly disciplined Haelean army wearing only the armour which the gods, in their mercy, chose to give you at birth.

The Liebster Award

I was pleasantly surprised on Thursday to receive a nomination for the Liebster Award by Melissa Mitchell. This award has been floating around for a while now in various forms and is a great way to gain an insight into the minds of your fellow writers, readers and bloggers.

The guidelines are fairly simple:

1. Link and thank the person who nominated you.

2. Answer the questions they asked you.

3. Pick eleven bloggers with less than 200 (the rules vary on this amount, different versions say anywhere from 200-3,000) followers to nominate them.

4. Ask them eleven questions.

5. Let them know by commenting on one of their posts.

I’m going to mix it up a bit, just because I can and add some bonus answers to the mix.

First though, the eleven questions, thanks to Melissa.

1. How did you come up with the name of your blog?

When I first started this blog I was under the naive impression that I’d be able to stick to one topic and that I’d write frequently enough that I could post updates on my progress a few times a week. Unfortunately, life intervened. So when it was first coined, the titel of my blog was representative of my publishing journey from the basics to publication, just as writing utensils have evolved from carvings to ink and papyrus to computers. Also, I really love ancient history so that played a part in the naming too. :)

2. What was your first ever blog post about?

My first ever blog post was a poetic introduction to my journey as a writer. You can read it here if you’re interested.

3. Where is your favourite place to write?

Hmm, this one is tricky. Basically anywhere I can see trees. Without having trees in direct line of sight, my brain can’t function. Weird but true. That said, sitting at home in front of the fire with a view to the bush beyond the window is pretty amazing.

4. If you could go anywhere right now, where would you go?

Anywhere? In the present day, Italy. Assuming time travel was possible, England during the Renaissance.

5. Do you have a favourite author?

Yes. Phillipa Gregory and Patrick Rothfuss both make the list. Phillipa because she introduced me to historical fiction in all its glittery brilliance and Patrick because his writing is fresh and his characters engaging. Honourable mentions go to Elspeth Cooper and George R.R. Martin.

6. What have you been doing today?

Well, I’d like to say I’ve been super productive but that would be a lie. I have however collated all the paperwork I need for my exchange to the University of Edinburgh next year, helped edit a friend’s essay, written two blog posts, tweeted some and made coffee. My productivity will improve, I promise.

7. What was the last thing you wrote about?

I wrote a blog post but before that, the impact of the Persian Wars on the rise of Athens in the fifth century BCE.

8.Would you rather live in a grand castle or a cosy cottage?

Don’t make me choose! Preferably a grand castle  with a cosy cottage tucked away somewhere on the estate as  a retreat. :)

9. What was the first story you remember writing?

The first story I remember writing was about a horse liberating itself from abusive owners. It was a project for book week in prep (age 5ish) and our older buddies were supposed to help us with. I wrote thw hole thing and made my buddy draw pictures of horses. I’m not sure what she thought of me after that…

10. Do you have favourite letters of the alphabet?

I have ones I like drawing more than others: A, E and G are fun.

11. What is your biggest aspiration?

To be happy. And also to be published, to be employed to do something that I love, to convince someone to pay me to create languages. That would be pretty cool.

-Bonus Questions (taken form the questions my nominator was asked)

What was the last book you read?

The Storyteller’s Daughter by Cameron Dokey. A retelling of the Scheherazade tale.

If you could have an exotic animal as a pet, what would it be?

A tiger. Hands down.



My nominees are:

K. L. Schwengel

Nina Karadzic

Regi McClain

Elaine Jeramiah

Emily Witt

Callum McLaughlin

Rachel Iliffe

Rachel Caines

Amy Leibowitz

Lynette Noni


If you’re wondering how I chose you, you’re either someone I follow or someone that follows me. Or both! :D
Here are your questions.

1. Why do you write what you write?

2. Where would be your dream place for a holiday?

3. What is your first language and how many other languages do you speak?

4. What is your favourite name?

5. Cats or dogs?

6. Who or what inspires your writing?

7. Who has the biggest influence on your style?

8. If money was no issue, what would your dream job be?

9. Is there one classic book that everyone loves but you secretly (or not so secretly) can’t stand?

10. Who is your favourite character from your own works and why?

11. The Doctor arrives at your door step in need of a companion. You have all of time and space to choose from. Where would you go and why?

Please don;t forget to link back to me if you choose to participate, I’m curious to see your answers. Best of luck! :D

In other news, I’ve started a tumblr which you can check out and for the first few weeks I’m doing a follow for follow scheme. :)

Le WIPpet and le ROW80 (Pardon my French)

So. Where to begin? The last few weeks have been beyond hectic but now all my assignments are done and I’m two days away from the mid-semester break I feel I can begin to relax a little and refocus on writing and languages, both learning and constructing.

I did a general wrap up on the whole ROW80 thing last Sunday here’s a quick update:

Edit Queen of Hearts

As much progress as usual which is unfortunately none.


Word count wise, aced it, thanks to a few huge essays all due in the past few days.


Successful! I also created a tumblr for my conlangs projects which you can check out if you want. I’m also in need of people to follow so if you want, post your link in the comments and I’ll go check it out. :)


Successful! All the success! Worked out the case system for Farilien and created some new verbs and lexemes for it too.

Okay, moving on to WIPpet Wednesday. I feel that I’ve shown you all a lot from Queen of Hearts over the past two and a half years so with NaNoWriMo swiftly approaching I thought I’d share with you a scene from day 15 (24-9) of last years NaNoWriMo project.

Context: This is the story of Eriden who you may remember from snippets of Queen of Hearts. This is the story of her youth and past and it sort of relates to the events leading to QoH. Born in a brothel, Eri was fostered to a man known only as the Master after her mothers death. Growing up on the streets, she realises she needs to find a way to avoid her fate, the same fate that befell her mother. A chance encounter leads to her apprenticeship in the Assassins Guild. However, just as her future is about to be secured, she is betrayed by a friend, Kelt, and returned to the brothel she was born in to pay off her mother’s debt. This scene takes place about a year after, when Eri is around sixteen. Taking a rare opportunity, Eriden heads down to the docks to settle a debt of her own.

‘What d’ you want?’ Kelt said when he saw her.

‘That’s no way to greet a friend.’

‘No lackey of the Master ‘s my friend.’

‘I’m not his lackey. In fact, if he knew what I was about to ask you, he’d try to kill me.’

‘He’d succeed.’

Eri shrugged her shoulders, ‘He might. Might fail too but that is irrelevant. I need a favour.’

‘What is it.’ he wiped his hands on a rag and came to sit down beside her, facing out over the bay. She had not seen him since the night he left her at the brothel. He was fifteen now, tanned and muscled and Eri could not help admiring his physique. It was his fault, really, for neglecting to wear anything but his short breeches and boots. After all, what defence does a young girl have against that? None. So she let herself appreciate him.

‘I need you to run an errand for me. Out of the city.’

‘How far out?’

‘To Krenhill. A day north. My friend’s there but I don’t think he knows I am alive. And I made a mistake I need to fix.’

‘You want me to just leave work and go chasing some lover boy?’

‘He’s not my lover. And I can’t go myself.’

‘Why not?’

‘I am sworn to Rena, no thanks to you, and I can’t leave Tressa’s for more than a few hours or she’ll have me sold.’

‘Not my problem.’

‘Very much your problem,’ she argued, ‘If the Master had not had you wound so tightly around his little finger, you would not have drugged me, kidnapped me and enslaved me to the one thing I thought I had managed to finally escape from, just as it looked like I might have a chance at something outside of what the Fates decreed. You ruined my life, Kelt. The least you can do is try to help me fix it.’



The End of This Road, The Beginning of The Journey

When I signed up to participate in ROW80 two and a half months ago, it was a spur of the moment decision that I hoped would help me sort out my priorities. For me, ROW80 was a tool to reorganise my writing time and ensure that I could find a way to fit it into my life. Now, at the end of the process, I have the final update for ROW80 Round 3.

I set myself four simple goals: edit, write, blog create. I made sure my goals were manageable, flexible and technically achievable. That said, I feel that I could have been more specific, outlining sub-goals within each main one to ensure my targets were met. This is something I will definitely take into account for the next round.

Edit Queen of Hearts

It currently stands at about 30 chapters. I doubt I’ll finish edits within this cycle but I hope to edit a chapter a week. By the end of this week I should have the feedback from my betas who were kind enough to review the first seven chapters for me so that will hopefully lead to some major overhauls where appropriate.

Editing certainly progressed during this round however due to uni and work etc, I did not get as far through edits as I had planned. The feedback from the betas was beyond helpful and it gave me a lot to work with, to  the extent that I haven’t even finished editing the first seven chapters. I hope to have a chance to focus on editing when I have a week break at the beginning of October.


At least brainstorm and plan if not write a short story (between 1500-3000 words) every month so by the end of the cycle I should have three done.

Brainstorming certainly happened. Actual writing did not. Unless you count essays which in word count were approximately equal to 6000 words which works out to 2000 a month. Not fantastic, not horrible. While I didn;t write anything new (apart from essays) I did add quite a few scenes to preexisting works.


Twice a week when I can, no guilt when I can’t.

For the most part, I achieved this goal. I think there were only about two weeks when I only did one post.


While I’ve been on hiatus I’ve been dabbling in language creation, taking the mess of language I’d already created and adding structure to it. I hope to write a post about it in the next few weeks because I find it fascinating and I would love to share it with you.

Throughout the round I have continued to work on and develop my languages. I added a new page to my blog dedicated to language and I have begun to explore the conlanging community online. I look forward to continuing with this and sharing more of my language journey with you. :D

How did you go this round? Did you meet all your goals? I’d love to know how you found the experience, especially if, like me, this was the first time you participated in ROW80. :)

The Last Parade of the Darlings

Greetings my bloggy pals. How are we all today?

Yes, it is Wednesday. Or at least in some parts of the world. I started prepping this post at 11:59 according to my timezone so that totally still counts as Wednesday, right? That means many things but most importantly WIPpet hosted by the gracious K. L. Schwengel. As always, you can join the crazies here.

The following is taken from Chapter 17 of Queen of Hearts and although I enjoy this scene I recognise that it will probably be cut from the final product because it does pretty much nothing in terms of plot except fill in a little about Kara and Tiemil’s journey south so here it is, the first and last time this little snippet will see the light of day. Enjoy. :)

(Lord Menon is the man sent by Kara’s father to keep an eye on her. In a watch every move, judgey kind of way)

Lord Menon insisted on accompanying Kara and Tiemil south to the capital so he could report, personally, to the ailing king. Between his pompous attitude, disregard for others and apparent inability to shut up, Kara couldn’t stand him at the best of times. Stuck together on the barge for ten days and she began to wish him serious ill. Or, at the very least, an unplanned swim in the dubious waters of the Tienese delta. A day after they passed through Riverton, she got her wish. As Lord Menon stood close to the edge of the barge, recounting the virtue of his daughter and reminding Kara that she could follow such an example, a north going vessel ran astern of their own vessel. The crash sent Menon flying into the water with all the grace of a bedraggled cat. The captain, busy abusing the offending sailors and casting probable aspersions on their parentage, did not notice. Nor did any of the crew running around the deck in a dither like a lady with a bee in her headdress.  For a moment, Kara let the obnoxious lord suffer before she threw a rope over board and with Tiemil’s help, hauled him onto the sodden deck.

She knelt down beside him, checking his pulse.

“What are doing?” he cried, sitting up,“it is most unseemly!”

Kara stood, “He’s fine.” she reported with a roll of her eyes.

“More’s the pity.” her cousin snarked.

“Do you think we should shatter his illusions about Lady Zetta?” Kara made sure Menon would hear her.

“It would break his poor old heart.”

Menon glared, “What are you saying about my Zetta?”

Kara and Tiemil shared a knowing glance.

“Only,” Kara smiled, “that I noticed she’s getting rather large around the middle.”

“But don’t worry,” Tiemil added, “The problem will fix itself in a few months.”