Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Starting Sparks: June // endings and beginnings

“Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherised upon a table"
~ The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock, TS Eliot

It is officially and unequivocally summer! Here in Scotland we have bona fide hot sun. Life is good. May has been a beautiful month.

In Reading

Favourite was probably Anne's House of Dreams, which was a rare and beautiful delight, but I also greatly enjoyed Love's Labour's Lost, and revisiting TS Eliot was wonderful. Read The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock (it's not a very long poem). It will change your life, as two years ago it changed mine.

Disappointing were The Picture of Dorian Gray (I hated all the characters and really couldn't get on board at all, though it was very interesting, hence my three stars) and Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki, which was confusing and odd and didn't leave me satisfied. It had good aspects, though. I want to discuss it with someone. 

The Golem's Eye was a nice surprise; once it warmed up it was better than it's predecessor, The Amulet of Sarmakand, and I really enjoyed it. I'm now pleasantly excited to read the last book.

In Writing

Last night I hit 50k of the TCATT fourth draft!

You guys know that before I started this draft (two and a half weeks ago), I'd been having a six week break, and by the end I was pretty rabid with longing to get back to my child book. I got really frantic and annoying (ask my friends/family). So now I'm like 

I mean, don't get me wrong, close editing is hard. Sometimes I want to throw the laptop at the wall because the stupid sentence won't come right! And I agonise like crazy over little things:

But far outweighing that is my love for these characters/this world. I had forgotten a) how much I love Jem and b) how much I ship him and Corrie.
He glances at me, I at him, beats in an awkward silence.
“Look, Jem,” I say, at the same time he says, “Corrie, listen.”
THEY'RE SUCH AWKWARD INTROVERTED POTATOES! Honestly, I despair of ever getting these two together. The apocalypse will probably have happened before they admit to themselves that they have feelings (ssh) for each other, and by the time they manage to admit it to each other, Sherlock Series 4 will be out.

Close editing is also fun, though, as you slash away at the unnecessary words.

Me as my wordcount dips and dips.
Apparently I actually only need about 3% of my dialogue tags. Who knew?

May's also the month LesMisBook took flight! I posted a story starring Nina, sarcastic misanthrope supreme, battling her hatred of “pink jumper wearer and professional ice queen" Verity Locke, and her not-so-hatred of the infuriatingly attractive Jonathan Bloody Holcroft. The three of them are starring in Les Mis together. What could go wrong ... ?

LesMisBook is my new favourite thing; in list of Books I'm Super Excited About, it sits in proud third after TCATT and A Room Alone. It's a long time since I've loved a short story/its premise/its characters as much I loved The Wretcheds, and I was endlessly amused by how much you guys loved/fancied JBH. I have a good feeling about this story. I think it's going to get more attention.

I've also done a spot of work on A Room Alone. Good golly I hate Charlotte Fiztmaurice.

In Life

I finished school!

So that's weird. I sort of can't believe that I'm not going back. I have a couple of days here and there, prizegiving and what-have-you and then the Leavers' Ball, so you won't get the full I'M ACTUALLY DONE until the end of June. But still, man. Weird.

Finishing also involved exams and my art portfolio. I painted so fast in that last week, you guys, you have no idea. I'll show pictures some time, if you'd like. (Tell me if you would.) 

May also involved the blooming of a probably long-germinating EXTREME and OBSESSIVE desire to travel to New York and live there for a bit. SUCH CRAVINGS.

Ooh, also, I have an interview next week for a possible gap year placement abroad. I'll keep you updated.

Starting Sparks
Starting what now?!" Starting Sparks is a prompt link-up that Ashley and I run. Thanks to you lovely lot who linked up in May, and I know I've not got round everyone's stories yet, but TCATT has been dominating. I will, though, and soon! Promise!
For more SS info, head to my Starting Sparks page.
writing prompt:
The June prompt. I think this is hilarious. Hope to see you linking up!

How was your May? Are you working on a novel? How's it going? And what was the best book you read? When you read this, I will already be gone for an end-of-school holiday with friends, but see you (virtually) soon!


  1. Love the prompt for this month, I already have an idea. I want to read a book about awkward introverted potatoes, I already love them because of that description.

    1. Great! I love them too, as I'm sure you can tell XD <333

  2. Hey Emily,
    Thank you for your sweet comment! God has blessed me with my new life here :)
    I just followed your blog and I am back for blogging :)
    Have a good day!
    ps: those books seems interesting - thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Delvalina! I was so happy to read your post and I'm glad you're back! <33

  3. I'd like to see some pictures from your art portfolio, please! I'd also like to see more from your Wretcheds characters (or anything else you have written, really).

    I need to re-read the Anne series again. I love those books.

    1. Thank you, one day you shall! I've not written anything more with Nina etc yet (it's all been TCATT and ARA) but probably soon. Thank you so much for your interest <3

      Anne is life! <3

  4. Hahaha, Sherlock season 4!!! I read something somewhere about the 100th Doctor Who anniversary, and how we'll all be sitting around with no teeth yelling at our great-grandchildren or whatever to shut up because *cue Doctor Who theme song*. There was a comment on that post that the Sherlock season 5 trailer will be on that episode :')


    Ha, I actually have a story planned with that writing prompt, but I don't think I'll be able to get around to it for like another billion years because I'm going to die before I've written everything I want to. Good luck with draft #4!

    1. Hahahaha it probably will! On my deathbed I'll be like, “My deepest regret ..." ~gasping rattling breath~ “is ..." ~my children lean in close with worried faces~ " ... that I never got to finish Sherlock ..."

      THANK YOU!!!!! ~high fives you so hard you fall over~

      Really?! Incredible! Well, if you do get round it that'd be brillo pads. Thanks very much! <3

  5. CONGRATS on finishing school! That's so awesome!

    Also, that quote from Corrie and Jem. *intense shipping* That's probably the best portrayal of an introvert/introvert relationship in the making. I like how she says 'look' and he says 'listen.' Does that mean she is more visually oriented and he is more auditory-oriented? It probably just means I'm being way over analytical. . .

    That picture of the "Is this funny?" I relate so much. all. the. time. Especially when I editing blog posts, I'm always second guessing my "jokes" most particularly the ones I imply with gifs. What if nobody gets it?!

    THE WRETCHEDS IS AWESOME! I CAN'T FOR YOU TO WRITE IT TOO! Sometimes it is so strange being a writer as well as book blogger. You have all these fellow bloggers working on writing projects and you're like, "I can't wait until it's on the shelves because I want to read it." While the "normal" bookworms only know about and anticipate it from the point when publishers announce a release date, we get to see it's creation from ground zero.

    1. THANK YOU!

      ~ships so hard I circumnavigate the world~

      Hahaha, I read this comment in my email a few days ago and have been thinking about it a lot since! That never occurred to me. Hmm. Well. She unlike me is not an artist but she is of course a writer. Does that mean that, as a wordy bookish person, she's more auditory? You may say so, but I'd argue that reading and writing are more visual because most of the time we're not reading anything aloud. For me the way words look is often more important than their sound. Also I'd say TCATT is a fairly visual book; I think it'd be impossible for me to write something not visual because I'm such a visual person. So I guess Corrie is more visual. As for Jem, he wants to be a detective (bless his heart) but does that mean he listens more or looks more? Both. He's currently a carpenter, which is more visual. Honestly, I couldn't tell you. This hadn't occurred to me AT ALL and now I'm analysing way too hard. Dang it, Ashley, what've you started?!

      Your jokes are always funny! FEAR NOT. Ha I think I first saw that picture on your blog, or maybe your Pinterest XD

      THANK YOU! I'M SO GLAD! I do think about that surprisingly often. I want to see the day -- I've not seen it yet, but I want to -- when a book like Oddball or Tracey's The Prophet's Quest or something by Cait is actually in bookshops. Like I could actually walk into Waterstones and buy a book by one of you guys. It must happen someday! And one day maybe even the majority of writers, at least YA writers, will have had a book blog in their youth. This is what we talking about the other day, the hypothetical superfans stalking me back to old comment threads XD

    2. OH MY GOODNESS GRACIOUS, EM, I JUST SAW THIS AND ALMOST SHRIEKED. I was reading through the comments, and then my eyes found my name... and The Prophet's the context of "I wish it was published." DAY. MADE.


    4. Agh! I'm sorry! I didn't not mean to initiate a huge long think session. BUT I would definitely agree that reading/writing is more of a visual thing. Although, I took a sign language class and from learning about deaf culture, apparently most deaf people usually struggle when learning to read? I thought that was weird because surely that would be very easy for someone visually oriented to look and recognize a word. So perhaps when first learning to read, it helps to be able to hear the sounds different letters make. But I would think after that it's mostly visual because we don't read or write aloud to understand what we're doing. XD

      JEM WANTS TO BE A DETECTIVE?! That is the coolest thing ever! I didn't realize. He's probably oriented both ways. Some people are. And he's a carpenter. Ah! That so awesome. Now I feel like I know nothing about him. I guess I didn't. I knew Corrie writes, Freddie does magic, and isn't Mel a waitress? But for some reason I thought Jem was a sailor or something because of that story with him and the mermaids and Dristan? Sorry. It's so cool that he wants to be a detective. A detective in fantasy! Yes!

      Oh gosh! Yes! It would be the best day ever to find a friend's book ON THE SHELF IN THE BOOKSTORE! AH! (I am feeling too many exclamation points. . .) Yes, I was thinking that the other day about the superfans alongside literary critics. I know those are technically different spheres. But they do the same thing, one of them just considers themselves to be more professional than the other. Whatever. *ahem* But you know how we talk about authors and their author friends? Like Tolkien and C. S. Lewis? We read the letters they wrote to each other. Well, eventually people will be reading emails, blogposts, and comment threads to see how authors corresponded with each other and the friendships they built and how they and their fellow writers helped each other out. ISN'T THAT INTERESTING?!

    5. Hahaha it was interesting to think about! I guess when you learn to read it's all about those sounds. The wonder when you realise that putting a t and an h together makes a WHOLE NEW SOUND. The Magic E, that changes a short vowel sound a long one. Ah. Happy memories of learning to read :') <33

      I know, little baby! Baby Sherlock <333 He's very observant. Though he works in the carpenter's shop he makes extra money doing messages and stuff. He's kinda known in the city as someone who knows stuff and finds stuff out. Though he's careful what jobs he takes because he doesn't, for example, want to search for someone if maybe that person doesn't want to be found; if he thinks the person looking for them is going to do them harm. (If that makes sense.)

      YIKES BUT THAT'S NOT HIM IN THAT STORY! That is Jesme, very shy ginger friend of Brice. I KNEW their names were too similar! But nope, different characters, different worlds! Ha, I have actually had conversations with a friend about this, where she's like, you need to change Jesme's name if you ever write that book, because my eye automatically makes it Jem ... obviously she was right XD

      That's so funny / perplexing.

      Jem's dad was a sailor, though, so there you go.

      THAT IS INTERESTING ISN'T IT?! One of my friends (the same aforementioned friend who was talking about the Jem/Jesme fiasco) is planning a book, and she loves Tolkien and Lewis (as, of course, I do) and sometimes we joke about being the next Inklings. (In our dreams ... ~sadly plays violin~) It is interesting how our way of life is changing so much, so that everything is more public. We can now find a lot more out about people, because most people seem to publicise their lives online.

      (Maybe one day our email threads will be published in a book. Speaking of, I need to reply to yours ... !)

    6. Ah! That makes complete sense now. I was at first mildly confused about Jem because of Jesme. Oops. Sorry!

      So now you're telling me you have a whole other novel idea about ships and mermaids and A SHY GINGER?! Or am I confused again? (I am running on low sleep so the second option is highly probable.) Or is the story about Brice? Who is Brice?

      Wait, you don't have to answer that (of course). XD I'm just curious.

      Exactly! Everything is so public nowadays. It's mildly scary. I need to email you too! About The Dream Thieves. I always want to abbreviate it, but then I think about how beautiful and fitting the title "The Dream Thieves" is and "why can't I think up such a great title?" So I end up shaming myself into writing the whole lovely title out.

    7. No worries! Yeah, so, the ships/mermaids one is a whole other idea. Jesme is the shy ginger. Brice is his best friend. The other one is Dristan, the really sarcastic one. I posted it about it for February Starting Sparks.

      Hahhaha you make me laugh! I have no such concerns. TRB, TDT, BL,LB, TRK. They make me feel like we're on first name terms or something XD

  6. Congrats about finishing school, and on your draft, Emily!

    I really like the sound of this prompt - very promising! XD

    1. Thanks very much, Lauren! :D

      I hope so! Personally I have zero ideas so far (Ashley chose it) but I'm sure something will turn up :)

  7. Aww too bad about Dorian Gray. I read it this month too, and I liked it a decent amount.

    Eeeeep all your stories sound so wonderful! I love the LesMis one and I really stand in awe of your character names. They are all so fabulous :-)

    ooh I'll try to finally get around to the prompt this time!

    1. The themes/issues it raised were very interesting, but I really didn't feel that invested in Dorian or Basil or Henry and so I struggled to care about them, you know?

      Thank youuu! I'm so so excited for LesMisBook (as I may have mentioned a time or two XD ) and that makes me so happy you like my names! <3

      Yay, I hope you do! :D

  8. I'm glad that you like T.S. Elliot, but if I have to study The Wasteland one more time...#englishmajorproblems.

    Congrats on finishing school! Also, this prompt sounds so fun. I can't wait to see what people come up with!

    1. I'm desperate to study it! My dream and goal is to write an essay about the theme of water in it. I was sitting reading it in Dubai airport at some weird time of night (I know, I'm such an indie kid) silently denouncing capitalism and noticing all the water ... I want to study it!!!

      Thank you! Nor can I XD

  9. Sounds like a perfectly lovely month! And AHHH, that little snippet about Corrie and Jem has me especially excited because BETA READING. :D That writer/reader comic is so accurate. XD

    Congrats on being done with school! *throws confetti* I like that term, "Leaver's Ball." It has a bittersweet ring to it. And YES, I would love to see your art! Do share it with us! And also keep us updated on the gap year plans!

    Oh goodness, that prompt. XD We shall have to see if something comes to mind for me...

    Enjoy your holiday, if you're still on it. ^_^

    1. It was! I'M SO EXCITED FOR YOU TO BETA. That comic is my life >.<

      Thank you! It does, though I feel the reality will be less romantic/dreamy than the idea O.o I will do both those things! <3

      I have no clue yet but we'll see!

      I got back on Sunday but I loved it <333


Thanks for commenting! :)