Going to Hell in a Handbasket

Evening lovely readers 🙂

hell in a handbasketFirst off has anyone else heard the saying in my title? I was always positive it existed but everyone around me looked at me like I’d grown a second head and started breathing purple fire. “What? Never heard of it…” “you must have made it up…” lol. Well now I can officially say that it does exist and it means that circumstances are being led to disaster. Nuh ny nuh to all those doubters lol 🙂 Anyhoo slightly off topic…

This saying does in fact relate, at least partially, to what I am doing now. I have to think of a new title for my novel. I know right? I’d rather rewrite the damn thing than rethink the title solely because my brain seems to have taken on writer’s brain block. Okay, so it’s all not going to disaster but my brain is definitely hurting right now… As some will know my novel is currently called I Cast Magic Into the Darkness. I originally chose this title to show the confusion my protagonist feels at the circumstances she finds herself in. Now I have no idea how to pick one. How the heck do I avoid falling into a stereotypical fantasy trap of a title?

Some of my favourite authors have adopted varied techniques when naming their own works. Christine Feehan opted for the more repetitive option with her Dark Carpathian series as, for example, she starts the series with Dark Prince and each book that follows begins with dark in the title. For the way the series develops this is inspired as it really adds to the effect of the darkness that each protagonist must fight against. In contrast, The Belgariad and The Mallorean series written by the exceptional David Eddings chooses a fantastical title to encompass what happens in the books in general. For example, the first book of the Belgariad series is entitled Pawn of Prophecy which aptly describes what Garion is and what his journey will be through the two series and beyond. It’s with examples like these that I wish I had the the type of genius to come up with equally epic titles.

You see my problem. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Love to you all. Thank you 🙂

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Passivity, Get Thee to the Bowels of HELL!!!!!!!!

Hello lovely readers 🙂

Today I’m going to talk about something that plagues my writing; the passive voice. This little devil keeps slowly and lazily rearing its ugly head; I mean its passive, its not going anywhere fast.

Essentially, passive voice is when the focus of the sentence is on the action. Those who perform the action are not important. On average, there is usually some version of the verb be which is coupled with a past tense. For example,
                                                                                          ‘She felt her soul had shattered.’

Now this is the complete opposite of using the more active voice where the subject causes the action of the verb, for example – “I sing a song of the soul”. It’s great because in one sentence you get cause and effect, a solid moving forward of the narrative. I, like every other writer in the known World, always try to write my best and if I’m honest using the passive voice is not done intentionally; it’s just really bloody annoying when it pops up regardless lol.

Lets not forget the fact that by making the object of an action into the subject of a sentence can effectively change how we view the World. What?? I hear you shout. How the Hell does grammar affect our view of the World?? Well consider this, how can we understand the World to begin with when the tool we use to define it can be moulded into such a lacklustre, slow, almost drippy language? For example, Richard Mitchell in Elements of Style, stated it best when he wrote – “You may want to object that a whole view of the world and its meanings can hardly be importantly altered by a silly grammatical form. If so, you’re just not thinking. Grammatical forms are exactly the things that make us understand the world the way we understand it. To understand the world, we make propositions about it, and those propositions are both formed and limited by the grammar of the language in which we propose.” Richard Mitchell. 

From now on I will have to make sure I really do rewire my brain to write in the active voice permanently, which I do do in my writing now but passivity attacks on the rare occasion with a vengeance. Does anyone have any tips? I’m not too proud to say I accept any and all advice 🙂 I’m proud of anything and everything I write 🙂 Tomorrow will be a post on my study on the active voice and how I will apply it to my writing.

Thank you, vent over. My head hurts and I feel like my passive polar bear at the top. Hope I haven’t hurt your head too much 🙂

An Unforgivable Delay to Creative Yumminess

Hello lovely readers 🙂

This is just a quick post to beg your forgiveness for a lack of a proper post. I have been working on a fantastical treat of flash fiction yumminess but alas real life poked its head in and gave me a good slapping. To make up for it there will be a special post tomorrow of something I’ve always wanted to try; to combine the preternatural with the downright fantastical and it will have such literary delights you won’t believe.

Thank you 🙂

Do You Write To Let Off Steam? AND A Story For My Daughter

Hello lovely readers 🙂

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I find myself plagued with curiosity today. Do you ever find yourself writing to let off steam if you’re a writer? It hit me today that I need to let off some of my creative bubbliness in an opposite direction to my novel. Don’t get me wrong, I’m loving working on my novel in preparation for sending it to my editor at the end of May but I just feel that to concentrate properly on it I need to stop my mind wandering to other possible story lines. I find it true what Albert Einstein said:

“Creativity is contagious, pass it on” – Albert Einstein

I love my novel (and hopefully others will too) but my mind wanders to other story ideas, other Worlds, other characters and other reality’s. I so wish I were more like my friend J S Collyer who is an exceptional writer. Her passion for writing can go from intense sci fi to dark, terrifying and addictive horror. I at times feel like a one track pony, if you’ll forgive the phrase, but I do so love fantasy. Anything can happen in a fantasy novel and believe me when I say anything can happen in my brain lol 🙂 And J S does always say write what you know, write what you love and surround yourself in it so I will 🙂 Today’s story is written for one of the three greatest loves in my life, my daughter Alyssia (the other two being my boyfriend Duane and of course my writing.) She has been such a joy in the five months she’s been here that I want to do something, if only small, to celebrate her and the exceptional, selfless person I know she’ll be. So please enjoy my little slice of creativity below. Please check back occasionally, I will add to this story as ideas come to me 🙂

To Dance a Dance of the Soul

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The night was a dark one for this time of year. None of the shining stars were seen, their bright diamond brilliance missed by all. Even the crescent moon seemed dim. Those that were highly religious stayed in doors on a night like this, believing it a dark portent of some untold doom. The marble paved streets were empty of all. Well, all except one lone figure masked in a seemingly unending dark mist. The figure ran towards the nearest wall and manage to scale it in one long leap. The figure then ran across the roof towards the jewellers, the only clear signs it was human were the crystal blue eyes appearing from the mist and the long braided ponytail streaking from its back.

The figure approached with caution, noting the palace guard stationed around the roof top. It sighed in frustration. Patrols had become much more frequent in recent years making its job ten times harder but it had to smile. It did so love the thrill of it. It waited for two particularly large guards to pass the jewellers and then it somersaulted over the alleyway. Oh it had magic to do all this for it but doing it yourself made it far more interesting. The figure gently removed one of the crystal panels from the roof of the shop and floated down towards the centre. There were the average security spells in place but the figure wasn’t worried, it could unravel these in no time. Eventually, all was clear and the figure had to grin. It turned towards the Anteran diamond surrounded by lesser Underrian emeralds. The figure knew that the diamond was the main prize but it couldn’t hurt taking all of them. The figure grinned a devilish grin…

*                                                                 *                                                          *

Alyssia sighed. Why couldn’t her father understand? The plight of their people went unheard while her family enjoyed the trappings of society. To her it was just a guilded cage. She took hold of her long braid in agitation. It was a habit left over from childhood, one that was drilled out of her but still showed when she was truly frustrated.

Tonight she was stuck at one of her fathers banquets. She stretched on the soft purple dais wanting the people to see the lazy over indulged crown princess she pretended to be. No one needed to know her secret, it made it easier for her to move around.

The golden horns at the entrance of the banquet hall sounded, no doubt signalling more of her fathers pompous lords trying to stake a claim to her. She was tired of women in their kingdom having no rights. That was the first thing to change when she was Queen.

The doors opened steadily and Alyssia had to admit she hadn’t expected such a sight. A tall and handsome man entered wearing an air of confidence around him like a cloak. His skin was golden bronze, his soft black hair tied at the knape, a longer braid underneath and his clothes spoke of royalty. Alyssia actually found herself gaping. She’d never seen such a handsome man. He turned and fixed his crystal blue eyes on her, trying to charm her with his develish grin. Half of her wanted to sniff in indignation, the other half wanted to adjust her purple silk gown to hide her sudden surge of nerves.

‘Announcing Lord Prince Damon of the Illium.’

Oh wonderful, she thought. Him being a prince gave him a better chance with her father. She really didn’t need this now; she had plans that couldn’t be interrupted now. She was vaguely aware of her father moving to talk to him but she tuned them out. She wasn’t stupid, she knew how beautiful she was, a great prize to any bold enough to try and claim her but let them try; even if she were married off to some fool the wedding night would be lethal for one of them.

She felt her personal dais indent with a significant weight and sighed knowing instinctively who it was.

“Your father really wants to marry you off,” a deep, rather unsettling voice said to her with a chuckle. “Are you that much of a pain princess?”

Alyssia tried to ignore him but his scent was intriguing, she felt herself leaning more toward him. Becoming irate with herself she merely sighed as if bored, threw up her right hand and a small wall of burning ice seperated them. She heard that same deep chuckle and a murmured “Guess so.” She felt him move off the dais and walk away. She was a little saddened by his absence. Really? she though to herself. Am I that weak? She shook with some unknown emotion and sought to see where the Lord Prince had gone after her rejection. He seemed in distraught discussion with his servant, gesturing wildly while he spoke. What was he up to?

*
* *

… and moved to take up the gems while removing the dark headscarf. His white teeth couldn’t be hidden and he carried on grinning. This had been too easy. The Royals had been busy on the party and no one saw him sneak out. Who would anyway? They all assumed he was off nursing his hurt over his rejection.

He went to pick up the diamond and found it was stuck. No not stuck, someone had hold of it from the other side of the cushion. He narrowed his eyes trying to see something, anything, but he could see nothing but blackness. He called upon his elemental magic and looked again through enhanced vision. Now he could just make out a smaller figure dressed as he was with a similar braid and the most expressive eyes he had ever seen. He felt something stir within him until he realised he had seen those eyes before.

“Princess?”

“By all the Gods…” he heard uttered in her beautiful voice. Well, this was interesting…

Happy Birthday to My Favorite Dilettante!

A truly talented and wonderful Lady; a genius such as this should always be celebrated. One of my very favourite Ladies to be sure 🙂 Happy birthday Helena 🙂

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A little birdie (well, actually, a big birdie) told me that today is Helena Hann-Basquiat’s birthday!  And what better way to celebrate her birthday than by heading over to Amazon and picking up one or all of her recent publications:

Memoirs of a Dilettante Volume One, available in both ebook and paperback.  I highly recommend the paperback.  The printed format is candy for the eyes.  If you are a fan of Helena’s blog (and how can you not be), then you will love having the adventures of Penny dammit, Countess of Arcadia and Helena all in one beautifully designed place.

Three Cigarettes, available as an ebook and only 99 cents.  By the way, I’ve read and reviewed Three Cigarettes and found it to be both thrilling and chilling.  Although Three Cigarettes was written by Jessica B. Bell, Helena was the editor.  More importantly, she is Jessica’s keeper and…

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Dedication, Skill… and a Bloody Boat Load of Excellent Creativity

Tuned To A Dead Channel - Out 20th September!

On average, I tend to use this page not only to talk of my own attempts at creativity but celebrate that aspect in others also. I find creativity in all forms fascinating and love to share that with any I can. This time it comes in the form of a newly released anthology of short stories. Tuned to a Dead Channel is the new collection of short stories from the epic Dagda Publishing, a relatively new publishers that already has an impressive portfolio of work behind them. This includes both Tuned to a Dead Channel and the soon to be published Threads, an anthology of poetry.

Now anyone who has read a good number of my posts before will know about my friend Jex. Known publicly as the author J Collyer, she has been both a wonderful friend to me and one of my main inspirations for my own creativity. When attempting to write of a strong female character in a fantasy World (as I usually attempt to do 🙂 ) it’s good to have an influence in real life also. Jex is an exceptional writer, as can be seen on her own blog, and I can’t wait for her first novel to be published very soon. You can also have a taste of her brilliant creativity in the aforementioned Tuned to a Dead Channel. Her short story, Ash, is a condensed slice of science fiction wonder and a good indication of future writings to come.

However Jex’s story isn’t the only one in there. There are a total of fifteen dystopian future stories for you to sink your teeth into. Each one portrays just as much wonderful creativity as the last and gives many views to any future we could possibly face. I urge anyone to go out and buy this collection as you will not be disappointed in the slightest. I fully plan to review this collection once I can afford to buy it, of which I will post on here, and I am fully aware that I will not be disappointed either.

Oh, and I am still writing outside of my comfort zone and blummin loving it 🙂

There Comes a Time One Must Admit Defeat…

https://akhinchey.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/fantasy-worrior-and-her-trophy.jpg

…Although don’t panic, I’m still working on my novel. For a while now I have been convinced that the storyline has been finished and indeed I have come to the ending wanting to really portray the feelings generated by it for both the readers and the protagonist. However, editing as I am I have come to various points where I just have to add more. There has been many aspects; the nuances of different relationships, some missing action and even the hope to portray your characters in a different light; that I have discovered I need to add but I’m not entirely sure how to do this or how to feel about it. I don’t want to add something in that i feel needs adding just to find it makes the entire section of the novel seem obsolete or pathetic.

How do you come to terms with thinking you are so close to the finished product and yet discovering you are so far away. I really admire my friend Jex who always has a lot to write about and is always so passionate in the writing. She’s very good and I worry that my novel may not stand up since I have to add more in. This is a moment of doubt I’m sure I will work though but for now must work on my novel and getting it right 🙂

Thank you for listening to my vent 🙂

Also yes the artwork is again by Luis Royo, I can’t help it, he’s my favourite 🙂

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