Counting down the minutes till Nano…

After a hectic week that had me fly over to the other side of the country for a funeral, I’m home again, just in time for Nano!

My story this year is partly planned, a sequel to the novella I wrote during Camp Nano in June, a novella I have literally this minute submitted to a competition, after spending every squeezable moment of free time this last few weeks polishing it to perfection (or as close as I can get it for now!).

And checking the clock I realise I have 26 minutes until midnight. Should I stay up, and start writing at midnight? I’ve never done it before – and to be honest I’m not really sure it’s a good idea to do it tonight. A red eye flight home has meant little sleep in the last 48 hours, though I’m not tired – I’m still operating on another time zone, 3 hours behind the time now. And perhaps I should give my mind a rest, so I can start fresh tomorrow.

I also have other news! When I get myself organised I have a several copies of an unproofed edition of The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton to give away!! It looks like a brilliant story, though I doubt I’ll get to read it before December. More details on how you can win yourself a copy coming soon!!! 😀

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Six Sentence Sunday – Published Stories #4

The final story of this series is ‘The Harpist’. This story probably shocked me the most – I submitted it one night for publication on the 1000words blog, and when I awoke the next morning it had been published!

Hannah listened in awe as the harpist before her set his fingers to the strings and began to play. She knew Emmanuel had skill, but his performance today far surpassed any she had heard from him before. This lad was her greatest rival, and yet on the odd times they had spoken she had found him funny, off-beat, cute. And though she would never admit it, whenever she looked into his deep blue eyes her heart skipped a beat.

As the cascading notes came to an end and the roar of applause filled the auditorium Hannah felt a gentle push between her shoulder blades.

“Your turn.”

This is one of my favourite stories so far, alongside Ermaline’s Feast.

To see what happens next check out the 1000words blog http://1000words.org.uk/the-harpist/

Six Sentence Sunday – Published Stories #3

My third story for this series is called ‘One’ and was published on Free Flash Fiction’s website in August of this year.

Freya watched as they slept. Their bodies moving as muscles stretched and relaxed, rolling and turning to shift their weight from one side to another, always in the other’s embrace.

“They move together,” she whispered to no one in particular.

“I see.”

She turned; surprised another should be so near. “Father, I…”

 

‘One’ is a fantasy flash fiction, about the Norse Gods and their decision to end the world.

To see how this story ends visit: http://www.freeflashfiction.com/index.php/stories/science-fiction-and-fantasy/one-by-heather-jensen/

Young Writer’s Program

 

I am thrilled to say that my 6 year old son is joining in the Young Writer’s Program this year. (http://ywp.nanowrimo.org/)

We signed him up on the site, and checked out the Word-Count Goal Calculator, a brilliant device to help Young Writer’s set a word goal for themselves. He typed away for 10 minutes, with lots of distractions, and ended up with 30 words. Focus is not really one of his strong points at the moment – his world is far too full of excitement to concentrate on any one thing for too long, so we’ve set him a daily goal of 50 words, 1500 words for the month. Personally, I think he’ll get that easily, but I wanted something small for him to aim for, in his first year.

Then we downloaded the Young Writer’s Program workbook for Elementary Students. It is brilliant! It asks him to think about novels that he likes and doesn’t like, and what it is he likes or not about them. Then he begins the planning for his own novel. So far we have a character, whose name he picked out from a baby name website after searching for a name that means warrior or fighter (it’s going to be an adventure story), and the character has now been fleshed out with likes/dislikes, where he lives, what he looks like, and what he does best.

Best of all is that my son is so keen to work on it. He is so excited about his story, he’s been bragging to all who will listen about how next month he’ll be doing the Young Writer’s Program.

And we’ve already discussed his prize should he succeed, a YWP “Nanowrimo Brain” t-shirt.

Looking forward to next month, novelling away with my boy!! 😀

Six Sentence Sunday – Published Stories Series #2

The next story I had published this year was also thanks to Five Stop Story. My story ‘Sanctuary’ also received an Honorary Mention in their June Competition.

This was her sanctuary. Her place of rebirth, from a life of surviving to a life of living. It was the place that taught her beautiful places could be visited, and peace obtained, without the exorbitant prices that so often seemed to go along with the island get-a-ways and rainforest eco-resorts. She had soon stopped watching the travel programs, those which inspired the mind to dream and then disappointed the heart with a price unacheivable in any foreseeable future.

She had never really thought about the holidays that could be taken in her own ‘backyard’. There were always the advertisements and promotions for the beautiful national parks in the area, but she didn’t know how to camp.

This story was written several years ago, though to be honest I have no recollection now of what triggered it. A warning though – it does contain references to death, specifically euthenasia, so if that sort of things upsets you, don’t read any further.

http://www.fivestopstory.com/read/story.php?storyId=3157

20 Days to go….

It’s almost that time again!! Time for what you ask? NANOWRIMO of course!

I love it! I’ve been checking out the website today – there’s the Nano Video which has that awesome soundbite at the beginning and end. Let me tell you – that sound is one of my favourite sounds ever. Whenever I hear it I get so excited!!

I’m so happy to see Chris Baty will be back to give a Pep Talk this year! For those of you new to Nano, Chris Baty was actually the founder of Nanowrimo, as he and his friends decided to try and write a novel in 30 days, way back in 2000! I have been watching (via Nano Video) and reading all of Chris’s encouragement and motivation over the last 4 years of Nano. He retired at the end of last year to become a full-time writer, making millions of wrimos around the world very very sad. How could we possibly get through Nano, without him!!?? Thankfully we don’t need to, as he’ll be one of the authors sending wrimo participants a bit of pep throughout the month.

But probably my most favourite thing on this years website is something new. A list of all the authors whose published work began as a Nanowrimo novel. That’s right, Nanowrimo CAN lead to publication. I’ve been waiting and wishing for such a list ever since I learnt that Nano novels had been published. It’s a big list, and I want to print it out and show it to all those people who said writing a novel in 30 days was a waste of time and would never lead to anything! (Except, I didn’t have any of those people say that to me – but I think that’s just because I knew they would say it, so I never ever told them about Nano, because I didn’t want to hear it.)

My Nano planning has began, and I’m so excited about it this year.

Is anyone joining me? What do you like about the new website? And are you planning your novel or will you sit down on Nov 1 and just see what appears on the page?

Six Sentence Sunday – Published Stories Series #1

I thought I’d start a series for Six Sentence Sunday of the  first six lines from the stories I’ve had published this year.

The first is from Ermaline’s Feast. This story received an honorary mention in Five Stop Story’s April Competition

As her wings shifted ever so slightly, the great beast turned, heading for the sun. Ermaline looked down on the people miles below and wondered that something so small and insignificant could be so tasty. Damn shame they fight back, she thought, wincing at the fresh scar on her side that had blistered from the heat of their torches. It was a bad burn, and not for the first time did she wonder why she was not fire proof outside as well as in. But it would heal, and she would be back, these humans were too good to resist.

***

It was a month before Ermaline had the chance to return to the village.

Want to read more? Check out the rest of the story here – http://www.fivestopstory.com/read/story.php?storyId=2539