Saturday, 24 March 2018

Maxime: So What's It all About?

For 'Nocturne des Anges' being the blog of an author, I don't seem to write much about what I'm actually writing book-wise, on here. I might have made some vague statements here and there since October last year, about who Maxime is and what his story is about, but I haven't exactly expanded on anything publicly. Heck, on my blog and social media I simply end up blabbing about how much I adore him as my latest writing companion, and that he's very lovable to me, and is my current ticket to running around 1960's Paris and the darker parts of my mind...

It seems a bit silly to be so quiet on a subject that I'm passionate about, and that, in my opinion, should be expressed as a means of gaining interest.
A point that I saw on a blog post for maximising creativity offered an interesting idea: write a pitch or artist statement explaining why your project is so important. The idea was to read it through every day and remind yourself why you're passionate about it, and want to meet the goal - more of a personal motivator than something professional to hand in to an editor or publisher, I expect. I already know that the story is important to me, and that I'm going to see it through to the end, but I thought writing an informal statement and posting it here would be a good way of expressing the story and message to others, too. 

Medal from Rock n Rose, I'm planning some Maxime-related photography soon...

“Maxime” is set in 1960’s France, and is a mixture of historical, romantic, drama, and LGBT fictional genres. 

Maxime de Faye is a child-star, trapped in an adult’s world. Twelve and naive, he falls into a nest of vipers when his beauty, vivacity, and natural talent captures the interest of a director, giving him the opportunity to begin his dream cinema career in Paris. First came the excitement of his impending fame and fortune, but he is soon knocked flat on his back, to the mercy of the city and all those that would surround and tower over him, when he realises that his role brings about more than just the ordinary admiration and applause that he craved in the beginning… 
Despite being disgusted by and afraid of the older men that would not hesitate to prey on him in his new and unusual environment, Maxime finds himself very attracted to and curious about his co-star, Leopold Ronis, an older boy of eighteen years. In turn, his puppy love is requited by Ronis, who despite keeping the boy out of harm’s way and ensuring that the relationship between them on set is chaste, secretly lusts after him just as much as the other men in their circle. 
Maxime’s films and performance may be otherworldly, but reality can be jarring in the head space of young teenage boy who is overworked, bombarded with the responsibility of an adult three times his age, and forced to smile despite feeling lonely in a world filled with countless names and faces. 
Only the support and love of his younger sister, Leone, and boyfriend, Leopold, manages to drag him from deep despair and broken confidence, and Maxime realises that dreams and ambitions can be outgrown.

If my character Aika was a reflection of the emotions I felt at the age of fourteen, and Carrie/Cherry (both from the "When the Summer Ends"/"Mansions of Glass" duology) was built upon the type of person I wanted to meet and become friends with, Maxime feels more like a son to me; we are not very like each other - as the Myer-Briggs test clearly illustrated, in a previous post -  yet I feel very protective of him.
He starts off as around the same age as my previous protagonists, but this type of bold and passionate  (yet tortured) character is different to what I've written before, and is what makes me excited to continue with his story. 
Max almost writes himself in a way, as he runs from scene to scene (both literally and figuratively, as he is an actor), yelling "come on, come on!" despite his initial trepidation, and it's hard to keep up with him. As a result, I'm up at all hours scribbling down ideas, and flinging plot points at him, and in turn, he flings ideas back at me, saying "I'd like this to happen, I have to have some good times, too," or "what about this? It's very likely". As I said, he tends to write himself, and is very eager to do so.

Medal from Rock n Rose, I'm planning some Maxime-related photography soon...
Due to just wanting to write, write, write in order to keep up, rather than blog, and constantly thinking of what will happen next in his adventures in minute detail, I had been rather worried about writing a pitch, or summary of sorts, just in case some things should change. See, Maxime is an impulsive kind of beast, and as I'm learning new things about him and his life story every day, when I thought I knew it all, I wanted to see how it goes before committing to certain things... As I get new ideas every day, it seems like a very big project, and is almost overwhelming at times. 
I also kept things pretty secret because of shyness, too; I always worry that people will laugh at my ideas, or think that I'm too dark and sinister or controversial in my content. 
Talking to my close friend, who is also a writer, really helped to solidify things that I was worried about, however, and now that things are very clear about the story, I'm trying to get over the nerves of gathering everything together and putting my ideas out there to other people.

Along with how much I enjoy creating the world of my new protagonists, this story gives me a lot of enthusiasm and the characters are quite divergent to what I've written before, so I have a lot of high hopes for it. Sometimes that can be quite intimidating, but I'm using what I learned through re-reading When the Summer Ends and advice from my friends, family and beta readers, to better myself and hopefully achieve something really meaningful. 

I hope that my story will be as interesting for people to read as it is for me to write! 


Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Jan & Feb Monthly Logs: Better Things, Happy Mail, and Opportunities

If you've been following my posts on my Facebook and Instagram accounts, I recently posted a picture of my area's weather in a more peaceful, picturesque state (and I will post it here too, as it's rather pretty).

Winter in March - Ellie Morris

Imagine my surprise when I opened the curtains to find everywhere covered in frosty white blankets, a fairytale image of bliss that we rarely get in our damp and blustery town by the sea. Snow falling from the sky, it was a happy day for most; my brother experienced a snowball fight and building a snowman for the first time, and I know he wasn't the only one that enjoyed this change in weather.
Now, I never used to be such a Scrooge, as I have fond memories of snowball fights in the fields and my sister's good aim and timing, which ended up with a snowball inside my mouth! But I have to confess that snow, these days, is an anxious nightmare for me. I have issues with my balance and walking, and if I slip on the ice, I could potentially get injured. So I mostly stayed inside, which isn't necessarily depressing... until the boiler broke down within a few hours of The Beast from the East coming to the UK!
I'll tell you, this week has been an absolute challenge! The highlight was definitely having no central heating or warm water for three days (it turned out that the pipes had been frozen solid, so it was an easy fix, thankfully), but some other trials turned this week from bad to worse. Other annoying things included strange dreams and little sleep; a meeting (it wasn't too bad, but I just dislike that sort of thing); baking disasters that ultimately ended up being okay, but was very trying and I had to make three separate attempts; embarrassing myself in public; a blood test that ended up with blood running all down my arm; and finally, to top things off, as soon as I got to the restaurant for my sister's birthday, I realised that I had forgotten something very important... Underwear.
It's been a crazy week, but at least it ended on a funny note! And there were so many good things that happened within the past two months.
So on a more positive note...


Such a wonderful thing happened on the first day of this month! My lovely friend, Vivi, opened her own indie Lolita fashion business!! We'd chatted about such a thing for some time, and she is such a talented, sweet and dedicated soul that I'm so incredibly proud of her; you go, girl! She works in a team of three to produce historically-inspired, lacy, intricate, dreamy designs, along with her sister and mother. Their brand name is Viviana Iris, and I want to buy their entire store and future collections until I can hardly breathe due to my room being filled to the ceiling with ruffles, lace, and silk.
In fact, as soon as I could, I snapped up a pair of bloomers and a bonnet for my dolls, which was a dream come true, and I'm thrilled with the quality and love that goes into the clothing.
Please take a look at their Facebook page and Storenvy, and if you're inclined, follow them on her new Instagram! @vivianairisfashions

Beautiful things from Viviana Iris

Another exciting mail day was when I received my parcel from China, containing my first ever BJD! She is Myou Delia, and I decided to name her Aika, after my main character from my previous two novels, "When the Summer Ends" and "Mansions of Glass". She is a character that I felt incredibly close to throughout the writing, and even today she remains one of my favourites, as we have a lot in common - so a physical representation of my first 'proper' novel character is wonderful to have!
I'd always wanted a BJD, maybe for six years, and I had decided long ago that my first one would be Aika. I wonder if anybody else has a doll or figurine of their characters, as a way of inspiring and rewarding oneself for artwork or writing? Let me know in the comments if you have one, or if you're planning one!
(I don't have a great picture yet, as I'm still styling her and waiting for decent light and her official outfit - but she's too pretty to leave without an image, haha. The bluebell dress she is wearing, I bought from Cath Kidston and altered and customised. Perfect for Spring!)

Aika in her new dress - Ellie Morris

One of the achievements for January was hitting 20,000 words of "Tiger Lily Maxime"! Obviously I was very behind on NaNoWriMo to only reach that goal now, but it's still incredibly pleasing, nevertheless! Some nights I write 4,000+ words in one sitting, and only realise that it is past midnight when I start getting thirsty, and it's that kind of concentration and enthusiasm that really adds a significant amount to my word count. Otherwise, I think about it more than I actually spend time doing it, haha. I'm always getting new ideas and inspiration for this story, and it's been so enjoyable every time I find enough brain cells and hours to write!


Another busy month, also with some exciting opportunities.

I found out early on, that I received an unconditional offer for my Creative Writing course at university! Of course, I already had my qualifications from last year, so I didn't need to wait on exam results to receive my place - but I was still extremely happy to get an offer like that! Nerves almost always accompanies excitement, but I celebrated by travelling down to Liverpool on the train to meet my dad out of work, where we went to a Vietnamese restaurant that I like (I discovered Vietnamese pho in January, and found that I can't get enough of it!), and did some shopping.

Mint Turntable and Morricone - Ellie Morris

It was a really lovely evening, and I bought myself a record player in HMV! I've been interested in record players, as a lot of the music I like is quite old, but I'm so glad that I took the plunge and actually got one. Usually if I want something, I sit around and think about it for a long while, and it's probably a few months before I actually get my paws on whatever it is I'm thinking of getting - but this was a relatively quick decision, and not at all a bad one!

First two Vinyls - Ellie Morris

The first vinyl I bought was a live album of Ennio Morricone in Santa Cecilia. It was really fun to listen to, and sometimes as I drift off to sleep, it feels like I'm in a spaghetti western movie.
The next day, I bought an album by another artist that I admire, Clothilde, a young singer in the late 1960's who was famous for her sweet voice but cynical and strange lyrics. I'm so glad to own this record too, as I listen to her "French Swinging Mademoiselle" album a lot.
Since my dad was very pleased about my record player, he told his cousin, who dropped off two huge boxes of his late mother's records; I found some real treasures in there, including Siouxsie and the Banshee's "Once Upon a Time" album, and a Glen Miller compilation, along with a LOT of Elvis and other rock n' roll artists. This week I'm going through them all, working out what I can sell, and which ones I will keep. There must be over 200, so it's going to take a while!

Aside from that, I also started a small, part-time volunteering job at an animal shelter for small pets! It's early days, as I've only been once so far, but I enjoyed looking after the animals. There are two rabbits, two guinea pigs, a cage of degus, and three African Grey parrots! Holding the parrot for the first time was kind of scary, as they're so big and have massive, sharp beaks, but I'd never done that before, so it was a great experience. Part of the duties include cleaning the hutches, doing small health checks on the animals, sweeping the hay, keeping them clean, and generally making a fuss over them with lots of attention and cuddles! I hope that I can meet some of the dogs soon, also, so it will be interesting to see how it turns out.

Thank you if you've read this far, and please feel free to follow or comment if you'd like! I've been a bit behind on my posts recently, but I'm trying to get back into it.

Designed by Beautifully Chaotic