Category Archives: Week in Review

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

This Week in Review | 27.02.17 – 06.03.17

Happy Monday Friends,

I’m glad to be back with  TWiR after awhile without posts. But first, an apology:

I’ve been struggling a little lately with balancing life and my writing and my social media feeds, but I think this week things might start looking up. I’ve already started catching up on comments and posts that I’ve let slip away from me and I should be up to date today and I’ll be sure to try to keep up with them more consistently going forward!

That being said, let’s take a look at what I’ve been able to accomplish this week!


Posts on My Blog

Game of Shadows Review

This Month in Review

My Writing Projects

For the first time in a while, I’ve actually made decent progress on two of my projects. I’ve changed mentalities since February, making sure to prioritize my writing, which hadn’t been the case at all last month.

I’ve set goals for each week in March to help me accomplish my monthly goals. For HERALDING, the first full length novel in the Iníonaofa Chronicles, I’ve set a writing word count of 15k for Wednesday, March 8th — the MS word count stands at 34k. Right now I’m sitting on just a little over 11k of words written since March 1st. Which means that all I need to do is write 2k a day to get there. Absolutely feasible!

91f5138b-5bb7-4499-b81c-f96e4af09122.gif

Some of you might have seen that I submitted HERITAGE, my 2015 NaNoWriMo novel, to #PitchMadness at the end of February. Well, the choices were made yesterday and I wasn’t one of them. But that’s okay. There were 60 of 1300 that went on to the agent round, and the judges remarked that over 300 made it into the first round ‘love’ pile. Those names weren’t released, but who knows, I might have been one of them — I like to think I was 😉

In any case, I’m editing through Heritage right now. This is the second draft I’m working with. My goal is to get halfway through the MS by Wednesday. This one’s a bit lofty and I’m ready to not make it. So far, one of the biggest change involved combining two chapters that were far too similar and moving up the action, which is always better.When I started, my MS was 84,856 words in length. I’ve cut 413 words in the first eleven chapters. And I’m pleased with the pacing so far. But I’ll definitely be looking for beta readers come the end of the month.

77450083-a0db-48ff-9bbb-0f8ade986d5a.gif

So if anyone’s interested in a YA fantasy novel about a timid fiddler who embarks on an adventure with her grandmother to destroy the rising Shadows threatening to steal the light and happiness from their homeland, let me know 😉

EXCERPTS

I thought I’d share a small excerpt for each of my WIPs from what I’ve written/edited recently:

HERALDING  –  a bit of dialogue between two characters that I’m rather fond of

“I already told him to go.”
“Obviously, he didn’t listen.”
“Obviously, I have no sway over him.”
“Obviously, you didn’t try hard enough. He likes sex with you. You should use that.”

HERITAGE –  perfecting Peggie’s voice is one of the highlights of this novel for me.

My bow descended with a far more spritely attitude than it had before, evoking a light-hearted melody that honoured the night and the white light that graced the land of Adramache. Images of couples dancing and children laughing played through my mind. Happiness, joy, hope: those were the emotions that guided the song. The moon gifted me with them, and I could do little else but bring them to life through my fiddle’s wooden form, expressing through music what I saw inside. Without words, the moon sent me inspiration and I heeded his creative call.


Well, that’s it from me. Let me know how your week has been friends! Any accomplishments? Any happy occurrences? Anything you’re struggling with? Here’s a safe space. So feel free to share 🙂

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

This Month in Review | February 2017

Happy Wednesday friends!

Today begins a new month and I don’t know about you, but I’m personally relieved that February is being left behind. It was a difficult one on my end and I’m hoping that March proves a more productive month and a happier one.


GOALS OF FEBRUARY

  1. Read 5-6 books
  2. Watch 4 movies
  3. Read 1 nonfiction
  4. Write first draft of Eléonore‘s sequel
  5. Write high fantasy screenplay to first draft
  6. Edit family drama screenplay to final draft
  7. Edit Pirate Eyes to beta draft
  8. Learn to play the violin

ACHIEVED IN FEBRUARY

  1. Read 10 books! If you check out my WWW Wednesday posts, you’ll be able to find out more, but I’ll share here my top read with you: A CONJURING OF LIGHT!!! …… Bet you didn’t see that coming 😉
  2. Watched 6 movies! Lost in Translation – The Royal Tenenbaums – Inside Out – O Brother, Where Are Thou? – Hidden Figures – Bridget Jones’ Diary. I was going to rank them, but honestly I loved them all. If I had to choose a favourite, though, it would have to be LOST IN TRANSLATION
  3. I actually managed to finish Under the Black Flag from last month and read Big Magic  as well!
  4. Well, Heralding was at least started… I’m sitting on 23,000 words right now, which is decent, but definitely not where I wanted to be…
  5. I got to 20 pages. Which is deplorable. We’re not going to talk about it.
  6. Didn’t even touch it.
  7. Didn’t even touch it.
  8. Oh hey, didn’t even touch it ;P

Don’t we love how accomplished I was this month!

MARCH GOALS

  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!

A little less ambitious than last month I think ;P How was February for you, friends? What did you accomplish? What are your goals and plans for March?

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith  quill-ink

This Week in Review | 05.02.17-12.02.17

Good evening!

Sunday is coming to a close here friends. I hope you had a lovely weekend. Mine’s been fairly productive, if not a little hectic at the same time.

Just coming to share the highlights of my week with you 🙂


Posts on My Blog

Eléonore Annoucement

REVIEW | Summerlong by Peter S. Beagle

REVIEW | Desert Jewel by Natalina Reis

My Writing Projects

I’m working on two main projects at the moment, the sequel to Eléonore – title reveal coming this week – and a new high fantasy screenplay. I’ve reached 7k in the sequel and 10 pages in my screenplay which is less than I hoped, but not shabby when all is said and done.

I’ve outlined both so I know where the story is going in each case and expecting that some changes will be coming as they always do. It’s the plantser in me.

My screenplay is one that I conceived a few years ago, but left without touching for a while. After rewatching all of the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings movies with my sister, I felt inspired to pick it up again and try something new: to write a fantasy film without basing it on a novel. I think the story is unique and I look forward to sharing more about it as it comes.

With regards to the second book in the Iníonaofa Chronicles, I like how it’s taking shape, though I am also aware that it’s going to need a wee bit of editing once it’s done. Not worrying about that now, though. This first draft is about the writing!


Hope you’ve all had an amazing week and best of luck with the next one. Let me know what special moments have defined your life this week. Stay safe and be good to one another, friends!

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

This Month in Review | January 2017

Happy Monday friends,

Instead of my usual Week in Review, I’m doing a review of my success of this month — and my lesser successes. 😉

GOALS OF JANUARY:

  1. Read 5 books
  2. Watch 4 movies
  3. Read 1 nonfiction
  4. Edit first draft of Heritage
  5. Type up edits for Pirate Eyes
  6. Edit final draft of my screenplay: The Glass Slippers

ACCOMPLISHED IN JANUARY:

  1. I read 10 books so that’s a big success. It’s hard to decide on a favourite. It will have to be a toss up between A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness and Vicious by V.E. Schwab!
  2. I watched about 10 movies this month and binged 3 TV series. I’m planning a separate post for those later this week, but highlights were Rogue One, La La Land and The OA!
  3. I’m halfway through Under the Black Flag by David Cordingly. It’s not for lack of interest. It’s actually a great book on pirates and an invaluable resource for me, I just haven’t set aside the proper time. I might still make it though…
  4. This was accomplished early in the month and I am excited to *fingers crossed* have this one set to the publishers by June 🙂
  5. I should be finished typing up those edits today. Then I’m starting with fresh eyes later in February on a full edit before sending off to beta readers…!
  6. I finally managed to finish a draft on January 25th. I’ve since gotten some feedback for it – which was mostly positive – so I’ll have to make a few more edits. But I have time. The first competition deadline is set for February 17th. I’ll hopefully finish up corrections by Friday.

NEW GOALS FOR FEBRUARY:

  1. Read 5 books
  2. Read 1 nonfiction
  3. Watch 4 movies
  4. Write first draft of Eléonore‘s sequel
  5. Write high fantasy screenplay to first draft
  6. Edit family drama screenplay to final draft
  7. Edit Pirate Eyes to beta draft
  8. Learn to play the violin

Yay for overambitious goals! Bring on the shortest month of the year 😉


What did you accomplish in January? What are your goals for February? Don’t forget that you can join in this month on Twitter and Instagram with my monthly challenge of #FictFBFeb17!

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

This Week in Review 2017 the 3rd

Happy Sunday friends,

I’m finally on time with this posting!

It’s been a busy week here and I accomplished much of what I set out to do. There’s a lot more to look forward to this week and I can’t wait to pursue each goal 🙂

Here’s a small glimpse of what I’ve been up to…


My Writing Projects

My first goal this week was to complete edits on Heritage! And I did 🙂 She sits now at 84,847  words, which is decent for a YA fantasy, but I’m hoping to cut at least 5k down during my edit of the second draft next month.

My second goal was to start edits on the final draft of The Glass Slippers. So far it’s going well, but I’m about to hit the part I’m most concerned with! Here’s a small excerpt from the first scene:

EXT. MANOR. DAY

A luscious lawn surrounds a three-storey house, a decently sized estate, not extravagantly wealthy, nor terribly poor. Flowers coloured in a myriad of pastels blossom. Trees rich with foliage reach heavenwards.

SOFT PIANO MUSIC echoes from within.

LAUGHTER echoes — boisterous, innocent, free.

The Glass Slippers. ©Faith Rivens. 2017.

Posts on My Blog

Mariana Review

Rage and Ruin Review

WWW Wednesday

#WIPjoy

#FictFBFeb17

I also have exciting news to share! I’ve created my first monthly challenge! Fictional Flashback February 2017!

I’ll post a few more explanations about it later this week on my blog. Keep an eye out for it!

Feel free to join starting February 1st on Twitter & Instagram. I hope you will 🙂


That’s it for me. How was this last week for you friends? Anything exciting happen? Let me know and we can share our experiences!

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

This Week in Review | 2017 the First

Happy Tuesday friends,

This year sees the return of a weekly post, though I’m hoping to shift the schedule to Sundays instead of Mondays. Unfortunately, I didn’t get it up in time on either day this week so it’s coming today! 😅

And a friendly reminder that there are still three days to enter the giveaway for a signed copy of Eléonore!: HERE’S THE ORIGINAL LINK!


My Writing Projects

As you’ll soon discover, I’m working on editing three of my writing projects this month: Pirate Eyes, Heritage and The Glass Slippers. Of the three, The Glass Slippers is the most pressing for me. It’s a screenplay that I’m hoping to circulate through some competitions in the hopes of getting her optioned (one of my 2017 goals)! My final draft has to be ready for January 31st. I just finished another readthrough of her and my biggest problem is deciding whether or not to skip a prologue-like beginning. I’m also worried that Mira’s (my protagonist) goal isn’t clear enough. Lucky I have some extra eyes that I’ll be relying on for some help 🙂

#WIPjoy

This month has seen the return of one of my favourite monthly challenges/share-a-thon/writing-community-chime-ins (really not sure what to call it…). But it’s such fun to share my WIP and discover others in turn! There are so many amazing stories out there.

Here’s a round-up of some of my favourites this past week (Jan. 1st-7th):

REVIEWS

I’m finally catching up on reviews for books. Here are the ones I managed to get up since January 1st if you’re interested. My favourite of the list is The Making of Gabriel Davenport!

Victoria | Daisy Goodwin

The Making of Gabriel Davenport | Beverley Lee

The Tea Planter’s Wife | Dinah Jefferies


Keeping this week’s nice and short! Let me know what’s been going on in your life!

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

 

NaNoWriMo 2016 in Review | The Second

Happy Monday, friends!

This is going to be a short one.

As most of you know, I have been busy working on my debut novella, Eléonore. I released the blurb yesterday and have gotten lots of positive reactions so far! I can’t express how excited I am!! Look at all those exclamation marks!!!!

With most of my energy having been devoted to finishing my last readthrough of Eléonore, I haven’t been able to dedicate as much time to my NaNoWriMo novel, The Desert Knight. I’ve gotten to 18k, which is decent, but not enough if I hope to be done by November 30th. But that’s okay because Eléonore is the focus right now and everything is going well so far. Still waiting for Murphy’s Law to kick in, though ;P

Here’s another excerpt from this week’s writing:

There was something beautiful about the sky that I never had taken the time to notice before. It was a magical sight to behold. I saw it in the divine creation I knew to be Rika and Kari’s doing. Worshipped as separate entities, they had also worked together at one time and so we were taught to be united as well. There were people who could look upon the stars and see more than distant lights shining. They saw in them the designs decided upon by the gods. They spoke to them of the past, other presents, and the future that still laid in wait for us. Despite the magic I possessed and my bond with Rika, I was not inclined to see those things. Sristi’s sight was not of the stars either.

-The Desert Knight. Faith Rivens. 2016


How is NaNoWriMo 2016 going for those of you who are participating? Let me know and we can cheer each other one! 

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

This Week in Review | The Thirty-Second

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving Friends!

And Happy Columbus day to my American friends 🙂

Hope you’ve all had a lovely weekend and a great week!

I’m in the thick of editing Eléonore right now, and I’m about to have family over for some turkey and mashed potatoes and rice and gravy and stuffing and cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie and pecan pie and…. mouths watering yet 😉

But I’m taking a moment first to tell you a bit about how my past week has gone!


IN WRITING!

Actually, all my big highlights of this week are writing related.

I’ve managed to rewrite two scenes of Eléonore–they were my biggest stresses, so with that done I’m tackling some of the minor changes that need to be made which includes small plot holes and inconsistencies and terrible dialogue 😛

Anyway, I’ve also started to outline two new novels (one is the sequel to Eléonore and one the sequel to Pirate Eyes)! As I’ve been doing this, I have come to a rather big decision…

Friends, I can officially announce that I will be participating in NaNoWriMo 2016! I had so much fun writing Heritage last year and I can’t wait to write another novel this November. I’ve decided on which it will be as well…

Hollow Vows (Book II in the Cerastone Quartet). AKA sequel to Pirate Eyes.

My hope is to finish writing the sequel and start editing it in 2017 while shopping Pirate Eyes around and trying to pick up an agent/publisher. We’ll see where the road takes me, but for now I’m excited to continue Keira’s story 🙂

There’s not much more for me to say, but I’ll leave you with a small excerpt from Eléonore! The opening lines…

There were demons to kill, but first I needed a cup of coffee.
The nearest café offered a variety of frappés, lattés, and mochas, but all I needed was a good strong, dark roast black from my usual Timmie’s. An extra three blocks of walking was worth the bitter brew that steeled my nerves and jolted my brain. One sip was enough to get the juices flowing. Three more and I could feel the anticipating building. Ready and willing to slit some throats.

– Eléonore

One thing I love about writing Eléonore is the setting. Holly really inspired with her Infernal Hunt series in which she masterfully paints an image of Prague. I hope to capture the same sort of realism as Eléonore works her way through the streets of Montreal and Vieux-Québec.

Speaking of Holly, if you are particpating in NaNoWriMo you should really check out her blog series where she talks about prepping for the thirty day challenge. She has such insight to offer. It’s a true gem! The link to the first one can be found here: NaNoWriMo Prep.


How was your week? What projects are you currently embroiled in? Anyone else planning to participate in NaNoWriMo this year? Share your aspirations and achievements in the comments!

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink