Where, oh where, oh where have I been?

I’ve been to London to visit the… nah… I’m not quite that famous yet! Her Majesty hasn’t invited me to anything at all… I’m just playing.

What I have been up to is wrestling with my ASD. I’ve had so many Brain Fog days that it’s felt like I’m permanantly living in a cloud. It’s upended my finances, ruined many moments with my family that should have otherwise been wonderful and put Puff’s motivation at an all time low.

When I have a Brain Fog day, it’s like I can only just see the next task in front of me and anything to do with the future (even as near as tomorrow) is completely invisible. The technical term is called “Executive Dysfunction” (I’ll let you go look it up if you feel that curious) and it plays merry havok with my ability to live day to day, let alone write, create or make something.

A road disappearing into the fog amongst trees.

This illustrates my "Executive Dysfunction" perfectly.
I know I was supposed to be doing something…

In practical terms, this means that I haven’t written anything for ages, publishing and anything more complicated in the craft section of my world than crocheting my blanket has been out of the question.

It’s been so hard to try and focus on anything other than day to day life that I almost gave up on life itself… almost.

Then I started a woodworking class – decided to do something different for a change – and it has slowly drawn me out of that fog bank.

It’s not quite a sunny outlook yet, but I have managed a few words on “Curious World” as part of my NaNo project, so the weather has moved from solid fog bank, to light mist.

Puff is relieved and his motivation level is climbing, but we are certainly by no means out of the clouds yet…

Give it time.

Writer Woes…

Puff: How can you tell if a writer is avoiding writing something?
Stardust: I don’t know, how can you tell if a writer is avoiding something?
Puff: The house is clean.
Stardust: I don’t get it… it’s not a very funny joke.
Puff: Look around us, Stardust…
*The Crafting Muse looks around the room they are in.*
Stardust: It’s clean… *she dashes out of the room and around the house then returns*… the whole house is clean; even the art stuff on the dining room table has been cleaned up.
Puff: Exactly…

Ok, I exaggerated a little, the house isn’t really all that clean (yet) but it probably will be by the end of the day.
Yes, I’m procrastinating.
I’ve been painting and crafting my heart out. If you’ve seen the video I put up on my Youtube channel – HERE – then you know I’m putting together a Spring Tree for the dual purposes of a story prop and a Spring Holiday decoration. Well, that’s almost finished and I’ve also done two Fairy Door pictures:

What am I procrastinating about?

It would probably help if you knew that next month (April) is the first of the Camp NaNoWriMo. Most writers know about NaNoWriMo but, unless you’ve participated in NaNo or know someone who does, you wouldn’t have heard of either.
(Go through the links above to discover what those odd words mean…)
NaNo is when the writer in me goes crazy and tries to write 50,000 words in thirty days. Puff loves that month; he has complete control over my mind and boy does he show it…
Camp is one of his favourite things too. He doesn’t have as much control, but when I am writing anything is his favourite time, so while Camp isn’t as frenetic as NaNo, it is just as important to him (and me of course).

This April, I am working on two different projects. I am essentially trying to finish two WIP’s.

The first is “The Curse of The Jade Cat”, a sequel (but not directly) to “The Heir of The Dragon” and I’ve been working on it for far too long now.
I hit Chapter 30 recently and for some reason that blocked me… so I went to finish a couple of other things in that world.
One of those is “The Private Detective” – a story that I started in Creative Writing class as part of an exercise I was doing. It kind of exploded on me and is now the story that (once I’ve finished editing it – again this is part of my Creative Writing class) will be included in the new edition of “The Heir of The Dragon” as an extra.

While I’m thinking about it, “The Heir of The Dragon” is getting a complete makeover, in order to bring the series into line with each other and to enable me to expand the World a little more. So keep your eyes open for that one…

The other is “White Snow“, a story that came to life from a broken chapter of “ Jade Cat” and is spawning all sorts of different ideas in my head for a whole set of different characters in another city entirely. So in order to keep myself from getting side tracked, I want to finish that before April and get “Jade Cat” finished at Camp so I can get it edited, formatted and published before the next Camp NaNo in July.

Oh and both those stories will be included in the “Dark Cities Chronicles Collection” – a set of side stories that keep popping up while I am writing the main books; as soon as I have enough words for it to be a decent sized read, I’ll publish it…

The second story that I am working on as part of Camp in April, is another story that I started during Creative Writing Class…

Yes, another one! My tutor Rachael Lewis has a lot of brilliant teaching techniques that is spawning all sorts of things in my head – Puff is alternately happy and irritated with her… mostly because she also gives Stardust and Salvador ideas as well (but that’s during her Art Class)… so I have a lot to thank her for. She’s also partly responsible for the creation of “Author & Muse

…Anyhoo, as I was saying, the second story is “Blood & Kitsune“, one of the Kitsune Tails stories – the world that “Blossom & Kitsune” is set in.
It’s actually the third story in that world; the second one, “Snow & Kitsune” is finished, it just needs editing and a cover before I can publish it.
I have the start done, about 7,000 words or so, but in order to get it finished, I will be working on that one during Creative Writing and once I’ve finished “Jade Cat” I will continue with it as part of Camp.

If you’re interested in those stories, there’s a blurb and excerpt for both of them on my Camp Profile – HERE – go take a look…

I’m not actually procrastinating about those though…

Puff: She’s finally getting to the point…
Stardust: Give her a break, Puff.
Puff: No… never.
Stardust: *shouting* Patches! Get the oven ready, Author will be baking Banana Bread today by the sounds of it!
Patches: *from the Kitchen* Will do!
Puff: She has to do it. It’s her Creative Writing class homework and it’s going to help her in the long run, to be a better writer.
Stardust: But you had to go and pick that particular memory to write about??

They’re right, I do have to stop procrastinating about my homework. I deliberately picked a memory that has a lot of emotion attached to it, and I am not keen on revisiting it.
This whole blog post, while being (I hope) an interesting and informative piece about what I have been doing, what I am planning on doing and my whole thought process… has been one long procrastination station.
I have to get that piece of work done…

…Once I finish the Spring Tree and bake some Banana Bread… and I need to check my email inboxes and on my Facebook pages / Group…I have to do some cleaning too – this place is a mess!

Ooh… what’s that shiny thing on the internet….

Puff: There she goes again.
Stardust: She’s never going to get her homework done.

Check out the new additions to the menu above!!!

Hover over Teigr Books, roll your cursor down to Mandy E. Ward and across from that you will find a whole new world of craziness…

Please be advised that I am not responsible for anything that happens after you start reading in those pages, you venture in there at entirely your own risk…
*grins and giggles maniacly*