Sunday, 3 September 2017

In a surprising turn of events I completed my latest Regency on the last day of summer. It was not my intention to do so - I had no clear deadline in mind - and I was rather shocked to discover how much I'd written in the course of summer. I was just writing. It was difficult at first. I resumed my work on it some time in March. The progress was slow. Then summer came and I had a lot more free time. I started writing more without realizing it and when my heroine arrived in London I understood that the end was nigh. I'm still in shock that I have actually done it - after so many years of carrying it around - and that my book stands at around 120K now. I know that revision will take its toll, but still - !

Sunday, 27 August 2017

I have neglected my blog, haven't I? I guess social networking sites have ruined me for blogging once and for all. I have been doing short posts on my FB author page about the state of my writing progress and I have finally decided that I should probably do the same here. So here is the major news - 

I am writing the final chapters of my long-in-progress novel set in Regency England.

I got quite a shock when I realized that I was that close to the finish, having resumed my work back in March after another year-long pause and moving at a snail-like pace, one page at a time. But I guess what they say is true: easy does it indeed. So here I am with another book under my belt.

I have almost forgotten what it's like, you know. I haven't completed or published a book in ages and I feel like I have grown so disillusioned and jaded with the whole process of finding an agent or a publisher since then that I feel no delight at the prospect of another completed novel waiting for its turn.

I'm sure it's a lost cause. It's not a mainstream Regency by a long shot and it's pretty long (twice as long as Margaret's Rematch), so getting an agent or a publisher interested in representing or publishing it will be nigh impossible. I will, of course, make a valiant effort but I'm afraid I no longer believe in the possibility of ever becoming a published author.

See? That's probably why I never update my blog anymore. It's downright depressing to go over your failures and realize that your big dream will never come true.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

smart pets and their stupid owners

Just when you think you know how smart your pets are they do something to show you that you know nothing. I think they might be just doing it on purpose. Maybe they don't think that we can handle the truth right away and feed it to us in small portions? Poor things have to be quite resourceful to make us understand what they want. They must think we are the dumbest thing in creation. Maybe we are. In any case, it was unusual for me to be home so early in the evening and I knew nothing of my cat's habits during that time of the day. I was only vaguely aware that MJ was usually in the kitchen when I returned home from work because that's where my mom usually was. I didn't think too much about it at the time, though. I was quite alone, which was also unusual, and it was only natural that MJ was somewhere nearby. I was writing away, enjoying the peace and quiet that is a rarity when others are around. MJ was slinking in the corridor, rubbing against the walls, purring and making small mewling noises. I didn't really pay attention until she planted herself in the doorway to my room and began to mew in earnest while staring unblinkingly at me. I knew that it was my cue to go to the kitchen in order to fill her bowl with catfood or else shake it to show her that it was full. After that I returned to my room, certain that I'd done my duty and that she wouldn't disturb me again. I hadn't been writing long when MJ was back at her post in the doorway of my room: staring and mewing once again. I wondered if she needed some water and obligingly went to check if her water bowl (the one that she shares with our dog) wasn't empty. I found that it was full and having pointed that out to her returned to my room. This time she was back even sooner. I was growing irritated. I left my chair, approached the doorway and waited to see where she would take me. MJ likes to play in the bathroom and I wondered if maybe she wanted me to open the door for her. However, after rubbing against my legs, she took me back to the kitchen. I knew that she was neither hungry not thirsty and decided that she wanted to look out of the window. So I took her in my arms and approached the window. MJ began to sniff the air but very soon showed that she wanted to go down. I let her go and returned to my room. As soon as I took my seat she was back. I felt myself shaking. I stomped after her into the kitchen and just asked her "What? What do you want from me?!" MJ gave me that unreadable look that all cats seem to have in common and jumped onto a small sofa standing between the wall and the table. She looked pointedly at the sofa then at me and that's when I understood: MJ wanted me to keep her company in the kitchen! I shook my head and a second later was back in the kitchen with my laptop and my notes. MJ was waiting for me. I took my seat and looked at her. "Well?" I asked. MJ jumped onto her favourite chair opposite me and promptly fell asleep. 

Earlier that day, I asked my sister to take our dog for a walk in exchange for cleaning her paws when she returned. It had been raining and I knew that her paws would be dirty. By the time my sister returned, my aunt had already come home and I had already had dinner. My aunt volunteered to clean our dog’s paws instead. She filled the basin with water and stood it next to our dog, waiting for her to get up. The dog wouldn’t budge. My aunt talked to her but nothing helped. My sister then said that she probably was waiting for me to clean her paws, because that’s what I’d promised to do. It was a fun theory, of course. But the moment I approached her and asked her, she stood up, ready to have her paws washed.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Supernatural: some thoughts before the finale

Don’t mind me! I’m just giving into my “Supernatural” obsession as I try to prepare myself for two-part season finale. However, if you’re watching the show, I’d really love to hear what you think is going to happen! 

I haven’t actually read any spoilers so everything written here is based on my observations (such as they are), promo photos and the teaser. I’ve started watching “Supernatural” only this year, so that’s the first time I’m nearing the end of the season having to actually wait for it to air and being eaten alive by curiosity. So… 

The set-up before the finale: 

1. Dean, Sam and Toni are stuck at the bunker-turned-tomb together. I guess they will have to work together if they want to survive there and eventually get out. But I'm pretty sure that this will be the end of Dean and Sam’s cooperation with her. Unless, of course, it’ll be against their will. 

At first I thought that leaving Toni behind was Ketch's way of getting rid of the competition and ensuring that he got Mick's job once American hunters were eliminated – with an added bonus of knowing that she’d be dying a slow and painful death. However, the more I think about it, the more I believe that Toni's staying behind is a part of some plan of theirs. 

Despite the fact that we are persistently shown that they very much loathe each other these days, I started to have some doubts about that while observing them in 12x21. I don’t deny that I have a habit of looking too much into things, but I'm pretty sure that I haven't imagined the heated glances that they keep exchanging or that when Toni calls Ketch a psychopath it sounds almost like a pet name or a private joke or a fond memory or something like that. 

Anyway, I might be totally off the mark here, but whether they are an item or not, I wouldn't be surprised if it turned out that they are not the adversaries we are supposed to believe them to be. I think these two are a couple of psychopaths and natural-born killers and that they are in on something together. 

Also, in promo photos Ketch is back at the bunker attacking someone and Toni is once again armed with a syringe and some mind-controlling equipment – this time using Dean as her torture subject. However, there are also photos where she’s handcuffed, so, I assume, something must have happened later to give her the upper hand. Speaking of which, what is it that she’s doing with Dean? Is she brainwashing him too? Or is it something else? I’ve heard that his childhood memories will be involved. Is she making him relive them? Why? 




2. Mary and Ketch are driving away together. I guess either on their way to recruit more hunters or hunt down and kill those of them who refuse to be recruited. Once again, promo photos show Mary back at the bunker. 


Here she’s gagged and handcuffed and it’s not quite clear whether Dean is cuffing or un-cuffing her. So, what’s going on? How did she get back to the bunker? Why? If he is cuffing her it can mean that he’s doing it to keep her from harming any more hunters. However, if he is un-cuffing her it can mean that she is no longer under BMOL’s control. 


Then we have a photo where Dean, Sam and Mary are cooking up something. A tracking spell? A summoning spell? A banishing spell? Maybe they are trying to find Castiel and Kelly? Or summon Crowley? Or is it something to do with Lucifer and Lucifer Junior? 

3. Castiel and Kelly are... somewhere together. I honestly have no idea where they might be or what is going on between them. Is Lucifer Junior good or bad? Can he be good? Or is he bad by default? How powerful is he? How dangerous? What future did he show Castiel? Does he control Kelly and Castiel? Is Kelly going to die? 


Dean, Sam and Mary catch up with them at some point and it looks like Mary is trying to help or comfort Kelly. How did this come about? How did they leave the bunker? What happened to Ketch and Toni? Are they still a threat or has they been dealt with? What about the rest of BMOL? Are they still pursuing their goal of eliminating American hunters? 



There are some promo photos that show Sam, Jody and (I’m assuming) other hunters storming BMOL’s headquarters or whatever that is. I wonder how that will pan out and whether they have enough people and resources to take BMOL down. I’m afraid that they will be outnumbered and ruthlessly dealt with in the end. How high will be the death toll this time around? I shudder to think; everyone seems to be preparing for the worst. 

4. Lucifer is out and about, tracking down Kelly and Castiel. Does he know where they are? Can he somehow sense his son’s whereabouts? What are his plans once he finds them? Kill them? Is this the end for Castiel? What is Lucifer's grand plan? Taking over heaven and hell? Taking over the world? The universe? With his son by his side? I’m worried about this picture of Lucifer with a wavy lock of red hair that looks suspiciously like Rowena’s and smears of blood in the background. 


What happened here? If I remember correctly, Lucifer certainly has a score to settle with her. We haven’t seen Rowena since 12x13 and I would just hate to see her turn up dead. Did he need her to do another spell for him? Is he keeping her prisoner? Is she even in the picture? Lucifer looks too pleased about something and nothing that makes him look like that is good news.

5. Crowley is… dead? Or riding a rat? I would bet my money on the latter. On the other hand, he is suspiciously absent from promo photos and from the teaser. It could be nothing, of course. I’m almost sure that we’ll see him again this season but I wonder as to what course of action he’ll be pursuing and whose side he’ll be on – if any. He once again showed his true nature in 12x21 and I’m guessing Dean and Sam won’t be too happy or cooperative when they learn that it was due to his involvement that Lucifer stayed out of the Cage and, on top of that, that he was the one who lent a hellhound that killed Eileen. 

6. Three main problems: Lucifer, Lucifer Junior and BMOL. Lucifer and Lucifer Junior are the common problem here. I wonder if there is even the slightest chance that it could bring the two sides together?

And then there’s the teaser: beautiful, intense, poignant and heartbreaking. Lots of questions and wild guesses! The hand that is being cut and bled looks like Dean’s. But the hand that is emerging from the ground looks like that of an older man (to me) – even though the scene is reminiscent of the one where Dean broke out of hell. I saw someone suggesting that it's Crowley's hand. It actually makes sense. Then there’s also a heavily-wrapped and armed figure walking through the mist and someone’s bloody hands washing blood off a bloody weapon.

Is it the same person? Is it the same person Castiel is bewildered to see in the end? If I didn’t know better I’d say that this person is John. I don’t know why I have this feeling. Of course, I don’t really know any better and it could be him, but I doubt that they are bringing him back. I mean, if that was the case, there would be at least some rumours flying around about it, right? Maybe it’s Dean from the future? (I don’t know why from the future but why not?) Or Lucifer Junior all grown up? Like I said – lots of wild guesses! 

Anyway, I can’t wait to see the finale (even though I’m not prepared to have my heart broken)! I assume the season will end on a cliffhanger. I wonder, could the scene where Castiel is looking up from the ground saying "You?" be the last scene we see? In which case, we won't know who this "you" and the mysterious figure emerging from the mist is until the next season, which, in its turn, will make for a very long wait indeed...

Photo source: The TV Addict

Saturday, 6 May 2017

I've been pretty much MIA on the blog since August and starting from around November I was suffering through the worst case of writer's block I've ever had, brought on by my continuing failure to get published or even land a spot on a simple writing competition. Anyway, I think I've wallowed in self-pity, misery, depression and apathy long enough to feel like I'm ready to start again. So I'm slowly getting back to writing and maybe blogging even? We'll see how that goes. So far I haven't been able to stick to any kind of blogging schedule for long and, in any case, my priorities are first and foremost with my writing. That's all for now. I hope to keep you abreast of how things are going. On a side note, I've found a great way to fill the void created by my inability to write with the help of "Supernatural". I've watched almost twelve years worth of episodes in under two months and now I'm totally hooked :D I've discovered that I'm a major Dean!girl with a soft spot for Sam and Cas - go Team Free Will! - and a few others.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Аеніль - читаю українською

Продовжуючи тему про пошук книжок-друзів, я все ж таки вирішила написати декілька рецензій на книжки, які прочитала за останній час. Мабуть, почну з книги, яку завершила сьогодні та на яку мала великі сподівання. 


Що сказати? «Аеніль» – суцільне розчарування з початку до кінця. Перш за все мене привабила обкладинка. Дивіться яка гарна та таємнича. Сто пудів щось захоплююче та магічне має відбуватися на сторінках такої книжки. Загадкове ім’я. Тендітна дівчина. В руках світиться щось золотавим сяйвом. Мабуть щось магічне. Якась магічна кулька. Можливо важлива для сюжету. На задньому плані замок магічної академії, де навчається дівчина. У дівчини добрі та впевнені карі очі. Гарна посмішка. Мають бути магічні здібності. Можливо ці здібності приховані чи не надто розвинені на початку книги, проте рано чи пізно вони мають проявитися та допомогти щось знайти, когось врятувати, абощо. 

Такі були сподівання. Жодне не справдилося. Дівчина виявилася повною нездарою. Та ще й дуже неприємною, зухвалою, різкою, недобачливою. Моє питання після закінчення книги: Навіщо називати книгу ім’ям дівчини, яка жодним чином не вплинула на події книги? Якщо вилучити цю дівчину з цієї книги – нічогісінько не зміниться. Ну, може книга буде менше дратувати. Друге питання: Навіщо дія книги відбувається у магічній академії, якщо «головна героїня» там так нічому не навчилася та не використала нічого із магічних знань, які мала отримати, для просування сюжету? Можна було назвати книгу «Академія» і все тут. Тоді це б мало певний сенс, бо все що відбувається на сторінках стосується радше магічної академії, її викладачів (по більшій частині), та (дещо) її учнів. 

Щодо умов проживання та навчання в цій академії, то це просто суцільне неподобство та безлад. Нема жодного балансу між поганим та добрим. Постійні знущання, образи, пригнічення, небезпечні магічні експерименти зі смертельними наслідками для учнів. Жах. Викладачам начхати на учнів. Інтриги. Клани. Вбивства. Невиліковні хвороби. Порятунки. Звісно ж, до яких дівчина немає жодного відношення. Складається таке враження, що автор не зовсім зрозумів жанр, в якому вирішив написати книгу, та проігнорував всі тропи, закони, та правила, які роблять такі книжки цікавими та захоплюючими. Все ж таки, коли називаєш книжку певним ім’ям, в читачів виникають певні сподівання, що головна сюжетна лінія буде будуватися та розгортатися за допомогою людини, що носить це ім’я. Чи може я помиляюсь?