Thursday, December 31, 2009
In a few short hours people all over the world will link hands and sing a traditional song/poem written by a humble Scots ploughman.Now that's great writing...and here's his best. It makes the hairs on my arms stir every time I hear it and I have it as a plaque on the wall.
So tonight. Link hands and remember. Honest writing, deeply felt speaks to people. And lasts.
It was a nice rejection. The publisher in question is a lovely one I'd have loved to work with. They praised my writing, my book and my hero. The word irresistible was used (always good ggg!) So colour me happy. They also gave me specific advice why they won't take it further - advice I can use to improve and take it on elsewhere. To widen the scope. My writing mentor last year told me this is one of the benefits of getting it out there - feedback to help you improve it and find it a home. Thanks to wonderful writing friends for telling me my next steps so much better than I could see them!
Okay I'm admittedly R punched.
But Gloria Gaynor springs to mind. And Yazz.
It's going to be alright. And in 2010 I now know what I need to do! Already I'm scribbling. Happy Hogmanay and Auld Lang Syne to you all. jx
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Mine was nice with lots of laughter. Namely at doing MC Hammer contests on the Wii and watching toddler girl disguised as Elton John playing new pink keyboard. Who needs TV soaps for entertainment when you have crazy children who like to perform?
Anyway since Christmas I've been having an 'organising' fest. Not good.
Cupboards got cleaned without meaning to. My computer housekeeping and backup suddenly became a priority when my brother ordained it would be so on Boxing Day (!!) Bless him, he gave me a wireless router (what a sweetie) and insisted I housekeep all my I.T. while he gave everything a thorough service! Sigh. But it's done and my system is now zippety zip fast.
Even the fishtank got a pro clean (without intending to) because of the algae decending back on the tank as uninvited Xmas guests. We think we've finally sorted out the problem (fingers crossed!)
So. I've cleared. Tidied. Organised. OCD in action as displacement activity supreme. I've even made a resolution to resist the urge to blog-time-waste quite so much in 2010!
As my Scottish Granny would say - I'm set for Hogmanay!
Now all I have to do is figure out my writing goals...and stop angsting about the lack of submission news.
2010 is going to be about waiting to see what happens next with the sub. With a plan B short story contest entry in reserve. Then finally getting to the bottom of that bad boy in the highlands that I've been toying with in a commitment phobic manner.
What about you?
Monday, December 21, 2009
Actually even though the book is no longer in print and it seems like a long time ago I subbed for a review - I'm very grateful because I needed this validation/reminder that sometimes I can write okay.
I love every minute of my writing life. It keeps me sane. But we all reach rough spots where we think...can I keep trying and failing? Can I keep putting the effort in and subbing and getting knock backs? Maybe I'm kidding myself?
And after this review...the answer to the above is yes I can keep at it. It's given me a boost at a much needed time. I'll keep trying as long as the stories call to me and I'm getting better. As long as I'm feeling the love. And I still do. Nobody said the road would be easy...
So thanks for a surprise Christmas Present Review. Thanks for the vote I didn't expect.
And now...back to the important stuff. A very Merry Christmas to you all! Every good wish is sent your way!
Friday, December 18, 2009
Since I'm waiting...
Waiting for Christmas (fa la la la la la la la la!)
Waiting for the Postman with the sexy Sony Pocket package (vroom vroom)
And waiting to hear about the submission that must not be mentioned...
I can happily wait when he's around to stare at. Bring on the mince pies m'lord.
Will it ever end? Answer no. Cos after today the kids are off!
So are you ready for it? Needless to say my tasks are done but writing progress is nada, grumph humph!
And just incase you haven't already seen it...check this brilliant MnB Pocket Reader out now! Snap em up while you can. It is INCREDIBLY cute! 350 books storage and music files too! Fabbo. (Happily I have a birthday in January so if I squeeze my eyes shut and add my presents together it's not so very indulgent. Honest guv! I have a very understanding husband. And a piggy bank...) That's my excuses and I'm sticking to 'em.
Monday, December 14, 2009
She has worked out (she's clever that way) how to turn on the flashing baubles herself (yes we have two flashing baubles!) Everytime I switch one off, moments later it's back on. I swear if she could whistle innocently she would.
In addition she keeps moving all the baubles. Constantly. And stuffing them into bizarre places...I swear I'm going to wake up next to a bauble on the pillow soon. It's spooky.
My tree goes through fifty different Xmas Gok Wan looks in a day. From top heavy to bottom bedecked...sigh.
It's her Christmas party at toddler group tomorrow. Expect even more nonsense to follow. And the big one's school party is also on.
So it'll be sequin dresses overload. Oh the joys of Xmas Kid Mania.
P.S. I won a book from Harlequin - Mira's RNA Anthology of short stories, Loves Me, Loves Me Not! Fabulous. I'm already stalking the postman! But he's nice so that's okay.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
For some years the word Kyle (isn't that a gorgeous name?) has held a special place in my heart…Kyle of Lochalsh of course. Hey, I’m a Scot who digs going north.
Only now there’s a gorgeous Kyle who’s stolen my heart away! Nina Harrington’s latest (second) novel with MnB Romance, Hired: Sassy Assistant brings a jaw-dropper hero called Kyle who’s rugged, exciting and very contemporary. He’s a medic, an adventurer and a man to simply swoon over. With a smile that makes you melt and a wonderfully unconventional style he’s hard to resist. Guy next door but with stellar hero credentials tucked away in his combat trousers’ back pockets.
Lulu is the perfect woman for him too. Mr Adventurer meets Ms Sassy in a fun and touching romantic ride to love. With poingnant and touching moments too - these two really deserve to be together.
So if you want a romance book that has you smiling from the first page and tripping over the pages wanting more, more, more THIS is it. Heart-warming and sassy; buy Nina’s book or regret that you missed a treat. C’mon Nina, write some more! Just for me!
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
It sends her into orbit
A forward roll, a swing on bars
She mimicks Olga Corbett
As mother gasps behind her
Like a steam train belching puff
The small one dismounts like a pro
Her chaperone is duff
I wish I were a yummy mum
With graceful limbs and ease
Instead I lumber after her
Then end up with bumped knees
And as she springs gazelle like
With speed like skis on snow
I forget my lack of prowess
And just holler 'Go Kid Go!'
P.S. Yes. I always wanted to be Pam Ayres (seventies UK diva of ditties that rhymed!)
Monday, December 07, 2009
But I have a fly in my subbing ointment. Because no matter how hard I squeeze my eyes shut and IMAGINE (believe, believe)! The realist in me keeps chattering - harsh economic times, publishers cutting back etc etc...
Furthermore, when I was going through IVF treatment for our lovely DD2 a friend who'd been through it similarly advised - believe, believe, feel the conviction that it can work!
And er...although I kept upbeat and firm in my conviction to just give it my best, half my mind still said - ah well, this is my big try. Having a go so that I won't look back in regret and say 'what if!' A girl's gotta do with no guarantees. Joy of joys, it did work. And I pinch myself at this major life miracle every single day when I look at her beaming little smile. I was very lucky. However, I still boggle at the statistical chances...
So amid my subbing angst (yes, it's set in). I am doing what I do best. One minute upbeat and motivated, the next level-headed and realistic.
Trying to believe. But keeping an eye on the climate. Tough times means you have to get even tougher. So...let's just wait and see.
And yes. My nails are scuppered.
Sunday, December 06, 2009
Cranberry and Vanilla candles. I know...must get out more. But they really are divine. Cards posted, check. Gifts sorted into piles for wrapping, check.
New smelly candle purchased. Mince pies on horizon. Tickety boo.
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
My hero Angus needs you!
Monday, November 30, 2009
The jury is still out, and will be out for a wee while on Crazy Nanny, so instead I'm taking solace with the bad boy's efforts to secure his bothy croft home. Nice to take the mind elsewhere and let it run free. Especially when that place happens to be amid the glens and heather of the highlands. Yum.
Friday, November 27, 2009
He's kinda cute in a quiet, unobstrusive, swims/hides/loves his breakfast pellets more than life itself kinda way.
Basically he's a low maintenance source of empathy. And I'm finding myself nodding to him regularly, rewarded when he blinks back in a fishy enigmatic manner. Three months on he's still here-so what do you buy a goldfish for Xmas? Answers on a postcard please.
Monday, November 23, 2009
If you're looking for a book that will be stuck to your hand from chapter one, look no further!
Sue Moorcroft's newly released 'Starting Over' is a hand-magnet, uplifting novel with twists and turns that'll leave you both addicted and breathless for more. Miles is a hero that just pulls at your heart and makes it race McLaren style while illustrator Tess has you rooting for her and her HEA all the way (even when she gets it wrong there's just no way you can't love this woman!)
So...buy this book. You will not be disappointed. Though strangely, having finished it, I am - withdrawal symptoms from the wonderful world of Middledip and its brilliant cast of characters. Can't wait until Sue's next one comes out in April. Thanks for a brilliant read, Sue! As addictive as hand-made, expensive Choc Lit.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Nina Harrington's latest Hired: Sassy Assistant which I will blog review in a few weeks...it's due to hit the shelves in January and is well worth booking your advance copy as a Christmas Giftette To Yourself! Why not? You're worth it!
And Michelle Styles's The Viking's Captive Princess. If you haven't seen the wonderful cover it's here on her website and once you start reading...it gets even more spellbinding than the inspiring artistry on the cover. Ivar is just 'to die for' and Thyre is a feisty beauty you'll be rooting for from the off. Love love loved it! Every chapter end just made me itch to read, read, read.
Reading this book, and finishing with a hugely satisfied sigh, was a wonderful way to round off an amazing year of having Michelle's fabulous mentoring advice through her annual competition. In Summary Then...
Get these books. Or regret it. Keeper shelf latest additions and the status is thoroughly well earned!
Saturday, November 14, 2009
The only up side is that wee one, when ill, loves nothing better than to snuggle all day (which I secretly enjoy) while big one has taken great comfort in lounging around with her beloved Nintendo (cooking mama is her life's passion!) Unlike her mother who has an aversion for the real kind never mind virtual cooking under critical pressure.
One brick has been decanted from my stress handbag. I got a pass on my novella but with encouraging comments about the cute and publishable story that just needs to go elsewhere. So it ain't all bad.
So maybe when the bug has passes and my life has eased a tad it might be morphing into a brick again when I send it out there once more...oh the joys of brick carrying!
How are you all anyhow?
Thursday, November 12, 2009
One minute you're carefree and browsing life's shelves, getting on with the tasks in hand. The next. All you can think about is the sub cutting a hole into your shoulder...your brain...and your sleep patterns. Not fair.
Sunday, November 08, 2009
Last night a major realisation hit me. With a THUNK.
I have a Stevie Nicks alter ego I've really never analysed until now. But it's really there, lurking...
Yes I am a big Fleetwood Mac fan. There's a copy of both Rumours and Tango In The Night in my car and actually I think the song Everywhere and its video are what spurred me to write romance in the first place. I just love that vid. Did I mention my secret thing for Highwaymen (and don't even get me onto my teen obsession with Baroness Orczy and crush on the Scarlet Pimpernel...but I digress).
So after X Factor I switched over to a music channel's Fleetwood Mac roundup. And suddenly it hit me.
I want to be 'Stevie Nicks'. Blonde (check always wanted that); wearer of romantic gypsy style clothes and long boots, frilly petticoats and perhaps even strange hats with feathers in (check perhaps because I've always been a jeans wearer there's a deep secret part of me that longs to dress up in a wispy butterfly dress and maybe even a velvet corset with BIG HAIR and just go for it...ggg). Anyway. Perhaps that's why I write romance...I have this inner 'ethereal' crazy woman whom I've never given full control to. Because she scares me...
And possibly would scare passers-by too.
So I keep my inner 'Stevie' repressed...Well, I mean. Who wants to go to Sainsbury's with mermaid hair and a velvet cloak especially with kids in tow?
Anybody else got any embarrassing alter egos? Or perhaps you have an unworn velvet cloak in the cupboard too...? Go on...fess up!
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
Nothing like NaNo to get you writing feverishly and even if it's bad, does it matter? No, heck you can fix it later. It feels good to be flying fast and free.
The Mouth is Alive title is a result of Duran Duran Hungry Like The Wolf overdose. My hubbie's family brought him a huge bag of old stuff from his 'childhood home'. And guess what we found...Rio by the DD boys. So it slipped on the CD player as you can imagine.
And can I stop playing it? No. Good old Simon Le Bon. A rejection easer if there ever was one.
Monday, November 02, 2009
So...the best cure? Writing again. And since it's Nanowrimo month I'm figuring a 1000 word count for November will blitz away the blues as good as any. Luckily I have a project at the 2.5k mark just waiting to be bickhoked! Happy writing Nano people. Let's make November busy!
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
But ya know...I'm okay. I'm actually full of fighting spirit because...for me 2009 has been a wonderful year. The very best in fact.
Here's the reasons:
I wrote a book I love, I went to the conference and met so many amazing writers/friends, and best of all I've been lucky enough to be mentored for a whole amazing year by the most wonderful writing mentor in the world (Michelle Styles, who I can never thank enough). So all in all I've kinda woken up to 'feeling happy with my voice'. Feeling like I've found who I am. Surely that is a great thing. In fact I even had an agent interested in my work so that's another first!
And now an R. A form one on a partial. After many (blissfully naive) years of getting full requests and feedback and comps slips....
In this old gnarly game of writing it's just the way it can be. Ups down. Highs, setbacks.
I can't be mad or even sad. Because now I know I've learned loads of craft and I'm comfy in the saddle with how I write. All to the good in my view.
In summary I know this book has a home. And I've had Michelle rooting me on to believe it's true...so. Watch this space.
Not a chocolate binge in sight. Though I may have a small treat later for being so brave ggg!
My writing light sabre is still shining ladies. If you gotta write, you just gotta write! And now the Crazy Nanny and I are going to take an adventure somewhere new!
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
A cold (me and now nearly gone) a keyboard drowned by daughter's drink (new one purchased).
So after this minor hiatus I'm pleased to announce that the WIP is making progress (more progress than Crazy Crofter that is temporarily being shelved in the bunker of despair). And I'm buzzing with ideas so I've decided to snowflake...
It's fun. It keeps the momentum going. It helps clarify and focus the mind. So I'm making pretty pictures. Enjoying a snowride before the draft begins...
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Sunday, October 04, 2009
Thursday, October 01, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
- The magical worlds that beckon you to step inside.
- A heroine you want to be and take into your heart, one who visits fantasy lands in magical shoes. Yum.
- The heroine always bumps into her fantasy hunky fella and he always turns into a knight in shining armour and saves the day.
- Familiar themes...cinderella fairy tales, magical princess stories, rags to riches, identity swaps, tropical island adventures...
- I even love the music (confess to owning the Barbie Movies CD, we play it in the car). And it's a bit like the kind of love I have for the romance book covers. I love these worlds so much I manage to get a kick out of the added extras!
Monday, September 14, 2009
For anyone else trying to solve the gremlins of green tank. The solution is a real plant, better filtration and regular mini water changes. Two days with a padded envelope (a spare from the submission stock, see the benefits of being a writer do come in tres handy!) blocking out the light didn't hurt either. See...now I'm officially an aquarist ANORAK. Note to self: must get out more! I'll be walking around wearing a snorkel soon, watchout!
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Of course the last time I made a blog prediction I said I thought I was going to have a baby boy. Which was totally WRONG. So going on past history don't believe a word I say. My 'feelings' are more flawed than finger on pulse!
But I do have this really strong, strange feeling. It's about to hit and for the last five months I've pretty much known it would be radio silence. So if my Mystic tendencies are right the waiting will soon be over. And I know I sound totally bonkers saying it! Perhaps howling at the moon next!? Talking to the goldfish has happened already.
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
I've been having a lot of goldfish trauma.
To be more specific, since we got the fish he's been nowt but trouble. And incase you haven't already guessed I'm a worrier. Olympic Gold Medalist in the stress department to be exact.
So. Charlie Bucket came into our lives, along with a strange fungusy looking thing on his tail.
I read, I googled. I bought tinctures (at great expense) and dosed according to instructions.
The fungus cleared. Then reappeared on the other side of said swishy tail.
So...repeat as before...I read, I googled etc etc.
I also read loads of conflicting info about fishkeeping on the internet that left me completely bamboozled why I'd taken up this stark staring mad hobby in the first place. Like how much water change is too much? Why do test strips that cost enough to feed my children for a week not work when all the pet shops stock them? And why did I then have to pay a veritable mortgage for a fishy testing masterkit? And finally...how much worrying about a small fish that cost £3 is too much?
Answer. THIS MUCH!
This week a new problem creeps into the equation. And the aquarium.
Hubbie changed the filter and botched it (bless him, he tries...) and since then the water's been turning green. From a fetching chartreuse to a murky emerald and as of today far more akin to Witchy Brew soup than anything any sane fish would want to defacate in never mind swim in with a fungal tail!
Gasp for a big breath here...
Today I've changed the water yet again. Regardless of what all the internet stuff says, paying not a jot of heed to the man at the petshop either and I've purchased (ca ching-this fish has had more spent on it lately than Paris Hilton!) an algae scrubber!!!
Any more wallet and mental abuse and I think I may just lose my mind! And the fish may find itself sent packing.
Please let us now be embarking on a stable phase of my fish husbandry experience.
My nerves simply cannot take any more fish-related strain. And Charlie Bucket really needs to give his untrained new human caretaker a bit of a breather to regain her control.
Thank yoh for letting me vent!
Later note-the wee fishy is happily sleeping in a cleaner tank and I feel bad for moaning. I think the problem is I've actually grown way more attached to Charlie Bucket than I imagined. He may not be huggable but he is kinda cute... I think I have a hormonal imbalance or something...
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
It's no fun when you're repressing the inferno urge to write. It's been burning inside me like indigestion...erm maybe that wasn't the best metaphor...Anyhoo. Sadly there's no fizzy tablet that quashes it.
So finally crit is done. Crazy Nanny is confined to the attic (rather like Mr Rochester's wife). Shoo Nanny shoo! And I'm free...free...free to write like Jessica Fletcher's crazed clone. And indulge my new passion for a man called Ben with brawny biceps.
I love living in my mad writer's dream world. No-one tells me off for mad thoughts and crazy intense relationships with non existent people, even if I blog about it. And the packet of chocolate biscuits is my section break reward (look out hips and thighs!) But blissful even if calorifically unwise.
Thursday, September 03, 2009
Right now time is v tight. The toddler is flexing her assertiveness muscles and avoiding the potty. Plus she is climbing out of the cot with all the agility of a mini gymnastics champ! Tonight we converted the cot into a bed. So I'm sure later will be fun while we chase her around the house like a crazed AWOL duckling!
Meanwhile my eldest is about to start swimming lessons and is constantly wearing a swim hat (well not quite constantly but nearly!) Plus I've crit to do and let's not even get started on the toy mania mess that is my living room...
But. Yesterday I snatched some time and what d'ya know? Suddenly a bare bones partial is born. Amazing what a stray hour and a half can achieve. I really, really need more time to nail this story! I'm wishing very very hard for TIME.
Monday, August 31, 2009
Don't expect cogent writing thinking to happen at all either.
Don't expect anything much expect laundryand low energy reserves.
Do expect mess. Do expect puddles. Do expect me in a state of mayhem for the foreseeable future.
It's called Potty Training. And I'm blaming it all on that. My toddler doesn't like nappies or pants (even the teeny tiny pants with cartoon pigs on bought at considerable expense!) Instead she is streaking on a regular basis. And sitting on her potty wearing an elephant trunk (don't ask!)
This calls for a big pile of books beside the potty. And patience! Yes, I've been wearing a trunk too (if it makes her sit, why fight it!) Let's hope she gets her head about wearing clothes on the bottom half of her body again.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
It's official. What I really, really need is one of these babies...
I'm going to save up for my own Submission Escape Zone POD. The perfect place to get away from bucket clutching and just big enough for a stash of choc and books *the ideal hidey hole to read Monty Halls' epic about Beachcomber Cottage too*. Fabbo! Though I suppose I could leave a sign on the outside for the postman...
Knock three times on the window if you want me!
Monday, August 24, 2009
Can't take Crazy Nanny no more.
Can't take watching the postman, can't bear junk mail rifling like a madwoman for anything that looks remotely like a reply.
Must get off this ride. Will go and live in the shed until it's over. Anyone got headache pills?
P.S. Won't moan again. Will take up making models out of matchsticks.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Yep I'm polished out. Doing another final fine tune polish on Crazy Nanny so it's done and I can hide it away and pretend I'm free of its chains. After this...I've had it. No more. Is it just me or eventually do you want to throw it at the wall?
Friday, August 21, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Our new family pet fish - Charlie Bucket - yes he has a name now, is still swimming. Fingers crossed. So far, so good but don't quote me on it later if things get shaky.
My eldest is back at school today. New shoes, new bag, new uniform! New term. Again, so far so good...
I checked the status of my submission. Got an answer within the day. So it's not gone astray in the post. Time to dig in and wait some more.
Oh...and then there's chocolate. When all else fails, there's always chocolate and eyeing new handbags. These things will always remain.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
She's very excited even though she can't settle on a name---we've been through Fifi, Alvin, Gilbert and Dave (?) I'd dropped hints of hero names like Blane and Kyle and Zack to no avail.
We're off to the Deep Sea Centre today to immerse ourselves in more underwater mania.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Sunday, August 09, 2009
Thursday, August 06, 2009
Note: please don't let me spring a leak during the champagne reception! Hubbie's tux is on hire! Equally the event is suitably high profile that if I disgace myself and cause a rumpus I could end up in the national papers. Wish me luck!
Monday, August 03, 2009
Well by jingo. What do you know?
I've been reading Dwight Swain. Obsessing about Goal, Conflict, Disaster Scenes and Sequences.
And suddenly I'm morphing into a plotter. Yep. Planning, lists. Working out the twists and turns before I get carried away with the wordage.
What next? Spreadsheets and an anorak? Maybe even a crochet habit?
I blame waking up to the golden benefits of having a syno BEFORE I write the story. I'm having to Plot or Flop. Totally out of character and crazy mad. I blame Steve...this never happened before he came along.
Friday, July 31, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Right now I'm wrestling. With an alpha hero who won't behave. And it's not good. It's slowing all progress on the writing front.
I'd been jogging along fine until I had my editor chat where it was suggested the hero had been too nasty to the heroine. GASP. (Actually she had a point I just had the rose tinted glasses on). Anyway she suggested a hero inspiration to steer me and offered tweak ideas.
Well I've been stalling, labouring and basically not getting very far. All because the new inspirational hero's name doesn't make me jiggle to write. When I do write him it's wrong. In short the hero suggested doesn't really work for me. Lovely as he is---just not my cup of darjeeling.
So. Any advice for getting a hero into shape? Because this one needs a hard shake and a half. I'm reverting back to Monty Halls with crucial bits of Gerry Butler...that usually works a treat. For me at least.
P.S. I love this track. Very alpha male appropriate.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Another mad clip. But there is a point there somewhere...
I'm including this one for 3 reasons:
- I love Music Box Dancer. Even with a techno beat (sorry for the cheesy clip included for the wonderful light show). But it's still a great piece of music.
- This particular clip reminds me of how I start out with a new book. Excited in capitals. A beat pulsing through my veins. Hoping I'm making the opening chapters as sparkly as possible and wanting to jump through light hoops to show my attributes to best advantage. Sometimes (usually about chapter six) the lights start to dim and flicker...the beats turn to ballads...I wind down. Sometimes I come to a complete stop. But I push through (this is the lesson learned of the dirty despicable draft). So this clip is in honour of First Chapter Euphoria and the Sparkly New Idea.
- On a serious note however the clip does also have some significance. It looks easy, fun, effortless. Fast. But behind all that sparkly colour and speed is the long hard task of set up-getting from one side of the christmas tree field to the other. Buying the kit and installing. Synching the lights. Waiting for the snow (yes, timing, a major part of any writing success story-remember this!) So this tiny wee 'make you smile' clip hides all the darn hard work and rolling sleeves up behind the scenes. And it shows just how important finishing that first dodgy draft is. It gives you a framework to work on and improve. Just like writing. Preparation and timing and FINISHING the thing to the end, dirty draft or not!
- Good clip eh? You Tube addiction is a serious issue.
PS. I realise I've been a tardy blogger on the RNA conference because of holiday overlap. However if you're after good stuff from the conference I can strongly advise Sue and Gray's blog (top couple btw!) Go read their coverage. Brilliant stuff, couldn't do it better than that so I'm not going to try!
P.P.S Back with a 'hero thoughts' clip and 'marketing musings' soon...
Monday, July 27, 2009
Over a week ago we spent the day in York and happened upon infamous pro electric violin busker Ed Alleyne Johnson. A rivetting experience-like the pied piper with a violin, you just have to follow and listen. Judging by the number of You Tube clips I'm not alone (you can find out more and buy his albums here). My fave was his version of Enola Gaye.
Anyway thinking about Ed has inspired some writing musings also:
- No practice is wasted. Just like a musician you need to put the long hours in. You need to live it, want it, believe and go for it.
- Voice, resonance, emotion, deft touch all deliver a 'soul touching' experience. Remember this!
- Characters we love and a world we want to step into are what every reader is buying into you for. Deliver and your audience is pulled right in. Deliver the world they want! Touch them with what touches you.
- Know your own USP - what you bring to the table (this has been a hard one for me...will talk about it later in the week...)
- Don't belittle your practice years. Work, work, believe. Enthuse, be determined and work some more. You will get there. Faint heart won't cut it.
- Tell the story your own way. No apologies for that.
- View each story as a journey.
- Love what you do!
More Music Musings later this week. So tune out now if I'm going too ecclectic on the clips!
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Back from hols in North Yorkshire. Lovely though we have not stopped!
Highpoints-kids loved it, sunny weather, cottage amazing, ponies and sheep a go go!
Lowpoints-painkillers to the max for three days then had tooth out at dental hospital. Ouch! Broke camera. Meh. Thinking I’m jinxed.
Reading-Fair Deception by Jan Jones. Buy it, you will be glad to did.
Writing-not much but determined to crack the Monty Halls tribute romance novel. Pssst-I even have a pic of him on my mobile phone. This is baaad! The partial has suffered a setback but now is the time to crack on and get the butt in the seat!
Jobs for later this week- Ironing. Toodling about in new car. More ironing. Tidying daughter’s room/jumble sale cupboard from the abyss! And maybe writing too.
Things to be positive about: an agent has three chapters for consideration. Three chapters of the partial subbed four months ago. It is a book that if not ready for the call-is definitely indicative of me. I think this is a good thing. I am learning what I love and do best and this has taken me some time to grapple with. So I’m determined to be positive: my writing has moved forwards. Big plus.
I am going to do this. Even if my teeth are in decline.
Monday, July 13, 2009
Inspiring, motivational, more lightbulbs than the world cup. Lovely new friends to meet. It's not just the wonderful speakers and seminars, it's that rare chance to share writerly chat, meet lovely people who share the same ups and downs and CROWS as you do. Plus that rare priviledge of milling among esteemed authors from your keeper shelf.
Encouragement in abudance prevailed and that is a very wonderful thing. You really cannot put a price on it. I have a rather large pile of signed books now teetering on the shelf that will not hold anymore books!
The editor chat gave really valid pointers on how to take this next WIP story forward. Made me realise just how amazing those editors really are. All editors want is to help you make a story the best it can possibly be. And that in itself is an amazing thing.
Thank you RNA. You are all magic! Truly.
Now I must go pack again for holiday by the seaside. The bucket and spade awaits!
Thursday, July 09, 2009
And as everyone else at conference will be wearing fabulous shoes and I don't have any, it seemed like a suitable token gesture. The toes are now good to go!
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Did I mentioned I have (deep breaths here) a Mills and Boon editor chat lined up (even bigger breaths) on Friday afternoon (cue palpitations)? No, I jest. It's okay, I'm calm. I think. I even have a project I'm excited about to take along.
Before then and now there's ironing, organising (for our Yorkshire holiday right after the conference) and entertaining the kidlets because it's now School Hols in Scotland.
The lovely hubbie has also bought me a sparkly new cute car after my run in with a wild deer incident last week (which I didn't blog about and won't go into in order to protect animal lovers/those of a nervous disposition). Also because I'm still twitchy and sticking to 10mph as a result.
It's all go in the Judy household. See you after conference.
P.S. I have a strong suspicion a 'wild deer incident' may well end up in a book very soon.
Sunday, July 05, 2009
Look no further.
Nina Harrington’s debut 'Always The Bridesmaid' is all the above and more. Go buy, buy three and give to your pals (they'll love you for it). Buy another as a spare. You will be truly glad you did.
And you will probably also develop a strong hankering for strudel and cupcakes along the way. And men who can ably indulge in moment's notice pranks involving fake pregnancy bumps. ggg
Now if only I could go and buy myself an inflatable Jared. Scrummy hero alert-this one is a keeper with kudos!
Saturday, July 04, 2009
Eighties anthems (yey)
Alan Rickman (yey again)
Gerard Butler (yey yey)
Porridge for bath (hmmn stranger than fiction)
But my favourite to date…
‘FANCY DONAL MACINTYRE’
In summary. I’m doing my job well.
P.S. Had a long, turmoil inducing dream last night-in which MnB sent me a seven page scathing critique rejection on my PARTIAL. Yes it's driving me to dreams.
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
So my heroine's a rebel...I can deal with her (I think). The nanny heroine was a maniac and I coped.
The sun is shining a la Cannes. My mind is working overtime.
And now joy of joys as I type my mother is cleaning my kitchen surfaces with a microfibre cloth. Untold wonders bejove.
Today I am mostly enjoying the up vibe by listening to Madonna's Give It To Me (as positive a mantra song as ever existed-particularly useful for fantasising that you're demanding a full read from the powers at be at Mills and Boon!)
Monday, June 22, 2009
The result 5,000 words has morphed into 12,000 words. I have direction!
However...the heroine has thrown something entirely surprising at me that I had no idea about. I really should send her to naughty corner. A surprise that was so shockingly sprung on me I actually sat staring miffed and outraged at the screen.
As yet I don't know if this revelation is a good move...or a bad one.
Onwards and upwards. Or down. As the case may be.
Signed-Confused Writer From Fife With A Revolting Heroine.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
You will recall my grunting man is as yet unactioned. Plus I have an edit/rewrite project that still needs attention.
Consider this a blog promise. I will pull my digit out this week. I will make those word worms grow!
Saturday, June 13, 2009
In honour of the fact I haven't thought too much today about the manuscript issue I thought I'd celebrate. CHEESY POP at it's best!
If you liked the film Music and Lyrics this one will raise a smile.
Reminds me of dancing around a pile of hot pink handbags as my bangles jangled. Oh and watch out for the lady in the daring peach frock-I'm thinking of running one up on the sewing machine myself. Traffic stopping stuff. Proof that Ryan can still get the babes! Definitely A Grade Alpha.