Friday, March 26, 2021

Learning to slow down

Phew! I've been struggling with motivation lately. Work has been ramping up and I've had an unusually social week. I'm going to try and slow down this weekend, focus on the things I can control, and find serenity in the face of things I can't 🧘🏻‍♀️ Maybe a little gym session or YouTube yoga will set me straight.

Hope you all are faring better!

Photo by Johannes Plenio from Pexels

Friday, March 19, 2021

For Fruits Basket — Okazaki Ritsuko (Fruits Basket theme song)

I've not watched anime in a long time, but one of my favourites from back in the day was Fruits Basket, a sweet supernatural romantic comedy based on the 12 animals zodiac.

These days, listening to anime theme songs, and any J-pop really, takes me back to the days of watching thoughtful and funny TV shows in my parents' house in the suburbs. Here's a little taste:

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Do you believe in writer's block? (a guest post by Jillian Boehme)

How beautiful is the cover for Jillian Boehme's new book, "The Stolen Kingdom"? It had me immediately intrigued. I'm excited to feature Jillian on the blog today with her take on writer's block.

Do you believe in writer's block?

By Jillian Boehme

In a word, no.

I do, however, believe in PLOTTER’S BLOCK, which might be what folks mean when they talk about “writer’s block”. Let me explain.

One can always sit down to write words—there is nothing (aside from unconsciousness) that can stop this flow. If you get “stuck” in the middle of writing, you can always write something else for a while. There are all sorts of ways to get your creativity flowing, and all you need is a willingness to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard, more likely).

Plotter’s block, however, is the monster that stops me dead. A well-plotted story has certain points that need to be hit at a certain time. Planning these plot points, for me, is an excruciating business, and my longest bouts of staring-into-nothing are directly related to my inability to figure out the next logical thing to happen.

The same thing can happen if you’re the type of writer who likes to plot-on-the-go (“pantsing”, it’s often called). When you get stuck on a plot point, it may feel like writer’s block because you’re in the middle of your story and you don’t know what to write next. But trust me – it’s the plot that’s got you stuck, and not the writing.

The better my planning on a given novel, the easier my drafting process. (“Easy” is relative; drafting isn’t my favorite part of writing, either!) It’s true that I still end up staring sometimes—but it’s not writer’s block. It’s painstakingly deciding on exactly the right line of dialogue or the perfect sentence to end a chapter.

Staring at nothing is an unfortunate part of the writing process. But it’s not writer’s block. If nothing else, it’s an excuse to eat something chocolate. Which is definitely not something to complain about. 

The Stolen Kingdom
by Jillian Boehme
Genre: YA Fantasy

A bold girl, a kingdom under attack, magic everywhere—I devoured it in one sitting! This book is one wild ride!” —Tamora Pierce on Stormrise

Nothing is quite as it seems in this thrilling YA fantasy adventure by Jillian Boehme, The Stolen Kingdom!

For a hundred years, the once-prosperous kingdom of Perin Faye has suffered under the rule of the greedy and power-hungry Thungrave kings. Maralyth Graylaern, a vintner's daughter, has no idea her hidden magical power is proof of a secret bloodline and claim to the throne. Alac Thungrave, the king’s second son, has always been uncomfortable with his position as the spare heir—and the dark, stolen magic that comes with ruling.
When Maralyth becomes embroiled in a plot to murder the royal family and seize the throne, a cat-and-mouse chase ensues in an adventure of dark magic, court intrigue, and forbidden love.

**Join the Live Chat Author Event March 5th here!**

Jillian is known to the online writing community as Authoress, hostess of Miss Snark's First Victim, a blog for aspiring authors. In real life, she holds a degree in Music Education, sings with the Nashville Symphony Chorus, and homeschools her remaining youngster-at-home. She's still crazy in love with her husband of more than thirty years and is happy to be surrounded by family and friends amid the rolling knolls of Middle Tennessee.

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

$20 Amazon

Friday, March 12, 2021

10 most common writing obstacles every new writer faces

I don't consider myself an expert in writing, but friends and new acquaintances often query me about it since I do it for a living. Their questions step up a notch too once they find out I've actually released a book and am not just scribbling sad-girl poems in my diary 😛

So here's a little something for non-writers looking to grow, and for new writers looking for camaraderie. These are, in my opinion, 10 very common writing obstacles for newbie writers:
  1. Lack of inspiration
  2. Lack of discipline
  3. A limited vocabulary
  4. No time to write
  5. Not liking what you write
  6. Comparing your work to others'
  7. Boredom with your own work
  8. Discouraging responses
  9. Someone's already released the story you want to tell
  10. Writing too slowly
This isn't a listicle type blog post, where we dig into each of the obstacles one by one. Many of these come from fatigue — physical, psychological and emotional — and feed upon themselves. Some will come from not having a writing habit or writing process that suits the way you like to work, even if that same process works for someone else.

Unfortunately, I don't think these issues have specific fixes either. They don't just affect newbie writers and can strike at any time regardless of how many years you've been taking your craft seriously, and the fix at the time usually tends to depend on your circumstances.

If you do come upon any of these, however, the best thing you can do is connect with other writers and be open to a conversation. They won't know your situation, and you won't know theirs, but maybe in that haze of mutual not-knowing, something might spark and light the way.

Don't give up on something you love. Look after yourself and keep writing 💙

Friday, March 5, 2021

Giveaway — Hearts of Spring

Find your next sweet read! This clean romance giveaway runs from 1 March – 31 March.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Writing YA Novels as a Pop Culture Fan (a guest post by Christine Hart)

YA author Christine Hart is here today to talk about her experience of writing YA novels as a pop culture fan. Her new book, "The Electric Girl", features a stunning cover plus moods and moments inspired by some of her favourite movies and TV shows.

Here's Christine with the scoop...

Latest on my blog

Out Now: The Guy from the Internet

A sweet romance with a touch of family drama.

Holly Chee does not have her life together. She's flip-flopped on uni courses and career choices, and somehow scared off her long-term fiancée-to-be, much to the chagrin of her immigrant parents.

But she does have her streaming channel, where she broadcasts her art from her one-bedroom Mount Lawley apartment. And she has that guy from France... assuming he's even who he says he is.

The Guy From The Internet is a sweet #OwnVoices Asian-Australian romance novella, set in the world of Somerville Downs.

Now available on Amazon in digital and paperback.

Would you like to sample my work?

The Guy From the Library is a sudden puppy short story, free for my newsletter subscribers, available now on StoryOrigin.