Jess Nickelsen: Discombobulated
January 18, 2019 - a summer catch-up

lifeholidaysfamilykidslost souls

It’s been a big summer! School finished for the Moo a week or so before Christmas last year, and she’s still got a few more weeks until Term 1 starts for the new year. It’s been an intense time, what with the build-up for my birthday, then Xmas, New Year, a week’s trip to stay with my aunt and uncle (and my cousins and their kids) in Gisborne, and now we have the big build-up for Leila’s 6th birthday.

There really hasn’t been much writing.

That’s okay, I think. I wasn’t expecting to get any done, and so I have pretty much just put everything on the back burner this summer. I’ve tried to give some focus to some of my other hobbies and interests, that in turn had been put on the backburner for a chunk of last year, and it’s been pretty fun giving them the time they deserve. I’ve been developing film, baking, knitting, doing heaps of sewing, reading light fluff, and playing computer games. I feel pretty refreshed, to be honest.

Even better, I’m feeling really motivated to get writing again. I’ve got some concrete plans for 2019, and I’m really excited about making these things happen.

Number one on the list is to finish my Felathia novel rewrite. This is the book that I’ve been working on for (in my opinion) far too long. I finished the first draft at the end of 2017, and spent a lot of 2018 scratching my head and trying to figure out why it wasn’t working for me. When I finally gave in to the sneaking suspicion that a full rewrite was what I needed to do, the work went reasonably quickly, though I did need to give it the NaNoWriMo injection” at the end of last year. The rewrite is sitting on around 102,000 words right now, and I’m estimating there might be another 10-15 k needed to wrap things up. Then I’m going to take some time out and plan the sequel (which is already taking shape in my mind), as well as a time-travel novel idea that’s been plaguing me for a good few years now as well.

After that I’ll go back through and edit in earnest. Cut the word count down, get things in readable shape so I can pass it on to some of the people in my writing group who have offered to Beta read it for me. And then… hopefully I will be busy working on book #2 (whether it is the sequel or the time travel book, I haven’t decided), but the plan is to definitely have Felathia either doing the rounds, being sent out to commercial publishers, or indie published. Either way, I’ll be so happy to tie up all those loose ends of this novel’s journey, and send it out into the world.

The Lost Souls anthology is officially out (and has been for a bit, I just have been remiss on letting you know) and for sale. I’m still waiting for my copy so can’t comment on, well, anything, but I’ve seen other anthologies by Flame Tree Publishing and they look beautiful. I really like the way they have incorporated new gothic” (including yours truly) and classic.

Writing goals aside, I’d also really like to make this year my year of yoga,” by which I mean I actually step outside my door and do some regular classes. At the end of last year I was going to some hot yoga classes with my friend Conny, but found the last one I went to made me nauseated. I think I may just stick with cold” yoga, of which there seem to be a good few local classes. I just want to get out there.

Anyway, it’s been a good summer so far. Gisborne was hot (31 degrees) and we swam a lot and snoozed and went for bush walks and strolled around the arboretum. Leila hung with a gang of cousins and she had a great time. I’m getting a little organised in the house (not full Marie Kondo, but Leila and I did manage to do a fab job on her room) and can’t wait to hit the study next.

I’m also planning on getting back to the blog with more regular posting. Back in October I had hit social media overload and all I wanted to do was to switch off. It felt good, and with NaNoWriMo taking up most of my time, it was pretty easy to just pretend none of it existed :)