I Am So Blocked! What Do I do?

So there I was happily typing away, building and creating the world that had been formulating and refining in my mind for months upon months finally was becoming a reality on the page and I have to admit that it was exhilarating! I had just finished laying the grounds for my main character Leila when I began my ritual of editing and re-editing the new paragraph when it hit me, what I had written had not only made no sense but it was also totally out of character and was obvious and desperate attempt to make this strange and uncomfortable scenario fit in order to rush through to the ‘interesting part’.

In that moment, all of my adrenalin and enthusiasm crashed like the waves on the rocks. I was so devastated, broken and frustrated and to top it all off I had only just got over my last speed bump and to write again felt so fulfilling and this set back just made me so vexed with myself that my old friend writer’s block came right on back with no signs of leaving anytime soon.

I was at a loss as to how to bridge the gap between where my characters were and where I needed them to be. I spent days sat staring vacantly into space trying to formulate a scenario that would work, my family got a bit concerned for a moment. Unfortunately, every idea I came up didn’t portray the extremely life changing relationship shift between my main character Leila and her husband, ol’ hubby would get in the way of everything (he is a boring meticulous frigid man who may or may not be on the autistic spectrum, his parents never found out because they didn’t want to know. How else would he turn out?) I have so many plots and ideas running through my head that I have such a headache and now I  have decided to get it out of my head and onto paper, so here goes!

After plenty of thinking and debating, I have narrowed it down to two avenues that seem both tenable:

          1.Leila’s husband Jonathan is gay.

Which can lead to an interesting story where Leila doubts herself as a wife and a mother, but I am not sure if I could portray this without having to go to an extremely dark place because Leila has been the rock that has been keeping the family together for a long time now and I think this would be a ‘straw that broke the camel’s back’ situation where it would push her into a deep depression that would negate the overwhelming side of Leila where she puts her kids first and foremost in everything. While this book is going to be a romantic comedy, I do want there will be a few sad scenes in my book but I want my first story to be a light and enjoyable read.

2. Jonathan dies.

This option would take care of getting the husband out of the way and would lead Leila to be wary and unsure about dating as a widowed mother of two. The only reason that I am reluctant to go down this path because again, it is quite a macabre way to go. As I am writing that I have realised that, yes it is quite a dark subject but it would be a perfect way to draw Leila and her children closer and irreversibly together, weaving an unspoken bond that they only knew.

I have realised that writing this blog has helped me become unblocked and see where I want the story to go. I think I am going to go with the death of Jonathan, I know this is quite a dark plotline but I don’t think I am going to focus too much on the death but more on the events immediately after and how everyone copes or not or I could do the classic ‘inform wife of death and flash forward x years’. I know it will be hard for the family and undoubtedly they will go through some dark times but they would have come through this monumental event together and stronger. Plus, I think it will pave the way for Leila to be strong and present in the moment for her children but she locks her heart and grief away, as we all know grief is a ticking time bomb. We will just have to wait and see how and when Leila’s bomb explodes.

Ahhh, I feel so much better! Thanks for listening to my silly woes of the written prose!

If you have ay advice, tips or even any critiques please let me know, I am writing this blog so I can grow and mature as a writer and sometimes I can be over analytical and too close to my writing and I need another set of honest eyes and that’s where you wonderful people come in. So, like I said if you have any advice, any at all please let me know because I could use all the help I can get!

Love and peace!

T xx

 

Location, location, location!

Whilst writing my book, I seem to keep coming across speed bumps and this one came in the form of authenticity. I wanted to use real life locations and that means tonnes of research.

For example, Leila (the protagonist) is meeting her friend at a pub that they would have frequented all throughout their lives and Leila would have chosen a rustic old fashioned family pub (I should mention that I have set the book in London).

I have been reading so many reviews (some of the things people complain about are… nevermind..) and googling “old fashioned rustic family pub” and they all look great but they seem to have been modernised and the terms “old fashioned” and “rustic” mean something very different these days.

Oh well, I am sure I will find that diamond amongst the rough. I just want my book to be authentic and help the readers see the characters rather than the words.If anyone does know of anything rustic and old fashioned in the terms of entertainment that would be great! 

A Frame of Mind

How many of you have ever been typing or writing away when all of a sudden you hit that invisible barrier? It keeps happening to me, every time I try to continue my story I can’t seem to find a way forward. But I kept at it and kept blundering my way through each line trying to bring it all together, but no matter how much I wanted to write it would always go the same way; get inspired to write, write for a few moments and hit that wall again.

I was getting quite frustrated at myself, why couldn’t I get what was in my head onto the screen and don’t even get me started on that irritating little cursor blinking away at me as if to say “Well? What are you waiting for?”

Just when I was about ready to punch my screen I suddenly realised what I need to do. I needed a guide to remind myself what I wanted my book to become and it was relatively easy. I started off by writing just a few key words down and then I expanded on those words, which I eventually expanded into sentences and before you knew it, I had my book!

It felt so good to see how my book was going to go and not have to worry about where I need to take my characters, it definitely got me excited about writing and pushed me on to finish. All I wrote were just a few sentences so I can build the book around it without having to worry about trying to connect the chapters. The best thing about my frame is that it allows to creatively free up my mind!

Thanks for listening and I hope this might help you!

Love you all,

T x

Meet My Character – Leila Sinclair

Leila Sinclair, 38, is an unassuming woman. Over the years she has forgotten to take care of herself amongst being a loving wife, doting mother and trying to keep up with the modern world at her job as Team Leader at NeoTech Inc. Now though, she finds that no one needs her. Leila’s  thirteen-year-old son Nathan (“It’s Nate actually!”) is all grown up and would rather die than be seen with his mum (his words)

Madison is six and has been in primary school for over a year now and only needs her mummy for food, hair, bedtime stories and when there is no one else to play with. As for her husband, well, he doesn’t even share the bed with Leila most nights now and even when he does, there is always a glacial gap between them. 

She avoids most reflective surfaces now, she refuses to believe that bloated stretched stressed looking person staring back is in fact, herself. Her dirty blond hair hasn’t had any attention since Nathan was born and there isn’t a strand of hair on her head that isn’t brittle or split. Her work suits were old and had shown signs of linting and her frumpy after work/weekend attire of baggy jumpers and tracksuit trousers may have been extremely comfortable but wasn’t exactly winning her any ‘wifey’ points, not that Jonathon was here much now.

Between working all hours at the Financial, er, Institution of something or the other (Leila really needed to start listening to Jonathon when he drones on about work) and his need to play Jai alai, he was only here to see the children off in the morning, mostly.

But what would Leila do if she found out that everything was about to come to a screeching halt and the world that she knows and loves comes crashing down around her? The times are changing and Leila needs to decide if she is ready for one more time around the merry bush!

My First Big Craft Project

Learning to make an Apron starting from scratch

So, for the last few days, I have been designing and redesigning my first big craft project. I have done some small projects before but this is my first solo project. It’s a (drum roll) chef’s apron!!

I wanted my apron to not only be attractive to the eye but also practical and meets the needs of the average cook. So the first 2 days was spent researching what makes a good apron, what materials would work best and what features do most cooks appreciate. 

To be honest, when I first started my research I didn’t expect to find as much information as I did! There was plenty of people asking the same question thankfully and I was quite pleased with what I had created from the information I found.

The next task was to decide whether I would draw this digitally or manually. I decided to go with digitally because of a few reasons:

  1.  I knew that if I drew digitally the lines and curves would be ‘clean’ as in there wouldn’t be any discrepancies and everything would match
  2. I could easily send it to different computers and easily keep a copy of each stage throughout the process

I couldn’t stress this next reason more emphatically: 

  1. I am not that great at drawing! If I were given hours and hours to create the perfect template then yeah, I guess I would produce something pretty cool, but I cannot take ages out to focus on one phase of one project. Drawing digitally cuts the time down drastically and allows me to get on to the next phase of making my creation a reality!

Which brings me to where I am now! I just have to decide what colour/pattern(s) to use, I love this stage of creating things. The stage where you truly start to see what has been in your head for days and you can be really creative and put your own stamp on your designs. I will keep you guys updated!

Love & Peace,

T x

Well, That Went Quickly!

Well, 2016 has been & gone, what a year it has been.

This year has been the bumpiest that I have ever seen.

There’s been tears & laughter & angry moments too

Not sure if I’m happy or not that this year is almost through

But I will never forget the lessons that life has taught me

Like live without fear, be more creative & practise positivity

So, here I am, standing tall & laughing through the tears

I will smile more widely, dance more freely & shoo away my fears

I’ve always been the weirdo, the one who is just a little bit strange

But I now see clearly, that is okay and why should I change?

I will start the new year strong & ready to face whatever it brings

I have beautiful family and friends to support me through all these things

I hope they all know just how much I treasure them, like the gems they are,

One thing my loved ones should remember; just don’t get in if I’m driving the car!