2018

It seems I’ve accumulated a few new followers recently, but I haven’t updated my blog in quite some time. Thought I’d say HI! and add a post with a few updates.

I’ve pretty much finished my first year at University, which is madness. It’s been an incredible learning curve, in the process I’ve met some amazing people, gained many new friendlings, had some amazing times, stressed a lot, learned a lot, been the poorest I’ve ever been, explored a new city, pushed myself out of my comfort zone… I am curious to know how the next year pans out.

Writing wise, Guarded has been stalled due to studies, of course. My plan over the summer is to complete the final edit. In June I’ve got a spot at Hampshire Writer’s Society’s annual book fair for self-published/published authors. It’s not huge, but it’s pretty exciting. I get my own stall and an opportunity to talk to people about my road to self-publication with Away with the Faeries. I may even (attempt to) sell a few copies while I’m there.

There are those fleeting moments of doubt where I think I might be safer sinking back into full-time work, earning money and getting on with things…but then I snap out of it, realising that these three years will aid the rest of my life and my future career. It clearly won’t be easy, but I reckon I’m determined enough to stick with it.

Right now I’m working, finishing my final assignments, keen for summer to come around. Like. Mother nature pls. No more rain.

My emotions have taken a slight battering this year, but you know when you come to realise that the only way to get over shit is…to get over shit. In the mean time, imma sip my wine here on this sofa, listening to some Country music. I’m looking forward to a weekend catching up with some friends. I must remember that actually, if he can’t be assed, then why the heck should I hang about? I deserve better and I should have seen it coming. I’m letting go of the idea of what I wanted it to be and it kinda makes me sad but – I need to remind myself that I’m hanging onto something which isn’t worth my time anymore. Especially as I am clearly not worth his time. It makes me think of a John Mayer song, ‘Friends, Lovers or Nothing’ “there can only be one…” I need to re-sketch the line that became blurred. I’m alright. We might be alright, eventually.

Sorry y’all, but sometimes you just need to get these things out. What better place than a blog?

Hope everyone reading this is feeling positive, feeling good and looking forward.

xox

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Flash fiction #2

In a lecture the other day, we looked at opening lines and ways to hook the reader from quite literally the first few words of a story. It was challenging but fun at the same time.

We took a few minutes to throw down some short sentences before looking at ways to cut them up, making them more concise and eye-grabbing (not literally. I know it’s the month of Halloween and all…)

I decided to expand on mine to make it a piece of flash fiction and thought I’d share it. As usual I’m tempted to add more to it, to perhaps make it a short story…I dunno. Feel free to comment/like.

‘Hi Judith.’

Her hand burst from the soil and waved. I leapt back with a squeal, gawping at the dirty, pale limb. The fingers wriggled. I looked around, hoping for a witness. It was dusk. I was alone.

Well, apparently not.

‘Judith?’ I asked, feeling stupid and at the same time a little lightheaded. The arm extended, fingers latching onto soil and stones. It pulled and I watched, my conscience screaming, as the arm grew a shoulder.

Out through the eruption of soil appeared my deceased aunt, Judith Mayweather.

The sun was fading fast and so was I. I could not believe my eyes. Stumbling back, my legs failed me and I fell onto the grass as the autumn sun disappeared behind a cluster of ancient oak trees. My heart palpitated and still my aunt continued to rise from the dead.

‘What’s happening?’ I cried, my whole body frozen; fear pumping through me like liquid ice.

Dirt clung to its auburn hair. It had her long face, now a little gaunt. Even in the semi darkness I detected the pale hazel shade of her eyes.

I blinked. Aunt Judith smiled.

Flash fiction

Through the haze of sleep I picked up on various sounds; of bickering birds in nearby bushes, a high pitched mower buzzing grass in the distance. I felt the balmy breeze tease my skin as it drifted through the open window. All the while a clock ticked; a feeble metronome informing me of the passing time but I was locked in my own world, floating between the layers of consciousness and dreams. With my heart beating a steady rhythm in my chest I opened my eyes slowly to splintered sunlight as it passed through the wavering leaves of a tall tree. Beyond it stretched a cerulean sky. Birds continued to sing and my heart continued to beat. I closed my eyes once more, dreaming of the place I’d left behind.

 

Life!

It’s been a long, long time since I’ve posted anything on my blog. I actually can’t quite believe HOW long. Somehow, it’s now May 2017. How did we get here?! The days have absolutely flown by. What have I been doing, generally? (Except for working…)

Guarded: The Sacred Path

In December 2016 (?!) I finished my third novel. I’ve since completed an edit of the manuscript and am currently working through the second revision when I get chance. It is a slow but vital process. I’m hoping to have a final draft by the end of August. What I do with it then, I’m not sure. I certainly won’t let it go to waste.

My plan also is to promote Away with the Faeries more, seeing as these past few months – at least – it’s pretty much fallen by the wayside.

University

I never thought I’d see the day where I type/say the words “I’m going to uni!”. Up until last year it was never on life’s agenda for me. Around October time however I thought really hard about what I wanted out of life, and where did I see myself in say, three, or five years time? I had no plan which worried me. That’s not to say everyone needs a plan, but for me, having no structure left me feeling unfulfilled and demotivated. I definitely believe that quarter life crises exist! And so I realised my only option was education. I needed to make a change. I’ve been working in the field of optics for over five years. It is very interesting and I enjoy it, but I don’t see it as a career. I want to dedicate my time to studying in order to hone my craft, therefore I accepted an offer from the University of Winchester to study a BAHons in Creative Writing. It’ll be a big change, but I’m excited and I’m ready. I will miss Bristol and my family and friends, but it isn’t exactly the other side of the world. Everything will work out. See you in September Winchester!

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Nashville:

Last week I returned to my favourite place on the planet, Nashville Tennessee. It was my seventh trip there… it truly is my second home! I went with Melissa and her sister Hannah, although I could only make five days there out of the ten we usually go for. Nonetheless I had, as per usual, the time of my life. It was so great to see my friends again. We spent a lot of time downtown of course, watching the bands. We explored East Nashville, visited Madame Tussaud’s at the mall. On two occasions me and Melissa were lucky enough to sing onstage with some of our friends which was an incredible experience.

The people, the music, the vibe, the food (the tater tots…) It’s just a wonderful place to be. The city is really booming at the moment.

I truly feel like I belong there, I can’t really explain it. I will never give on the dream of living there, or at least being able to visit the city whenever I’m able to. (As I am trying to be realistic.) But hey. I love you, Nashville. These are the days we will remember…

Guarded

It’s been a long time since I’ve shared any of my work on my wordpress. My new novel, Guarded: The Sacred Path, is going well. It’s slow progress but getting I’m there, word by word. I’m hoping I’ll have a first draft ready to edit around May time.

For now, here’s a little excerpt. Please feel free to like, comment, tell me what you think. It would mean a great deal. I know I’m taking a part from a two thirds into the story, but when sharing, one must be selective…

They made it through security.

            ‘Wait here a moment,’ said Ro, touching Nina’s shoulder. ‘Nicholas, if you get some bottles of water, I’m just going to the help desk to confirm our hire car is available.’

            Nina stared at him in disbelief. Was there no end to his efficiency? ‘How..?’

            He strode off, leaving her unanswered question hanging in the air.

            Too overwhelmed to make a decision on anything, Nina allowed herself to be directed by her father, who had an arm around her shoulders. It was a comfort. She caught sight of a digital clock imbedded into a wall, and 6:38pm flashed back at her in neon green. It took a while for Nina to realise there was someone else walking with them, alongside Ro.

            Outside, the evening air was warm and balmy, the sky a deep indigo sequined with stars. The man, who wore a pale shirt with black trousers, led them along a floodlit path towards a car park which few cars occupied.

            There was some discussion between Ro and their guide, and they paused in front of an open top 4×4. Nina was quick to work out this would be their ticket to the Valley of the Kings.

            The man shook Ro’s hand and dropped him the keys. ‘This will get you there fast,’ his said in a voice thick with Arabic intonation. ‘It must be returned by 6.00pm tomorrow evening.’

            ‘Understood,’ said Ro. ‘Thank you.’

*

The roads were smooth and wide, and lined with streetlights and palm trees alternately. Ro drove at a steady speed. With the top down, the humid wind threw itself around Nina, whipping strands of hair about her face, but it had the effect of waking her up and she leaned against the door, revelling in the realisation that she was in Egypt. So far from the bustling, polluted streets of London. So far away from her job. So far away from her mother.

            She held up her arms, feeling the wind through her fingers. The air smelt like beach sand. She lifted her face to the sky, gazing at the assembly of twinkling stars. In this moment she didn’t want to think about the terrors that awaited her, but simply of the fact she was one person in seven billion, and that the world was such a huge place and everyone has their time. This was her time and it wasn’t nearly over. It was just beginning.