The 777 Challenge


A few days ago, Sarah Zama at The Old Shelter tagged me for the 777 Challenge. I hesitated as I was not sure which WIP was my current one. Is it the one with the beta-readers – “Storms Compass” – or the one I am re-writing with a new protagonist and a new location – “Fates Maelstrom”?

The 777 challenge requires you go to Page 7 of your work-in-progress, scroll down to Line 7 and share the next 7 sentences in a blog post. Once you have done this, you can tag 7 other bloggers to do the same with their work-in-progress.

I decided to let the ‘excerpts’ go head to head, just like my work has to do each day – which one is more pressing/tempting/ready. There was a clear winner as the excerpt from “Fates Maelstrom” is due to be radically changed.

So here is my excerpt from “Storms Compass” which was written as Book 1 of “Gossamer Flames”:


Smiling again, she [Arat] strides forward. Out of the gloom the shadows form into neem trees shrouding a solitary house, a survivor of the last earthquake. At the screen, lowered voices talking Kachhi make her fears vanish into the night.

Breathing more easily, she steps into the low-ceilinged room, which is bare of furnishings. Five men sit cross-legged on the earth floor, in the low light of two oil lamps, sipping chai from a brass urn in one corner. As Chatur embraces them, Arati raises her palmed hands to her chest in an anjali mudra greeting, retaining her distance.

Let the men embrace. I need to remain serene.


Does that sound interesting, or just confusing? At this stage, I am not sure how “Storms Compass” will be released. There is a chance that I may work on Book 2, called “Blood Tapestry”, and work together some existing stories into a seamless plot. The resulting novel would be released, and then “Storms Compass” as the prequel setting up the main novel. Or the individual stories that make up “Storms Compass” would be released.

But I’m getting side-tracked.

Back to the 777 Challenge. So who am I going to tag? I have a feeling that this challenge has done the rounds in some form or another, so I will start with volunteers. All those that can’t do it because of a good reason, step forward now.

Just remember, we do challenges to have fun. Please enjoy yourselves, and write crazy.

Are you an avid reader?

Photo of a cloud illuminated by sunlight. ~ by Ibrahim Iujaz from Rep. Of Maldives

Photo of a cloud illuminated by sunlight. ~ by Ibrahim Iujaz from Rep. Of Maldives

After months of thinking, writing, editing, and re-writing, my post-apocalyptic novel, “Storms Compass“, is almost ready for a publisher.

Well, I hope that the manuscript is ready, now that I have integrated the comments and corrections from my kind and brave beta readers, plus from my tireless editor.

Barring a few dotted ‘t’s and crossed ‘i’s, the novel is ready to face a few more brave souls. However, this time I am looking for readers rather than writers.

No writing qualifications required, just the ability to read and know whether the story works. And if it doesn’t, where have I strayed, what is missing, who did you ‘love’ or ‘hate’?

I need to discover if this manuscript is good enough to be a published book.

And if you read historical romance, don’t worry, as it’s good to have readers from outside my genres.

Hoping to hear from you, and all the best, my faithful followers.

Triple A: Author Ailsa Abraham

So many insights, so much wisdom, and a need to understand is essential, So had to reblog this interview with fellow writer, Ailsa Abraham.

Miriam Drori, Author

I think all human beings are interesting, but sometimes it’s hard to discover the interesting parts. That’s not true of my guest today – ex-biker, shaman, Bipolar coper, expat, caravanner, author, knitter and much more. Her magic carpet brought her to a walled city, though possibly not the walled city she expected to find.

Ailsa on Yamaha

Hello Ailsa. I’m awarding you the dubious privilege of being allowed inside the walls of my world. I’m afraid it’s just me in here, so not much to see.

Rubbish, came to see you and it’s great to be here.

Part of me is now smiling. The other part is thinking: it’s nice of you to say that, but….

You’ve had your own experiences of mental health problems. Is there anything you want to tell us about them? What message do you want to give readers that might change their attitude towards mental health issues?

Yes, I…

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What Title change? Which Book theme?


Today is the first Wednesday of June and that means this is my monthly Insecure Writers Support Group post. One problem though – I can’t remember what I was going to write about.

A few days ago, I had a brainwave so I scribbled down ‘Title change’ and ‘Book theme’ in the notebook that I use for blog post ideas.  If I don’t create a mnemonic then I use a phrase to trigger my memory, but it seems that doesn’t always work.

MORAL: Make proper notes, not cryptic scribbles.

Notebooks make more sense than scraps of paper, and I have ten notebooks on the go. (But I promise not to list them all, just say that they’re not just for writing or musings.)

Normally, I have a notebook per project – although when I was a journalist, everything went into the same spiral back reporter’s pad, until I had to start a new one.

My current project, “Storms Compass” began as a notebook for the “Gossamer Flames” collection of short stories. But now, as I edit it, it has spread into its own notebook.

My “Snowdon Shadows” series has a notebook each for the first two books – “Fates Maelstrom” and “Seeking A Knife”. NOTE: The protagonist, Welsh detective Sparkle Lodge, uses mnemonics to solve her cases, but cleverer ones than mine. Plus she has a better memory for her cryptic clues.

Some projects end up with innumerable notebooks, like my debut novel “Spiral of Hooves”, mainly because it took over thirteen years to write.

Image courtesy of samuiblue at

Image courtesy of samuiblue at

But I will make odd notes on scraps of paper. Some are transferred, others are short-lived, and some are lost.

Just remember to ensure that all notes make sense, because there comes a day when the brain freezes, or in my case short-circuits.

So what did I mean by ‘Title change’ and ‘Book theme’? Best answer gets a blog spot 😉


Purpose of the IWSG day: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post our thoughts on our own blog. Talk about our doubts and the fears we have conquered. Discuss our struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with our fellow writers – aiming for a dozen new people each time

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

The awesome co-hosts for the June 3 posting of the IWSG are M. Pax, Tracy Jo,Patricia Lynne, Rachna Chhabria, Feather Stone, and Randi Lee!