Vision Writers Retreat 2018

Greetings all,

Hope 2018 is treating you well. Can you believe we are in the second half of the year already? My husband and I successfully moved into our new home in April. We are loving it (even though it’s still filled with boxes. Who knew two people could have so much stuff!). One of the first things we did was hang a picture that we’ve had for years on the wall (Something we could never do in rentals). It felt so good, a simple pleasure that re-enforced this was our home.

The view from my room at Vision Writers Retreat. Love that lake.

In June, I attended the Vision Writers Retreat for the second time. It was held in Montville, QLD in this huge absolutely gorgeous house which, by the end of the weekend, we were convinced was haunted. One of my fellow writers heard a knock on his door at 2am but when he opened it, there was no one there. Plus doors were opening and closing of their own accord. Spooky but very productive.

Same view but early in the morning when fog covers the lake. I love fog. I always thought of stepping into fog like stepping into another realm.

I managed to get a lot of work done on my latest project which I’m calling That Book at this stage. I’ll work out a proper title eventually. It’s a YA Fantasy that I’m really enjoying writing. It’s getting close to being half completed. Having said that, I have realised in the last few days that I started the book in the wrong place. Not writing wise, literally the wrong location. So my main character, Gwen, is packing up and moving with her family to the big city. This means that much of the first four chapters will be scrapped and re-written. But, as I am oft to repeat when major re-writes are needed, this is a good thing as it will make the book stronger.

I’m also taking the time to apply some more rigorous planning techniques than I usually use. Two of which were suggested by two talented writers from Vision. Already I can see these techniques are strengthening the story and helping me wrap my head around writing it.

Till next time,
Ashleigh

Featured Image: This is the view from Montville. It stretches across the Sunshine Coast Hinterland and to the ocean at the horizon.

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2018

A belated Happy 2018 to you all!
I can’t believe it’s March already. Where does the time go?
A lot of my time this year has been devoted to packing as my husband and I are building our first home. It’s very close to completion and we’re hoping to move in the next couple of weeks. It will be great once we’re settled in and I can get back to writing.

As for writing, I’m currently planning out the next novel I intend to write. At this stage, it is looking like a YA urban fantasy / magic realism. I’m having a great time planning it out. My first book was YA and I remember now how much fun I had writing it. I think YA fantasy is one of my most favorite genres to write in. It’s also one of my favorites to read.

So far on this new project I’ve profiled the main characters and have started setting the base storyline. Creating new characters is something I enjoy a lot. It’s amazing to see them come to life. I always try to get to know my characters very well because they are with me for so long during the writing process. Naming them is something I struggle with. A name is so important. I can spend hours trying to figure out the correct name for a character. Thankfully the ones in this latest project weren’t too bad.

Well I best get back to it.

Till next time,
Ashleigh

Featured Image: This month the featured image is my cutie of a kitty, Kuro, when he was only a few months old. He’s now about two and just as mischievous as he seems in the photo.

Happy 2017

Greetings and happy 2017 to all.

I know I’m a bit late and it’s already February. Hopefully this year won’t pass as quickly as 2016 did.

In my last post I promised I would have the reviews on Blessed Cursed finished by January. Guess what, didn’t happen. I’m still working on it. But, and I have to keep reminding myself this, it’s not a bad thing. Every revision makes the book stronger, more polished and overall a better read. In early January I decided I didn’t like the way the story ended. So I deleted the last 25k words and have been re-planning and re-writing it since. I’m much happier with this new ending (or at least I am right now. Ask again when I’ve finished writing it!). I should be able to finish re-writing the end before March.

I say that but I should mention my husband and I are currently buying a house and there is nothing like packing up and moving house to disturb a writing schedule. But stay with me. Don’t give up. It will be finished eventually, I promise.

Last week I finished an online class I enrolled in taught by none other than the James Patterson. For those who don’t know him, he is predominantly a thriller and mystery writer. He is the best selling author in the world today. And he certainly knows what he is talking about. While I’m not a thriller or mystery writer, I believe the lessons of suspense and fast paced driven plot lines can be applied across different genres. It was nice to be taught by a genuinely successful author. He has a passion for writing and years of experience. For those of you interested in taking the class, it can be found here.

That’s all from me for now. I sincerely hope the next post from me in March reads those magical words ‘finally finished the dam thing’ but I make no promises. It’ll be finished when it’s finished. 🙂

Till next time,
Ashleigh

Featured Image: The picture above is one taken from my garden. Can anyone spot the hidden intruder?

February Already!

Hi internet friends!

Wow February already. Where is 2016 going?

I’ve had a pretty good year so far and I hope you have as well. I’ve been writing solidly for Blessed Cursed and am on track to finish the first draft in the next few weeks. Then it’ll be onto the ‘fun’ part of editing. Once that’s been completed, I would like to find a few people who would be willing to be my Beta Readers. All you have to do is read the manuscript and tell me your honest thoughts about it. Let me know if you would be interested in helping me 🙂

Since my last update I’ve finished reading Tamora Pierce’s Song of the Lioness and Immortals series. Both fantastic. I can’t speak any higher of them. I’ve also read Game of Throne. I did enjoy this although I did feel nothing was resolved. I understand it’s a complicated series and I intend to keep reading but I couldn’t help but feel a little let down when the book simply ended. I’m currently reading Dragon Flight by Anne McCaffrey. This is another book which I first read years ago when I was a teenager. What can I say except I love dragons and the Dragons of Pern series captures them beautifully. I’m very much looking forward to re-reading this series which is currently taking up almost an entire row on my book shelf. Are you guys reading any good books at the moment?

I do have some sad news as well. As of Jan 2016, my publisher for the last three years closed its doors. Unfortunately this means that Birth By Fire’s Embrace and the rest of the Amethyst series will be out of print while I look for a new publisher to take it up. I’ll keep you updated on how I’m going but it’s a long process. If you would like a paperback copy of Birth By Fire’s Embrace, there are a few online shop such as Amazon which still have a few copies in stock. I myself also have some which I sell for $10 plus postage. I’ve had a lot of people asking me when Standing In The Wind’s Shadow will be released. Unfortunately I simply don’t know how long it will take to find a new publisher.

But no sense dwelling on the unchangeable. There are words to be written and worlds to build.

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.