Tag Archives: new ideas

Keeping Count of the Good Stuff

Today is ‘Budget Day’ in Ireland, the day when our government will announce the latest round of cuts and taxes designed to take over €2 billion out of our economy without throwing us back down the plughole of recession. Not an easy thing to do, I’m sure; I don’t envy them the job. Things have just barely started to nudge in the right direction here, and our ‘recovery’, if you can call it that, is still on very shaky legs. I hope today’s budget will be gentle enough not to cause stress and worry to too many people as we face into the colder months.

I hope.

Image: intervene.dugfree.org

Image: intervene.dugfree.org

Yesterday, I spent some time with my brother. It was an unexpected joy. I hadn’t seen him in a very long time, and he happened to call over out of the blue. It made an otherwise ordinary day into something that sparkled with happiness, and even though it meant I took an unscheduled day away from my writing, it didn’t even really seem to matter.

It’s on days like this, spent with loved ones and making the most out of life, that I try to count the good stuff.I’m not much of an accountant, and I don’t have a lot of anything to count, but I like to think I know a little about keeping things in balance.

If I were to prepare a personal ‘budget’, designed to maximise potential and encourage these elusive ‘green shoots’ and keep my own small economy running, it would look a bit like this:

Negativity – to be reduced by at least 75%;
Pessimism – to be taxed at the higher rate of 90%;
Fear – to be eradicated through greater reliance on existing support structures;Self-belief – to be nurtured through tax breaks on ‘You can do it’, ‘You’re good enough’, and ‘It will all be okay in the end’;
Ambition – to be fostered through cuts to Negative Self-Talk and Doubt;
Peace of Mind – to be the focus of spending for the coming year.

Image: thejournal.ie

Image: thejournal.ie

It’s a cold, clear day, with traces of the frozen north on the wind. It’s exactly the sort of day I love. I have some final edits to do on ‘Tider’ – things like tidying up chapter numbers and making sure my pages are properly laid out, that sort of thing – and I have at least two new ideas bubbling in my brain. I have several competitions I want to enter, and I’m looking forward to opening up my idea-chest and having a good old rummage inside. The sun is shining, and I am alive.

By anyone’s account, that’s all good.

There Goes the Sun

The heatwave is over.

It Cannot BE! Image: knowyourglow.com

It Cannot BE!
Image: knowyourglow.com

Yes – it is true. Ireland has returned to its normal grey, slightly damp self. In some ways this is a terrible shame, but in a lot of others, it’s a blessing. It plays with one’s head, you see, to look around one’s country and see it behaving like a Grecian sea resort; it’s discombobulating. It’s made me feel like I’ve been walking around upside-down for the past few weeks. Of course, it was great to have the sun, and I will miss it, but I’m sure it’ll be back. Sometime in the next decade or so, that is.

In other news, work has been progressing nicely on ‘Tider Mark II’, as I’ve taken to calling it. I’m currently at 34,000 words, so more or less halfway through Draft 1. I’ve actually been enjoying the writing of it, this time around; every time I sit down to write, I do so with no real idea where that day’s work is going to take me, and I have to say I’m charmed by the freshness of this approach. I don’t feel like my plotting and planning is stunting the progression of the story. Instead, the characters are driving the action, and I think that’s good. Of course, it’s only a Draft 1 – there is a lot of work to be done, evident even at this early stage, in ‘filling in detail’, particularly at the beginning. I’m confident, though, that this can be done during subsequent drafts. That’s the benefit of having been deeply immersed in this story and this world before, I suppose – I know I can do it, because I’ve done it already, if that makes any sense. Already, I like this version of the story more. It’s free of unnecessary embellishment and all the sub-plots that added nothing but bulk to the book, and it’s far more tightly focused on the important things – i.e. the protagonist, her family, and the danger they’re placed in by the actions of those who are jealous of their power and influence and who want to bring them down at any cost. Plus, there’s more running and chasing and action and time-travel and a whole lot of other excellent and very fun stuff, and that can never be a bad thing.

Also, the other day, I started to form another tiny seedling of an idea. It was a first sentence, actually, that dropped into my mind unbidden, the first sentence of a new story completely unknown to me. It’s the same feeling you get when you read the first sentence of a crisp new book and it draws you in, absorbing you completely, making you desperate to find out more – except it’s even more exciting, because you know this is a book that hasn’t been written yet, and which is dependent on you to bring it to life. It’s been a while since I had a new idea, and it was beginning to worry me a little; I’m glad, then, that this ‘green shoot’ has appeared. My dusty old brain isn’t as dessicated as it might appear.

Image: anitadefonte.wordpress.com

Image: anitadefonte.wordpress.com

So, I hope I’ll be finished ‘Tider Mark II’ Draft 1 (it’s getting a bit complicated now, apologies for that) in the next few weeks. Then, I can put it to one side and think again about sending ‘Eldritch’ to another swathe of agents, and keep on top of my competition entries. Then, excitingly, it might be time to start another new project altogether – but which one will it be..?

I guess all you can do is stay tuned!

Happy Tuesday, everybody.