Monday, 4 March 2019

ChaBooCha Days 3 and 4

I didn't post an update yesterday as the Internet was way too slow and was causing problems with the blog. I'm very happy with my progress for #ChaBooCha2019; I'm not worrying about word counts or even necessarily getting any words down at this stage. My focus is on research, organising the notes I have from the past 5 1/2 years, and working on character and world building.

Yesterday I spent time mostly reading up on Trickster gods and adding flesh to my characters; one of which is a trickster demi-god by the name of Jet Storm. Jet Storm is a main character and one that is important to me as he was created for a dear friend. I want to get him just right. He is born of Deities from two pantheons and I'm still working out which of the Deities would work in best to be his parents. As always my daughter is a very good sounding board; I think by the time the first issue is ready she'll know it almost as well as I know it.

Today I continued my reading on Tricksters, and I'm narrowing the list of potential parents for Jet Storm. I'm not sure I'll share my decision with anyone outside of my creative team as there is the possibility that the identity of his parents may need initially to be a secret within the story.
Opal City is based on Melbourne with significant changes in design. I poured over a bunch of online maps of Melbourne to help me visualise the changes I want to make. Most of the street names will change, and some features will stay the same e.g. the Yarra River. It's clear though that I'll need a much larger map, that I can stick to the wall or a desk, with some tracing paper over the top, to actually design Opal City.

I made some small but reasonably important decisions for D.o.A. In the past I hadn't made a firm decision of when Daughters of Artemis would be set. I'd always just assumed it would be set around my current time. But today I chose to set it in 2025. It doesn't change the story in any way; and it gives me a little more leeway with certain aspects of my world. And Phoebe Hunt (a.k.a Celestial Arrow's) occupation has been settled on. Making a decision on the occupation for her alter-ego is fairly important; esp when it comes to keeping her identity a secret.

I'm happy with how Daughters of Artemis is shaping up. I'm in no rush to finish the first draft yet; not because I'm procrastinating but because it's a big, involved project and I want it to have well made foundations. As long as I continue to advance the story through March I'll be happy with my efforts.

(edited to add: P.S. I'm not sure what I think of the font for the blog. Your feedback is appreciated. Thanks. )

Saturday, 2 March 2019

ChaBooCha2019 Day 2

Day 2 and I was really struggling with the heat today, so I didn't get as many words down as I would have liked, but I did work on some of the early dialogue for Artemis. And I plotted out a few more key points that I'd like to cover in the first issue of Daughters of Artemis.

Daughters of Artemis was born from a flash fiction story for a female superhero writing challenge in 2013. My original idea has grown, and become so much involved than I had originally intended. Part of the reason for the delay in finishing the script, apart from my state-of-mind, and health/life issues, is because I want the foundations to be well-built.

I want to be certain that I haven't bitten off more than I can chew with D.o.A. But for me this is not a short-term project. There's a lot to be said for stand alone comics series, and mini-series, and I have a few stand-alone comics in the draft stages, but I have so much more planned for D.o.A. A fairly decent sized comic run, and possibly a movie + series later down the line, as well as a game. And as D.o.A is intertwined with 2 of my other series I'm trying to make sure that all of my notes are thorough and organised, to decrease the chance of inconsistencies, and plot holes. While I'm chomping at the bit to introduce Celestial Arrow to the world, beyond her brief origin story, I'd rather take my time to ensure that I have a quality story to go with my kick-arse character.

Friday, 1 March 2019

CHABOOCHA 2019 - Day 1

March is when the Chapter Book Challenge (or #chaboocha) takes place. Come this morning I still hadn't decided what I would do this year, (either continuing one of my past projects or start something new), let alone done any kind of planning. But eventually I decided to continue work on Daughters of Artemis.

I'm not a planner or a panster when it comes to challenges and writing books. I tend to be a planster - some rough outlines, notes, plus a whole lot of winging it. That usually works best for me. With chaboocha 2019 I need to do a bit more outlining, and planning as I have a whole mess of notes spread across various devices and notebooks, and I want to organise them all so that I can make more progress with the series. 

So today was spent making some lists, reading through earlier notes, and noting down points that I'd like to focus on this month. I intend to progress the story, and it would be fantastic to complete the first draft, but I also need to work on character profiles and world building, so it'll be a case of balancing all over that.

I'll be posting over the month across all of my social media platforms, and I'll try to update the blog every day with my progress; the downs as well as the ups. 

You can find out more about the Chapter Book Challenge over on Facebook:

Saturday, 2 February 2019

Review - Call Drops by John F Leonard

My writing goal for February is to begin to catch up on the back-log of reviews. I don't plan to catch up on all the reviews in February, although there are some I need to complete as soon as I can.

 The first review for February was just a short and sweet one for Call Drops; a short horror story by John F Leonard that I read early in 2018.

Reviews will vary in length, and detail, but the challenge will be to complete as many as I can throughout 2019.

Call Drops - A brilliant Poe-esque read.

A poe-esque story, this book draws you in quickly, sucks you in deep, and takes you for a roller coaster ride into madness and darkness.

A gripping short read, it left me breathless and needing more.

I highly recommend Call Drops.

Friday, 1 February 2019

It's been a while ...

It's been a while since my last confession ... hang on, scrap that. It's been a while since my last post. Now that the school holidays are over, and we are slipping into a new routine, I'll be back to posting here semi-regularly. I'm not sure how often yet, because while I love to blog, I don't want to bore or annoy people with too many posts. And it's hard to gauge what people think as I see the visitor's stats, but I hear no feedback; so somedays it feels like I'm shouting into the void.

There's a lot to post about but tonight I just wanted to check in, chase the wildlife out, and freshen up the place a bit. I trust that you are all well?

I do have my latest piece to share here. It's a little different, in some ways, and won't be everyone's cup of tea. During the worst part of my breakdown, there was just so much noise in my head, between the flashbacks, the voices of ghosts past, etc and there were days when I just was holding on to the remnants of my sanity by a bare thread. In those moments I would ponder whether it was worth hanging on to my sanity, or whether I should just let go of everything and see where that would take me.

So the poem came to me on one of those days, and has sat in my files, marinating. The piece is a little jarring, a little messy, in some respects to give just an inkling of madness to it.

It may not be a great literary piece but it was something that I needed to write, and that I needed to share with others. Perhaps for understanding; perhaps in the hope that it would resonate with others.

People talk of losing their minds, but many people don't really know what it's like when that happens. And when I found myself in that state it took every inch of strength to hold on to what remained of my sanity - and some days I wondered why I was holding on so tightly.

People think I'm exaggerating when I talk of losing my sanity (although certain people in my life have also been quick to call me crazy in the past); but it was no exaggeration. It was a lonely, painful, frightening place to find myself.

Writing out the feelings helped a little; sharing it helped a little more. I don't plan on staying silent, even if it makes other people more comfortable. And so I stand here, sharing a peek into the madness, and hoping it doesn't chase you all away.


Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Welcome 2019

Welcome 2019. Come in; don't be shy. 

image source:

So can I get you anything? A cool drink? A snack? No? Ok.

I'm glad you dropped by; I have so much to tell you. Oh the plans I have for us, 2019; I hope you're ready. 

No, don't look so scared; we'll ease in to it. We'll get to know each other first, have a chat about where you see this going, and then we can work out were to go from there.

Oh, you've got other people to visit? Ok, then; I understand. I'll just be here, pottering around, making lists and dreaming of Sugar Plum Fairies and utterly chaotic tea parties. Don't be a stranger. 

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Just a quick one

I'm heading interstate to catch up with my 3 boys and my folks. I'll continue to write while I'm away but most of the time I'll just be taking it easy and getting my head sorted out. Even though I've been silent on the blog front I have still been writing; it's just that I've not been able to focus as much as I'd like at the moment. So hopefully I'll recharge the batteries and get my head on straight for a bit.