Saturday, 26 December 2009
Sunday, 20 December 2009
- Father Christmas has brought me an early present to cover the time of day the main heater in the house decides it's done a full day's work (about 11:30 a.m.) and the time of day I can decently climb under the duvet and switch the electric blanket on (6:30 p.m. is the earliest so far!). I hasten to add it's faux fur (and not squirrel fur, I'll get to them in a minute).
- The friendship and support of my writing friends. How did I do this before I knew you all I wonder? I'm proud to be a part of a new writing group and looking forward to a New Year with exciting challenges.
- This video. Even if you're feeling decidedly Un-Christmassy I defy you not to smile at the squirrels! http://video.telegraph.co.uk/services/player/bcpid1529569286?bctid=5524339001
Tuesday, 15 December 2009
- I am wearing odd socks chosen from the bizarre assortment left to me by the sock monster. All I can say is he must have got hungry while we were away - I had an impressive 11 odd socks to choose from.
- Due to a catalogue of mishaps involving laptop dropping, password forgetting and technical incompetence I am now locked out of my yahoo email (needed to connect me to the Reading RNA chapter), now known as Loraine W on iheartpresents instead of Lorraine Wilson (the site tells me Lorraine Wilson is in use and when I squeal "Yes, by me!" remains as implacable as an obdurate bouncer) and on eharlequin there is now a blank space where my face used to be.
- That bit about the blank space for some odd reason makes me feel like crying. Bloody hormones!
- Despite having much more huge, horrible stuff going on in my life at the moment which should put getting a form rejection from the Mills and Boon competition into perspective, it somehow made it worse, like I was pinning everything on getting some good news, something nice to happen... Don't worry, I intend to rally and lick Secret Billionaire into shape to attach to my treasured Editor's business card but for the moment I just feel crap.
- I have a sinful amount of swiss chocolate in my kitchen and despite mumbled intentions in the duty free shop do not intend to give any of it away as Christmas presents. Well it should help with confessions 3 and 4...
- I am really behind with my emails, sorry guys. Just wanted to say I love and appreciate you all and thanks for supporting me through a really tough year. Here's hoping I can be a little more reliable next year but maybe that should be part of a resolutions post in January...
Thursday, 3 December 2009
then go and bury yourself in a snowdrift. Well that's my motto and I'm sticking to it.
Tuesday, 24 November 2009
- Wondering if my competition entry has made the shortlist mentioned in the contest update
- Thinking about how I'll feel if I get the generic 'abandon this project' email I got back from the competition last year.
- Wishing I was satisfied with the final edit I carried out under the fug of flu.
- Feeling depressed about my 'time passed to writing accomplished' ratio in recent months.
Friday, 20 November 2009
Tuesday, 10 November 2009
Friday, 6 November 2009
- re-read your competition entry after it's been sent
- edit when you have flu
Monday, 2 November 2009
Saturday, 24 October 2009
- A baby cold picked up in Liverpool that has now grown to the kind of monster proportions favoured by King Kong, Godzilla et al.
- A bizarre accident involving the leg of the ironing board and my nose (don't ask).
- Listening to "Passion" by Louise Bagshawe, so utterly engaging that my own writing feels even more hobbyish than usual.
- Remembering there are things other than writing that matter in life. Like erm...er...
Tuesday, 20 October 2009
Monday, 12 October 2009
Friday, 2 October 2009
Monday, 28 September 2009
Wednesday, 23 September 2009
Monday, 21 September 2009
Which is why I was so touched when the gardeners finally drafted in to clear our jungle (very out of place next to the perfect gardens of St Mary Mead) bought me a present. We’d been chatting during the day and they knew about the accident but it was still a lovely surprise when they presented me with a gift before they left - a potted red geranium, a splash of colour to cheer me up, they said.
Perhaps I should get them in to help me prune my chapter? It was 500 words under the competition limit. I edited it and I'm now 1000 words over! Ah well, will have to sit down and have a good look at it. Or send it to somebody less grumpy :-)
BTW I take it everybody participated in International Speak Like a Pirate day at the weekend? In case anybody missed it, here's something to get you in the mood...
Wednesday, 9 September 2009
Yes, I am now as barking mad as our terrier who thinks she can scare off the RAF, currently using our croft house as target practice, by squeaking her toy.
It’s the broadband withdrawal that's done it (have now given in and driven to internet cafe). Without CPs and blogfriends to be my reality check (or, less politely, to tell me to stop being a muppet) I have even taken to dreaming about technical problems with my competition entries. In a dream last night someone lectured me at length about my secondary character interaction and the banter between my hero and heroine.
Angels giving me good crit or a sign I’m officially over the edge?
I suspect the latter.
In an attempt to draw myself back from over-angst I have designed a teeny little questionnaire about my current comp idea (please leave you answers in a comments field. You get a reward if you get to the end J).
(1) Titles. Which option do you prefer?
(a) Reluctant Heir, Passionate Affair
(b) Hot Nights with the Playboy Prince
(c) The Prince’s Indecent Proposal
(d) To tell me to stop thinking about titles, which are irrelevant really, given you don't get to choose them, and get on with writing the damn thing
(2) Princes. Compatible with Modern Heat?
(a) No, they belong in historicals or Moderns at a push
(b) You might be able to pull it off, AITE and all that
(c) I’ve no problem with the concept as long as it fits the guidelines
(3) Your reward. Would you rather…
(a) Have a date with George Clooney
(b) Be analyzed by the Mentalist (aka Simon Baker)
(c) Have a chocolate feast
Okay, so you might have to use your imagination to claim your reward but thanks for taking part in my poll and pulling me back from the edge :-)
Unless of course you didn’t, in which case you may find yourself reading in the news headlines that a mad hermitess has been found roaming the Highlands muttering about stripping out too much external conflict (not to put any pressure on you or anything ;-)
Thursday, 3 September 2009
Friday, 28 August 2009
Tuesday, 25 August 2009
Thursday, 20 August 2009
Tuesday, 18 August 2009
- If you write something you think might be unclear, it is. Big time. Change it or cut it.
- Make sure you've started your scenes late and left them early.
- If you find you've said the same thing more than once - choose the best and cut the rest.
Thursday, 13 August 2009
Monday, 10 August 2009
Friday, 7 August 2009
Thursday, 6 August 2009
Monday, 3 August 2009
Wednesday, 29 July 2009
Friday, 17 July 2009
Tuesday, 14 July 2009
Wednesday, 8 July 2009
After a couple of weeks of trying to keep up with emails, blogs etc using motorway service stations as I traveled from England to Scotland and back again several times (bet that messed up peoples’ feedjit! J) I finally have broadband in the new place.
Although I described the area as yummy mummy land (in the interests of balance I ought to say they’ve all been lovely to me) I’ve also met a plethora of retired colonels and majors emerging from perfect thatched cottages, not to mention a few ‘Honourables’ and a minor noble. I’ve been informed in no uncertain terms that attendance at the village fete, sports day etc is compulsory. Perhaps once I’ve been drinking the water for a couple of months I’ll develop the urge to competitively grow misshapen vegetables or join the Women’s Institute.
I’ve decided I must have moved to a twenty first century St Mary Mead and any minute now Miss Marple will be knocking on my door to inform me that the rector has discovered a body up at the Manor House. Or maybe at the ruins of nearby Wolf Hall (great name isn’t it?)
Not that I’ll have time to help Miss Marple solve the crime as my editor slot is now only TWO days away. I blame gadding about with boxes and having fun days out at hospitals.
Somehow I’ve managed to write a new synopsis in the midst of it all (taking the ‘ah sod it’ approach to the piles of boxes helps) – my characters are now more believable (I hope) and their actions more consistent. I’ve also given Luke a bit of an alpha makeover in line with the new Modern Heat guidelines; he is now harder, less laidback but still essentially the same Luke.
I’ve decided to take everyone’s advice and not worry too much about the slot. I can discuss the new story angle and hopefully sound out whether or not The Secret Billionaire (as Bridal Bet is now called) could ever work for the Modern Heat line.
Hopefully I’ll have lots of lovely feedback next week about the conference, or the reincarnation of Miss Marple should she appear J
P.S. the above picture is an old photograph of where I'm now ensconced!
Thursday, 25 June 2009
Wednesday, 17 June 2009
- Think of a catchy hook and then impose characteristics on your H&h to make them fit in with your hook.
- When you encounter inconsistencies in your characters' behaviour don't go back to the beginning and question your premise, simply come up with more backstory to force the fit, like a large foot into a small shoe (or should that be strappy sandal???)
- Once you've stuffed that foot in, ignore any niggles in the back of your mind and reassure yourself with the fact the strappy sandal does look quite pretty.
- On no account try to get a crit from a writer you really admire, like the fabulous Heidi Rice say, if you're not prepared to let go of that strappy sandal and put the work in to find a shoe that fits.
Thursday, 11 June 2009
Friday, 5 June 2009
- Don't bother laying flooring - bare concrete never shows the dirt.
- If you don't cut your grass then eventually it will get to such a height it hides all the weeds in your garden.
- If you don't invite anyone round then you don't have to tidy up.
- Do your building work over as long a period as possible then you'll always have a good excuse for your house being in complete chaos.