The hobbit lives! | An update

It has been an absolute age since I posted on this blog. I don’t even have a good reason for my absence, beyond concentrating on Acres of Ink, my wedding, my book, and training. So, here’s a quick update on my life and what you can expect from me in the next few months!


ACRES OF INK

Acres of InkFor those of you who don’t know, Acres of Ink is my developmental editing service. I work exclusively on fiction novels and offer a ‘free sample’ editing service of up to 3,000 words for new clients – check it out!

I’m very pleased to announce I had a successful first quarter, testing the waters and getting glowing feedback from my clients. I’m now stepping things up a bit by adding an editing blog to enhance my services. This will be similar to the ‘Writing Is Hard‘ section that used to be on here and will focus on Character Development, Plot Development, World Building, plus some editing tips and tricks. My first blog series will be about the amazing advice I recently received during a workshop in Bloomsbury (home of Harry Potter). If that  sounds up your street, make sure follow the blog so you don’t miss anything!

Ron


MY WEDDING

CountdownI’m getting married in 106 days! I’m not sure how I got to this stage in my life but I’m suddenly 30 years’ old and have impending nuptials to organise. Most of the ‘big things’ have been done already but I’m sure I’m forgetting something… the to-do list is loooooong. On the plus side, I get to try on my chosen dress for the first time next Thursday. [Cue stereotypically girly squealing].


MY BOOK

The main event! So, as I mentioned earlier, I attended a Bloomsbury workshop that focused on YA and Middle Grade novels (my special interest genres). The day was utterly amazing and full of excellent advice. I’ll be sharing most of this advice on the Acres of Ink Blog in coming weeks, but it also inspired me to change my first three chapters ever so slightly. The impact of the opening chapters has now increased tenfold and I’m now readying my query letter! 2019 will be my year.


MY TRAINING

EyeammakingadifferenceTraining for what, you may ask. Well, in my infinite wisdom, I decided that 2019 was the year to give back to charities that have helped me become who I am today. So, on Sunday 10th March, I will be walking 14 miles (22.5km) to raise money for Moorfields’ Eye Charity. Moorfields saved my sight when I was 10 and their care and expertise is the reason I can still read and write (and edit) today. My sight is so integral to everything that brings me joy in my life, so I thought I’d take the time to support the amazing work they do.

If you’d like to find out more about my story or what Moorfields does – or if you’d like to donate some pennies to the cause! – then you can do that here >>

Aaaaand… if you fancy seeing a very tired, very red-faced hobbit, you can follow my updates on Instagram (@kfgooodacre.writing).


ONE MORE THING

I’m bringing back my book reviews! I’ll be starting with Circe by Madeline Miller and The Near Witch by V.E. Schwab. Watch this space!

 

2019 | My year of… why not?

 

thSLWJSISW

It’s that time of year again when everyone makes promises they keep for two weeks before reverting back to form. I won’t lie, I am one of those people too, although 2018 was slightly more successful because I managed one resolution (to update my blog every week) for a grand total of FORTY-ONE WEEKS.

tumblr_m6d1jrVnjK1rziwwco1_500

Then life got in the way and I failed spectacularly but never mind! I’ll finish off the Acres of Ink Challenge next year and I’d be delighted if you’d join me. I’ll be hosting the retweets over at @AcresofInk in 2019, so feel free to follow and get to know me over there.

Right. Recaps.


2018 was a rollercoaster of a year for me. Here’s a short rundown.

  • Jan 1st: I propose to my partner. He says yes!

giphy

  • Feb 16th: Fiancé gets knocked down in a hit-and-run on our way to see Hamilton, breaks his leg in three places and nearly loses his foot. We get a lot of ‘in sickness and in health’ practice in as he then spends six months on the sofa.
  • July 20th: We finally have an engagement party and I start seriously thinking about my future. Where do I want to be in ten years? I’ve been collecting editing qualifications (not to mention editing stories for free) for years but haven’t taken the leap from my day job to full-time editor yet… will I ever?
  • August 1st: Fiancé can now walk again(ish) as long as he has his crutches. Progress!
    giphy
  • August 26th: Two good friends get married in the pouring rain, courtesy of the British summertime. It’s romantic as hell. I realise that we need to actually plan our own wedding because we haven’t done anything since fiancé got smacked by a car.
  • September 16th: Still haven’t seen Hamilton, but some wedding things are sorted.
  • September 26th: After several long talks with my fiancé, I decide that the time is now. I hand in my notice and set up Acres of Ink – my developmental editing service for fiction books. The world of publishing, here I come!
  • November 15th: Complete the edits for my first ‘official’ Acres of Ink client. They’re pretty chuffed, honestly, which means I am too. #jobwelldone #Icandothis

    giphy

  • November 22nd: Still haven’t seen Hamilton.
  • November 23rd: Annual writing retreat with @SEBerrow! Will I finally complete my second draft of The Winter Court?
  • November 30th: No. I did write 44k words of it, though.

    giphy-downsized-large

  • December 1st: Acres of Ink editing work begins in earnest. (Btw, there’s a promotion going on until end of January if anyone’s up for it). I discover that my doddery old cat Minerva is actually a lunatic during the day.
  • December 8th: My brother gets married. Meet screenwriter Charlie Covell (The End of the F**king World) at the wedding and successfully hide immense level of shock that my brother knows someone so cool. I get very excited about her next project.
  • December 21st: Finish my third official client and book a few more jobs in for the new year. Pause to wipe sweat off brow. Start thinking long-term…
  • December 28th: Still haven’t seen Hamilton.
  • December 29th: See a panto instead. It’s not quite the same.
  • December 31st: New Year’s Eve… start writing resolutions.


2019 New Year Resolutions


So, the one thing I learned from 2018 is to not settle for ordinary and that – if I try – I stand a really good chance of achieving what I want. Obviously, sometimes things don’t pan out (I have no idea when I’ll see Hamilton, for example) but you can only deal with what life throws at you in the best way you can.

SO.

To that end, I have five ‘Must Do’ Resolutions for the new year.

**dramatic drum roll**

  1. Exercise three times a week (Difficult to keep)
  2. Get married (Hopefully easy)
  3. Enhance Acres of Ink editing service by taking on experience roles etc. in publishing, to ensure my knowledge remains up-to-date. (Medium)
  4. Query The Elder Throne (Easy to send out; Difficult to get the result I long for)
  5. Finish The Winter Court once and for all (Medium)

What are your resolutions?


Have a lovely New Year’s Eve and a very happy 2019!

World Sight Day | Living with sight loss, trauma and decline

WSD-2018-Slider

I was the only six-year-old I knew who could spell ‘haemorrhage’ correctly. It was a word I learned from the dictionary, reading it aloud to my mum as she wrote a letter excusing me from P.E. lessons.


For those of you who don’t know, I was born with a condition called Incontinentia Pigmenti. The condition can affect many parts of someone’s body but, for me, it most prominently affects my eyes.

It is my experience with IP and resulting symptoms that prompted me to write this post today, as well as urge everyone to regularly have their eyes checked. The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) states that 80% of the world’s blind are avoidably so. This is a frightening statistic and one that we can change.

To find out more about what you can do to lower this number, please visit their website.


Bright lights and dark shadows


When I was six, I went into my mum’s bedroom, complaining of ‘lights in my eyes’. Continue reading

What’s in a name? Identity vs. Marital Tradition

garden-rose-red-pink-56866Four days ago, I became engaged to The Boy. There were fireworks (literal fireworks, because it was New Years Eve, at midnight) and glasses of champagne leftover cider from Christmas because that was all we had in the house. It was a great time.


Then the wedding planning started, bringing with it a lot of questions and – who are we kidding here? – judgements from relatives.

The Boy and I aren’t your most traditional couple by nature. Oh sure, he wants a church wedding and I want a pretty white dress. I want my father to walk me down the aisle and he wants a stag night to remember (or forget, depending on how much he has to drink).

scroll3Where we differ from blind tradition is deciding which surname to take after we marry. Continue reading

World Sight Day | Living with sight loss, trauma and decline

wsd_web_banner

I was the only six-year-old I knew who could spell ‘haemorrhage’ correctly. It was a word I learned from the dictionary, reading it aloud to my mum as she wrote a letter excusing me from P.E. lessons.


For those of you who don’t know, I was born with a condition called Incontinentia Pigmenti. The condition can affect many parts of someone’s body but, for me, it most prominently affects my eyes.

It is my experience with IP and resulting symptoms that prompted me to write this post today, as well as urge everyone to regularly have their eyes checked. The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) states that 80% of the world’s blind are avoidably so. This is a frightening statistic.

To find out more about what you can do to lower this number, please visit their website.


Bright lights and dark shadows


When I was six, I went into my mum’s bedroom, complaining of ‘lights in my eyes’. Continue reading

Week 32 | My inspiration to blog

Part of the 52 Week Blog Challenge


It feels a bit strange to be writing this post when my blog has been so quiet for the last few months. Acres of Ink’s silence hasn’t been very inspiring, has it? Of course, now that I’ve kicked myself into gear again, hopefully that will change because… my primary goal in blogging is to help and inspire other writers.

lionsI’ve been writing fiction since I was seven. The first story I can remember was written at age seven, about two warring lion prides in the suburbs of Kent. When I was twelve, I completed my first book – a historical novel that is better off remaining in the past. I like to think I’ve learned a lot since those early days. Although I’ve definitely written more terrible stories than good ones, I’ve won a few awards, completed a literature degree, worked in a few publishing houses and currently work in a marketing / editing role in London. I’m still learning and the idea is to keep learning.

writingishardI habitually gather snippets of information I learn from both my own experience and industry advice I’ve been given. Recently I went to a course about ‘How to Hook an Agent’, which gave me invaluable advice about the querying process. I’ll be sharing this at some point, along with other ‘How-To’s, over in the Writing Is Hard section. The idea is to help other writers with questions I didn’t know the answer to and now do, as well as document my own publishing journey. This section is going through a bit of a revamp at the moment, so if you do happen to mosey on over there, I apologise if some of the links are lost. If it’s something that interests you, watch this space, as I’ll be launching a regular WIH Monday blog from October.

Obviously I don’t always write about writing. My blog is also my personal space, where I talk about my own work, review books I’ve enjoyed, share anecdotes about my life or folktales I particularly love. Sometimes I’ll get it in my head to do something crazy like a 52 Week Blog Challenge, with mixed results. Other times, I’ll talk about charity work or surprise Victoria Sponges.

And, sometimes, I just feel the need to share pictures of baby badgers.

A little update for August

OK, so the only thing I’ve successfully and continually achieved over the last three months is an expert level of procrastination. Call myself a writer? I haven’t put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard in a horrifyingly long time. I signed up for NaNoWriMo… twice… and barely competed. I can’t even say I was blogging instead because, well, look at my blog. The spiderwebs and tumbleweeds speak for themselves.

No, I have to face it, I have done sweet FA lately and it’s time for that to stop. So here’s me, shaking myself out of my self-induced funk, and giving you all an update.


What I should have been doing:

Beta’ing Harli V. Park’s novel: I haven’t forgotten you, I swear. You’re on my list!

coverdimensionsThe Elder Throne: First novel in the Equinox Series is complete, thrice-edited but unrevised. I’d say about 60% of it has been changed – all for the better, I hope, but 40% of it still needs pushing over the line before I can attempt a second wave of queries. I feel really good about the direction this new revision is heading in, I just need to find my motivation to complete it.

The Winter Court: I have actually written more of this! (A minimal amount, but something’s better than nothing, right?)

My blog: Ha ha, ha ha, ha. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Ha. So evidently I’ve written nothing: no book reviews, no fun-fact-asides, no updates on my life and not even the easiest of all posts – answering my 52 Week Blog Challenge. What I’ve decided to do about this is gather together interesting information, prep it all to make it interesting, and start up again in October with a regular schedule I won’t be killing myself to stick to. In the meantime, I will be resuming my 52 Week Blog Challenge but only answering the interesting questions because life’s too short.


What I’ve actually been doing:

DIY and home improvement: I’ve practically lived in IKEA and on Etsy lately and my house now resembles a lovely, quirky geek den. However, I still don’t have any bedroom curtains. I’m working on that.

Taking mental health time: I’m struggling a bit lately. Mental self-care is not something I usually think I require, but it’s become apparent lately that I need a bit of a boost, or some downtime to process the myriad of unpleasant things that are making my daily grind a little worse. I’m working on it – and I have a holiday soon, so I’m clawing my way back towards being on top of it all!

1306701872chalkboardwhole_3558

Writing future books, blowing off fictional steam and developing characters: My mind has been jumping all over the place lately and this has manifested in exploring two separate alternative timelines, writing an entire novella’s worth of backstory and writing snippets from books that have no business being written until I finish my current project. I have successfully ‘blown off steam’ though, and the benefits of all this creative procrastination is that it has now given me a stronger hold on my characters and on things I need to include in my current work for continuity reasons.


What someone has actually done for me:

Brett Arts Illustrations (via Fiverr)

Brett has been working very hard to deliver some excellent character illustrations. By the time all of these characters are complete, I will have a decent manuscript to pair with them for my Beta Readers, at which time I will put up a page with descriptions in the hope you might want to know more. In the meantime, here’s a sneak preview of a few favourites.

 

Wish me luck getting back on track!