Another year goes by…

2014ENA couple of days I got an automatic post from Facebook inviting me to view my 2014 summary and – of course – share it with my friends. I looked out of curiosity and noticed that the snippets were based on the pictures I uploaded and the amounts of “likes” they got, so Facebook pretty much missed most of the important events in my life. I shrugged and created my own: a simple collage of seven anthologies published this year. Because, in the end, writing is one of the most important parts of my life and I always get very excited seeing my stories released. Continue reading “Another year goes by…”

No Excuses for Plagiarism

plagiarismRecently I came across an article from 2010 about a German writer whose first book, a bestseller, was proven to be plagiarized from a novel of another author. What shook me more than the act itself, was the author’s defense. “It’s not copying, it’s mixing”, even though supposedly whole passages were copied from another author’s work.

Just a week later I witnessed online a similar situation: a young Polish author publishing with a vanity press openly admitted that his book is a fan-fiction set in one of the bestselling fantasy author’s world and using her main character. This time the excuse was similar: “it’s only inspiration and it’s ok if I use the main character’s name, because it’s not the same character”. I didn’t get to read an excerpt from the book, but the book’s description suggests the main character is a dragon, just like in the bestselling series. Continue reading “No Excuses for Plagiarism”

Brace yourselves! The NaNoWriMo is… not coming!

NaNoWriMo(1) Are you doing it this year? I’m so not ready! I need my outline done. There is so little time left! OMG! Are you ready? Do you have any tips? Here’s my plan for success! What will you be writing?

If you are a writer or have any writing friends, these comments pop in social media quite often at this time of the year. Almost everyone is preparing for (or dreading) the start of National Novel Writing Month (that has, in fact, become quite international). Everyone, except for us, few people in the corner, watching this cheerful madness with unusual calm. Continue reading “Brace yourselves! The NaNoWriMo is… not coming!”

Music Inspirations – part 3

5825010322_7211eb8d22_zThere is only a few more songs left on my list and I hope you enjoyed this musical journey with me. This is the last part of the “Music Inspirations”, but as I usually discover new music and come up with ideas, maybe one day there will be few more to be posted. If you found inspiration while reading or listening feel free to share them in the comments as I love to see different perspectives and ideas. Continue reading “Music Inspirations – part 3”

Music Inspirations – part 2

4553096837_5cd3cebdb9_oA comment to the previous part of the Music Inspirations made me realize that I didn’t make a clear distinction between “writing music” and “music inspiration”. The first one often consists of a writer’s favorite songs or maybe background music with no lyrics if they prefer (such as classics or movie soundtracks) that helps to focus on writing or isolate from the surrounding world. The second one can be anything that the writer heard, a new hit on the radio by some popular singer or a long-forgotten lullaby or anything else, including songs outside of a writer’s musical comfort zone.

When I look at my music inspirations I realize how different this list is from what I usually listen to and from what I listen to when I write. Of course, some of the songs make it to my permanent playlist, be it the writing or the general one, while others stay forever attached to just one idea, and I don’t really listen to them once I wrote the story they inspired. If there is a rule to my musical inspiration, I have to find it yet. All I can say for sure, they happen and they come unexpectedly: just like the one that made it to the list below. Continue reading “Music Inspirations – part 2”

Music Inspirations – part 1

56208761_7c72328c3e_zSome writers can’t work unless there is silence around them, others easily jot down sentences in a crowded cafe, but to many of us music is an important part of the creative process.

To me music is important as it not only inspires me, but also helps me create. I don’t need it in order to be writing (some friends of mine can testify that they saw me writing during a loud party), but I like to use it to create a barrier between the story and the world around me. Sometimes I find a song that reflects the story or the mood of what I am writing, and then I am happy to listen to it in a loop as long as I write, and sometimes it’s just a random playlist in the background.

Some time ago my Facebook friend and fellow writer – Anna “Cranberry” Nieznaj invited me to join a game for writers: for 30 days we would be posting links to the music that inspired some of our works with a short description or an excerpt. The game was fully in Polish and only available for friends, but since another person asked me about the role of music in my writing, I thought it is due time to convert that game into a blog post (or three). Continue reading “Music Inspirations – part 1”

Inspiring Fridays

By Michael Coghlan via Flickr
By Michael Coghlan via Flickr

I don’t think I would be wrong if I said that most of people can’t wait for Friday: especially for its evening part, when the week’s work has been done and it’s time to relax… or catch up with all the things neglected during the non-weekend days. Though I have to admit that regardless of how much I am looking forward to the weekend, Friday morning always throws me in a state of panic. “Is it today already?” I think opening my browser. “What’s this week’s theme?” Continue reading “Inspiring Fridays”

How do I write? Writing Process Blog Tour

by Pete O Shea via Flickr
by Pete O Shea via Flickr

Rachel Stirling from Stirlingwriter blog invited me to take part in a Blog Tour: it is exciting, as it’s my first one. Rachel’s blog post on Writing Process was published last week, and now it is my turn to answer 4 questions. I should also be passing the baton to the next three (un)lucky writers, but unfortunately everyone seems to be enjoying the prolonged weekend and I found no volunteers yet. So I leave the three spots open and if you want to take one of them and write a post for next Monday (28/04/2014) – just let me know in the comments.

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What am I working on at the moment?

At the moment I am focusing on two short stories I have planned: one of them is a sci-fi with a bit of horror flavouring, the other one will be set in an alternative history. It’s a new experience for me to write both of them as I never attempted to write anything horror-related before and the other story is a bit of an experiment as well with two worlds interwoven. But there are always other stories and ideas to be written as well, some of them partially done, some still nothing more than ideas. This way I can avoid writer’s block by jumping into another story if I hit a speed bump while writing the current one. Continue reading “How do I write? Writing Process Blog Tour”

The Most Dreaded Questions

By takomabibelot via Flickr
By takomabibelot via Flickr

We all have questions that we don’t like to be asked, that makes us feel uncomfortable. From “So, what’s your story about” when you would have to give away the precious plot twist forged so carefully to “So, are you planning on publishing it?” that would lead to hours-long lecture on differences between traditional publishing and self-publishing and why “planning” is not necessarily the correct verb. It even might be “Why did you kill that character?” when you simply don’t know the answer…

But the most dreaded question on my list is something different. It makes me feel a bit lost and I start wondering how one explains passion to others. The ones who have a passion on their own, something that occupies their thoughts almost all the time, will understand, but they rarely ask such question. They already relate and they would instantly understand a simple answer such as “Because I have to.” Continue reading “The Most Dreaded Questions”

Climbing the Literary Mountains

I remember the time from my early twenties when I first went to Tatra Mountains in southern Poland to hike.

Of course, I’ve been there before, but back then I was too young to consider the mountains something more than just pretty surroundings. Our parents took me and my brother around Zakopane, picturesque town at the foothills of the mountain, and strolled with us through valleys that looked like they’ve been stolen from fantasy books. I can still recall some of the views, particular places, the mood even though over a quarter of century passed since then.

Tatra Mountains, Czerwone Wierchy - by Ryszard Zuchowski
Tatra Mountains, Czerwone Wierchy – by Ryszard Zuchowski

But it was only little over ten years ago when I packed my backpack and embarked on a train to Zakopane knowing this time I won’t be simply admiring the mountains, I will be actually climing them. I felt excited and I felt ready: even if I wasn’t an athelete, more bookworm than a fitness freak, I knew I could walk for ages, so I saw no reason why I couldn’t make it to the very peaks. Continue reading “Climbing the Literary Mountains”