Creative dates

I first came across this term listening to the often hilarious ‘So you want to be a writer ?’ podcast and was totally intrigued by the concept of going on solo dates in order to refuel and expose myself to different types of creativity.

In true me form, I first heard the term two years ago, and it has only taken me until this month, to start to implement it. 

Sometimes life gets in the way.

This month, I managed to go on three creative dates, the first two solo, the third with a plus one (who may not have appreciated it as much as I did).

Were the solo dates awkward? Hell no. Although that may be the introvert in me coming out.

 As part of my journey to embrace all creativity and experiences, I went and saw a documentary about spiders, spider sex and Neil Gaiman (not necessarily in that order), a tour of a destitute asylum in Adelaide and a murder and mayhem tour of Adelaide.

One of the older buildings in Adelaide, located on the old grounds of the destitute asylum

For such a quiet city, known affectionately as the city of churches, it has some interesting figures and murders. The latter two dates may have been fuelled by my true crime obsession. Mmmm.

Street art during the Murder and mayhem tour of Adelaide, HIndley st.

Next up I have a tour of cemetery, a live podcast and a theatre production.

At the very least I wont be bored. 

Do you go on creative dates? Or do you have different ways of being inspired?

Books, podcasts, tv shows … oh my!

Welcome to my monthly recommendations, the aim of this post is to let you know about my latest obsessions and what I have been reading, watching or listening to.

If you have any suggestions, please let me know!

Books. Ok, this month I have two recommendations, my non-fiction recommendation is Deep Work by Cal Newport. As I indicated in an earlier post, 2019 is about being organised. Its not a sexy word, but if I want to pursue writing, juggle full time work and have some semblance of a social life, I need to be brutal with my time and how I use it. I have limited my social media use during the day (I don’t actually want to delete the accounts), I also turn off Wi-Fi when I am writing so I don’t get distracted by shiny objects or research points. I think its working, I am halfway through the month and I have already reached over 60% of my monthly word count. 

The second book is Manifest Recall by Alan Baxter; it’s a supernatural novella that tells the story through a Mafioso type hitman and his search for redemption. Not for the faint hearted, it has blood, guts and gore. 

TV shows: I have rekindled my serial killer/true crime obsession and have been binge watching all things Ted Bundy related on Netflix. This includes Extremely wicked, shockingly evil and vile (with Zac Efron playing Bundy) and Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes. These are both really fascinating and remind me that the Scooby gang were correct, humans are always the monsters. 

Documentary: Sixteen Legsa documentary about huge ass spiders (the size of dinner plates) that live in the majestic underground cave systems of Tasmania, Australia. I mean, it features Neil Gaiman and has spider sex. What more could you want?

Podcast: The Dropout (ABC radio). I have just finished binge listening to the inane life of Elizabeth Holmes and her visionary company Theranos. A story about romance, ambition and hubris. Wow. 

Music: I currently have Something wicked this way comes by James Warburton and Diana Haunts on repeat. Go listen to it!

That’s about it for now, do you have any recommendations?

Research, research research…

I love researching, well at the very least I love collecting books about topics I intend to research, a bit like my writing craft book collection. My current TBR pile is about my height (1.68cm if you are interested) and half of them can be considered research books. I have a tendency to collect them like some people (including me) collect shoes and other accessories. 

 Are you the same? Are you easily distracted or just trying to work out the inticate details of X? I may have once gone on a YOUTUBE binge fest and watched countless how to videos on ‘how to escape zip ties.’ But that is another post.

I find that reading nonfiction always sparks so many questions within me, so many ‘What if…’ moments. Sometimes, the truth is weirder than fiction.

I am struggling with handling the balance of researching to make my novel stand up to scrutiny but at the same time I am cognisant that I do not want to info dump everything I have learned onto the page. When this occurs, as a reader, I find it takes me away from the story and throws me back into reality. Now, I need to learn to be aware of the info dumps in my WIP, or at the very least be ruthless during the editing process.

Do you like researching? If you do, do you like researching as you draft your MS or do you have to have it all completed before you start?

Accountability Post: May

During the month of May, I will write 20 000 words. Yes, you did read that correctly. 20 000 words.

I have stated it in a public forum, so I must persevere, through the blood, sweat and tears. Ok, maybe through the hours of staring at a blank screen, the allure of cleaning (because the urge to clean when I’m writing a tough scene, chapter is real) and binge watching TV.

If When, I reach my goal, I will be that much closer to the end of my first draft and I will be able to buy the pair of heels, I have been eyeing off. I am a rewards based person, and I know I am more likely to reach my goals if I get something materialistic out of it. Call me shallow, but it works.

Do you have a writing goal for May? Do you reward yourself for reaching the goal?

The halfway point…

After a busy Easter of relaxing and eating copious amount of chocolate and hot cross buns, I have started to get some headway with the WIP. I am happy to report I have approached the halfway mark of Draft 0.5!!!

To be honest, there are lots of ‘INSERT DESCRIPTION XXXX’ and ‘NEEDS MORE RESEARCH!!’ throughout the work, but there are words on the page. And I can edit words on the page. And there will be lots of editing, but that my friends, is a future Tamara problem.

To celebrate I am going to introduce my girls in CHIBI form…. I think they are super cute and you can defintely see some of the attitude they have been giving me… cough Reika and Khalida.

Reika Singh – My MC and Bio archaeologist extraordinaire
Kahlida Kogami … do not annoy her, she has a thing for knives
Anneke Schoorl… some things are better kept secret

Seriously, how cute are they???

I’m back…I think

I’ve been kinda distracted for the last six weeks. Going away for work will do that to a person, unfortunately I barely had enough time to sleep let alone write. But I’m ok with that (well maybe without the sleep depravation), I think I needed the time away.

The pockets of spare moments I had allowed me to focus on my characters and what was going to happen next. And, now I’m super excited!

And I can’t wait to introduce you to some of the other voices in my head… Khalida has quickly become one of my favs.

Red Sand, open land… desert dreaming

Some times work can be fun!

Last week I found myself traversing across the red deserts of South Australia. There are not enough words to explain the beauty of the Outback. I know, a funny thing for an inspiring writer to put down in text. I have always been fascinated by deserts, there is a beauty to the desolation and the loneliness, and here in South Australia, it isn’t quite bare. There are pockets of greenery everywhere, some more brown than others but it all acts as a reminder that life will continue to grow even in the harshest climate. h

I even had some time to write, I found a great writing corner in my underground hotel.

Here I am embracing the red desert and Cobber Pedy, the Opal mining capital of Australia. It was one of those tourist photos I couldn’t resist taking!