Category Archives: Progress Report

Hello. It’s Me.

Hi, friends

*waves nervously* 👋🏼

I’ve been MIA lately. 🙄 *thank you captain obvious*

It’s been a lengthier hiatus than I planned – actually I didn’t plan it at all. Things have just been going on in my life lately that have been making it difficult to juggle everything, but I’ve gotten some things under control. I think. I hope.

I don’t want to go into too much detail. But it was a dark period & I want you all to know that I’ve seen your comments and your words of support have meant a lot to me. Thank you. From the bottom of my heart!

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Most of the last few weeks have been spent preparing to enter Pirate Eyes in #PitchWars. I tried out last year, but didn’t make it. Since then, she’s gone through three more editing phases, plus been read by my sister. I’ve also circulated the first chapter and I’ve gotten really positive feedback, so my ego is stoked and I’m trying my luck a second time before attempting to query her to a few more agents.

My submission went through yesterday and now the wait begins!

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Otherwise, I’ve been editing through Heralding the sequel to my debut urban fantasy novella, Eléonore. At this rate, I’m confident she’ll be publishing fall 2017, so keep an eye out and an ear open.

I’ve also been working on a few side projects side projects. One is an adult fairy tale adaptation, two are secrets 🙊, one is a family drama screenplay, and one is a YA paranormal historical novella. But these are projects that I only work on when I have the extra time.

The only other WIP that has my attention is Hollow Vows, the sequel to Pirate Eyes. I participated in CampNaNoWriMo in July and passed my 30k goal (hit 33k).

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Aside from writing, I’ve been preparing a few blog series that I really hope to commit to. One focuses on lessons I’ve learned as a writer from books I’ve read. I also intend to dive into the Crafting the Series series. I’m re-imagining my blog a bit, really trying to focus on what it is I want to offer people. Primarily, it’s about one writer helping other writers, but it’s also about sharing my love of books and stories, so I’m really going to center myself that way and try to be more disciplined in how I accomplish it.

Hoping that this month will be a good step forward.

Let me know what you’ve been up to, dearest friends. Share your happiest moments or your troubles. I’m here to talk again. So let’s catch up 😊


 

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

Favourite 2017 Reads (So Far) | Top Ten Tuesday

Hi friends,

Happy Tuesday. I’m sorta kinda back… 😉

I’m playing catch up today and participating in Top Ten Tuesday after missing the past two weeks.

The topic for today is best books you’ve read in 2017 so far. Want to join, check out The Broke and the Bookish!

Only three of these were released this year. The rest have been long on my TBR.


10. The Blue Sword – Robin McKinley

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My second read from McKinley, this book was an absolute gem of high fantasy, with stunning worldbuilding. I love Harry. Such a short book too. Definitely one I’ll reread in the future.

9. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe – Benjamin Alire Saenz

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This book holds a special place in my heart. Not only was it a moving story, but it was my first experience listening to an audiobook and Lin’s voice was perfectly suited to telling this contemporary epic.

8. Daughter of Smoke and Bone – Laini Taylor

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I read this entire series this year. The first book hooked me with its star crossed romance and mythology! The two that followed were still breathtakingly written, but they lacked the tight plot and compelling narrative of the first. Still a beautiful trilogy though.

7. The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas

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Can’t begin to express enough how amazing this story is. I don’t read many contemporaries (especially in the YA category — somehow two are on this list, so maybe I should reconsider 🤔). The social relevance of this book alone is enough to convince me that its a book everyone should read.

6. Norse Mythology – Neil Gaiman

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The universe must have heard my dreams when it inspired Neil Gaiman to write his own adaptation of Norse mythology. It was preordained that I would love this! And love it I did, with all of Loki’s snark 😍

5. A Monster Calls – Patrick Ness

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I read this book early in the year and I nearly forgot that I had, it feels like a classic already, a book I’ve known for a long time. I read it in one sitting and it broke my heart.

— the next four are honestly impossible for me to order because they are all epic! —

1. Crooked Kingdom – Leigh Bardugo

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This was the last book I finished reading and oh my gosh! My heart doesn’t know what to do with itself. I need more of these amazing characters. More, I tell you! MORE 😭

1. The Dark Tower – Stephen King

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I devoured the last three books in this series and I can’t recommend this twisted and complex story enough. The journey of this narrative left me breathless and the ending… Seriously, King is a mad genius!

1. Nevernight – Jay Kristoff

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A perfectly dark fantasy! Reminded me of Game of Thrones – which is a very good thing in my books – with Mia even reading a bit like the epic Arya Stark. But believe me, Mia is her own unique character and one of my favourite protagonists. Godsgrave can’t come quick enough!

1. A Conjuring of Light – VE Schwab

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So maybe I lied. 😅

There’s a reason this is the last one. Because it’s honestly the best book I’ve read this year. I don’t know what it is about the characters and the story but Schwab crafted such a strong world with the Shades of Magic series that I want to get lost in it over and over and over again! Not to mention, that this is one of the most brilliant finales to a series. Though, I wish it was not the end…


What are the best books you’ve read so far this year? Any of the ones I’ve mentioned on your list? Let me know in the comments friends! Hope you’ve all been keeping well!

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith  quill-ink

Half Month Report

Hi all!

Hope you’re keeping well.

Montreal’s summer is really settling in. We reached 34º celsius with humidity two days ago and this morning woke up to a brisk 12º. Nothing says summer like fluctuating temperature!

extra3 summer winter cold yolo GIF

 

Anyway, I’ve been fairly unreliable on my blog lately and while part of that is because I’m terrible at time management, the other reason is that I’ve been knee deep in edits of Pirate Eyes.

To which you now say… “but Faith, you mentioned that they were done just a few weeks ago. Are you a pathological liar?”

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In all seriousness, though, I was telling the truth when I said I was done, but since then, my sister started and finished her developmental edit of my story and made a few excellent points so I’m just making the minor changes I need to and doing a final readthrough to reassure myself it’s as good as it can be, and then that’s it.

For real this time.

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On top of that, I’ve been dividing my time between work, family and that secret project. Oh, and Social Media. I’ve been most active on Instagram but that’s about to change because I can feel myself reaching the breaking point, which isn’t good… Or so I’ve heard ;P

All that to say, this year has been a challenge for me in terms of learning to balance time. Though I will admit that a good part of my struggle has to do with where I am in my personal life. I won’t burden you with that for now. We all are battling our own inner demons, and all I can say to you, is keep your chin up and put up the good fight friends. Five years down the line, you’ll back on the darker periods of your life and they’ll only be distant memories. Life is so much bigger than right now.

Winding down, I’m making plans, and putting my best foot forward. Scheduling is my best friend right now and I’m creating time blocks for my activities, which means that I’m hoping to post on this blog at least once a week and catch up on your posts and comments twice more.

If everything works out as I hope — edits of Pirate Eyes entirely done by the end of this month — I’ll be starting on Heralding edits next month and coming to you with a special new blog series. Plus that secret project will finally see the light of day!

And keep your eye out for tomorrow’s post, which will be a guest post by the very kind and talented, Sarina Langer!

But enough about me… What have you been up to friends? Anything exciting happening in your life? Do you feel stressed or overwhelmed at the moment? Let me know what’s on your mind and we can support one another as we set forth to create a future for ourselves 🙂

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all gifs taken from giphy.com


May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

This Month in Review | May 2017

Hello friends!

Happy June 1st!

Is it happy, though? Not sure how I feel about knowing that we’re nearly halfway through 2017! Anyone else feel like time keeps testing how fast it can go with every passing year?

As with the last four months, I’m starting off this one reflecting on the goals I achieved, those I didn’t and what I have to look forward to in June.

I feel like May was far less productive than June, but I still got some things done 🙂


GOALS OF MAY

  1. Edit Heralding to second draft.
  2. Finish writing my fairy tale adaptation
  3. Outline Hollow Vows (sequel to Pirate Eyes) – I had most of this done, but after edits of Pirate Eyes, I have a new idea for the rest of the series.
  4. Host #FictMAYhem on Twitter/Instagram.I’m really excited to be hosting this again and helping people develop their characters! You’re more than welcome to join us 🙂
  5. Read 5-6 books. This includes Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman, which I didn’t get to last month, Nevernight by Jay Kristoff because Sarina convinced me to, and Eon by Alison Goodman.
  6. Watch 4-5 movies. There are so many great ones coming out this month: Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 2, Pirates of the Caribbean (Dead Men Tell no Tales), Everything Everything and King Arthur (Legend of the Sword).
  7. Post 2 entries for Crafting the Series.
  8. Special project – I would say more, but it’s a secret for the moment. Just know that something exciting is coming in June and I’m excited to share it with you 🙂
  9. Outline a novella idea. I had started to write out an outline in April and I’m hoping to get more of it worked out this month.

 

ACHIEVED IN MAY

  1. I’m still in the process of editing Heralding. Unfortunately, I spent most of May doing a readthrough of Eléonore to catch any plot holes and make sure all’s set for the sequels. Then I managed a full readthrough of Heralding and made notes of what needs work where. So the actual edits are taking place this month and the draft for betas should be ready by July 1st.
  2. I didn’t finish writing that adaptation, but it really was an overambitious goal to begin with. I have maybe two chapters left on one part and then I’ll start the second. But this isn’t a priority.
  3. I didn’t get to outline Hollow Vows yet only because I’ve been working meticulously on Pirate Eyes. My edit was done but I’m in the midst of another read through to identify those pesky plot holes because my sister pointed out a little problem and now I’m paranoid it’s elsewhere. So we’re both going through it with a fine tooth comb and I have a few beta readers who will be giving it a fresh look as well.
  4. Something I succeeded at! Somewhat. I wasn’t able to stay up to date with posts on Keira, but I was able to provide daily prompts so I hope that #FictMAYhem was a success!
  5. I read THIRTEEN books in May! Wow! I just realized that right now 😂 I’ll do a separate post on this. But I can honestly say my favourite book was…. Nevernight by Jay Kristoff!
  6. I watched EIGHT movies this month, though only three were first time viewings. By far, my favourite was Pan’s Labyrinth! (Still can’t believe how long it’s taken me to watch that!
  7. This did not happen again but I have one almost done and it should be up next week latest 🙂
  8. Ah, the special project. Something my sister and I have been working on. Something coming very, VERY soon 😉
  9. I didn’t touch this at all, but I did write a short script that I’ll be submitting to a couple of contests so there’s a trade-off there!

 

JUNE GOALS

  1. Edit HERALDING to a second draft for beta readers. As mentioned above, I really want to have this done by July 1st, because my hope is that she’ll be out by November latest! So keep your eyes open friends. Eléonore’s coming back.
  2. Outline Hollow Vows: At the same time, make corrections to Pirate Eyes as the edits from my sister (aka my ideal reader) and my beta readers come in. Really hoping to have this done so I can start working on the sequel in July/August.
  3. Write more of my fairy tale adaptation: If you follow me on Instagram, you might have noticed in my story that I do most of the writing for this at night, which gives me usually half an hour. Honestly, it’s a great way to unwind. The goal is to write at least four nights a week and hopefully make some headway.
  4. Write a Christmas musical for my Church. This will be my second time (it’s been years since the first attempt). And it will be dedicated to my dear friend ❤
  5. Read 5-6 books: I’ll be posting my TBR tomorrow so keep an eye out 😉
  6. Watch 4-5 movies: This includes WONDER WOMAN!!!, maybe Pirates of the Caribbean, and hopefully My Cousin Rachel and The Beguiled.
  7. Post at least one Crafting the Series post. As I mentioned above, I have one just about ready to post. But I do hope to have a second one up, time permitting!
  8. The SPECIAL PROJECT: stay tuned… it’s coming this month…

What were you busy with in May? What plans do you have for June? Share in the comments 🙂

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

Pirate Eyes | Care to be a Beta Reader?

Hi friends!

Hope you’re having a beautiful Monday so far.

Earlier this month, I finished my last round of edits of Pirate Eyes and I am really happy with where she is now. My sister is currently deep in a read of it of her own, and she’s picked up a few things I missed. This is her first time reading the new draft (for those of you who don’t know the current Pirate Eyes is only half of what she once was. I split the original book in two because there was WAY TOO MUCH happening in it) and I’m glad to have her eyes on it.

But I’d really like to have a few more.

So here’s a call-out for Beta Readers!

Pirate Eyes is a high fantasy coming in at 121,500 words.

Here’s a small blurb for you:

With purple eyes that can see further than any man’s has ever seen, 18-year old Keira’s gaze is set upon the endless horizons of Quarathar. Raised by pirates, her heart is devoted to the Diamond Heart and the Oceans Six that make her home. It’s a good life, even with Captain Sean obstructing her attempts to prove her mettle.

With a bit of stubbornness, she convinces him to give her a chance to show her strength. And ends up discovering a lot more.

Stashed away on the deck of a sunken ship, Keira uncovers the legendary jewel known as the Cerastone and the role that she has been destined since before her birth.

Evil threatens the freedom of her ocean home, manifested in the form of Captain Armando, and Destiny has chosen her as its sword to wield against his impending domination of the Oceans Six. To choose to accept it would be to embrace the powers of the Cerastone and prove her worth once and for all. But to give in to Fate is to renounce Freedom, to become a pawn. To imperil not only her own life, but that of the crew she calls family.

Keira must make a choice: to serve Destiny or herself. With devastating consequences assured either way, Keira’s decision will set her on a path from the life she has known towards a future beyond the reach of even her far-seeing eyes.

If you’re interested, here are a few other things to consider:

  1. I am looking for beta readers who are familiar with the fantasy genre (especially high fantasies).
  2. I will be sending out beta copies this Friday (June 2nd) with the hope to have feedback within 6 weeks (by July 16th).
  3. I need critical opinions that will help me improve my story. Tough love, friends. That’s what I need 😉

If you would like to be a beta reader, please leave me a comment here with your email address or send me an email at faithrivens(dot)writer(at)gmail(dot)com and we can discuss more about it. When you do, let me know what your favourite high fantasy is and what about it cemented your love for it.


Thank you for all your support and encouragement thus far. I cannot wait to share Pirate Eyes with you all one day. Hope you all have a lovely week ahead! Let me know what you’ve been up to!

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith  quill-ink

MAY TBR

Hi friends,

It’s May 10th, so this is coming later than it probably should, but I thought I’d share the reads I have lined up for this month.

I might be a little overambitious though…

Happy May 1st everyone 😊 It's always exciting to be starting a new month. There's a lot waiting to be done but I'm ready for the challenges. One of those challenges will be keeping up with my #bookstagram. MAYhaps this will be the month I pull it off 😅 Day 1: Here's my May TBR for #grimdragon & #bluelovesbookishmay. It's an awesome lineup if I do say so myself. 😍 #circleofbookishfriends is May flowers – using my scarf to cover that today because it's raining outside and I can't show off the budding beauties 💐 #ampersandmay17 is Mask – Using Eon for this one as it's about a girl who masquerades as a boy. #bookishearworms is Cry Me a River (sad books) – Fire Bringer is a reread for me this month and it's one of the saddest books I've ever read. What books are on your TBR this month? #readingcommunity #readersofinstagram #maytbr #bookworm #booklove #booklover #bookishlife #bookaholic #bookaddict

A post shared by Faith Rivens (@faith_therivens) on

I’ve managed to finish three of these so far:

Beauty by Robin McKinley 🌟🌟🌟🌟.5
I loved this story so much! The prose was excellent and gleamed with all the potential that McKinley honed after this, her debut. Where the story lacked was in stakes and adequate development of the romance. That being said, the characterization of Beauty and Beast were phenomenal! As Beauty and the Beast retellings go, this has to be a favourite of mine.

The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood 🌟🌟🌟🌟.5
I have only read ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ by Atwood which is something I need to rectify this year. Honestly, she’s such an amazing author. This little gem is the retelling of ‘The Odyssey’ from Penelope’s perspective and the voice in it was off the charts! Humourous, witty and a compelling narrative. It’s purpose felt more thematic so the plot itself wasn’t driven by stakes or action. But a small quibble because Penelope’s characterization was phenomenal!

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
I finished this one two days ago and it is a new favourite of mine. I fell in love with the prose, the worldbuilding, the premise, the setting, the layered plot, the twist. All the love for this amazing fantasy book that used so many of my favourite elements. I could imagine Guillermo del Toro doing something amazing with this book if he was the one adapting it into a movie! Also, Karou has to be one of my favourite heroines too. My only problem is that I want to binge read the rest of the series but I don’t have book 2 or 3 so I have to wait. 😦

At the moment, I have about 50 pages left in Hell’s Teeth by James Fahy. If you’ve been following me long enough, you might remember that I’ve read his other series. An MG fantasy highly reminiscent of Tolkien and Lewis, it’s been one of my favourite reads this year. Well, this new series I’ve discovered is a darker urban fantasy and oh so wonderful! Set in a dystopian world with vampires and featuring a kickass (pardon my French) protagonist, Hell’s Teeth proves that Fahy is a versatile author and a master storyteller.

I’m still working my way through Women Who Run with Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés. I had started this nonfiction in April after finishing early with Stephen King’s On Writing and I’m hoping to be finished it this month which will mean that I’m 5 for 5 for my nonfiction reads this year. So far, I’m really enjoying the psychological perspective that she’s applying to myths and the empowering virtues it conveys for women.

Not sure what I’ll read next. Firebringer is a reread so I turn to that. But I really want to read Nevernight and Eon soon. And I was supposed to read Norse Mythology last month but didn’t get to it. The Hatter’s Wife is a novella which promises to be fun and quick so I’ll probably save it for a light read between two big ones. And then there’s Named of the Dragon which is the only book that isn’t a fantasy on my list…. Hmm…?

Any suggestions 🙂


What’s on your TBR this month, friends? Share and let me know what you’ve been reading lately!

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

This Month in Review | April 2017

Hi friends,

April hasn’t been an easy month as you all know, but I’ve been managing to get some things done.

Here’s a quick look at what I’ve accomplished (or not) and what my plans are for May.


GOALS OF APRIL

  1. Final Edit of Pirate Eyes
  2. Finish Edit of Heritage
  3. Submit Walking Blind (a thriller script) to competitions
  4. Read 4-5 books:
  5. Watch 4 movies
  6. Outline a few stories – I have five new ones that I’m especially inspired by and want to use this relatively quiet month to tackle them.
  7. Post 2 entries of Crafting the Series
  8. Participate in #WIPjoy on Twitter and #danaf7wordstory & #shayverlee6wordstory on Instagram
  9. Create a month of prompts for May.

ACHIEVED IN APRIL

  1. When it comes to Pirate Eyes, I managed to finish editing a hard copy but I’m still in the middle of typing up those changes. That should be done this week and I’ll be opening a call for beta readers soon.
  2. I did manage to finish editing Heritage and it’s in the hands of my sister. I decided I really want her opinion before I send it out to betas. And I’m not rushing to get her out, either. I have other priorities first.
  3. I did a readthrough of my Walking Blind and while it’s pretty good, I need to add a few scenes to allow for some stronger character development. So I’m putting her on hold for the moment.
  4. I read EIGHT BOOKS this month: Stolen Ink (Holly Evans), Everything Everything (Nicola Yoon), The Drowned Tomb (James Fahy), On Writing (Stephen King), A Shining in the Shadows (Beverley Lee), Shadowy Horses (Susanna Kearsley), The Dark Tower (Stephen King) & The Hate U Give (Angie Thomas). And they were all excellent!
  5. I watched FIVE MOVIES: Managed to watch the remake of The Jungle Book twice and I cannot begin to tell you how amazing the animation was! Also watched the new Beauty and the Beast two more times, and though I enjoyed it more the second time, the third viewing was definitely overkill. It’s okay, though because I made up for it by watching the 1991 version again to remind myself of how beautiful and perfect that version was. Watched Jurassic World just last night and was thoroughly underwhelmed. Too much violence. Too little character development. Annie Hall was my favourite watch this month. Diane and Woody were absolutely brilliant! I also went to see The Book of Mormons with my sister and loved it. Definitely not for the faint of heart, but if you’re willing to accept its satirical nature and crass language it’s brilliant!
  6. I started well with this one, but I got so hooked on one of the new stories – a fairy tale adaptation – and I started to write it by hand. It’s been liberating.
  7. Didn’t have the mindfulness or the passion to pull it off this month, but I’m hoping May will prove more fortuitous.
  8. I started off well with this, but I couldn’t keep it up this month.
  9. It is well done 🙂 More on that below…

MAY GOALS

  1. Edit Heralding to second draft.
  2. Finish writing my fairy tale adaptation
  3. Outline Hollow Vows (sequel to Pirate Eyes) – I had most of this done, but after edits of Pirate Eyes, I have a new idea for the rest of the series.
  4. Host #FictMAYhem on Twitter/Instagram.I’m really excited to be hosting this again and helping people develop their characters! You’re more than welcome to join us 🙂
  5. Read 5-6 books. This includes Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman, which I didn’t get to last month, Nevernight by Jay Kristoff because Sarina convinced me to, and Eon by Alison Goodman.
  6. Watch 4-5 movies. There are so many great ones coming out this month: Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 2, Pirates of the Caribbean (Dead Men Tell no Tales), Everything Everything and King Arthur (Legend of the Sword).
  7. Post 2 entries for Crafting the Series.
  8. Special project – I would say more, but it’s a secret for the moment. Just know that something exciting is coming in June and I’m excited to share it with you 🙂
  9. Outline a novella idea. I had started to write out an outline in April and I’m hoping to get more of it worked out this month.

How was your April, friends? What are your plans for May? Let me know about in the comments. Wishing you all the best, always!

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith   quill-ink

AN UPDATE (LATER THAN BETTER BUT AT LEAST NOT NEVER)

Happy Wednesday friends,

Where have I been?

Not even sure how long it’s been since my last post… I’m a little afraid to look…

*peers over folded hands*

CRIKEY!! Surely not!?

And yet the truth is the truth friends. It’s been 18 days since my last post. In my defense, this has been a really difficult month for me in my own personal life and I’ve just been overwhelmed with work and family issues and trying to balance writing on the side.

The struggles of a writer, am I right?

I don’t want to make any promises and say I’ll be back at more regular intervals moving forward because I know what’s coming up and I know it’s going to be difficult to balance. Some people are really amazing at being able to pull it all off, but my head hasn’t been in the game lately and this blog is what’s taking the beating as they say.

But I’m not going to hold that against myself. I’ve been making some progress in writing and reading despite the turmoil and that’s what I’m coming to share with you today….

MY WRITING LIFE

I finished my edits of Heritage earlier this month and the manuscript is now in my sister’s hands. She’s always my first reader when it comes to my novels. In Stephen King’s On Writing, he mentions how his wife, Tabitha, is his IDEAL READER. Well, that’s my sister to me and what she says is what I always depend on. Can’t wait to get her thoughts before moving forward with it.

My main focus this month, though, is Pirate Eyes and I’m about a third of the way through edits and she is sparkling like a diamond in my eyes. I haven’t touched her since last year and coming back to her is a joy. I’ve cut words like there’s no tomorrow; I’m actually really excited to see how many words the MS will have dropped by the end of this edit. An edit which is bound to be my last before betas. I’ll talk more about that at the end of the month….

In other news, I was struck by the idea bug last month and started to outline a new novel except the bug is really bad and I’ve started to pants it, which is a rare thing for me to do, but inspiration has struck hard and fast and I’m rather in love with where this story is going. All I’ll say for the moment is that it’s a fairy tale adaptation because there obviously aren’t enough of those, but I’m blending in some mythology with it and I actually think it’s kind of beautiful…

My lack of humility today astounds me ;P

 MY READING LIFE

I’m doing fairly well with my reading this month. I haven’t participated in a WWW Wednesday in a long time – maybe next week – so I thought I’d share a quick glimpse at what I’ve been reading…

  • Stolen Ink by Holly Evans – 4 stars – the first in a new series, I love how the magical system is based in tattoos and ink.
  • Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon – 4 stars – I very rarely read anything contemporary and even more rare is my choice to read a YA one, but with the movie coming out and it being directed by a Canadian woman (NATIONAL PRIDE) I figured I should read the book. Really glad I did!
  • The Drowned Tomb by James Fahy – 5 stars – the second in the Changeling Series, these books remind me of The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings with a beautifully realized mythology, resonating characters, and stellar worldbuilding!
  • On Writing by Stephen King – 5 stars – people have always said and now I understand it: All writers must read this book! It is gloriously inspirational and relatable and focuses less on structure and more on craft! Plus it’s a brilliant memoir.
  • A Shining in the Shadows by Beverley Lee – 5 stars – the second in the Gabriel Davenport series, Beverley is a master storyteller and this is a gem of dark fantasy with memorable characters and a gripping plot
  • The Shadowy Horses – 4 stars – by Susanna Kearsley – the third of Kearsley’s books that I’ve read this year in my goal to read through her entire works and I loved the setting and the romance in this one. A bit of a slower plot, but the historical time that our protagonist is exploring is one that highly intrigues me. The Ninth Roman Legion is one of those mysteries…

At the moment I’m currently reading a chapter of Women Who Run with Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés, which is going to be a book I will return to time and time again, I can tell because it resonates with me on so many levels and it delves into myths and fairy tales in a new light.

I’m also reading The Dark Tower by Stephen King, the last book in the series, and I don’t really think I’m ready for it to end. My nails are not handling it well at all…


That’s about all I wanted to share with you today, friends. I hope that you’re all doing well. My plan this weekend (on top of reading and writing) is to catch up on your posts. I hate falling behind on your blogs. I apologize for any spamming that might occur because of it.

Stay well ❤

And let me know in the comments how your month has been going and what your plans for the weekend are! Let’s catch up because I’m tired of falling behind ❤

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith   quill-ink

This Month in Review | March 2017

Hi friends,

I hope you are all doing well, that you are happy and surrounded with love.

Many of you know that I lost a dear friend this past week. I have been blessed by such kind words and thoughts from you all and I thank you profoundly for all of it. You cannot know how deeply grateful I am for your support and love! May you never doubt that I am here for you, that I am thinking about you, and wishing you all the best.

With what’s gone on, I’ve drawn back from social media but I’ll be making a steady return this week because I miss interacting with you. And because closing myself off won’t help me grieve any more.

So here is a look at what I have been up to in March and what I will be up to in April.


GOALS OF MARCH

  1. Read 4-5 books.
  2. Read 1 nonfiction
  3. Watch 5 movies (I’m upping the challenge this month)
  4. Polish draft of Heritage (my 2015 NaNoWriMo which is currently entered in #PitchMadness and I’m just making sure she’s absolutely ready for agents round — in case I make it to that round)
  5. Polish draft of The Glass Slippers (there are quite a few script competitions coming up and I really want to have this Cinderella adaptation ready to circulate!)
  6. Finish first draft of Heralding (if I crank out about 15k a week, I should be there – it’ll put her above 80k and right now that seems like a good length for a first draft)
  7. Practice the violin – I’m serious about this one this month and I’ve set time for practice!
  8. Start final edits on Pirate Eyes – because she needs to be in at least an agent’s hand before this year is done!

ACHIEVED IN MARCH

  1. Read 8 books! My top three are: Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett, The Manningtree Account by Becky Wright & Wolves of the Calla by Stephen King
  2. Read 2 nonfiction books – What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dicken Knew was a brilliant book that covered the time period with quirky language. And Writing Young Adult Fiction which reads as an excellent starter’s guide, but failed to add anything for me.
  3. Watched 8 movies – This included three version of Beauty and the Beast (a highlight was the original 1940s black & white version directed by Jean Cocteau).
  4. I am just a few chapters away from a good polish of Heritage. It should be done by the end of this weekend.
  5. I didn’t touch The Glass Slippers, but I did write a short story that I’m really proud of and have plans to expand it into a novella.
  6. I finished the first draft of Heralding two days ago. In the wake of the tragic news, I withdrew to my books & writing for solace and poured a lot of myself into her. She’s complete now at 78, 721 words after writing 55,587 words this month.
  7. Didn’t touch the violin at all despite best intentions. Oh well…
  8. I didn’t touch Pirate Eyes either, but she’s printed and ready for April. Which leads me to…

APRIL GOALS

Of which there are many…

  1. Final Edit of Pirate Eyes – I want her in the hands of beta readers by the end of the month.
  2. Finish Edit of HeritageAnd have her in beta readers hands before April 15th
  3. Submit Walking Blind (a thriller script) to competitions – a few years back I made it into the quarter finals with this script and I hope that she’ll go further this year.
  4. Read 4-5 books: this list includes some of my most anticipated releases this year: A Shining in the Shadows by Beverley Lee, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas & Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman.
  5. Watch 4 movies: Hopefully this will include Logan.
  6. Outline a few stories – I have five new ones that I’m especially inspired by and want to use this relatively quiet month to tackle them.
  7. Post 2 entries of Crafting the Series – you might remember that I had started to post on my experiences writing Eléonore and I’ve let that slip away from me, but I’m intent on continuing it. Sorry for the slowness.
  8. Participate in #WIPjoy on Twitter and #danaf7wordstory & #shayverlee6wordstory on Instagram
  9. Create a month of prompts for May. I have a few ideas running around for the successor to #FictFBFeb17 that I hosted on Twitter. Hopefully I can make it as much fun as the last.

Well, that was more than I expected to write. Again, I am wishing you all so much happiness and love! Stay well, friends, be kind to one another and to yourself.

Let me know what you have planned for April in the comments.

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

Remember to Love Me | Becky Wright

Hi friends,

Yes. I’m alive.

I know I’ve been gone for a while. I’ve been hiding out in my writing cave lately. This month I’ve written 26,942 (not including today’s word count which is over 2k already). I have 30k left to write to get to the end of this first draft and I need it to be done for the end of the month, so fair warning that I’ll be a little absent for the next two weeks.

Until then, I’ll drop in with a few reviews and any other posts I can manage.

Like this one!


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1900
Annabelle yearns for nothing more than motherhood. Losing her own mother in child birth at the tender age of four; a gaping hole has grown in the pit of her belly with the desire to nurture a child. Her sole purpose, she values its significance and her duty to provide an heir to devoted husband Richard Hardwick, successor to a wealthy landowning family. But motherhood may not be as she once hoped, as fate deals her a cruel hand, leaving her with a life-changing dilemma.

Her younger sister Emily, vibrant and full of zest is engaged to the dashing Lance Corporal James Wright, jubilant with thoughts of the future she imagines nothing but wedded bliss on the horizon. But as a new century dawns, darkness falls, as the Boer War gains strength James is deployed to South Africa, leaving his new bride alone with an uncertain future. As melancholy festers, Emily escapes the rural confines of Bury St Edmunds to stay with Aunt Anna by the sea, where she languishes in nature’s rough vast beauty. As the distance stretches between the sisters, so too does the life-thread of family.

1997
April has spent her solitary childhood in the pretty Norfolk village of Winterton-on-Sea, surrounded by its quiet lanes and circular pastel holiday cottages; a child flourishing in its rural beauty and thriving off the natural elements of sandy dunes and buffering waves. But now, after leaving University and as her 21st birthday approaches, April finds herself relocating closer to her Grandmother Sarah, to her mother’s childhood home of Bury St Edmunds; a market town in the heart of the Suffolk countryside. Her parents open their longed-for antique shop, and although April is eager to assist with the busy Christmas rush, she aches for something else; a missing puzzle-piece. She looks to Sarah for guidance and direction, struggling to adjust, in her heart, pining for her sea-side home; she takes solace in the extraordinary bond she shares with her grandmother

April’s feelings of uncertainty amplify as she steps over the threshold of her ancestral home; an early Victorian townhouse at the heart of the historic town, where time has stopped in its tracks, pristine and perfectly antiquated. In a visit to the attic late one afternoon, she discovers more than just dusty tea chests and old suitcases. She encounters an ancestor that has remained, a beautiful ghostly apparition whispering secrets in the shadows.

As the weeks follow and Christmas arrives, April is confronted with strange visions and dreams; memories of a lost, long buried time, of grave secrets, of sisterly love, romance and family loyalties that stretch beyond even love’s limits. April is thrown into turmoil, living moments in two eras, experiencing love and loss in both. With the help of Annabelle’s diary, she begins to unravel the mysteries of her ancestor’s history as her own destiny falls into place. Piecing together snippets of another life, giving peace back to the house and laying ghosts to rest; she unfolds the mystery of her family’s Supernatural Legacy.

REVIEW

A brilliant debut novel full of romance and heartbreak, that pulls tight on your heartstrings and ensnares you with magical prose and lyrical beauty.

Fantasy might be my most read genre, but historical time slips/time travels/parallel tales are second to it. I love fiction that weaves narratives through two or three different time periods, seeing the connection of various lives, seeing recurring themes and settings. And that is what I loved most about this truly enchanting read.

In the present day (1997) April is a young girl who is still searching for her purpose in life. When she and her family move near her grandmother, she discovers a family secret and pieces together the lives of her ancestors, all the while coming to understand her role within it.

Annabelle and Emily are two sisters living at the turn of the century, learning to love and coping with love. They face hardships, and their bond is challenged at each obstacle that meets them.

Both these narratives come together in spectacular fashion and it was hard to keep a dry eye throughout the story’s development. Becky Wright gives and takes, sometimes too much for one’s heart, but her characters are so strong and when they interact with one another and come together to support each other, they reawaken hope to ease the soul.

Reminded me of Susanna Kearsley in the best of ways, this novel is not one that you want to miss out on if you love historical romances.

CONCLUSION

A truly stunning debut! Brilliant and beautiful.

RATING

quills


May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink