Tag Archives: children’s writing

The Coldness of the Mind

Last night, I had a dream in which the whole world was iced over. I looked out my front door and a creeping, crackling pattern, like grasping pale fingers, was coming right for me. It had spread its way across the green, where there were no children playing, and made me feel like an ant crawling across the face of an iceberg. I slammed the front door shut, but I knew it was only a matter of time before the grey-blue ice, hard as steel, wormed its way in around the hinges and through any gap it could find.

It wasn’t a pleasant dream.

I’ve been thinking about ice a lot lately (due, of course, to the setting of ‘Emmeline’), and that’s probably why my mind went to a cold, dark place when I was lost in dreams. It’s an unfortunate coincidence that ice – at least, the sort of ice we get here, the dark insidious kind, the kind which no footwear can outsmart – is one of my biggest fears. This winter, however, my little island has been battered by Atlantic storms instead of Arctic vortexes, which is equally dreadful; most of the south of Ireland is underwater at the moment.

Flooding on Wandesford Quay in Cork City. Photo by Darragh McSweeney. Image sourced: rte.ie

Flooding on Wandesford Quay in Cork City. Photo by Darragh McSweeney.
Image sourced: rte.ie

So many people have lost everything – businesses, homes, property – and so many of them can’t purchase insurance, due to where they live being prone to flooding. Sometimes I don’t understand the world. Surely people who live in places like that need more help, rather than less?

Am I the crazy one? Wait – don’t answer that.

I have been out of sorts this week. My head is distracted, my thoughts are ragged, my energy levels are through the floor. ‘Emmeline’ is sitting beside me, not-so-neatly printed and annotated, from last week’s editing sessions; I have three or four small changes to make before I’ll be ready to leave it to percolate for a while. Then, once I’ve checked it again post-percolation, it will be ready to send out into the world. I hope to get to those final edits today, and then it’ll be on to the next thing.

Oh, and I may not have mentioned this before, but – last week on Twitter I noticed an author excitedly promoting their newly published book which not only had the same title as one I had been planning, but took as its central plot motif something which I had come up with in the middle of last year, and which I was quite excited about. This, surely, has to be something nobody’s ever thought of before, I told myself at the time. This is interesting and unusual and could turn out to be something great! Little did I know that the other author was probably doing their final edits on their book at that stage. So, that was another of those bittersweet moments where you realise you’re having good ideas, but just not quickly enough. Of course I’ll be interested to read this other book when it’s published, and I wish its author well. However, I really hope this ‘idea duplication’ thing stops happening to me, one of these years.

Anyway. My mind feels gripped with a cold hand this week. I hope it relaxes its hold soon, because I have a lot of work to get to. I have another idea I want to flesh out, and I want to revisit ‘Eldritch’ and try to do a rewrite, and I need to start picking up with my submissions to competitions and magazines, because I’ve completely let that slide over the past few months.

I think I need a calendar, and an action plan, and someone to tell me to pace myself… Or maybe just a holiday.

Dragon boat racing in Hong Kong - rowing to the beat of a drum sounds like just the ticket! Image: dailymail.co.uk

Dragon boat racing in Hong Kong – rowing to the beat of a drum sounds like just the ticket!
Image: dailymail.co.uk

Have a good Thursday, one and all.

An Untimely Note

My day is ending, rather than beginning, but I haven’t been able to put a blog post up until now. It’s not that I didn’t have time, but I just… couldn’t. My head is in a strange place today. So, this post will perforce be brief. Maybe we could call it a Post-Ette.

Sometimes my life feels like this.

Sometimes my life feels like this.

Item the First: I’ve been nominated for a Next Big Thing Award twice in the last week (technically), once by Claire over at Written in Haste and once by Michelle at Michelle Proulx Official. (Thank you, ladies). I say ‘technically’ because Claire didn’t actually nominate me on her blog – she contacted me personally to ask if I’d do it, so I’ll count that as a nomination. Basically, this means I have to answer some questions about my Work in Progress, which is a bit scary; however, being nominated twice makes me think that Fate is at work, and I should probably just go for it. So, in the next few days I’ll get to that. You can hold your breaths… now!

Item the Second: my first proper attempt at writing a short story for children. My target audience is probably the average nine-year-old boy, so the story involves snot and other bodily fluids, aliens, and explosions. In fact, quite a lot happens for 1500 words! Hopefully, I’ll tweak this over the next few days; I want to submit it to a Children’s Literature magazine early in the new year, but only when it’s ready. I feel it’s an achievement for me to feel able to submit something to a magazine, so I’m quite pleased with myself on that front.

Item the Third: I had an entirely new idea today, one that wasn’t to do with my WiP or anything else I’ve been turning over in my mind lately. It’s historical (medieval, of course), based around an event that I’ve long had a fascination with, and one which I feel is rich with story potential. Like a lot of the lesser-known events in medieval history, it actually ended up having quite a large effect on the history of an entire country. However, for some reason it’s not considered a huge historical event in its own right, and so very few people know about it. These kind of nuggets from history are gold to a story-teller, so hopefully the bones of the story I’m thinking of will one day form the arc of a new tale.

Item the Fourth: I may not blog tomorrow, but hopefully I’ll be back on Friday. And – hopefully – I’ll be in a brighter frame of mind.

Avast! Enough nonsense. Have a wonderful Wednesday, and take good care of yourselves.