Writing to silence

“Silence is more musical than any song.”

— Christina Georgina Rossetti

Somewhere along the way on my writing journey, the music disappeared.

Did it get stolen?

No.

It simply ceased to be.

Writing to silence is a beautiful thing. I hear everything, yet nothing at the same time.

Every story has a different process and this one is silence. I respect that now, after all this time. For so long I wanted to be the writer with the cool playlists, filled with inspirational songs and artists. But I realise now, it wasn’t to be.

This story is silence, like snow.

The world I explore is abandoned and cursed. The heroine, alone and lost.

There are secrets and blood.

A forgotten past.

Music disappeared from the story, because there is so much within the silence that can be heard.

Screams, tears and the missing links.

…I believe my muse has been trying to tell me this all along.

I am beginning to fall in love with my WIP once again. The second round of revision feels different, more precise and closer to almost there. I am ruthless with my cutting and rewrites – and feel empowered – because I am a different writer. One who will sacrifice anything to make sure the characters can be heard.

It isn’t easy to delete chapters or a beautiful character…but in the silence, I heard the final whispers of the story.

Have there been moments when the misty pieces began to reveal itself to you?

Love and light,

Anushka xx

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Winter

Without change, something sleeps inside us, and seldom awakens

– Frank Herbert

My office is icy cold, littered with endless cups of tea – some finished, many forgotten.  There is also a part of me that senses I am never truly alone when locked away in here. My creating space has been neglected for most of the year, gradually accumulating unpacked boxes and forgotten memories. I peak in and my eyes zero straight to my desk and I feel the first tingle of anticipation and excitement.  A weight lifts off my shoulder and for the first time in a long time I feel like I can breathe.  I feel the magic that lures me to this cave year after year ever since I was sixteen. Although the cave has changed throughout the years, my instinct to return is in my blood. The compulsion to write never leaves me for long and for that I am very grateful.

Winter is all about pretty and not-so-pretty creatures fighting to break out of my mind and onto the page. The morning frost, fog and endless rain stir something within me. My muse finally emerges from the shadows and leans against a wall with an eyebrow raised.

He always stands in the empty space to my left – the place I sense unseen eyes constantly watching me. The creative part of myself – my muse – terrifies me.

Always.

This year has been an unpredictable journey and I admit I have been a little shy and hesitant to step into my world. I have ventured forth on many occasions and hastily retreated. The jarring sensation when entering an abandoned world is what I imagine falling into a frozen lake would feel like. My brain hurt. I couldn’t breathe. I was convinced I was going to drown.

A big part of me worried I left my revision dormant for too long and that I could never undo the damage. But looking at my desk from the safety of my doorway, everything is beginning to feel familiar once again.

The feel of the air, the icy room of neglect and lack of warmth feels inviting.

I thrive here.

I am scared here.

My element has arrived.

Love and light,

xx

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

Breaking Routine

When I see beautiful places,the stories start talking…

Taking in the tea trails, Sri Lanka

Taking in the tea trails, Sri Lanka

Routine is a wonderful thing, but breaking routine is absolutely delightful.

I haven’t been working on my WIP last month and it felt surprisingly fantastic. Instead, I went travelling around beautiful and isolated parts of Sri Lanka last month and it got me thinking about the concept of breaking routine and how it related to my own writing process.

Writing if you aren’t careful can drain and leech everything you have. For a while that’s how my writing life felt to me and then I realized something during my month of uninhibited exploring – One MUST fill the creative well. Not just for the sake of your ‘art’ but for you. In my case, the act of simply sitting at my desk and working through my revision edits was just not enough to fuel me to the end.

Was I still excited about my story?

Yes.

Could I work on it?

No.

I felt like I was dying from exhaustion and my muse needed CPR. Something needed to change if I wanted to see this WIP complete.

So I broke routine.

_MG_9568

Such beautiful color ..

I took up photography and saw life through a different lens.

I wrote poetry and stretched my mind to see words differently.

I bonded with beautiful people despite the language barrier.

All in all, I was filling my body and soul with good things.

Falling in love with this sari a little bit

Falling in love with this sari a little bit

Travelling is a great passion of mine and every trip I learn something new about myself and the world. I was born in Sri Lanka, and despite visiting previously, this is the first time I left the country with a strong connection to my own sense of identity. For the first time in my life I saw the way a sari draped around a woman’s body absolutely beautiful! Here I was spending my youth avoiding looking ‘ethERnic’ at all cost. What was wrong with me?

You don’t need to go overseas to break routine to fill the well and nourish yourself – but you do need to be exposed to new things.

It is so easy to get caught up  in a routine that stunts growth – so if you take anything from this post I hope you find a way to break routine a little bit every day. It doesn’t matter if you work or if you study or if you are based at home – there is something you can do to shake things up a bit and experience something new.

Although the world is getting smaller, there is just so many things to see!

Just go outside your front door 🙂

How do you break routine a little bit everyday?

Love and light,

Anushka xx

My Writing Space

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My creative messy space

It may not be your day, but it can still be your year – Unknown

Just a quick post. There have been a few distraction over the last week which has made me reflect on what is important to me. I vowed to be more selfish with my time so I can achieve the goals I want to achieve and grow into the writer I hope to be.

I want my life to be filled with inspiring people and I want to look back on this year and be proud of the work I have done.

I hope all of you have a wonderful and productive start to the week!

Love and Light,

Anushka xx

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A writing related art project I’ll post about later in the week

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I love the smell of fresh flowers in my office ❤

My Writing Space


Paper can cut deeper than a knife, because a story can gut you through and through, until you’re forced to be reborn

– Kesenia Anske

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I have been falling into a revision routine once again which feels great! I have been so absorbed in my work I didn’t even realise today was Monday! I don’t work Monday’s so that’s okay, but it does mean I forgot about my segment Finding My Creature in Images. If I get a chance I’ll post it today or tomorrow, if not…I’ll make sure next week is extra exciting!

I changed my location today because my lounge room is the only room with a heater (got to love little old houses with character). It’s been raining outside – finally – so all I wanted was to be snuggled up somewhere warm while I got lost in the dark, haunting world in my head.

It’s nice feeling like I”m making progress again, no matter how small. also, a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who has been so supportive during this journey, it means a lot!

🙂

Love and light,

Anushka xx

 

 

 

2013 Writing Goals: Designing Life With Words

People with goals succeed, because they know where they’re going

-Earl Nightingale

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Twenty12  easily was the most productive writing year I have  ever had, with most of that hard earned magic happened during the second half of the year (first half was all about surviving the incredible experience that is acting school). I have a good feeling  Twenty13 will be just as productive, if not more! Imagine what one can accomplish when they use the entire year from the start?

I am a big believer in goal setting, I’m not going to lie…more often that not my goals are really ambitious and don’t take into account the other things I to do in life. When I’m on a roll creatively I also have the tendency to throw the whole healthy concept of Balance out the window. Something I hope to avoid this year.

So this year I’m tweaking the way I set goals for the year. I have separated them into compartments such as writing, travel and health and gone a step further and broken those big goals down into mini goals month-by-month. Some months are flexible and not set in stone ( hello, I’m a panster! I can barely plot the first 5 scenes of a book let alone goal set for 12 months!). It’s refreshing and comforting to see how my year will be made up, especially in regards to my writing pursuits, without feeling the need to cram everything into a month and have everything done now, now, now.

Below, I have shared my overall writing goals and my month target for January.

2013   writing goals

–         Complete edits of current WIP Dancing Peregrine

–         Outline Peregrine Series (Quartet)

–         3 First Drafts

i)      Peregrine_Book2

ii)     Project_Circus

iii)     Untitled – something fresh, new and exciting!

–         2 Revised Novels (not including current WIP)

i)      Peregrine_Book2

ii)    Project_Circus

–         Complete Editing & Proofreading  Course (via correspondence)

–         Read 24 Novels 

JANUARY GOALS

1. Proofreading and Editing Book 1 and assignment

2. Part 1 & Part 2 Edits: Dancing Peregrine

***

Part of me is excited and slightly mortified that I will be putting myself through TWO revisions this year (not including the one I’m currently on). But as my writing improves with every draft, I live in the hopes that editing will become a skill (not a chore) I improve with over time and practice. I’m actually groaning right now, but hey, positive thinking never hurts anyone right?

I love hearing about what motivates everyone so feel free to share what Twenty13 has in store for you. You are also welcome to share a link back to your blog in the comments if you have done so already 🙂

Love and light,

Anushka xx

Progress Update Scene 18 – 23

Fiction is a lie, and good fiction is the truth inside the lie.

― Stephen King

dew soaked dandelion

Inspiration 

I introduce to you a whole bunch of mini updates. Enjoy 🙂

Scene 18

This scene was a completely surprise. Nothing at all like I imagined it and wasn’t in the outline I had drafted when I started this block revision. It marked a point when a friendship between two characters blossomed and I ended this scene with a happy sigh and feeling far less deranged. The last comment may seem odd, but Scene #17 really did test me.

I already see myself going back and changing a few things but the solid foundation is there, which is rare since a majority of this second revision is a complete rewrite sprinkled with first draft gold. Or should I say…lightly dusted?

1741 unexpected and delightful words.

Scene 19

I got my revision mojo back in this scene after taking a few days break. I stopped just where things got really, really  good so I would be excited to jump straight into things the next day!

1779 words

Scene 20: I learned something completely unexpected about an important character in this scene and I was so grateful to know that the muse was back on board. You know those exciting little sparks? I decided to follow what I did the previous day and just stop. I was ready to power through the next scene but I just wanted to prolong and generate that moment of excitement just a tad bit more.

1522 words.

Scene 21, 22, 23

Three scenes in one day! All in short bursts. How was this even achieved? I actually hauled my sorry butt to the gym at 7am and my mind and body connected in this amazing way and I felt I found the missing piece. I have been putting my gym routine aside and all the benefits it had on my muse slowly unraveled and disappeared. Note to self: Be active, be healthy – preferably in the early morning! I recently re-read all these scenes just to double and triple check I did not just regurgitate complete and utter rubbish and found myself wanting to read more. I feel like I got a handle on the pacing and my WIP once again after hitting a bit of muddled chaos.

2118,  400 and 1045 respectively.

This week’s goal is 7 scenes. It’s also a big week for me because I am returning to work after taking a glorious few months off between relocating countries (again) to get this revision back on track. On top of that I have a long-lost cousin staying with us for a few weeks and will be showing her around but the fire to revise is back once again and I know that I will make the time to get things firing on the revision front of this roller coaster journey.

Where on the roller coaster are you currently on?

Love and light,

Anushka xx

Writing and Olympics!

First of all, the opening ceremony – how good was that? Acknowledging great literary talent! I feel that sometimes people forget about the writer/s behind the world and behind the magic. Think of all those Oscar winners who fail to mention the actual author of the book the film was based on. Makes me fume every time. Like hello, there will be NO AWARD and you would not be where you are professionally if there wasn’t a writer who chose to live in the cave for a couple of years years give or take.

On a different not, what an incredible year for women too. Every country this year had female representatives! Incredible. It does not solve the whole gender divide ‘thing’ which bothers me (I won’t go into great detail right now) but it is still nonetheless a great achievement and it made my little heart smile. It also made me question how much I do in my own life to grow as a woman and take advantage about the freedoms available to me.

Which brings me to writing. To achieve what I want to achieve as a writer I need to have the razor sharp focus I saw gleaming in the eyes of the athletes representing their country. Therefore I vow to have seven scenes revised/rewritten by the end of this week which will officially bring me to the half way point of this WIP. From now on I promise to bounce back from setbacks and trips to writer hell faster and most of I want to get back to blogging regularly once again. After I catch up on my progress update I will go back to my mini updates because they were much more manageable and motivated me to get the grueling scenes done.

What are your Olympic writing goals/ training schedule ?

Love and Light,

Anushka xx

Related Links

Kristen’s eye-opening Schedule – Wednesday is Spaghetti Night