But I don’t FEEL like a writer

Writing inspiration can come from the strangest of places. Or perhaps I’m just now getting used to the writer’s eye.

I often feel like an impostor and wonder if I’m kidding myself by thinking I’m a writer. Am I good enough? Am I delusional? Is this all some childish dream?

Earlier this month though, something happened that made me truly feel like a writer.

A couple of weeks ago I was on holiday in Italy, staying in the small, coastal town of Trieste, nestled in the north-eastern sliver of land that curves around the Adriatic and brushes up against Slovenia and Croatia.

It was a relaxing get-away for my boyfriend and I, and a chance to escape the stresses of work and everyday life. We were flying from a London airport so we had a long train journey on top of our actual flight and time to waste in airport lounges.

Naturally, I took a notebook and pen (and a spare, and then about 10 spare spares in case somehow they all ran out), thinking to use those hours to work on a project I’ve been thinking about for a while, but haven’t found much time to focus on.

I got some work done though, as usual, not as much as I wanted. That much I expected.

What I didn’t expect was to find myself looking at places as settings. Almost subconsciously I found myself trying to record every detail of a place – how it looked, smelled and felt and how it made me feel – then filing away little snippets of sentences as I tried to put those details into words in my head.

It made me feel like a writer.

More so than pulling out my notebook and scribbling away on the train, more so than posting short stories on my blog and even more so than outlining story boards for Real Actual Novels™.

It was the mindset that did it. Seeing the world from a certain perspective. And it felt very special.

One place it was particularly strong was when we visited Grotta Gigante. The name literally translates to Giant Cave and it really was… a giant cave. But really going down there was something entirely different to seeing photos or imagining being in a cave.

You could feel the cold and the humidity on your skin as you descended and the world transformed. I was awed as the cavernous space opened up in front of me.

Shadows danced around the thousands of stalactites and stalagmites and I could imagine eyes hiding in those shadows, watching as a lone figure descended into chamber.

As I looked around shapes seemed to form in the rocks; gaping jaws of long, sharp teeth, animals crouched, ready to pounce and monsters prowling, long-forgotten in the depths.

I suddenly knew one of my characters would come here and then I was not descending a touristy cave, but into the lair of my story’s villains: a mysterious and deadly race of supernatural creatures.

I tried to soak up every detail, every feeling I had walking down into that cave and couldn’t wait to describe it from the eyes of that character.

It was an intense and wonderful feeling, and I can’t wait to find my next unexpected inspiration.

(These pictures really don’t do this place justice but believe me, in person it was breathtaking!)

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New Serial: My Sister the Siren

Hey, it’s been a while. My 30-day challenge kind of bombed – life happens. It didn’t help that I was also doing a 30-day fitness challenge, sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day.

Anyway, I’m back and I’ve decided to kick off September with a brand new series. If you’ve followed me for a while you’ll know that My Sister the Siren is the short story I wrote for Book Loot but I think it’s about time I shared it here.

It’s still one of my absolute favourites that I’ve written and I’m so excited to share it with you 🙂

It’ll be a 5 parter, and Part 1 will be up later today.

*New* Daily Challenge & *New* Short Story!

Hey.

HEY!

Yes, it’s me!

It’s been a while, huh?

Did you miss me? Fear not, I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth. I’ve just had stuff going on. A lot of busy weeks, even busier weekends and what seemed like just not enough hours in the day.

But now I’m properly settling into a my new job and a new (much quicker) workout regimen so it’s time to get back on the ol’ fictional horse. And what better way than…

* Trumpets *

a thirty day challenge! Continue reading “*New* Daily Challenge & *New* Short Story!”

I made it!

I ran my 5k for charity and I survived!

It was very muddy, and I’ll be honest I didn’t run the whole way. Then after I went straight to McDonald’s for fries…

Then as a (second) reward I got to hang out with these sweeties:


For the blog this means my Seven Wonders of the World series is finished, you can view the whole collection here: Series: Seven Wonders of the World.

I’m going to take a week or two off Series Saturday and focus on bringing you more regular, stand-alone content, perhaps with some sequels thrown in for Midweek Cereal.

I’ve talked before on this blog about a novel I’ve been working on and progress on that has really slowed down. I still love the premise and the world and the characters. They’re not leaving me anytime soon but I’m starting to feel like the book is too big to be my debut novel. It’s complex and intricate and I feel like I need a simpler story to tell that will just flow out of me.

You might have seen my last post about my short story published in Book Loot. It’s a story that really did just flow out. I opened the floodgates and I’m very much still swept up by it. The Sirens’ story is far from over and so I think I’m going to put my other idea on the backburner and turn My Sister, the Siren into a full-blown novel.

Between story posts I’ll keep you up to date with progress 🙂

And plenty more kitten pictures, of course.

Book Loot – My Sister, the Siren

Via Daily Prompt: Tether

“I remembered her words and that connection – that tether – I’d felt to her. I conjured up strength from deeper within me than I thought possible and I forced myself to believe it all.”

This is an excerpt from a short story I wrote for the BookLoot loot crate. I’ve been waiting and waiting to share this with you and now finally I can!

The story is called My Sister, the Siren and BookLoot give a pretty good blurb:

“The adventure of a young changeling discovering her true calling and coming to terms with her destiny.”

If you like Young Adult fiction and haven’t heard of BookLoot, you really should have!

BookLoot is a monthly YA subscription box which includes a newly released Young Adult book, 3-4 bookish goodies and a user submitted short story all revolving around a monthly theme.

They are a fantastic company and the only book loot crate to give a platform to aspiring writers, so I was thrilled to have my story chosen for their June theme, ‘Call of the Water’.

And the best news is some are still available for one-off purchase!

That's right! We still have Call of the Water boxes available for one-time purchase! You can use any of our rep codes for a 10% discount! Order yours today before they are gone! . 🌊Included in this box: 💦Song of the Current by @sarahtolcser with a signed bookplate and a letter from the author. 💦Passenger bookmark from @drawntothepages 💦Daughter of the Pirate King inspired lotion bar from @geekfirelabs 💦#percyjackson ring from @sammariesartistry 💦BookLoot reading journal and pen! 💦Short Story "My Sister the Siren" by Chloe Ash . Photo Credit: @readerrewind . #bookstagram #yabookclub #yalit #ya #yabooks #yabookbox #book #bookbox #books📚 #bookloot #booklooters #booklootfambam #booklootersunite #subscribe #subscriptionbox #readersgonnaread #readmore

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This theme seriously looks so cool, and if I lived in the States I’d totally be a subscriber. BookLoot are very kindly sending me a copy of my story and I was waiting to make this post so I could include a photo of myself holding it, but alas it’s still crossing the Atlantic (fitting given the ‘Call of the Water’ theme, huh?).

What I have gotten from instagram is a sneaky glimpse of the cover and seriously…

Siren

It is A-M-A-Z-E-B-A-L-L-S. And I don’t use that word lightly. Or, you know, at all. I just wish I knew the artist so I could credit them properly because serious, serious props to them: I want that thing framed on my wall.

If you want to read it, you can head over to BookLoot’s Artists & Writers Page, it’s right there at the top 🙂 Check out the other stories and art pieces too, there are some gems!

I’m thinking Faith and Serenity will make their debut on this blog later this year as a Midweek Cereal collection, but for now go check out Book Loot because they absolutely deserve your love.

A big, final thanks to them for sharing what is genuinely one of my favourite stories I’ve ever written.