I cannot wait for you guys to read this story. This was my first ever short story I wrote back when I was a teenager. AHHHHH! I’m so so glad it got accepted into this anthology. I will not forget the day where I received the good news.
* “ARC stands for Advanced Readers Copy. Advanced readers copies can’t be sold and are given to bloggers, reviewers and booksellers in exchange for a review and to help generate buzz about a book before it comes out.”
That doesn’t mean you have to be a blogger or reviewer to sign up.It can be anyone who enjoys reading and short stories.
I’ll post more stuff on the release day. So this is all for now. Trust the process and keep going!Alex is signing out. 😊
Hang out with me on Instagram where I’ll keep you up-to-date with my writing updates.
Yes, it’s another late post from me. It was supposed to go up in January.
O. M. G.
What just happened?
The revelation is sinking in. Another year has come and gone! Can you believe it?
Even at the time posting this, it is still so surreal! It’s already the new year! What?
I mean, first it was 2021 and now, I get up, it’s already 2022… ????
Also, hey, I hope you’re doing well because I am still in shock. I need to sit down.
**Cue the Joey Tribbiani’s shocked face over here**
But you guys know what that means, yes it’s another New Year resolution blog post. I gotta keep track of all these goals, and besides, looking back at them to see whether I’d achieved them is kinda fun. So I’m doing it this year too!!
What are your plans for the year?
As for me, I have too many goals but I try to shrink them down to a minimum…don’t wanna overwhelm myself like the previous years. Hehehe. So this year, my list is small.
My 2022 goals:
Oh man, there are so many things I wanna do this year but gonna only stick to 5:
1) being able to write more short stories and submit them to literary magazines or contests.
I am pushing myself out of my comfort zone because I realised nobody is going to do it unless I make the first move. Word of the year is ~EXPERIMENT~ again because it worked out last year, and I wanna do it again. Seems like I am carefree this way.
Like, last year, I decided to convert my fantasy poems into short stories. So far, I’ve written 3 and I’m going to start on the next one very soon. I’m hoping to finish The Phoenix Sisters short stories probably at the end of this week (at the time posting this, it would most likely be finished)
So this year, I would like to experiment writing shorts for Project #TheGlassKingdom and see where they take me.
2) Finish both the 2nd draft of Project The Glass Kingdom and Project Sprite
I really wish this would come true because I need to get one of them done. SO, I CAN FULLY invest my time on drafting and revising The Glass Kingdom.
3) And finally, I want to finish reading my 2021 book haul before uni starts.
This is such a long shot but what the heck, I need to read my overflowing to-be-read pile! *blows the dust off my shelves*
4) Get ready before Uni life starts.
I gotta make sure that I have everything I need before university starts especially getting a new phone, laptop (is about to KO soon), and a device that allows me to do digital art without lagging because my tablet sucks!
5) Avoid toxic people, and getting overwhelmed
I really need to bear this in mind this year. It’s affecting my health and I don’t like it one bit.
That is all for now. Now will I achieve them?
Big question for me too. But we will see how it goes 😀
Happy New Year!
Talk to you soon. Alex is signing off.
Hang out with me on Instagram where I’ll keep you up-to-date with my writing updates.
It was a good idea at the time. I wanted to do so many things during that month: I wanted to complete at least a draft at the end of April. I wanted to hurry up and finish the book I’ve been working for 4 years, and get it to the hands of beta readers FASSST! I wanted so much to be a little closer to my goal—to be a published author.
But did I ask my body whether I could handle it?
I thought I could. Honestly, I had hope.
Burnout came too quickly.
And then, you know what happened to the plan, I don’t have to explain here. I guess you already know.
Arghhhh, the pain!!!
I didn’t touch the story for weeks after that. I tried to kickstart the motivation to write for several weeks before Eid Mubarak, but of course it didn’t take off. I’m guessing it could have been part of the novel too. Maybe the story wasn’t not strong enough to make me excited to go back and work on it. I had been worrying about that too recently.
Then I remembered what I always say over on my Instagram….
~ And that was what I did.
I switched my routine whilst taking a break. I turned to ART. Art was and still is my therapy.
Artwork Pieces I’ve done in April-May:
I made mostly digital art and when I felt like it, I did some traditional art (just for fun) as well. I’m still not good at it but I had been having fun just experimenting with different mediums.
I had been so focused with my art that I didn’t have anytime to work on the 2 novels I had planned to finish that month. So that went out the window quickly. 😅
Well it’s okay. I’ll just work on whenever I want to. I need to learn not to put so much pressure on myself. It’s just 2 books. If I cannot work on 2 books at the same time, so what? There are plenty of months to do so.
In the meantime, I’ll just work on ONE project, and if I ever get tired of that, I’ll do some worldbuilding for Project The Glass Kingdom. There are some remaining subplots I don’t know how to write yet. And I want to gather as much info as I can so that I’ll be fully ready to write the 2nd draft.
So let’s hear about your month! Anything exciting happened?
That is all for now. Alex is signing out!
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Instagram: @alexwritesandsings ( for writing updates + motivation ) | @lexysartworld ( for art )
This post was supposed to go up in 2020. But here I am again, sharing this with you late as per usual.
Yes, judging by the title, you already know what this post is about. Yes, I did finish the first draft. Throw in the confetti! Woo-hoo, let’s celebrate!
Is it completely done? *laughs nervously* Of course not. First drafts are never complete (well in my case at least). One has to edit and edit until one is satisfied with the story. If yours are, wow, you’re good.
But not me.My first drafts suck. Because I don’t really write out the story, only bits of it. There’s no plot, no form of how I wanna tell it, no characters’ journey, etc etc. Not only that, being transported into a new, fantastical world after finishing Project Fire can be scary especially when you don’t know anyone in this new world you’re currently writing.
The whole draft is more of a sketch than a finished piece. This drafting process was me getting to know the story a little better.
It took me many days and weeks to figure it out but I didn’t have a clue. I wanted this story to have some romance. I wanted it to have fairytale inspired characters. I wanted the main character to be of royal blood. I wanted magic. I wanted a lot of stuff but could I cram them all in, in one story? Reality check, yes and no. Knowing it all too well, I knew I had to keep it in moderation.
Oh man, too many things to add in so I was scared to start.
So I decided to start even if I didn’t have a plot. I had gone down the rabbit hole to look for the right music to help me get the story’s atmosphere going. But no luck! The most important thing to me was music. I didn’t have any music theme to write to. I was lost like a lost puppy. Bad analogy but you get the picture.
But thank goodness, at that time, I was watching The Gifted (Thai drama) …and the series sort of inspired the vibes of The Glass Kingdom. Dark and Mysterious. Every time, the series theme song comes on, I get goosebumps and imagine what the plot could be. It always get me to write the ‘craziest’ scenes!
Slowly, I could see the hidden plot unravel through the mess. Though, I know, deep down, it’s going to take a long time to organise my chaotic thoughts, so it’s worth taking my time with writing it.
So what will happen to the first draft? Well, I’m going to rewrite it and change its form.
That is all for now!
Talk to you soon. Alex is signing off.
Hang out with me on Instagram where I’ll keep you up-to-date with my writing updates.
THREE days!! Ahh, I could literally scream. I had to finish editing this draft in THREE days. Can I do it?
Not only am I having trouble getting this done on time, I cannot seem to move forward to the other chapters. Because no. 1, I’m rewriting a massive chunk that doesn’t make sense in the story, 2, I am rewriting chapters that never existed, and 3, I’m stuck. I’ve been stuck for days.
Probably, need a miracle in order to catch up.
Do you think I can make it to the deadline? Wish me luck!
(Future Alex typing here, and no, I didn’t complete the goal).
You realise you’re having a nightmare when you cannot wake up! What am I talking about? I’m talking about the procrastination routine I got going. It was already too late to say ‘please let it be a dream!’ when… 😰
….when I woke up the next morning. I checked the calendar and screamed my heart out (was I exaggerating…no…no I wasn’t). Half of the month is already gone because I kept pushing the revision plans to another day! It sucks to be so behind on my editing goal. I thought I had everything planned out but of course I didn’t.
Just when I thought time was on my side.
I put on my game face and pulled an all-nighter….to get the edits done. 😱 *cue the internal screaming* I had to 👏 finish this draft 👏 by the end of July…and I had only edited 14 chapters…(well, 15 so far, at the time posting this). I had another 40 chapters to go, and 10 DAYS to get them DONE!! 😱 😱
When I said ‘pull an all-nighter’, *cough cough* I meant revising only till midnight because if it was later than that, then that would be a no-no to me. 😅
Anyway, my goal for #ProjectSprite is to edit 20 chapters this week! Am I crazy? YES!! Do you think I can do it? I hope so!! 😰
I’m gonna start with a BANG! I’ve reached the Act 2 of #ProjectSprite (my novel-in-verse story). Also, 🙌 reached my goal which is to edit 5 chapters this week!! I’m hoping to get another 5-10 chapters done this week. We’ll see, we’ll see 😌.
Today I challenged myself to edit as many chapters as I could but managed to edit only 2. I still want to try to reach my goal of 4 today. Fingers crossed!! So check out my Instagram to see the progress I’ve made. There, I always keep you up to date in whatever I’m working on. Join my chaotic writing process, haha 🤣.
In any project, the beginnings are hard to start. But I always need to remind myself that…that’s no such thing as making a draft perfect, only better. That’s what edits are for: to make a draft better, and readable.
😰 Chapter 7 was the hardest to edit! No matter how much I edit that poem, it’s still a hot mess. I haven’t found the right words to go in the poem yet. I always find myself pressing the delete button too many times, and rewriting it over and over again. It’s just not “perfect” yet. All the rewriting and deleting and rewriting…😵made me go insane haha. I’m pretty sure this chapter will need another set of revision again.
“This story is so weird! Seriously, who would want to read a story about a feather?” I remember telling myself that back in 2018. I sent this to my CP to review and she told me that the idea was unique, and she enjoyed it. I was shocked, till this day, I still cannot believe that she or anyone would read it. Of course it had some problems in the story…that would be another post.
But I took her advice to revise this story. She was the first one to give me the green light to go forward with this story. So if Sania you’re reading this, thank you so much for giving this story a chance. Sometimes we need a simple ‘YES’ or ‘I enjoyed it’ to encourage us to write the stories we want to write.
• • •
Feather is not wanted in a world where technology has evolved. Like who uses an ancient tool that doesn’t have an ink compartment like a pen does? No one. Feather loses hope and accepts the truth that he is not needed in his human household anymore. Will he ever fulfill his need of being ‘used’ again? Or will Feather move on and search for a new purpose?
MORE ABOUT PROJECT SPRITE
Type: Novel in verse
Genre: fantasy & poetry
Setting: Set in an enchanted forest
Tone: Quirky. Bizarre.
Style: Written in 1st person, past tense (still deciding)
Additional elements: MAGIC!
Story: Explores inner strengths, human cruelty towards animals and forests
I decided to work on an unedited draft I wrote back in 2018. I knew, it was time for me to kickstart that project again because I wanted to query that sometime this year. Fingers crossed, I will reach that point.
I’ve reached chapter 2 in #ProjectSprite (my novel-in-verse project). YAY! It took me two days to edit chapter 1 because I was coming up with different first liners. I’m always like this whereby I must find it there and then if not, I cannot sleep at night, haha!! I still want them to hook the reader from the first page even if the storyline is kinda odd.
My goal for the week is to get to chapter 5 at the end of the week ASAP.
The whole week I was busy working on the chapters. I think chapter 4 was the hardest to write. So many continuity problems and some words didn’t add up. I had to rewrite the sentences here and there to make the context clearer. I had to throw out the previous ‘good stanzas’ too… Well at that time writing it, they were good but now, I realised it was repetition.
So did I manage to reach the weekly goal?
One word: YASSSSSSSSS!!! I just finished editing last Saturday! *does a happy dance* Then, gave myself a break on Sunday. Yippee!!
That is all for now. Alex is signing out.
Next post is all about my Camp Nanowrimo project: Project Sprite. So stick around! 😀
I’ve added a 🌟 Freebies page where you can access free stories, poems set in the Glass Kingdom world, book news, character profiles, Glass Kingdom playlist, and MORE with a password only my newsletter subscribers know.
To do that you have to do is sign up for my newsletter to get the above goodies, and even MORE stuff!! 😆
😉Are you excited? Because I AM!!!
I can’t wait to share some fun EXTRA stories with you be it in the Glass Kingdom world or some spooky reads coming this October.
Be on the lookout for that!
Do you have an author website?😯 Share them below! I’d like to know.
Just a reminder: This is my original work and plagiarism of any form will not be tolerated.
Summary: Wei Yang hires the faceless woman to get information on a man but everything goes terribly wrong when things don’t go according to plan.
Genre: Flash fiction
POV: Third person, present tense
Word Count: 2,873 words
Characters: Wei Yang, The Faceless Woman,
The writing bit: I wrote this for a submission.It was a hard piece to write considering I wanted to make this story into a spy story but my CP said that it doesn’t feel like it was a realistic story so I had to scrap that idea and recreate the story. So no spy story which is a total bummer.
Conception: For the title, I was inspired to use the same title as my paranormal poem.
That’s it for this update! I hope that one day I can share this story with you!
It was formerly called The Sunflower and the Moonflower’s Argument. Yes, it was a long title so I had to cut it short.
Just a reminder: This is my original work and plagiarism of any form will not be tolerated.
Summary: It’s about two sisters getting into an argument on whether or not they should save the dying earth as well as their mother. The younger sister wants to but will her older sister help her?
Genre: Fantasy, Flash fiction
POV: First person, present tense
Word Count: 904 words
Characters: Two sisters and Mother
The writing bit:I wrote this for a climate change contest and it was my first time writing a really short story. About 900+ words. I have written some short stories in the past but that was for fun and nothing else. I didn’t think I’ll be submitting stories like this to a contest. It’s kind of fun to be honest…NOT to be on deadline (phew, that was rough) but to come up with a concept, then draft it and after that, have someone read it and give me feedback. I don’t know why but it seems like a fun process to me…
Though the not so fun part was scaling the word count down. It was hard to do so and I was sad that I had to cut almost all the important words that layered the story. I am unsure why I don’t like to write stories that have one layer in them. I like writing stories that intersects with every plot point—well I guess I can say I’m symbolism lover.
Conception: My brain is strange so bear with me…Bizarre thing was I was inspired by the word, Mother Nature and I was thinking to myself why not give nature a human personality. Hence, you gotta read it to understand what I mean here…hehe..
That’s it for this update! I am surprised that I had fun crafting this story from scratch which I hope one day to share it with you!
I received an advance reader copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are my own.
Title: Not an Heir
Author: Hudson Warm
Publisher: Hudson Warm
A jealous prince. A legendary key. An enchanted forest.
In the kingdom of Silverkeep, seventeen-year-old Basil Avington is accustomed to his opulent life as a prince. That is, until the king’s unforeseen death. Now the future is approaching sooner than Basil thought. His twin—eldest by seven minutes—has stolen his first love, his dignity, and soon, will take the throne. There’s only one way for Basil to attain power: embarking on a perilous venture to find King Philip’s key, which, according to ancient lore, bestows the kingdom upon its possessor. But it’s been lost for centuries.
Armed with only a bejeweled sword and imaginative wit, Basil is not prepared for what’s to come. The magical forest of Golden Grove will pull him into a world of horse-legged satyrs, a stunning nymph, and the evil Ambrosia—a forest tyrant with baffling powers. His selfish hunt for the key will endanger his life, but failure would lead to an unbearable existence second to his undeserving brother.
Unfortunately, the Silverkeep throne seats one.
This book reminded me of the world of Narnia especially when I was reading about the enchanted forest. I love every aspect of the world building in this story. The magical creatures just added more flavour to it. But I wish there had been a magic system with rules that would make the world more interesting. Nonetheless, this world was still intriguing to read.
I like the story though I would prefer the plotline to be a bit more layered, especially the romance. I’m glad that Warm kept the story simple and easy to digest. The pacing was good. And I cannot help but be excited for Basil’s journey to discover the hidden key in the later chapters.
Warm definitely portrayed the life of a jealous prince SO well that I could see his compressed pain on the page and that made me root for the character even more. I love the structure of how the kingdom worked. It really made me feel like I was right there watching the characters do their daily routine. Hence, it was real to me. This was a good debut, and I can’t wait to read more from this author.
That concludes my review.
I rate this 3.5/5.
“Not the Heir” comes out today! Grab your copy now!
Never thought I would see the day, ‘Scarred Fingers’ be published. This poem is a little different from the poems I usually write.
It’s NOT fantasy.
It’s about how war breaks out from a tiny, insignificant incident and spreads like wildfire.
I had honestly lost hope with this piece because of the rejections I kept receiving — and that discouraged me. On reflection, I realised I didn’t take no for an answer. So I sent it to wherever it was best suited, and kept praying that it will get accepted.
It’s been awhile since I posted something on here.
And I want to update you guys here too of what’s going on (need to work on posting here too).
✨ Here is what’s happening in my life right now:
I’m way too active on Instagram(follow my writing journey there too. I post daily video updates and mini games on insta stories.) I have been posting what I’m up to, and posting my weekly writing updates. It has become my accountability haven.
AND I’m never active here. Ooops. I am hoping to change that in the next couple of weeks.
But ONE major thing happened, I need to tell you, and that is…
I’m putting Project Glass Kingdom on HOLD for 9 days (today is day 6th in the midst of writing this) because I was distracted by a poetry book contest I saw online. So I decided to give it a shot and go for it.
It’s been too long since I get up from the chair and do something with my poems. I do try to submit them to poetry competitions from time to time. But this time, I wanted to do more. I wanted to try to get a poetry collection published.
That would be a nice dream come true. A book published? Ahhh, dreams.
That’s wishful thinking as well because one needs to put in the work to be up on the shelves with the authors they admire.
To get there. you have to put your foot in murky water.
Like in any story, the main character goes through the muddy middle to reach their goal. In this case, you’re TRYING to put yourself out there by sending out short stories, essays and poems to literary magazines. THIS will help you build your name. To build connections. To practice trying something new once in awhile. To take up more challenges. To get out of your comfort zone. To try to do more and not sit with the bystanders.
Surely, there’s always going to be obstacles standing in your way. But does the main character (YOU) give up?
Even if the voice in your head tells you not to, as cliché as it may sound, YOU don’t give in to that nasty remark.
Think about it.
You have poured your heart and soul into a piece or project that you’re passionate about. The one piece or project that made you spend days, months maybe years to craft it. AND, you just want to keep it to yourself. Because you’re scared of the what ifs? What if the story’s not good enough? What if the piece gets rejected? What if I’m not a good writer??
Have you heard of this phrase,
I live by it.
Don’t let a nasty voice at the back of your mind tell you that it’s impossible to put it out there because you’re not ready. Because you’re not good enough. Because you won’t get published, or whatever the reason may be.
✨ Nonetheless, IT’S OKAY to feel like that, everyone gets this way. I know I do.
AND WHEN your inner critic nags you, do the opposite of what that voice tells you. Submit that piece! Submit that manuscript! Submit that painting! Submit that poem!
Don’t doubt yourself anymore. Do the scary thing. Don’t listen to that voice. Do listen to your fiery passion!
It’s good to keep these things in mind that…
you’re growing as a writer and
if you don’t put yourself out there, you won’t make connections,
if you don’t build up your name, readers will not know you,
if you don’t let bygones be bygones with criticism then you won’t develop thick skin,
and improve your craft further.
✨ SO NOW, THIS IS THE TIME…
to embrace these fears that are tearing you down,
to put yourself ahead and not let your dreams die because of doubts,
to cross out the things that are holding you back,
and crumble them, and throw them into the wastebasket. They aren’t worth it.
Now, come forth, and go, conquer your fears! You won’t regret it.
*By the time, this post goes up. I’ve already submitted the fantasy poetry collection, and am working on my fairy-tale mash-up WIP .
Don’t know what to do besides stare into space and watch TV?
Fret not, here are 10 things to keep you SANE while staying at home:
1. List down all the things you enjoy doing and do each one accordingly. And then, cross them out.
My favourite thing to do is to make lists. I have no idea what makes me excited about creating lists but when it’s done, you get to cross it off and you feel satisfied.
Got to keep fit to keep your muscles energized and on your feet at all times.
When this dystopian event ends and life returns to normal, you might be too busy to do workouts already since you’re back to work/school.
3. Spring clean / De-clutter
The horrible thing that you keep putting off. Now it’s time to spring clean your workspace/ house till it shines.
4. Listen to some music while writing/painting/creating/singing/doing yoga
Another type of exercising. That’s what I like to do. Turn on some upbeat music and dance aka exercise. Or put on some music and write some poems and your Work-In-Progress.
5. Educate yourself. Learn a new skill/language.
There are loads of classes online that are free like YouTube and Pinterest and blogs which you can learn something new.
6. Make a scrapbook OR Journal
Keep a journal nearby. Journal through the good and the bad of the crisis time because it’s like a historical piece. Think of it this way, one day, you might show it to your grandchildren and say, “I will never forget the time when I and your mother/dad had to live in a cooped up world. It was like a dystopian novel.”
Or create a list of all the things you took for granted, and once this is over, do the things in the list.
7. Play video games
Playing some games can take your mind off the stressful things that’s happening in the world right now. It doesn’t necessarily have to be video games, you can play board games and puzzles too.
8. Drink lots of water and rest well
All this worrying and anxiety can make you feel drained out. So drink plenty of water, and take care of yourself.
9. Take part in contests, quizzes, hashtag challenges
There are a lot of tag challenges on Instagram and on twitter that you can try like #30DaysofHaikuChallenge on Instagram
Or you can write a short story or a poem and submit it to online magazines.
10. Explore fictional worlds
Remember there’s a stack of unread books stashed away in the closet. Might want to use this time to dig in and gobble up the words (I’m telling myself too -__- )
Last but not least, read to escape. If you can’t travel in the real world, travel through fictional ones.
[ s m a l l r e m i n d e r ] The biggest downfall is to waste time just because there’s more time to waste. Do something! Take advantage of this time to do what you love. DO THE THINGS that make you happy. Feels like the universe has stopped time for you to do your own thing. Use this time wisely because time waits for no one and it’s hard to gain back the time that is lost.
OWN it this time!
So, QTOD: are you going to use this time to CREATE something or just stare into space?
On 24 December 2019, an incredible feeling happened.
Non-writer: Santa came to town?
Me: No. It’s not any feeling, it feels like I can do anything if I set my mind to it.
Non-writer: Did you find a genie hidden in the star of the Christmas tree?
Me: No, although that is a good idea for a story.
Non-writer: Oh I got it! Your cousins are spending a week at your place?
Me: OH YES! But that’s not it…of course, I’m happy *scratches my head* but that’s not the incredible feeling…I was talking about…
Me: I’m happy that I FINISHED MY 1ST DRAFT! 3 years, I have been working on it for three years. That is cause for celebration, right?
A celebration indeed. It lasted the whole of December 2019, spending time with my cousins. It was a wonderful celebration and I got to see more of my hometown.
I have been thinking long and hard about Project Fire’s future (whoa, when did I think like this), I have noticed that I am too in love with the world and I want to succeed in this (long) series so I decided…
I have decided to shelf it.
Non-writer: whoa, whoa, whoa, you’re going to keep it? You just said that you’ve spent 3 years writing it, and now you’re gonna keep it? What’s the point of writing it when you know you’re going to hide it in your closet?
Me: (technically, series don’t necessarily do well especially when one is a newbie in the publishing industry. I haven’t created a name for myself. Mmmm, do readers want to take a chance on this? 0_0 I don’t want to risk it.) I want to build an audience first. I want to get my name out there.
But I have good news.
Me: I’m working on another project. It’s a fantasy romance this time!
It has been a hot second (more like a month) since I have updated you on Project Fire and NaNoWriMo.
NaNoWriMo is going great and I hope it stays that way. Work has been piling up so I will probably do that in the next couple of days. Then I can focus on ONE thing: Project Fire.
I’ve decided to be a NaNo rebel this year and focused on finishing the manuscript.It’s a promise I made to myself. Thus, I cannot break it. Before NaNo, Project Fire was sitting at 40K. But now, I’m aiming another for another 50k to complete the length of the novel, and the story.
About Project Fire (so far)
🌟 it’s a series, book 1
🌟 Genre: Dark Fantasy
🌟 A crossover between middle grade and young adult
🌟 Third Person limited
🌟 it questions about what will happen if tranquillity disappears from the world.
🌟 has portal magic
🌟 forbidden friendships and magic
🌟 Trope used: play on the Chosen one
Update: I have only two more articles to write today while working on my Nano Project.
Preptober is in session! So it is time to prepare for next month. What is happening in November? NaNoWriMo = National Novel Writing Month is coming, and I gotta prepare for this. I don’t want to flunk it without coming up with a plan just like last year which means I need to finish my outline.
I have been outlining since January and I am almost to the end but it is hard not to feel discouraged and drained out. I have been working hard on this story and it feels like this story is the one that I would like to get it published one day.
It is brewing and I’m still writing those words I told myself to take breaks on the weekends. So I wouldn’t feel the weight of stress crushing my shoulders.
It is sucking out the joy of writing, but I like it. Weird. Outlining helps me plan the story. I like asking questions like who is going to give advice to my MC. Or why are the characters standing here, or by any chance, are they looking at something that glows in the dark? And everything they do, it must mean to the story. I need ALL the details. When I don’t know something, I’ll write down notes to remind myself that I need to change stuff that doesn’t make sense.
Finish the outline for Nano Project aka Project Fire
I received an advance reader copy of ‘Karma’s Children: Discovery’ from the author in exchange for an honest review. These opinions are my own.
Title: Karma’s Children: Discovery (Karma’s Children #1)
Author: Maverick Moses
Genre: Dark Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Mastermind Resource Group
Goodreads Synopsis: After a tragic accident leaves a fellow high school student dead, Krista, Klause, and Kevin Atwood find themselves linked to each other, and entangled in a mysterious force that threatens the lives of those around them.
Their mother, the physical embodiment of Karma, herself, has no idea what’s happening to her children—which leaves Krista, Klause, and Kevin alone to discover the purpose of their potentially sinister birthright.
Now, thrust into the grey area of a world that seems black and white on the surface, the children struggle to figure out the true nature of their dangerous new abilities, while getting pulled by two opposing forces hoping to corrupt their hearts and guide them against the other.
Will the Atwood siblings figure out how to control their powers before anyone else gets hurt? Or will they become corrupted by the darkness of their newfound abilities?
The first of a twisted urban fantasy trilogy, Karma’s Children: Discovery is wrought with hidden desires, evil in disguise, and action-packed mystery—perfect for fans of Kendare Blake and Kim Chance.
The writing style was a bit odd to me at first and it took me a few pages to get into the characters’ heads. It was a bit slow in the beginning but it did pick up the pace. I realised it was written in third person omniscient which I am not too familiar with. I usually cannot sync with the style but this book made it easy for me to understand, and it wasn’t that chaotic.
I felt like it had too many characters and I couldn’t keep track of each and every one of them. I wish the author had toned it down. Or maybe I am not used to reading about so many characters all at once.
All in all, I love the plotline as it is different. I love originality! It gave me some Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children vibes because of its intensity, level of darkness, and the richness of an unusual story. It is action-packed and has a retro feel to the tone of the story and characters. And that kept me entertained throughout.
I rate this 4/5.
If you are fans of Derek Landy’s The Demon Road Trilogy and Ransom Riggs’ Miss Peregrine Home for Peculiar Children, I recommend this series.
I received an advance reader copy of ‘Through Her Eyes’ from the author in exchange for an honest review. These opinions are my own.
Title: Through Her Eyes
Author: Sophie Fahy
Publisher: Blossom Spring Publishing
Synopsis: LIFE IS NOT ALWAYS BLACK AND WHITE, SOMETIMES IT’S A THOUSAND SHADES OF GREY.
Seventeen-year-old, beloved Alyssa Darlington has always been a party girl: quick-witted, fierce and very smart; with a strong future ahead of her. But after surviving a brutal attack at her best friend’s end-of-summer house party, the only thing that seems fitting for Alyssa is revenge.
AND WHEN THIS BECOMES HER TWISTED REALITY, IT’S EASY FOR THE SHADOWS TO TAKE OVER.
After something so traumatic, Alyssa struggles to stay at the top of the social ladder – climbing to the top is hard – trying to stay there while, newly, partially blind, is even harder.
There’s a weight upon her shoulders.
Quietly searching for answers, Alyssa unlocks memories and reveals secrets that should have been buried.
THREE SUSPECTS. ONE LOVE. A WHOLE LOT OF FAMILY DRAMA
I am not a fan of reading prologue but this one made me want to turn the page and read what is going to happen. It hooked me.
Though the beginning pulled me into the story until a few pages in, the pacing began to slow down. But the narrative still kept me engaged in the story. A lot was going on. Some were intense, some weren’t.
I like that the story focused on developing the characters, getting to know them. I feel there’s too much on the romance side which I didn’t enjoy. For me, I prefer reading slow-burn romance so when it comes to love in books, I am very picky. I also wish the story focused more on the difficulty of being disabled. I wanted to see the pain in the family’s eyes, the struggle and how would they cope with it. I wanted to see more emotions and supportive moments with friends.
Despite all this, that didn’t make me stop reading it for I wanted to know who was behind this. I like how Fahy played around, twisting the truth here and there, confusing me. It was fun — guessing who the culprit was. Although I sensed a twist in the end, aha, I didn’t figure out who had done it. I love it when the author steers me into thinking it was someone else who was the culprit. Even so, this was a good mystery with a side of drama and romance.
I rate this 3.5/5
“Through Her Eyes” is coming out on 28 August 2019.
I received an advance reader copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are my own.
Title: The Stolen Kingdom #1
Author: Bethany Atazadeh
Publisher: Grace House Press
Genre: Fantasy, Retelling
How can she protect her kingdom, if she can’t protect herself?
Arie eagerly anticipates becoming Queen of her humble kingdom. Even when a Jinni’s Gift manifests before her 18th birthday, she fights to hide the forbidden ability.
But when a neighbouring king attempts to marry her and steal her kingdom, discovery feels imminent. Just one slip could cost her throne. And her life.
A Jinni hunter and his crew of thieves are her only hope for removing this Gift. And she must remove it before it’s exposed. Or die trying.
The Stolen Kingdom is a loose “Aladdin” retelling. Set in a world that humans share with Mermaids, Dragons, and the elusive Jinni, this isn’t the fairytale you remember…
One word: hooked.
I am not a fan of retellings but this book hooked me good. I cannot put the book down. It has bewitched me into a devouring beast that needs more after reading the first few chapters.
It is loosely based on Aladdin as Atazadeh says in her YouTube video, and I understand why. This is uniquely different. I am grateful that the author stuck with the main elements of the story — the lamp, the jinni (or genie), the commoner, princess, a sorcerer, and the sultan. But she also added her own twist to them. Even though the story she is recreating is far different from the Disney’s version, the essence of the folktale is still there. The story is captivating. There are more characters to root for and THAT kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. I like it when I don’t know what is about to happen…I love surprises.
Slow burn romance. Yes, I love reading slow and steady romance. Arie and Kadin have one of the best relationships I’ve seen in books. They had cute moments and tense ones which were fun reads. The pacing was not too fast, it had the right tempo—nicely paced. It was action-packed the whole way, I don’t think I ever once got bored.
I recommend this promising series to anyone who enjoys fantasy or retellings. This entertaining story will make you hunger for more.
I rate this 4.5/5.
“The Stolen Kingdom” is coming out on 20 August 2019.
Have you had an idea that you have simmered for some time now? But when the time comes to write it down, you get frustrated when writing the first page?
As you write, you feel like an imposter writing the story you want to tell. You feel like you’re not good enough to be writing this story. Your fingers hover the keyboard. You don’t know what to think; whether you should press delete, or keep going.
Not looking at what you have written is easier said than done. KICKSTARTING on your draft is terrifying. Though it is an exciting adventure, it is also a challenge. There is no such thing as a perfect draft, only a rough one. Sometimes, with other authors’ drafts, we are afraid that they are better, more polished. But HEY, who said that their very first drafts were excellent?!
So how to write without looking back at what you have written? This is not an easy task, not even for me. Even writing this post makes me feel like I’m an imposter. Should I be even writing this?
Here are some ultimate weapons that I find useful when writing the first draft. The first draft can be of anything, may it be a blog post, an essay, assignment, a story/flash fiction.
ULTIMATE WEAPON #1: Writing Sprints
This has taken me to a whole new level. you set your timer for any amount of time and you WRITE, WRITE, WRITE, and then when your timer rings, you take five or ten. Then, you start again. The point is to shut out everything and focus on what you’re doing. Put your fingers on the keyboard and type away while the clock is ticking down.
I recommend using a timer either on your mobile, watch, or computer. The one I always use is https://www.tickcounter.com/timer, and I 100% recommend it! It is easy to use and user friendly.
ULTIMATE WEAPON #2: Join Camp Nanowrimo
This coming April, Camp Nanowrimo is rekindling. Before I go further, let’s make sure we’re on the same page. Hang on,
Camp Nanowrimo is not an actual camp set out in the wilderness. Neither there are no people around the campfire singing nor telling ghost stories. Well, the ‘stories’ part is true on what the website is about. Camp Nanowrimo is a virtual writing retreat, where you can work on or edit your past drafts or start anew.
Before you tune out, did I mention it is completely free?
It works a bit like the official one, National Novel Writing Month. It is where you set up a goal for your project and keep track of it project every November.
You may be wondering, “why should I join Camp Nanowrimo when I can join the official one?” “Wait, isn’t this website for writers? I’m not a writer.”
THE THING WITH CAMP NANOWRIMO, IT’S…
Hear me out, anyone can join Camp – and when I say anyone – I meant anyone who likes writing in general. If you feel like you work better and faster with a deadline reaper lurking, this retreat is for you! Camp Nano happens twice a year in April and July when Nanowrimo happens annually. Though, that is not the only difference.
One of the things I like about Camp is that it has adjustable word counts (like you can change it anytime you want). You can set hours or minutes you want to spend on your project. This is beneficial especially if you have a full-time job or cannot write as much as you want to. Also, you can set your goal to pages, like you can write or edit how many pages you want.
So this is a bit similar to writing sprints. Before the start of April, key in your project and set a goal for yourself. Once you have done that, wait for the event (don’t forget to come back to it) and then when it begins, you write like there is no tomorrow. There is no time to be wasted especially you have 30 days to finish it. You cannot afford to waste time reading back your work and editing/rewriting it.
Sit down, and type it all out. You can also use comic sans font to oppose you from seeing your previous words. I like the font but I have heard from other people that they can write better if they use that font. Different people have different opinions, I guess.