We go on holiday (or vacation for those in America) on August 13 and I CANNOT WAIT! It's really hard to focus when you have little over a week until you'll be sat on a beach drinking Starbucks iced lattes.
But focus I must, as I still have a week of work, so here's an update on life etc. this July...
July was CampNaNoWriMo again, and I set myself the target of adding 20k to my urban-fantasy Choosing Sides, which I'm happy to report I achieved.
The story is now at 75k words, and I estimate I have between 15 - 20k remaining to write, in the form of 12 chapters!!
I'm so excited to be almost finished with draft one of this story. As I've previously mentioned, Choosing Sides is actually a complete re-write of my 2011/12 novel Sibylline Nights. This is a story that's been in my head for years long before 2011, when I had the idea of magical triplets separated at birth. As well as the family aspect, one story that I've always wanted to tell with this novel was the oppression of witches. The idea was originally spawned by the events of video game Dragon Age 2, which focused on the oppression of mages. My love of the X-Men comics helped this idea grow, and then seeing real world oppression in the media every day added to that growth and desire. I hope what I have now is an urban-fantasy that will not only entertain, but make people question their actions towards those that are 'different', and encourage people to be more empathetic and understanding towards those who're not like them in some way.
I'm taking a break from writing for August. As I mentioned above, we're going on holiday soon, so it's hard to focus, plus the kids are off. And, having just written 20k in a month, I feel the need for some down time to do fun non-writer activities.
My aim is the add the final 15-20k in September, and then begin revisions, before sending it to beta readers at the end of the year.
In July I tried to be more productive both with work, and during my non-working time. This included writing 20k for CampNaNoWriMo. My other aim was to take less naps, and do something worth-while during the morning. I 'kind of' achieved that. I had a pattern of one productive week, one non-productive week for the whole month. So while I was still napping some mornings, I was also able to beta read two novels, and get some extra work in, as well as spend time with Hubby going out for coffee etc.
While not perfect, I feel I'm getting better with the productivity, and I am to try again in September, with some new goals etc. Hopefully I'll see an improvement, even if it's just another week with non-naps.
As I mentioned above, my productive time in July was spent beta reading two books, and I also found time to read a third just for the pleasure of it.
All three books were amazing in their own ways, though completely different from each other. I feel very fortunate to know such fantastic writers.
The books I read were HEAR WHAT YOU WANT, by Kyra Lennon, a heart-breaking dual-POV romantic-suspense novel about a young woman who wakes up after a night out half-naked with her memories missing. You can check out my review here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2455499691
The second book was a mind-blowing paranormal horror, DON'T EAT THE WAFFLES, by Scout Dawson, about a man who wakes up in a waffle barn themed afterlife, with no recollection of how he died, and begins experiencing distributing flashbacks of his life. You can read my review here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2481790119
The final book I read was reverse-harem romance HARNESSING THE WINDS, by Morena Silver, a light, fun romp full of magic and pirates, about a sea captain must bind with the Four Winds to break a curse on her ship and crew, and you can check out my review here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2481802389
That's All Folks
And that's really it for July. I know it doesn't sound like much, but to me it is, as I've been focused on being more productive, and using my time better. Of course there's been other things, like trips out for coffee with mom, school sports days etc. but that's nothing different from most months.
What I'm taking away from July is that when I want more out of live, and put my mind to it, I can achieve great things. While I'll be taking it easy for August, I plan on refocusing come September when the school starts, so I can kick butt with writing, work, and general productivity.
Until then, I hope y'all enjoy the rest of summer. I know I sure will ... now where are my sunglasses! ;)
Thoughts, feelings and random updates from author Clare Dugmore.