Category Archives: our story/year

looking ahead to nanowrimo

RAW NaNoWriMo 2014 Writing Competition

Just because NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is over two months away, doesn’t mean I can’t start planning for the event, does it?  In fact, if you’re a NaNo-er (especially a first-timer), I think it would be a great idea to start researching, thinking about what story you want to do, etc.  Although who am I to talk?  Last year was my first NaNo, I decided to participate a mere day before the whole thing started, and I still passed with flying colours.  So, I guess everyone should do what’s best for them (cliched as it may sound) and while I don’t know if this whole planning ahead thing will backfire or not, I like feeling prepared and in charge of things, so that’s what I’m doing this year.  I’m currently still working on a large body of fan-fiction, but it wasn’t hard to decide which plot bunny to pick up this year. (when I wrote the first book of the VIM trilogy last year, it was quickly followed by two more, so this project could potentially become bigger than I’m currently envisioning it)

Our Story, Our Year

I posted about this story idea for the June Crusade plot bunnies challenge, and even though that was just a few weeks back, the story has already evolved more. Things have changed (although other stuff has stayed the same) and I’m already really hyped about NaNo.  The main thing that led me toward this plot bunny for NaNo was that a friend of mine, Eowyn, is writing another YA drama/romance/literary novel and while Our Story, Our Year is not a rip-off of her book (the plots don’t resemble each other at all, as far as I know), her excitement about The Art Of Letting Go has re-fueled my interest in Our Story, Our Year.  She and I are planning on doing NaNo together.  Not working on the same project, of course, but challenging each other word wars and writing streaks (as well as giving plenty of encouragement via virtual chocolate and celebratory dances).

Right now, the story is still a jumbled pile of dialogue fragments, plot elements, and characters that could stay or leave at any moment.  I might be changing my heroine’s name, since Sadie doesn’t really fit who she is now (and who she becomes).  I honestly don’t know how many character this story will end up having, how all the plot details are going to work out, or even if the title will stay the same.  Some of my notes and prep-work will deal with those issues, but I want to leave some things vague in my mind, at least for now.  Half the fun of writing is not knowing exactly what’s going to come next.  And NaNo is all about plunging in with a few notes and winging it till the end (you could go the whole detailed notes way, but in my opinion, spontaneity is best when it comes to NaNo).  Take a look at some of the bits and pieces I have swirling around in my mind pretty much non-stop now…

  • what does it feel like to be blind?
  • Sadie’s new name…check out baby name websites.
  • they need to dance in the rain.
  • Archer and Ed are awesome brothers.
  • does Sadie need a sister?
  • what about another girl in the plot – sort of a love triangle thing?
  • if there’s a love triangle in here, I don’t want it to be dumb.
  • lots of letters exchanged before Archer goes blind – reason for that?

I honestly can’t wait to dive back into a story that I’ve only scratched the surface of so far and I’m excited to share in the journey of both Our Story, Our Year and NaNo itself with you, my lovely readers.  Join me?



Posted by on August 16, 2014 in nanowrimo, our story/year, writing


plot bunny #3: our story, our year

link to Pinterest board here.

This story has been sitting in my brain for months (ever since I started collaborating on it with my dear friend, Sierra), and I’ve recently been given permission to work on it myself, so I rethought the whole premise (the main character falling in love with the reader) and discovered that I wasn’t ready to go into speculative fiction like that, so it’s turned itself into a more normal YA light romance novel.  I think I’ll have a lot of fun writing it whenever I get around to doing so, because it’s a lot brighter and happier than most of my story ideas.  Basically, this girl, Sadie, and her older sister, Dawn are orphans.  Sadie works part-time in a coffee shop (she and Dawn share an apartment, so that’s her contribution to the finances).  She frequents a used bookstore, and comes across this guy named Archer and his brother Ed in it one day.  She and Archer clearly like each other, but then Archer gets into a car accident and goes blind.  Most of the novel revolves around the repercussions of the accident and how love can still grow under the most difficult circumstances (that’s a wayyy oversimplified version of it, but this kind of thing is supposed to be simple, so…).  And here is Ze Snippet.

I stand in front of the old bookstore – Ye Olde Bookshoppe. I pull my winter coat more tightly around me as the wind whistles around the corner of the shop. I really shouldn’t be standing around out here, staring up at the antique sign and waiting for who knows what.
I step inside quickly and am greeted by the familiar tinkle of the bell set to go off when the door opens. The comfortable smell of musty old books greets me. There are hundreds of books stacked in great heaps on both levels of the store. I glance around, ready to make some new friends and meet some old ones – literary friends, that is.
Something makes me pause. The unfamiliar smell of food – hamburgers and fries, my sense of smell informs me – wafts across the close, stale air. Mrs Hudson, the proprietress of the bookstore, never eats in here and so, more than a little curious, I follow my nose.
It leads me straight to the front desk, the desk that’s usually covered with even more stacks of books, although these are mostly rare first editions, complimentary bookmarks, a few scattered business cards and several pencils and pens.
But now all the clutter is cleared away, the precious books are in a glass case under lock and key and there are two burger wrappers gracing the top of the desk along with a mostly empty milkshake cup and some bits of French fry. Sitting behind the desk is a young guy, probably close to my age, with dark hair and light blue eyes.
He looks up. “Oh! Um…can I help you?” he asks, trying to hide embarrassment under the guise of assumed professionalism. He looks nice enough but my main question is – what are you doing here?
“No, not really. It’s just-”
“Really. I can help you find a book if you want.”
“I thought Mrs Hudson was here?”
“No. Mom retired a few weeks ago. She left the store to me and my brother,” he explains. “You caught me on lunch break.”
“Oh, I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be. I was basically done anyway.” He grins.
“I see you’ve cleaned up all the mess,” I say.
“That was actually my brother. He’s sort of obsessive-compulsive about cleanliness. I’m more relaxed about it.” He laughs, waving his hand around to pull my attention to the wrappers and empty containers.
“I can see that. Well, I’m going to browse around.”
“Sure. And seriously, let me know if you need any help.” I nod. “And now I’d better get all of this cleaned up before he sees it.”
Leaving Mrs Hudson’s rather quirky son to clean up the mess from his lunch, I move deeper into the back of the bookstore, toward the classic books. I’m planning to purchase a few more Jane Austen books and Great Expectations if I can find them.
And then another guy materializes seemingly out of nowhere.
“Hi,” I say, not sure who he is. There’s a slight resemblance between him and the guy back at the desk so… “You must be, um, Mrs Hudson’s other son, right?”
He nods. “My name’s Archer.”
I hold out my hand, and he shakes it. “I’m Sadie.”
Archer nods, and then says, “So you’ve met Ed?”
So that’s his name. “Only a few moments ago. I didn’t know you were actually here.”
“Yeah, I spend most of my time inventorying and classifying the books. Mom left everything in a real mess so it’s a 24/7 job. I’ve got the comics and classics sorted out so far – now I’m moving on to biographies.”
I notice the three books in his hands. Jane Austen: A Life, Queen Elizabeth I – The Virgin Queen and Victor Hugo: Life Of France’s Leading Author.
“Don’t let me keep you from your work,” I say.
“Oh, it’s time for my break,” he replies. “Actually, thanks for coming here when you did. I work through my lunch break all the time, so the interruption was useful.” He gives me a warm smile. Genuine. The kind of smile that makes me want to smile back. So I do.
“See you later,” I say, as he disappears back up the narrow aisle, toward the front entrance.
He turns for a moment and wave. I find myself hoping that I’ll see him again.

I quite like it.  You?


P.S. I finished No Greater Love today.  Please don’t ask…


will you join in our crusade?

Anne-girl, over at Scribblings Of My Pen & Tappings Of My Keyboard is hosting her third annual June Crusade.  I didn’t participate in last year, or the one before that, because I wasn’t all that into writing, but this I’m definitely going to be.  She always has a unique challenge for each of her crusades, and this year it will be plot bunnies (hence, the blog button above).  Yes, indeedy, those pesky little things that worm their way into our current works-in-progress, our hearts, and our minds.  But this June, instead of trying to push them away, I’ll be fully embracing them.  I’m not going to go over the rules, or any such things, since it’s all very neatly laid out in her blog post.  I’ve calculated that I’ll have to do a plot bunny every four days or so, and that won’t be a problem for me.  I’ll be posting about my progress as I go along, and I highly encourage all of you to join in this challenge.  It’ll be tons of fun.
P.S. The reason I haven’t been posting lately is because I’m nearing the end of No Greater Love and I don’t. want. to. talk. about. it.  Please bear with me, and I’ll try to get you an update soonish.

my other projects

I’ve pretty much talked exclusively about the Vengeance Is Mine trilogy on this blog, ever since I started it, and I thought it would be good to let all of you know a little bit about my other writing projects.  I have thousands of ideas, of course, but only three of them (other than VIM) have really captured my interest and become full-blown projects.  All of these are on hold right now, since I’m not the kind of writer who can channel their energy into more than one writing project at a time.  However, each one of them is dear to my heart, so I felt they deserved a post of their own.

{Legends Of Anthorn Trilogy}


a medieval trilogy set in a fictitious country. two women – one a princess, the other a noblewoman and their fight for love and life itself.

The first book in this trilogy (which I still haven’t found a name for) was the first novel I ever wrote and as such, it will always have special place in my memory.  Reading it now, I fully understand the meaning of what I’ve read in so many books on writing – “Your first novel will be terrible, at least to some extent, because it’s the novel you learn to write with”.  It will need major editing if I ever go back to it (which, at this point in time doesn’t look likely) and I haven’t even started the next book, but I still want to return to the series some day.  I do love the characters, and I believe the story holds some merit.  I pull out the first book’s Word document ever so often and read bits of it.  When I do return to it, I’m definitely editing book 1 before I go on, or else there will be major continuity issues.  And that’s never good.
{Celtic Fire}

a fiery irish princess, twins, death, destruction, betrayal, /two/ heroes, and a secret that can solve – or destroy – everything.

I haven’t started writing this book (mostly because of VIM) but the idea has completely captured me.  It was originally going to have time travel and dystopia in it, but now I think I’m going to make it be ancient Celtic all the way throughout.  It’ll mean a lot of research but since Scotland and Ireland are two of my biggest passions (and, by the way, I looked it up and the whole Celtic thing belongs to both countries, in a way) that probably won’t come under the category of work at all.  Right now I don’t really have a plot, or even characters, just a lot of elements thrown together that I’m hoping will bring a plot to mind when I get serious about this.  I do know that it’s going to have twin girls in it, and their names are Eithne and Cawthra.  That’s all I know.  I’ll probably do a Q&A with myself at some point to figure out everything I need to know.
{Our Story, Our Year}


we’ve all fallen in love with literary characters. but what if the character fell in love with you?

This is a collaboration project (with Sierra Bailey) and though many things inspired it, the two biggest were a) a post that was going around tumblr/Pinterest saying ‘someone should write a post where the main character falls in love with the reader’ and b) our love of collaborating together on projects.  We’re writing it in diary format, second person, with an entry for each day of the year, but we’ve kept many details vague so that the reader really feels as though they’re ‘living’ in the book.  OSOY is written for a girl’s perspective, but we’re also considering doing one for boys as well.  I smile every time I think of this project.  We’ve not been writing anything lately, because we’re both working on big projects right now, but it always stays in the back of my mind.  Hopefully, we can get to it sooner rather than later.