Plan for the New Year!

I swear, it wasn’t my intention to let you alone again but it seems that lately everything is turning against me.

I just guess I have to take things as they are and everything will be all right…sooner or later.

So just to summarize let me wish you happy belated Christmas and a Happy New Year in advance!

I came back on the 27th and the flight was just a nightmare. Maya went hysterical during the taking off and the landing, we went through such a turbulence that I thought it was our last flight and we landed so late that we barely managed to reach the bed before collapsing!!!

The day after I was in work at 9.00 sharp and I manage to survive 10 hours shift!

On Sunday however Maya woke up vomiting gastric juices…but it seemed finished soon so I went to work. An hour later, my partner texted me begging for my help and to run home because he couldn’t handle it by himself. Needless to say that it was an anxious day full of vomit, but when we decided to bring Maya to the A&E she fell asleep for the night.

Today we brought her to the GP and I seriously thought that she would kick us out as Maya was so full of energy I could barely believe it myself! It seems gastroenteritis though…

Tomorrow my partner will work from home to keep an eye on her while I’ll break my back in work again.

After that I’ll have to survive through the 1st and the 3rd and hope that everything will fall into the usual routine again, blog posting and mail reading included.

Now, before I pass on my plan for next year I have only to tell a last thing

I have to thank two people before the old year ends: my brother and his lovely partner. They took care of us from when we landed till when we took off! And this is not even the first time.

It was a great experience on this point of view!

I love you two very much!

And now let me introduce to you the plan for the New Year. I promise that I tried to think about me as much as I could as human being! Considering I have a partner and a baby and a house to care of I had to surrender to the reality I cannot do a lot, but a few things per time!

Here you have my plan I divided monthly so I can have more time to meet the goals.

January- I’ll finish the World Building and start to study Asia.

February- I’ll finish my NaNo manuscript…yes I still have to finish it!

March- Europe.

April- A-Z blog challenge and Asia.

May- Africa.

June- America and Canada.

July- South America.

August- Edit NaNo ’13 and Asia.

September- Australia.

October- Plan NaNo ’14 and Asia again.

November- NaNoWriMo.

December- Edit World Building and draw maps with details.

 

On paper it sounds a good plan. Instead of studying all the subjects in general I decided it will be lighter to divide by continent/areas. So for each one I’ll try to gather information and general knowledge about geography, history, religion, folklore, urban legends, weapons and military history and so on.

What do you think about it? And do you think it would be enough just using internet web sites?

So happy 2014 again and I’ll see you soon on these pages!

 

 

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The Horror Heritage in bits!

 As you certainly know, The Horror Heritage is the working title of the manuscript I worked on during the month of November. It is set in Sonrisa, the fantasy world I’ve been working on for six years now!

Although I decided to share with you a tiny bit of it, it’s far from finished.

I’ll discuss in a future post on the difficulties of the rest of the task, but what I want to do here is fulfil the promise I made in the previous blog.

I’m going to go through the part of the manuscript I’ve written so far and I’ll past and copy the bits I love more for the moment.

This would be useful to me because in the haste of the challenge, I wrote the chapters and I have just a general idea of what I written, in other words I remember just a tiny bit of the whole lot.

NOTE: BEING A MANUSCRIPT…NO WORSE, A NANOMANUSCRIPT THE FOLLOWING EXCEPRETS WILL BE FULL OF ERRORS AND ILLOGIC THINGS, SO DON’T MIND THEM. I’D HIGHLY APPRECIATE THOUGH AN OPINION ABOUT THE STORY AND THE CHARACTERS.

 

Let’s start with the opening.

I’m finally here, dear brother, this time I’m going to stay with you a bit longer.

This is what I’ve been thinking since last element, exactly when I decided what I wanted to do with my life.

I visited Sweet Moment before but climbing the coloured stone steps this time is different.

I’m eager to see Dan once again. I hope he’s happy to see me too! He hasn’t come home for two cycles now and last time I visited this place I didn’t manage to meet him.

This is one of the reasons why I’m here now: I want to stay with my twin.

I even stopped to write him letters, he didn’t answer anyway.

And finally on the last violet step here he is, Dan is smiling greeting the customers entering before me.

I put my best smile on, open my arms and I walk towards him.

When he sees me his smile dissolves from his face and his eyes reach the bag on my shoulder.

“Fran, what on earth…” he says and he stretches his arm out.

SLAP!

He hits me with all his strength. There is a lot of sadness and tension in our eyes.

“Why are you here?” he asks.

 

***

Here Fran and Aisolar are waiting to be shown their dormitory.

 

“Do you think it’s going further down this place?” I ask Aisolar looking around. The ceiling seems very tall.

“I don’t know” she says and keeps looking around like me “Anyway this place is so dark, it would need some light more!” she adds.

I can only nod in agreement.

Immediately after she touches her hair and detaches some bits that can be defined as locks and throw them in the air around her.

For a while she’s surrounded by little tongues of fire. Then she blows on them and they grow giving more light to the surrounding area of the room.

“Wow this is amazing!” I say clapping my hands.

“Oh you’re so easy to impress, Fran” she says “Look, you’ll like this!”

She opens her arms and the flames spread around lightening an even bigger area of the room.

I’m still in awe when I see that the flames are popping and disappearing one by one.

“This shouldn’t happen” Aisolar says surprised.

In that moment Ky opens the door again and yells at us “Are you crazy?”

We look at one another puzzled.

“It was so dark that we wanted to get it a bit more lit!” Aisolar says.

“You shouldn’t have!”

“Why!?”

“Because only approved magic can work here!” he says looking around where the two lifts were.

***

 

 

Here is a scene from the training.

 

We enter in Funny Jungle huge vegetation and we follow the path. It’s very damp in here but the coloured flowers are amazing to see.

I notice that Clanny is looking around, I cannot be mistaken, and she’s clearly looking for something or someone.

At the sample table we don’t see anybody and I feel it shouldn’t be like it.

Clanny looks around and above her head and eventually, following her gaze, I see a girl from the Monkey tribe attached at the highest branch of the tree by her tail. She’s swinging and smiling at us.

“Oops!” she says and jumps down in front of us with a perfect movement.

“Monko!” Clanny shouts “This is the second warning you receive, am I understood?”

The girl called Monko far from looking worried, smiles at us again and resumes her place behind the counter. Her bright blue eyes have a sparkle that attracts me.

“Nothing to watch here anymore! Keep going!” Clanny says.

I stare at Monko till I’m out of the door and I notice only now that her hair and fur glitter under the light and I realize that it’s the golden colour letting this magic of light to happen.

This leaves me in awe as I’ve never seen even in books, but only heard as one of Funny Jungle legends, something concerning golden and silver furred monkeys.

 

***

Another scene from the training.

Clanny guides us through the great hall and bring us at the reception of the Inn and behind the counter there is an older gentleman who’s doing nothing but staring at the door.

“Here you have Hilman, he’s one of our best staff members. As you can see his ready attitude to spot the customers is appreciated by all the management!”

Hilman is very tall person, very pale and skinny. His face is impassive and if I had blood and vein, my blood would chill! He nod in greeting to Clanny who reply with a small movement of her hand and turns to guide us back to the lifts.

I keep watching Hilman, in truth because I don’t trust his face and I realize that as soon as Clanny is turned he sticks his tongue out at her, then winks at me and smile. He has very pointed teeth. Of course, he’s a vampire. I think he must come from Ghost Land though.

***

One of the scenes after the training.

 

I let myself fall on a huge pillow in front of the fire and I stare into the flames, I feel exhausted. Of course I wanted to look for Dan but I don’t think is a good idea right now. If he was on shift this morning is likely to be over soon.

Lost in my thoughts I barely realize that Aisolar goes on her knees and then sits in front of me and then lies down putting her head into the cracking flames.

“Are you mental?” I shout jumping on my feet.

She looks at me from there and smiles. I don’t understand for the first three seconds and then I realize.

“Ok, your hair is made of fire, but still, why are you putting your head into the mantelpiece?”

“I’m relaxing. The flames are massaging my head as well and nourishing my hair. After that period into the blue section I really needed!” she says.

Exactly in the same moment the other elementals we noticed before drag themselves into the living room and do the very same thing. I move aside to let them recreate their hair. Aisolar as well make room for them.

 

***

 

Dan tells Fran part of the situation.

 

“Dan why we didn’t receive any message? What is going on!?”

“I’m not entirely sure, but what I know it’s a mistake that you came over here!”

“Why?! It’s not a problem!” I say raising a bit the tone “Tomorrow I’m going to talk with Clanny and tell her I don’t want to work here anymore, and you know what? You do the same. I mean, we came here to make experience, right? We can just change our plan and start to travel before we intended. I cannot see the problem!” I rise on my feet. Everything is set and now I feel starving so I move to the door once again.

Dan grabs my hand, he’s still sitting down, and he stares into my eyes “Fran, we can’t! You don’t understand…we can’t go out of here…we’re not allowed. Once you’re here, you don’t move!”

I smile, I think to one of his jokes. I have to admit that this one is very well said and if he’s trying to improve his acting skill he’s made progresses.

“I’m not joking.” he says.

Dan’s eyes are deeper now, he keeps staring at me and his grasp goes tighter.

“Why are you saying that?”

“Because it’s the truth. You can ask anybody and if they’re willing to do so, they’ll confirm the problem” he says “Why do you think I haven’t visited my house, although not far from here, for two cycles solid?”

 

 

All right, I have a small problem, all these parts are from chapter one only.

Let’s do something, let me know what you think about that and if you want me to go on.

Of course negative feedbacks are also accepted, only when constructive!

Thanks for your time and cooperation!

Talk to you soon! 

December, oh December!

You see, I wanted really display the challenge I set for me in December, but I’m at the stage –luckily I might add- in which I’m almost aware I cannot keep going like this! I keep setting challenges for myself and almost every time I don’t win them.

I struggled a lot for NaNo, and I just meet the expectation but I was devastated.

The original challenge for this December set the task of finishing the huge amount of books I started during the year –and not only- and finish them before the end of 2013. But it would mean reading over 1100 pages in total and finishing two audiobooks.

I have to understand that I have a part time -30 hours and very demanding- job, a daughter, a partner and a house. I should also remind myself that I’m a human being and it is fine doing things I like but that setting so impossible tasks, challenges and goals has as only result the raising of my blood pressure level.

I should finish The Dubliners and The Two Towers from last year and then The Game of Thrones, God is not great, How to write science fiction and fantasy. Also I should finish listening to Travel to the centre of the earth and Ozma of Oz.

As I said before, this is nice and even possible if you don’t have nothing else to do, but then, since I’ve started with the blog again, and I want to make my best to be as more present as I can, I realize that I have to make some choices.

So what I decided to do is firstly stop stressing over it and secondly finishing the books that could cause me problems: Game of Thrones in case I have to travel is too heavy and The Dubliners and The Two Towers have made their time. I have to say goodbye to them.

What I hope is to finish them as soon as I can and start afresh some books, but this time one by one. I have no problem in following more stories. As soon as I open the pages my brain connects automatically to the story and pops up in 3D the images connected with that book!

Although it’s funny to agree with my partner describing my reading habit – “She has a book to keep in her bag, one for the toilet, one for the living room and so on…” – I understand it’s too distracting.

So after I’ll finish, from next year I’m going to stick to one book per time!!!

I won’t make any list this year. I’m not going to stick to that anyway, but I aim to read books one by one!

Is there anybody else who has my same problem?

And most of all, I address you who read a book a week…how do you manage?

I know I’m slow, and I feel guilty because being an aspiring writer would require more books read! Hence the question: do you have any suggestion to improve the situation?

NaNo Over

And we’re in December, ladies and gentlemen, and I don’t have more excuses. NanoWriMo is over and I can dedicate myself to my blog again!

As you for sure have noticed ten days have already passed without me writing a word but I have my good reason.

I had to work more than usual last week and then dedicate the weekend to my family! But I missed my blog tremendously, I swear!

I’m so so so sorry I hadn’t update it like I wanted to during November, but it was a struggle and a very busy month.

Now I’m proud to announce that I made it!!!

2013-Winner-Facebook-Profile

 Actually I made it just about. I won with 50.036 words but I cannot complain, because I relaxed as soon as I validate it.

NaNo13

The important for my self-confidence was to win the challenge and I managed it.

Actually I hit the 50k words on the 29th and I have to pat myself on the back because I started on the 7th as I was in Italy for the first days of November. This makes me happy, because I managed in less than one month.

On the top of that I had my 30 hours job to attend and my 24/7 mum duty to attend and also I had to spend a couple of hours with my partner in the evening and make sure that the house wasn’t falling apart. Ah and I managed to keep to the diet…not as strictly as I wanted to, but I’ve even lost a kilo.

So maybe there is a valid reason why I feel tired!

On the good side, however, I have to admit that this year I had a lot of supporters and this is probably the main reason why I manage to make it.

The support has come in form of questions, curiosity, patience and cheering up and volunteering to be part of my characters cast.

So thank you, thank you so much to (not in any specific order):

–          My partner, for supporting me all the time, despite my craziness and for minding Maya in the evenings to let me write and for putting again his own hobby in standby, in order to let me complete my challenge.

–          Shannon, for volunteering to be one of the main characters, Monko, a nice golden monkey coming from Funny Jungle and also for reading the manuscript while in progress.

–          Wayne, for constantly hearing my rant about my word count.

–          Keith, Michael and Nick who didn’t exactly volunteered to be in there but they let me do that anyway. Michael, sooner or later you will wear a cape!

–          Grainne, for asking updates about the word count.

–          Hannah, for volunteering to be a character. She became Serafina who isn’t live yet into the manuscript but she’s in the plot outline and was already mentioned anyway.

–          Liz, who in her motherly way I love so much told me I better put her in there and she became a warrior.

–          Martina, who worked as personal cheer leader and helped me, minding Maya when I was trying to catch up with words.

–          Joanna, who cheered up and supported through the net, something very sci-fi-brilliant!

I’m sure I’m forgetting someone; don’t be upset if you don’t find your name here. Your support was highly appreciated anyway. It’s just my brain, poor thing, trying to drag itself forward!

I’m posting quickly my stats but mind that they might be wrong as I didn’t have the time to keep an accurate track of them, it was really too much asking that to myself.

 

Number of notes written on my mobile: 8

 

Number of piece of paper scribbled while not busy in work: around 50

 

Meals skipped with the colleagues in order to write: around 10

 

Cups of tea or coffee drunk: +20

 

Dried apricots eaten: +30

 

Corn on the cobs eaten: 0

 

Times I hysterically despaired to make it: 25

Word count….doesn’t count anymore! Ah Ah Ah!

Favourite sentence or excerpt of the day: I won’t fill this because I have a nice idea for the next post!

Before I conclude this blog, there is a question I do have. Is there another NaNo mum out there?

Am I stupid or not capable of balancing all the chores or tidy enough to do everything? How do you cope and win NaNo?

Is anyone feeling like me out there?