Breaking the Curse

It has been a rough month. The black dog has been biting at my heels. Anxiety has cursed me with migraines. There have been a few highlights, including my talk for Critical Mass but, I must admit, the writing has been sporadic - at best.

I can't blame writer's block; I am transcribing the handwritten draft of The Department of Curiosities. I have been side-tracked by research to plug up some holes. Character names are in flux. I knew this would be a possibility as I am a Pantser at heart - no matter how I try to plan.

My real daemon has been anxiety. It can cripple. It can curse. It can throw all plans in my face and laugh maniacally as I try to pick up the pieces. Today is a good day, as was yesterday. Life goes on, as does my writing. Slow, but ever forward.

An interesting revelation has dawned on me:  After transcribing the first draft into Scrivener, doing some rewrites and shuffles, the handwritten notes declare I am just finishing up chapter fourteen. Not so. After rewrites and chapter changes, I am currently working on chapter eighteen. My chapters are almost twice as long when I hand write a manuscript. Perhaps this is because the plot timing changes when I write in different formats? Or have I just had more time for the story to mull over in my head - and present itself differently?

The important thing is I have finally kicked the dog in the b*lls and am typing like the wind, only slowing down to fill in the blanks noted for research in that first draft. Our heroes are preparing to take flight to experience new adventures and whispering hints for future tales and a second book.

But first I must finish this one.

chapter 18 rewrites DOC 150915

A Change of Location

Another few chapters down. Our heroes have left the (relative) safety of the Department of Curiosities and are currently in dirigible-flight to far flung destinations but, sadly,  not to our heroine's country of choice.

So now I get to have some fun filling in the 'to do' notes.

Research is fun, especially when I get to go sightseeing, take photos and visit the library. Over the past month, I have been surveying the city for inspiration. Adelaide was founded in 1836 and has many surviving examples (or facades)  of 18th century buildings and houses.  My local library also has books with original photography of the early Adelaide settlement. Be still my beating heart!

Cue research photos: Firstly Port Adelaide.

DSC_4592 DSC_3677

Historical buildings in North Adelaide: DSC_3720 DSC_3726 north adelaide historic buildings

And the CBD:

 DSC_2453 DSC_2997

DSC_2998DSC_3190 DSC_3077

Now our heroes just have to return to land!

Photos (c)2015 Karen Carlisle.

777 WIP Challenge

There is a blog challenge presented to me via The Steampunk Empire. One of our denizens, David Lee Summers, threw open the challenge to play the 777 game. In this game, we go to page seven of a work in progress, scroll down seven lines and post the next seven sentences.

Here is my offering, from my work-in-progress,The Department of Curiosities. Just a few more chapters to go on the first draft.

To Tillie's annoyance, she found herself reminiscing about a pair of fine green eyes. "Which would you prefer, Miss?" Grace's voice pulled Tillie back to the task at hand.

An assortment of silk, cotton and linen dresses had been laid out on the feather coverlet, all in the latest fashions. From the second box, assorted linens and unmentionables were unpacked from amongst the layers of soft tissue paper. There was a pair of collapsible bustles, ideal for transport, with ample room for her concealed pockets and holster. Two new pairs of leather boots stood proudly at the foot of the bed.

The original challenge asked to tag seven people to take up the challenge. David left the challenge open ended. Most other writers I know have already been tagged, so I am tagging Lynne Lumsden Green, of Cogpunk Steamscribe, and leaving it open for anyone else who would like to play. Just nominate yourself in the comments, with a link to your blog so we can check it out!