Draft completed!

Over twenty months after I started the first draft, I finished the third (or fifth, if you count two rewrite attempts that went nowhere) draft of THOSE WHO FAVOUR FIRE last Thursday. I finished it at work, during my lunch. I’m currently fixing the last couple of things that changed during this draft and then it’ll be ready to go to readers. I’m both excited and terrified, but mostly excited!

Such strange search terms…

So like everyone who has a blog, I check my stats constantly regularly. The title of my blog is a paraphrased line from a song: “The Necklace of Marie Antoinette” by Hannah Fury. (A free download of this song, and many others, is available here on her website. Hannah Fury is one of my favourite artists and has been for years–I’ve written a lot of words to her music playing on loop.)

This is part of the song with the line that my blog title comes from:

I’ll make it look like it was meant to be

I’ll make it seem like I was innocent

I’ll make the strychnine taste like raspberry tea

Now, I sometimes forget that having strange blog titles can result in some… interesting search terms. I’ve had this blog since 2007 (I started it on livejournal, then blogspot, and finally I moved it over here where it will hopefully stay). It’s only been since I started following my wordpress stats that I’ve had proof of this.

A few weeks ago someone clicked to here through searching covering strychnine taste. At first I laughed, until I realised a potential reason for that and my laugh turned into a wheeze. Of course there are many other (and non-fatal) reasons for googling such words–how many times have you started typing random things into Google when bored?–and I’m sure many writers have typed the most bizarre “how to kill” questions into over the years. (My latest, and most strange to date, googling was: “Can a window be nailed shut?” It was a plot-related point, I assure you.)

I mentioned this to my housemates, who had a similar reaction of laughing and then wheezing. It led to an interesting conversation about Google in general.

About a week ago, I noticed another odd search term: how to make strychnine. After another moment of, “Oh, not again,” I then thought, “Hmm… how do you make strychnine? I wonder if could I use it in a story…” Ah, the mind of a writer. You can get an idea from the strangest things that collide together. It definitely beat the time I was watching one of my housemates playing Guitar Hero and realised one of my antagonists was actually double-crossing the people who were double-crossing her.

In conclusion: search terms can be very strange and amusing. And hopefully not lead to fatal results.

Blog Award

The lovely Emily Cross gave me a blog award! Which was wonderful and unexpected. She received the award from Corra McFeydon, and the details of it are:

Please accept the ‘Creative Writer Award’ with no strings attached. You can post it within an awards page, sidebar, or new post; you can link it to me and pass it on to writers you know who host writing blogs, or you can simply read this note with my thanks attached and do nothing further. This is just intended as a gesture to further the premise ‘writer’ within ‘blogger.’ I’d love to see more writers acknowledged for the craft! Because we all are writers.

The blogs (and the people who write them, I suppose!) I am passing the award on to are:

Michelle McLean’s Writer Ramblings

Victoria Schwab

Their posts and journeys have been both informative and inspiring to me for a long time now.


The weather has been wretched for the past week or so–our snow is now turning into slush–which put a slight cramp in my writing (taking the laptop outside and potentially slipping would have had… unfortunate results). I have now learned that I can’t make much progress when my housemates are in the house–there are too many distractions not even including the internet.

But now the pavements are no longer deathtraps, so I have been ensconced with my laptop in coffee shops once more! I have also reached all the drama and horrible stuff that leads to the climax, which is all very exciting and means I keep trying to write just a little bit longer. If I manage to write insanely over the next few days, I may even be finished the third draft by Sunday. If not, I will definitely be finished by next week. I can hardly believe it. In some ways, it’s quite terrifying because this will be the draft that people will read and offer opinions on.

And now, in fact, I am off to write some more! I love the happy, dizzy feeling that accompanies nearing the end of a draft.

New year, new start etc.

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas/time off and New Year. Mine was lovely, and I’m pretty excited about 2010. I have a good feeling about it. It’s already a vast improvement on 2009 for many different reasons.

I didn’t write down my New Year’s resolutions last year, but I’m going to this year. I like resolutions and the sense of purpose they bring, the feeling that there is something hopefully solid–if the resolutions are somewhat realistic–to work towards during the year.

My 2010 resolutions are:

  • 1. Start querying the werewolves when the fourth–and hopefully final–draft is ready.
  • 2. Rewrite the steampunk Alice book and hopefully get people to read that.
  • 3. Start writing in a paper diary again.
  • 4. Try to read 150 books. (I reached 76 last year. Not bad, but I can definitely do better.)
  • 5. Walk more, especially now that my student travel card has expired and public transport is expensive again.

What resolutions did any of you decide for this year?