GUEST POST: Now, here.

Copyright: The Soul SearchI am really excited to introduce this travelling creature to the blog. Sloan and I were introduced by a mutual friend while she was travelling around Thailand – even though I wasn’t in the same country. Mutual friend just knew we would get along and he was right! It’s amazing the connections you make by simply living in the moment and being open to new friendships and opportunities. 

Thank you for taking time out of your schedule to share a part of your journey here on Finding My Creature. I look forward to the day out paths cross! No doubt it will be somewhere off the beaten track.

***

I’m glad I remembered to set my alarm. The bus to Laos leaves at 7am and I’ve just hardly gone to bed. My t-shirt smells like cheap vodka and the tropic rainstorm we danced in last night. Chalk paints my hands from the countless games of pool we played.  My alarm cuts through the dorm room again as I stuff my life into a 55-liter bag and other travelers roll over groaning and cursing me. I sleepily brush the fuzz off my teeth and pray that I have an instant coffee packet left to stave off the inevitable headache.

Stumbling downstairs the Dutch boy I met is still awake, sipping a warm Honoi Beer and playing pool. My lips are still swollen, his still in a little smile, as we make knowing eye contact. It’s already 86 degrees and my curls have sprung into true SE Asian fashion of a large, frizzy fro that I have learned to not bother taming and have grown to love.

Unmanageable. Just like my life.

 Copyright: The Soul SearchThe idea of having to look ‘put together,’ the idea of wearing something other that a tank top and a flip flops is overwhelming. The idea of America and impressing anyone is far away and undesired. Laos is next: Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand are behind me. I’m no longer somewhere; I’m everywhere and nowhere—I’m now, here.

 

Disconnected:

I don’t have a cell phone that rings with text messages, I go days without checking my email or Facebook. My blog is ignored and has been almost completely replaced by a tattered notebook that I bought for the equivalent of 10 cents on the street. I write when I’m sitting and people watching. While sipping a beer out of a 40 oz bottle, or coffee that drips from a silver canister, I chose my beverage based on my mood not the clock. My watch has broken. I answer to my hunger pangs. I respond to my heavy eyelids. I’m free. I have myself, and a backpack. My only ‘need’ is to be in Bangkok for my flight in May.

Copyright: The Soul Search

Returned, reconnected:

It’s now September. Bundled in a sweatshirt I sip coffee from an automatic coffee maker, the air is so dry my lips are cracked, my hair is tame, I have to get dressed soon to go to work. I sleep in the same bed every night. I dream of meeting attractive Dutchmen but instead I serve rum and Cokes to Frat boy tourists and depressed bar flies. I want to throw my I-phone out the window, Facebook blares at me and I, unfortunately, always find myself answering back. I talk to my parents daily and drama from my job bleeds into my home life.

Home.

While I was traveling in SE Asia I craved regularity. I wanted to nest. I actually used that word, nest. I wanted a home, I wanted a bedroom, I wanted to decorate and make a life for myself. Now—back in America I want to spread my wings again. I miss being nowhere. I miss my backpack, my tank tops, flip flops and losing track of time.Sloan2

You have to roll with the punches and, pardon the cliché, go with the flow. You have to say YES when that cute Brit offers interesting conversation and wants to show you the most amazing beach on the Island at sunset. You jump on the back of his motorbike and sip the whiskey when he passes it back. Or you have to say NO when a Thai-ger wants buy you beer and dance a little too close…you use your judgment, your instinct and you LIVE.

Being somewhere else is a rush. It’s scary but invigorating. It’s something I crave when I have too much normalcy, too much drama, too much unnecessary [un]certainty in my life. The idea of being here today and tomorrow is overwhelming and boring.

A pint of beer seems too small. A shot of espresso too elaborate. Eating at a table in a restaurant with a knife and fork feels mundane and average compared to sitting on the street with the ‘chef’ that speaks no English but smiles and nods as she hands you chopsticks, a spoon and shows you which herbs to add to your soup. American boys in America are less interesting. Shopping looses it’s purpose when there is no story to how you got that piece of jewelry—I didn’t spend the day hiking with the daughter of the craftsman so it doesn’t seem as beautiful or worth as much. I don’t need it.

Copyright: The Soul Search

Travel stretches you thin. Wears you weak and dizzy. It’s lonely, it’s hard, it takes effort. I cried—a lot. I wanted to come ‘home’ many days. But then I laughed as the sun melted into a pool of pink sherbert. I played Marco Polo as the sun crested the mountains and got kicked out of the pool by a security guard at sunrise. I learned how to react. I believed in myself as I successfully got from point A to point B—it may have taken some trial and error and long ass bus trips, but I grew.

Growth is what we crave and strive for every day no matter where you are. Travel is being present and ready for whatever is going to be tossed, pitched or thrown your way. Meeting and trusting the road, trusting that the path you take may not be the easiest but it’s what’s going to show you an amazing waterfall or bring you to a town that seems to have never moved into the 21st century. Trust in yourself comes from the growth of being now and here.

Copyright: The Soul Search

 

_________________________________________________________________________________

Sloan DorrSloan is currently living in the Mid-Atlantic region of the US. She’s swimming, running, riding and yoga-ing through life. Sloan’s about to start a new job that will get people outside, exploring and playing in the woods. She is seeking more international opportunities, is in a constant state of learning new skills and loving life. She throws words and thoughts down on her blog www.thesolesearch.com and would love for you to check it out!

 

 

 

 

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Calling All Creative Creatures

Hello Beautiful Creatures!

I know it’s been quiet the past week. Life has been incredibly busy and hectic – in a good way! I haven’t felt more inspired or motivated as I do now and the past week has made me realise a few things to help me keep on top of things.

  1. I need to reschedule my posts for every Wednesday and Saturday because it works better with my lifestyle and commitments
  2. I LOVE hosting creative creatures on the blog
  3. I am yet to find the perfect work/writing/life balance
  4. I am so excited by National Novel Writing Month

I didn’t want this post to take up one of the regular spots on Wednesday or Saturday so I thought I would break the rules and post early!

Finding My Creature is looking for creative creatures to GUEST POST over here to celebrate all things spring and NaNoWriMo.

EXCITING!

If you are interested in contributing, send me a pitch of your idea HERE along with a link to your blog/website.

Look forward to hearing from you!

Love and light,

Anushka xx

GUEST POST: What About All That Platform Stuff?

What about all that platform stuff?

By Devin Berglund

One of the big questions authors ask about expanding their platform… is… how do you expand your platform? Haha… crazy, right? Have you ever asked yourself this question before? If so, I have some helpful tips for you.

Blog House Keeping

In order to have people spend time on your blog you have to make sure people would enjoy spending time on your blog. Check out some blogs that you really like and see what they are doing right.

I’m sure you know of the blogs out there that are made up of few pictures, unreadable font, and colors that scream cheap. Well, that is something we don’t want. Oh, I forgot to mention the blogs that start playing cheesy music as soon as you enter them – that’s one thing that drives me crazy!

House Keeping Homework:

1.) Make sure it’s easy to maneuver around your blog. If it’s hard for you, it will be hard for your readers.

2.) Set a subscription box up for your readers so you can collect emails. (feedburner)

3.) Free vs Self Hosted – I recently switched from the free WordPress to a self-hosted WordPress account (.coms are important.)

4.) When people comment on your blog, be sure to respond.

5.) Publish posts consistently. (And if you are a fiction writer be sure to share your stories. Start writing some short stories to share with your blog readers.)

Stretch Your Blogging Wings

Yep, I just said that.

Haha… but for real. You need to take a little trip out from your blog to find other bloggers who write about things you enjoy as well. How are other bloggers going to find you, if you don’t? And make sure to comment. Form a relationship with them (The blogger will most definitely comment back and will probably check your blog out too.) That’s what platforms are all about. Relationships.

Stretch Your Blogging Wings Homework:

1.) Be sure to post on your social networks. (When on twitter be sure to use the hash tags.)

2.) Take part in writer’s/blogger’s workshops. The more you learn the better.

3.) Share your readers – guest post on people’s blogs. (Make sure you know how to do it professionally. I once had a writer contact me saying they were a freelance writer and were wondering if I accepted guest posts or features. I was thinking “Sure” until I read that she charged so much. That was a huge turnoff to me as a blogger. I am sure many bloggers are put off from that.)

4.) Have a call for submissions – Send a line out that you are looking for submissions (guest bloggers). When I went on vacation, I wasn’t going to be near the computer much so I had a call for submissions and set most of the posts up to publish before I went on vacation. It keeps your blog from going dry, while also introducing other writers to your readers. This goes back to relationships. You can also ask a blogging friend you respect, to guest post. Ask them. I am sure they’d love to.

How about you? What are some things you’ve found helpful for platform building?

Devin BerglundI am a writer, dreamer, wanderer & all-time enjoyer of life. I love crafting stories that change lives. I recently finished my first book The Mason of Hearts. It is the first in a Fantasy Adventure trilogy. I am also working toward agent representation. 

www.devinberglund.com

Revising on the Road

Leah Johnson Photography

Leah Johnson Photography

 

The exquisite Devin Berglund was kind enough to host my gypsy self on her blog. If you’ve been wondering where this creature has disappeared to…again….check out the link below!

Revising on the Road

Love and light,

Anushka xx

NaNoCreature #6!

Finding My Creature proudly presents the wonderful Kirsten from A Scenic Route, the final NaNoCreature for 2012! So grab a coffee (or steal hers) and take a little NaNoBreak for a little inspiration.

>CREATURE PROFILE

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Name: Kirsten Bolda

Species/Sex: Winged creature of the night

Occupation: Microscopist.

Location: Wheaton, Illinois, USA        

Plotter/Pantser: Pantser! But I always know my ending, and I always have a point.

NaNo Username: Larkk (there was a two for one sale on the letter ‘k’ and I couldn’t resist!)

Genre: Fantasy mixed with Sci-Fi

Muse status: Pacing in the corner, his hands behind his back, muttering unintelligible questions in a foreign language, shaking his head about why I decided to write another story in the midst of a revision

>CREATURE INTERVIEW

1. Welcome NaNoCreature where is it that you lurk?

I can be found at ‘A Scenic Route’ where I chronicle my novel writing adventures. I also lurk in Holly Lisle’s forums, where you can find me under my handle, Larkk. Otherwise, I’m pretty quiet on the social media front. A hundred and forty characters isn’t nearly enough for my verbose Muse!

2. Is this your first time doing NaNoWriMo? 

This is my fourth NaNo. I can’t believe it myself! I won each time I played. With a word count way over 50k.

3. How did you prepare for NaNo?

I’m cheating a bit this year, because I’m writing a story I started in June but didn’t have time to give my full attention. I have forty scene cards, a nine sentence story summary, and a playlist for each day in November. I also stocked up on frozen dinners, coffee, and hot chocolate.

4. What is your NaNoNovel about in 30 words or less? 

When a disillusioned dragon-builder discovers forbidden love with one of ravaged Earth’s inhabitants, he finds that the only way to save her life is to embrace the technology he scorned. (30 words) And thank you for forcing me to do that. I had neglected it for a while.

5. What inspired you to write this story? 

I wanted to write about how love, mercy, and technology can co-exist, and how technology can make us great but also magnify evil. I wanted to explore what it means to have a soul, and the differences between our experiences of the world versus the experiences of the machines we create.

6. Do you write with music or in silence?

Music. I find it very difficult to write without it—and very easy to write with it.

7. What is your writing ritual?

I try to mix up my writing times and places because I don’t ever want to think there’s a time that I can’t write. But my favorite times to write are either early in the morning before work with a cup of coffee by my side, or late at night in bed under my electric blanket. For Nano, I might have to do both!

8. What is the most memorable piece of writing advice you have received?

“Write the book you want to read.” Toni Morrison

> CREATURE CAVE

Tell us about your writer cave in 5 words

Music, coffee, words, window … happiness.

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***

Thank you Kirsten for dropping by again* and giving me an excuse to go get another coffee every time I see your picture. I should really stop pretending to detox from coffee and just admit that the blood in my veins just won’t be complete without it.

I look forward to sharing the writing journey with you and hope to see you hanging around here in the future!

Love and light,

Anushka xx

* For those of you who missed it, you can read Kirsten’s guest post about where she get’s her stories right here.

NaNoCreature Interview #5!

Finding My Creature presents to you the lovely Jane from the United Kingdom!

>CREATURE PROFILE

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Name: Jane Ayres

Species/Sex: Female

Occupation: Marketing and Outreach Coordinator for University 3 days a week; freelance writer and fundraiser

Location: Kent, UK

Plotter/Panster: I wasn’t sure what this meant but think it’s “fly by the seat of your pants” – if so, that’s me!

NaNo username: futureme50

Genre: Thriller/suspense I think

Muse status:  Panic and tail (tale) chasing. Ha, unexpected wit on my part. 

> CREATURE INTERVIEW

1. Welcome NaNoCreature where is it that you lurk?

http://www.janeayres.blogspot.co.uk/

2. Is this your first time doing NaNoWriMo? 

Yes.  I just did my first write-in and thoroughly enjoyed it.

3. How did you prepare for NaNo? 

I didn’t.  A bit of a last minute decision.  Foolish really.

4. What is your NaNoNovel about in 30 words or less? 

A stolen horse, a lonely woman with a troubled past, her orphaned niece and the ghosts that haunt us – both real and imagined.

5. What inspired you to write this story? 

The stories of Charles Dickens

6. Do you write with music or in silence?

I find music more distracting than the TV, maybe because I am also a musician.  Silence is probably best for me.

7. What is your writing ritual?

Squeezing writing in whenever I can, ideally in 3 hour blocks.  However, I must not switch the internet on before I start otherwise I can easily distract myself for hours. 

8. What is the most memorable piece of writing advice you have received?

Write about things you feel passionate about and be passionate in your writing.  Sounds a lot easier than it is in reality. 

>CREATURE CAVE

Tell us about your writer cave in 5 words

On sofa with laptop on knee. 

Image

 

***
Thanks Jane for stopping by and letting me know about your exciting little offer! Her ebook Matty and the Racehorse Rescue will be FREE until 27 November 2012. 
 
All the royalties from the trilogy is donated to the Redwings Horse Sanctuary 🙂


Love and light,
 
Anushka xx

NaNoCreature Interview #4!

Finding My Creature proudly presents its first NaNo-Dude-Creature!

Enjoy!

>CREATURE PROFILE:

 

Name: Joe Hinojosa      

Species/Sex: Human/Male

Occupation: Searching

Location: In the desolation of Texas

Plotter/Panster: Pantser.

NaNo username: Joe Hinojosa

Genre: Literary Fiction/Religious Geared up and ready to go, although by the time November shows up it will undoubtedly falter, leaving me curled up in a fetal position crying days on end.

>CREATURE INTERVIEW

1. Welcome NaNoCreature where is it that you lurk?

I can be found in various places, on Facebook.com/joehinojosa76, on Twitter @joehino76, and on Joehinojosa.wordpress.com.

2. Is this your first time doing NaNoWriMo?

Thank you for asking. No, this is not my first NaNo, but my second. Last year, 2011, was my first and I actually won. Woot woot!

3. How did you prepare for NaNo?

Marital breakdown and divorce, getting together with a friend with whom we shared an attraction only to have it fall apart as soon as she got me to move in…the bitch. My emotions actually fuel my desire to escape which I directed towards my 2011 NaNo. This year’s preparations came from a short story I wrote that inspired me expand on the idea.
4. What is your NaNoNovel about in 30 words or less?

Eli’s infidelity causes him to lose his wife, Jasmine. When Jasmine finally moves on, Eli becomes concerned with her choice and tries to intervene  thinking to save her.
5. What inspired you to write this story?

A short story, the main difference being the Jasmine was the unfaithful person and Eli seemed to be more of a stalker. Most of the plot will remain the same, just the motivation behind Eli’s actions will change. I think the main ideas behind a lot of what write arises from the feelings of betrayal regarding my exes. I tend to write about unfaithful women, but it was becoming a bit snarky so I changed it up for the novel. I’m fascinated, almost obsessed with why someone will cheat on a decent person.
I also wanted to write about how the betrayal affected not only the spurned, but the cheater and even family and friends.. I wanted him to face the fact that he ruined the best thing he ever had with another person, and I wanted him to try to try and repair some of the damage as an act of contrition, hoping for forgiveness from her, but also hoping to forgive himself.
The bulk of the story motivation before, and trying to reconcile himself to the aftermath.
6. Do you write with music or in silence?

Silence, although sometimes I use the TV as white noise. Occasionally I will play some music to pump myself up. I also will play around mindlessly with my guitar when I’m stuck. Sometimes the act of playing music and getting my mind off of the story will allow me to invent a new complication, or how to resolve an unintended complication.
7. What is your writing ritual?

I don’t really have a ritual, per se, but I find that I do most of my writing when I should be sleeping. It also helps when I go out to a coffee shop to write. Getting together with a group of writing friends also helps get me into the writing mood.
8. What is the most memorable piece of writing advice you have received?

I’m not sure if this is good or bad, but I really haven’t received any writing advice. The only thing of significance that had aided me is discovering NaNo in the first place. I had tried several times in the past to write, but I always quit after maybe 500 words due to my insecurity. NaNo allowed me to give myself permission to try and fail. Although now that I think about it, I have been told to stop trying to edit as I write. I do that a lot.

>CREATURE CAVE

Tell us about your writer cave in 5 words

I’m kinda floating between homes.

***

Thank you Joe for stopping by and filling this out when you were under the weather! Best of luck with the remainder of NaNo,  judging by your updates you are on a role!

Love and light,

Anushka xx

Always Writing

Amanda Martin, NaNoCreature and woman behind Writer/Mummy has been kind enough to Guest Post about what it is like to write as a mother with young kids.  Thank you Amanda for taking the time to do this, I  always love reading about other people’s creative processes and challenges because it inspires me to continue on with my journey.

Enjoy. 

***

One of the challenges I face as a mostly-stay-at-home mother is that I simply cannot write everyImageday. Despite that rightly being the first piece of advice you ever get as a writer.

Write every day, even if it’s only ten minutes.

I know my writing would be better if I did, but I can’t.

I’m not going to make excuses. Yes I could find the time, between the kids going to bed and me crawling up an hour later after cooking and eating my dinner. I could write all the times I check Facebook just for adult interaction or when I sneak off to read for half an hour when the kids are decorating the decking with chalk. I could write instead of watching mind-numbing TV or vacuuming the lounge, but it doesn’t work for me.

Two reasons.

Firstly I write rubbish. As I’m not disciplined enough to do writer exercises or pen short stories, I Imageending up writing rubbish in the middle of my current work in progress. Which would be fine except I’m terrible at editing. When I come across the dead bits, where the flow stops and it reads badly, I can tell it’s awful but I don’t know how to fix it. Once I’ve written a scene down it’s hard to write it any other way. So I have to try and flow first time round.

Secondly if I take ten minutes in my day to write I find it very hard to stop. Then my children get a very grumpy mummy for the rest of the day, or they hear “in a minute!” twenty times before they give up and go scribble on the kitchen table.

So I write for two days a week, Wednesday and Thursday, when the little darlings are at nursery. I drop them off, head for the coffee shop, open my laptop, and start writing. When I’m drafting I can average 5-10,000 words a day for those two days. Provided I have the ideas ready in my head and I know where to start. And that’s when I realise that I do write every day. Because I write in my head.

ImageWhen I’m in the depths of a first draft, the story lives in my mind all the time. The characters follow me round and I worry about their problems the way I might a friend who has just told me she’s in trouble. I tap out dialogue scenes into my phone when I’m walking the dog. Something about the rhythm of walking generates a nice ebb and flow of dialogue without the distraction of punctuation or page layout. I can tap out a thousand words of predictive text on a forty-five minute walk.

I write short scenes in text messages when I’m sat up with the kids at night. I make notes when I’m lying in bed in the morning waiting for my daughter to thunder down the corridor and launch herself at me. I used to scribble on scraps of paper but I have found it safer to type text messages and load them onto my PC. Saves time and drama when I find the kids have used my scraps for their latest art project.

I’m not a planner, so when I’ve finished a scene or chapter I don’t often know what happens next. I spend my non-writing time challenging the text, working through possible solutions. Closing out loopholes, making sure everything that happens is plausible.

How could she be pregnant, she’s on the pill.

Oh but she had antibiotics.

What for?

An ear infection.

As a result of all my non-writing when I sit down to draft the words seem to flow from my subconscious directly onto the page. I have found it harder to write since I put my nursery days together so that it is less disruptive for the children, because I don’t have enough thinking time in between. Thinking, for me, is more important than doing. I read a quote somewhere that a writer is working when he is staring out the window. Absolutely.

Sometimes I find there are too many questions, some that I haven’t had enough sleep to find answers for. With the paranormal Young Adult romance, Dragon Wraiths, that I am currently working on, there were a considerable amount of sci-fi and history questions to solve during the first draft (some of which I still haven’t got straight in my head.) I spent a lot of time walking the dog asking myself questions like:

What actually constitutes Dragon Sight? How does it work? How does Leah learn how to use it? What former skills have helped her learn, to allow her character to grow.

The final thing I have discovered recently, probably to the detriment of my parenting, is that Imagereading helps. I used to see reading as the ultimate luxury, taking me away from the things I should be doing, like writing my blog, drafting or editing. This week I have re-read the entire Keys to the Kingdom series (including spending most of my birthday reading the final two books. Luxury indeed.) I am meant to be editing and the Garth Nix series is more Middle Grade than Young Adult so it isn’t even helping me focus on my WIP.

Except it is.

The main character in the Garth Nix series grows and develops. He faces some extreme challenges and copes. We go on that journey with him, willing him to succeed. I have come to appreciate that my protagonist in Dragon Wraiths doesn’t grow enough. Her journey is too short.

So even while I’m curled up on my daughter’s sofa, basking in sunlight with a steaming cup of tea by my side, buried in Lord Sunday (after waiting four years to read the last book in the Garth Nix series) I am still writing.

 

NaNoCreature Interview #3!

Finding My Creature proudly presents NaNoCreature #3 – an indie-author -Canadian-kind-of-creature!

>CREATURE PROFILE

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Name: Sara Flower

Species/Sex: Princess/Female

Occupation: Freelance writer, novelist, and full time day dreamer.

Location: Ontario, Canada

Plotter/Panster: Pantser to the core.

NaNo username: Princess Sara

Genre: Thrillers, horrors & fantasy

Muse status:  M.I.A. until dark, which is when I go for a run.

>CREATURE INTERVIEW

1. Welcome NaNoCreature, where is it that you lurk?

@Sara_flower on Twitter. My blog is here: http://saraflower.wordpress.com/

2. Is this your first time doing NaNoWriMo?

Yes.

3. How did you prepare for NaNo?

I would rather let my inspiration do the leading.

4. What is your NaNoNovel about in 30 words or less?

Mandy and Kevin are transported into a violent realm. Mandy becomes a soldier of the sadistic empire – and she wants vengeance on everyone that made high school hell for her – including Kevin.

5. What inspired you to write this story?

I’ve always had a thing for Steampunk. Combine that with reading a couple of young adult thrillers and listening to metal, this story started to form.

6. Do you write with music or in silence?

I listen to music before I write, and then write in silence.

7. What is your writing ritual?

In the early morning or evening, I listen to an inspiring song and then write until I feel drained. I go for a run or a shower and then write some more.

8. What is the most memorable piece of writing advice you have received?

“Write what you love.”

> CREATURE CAVE

Large windows symbolize limitless adventures.

***

Thank you Sara for dropping by and giving this blog a little touch of Canada, flowers and all round stylishness. I look forward to following the your writing and publishing updates!

Love and light,

Anushka xx

NaNoCreature Interview #2

Finding My Creature presents to you NaNoCreature # 2!  You’ll be seeing this creature again so stay turned.

> CREATURE PROFILE:

Image

Name: Amanda Martin / Writer Mummy

Species/Sex: I’ve forgotten since having kids. I’m just mummy.

Occupation: Mummy / Writer / Artist / Unemployed Marketing Consultant

Location: Northamptonshire, England

Plotter/Pantser: Pantser definitely, though beginning to see the merit of plotting

NaNo username: amanda-martin

Genre: Romance probably, haven’t decided (see above under Plotter/Pantser)

Muse status:  Praying for inspiration/sleep

> CREATURE INTERVIEW

1. Welcome NaNoCreature where is it that you lurk?

I can mostly be found at writermummy.wordpress.com and occasionally, like a rare breed, I can be spotted tweeting @WriterMummy

2. Is this your first time doing NaNoWriMo?

No, I think it’s my fifth

3. How did you prepare for NaNo?

I didn’t! Up until the last minute I wasn’t going to do it, but it’s rather addictive. I thought I’d see what turned up in my brain week 1 and take it from there.

4. What is your NaNoNovel about in 30 words or less?  What inspired you to write this story?

Um, I don’t know yet, I haven’t decided whether to start something new or expand my Mills & Boon reject into a full novel. Probably the latter as I definitely don’t need another half-finished manuscript around demanding to be edited when I hate editing.

In which case it’s called Class Act: A librarian with class prejudices meets a penniless actor, not realising he’s from an upper-class family. She must conquer her past and her preconceptions or lose the man she loves. Yes, I know, it’s terribly M&B. Part of the rewrite will be to make it less cheesy/obvious! Being a Pantser, the entire plot wasn’t inspired by anything in particular, but there are autobiographical elements (she’s an artist, loves books, has lost her father, had bad experiences with upper class people) and the boy-meets-girl plot was inspired by a desire to break into the Mills & Boon market!

5. Do you write with music or in silence?

Silence, definitely. I can’t imagine having music on in the background, unless it’s very familiar classical music or the soundtrack to Transformers or something. I’m very easily distracted and very easily influenced (I would find my novel full of characters from whatever song I was listening to)

6. What is your writing ritual?

Drop the kids at nursery, go to the coffee shop, order a pot of tea with extra water (I’m in for the long haul) and write for at least an hour. That gets the kids out my mind and the writing in, so I can go home and carry on writing around cleaning, laundry, dog walking etc.

7. What is the most memorable piece of writing advice you have received?

You can’t edit a blank page.

> CREATURE CAVE:

Tell us about your writer cave in 5 words

I don’t have a writer cave (I wish). I carry my netbook around and work wherever and whenever I can! My favourite places are the coffee shop and my daughter’s bedroom.

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***

Thank you Amanda for stopping by and letting us peak into your creative process and stories! I look forward to following your progress 🙂 

Next Thursday we travel to a different part of the world and unveiled NaNoCreature #3.

Love and light,

Anushka xx