Writing Journal


This week was a bit hectic for writing, what with it being so close to Christmas. I was seriously behind on my studying too, so I had to prioritise – hence I didn’t do a lot this week. HOWEVER.

This week I wrote somewhere into the region of 7000 words, which I’m dead pleased with, thanks in no small part to a mammoth writing session in my local library yesterday afternoon. I also managed to complete my week’s writing goal, which was pretty sweet.

Last week’s writing challenge: Write the final chapters.

I totally wrote them. I hate the prologue, and I’m not sure about the content and pacing of the chapters, but that’s a problem for first-draft editing. I also started work on the few chapters I wanted to slot into earlier parts of the story, so it’s all starting to come together.

With that in mind, let’s set a new writing challenge, shall we:

This week’s writing challenge: Complete draft 0.5

In other words, finish off the few remaining chapters to give me a complete story, by the end of the week. Then I can have a week or so off, and then I start the monumental task of editing!! Scary stuff!

Writing Journal


This week was not productive – I failed to do any writing until today, which obviously wasn’t ideal. Fortunately, today was extremely productive.

So today, I took myself off to my local library (woo!) and sat with my laptop and wrote for about 5 hours, with periodic breaks to browse Twitter and procrastinate.

I managed to get three full chapters finished, which means I beat last weeks challenge (which was 2 chapters). That means that I have roughly 3 chapters to finish the book, and then a few to slot in during editing. About 6 or 7 in total. So I think I’m on my way to getting a draft done by the end of the year – but it might be draft 0.5 rather than a proper first draft.

This week’s writing challenge: Write the final chapters.

Writing Journal



(This was supposed to be posted a week ago, but apparently it didn’t! OMG!)

The end is in sight! Or, it was until I moved the goalposts.

My NaNo project only has 10 chapters left for me to write, which is somewhere in the region of 15-20k words, which sounds like a heck of a lot if I’m honest. Then I’ll have to go through chapter by chapter, refining and rewriting and hopefully, I’ll have the first draft and I can let people see it. Or not.

Also, I’m going to be setting myself goals in the future. Little manageable writing tasks for me to complete over the course of the week, and I’ll be keeping a record of if I manage to complete them. So in that spirit, here is my first goal:

Goal: Write 2 chapters / 3000ish words

Writing Journal


This week has, by comparison, been pretty lacklustre for writing things. It’s hard to go from ‘I won NaNoWriMo’ last week to anything – it just doesn’t match up. But what can you do?

I sat down the other day and replotted my book in an attempt to plug a handful of areas that I don’t think are developed enough. I’ve slotted in a few extra chapters in strategic places and started plotting things I need to add when I run through it again.

I’ve only got a handful of chapters left to write before the story itself is complete, which is tremendously exciting. I’m setting myself an arbitrary deadline since NaNo seemed to be so helpful.

My goal is to complete my first draft by the end of the year! After that, I’ll let my buddies read it and then cry when they hate it.

Writing Journal


This week has been totally mad for writing, I’ve been crazy busy, chipping away at the total every day and I’m now so close to beating my first ever NaNoWriMo – it’s all very exciting.

My writing itself has taken a bit of an unexpected turn. My two main characters are now turning in to explorations of my own mind, in terms of mental health, sexuality and relationships. It’s interesting, but at the same time massively freaky to confront some stuff that is really massive for me. Even if the writing itself turns out as junk, it will have been worth doing just to explore my own mind.

As I said I am dangerously close to beating Nano. If you keep in all the planning for final chapters then I’ve already beaten it, but if you remove them I am sitting at exactly 48,000 (which was intentional I’m afraid). So I should beat the challenge by the end of the week, preferably by tomorrow if I’m lucky.

Anyway, here’s my updated stats.


Writing Journal


I’m a little late in writing this, but oh well, I’m sure you can forgive me.

This week has been crazy productive for my writing. I am, mercifully, still way ahead of my required word count, and chapters keep getting added as I go – hopefully the rest will all be fairly short to balance things out.

My writing content seems to be taking a very unexpected approach. Chapter 6 took a really deep emotional turn for me, as I found myself writing a romance and exploring a lot of themes to do with mental health and physical intimacy. The chapter I wrote today, was frankly harrowing, and I’m going to need to get someone to check it through to make sure it’s not grossly inappropriate. Big issues keep coming up, and it’s a little scary.

Anyway, here are my stats for the week.


Writing Journal


So week 1 of NaNoWriMo 2018 is over and it’s been awesome.

The first two days I had no computer, so I did no writing what-so-ever. Fortunately, I’d already written about 2.5k in planning, so it didn’t take much effort to catch up on day 3.

Since then, I have been managing to keep up with the pace – 1667 words a day – and I’m really pleased, especially considering that I struggled with 500 a day during September! I’ve even managed to do more than that the last couple of days.

Finally, I wrote a first-draft of a short story, based on a queer bookish fantasy, which you can read here: Short Story: SHE (Draft)

Hopefully, I’ll be able to keep the pace for next week. Anyway, here are my stats for the week.


Short Story: SHE (Draft)

So I was rambling through twitter as I do most days, and somebody made a post talking about how much they would love to have a queer write-in involving cuddles and pillow forts. On the one hand it made me happy, it’s a lovely thought, and something I’d totally love. On the other, it was sad, since very few queer folk have that sort of local support network to facilitate that sort of thing.

Anyway, I thought it might be super awesome if a bunch of bookish queers wrote their personal bookish fantasies (as long as they are safe for work) and we could maybe put a book together or something. Or not, I’m getting a bit ahead of myself.

Long story short, I wrote a short story of a bookish fantasy, to see what people think. Keep in mind it’s a first draft, and also that I am a terrible, terrible author. So here is my first draft (unedited and probably littered with errata) of what I’m temporarily calling SHE.


She had first meets Dalia at work, they click immediately, their shared love of artisanal teas and books providing many an opportunity for conversation. She is Buddhist, Dalia is Muslim, sharing their faith becomes something to bond over.  Dalia is non-binary, femme aligned, the only other trans person She has ever met.

Dalia is open about their identity. She hides it, stealth. But She shares with Dalia. She tells Dalia of Her isolation, Her lack of queer friends. Dalia invites Her to a reading group at their house, it seems rude to refuse. Bring an e-reader, says Dalia. She wonders why.

Wednesday shift comes and goes, anxiety building. She hasn’t visited someone’s house since school. She heads home to prepare herself, body and soul. She picks and outfit, skinny jeans, pink converse high tops, a sweater with a beagle on it. Seven cups of coffee to fight the building nerves.

Anxiety takes over, She isn’t going. It’s too much. Her roommate intervenes. You were excited, you have to go. Text me if you need to. She is pushed out of the door, She is happy for the assist.

She takes the bus, number 7, a 20 minute ride to Dalia’s house. She hovers down the road a ways, building the courage. She paces, fighting herself. Courage wins out, She knocks on the door.

Dalia greets Her warmly, a quick hug and a kiss on each cheek. Dalia leads Her through the kitchen, to a room at the back of the house. The others are in here, Dalia says.

The room is dimly lit, scented candles dotted around the room, lavender and winter berries. A machine in the corner projects coloured bubbles, swirling and blending in the ceiling. Soft music plays in the background. Jiang Xiao-Qing’s Breathing Spaces, so Dalia says. The room feels calm; She is anything but.

There are armchairs, bean bags and a 3 seater sofa. Bookshelves line one wall, packed with books, worn out paperbacks and leather bound hardbacks. A large Kandinsky print hangs on another wall, flanked by a smaller Van Gogh and a signed photograph of a popular children’s author.

Dalia introduces the other readers:

Taylor, a blonde haired trans guy sits in one corner on a large bean bag. He is on the chubby side with a handsome face. He sits holding hands with his partner, Troy.

Troy is agender and uses they/them pronouns. He wears a beautifully crocheted kippah, which She admires.. Troy notices and smiles. A gift from my sister, they say.

Kira is gender fluid, presenting female today,

her red skater dress fits like a glove, her fishnet stockings appeal. She uses xi/xyr pronouns.

Raj is a trans man, his dark eyes sparkle in

the candle light. She thinks he is brave to wear a skirt. The colour suits him.

Ivy sits on one end of the sofa, she is pretty, but seems uncomfortable. She says very little, buries herself in her reading.

She is useless with names, but good with faces. They seem friendly, but she still worries.

She is welcomed to the group enthusiastically, verbally, but nobody moves. They look up from their e-readers and smile politely, each introducing themselves in turn.

Dalia offers Her drink, hot chocolate or herbal tea. She takes a hot chocolate, milky with whipped cream. It is delicious. She stirs the cream into Her drink and inhales it’s scent. Cinnamon! The steam fogs Her glasses.

She takes a seat cautiously in a corner, hiding Herself away due to nerves. She pulls Her hood up over Her head, sips Her drink and looks around the room. The others seem comfortable, engrossed in their reading. Their faces lit up by their screens and the sporadic light of candles. She takes Her e-reader from Her satchel. The nearest girl, Ivy – whose name she has shamefully forgotten already – comments how she loves the case. She thanks her, She found it on online. She returns the compliment, I like your dress. Ivy dismisses the comment playfully. She can think of nothing to say so they each return to reading.

The room is cold. It’s winter and the house is old and drafty. She shivers a little. Raj, who sits nearby, asks Kira to pass over a blanket, which xe does. Raj offers Her the blanket. She accepts with a smile. She apologises, his name is forgotten. He reminds Her and She thanks him again. He offers to fetch Her another drink, but She turns it down, She doesn’t wish to impose. They both return to their books.

Sporadic giggling is heard from across the room, ending in a spectacular laugh. Everyone turns to Kira, awaiting an explanation. Kira reads a brief extract for the book xe is reading. They all laugh heartily. Even She laughs although She is reserved about it. Kira insists xe’ll switch books, xe doesn’t want to disturb. The others don’t hold xyr to this, but xe does it anyway.

The readers engross themselves in their books, periodically getting up to use the toilet or refresh their drinks. She gets a text from Her roommate. How is it? She excuses herself to the bathroom. She texts back. It’s a little weird. Weird but nice. Cosy. Have you spoken to anyone? Sort of. What are you doing now?. I’m in the bathroom. Stop texting me and get back in there!

She flushes for appearances sake and leaves the bathroom. She runs into the Dalia, hovering in the kitchen. Dalia asks Her to help out for a moment. Dalia takes a chocolate cake from the fridge, plates and forks from the cupboards. Dalia asks Her to carry it through. Dalia announces to the group that there is cake for those who want it. She assures everyone that it’s gluten free and vegan so everyone can enjoy it. Kira and Raj cheer.

The cake is placed on a side table, and everyone except Taylor takes a slice. The cake is good. Really good. Light and moist and sweet. They eat with smiles on their faces. Kira asks what everyone is reading. The conversation is animated.. Everyone sharing and revelling in their shared passion for literature. She says nothing, just listens to the conversation for a while.

Soon, She is asked what She is reading. She nervously responds, a little embarrassed, a romance novel. Ivy beams, she loves, loves, loves the author. The others ask good questions, but remind Her that She needn’t answer if She feels uncomfortable. Their considerate nature helps her feel calmer. Her confidence builds a little and the discussion continues. She has forgotten all the names but uses the opportunity to learn them anew.

They each have another slice of cake. Troy persuades Taylor to try it – he says it’s pretty good, despite being gluten free and vegan.

Another drinks round is made – camomile teas all round – and everyone settles back into their books. They read for some time, whispered conversations picking up here and there. It becomes clear that the Taylor and Troy are reading the same book. She wants to know more and plucks up the courage to ask them about it. The boys are happy to talk and invite Her to pull up a bean bag, which she does.

They sit, wrapped in blankets quietly talking about the book. As it transpires, She has read something by the author, or maybe She knew her through twitter. The three agree they should try reading another book by the same author together at the next meetup. She is amazed – She absent mindedly agreed to come back. It felt good. Comforting. The offer is extended to the rest of the group. Raj says he will consider it. The others already have lists of things to get through so they won’t if they don’t mind, which of course they don’t.

The Boys return to their reading and She makes a note on Her phone to buy the book when She gets home. She returns to Her seat on the sofa. Dalia sits down between Her and Ivy. Dalia says this is the first time Ivy has been around other people while presenting female. Ivy says she was incredibly nervous about it all, but the others have been super nice. Dalia gets up and says she’ll leave them to it. Ivy moves over to sit next to Her.

She recalls how hard it was for Her when She started questioning and they talk quietly about that. It makes Her feel good and Ivy seems happy. Ivy asks if it would be OK to text Her some time and ask Her some questions. She is nervous, but is happy to be asked. They swap numbers and return to their reading. Each leaning into each other a little, their arms resting against each other. She feels Ivy’s head leaning gently against Her. It makes Her happy.

An hour or so later, a bell starts to chime, signalling the scheduled end to the group. Everyone begins to pack up, the lights go on, the candles are snuffed out and the room is tidied. Everyone helps and the cleaning is finished quickly.

Before everyone leaves, Kira mentions the group chat She is welcome to join. She readily agrees. Raj and Troy offer to add Her as a friend on social media. They hope to see Her next time.

The group shuffle out in clumps. On the way out, Ivy asks if She would be comfortable with a hug. She agrees, and they hug. She is small and smells good. Ivy asks if She will be back next time, and She nods enthusiastically. Ivy wraps her scarf around her head and walks away waving.

She is left with Dalia, who asks how She felt. It was fun, I didn’t know what to expect, but it was really nice. She smiles, glad She made the effort

She leaves feeling good. The whole week She has a warm glow. She joins the group chat, and they laugh about books and queer stuff and silly shows. She texts constantly with Ivy, who is starting to present female in public. They meet during the week for coffee in a bookshop. They share a brief kiss as they part. They will meet again next Wednesday. She lies in Her bed, warmth and happiness swirling through Her body.

Wednesday can’t come fast enough.



Note: Please don’t steal my work, I worked hard on it.

Writing Journal


If you have found your way to my little blog, then you are probably at least fairly bookish, and I you probably know what next month means. But if you don’t I’ll briefly explain.

It’s #NaNoWriMo2018 somebodies!

If you don’t know what that that means, it stands for National Novel Writing Month! Where writers from across the spectrum go hell-for-leather and try to turn out a first draft of a brand new story – 50,000 words in the course of a month. It’s CRAZY, so obviously I’d be stupid not to try, right?

As such, I thought I’d make a little writing journal as I go along.

So anyway, here’s a little bit of info about the story I’m working on!

Check out this smexy front cover I made!

Tennessee is living out of his car. He’s got no money, no job, no friends and no hope. Then he takes a phone call that changes his life for ever. A delivery goes horrible, catastrophically wrong and Tennessee finds himself running from the law, and captured by a suspicious group who have mistaken him for his twin brother.

What follows is a tale of magic, murder and mayhem. It will hopefully be action packed and most importantly all kinds of queer!

So we’ll see how that goes.

Anyway, you can keep track of my progress here: Link to nanowrimo.org – if you’re thinking of taking the challenge yourself, add me as a buddy (I’m on as RagdollReads), I’d love some encouragement and competition!