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Thanks for stopping by. I'm Jenny Gordon and I write fiction for adults, both old and young. You can find out more about me and my writing by clicking on the 'Quick Links' on the left. This journal is a space for my ponderings about writing and books. You can friend me, or just lurk if you prefer. Either way, I'd love to have your company and hear from you along the way.

Reconnecting With the Mould

After yet another period of neglect (sorry MoulderingBook), at the weekend I climbed back into the boughs of my dreaming tree (not readthisandweep's tree, that's a different one. Mine is the one in my icon) and reconnected with my nasty little Gothic tale. And much fun I had. In the interests of reconnecting and also reworking, I've been looking at what's gone before and fiddling with it, and I'm now at the blank page stage. Which is to say, there are no more words to fiddle with; now, I have to set about creating new words in order to discover the rest of the story. Or, to put it another way, the forest before me is dense and impenetrable, so I need to start thwacking my way through it again.

And since my MC has just survived being poisoned, and is seething-full of vengeful thoughts and itchy questions, I'd be doing her an injustice if I didn't allow her to begin seeking some answers (not to mention getting some revenge!)

To be honest, it's been a relief to find the story still waiting for me after this stretch of time away from it, with my brain fizzing-full of so many other thoughts I haven't had a corner to spare for poor little Moudy. After a few long and constructive sessions, I have a new determination to keep making forward progress, and to keep at least a corner of my busy-busy head reserved for my story.

The 50-Word Vignette Challenge

50-Word Vignette #34

Prompt: Misspent Youth

"If youth were coin, then I dropped mine down a drain. Now you think to pay me for my wisdom."

"But they said ..."

"What? What did they say? Go live your life, girl. Spend that shiny coin on whatever makes you happy. Youth was never meant to be spent wisely."

Anybody else like to join in and write their own? Just post it in the comments. All welcome.

A Buffet of Words

I was chatting to my desk-bud at work yesterday. He also writes, and took part in last year's NaNoWriMo to get him started on his first novel. We were bemoaning the perils of distraction, and he came up with a glorious analogy that made me laugh a lot.

"I sometimes think," he said, "That writing a book is like being faced with a buffet that you have to eat every bit of. At first, you indulge in all your favourite items with relish, but at some stage, you begin eyeing the rest with a weary eye and wailing that you can't face another pickled onion. Yet you have to eat all of it, regardless."

He's right, as is readthisandweep. What I need to do is tuck away FallingBook (my distraction story) and get on with those pickled onions.

Out With the Old

It's all very well having a big sort out of my many, many, many boxes and files of writing, but it does cause problems. Especially when I come across the files containing the multiple versions on one particular old story that I've worked on so many times over the years, and still adore.

Me, me, it whispers. Remember me?

The clear out itself is proving very cathartic. I've already filled my recycling box with paper twice over, and my writing filles are looking much more pared down to essentials, and much more organised. Not to mention taking up far less space on my shelves (although still quite a lot of space!)

But yeah, that story. It's the one I was working on again briefly before commencing MoulderingBook last year. And yet again, it's poking at me.

Life is a bit all over the place at the moment anyway (hence my general absence from LJ), so I'm not making any decisions about the story at the moment. What I do know is that I can't work on two stories at once, so I'll need to figure out either/or at some point. For now, my head is too full of other stuff to make that choice.

The 50-Word Vignette Challenge

50-Word Vignette #33

Prompt: Present

A key, time-blackened,
On a ribbon, frayed and faded.
Not so much a gift as a theft,
For her mother was no longer
Present to present it,
But long-treasured nonetheless.
The key to a life.
The key to a secret.
The key turned,
And life's secret whispered free
At last.

Anybody else like to join in and write their own? Just post it in the comments. All welcome.

The 50-Word Vignette Challenge

It's back! It's 50-Word Vignette Challenge time (*drum roll: cymbal splash*).

This time, it's a rather unseasonal prompt, given that it's just-past Beltain (belated blessings, to those of you who celebrate), and Spring has most definitely sprung in all its warm, sunshiney glory round these parts.

50-Word Vignette #32

Prompt: Cold

We remember the Long Cold.
In every seventh breath,
The whisper-deep kiss of ice.
So we walk our Solstice Path.
At sunrise, feast and burn;
The river bears ashes;
Our feet, ourselves,
To the place of ancestors,
Where the Midwinter sun sets between stones,
And with it, rests our fears.

(Inspired by the pioneering work of Professor Mike Parker Pearson in the Stonehenge Environs).

Anybody else like to join in and write their own? Just post it in the comments. All welcome.

Note of Absence

I'm going to take a short break from LJ, so there won't be a 50-Word Vignette Challenge for a couple of weeks. Fear not, I committed to doing 50 of them, so there's plenty more to come.

Have a happy and productive couple of weeks, and I'll 'see' you all again soon.

Here are come pretty springtime flowers to tide you over until then:


(Mini Rhododendron)


(Gorgeous Variagated Lilac)


The 50-Word Vignette Challenge

50-Word Vignette #31

Prompt: I Want

The shaman casts bird-bones and mistletoe
And frowns at their pattern.

Is it the seven-year king,
Or the seven-tined stag?

The harvest failed, and the rains came too soon,
So the land wants something for sure.

She casts again, and the voice speaks at last:
'I want you,' it says.

Anybody else like to join in and write their own? Just post it in the comments. All welcome.
Remember a couple of weeks back, I said that once I'd fixed a couple of things in the first half of MoulderingBook, I wanted to crack on with writing the rest, adding, "As ever, all terms and conditions are subject to change at the sniff of a writerly whim."?

Yeah, that second part.

Having fixed those couple of things over two weeks ago, I found myself still twitchy and uncertain about the story, so I've been spent the time since doing a lot of thinking about why that might be. And I've come to two main conclusions.

Firstly, the balance between the two main strands of the story isn't right. The more I've worked with one, the more I've realised I want to focus on that aspect even more, which means paring the other one right back to redress the balance.

And that led to a long thought process about which aspects of the pared-back strand I need to retain in order for the overall story to work, and how to reshape them to good effect.

The second conclusion I reached was that I haven't gone far enough down the secondary-worldbuilding road. I've said before that MoulderingBook is set in an historical time-that-never-was, with a Gothic and Steampunkish flavour, but what I've realised is that I've been hedging this aspect as I want to avoid the book becoming overly fantastical. I still do. I like my fantasy settings to have their roots firmly anchored in history, or at least in historical possibility.

So I thought some more, and from out of nowhere, the worldbuilding elements I want to work with dropped neatly into place, and opened up lots of lovely doors to possibility. It's such fun.

It all means I've got a significant amount of reworking, reordering and set-dressing to do, but I'm feeling much better about the whole thing. Much more like I'm heading in the right direction. Hurrah!