So, what changed?

I’ve been thinking back to how I was writing before I got sick ten years ago (and everything fell to pieces). What has changed? Why am I struggling with writing to the extent that I am?

Ignoring the fact that I have chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, why can’t I pull myself together to do these things? Or is that the reason in itself? It can’t be. I know people who suffer from these things and they do get writing done.

Working full time for the last year and a bit for the first time since before I got sick is definitely not helping. I have limited energy, and currently it feels like all of it is going towards getting to work and doing my job. When I’m home, very little – if anything – is left. Not working, however, is not an option – because of that pesky detail of paying bills.

After a busy week, I just spent a whole day in bed. So energy levels definitely aren’t at their best at the moment.

The one thing other than my illnesses that I know is different is that I had a friend/colleague that read my chapters as I finished them. I think on some level that helped me feel motivated to keep going. Writing a book, as any writer knows, is a sludge and a rather lonely process. You have no idea if what you’re churning out is terrible or at least decent. (Most likely terrible, there’s a reason there’s a revision process!)

Still, having that one person who read each chapter as I wrote them – it kept me going. And it gave me an idea if I was on the right track, because she’d question things if they didn’t make sense and some things I could then nip in the bud instead of possibly missing them during the revisions/editing. I definitely miss having that.

None of this helps with my lack of energy, and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better. Truth is, I have no solution, I think maybe I just needed to vent.

If you have a chronic illness of some kind, how do you get through it and find the energy/ability to write?

WIP Wednesday

Once a month, I will share a piece of my current Work in Progress, and I arbitrarily decided that it will be the third Wednesday of every month. Because logic is over rated.

This is a scene from a Fantasy Romance novella that I’m planning to start publishing on Wattpad in July or August (if things go according to plan). The main characters are the King (Arain) and Queen (Shae) who have a marriage of convenience, but have been thrown together due to circumstance and are getting to know each other.

This excerpt is from the first chapter when they are in a carriage on their way home from a visit to another kingdom.

 

“Actually,” he said. “No. I’m not going to do that. You’re stuck in a carriage with me, so I think this is the perfect time to chat.”

Shae smiled pleasantly. “Your Majesty, we chat all the time.”

Arain shook his head. “No, and I’ve told you to call me Arain. I hardly think that discussing the weather and if the steak is too salty is considered a proper conversation.”

“Arain…” It sounded far too intimate on her tongue. There was a reason she never called him by name. “My King,” she amended, making him scowl. “What would you like to discuss?”

Frustrated, he ran a hand through his hair again, mussing it up. “I don’t know,” he complained. “Anything. Everything. Don’t you think it’s strange that we’ve been married nearly ten years, and we barely know each other?”

Part of her wanted to argue. The part of her who knew how he would tussle their son’s hair every night before bed. The part that knew how his nose would crinkle when something displeased him. How his laughter was so contagious when he found something amusing that she had to restrain herself from laughing too, even if she didn’t find it amusing herself. But the other part of her agreed with him, needed to agree with him.

“Ours is a marriage of convenience,” Shae reminded him, her voice not unkind. “It doesn’t require conversation. It’s what we both wanted.”

Arain looked at her for a moment without saying anything, making her squirm in her seat.

“Is it?” he finally asked quietly.

She was saved from having to answer by the arrow that suddenly came flying through the open carriage window.

A Red Rose (part 2)

An old story, written a very long time ago. Published for the Repository, so that I can collect all the old writing in one place. Sequel to A White Rose.

You can read Part 1 here.

Ereptus looked at the sleeping form in the bed from where he sat on a chair by the window. She was in an uneasy sleep, tossing and turning, now and then mumbling something under her breath. As if bewitched he stood up and walked over to the bed to get a better look at her. He hunched down by her side, stroking an errant lock of hair away from her fair brow. She was so beautiful that it almost hurt him to look at her. He couldn’t help but wonder how he had ever been able to leave her all those years ago. But of course, she’d only been a teenager, even if she had already shown the promise of the beauty she had become.

Suddenly she sat up, still half asleep, looking around the room with sleepy, yellowish eyes.

“Ereptus?” she mumbled.

“I’m still here, pet,” he said softly, stroking her cheek with his hand.

She seemed to accept that and settled back down, a soft smile on her lips as she went back to sleep. Ereptus watched her while she slept, his mind trying to figure out what was going on. He’d returned because of what he had explained away as a nightmare, but he’d come just in time to save her from some thugs planning on taking her to someone. He simply couldn’t figure out to whom; the young woman in the bed didn’t look like she could have any enemies.

After some time he finally gave up and settled down in a corner of her room, leaning against the wall to get a few hours of sleep before dawn.

***** Continue reading

A Red Rose (part 1)

An old story, written a very long time ago. Published for the Repository, so that I can collect all the old writing in one place. Sequel to A White Rose.

A dark shadow bent over the sleeping form of a young girl in bed, stroking away an errant lock of hair from her delicate brow. The girl was beautiful, looking restful in her sleep, unaware of the visitor in her simple room. Her skin was fair, with only a slight hint of a tan, a mass of tangled walnut brown hair spread out around her head on the bed. High cheekbones, a small, straight nose and arched eyebrows gave her an almost divine look, all perfect in its innocence. Slightly slanted eyes and pointed ears bore sign of her elfin heritage. A soft smile curled her lips as she dreamed of something undoubtedly pleasant.

The dark shadow carefully pulled the blanket down, revealing a pair of slender shoulders, and then put a hand inside its large cloak. The girl in the bed sighed in her sleep, causing the dark shadow to still for a moment, waiting to see if she would wake, but the girl remained asleep. Slowly the shadow withdrew a thin dagger from its robe and moved it toward the girl’s slender throat. The tip of the dagger came to rest against her neck, moving along her throat, almost caressing, without piercing the delicate skin.

Dark eyelashes fluttered over the girl’s cheek, and slowly she started to wake. Light green eyes, so pale they seemed yellow, widened as she spotted the intruder. Her mouth opened to scream, but was cut short as the lethal tip of the dagger struck down to draw blood.

With a start Ereptus jerked awake. The small room he’d taken at a local inn seemed to close in on him for a moment, until he was entirely awake. Shaking, he sat up and looked around. The room looked just as it had when he had gone to sleep; simple with a sturdy bed and a little cupboard with a washbowl on top. It was only a dream, yet it had seemed so real.

He ran a hand through his dark hair, vaguely registering that he’d been sweating, and stood to pace the small space of the room. There wasn’t an ounce of magic in his entire being. He was a simple soul living a rogue’s life. Yet he couldn’t shake the feeling that he had just had a premonition. He had been away too long. It was time for him to go back and face his inner demons. If for no other reason than to see her and make sure that she was still alive and well.

Although the sun had not yet shown its golden face Ereptus got dressed, packed his few belongings and left the inn. He stole a horse on a small farm outside the city and started his journey towards the city of Messina where he had once left the girl. He could only hope that she was still there. After all, it had been three years since he had last seen her.

***** Continue reading

#WIPjoy

During July I participated in the #WIPjoy game on Twitter, where each day you answer a question regarding your current work in progress. It was all hosted by the lovely Bethany A. Jennings (@simmeringmind) I chose the novel I’m currently revising, and used the hero, Nathaniel as the main character for those prompts. Below are all my answers for the tag.

1.Describe yourself and your WIP!

I’m Emily, I recently moved to England, and I write various genres of romance. WIP is a regency romance, first of four.

2.Your MC’s aesthetic in 7 phrases.

Nathaniel – dark eyed, rake, honorable, loving brother, responsible, dark suits, sandalwood soap

3.Your first inspiration for this WIP.

Lots of regency romances and an old idea.

4.Three books that go nicely with yours.

Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen Anything by Julia Quinn, so let’s pick two at random; Romancing Mr. Bridgerton, and Splendid

5.A line in which your world comes alive.

6.Would you rather: get trapped in your story for a week, or have your antagonist enter your own life for a day?

I’d enter my story for a week – it’d be like a holiday to Regency England. But one week is enough, I do enjoy indoor plumbing!

7. A line where the plot thickens.

8.What would your MC be like as the antagonist?

As an antagonist Nathaniel would ruin others plotting and scheming because he doesn’t agree with what they’re doing.

9.What would the antagonist be like as the MC?

Christian Grey. Controlling and bordering on abusive.

10.Dish about a favorite side character!

Jacob, Lord Wortham, is one of the hero’s best friends, and is a rake with daddy issues. Sarcastic and enjoys annoying others.

11.What parts of this WIP are drawn from personal experience?

Probably some of the heroine’s shyness/struggle with crowds. The love and annoyance you feel for your siblings.

12.A line you nailed perfectly.

I found this incredibly difficult, so I just went with the first line of the novel.

13.Would you rather: never publish this WIP, or watch it be adapted into a horrible movie.

Bad movie adaption over never publishing any day. I still enjoy books even if they have bad movie adaptions!

14.Describe your MC’s personality with a GIF.

15.A line involving a decision.

“You could marry me.”

16.Choose an ideal reading spot, food, drink, and music to go with your book.

Under a blanket on the couch a rainy day, with chocolate and a cup of tea, the rain smattering against the window.

17.What’s something you’re still figuring out about this WIP?

I’m still trying to figure out/decide a title. And the surname of the main family. Because I don’t like the original one.

18.Share a thought that keeps you going as a writer.

I’ve been writing as long as I can remember, and I just don’t like who I am when I don’t. If I’m not a writer, then what am I?

19.A line that was hard to write.

I honestly don’t remember, it was a long time ago that I wrote it, and in revisions they ALL seem difficult!

20.Would you rather: have tea with your antagonist, or be stuck in an elevator for 3 hours with your MC?

I’d normally not want to spend time with antagonist, but I can’t deal with elevators. Will have to ignore him and drink my tea.

21.Why do you yearn to share this story with the world?

I guess I hope that someone else will love these characters as much as I do.

 

 

Book Titles

This week’s struggle is regarding book titles. I’m terrible at choosing book titles or story titles, I truly am.

The Regency Romance series I’m currently writing will be sub-titled by the surname of the main family, once I choose their surname, but obviously each book needs its own title. Which would be the most important part, really.

Because the siblings all have names from Shakespeare’s works, I wanted the titles to play on that as well.

The original titles I came up with were:

  1. As He Likes It
  2. Taming of the Rake
  3. Winter’s Kiss
  4. ???

The fourth one I’m not sure about. I’ve been thinking maybe A Midsummer Night’s Proposal or something similar.

As time has gone on though, I’ve come to realise that the first title might sound a lot more racy than the book truly is. It kind of sounds like an erotica title. Doesn’t it? So I think that I should probably change it. But I’m struggling to come up with more titles that sound well from Shakespeare.

One idea was to have every title reference kiss.

  1. A Midsummer Night’s Kiss
  2. The Kissing of the Rake or Kissing the Rake
  3. Winter’s Kiss
  4. Twelfth Kiss

But then I’m not sure if that’s just too much kiss, you know?

I’m at a loss. I don’t really know what to do at this point. Other than pulling my hair in frustration.

Silence

An old poem, written a very long time ago. Published for the Repository, so that I can collect all the old writing in one place.

 

The silence greets my words,
I wait, but there is no sound but your breathing.

Tears are trickling down my cheek,
I turn around to hide them from your sight.

The silence is tearing at me,
crushing my heart beneath its weight.

Why aren’t you speaking to me?
What did I do wrong?

All I did was say ‘I love you’…

To Name or Not to Name

My latest struggle is regarding the surname of the main family of my Regency Romance. The idea is that there will be four books, one for each of the siblings.

Originally, their surname was Howerty, but I’m not sure how I feel about that name now. I don’t think it has a nice ring to it.

For a moment, I thought I had the perfect surname; Hathaway! It was ideal, because the siblings all have names from Shakespeare’s works (due to their mother being a big fan), and the plan is that each book title with be a play on his works as well.

So, Hathaway seemed like the name to go for.

Except, I had completely forgotten about Lisa Kleypas’ series, “The Hathaways“. I even read the books, and yet I had completely forgotten the name!

Which means that I’m back to square one. I can either stick with Howerty, but I’m just not loving the name. It was a name I came up with as a teenager when I penned the first version of what will be the second book in one of my old writing pads. Or I need to think of a new name. It needs to be a name that I 1) like and 2) works well as a series title. The Hathaways, being a really good one. The Howertys? I don’t know.

Do you ever struggle with names?

WIP Wednesday

Once a month, I will share a piece of my current Work in Progress, and I arbitrarily decided that it will be the third Wednesday of every month. Because logic is over rated.

This is a scene from the Regency Romance I’m currently revising, tentatively titled As He Likes It. The scene takes place at a ball where our heroine, Angelique (Angel) have just met the two youngest sisters of our hero (Nathaniel, the Marquess of Pensington), and is now meeting the older sister.

It’s unedited as I’m in the middle of revisions.

“Lady Jessica Howerty,” Mrs. Grey introduced the newcomer. “Miss Angelique Grafton.”

They both curtsied, and Lady Jessica looked nearly as uncomfortable as Angel felt. Fortunately, there were two impertinent young girls present to break the ice.

“You can call her Jessica since you’re calling us Miranda and Nick,” Nick offered helpfully.

“On such friendly footing, already?” Jessica asked her sister with an amused smile.

“Yes, of course. After all, she’s going to be my sister in law.”

Jessica’s head turned quickly towards Angel. “You’re marrying my brother? Why didn’t anyone tell me?”

Angel could feel her cheeks flush for the second time that evening. The image of the Marquess as he’d been lying in her bed the previous day flashed through her mind, causing her blush to deepen.

“I am not marrying your brother,” she said quickly, maybe a little bit too quickly. “I only met him yesterday.”

“Oh. I beg your pardon,” Jessica looked slightly confused. “But then why…?”

“I’m marrying James!” Nick offered, and then added glumly. “I can’t believe you forgot already.”

Jessica started laughing, it was a compelling laugh, full throated and without false affection, and it made the corners of Angel’s mouth start to twitch as well. Soon they were all laughing, causing several of the other people in the room to give them odd glances.

“I’m very glad to meet you, Miss Grafton,” Jessica said as they stopped laughing. “We’ve always been very curious about James’s sister.”

“Oh, please call me Angel.”

“I’m Jessica.”

They smiled at each other and Angel felt that she might have found a kindred spirit. Perhaps even a friend.

WIP Wednesday

Once a month, I will share a piece of my current Work in Progress, and I arbitrarily decided that it will be the third Wednesday of every month. Because logic is over rated.

This is a scene from a Fantasy Romance novella that I’m planning to start publishing on Wattpad in July or August (if things go according to plan). The main characters are the King (Arain) and Queen (Shae) who have a marriage of convenience, but have been thrown together due to circumstance and are getting to know each other.

Shae lay deadly still, trying not to move, lest she brush up against Arain who was lying on the other side of the bed. It wasn’t overly large, and it was difficult to lie comfortable without touching one another. Especially since her husband was not only a fairly large man, but also liked to sprawl. Which left her lying as far out on her side as she could without falling off the edge, and keeping her arms and legs perfectly straight.

Even with several inches separating them, she could feel the heat radiating off Arain’s body, and it was nothing if not distracting. He was breathing deeply, obviously having no issues falling asleep with her in the bed, while she was wide awake, unable to let sleep claim her. It wasn’t fair.

“For the love of the Gods, Shae!” Arain suddenly growled, making her jump. Turning her head she saw that he was lying on his stomach, facing her, his eyes drowsy, but definitely awake. “Relax, please. It’s impossible to sleep with you lying like a log in the bed.”

“You’re welcome to sleep on the floor if you prefer,” Shae replied stiffly, which only made him chuckle.

“No, but thank you for the kind offer. Why don’t you just relax? I promise I won’t bite.”

“I’m not used to having someone in the bed with me,” Shae muttered.

“Well, whose fault is that?” Arain asked as he turned around and nestled into his pillow.

Shae stared at the back of his head for a moment, anger burning hotly inside her. The person who had originally requested a marriage of convenience was he, so he had no right to complain now. How dare he?! Unable to quite control her anger, she kicked out with both feet and pushed as hard as she could.

Arain went careening off the edge of the bed and landed on the floor with a yelp. Sitting up, he ran a hand through his tousled hair and stared at her. “What was that about?”

“I’m sorry,” Shae said, her voice deadpan. “Leg spasm.”

She turned her back to her husband, suddenly feeling much better. Maybe she’d be able to sleep after all.