Tag Archives: Christmas

Tis The Season to Pause Editing

An update: AT LAST

Crystal Green is moving forwards now rather well, despite the fact that IT’S CHRISTMAS!

Continue reading Tis The Season to Pause Editing

May? Already?

So this year seems to be flying! May already.

At the start of this year I was doing so well with my writing, and now I seem to have let it slip through my fingers. I have no routine, that’s what’s wrong, I know it. The thing about being out of a routine is that it’s very difficult to get back into one…

But instead of dwelling on my failings, I am instead going to focus on the positives. At this very moment I am amidst a day off work and I have already achieved a lot. Procrastination you say? Never heard of it.

I know I’m supposed to be sat at my computer writing, but because I am not in the zone, I am actively trying to stay away. I can’t put it off for much longer… In an attempt to throw myself back into it, I turned on the computer and got myself comfy…

Before I knew it the washing was done and put away. I had a sort-out of the clothes that I haven’t worn for ages and have bagged them up and put them up the attic. J and I have also tidied up the spare room and have banished lots of stuff to the attic, and in doing so have almost claimed our spare room back; I say almost.

I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of bargains I have bought already this year ready for Christmas. This year I am determined for it to be a bargain and not an expense, as usual. So the plan is thus, say it with me, HAMPERS. Baskets and parcels filled with lots of little lovely things which haven’t cost a lot, but will hopefully be appreciated. I was going to get myself a little notebook and pen and set about making lists of what I’ve bought, how much it cost and whom it is intended for. But then I remembered that I was supposed to be writing.

I turned on the laptop (AGAIN) and sat down. Then I decided that I was cold. So I have donned a woolen jumper and lit all the candles in the room. It is still daytime, all-be-it a dark grey day, but day nonetheless. So as unusual as it is to light candles, it is amazing how much heat they give off! Also, it is time to start trying to save money on the heating bill.

So I sat back down and decided that I needed a cuppa. I have recently (as in 2 days ago) switched to decaf tea. I have been having headaches again and J had an idea that perhaps all the caffeine I am ingesting might not be helping. So I am currently drinking decaf Yorkshire tea, and I have to say I can’t tell the difference. So that’s caffeine kicked, for now anyway.

So I sat back down and realised that I haven’t blogged for a while, a long while actually. So I opened the dashboard and had a little play around. That’s the thing about having a blog, it is the ultimate procrastination. You can spend hours trying to figure out how you want your blog to look, or it does me anyway because I often know what I want something to look like but struggle to get it there. My blog, right now, is just how I want it to be. I like the layout and the look.

Today I added a page. Town Tales is a little doorway (aside to camera a-la-Miranda – Rude!) to my column in my local paper The Llanelli Star. I couldn’t figure out how to have a page where only certain blog posts get posted. I wanted the Town Tales page to be where I posted my column for you to read, and the Crystal Green page to be about my book. But that was beyond me. So instead I created a little doorway (aside to camera a-la-Miranda – Cheeky!), I’m also very pleased with calling it that, and that little doorway (aside to camera a-la-Miranda – Naughty!) explains where to go to read it.

Then I decided to write a little blog about my little doorway (aside to camera a-la-Miranda – Look now you’ve had your filthy little giggle, can we be grown ups please?)

And here we are! Here I sit, comfortable, warm, thirst quenched, blog altered and post almost written, nothing else to do in the house other than wrap my brother in law’s birthday presents, iron my uniform for tomorrow and make some lunch to take with me. But instead of doing these I am here writing. Once this is done I plan to actually open chapter 14 and write the next scene.

Wish me luck!!!

Doofus Monkey cup filled with decaf tea and surrounded by candles
Doofus Monkey cup filled with decaf tea and surrounded by candles

Inspirational

Grampy Vic, Dad, Me and Grampy Jim
Grampy Vic, Dad, Me and Grampy Jim

Swiss Valley, Llanelli, Wales

Christmas 1984

This picture I dug out of my parent’s attic sometime last year. It is one of the only surviving photographs of me with both my grandfathers. For that reason, I love it.

Another reason it hits home for me is that it was a source of inspiration when it came to plotting Crystal Green and the Moon Machine.

I was in the early stages of developing Crystal as a character and I wanted her to go on adventures with her grandfather. This relationship seemed like such a delicious relationship to write. It’s different to a parental relationship, and yet has a lot of the same feelings, emotions and drives.

I then came across this photo and Crystal became clearer. I had an image in my head of Crystal and her family having a picture taken at Christmas in their family home and just like that, they were all real.

I had to do, and in fact am still doing, lots of characterisation and plotting and story arching etc but them as people were alive in my head. And that moment came from this picture… actually, it came from an amalgamation of the photo above and the one below…

Auntie An, Nana Gwyn, Me, Nana Ve and Auntie Helen
Auntie An, Nana Gwyn, Me, Nana Ve and Auntie Helen

It was family. Family means everything. So I set about creating Crystal a family, blowing it to smithereens, and then over the course of several books, having Crystal create herself a new family.

I think that makes an interesting story, especially as I firmly believe that family is not only the people you are related to by blood, but the people you choose to surround yourself with.