Spring Reflections & Writing Goals


The best time to set up a new discipline is when the idea is strong

– Jim Rohn

In Australia, the first glimmer of spring has arrived.  The warm breeze, the feeble rays of sunshine and the appearance of flowers waiting to bloom are signs winter is leaving us behind. It feels like only yesterday I was reminiscing about what I love about the cold, and I can’t help but feel a tiny bit sad about this change.

I’m not going to lie, I am a little bit jealous of the pumpkin spice happiness most of you will be experiencing to celebrate all things fall. Okay, very jealous. It wasn’t until I lived in Vancouver did I understand this phenomenon. When Starbucks was going pumpkin spice crazy, I was a complete snob and utterly bewildered by this craze. Who on earth would want such a horrifying combination? But during a moment of homesickness and missing my mother, I purchased my first one and fell in love. I knew if she was in Vancouver with me she’d be ordering them like crazy, because pumpkin and all things spice, are probably her two most favourite things right there – her children a close third, fourth and fifth.  Reading in the rain amongst the hustle and bustle of Starbucks with a pumpkin spiced latte in hand helped me feel closer to home and those I love.

With the change of seasons I tend to reflect on the past and remember beautiful memories I didn’t realise I missed. I  also evaluate my goals and I thought it would be fun to share them here.

1.    Complete my 2nd revision and edits for Dancing Peregrine by the end of October 2014. This will mark one year since I finished my first rewrite. I can’t believe I left a big gap between revisiting it, but life had other plans and countries to explore and I wouldn’t change any of it. It has been an amazing journey of growth and dramatic changes and I have finally learned to respect the journey instead of fighting it.

2.    Write query letter and begin researching suitable agents. I have been putting this off for too long.  I’m sure I am not alone in this.

3.    Submit Dancing Peregrine by the end of the year. That said, it needs to feel ready and not rushed. I’m also going to constantly remind myself to enjoy the process.

4.    Enter NaNoWriMo! Words cannot begin to explain how badly I want to do this. The thrill of experiencing first draft mania has not been experienced in a long time (2.5 years?). Regardless of whether Dancing Peregrine is completed or not, I will be doing this. I need a new story and a new world. Another creative spark needs to be ignited.

Even though I don’t get to experience pumpkin spiced lattes, maybe I’m feeling a little bit excited by what the rest of the year has in store for me creatively.

What are your goals for the changing of the season?

Love and light,

Anushka xx

Advertisements

The Revision Journey

It begins again.

My muse has patiently been waiting (or happily playing in acting school and on set until it could dance on the pages) until the writer was ready to re-enter the cave of doom. As excited as I am at the prospect of holding my revised, clean draft in my hands, I already know that there will be a lot of head banging, hair pulling frustration ahead of me. Luckily I have connected with many wonderful writers who continue to inspire me with their progress so hopefully it will help bring my muse and I over the finishing line…alive…ish.

Being able to travel extensively beforehand around Northern Norway and Svalbard has been an absolute blessing. Just experiencing something new answered so many questions I had about my draft and sparked new ideas that made my blood grow cold and skin tingle. I have a frightening mind to delve into, lets leave it at that.

Before the ripping apart and hair pulling begins I decided to make the most of living a heartbeat away from my favorite building in Vancouver and do something I never do…research. You know how some writers spend days/weeks/months/YEARS researching…well I don’t. Judging by the state of my first draft…maybe I do need to do just a teensy bit of what I always avoid doing…study. 

So dear muse, we have some odd books to check out. I know you are are wild and unruly (and have no manners) but this needs to be done. 

Love and Light

xx

Image

View from my bedroom

Image

Bibliophile Heaven

Image

The ‘research.’ I hear it’s completely normal to go to coffee shops and take notes on the medieval uses of blood and other bodily fluids…right?

Truly Strange…

Well, I climbed Grouse Mountain wearing red lipstick.

Believe it or not it remained in perfect condition the whole way despite the very challenging nature of the climb. This I find a greater accomplishment than climbing the actual mountain itself. I also, for some unknown reason, did not expect to see anything, like say…a view, when I reached the top. This thought just did not cross my mind…but wow!!! All that pain, grunting and sweat was worth it. I wonder if the Asian businessman in a suit and briefcase thought so to?

 

Love and Light xx

 

My Thunderbird Reminder

It was a dark and stormy night.  Sorry couldn’t resist.

So what inspired Finding my Creature?…To be perfectly honest with you  I had no plans whatsoever to maintain a blog in any shape or form until I heard the words “we wish to publish your book.”

But then I was vacuumed into hell. Yes, hell. I got a job for 2 weeks and hated it. I didn’t realise how much the thought of going to work made me feel sick and miserable until I no longer worked there. I won’t go into the exact details here because I don’t want to spread the negativity and toxic poison of that work environment here…but what I want to mention is this.

As soon as I walked out of those doors I felt something shift. It was as clichéd as the stars aligning and I saw something…limitless possibilities. Even though I moved here to embrace new opportunities I was ignoring a very important one, like say, my dreams. So I guess this was the sign I was searching for…a reminder. It is so easy to get lost in the craziness of moving to another country.

The whole point of moving to the other side of the world was for 3 important things..

1)      Finish my book

2)      Create

3)      Discover

Yet, somehow I managed to let work kill that. That will never happen again for this creature has now gained perspective. A job is just a job here and not my life or my career. So naturally the next thing to do was to go shopping.

I knew I needed something, a reminder, a gift to myself so I will never lose that perspective again.

So I found my perfect ring, handcrafted in silver by local First Nations designer Victoria Harper. Different animals hold specific meanings for tribes here…and I needed to find one which fitted where I am in life right now.

Sales Assistant: “Butterflies and hummingbirds are so popular with girls!” *Insert manic grin*

Me: *Groan*

So to give you a little understanding as to why I reacted that way…

Butterfly:  The butterfly is a symbol of balance and harmony. In Haida stories the Butterfly leads the Raven to food sources and discovers the hiding places of treasure and luck. This colourful creature is also the symbol of grace and beauty.

Me:  This creature is too erratic to have any semblance of balance. Does not know how to lead anyone to food sources let alone feed herself. Loves to wear black and shades of grey and finds herself tripping constantly, usually in the presence of large gatherings.

Hummingbird: Joyful messengers who represent peace, affection and good fortune. The hummingbird is a living rainbow that captures sunlight and turns it into a jewel on its wings, signifying love, beauty and healing.

So clearly, I’m not a capturing rainbows kind of person so I don’t need to elaborate anymore there… my writing tends to lean towards dark fantasy and at times, well, morbid.

Then I read this.

Thunderbird: Thunderbird possesses supernatural power and is credited for creating storms. When he blinks, lightning comes out of his eyes, and when he flaps his wings, thunder roars. It hunts and eats whales by using the two lightning snakes kept under his wings.

It took me a while to process this. I was horrified at first that this creature would hunt killer whales…one of my favourite First Nations stories. But after spending a solid 2 hours…I realised I was constantly being drawn towards that ring… It makes sense come to think of it…I have always been drawn to fantasy creatures from a different realm, I love to shock in my writing and I am drawn to the more darker and paranormal aspects of most things

So psycho whale killing bird it is.

And I love it!!!

I see it on my finger and I know that what I’m meant to do.

Write a story that the world will one day read.

Love and Light

xx