Looking back on 2010.

A few days ago, I was making my new-years resolution to finish an unnamed beast of an epic. The day before yesterday, I decided to close my eyes and delivered my very first blog post. Yesterday, I found a name for the epic and a little later, I finished my rough draft. 

That’s what it felt like, anyway. At the same time, it feels like I’ve known some of you for years (even though I only started blogging on 2 August.) 

My year has been through highs and lows. The lowest being my epic failure at economics at the home stretch of my final year. But luckily that served to blunt the blow of failing to win NaNo. ;-P

But you know, this has actually been a blessed year for me. I moved in (and met) with a girl who would become the Watson to my Sherlock Holmes (really). I was maid of honour for one of my best friends in the whole wide world (and also my first blog follower.) I saw my other best friend three times this year despite her having moved to the other side of the country in January. 

And I still have all the family members and friends that I had at the beginning of the year, which makes me very blessed indeed. 

So I can easily say that this year was the best one I had in the past decade.  

All that’s left to say is thank you for getting to know me and that I hope that this new decade will bring many new blessings and opportunities your way. Have a wonderful 2011!

Love,

Misha

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New music and new characters

For my birthday, my cousin’s boyfriend gave me a bunch of old cds that he thought would make for good writing soundtracks. 

About ten percent of it will work for Doorways. 

The rest? 

The rest is pretty much the soundtrack for Guardian. 

It’s great to finally have the music I need. To me, music is more than the backtrack of the book I’m writing. 

It helps me hear my characters. 

No. 

It helps me to FEEL my characters. 

In fact, nothing helps me to know my characters better than listening to their songs – particularly new songs. New songs tend to let me explore a new aspect of them. 

How?

Easy. I hear a song and suddenly smile, realizing that the song fits a character somehow. Then it’s my job to figure out why the song works so well. Random, but useful.

What do you do to figure out your characters?

Improvising a Poem…

Hello all!

Finally, I am back an ready to get posting. I was planning to be back by yesterday already, but three of my best friends in the whole world threw me a surprise birthday braai (similar to a barbeque). So I thought that blogging in their presence to be a tad rude.

While I was contemplating that thought, I suddenly remembered that I had signed up for a blogfest to stretch my creative mind.

As per usual, I completely forgot about it until the day it is due. So… Here’s how it works.

I pick a picture from the ones offered…

And then write a scene of no more than 500 (bahahahahahaha) words in narrative-verse poetry.

Fun right?

No idea. I’ve never done it before. But here goes.

My convoluted narrative verse poem…

Dreaming of a Victorian Christmas

On the day before Christmas,

The heat and light darken
Into a night so cloudless
That I imagine that Star beckon
To those first three gift givers.


And as I ponder
Those three magi,
Who at great peril followed that wonder
There is a thought of where I
Wish my star would take me.


If only I could be
In London
With my family
Dressed in shirts of pure cotton
And crinolines and bustles.


I suppose I would wear
A corset if I must
If I could only get to stare
At things before the rust
Of the ages have settled.


Of course, it would snow.
In lovely thick drapes
And we would know
To cover up in mantles and capes
Before wandering out to play.


How fun it would be!
Skating and riding on a sled
And frolicking before we
Set off to home, cold kisses,
Hot chocolate and bed.


But then, clear as day
I see,
I don’t need to go away
To be right where I want.
For what I really wish


Is for all those I love
To be in good health.
This is what I want above
All dreams going to unknown places
And of worthless wealth.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.

Love,

Misha

Today is (was) going to be a short post.

As Christmas approaches, my to-do list lengthens. As such, this post shortens. ;-P


Today will be taken up by unpacking a fridge after our one maid filled it with plates. The fridge being coffin-like in volume.


Luckily I have a slave (my younger brother) to help me move the ceramic plates somewhere else.


When that’s done, I get to bake! Hopefully. I’m thinking lamingtons and more traditional treats named Jan Smutsies and Hertzoggies.


For those of you with zero South African connection (me excluded), Jan Smutsies and Hertzoggies are basically small soft cakes with apricot jam baked in between. Incredibly delicious. Ask nicely and I might even post a recipe.


But to intrigue you, I present:





Hertzoggies (the tops are made of coconut)


and…



Jan Smutsies.


Ask really REALLY nicely and I might throw in some other kick-ass traditional South African treats.


But I digress. After that I have to pack a suitcase for a week and move into my mother’s room to make space for the family. Which means I have to plan what I have to wear. For almost a week.


I don’t even plan what I wear to weddings and funerals. Sigh…


But I will suffer this trial for the sake of Christmas.


Speaking of trials. I’m also very likely going to have to stay off blogger until Tuesday.


I’ll try to sneak in some blogger time.


But it is beyond likely that I will drop off the face of the blogosphere until next Tuesday. Starting now.


No wait!










Have a blessed Christmas! May your time with your family be as wonderful as it can possibly be and my the love of Jesus Christ fill your house on this Holy Day.


With LOTS of love,


Kiss Kiss,


Hug Hug,


Missing you already,


Misha




P.S. Commencing drop from blogosphere in. Ten. Nine… AAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaa………


……………


Thud.

Resistance

It’s official.

My muse is just plain contrary.

I decided to take a break from Doorways and started working on Guardian. As soon as I finished writing the scene I wanted… The plot outline occurred to me, weaving James and Ward’s story back into the plot as I intended all along.

I must say that I am thrilled by this. But why couldn’t I just have done it while I was still in the “strike while the iron is hot”  mood?

That said, I might take a break from writing in general for a short while. Maybe just until January.

Even though I’ve been quite productive these past few days, it feels as if I’m wringing my already over wrung mind for whatever ideas I might have left. It’s just not a fun feeling to have. Especially not when I’m doing something that I love.

I actually had a headache after I wrote only 1000 words.

Maybe I shouldn’t push myself. But as I said. Now that I am contemplating taking a break, I feel that draw. That intense desire to sit down and start crafting a story. Whether it’s an old one or a new one.

So I want to write. I really do. So why then do I feel such a resistance when I am writing?

Have any of you experienced something similar?

The problem with taking a break.

I decided to get my creativity going again by working on something else. Just for a while.

Right.

Optimistic thought of the century.

See… I decided to just write a single scene to open Guardian. For those of you that don’t know, Guardian is the book that occurred to me a few months back. I shelved it pending the completion of Doorways.

I never stated which draft of Doorways to be completed. Yes people. I am a genius at finding loopholes.

Anyway. I wrote it out and got hit by the clearest voice I’ve ever had. Really. It’s literally as if I’m tuning into Arian’s mind. Not that her mind isn’t a scary place. She’s bitter and more than just a little cynical.

I know for a fact what part of me she comes from, though. Which makes it a bit uncomfortable. Like a mother looking at her child and seeing that the kid got all of her personality traits. Including the worst ones.

Still. She does intrigue me. Not as much as, say… Darrion. But then… Darrion is in a league all of his own. 

I just hope that I didn’t open Pandora’s box now. I still want to rewrite Doorways. As quickly as possible.  It won’t do to have Arian chattering away while I’m trying to tune into Callan or the others.

On the other hand… I think it might be a good idea to rest Doorways until I can look at it without shaking. If that is even possible. But if I am to rest Doorways with a hope of getting back to it, it might be a better idea to stick to small projects like short stories and poetry. IF… I could get my brain wired that way for a while.

Fact is that my mind is geared to writing novels.

That’s it. Time for a change. I am going to write a poem a day until I can say my mind is geared to anything literary.

Maybe I’ll even post a few. IF… they aren’t too terrible.

What do you do to give your mind a rest before rewrites?

Contradictions in my muse and me.

My muse is a wonderful lady sometimes. Yet somehow, she manages to be a complete bitch at the same time. 

For example, she believes that pressuring me to write during a time that I’m down is a bad idea, so she just doesn’t give me anything to say. Of course, the one thing that can get me out of the doldrums would be… yep you guessed it. Writing.

She hits me with the most wonderful ideas.

When I’m too busy to do anything with them.

Then she leaves in a huff because I didn’t get back to her quick enough. Leaving me with nothing when I do have time to write.

Sigh.

 She got me though the first draft of Doorways. And promptly started ignoring me when I wanted to get stuck into the rewrite.

Now she’s nudging me towards writing again. Except that the idea floating around in my head has nothing to do with the rewrite. 

Charming.

I’m actually contemplating putting my rough draft aside for a month so that I can approach it with an open mind.  I think a big reason why I’m getting so stuck is that I’m co close to the current version that I just can’t possibly imaging changing anything to the storyline. Even as I realize that huge changes are necessary.

But even as I say so, part of me is completely balking at the idea. After all. I spent so much time on Doorways that the idea of doing something else for a while is completely alien. Sigh.

My muse is refusing to give me any advice on this one. So now I’m asking yours. Do I take a break or don’t I?