Work-in-Progress

This post represents my final leap on the current round of Ruth Snyder’s Blog Hop, where we are all presenting our Works-in-Progress.  I have enjoyed being part of this bouncing band of blogging bookists, and hope we have more opportunities in the future to air our extremely diverse views!  If you have enjoyed these fortnightly blasts too, please go on over to Ruth’s blog and send her a message of appreciation.

In my search for a definition of work-in-progress, I came across two amusing images.  The first exhibits serious ergonomic concerns, and I have already reported this unfortunate androgynous individual to his / her Occupational Safety & Health representative, as any diligent manager should.  (Looks a bit like Gollum from “Lord of the Rings”, donchathink? :-) )

wip                   wip 2

The second is more my kind of work-in-progress.  A pause for thought.  When I think of my six-part novel serial “A Life Singular”, which I’m submitting as my perennial work-in-progress, I can safely say that 38 years and counting ought to qualify it quite well for this label…  With two parts complete, the third is well on its way, leaving the rest to appear at six-monthly intervals thereafter.  The story spans almost fifty years, and I trust I’ll be able to stick to my schedule so that Part Six releases contemporaneously.

Were it not for this self-imposed deadline, I wouldn’t much care if my books remained works-in-progress indefinitely, since this creative process is the most self-sustaining pastime I’ve found.  Each night I rush home from work, where I have sat in front of the computer for a fair percentage of the day, eager to plonk myself back down and start again.  [Please don't tell my OSH rep...]

Since self-discipline is a vital sanity preservation tool for me (as it is for my protagonist), I ensure that my e-mail, blog and social media obligations are attended to as the first activity after watching the evening news.  Up until recently this task was second, after feeding the dog :-(, but that’ll change again in a few months’ time.  Next up is transcribing the numerous yellow sticky notes, onto which were scribbled the previous night’s brainwaves, either into the current piece I’m working on or slotted into my trusty Extras.doc for future reference!

Then and only then do I allow myself to dive into my work-in-progress.  Several people have asked me how I already know my serial will have six parts, to which I give my standard response:  ‘Because I’ve already written “THE END”.’  I describe myself as 80% plotter and 20% pantser when it comes to writing, having all four outstanding parts at varying levels of completion.  I score myself in the pantser column purely because I’m frequently amazed when I finish a paragraph and realise I’ve typed something I had no intention of typing before I began!

This is the most fascinating aspect of writing for me, as someone who labours fastidiously to control her own mind to function appropriately in the “real world”.  Sometimes I re-read a passage that might be several months old and ask myself, ‘Did I really write this?’  Fortunately, I usually like what I rediscover.  Just imagine the frustration if it were otherwise… :)   I have said many times that writing is the only place where I can truly be myself, a sentiment which I’m sure is shared by many authors.

If anyone’s interested in finding out more about my serial, I’ll leave you to check out the Synopses page on my website:  http://www.ALifeSingular.net .  As for specifics around my actual work-in-progress for the coming week, I have just finished the first full draft of a chapter entitled “Welcome To Me”, where my protagonist explains to his soul-mate, from whom he has been separated for two years, why her father has every reason to be suspicious of him.  It is a stark and sinister confession which delves into gangland wars and childhood violence, describing the mental and physical scars sustained by family members caught up in crime, neglect and general disadvantage.

The next chapter “Face-off” is where the privileged celebrity, who has absorbed her boyfriend’s plaintive soliloquy, mounts her case for their relationship to continue.  The serial follows our hero’s journey back through his spectacular life while he writes his autobiography, and Part Three is where the significance of the title “A Life Singular” is revealed.

My intention is to self-publish Part Three by the end of June this year, after which I’ll move on to…  Three guesses?  Yes, you’ve got it.  …Part Four.  Predictable, huh?  Rest assured I will have been dabbling in Parts Five and Six along the way, as more mysterious twists and turns emerge from the interplay between characters with minds of their own.

My clear and present fear is for January 2016, when I will have published the book with the final line, “THE END”.  I have written to authors who live with a particular character for many years, to find out what they went through after they wrote the final word.  What will it feel like never to immerse myself in my hero’s world again?  So far I have not received any replies, so will continue with my own private conclusion…

Many thanks for joining me on this blog hop.  I’m looking forward to reading about my fellow hoppers’ works-in-progress now.  Please join me by clicking on the graphic below:

Ruth Snyder's blog hop

A bientôt, mes amis :-)

Rest In Peace, Jed – A Study in Constance

Today I said goodbye to my gorgeous, old dog.  The end had been in sight for a while, and even planned for the end of the month.  People like me do this sort of thing – dying vicariously, you might say.  We were aiming to go out on a high.  My housemate had planned a trip back to Perth to celebrate her 30th birthday, leaving Jed and me on our own for a few days.

We had arranged everything, he and I.  A last hoorah, doggy style.  [No, that’s not what I meant at all  :-)]

ImageImage

As it turned out though, nature had other ideas.  This Saturday was the first morning Jed showed no inclination for his morning walk, such as it was.  These walks had been growing shorter and shorter, admittedly, over the last few weeks.  Ten houses and then back…  Seven houses and then back…  Sometimes only three houses…  But he always wanted to go, mainly because he always had to go!

Sadly it became clear as the weekend wore on that the black beast with the grey muzzle was no longer able to support his own weight on those tired, arthritic legs, and by Monday I was tobogganing him back and forth across the floorboards on his mat, to minimise the number of paces required to do what he needed to do outside.

So this afternoon Jed met a very peaceful end, and I am left to write on without my hairy muse.  Perhaps, like my protagonists, we will meet again at some point in our souls’ futures.  As I think back on our time together, I am driven to pen some form of obituary to my adorable “pound special”, since he became the most constant thing in my life.

We were struck by love at first sight in 2001, setting Jed on a path to outlast many other elements of the turmoil-infested life I flung him into:

  • Five house moves
  • Two interstate flights
  • Several dodgy partners and a husband who didn’t see the point of dogs
  • Two sets of stepchildren
  • Amber, the gorgeous but domineering German Shepherd
  • One unsuccessful suicide attempt (not his)
  • Nine jobs (again, not his, though I kept waiting for him to pull his weight financially…)
  • Six long visits by my parents from London (spoiled rotten, of course!)
  • An entire generation of the neighbour’s screaming grandchildren
  • Being bailed out of jail four times, as a result of thunderstorms or fireworks
  • Being hit by a truck and puncturing a lung
  • Recovering from the above, only to snap a cruciate ligament by putting a hind leg down a rabbit burrow
  • The last bite of many an Indian curry; and
  • Two-and-a-half books of my six-part novel serial

I dedicated “A Life Singular – Part Two” to Jed, my much-loved and ever-loving companion.  For anyone else who doesn’t see the point of dogs, look them up under CONSTANCE.

 

Hasta la vista, Jed.

Genre – the bane of my writing life

Hello to everyone finally officially in Spring from me in Autumn / Fall.  To combat the reverse envy I’m now sensing, at least Melbourne has a long weekend for Labour Day. :-)

Ruth Snyder's blog hop

This fortnight’s post for Ruth Snyder’s Blog Hop is “My Favo(u)rite Genre”.  Again, I fail miserably to fit into mainstream thinking on this topic!  Oh, I absolutely understand the need for genre classification, especially now that e-books are flying across our e-noses from all sides, but for someone who’s endeavouring to draw readers towards a topic to which they may not have previously been exposed, I constantly bump up against the walls.  And they’re not padded…

We live in a world of drop-down lists, check boxes and radio buttons, for which I’m partly to blame, since I’ve been involved in many such abominable creations.  These nifty, high-tech methods of filtering and sorting clearly enable us to group the abundance of treasure into manageable slices of information.  The more we depend on websites to make our selection of reading material, the greater the need for some speedy classification mechanism.  Genre in the Internet age has found renewed purpose.

I also understand that genre is a convenient way for authors and readers to connect on common ground and feed their shared passions.  It’s a signpost to direct supply and demand to consummate that magic transaction, and in the absence of a better solution, I suppose I’d better “suck it up”…!

As a reader, I spread myself shamelessly across as many genres as I have time for, but still there are a few I avoid.  My least favourite subject at school was History, and on the whole I tend to steer clear of reading historical books, whether fiction or non-fiction.  Yet why then do I list my all-time favourite authors as Victor Hugo, Honoré de Balzac, Eugène Ionesco and Fyodor Dostoyevsky?  My conclusion is that they too were generalist observers and change agents who sought to breach boundaries rather than to exist within the constraints of tradition and convention.  I wonder what the Blog Hop posts of these esteemed gentlemen would tell us about genre in bygone days?

Therefore, as a writer with social justice aspirations, I have to target my favourite genre as Contemporary Fiction.  Mention the words “love” and “romance”, and most men run in the opposite direction.  Throw in “star” or “celebrity”, and the work may be dismissed as superficial or lacking in substance.  Mention “inspirational”, as I did before I realised its connotations in North America, and I find myself stalked on social media by evangelists promising to save my e-soul.  And dare to discuss “depression”, “post-traumatic stress disorder”, “deathwish”, “nightmares” (sans vampires) and “inescapable social exclusion”, and everyone except fellow sufferers is disaffected.

Contemporary Fiction is, by definition, an overwhelming buffet from which it’s often difficult to decide or even identify what might take our fancy.  On the other side of the coin, however, strict genre classifications tend to “preach to the converted”.  What I’m seeking is the “I’m willing to open my mind” genre; the “teach me something I don’t know, and entertain me at the same time” category.  Now that would be the perfect genre for me, and one which would have allowed my post to be a whole lot shorter!

Best wishes from a cloudless Melbourne Sunday!  There’s writing to be done.

Bruce A Borders, Rave Reviews SPOTLIGHT author

Hi everyone!

It’s my pleasure to bring you a Rave Reviews SPOTLIGHT author guest post from Bruce A. Borders, author of Good Vs. Evil.  You can follow the Rave Reviews Book Club here.  Over to you, Bruce…!

Bruce A Borders-Author

A huge thank you to all the members of Rave Reviews Book Club who agreed to host me on their site! I am honored to be the Spotlight Author.

Miscarriage Of Justice tells the story of two people, Ethan Rafferty and Mariana Clark. Ethan has just been released from prison after serving fifteen years for a crime he didn’t commit; Mariana is the D.A. responsible for putting him there. As we get to know the characters, their lives are moving in opposite directions. One is continually sinking to new depths; the other is slowly making an ascension to becoming a better individual. It’s the old line of good versus evil – almost. But what happens when those lines intersect? When neither side is exactly virtuous or exhibits an upstanding moral character?

In writing this book, I wanted to bring out that sometimes it’s hard to tell, with certainty, the good from the bad. Sometimes, good and bad seem to run together, with the attributes of both present. I think the majority of people fall into this category – I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “no man is all good, and no man is all bad.” Yet, there is a right and wrong. Most of us inherently know which is which, but events and situations can muddle what we know.

 Miscarriage of Justice1400

We’re taught that good always triumphs over evil, but what if you’re not sure which side is good and which is evil? Then how do you know which side is going to win?

In the beginning, both Ethan and Mariana are normal people – reasonably normal anyway. But as they respond and react to situations, into which they have unwillingly been thrust and over which they have no control, their paths take them in opposite directions, until…

Miscarriage Of Justice

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/dp/1624070639

Barnes & Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/miscarriage-of-justice-bruce-a-borders/1111648967

Smashwords http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/156958

Sony http://ebookstore.sony.com/ebook/bruce-a-borders/miscarriage-of-justice/_/R-400000000000000717099

iTunes http://itunes.apple.com/book/id543047448?mt=11

Kobo http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Miscarriage-Of-Justice/book-KcHcGhmTgESAXmnO9tUK4Q/page1.html?s=SxowIrFdQkGHRsi0UUar0g&r=2

 

Connect with Bruce:

@BruceABorders

http://www.facebook.com/BruceABordersBooks

http://bruceabordersbooks.weebly.com

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5752197.Bruce_A_Borders

 

RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB “SPOTLIGHT” AUTHOR, Bruce A. Borders was born in 1967 in Cape Girardeau, MO. Bruce’s childhood years were spent in a number of states, including Missouri, Oregon, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
During his high school years, he was a member of the football, basketball and track teams, involved in various non-athletic activities such as school yearbook production and photography, and won numerous awards for his artistic creations. Bruce graduated Valedictorian in 1984.
While in school, Bruce held three part-time jobs; a store clerk, a janitor, and a dental technician, working about 60-70 hours per week. After graduation, he became employed full time as a dental technician. Other jobs have included restaurant manager, carpenter, and grocery store cashier. For the past sixteen years, he has worked as a commercial truck driver, logging more than two million miles.
At the age of fifteen, Bruce decided to become a writer. He began by writing songs, news articles, and short stories. Eventually, books were added to the list. Over the years, he continued to write and currently has a catalog of more than 500 songs, numerous short stories and over a dozen completed books. He writes on a variety of subjects such as fictional novels of legal issues and westerns. Titles include: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, Miscarriage Of Justice, The Journey, and in The Wynn Garrett Series – Mistaken Identity, Holy Terror, Remote Control, Judicial Review, Even Odds, and Safety Hazard.

Interview With Author Lorraine Pestell (A Life Singular – Part One, Contemporary Romance)

Lorraine Pestell:

The last stop on my Fire and Ice book blog tour. Thank you, Fantastic Indie Authors, for featuring me and my serial.

And huge thanks to Shelly from Fire and Ice for organising the tour!

Originally posted on Fantastic Indie Authors:

als1 cover

lorraine

In your own words, please describe your book….

In short, the six-part “A Life Singular” serial is my life’s work. It represents my innermost wishes and is the sum total of my experience, all wrapped up in a story about love and wisdom.

As someone who has lived with the symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder for over thirty years, I turned a childhood fascination with celebrity and the popular music world into a sometimes-tender, sometimes-stark love story with two aims: first, to inspire fellow sufferers of mental illness to rise above and make a success of their lives; and second, to use the universal medium of romance to encourage non-sufferers to understand and even love us ‘weird’ people while we try to live a ‘normal’ life.

The serial also showcases beautiful Melbourne, Australia (currently Number 1 on the World’s Most Liveable Cities list, vying with Vancouver for top spot each…

View original 2,427 more words

New interview on the writing of the “A Life Singular” serial from Self-Publisher’s Showcase

Hello everyone,

I have been fortunate to be interviewed by Self-Publisher’s Showcase about my writing.  They asked some particularly relevant and challenging questions – a very interesting exercise!

Please check it out at:  http://selfpublishersshowcase.com/interview-lorraine-pestell-a-life-singular-author/

Thanks,

Lorraine