Ta Prohm, an overgrown temple near Siem Reap in Cambodia, is truly a strange and magical place. Walking around this crumbling place under the (slightly) cooler forest canopy was one of my most favourite memories from our Cambodia trip. You may recognise this temple from the Lara Croft: Tomb Raider movie.
After the fall of the Khmer Empire Ta Prohm was abandoned for centuries, and the jungle basically took it back. Now you can see massive twisted roots growing over the whole thing, and instead of cutting the forest away, the authorities left the temple as is. We visited a few other temples in this same style (overgrown) so I have included some pictures of those as well.
Last weekend I attended a YA workshop with excellent YA author, Vikki Wakefield, who lives in my city (or, like, near it or whatever.)
It was REALLY interesting.
And I'm not going to write out everything I learned (because that seems a bit unfair for a teacher to realise her lesson plan is making its way onto the internet), but it did make me think about a few things, and I wanted to record those ideas so I won't forget them.
So this is kind of a continuation of my past post about mind boggling mysteries, simply because this new post is also based on the same movie, Korean film 'Helpless', which taught me quite a lot about storytelling, and was really a bit of a landmark game changer for me.
To carry on from my last post, the second thing this movie showed me, was that a satisfying conclusion can be created using emotion.
But let's start at the beginning.
So a lot of people may not agree with me on this one, as I know the Scandinavian detective dramas (and their English /NZ /American counterparts) are very popular, but for me, no matter how totally great the set up for these mini-dramas are, the pay off never seems to satisfy.
Today I wanted to try and figure out why I feel that way...
January was the month of waiting. Waiting seems to be a large part of a writer’s life. I think I am getting used to it, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t check my email a hundred thousand billion times a day. I try not to, but I can’t help it. Waiting is better than not waiting though, because of course waiting means you have some projects or opportunities out there. And that is always a good thing, no matter how it all pans out in the end. So most likely I will continue to wait throughout February as well, and perhaps even a bit of March too. I think I’m getting rather good at it. :)
Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.
To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.
In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.
SLIGHTLY SPOILERY BOOK MUSING AHEAD (no plot spoiling but a little bit of discussion on the protagonist's character development throughout the novel – fair warning!)
I love quiet moments in relationship development between characters. And personally, I think those very quiet moments, when used effectively, can be more romantic than a million over the top gestures, such as public proposals, bunches of red roses, love songs crooned to a heroine etc. etc. Quiet moments, so small you almost miss them in their subtlety, all layered over one another to create a deep and realistic relationship is my favourite type of story. And this is what they describe as a slow burn romantic plotline.
It got me thinking, how do you write such a well-developed plotline?
Well that was a year. It sure was. I think it was a bit of a tough one in a lot of heavy ways, but I guess in terms of my writing it was my most focused year yet. I made a decision at the beginning of 2017 that I would learn more skills this year and I would try harder to be serious about my work, and I definitely think I accomplished that. So although the year was a tough one, being the very first one for my family without my mum around, it was also a year in which I made a hell of a lot of progress. And for that, I am proud.