Checking In

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season, whatever your flavour! If you are like me, then you are probably glad that it’s over. For me, the new year means finally having time to knuckle down and get some wring done, which has been sorely neglected over the past several weeks. 

Now that life is slowly getting back to normal, work on my book has been resumed. So, if you’ve been waiting for news on how it’s shaping up, your wait is nearly over! I will soon be posting a short excerpt from chapter 4 (as the breakdown currently stands). In this upcoming scene, Ásbjorn (if you don’t know who this is, you haven’t been paying attention) will be embarking on his dragon quest, and his road, or rather absence of one, will take him through the arctic tundra of his world. His destination is Jötunheimr, the realm of giants and monsters, but to get there, he must cross one of the Élivágar rivers— and this is where things start to get interesting. 😉

But you’ll have to wait until I’m satisfied with this piece of the story before I’ll let you read it! Soon! Very soon, if all goes according to plan!

Published by Jessica Urquhart

First off, who am I? My name is Jessica Urquhart. Writing has always been a hobby of mine, which got its start in middle and highschool, when I'd write short stories for the amusement of my friends and classmates. Currently, I'm working on my first book, my one true love of a story I've been saying I would one day write. Well, that day has come. If you'd care to follow my musings on the adventures and hurdles of writing my first fantasy book, then please, read my blog.

30 thoughts on “Checking In

    1. Thanks, Yule was nice. Getting dragged into the Xmas stuff with the in laws, though, was less pleasant. Do you celebrate the solstice also?

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      1. I can relate in a way, as I also have no community. Knowledge, at least in part, isn’t so hard to come by in the Celtic and Norse contexts, but it’s difficult to really develop a tradition when so few family members will participate or even acknowledge and accept that we have another spirituality/religion.

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      2. That’s why we polytheists should
        seriously aim at forming our own distinct communities on the ground. I think we sell wish for this in our hearts. It is by no means an easy project though, but it is certainly worthwhile, giving us hope that our current efforts will last for future generations and not be in vain!!

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    1. Thanks! Thank gods Xmas is over! How was yours? Hopefully I can get more writing done this weekend. I’d like to see my characters make the crossing, and then I’ll post it. Have a happy new year!

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      1. Lucky you! I enjoy big family gatherings with my own family back in America, but getting together with my German in laws is more like a chore, largely because of how uptight and set in their ways they are. They do nothing outside the routine. Oh well. At least new years will be quiet and peaceful. 😉

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    1. Thanks! There are so many new blog posts I’m eager to read. How’s your Jack the ripper story coming along? I think I left off when his wife has an affair with his best friend.

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      1. Well, I guess that’s lucky for me, because I’ll have a few excerpts to read at once!

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  1. Glad to see you back Jessica. Wow, so much to deal with. What’s your secret to survival? Healthy doses of coffee and solitude seem to sort me out. Looking forward to continuing my ride along with the Dark Elves.

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    1. Haha! There isn’t any solitude for me during the holidays, but I do enjoy cappuccino! Speaking of which, I haven’t had any coffee today. Maybe I should go make a cappuccino with a double shot of espresso! 😋

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      1. You should! I think I will too. Editing my own work is traumatizing and tiring. I need more coffeeeeeeeeeeee. . .

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      2. Lol! For me the editing comes more easily. It’s moving forward, past what I’ve already written, that is often overwhelming! Putting the first words to each new step of the journey leaves me struggling to find the words. I think I get hung up on the scope of the project, when really all I need to do is take it one sentence, one paragraph at a time.

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      3. I think you got it. It’s the same for me. A grand scope can make detail hard to fit in just the right spot. I just whack away on the keyboard and then try to figure out what the heck I wrote or was trying to say. Having something in front of me that I am positive is NOT what I want leads me quicker to what I do want. At least in my case. It’s like broccoli and ice cream. Now that I see the two together, I know which one I’m choosing. Writing is such divine torture.

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      4. Yes, that’s exactly what I mean! I really need to work on just getting past my inhibitions and just write whatever comes to mind. It really can be torture at times! 😂

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      5. Try it on a minor scene and see how it works. I’d like to hear your opinion. It could be that I’m just brain damaged and that is what works for me. But if it works for you too then it might be legit.

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      6. That’s exactly how I write. I just struggle getting started. Once the words start flowing it’s all good. Then I go back through, sometimes immediately, sometimes I skip on to some other chapter and come back to it with a clear mind. You should have seen my initial drafts of the first two or three chapters before I really started tweaking them. It’s like night and day. There’s no comparison from those first drafts to what it has become!

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      7. Then I would say you are quite normal as far as the writerly life goes. A lot of people have told me that it is a struggle to start. I can tell your current drafts have been exquisitely polished. Your attention to detail is in every sentence. I go through long dry spells now since life is just one huge pile of competing time bandits. When I do write, it’s usually because I’m about to bust and so it does start faster that way. It would be difficult for me to write as a simple task. I need the spark.

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      8. Likewise. Though, that’s often a torture in itself. Since I’m a moody writer (the mood has to be right), it is often the case that I am hit with a wave of inspiration at the most inconvenient times. Like when I really need to sleep, because I’ve got to get up early in the morning, or when other more pressing tasks are taking up all my time. If I had the means, I’d likely become a recluse, just to have my solitude when the call to write hits me. Haha!

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      9. Ah Ha! You have the symptoms of genius. Genius brains are often inspired when they are busy with something else like sleep, unrelated work, and other daily tasks. I took off two years to start writing full time, really just to learn how to write fiction. I do a lot of technical reports in my R&D work but the two are not related. Part of the problem with my writing is technical writing is supposed to be neutral, passive language, and loaded with facts, figures, and graphics but never an emotion of any kind. That will get you shot in the face by your peer reviews and target audience with a style bazooka. Next in Fiction it’s all about connecting with our thoughts, emotions, and senses. It should be real enough but facts and truths can be set aside. Very hard to make the switch. I decided to go back to work because I like money, or my bills like money. I haven’t been able to make a lot of progress since compared to those glorious days of being home alone to write myself into a coma.

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      10. I know what you mean. I started writing in fourth grade, and by highschool, was often entertaining friends and classmates with short stories. After highschool I enjoyed two and a half years of few responsibilities and being a house wife, during which time, I tried to develop the concept which eventually became the story I’ve been sharing on my blog. It was never quite right, though, and then I started working when we moved back to the states, and for the next 11 years, my writing was on the back burner. Sometimes, I’d come back to the concept I’d been dreaming of developing, only to start it, hate it and scrap everything, only to start over months or years later. Now I’m back to being a house wife and stay at home mom, and only work a few hours a week, so my creative side has found renewed vigor, and the inspiration finally took root and grew into a world of its own!

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      11. That’s an awesome story Jessica. To hold onto a dream that long and not let go, but revisit, rework, and grow the story is remarkable especially considering it came to you so early in life. I’ll bet this is your ancestors calling to you. Someone or several were likely the storytellers and now it’s your turn. It’s coming together nicely.

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      12. Thanks! You could be right about that. Some of this story has been inspired by my own past life regressions, though the particulars are not included.

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      13. Keep channeling it. It’s working. The more I learn about my ancestry, the more I see their influence in things I do and decisions I make. I would never rule it out even if I didn’t feel particularly connected to a past.

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      14. I sometimes think it is so prevalent that it’s invisible. Kinda like always getting hungry right at lunch time. Who cares about the ancestral connection to noon just gimme a burger. I like to pull that string and unravel it as far as it will go.

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