My First Bow

Well my first proper Composite bow. I don’t count the Nerf bows sitting around the house.

Greetings All!

Kittens
Little cuties, Kuro and Harley

What a May! Blink and you’ll miss it. Earlier in the month, it was my birthday. I’d like to thank everyone once more for your kind wishes. Then, just a few days ago, it was my beautiful husband and I’s first year wedding anniversary. A lot has changed in a year. We’ve moved houses and adopted two gorgeous little kittens, Kuro and Harley. It has been an extremely productive year for both of us. I’ve written the vast majority of Blessed Cursed since then.

Last weekend we attended the Medieval Market and Fantasy Faire in Ipswich, QLD. It was fantastic to see so many interesting stalls and people. My eye was caught by the Archery stall and I didn’t go home empty handed. Once home, we set up a little practise range in the garage and boy, were my shoulders sore the next day! I think I need to start some strength training for my arms.

What I’m Writing:
I’m still working away at Blessed Cursed. In reviewing, I’ve discovered I’m no longer happy with two of my chapters and I’m completely re-writing them. I’ve also decided to flesh out the last quarter of the book more so my novel is now looking like it’s going to be 150k words instead of the 100k goal I set when I started. I’m hoping to have those chapters re-written by next month then the review can start again where I left off. At this stage, I can’t give an estimate as to when the review will be finished but I just really hope it’s before August.

What I’m Reading:
I’ve finished the last three books I have in the Dragons of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey. They were First Fall, Dolphins of Pern, and Red Star Rising. I enjoyed them thoroughly although not as much as some other books in the series. I liked First Fall and Red Star Rising because they are set earlier in Pern’s history. It was nice to read about the first Dragon riders in First Fall and the problems faced by them in Red Star Rising to convince the Holders Thread was real when it hasn’t been seen in centuries years.

GotrekSince finishing that series, I started a new one which is somewhat different to what I normally read. Gotrek and Felix is a Gothic Fantasy series set in the Warhammer Fantasy universe. Gotrek is a dwarf slayer who is pledged to meet his doom in epic combat. Felix is a human who, after getting very drunk, agreed to accompany Gotrek on his travels and write an epic tale of Gotrek’s death once he’s achieved the glorious end in battle he seeks. The problem is Gotrek just can’t seem to find anyone (or anything) strong enough to best him in battle so he keeps looking. I’ve finished the first four books being Trollslayer, Skavernslayer, Deamonslayer and Dragonslayer. I’m currently halfway through Beastslayer. All written by William King. Are you picking up a theme with the titles? I’m reading them in the two omnibus collections which I’m very happy for. Apart from the first two novels, the last three have read like one long story. The first book, Trollslayer is probably the worse. It reads to me like a collection of short stories which became a novel. Each chapter is a story and there isn’t really an over-arcing plot. I found the writing repetitive. However the second book onwards has been really good and I am enjoying the story. Set in the Warhammer Fantasy universe, it’s much darker and more gruesome than I am used to but not to a fault. That is simply how that universe is. If considering to read these books, I suggest doing a little bit of research into the Warhammer Fantasy universe as it will help you understand the races and attitudes. I myself only had a very limited knowledge to start with but it certainly helped.

Till next time,

Ashleigh

Merry Christmas To All!

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!

I know it’ll a little early (not as early as the shopping centre decorations though) but I thought I’d say it now as Christmas Day is always flat out visiting family for me.

I’ve finished reading the Song of the Lioness series by Tamora Pierce and it is simply awesome. I’ve said it before but if you haven’t yet read this series, you should get your hands on it. I’m now re-reading the Immortals series also by Pierce. Set in the same universe as the Song of the Lioness, it’s just as amazing.

As for my own writing, I hit 50k words on Blessed Cursed last night so I am very happy about that. If I keep this pace up, I hope to finish it in the first few months of the new year. I may be looking for some Beta readers around March so please let me know if you are interested.

Anyways I had best get back to the old grind. Thank you all for your support during 2015. I hope you all have a fantastic Christmas and that 2016 be a great year.

Alanna, The First Adventure By Tamora Pierce

This last week I have started to re-read probably one of my favourite series from an author whom I would consider to be most influential on my writing. The Song Of the Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce. I have to admit, if I was allowed to meet any author I wanted, this is probably who I would pick.

AtFA_Cover2The first book in The Song Of The Lioness Series is Alanna, The First Adventure. The story is centred around Alanna, a girl who doesn’t want to grow up to be a lady. She wants to be a knight and perform great deeds. But only boys are allowed to train to become knights so she cuts her hair and trades places with her twin brother. Taking the alias of Alan, she goes to the castle to prove her worth.

I loved re-reading this novel. I first read it years ago when I was still in primary school. My copy is looking more beat up than the picture to the left but it’s still whole. As a tomboy, the character of Alanna really spoke to me and I’m happy to say still does. This is the first time I’ve re-read Alanna since becoming a writer myself. It’s amazing the little things you start to notice. Tamora Pierce is a master of moving the story along without denying the reader. The short novel encompasses four years of Alanna’s life yet the story rolls smoothly from one incident to the next.

I have trouble with this when I write. It’s hard for me to write the passage of time. Reading this novel has reminded me that sometimes just a few words is all that’s needed.

I’m continuing onto the next book in the series today, In The Hand Of The Goddess. If you haven’t read this series yet, I recommend you place it on your list. It was the spark that ignited my passion for both reading and writing.

On Writing By Stephen King

These last few days I have been reading On Writing by Stephen King. I was given it as a gift. The book itself is split into three sections. The first is a memoir of his early life and how he came to learn about writing, the next is a breakdown of his best tips and the last is a description of his accident and how he recovered.

On Writing

This is a fantastic book and I suggest you pick it up and give it a read. It’s relatively short yet packed full of insight. I won’t go into too much detail here but Mr King has some fantastic tips for writers, whether you are new or just looking to hone your skills.

I feel that my writing will only improve from having read On Writing.

Update: Short Stories from the Elements & NaNoWriMo

Hey Internet Peeps,

Last week was the last Short Story from the Elements. I hope you enjoyed them 🙂 Feels strange to think they were written so long ago. It’s simply amazing how time flies. I remember when this year was just starting and now all the shopping centre’s have their decorations up! Crazy.

This year’s NaNoWriMo is not going so well for me. I was sick last week and have fallen behind. I honestly don’t think I’m going to be able to catch up but I won’t give up. I’m trying to get myself into a strict schedule so I make up the difference.

My current WIP is sitting at roughly 40k words. I’m really enjoying writing this one as it’s very different to the Amethyst Series. I’m loving the opportunity to stretch my author legs and try something else. Not that I don’t love my Amethyst series but it’s nice to do something else for a change. Maybe if you guys ask nicely, I’ll post up an extract 🙂

Well I had best get back to it. Those worlds aren’t going to create themselves.

Stay Safe out there guys.

Byes!