Writing a novel: My personal journey so far

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This post is probably really easy to write but i guess a few months ago i wouldn’t even know where to start.

I will start right at the beginning, or well from the memories of me as a kid that aren’t blurry.
I have known that i should write, or be a writer, publish a book. As a child reading for me was an escape, like for all of us. We get lost in worlds that we kind of wish existed. I was actually lucky enough to live across the road from a small library that sat comfortably next to a huge green filed where i would play. I am sure my mum got me into reading, but i remember mostly my grandparents reading to me the most.
As a kid, i didn’t have a great deal of friends but the odd ones from around the streets to which i have some amazing memories. The three grand kids that often stayed with a neighbour a few doors up soon became best friends during the summer – Though as always, they grew up. I made different friends, and i never played with those boys who lived in my street anymore because they were the good kids and when i got a bit older i played with the mischievous kids. I do love to think about all the friends i had back then and wonder what they are doing and if they are successful and making something great of themselves. It also makes me really sad because i don’t have any real life friends anymore.

I spent a lot of time on my own in the library, in the kids section reading. I often read  this scientist book, i wish i knew what it was called but it wasn’t in my age rang but i was in love with the feel of the paper – The writing font and the wacky-ness of the cover. I actually remember me once asking the librarian, this was a few years after i had read it for a longggg time – I asked her i can’t find this book it was all sciencey lol, she actually found it.
Most of my reads were the naughtiest girl in school or anything that was fun. Sometimes i would sit on the bean bags with a pile of books just flicking through to look at the pictures. I was bored of children’s books and i wanted more. So i began to read on the other side of the children’s section which was older than me, and i was reading lots of different things. I remember once i sneaked into the big part of the library, as a kid it was known to me as the grown up section and i often got Catherine Cookson books on loan.

This was my life.

In the UK we have primary school, so up until 11/12 you are at this school before highschool. I think i was in year six, because it was when Richard Hillman was in Coronation street.
We had to all write a short shorty, i wrote a thriller actually based on this soaps character. I remember it being my own interpretation and the twist ended up being Richard Hillman, i got excellent marks. I think my mum sent it to my great auntie, who i believed still has it. I hope to one day maybe get it off her and copy it as i would love to read it.
I never got much recognition in school, not that i remember. I found it really hard to stand out because i remember being in a class with so many loud personalities and i knew deep down i had some kind of talent i just didn’t feel like shouting it from the rooftops. I didn’t like my year six teacher and i cried when i found it was her as she was also our year five teacher. I remember in year five that she would read us Harry Potter, and some of us had our own book to read along. My book got stolen and i was really upset, i knew who it was but nobody did anything about it. It wasn’t until the boy who stole it returned it and said sorry, i opened it up and he had scribbled all over it inside.
I remember being the target for stuff like this too often, and it didn’t stop in highschool. I thought it would of because they were a bunch of new faces.

 

The older i got, the less i wrote or read. I would read a few books a year because i was too involved in surviving highschool, or trying to have fun. My collection of books didn’t exist like they did when i was a kid. I spent three years in highschool, then i quit. The bullying i couldn’t cope with it – But i do remember somewhere in those years i wrote a script for a horror film and got my teacher to look over it.
I will never forget Sally Field, she knew about my bullying, she saw my potential in writing she encouraged me – I loved her for that. She even drove me home sometimes.
Sadly a few years ago she passed away, but a few months before that we met again and i told her i was writing again she seemed so happy. I had hoped we got chance to connect more as she was a religious woman and i admired her strength because she also got bullied at school, by kids, teachers. She was like me, unheard.
I think she had a heart attack and spent a lot of years recovering but when i met it her she looked so healthy, so happy and we friended eachother on FB. I noticed her writing involvement and the work she did in the church community, she also had her own little radio chat show thing.
What i remember most is her love for the book Wuthering Heights, she would often burst into the classroom and sing Kate Bush’s song.
I often think about her, i often cry. She was so special, she was my light when i felt alone in a dark world. I never really got to tell her that.

As i got older, i wrote in note books or on the computer. I often entered writing competitions or  kept the writing for myself, i didn’t quite have the confidence to show anyone and i didn’t tell anyone i secretly wanted to write a novel.
I had so many ideas for romances, comedy, thrillers – All started but never finished. I think most of that work is gone now, i don’t think cloud or one storage existed.
I felt kind of embarrassed to admit i wanted to write a novel, it wasn’t really a thing. I can’t quite explain it – Where i lived, well should i say the lifestyle etc wasn’t full of artsy people etc. I lived/ live in a place where people work for nothing, some areas are deprived. Back then, it wasn’t as bad as it is now. I think this was my excuse, but the truth is because i didn’t finish high school and go onto college – I felt dumb, not good enough to write but no matter how many years of working crap jobs, partying with ‘friends’ – Being a published author was clawing at my brain, these little people telling me to write wouldn’t leave me alone.

My mum encouraged when she thought necessary, i think because i had so many ideas and things i started and quit it was tiring for her to keep on pushing me.
It wasn’t until my grandad died in 2008 that i felt a completely unsure about everything, this was when i was coming to terms slowly with depression and my anxiety. Something that has been with me since highschool, but i never felt the wrath of it until my mum met a guy, a guy that was abusive.

All the things i have done in life, good and bad – Situations i’ve been involved in never got me to pick up a pen and paper. One reason being, i was too busy surviving life or just trying to figure shit out, second reason i was again scared to write.
What if i wrote nobody liked it? Which was the feeling i got quite often when i didn’t hear anything back from all these writing competitions i would enter.

As the years went on, i would write and write and delete and delete. Files sitting staring at me, book ideas whirling around in my mind and i would say to myself ‘fuck it’ lets do this – Today i am going to start writing a novel. Which lasted about two days, then i lost the heart.
I remember writing half of a novel by hand, pencil actually in a huge notebook. It wasn’t until i read it back and realised how shit it sounded i just stopped. The thing is, i actually still have that.

I grew a little more confident with my writing, because i started to write short stories as too often an idea would pop into my head and i needed to get it out, this really did boost me up and this went on for a long time – Actually it still goes on, i love writing short because one of those little moments of randomness is actually something to do with my book.
I remember sharing a piece of fun writing i had written, it was to be entered into a competition and i sent it my mum, who then showed my auntie. They both seemed to like it. Though i read it back and i feel a bit embarrassed. I titled it ‘The change’


The Change – written 1/05/2015

 

Dawn was getting tired of her husband. Not just one specific thing but every little stinking movement he made.
The way he sat in his boxers watching tv in the morning letting everything hang out, the stench that came out of the other end every time he lifted his leg up to let one rip. Even the way he ate his food, she wanted to stab him in the head with a fork. Enough was enough!

”You slurp that cup of tea one more time Charlie and I will cut off your lips!”

”Did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed this morning darling?”

”No I did not, I am sick to the back teeth of you and your disgusting habits.”

”Can you find me a shirt to wear for today, I want too look nice for lunch at the Golf Club.”

”Shut up Charlie, you make me so mad. I am not a slave!”

”Oh no…Dawn.”

”For God sake, what?”

”You’ve started the menopause haven’t you? Damn it, I knew this day was coming you haven’t made a decent meal for months. I should of spotted the signs dear.”

”I am not on the change you bone idle twit… Go and find a shirt yourself.”

Dawn stormed off into the kitchen. If only she had a plan to make him disappear, maybe rat poison in his dinner? An accidental push down the stairs. She had an idea.

”Sweetie, how about I made you a nice boxed lunch whilst your playing golf, nothing beats my BLT sandwiches.”

”What a nice idea, is this your way of apologising? The BLT sounds great, throw in something extra on it as well. Make it one of your specials.”

”Oh I will don’t worry about that. Just need to head into the garden, my flowers need a water.”

She smiled so lovingly and headed outside. Such a beautiful spring day, the birds were about and the air smelt like flowers. Dawn loved her garden, she had some good afternoons showing it off to her friends when she hosted tea and biscuit afternoons.
As she headed towards the far end where the soil bed was a little more damper, she picked up her hand trowel that was left lying near by and began to dig. It didn’t take long until she came across a couple of worms, fantastic she thought.

After spending the morning watering flowers and then preparing Charlie’s lunch, she got rather excited at the thought of him leaving for the day.
Maybe she will pop round to Joanne’s for a chat, the day was hers.
”Here you go darling, I hope you enjoy your lunch. It’s a pretty random sandwich I must say, has all your favourites on it.”

”Thank you Dawn, you do know how to look after me, I will be back in time for dinner. Maybe you can do a fish dish this evening?”

”Of course, will anyone from the golf club be joining?”

”More than likely it will be Tom, you know he hates to go home.”

”I will make plenty then, have a great day dear.”

They kissed each other goodbye and Dawn felt immediate peace.

As Charlie sat at a picnic table with his fellow golfers he couldn’t wait to eat his lunch. He knew Dawn was such a sandwich artist, he loved everything, because she always used fresh and organic ingredients.
He opened up his sandwich box and took a quick look to see what she had put together.
Too his shock it wasn’t to his expectations. Bacon, lettuce, ham and a rather lovely looking dead worm.
Charlie laughed to himself and threw the worm on the floor.
Tom, his friend noticed him smiling.

”Something funny chap?”

”Oh, sorry Tom. Just the wife, I think the menopause has begun.”

”Charlie, that’s not something to laugh about, your life is going to be hell from now on.”

Charlie let out a laugh again.

”I think my life is most definitely going to get interesting that’s for sure.”


It was that day, that moment i knew i wanted to write but sadly i didn’t have the balls back then. I tried a lot of things, all which i have and will look at one day and perhaps they will make a story. One was a story about a married couple who suffered the loss of a baby. On the night of her finding her baby had died, her husband was out planning to leave his wife for another woman. To which he did, and left her alone to deal with the grief.
I think it made for a good story and i was about to get myself educated on all aspects of losing a baby and i would upload each part on Wattpad. I couldn’t cope with the shit writing so i deleted it.

In 2017 i lost my job, and started a blog. This opened so many doors for me to show off my writing. Whether or not people actually do read, because lets face it WordPress is riddled with the ‘instant likers’ – I didn’t intend on sharing my writing on this blog, but i felt so much confidence and started to make friends i thought what have i got to lose?
I have also never been in the presence of writers, i am pretty much a lone wolf when it comes to my writing and i do find it hard to communicate with others because i am less educated, i don’t really know anything about the life of an author, publishing world etc you get my  drift. So for me, sharing on here is a huge deal because the world can see it, the world can judge you. That’s something i am still coping with. But this blog was a life saver – Because i would be still sitting here allowing those little voices telling me to write and id be doing my hardest to fight them off.

Now, it’s 2018 – I am 27 and not getting any younger. Which also plays a HUGE part in why i am writing a novel. When i hit this age, i will admit a huge depression came over me – Some people say oh you are still young but i say i am not. I look at ‘friends’ (social media friends now) or others of my ages, the ones even younger and what they have achieved. That freaked me out, it scared me and instead of sitting up and doing something about it i spent most of last winter depressed and lost, not knowing what to do – BUT i did know what to do and that was to write.

I had this idea of a novel, i called it ‘Give me back my flowers’ Its a funny romance romcom kinda story, which at the moment is on the back burner because i feel as though it’s not powerful enough for me to want to pursue. My mind, my focus is not something happy and flowery, i have a lot of emotion inside of me that is perfect for the TWO books i have started to write.

Alena being my first, which is a fantasy. One that i have left alone because i want to allow the chapters i have written simmer and then i can look at them with a different frame of mind. Because, use writers we like to change ALOT.

My second novel is a sci-fi thriller, I don’t have a title for this yet but this came to me in a dream. I wrote a few short snippets of it and i realised this is book worthy. So i replayed what i could remember of my dream over and over and wrote what i could down, which then turned into me outlining it and yup i am now writing.

I hope to have my first draft done in a few months, because i am still unemployed. I think that will change once i get a job, so i am cramming in as much writing as i can before i don’t get to do it as much – I have faith i will get a job, i can’t stand working in this shit – But this book, this idea i have never felt so much fire in me for a long time. Its meant to be and whilst i am poor living off cheap food, writing this book is something that i must do. I want this to be my career, my life.

I said to myself over the years, it’s now or never. Do it, go on. But i never did, and the more we put off doing something the more chance we will be sitting in a rocking chair regretting ever minute.
I am scared i will fail, i am scared my writing is crap but i need to do it. YOU have to be accountable for the shit you do and don’t do.
Why didn’t i do this a long time ago? Because i am weak. I have put off things that i shouldn’t of, i will say hands up in the air that i have quit a lot of things because i get too scared, scared of the challenge and work i have to put in. Because, again if i fail what would of been the point?
This time, if i fail then i will be happy enough and proud enough to say you know what – See that book, the one with the cover and my name? I did that!

I have had so many dreams, and they have been dreams to fill in the gaps of something i feel i am missing. You know what it was? I was avoiding my purpose, i was purposely finding all these new things and business ventures to do, and making silly choices to avoid writing. They were fake dreams.

So here i am today, writing. Blogging, making friends online, and rambling. I think connecting with God has helped me a lot so i would like to thank him and the universe for pulling me up all of the years.

xo

Sunday Chit chat | I did it, i wrote my first chapter.

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You know how i mentioned about writing a book a million times? Then i mentioned that ‘this idea was the one’ Then i said it again and again, then i had the ‘Give me back my flowers’ Was going to be the ONE! – K that is still will be something, eventually – One that i am in no rush to finish. So i technically aren’t lying, because i  did say it might not turn out to be anything – It’s more likely going to be an entry into a short story competition.

OKAY OKAY GET TO THE POINT.  – Firstly you need to enter my give-away all you have to do is tell me why you started blogging. It’s open until the 26th of Jan but i am more than likely going to let it run until the 31st. ‘Cause i am hopeless at scheduling.

RIGHT – so i took some advice, and i started to brainstorm ideas for stories and then i thought of one. Then the next advice was to outline – WHAT IS THIS?! I’ve never in my life outlined anything, if i feel an itch to write i do. Hence the random short stories on here, i don’t pre-write them and then blog it. I literally open up a new post and tap away. BOOM. The anxious feeling of writing started to hit me, what if my idea was stupid, what if nobody likes it. So i kinda did one of those brain storms of what i wanted my ‘story’ idea to be. Then i did a second one with more detail, then i wrote with a pencil til my hands ached, paragraphs of a mini structure. The beginning, middle and end, then i re-wrote that so it had more detail, then i well i realised my book idea wasn’t going to be just one book. It’s going to be a series…

And that my friends, i finally FINALLY FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART. Found my story.

So i just finished chapter one, of well what will be eventually draft one. And when you put it like that, it feels like my book will never be done. If only i hadn’t put off writing for such a long time? Hmmm, no time to blame myself – Things happen for a reason, this idea has taken this long for a reason. The time is now.

With that, i wish you all a happy Sunday, as i am off to bed! Good night xo

Writing excerpt #2 (not edited, possible mistakes)| Give me back my flowers

 

_Go on and eatthat cheese cracker_

It was officially March, spring began to peak through and the world started to work properly again. Erin hated the few months of a new year, because everyone was resolution mad. Her social media feed would be flooded with gym statuses and photo’s of food prep or healthy eating. “Eat clean, get lean” – She would make vomiting noises every time some cheesy positive momentum would pop up. Mainly from those who are always trying to get healthy and go back to being greedy by summer. Not forgetting the rush dieters, the ones that moan about not looking sexy enough in a bikini and need to cram in two weeks of intense exercise and vomiting after meals. ‘It’s okay, your only going Spain love. It’s not an exclusive trip to the Virgin Islands, go on and eat that cheese cracker’- Erin smirked.

Spring was Erin’s favourite time of the year for a few reasons, one being she would be able to watch her front garden bloom with pretty flowers. Another reason, lot’s of articles to write for the wedding magazine she worked for. Not jut the writing, the chance to travel to different wedding venues and even more time working at home. Interns and apprenticeships will start, and build up for summer so less room at the office. Of course, it was her brilliant idea in the first place. Allow some of the staff to have flexibility – It seemed silly to sit in the office for eight hours when you’d only need to do a few hours work editing. She will always be known as the girl who let people have more chill time than work time. It went down a treat with some of the parents who struggled with full time work due to kids, which Erin however would always ask why have them?
I suppose she will never quite understand that feeling, she’s thirty four years old and divorced. No children, not even a pet. All of her life she never felt this need to have kids, she did want a loving husband to last at least until she was 60 – He couldn’t resist sticking it elsewhere. ‘Bloody men’ she muttered, not caring if her neighbour who was sitting in his garden heard a word of it.
Erin coped well with the divorce though, she finally saw him for the pig he was. After all these years since highschool, she was finally rid of Pin dick Pete. His name wasn’t really wasn’t Pete, it Wayne but when they moved onto college they students said it fit better. In fact, they said “It fit’s better than his cock” – Oh how funny those days were, now it’s work until your dead.
Each day passed more quickly, the months pass then its Christmas again and everyone is back to making those bloody resolutions. Erin sighs and decides to sit down and stop planting her azalea flowers, her front garden was nothing special. A back one didn’t exist, it was a small grass area and path leading to fence and back way, which then led onto a street with all the other houses. Erin lived in an newly built neighbourhood and thanks to years of saving she was able to buy a home, no mortgage no rent – An actual home. But because she lived in a ‘modern’ semi-detached, her front garden was not separate. I guess this was due to the design, no line or space distinguished who’s half of the front garden was who’s. Both front doors were aligned so close together, that more often than not she bumped elbows with her neighbour – Thomas. He was an ok guy, she believed he was the same age but acted nothing like it. Round about this time of the year and summer, he would bring out his chairs and just sit drinking, sometimes with the radio on too loud. Even hosts mini front garden parties for the whole street to take part in, though this was just an excuse to get the neighbours involved without pissing them off.
His tall cliche dark hair, quirky modern style always caught the eyes of some of the teenage girls living opposite, you can hardly fault them for swooning. He’s gorgeous, but just a complete arse who knew damn well how good looking he was.
Erin laughed, quite loudly about a story Thomas once shared. Apparently, he made such an impact on the female staff at Costa, they insisted on him having a free coffee but had a paper with a list full of names and numbers. Even one that said ‘Find me on Facebook, drop me a message’ – If only Erin had that much luck with men. Maybe she should try women, she often thought about it. How many of the girls she knew at school that were solely into men or were once in a long term relationship with them came out as gay. Would she ever say no If a woman kissed her and they had a night of passion.  Erin was about to laugh again, but Thomas walked on over with his smooth walk, smiley face and logo t-shirt.
He really is a man stuck in a students body.

 

 

Disconnected – Short story

“How much food do we have til they open the store again?”

“A couple of meals i say”

It was enough, it’s not like the store wasn’t going to open again. But for some reason people thought the need to ration, even supermarkets got in on it too. Once a week the it would open for a set amount of time, then close. We were able to get the most needed items, but they still had to limit how much because everyone needed to eat and drink.

The world had lost it’s mind since the internet went down, it was as though people had forgotten how life was lived without access to the online world. Four weeks had passed, nobody understand why or when it would be back – If was to ever come back.
I didn’t care, i actually liked it. The air was hectic but i also felt a sense of peace. People weren’t glued to laptops or phones unless they needed to make a call.
Children were out on the street playing, or at home with toys. The news reported that toy sales had risen because children were unable to play most mobile or tablet games without a connection, and mobile data was unavailable. Footballs and sporting goods were another popular thing, people were going out and just throwing a ball around.
Crime hadn’t changed, which we all though would. Hackers are clearly pissed off, but banks and expensive stores have had to adjust the alarms systems. Most are a live alarms, where the security feed is 24/7 linked with an online server. It had all been disconnected but nobody gave it a thought to go and rob the local banks. – How odd?

Is this something that’s going to make the world come together or eventually will people crack and crime will rise, i just don’t know. I aren’t seeking for answers, i am accepting this as it comes across. Whilst most spend all day and night trying to do something about it, i am sleeping without disturbance.

 

“Have you seen the fucking news, look quick…. The worlds been cut off from electric. What in the fuck are we going to do now?”

 

‘Untitled’ – Short story

The rain was coming down heavy, but leaving a slight breeze that was enough to make curtains move. I loved the air when it rained, I also enjoyed the view in the distance. When I looked out of my apartment window, I had been blessed with a view – Not just houses and other apartments, my eyes focused on the far away. Fields and even more fields, which looked strangely beautiful when it rained. The mist and grey fog that hovered over the tops of the hills. I wanted to be surrounded by it and delved into an adventure, I always imagined that If I walked inside of it that I’d come across the darker side of what the weather can do. I guess I really wanted a horror adventure, maybe not the choice of everyone’s but I do like mystery, even if it does involve a serial killer or two.

I sat for a good twenty minutes just staring, I thought about a few things and most were blank thoughts. The ‘far’ away was very far indeed, the rain became heavier and it was impossible to see into the distance but it was still enjoyable to take in the weather. I never quite understood why people hated the rain so much, sure it’s horrible getting wet. It limits your outdoor activity and who loves to be out shopping or doing things for then to get soaked. But it’s tranquil, water itself is healthy, and just look at how many sea creatures and animal exist and how beautiful they are.
My favourite is the shark, I’m not sure what attracts me to this species as such but other than its hugely feared. The fact that people fear it makes me love the shark more because, even though it’s something you worry about if you’re on an exotic holiday and happen to be in the sea – They are extremely intelligent. I like things that have more than a meets the eye kind of vibe, and that is exactly the shark.

Before I get up from the window, I drink the rest of my coffee. I don’t usually drink it, it sets off my anxiety and never has been useful regarding keeping me awake, but seeing as my days are numbered I may as well enjoy everything I can before I have no time.

You see, the one thing that I am enjoying right now Is watching the rain, the water. Water that we shower and wash in, bathe, wash clothes. The complete necessity in life for us to keep, well living. Except one thing – It’s what’s killing me.

It’s the one thing that’s killing the whole world.