A good week

Why is it that not every week is a good week? Why am I super productive during holidays and the equivalent of a potato during the school weeks?

I sincerely don’t get it! (It’s probably the emotional rest I get during holidays…)

 

In the past week alone I have…

Written an editorial calendar for July-Sept

I have written 7 blog posts (that’s one a day!)

Written my professional bio.

Arranged to write 2 guest posts

Scheduled my posts 2-3 weeks in advance

Got exercise! (so sore)

Wrote 5-7 flash fiction pieces

Went to a doctor for checkups

Practiced driving (I’m getting good)

Made an interesting lunch for 7 family members

 

 

Seriously why am I not this productive during the school weeks when I need to be (again it’s probably emotional energy)

 

 

I’m actually thinking of spring cleaning my room which is only something I do when I have *gasp* time.

 

Alright so now that I’ve bragged ranted about my week I should probably get back to it so I can bring you good content.

I’m going to clean my room and while I’m at it I’ll think of ways to make this energy stretch through to next week when school starts again.

Wish me luck

How I incorporated Mythology into my book.

Mythology in writing
Just earlier today I posted this post on Banshees from the Irish mythology but I figured I could also share how I incorporated this into my story.

In falling for Pink my main character Peggy McCarthy is a banshee which means that her scream heralds death.

But the thing is that when I started planning this story I wasn’t really sure where she gets this power from – I wasn’t exactly planning to use mythology.
So my first piece of planning for Peggy was how she looks.
Peggy is a 17 year old girl with pale skin and bright pink hair. She wears pastels or large sweaters. She wears a lot of armbands on her arms and occasionally she covers her pink hair with a beanie.

This does not sound like the pail ghosts that Banshees are sometimes described as.
So when I started researching banshees I latched onto the idea that they can shape shift. They are rumoured to be seen in three different ways – the young woman, the matron and the hag.
The stories also say that they only come out at night and that they hide in the forests.
All this came down to me as a mentality of hiding.
Banshees want to be hidden. The shape shifting is just something they do to hide.

 

So this worked perfectly for me because Peggy is an insecure girl who wants to hide. She has this voice of fear telling her to hide and run.
Peggy can’t shape shift in this book though.
I had to ask if you are a 17 year old monster who always feel like hiding, why the hell would you dye your hair bright pink?
The answer is so people don’t see the real you. People only look at her pink hair and ear piercings, which means that no one looks close enough to notice that she’s a monster.

 

My second problem was that I didn’t actually want Peggy’s scream to kill people, so I wove a reason, for her powers to be a bit duller, into her family lines.
Peggy is a half breed. Her mother was a banshee and her father was one of the people that her mother was supposed to haunt.
Her parents fell in love and raised Peggy together.

This fit like a glove because it explained why she can’t shape shift as well. Her whole Banshee side has been thinned out because her father is one of the very people that the banshees haunt.

This also leaves Peggy without anyone to haunt which is why she can live where she wants to and not have to follow anyone around.

 

The final thing of banshee lore that I added was her surname. If her father is from one of the families her mother had to haunt then there is a specific group of surnames that I could choose from.
So I chose the surname McCarthy which fit her name well, and also fit in with the rest of my story.

 

Do you think this works? Are there any more theories that you think I could add, or a question you would like to ask?

I really loved writing this story and I hope you will love reading it one day.

The Irish mythology known as the Banshee

Okay let’s talk mythology.

 

Irish mythology_ banshees

 

On to draft 2 of my story Loving Pink and I once again had to revisit my research on Irish mythology to make sure I have all my facts right.
To those of you who don’t know in my paranormal romance novel the main character, Peggy McCarthy, is a banshee.

 

Banshees are a very popular Irish Myth, and basically they would be described as Female spirits whose song or scream is a sign that someone is going to die.

 

Physically they have been described in many different ways over the years.

Some people say that they are gorgeous pale ghosts with white hair. Yet other times they are described as horribly ugly old hags.
They have also been described as plain washerwoman who looks much like everyone else but the clothes they wash have blood on it.
A common theory is that they are shape shifters that can transform from being a beautiful young maiden, to a mother, to a hag.

 

There are also conflicting stories for where they can be found.

Some of the more plain versions say that the banshees are found in Irish forests.
The more common myth though is that banshees follow certain Irish families around. They haunt the families, mark the deaths with their voices and then take care of the deceased spirits.
These families are of Goidelic origins which means that they are decedents of natives of Ireland and not decedents of the English, Norse or Norman invaders

 

With so many conflicting stories though, the question of the banshee’s origin is often lifted.

Where does the myth of Banshees come from?

There are strong beliefs that the myth of Banshees come from the traditional Irish keeners – who are woman that sing a lament over someone who died.
You can clearly see how the banshees and the keening woman can be connected. Except where the keeners sing after the death the banshee sings before the death; thus heralding that it will happen.

 

This has been really awesome topic for me to research and to bend a little to fit my story.
It’s really interesting to me, and it’s the reason why Ireland is at the top of my travel list.
If I have any facts wrong feel free to tell me, because I’ve only found all this out over the internet anyway 😛

(My top source: Irish Celtic Jewels) Read it for more information.

 

If you like this post please share or comment, I would love to hear what you think about banshees.

 

The creative process #3 : Practice and improve

Creative life #3

While I’m writing this, I am sitting on my friend’s bed after finishing reading a book. I’m a whole town away from home and I have no homework or day job here.
I only have a friend and books.

I like it here.

 

So for the first time in two weeks I feel inspired to write a blog post on the topic of being creative again.
So to continue on with the creative life series let me share with you how important it is to practice and improve.

 

The creative process step 3: practice and improve.

We started off by gathering inspiration, then we copied a bunch of other artists but right now we need to practice and improve our art.

Start with taking a look at something you created recently. It could be anything from a poem to a dance routine. Examine it and notice if there is anywhere you can improve. Think according to all the little rules you’ve picked up from other artists and compare yours to “the standard”
The standard by the way it how good other artists are.
Look at how your art differs from theirs and ask if you want to keep it like that or change it.

(disclaimer: I’m not saying you need to completely copy someone else and lose your individuality. I’m just telling you to honestly try and improve your work.)

 

Now that you know what you want to change – change it. If you can, keep both the old and the new version.
I personally like to keep everything I write so when I make changes I create a whole new file on my computer. I hardly ever delete until I’m sure I have the version I want.

 

Step 2: get feedback.

Another important part of improving your art is to get feedback from someone who knows something about your art.
This means you can’t just ask your mum and ask her what she thinks. (sorry mum)
Get it to someone who knows what they’re doing. Preferably get it to someone whose art you admire or someone who you know is better at you in your art.

Ask them questions. Ask them about the things you feel needs to be changed if they agree then you make the change if they don’t agree the choice is up to you. If they dislike something you like honestly think about what they don’t like and ask yourself if they are correct. No being personal at this stage. You need to ask yourself if your art will be better or worse without the thing they dislike and make the change yourself.

 

Now this is a process you repeat constantly.
You create. You get feedback. You improve. You create again but better.

 

I hope this was helpful to you. I hope to bring the last part which is all about creating original content out soon enough.

Sneak preview into my work in progress.

 

I know that I should publish a creative life post but unfortunately I haven’t written it yet…

 

Sneak preview

 

I’m not going to make any excuses but to make it up to you I will give you a little bit of insights into my current work in progress High Queen.

Currently the story only has about two scenes written and is still poorly planned but what I can share with you is some world building.

 

A long time ago the Caeli people were at war with each other. The five different kingdoms all battled for as much ground as they could. They never got along, they never compromised and they never shared.

Eventually though a great enemy came in from the coast and faced with sudden destruction the Caeli kingdoms joined together. Alliances were formed and after a massive battle the enemy was banished.

The king who killed the enemy was then announced the High King and the other kings swore to serve under his rule. This Kingship system is still the governing system in place – and the High King’s heirs are still on the throne. This new great Kingdom is called Caelum.

With so many years past, details of the enemy had been lost, but rumours have it that it is held captive somewhere in the massive forest which grows next to the capital city.

The fear of it is what drove the citizens to start painting protective marks on their house walls and the city’s streets. They claim that the markings can keep the old enemy away.

Despite the fact that a large amount of people simply believe this is superstition they still paint – which leaves the capital city one of the brightest places to live as layers and layers of paint have been used to create these patterns.

Since the ancient times, the Caeli have turned their eyes outwards and made alliances with the surrounding nations.
These surrounding nations include the giants, the humans, the pixies and the pirates (fancy names still need to be created)

 

 

This series is going to start with the newest High Queen, Aster who has to face a monster that may or may not have snuck out of the forest. Her only help is the shy young Lord Nickolas and the Princess Flam whose mother is bent on dethroning Aster. But then you can’t always choose your friends can you?

 

That’s the small sneak view that I can give you today. Please let me know if you like the idea of the story so far and then I’ll post again on Friday (or Saturday because I’m tardy)

 

Finished with draft 2!

It’s 11:30 pm and I just finished with the second draft of Falling for Pink and I’m just so excited about this!
I literally sat down read it from beginning to end after not touching it in over a month and fixed any spelling errors or plot holes that I came across.

 

The amazing thing is that I have been putting this off because I’ve been sure that it’ll be bad – and I was honestly surprised. Especially by my characters who I thought where going to be figurative garbage.
They weren’t and it’s like I got to know them again for the first time. This time I wasn’t focusing on if they are consistent as characters but instead I simply read it and hoped that how they feel authentic.

 

If you asked me a month ago to describe Peggy the main character I would have said she was insecure, slightly pathetic but at least she tries… sounds stupid right but while I have always loved writing Peggy I was certain that this was the case and that no one would ever want to read about her.
Now I’ve reread the story and actually got to witness Peggy and not write her my mood about her changed completely.
She’s funny and romantic and gutsy when she feels like it. Yes she’s insecure but that’s a massive part of what the book is based on and I don’t feel like it makes her less of a character. She’s awkward but not afraid to call people out and I absolutely love her.

 

Benjamin the love interest has also been completely misunderstood by me – his creator.
A month ago I would have said he was respectable, confident, and even headed. BOY would I have been lying.
Benjamin King is a rebel, and a bit of a moody teenager. He’s a flirt and a goof but he has morals even if he takes unconventional ways to reach them. More than just that he literally does not care about other people’s nonsense. He rolls his eyes in the face of danger and I love him almost as much as I love Peggy.

 

 

Here is a quote that I feel just says so much about the couple and is part of the reason I love them.

 

“Do you really think you and I can be a good couple? I mean your parents don’t even know that I’m a banshee, your sister still mostly dislikes me and I’m still not really good at handling people, especially not your aunt,” Peggy said.
Benjamin shrugged.
“It’s not like I’m any better,” he said.
Peggy frowned at him shook her head.
“You’re stubborn, charming, and not at all bad to look at either.”
“And you think you’re not?”
Peggy shrugged. She wasn’t a pretty girl, and she wasn’t aiming to be one either which was why she had piercings and pink hair.
He simply shook his head. “It’s a shame that you don’t see what I see then.”

 

They’re just so cute!
The hard part for me right now is I’m the only fan of this story (because I’m the only one who has read it) so bare with me if I choose to fan girl about it here.

Right now my next step with Pink is to send it off to Beta readers and then I have an editor friend who said she’ll look at it in the holidays. So I’m super excited about this right now and hopefully you’ll be seeing some more inside sneak peeks here.

 

I should probably go to bed but I have this really stupid urge to draw fanart…
Or is it concept art if I’m the writer???

 

Anyway, I can’t wait for you all to read the book hopefully I get someone to read it soon so I can have someone to talk to about it 🙂

A writer’s roots.

 

I always tell people that I started writing at the age of 14 and never stopped. I guess it’s kind of true – that is when I wrote my first novel – but there are a couple of stories I wrote before that though.
For example, I stumbled onto 3 chapters of an unfinished story I wrote at around the age of 9 or ten. My creative mind back then had dubbed this story “The war between life and death”
10 year old I was quite dramatic…
It’s actually a pretty cool story. Aside for the bad writing style, I loved rereading it.

 

Those 800 something words made me smile and realize 3 things.

1. If my mother ever tells you my writing is dark she’s right. If she tells you it hasn’t always been that way, she’s lying.
It seems when I was 10 I was quite capable of killing of two young lovers – in not such nice ways.
2. I also learned that no matter what I say, I have always been writing. I have writing roots that goes back to my days of learning the alphabet, when I simply wrote my name on every surface I could find.
3. I love my own writing – old and new.
I hear writers complain about their first pieces because according to them it’s cringe worthy to read. I have to admit my early writing is far from well written but I still love it; and if “The war between life and death” wasn’t written in Afrikaans I probably would have shared it here like a proud mama with an awkward child.

 

Writing by Enette Venter
I can’t share the story here though, so what I’m going to do is share the gist with you and then you can tell me if you want me to write an English version of this story to share on here. Do we have a deal?

Ok so, it starts out with a fairy and a vampire who had fallen in love and met each other in the woods in secret. There they planted a flower that symbolized their love for one another.
One day the vampire was unknowingly followed by one of his friends, who had noticed his disappearances. This hidden vampire was shocked to see his friend dancing with a fairy in the shade of the forest.
So the hidden vampire watched as his friend pulled the fairy in for a kiss. Unfortunately fairies and vampires are not meant to be, because when they kissed the sun that so adores the fairies shone on the pair and of course no vampire could survive sunlight…
Don’t judge, I was ten…
So the vampire died then and there and while the fairy fell to her knees with grief the hidden vampire snuck out of the woods and killed her in anger. He thought that she had killed his friend on purpose.

(I told you I killed people mercilessly. This was just the prologue)

Okay so the story then continues when one of the fairy’s werewolf friends went looking for her and came across the scene. Along with the fairy’s corpse he found the flower that the fairy and vampire had planted.
Out of this flower, that represented their love a small fairy was born.
This is the main character of my story – who is half fairy, half vampire and raised by werewolves.

The story then goes on when the kid is 10 and explains a little about how the incident had led to a war between the living and the dead. I’m not actually sure what was supposed to happen in the rest of the story because it ended around then.

 

 

I’m fairly certain this story was inspired by the fairytale Thumbelina and a book I had been reading at the time called “Cry of the Icemark”

When I look back now, I really like the idea of her being half fairy, half vampire. I think the other characters would have been hesitant of her and unsure is she will be more vampire or more fairy. I think this could lead to the girl feeling isolated and as her vampire heritage starts setting in she’ll start to fear herself more and more.
I think it could be fun to rewrite (except maybe up her age a little so it’s a YA story)
I would like to be able to play with her persona.

I also kind of wonder how the different races interpret the day when the lovers died. This was the incident that caused the war between the living and the dead so now I wonder how each race would see that event.
The vampires I think would tell how a fairy had seduced one of their own (Presumably he was an important vampire) and then killed him.
The fairies on the other hand would have only found out about it later and so their version doesn’t have to be based off the truth at all. Perhaps they think the vampires had hunted down the fairy and killed her as a message or something…

I can’t really remember what 10 year old me was thinking when I wrote this. I wish I remember because the stupid thing ends on a cliff hanger where the half fairy/vampire kid and her werewolf guardian get captured by humans.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!

(Sorry mum for always leaving you with only half finished stories. I know how you feel now.)

 

 

So anyway I really loved getting back in touch with my writing roots and realizing that I write, not because other people want me to but, because I love my own stories.
I know I sound a little full of myself when I say that but to me writing is a lot like reading because these stories feel separate from me. As if once I put it on paper, it’s no longer a part of me and so I only write to see how the story will look on paper… and I think the story looks pretty.

 

Now the plan is to start publishing a couple of short stories here on the blog and I was wondering if you would like “The war between life and death” to be one of them.
So please let me know if I should rewrite this story so you could read it. I think it might be fun to give it a shot.

Okay I’m off. Thanks for reading and be on the lookout for future short stories.