It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

christmas-pooh

It’s almost Christmas time once again, and it’s that special time of year that turns everyone into either a Holly Jolly Santa Claus, or a complete douchebag.

This is a very short PSA to remind people to not shout or abuse people in retail or customer services. We’re human, just like you, please don’t take your frustrations out on us.

In other news, Age of Magic is about 4-5 maybe 6 chapters away from completion, and, aside from a teeny-weeny blip in the middle of November wherein I lost all motivation to finish it, it’s going well. Apart from the fact that it’s about 30,000 words too short.

Uhm. Oops? 😦

writer-working

I think once Christmas is out the way, I can really knuckle down and get to that ending I’ve been building up for so long. And it’s a nice segue into the as-of-yet-untitled Book 3.

Ohh, and I need to write the blurb, and the synopsis, and go through all the edits… I forgot about all of this. Crikey…

2017 is going to be great. We lost so many famous names this year, and there are only three weeks left of 2016, so everyone form a protective ring around Tim Curry and Sean Connery, and we can safely see out 2016.

Merry Christmas everyone, and have a Happy New Year!

Blessed be,

RK )O(

I Do Not Wish To Live In A World Without Dragons

"I am the lasht one!"

“I am the lasht one!”

This post has nothing to do with the title, I just adore this line and will be inserting it into Age of Magic as soon as possible 😀 click-bait for dragon nerds like me! I will actually compose a post about dragons shortly, I swear.

So, hello, hello, and hello to all of my darling pixies whom I have been severely neglecting these past few weeks! I am a bad, bad mistress, and as punishment, I will not be eating cookies for a week.

Except this one I have in my hand right now. *nom*

This is a very brief post, and I’m very sorry 😦 I’m going to try and post more, I swear I am. Things have just been extra-hectic at the Day Job because we’re moving to a brand new office next week. Huzzah.

I’ve also been squirrelling away with writing Age of Magic. We’re now officially OVER HALF-WAY COMPLETE 😀 *fistpump*

Still such a dorky move, Snipes...

Still such a dorky move, Snipes…

Speaking of dorky, WHO WATCHED THE GAME OF THRONES SEASON FINALE?! OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG FLAIL PLOT TWIST.

Too tired at present for a full-on fangirl breakdown, but from about 15 minutes in, I had this look plastered on my face:

patrick_OMG

Yep. Wasn’t pretty.

Anyway, I’ll be attending an Author Evening at my local library in September (thanks to the fantastic organisational skills of an old friend of mine, who works for the libraries where we live). It should be fun and interesting, and will hopefully to promote The Old Ways a little 🙂

I’ve got an extremely busy weekend lined up, but I’m going to try and post a little more often. Like I said, I’ll post something good about dragons soon 😀

Blessed be, darling pixies! ❤

RK )O(

What Makes A Good Bad Guy?

Proceed at your own risk.

WARNING:

THE FOLLOWING BLOG POST MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS FOR THE OLD WAYS.

PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK.

 

I was procrastinating performing extensive research for my novel on Pinterest earlier today, when I found this gem:

villain low self esteem

When I first saw it, I laughed. I mean, I laughed hard. Because my immediate thought to myself was, “Of course not, Erlik thinks he’s the best thing ever created!”

Then I went deeper into it. And I realised the whole reason he thinks so, is because he does have low self-esteem. He acts the way he does, because of crippling insecurity. He spends the entire novel hot on Mab’s heels. He swings from one emotion to another in the blink of an eye. He’s often shown drinking heavily (in the morning! What a lush). He’s infamous (in-universe) for his sexual exploits, and has the… *ahem* extensive progeny to prove it.

These can be symptoms of low self-esteem. Addictive, promiscuous, and chaotic personality traits. While he never displays anxiety attacks or a lack of self-confidence, he certainly has something about him that indicates he dislikes himself, and is projecting that dislike upon others to make himself feel better.

Well, mostly not that.

Loki has low self-esteem too. Yes, that’s my excuse for using his picture…

So is that what makes a good bad guy? (Okay, okay, I’ll say good villain from now on. Makes for less confusion) Well, I don’t think it is. Erlik has low self-esteem, yes, but he’s also funny, charming, sinister, manipulative, vindictive, and so deliciously wicked.

I… may be a little biased. #TeamErlik

Anyway. Is that what makes a good villain? ‘Nice’ qualities? Human qualities? Well, I don’t think so. I mean, I think they certainly help, but Sauron was a perfect villain, and he had no human qualities at all.

Good villains can be relateable. They can have something in them that makes regular, less-villainous people go “Oh, that’s like me! Wait, is that good?”

What about those villains who know they’re evil? The ones who relish in their darkness. The ones who torture and torment for fun. Lookin’ at you, Ramsay Bolton.

Ramsay

Couldn’t resist, sorry :3

There are villains who believe they’re the hero of the story. Villains who believe they’re doing what they’re doing for the greater good. I think Heath Ledger’s Joker has a little of that in him. He wants to unleash chaos for the people of Gotham for them to realise their full potential.

A good villain must be a foil. A contrast to the hero. An opposition to everything the hero stands for. Erlik is a Dark Prince, while Thomas (eventually) is a White Knight. Thomas has a strong moral high ground, whereas Erlik is underhand and plays dirty. Everything Thomas is or becomes, Erlik is ultimately the antithesis. In D&D terms, Thomas is Neutral Good, while Erlik is Chaotic Evil.

That’s what makes a good villain. Next time you’re writing, talk to your villain. Ask him/her/it what they’re fighting for. Ask them what they want. Does that goal conflict with what the hero wants? Do they believe they’re the hero of your story? Talk to them, and find out. Then you’re on the right path.

Now, go, writer! Write! Write like you’ve never written before!

Blessed be,

RK )O(

Confession Time!

I, er… *nervous laugh* I lost my password to access WordPress…

But I’ve found it again! And look, I’m here! Here’s a dancing Winchester as an apology for not posting in over a month:

Dean Dancing

I don’t have much of an update other than YAY for progress on the Age of Magic. Oh, and I have my very first piece of fan-art! ^-^ And my first ever troll! As in, an internet-troll, not an under-the-bridge-troll. I already have two of those. They’re called Frank and Gary.

Once I figure out how to connect my iPhone to my computer (read: I do know how to do it, I’m just intensely lazy), I’ll share the fan-art. Once I have permission from the artist, of course!

So. Age of Magic. Yes, darlings, it’s in progress. Slow-going, for some reason… I couldn’t get characters to act the way they’re meant to. But things are looking up! I technically already have the first *ahem* few drafts, I just need to… well… let’s just say there’s a reason for the following (cropped) screenshot:

drafts

And it’s cropped because I don’t want you to see how many folders I had to get through in order to get to this one… I like folders. I’m hyper-organised when it comes to my writing.

Alright, pixies, enough chin-wagging! Better get some work done. These chapters (unfortunately) don’t write themselves!

Blessed be,

RK )O(

The Kindness of Strangers and Good Company

Where I come from, people are very friendly. Strangers will chat to each other in the street. We’ll help each other out. Not just because it’s a close-knit place, but because Northerners are generally quite friendly people. Compare my trip to London, where waiters were rude and people stared at us like we had several eyes because we dared to speak on the Tube.

I want to begin by explaining I’ve at this point had my fair share of human crappiness in the past two days. First I was given my first ever parking fine because the wind blew the ticket I’d bought out of my car when I closed the door, and I hadn’t realised. Oh, and the parking attendant stuck it right in the middle of my windscreen, so there was a big glob of ugly sticky glue right in the middle of my line of sight.

Oh, and I’d also left my glasses at work, so there was an extra dosage of “I CAN’T SEE WHERE I’M GOING!” on my journey home on Friday evening.

Sadness

Safe to say, I was fairly upset, so I paid the fine online (halved, because I paid within 14 days), curled up under my blankie, and watched Bedknobs and Broomsticks on Netflix.

So, Saturday rolled around, and my friend Laura sent me a message asking if I wanted to go somewhere. Wanting to cheer myself up with good food and good company, I said yes. We journeyed into town and we had a little wander around. Durham is such a beautiful old city.

At this point, I decided to venture towards Waterstones. I admit I had an ulterior motive. I’d emailed the shop a few weeks back enquiring about a book signing, since I’d had no reply from the Newcastle or Gateshead branches. I figured, you know, Durham is rooted in history and myth, it would be a good base.

Went in, spoke to a young lady behind the desk, who was very nice, and she called the manager over. And over trotted this grumpy-looking gent. I gave him my information, I had a copy of the book so he could look up the ISBN. I also pointed out it was available on the Waterstones website. Also, bear in mind, at this point, I was rather cold, hungry, and still a little shaken about the previous day’s event.

After a few minutes (read: about thirty seconds) of deliberation, my precious book was thrust back at my face with the words “Actually, you know what? I think we’ll pass.”

Wow. Okay. Thank you. No “we’ll take your contact details for future reference”, no “thank you for your enquiry but no thank you”. Just a straight up, resounding, NO.

So, understandably, I was confused and a little upset.

We wandered out of the shop and ventured further into town. We went for lunch (Chinese food, of course. It was my cheat-on-the-diet-day), and discussed various bloody punishments we’d like to enact upon those who’d wronged us.

It was getting late, so we headed out to do a last little bit of shopping. Now, whenever I go to Durham, I’d always go to a cute little vintage shop that’s tucked in a little alleyway, a hidden gem, burrowed in a corner that people tend to forget about. It’s been there for years. The smell of the place always lingers with me for days.

I like it there because it is chock-full of beautiful, old, antique jewellery. And, like any good faery magpie, I’m attracted to sparkly and shiny objects.

We perused the necklace stand for a while, and I found some I liked – mostly amulet-style – and a couple of rings caught my eye too. Purchased them, and we ended up chatting to the ladies who owned the shop. Two of the most delightful ladies I’d spoken to in a long time. After telling them about the rotten time I’d had recently, they gave me a beautiful fern-leaf brooch for free. It’s very pretty, and I didn’t realise, but it has the letters NZ for New Zealand on it.

And of course I plugged my book to them. The young lad in the shop (son, nephew or grandson, perhaps? I’m unsure) ventured over and had a little read of the blurb.

One of the two ladies seemed to feel very strongly about me visiting New Zealand, possibly because of the brooch. I felt as though she’d seen into my future, she was so emphatic about me visiting New Zealand.

After the two encounters of humankind being generally quite awful, I felt lifted after that small amount of kindness. My friend paid for the necklace she’d spotted, and we came home. After a nice cup of tea, we parted, and I felt a lot lighter for having spent a nice day with a good person. It also helps that she was completely on my side about the Waterstones manager, and she’s a Karate master. (Mistress?)

Always good to have powerful friends 🙂

So today, feeling drained but a lot happier, I’ve managed to write up 3+ chapters of Age of Magic. Victory!

 

Joy

Oh, and yesterday, we also discussed various ways of promoting The Old Ways on Laura’s YouTube! I have a list of pop quiz questions, and entertaining forfeits. So, this should be fun! -wicked smile-

She also had a fantastic idea of creating a Sims family of my characters, letting them do their own thing, while we narrate over the top and I talk about the book. I thought that was an excellent idea, so I’m extremely excited for that! Because if there’s anything I love doing, it’s talking about my book.

Better get back to my writing, darlings.

Blessed be,

RK )O(

Why It Sucks Being An Empath

DISCLAIMER: Probably shouldn’t read this if you don’t believe in spiritualism. I don’t want mocking, trolling, or unnecessarily rude comments. Please be considerate.

SECONDARY DISCLAIMER: This is going to be quite a serious post, and relatively negative, but I’m going to send out another post almost immediately after, so you don’t have to read this one if you don’t want to and skip straight onto the fun one.

 

For a while now, I’ve started to wonder why people tell me things. I don’t mean things like “oh the sky looks a bit grey”, I mean personal things. Complete strangers will talk to me, open up to me, and tell me stories about their life. For ages, I’ve just assumed it’s because I’m either A) a good listener, or B) a good actress pretending to be a good listener.

I should also mention, I work in the service industry. When people call my office and get through to me, it’s because they have a problem that they want me to rectify.

People will tell me their problem, which is part of my job, and I’ll come up with a way to solve it. 9 times out of 10, this particular problem involves a broken appliance. And people with broken appliances are very upset people.

Now my problem is this; I won’t just listen to their problem. I will internalise their problem, and make it my own. I will understand better than they think, because I physically feel their frustration and sadness, even though I’m only speaking on the phone. This is a very emotionally and mentally draining for me, because, as you can imagine, I deal with hundreds of people like this a day.

And this doesn’t just happen at work. Strangers will talk to me and tell me something that’s happening in their lives, and I will feel their suffering. I will take it as my own. If someone has a secret they’re about to tell me, I’ll already know what it is before they say it. If someone has a cold starting up, I will know before they do.

I didn’t know for ages what this was. After a lot of research, it turns out there’s a type of person called an “empath”.

You all know the word “empathy”. An empath is a type of person who is pretty much the embodiment of empathy.

The definition (thank you, Google) reads thus:

Being an empath is when you are affected by other people’s energies, and have an innate ability to intuitively feel and perceive others. Your life is unconsciously influenced by others’ desires, wishes, thoughts, and moods. Being an empath is much more than being highly sensitive and it’s not just limited to emotions.

It is actually draining, and I end almost every day unable to feel my own emotions because I’m so burdened by the negative energy of the people I’ve spoken to. People tend to use me as a metaphorical “dumping ground” of emotion, telling me their secrets, their stories, and their suffering. People sense that I’m able to take their feelings and ease them away. Unfortunately, it means a lot of emotional turmoil for me.

There are a few sites that I’ve found that help me with this problem, mostly about how to guard myself against negative energy, how to ground myself, and how to “cleanse my chakras” which is essentially wiping the emotional slate clean.

As I’m still learning, I’m not going to pretend I’m a genius on the subject, but I’ll post the sites below if anyone is interested:

What It Means To Be An Empath

Coping Tips

30 Signs of Being an Empath

This is what I'm using as a segue.

This is what I’m using as a segue.

 

 

I’ll send out the fun blog post next, for those not interested in spiritualism.

Blessed Be

RK )O(

Happy New Year!

)O( WELCOME TO 2016!!! )O(

fireworksanimation-13

I hope all of my beloved pixies had a wonderful Christmas and New Year! I’d love to hear about your New Year’s Resolutions, let me know in the comments below!

This year I’ve decided to knuckle down and get work hard on Book 2, Age of Magic. I’m hoping to have finished the first draft within a couple of months. I know, I know, a lot of people can finish a draft in one month (I’m looking at the fantastic NaNoWriMo participants), but unfortunately, I’m not one of them. I’m too much of a perfectionist, so even though it’s the first draft, things like character or place names, phrases or quirks, have to be absolutely exact.

Blame my Virgoean outlook.

Looking back, 2015 was possible the biggest and best year of my life. Aside from the horrible experience of losing a beloved and cherished friend and pet, I achieved that which I’d been dreaming of my entire life. I was finally able to hold a copy of my own book in my hands and say “Look at what I’ve done”. I was so proud.

Now it’s time to start aalll over again, and continue on a story that needs to be told. Not because the world needs to know or anything, but because if I don’t tell it, I go stir-crazy.

Now I just need to stop procrastinating on Dragon Age, and we’ll be fine…

Blessed Be!

RK )O(

Latest Review!

Go read it! Go read it! Go read iiiittt! Right HERE.

Why are you still here? Go read that review! 😀

Okay, read it? Awesome! How lovely is that review? Absolutely gorgeous! I’m so happy, I could cry. I won’t, I’m already severely dehydrated. But I could. You know what my favourite part is, don’t you?

Like Mab, I’m sure I shouldn’t, but I quite enjoyed the character of the Dark Prince. Severe mood swings and abusive behaviours aside, he did show a flash of occasional humility and a sharp, if a little warped, sense of humour. Maybe ‘enjoyed’ is the wrong word, but the tension created from his unpredictability was certainly intriguing.

That made me beam like a bright shining light. Everyone adores Erlik. I’m so pleased I’m making everyone question their morals 🙂

OH AND IT STARTED SNOWING HERE ON SATURDAY!!!

loki snow

So much snow! It snowed from 11:30am until, well, basically, midnight. It absolutely blanketed our little village. It sadly melted away after a day or two, but still. SNOW 😀

Aaaaaand Supernatural mid-season finale! OMIGOSH LUCIFER’S BACK! 😀

Christmas truly is a magical time of year :3 Alright, I’ll stop with the caps and the emoji abuse. I also had an epiphany at my Day Job today about the plot for Age of Magic. It had been fairly weak and poorly planned up until now, but now I’ve got a good strong motive and a fun way of bringing in… a certain person who shall remain unnamed… Oh, now don’t look at me like that. I’m already getting abuse from every reader for killing off a certain character.

Seriously, everyone who reads it sends me the same message:

“YOU BITCH! What the f**k did you kill [SPOILERS] for?!”

I’m so pleased I’m destroying each and every one of my friends emotionally 🙂 makes me feel really good about myself.

I’m gonna have to go, my laptop mouse keeps freezing for some reason, and my laptop feels like it’s on fire :/ that can’t be good. BACK UP EVERYTHING. SAVE IT NOW, SAVE IT NOW!

Blessed be,

RK )O(

 

Achievement Unlocked: Survived Krampusnacht

Today is 6th December, so if you’re reading this, congratulations on surviving Krampusnacht!

I had complete faith in you!

Krampus

I understand there’s now a Krampus movie? I’m not sure if I want to see it or not. Mostly because 1) I’m a chicken and I get scared easily, and 2) they might have ruined the stories of Krampus with the Hollywood machine and I don’t know if I’m ready for that :/

Ugh now I sound like a hipster and that makes me feel a little bit unwell.

Aaaaaaaaanyway. It’s that time of year again, pixies!

I’m almost finished with my Christmas shopping, I think. I’m so pleased I have so few people to buy for. Even Cat has her own little stocking with her name embroidered on it 🙂

Oh, and yes, I refer to her as “Cat” because I’m now refusing to call her Thissy, the name my mother gave her. Mostly because hearing about “Thissy” doing some fairly disgusting things is really putting me off the character.

Speaking of characters, I feel like bashing my head against my keyboard because one character is not doing what he’s told. He’s always been a stubborn ox. I think you all can guess who I’m talking about.

Must get back to it!

Blessed be

RK )O(

Catch-Up Time!

-vigorously waves- I’m here! I’m sorry, I’ve been neglecting my blog, my website, my Facebook page… I’m a bad, bad, bad panda. I’m sorry 😦

In my defence, like every single one of my shows started again in Autumn. Once Upon a Time, Sleepy Hollow, Supernatural, Grimm… even Doctor Who has had at least one good episode this season. I’m starting to notice a pattern in the shows I watch… I know, it’s no excuse. I’ve been doing other things too!

Celtic Woman concert on Wednesday was absolutely fantastic. Their 10th Anniversary concert, and it was breathtaking. Perfect atmosphere for an evening of Celtic and folk music. And it was my first visit to the Sage in Gateshead too. I’d never been. OH and Steeleye Span are playing there in December, too! 😀 Don’t think I’d be able to get tickets this late, though. 😦

New bed arrived. It’s comfy-cosy and bouncy. Only problem is that there’s enough space underneath for at maybe two monsters to hide, so getting up in the middle of the night is going to be problematic if my fear of the dark gets the better of me. No more scary movies for me!

Speaking of, I’ve finally seen Crimson Peak! 😀 😀 😀

Shameless Hiddles gif!

Shameless Hiddleston gif!

It’s purely amazing. Such a gothically (is that a word? It is now. Up yours, My Immortal fanfic) romantic story. It had aspects of Du Maurier in there, specifically my favourite novel of hers, Rebecca. You know the story; a mysterious, rich, Byronesque anti-hero whisks away a naive, young, swooning heroine to a dark and crumbling mansion, where an old and haunting secret still bleeds from the walls. That sort of thing.

In other news… pussy cat is coming out of her shell a lot more. She’s on the mend from having Cat-Flu. And/Or conjunctivitis. Cat bogies eeeeverywhere. She still cries a little bit for us, but it’s not as pathetically heart-wrenching any more. Now it’s more of a “Hey, why did you close this door, Hooman? My tall climby thing is in there” type of miaow.

OOH and one of my friends is struggling with her morals because her favourite character in The Old Ways (so far, anyway) is Erlik. Little did she realise that was my goal all along! -evil laughter-

Well, she knows now, as I told her she’s sort of meant to like him, even just a little bit.

So… who’s started on their Christmas shopping? :/

I’ve bought…. four things. Yaaaay, progress… I really need to go shopping. I can’t just present someone with a mug on Christmas morning. Merry Christmas, here’s a receptacle for your hot beverages.

Like I said… bad panda 😦

Oh, and I replayed and finished Alice: Madness Returns… it’s been a while, and I felt like revisiting the most disturbing imagining of Wonderland I’ve ever seen. It’s an exquisitely psychotic game, I highly recommend it. If you’ve never played it, check out the trailer here.

Alright, enough rambling. I need to work on my dragon chapters. Whoops! Spoilers! ^-^

Blessed be,

RK )O(