Transition Girl

Why transition girl?... Best answered by a quote from the Iliad....."The soul was not made to dwell in a thing; and when forced to it, there is no part of that soul but suffers violence."

Friday, April 27, 2012


I just finished the first draft of the fourth novel. Mark the time - 230pm Saturday 28th of April. Coincidentally, it is my neice's 21st birthday today. Happy birthday Madalyn Mia!

I'm two months ahead of schedule. The second half of the book flowed out of me (a stark contrast to the first half). A few extra days break here and there from the day job, and a nine day stretch just about to finish, put me in the zone.

It is an immensely satisfying feeling completing the first draft of any novel length story. This one was just shy of 120,000 words. I started drafting it in earnest in November 2010, almost eighteen months ago.

The creative process is by no means complete. The first draft is more like the half way point. Still alot of editing, reworking and all the other stuff that has to happen before there is a product on a bookshelf (virtual or real - ebook or paperback) somewhere. But it is a major milestone.

It is a strange moment because I am a little sad and content at the same time. I have lived and breathed the characters and their journey for so many months (years when you count two other books in the Panopticon series written so far), that the idea I can now have a small rest feels peculiar. I do not want to part ways with them, it is almost a sense of withdrawal, knowing I will miss their company. I am also glad to see the back of them for a while, too much familiarity breeds contempt and, like a houseguest that has overstayed their welcome, I just want to send them packing and be alone for a while.

I have a strong idea for another story in the series, but I feel that if I were to start it now, I would be stale walking along side my characters through another minefield. Exhausted, we would not be able to finish the journey together. Better to let them and me recouperate for a while.

I'll be spending the next several months in editorial - two books (a sequel and a prequel) to be polished into something beautiful. I do not think I'll be ready to return to my children of the light even then so my next project will be putting together a collection of short stories.

A friend said to me today (when I paused for a short break, even this hermit needs to breathe the air outside once in a while) that my writing goals are never ending. Writing for me is like breathing air, she said. It sustains me. That is certainly true, for I get so much pleasure out of the creative process, the tangents where my mind takes me. But there are always little breaks along the way.

Marking the moment.

Saturday, April 14, 2012


I wrote for four days straight over Easter. I actually started with fervour at 5am on the Thursday morning a full day before Good Friday so was effectively running at full steam when I sat down to begin on Friday morning.

Thursday morning was the moment in the drafting process when I woke up with the final scene of the book racing around my head. It took me all of two hours to get it typed up (bar for some editing I did over lunch), I could not have spewed it out any quicker.

This happens to me with every book I draft. I am still about a dozen scenes from the actual end but the way I want to finish the story emerges before I get there. The evolving plot is reaching a crescendo and I want it to end as much as I enjoy drafting the story. Home stretch.

Oddly, I find the writing easiest at this point. I have passed the 100,000 word point and am still excited by how the characters will reach their fate. They are so close to it now. They were on a collision course towards it the moment I started writing this story and their journey, my drafting, has taken them through many forks in the road.

I wrote so much over Easter, I aggravated a rotator cuff shoulder injury through repetitive strain. Turns out my personal trainer is not the one who makes my muscles ache. Who would have guessed.

I did not think it was possible but I my Easter writing frenzy productive efforts continued into this weekend. Two straight weeks. I was meant to be at a hen's night, a burlesque gaggle. I really wanted to go but was infectious with a throat infection and had to hole up at home instead. Hated missing the opportunity to show off some of my finest red corsetry. Trapped at home, grumpy and hoarse, turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I powered on through chapter 9 and into chapter 10, though I needed manuka honey, Aspro Clear, cough medicine and anti-bacterial throat lozenges to keep me dancing.

I even have had enough time to listen to the beautifully haunting song by Oliver Tank called Embrace on high rotation. Sometimes the same words spoken over and over can be inspiring - "you're in my dreams, the one where we're always torn apart at the seams, and i don't want to be, wearing my heart on its sleave". Do yourself a favour.

With a ten day break from the day job coming up to finish my April, I will be within sight of the finishing line of the first draft of book number four. I am streaks ahead of schedule.