Arty: Them Details!

Oh, it’s been a good day. Nay, a great day! I’ve achieved something and as small as that achievement might be when others look at it, I can truly say it’s a big achievement for me.

Hooray! I can finally say that after several attempts over the years to draw an eye that actually resembles an eye, I’ve managed it. Yes, I so did.
Looky here…


Doesn’t it look good? 🙂

This is the first time ever I’ve managed something of this level in terms of eye. I’ve tried a few times before, but never could capture the realism of it. Yes, they looked like eyes, eyes any amateur art hobbyists would draw. And so I’d kind of figured I could never draw something like that. It was a fact. But, recently, I’ve returned from my first ever cruise, and found it astounding that there was an art gallery on board. An art gallery!

So, in the week bobbing around on the Pacific Ocean, I fell back in love with art. I mean, I’ve always loved art, admired artists, and quietly wished I had even an ounce of their talents. The last time I did any art was probably more than a year ago, or maybe two. Ever since the cruise, and seeing all those artworks up close and personal, I couldn’t quite help myself in feeling inspired to try and create a few pieces of my own, challenge my own abilities. Maybe I could push my self.

I have. The last couple of days I’ve been wondering what I’d like to do; paint, draw, try mixed media? What shall I capture: peacocks (a bird I absolutely love), fruits, people (which I barely do because I don’t think I have the talent to make them look real), or just landscapes etc?

I have no idea, but I’ve been browsing Pinterest for inspiration. I’ve pinned pictures of peacocks and fruits, I’ve drooled over eyes!  And today I thought what the hell, let’s try it again. So I sat down with a new art diary, and graphite pencils, searched the net for an eye photograph I could attempt, and off I went. Below are the photos to show my progress; it took me about an hour maybe.

1. Outlining…

2. Trying to figure out shadows…


3. Enhancing shadows and adding details… them lashes, oh that was interesting.

4. The final product… and I couldn’t quiet believe it myself. I’ve done it. Wtf!

5. The image I used for inspiration. M (my husband) thought it was already a drawing by someone else, and I had to tell him no, that it was a B&W photo I was looking at.

Next up: maybe I’ll try fruits… and some more eyes, in case this was a beginners luck thing.

Travelogue: Rooftop ride in Thailand

It’s day 4, and I’m reporting on our outings for day 3. Can’t really believe it’s been that many days already but, we are making the most of it. It’s funny that I think the two of us make for terrible tourists. Sure, we have a huge camera that hangs around his neck, and I have my bag full of ‘items’ we may need, like sunscreen, hand sanitizer, moist towelettes, lip balm, and sunnies, and my iPhone handy so I can take quick snaps of the surrounds for my ‘blog’ as I tell him. But other than this, we are the quiet travelers, not getting involved in party scene and funky bars. As much as I’d like to go sit in a pub with a nice ambience and have my one cocktail and pub food while he drinks coke (since he doesn’t do alcohol), we don’t. Like I said, the quiet tourists who would much rather look at the surrounds and enjoy the breeze than try and get it all in the lens, which sometimes means you’ve missed everything cause you were too busy looking through the lens.   

Alas, what did we do yesterday in the island we are calling home for the week, Koh Samui. It’s beautiful, it’s tropical, it has beaches dotted with resorts spilling onto them at every cove and bay, but it’s only so small and we have booked ourselves into most of the tours the travel lady could think up for the ‘quiet tourists’. We went on a safari on the island, visiting landmarks that are the main sights and must see places.

 
Our day started up with a cruise around the islands edges as our guide and driver drove us to the first stop on our list, Grandma and Grandpa rocks, that were miracles of nature and carved by wind and water. Don’t let the name fool you ladies and gentlemen, there was not much grandpa and grandma about them. As naive as I was, I was expecting a rock that looked like little old man and woman, but instead what we saw was a little on the graphic side. Funny thing is, I was so mesmerized by the coincidence of both rock formation being in around each other that I forgot to take photos for you. Instead, I took photo of the info board as we whisked away to our next location, Elephant safari. 
  
When we agreed to go see the elephants we had no idea that it included a ride on the elephants. I still feel terribly about that, but the beautiful, 15-year-old Namphoon who gave us a kind ride on her back eagerly took the bunch of bananas we gave her. My husband and I couldn’t help but give a generous tip to the Hatt of who said ‘you don’t have to but it helps us look after them’. Even if we hadn’t been told this, we would have given anyway for the gorgeous animal. 

   

    
 I’ve seen elephants before, in Nepal we also have some in the wild, and when you go to Sauraha almost every resort has one. After that we were taken to an Elephant and a Monkey Show. I really enjoyed the three baby elephants who showed us how clever they are. There was a 4 year old who was absolutely adorable. She stole the whole bunch of bananas I had for her and the others, as she wasn’t having none of the one-banana-at-a-time nonsense. M said ‘good on her’. 
What I didn’t enjoy nor liked was the Monkey Show. The poor thing was on a lease the whole time. And again, coming from Nepal, we know how clever monkeys are, so the tricks people were getting thrills out of were what they do in life. 

  

Next stop, we were taken to a waterfall, and lining the street to the waterfall were all these little eateries and souvenir shops. Really reminded me of how strips prior to going to temples in Nepal are all lined up with veneration materials and souvenir shops. When we had read the brochure for the tour it had said bring a towel, so here we were, the only two ‘newbie’ tourists who had trudged along with us a complimentary straw bag from our hotel with two towels. There was no need for that as we later found out. A 20-minute stop wasn’t going to be enough for us to take photos and then go for a swim. So instead we made use of our heavy basket and gathered few souvenirs. 
Lunch was a drive through to the top of some mountain at a mountain restaurant, with its bamboo hits and tables set on side of the cliff. Beautiful. The food was delicious as well, though I doubt our companions on the ride enjoyed it as much. They barely touched it and had almost dry rice alone. Perhaps they found it spicy as the green chicken curry did have quiet a punch to it, which we both enjoyed. Lucky for M I’ve slowly trained him over the years to tolerating a bit of chilly in his food. Nowadays he eats more Asian food than I do while at work, but that’s another story. 
Oh, we went to a truly magical place after that, called the Magic Garden. One thing I’m going to say about the trip was, though it was beautiful in many ways, it was incomplete because our guide didn’t truly give us the stories behind each place and its significance. Anyway, I’m diverting. The Magic Garden. I won’t be able to say much about it other than the fact that it was whimsical, it was a fairytale, and it had a sense of lost in time about it. 

  
Something that truly captured both our imagination, seeing how we are both storytellers in our own ways. I looked at the place from a writer-director point of view, thinking how wonderful a place to shoot a film. And M was thinking of it from his 3D- artist point of view, how he could build a place like this in his 3D format for animations. It simply was, captivating. 

     

After this, despite the sun high in the sky, our guide gave us an opportunity to ride on top of the jeep as we flew down the mountain through 15 kilometers of jungle. Though most of the road was paved, there were parts that were truly bumpy, and being on top of the jeep, we had to grip the side bars and duck down every now and then so we do not get thrashed by tree branches that brushed past us. 

  
 
Thank god for the seat belt. We stopped at the top to look at the bay and swapped with another couple who had ridden up there prior to us. We had enjoyed it so much but M and I thought it wouldn’t be fair for us to sit up there all the way. So here we thought, yay, though the scene isn’t the same we were feeling all the bumps, our guide stopped us once more and we swapped seat. There was another couple with us but because they had kids, they declined. So here we were, once more on top of the jeep, flying through the air. It was both exhilarating and exciting. If my mum had been there, she Wouk have had a panic attack. But it was fun, and something we may never do again. 

   
   
Next two stops from here were two temples, the Big Buddha and the Lady Monk. By the time we got to her, I ran out of space in my iPhone to snap any photos for you. I’ll show you these when we get back to Sydney. 

  
By the time we got back, we were tired and sweaty and to my delight a little tanned, which is hard for my legs to achieve. We fought and discussed where we should go for dinner and being tired opted for a not so lazy option of walking 200 meters up the hill to a highly recommended (by a eating guide), a bar and grill called Dr Frogs. We had our first none Thai food since our arrival. The ambience was great, the lighting perfect, the live music invigorating and the breeze welcomed. We enjoyed our meal, and I enjoyed my first ever Singapore Sling, all the way here in Thailand. We closed the day off having purchased the CD of the musician, Oliver Jones, who also happened to be Aussie. 
We came back to our hotel and while M watched magic show on TV, I fell blissfully asleep. Not a bad day at all if I say so myself. 

And again, I couldn’t help but take a shot of these cables on the main road through the town. I thought Nepal was bad. This just made M very nervous. 

  
Well, that’s a such adventure we could handle. 

The End.

 
And on the next day, rumor has it I went for a shopping spree and bought goddies. Holiday is such a hard thing! 
P.s. You will not be live how long it took me to write this post and upload all the photos I wanted to show. Alas, 8 hours later, here it is. Hope you enjoy it.

Travelogue: Thailand

I guess that’s what this is. I’m not an amateur traveller by any means, but mostly, all my travels overseas has mainly been to visit family in Nepal. The variety of locations on the way there has been to say the least, very limited. When my husband and I decided to take our first overseas travel, it’s not surprising I loved the idea. 

Here’s the thing, I love traveling. I always have. What little irrational fears about traveling, such as location, flights, food that might spell a trip to the hospital, have all paled in comparison with the whole idea of seeing new things, sights that are normally not available to me. Despite my love of travel, or rather extensive daydreaming of jet setting around the world, I do hate one thing – being tormented by ear aches and sinus pains. But, we get over hurdles don’t we? 

  
So here we are, after months of planning and waiting, we flew out to a little island in Thailand. First time for both of us here. We’re here for a fleetingly short stay. The drive from the airport to our hotel was so disorienting for me to the say the least. My tired sleep deprived mind kept searching for landmarks I recognize, and that sounds crazy doesn’t it, the fact that I’ve never been in Thailand before, yet it looked so familiar, the roads, the shops lining the narrow street, the ads of various kinds, the shopkeepers and the people around. The familiarity was so huge that I kept thinking we’ve somehow landed in an alternate version of Nepal. Yeah, sure the language is different, and the landscape lacks snow-dipped peaks that soar into the high skies, but everything else ‘feels’ like Nepal, just a more quiet version of it. I couldn’t help but take photos of things that looked familiar just so I could show my family and say ‘hey, look at this’. 

  
(A temple/shrine dotting the street; so similar to Nepal)

Today, we went to the town in the island we are staying, and it’s small. We walked down the whole strip, and I felt odd that I couldn’t read the writings nor speak the language. It really felt like I should know all this. The stalls that sold salads reminded me of ‘bhaja’ stalls or panipuri stalls in Nepal. The shops with their wares spilling out onto the narrow pedestrian walkway reminded me of Asan and Thamel, just missing people, lots of people. For those who have travelled Nepal, you will know what I mean. Like I said, disorienting to say the least. 

Tomorrow, we go for a tour around the island, sightsee its landmarks. We have our camera ready, and I’m sure tomorrow, I’ll have a harder day of telling my mind it’s not home. How bizarre. It made me wonder how many other Nepali have travelled to Thailand and felt this familiarity, this strange otherworldly déjà vu with the country. 

  
(Apparently I was quite a happy shopper according to him. Lol. Was definitely tired to say the least by dinner time.)

…to be continued…

Shorty short: Last Cab to Nowhere


Dana scurried around in the hubbub of the party still in full swing, her head dashing in and out of rooms, under flung cushions and dresses of unknown victims who simply glared at her.

“Excuse me?”

“What is she doing?”

“Too much to drink,” someone laughed as she rushed past them, back out onto the balcony one last time. She stole a look over the rails while she was at it to see if the cab she’d called had arrived. The street revealed no such phenomenon, for it was a phenomena for a cab that arrives on time on a busy Saturday night.

“Dana? Why are you scaring people? You promised to behave” Her best friend, Kaiser smiled at her from his great height, walking out onto the balcony with multiple beer bottle necks secured in his hands. He passed them around and turned his focus back on her. “Your taxi here yet?”

She shook her head and grabbed the beer from his hand, took a thirsty swig and slid the bottle back in his open hand. “You seen my bag?”

“You lost your bag?” His brows rose high.

“My clutch thing.”

“The things without any handles?” he asked.

Dana smiled and nodded.

“Nope, haven’t seen it.”

“I’ve looked everywhere!” She squeaked in panic, stepping away from people looking at her strangely. Guess lifting skirts off seats and sofas, and looking under beds while people were trying to find privacy wasn’t really good etiquette. Then again, in Dana’s opinion, it was highly rude to be trying to do anything indecent in someone else’s apartment. “I’m gonna miss my flight.”

Kaiser held out 50 dollar note. “I don’t even know why you are taking such a late flight. May as well have gone tomorrow morning if all it is, is you trying to escape your family. I’d gladly drop you off myself.”

Dana took the note and shoved it in her jeans. “I have no desire to sit there and listen to people yabber about a woman I could barely stand. I’d rather be on a sunny beachside sipping mojitos than be there for the whole thing.”

“You’re going south, where beaches are few and colder. And you hate mojitos.” He held her back as she went to go past. “You’re one of the beneficiaries.”

“Exactly! Which means it gives my family reason to glue all eyes on me the whole week. No, thank you. Now get out of my way. I have a taxi to catch.”

Kaiser pulled her in a quick hug. “Should I go in your place?”

“If you want.” She kissed him on the cheek. “Don’t sleep with that one, that one or that one.” She laughingly pointed out random guests.

“What about that one?” Kaiser pointed to a woman striding their way with a charming little cherub on her hip.

“That one will have to do.” Dana laughed. Gave a quick hug to Kaiser’s beautiful wife and child and rushed towards the door. “Keep my bag safe for me!”

As Dana got into the lift, she could hear the faint rumble of thunder. ‘Please don’t rain. Please don’t rain.’ She rushed out onto the street, empty as the first giant drops of rain slapped her cheek. She checked her phone as a messaged buzzed: You taxi is 30 seconds away. 30 seconds wasn’t that long, and Dana stared down the street to see if she could spot the headlights. Nothing.

Laughter rolled down with the rain from the balcony and Dana looked up to see Kaiser’s head, a tiny pin in the grey night sky. “You should just cancel!”

Suddenly, a taxi appeared far too quickly beside her on the kerb. She hadn’t even heard it pull up. A window rolled down. “Ms Dana Beecham?” An elderly man with a well kept grey beard bent down to see her on the sidewalk. “You ordered a taxi?”

The rain began with more gusto and she clambered into the back seat. “How did you know my name?”

The man laughed. “I pay attention.”

The glint in his eyes threw her off. It was as if he knew things. Really knew things. Like for example, she felt almost as if he could tell why she was in a hurry to get away.

A lash of lightening ripped across the sky and the power grid failed instantly. The whole street blacked out, and thunder that followed cut Dana off at, ‘Please take me to…’

“I know where to take you, Miss.” He interrupted, a smile on his face. Somehow he reminded her of her late grandfather. She hadn’t seen the man in over two decades, but it was almost as if the eyes were his. “Buckle up.”

With the rumble of the engine, lights came on one by one on all the buildings as they shot by. In disbelief, Dana kept staring out the window till they were well away from the street.

“How did you know where I want to go?” The thought suddenly disturbed her. “I didn’t tell you.”

The cabbie laughed. “As I said, I pay attention.” He pointed recklessly at a navigation system as if to say that was his source of information.

Maybe, thought Dana. Maybe she’d already told the dispatcher when she’d placed the call.

“Please hurry. I’m running a little late.”

He nodded, turning on the radio station to some mellow music. “Not to worry dear. Sit back and relax. I’ll get you there at the right time.”

The street lights flashed by one by one. The last of her drinks finally catching up with her. She hadn’t closed her eyes in ages, and when she did, it was not with the intention to fall asleep.

“Here we are, Miss. Your destination.”

When Dana woke, it was almost dawn and she was no where near the airport. She was exactly where she didn’t want to be. The whole reason why she was meant to be in a flight over Alice Springs. Not sitting outside her Grandma’s home, exactly how she remembered it. Perfect.

Dana turned to the man in shock. “You said you knew where I needed to be?” Her tone highly accusing. The man nodded, got out, pulled out her luggage from the back seat next to her and came around to open her door.

“Yes. And this is where you needed to be. I got lost there for a bit, but no, in the end, I got you here, safe and sound!” He beamed. Her grandfather’s eyes smiled down at her and she couldn’t really get angry at him. Instead, she crossed her arms and refused to get out.

“Don’t you think you are being a little childish?” he asked.

Offended, she was about to protest when the front door opened and her mother in pyjamas walked out, looking at her directly. “Dana! You came.”

The man stepped aside and allowed her to exit the cab. He handed her her bag and walked away.

“How much do I owe you?”

The man smiled. “We can decide that later.” He doffed his hat and slipped into his cab. Before long pulling out as Dana pulled her bag along reluctant. What did he mean by that?

“Hey, Mum.”

“Hey, yourself. Look at you? So skinny.”

Dana couldn’t help but feel the lump in her throat as she eyed the facade. It wasn’t where she needed to be. Was it? All those memories pressed against her mind. All those desperate attempts to get away. And there she was, miraculously about to walk into a home she hadn’t stepped foot in over 5 years for a woman she had loved as much as possible, but hated just the same.

Home sweet home.

Writing: Finding Motivation when all you want to do is the ‘P’ word. 

Procrastinate, that is. Mind you, we don’t normally wake up in the morning saying ‘Hey, I know what I’m gonna do today. And that is do everything else but the thing I should do.’ No, unfortunately it’s the opposite. With the dawning of our day, be it 5AM in the morning (if you are an early bird), or closer to midday, we all wake up thinking, ‘Today is the day. Today is it. I’m gonna do it!’ And about halfway out of bed, you forget your pledge and slip into slippery slopes of getting distracted by this and that, a stray thought that leads you to do one thing after the other till you realize the whole day has been spent and you have slithered back into bed feeling disappointed. Of course, in that last heroic stance you think maybe you should just start that piece now. Just a matter of stretching over and grabbing your tools. But then again, who is going to sleep for you? Right?

I have been fighting and failing to write. Procrastination always gets in the bloody way! And that got me thinking, what is it about this year that has proven to be such a challenge? (Of which there have been a few valid distractions.) Most years I pump out at least a book, and a few scripts, not to mention the many odd things I post here. But 2016 has been that whimsical year. September. Well hello there, how do you do? It’s almost gone too. Meaning only a quarter of the year is left and so much more to write.
Nowadays, I troll social media for inspiration, something to drive me to write. When once I used to be able to write any random thing, this year, despite the many quotes and prompts pinned on Pinterest, my interest in writing as much as I used has dwindled. I’m a sporadic writer. So sporadic indeed that it’s actually started to really bug me. And bug me it does, hence this article.

Every writer has to get in the right headspace to write. Everyone. I know as writers we evolve over time, develop our styles, our voices, our routine. However, what most people won’t admit to is, we evolve into creatures of habit, we seek out comfort zones that will put us in the mood for writing straight away. And these spaces, these sanctuary hold great power over us. It becomes sacred, and the thought of writing else become less and less welcomed.

My space used to be cafes, but mostly I could write anywhere once a sentence or two were spelt. Nowadays, it feels as if something inside is calling for a dedicated writing space. Too long have I gone without that corner sofa in a humming cafe, that isolated-yet-I’m-still-in-public feeling that allowed me to people watch at a safe distance. Writing space. Think about that. It could be your room. It could be that park across the road from work, or the cafe down a couple go blocks. Or it could just be a piece of music that sets your mood.

The point is, find motivation. Do whatever it takes to kick start that brain of yours. Once you start it, it will do its thing. Sometimes, I write a simple micro poetry and post it on Twitter to the same satisfaction I get if I had written a whole chapter for my current work-in-progress (which of course I have quite a few).

Procrastination is a habit my dears. A terrible habit. One that should come with a warning label; ‘Beware! Distractions may cause delay in achievement of ones happiness and desires!’

Or something to that effect. Today’s motivation has been this effort to psyche myself up. From tomorrow, or there off, here is hoping that I can kick some ‘P’ butt and get on with what I need to do. No buts, no ifs. Think of the future. Think of your goal. And keep that gaol in mind. What’s mine for the rest of the year? Finish the book, and a rewrite a script.

There. I said it. 3 months, plenty of distractions. Can I do it? I sure hope so. At least, I’d like to think I’ll try.

Fingers are crossed. So crossed.

Reel World: My little film is showing somewhere!

As it turns out, this year is nearly at its speedy end. It’s later in October and we only have two months left to accomplish anything we set out to do this year. Where’s the time rewinding clock? If only Back to the Future was possible! Seems to be the week for it. At least that’s the buzz this week.
There is however another little buzz in my life, the buzz of a short film I was involved in the making of finally hitting the silver screen across various Australian cities starting today.

I’m nervous and curious, and excited and terrified all at the same time. What’s worse is that due to festivals and other commitments I am not there in the city of Perth observing the audience as they react to the film. As a writer-director, this tends to be the most nerve-wrecking moment. Not the countless hours preparing to shoot, nor the countless hours spent shooting it and cut it etc. No. It’s this, waiting for feedback.

Can I fast forward a couple of hours to hear how the screening went? Haha. That would be something, wouldn’t it?

Here’s the teaser for the film in case you would like to check it: Dhago (Nepali short film)

IMG_6677

I’ll report back to you tomorrow and let you know what the word is on the streets. Wish I could have been there, but alas, it’s still an exciting time!

Writing: Never ending edits

I absolutely get terrified when editing my own works. Absolutely terrified. Not excited as I am when I write. The terror comes from the fact that I know I will be slicing and dicing, in true ‘kill your darlings’ style, and yet, yet, it will still not be perfect enough, flawless. Why? Why must this be such a hard task?!

I know that most writers, myself included love writing. We do. Other people find solace in shopping, in getting pampered, in sitting around by the beach and lounging, etc. the normal stuff you know. Writers find joy in writing. We do it because we love the rush of a new world that captures our imagination: the characters, their flaws, their stories.

We feel elated when we finish our first draft. I still remember the first time I finished my first novel. I think I may have literally done a jumping-giddy-run-on-the-same-spot dance before realizing I was standing in front of med building waiting for my friends to escape their microbiology lab.


But the thing is first draft of anything is always crap. We wouldn’t give it to anyone to read before we have had a chance to run through it and smooth it out somewhat. The real writing happens on the editing table. Which becomes excruciatingly painful to writers starting out, and still quite hard for others who have been through the grill before.

I’m doing a final comb through of ‘Charming Mr Stewart’ before sending it for final edit. Mind you, it has already gone through two rounds of editors. Editing is a job that never finishes, truly. And it’s not just a grammar here and punctuation there. Editing sometimes completely changes the landscape of a story from its first draft. I’m learning to kill my darlings and it’s not easy. If you are writing a piece you want to publish, I guess you have to make sure it’s as good as it can be. So my advice, don’t be in an impatient rush. And the other, DONT BE AFRAID TO DELETE WHAT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE, or what is redundant. Cull, cull, cull.

I must do these myself:

– remove adverbs and replace with verbs (i.e. Words ending in  -ly)

– remove the words ‘very’ and ‘that’ and so many filler words,

And many more. I’m learning the art of editing my own work through examples on pinterest. Hey, it’s been helpful!

Two weeks ago I swept through the whole MS (manuscript) and it shed some weight from 100,000 words plus to under 86,000 words.

Today, I’m starting another sweep based on feedback from beta-readers and have a feeling the story will loose some more weight. I’m not worried about the story becoming skinny, I’m just worried I may loose some aspects of the story if I’m not careful. I mustn’t leave a tale full of holes!

Bit of a nail-biting moment. Yikes.

Writing: What you NEED to be a writer.

You want to be a writer do you? You want to enjoy knowing that people are reading your words, imagining the world in their head that you have crafted? You want to know that people love them? You have tons of story ideas floating around in your head that you could write? Good. Very good. 

But. And yes, there is a but. You need to stop coming up with stories. Stop. There’s is no point in coming up with 1 story, 10 stories, or hundreds. No point if you don’t actually sit down and start writing them. In fact, not good enough if you don’t sit down and finish writing them. Key word there – finish. 

What lies ahead once you have finished writing the first draft can only be described as a bed of needles you have to walk over to reach the other side. I’m being blunt. Why? Well, it’s one thing to dream of being a writer, it’s another to actually attempt it. It’s a difficult journey marred with many disappointments, struggles, doubts, anger and frustration. You will want to give up many times along the way. You will continue to doubt your work. Is it good enough? 

Unfortunately, someone else needs to tell us this.
How do you make sure your writing is of industry standard? How do you know it can hook a reader and keep them till the very ‘end’? Before you decide to even attempt to knock on publishers doors, make sure you do this: read the story from start to finish yourself. I don’t mean this as in you edit as you go. Just read it, as if it’s another book and you are an audience. If you can hold your own interest then be sure you may hold other people’s interest too. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you are a God-gifted writer and someone should offer you a deal already. We all make mistakes. Even the polished writers who have been published multiple times. Here is what you need to do.

Get your story assessed by a professional. Find out if the plot is weak, if your characters are convincing, if there are any logical problems in your MS, if you need to go back and write an entire section, or cut out a whole chunk. You need to FIX these before you can think about polishing/editing your work. Grammar, punctuation and spacing are not your first priority. Your priority first of all is to make sure your story translates as best it can on paper. It’s events, it’s interweaving plots, it’s characters and emotions etc. After that, go over your work a few time yourself. You’d be surprised at the number of mistakes you can correct yourself as a writer. Then, I strongly recommend getting an editor onboard. They will help you iron out your MS and make it look presentable. 

And this is just the one quarter of your job! 

What’s left are some of the most daunting tasks: query agents/publishers, submit your work, wait biting your nails, then if you find representation or a book deal, it’s a whole other part you have to work with others on – planning, layout, cover page, edits, and marketing.
I don’t mean to discourage anyone who wants to write from actually doing it. I just wanted to tell you, stop talking about writing and write. It’s a whole lot of fun whether you intend to get published or just get your family and friends to read them. 

I leave you with these words…

  

Poem: Blind

As I sit here hours milling away slowly,

let me tell you a story of a blind man and his sin.
He sees no colour to the seasons, 

they hold no meaning.

It’s the sounds that tell him season turn,

by the silencing trees and the crunch beneath feet.

It’s the fragrance that sing of spring,

or the bone chilling wind that heralds winter.

He tastes the earth through tangelo

or a glass of red,

but no way can he describe the beauty as we see. 
His eyes are his hands and feet, his ears and his skin. 

He can tell you many things, the way we dare not see,

but he can not read emotions on faces unseen.
Think not to fool a man who gives his friendship blindly. 

That sin is purely yours indeed.

Writing: Ideal Space

Lets face it, if you are one of us who are inclined to write, we are somewhat obessive about how or where we write. Our best writing is done in spaces that are most comfortable. The most inspiring. In order for this, the space needs comfort, the space needs to be beautiful, and most of all, if our idea well is facing drought, it is capable of giving us a bucket of water and telling us to use it wisely.

At the moment, my ‘writing space’ is my bed. My best time to write is just before I fall asleep. In other words, I wish I had a designated space which would be anywhere else but my place of rest. I do have a desk in a literal nook in my room, and it’s just not that inspiring. I am surrounded with blank walls, which really doesn’t help the ‘well’.

I was browsing Facebook the other day and some one had shared a post on she-sheds. What? Of course, this meant I had to find out what in the world this new trend was. When I saw them, oh did I wish I had one of these!


 I mean, look at these divine things. Like a little private cottage you can decorate anyway you like. To suit your own style and needs. I can almost image what mine would look like if I am ever so lucky to have one in the future. I really want one. It can be my ‘writing space’. I don’t care for the trend that suggests these she-sheds are an answer to man-caves. I just love the idea of having a hide away, away from the gadgets, surrounded by items that can inspire me to continue writing.

This is what mine would look like inside. I can see myself sitting by those beautiful windows looking out to nature, the smooth grains of wood where my writing notepad will sit waiting eagerly for me to pour stories on.
What would your ideal writing space look like? 😀