2015 Reading Challenge

December 14, 2014 § Leave a comment

Hey guys, so I found this post over on tumblr today:

2015It seems like a nice change from the usual 50 books a year I tend to do over on goodreads. It’s interesting and offers a lot of variety so I think I may try this for 2015. Though I’m a bit behind on my 2014 challenge, hopefully after my holidays start up and I’m back home in Ireland, I’ll be able to get through the last couple of books and reach 50 before the new year’s!

If any of you guys want to try this out as well, let me know! And if you have any suggestions for what kind of books to read for any of them, pop them in the comments section!

What to do with that novel….

December 5, 2014 § Leave a comment

Hey everyone! We’re well into the post-NaNo week. I hope you have all celebrated abundantly – whether your reached 50k, 5k or 100k (It really doesn’t matter, you wrote something)!

The problem I have post-NaNo is often motivating myself to work on my novel after November. Obviously, NaNo really helps to get you into the habit of writing daily, and writing often and the best thing would be to just continue that habit. Even if you’re not writing as much as 1,667 words a day, it’s good to even write something like 800 words a day. Producing work daily is just a good habit for your writing, and it really helps you improve. Unfortunately for me, my December is always super hectic. Take this year, for example. I have dissertation proposal for my MA due in less than two weeks, and a presentation on my dissertation topic in even less time than that. I also have two essays to plan out and discuss with my professors and a lot of reading to catch up on. So naturally it is difficult for me to work on my novel on a regular basis when I have so much work to undertake.

This means that I often end up with novels that are unfinished, that I just haven’t gotten back to yet. I end up with novels that I just haven’t edited. And I end up kind of unhappy because I know a lot of my work has potential, if only I could motivate myself for work on it. So is there anything you guys do to motivate yourself to work on your NaNo novel and finish it/polish it up?

In the past, I have created music playlists that are particular to a novel and going back to listen to them have given me the inspiration to come back to them.

I’ve also used the website 750 words to get myself into a daily routine of writing.

But that’s about the extent of it. Do you guys face any similar predicaments with your writing? And if so, what do you do to motivate yourself?

Winner!

November 29, 2014 § Leave a comment

Hey everyone, so I hit the 50k mark today for my NaNoWriMo novel. Hooray! Time for some celebrations – but not for too long because the novel is yet to be finished. I think another 20k or so should do it, hopefully! I want to wish congratulations to all of you who have also hit the 50k mark and a good luck to anyone who is still going strong! Whether you hit the 50k mark or not, the important thing is that you have written something this month, any number of words is better than none! Winner-2014-Twitter-Profile

Dual Coast Magazine

November 26, 2014 § Leave a comment

Hey guys, just wanted to write a quick post to let you know that I’ve recently been published in a literary magazine called Dual Coast Magazine. You can check out the issue here. I have a couple of poems in there and there are a lot of other cool writers published in the magazine as well!

NaNoWriMo Week 3, Things Get Tough!

November 23, 2014 § Leave a comment

Hello friends! It’s the end of week three of NaNoWriMo and almost the beginning of the final week. I had so much college work to do and work work to do that I had a fairly tough third week. I was behind for a large majority, but on Friday, I got 6,000 words written to catch up on the word count. I’m at that point in the novel, where I’m focusing on the climax (my protagonist is finding things out! important things!) but because I didn’t plan out everything too well ahead of time, it’s a bit difficult to get the words out how I want them to; or at all, really. I hope your week threes and final weeks are better than mine!

Here’s a short extract from my week’s writings:

It began raining and we stood there for what felt like hours with the rain pouring down on us. I thought of Mira, felt the emptiness reopen in my heart and I suppose he thought of his dying sister inside the house. He brushed away my tears with his fingertips and kissed me on the lips, as if that could make anything better. But I kissed him back and I suppose for a while I forgot about Mira and he forgot about his dying sister, and we merely stood there, engulfed in each other.

Let me know how your novels are going and best of luck with the final week of NaNo, whether you’re behind or way ahead on word count, there’s still time to make it!

NaNoWriMo Week Two!

November 16, 2014 § Leave a comment

Hey fellow writers and readers! How’s week two of NaNoWriMo going for you guys? I’m struggling to stay on point, to be perfectly honest but still manage to meet the word count everyday so far. Week 3 is going to be a tough one!

I’ve been doing something different for my novel this year, where I’m not writing chronologically. I’m finding it difficult in some ways, and a lot easier in others. Like I feel like I’m never stuck for long because I can always go somewhere else and write a totally new scene or introduce something brand new. But then sometimes I just completely lose the plot! Do you guys write chronologically or are you guys writing all mixed-up like me this time?

Here’s a short excerpt from my week’s writings:

I learned more about his life that day than he ever did about mine. He informed me of his wife, a fellow educator like him – a schoolteacher – named Julia, and his two kids. “They’re not too much younger than you,” He said to me, though I suppose he misjudged my age, took me to be much younger than I actually was at the time. His children, named Sarah and Noah, were nineteen and fifteen respectively. He spoke freely about his line of work, he was a professor of economics at one of the biggest universities in our nation. He claimed to love the work he did, though his students often frustrated him. “It’s difficult when not everybody has the love of education as you do,” He told me with a smile. “You know what I’m talking about.” Perhaps I would have agreed with him when I was younger, when I was still being educated by him. But I had grown out of my childhood curiosities. I had realised that there were more important things in the world than the simple thirst for knowledge. Knowledge, I learned, was not all I had thought it to be. It is what you do with your knowledge that makes a difference. With Mr. – Dr. – Ashton’s knowledge, he educated students about national economics. He said that he played a role in the fast advancing economy of our nation, he was consulted often about the technological advances and played a significant role in such things.

My knowledge leads me to my own downfall. My knowledge leads me to the very depths of my worst nightmares. It leaves me incompetent and afraid. “There are so many things you can do to help,” Mira had told me one day, “You’re a brave soul, you can help.” But I never helped. I failed Mira as I had failed my own mother and dad. I failed Kerry, I failed Mr. Ashton. I failed so many people in my life, yet my mind is full of knowledge that helps nobody.

NaNoWriMo Week One Update Post

November 8, 2014 § Leave a comment

Hey NaNoers and non-NaNoers alike! Just wanted to give a quick update of how this NaNoWriMo is going. I’ve had a pretty successful first week and I’m actually a day ahead on wordcount right now. Hopefully this success will continue on for the next 3 weeks too. I hope everybody else’s NaNoWriMo is going well, too? Let me know!

Here’s a short excerpt from what I wrote today:

It was three weeks of restless sleep and loneliness before I saw her again. Like last time, she was swimming in the ocean and I watched, approaching slowly, carefully; afraid that I would scare her off like I did the last time. She looked so carefree in the sea, like she was so at one with the world, like she had no worries weighing her down. But when she finally turned around and saw me, there was a sadness in her eyes. I waved from where I stood at the shore and for a moment I could see the hesitance as she stood still in the ocean. Finally, she began to slowly swim towards me, her strokes slow and still hesitant but she finally came to a rest at a safe distance from me. She asked, “what are you doing here again?” and I became even more scared that she would disappear again before I had the chance to speak to her, to find out about her.

“I’ve been looking for you,” I said to her slowly. “I’ve been wondering about you.” She frowned at that. “You shouldn’t wonder about me, or look for me. You should forget about me.”

“Are you a ghost?” I asked her and she smiled her sad smile. “You’re a very curious person,” she told me. “Around here, curiosity is not going to be good for you. Especially not when you’re in the ocean.”

“I wasn’t planning to go into the ocean very often,” I said. “I just come here because I wanted to ask you… about who you are, about what you are.” She sighed, “I don’t know if I can answer that.” Then it was my turn to sigh.

“It’s not a very difficult question to answer,” I told her. “I’ll go first, look. Hi, my name is Alex and I’m a human. Your turn.” She smiled again, the same sad smile, “Hi, my name is Mira and I’m a secret.”

“Who’s secret?” I asked then.

“The world’s secret.” She replied.

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