Spooky Story #3!

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Whew! I spent most of the day watching Hallowe’en films (my favourite today was Practical Magic, mostly because I didn’t feel the urge to hide behind the sofa during that one but also because it’s a great film) but I still got this story done in time, just about. Now, fair warning, I started off with a vague idea of the ending and it was going to be scary and ambiguous and then the story changed completely and now it’s spooky but kinda accidentally really cute. At least, I think so. Anyway, enjoy!

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A bit more of a NaNo preview

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Sorry – no story tonight. I hope to have one final spooky story up for you tomorrow, but today I’m a bit horrored-out (shhh, lots of authors make up words, to say nothing of bloggers) and tired so I’m taking a day off of that.

Image created by Eleanor Musgrove (not affiliated with NaNoWriMo), who grants permission to use it for anything that doesn't make you a direct profit. Credit and/or a link back to this post would also be appreciated!

Image created by Eleanor Musgrove (not affiliated with NaNoWriMo), who grants permission to use it for anything that doesn’t make you a direct profit. Credit and/or a link back to this post would also be appreciated!

However, I am now pretty set for NaNo (famous last words!) – my chart is all coloured in and ready to have words added to it, and my stickers arrived today (I like stickers and colours) so I’m ready to track my words in all sorts of ways for the next month. If any of you are taking part, you’re welcome to become my writing buddy on the site so you can keep track of me too- my username is masqueblanc, and I don’t bite!

My NaNo WallChart in all its coloured glory!

I’m ready!

Since I’m disappointing you on the spooky story front, however, I thought I might introduce you to another of this year’s NaNo characters. Once again, I’ve chosen today’s team member using a random number generator, and it’s selected Steph.

Steph from 'Cold Light'

I’ve filled in a few more details on her profile so you can get a vague idea of who she is, but of course for the full story you’ll have to hope I finish the book and get it into the public eye somewhere. Don’t worry – I intend to do my very best!

I’ll be back tomorrow, hopefully with one last bit of pre-NaNo spookiness.

Spooky Story #2 (Part 1)

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Hello, all! After yesterday’s little bit of silliness, I decided to try for something actually spooky today. And then it got a bit out of hand when I was writing it last night and now it’s going to be a two- or three- part story… I hope you don’t mind! Here’s the first part, feel free to share the link around and/or let me know what you think in the comments! Enjoy…

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Spooky Story #1!

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I forgot I was going to do this, but since I wrote one the other week I intend to share with you a Hallowe’en-themed story, as promised. Hopefully I’ll then write a few more to keep us going until the end of October, before the NaNo madness begins. That said, this one isn’t scary so much as mildly amusing…At least, it made me smile as I wrote it (which entailed half a bus journey the other week constantly repeating it in my head in an attempt not to forget a thing). I hope you enjoy it! Continue reading

I’m all kinds of creative today…

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I’m not saying I have many talents, at all. I really am not good at drawing. But bless my heart, it doesn’t stop me trying. Today, I’ll admit, I almost forgot to blog altogether because I’ve spent most of the last eight hours squinting at tiny details of flowers.

I like to design bookplates for every book I’m published in (and my novels, published or not) and today I created some for The Perfect Garden, on a whim. The book titles are season-themed, and there are (will be) four of them – so here are the bookplates (they’ll be available to buy once the relevant books come out or I get bored/skint and release them as general seasonal bookplates…) as an apology for the lack of proper blogging today.

You already know a little bit about Buds of Spring:

Spring Bookplate

Please don’t use this for anything – I’ll be releasing it properly at some point and will add a link then!

The second book in the series will be Blooms of Summer:

Summer bookplate

Please don’t use this for anything – I’ll be releasing it properly at some point and will add a link then!

That’s followed by Fruits of Autumn:

Autumn bookplate

Please don’t use this for anything – I’ll be releasing it properly at some point and will add a link then!

And the series concludes with, somewhat predictably, Frosts of Winter.

Winter bookplate

Please don’t use this for anything – I’ll be releasing it properly at some point and will add a link then!

There might be a fifth book, but did I mention that I’ve been staring at these for so long my eyes went squiggly? If that book happens, I’ll deal with it then.

I know these may not all look particularly in keeping with their seasons (especially autumn, which is hardly autumnal), but they are all season-appropriate UK plants as far as my limited gardening knowledge goes. With this kind of design skills, you can see one of the reasons I’m hesitant to go down the self-publishing route and have to sort out all the aesthetics!

Talk to you tomorrow, readers.

(PS: Sorry for the obnoxious labels and the tiny pictures, I really do want to sell these at some point…)

What if…?

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Yeah, sorry, I’m late again. This time, it’s because I was listening to the soundtrack of an awesome musical called If/Then (it’s on Broadway and, I hear, well worth seeing if you get a chance – my sister went when she was over there the other week). Well, I was listening to that and then trying to work out why my headphones had stopped working (my diagnosis: couldn’t handle the awesome).

Anyway, If/Then is really fascinatingly written, because it’s two stories in one, joined with a question: What if…? The show begins in the park, where our main character meets two of her friends on her first week back in the city. One wants her to be fun-loving and search for love, the other wants her to join his protest movement and pursue her career aspirations. The whole show hinges on that moment, the moment that Elizabeth makes her choice. From then on, Liz begins searching for love, and Beth focuses on her work (however accidentally the divide opens up).

It’s a fascinating exercise, actually, and one I might try with a couple of my characters tomorrow: pick a moment in their character arc, where they make a choice – walk home or take the bus, say yes or no, any tiny little choice – and explore what might have happened if they’d gone the other way. If nothing else, it might cure any writer’s block you might be experiencing!

Please note: Don’t try the above exercise on you/your real life, it will swiftly drive you mad.

A lot of fiction is built around what-ifs. So what if…?