Please Help With #PitMad

It’s #PitMad time again on Twitter and I’m doing another pitch for My Life in Darkness novel. If you’re on Twitter could you please retweet my #PitMad idea. Please don’t like the tweet as that’s for the agents/editors/publishers to do if they’re interested in the pitch.

My Twitter is @joannefisher63.

Thanks 🙂

Pitch Wars Help Needed

I’m currently participating in #PitMad and have a tweet pitching my novel My Life in Darkness.

#PitMad is where writers pitch an unpublished novel to agents or editors who make requests to see the work by liking the tweet. So please don’t like the tweet, as that is for agents and editors to do. You can read more about it here: PitMad

If you wish to help me and you’re on Twitter, please consider retweeting my tweet to help signal boost it. My Twitter is @joannefisher63.

Thanks for your help 🙂

What to do? (thoughts)

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Today is Day Eight of the Lockdown here. Being an introvert and a homebody I thought having to stay at home for at least a month would be no problem for me. However what I didn’t consider was that everyone else would be at home too.

I currently live in a small house with two other adults, one of whom is working from home now and has set up a workstation in the living room and can often be heard talking loudly on the phone to clients all day. My bedroom is also only a few metres away from the neighbours backyard and they love going into their backyard to argue/talk loudly with each other, or play loud music, or make other random loud noises. So during the day I now have a lot of noise around me and because of this I’m finding it hard to write anything. When I’m unable to write I often fall into a deep depression, as I seem to be doing now.  A couple of days ago I was trying to write a new Jess and Cindy story, but I had to abandon it due to the noise coming from next door.

Another problem is that unlike the last place I lived in I can’t seem to find a decent workspace. I had plans to do a final edit of My Life in Darkness, and also begin work on a new novel, but I just don’t seem to have any place where I can focus on them.

All this is making me feel depressed, irritable, and grumpy, and I’m not sure what I can do. At least my physical health is good, and I know I should be thankful for that. I know a lot of people in the world are dying from Covid-19 and I find that hard to deal with. The sheer immensity of it is frightening and very scary. I’ve been trying to use this blog lately to help take people’s minds off it for a while, but it’s hard to keep the world out even when you’re writing fiction.

I have also thought about taking a break from blogging, but this blog is often what’s keeping me alive and if I let it go I’m not sure what will happen to me. It keeps me creative and focused. I like blogging, but I also know I’m not a big success with it. The viewing numbers have been steadily falling since October, and I know this year part of it is due to the virus, but I do feel like I’m making less of an impact with it these days. It does sometimes make me wonder if I should be doing something else with my time.

I’ll do my best to keep this blog going for the meantime. It may change focus however. If I’m not able to write fiction I may just start writing articles as I do have quite a few ideas for them, and this is what I wrote when I first began blogging.

Anyway, I hope you’re all well and safe. I know we will eventually get through this difficult time.

Kia kaha.

Joanne

 

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Please donate! 🙂

 

 

©2020 Joanne Fisher

 

 

 

2019: Year in Review

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Well that’s 2019 over with. For me personally it was a good creative year. I wrote more than I have ever done before and completed both the long narratives of My Life in Darkness, and The Sky-Pirates of Durn. Currently My Life in Darkness is being edited and considered for publication. The Sky-Pirates of Durn will need a lot of editing especially in the first few chapters, but I don’t wish to start editing that until I’m finally finished with My Life in Darkness. I continually wrote and published these stories at the same time every week for 45 weeks (36 for My Life in Darkness, and the last nine chapters of The Sky-Pirates of Durn), and I’m really proud of that.

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While it has been a good year for me creatively, there has also been some bad things as well. I’m still dealing with the mass shooting in my city that occurred not terribly far away from where I live in March. 51 people were shot dead in two mosques here. I never thought something of that scale could occur here. The victims and their families are often in my thoughts. I remember after the shooting I felt very scared and vulnerable, as many others here did, and I didn’t like leaving the house for several weeks afterwards. On the day the shooting happened, many police cars went speeding down the road I live on, and to this day whenever I see police cars going past really fast with sirens blazing I get very worried and anxious all over again.

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2019 Statistics

As I have now had two full years on WordPress, this means I have two sets of data that I can compare with each other. Wahoo!

I started the year on 207 followers, and finished with 541 followers. I was hoping to get to 500 by the end of the year, so I’m very pleased I achieved that. Thanks to everyone who follows me.

                                                          2019                                 2018                         +/-

Posts                                                  270                                   138                      +132 (95.66%)

Views                                           15,400                                4,388                      +11,012 (250.96%)

Likes                                               8,771                                1,886                      +6,885 (365.06%)

Comments                                     2,020                                   379                      +1,641 (432.98%)

 

As you can see it’s been a good year of growth for my blog.

 

Top Ten Countries Viewing  My Blog

2019                                                            2018

United States 5,649 (36.68%)                 United States 1,749 (39.86%)

India 3,944 (25.61)                                   India 722 (16.45%)

United Kingdom 1,666 (10.82%)           United Kingdom 474 (10.80%)

Australia 703 (4.56%)                              New Zealand 388 (8.84%)

Canada 459 (2.98%)                                 South Africa 97 (2.21%)

South Africa 328 (2.13%)                        Australia 91 (2.07%)

New Zealand 238 (1.55%)                      Canada 86 (1.96%)

Saudi Arabia 229 (1.49%)                        Philippines 79 (1.8%)

Netherlands 212 (1.38%)                         Netherlands 66 (1.50%)

Denmark 168 (1.09%)                              France 56 (1.28%)

Of note, the percentage of people reading my blog in India has increased almost by 9% from last year. The most concerning aspect from those figures comes from my home country of New Zealand. Though I had 11,000 more views, there were 150 less views from New Zealand than last year. In percentages it fell from 8.84% to 1.55%. I’m not sure why this has happened.

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Top Posts

 

Flash Fiction

Abandoned

New Paint

The Black Arrow

Big Splash

It Was Only After…

 

Fiction
Into the Woods

The Scarecrow, part one

The Importance of Names

Life After the Invasion

Meela and Caelynn Have A Serious Talk with the Author…

 

Articles

Darkest Day: The Christchurch Mosque Shootings

Dragons of Middle-earth (written in 2017, but still going strong)

Fantasy Art of Bob Kehl

Favourite Nebula Images

Oumuamua: Thoughts About Our Visitor from Another Solar System

 

Poems

Blood Money

Morning Love

Who Needs Love?

I Really Wish You Were Here, Instead of Me

Half Past Four

 

I decided not to bother listing my serial fiction. it was just various parts of My Life In Darkness…

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Further Plans For My Blog

 

Around mid-October there was a decline in the numbers viewing my posts. This decline continued and progressively got worse in November and December. At present my posts are generally now getting around half the number of views and likes they got before this decline. While I’m getting more followers, at the same time I’m getting less people viewing what I’m posting. I’m not sure what to do about this. The last couple of months have felt like I’m going backwards, which isn’t a great feeling.

I was going to do another ongoing series starting next week, but I have decided to put that on hold for now. At present my plans are just to continue with flash fiction pieces and the occasional longer story and article, and wait to see if this decline in numbers is going to continue to get worse, or begin to recover. If it continues to get worse, I may have to reconsider what I’m doing with this blog. I’ll guess I’ll wait and see…

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Another thing that some of you might have already spotted, but I’ve begun adding pages to my blog. You can now easily access some of my poems and flash fiction pieces (not currently all of them, though I’ll continue to add more as time goes on), and shortly there will be more pages added, such as longer fiction and articles.

 

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Thanks

Thanks to everyone who follows, views, likes and comments on my posts. I really appreciate it. I would especially like to thank the following for their constant advice and encouragement: Crispina Kemp, Charli Mills of Carrot Ranch, and H.R.R. Gorman. There are many others I would like to thank here too, but it could become a very long list if I started doing that. Needless to say I appreciate everyone who supports this blog in some way, especially those who take the time to read my work and comment on it. Thank you 🙂

 

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Please support this blog 🙂

 

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©2020 Joanne Fisher

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can You See This?

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My previous post The Last Days of Van Gogh (poem) has less than half the views and likes I was expecting and I’m considering trashing the post, also the last couple of weeks there’s been a falling away of views on all my posts.

I’m wondering why this is happening…

 

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Are you seeing my posts?

 

Is there something I’m doing you’re not liking?

 

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Just thought I would liven up this post with some pics.

 

Please donate! 🙂

 

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The Trail (flash fiction)

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The Trail

 

Susie had told everyone she was going on a hike for a few days, but in reality she was going for an abortion. A short time ago she had been raped, and if that wasn’t traumatic enough she found out later she was carrying the rapist’s child. The laws of the state she lived in were very clear: she was expected to carry the child to full-term and the rapist would even have a say over the child’s future, including having visitation rights.

When Susie discovered she was pregnant she told no one. This wasn’t because she didn’t want anyone to know: in fact she desperately needed to talk about it with her parents and some of her friends, but to let them know of the pregnancy would mean they too would be implicated, and she couldn’t do that to them. If the Pro-lifers discovered she had an abortion she would be executed, and her friends and family that knew about it would be facing prison time. She couldn’t go to another State to have the abortion done there as she would be arrested the minute she returned home. So she decided to tell no one of the pregnancy, or her decision to have the fetus aborted. She felt she had been left with no choice, but to take care of it herself.

She went into the country and down a long path where she knew an old woman lived who would help her. She didn’t know how safe it would be, and she was terrified and alone. She hoped everything would be okay.

 

Joanne Fisher

 

 

This was originally written for a picture prompt but ended up being too long.

I don’t like getting political here as I regard WordPress as my creative space and the day to day political realities of the world out there is not usually something I want to bore the reader with, but this is an issue I do feel passionate about. Ultimately the State can outlaw abortions, but they will still happen; it just means the women will have abortions in unsafe conditions, or try to do it themselves.

I based the laws in Susie’s State on recent legislation passed in Georgia and Alabama. While neither of them have the death penalty for abortions (instead they have long prison times), apparently Texas has legislation being proposed that does.

A couple of years ago this scenario would have been considered far-fetched, but is now virtually a reality.

I don’t live in the United States (and I’m really glad I don’t), but in my opinion the news coming out of there seems to be getting crazier by the day…

 

Please buy me a coffee! 🙂

 

 

 

Writing Poetry (poem)

Rainbow trout caught in net on Frying Pan River in Colorado Roar

 

Writing Poetry

 

It’s like I have

these words

swimming around

the insides of my

skull &

 

all I need

is be quick

enough to

grab them –

 

catching

rainbow trout

with a net

 

Joanne Fisher

 

I originally wrote this a few years ago and it was published in Spin, a local poetry magazine. The trouble is all my literary journals and magazines are in boxes in the garage, and I’m not quite sure which mound of boxes they’re in. So I had to remember this poem off the top of my head. I think I got it right. It will be interesting to compare them if I do one day go looking for it.

In other news I’ve been feeling a bit down the last week or more, so I’ve been distracting myself the last couple of days restructuring my Magic the Gathering decks, which I haven’t played in a long time.

Some days I think my writing life is going well and other days I feel like it’s going nowhere, which is how I feel at the moment. I’m sure I will eventually snap out of it.

 

Please buy me a coffee! 🙂

 

 

My DNA Test Results and Other Stuff

 

The only actual Christmas present I got was a DNA kit from my brother. I had to spit into a receptacle (which I found revolting by the way) and then sent it off for testing. Unfortunately they couldn’t extract any DNA from the sample I sent (which I thought was interesting) so they sent me another one and I had to do it all over again. Yesterday I finally saw the results and found it quite surprising:

 

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What was interesting was my brother’s had around 17% Italian and 3% Spanish, and those are totally missing from my results. My mother’s side has Italian ancestry which it seems I have no DNA from. We don’t know where the Spanish comes from either. I have more Irish DNA than my brother (he had 21%). The best my brother and myself can speculate is that I have more DNA from my father’s side (Fisher-Stedman) and my brother and, presumably my sister, have more DNA from my mother’s side (Shortridge-Esposito) as they have the same sort of body shape and look. Ancestry makes it clear that Sam and I are definitely siblings, but our DNA is surprisingly different. At least my brother’s has a wider geographical spread; all my DNA comes from a small(ish) circle. I find it all very fascinating.

 

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And I’m 5% Viking!

 

Other news:

*I found on a book publishers website that they have a Friday pitch, which means you can send them a first chapter and synopsis of your book and the in-house editors will take a look at it. I’m thinking about sending them a submission to see what they say. They don’t want any fantasy or science fiction at the moment (and presumably this covers horror too) but I thought if I sent them the first chapter of my vampire novel and state it’s a novel about a lesbian relationship with supernatural elements, that might help get my foot in the door perhaps. Something to think on.

*I approached a New Zealand poetry publisher about putting together another collection of poetry and he sent a me back an email saying that while he wasn’t into publishing that much at the moment he asked me to send him five poems to look at. So now I have to decide which ones I send him…

*I also sent a submission of poems to a journal for the first time in ages a month ago. I actually prefer to publish stuff here as I get more responses to it than I ever did in publications. The trouble with sending stuff to journals, from my perspective, is that you wait a long time to get a response, and if your work is accepted then you wait another long time for it to appear in the publication, and once it appears, then that’s it. In my experience you get little to no feedback once it’s published, and I always found that unsatisfying.

 

Have a great weekend everyone!

 

Please buy me a coffee! 🙂

Impostor (flash fiction)

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Impostor

 

Jemma knew it was Impostor Syndrome: a lack of self-confidence and doubt about her abilities and achievements. Even though she knew she had this, it didn’t stop her from never feeling good enough. No matter how much hard work she put into her writing, she never felt she deserved the praise she received. She always expected to be exposed as a charlatan.

 

Joanne Fisher

Word count: 61 + prompt

 

This was written with the prompt charlatan provided by Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt #101.

 

Please consider donating to: Christchurch Shooting Victim’s Fund.

The Fall (poem)

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The Fall

 

saw a dead man today

walking past his vacant body

men & school-kids clustered

trying to revive him like

some modern Lazarus

I went home to listen

to the new CD I bought

but I think of this man

& lifeless bodies lying

on pavements

as you might imagine them

in Gaza or Hudaydah or Aleppo

though this one was solitary

perhaps his day was just like

any other –

walking to the safety & security

of home like I was

but never got there

his strong body falling

his life shattering

like glass

 

Joanne Fisher

 

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Buy me a coffee! 🙂