It’s a new year, and changes are afoot. As there is quite a bit happening in my writing calendar this year, I thought easier to share as a one-off blog post rather than little pieces on social media.
My youngest son is leaving home 😢 so I’m officially an empty nester. In theory this should leave more time for writing, but actually, no. Because not only have I had a promotion in the Day Job, I’ve also increased my hours.
Now I only have 1.5 days for writing, plus anything I can squeeze into the weekends and evenings. This means my output will probably go down this year. Weirdly, I’m okay with that. I’m lucky, in that I love my job, and unlike writing, it pays well and regularly
The other benefit to a Day Job (as opposed to writing), is that it provides validation. Writers are rarely praised, and when we are we don’t believe it. But at work I get told, on a daily basis!, that I’m doing a GREAT job. I know this makes me seem like a precious snow-flake and I should just get over this ridiculous self-doubt, but I’ve not met a writer yet who’s achieved that nirvana-like state.
Zeph the Caravan
Other news: my husband and I are renovating our retro caravan. His name is Zeph, short for ‘Zephyr’. He’s definitely NOT a light breeze, (the original meaning of the word and a less apt name I’ve yet to find, because Zeph is a pig to tow) – but he is a 1977 Zephyr 410. We’ve had him since 2001, when the kids were small. And since they’ve now left home, hubby and I have decided to convert him into a Love Shack. 😀
At the moment, Zeph is parked up in our driveway, looking more than a little worse for wear, as we’re sanding the exterior and pulling out the interior. But he’s a work in progress and one day I’m hoping he’ll be beautiful.
Ghostly Melodies is coming out in 1 March, and I am SO EXCITED. This retold fairytale marks a change from my epic fantasies, and I wasn’t sure how I would find setting a story in the present day. Would it be boring?
Ghostly Melodies is a retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses, and is based in Beverley Hills. I wasn’t sure how that would go, as I’ve never visited L.A. but thanks to the power of the internet, and especially thanks to Lucifer 🙂 it turned out to be surprisingly easy to set a story there.
A lot of the story is about a singer-songwriter, and I spent a lot of time watching music docos – and I also wrote my own songs for the story! (The words, not the music.) That was a lot of fun, as was the Ed Sheeren concert I attended ‘for research purposes’! (click here to see my instagram video of the concert!)
I’m working on an expanding short story collection called DreamScapes. It’s being sent to my email list only at present, with one story for each special time of the year.
The first story (All Hallow’s Eve) marked Hallowe’en. Then we had a surfer who just may have been an angel at Christmas-time (Midsummer Christmas). I’m just working on an novella-length vampire-hunter story (Millicent Metcalfe) for Valentine’s Day and Easter. This one might well stretch to Hallowe’en, too as it’s looking pretty long already. I’ve set part of MM in Holland, as my character visits the Mauritshuis ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mauritshuis) – a fabulous museum I visited a few years ago. Just goes to show, everything’s material to a writer, even a writer who struggles to anchor her stories in reality!
Pictures in Time
My other, more complex WIP is Pictures in Time. PiT is a retelling of Aladdin, and a sequel to Ghostly Melodies. Early stages, but already PiT is looking darker than the original Arabian Nights tale, because in the original story we never knew anything about Aladdin’s father, except that he was dead.
PiT is tentatively set in the UK, in one of the many antiques and collectibles markets. It won’t be ready until at least 2020, though, so I don’t want to give away too much just yet. But I can already say that there’s definitely going to be a whole lot more to Jasmine and Aladdin (whom I’ve renamed Aaron), than any Disney adventure.
Other life stuff
Hopefully mid-year will see a holiday overseas, as we have a very long, cold winter in Dunedin, and by July sunshine feels like a distant memory.
Plus, I’m also helping to organise a Children’s and Illustrator’s Hui in Dunedin later this year. Again, this is early days, so there’s a lot to work through, but it will sure keep me busy! And there’s the Romance Writer’s of NZ Conference to look forward to, and oh, so many writerly things. So even if I’m working longer hours, I’ll still be heavily engaged in the writing community.
To conclude: It looks like its going to be a busy year!
Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone.