Hidden treasures by Cayenne Michaels

I’ve been guest blogging over at the Happy Authors Guild again.

Happy Authors Guild

Let’s talk about inspiration.

Where does it come from? Is it stored inside of us and stirred awake when we encounter something in our everyday life that brings out this hidden treasure we never knew we carried?

Or, is it handed to us, as a gift, by someone or something that has you or me are the perfect person to see its true potential?

Elizabeth Gilbert says:

The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them.

Have you found any yet? Please…share them with us in the comments field. As writers I think we all know how to appreciate them. We know how precious these discoveries are.

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Writer’s resolutions 2016 by Cayenne Michaels

It was my turn to blog at the Happy Authors Guild today.

Do you have any writer’s resolutions for 2016? I’d love to hear them.

Happy Authors Guild

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

(called out in a, hopefully, cheerful voice)

I’m so not the right blogger to write the festive season post.

I’m traumatized by childhood memories of polishing silver, cleaning the porcelain and hurting my back from pulling out the couch to remove the colony of dust balls that had sought shelter there since last Christmas. They knew it was the only place in the whole house where they’d be safe from the vacuum cleaner until next year’s Christmas clean. These were just a few of the points on Mom’s endlessly long list of Things to Do and we worked our asses off up to the afternoon on Christmas Eve.

When dusk finally settled and Mom could do nothing more than fret over her mother-in-law (also called The Dragon) and stare through the foggy glass front of the stove, as if she could will the pork rib to roast to…

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No man is an island…

Today it was my turn to contribute on the Happy Authors Guild’s blog.

Happy Authors Guild

Entirely of itself,

Every man is a piece of a continent,

A part of the main.

John Donne

It’s something we take for granted in our everyday life. Most of us, at least. We might feel like eccentric outsiders. I can’t be the only one that has a tendency to occasionally withdraw from conversations, and the apparent lack of interest have caused some tense moments now and then. But you see, in my head an irresistible scene is taking form, where the most gorgeous man says the right words at the right moment, and I join my own heroine in a swooooon–

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The awakening of a newbie writer

Today it’s my turn to ramble at the Happy Authors Guild blog. Deep in revisions done for a group on Scribophile, my thoughts revolved around what that online writers’ community has done for me as a new, aspiring writer.

Happy Authors Guild

I started writing on Christmas Day 2013. It was my first day off in ages. I woke up from the chirping weavers outside the bedroom window and enjoyed knowing that there was no rush. And as I was lying there, dozing, my mind started to puzzle jigsaw pieces of different scenes or daydreams together into one large picture. Five years of day dreams and silly fantasies had, in an hour on Christmas Day, turned into one (awfully long) story.

Me, writing fiction? It was such a foreign thought, but I figured ‘what the heck?’ I’ve got a couple of days off and got nothing better to do, I might as well have some fun trying to write a novella or short story. But when the holiday was over, the words still kept coming. And a month later, the words still kept pouring out. And two months later…Well, you get the…

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Year One – Lessons learned

When I woke up on Christmas Day a year ago I was initially just so freaking relieved I had a day off and could stay in bed as long as I’d like to, I didn’t plan to think about anything at all, except snooze away the morning hours. But then my mind woke up, while my body was still relaxed from sleep. It switched into crazy overdrive, jigsaw-puzzling mode; putting the pieces, all the scenes sprawling all over in my messy imagination, into order. Continue reading

IC Publishing Blog Tour

Let me just say it right away: I’m feeling a bit out of my league here. I’ve been invited to participate in the IC Publishing Blog Tour, and honestly, when I look at my writing credentials, I don’t think I qualify.

I got to send a big Thank You to Sue Seabury for inviting me. Crazy girl, but nevertheless: Thank you! Go and check out her blog here, and get anything from great gift ideas to the man who’s got everything, to sweet pea creatures.

Sue has published three novels so far: Miss Calculation, Miss Taken and Miss Understanding. I love her witty, humorous style.

Right…so there are questions to be answered.

1) How do you start your writing projects?

They, or I should it, simply came to me. On the morning on Christmas Day 2013 I was lying in bed refusing to get up since it was my first day off in – I can’t remember how long – and my mind started wandering off. I realized a lot of my day dreaming involved the same characters in different settings and roles. Nowadays I look at these reveries or scenes are pieces in a puzzle. What happened during a few hours on Christmas Day, was that these pieces eventually fell into place and I could see the bigger picture. I knew the story’s path and plot from beginning to the finishing line.

My first attempt to write down a novel-length story is definitely inspired by my own interests and travel experiences, but it should not in any way be seen as a memoir, and all the characters are products of my imagination. Nature features strongly, sometimes it even takes on the role as an active antagonist. My love for Thailand, diving and wildlife in general are all aspects of the story. I’m just telling you this to have a good excuse to add some pictures into a long, boring text.

When I began to write down the first story, it was as if I freed up capacity to start planning the next one. Since I had taken a step up on the New Writer (Who Haven’t Got A Clue) ladder by then, the second storyline was written out in a more organized way, with character profiles and bullet points briefly describing each scene or major event in the story. I’ve put this one aside to focus on the first story for now. I only stop by it now and then if the characters are screaming for attention.

2) How do you continue your writing projects?

On Christmas Day when I told my hubby I was going to ‘sit down and write a bit’, no one of us really thought it was going to turn into a project of this size. It was meant to be holiday fun. Half a year later, I’ve settled on a routine with writing after hours and in the weekends. When my work allows it, I take days off to go to a coffee shop and write there. It makes a huge difference for me to get out of the house now and then. Only scenes that can’t be written out in public are the sex scenes. I feel like all the old ladies at the neighboring tables can see straight through me, and read all my dirty thoughts.

3) How do you finish your projects?

I’ve got no idea. Ask me in a few years. When I started this storytelling thingy, I didn’t think it was realistic for me to even finish something the length of a novella. Now the manuscript it closing in on 150 000 words and counting. Which means that I’m looking at…what? Trilogy length?! *Insert appropriate swearing and gasping* Obviously, a lot got to go. But a lot still has to be written as well. This puts me firmly in the category of aspiring writers that will never find an agent who’s willing to take a chance on them, probably. I’ve read over and over again that the recommended word count for a debut novel is 80-100 000 words… *cringe*.

Okay, never mind about that, that’s my concerns, not yours. But like I said, ask me in a few years.

Writing challenge

Oh, really? I have to? I don’t have the imagination to come up with prompts and stuff. Lets do it differently. I’ve discovered that I’m inspired by lyrics and tunes for different parts of the story, and that my characters also got ‘theme songs’. Do you know what I’m talking about? If so, can you share a ‘theme song’ with me and tell me why it represents the story or character so well?

Passing the pen

Almost done!

Right…I’m going to pass the pen on to two blogs, and a whole bunch of wonderful people.

First of all, I’d like to introduce Sandra Danby. Sandra is the author of the upcoming novel Ignoring Gravity. She’s also writing an award-winning blog about writing and reading that you can check out here. She’s living in Andalucia (God, that sounds awful…not) and is writing about her life on the Spanish countryside in the blog Notes on a Spanish Valley.

And last, but definitely not least, I’m throwing a whole box of pens at the wonderful ladies in the Happy Authors Guild. 

We’re a group of fourteen women that met in the online community Scribophile. I recommend that place to all aspiring writers. I’ll step aside to let my co-bloggers reply in a collective effort over at the HAG blog next week. They’re all way more experienced than me, and I’m just grateful that they let me play in the same sandbox.

Weekly photo challenge – Summer Lovin’

I went home to Norway early this summer. I’ve been living abroad for more than a decade. It’s okay. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m a restless person that will always look toward the horizon and be tempted by the lesser traveled path. Despite all of that, I can’t deny that it’s really, really nice to go home now and then as well. This time, I went further north than I’ve ever been before, past the Arctic Circle and then some.

Midnight sun in Hovden, VesterålenMidnight sun in Hovden, Vesterålen, Norway.

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Bring me to life – Nick van der Merwe

Ask a writer about their relationship to their characters and you might get answers that sound downright concerning. They will talk about a person that only exists on paper as if he or she is made of flesh and blood, and got a fully developed personality. To make things even worse, they might even claim that they take on a life on their own sometimes, as if it’s no longer up to the writer to keep the character alive and out of in trouble.

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An author’s note: A glimpse of the future…and the past

I was driving nearly 500 km alone yesterday. Normally, I would destroy every song on the radio by howling along (jackals would be impressed) on a trip like that, but since I began writing, I spend most of my alone time thinking about my characters instead. To sit alone in the car is a fantastic opportunity to speak dialogs out loud without having to worry about being overheard by anyone. Because, lets face it: Sitting on the subway and reciting the love quarrel between your two main characters just doesn’t feel right, and it’s bound to make people question your sanity.  In the car, the only other creature listening in is the persistent fly that has joined me on the trip of her lifetime. Continue reading

The Sunshine Award

the sunshine award

I have been given an award by Cardamone5. She’s by far my most active reader and commentator and I really appreciate her take on things. I recommend you visit her blog, Breaking the Cycle.

She is a keen gardener and fond of flowers, and I have promised her some orchid pictures. Since they don’t fit into my normal posts, I’ve decided to add some to this one.

What is the weirdest food you have ever eaten? Continue reading

Weekly photo challenge: Threshold

Threshold can be so many things. It can be the divide between two rooms, where you can cross from one side to another; where you exit one phase of your life and enter another. It can be a new beginning and chance to start fresh; full of tickling excitement and optimism regarding what this opportunity might bring.

But it can also be a limit; the critical point that triggers a reaction. The invisible line we don’t even know we’ve crossed, until we are faced with the consequences and are forced to deal with the results. Continue reading