No context, no fear

Reading through my draft novel I suddenly had a bad realisation. I’d left the bad guys out! I have really only written from the point of view of my heroes and adventurers. I had left out my evil characters. In doing so I had inadvertently left out the context in which a reader should fear them in. You cannot fear what you don’t know.

I am now working my way through the novel working into the best areas of the story my evil doers in their worst state possible. Can’t have my future readers not fearing them, would be a rather boring story ­čÖé

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2011 – The year in review

I was so excited for 2011, I really was. I couldn’t wait for the year to come when I was pondering the year that was 2010. Little did I know the huge impact 2011 would have on me personally.

The year started off like any other. Enjoying the beautiful sun with friends during the start of January. I returned to work mid January and was preparing for the huge year of work ahead. Little did I know how much my life would really change.

Being sick

Monday January 17th I was at work and could barely breathe, my chest hurt so much. Walking a few metres had me in a puffing, huffing mess. I went to the emergency department at my local hospital. Testing me they told me my heart had an irregular beat, known as Tachycardia. They sent me home with medication to control it and asked me to follow up with my GP doctor on the Friday.

The Friday 21st of January I turned up at my medical centre only to visit a locem GP doctor, my normal doctor was on holiday. By the time I got to the doctor surgery I was crying. I hadn’t been able to get a park close by. Having no choice I parked where I could and took my time to walk in, resting every 10 metres or so. The doctor saw me and was not happy with my development. She thought that Tachycardia was a symptom not a diagnosis. She told me that she thought I had blood clots. I couldn’t drive anywhere, meaning I had to leave my car behind. They called our local ambulance and I was taken to the main city hospital for further tests.

Safe to say I was a wreck at this stage.

I had to call family to come and pick up the car and meet me in town. I arrived, in an ambulance at the hospital by 10am. I spent the whole day at the hospital having different tests. Around 5.30pm I was diagnosed with a Pulmonary Embolism in the lung, which is a blood clot. It was quite extensive in my left lung. I was given Warfarin, which thins the blood, checked into one of the wards and made to stay for the long weekend.

The more eye opening part of this experience was when the doctor said to me “I’m not sure why you didn’t have more pain, I’m not sure why you didn’t collapse and I’m not sure why you didn’t die”. Nothing like cheating death.

I was discharged from hospital on the following Tuesday and sent home with meds for a week or so.

Birthday and the meaning of life

Having planned a huge birthday party for 2011 in February I had to tone it back. After my sickness I decided to go without alcohol for 6 months while on the medication just to make sure there was no complications. I do however know the best mocktails in Wellington now. ­čÖé

But having a dinner with my close friends was great. If anything I learnt from the year was that family and friends are everything.

New friends and the start of an old passion

In the later weeks of January and February I happened to stumble across a friend on Facebook who was launching her own book 2012: the final revelation. It was the amazing Lisa Flaus. After a bit of an interesting three way conversation between Lisa, myself and a mutual friend Simon we decided to co-write a book together. After a few weeks Lisa told me I should write my own book. The book collaboration kind of fell through but Lisa helped to guide me through writing my own book.

Writing a book had never really been something I had wanted to do. Once Lisa entertained the idea with me it became more something I thought I should have done all along! I set myself the hard goal of writing a first draft of a novel by December 2011!

The following months was filled with work, friends, family and writing.

Awards

In early June I was told the most humbling news ever. I was a finalist in the CIO Awards NZ for the category of Emerging ICT Talent. I was so honored to even be nominated with the 20+ other nominees but to be one of the three finalists was such an honor.

Another trip to the hospital

I had a bit of a scare in June with my health again. I thought that I had the cold. But I had thought that in January so I went up to the hospital to get checked out. After a full day worth of scans and tests they admitted me to hospital with more blood clots.

Luckily for me later in the night I was told that there was a mixup and they had read the wrong scan. I was in fact clear of blood clots and was discharged. The best news for me was that I got to have another scan of my lungs and could confirm that they were clear of blood clots. Helpful to have the scan to confirm it.

Shortly afterwards I saw the specialist and was fully discharged from the blood clinic. They believe I should be fine now and didn’t want to see me again. The best thing I could hear from the specialist. ­čÖé

The Rugby World Cup 2011

How can I not mention that the All Blacks won the Rugby World Cup 2011. It’s like only the best thing for us. New Zealanders have been pining for the World Cup win since 1987.

After the win they promptly shut down the main streets in Wellington. There were hordes of people descending onto the main streets. I went down with friends and we danced in the middle of the main streets. So many people but we were all so happy. Everyone was so excited. It was an awesome atmosphere.

A personal goal achieved

In November I had the pleasure of saying that I had completed my first draft for my novel. It was completed a whole month earlier than I had anticipated. A very exciting personal goal for me. However I will put no timeframe on the editing ­čÖé

A quiet Christmas and New Years

For Christmas we stayed around home and had an Orphan’s Christmas. Basically it was a Christmas for our friends who didn’t have family to celebrate with. It was a great time had by all. We did a type of secret santa for presents, cooked a delicious ham and had salad. The weather where we were was so beautiful. The sun was out and there was not a cloud in the sky. For those that don’t know it is summer in New Zealand for Christmas.

New Years will be celebrated with friends and I hope for a better start to 2012.

But here’s to 2011. The year that I learnt I wanted to write. I learnt that family and friends are the best present of all. Not to sweat the little things and to celebrate the positive things.

Thank you all for a great year. It’s been fun. I have loved meeting all my new writer friends this year.

Dreams and notes

So I have my first draft done which I’ve talked about previously. I’ve been on a bit of a break while Lisa Flaus is reading through the first draft. Once she’s done with any feedback I can go through the story and have a second go through.

One of the ways I get new stories or ideas is through my dreams. So when I had a dream last night that would be a new idea for a new story I frantically wrote down the details once I woke up. I can’t leave it too long or I’ll forget it. Unfortunately I can’t control when and if I dream but if I at least note down the details, for when I’m ready to write, then it’ll be easier for me in the future.

An introduction to my Character

Kyra Stratley

I’d like you to meet Kyra Stratley. Kyra is the main character from my work in progress novel. The final title has yet to be determined. Yes I have finished the first draft only this year but I’ve had this idea (with a friend of mine) for over 11 years.

This is a drawing I did back in 2005 that I thought I would share with you.

Let’s take a quick sneak peak into Kyra and who she is.

Kyra Stratley

Kyra was orphaned as a young girl. She is withdrawn and finds it hard to trust others. Being very much a lone wolf she doesn’t like others to be dependent on her. Although Kyra may come across as cold she does care.┬áShe is a thrill seeker though and likes to take risks.

That’s it. Hope you enjoyed stopping by and hopefully you enjoyed meeting Kyra.

Personal achievement

I know that writing a novel is definitely not about numbers. It’s far more than that, but I’m secretly doing a happy dance right now.

I have picked up many hobbies including drawing, painting, crafting and many more. Nothing however that I’ve quite stuck to for a full year. I usually get bored after a while and give up for a bit. Well my achievement is that I have been writing for approximately 9 months. I am also 1,602 words away from 40,000 words in my novel. I didn’t even think I’d get to 10,000 let alone 40,000 so I’m stoked.

I know I still have a long journey to go. I am well on my way to the goal of getting my first draft done by the end of 2011.

I would like to thank Lisa Flaus for believing and ‘nanna nagging’ (as she calls it) to continue on with this novel. She’s currently sick so all my thoughts are with her to get better soon!