Terrible blogger is a terrible blogger…

Weird, right? Not funny, I know.

Anna lights

Grumpy Anna will be unimpressed with any excuse I can come up with…

In all seriousness, though, it is shameful how bad I’ve been about getting on here. I have no excuses… except, well, finishing uni has been far more traumatic than I fully expected. Leaving has highlighted how poor I am, which has resulted in me asking (yes, actually asking) for extra shifts at work. I’m now finding it difficult to do anything apart from stare vacantly at the TV when I get back from work.

So, what’s new since I was last blogging away? Not much. In-between spouts of serious writer’s block, work – somehow I’m still poor, how is that even possible? – and vacant TV staring, I have edited my story into some semblance of ‘done-ness.’ It is at the point now where I’m looking up agents. This process has not been a fun one. There are countless ‘you can do it if you just keep trying’ and ‘you’re not a real writer until you can cover your bedroom walls in rejection letters’ stories. Each one outlines the struggle of the hopeful writer sending their stories away, but none answer one question that is burning a hole through any hope I have: Rejection is all well and good, but what on earth am I going to do if no one even asks to read the rest of my manuscript?

In the past, this would not have been as big a hurdle as it is now. Before my Masters, my story never felt finished. No matter how many times I thought it, there was always a little niggling doubt that said ‘you hate this bit, and that bit, remember?’ Only now, after a year of intensive edits, do I actually feel happy. This happiness is somewhat tinged with fear. There’s nothing to change, nothing I hate, or feel unsure about. So, if no one even gets through my first three chapters: what the actual hell am I going to do? Do I rip the story apart again, for the millionth time? Do I change the plot? Do I start to doubt my certainty that I had at the beginning of the year, where I went and changed the tense from past to present and the POV from third person to first at the same time (this was my most ambitious edit that nearly cost me my sanity.) Do I blame my lack of success on my cover letter or synopsis?

All of these questions and fears are running through my head right now. You may point out this fear is a little premature. I need to get the ball rolling. I need to plaster my walls with rejection letters (hypothetical letters, anyway, everything is digital now and there’s something a little macabre about printing off rejection emails to then stare at them glumly before I go to sleep.)

Whatever happens with it, I promise not to abandon the blog again. I’ll definitely do better!

Maleficent

Maleficent sketchesMaleficent, for me, is one of Disney’s greatest villains. I think one of the best descriptions of her came from tumblr (a picture I can’t find now) that the entire plot of the movie comes down to one simple fact: Maleficent had a strop about not being invited to a party.

quite distressedIt’s a detail that made it into the new film, sort of. On the whole, I’ve only seen positives about Disney’s 2014 release of ‘Maleficent’ but after deciding to write this blog post I’ve stumbled upon a couple of disgruntled bloggers who miss the old Maleficent. There is a certain lost charm to a woman who curses a baby because she wasn’t invited to said baby’s party. But what was lost was replaced with other charms.

For example (the second scene only becoming cuter when you found out little Aurora is played by Angelina Jolie’s own daughter. Am I right?):

Both characters exist as separate entities. Somehow, Maleficent hasn’t changed in my head the way Elphaba (The Wicked Witch of the West) did when I read Wicked. Maybe because I loved Elphaba and disliked the film witch. Wicked also felt more like a remake, or at least a story that stayed true to the original story so closely both Elphaba and the ol’ Wicked Witch were one and the same.

‘The Skull Collector’ by David P. Singer-Carter

the skull collector

I haven’t blogged properly in ages, I do apologise. Blame the combination of working in retail at Christmas time. But, what better way to start the new year with a new story! I’m always on the look out for stories with fairytale-esque themes and this definitely floats that particular boat.

So, a quick run down of the plot: This is a story that reads like it could be for children, but will scare adults more. A little girl is sold to a sinister man called the Doll-Maker. In exchange for the promise of being reunited with her parents who are dead, the little girl agrees to steal skulls for the Doll-Maker. There are monsters, magic, evil, friendship, and innocence all wrapped up in this story, which is what immediately made me think ‘the Grimm brother’s would have loved this’ when I read it.

There’s something rather fascinating about the lack of names, too. The little girl, the Doll-Maker, the Violinist… Only the periphery characters are given names, which almost turns the convention of naming your main characters on its head. I cannot count the amount of conversations I’ve had with people that centre around this statement: ‘He/She suits their name, don’t they – can you imagine them being called something else? Weird, right?’ It’s a bold move, denying the reader of a name. It means more words on a page each time the character is mentioned, and more distance between character and reader… But it works with fairytales. And it works here.

I think, ultimately, what it comes down to is that this ‘distance’ works when the story in question has an edge of darkness to it. Creepy works best when the reader can’t guess exactly what is going to happen, and I had no idea where this story would conclude or how it would do so (and satisfyingly at that.)

I wrote a much shorter version of this post here on the book’s amazon page. If you’d like to see it, have a look at the book itself, find out more about Mr. Singer-Carter, click anywhere on this red, italic-y sentence ^^

Love this…

so prettyI have no idea who wrote this, I found it on tumblr the other day, but it’s so beautiful. I really like the idea of the princess not wanting to leave her tower. A really imaginative piece.

Although, after some searching I found this page. Have tried to contact them to ask if it is, in fact them who wrote this, but tumblr just comes up with an error page for each option (eg. Twitter.) Still, beautiful, beautiful writing whoever the author is :)