fragments of aurora

Introducing the NaNoWriMo Project

It truly astounds me that I am saying this so quickly, but it appears that we are nearly halfway through November. And, perhaps more to the point: also halfway through National Novel Writing Month!

I have mentioned this in passing one or a few times, but I think it is prudent for me to give you an Official Introduction - capitalisation included - to the piece that has stolen my waking hours and transformed me into a sleep-deprived zombie over the past couple of weeks.

(A short aside: as some of you may have heard tell, this is not the only NaNo project I am embarking upon this month - but the other is still a seed at the moment, and so I will save it to share with you when it has bloomed more fully.)

My main project, Fragments of Aurora, you may recognise from the 777 Challenge of a few months past. At the time I was about 15,000 words in, but since then I have actually torn apart much of the fundamental basis of where I thought I was going with this piece. (As you do.)

I began November with about 5,000 salvageable words, and my goal by the end of NaNo is to write The End. To be quite honest, I'm not entirely sure where the exact word count of that will turn out; at the moment it is looking to be somewhere between a longish short story and a novella, but I suppose we will see, won't we?

On the story itself: Fragments of Aurora is certainly not my first voyage into fairytale retellings, but it is, I think, the one that has most captured my imagination to date. The image of a wolf plays a large part in the story, and in doing research, I have been endlessly captivated by the vast and diverse stories that surround them. Wolves, in so many cultures, tend to be as much coveted as gods as they are denounced as demons; though they are at times shrouded in darkness, they are just as often messengers of light.

It makes for an infinitely fascinating paradox, and I have had such fun exploring the stories behind wolves and incorporating them into the original Sleeping Beauty fairytale. Though I admit I'd never imagined writing this sort of story at the start, I am really quite proud of the way it is shaping up.

Also, a surprise for you lovelies: I will be sharing more behind-the-scenes story work as well as an excerpt from Aurora in the Shadows of Cats newsletter this weekend! I must say, I am so very excited to share it with you; I think it will be a lovely way to kick off the first newsletter. (And, in case you missed it, you can click here to sign up for the mailing list.)

I'll be sharing more updates with you lovelies as November goes on - for now, I am sleepless but still alive, which is always a comforting thing. ;)

Please feel free to sound off about your own NaNo projects in the comments! It is my first time embarking upon this mad whirlwind, so if veteran NaNo-ers have tips, I am all ears. Or: if you are somewhat struggling to stay afloat this month, I am happy to commiserate + offer virtual cheesecake.

Do let me know how NaNo is going for you so far. I can't wait to hear about it. xx

777 Challenge: "Fragments of Aurora"

It is quite a well-known fact that I am really not one for blog tags - but also, I think exceptions can always be made for the best ones. (What is a rule without a few good exceptions, after all?)

So I must thank the endlessly lovely Alyssa of The Devil Orders Takeout and Jean of Miz Writer Lady for tagging me in the 777 Challenge (and on that note, please do take a look at their challenges & blogs in general - I promise, you will not be disappointed).

The rules are simple: lines 7-14 of page 7 from our current WIPs, here on the blog for all to see. And of course, the obvious choice for this would be Frozen Hearts - but alas, after having scrolled down to page 7, I have come to the conclusion that it's sort of overflowing with spoilers, so it would perhaps not be the wisest decision to share it with you.

So instead, I'm putting forth a different WIP - one that I have not talked about much on the blog, mainly because it is still a very (very, very) rough draft. (Not even a draft. More like the half-formed beginnings of one.)

The title is Fragments of Aurora, and it is a Sleeping Beauty retelling - oh, how I love my fairytale retellings! - centred around darkness and light, brambles and smoke, a forest with a mind of its own, a moon that howls back at wolves too proud to answer, and a girl whose deepest scars have been inflicted by her own claws. (More on the Pinterest board, if your interest is piqued.)

As for tagging, I will go with Christina of Fairy Skeletons, Samantha of Her InklingsBeth of The Quiet People, Ana of Butterflies of the Imagination, and Chiara Sullivan. I would be so delighted to read your lovely work, but of course, only if you want to do it - no pressure at all!

And without further ado - here we are, a small excerpt of Fragments of Aurora. (End of a chapter, actually, because I am a badass like that. ;)) Enjoy, lovelies!

“But perhaps,” said the boy, eyes alight with something far more potent than magic, “perhaps – perhaps the princess truly is alive. It’s possible, isn’t it? You always said –”

“Nonsense,” his mother snapped in a tone that implied the end of a discussion. “Fairy stories are going to your head again. Isn’t it getting past your bedtime?”


Long after the boy had trudged up to sleep, a howl echoed outside the window – soft and low and melancholy, as if in afterthought or in reply.

The woman looked up.

“Oh, hush,” she said to the empty air. “No one asked for your opinion.”

She shook her head at what looked like nothing, and all around her, the night let out a sigh too weary for all of the secrets it cradled.