The Beauty of Success

This week, I have made some serious progress on my ROW80 goals and I am quite pleased. Even though I didn’t finish all of them, I’ve managed to lever myself out of the rut that I’ve been in re: reading and writing and editing and life.

My goals for ROW80 are:

  • read a book a fortnight
  • blog about something other than WIPpet/ROW80
  • practice Swedish/French/Spanish/Russian
  • edit Queen of Hearts 
  • write something, anything

Where I wanted to be at the end of this week:

  • finished editing Chapters 9 & 10
  • read a book (Captive Prince)
  • practice a language every day
  • prep my interview with my next character :) You can help me choose which character to speak with!
  • submitted 3 more job applications

How I went:

  • read a book a fortnight – my goal was to read Captive Prince before I went to listen to a talk by the author on Tuesday night. It turns out that yes, I can still read a book in less than a day.

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Introducing…Jahinda

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Jahinda has no time for your religious doubt.

Follow the links to see my previous interviews with Maisha and Itsak.

“So, Jahinda,” I begin. “Welcome.”

She nods, straight-backed on the sofa. Her thick auburn curls are held back from her face by a long ribbon, the same burnt orange as the rest of her outfit.

“Let’s start at the beginning. How did you come to be a priestess of Memset?”

“I was called,” she said simply.

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World-Building: Building Worlds – Part One

Here’s a handy dandy link to a pretty comprehensive introduction to worldbuilding. Enjoy :)

The Levonian Notebook

I decided to start a small series on world-building. I get quite a few questions in regards to the subject, so I thought that it’d be fitting to do some extensive writing on building worlds. I’m no expert, mind you, but I feel some of my thoughts could be relevant for would-be world-builders. I share most of my experiences and ideas I have on methods for efficiently building hopefully interesting worlds.

You can read the entire write-up by following this link.

There’s plenty of awfully drawn illustrations and all.

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The First February WIPpet

Over the last half of January, I feel that I really fell into a nice rhythm with my blogging. I established a new schedule, a mix of updates, shares and new content. The balance of these is really working for me and for the first time in a long time, I am engaged with blogging and actually enjoying it. It no longer feels like a chore. If you’re also doing ROW80, you can find my latest update on that here.

For the past couple of Saturdays, I have also been interviewing a couple of my characters. So far, we’ve heard from Maisha and Itsak. I’ll be continuing the series this Saturday and you can help me choose the next character!

Jahinda has devoted her life to Memset, the goddess of war. Chosen as a Finder, she eagerly awaits the chance to prove herself.

Kalegos has magic but in Lygea, magic is a death sentence. Sent to live with an elderly scholar, Kalegos buries his magic, focusing instead on scrolls of history and languages. But what is buried  cannot stay so forever.

Zri is the son of the legendary Miri, the woman who planned and executed the assassination of the previous Four, corrupt leaders who held Erelda under their thumb. When the Sacred Flame names the next Four, Zri struggles to live up to his mother’s reputation.

Let me know in the comments who you’d like to hear from next! :)

Now, onto the main business of today. WIPpet Wednesday is a chance for you to share a fragment of your current work/s in progress with other writers and potential readers. It is hosted by the lovely Emily Witt.

Today’s excerpt is from Queen of Hearts and comes shortly after the scene I shared with you last week. Three…ideas…I suppose? For the third of the month.

Strange colours and shapes swam before Kara’s eyes.

Blue. Her mother bending over her but as she straightened, she became a snow white eagle. The bird soared into the pale sky, disappearing against the snow covered mountains.

Red. Brydun lying in blood. The blood was a pool. A lake. Red liquid filled her lungs, burning. She couldn’t breathe.

Black. The cool promise, beckoning with her mother’s soft voice. A lullaby of endings.

Researching for this scene was so much fun. I did a lot of reading up on poisons and natural methods of dealing with women’s problems (on which I cannot elaborate because SPOILERS). Who knew plants could be so vicious??

10 Classic Works of Medieval Literature Everyone Should Read

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A pretty thorough and varied list. I’ve only read a few of these myself although I have most of them on my tbr shelf.

Interesting Literature

The best medieval books, from travel writing and history to works of poetry

Say ‘medieval literature’ and a few names will spring to mind: Geoffrey Chaucer, Dante, the anonymous author of Beowulf. But where does one start exploring the wonderful and colourful world of medieval writing? Here are our ten favourite recommendations, which give a sense of the rich panoply of medieval literature. Rather than order this list as ‘worst to best’ and attempt to proclaim one ‘best work of medieval literature’, we’ve avoided putting these ten books in any preferential order. Still, readers will doubtless have their favourites. What’s the best medieval book, for your money?

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21 Days Down, 79 To Go

This last week was a mixture of triumphs and failures. Well, maybe not failures, but certainly disappointments. After last week’s post, I actually went back to my orginial post for the challenge which outlines my goals. I realised that I hadn’t actually been following them as closely as I could and I needed to get my act into gear.

Here’s a reminder of my goals:

  • Finish editing 2nd section of Queen of Hearts
  • Add 20,000 words to Rebellion Rising (and get a better name for it!)
  • Finish writing Enarenel (approx. 10,000 words)
  • Improve my French
  • Expand my Swedish vocabulary & grammar knowledge
  • Get to level 6 on Duolinguo for Spanish
  • Go for walks (because gym membership is expensive)
  • Find a job

I went home for a couple of days over the weekend since my return, I haven’t managed to add anything to Queen of Hearts. I’ve cut things out and created an extensive outline, restructuring a few things and realising where I need to go. Perhaps, tonight, I’ll be able to add some words/rewrite some scenes. I always work better on my novels after dark and everything else during the daylight hours which sometime works but in summer, when it doesn’t get dark until late, it can get a bit annoying. It’s definitely a habit I need to train myself out of.

Nothing has been added to Rebellion Rising. And the title is still naff. Ditto Enarenel. Although with some focus, I could easily get this done.

Language wise, I think it has been going fairly well. I watched the next episode of ‘Bron’, practiced French with my housemate and have almost reached my Spanish goal (Level 6 on Duolingo). I could even reach it today if I try. I’ve been chatting to a fellow Swedish learner too which is helping with vocab because you quickly realise how little everyday vocab online course teach you. And how grammatically complicated simple expressions can be.

Walking has been achieved some days. When I was in Edinburgh, I usually used exercise videos on YouTube so I might try that again. Mostly because you can do them in your pajamas.

I found some work at another branch of the place where I was working in my hometown so yay! Unfortunately, I can’t get many hours so the tedium of job applications continues.

And although it isn’t on my list for the 100 Days Challenge, I’m really pleased with how consistently I’ve been sticking to my blogging schedule. Numbers are slowly but surely picking up and I’ve been enjoying writing new posts and just blogging in general. It has been a while since I felt this way.

So while I may not even be a quarter of the way there yet, I’m optimistic. :)

ROW80 Update

My goals for ROW80 are:

  • read a book a fortnight – I should have finished The Last of the Amazons by now but I haven’t. It’s not half as engaging as it could be. I have, however, signed up at the local library and borrowed C. S. Pacat’s Captive PrinceI’m going to talk she is holding next week, mostly because she is from the same city as me and went to the same uni. So I figured I should read her books beforehand.
  • blog about something other than WIPpet/ROW80 – done: the second in my series on character interviews; a post the overuse of sexual abuse as a plot point in fantasy books.
  • practice Swedish/French/Spanish/Russian – practicing Swedish through duolingo and I’ve been watching the latest season of Broen (The Bridge). It’s made me realise how terrible my pronunciation is!
  • edit Queen of Hearts – actual edits have not been progressing far but I’ve worked out the restructure and outlined each scene.
  • write something, anything – writing  the fictionalised interview with Itsak.

By next week I hope to have:

  • finished editing Chapters 9 & 10
  • read a book (Captive Prince)
  • practice a language every day
  • prep my interview with my next character :) You can help me choose which character to speak with!
  • submitted 3 more job applications

Jahinda has devoted her life to Memset, the goddess of war. Chosen as a Finder, she eagerly awaits the chance to prove herself.

Kalegos has magic but in Lygea, magic is a death sentence. Sent to live with an elderly scholar, Kalegos buries his magic, focusing instead on scrolls of history and languages. But what is buried  cannot stay so forever.

Zri is the son of the legendary Miri, the woman who planned and executed the assassination of the previous Four, corrupt leaders who held Erelda under their thumb. When the Sacred Flame names the next Four, Zri struggles to live up to his mother’s reputation.

So who will it be??

*Also, if I don’t reply to your comments straight away, please forgive me. WordPress has been playing a fun game called ‘not telling when there’s a new comment’