Poet Posing on Prose Platform

Novel – MIXED FORTUNES

That done! On with the next project.

Now to find a blank template to unpick and place my thinking for BREAKING HEARTS – now researching transplants. This now possible as I pressed he SUBMIT button to send MIXED FORTUNES off to a literary competition; results out in February.

Had a wonderful day yesterday when my eagle-eyed friend and her mother called in on their way home to Norseman from Sydney via catching up with me in Adelaide.  Huge event – the return of a printout with lots and lots of red marks! Many picking up on proof reading, others on content and rescue from an enormous plot hole. Checked, double and triple checked every skerricking mark and correction.

No point in worrying about cover design until being informed of the result of the competition. Either the publisher, if I am successful, or myself next year if not.

Meanwhile, on with BREAKING HEARTS.

Sourcing new project

The only thing I can do about MIXED FORTUNES just now is WAIT. Leaves my mind in limbo and coming up with snippets of ideas for another project – but what?

I use the array of hexagons as tool for plotting, but what to plot?

Wandering about the internet in the last few days and came across a post* with links to Novel Factory and Kindle Writer.

Although I am a huge fan of Scrivener I decided to take a free peek at these.

 

The person posting the recommendation also uses Scrivener on a second screen when using Novel Factory. And I can see why. Switching between screens far more preferable than switching within a program’s internal links. Novel Factory is well up on my list of intended purchases. So far, this morning, I have created a file for three potential novels. Will let them sit on my mind’s back-burner then tease out onto the hexagonal array – who, what, where, when, why and how.

Kindle Writer also has much going for it, but more for playing around with ideas for book covers and general tinkering.

In trying to locate the link to share I am confronted with the humongous number of sites bookmarked within several folders. Sorting those out will keep me busy for a while! Filling in the waiting time – proof-reader’s report, whether one competition has been won – if not by me then everything set to go to enter another which will mean more waiting until February, by which time I should (hopefully) be putting flesh on the bones of another book.

Roll on October to find out what kind of country the High Court has us living in.

Roll on November to find out what kind of country Australians want to be living in.

  • If I can find the post I will share in comments.

Activating the Passive Voice

The more I attend to this, the more cheerful I find myself. Leads me to wonder if, when most if not all, instances of passive voice is changed to reflect the active voice whether I will internalise the feeling as a permanent feature? I find it difficult these days to type the word ‘just’ when that used to be just about the most frequent and unnecessary word used.

 

When amended over 1,000 passives to actives and uncovered about sixty hidden verbs will I self-edit out the passive voice in future?

Watch out World!

A more positive Isabel is possibly about to poke her head over the horizon.
One tenth of the total manuscript attended today.
There may be those of you who think “What the heck is all the excitement about?” I was about ten years old when given the last grammar lessons in school before leaving school at barely fourteen. When Stylewriter kept pulling me up with ‘prefer active verb’ my reaction was “What the!” I have read how to recognise the rule – chased by a zombie – but it was only when making an individual note on paper the notion finally took hold. It was a fat notepad anyway and I wondered if ever I would fill its pages.


Feeling chipper and cheerful.

Needless Panic.

There is light at the end after all. My earlier assessment on the number of pages was based on my cack-handed efforts to emulate a copy on printed page BUT Google had the answer – wipe brow with relief.
Aim to complete editing by the middle of September so I can hand it over to a pair of eagle eyes in the head of my Norseman friend, Laurene.
End of September will likely come with the result of not winning one competition and that will be in time to enter another, the answer to which will be known in early February. Leaves time to obtain professionally designed cover and interior design before the April release.
Huge sigh.

Back to Square One

THIS IS ME TODAY.
Set page size, font size, etc as it would appear in actual printed copy. FAR, FAR TOO MANY PAGES.

Back to the drawing board.

 

One book, severely pruned? Two thirds of original

OR

Three very skinny books?

 OR

Expand to create a decent sized trilogy?

While I think this all through, my present plan is to save a copy of the most already edited version in Google Drive, Dropbox and on a USB. That done will revert this laptop to factory settings and load and reinstall only those programs I find really useful. I have a tendency to try out interesting looking things which, even when uninstalled, can leave their little footprints.

If I don’t pop-up in Facebook, Google Plus or emails you will know why. Not Missing in Action, but transferred to Rehab.

 

 

Uplifting

Something more cheerful than the pic on my last post. funnily enough the content of the previous post – about nightmares – was, I thought, very positive. Never mind.
Have finished writing and now into (a) taking a break, (b) editing, (c) thinking about cover which means I must sometime decide on the title. Have been feeding alternatives into Lulu’s titlescorer ans so far the highest is 41.4% for MIXED FORTUNES as against next highest 31.7% for TRUST. All other permutations lower.
Had a good clear out of paper and notes no longer needed. Have yet to clean up my hard drive, Dropbox and Google Drive.
Weather is not encouraging walking or going on bike to swimming pool.
But for this very instant, more paper to sort then coffee and Fay Weldon.
Be well.

The Value of Nightmares

An eye, very like this, seen first in the film “Spiral Staircase”, used to wake me to sitting in terror.  The eye (through a hole) filled the screen prior to each murder of women in boarding house, each with a different disability. Later in life while enjoying/enduring a psychotic episode, I reassured myself by believing there is always someone watching over me. Or Someone.

Another series of nightmares had me in a lift/elevator shaft, jumping from side to side above the lift, grabbing onto wrought iron walls,  my parents in pursuit as the lift rose up and down, but never squashing me. Have read this as no matter how high or low the bipolar takes me, I am safe from being crushed. Rising above and outside the moving box.

For me, the most valuable nightmare is/was the one that came true in real life as I followed my dreams on waking.  I use it now to reassure myself that I am on track – the dirt running track in the following poem – and with the cheering from friends responding to David Collins-Rivera review of MIXED FORTUNES as posted on tumblr (see below) leads me to the comfort that I am on the final stretch. (For how this worked out in real life one would have to read “Life Before Lithium” on Smashwords. ) Now I am applying it to my writing life.

A witch used to chase me

through a three dimensioned maze

always found an opening

but not the way out

before the maze disappeared

and the witch

turned into a tribe of gypsies

in full cry behind me

as I sped

from village hall

up the main road

between disused railway tracks

to the field

where pig-lilies grew.

Up the bank

across the recreation ground

up clay-slip slope

and stony path

dirt running track

gravel road

pine trees

by gate of school

to disappear.

 

But one night,

the night they went

forever,

I made it.

Fell into the arms

of the waiting headmaster

deafened by the cheering school

the witch and the gypsies

demons of my night

let me sleep

undisturbed.

http://wordacrosstime.tumblr.com/post/162945342034/mixed-fortunes-work-in-progress

Edit, Shred it, Read it, Merit

Such a buzz with that wonderful feedback. And my strange reaction. It seems while I WANT praise, even need it, when it is given I curl up as if embarrassed to be exposed. (But I did manage one boast through a bcc email. If you did not receive, please let me add you to my list?)

How do you respond to praise?

Woke this morning thrown off kilter. Head full of new ideas for new stories, new books, wondering if I can weave them into MIXED FORTUNES all the while knowing that would be stupidity. Same as taking pieces from another jigsaw and forcing into this rather than let the pieces fall aside for another day.

After giving myself a good talking to, back to bed for a minute or two of meditation, reading emails, Facebook and reprimanding my absence from Google + for some time, washing some marble chips for the pot plants on the patio- FINALLY got down to some editing. The way I edit works for me on several levels. My eyesight requires this Low Vision keyboard, my fingers are either at times fat or too light or doubling up on keys which means I have to keep a very close eye on the screen. I read the last section written, take a snapshot in Scrivener, control a to copy into Word (on second screen) then run the text through Stylewriter. I cannot speak too highly of Scrivener and Stylewriter. When Stylewriter marks a passage with Excellent or Good on its Bog Index and/or Style Index I move on. When both or either Indexes show any combination of Fair, Poor, Bad or Dreadful I work on that piece until it ranks as Good or Excellent. Overall there are few instances of passive writing and often I see no way of avoiding that  without tipping and messing about with tenses. Usually when I am in someone’s head.

Do you think your thoughts in active or passive mode?

How often do you have your eyes checked? The first instance of macular degeneration can sneak up and be on its way to being so advanced that treatment (eye injections) can halt the worsening but not improve the vision. Were I to rely on my left eye alone I could not write, read or type and watching TV would be a pain.  Knowing the very first sign when my  right eye began to be affected enabled immediate treatment.  Dr Durkin is set on saving my writing eye with four weekly injections in the right and keeping the left on hold by an injection every six weeks.

I cannot emphasise enough a recommendation to download an Amsler grid from  the internet – or get a chart from your optician and CHECK, CHECK, CHECK. Particularly if you are 55 and over.

That’s all folks?

 

Total Word Counts July 13 & 14

Thursday : up to 124821 : Research 1953 Coronation

Friday:  up to 132,644 : Research Aboriginal moiety system  – fresh today rather than digging through a box full of notes.

Beta Reader’s Review Rocks.

Posted by David Collins-Rivera into wordsacross time on tumblr:

Shared here in full appreciation of the effort he gave in first reading, then reviewing my WIP.  My aim is to publish this story on April 21, 2018. That would have been my mother’s 100th birthday.  During her life-time she shared with me a recurring dream during which she walked down a long corridor, doors on either side closed to her, but at the very end there was a book. My autobiographical account of my life before lithium was greeted with “if it helps someone, I guess it is okay”.

I like to think she would have enjoyed MIXED FORTUNES as my effort to have a dream of hers brought into reality.

wordacrosstime

Mixed Fortunes [work in progress]

[Mixed Fortunes, by Isabel Storey. Unpublished work-in-progress at 12 July 2017]

I recently had the privilege of reading a beta version of a novel called Mixed Fortunes. It’s by Australian poet and author, Isabel Storey.

This book is a sprawling multi-generational saga, steeped in both history and magical realism. It moves forward though eras and locations, with events playing out in the UK, Australia, South Africa, and upon the high seas. A rich, compelling tale of dynasty, dispossession, and changing times, it concerns noblemen and wanderers; it touches pioneers, soldiers, and lawyers. It lives in history, framed by trusts and family legend.

The itinerants of this tale are occasionally referred to as Gypsies – a term that, in modern times, can be seen as pejorative for those of Romani (or Roma) ancestry. To be clear, though, the traveling people here are not solely of Roma descent. Many are part of a lesser-documented population of 19th Century economically-displaced nomads from various backgrounds within the British Isles, many of whom became closely associated with the Roma of that time, intermarrying, and adopting many of their habits and traits.

On the other side, we have Douglas, Duke of the vast estate of Holywood, along with his wife and children…and eventually, their descendants. This family intersects with the Gypsies in strange, inconsistent, sometimes appalling ways. Entitled, powerful, and feeling the creep of time, this noble family exerts vast (though diminishing) influence, informing generations by what they choose to do, and what they choose not to.

A tiny Scottish law firm, sporting the charming name of Peacock & Oates, has personal and professional ties to both these groups, forging bonds that run deeper than any contracts or legal trusts between them. These solicitors are the glue, binding tribes and individuals through the years. Using keen expertise and unwavering professionalism, they subtly affect the lives of their sundry clients, who, in time, are spread far across the globe.

It begins in 1865, with a young solicitor in the aforementioned firm, named David Lamont. David is mugged in the street, and gets befriended by a stranger who, subsequently, introduces him to a world and culture he never knew existed – a secretive, marginalized population in desperate need of his aid. Among these new clients, we meet the wise and mysterious Jorie Moneypenny, gifted with rare insight, and a deep understanding of human nature. It is Jorie’s desire to safeguard her people’s freedom that sparks an alliance stretching across decades; it changes lives, lives that help to shape history itself.

Watching the gentle, sometimes vaporous imprint of an old wanderer woman’s strange vision for her people slowly play out across the globe is a compelling pleasure. Isabel Storey effortlessly sculpts a tale of desperation, mysticism, and perseverance, offering up drama and adventure while linking the past to the near-present. Indeed, with so many characters doing so many things at once, Storey is like a juggler with a blur of balls floating through the air – far more than could ever be caught – and yet somehow it always happens, and with style. A magic trick, a technical feat, this degree of control would be impressive all on its own, regardless of the complex narrative and arresting characterizations in which it’s wrapped. Taken together, the effect is simply marvelous.

A sumptuous, stunning tale of many tales, Mixed Fortunes, once published, will be that rarest of achievements on the literary scene, something that can almost never be so-labeled free of hyperbole: a symphony of the written word.

David Collins-Rivera

wordsacrosstime

13 July 2017

#David Collins-Rivera #wordsacrosstime #Words Across Time #July 2017#Beta Version #Work In Progress #Novel #Multi-Generational Saga #History#Magical Realism #UK #Australia #South Africa #High Seas #Dynasty#Dispossession #Changing Times #Noblemen #Wanderers #Pioneers#Soldiers #Solicitors #Romani #Roma #Scottish #1865 #Desperation#Mysticism #Perseverance #Sumptuous

 See all

 

  

 

 

%d bloggers like this: