Some kind of milestone

I just hit 100,000 words on the current WIP tonight. Still got a bit to go, but that’s some kind of milestone, right?

Here’s a snippet of tonight’s inspiration:

The Sick Rose

By William Blake

O Rose thou art sick.

The invisible worm,
That flies in the night
In the howling storm:
Has found out thy bed
Of crimson joy:
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy.
red-rose-1807235_1920

Writing minds-eye candy

Today has been a good day. Today I have been working on a couple of scenes in my WIP involving a handsome 18th century man in various states of deshabille. It’s always important to get the details right, so here are a few helpful images I’ve been using for research and inspiration.

Firstly, you’ve got to get the clothes right. That gap at the neck of the shirt is very important. (We’ll get to what’s under it in a minute.)

Then you have to ensure you understand just how it sits. How far down does that gap go? Exactly what can you see? Some images are more helpful than others. Some are just pure distraction. *fans self*

From there, I’m afraid, we move straight to the pics of Aidan Turner and Sam Heughan shirtless. Because getting anatomy right is important. It is.

 

How little girls deal with monsters

In celebration of the release of Strange Little Girls from Belladonna Publishing, I’ve put together a board on Pinterest with images I found useful in creating my story, “Pretty Jennie Greenteeth”. I have these boards for quite a few of my works-in-progress, but I usually keep them secret. This is the first one I’ve released. Click on the link below to head over to Pinterest to have a look.

Follow Leife’s board Pretty Jennie Greenteeth on Pinterest.

Pieris rapae
Pieris rapae (Johann Fournier)

 

Research: fencing

Tonight I’m doing some research on fencing schools in London in the 18th century. So have some awesome pictures of 18th century fencing.

smallsword 1

smallsword 2

fencing

Being a very visual person, I do a lot of searching for useful images. So I was very puzzled when my last lot of Google image searching on fencing schools produced an abundance of images like this:

school fencingSigh. We live and learn to refine our search terms.

 

 

Some inspiration: floating candle ceremonies

Here is some inspiration I’ve been using lately for a scene in Novel Project #3.

Hue City, central Vietnam: girls in traditional dresses float candles in the river in prayer for loved ones who have passed on.
Hue City, central Vietnam: girls in traditional dresses float candles in the river in prayer for loved ones who have passed on (National Geographic).

I’ve been looking at floating candle ceremonies from around the world.

Fenghuang, in China: people float candles in the river at Lunar New Year for good luck. The candles represent their wishes for the coming year.
Fenghuang, in China: people float candles in the river at Lunar New Year for good luck. The candles represent their wishes for the coming year.

There are so many different reasons for this beautiful gesture.

Floating candles to commemorate the bombing of Hiroshima (click on the picture to find out more)
Floating candles to commemorate the bombing of Hiroshima (click on the picture to find out more)

For expressing hope for the future, commemorating the past, or even just celebrating the present.

School children float candles on the Limmat River and eat gingerbread and drink hot punch to celebrate Christmas in Zurich, Switzerland, .
School children float candles on the Limmat River and eat gingerbread and drink hot punch to celebrate Christmas in Zurich, Switzerland.

So far so good

I’ve just finished the second draft of a new short story – my first for 2015. I got it done in time for the February session of my writing group’s short story critiquing circle, and they gave me some excellent and very positive feedback. Now I need to let it sit for a bit, and maybe get one more set of eyes to run over it before I start sending it out into the world to find its way.

It feels good to have a new short just about ready to go, because I’ve been focussing a lot on novel projects recently. These offer a whole other kind of gratification, but they really are the long game. It’s very easy to feel like your writing career is going nowhere while you chip away at your novel-sized wordcount, or navigate your way through the slog of trying to find an agent or a publisher. Also, just from the perspective of writing satisfaction, the great ideas you want to get down take a lot longer to realise in novel form than in short form. This one only took a few days to knock out the first draft.

Plus, even though my trunk is largely empty right now for all the right reasons, it’s not good for it to stay that way for long. It feels good to start filling it up again.

Now, usually I have a really clear recollection of where the inspiration came from for a story. Usually it’s an image. But for some reason, even though I only started writing it two weeks ago, my recollection of where this one sprang from has all got a bit muddy. I think it might have changed direction somewhere along the way, and now I can’t remember what kicked it off.

So, in lieu of my source inspiration, have a picture of some beautiful art from Jack Pine Studios. It may be relevant!

Iris blue hand blown glass egg, Jack Pine Studio
Iris blue hand blown glass egg, Jack Pine Studio on Etsy