if you are not a writer...i'm not sure why you'd be reading this except maybe as a social study. X_x

If you are a writer, you're probably acquainted with the almost crippling fear of what people will think of your writing + how it will be received.  People are fickle + picky + weird + seem like they think they would have written your book better than you did (rude??).  It's scary.  Halloween ain't got nothing on the horror of an angry readership.

The creative writing career is chockastumblingblock full of advice + rules + opinions + "keys" to success.  It's confusing + paralyzing.  Basically I always come away thinking I'm doing it totally wrong, & I'm sure I'm not the only one with this feeling.

you can't just make up your own rules
but at the same time
you kind of can

for every "rule" that i'm confronted with, i find an excellent exception:

a:: the author that "head hops" + yet does so seamlessly
b:: the author who invents words + yet makes complete sense
c:: the author who takes a long time to build up the plot + yet retains your interest with fascination

Rules are training wheels.  Rules are for beginners, just finding their balance, just learning what writing is all about.  But then, you hit your stride, + you can take off the training wheels + be yourself.  BUT RULES NEVER MAKE A GOOD STORY; THE WRITER MAKES IT A GOOD STORY.

two tips for being great

Don't have a fatalistic attitude.  |  If you think the story is going to be lame, then yes it's going to be lame.  If you don't love it, you can't make it live.  You fundamentally have to believe in the story's right to exist + be good for it to have any vitality. Clap! clap for your story!


Determine to be excellent.  |  Not to name any names, but the people groups of the English-speaking world who are notoriously self-effacing, "modest," + don't believe they'll amount to much, don't amount to much as a society.  The same goes for any venture, whether in business, school, or creativity.  Set excellence as the goal & work toward it; you can't reach a destination if you don't steer yourself that way!

"you did it. you've hit the stride and the soul of the story and it's TRULY MAGNIFICENT. i was entirely caught up in its spell, enthralled, needing the next word, the next sentence, needing to know what was happening."

This is one of the most encouraging reviews I've received for my work-in-progress.  In the midst of all the worries + the blind writing + vaguely trying to determine the structure of the plot, the feedback I got restored my self-belief + the knowledge that I am aiming in the right direction.  I'm doing it.  It's not easy, but I'm pulling it off.

be the excellent exception

love you all, my peepitipeeps!
xoxo, jenny

Adamantine Update + Some Snippets!

I still remember getting majorly stuck right at the initial critical moment in AdamantineUGH.  What a nightmare, leaving that cliffhanger just...hanging there, feeling like I'd shot off a dud firework & I was still waiting for it to burst. 

I'LL GET STUCK AGAIN, DON'T WORRY.  But thankfully, Zenwriter has been a big help keeping me going + not being catatonic while I stare at my screen.*

*writers relate

30,610 words in, the plot is shaping & I think I like the developments.  My biggest hurdle is that the main character can't speak the language yet, so {W O W} have you ever tried to write an engaging plot with no verbal dialogue?  Relying on alternative cues to communicate is like engaging in writing yoga.  FUN.

{eh, snippets, anyone?}

I broke the stillness with a fumbling step; the fairy, having recollected himself, stood aside for me to duck through the doorway. He then led the way, the two of us limping--I quite badly, he but slightly--along a way which I dimly recollected to be a retracing of our steps of the day before. I had my wits, such as they were, better about me, and I was mesmerized by his wings. I thought that heretofore they had been yet one more surreal aspect to an alien backdrop; now they sharpened into focus, composed of velvet cerulean hues, swathes of ombre black into grey, anchoured into his back betwixt his shoulders, and trailing dormant behind him as he walked, the tips dragging upon the corridor. I noticed, too, with a cold shiver, that the membranes near the wings' extremities were ragged and scarred, as I had seen of a butterfly which has escaped the beak of a hunting bird, though not without personal loss.

I went after him out the doorway as best I could with my vision disrupted by blazing miniature suns superimposed over everything I saw. It was nearly a minute before I could see my surroundings for what they were.
They ripped my breath away. Conscious of my injured leg and imbalance, my mind panicked, throwing up red flags of vertigo so that I was reaching for the fairy's shoulder' with my free hand before I was aware of what I was about.
We were standing at the extreme edge of what looked, from what little I could see or comprehend, to be a massive, sudden, high outcropping amongst a tangled landscape of crags and verdant valleys, off which the morning mist was burning in long, torn banners of blue and gold. A stiff wind added to the alarmingly beautiful pastiche around me, and my mind--I feared it was becoming truly unhinged--was hurled back to the seasides of the Cyclades; it was that sort of wind.

"You - reindeer," I repeated wearily, and sat down on a stone from which I could see the herd.
He gave that same sharp huff of humour, unexpectedly jerking out his thumb, pointing skyward. "Bona mew-mew," he chuckled; and with a quick swing-about, he left me, going down the path until the wind and the rock had closed him off from sight and hearing.

My arm, which the Emerald Jewel had never let go, began to tremble with excruciating electricity. The hairs on my skin, the hairs on my catskins, all stood on end and pulsed with a greenish, wretched light that cracked and popped and made my heart misfire as it attempted to regain its natural rhythm. The wings of the Emerald Jewel were flooded in a mesmerizing luminescence, in a pattern that had been invisible in the light. Although the pattern was such as I had never seen before, something primal in me knew that hieroglyph as a labyrinth that led to death.

The Haloed Swan lost patience. She suddenly snapped round, wrenched a knife off her table, and shot her arm forward through the broken field of sparks. I felt her fingers snag my hair. In the vertigo dark, as I was hauled down onto my face, I heard my own voice screaming, felt the reverberations in my own chest, while, above it all, my mind was scrambling to get away, to leave my temporal half behind.
Knife blade pressed cold, hard, into the skin above my right ear. I felt the pain like a shard of ice being driven through my skull. My eyes gulped up a vision of sparks and intricately woven, colourful carpet, soft as moss, complex as the night sky, not inches from my left cheek. My mind saw the Haloed Swan twist my hair into a tangled braid, saw her wrist angle for the slashing cut; my body felt like it was being lifted as a plant from its roots; any moment now, my skin would rip loose - 

I hope you enjoyed them!  I have a hesitant confidence in their being rather good, I like where this path is taking me.  Not only is it a challenge to write a novel, it's an even BIGGER challenge to write one whose setup is almost totally devoid of intelligible dialogue.  HERE'S TO ME + my ability to pull this off. X_x

until next time,
xoxo, jenny

WINNER REVEAL | How Well Do You Know My Novel


I gave you a selection of six animals that might conceivably show up in my stories, & asked you to pick which one you thought would be showcased in my semi-current-work-in-progress Adamantine.  First person to guess correctly wins a peek at the first ten pages of my manuscript.

& the answer is...


Yes, that's right; reindeer.  Don't ask me why because I don't know, it just is.  Reindeer et al are such fascinating creatures; they're like horse-cattle-camels with oh-no handles* on their heads.  There are still (dwindling) groups of semi-nomadic peoples who keep reindeer, & while the lifestyle is a dying one, it's still fascinating.  Reindeer don't get enough press, I think.

so (what you really want to know) the winner is
(who sounds like maybe her folk raise reindeer themselves??)

hip! hip! hurrah!  you are the lucky (good luck? bad luck??) recipient of the first ten pages of adamantine! please email me at + i will get that to you directly!

* you know, those little handles inside cars that you grab hold of when the driver is going around a sharp bend.  oh-no handles.

Thank you all for participating!  I don't know, should I cook up some more guessing games for you? Let me know in the comments!

until next time
xoxo, jenny

Box of Animal Crackers | How Well Do You Know My Novel


i'm watching you

Since I'm working on the beginning of my Adamantine rewrite* & not Ethandune, & you guys probably know more about it than I do, I wanted to test your knowledge.

*i think i'll just call it adamantine from here on out

yay, quiz time
(with a prize)


a:: lion
b:: reindeer
c:: cat
d:: horse
e:: dragon
f:: kirin

the first person to choose correctly will get a preview of THE FIRST 10 PAGES of ADAMANTINE

ready? set? choose!
xoxo, jenny