Accountability

And Why It’s So Important

Photo by Renáta-Adrienn on Unsplash

For a long time, my life wasn’t my own, and revolved around someone else. I’m not saying this to try and get sympathy, or because I resent it, but it’s just the truth. This is the life of a carer. This was my lot.

The thing is that now; as I am becoming accustomed to not being a carer, I am having to re-learn what I’m doing with regards my own personal goals, and I am having to re-learn how to structure my time now that I’m not having to fit things in around my caring responsibilities.

Just lately, a very good friend of mine began studying again. She has been using timers to make sure that she is getting a certain amount of studying done per week. This seems to really be working for her, and so I decided to try a similar sort of thing.

However, I have found that working with a weekly target doesn’t seem to work for me. If I have a bad day, I can talk myself into the idea that there’s no possible way of my meeting my targets, and so I give up and start again.

So, this time, I am trying the same tactics, but I’m totalling up my hours for the whole month, and I’m hoping that this way, I can actually stick at it.

Accountability is so important here, especially with us writers, whose only goal setters are ourselves.

So, I’m posting this here as a practice in accountability, and this is my promise to myself that I will write another post on the 20th of June, where I will hopefully be able to tell you that I have succeeded and hit all of my targets.


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Journaling

Journaling

And why I keep one.

I have kept a journal in one form or another, since I was about ten years old.

I remember when I first made the decision. I had told my uncle that I wanted to be a writer, and his response (apart from telling me that there would be lots of rejection), was to tell me that if I wanted to be a successful writer, then I would need to start the practice of keeping a journal. I stated that very day, in a little, spiral bound notebook, where I had to write the date myself.

I don’t look back at those journals often, but its a nice feeling, knowing that they’re there.. pieces of my younger self, preserved in paper form, within a book.

My way of journaling has changed, grown, and developed over the years. At first, I only used words; Now, though, I use a mixture of words, poetry, and images. I’m still learning about new, and different journaling techniques. I don’t honestly ever think that I’ll stop learning, and you know what? I’m totally okay with that.

Over the years, my journals have been supporter, confidante, and friend, sometimes when I felt like I had no-one.

The thing is that having a journal means that you always have a way to get all of those horrible, messy, nonsensical thoughts out of your head, and, trust me-it really works.

I don’t know if you already journal, or if you’ve never even considered it, but I would really, highly, recommendit. It is a lifelong practice for me, and I can honestly say that it has only ever served to enhance my life.


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Timescales In Writing

Timescales In Writing

An Experiment

Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

I’m taking a writing course, and at the moment, I’ve been looking at genre fiction. The thing is that, while I’ve looked at genre fiction before, and I know what it is, something in the notes made me realise something that I’ve not really considered before.

That something, is time. Most of my writing projects have taken place over a seemingly infinite time period. What I mean here is not that I allowed myself infinite time to finish a piece (obviously, that would be ridiculous) but that the stories themselves don’t seem to have a specific time frame for me to work with.

I plan to change that. Today, I begin planning a novella in parts. Seven parts, to be exact. The idea is that each part will cover one day. The story will, therefore, be told in the time span of a week.

I have a few ideas bouncing around at the moment, but nothing particularly concrete, and you know what? I’m actually okay with that. While I will plan the story, I am quite happy to give my imagination free rein to come up with the story that it wants to tell. My only restriction is that it must all happen within the space of a week.

I don’t know how long it will take me to write this, but I will keep a log during this time, and hopefully I will update you soon.

Have any of you ever come up against this? Have you written something set within a specific time frame?

Let me know in the comments. 🙂


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Fiction

Fiction

And why it isn’t pointless..

Photo by Janko Ferlič on Unsplash

Recently, I was reliably informed by someone who will remain nameless, that they didn’t read fiction; that it had absolutely no point, and that it would not add anything to their life.

Their claim was that there are plenty of factual books out there, and that there was no need for fiction.

As a writer, I took this comment particularly personally. To the person that said it, it was probably nothing more than a throwaway comment, but it wasn’t for me. For me, it felt like, and indeed, it was, someone cutting down my first love.

The thing is that fiction and storytelling in general, have an incredibly important point to them. They allow us to convey things to some people, who might never read a non-fiction, or reference book about the subject.

Reading is so important, and fiction encourages this in a way the no non-fiction book can. Truthfully, it is far easier to get lost in a story than it is to get lost in the pages of information shown in a non fiction book.

This is not to say that I don’t see the value in non fiction, because I certainly do. I read both types of writing, and enjoy them both in different ways, and to varying degrees, but when it comes down to it, on a sunny afternoon, if I am to sit in the garden with a book, it is more likely to be a copy of a Harry Potter novel, than it is to be a book about productivity and sales management.

That’s the thing with fiction. It is, without a doubt, the most basic, and fundamental source of magic that there is, and if you haven’t managed to open a book, and look up five hours later, when it’s three o clock in the morning, then you simply haven’t worked out how to harness this magic.

As a writer, I am privileged enough to be able to wield this magic; to bend and shape it into a story, and this is what I truly love.

I imagine children at bedtime, asking their parents for just one more story. I imagine them slipping from their beds, right inside the story, until it is so real to them that they could reach out and touch the characters.

I think this is what adults have lost over their years on this earth. They lose the ability to see the magic in stories, and this is something that needs to be regained before they can even begin to see and appreciate the value and point of fiction.

So, I guess what I am saying, is that I pity the person that told me that fiction is pointless, because they are closing themselves off from whole other worlds, which would be open to them, if only they were to open a book, and read a story.


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

She Said

She Said

A Poem

Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash

She said that I was stupid,
She said she didn’t care.
She said that I was on my own,
That I wasn’t self aware.

She said that she loved me,
She said that she knew,
She made me tell all my secrets,
All my tales of woe.

Then one day she left me,
She just turned and walked away.
She didn’t even look back,
On that dark, dark day…


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Bluebells

Bluebells

A Sign From Nature

Photo by Jez Timms on Unsplash

About seven years ago, I began writing a project. This became a novel, which I actually completed. I put it to one side so that I could get some distance before I went back into redrafting.

Now, life got in the way and I spent a bit more time away from it than I’d planned, but when I went back to it, I found that the ending that I’d written had gone missing. I was heartbroken (if you’re a writer, you’ll understand this), and I simply gave up on it, leaving the now, unfinished manuscript where it was.

Now, this is where it could have ended, and I thought it had. Until Good Friday…

I’d had some new bookshelves installed, so I took the opportunity on Good Friday to sort out some of my books and notebooks (who doesn’t love a nice, neatly ordered space?).

While I was doing this, I happened to find two notebooks, with the original manuscript for my long- forgotten novel. I was happy, but simply shelved them once more.

The following day, while out for a walk with my furbabies, I saw a bluebell on its own, just beside the path. I smiled at it’s beauty, but thought nothing much more of it.

The day after that, I saw two bluebells, and the day after that; a cluster of them. Then, while I was on the phone to a friend, she mentioned that she had millions and millions of bluebells in her garden.

I expect you’re wondering why these bluebells were so important to me…

Well, the thing is that the main character in my manuscript is named Bluebell.

Some might say that this is a coincidence, but for me, I choose to see it as a sign; a sign that now is the time to go back to this project, and to start redrafting it, so that’s what I plan to do.

I’ll post little updates on how it’s going, here and there, but the message I wanted to share here is to not ignore hints, no matter how subtle they may be. Notice everything, and when you feel that little prod, trust your instincts.


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Camp NaNoWriMo

Camp NaNoWriMo

The Beginning

Photo by Angelina Litvin on Unsplash

Well, yesterday, I began a month-long writing challenge. National Novel Writing Month that runs throughout the course of November, has been going for a number of years now. I have participated several times, but this year, I thought I would try their spring challenge, titled “Camp NaNoWriMo”.

The principle is basically the same. You write throughout the month of April. You have support from a huge network of peers, who are also doing the challenge. The difference is that you set the target. You can write anything you want, or finish off a piece you’re currently working on.

The thing is that there is an added freedom in this challenge, which isn’t there with the November variant. So, I thought I’d give it a go. I’m hoping that it will jump start my steps back into writing, and that I can actually get something fully drafted by the end of the month.

So, I’ve picked out my projects, and made a start. One is the story of a teenaged girl whose father is arrested for being in a relationship with one of his students, but this isn’t just any student, it’s her best friend. The story picks up just as this becomes public knowledge and Allie (mc) sees her father arrested. We will then follow Allie as she walks the path of a pariah; a girl marked with a sin that is not hers.

I’m really looking forward to getting on with the story and to writing freely for a while. I don’t intend to plan too much, because the story has been inside my head for a long time, and I have a fairly confident knowledge of where it is going to go.

I also intend to work on a middle grade fantasy about a dragon school; a dark YA fantasy about a girl who can pass between her world and a world inhabited by daemons; a short story for the writing course I am doing; and the novel that I’ve been working on for the last year.

I know it seems like a lot of projects, but my mood is very unsettled at the moment, and after talking with a good friend, who is a huge inspiration to me, I have decided that it’s okay to have multiple projects to work on.

I’ll keep you guys updated, and if you want to join me on the journey, drop me a note in the comments. J


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

The Next Chapter

The Next Chapter

I’m Baaaaack!

Photo by Justine Camacho on Unsplash

I’ve let this blog slip massively. I’ve not been well (emotionally and physically) and it’s been very hard to summon up the energy to do any writing at all. I just haven’t been able to motivate myself to do it, whether that’s ‘it’ is the action of sitting at my computer and typing, or whether it’s the mental process of coming up with things to write. Either way, things haven’t got done, and posts haven’t been written, and it got to the point where I had to say to myself that I had to take a break, for my own sanity.

I’m feeling a little better now, and have been able to write, so I’m hoping that I can get back on track with this blog, because I really have missed it.

The thing is that sometimes, life gets in the way, and in the past I would have blamed myself for not being strong enough to be able to cope with it, and to also get on with things (like writing these posts), but I am slowly learning that it’s okay to say that I’m having a bad day, and that the post I want to write will wait until tomorrow, and it will probably be better for me giving myself some time. I’m not saying that I never have those feelings of ‘not being good enough’, but I am more aware of them now, and I can try and practice being kind to myself.

So, I guess what this post was really about was to say that I’m back, and that I hope you’ll join me on this next journey this coming month. 🙂


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Going Old School

Going Old School

A Practice In Reminiscing

I remember the Christmas that my parents bought me my first electronic word processor. I remember the excitement when I tore the wrapping paper away, and when I opened the box and switched it on, watching the screen whirring to life. It was a Canon StarWriter, and I loved that machine.

I’ve always wanted to be a writer, pretty much from the first time that I realised that I didn’t have to just read books, but that I could actually create them, too. That Christmas, I started writing on that little word processor, and I loved it. The feeling of freedom that writing gives me is like nothing else on this earth. It is a joy like no other, and I am sad to say that I had lost it for quite a while.

The thing is that until the last year, I had been a carer for fifteen years, and if I’m honest, that took up most of my time and energy, leaving me very little left to give to my writing.

That changed in October 2017, in a heartbreaking way, when my sister, and best friend (whom I was caring for) passed away suddenly. It has taken me a long time to get to the point when I finally feel able to focus and dedicate the time to my writing once more.

The thing is that, having made that decision, I have struggled to write using my laptop. There are any number of distraction free apps on the market, but none of them prevent the constant notifications that are forever at our finger tips.

So, I started searching to see if there was something else that I could use, which is when the memory of writing on my little word processor as a child, came to me.

Now, obviously, we are in an age, where portability is essential, so, while I got out my StarWriter (yes, I still have it, and it still powers up flawlessly) to use at home, I began looking for something that would be a good, portable alternative.

This is when I stumbled upon this gem. The AlphaSmart Neo2. Looking at the writers forums, I saw that a number of novelists were working from this device rather than from more modern, and possibly high tech devices.

The thing is that the Neo2 does exactly what I need it to. It gives me a full sized keyboard, and a small screen, which I can see about six lines of text. There is no internet, and no pesky notifications to distract me, so I can simply write, write, write. The screen works in bright sunlight, and with a lamp, so I can literally take it anywhere with me, and the battery life is approximately 700 hours, on guess what?! Three AA Batteries!

I have had this device since Saturday, and I can honestly say that I have probably written more in these few days than I have in the last month or so.

This is the thing though… as humans, we have a tendency to over complicate things, with fancy apps, and cloud backup, when really, all we need is the ability to put the words in our head down in some way.

With my Neo, I simply write, and then when I want to transfer it to a document, I simply connect it to my laptop with a USB cable and “send” the document there. In fact, I’ve done that with this very post that you’re now reading.

I’m not saying that it will work for everyone, but for me, it has given my writing a new lease of life, for which I’m so grateful for.


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Descriptions

Descriptions

Adventures In Novelling

Photo by J. Kelly Brito on Unsplash

As a writer, descriptions are something that is fairly important to me. I am constantly trying to come up with new ways to talk about things.

There are so many words in the English language, and so many of them have been placed together in certain patterns in order to describe things, but really, what we need to do is to try and look for any possible different ways to illustrate the images that we’re trying to create in the minds of our readers.

Sometimes I find that these words are more forthcoming than at other times… and sometimes, trying to find that ‘right’ combination of words is like trying to get blood out of a stone.

The thing is, that there’s no telling when the good and bad days are going to come. All we can do as writers is to be constantly trying to expand our vocabulary, and to be ever vigilant to try and catch the words when they float by us.

Something that I am going to try and do is to keep a collection of phrases… snippets of words that come into my head, in the hopes that I will one day, be able to say that I have found the exact ordering of words for the description that I want to write.

The thing that I find with descriptions, and it’s something that I am as guilty of as anyone else; is that I only ever seem to utilise one or two of the senses, rather than looking at using all five of them.

As writers, we need to be overly careful to make sure that we use every one of the senses, because this is the way in which we experience the world, and so, it follows that it should also be the way that our characters experience the world; to not do so, is to render our characters almost as disabled in some way.

So, when writing our descriptions, we must try and make sure that we talk about what our characters can see, hear, smell, touch, and taste. These little details are the sorts of things that will add flavour to our writing.


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.