Writing Up a Storm

Yesterday, the weather was terrible. Not hurricane-terrible, or tsunami-terrible (I’m often thankful for Ireland’s reasonably clement climate!), but dark, cold, with really heavy rain and hail storms. So, I kept myself pretty much housebound.

Sort of like this, except worse.Image: disastersafety.typepad.com

Sort of like this, except worse.
Image: disastersafety.typepad.com

That’s not to say I didn’t do anything useful, though.

I set myself up on http://www.authonomy.com a few days ago, and one of the things I did manage to do yesterday was upload just over 10,000 words of a Work in Progress to the site. Its working title is ‘Eldritch’, and as I said yesterday, I envisage it as being the first book in a trilogy (currently titled ‘The Astolat Conspiracy’), aimed at readers between the ages of maybe 8 to 12. Of course, I’d hope older readers would enjoy it too! If you’d like to check out what I’ve done, please feel free to visit the website – you can search for my book using the word ‘Eldritch’. You can read it without logging in, or giving details, or any of that craziness, and best of all – it’s entirely free. So far, I’ve been made very welcome and I’ve (at time of writing) managed to gather four kind reviews, complete with some useful critical comments. Even though it’s early days yet, my impression of the site is very positive. I’ve also read some wonderful work by other users, both people who’ve reviewed my work and people whose work I just liked the sound of, and it’s been an education to say the least. There are a lot of very talented people writing in the world today; I’m trying to take that as a good thing – in other words, the genre I love, and the stories that I love, are alive and kicking – instead of ‘oh my goodness, look at all the competition!’

It’s not as easy as it looks, you know, this positive thinking malarkey. But I’m doing my best.

Following a dream is a bit like feeling your way around an unfamiliar room in the dark sometimes. As well as the inherent insecurity of chasing something intangible, though, I also know I only have a limited time in which I can indulge myself, so I really hope I can make the most of the time I’ve got. I suppose, then, what I’m doing at the moment is more like feeling my way around that unfamiliar room in the dark, all the time knowing there’s a really wonderful treasure to be found somewhere in the unknown – and, like the hailstones that fell yesterday, the treasure won’t last forever. Eventually, it will melt away and be gone, leaving no trace that it was ever there at all. However, I am determined to do the best I can, and write as much as I’m able, and do the best work of which I’m capable. If other people read and enjoy it at the same time, then it’s a bonus.

In other news, work on ‘Eldritch’ is going well. I also spent some time on an even older WiP yesterday, one I started so long ago that I’d forgotten the story of it. I’m not sure it’s salvageable, but I know that I loved it dearly once upon a time, so perhaps I’ll find a useful nugget in there. And, of course, ‘Tider’ is bubbling away in my subconscious all the time! I feel like a circus plate-juggler, sometimes. But I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Since the competition ended, I’ve felt a little bit unfocused – the central point of my writing life has gone, you might say. But I’m making new goals for myself, and new milestones and deadlines. I want to have ‘Eldritch’ out on submission by the end of March, for instance. That’s a goal I can meet, I think. I’m hopeful I’ll be able to work on ‘Tider’ during that time, too – the two books are very different, so working on them simultaneously should not only be possible, but maybe even beneficial.

(Sometimes I read back over things I write on this blog and say to myself: ‘you crazy fool!’ I just had one of those moments. However, I suppose those moments keep life interesting.)

So, today I’ll be embarking upon a marathon ‘Eldritch’ writing session. I’ll let you know how it goes. Stay warm, stay dry, and remember to keep searching for that treasure!

13 thoughts on “Writing Up a Storm

  1. ratherthanwriting

    I always feel like there’s nothing like a rainy day for an awesome writing session. I love the sound, and it makes me feel so peaceful. Besides, especially when it’s cold, all you want to do is stay in under the covers. It always makes me feel more creative too! I your writing session is going well!

    1. SJ O'Hart Post author

      Yes, exactly! Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on my post. I really appreciate it.

      Your own blog looks great! I’m learning a lot from your posts. πŸ™‚

  2. Kate Curtis

    Eagerly clicking your link, but I can’t get it to work. Or via Google either. I’ll try again later. It’s a ruse of course, those writerly-types sure know how to build suspense.

    1. SJ O'Hart Post author

      The site is down! Would you believe it. It’s almost funny!

      They’ve just issued a Tweet apologising for ‘technical issues’. Hopefully it’ll be back up and running later today (or tonight, perhaps, from your point of view!) I am, for my part, most heartily sorry for any inconvenience caused, and I hope that the writing is worth all your effort! πŸ™‚

      Thank you for reading, commenting, and trying to click!

      1. SJ O'Hart Post author

        Well, I’m not sure about that…. πŸ˜€

        It’s back up and running now, anyway. So, feel free to click, if you like! πŸ™‚ (And – thank you!)

  3. anna3101

    Do you like writing when it’s raining? Or reading? I just love it! I’m in a hurry to visit my doctor but next time I log into WP I will check out Eldritch πŸ™‚

    1. SJ O'Hart Post author

      I pretty much like doing anything when it’s raining. It comes in handy when you live in Ireland, where it rains pretty much all the time. πŸ™‚ There’s nothing I like better than being indoors in the warmth (probably curled up with a book, knowing me) listening to the rain battering off the windows. So cosy!

  4. Maurice A. Barry

    AHEM–positive thinking malarkey. Malarkey?
    Just kidding :>) Fact is obsessively positive people get on my nerves like nothing other!
    Don’t get me wrong–it is important to assume ‘positive’ as a default stance; that is, if you are in doubt go with positive. That said we have a whole range of feelings and emotions and we need to learn how to use them all with grace!
    Now, why did I say all this? Who knows :>) Just wanted to get on the soapbox for a bit I guess. Hope the weather improves soon.

    1. SJ O'Hart Post author

      Thanks for the comment! I’m not sure if my post offended you or not… if it did, please accept my heartfelt apology. πŸ™‚ I’m new to the positive thinking game (anyone who knows me in the flesh will tell you that much), but I like your thought about using all our feelings and emotions with grace. Perhaps I’ll emulate that from now on, instead.

      The weather will be bad till the end of the week. But, so it goes. It bothers me not. Thank you for the positivity, though. πŸ™‚

      1. Maurice A. Barry

        LORD no! I was just kidding! But it’s true–while we do need to keep the potentially destructive emotions in check; learn to use them gracefully–they exist for valid reasons. Life sometimes does suck and we need to respond with everything we have, not just pretend “everything’s fine.” Yes, part of being adult means learning how to apply ourselves with measure; not too much of some, especially hatred. That said, anger, sadness, disgust and the other ‘negatives’ have their uses. We just need to embrace then, use them in measure and, most of all, be aware that everything is cyclical. I don’t want to get into shameless self promotion but a post from back in July is one that I like. It’s called ‘in search of …what.’ Have a peek if interested.

      2. SJ O'Hart Post author

        Thanks – yep, I agree with your sentiments. It’s important to be honest with ourselves and to face up to how we feel about things, both good and bad. A very wise philosophy!

        I’m off to scare up your blog post now. Thanks for the heads-up!

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