The year that was 2011…
After getting over the third or fourth flood was nothing compared to what was coming. I was on the finish leg of writing my story for which was a project concocted by the great M. S. Gardner and Wicked East Press founder Jessica A Weiss, decided at around October 2010 to do Gardner’s wicked idea. I was part of a group of ten writers, for the first ever series of Wicked Bag of Tales. Of course I was hand picked from a jar and each of the ten writers had to come up with a basic idea or topic for a horror theme.
I was writing my story about an event much worse to hit Australia where I lived; little did I know that I could predict the biggest event to which I could have faced. Cyclone Yasi hit near my town and I could actually remember(even now) the shaking walls, the creaking windows and all the vines leaves and leaves of trees being stripped from their branches and hitting the outside walls and windows of the house; also rain water and dirt that could be picked up by the cyclonic winds. Let me not forget the storm surge which cut our power. Not only that as the aftermath, to awake to find that trees fell very close to my house. With the all ready water level and the extra water from the rain in the catchments, to the added Cyclone Yasi rain, we had the added time to move our cars to a high ground because of flooding.
A week of no power and eating everything we had in the freezer well almost was a lesson that we should cherish what you got. Anyway after February, I think the shock of cyclone Yasi and other things started and soon my writing went in a spiral down like I had a block in my mind. I kept writing but somehow nothing worked except for a poem. Even thought by April my story; Armageddon: End of Days for The Wicked Bag of Horror Tales was published, it was soon overshadowed my my grandfathers death. After two months, I awoke from my dreary goals which was going no where and reprized myself from the moment that I remember the reason I started writing – to enjoy it and love it as a lover and a best friend. That is the moment I released my own burden and live again, as a writer.
That was the day I wrote about myself, my health problems and freed the one part of me wanting something more. With my first trial, then miss and then the second than another reason because of characters and law things, I wrote my third try and got in the Short Sips Anthology. Then when all was done about my true story was accepted also but I am waiting for more which I am sure will come soon.
During which I have started writing the biggest project I would attempt on the third go in November. Nanowrimo I tried four years ago, and then the second but last year was missed because of another project stated above. This year was the most satisfying event of this year.
Its now that I look at the few accomplishments and say well it was a good year.
Well this is my 25th post, with only 840 hits and growing, for nine months is a good small step. I never thought that in such a short time, I would be here writing this post. Hey thinking about last year I never thought to write or have a blog to express my self in this way. Oh I also have a website which is on the right sidebar, where you can click to see it, now I need to contact my webmaster to update it, that is if I can entice him to update it.
Oh I have to come back to topic. Okay some say Christmas is a holiday and there is some countries on this Earth celebrate it differently. Well I like to say that I believe in everything. Is that gullible? Well I say no. I live in a multicultural country that is Australia. I know that there is all the peoples of the world in Australia. I could go to any part of my country and travel to Ireland, Russia, Pakistan, Egypt, Canada, America, Africa, England, all nations of Europe and Asia just in my own country. I believe in every country across the world can to. I believe we celebrate a different Christmas but everyone knows about it. Each and every person and culture experience something special on the day of the 25th of December.
I know my beliefs of which I grew up with is changed but only slightly. I as a child thought it was a time of giving presents. As the older I got I knew it was about religion. Of course, now I think the message of giving free will to all is the most important thing. Free will? Well we have always been born with it. But giving of yourself in giving free will by helping is the most you can do at this time and continue it during the year. It does not have to be a big thing. All you have to do is a smile or say hello. Always something simple can go a long way.
To me Christmas is for everyone, no matter which culture. Just smile and be proud of your culture. Be happy.
Of those who do celebrate Christmas just to remember those who do not but celebrate it differently; spare a thought to them. Why because we are all on this world living with the same stresses, the air we breathe, the blood that pump from our hearts – beat to the same rhythm, and dream of peace and friendship. In a whole this is what Christmas means to me.
So whatever way you celebrate Christmas I hope to send you a cheerful and safe day. As this is my last post for the year I hope everyone of you a good new year as well. I’ll be back from Holidays in the new year of 2012.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. xxxooo
On another note, on the writing front for those who do please visit my links page and in particular, a press by the name of Static Movement has had 300 visits on its forum, I believe in sharing a milestone. So I urge any visitor to the Static Movement to try out this beautiful press and as long the writing is impressive and to the submission calls and for the luv of writing, for exposure only to get your writing publish is a prize of self satisfaction. It is the best way and the more you write and get to publish then your CV/resume builds to give other small presses a look into your work. Of course, it is tough to just get a story for an editor to like it; I had my share of rejections but I never gave up. I pressed on knowing I can do it and with my sweat(well no much when the air-con is on), blood(with paper cuts and breaking fingernails) and tears(yes a man can cry), just for the writer in me to be noticed. Do not be scared and jump in and feel the wonderment of being a writer and for that matter a published writer. You did notice I did not say author. Well that is because I am not yet there and that is because I think an author is a person who writes and sells novels. But I will accept it when I do that with my novel collection that is planned for next year(oh if that novel can get accepted that is).
I started out small and build on my writing and I am half way through a novel at the moment because of the my background work of selling short stories and flash fiction all for the luv and exposure(hey I did try for paid anthologies but no go until one which I wait patiently for more details). You just got to start somewhere and push yourself and know that when you reach your goal then its a matter of keep up doing your best. So my writer friends if I tempted you into publishing your stories then think about this: I have many languages up my sleeves and English is not the first language I learnt, in fact it was a second language. So if I can do it so can anyone else. Keep Writing, never give up and always believe you can do it.
Well that is enough of me trying to motivate any reader who is writers as well to have a go. I think this is also a Christmas good deed. Cheers to all.
Well, here I am sitting and doing the old catch-up of last month of my favorite sites like Facebook, Goodreads and other author sites; and before I knew it, two weeks has passed by. Since my last post and straight after, I had the rising star of Mr. Arthritis coming to my hips, and it felt like I was walking on something that is undesirable to mention here. I was actually walking like an ape from the Planet of the Apes movie starring Chalrton Heston and Roddy McDowal. Best thing I did was to see my doctor and get a prescription. Then I just sit in a comfortable position(well as comfortable as possible) and try to read the few websites but I had difficulty standing you to do normal things like going to the toilet and going to the kitchen for lunch and dinner. Apart from that I eased up on the writing of my novel collection for a while and did a nice relaxing research and a few other problems I’ll not discuss were soon fixed up quickly.
By the tenth of December, I already returned to writing again with the elongating of a very short flash fiction to a short fiction of about 2000 words. Finishing it, edit and made sure everything was right to go. However my internet service provider were fixing and upgrading my service, I still had the web surfing that I could use Google and such. Hence, I had to use G-Mail to send my story. Because of that I had to change a few things on my submission to the press. And when I was done on my G-Mail account, I sent and waited. Had lunch and returned to find an email saying that my story was accepted and with a contract to sign. I immediately read and signed the contract and sent it off.
PLEASE NOTE:- This is a very quick response time I have had. I had a few of them because it was a very good story(well it has to be if it was accepted). I could actually give you the ones I had to wait for – many were over thirty days and there is one that is around 400+ days(this one is on hold until the small press gets to it). REMEMBER that most publishers and small presses have a waiting period of roughly 30 to 90 days before getting back to you with an acceptance or rejection – also they do say in their submission and writer’s guidelines. Always check their submission and writer’s guidelines.
Oh before I forget, the story I wrote is… No, you will have to wait when it is ready to be published. Until then, all I can say is The Evil Twins – Doppelgangers Stories Anthology presented by Static Movement is still open for call. Just click the link to find out more about the submission call.
The Hump day that was my birthday, I had a great birthday celebration. As for the presents I had gotten one dress shirt, one Star Wars t-shirt with the character of Chewbacca in the front and a writing pad(I wished for an iPad but it wasn’t when I opened it) in a carry-case, from my sister and my three little nieces. Mum gave me a quilt for the bed and a statue of Buddha with candle holder. Of course I had plenty of my favorite alcoholic drink Guinness and I did drink safely.
After the hump day, I started slow and wrote about 1400 words. Thursday was close to 5000 words and then in the next three days I had more interruptions than a hairy goat except for the Saturday where I decide to go and play my favorite sport – Texas Hold ’em poker. Okay its not a sport but for me it is; when you play for strategy, bluffing and outwitting your opponents. In that sense I call it a sport with a nominated amount of skill with ten percent of luck. I enjoyed the Saturday game. Sunday was a recover in the morning from Saturday and in the afternoon was a visit to a friend I hadn’t seen in a while and then return home for getting back to writing. Ha that did not happen. I was in a quandary on Monday, and it was lucky that I decide to read emails and such before starting to write for Nano. Well I decided to go back to the email that I had read on the 3rd of November to give me more inspiration, it did and it got the creative juices going again. Even though it was 929 words it made my total count to be at 33,322 words. As Tuesday came I was just a little over 2000 words.
Between the 900 to 3000 words for the homeward stretch, I have climbed up further than I first thought. In my MS Word processor program the word count is 50,329 finished on Wednesday morning at 10 o’clock. Then I went to the Nanowrimo website to submit and update the word count for verification, to become the winner and I was astounded that the actual word count is 50,340.
Overview of Nanowrimo experience
Well let me explain the first time about four years ago, I was trying it out for the fun and did not know the essence of the way. Okay a newbie like me was a bit weary but I did not get to the total of the Nanowrimo experience but the achievement was an eye opener – that was 2008. The following year, I tried again and before I knew it I still reached my personal best word count of 25,000 – that year and that particular month was my worst health problem ever; had to do tests for prostrate. 2010 the year I passed on nanowrimo because I was writing for a 10000 word story to be publish was a good excuse. Oh 2009 was a year I tried for short stories to be published but none came to be published until Mothers Day of 2010. I think the experience of the 2008 and 2009 Nanowrimo made me think that short shorties and flash fiction is where I need go to create a resume or CV.
I can proudly say that I am a winner. This is my first attempt to reach a monthly goal. I now know that I can and will write a novel if I put my mind to it. Also I must say that music to listen to is a must to block out the irritable noises of birds, cars, sirens and telephones ringing. The music I listened to is from the winner of Australia’s Got Talent Winner Jack Vidgen. Okay the fourteen year old can sing and I listen to his two new songs, Yes I am and Fly and the others he sung on the show the whole month. 100 times from 9-6 each day continuous like a broken record, but this made my two to three finger typing move like a blur on the keyboard. The beat of the music makes my fingers fast, and without that for inspiration I would never have thought I would finish early.
The moment of finishing early I did not know that my body had started to play up and my arthritis on my hips has started to predict rain is coming. As I am writing this I am on the third day of pains and need to see a doctor. But I will enjoy the moment of winning my first ever Nanowrimo challenge on my third try. Hey now comes the moment of actually continuing the novel without having the overbearing umbrella of the challenge. But then again it does help with the one part of the business of being a writer, that is; writing to a time limit and to get it finish on time for a deadline.
Overall, I may be tired and sore but the whole experience has truly given me insight into my future life as a writer/author. As my favorite TV show Get Smart, Maxwell Smart would say, And Loving it. Yes I think this experience has open me to the possibilities. Of the story of what I wrote is called The Immortal Breeds(Working Title); it should have been a collection of stories but I fear it may well be a novel in its entirety. However, I might be able to reconstruct it into a collection but it might be too much work or I could just sell it as it is and see if an publisher or small press might like it. Before that I have to do an synopsis and complete the other half of the novel with another 50,000 words. As I’m writing this maybe I have a collection in mind because the first story is like a chapbook and two short stories to go. Oh boy, I just made it into a collection. I just have to change the name of the title and then see if I can get beta readers to read it. Wow its nice to sit and freely type every thought here. Well its time to leave and celebrate my win.