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IWSG 04/06/16

  • Posted on April 6, 2016 at 5:04 pm

This month’s IWSG post is about growth and change. Fitting for the spring season we’re all now entrenched in, if you think about it. April showers bring May flowers is the old saying, and that generally means that the work you put in today, yields results tomorrow. But how do you know that the results you get will be the ones you want?

I’m talking today about my own plans, but please, ask yourself these questions as well, and see if they ring true.

  1. Do I have a goal?
  2. Is this goal something I really want to work towards?
  3. Is this goal something that will make me happy?
  4. Do the steps I need to take line up with what I am capable of?
  5. Should I go past my capabilities, even if I don’t know what the result will be?
  6. If I fail, what is the worst that can happen?
  7. What is my next step?

These are questions that I ponder on a daily basis. Questions that make it difficult to move forward at times. As you well know by now, I suffer from untreated anxiety and depression, and although I’ve been on anti-anxiety/anti-depressive meds before, I cannot afford them right now. This means dealing with my own issues without the aid of medication that turns my brain from my enemy into my friend.

So, these questions can be double sided. Negative answers can pop up and wreak havoc. In this case, however I’m going to try to answer them here for you, in the most positive light I can.

  1. Yes, I have a goal. Several. The two most important are to complete my degree, and to get published.
  2. Yes, the goals are worth working towards. Not only would being a published author raise my self-esteem, it would also make it easier to find work. ‘Published Author’ looks impressive on a resume, after all. And education is it’s own reward.
  3. Do these goals make me happy? Somewhat. I have no doubt that being published will make me happy. And completing a degree will definately make me feel accomplished.
  4. The question here becomes difficult. Am I capable of the steps necessary? Of attending classes? Getting good grades? All while writing, editing and publishing a book? Not to mention all of the other goals I have that aren’t listed here? …I won’t know until I try. But I believe I am. I believe I can do these things, because others believe I can. My writing mentor, Chris Votey, tells me that I can accomplish this. That I can be an author. My best friend tells me that I am worth an education. That I can do it.
  5. Should I overextend myself? What if I’m not capable of acheiving these goals? Well, as my best friend reminded me today, the steps along the way are lessons, that I can then apply to new goals. There’s no need to worry so much over failure, becuase success isn’t the goal. The journey is. So I CAN overextend myself. I’ll just have to have nets waiting for when I fall.
  6. If I fail to get my degree, I’ll have to continue working in retail, or worse, not work at all and eat up my best friend’s resources. If I fail to be published, I will have wasted all the time writing these stories, getting them out of my head and onto paper. If I fail, I will be where I am now, instead of where I want to be. That… doesn’t sound so bad to me.
  7. My next steps are simple. Last week, I tested to see if I need remedial classes. This week I wait for them to tell me if my verification has come through. Everyday, I write. More and more, and then edit, carefully. Those are my next steps.

When I ask these seven questions, I don’t feel nearly as bad about where I am, or what to do next. Growth is just looking for a way to succeed. Nothing more. Change is the willingness to grow, and the chance. So what are you growing this april? What do your seven answers look like? Did these questions help you in any way? Let me know!

 

Breaking Down Nemesis: Part Four

  • Posted on August 27, 2014 at 8:31 am

Welcome again, to another installment of Breaking Down Nemesis! Once again, we are here to learn and experience Miss Agatha Christie’s work, and perhaps find a link to the elusive Agatha Christie Code that I keep hearing about. Essentially, the idea is to break down and discover if an Agatha Christie novel really is addictive! For this experiment in literature, I’ve chosen a random novel from her Miss Marple series, titled Nemesis. 

If you’re lost already, please see Part One, Part Two, and Part Three for the previous installments, that way you can keep up with the mystery as it unravels! And don’t forget to subscribe to see future installments, as well!

In the beginning of this chapter, we are introduced to Miss Marple’s sneaky side. In chapter three, we get to see her be sneaky when she asks Cherry, her assistant, to phone Mrs. Anderson, in order to find out if she’s at home, or out and about. This plan included a caveat that was to have Cherry inform Miss Anderson that she, Cherry, was Mr. Broadribb (Mr. Rafiel’s lawyer)’s secretary, and that she was to meet him at his office, but only if Miss Anderson was out and not to be back today.

The brilliance of that plan still makes me giggle. Honestly, it sounds a little like something I’d have done when playing Dungeons and Dragons, and setting up a trap for someone! Unluckily for us, we don’t get to see how that might have played out. I’d like to point out that this sort of organic thinking is coming a bit more often now. Or maybe we’re beginning to understand Miss Marple’s thought process a lot clearer, now that we’re actually involved in her investigation? Miss Christie certainly has me by the ear.

It turns out that Mrs. Anderson was out shopping at the supermarket. And who should she collide with, but Miss Marple herself! And as if the old codger wasn’t planning the whole thing, the two of them talk as if they’ve just run into each other. Instead of having the conversation she wants to have right there, Miss Marple instead arranges to visit Mrs. Anderson at home, instead.

Now, this might seem odd, but if you think about it, honestly, Miss Marple has the right idea. Mrs. Anderson will be more comfortable at home, and we might get to see what it was that the two of them are so at-arms with each other about. I can’t wait to find out myself!

The two exchange pleasantries for a little bit, and then Miss Marple seems to try to slide small questions in there, to find out more about Mr. Rafiel’s supposed request. She also takes a moment to notice that the oppulence of Mrs. Anderson’s new home, and connected it with a possible inheritance by Mrs. Anderson from Mr. Rafiel. Miss Marple asks if he left anything to the Nurse-Attendant Jackson, and finds out no he did not, and Mrs. Anderson hasn’t even seen the gentleman since they worked together.

Another series of questions by Miss Marple, and I’m beginning to see that she has a bit of a built in camouflage.

“…I was thinking it only the other day, after I’d seen the notice of his death. I wished I could know a little more. Where he was born, you know, and his parents. What they were like. Whether he had any children, or nephews or cousins or any family. I would so like to know.”

Esther Anderson smiled slightly. She looked at Miss Marple and her expression seemed to say “Yes, I’m sure you always want to know everything of that kind about everyone you meet.”

We’re getting more hints as to how people see her. Mrs. Anderson clearly thinks of Miss Marple as someone who is overly curious. But it’s tempered by the old-woman camouflage I was talking about. Everyone expects her to be nosy, because that’s how old women are! Take this lesson to heart. Let your characters use their own camouflages. If a woman wears glasses, let her put her hair in a bun, and pretend seriousness, despite her real personality. If a man has a raspy voice, let him pretend that he is dark and dangerous, when necessary. And when a person looks younger than they really are, let them use that childishness to their advantage to make others underestimate them! Remind yourself constantly of who they appear to be to others, so that this can be turned one-eighty and used against them!

The two go on to discuss more information, specifically about how Mr. Rafiel lost his wife long ago, but had three living children. Two daughters, and a son. One of the daughters married, and now lives in america, and the other daughter died, very young. It turns out there was trouble between father and son!

Picture Courtesy of bildungblog.blogspot.com

Picture Courtesy of bildungblog.blogspot.com

Apparently, the son was a scandalous sort, and died a few years ago. Mr. Rafiel never spoke of him. Odd that a deceased son, who was involved in scandals shows up just as Miss Marple is looking for a mystery, don’t you think? However, the two of them quickly come to a derailment, as the events at St. Honore get brought up again! And it turns out that Mrs. Anderson is still upset with something Miss Marple did in the Caribbean, but instead of actually discussing it, Mrs. Anderson stares coldly at Miss Marple, who takes her leave.

After leaving Mrs. Anderson’s home, Miss Marple determines that maybe, just maybe she was wrong to visit Mrs. Anderson, and thinks that perhaps there’s nothing to do with her at all in this mystery. I’m not quite so sure, but I think Miss Christie wrote it that way. I still can’t tell if this is a red-herring, or if I’m honestly right when I think that Mrs. Anderson is going to have something to do with it.

Eventually, after doubting herself a little bit, she comes to the same conclusion I have, which is that her old-lady-camouflage is a wonderful trait to have, and that she comes to recognize what people are like, based on who they remind her of. After that, she goes to sleep, thinking that it is entirely up to Mr. Rafiel to give her some sort of sign as to what exactly she is supposed to be doing.

This chapter in general, I think, was to show us more of Miss Marple’s character. I’m not sure anything really got done, other than, perhaps, clearing Mrs. Anderson of suspicion, and refusing to hand us any real clues as to what it is that Miss Marple is really supposed to be doing. Another point towards the Agatha Christie Code, as I was told that there was to be a lot of description, and slowness getting to the main plot. Which this chapter seems to embody quite a bit.

I find myself, however, instead of growing intrigued, growing a little bit bored of it. I’m starting to wonder, just like Miss Marple, if there really is any mystery to be solving at all! Which, I’m not sure if that’s a good way for a mystery novel to begin. However, dear reader, I will slog on, in order to find out! Just for you!

Please, however, do me a favor! In the comments, give me an idea or two of what you think the mystery is going to be! Do you think it’s Mr. Rafiel’s deceased son? Do you think Mrs. Anderson perhaps murdered someone? Do you think something entirely different is going to happen? Let me know!

New: Weekly Updates!

  • Posted on July 23, 2014 at 5:17 pm

As a dedication to my new career (upcoming) as an author, I’ve decided to do something I’ve seen some of my very favorite fanfiction authors do. It’s a little unorthodox, but at this point, I think that strange might just work for me. Also, it’s a little motivating to have to answer to all of you for a lack of growth in my word counts. Or, at least, I hope it will be!

Thanks to CelynBrum for this idea, by the by. Her fanfictions have made it to novel-lengths, and are enjoyed by thousands of tumblrites, and really, I cannot imagine a better person to follow in the footsteps of. Well, okay, a few (coughneilgaimancough), but who’s counting?

WORD COUNTS

Kurylian Saga: The Sorcerer and The Swordsman – Second Draft – WC: 130,555

Kaimi Rowe Series: Seeker Born – First draft – WC: 15,269

BLOG POSTS – 4

Writing Process Workshop

Finding your Niche in 3 Easy Steps

26 Questions No One Should Answer

The Lost Art of the Mary Sue

WEEKLY WORD COUNT GOALS

This week: 2500 words (A slow start, but I’m recovering from major Writer’s Block.)

Four Important Questions to Ask Yourself (A WDS Reflection) | Live All of You

  • Posted on July 16, 2014 at 7:20 pm

Four Important Questions to Ask Yourself (A WDS Reflection) | Live All of You.

 

This actually is a very good article. I like the way it’s paced, and I also like the questions it makes us ask ourselves. Part of what it goes into is that Blogs are read to get to know the blogger. So, of course, I’ve taken that under consideration.

Another thing that definately makes it interesting, is the idea of a statement explaining your world view. I have thought about it, and I realised that my worldview is quite simple.

Everyone should have the right to define themselves.

I think it’s nice. Please, reply in the comments with your world view!

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