My Plans are Afoot: The Adventures of Viola Stewart

I blame high school. And sport. I was never really a sport person, though I wasn't bad at short distance running or swimming. I even played first base or catcher for primary school softball. I used to watch the Australian cricket team in the practice nets that abutted our school oval. I toyed with renaissance fencing as an adult. But it never really tugged at my heart, as much as art or writing.

I was given a choice in highschool; sport or photography for the high school magazine. I chose photography (and got out of sport). In those days we played with negatives, enlargers, chemicals baths and photographic paper - learning to take, develop and print black and white photographs. Then I was introduced to super 8 movie film. By the end of grade twelve, I was itching to become a cinematographer. But there were bugga all jobs for women in the industry back then. I went to university and got a profession; the sensible choice.

I never did lose the photographic bug.  I have always wanted to set up a room dedicated to the craft. Set up and developing costs were always the issue. (Portable video cameras made filming easier.) Now I have my digital SLR camera, it is a much cheaper (and less messy) option. No chemicals and cumbersome equipment.

DragonsbloodCreationsGown_ModelZena_copyrightKarenCarlisle_2015A few weekends ago I put my creative passion to use - my first photo shoot for the first instalments in my series, The Adventures of Viola Stewart and Doctor Jack. My models were fellow costumers - Zena (Viola), James (Man in Grey) and David (Jack and Henry). A thank you to Terry, from Dragonsblood Creations (you saw her workshop in a previous post) who supplied costumes for Viola.

I shot some portraits in studio and on location at Port Adelaide where there is a smorgasbord of 19th century buildings and pubs. Fortunately the weather behaved. The previous weekend had been a scorcher of almost 40 degrees Celsius - not conducive to layered clothing and standing around in the sun.

photoshoot1Adventures Port Adelaide_copyright_KarenCarlisle_2015

Here are a few hints of my plans. HINTS for blog 3 1503

ViolaHint1_copyrightKarenCarlisle_2015                   Sign up for my newsletter - Tea & Tidings -  to be first to hear more of my plans. All characters and images (c)Karen Carlisle 2015.

Of NaNoWriMo, Wizards and a new Novella.

November is going to be busy. In February, I booked four weeks holiday (that is a whole complicated story unto itself). I intend to attend my brother's wedding, try to catch up on garden landscaping and sorting out the edible plants for summer, attend two workshops, Supanova (convention) and a work conference - just to name a few. Most of all, I intend to give my first full-on NaNoWriMo a really good attempt. I look forward to a creative distraction to current stresses.

I attended both NaNoWriMo camps this year - in April and July. Camp is like a mini-NaNoWriMo - you can choose your own project/s and word limit. For my very first camp, I aimed for 10,000 words. I finished with 15,000 words for the month (a record for me).

Doctor Jack's first draft was finished in May - totaling 35,000. My first novella (now with my beta reader). In July I decided I needed complete rewrites on a short story, The Day of the Dirigible and make significant headway on my work-in-progress, The Department of Curiosities. The experience was invigorating. I procrastinated less, I wrote more.

April BLog Posts: Now I have done it! There is no turning back? / Of Deadlines, Short Stories and Novellas / Of Post Camp Progress, Pantsers and Plotters. July Blog Posts: Of Rewrites, Camps and Villians.

November's NaNoWriMo has a new set of rules and will provide a much bigger challenge. Word goal is 50,000 words. I cannot start writing it before the 1st of November. I can outline the plot or characters. In the past, the project had to be a new one. Recent changes appear to allow for continuing with a current WIP, as long as it is new writing and no rehashing of previous work.

As this is way above my personal best word count for one month, I will not be disappointed if I do not make the target.  If I do manage to keep my muse on target, curb my procrastination and manage to make the goal, I will be overjoyed!

Whatever the outcome, I have two options now open to me: to make a start on my second novella, The Wizard of St Pauls or forge ahead with the first draft of The Department of Curiosities.

The Wizard of St Pauls is a story has been mulling around in my head for over a year. It is more gaslamp than steampunk. It is set in the same steampunk world as The Department of Curiosities, with a different agency battling a unique section of society.

On the 1st November, I will know which way the muse takes me. I will keep you posted on my progress and word count, via November's posts.

NaNoWriMo Word count. Total Words- first draft: