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Editing The Dream Feeders

A witchy bar in the mountains of Switzerland

Found this witchy bar in the mountains of Switzerland

Edits & self-doubt

I cautiously went back to my Dream Feeders edits this week, after 5 months away. That’s how long it took to go near it without flinching. Even after reopening the Scrivener project, it took 3 days for me to actually look at the contents.

And…

I think it’s going to be alright. I think I’m going to be alright. I think I can finish this without going mad. Maybe?

With fresh eyes, and a rested brain, this feels manageable. Big, and complicated, but not beyond my reach.

I can see how i got tangled up – the start of my edits list makes sense, and my optimism grew while reading it. ‘Hey, this might be more than just finishable, it might even be good!’

Then, blam! kerpow! my notes-to-self turn into a black lump of confusion & lostness, & I’m not surprised I ran away. I might just delete those notes, rather than try to unpick what I was trying & get trapped in the same messy worries as last time. Bravo, self-doubt, you did a tremendous job.

Reading: Borne, by Jeff Vandermeer

borne by jeff vandermeer, illustration by keith negley

Borne illustration by Keith Negley

I chose a Jeff Vandermeer novel for my holiday read, because I always get gripped & absorbed and can read for hours. I hate airports and there was a 4 hour train journey to follow the flight, so I took Borne.

I hadn’t factored in how creepy his stuff is though, & forgot that sometimes I’m obsessively page-turning Vandermeer stuff because I’m too terrified to look away.

So my holiday reading experience was an odd mix of stunning Swiss scenery past the windows – model villages, alpine flowers, snow topped mountains – and Vandermeer’s warped, dark-tech version of the future in my e-reader, alive with mutant children and giant, flying bears.

I finished reading on the midnight coach from Heathrow, and without spoilering I’ll just say that the shadowy, slippery landscape & lights of a late-night motorway (combined with very little sleep) was a suitably eerie backdrop.

Verdict: do read it (I rated it 4/5 on Goodreads), but maybe not in the dark…

Borne print (& other cool illustrations) available from Keith Negley at Society6

Writing advice I liked this week

The creative process will always have downs. It’s part of the cycle. Everyone gets them, and it doesn’t mean you are failing. The next part of the cycle will come along soon if you just keep going.

That’s my paraphrasing of Joanna Penn’s interview with David Kadavy on the Creative Penn podcast:

Joanna: ‘It happens every time and you have to go through that part…it is a cycle…this creative process, it has these stages and it’s not like you can skip any… One of those stages is fear and anxiety and it seems to happen wherever you are on the journey unless perhaps, you’re a sociopath.’

David: Yeah. ‘And if you are, then hey, go for it.’

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A sneak peek at my new writing room

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Finding stories in: Flickr photos

flickr faves mosaicPaging through my flickr faves this week, I found some great faces & places to put in stories. And then I put them together and got excited…

What do you think is going on in these?

I’m going with:

Teen witch uses colour-coded music to romance a friendly thief;

A girl who’s only ever lived in the clouds comes down to earth for the first time (and doesn’t know yet that she can’t get back up);

And the girl upside down in the road really shouldn’t have trusted Smug Uniform Girl, and will have to find one rogue shaman in a town of millions if she ever wants to go home again.

one two three

four five six

seven eight nine

Until recently, I hadn’t followed many portrait photographers, but now I’m on the prowl for more. Let me know if you know of any cool ones. My flickr fave page is here, and you can follow me if you’re a, um, Flickrer too.

Do go visit the photographers via the links above – plenty more goodness where these came from.

Coming up soon: Finding stories in: Pinterest Boards. I’ll share the boards I keep for story-ideas, & maybe reveal a few hidden boards I’ve built for works-in-progress. I know it’s hard to use Pinterest and not just get distracted by pictures of Ian Somerhalder, but it is possible. Just.

Currently (re) reading: I Capture The Castle, Dodie Smith.
Currently writing: trying to get started on the next revision of Colour Novel. ‘Don’t Panic’ is the best writing advice I’ve received this week.
Now playing: Warrior in Woolworths, X-Ray Spex.

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“…but listen to the colour of your dreams”

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