Sunday, 31 December 2006

2007 ahead...

more Giselle

I've watched the whole ballet now, and I'm slightly more warmly disposed towards Albrecht. On the strength of the performance of danseur Johan Kobborg in Act 2, I can believe he really loved Giselle after all, and was basically a mixed up guy who got torn between two worlds. Maybe he should have been honest with her, but hey, men [and women] aren't always honest with the people they're involved with and care for... I also re-read the story in a super book by my friend and web client Adele Geras. In Adele's interpretation, the tale is told from Albrecht's POV and she vividly conveys his confusion, regret and love for Giselle. I also feel more sympathy for Giselle... poor lass just succumbed to a relationship cock up, and I'm sure most women in the world have been there too. She was far more noble about it in the end than a lot of us would have been too...



I still feel v. sorry for poor old Hilarion, who didn't deserve his fate, because basically he was a good guy. But I suppose that plotwise, the ballet has to illustrate the power of the Wilis to dance a man to death, and he was an obvious candidate if they weren't going to kill off Albrecht....

But really, with ballet, it's less about the story and more about the performance. And having read a few synopses of famous ballets, they all seem pretty mental... It's the beautiful dancing that matters, and even if the reasons for the emotions are a bit contrived, the artistic power of gifted dancers can just make you sob, even if you think the story is rather silly...

ps. have decided not to post about New Year's resolutions and stuff, because I'm starting to find that it's all really getting on my tits! What's the point of making wild pronouncements about the year to come? To my mind it's asking for trouble...

Saturday, 30 December 2006

not to be outdone


not to be outdone by Tilly, the supreme champion of demented posing - King Kuffer - hits back with killer!

I really must snap a few shots of Alice and Mulder soon, as the lads seem to be dominating this blog at the mo...

better?

Well, I think I'm beginning to get a handle on that paranormal story of mine... but even though I might end up with something I quite like, I still don't feel all that optimistic that the editor will like it. It might end up being one for a future self published shorts collection or something... It's been very weird to get the tone for this thing. It's more a slightly fun story, and not linked to any established mythos... just something inexplicable that may or may not be a trick of the imagination. Don't know whether this can be classed as paranormal or not, hence some of my doubts about it. If I get it right though... it'll be one for the delectation of my Vincent friends... I think the title alone gives sufficient hint of that... ie. the thing's called Watching The Detective!

Have been watching stuff to do with ballet in the last few days, as background research for TechnoGothic, which has an ex dancer as a heroine. Some behind the scenes stuff has been particularly useful, and now I'm watching a performance of the great romantic ballet Giselle. Masses of elements of gothic tragedy in this story... and the juxtaposition of love and death is always powerful, but the plotline really does irritate me in a lot of ways because Prince Albrecht, the supposed hero, is such a jerk! And Giselle herself is a nitwit for falling for such a selfish user. Down to earth Hillarion is the guy who really loves her, and what does he get? Bumped off by the magic dancing fairies when he should actually be *rewarded* for his love and devotion! While soppy, self centered Albrecht gets away with it... He's supposed to be eternally sorrowful, but I bet you anything when the curtain goes down he v. quickly gets over it and is back to chasing innocent peasant babes in a different village to get his end away before very long...

--
Telly: Giselle
Chocolate: Cadbury's Chocolate Biscuits
Mood: okay
Writing: Watching The Detective 1.4K words so far
Reading: Radio Times
RSI: not bad, have deduced that my current twinges are due to cracking walnuts!!!

Friday, 29 December 2006

and now for something....


completely different...

The last post was a bit depressing and downbeat, so in an attempt to redress the balance, here's Tilly again! Although Kuffer is still the supreme champion of the downright bonkers pose, Tilly is definitely a promising stylist too...

oh dear...

I've started writing again, but it's proving hard, hard, hard at the moment. Horrible. Like bashing my head against a brick wall or trying to plait fog.

I'm trying to write a paranormal short story for an anthology... and it's not going well. There are many problems:
  1. have gone through several ideas and they're all weak as tap water...
  2. have started two, actually, and neither has come to life...
  3. the more I try, the weaker, more wooden, and more contrived whatever I try to write becomes...
The biggest problem is, I think, that I'm constantly aware of the competition to get into this anthology, and I start measuring myself against the 'opposition' before I've even the faintest idea what sort of thing said opposition is writing... I hobble myself with thoughts about how 'fresh', 'groundbreaking', 'edgy' and 'literary' a lot of these folk are... and I throw myself into a depressing flat spin of panic because I know that's exactly what I'm *not*. I'm derivative. I mostly rehash themes of long, long standing and just hope that I can muddle through in my own peculiar way. But everybody these days is expecting this 'fresh' stuff... and *quite rightly*... and those of us who are unfresh [God, how revoltingly icky does that sound?] and basically pretty shallow in terms of psychological depth and all that are in big, big trouble. And it doesn't help that I had a story rejected for the previous anthology in this series... That has ****ed me up right royally.... And yeah, yeah, yeah, a real pro would put that behind her and come up with some dazzling sure thing for the next anthology. But that's easier said than done... well, it is for me...

However, having whinged like a good 'un here, I'm still going to keep on trying for a while yet. I don't want to give up and opt out. That's just being a total loser... But I may end up ditching the short I'm working on at the moment if it doesn't shape up soon and stop being an immense pile of pooh. At the moment, I have absolutely no idea whatsoever what I can replace it with... but I'll just have to hope and pray some tired old chestnut of an idea will suddenly present itself, along with a way of making itself sound not to boring and repetitive....


--
Telly: ballet
Chocolate: Cadbury's Chocolate Biscuits
Mood: not great
Writing: completely shitty and useless short story
Reading: Window XP Magazine
RSI: so so

Thursday, 28 December 2006

back again... sort of...

Oh, it's hard, very hard, to get into the groove again after Christmas. In an ideal world, I'd just stay with this vibe... leisurely days where I get up late, watch telly most of the day, breaking off now and again to eat something delicious or have a natter with himself about something fairly inconsequential... A totally relaxed carry on, no worrying and fretting about writing at all, just chilling out, spending time with the cats... pure bliss. I don't think I'd miss writing at all if I had the money to opt out... I suppose I'd get bored eventually and maybe start writing bits and pieces of self indulgence, just to amuse myself... but think how much more pleasurable a kind of writing that would be when I could just doodle along doing exactly what I wanted and not fret about editorial guidelines or emerging market trends.

Still, it's not a perfect world, and I'm going to have to get back in the saddle sooner rather than later because I have a zillion things to do. But it's tough to focus... even on this babble here. I flit around the blogs and everybody else seems to be getting with the program. Reflecting thoughtfully on what they've achieved in 2006 or looking forward to what they'll be doing, or having published in 2007. Also making resolutions and worthy plans for career strategies or working methods in the coming year... Me? Well, just the thought of it makes me want to run round the house screaming in panic and waving my hands about!!! It's all so hard... there's so much to do... my 'writing head' seems to have turned to Christmas pudding, and I can barely seem to string two words together any more... I just want to crawl back to bed, and only pop my head out from under the covers to eat some chocolate or watch a repeated movie I've seen a dozen times before...
--
Telly: anything and everything
Chocolate: Cadbury's Chocolate Biscuit Selection
Mood: suppressed panic
Writing: not a word
Reading: Radio Times
RSI: unexpected sore, given I'm not doing anything!

Saturday, 23 December 2006

Christmas Holidays...




I'm sort of opting out for the Christmas Break now... but if you fancy winning some triffic Black Lace books... esp. one exceptionally fab one of mine... Nip over to Lust Bites and join in a spiffing competition!




Friday, 22 December 2006

ugh, just in time for Christmas...

Dammit, I've got a cold, I think! Just in time for Christmas... nice one, you germs, you! My inclination at the moment is just to crawl into bed, rest up, and maybe emerge to cook the Christmas dinner in a joint operation with himself... but I've so much to do! And not just Christmas prep... I've got my vamp novella to get on with, some updates for a web client, a paranormal short that I'd also like to do [because I've finally had a worthwhile idea for it!] and I hardly dare think about the amount of annual accounts I have to catch up with, having not done any since around last June!!! I've also just sold a short-short to a new magazine, and I'd like do do more of those too... Ack, it's all too much!

I've just been giving the movie Underworld another chance... and I still don't like it! It's all flash and dash and shoot'emups, without benefit of any soul, artistry or characterisation. Everyone just stomps around shouting and frowning in a plot that makes very little sense. Oh, I'm certain the lads just love Kate Beckinsale prancing around in tight black vinyl, but I'm afraid no amount of sexy costuming can make up for a wooden performance and a permanent scowl. I'm sure she's a fine actress and has put in great performances in other roles, but in this, no, she's just irritating to watch.... After watching the charm, the beauty and the subtlety of the two Dracula interpretations I've been watching in the past few days, Underworld is woeful... All it's self important 'pronouncing' just seems silly and juvenile, compared to the rich performances of both Frank Langella and Gary Oldman as the Dark Count and the genuine drama of the classic plot. In the coming days, there's a new version of Drac on the Beeb, and I'll be watching that with interest... Not sure how I'll like the treatment, and or fact that it plays fast and loose with the traditional storyline... but I'm sure it can't be worse than Underworld.
--
Telly: Underworld... ugh... Life of Mammals
Chocolate: Tesco Swiss Milk
Mood: weary... viral...
Writing: bits of ideas
Reading: Radio Times
RSI: not bad

Thursday, 21 December 2006

Atilly the Cat



Proving that it's not just Kuffer who can do mad positions... Tilly gets comfy on a pile of himself's coats!

Wednesday, 20 December 2006

Yowsah, I just won an Award!!!!



I opened my copy of SCARLET this morning, and what did I discover?

Only that I've won the Award for Best Lesbian Sex Scene in their new annual Erotic Writing Awards for a naughty scene in a biker's cafe toilet in Entertaining Mr Stone!

I am well chuffed, I can tell you!

Tuesday, 19 December 2006

can I do vampires?

More work today on my vampire thingoid. Mostly, in fact completely rewriting the bit I did yesterday and the day before... That was just a sketch really, and exercise, just 'stuff' to get the thing started. I sometimes do that... just write nonsense really, just so there's something I can wrangle into something else. I feel better when I'm doing something rather than nothing...

I'm just starting to get a feeling for my vamp hero, Zack... I'm starting to see a picture of him in my mind, and a sense of his characteristics through the eyes of Teresa, my heroine. The fun bit is that *she* doesn't know he's a vamp yet, so I've to sneak in vampish things that she interprets as something else! I've to be crafty... the reader and I know he's a vamp, but she remains oblivious, although she knows he's not quite a normal guy!

This is my first vampire story ever... I've done paranormal, short and long, before but never actual vampires. I've done plenty of ghosts and sorcerers and even zombies once or twice... but not our toothy friends with a partiality for blood. But I've sure watched enough vamp movies and telly... all flavours of Dracula, plus tons of Spike and Angel... So I think I can probably hack my own particular version of the mythos.

Favourite vamps of mine? Spike, of course, Gary Oldman as Dracula, Frank Langella as Dracula, Angel... I once even had a tiny bit of a thing for Detective Nick Knight from Forever Knight... I'm also really looking forward to a new version of Dracula on the Beeb over Christmas starring Marc Warren... should be interesting, to say the least.
--
Telly: Superman Returns - v. good!
Chocolate: Tesco Swiss Milk
Mood: good
Writing: Buddies... also some work on a mini short
Reading: nothing much
RSI: okay

Monday, 18 December 2006

busy busy busy

An astonishingly productive day! Probably the equivalent of lying like a slug to some of the more super prolific authors out there, but for me, a very satisfying day indeed...

Have been working on a new novella, another paranormal, bit of a vamp thing... Not quite sure what I'm doing with it, and it's a bit of dog's breakfast so far, but managed to ramp up a K of words per day so far, so at least it's moving and not standing still.

I think I'm starting to get into this novella thing, and also, slightly, this paranormal thing... Certainly feel v. happy now about IllMet... got the verdict of my CP, and she thinks it's terrific! So it's off now to my agent, and thence to the editor... Fingers crossed for me, eh?

--
Telly: Dracula [1979 - Frank Langella... phwoooarrgh!]
Chocolate: Tesco Swiss Milk
Mood: v. positive for me
Writing: Buddies Don't Bite 1k words, IllMet tweaking
Reading: ComputerActive
RSI: mild

Sunday, 17 December 2006

Lust Bites Christmas Party



The Lust Bites Christmas Party
Via Fossa, Canal Street, Manchester
Saturday 16th December 2006

Friday, 15 December 2006

no pix today...

Luckily for you all! I think I inflicted enough unmadeup horror on you yesterday! LOL

Still grappling with IllMet... and I need to get my finger out on this one and get it subbed to agent, then editor. Over the last couple of days I've been tinkering with one of Robin's physical characteristics... no, not that one... and I can't decide whether it's in or it's out... no, still not that one... I sort of decided to change it when I began the edit, but last night, I reinstated it... the resultant word wrangling turned the whole thing into a piece of crud. This morning, however, I've decided I like it again, and the reinstatement was correct.

I have so much to do over the weekend and in the run up to Christmas, but tomorrow I'm taking time out for a Transpennine expedition to Manchester to meet up with some other Black Lace authors for a Festive celebration. So watch out if you are in the general Canal Street/Piccadilly area... If you encounter a quartet of guffawing females, discussing the relative merits of various rude words, you'll know it's Madelynne Ellis, Nikki Magennis, Mathilde Madden and I out on our Christmas jollies! :)

I'm sure these esteemed ladies are just dying to meet 'the legendary Portia Da Costa ©''... if only to discover if she's as big a twit in person as she seems in this blog! LOL

--
Telly: snooker
Chocolate: Tesco milk with wholenut
Mood: okay
Writing: IllMet
Reading: Christmas cards
RSI: not bad

Thursday, 14 December 2006

from the sublime to the ridiculous


Nice hair, shame about the face...

After yesterday's divine pic of Vincent, here's something far less heavenly. It's hairdo day, and here's my barnet, all freshly bleached and trimmed by the wonderful Anne! Very daringly, this is a no makeup shot... as will be abundantly obvious... but at least I'm smiling like a human being [almost] and only a few of my chins are on show!

--
Telly: UK Documentary
Chocolate: Tesco Milk with Hazelnut
Mood: okay
Writing: not yet
Reading: Cosmopolitan
RSI: not bad

Wednesday, 13 December 2006

Tuesday, 12 December 2006

The Film that started It All...


Well, it didn't actually start everything to do with my writing career... That's down to a certain pop video that I loved at the time, but would never own up to being inspired by now...

But my first ever published novel, Adventures in the Pleasurezone owes a lot to the magnificent 1983 sci-fi masterpiece BRAINSTORM. Basically, it's a story about the development of a virtual reality technology that can record a person's experiences and emotions in order that they can be played back, and 'lived' again by another person. It sounds a techie sort of film, and in some ways it is, but it's also a powerfully emotional movie that explores issues of spirituality and consciousness and the way visionary scientists can have their magnificent breakthroughs exploited and ****ed over by vested interests, the military and The Man in general. It also has a very sweet and poignant love story at the heart of it, that's made even more touching because the actress who's a part of it, the very fine Natalie Wood, died just before the film was completed. It also stars one of my all time favourite actors, Christopher Walken, who looks so young in this that he's almost angelic. In fact he's called 'angel' at one stage in the proceedings. If you ever get a chance to see this movie on the telly or on DVD, give it a whirl and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

The way it inspired me was that I too took up the theme of virtual reality and applied it to an erotic scenario in Adventures... although my VR machine had one or two attachments that weren't employed in Dr Michael Anthony Brace's apparatus in Brainstorm! LOL! But basically, it explored the creation of fantasy sensual worlds that could be experienced as 'real'...

VR is a theme I've sort of returned to in TechnoGothic too, which is why I've been revisiting Brainstorm. My Alexander Graves is a sort of darkly dramatic, damaged, millionaire ex playboy version of Dr Brace... A brilliant, glamorous polymath who now hides himself away, obsessing over arcane computer code and esoteric electronics and experiencing the world via his own exotic creation...

--
Telly: Brainstorm, obvously
Chocolate: Tesco Swiss Plain
Mood: okay
Writing: editing IllMet
Reading: nothing
RSI: not bad

Monday, 11 December 2006

Suite Seventeen..... at Amazon.co.uk!!!!

It's listed!

Suite Seventeen - at Amazon.co.uk

They've spelt my name wrong... because they've got the info from Amazon.com, and they spelt it wrong at first too... but hey, it's now available for pre-order for those who must have access to *my* Valentino ASAP!

christmas... again...

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I'm whining again... But I'm angry with myself more than anything. I wish I didn't feel so negatively about Christmas prep. I want to feel a warm seasonal glow of love for my fellow men and women... I want to give gifts and send cards and make people happy with my efforts. I want to think about the deeper significance... feel goodwill to all and remember what the Christmas season is all about...

But it's just making me crazy, and I hate myself for that. I wrote a handful of cards today, and ordered two or three presents online, and it seemed to take up the whole day. How can that happen? I ended up with my head just spinning and my brain fuzzed. And no work done!

I'm going to have to generate a more positive attitude to Christmas though... I'm going to have to relax and enjoy it all! At the rate I'm going, people may not get their cards and pressies in time for the actual day, but that doesn't mean I don't care for them... and then at least they'll have a gift or a good wish turning up in the days after Christmas, when they might be feeling a bit of an anti climax after the festivities of the main event. Hopefully...

Anyway, seeing as it's all crap here, you'd best nip over to the LustBites blog. We need a few readers to post on the current topic, 'cos at the moment it's still a bit incestuous with only us authors commenting on each others' comments!!! The topic today is Work... yeah, I know, yawn, but it's not like that at all. It's all about what job you'd like the heroes and heroines of the books you read to have... So make some suggestions mebbe, eh? And in terms of jobs us authors have had, some of the girls have had some fun jobs in the past, and *lots* of them. Not like yours truly who has had two non writing, non web design jobs and they were both crap. Being a librarian drove me mad. Literally. And being a clerk in Local Government drove me mad with rage most of the time... even though I did meet some nice folk in both those jobs.

Any road up, nip over if you feel so inclined... And say hello to your humble servant, PDC! :)

--

Telly: Tango, Carlos Saura : Brainstorm [best film evah]
Chocolate: Lindt Swiss Milk and cake
Mood: bonkers
Writing: edited two paragraphs of IllMet
Reading: nothing, me brain won't work
RSI: not too bad

Sunday, 10 December 2006

panic attack

Woke up feeling moderately okay this morning [apart from the fact that our part time cat Tilly woke me up about 5am, dancing on my head, trying to get me to get up and feed him!] but mid morning, I had a sort of panic attack...

Too much going on, that's it, and my pathetic multi tasking skills just aren't up to the job. I just freaked out and had to just lie down and watch the telly... my brain just wouldn't work. Tuned into UK History, and just vegged out to it, levering myself up now and again to swig a bit of tea...

Feel better now, mainly due to the therapy of doing a little bit of work on IllMet... It's not the greatest writing in the world, but I found myself sort of 'interested' in it during the read back, despite its many glaring flaws. Even though it's only a few weeks since I finished the first draft, I'd almost completely forgotten what happened in it, so it's quite exciting to see how the story goes!

--
Telly: The Life of Birds
Chocolate: cake instead
Mood: weird, sort of panicky and troubled
Writing: editing IllMet
Reading: not at the moment
RSI: not too bad

Saturday, 9 December 2006

Help... it's nearly Christmas!!!


© Maria Brzostowska - FOTOLIA

Alas, this is not a piccie of all the lovely pressies I have packed and ready to send to people for Christmas... because basically, I haven't packed any pressies for Christmas yet. I haven't even bought most of them! I don't know what's happened in the last few months, the days have flown and flown by and I don't really know what I've done with them... apart from write a bit. For ages it was 'oh there's months yet...' and suddenly now, it's just over a couple of weeks to Christmas and I'm in a flat spin. In past years, I've always loved to peruse the many charity catalogues that arrive, and choose gifts from them. Sort of to salve my conscience for being such a thoroughly self centered bitch queen all the time. At least that way I was doing a bit of good at the festive season... but this year I've left it far too late, and will now have to call on the services of dear old Amazon and the delectable Hotel Chocolat, both of whom will wrap and deliver the pressie direct to the recipient. It's a lazy way to do things... and I know other people will have spent many hours wrapping their gifts and investing personal time in their preparation... which is part of the gift itself... but I think it's the only way I'm going to be able to cope at this late stage.

But I promise to do better next year! Next year, I will think ahead, plan ahead, and choose gifts ahead from all my favourite charities. In fact, I will make sorting out Christmas ahead of time one of my NY resolutions!!!

Friday, 8 December 2006

CEotFK



This is most unusual... Note position of Kuffer's tail.

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

for so many reasons...
  • yesterday was more or less a bust, writingwise...
  • think a bit cockup has been made in respect of something I posted yesterday, resulting in the loss of a chunk of money
  • the crappy weather and stress factors are making every bit of my body ache... again...
  • Christmas is looming and I've done next to nothing towards it...
  • Yahoo went weird yesterday, resulting in lost posts...
  • all my other email addresses seem to be f-ed up too, resulting in me never knowing whether important emails have got to their destinations...
On the writing-bust-wise front... Have started some editing on IllMet and really, the first chapter is a pile of horse dollop! It's bad. Just bad. Dead and wooden as can be. And I know why. I 'translated' it from an old bit of first person writing I did, like, years ago and as the original bit was poor, the new version is poor too. Think I may have to print this bit off, read it, then rip it out of the MS completely and rewrite the whole first scene. I'm starting to have doubts about the whole opus, actually... The usual story... I have this horrible fear that my writing isn't 'intelligent' enough... isn't 'special' enough... Both those barbs have been aimed at me in the past... The first right at the beginning of my career when some pretentious git in an erotica mail order catalogue deemed that my first ever book wasn't 'intelligent' writing.... Well, up yours buster! The mail order business soon disappeared and I'm still here! The second was when my long suffering agent was trying to place my one and only attempt at a women's mainstream novel, and an editor somewhere said that my writing was good, but the book 'just wasn't special enough'... well, I think she was right, to be honest. In fact I know she was right. It was pretty much a 'nothing' idea... Mainstream is way beyond my scope... You need big ideas, and a fair degree of confidence, to launch into that arena, and I don't have either... There are some writing things I'm quite good at, when I'm 'in the zone', but generally I'm only too aware of my limitations.

I sometimes wonder if I should actually ignore my limitations though... approach my writing as if I sincerely believe that I'm a freaking genius and nothing I do can possibly be wrong... and just get carried along on the wave of my own self belief [importance]? What do you think? Is it worth a shot? LOL

Thursday, 7 December 2006

Today I'm at...

LUST BITES - the spiffing new blog for Black Lace authors and other Virgin Publishing reprobates!

Wednesday, 6 December 2006

oh, it's not happening today!

Jeepers, I can't get off the blocks today with any kind of constructive, writing type activity. It's nearly 11.30am and I've done jack shit as my beloved American buddies would say. Well, not exactly nothing... really... I've actually:
  • sent the partial of TechnoGothic to my lovely, lovely critique partner
  • trawled Amazon for a few possible Christmas pressies
  • thrown out a few mags and catalogues, although not, alas, anything from the Everest of assorted crud beside my bed
  • sent a few emails
  • replied to a few emails
Today, I ought to be getting on with an editing pass of IllMet... but me being me, I'm scared to look at it in case it's just pooh. I think reading all that sparkling debate on women's erotica yesterday has made me feel a bit thick again [still]... I'm not a great one for analysis of what I write, how I write, or why I write. Except, the latter, slightly... I write because I can, a bit, and because I like to please people and share my some of my fanciful ideas with them [and also the fact that I occasionally do manage to actually have an idea!] and because it's nice to earn a little bit of money for doing something that's not for The Man. I mostly write stuff that comes purely from my instincts and that sort of 'feels good'. It's as simple as that. No technique, no subtexts, no allusions, no commentary, no challenging or testing or dazzling the reader with stylistic pyrotechnics... just something to entertain. A bit of magic, if I can manage it, although not usually of the actual supernatural kind. Lurrve... Mischief... I don't know...

Ack, I'm starting to fuzz up my brain! This always happens when I try to get serious for a minute... Think I need to dash over to Cute Overload or Catster and look at pictures of appealing puddycats and/or baby wabbits. :)

ps. here's a fun thing if you're trying to avoid work!

--
Telly: nothing yet
Chocolate: Tesco Dark with Espresso
Mood: disorganised
Writing: nowt, yet
Reading: Amazon book descriptions
RSI: not bad

Tuesday, 5 December 2006

100th post!

This is my 100th post on this blog! Soon racked 'em, didn't I?

Bit of a mixed day today. I've finished a pass of TechnoGothic, and I'm in a quandary as to whether I do another... it might benefit from another edit, but then again, I might have reached critical mass and any further tinkering may result in the text losing all it's life and become wooden and overworked...

So instead, I did some tidying up on the synopsis of IllMet... Ack, I hate synopses! But this one needed work. It was filled with such gems as 'Lois and Robin bonk' and 'Lois goes for a walk and sees a funny looking hare'... Need to buff the thing up a bit and fill it with a smattering of more editor-enticing phraseology!

Speaking of editors, I've spent a lot of the afternoon here. Some excellent discourse, although it all got a bit too intellectual towards the end for this entertainer... found myself glazing over and reaching for The Sun when folk started bandying the Marquis de Sade and Susan Sontag about. LOL!

--
Telly: The Ballerina and the Blues
Chocolate: Tesco Dark with Espresso
Mood: okay
Writing: synopsis - Ill Met By Moonlight
Reading: Radio Times
RSI: not bad

Entertaining Mr Stone



Another splendiferous review for EMS - this time at Romance Divas! [nb. it's a pdf]

I love it how people really seem to 'get' Clever Bobby... :)

--
Telly: The Ballerina and the Blues
Chocolate: Tesco various
Mood: okay, but a bit unfocused
Writing: nothing yet
Reading: nothing yet
RSI: so so

Monday, 4 December 2006

quite busy today

Have been quite busy today, working hard on TechnoGothic, refining and improving and generally breathing the breath of Portia Da Costa into the rough and rather weak first rough draft. Sometimes stuff comes out right, straight out of the gate... other times, it's total pooh, and really needs strong-arming into some kind of shape. Refining usually means cutting out a load of superfluous wordage crud, and phraseology that distances the reader from the book and from the characters... and making the writing more direct, and immediate, so that the reader is 'in' the character more. This is usually easier in first person, and slightly harder in third. TechnoGothic is third person, so I can do big, big chunks in Alexander's POV... I know some people have ventured into dual first person, but after a lot of deliberation I find that's not for me, because most times when I read it, I find it confusing, so God alone knows what would happen if I tried to write it! It would turn into the biggest jumble of the century and be v. embarrassing. I'm not a literary or experimental writer... I just like to stay in the comfort zone of entertainment, and write a nice luvvyduv style romance story, with *lots* of heart and an equal amount of rumpy pumpy shagnasticality... :)

So, we're in third person, so yours truly has to work double hard to ensure that the writing seems almost as intimate as if it was in first! I think I'm getting it, and I like my hero and heroine much better after I've worked them over... In the first draft they were both far to sorry for themselves and full of self disgust over various issues, and now they accept their lots much better. In fact Robyn is quite a cheerful soul in the new version, and very philosophical... Alexander is still a bit of grouch, but he's an interesting grouch... and he's got to be a bit of one because he's Beast to her Beauty... only without the fur, the snout and the tail!

I think this could be a fun book to write if some lovely editor will give it a chance... it's got lots going for it and it's full of contrasts. Full of darks and lights, happiness and poignancy, weak and strong, chubby and thin... All of human life is there... well, some of it...

--
Telly: afternoon movies
Chocolate: Maya Gold
Mood: quite positive
Writing: editing TechnoGothic
Reading: ComputerActive
RSI: reasonable

Sunday, 3 December 2006

Happy Google Day, Vincent D'Onofrio



Had to be a part of this, didn't I? Love this pic because it says such naughty, naughty things to me!

I am bad....

No work done today... Instead I've been foofling about with all sort of things, including signing my cats up at Catster, which is a sort of MySpace for cats, thankfully without all the music and glitter!




--
Telly: Blue Planet, The Green Berets
Chocolate: Tesco Swiss Milk
Mood: Lazy
Writing: thought about TechnoGothic a bit
Reading: been online mostly
RSI: not too bad

Saturday, 2 December 2006

testing testing...




Test post of Alice...
--
Telly: Battle of Britain - fab!!!
Chocolate: Ritter Tesco Swiss Milk
Mood: Goodish
Writing: editing TechnoGothic
Reading: TechnoGothic...
RSI: not too bad

Blogger! Blankety blanking blank!!!

Blogger is behaving like a total *rse at the moment! Hope to post properly later.




--
Telly: Beauty and the Beast
Chocolate: Ritter Marzipan
Mood: Pissed off with Blogger!
Writing: editing TechnoGothic
Reading: nothing really
RSI: slightly better

Friday, 1 December 2006

New Poll!

A question for women who read erotic romance... Do you like to read the hero's point of view? And how much of it?
Yes, lots!
Some, in order to get to know him...
No, prefer to see things solely through the heroine's eyes.
Make Free Online Polls

Please vote! I'm working on TechnoGothic, and to me it feels as if the book should start in the hero's point of view, and be told equally through his eyes as it is through the heroine's... Alex is shaping up to be a very complicated, deep and rather dark character and I want readers to know him and understand him...

Thursday, 30 November 2006

another something....



Screencap courtesy of Diane and Tess at The Valentine Cat

better

Well, most of you will have noticed that normal service hasn't actually been the order of the day here for a while... However, having just had a chat with my agent, I now feel a bit better. I think she's managed to talk me down [or maybe up] from a very, very severe and crippling case of author paranoia... and now I feel a tad more positive about things. Writing is a v. lonely business and it's dangerously easy to slip into feelings of powerlessness and negativity due to the downs and downs of the writerly life. I've been sliding downhill for a couple of weeks now, due to things I've heard, and things I've started to imagine, and the tin hat on it all was having a short story rejected. Now, the ed. said that even though he liked it, and thought the set up was interesting, he felt the ending was contrived, and my agent said it wasn't one of my best either... but I love the bloody thing! I think it's warm and romantic and funny and positive... and it gives me a fuzzy happy feeling to read it back. Trouble is, I think it's just too 'nice' really, too feelgood... not cutting edge or innovative or anything like that, and foolishly, I'd given it a very funny but impactful title and I wouldn't be surprised if that's what subconsciously put the mockers on it! Anyway, it can't be all that bad if I actually like it so much myself, and I'm cautiously optimistic that one day I'll find a different home for it.

Any road up, after my chat with my agent, I feel as if I've recovered my direction a bit better... and it helps too that she says she thinks I'm as good a writer as ever, and that if I hang in there, and don't allow myself to fall prey to doubts and fears, I'll achieve my goals. It just takes a while...
--
Telly: nothing yet
Chocolate: Ritter Marzipan
Mood: better
Writing: nothing yet, but have goals
Reading: my humongous nPower bill... omigod!!!!!
RSI: quite sore in various places

Wednesday, 29 November 2006

kuffer at work



As I'm still not fit for human consumption, here is a picture of Kuffer, whose wordcount per day is actually higher than mine at the moment.

--
Telly: crap
Chocolate: cake
Mood: crap
Writing: nothing
Reading: can't
RSI: crap

Tuesday, 28 November 2006

for a change



Just for a change, I decided to maraud a bit of himself's cake instead of chocolate for this pm's teabreak. That would be the teabreak between bouts of whining, being mental, feeling sorry for myself, seething, festering, and not-writing.

so freaking true!

You Are 35% Grown Up, 65% Kid

Emotionally, you are mostly a kid - but you're starting to grow up a little.
Remember - only you have the power to make your life better. So go do it!


--
Telly: The Tango Lesson
Chocolate: Hotel Chocolat leftovers
Mood: pass me the machete
Writing: what is writing? I think I may once have done some...
Reading: bills
RSI: foul

Monday, 27 November 2006

something...

Sex and Shopping - buy from Amazon.com



--
Telly: POTC extras
Chocolate: Lindt
Mood: Indescribable
Writing: not
Reading: not
RSI: there may be some, but as everything aches who the **** can tell?

Saturday, 25 November 2006

oh, dear... it's getting bad again...



As you can see, I've let things slide again... Bad, bad me!

--
Telly: POTC extras, Columbo
Chocolate: Tesco Belgian Plain
Mood: weird
Writing: TechnoGothic - 1.1K words today, 1.1K words yesterday
Reading: Encyclopaedia Dramatica - online [link not worksafe]
RSI: various aches and pains

Friday, 24 November 2006

in the past couple of days I have been mainly...

  1. working on Techno Gothic Contemporary although I doubt if anybody will want it...
  2. doing some webby bits for lovely client Gwen Kirkwood...
  3. hurting my back - tweaked a muscle reaching for something in a funny way...
  4. hurting my shoulder and arm - could be computer use, could be part of back incident above...
  5. watching Pirates of the Caribbean 2 and feeling puzzled as to why I'm not enjoying it as much as I should...
  6. visiting this strangely compulsive, sick in places, mordantly funny and rather clever web site *- don't understand most of it, but bits of it made me much neededly laugh out loud...
  7. looking at a fruit cake selected by himself, at Tesco, for his personal consumption, and wondering if he would notice a missing slice or several...
  8. panicking about Christmas...
  9. avoiding quite a bit of reality...
* surf with care, much not worksafe and also v. v. gross!!!
--
Telly: POTC 2
Chocolate: Belgian Milk
Mood: flat, numb, compartmentalised anger
Writing: TechGoth contemp
Wordcount: abysmal
Reading: the writing on the wall
RSI: very sore shoulder

Thursday, 23 November 2006

for all my American chums...

I'm not feeling v. communicative today, but I can't let this day go by without sending some best wishes to all my mates in America... Hope you all have a fabboo holiday time today!



Trying Something New

I'm trying an experiment here... Hope it doesn't all go horribly wrong...

--
Today's Telly: Oz & James's Big Wine Adventure
Today's Chocolate: Guilyan Bar
Today's Mood: Bloody
Today's Writing: Nothing yet
Today's Reading: Radio Times
Today's RSI: Not too bad

Tuesday, 21 November 2006

no cheating required here...

You Are: 0% Dog, 100% Cat

You are are almost exactly like a cat.
You're intelligent, independent, and set on getting your way.
And there's no way you're going to fetch a paper for anyone!

Monday, 20 November 2006

back to normal...

Well, I didn't quite achieve the mighty 3K words total of Saturday today... That was a one off, and v. unusual, and a recipe for exploding wrists if maintained for too long... I did manage to keep up to the 1K average though, which is a.good.thing. Unfortunately, today's 1K was probably a tranche of some of the most unmitigated twoddle I've ever written, as I was just bashing ahead at something I wasn't quite sure about... an experiment, really. But at least some writing is better than no writing, and everything editable, even if it is rampant claptrap... and... oh, talk about purple prose... This stuff was positively imperial. You could fashion Caligula's toga from it!

And thanks to everyone who admired my little cover... it is pretty, innit? Those eyes... those glorious eyes... mmmm....

Sunday, 19 November 2006

not sulking... but working!

No, I wasn't in a big sulk yesterday. The reason I didn't post was because I was busy being a proper writer, or trying to... and *finishing* draft #1 of Ill Met By Moonlight!!!!

Yep, I finished the sucker, and I'm mighty pleased with myself about that. It's only really taken me around 30 days to finish it, and that's even allowing for some days when I have actually been sulking and not producing any work... Granted the final scene and the epilogue are a bit of a dog's breakfast of bodgery, but I'm sure I can smoothe things out and improve them in the editing.

Anyway, to celebrate this mighty achievement, while I was waiting for himself to get ready to go out last night, I designed a faux cover for my little novella... and here it is!


Friday, 17 November 2006

a funny few days

It's been a funny few days, battling with low energy levels, low confidence levels and low enthusiasm levels due to being a bit fibro at the moment, I think.

Not too much progress in the last two or three days, either, on Ill Met By Moonlight... I love my little novella in some ways, and I love my characters, especially pretty, but big and butch Robin, but sometimes it's tough to motivate oneself sometimes when you're writing into the wind like this.

I'm in that mood where just the tiniest fragment of good news would kick start me into high gear again, and high enthusiasm, but I feel like a weak ninny that I need this kind of incentive. Some writers work hard, work good, and work focused for years on end when they're carving their way bravely towards publication. They pay their dues, they keep on going, learning, improving all the time, and they don't whinge like babies, the way I do, just for 'rewards'. They just hang in there and keep working. Of course some writers just seem to stroll into success... they happen on an editor who gets them fairly quickly, and they don't have to suffer the agonies and indignities of those years of rejections and striving...

I think I sort of steered a middle path on my way to publication. I did have several years of rejections when I first started, and when I was trying to write category romance. And, I did manage to stay motivated and keep trying and trying and sending in manuscripts... so in that way, I paid my dues and worked into the wind. However, when I started writing more erotic stuff, I didn't have to wait too long for publication... Those were the early days of Black Lace when the books were often very lushly romantic, and I fitted in quite well, having come from romance in the first place. But fashions change, and markets change, and editors change, as is normal in publishing, and my style of writing wasn't wanted for a while... until, by accident, I realised that it was wanted again, if I played to my strengths and wrote erotic, pervy, a tiny bit dark, but also still romantic and a bit on the wry side...

But the problem is, despite this, I'm still basically old school, and in writing, as in other things, that which is 'new and fresh' is often what's preferred.... and those of us who've been around a bit have to work ten times as hard just to keep pace! Especially when you're in a genre that's in the middle of a boom, and there are dozens, nay hundreds, nay, possibly, thousands of hungry and talented authors all striving to win those prized publication slots.

Gosh, it's no wonder an old bird like me feels tired, innit?

right on the money... but the mark *could* be higher!

You Are 87% Angry

You are a very angry person - and you might not realize it.
While you may think that you're bitter, depressed, or bad tempered...
What you're really feeling is anger.
While you may not need anger management, you may need some therapy!

Thursday, 16 November 2006

I knew it!

You Are 68% Abnormal

You are at medium risk for being a psychopath. It is somewhat likely that you have no soul.

You are at high risk for having a borderline personality. It is very likely that you are a chaotic mess.

You are at high risk for having a narcissistic personality. It is very likely that you are in love with your own reflection.

You are at high risk for having a social phobia. It is very likely that you feel most comfortable in your mom's basement.

You are at low risk for obsessive compulsive disorder. It is unlikely that you are addicted to hand sanitizer.

Wednesday, 15 November 2006

an illustration...

Despite feeling some enthusiasm for my WIP, and generally, I still feel out of humour in a lot of ways. I must have prepared a dozen different posts in my head this morning, but I can't post any of them because a] they're negative, and that's boring and b] if I posted any one of them it would surely come back to bite me in the bottom in a mighty big styley! But the following, while by no means a direct parallel of what I'm feeling, does at least give a flavour of some of it...

Every morning I cycle for around 30 mins on my static cycle in order to keep the aforesaid bottom from swelling to the size of the planet Jupiter. I almost always watch a DVD while I'm cycling, and yesterday, I slipped UNDERWORLD into the slot, and hopped into the saddle. After about two minutes I thought "F*** this s***!', hopped off again, put LITTLE WOMEN into the player... and I felt a whole lot better!!!

Mmmmm.... Christian Bale with floppy hair and in olde worlde clothes... yum!

*And* Eric Stoltz!

Tuesday, 14 November 2006

high romance

I think I've made some good progress today. Writing has been good therapy against the things that are currently vexing me. I've raced along with Ill Met By Moonlight and managed a good 1.2K words.

I'm getting stuck into the big relationship climax now, the crisis... It's going to be quite wither wringing, fraught with emotion and potential loss. It's paranormal, of course, but I'm keeping the paranormal elements light, quite undefined. I don't want heavy mythos getting in the way of the love story, but I do want mystery and a tantalising otherworldliness that adds - hopefully - to the poignancy. Have been thinking a lot about this story in the last few hours, and I've realised that, at a pinch, if I had to take the sex out of it, the story would probably stand as it is with gentler sensuality and non explicit lovemaking.

However, those who like the superhot PDC stuff needn't worry... I'm not taking out the sex! I'm just complementing the heat with high romance and lots of emotional punch... :)

positive thinking

I'm going to think positive today, and avoid things that put me in a downward spiral of negativity and anger. Yesterday started out well... but deteriorated. I managed to do my 1K words, but I wasn't entirely happy with them, to be honest. The writing felt a bit 'forced'. Now this isn't too much of a disaster, as it can always be worked on and 'lifted' in the editing, so wasn't too bummed about it. Also managed to get one or two bits of other stuff done, webby and otherwise... so a fairly productive day. Spent a fair bit of time trying to sort out some excerpts to enter for a competition... Now this was a vexing task in several ways...
  1. I kept seeing things I would have written differently now...
  2. the excerpts had to be v. short and my scenarios develop gradually a lot of the time
  3. I don't think I have a cat made of snow's chance in hell of winning in any of the categories so it's a fruitless exercise anyway
Still, I might post some of the bits and pieces I've chosen at Portia's Prose sooner or later. I must warn gentle readers however that these excerpts are v. rude and contain many v. rude words!

Later on yesterday, though, something happened that put me in a right old 'machete' mood again, and I'm afraid that stayed with me for the rest of the day and even caused me to lose sleep, despite my medication.

But today, and from henceforth, I'm going to ignore the thing as best I can and not let it get to me. Today I will be :
  • doing 1K words
  • doing web work
  • sorting out more excerpts
  • entering contests
  • attempting to avoid wrath and instead embracing calmness and a shell of invulnerable tranquility [hah!]
Wish me luck!

Monday, 13 November 2006

the view from 'me'...


The laptop is... er... on my lap. Which is where The Tillster would be if the lappie wasn't there.

The black 'bit' in the bottom right is Kuffer.

Sunday, 12 November 2006

let's have a good laugh then, shall we?

Wendy - taken by himself

Always mindful that photos of me that appear online are mostly several years old, I post here for your delectation and high amusement, a photo taken yesterday! The horrible truth, captured for posterity by himself...

Laugh away!

Saturday, 11 November 2006

plugging away...

The writerly life seems to be slow going and uphill at the moment. I seem to be playing a waiting game on various fronts, and generally stagnating... It's hard to stay motivated, but I'm trying to keep plugging away at my WIP, even if I don't feel inspired, and there's some comfort, I think in exhibiting at least a bit of dogged determination in the face of not much happening at all. I'm in that mood where one little crumb of positive news would probably make all the difference to me, but I'm in the middle of a stagnant lake and the crumbs just aren't floating my way...

Ill Met By Moonlight is progressing slowly. I've got to a tricky bit now, where Lois has to face the fact that there's something slightly hokey in the state of Robin... It's the awkward place where my familiar contemporary erotic romance style has to collide with the unfamilar paranormal romance aspect of the book and mesh together as a story. So, I'm slightly out of my comfort zone, and it's tough going! I think the only way is to keep on keeping on in my normal voice... Lois has to say, okay, you're not really human, but you're still a hot stud, so let's ****! Which has the pitfall of making her in danger of seeming, infamously, 'too stupid to live'... But what else can I do? A real person faced with a man who changes from an animal into a chap at the blink of an eye would be to run for her car, put the pedal to the metal and go, go, go! Even if she *does* love him... But no, I've gotta make it seem believable that she'd stay around and shag him!

For me, squaring paranormal with my natural contemporary inclinations means facing the uphill task of making a total lack of common sense seem acceptable, believable, and likeable!

Friday, 10 November 2006

eek, agh!

I might be a bit quiet here over the next two or three days... I just looked at my to do list and it's the stuff of nightmares!!!

Why the hell does everything land in my inbox at once? And always when I finally manage to connect with my WIP again?

I'll try and drop in between bouts of tearing my hair and bouncing off the walls!

Thursday, 9 November 2006

well...

today is just like any other day, even though there's a book out today with one of my stories in it.

Same old slacking off, same old chocolate guzzling, same old aches and pains... but something must have sparked me up a bit, as I finally got back into writing IllMet and did a mighty 2K words in the end! I managed to complete what's turned out to be a helluva long marathon sex scene, and then felt compelled to kick on, and write a bit of a scene that illuminates Robin the hero's emotions. He's not human, but he's beginning to feel that he wants to be, and my job is to try and convey that yearning effectively. I hope I can do it. I think I can do it. But only the writing will tell... Writing paranormal isn't something I've done a lot of, although I'm very much enjoying it, and I don't want to muck up my mythos... It's all got to make sense within the bounds of the story's internal logic. Don't want to leave any glaring plot holes to spoil the reader's enjoyment, do I?

Wednesday, 8 November 2006

I've got something 'out' tomorrow... apparently...

Kristina Lloyd reminded me that Sex and Shopping is out tomorrow! I'd completely forgotten... which shows how direly crap I am at promo. Once a story's done and subbed and accepted and proofed, well, I've forgotten it because I'm on to the next thing and the next thing and the next...

Any road up, S&S contains one of my stories, This Very Boutique... which, obviously, is about shopping, but in a slightly off beat styley. I think it's a right laugh, a jolly sort of story, not to be taken in the least bit seriously, but sweet, I think, in its own particular way. At least I think it is...

You can buy the collection from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk although American readers will have to wait until 26th December to order it. Not sure how many folks will be browsing Amazon on Boxing Day though, but there you are!

Anway, I may post a teaser bit of it later today at Portia's Prose, if I can find it on this laptop...

UPDATE... found it! Go to EXCERPT FROM THIS VERY BOUTIQUE!

Oh, and while I'm here, sorry for the sparseness of entries in the last couple of days... a doctor's visit and a migraine have sort of knocked me for six, but hopefully, I'm on the mend now...

Monday, 6 November 2006

Five Interesting Things About Me...

Naughty Jax tagged me... Now, I don't normally participate in things like this, but decided to do a quickie.

  1. I have six toes on my left foot
  2. I am distantly related to the Romanovs
  3. I speak the language of cats
  4. I had a paper on String Theory published under an assumed name
  5. I was temporarily swapped at birth with another baby and lived with a different family for three months
Please remember that I'm a pathological liar with a vivid imagination and I earn my living by making things up... LOL

ps. I won't tag anyone specifically, but if you feel like doing this for a laff, please consider yourself tagged.

Sunday, 5 November 2006

It's Guy Fawkes weekend!



Went to a bonfire last night, with himself, and while I didn't take any photos, because basically I'm crap at photography, I found this lovely image on Flickr which looked very much like the display we saw. It was taken by a talented photographer called berriehol, who v. kindly allowed me to post it here.

Haven't achieved a whole great deal of anything today, apart from one or two tiny web bits for a client, some emails finally dealt with, and one or two other things sorted. I've mainly spent the day wrangling with the synopsis I mentioned, and boy, has it been a bit of a wrassle! I hate writing synopses... The book itself is hard enough to write, without this having to 'sell' it in the form of a potted summary... Eck!

Saturday, 4 November 2006

urgh....

It's been tough going these last couple of days... I've felt v. tired and things have been a struggle, but at least I've managed to keep my wordcount up, and am now over half way through Ill Met By Moonlight! I feel I've done quite well with this, considering it was only a pretty vague idea, and I started writing it more or less because I felt I should be writing something, even though it's uncommissioned and might never even find a home...

I feel very bad though, because I have a long list of emails I need to reply to. I don't know why I sometimes feel this strange resistance to answering emails, even those from people I like and cherish. It's v. weird. It's like I want to reply and communicate, but there's this invisible barrier that stops me doing it. It's very similar to the resistance I feel towards writing my fiction sometimes. It's so stupid... because when I manage to punch through that barrier, I'm all right and the words flow... And it's not that I don't want to commicate at all, because I'm managing to write this, aren't I? And I've been posting at my very favourite writers' gathering place in all the world, the Romance Divas Message Board, but emails have been building up and building up... and I must deal with them!

Anyway, today I have a busy schedule... Top of the list is write some emails! I've also some web bits to do, and I've to write a synopsis for another novella that I wrote quite a while ago, because a friend who I'm collaborating with on a proposed two person anthology is hoping to pitch it to an editor within the next week. God, this is a tough one though... like many authors, I hate and loathe and dread writing synopses. I've read all the howtos on the topic, and I have written plenty in my time, but to be honest, if writing novels is tough, writing synopses is a hundred times harder!!!

Any tips on synopsis writing, anyone?

Friday, 3 November 2006

omigod, another VDO dream!

Yikes, I had another dream about being with Vincent D'Onofrio/Bobby Goren last night! It seemed to be the latter, as he had the Goren 'look' but it's all a bit vague so it's hard to tell. I can't remember the details, but we seemed to have been at some kind of club, and had stayed out all night and had dossed down together somewhere. In the same bed, I think, but alas I can't remember anything more intense than a bit of kissing and cuddling... I think we might have been at my parents house, and I was younger than I am now, because I remember getting a ticking off for having a man round! There were more confusing bits that are hard to dredge up... Bobby might have been involved with someone else, but was trying to break up with them, and also there was one fleeting bit where he might have been naked... and possibly wrestling with someone, like in the film Women In Love... but as I say, it's all pretty vague. Unfortunately, in respect of the naked bit!!!

Thursday, 2 November 2006

what I've been doing this morning....


Have been having my roots done! The excellent Anne has been round to do away with the inch of mud brown [and grey]...

Wednesday, 1 November 2006

new excerpt!

Go here!!!

still feeling...

... cheered by the supportive comments everyone left when I had my latest little confidence crisis a couple of posts ago! That's the beauty of online friends, they can always manage to knock some sense into me in the nicest possible way.

Haven't achieved a mega amount today, although I have walked up into little town to the post and made a start on IllMet for the day... before lunch, which is a miracle! Was wondering how to tackle the next bit... how to get them together... but it suddenly seems quite simple. Lois just has to take the bull by the horns, so to speak, and tell Robin she's dreamt about him, and take it from there! No biggie... [well, actually, there is a biggie, nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more...] After all, the guy is sitting there in the buff and one thing does tend to lead to another! LOL

I suppose when I've got a decent sized chunk of this thing done, and polished it a bit, I should think about posting a bit of it over at Portia's Prose... Anybody fancy that?

Words done so far today: 321

[Good job I'm not doing NaNoWriMo, innit? I'd soon get drummed out of the programme!]

Tuesday, 31 October 2006

better

Well, thanks to all the wonderful people who've commented on my previous post, I'm now feeling a tad better about myself. I've flicked through that old book, and I don't see anything that's too close to something that's in the later book... I'm sure there are similarities in terms of tone and the shapes of certain scenes... but I don't think there's anything that's exactly the same. Phew!

I haven't got much done today though... I've felt tired, and confused, and unable to focus. I've dotted around online a bit, and tried to fend off another migraine, and written a tiny bit of a thing that might become part of a friend's magazine feature. So at least that's something achieved. I've even, just now, managed to do a bit of IllMet... just a few hundred words... but at least I'm staying in touch with it. It doesn't feel too special at the moment, but it's only a first draft, and first drafts are made to be polished and improved on...

In all this kerfuffle about similar scenes in my books, I completely lost sight of other comments... ie. that Suite Seventeen is 'more of a real novel and emotionally satisfying...' So that's got to be good, hasn't it?

Words done so far today: 478

F*&%! S£$%!

Life had to come back and bite me a big one in the butt, didn't it?

Was riding high in my dream, on Anais's comment and the achievements of yesterday, and naturally that means that everything has to go wrong today. It's 10.30am, I'm not dressed and I'm in such a state of high anxiety that I could burst into tears at any second and have already had such a major yelling fit with myself that the cats are cowering. Basically...
  • I foolishly misunderstood some instructions given to me, and a minor disaster nearly happened. Fortunately, I think I've been able to catch the error and someone is dealing with it...
  • Worse, it seems that I am subconsciously rewriting scenes from my earlier books. My agent has just read an older book of mine, and wonders if I lifted a scene straight out of it to put in a more recent one... Now I swear on my cats' lives that I haven't done such a thing. I wouldn't dream of it... but it's very possible that I have written quite a similar scene without even realising it. Which is very, very depressing, as it just goes to show how very limited I am in the ideas department. I feel quite cast down about this now...
Writers out there... has anything like the above happened to you? Have you inadvertently written a similar scene in two different books?

Or is it just me who's a useless ageing hack who's run out of ideas and who should just pack it in? :(

a good day... and night...

Now yesterday was a better day...

First of all, I managed to do 1.2K of IllMet, and managed to get as far as a quite filmic scene that I've had in my mind for what must be years now, ever since Robin morphed from my previous fantasy hero [Spike] into my current one [Bobby Goren]... The way I've written it now is probably v. different from the way I had it planned originally, but I think it's worked, it was fun to write, and it's moving me on v. nicely with the plot. Maybe we'll finally get to some horizontal action where the heroine is actually awake now!!!

The second thing was that yesterday evening I was touched and awed to read a truly heartwarming comment left by a reader and prepublished writer called Anais, on my Myspace Profile. My ebook Lessons and Lovers really struck a chord with her, and she was kind enough to post a long comment expressing her enjoyment in the book. She also posted about it on the Romantic Times message boards too, which was totally brilliant of her. It really warms my heart when somebody likes my writing enough to take the trouble to express their feelings. Even though I've been writing since the dinosaurs roamed, because I'm crap a promo, I probably don't get as many reviews and plaudits as a lot of authors who've come to prominence recently. So the ones I do get mean the absolute world to me - because a lot of the time, I have the most terrible doubts about the quality of my writing and storytelling and what have you... I might rabbit on with enthusiasm in my blog about my characters, but just because they seem alive and wonderful in my head, that doesn't mean my feelings about them necessarily translate onto the page in a form that others can enjoy... so when I hear that I got it right for a reader, I always feel totally over the moon!

So, many thanks, Anais! You made my day!

And that's only the start of it... I had a Vincent D'Onofrio dream, didn't I?

It went like this... I was on holiday somewhere, and Vin was working in the same town/city/whatever. I was in this big building, and upstairs, he was having a row with his agent about some film role or something, and I saw him storm out into the street. Obviously, seeing my hero, I followed [eek, I'm a stalker!] and though I was able to keep him in sight for a while, I lost him eventually and was rather disappointed. Anyway, I was standing under what I think was a bus shelter, and suddenly Vin jumped down from the roof of it and said 'Hello!' [this was actually inspired by my filmic moment in IllMet, I think...] He seemed v. pleased to see me for some reason, and took me by the arm and led me back to the building, where he was now about to do a scene in a hospital drama. I think I hung around there talking to him for a while, but eventually I had to go, and he grabbed me in his arms and gave me a very thorough kiss! He was holding me v. close and I was left in no doubt that I'd made a big impression on him!!! After that, we parted, but there seemed to be some intimation that we'd meet again... and then I woke up, alas.

Now if I could dream the next installment of this little saga tonight, I'd be a very, very happy person indeed!

Monday, 30 October 2006

virtuous... moi?

I am being very good today, and I have held off making my first web post of the day until I'd done 1K words of my WIP! Considering my pathetic record over the weekend, I thought it was the least I could do... Trouble is, now I've done a K, it's like a license to prat about for the rest of the day. A true professional, or just someone hungry to succeed, would now proceed to do a few more K... but me, I'll probably rest and watch some NCIS or just have a sleep.

Anyway, at least I've managed to get Robin and Lois to actually meet at last... Up until now, it's either been her 'dreaming' about him or him keeping her under his surveillance... while he's in another form. Now, finally, they're meeting and they're both human and real... well, at least for the moment, in Robin's case. The next thing is, now I've managed to get them together at last, I've got to get them into some kind of hot, rumpo type action situation... tee hee...

Words done so far today: 1297

Sunday, 29 October 2006

disturbing... but also v. good!!!

http://www.myheritage.com


A disturbing result in that I look like as many men as women... but look who clocks in at #9!!!

irresponsible Saturday

I am bad. For two days, I've done virtually no writing. Friday, well, I suppose I have an excuse as I did have a busy day doing some much needed housework, and I did manage a hundred or so words... But yesterday, I was freaking useless! I managed to send a few emails that were needed, but most of the day I spent mucking about with my MySpace Profile and making silly slideshows and playing with various other web widgets and squidgets. I suppose this is both the blessing and the curse of broadband. It makes 'playing about' so much easier, because back when I was on dialup, the slow connection speed made most of the nice toys virtually unusable. But now I can give full reign to my procrastination skills and fondness for displacement activities. Damn!

Today, in the UK, we have an 'extra hour' due to the clocks being set back an hour for winter. I'm trying not to waste the extra time, and I have indeed done a tiny bit of writing so far, but I've got the worrying niggle of a gathering headache at the moment and I'm hoping it's not one of the dreaded migraines...

I'm quite pleased with the little chunk I've just written though. I was at a point, in a scene, where I didn't know what to do, but I've found a way to get through it, and can now move on to a more interesting section... And the thing with a novella is that you really do bash through it quite quickly, it being so short! I've done about 30% already! Novellas are quite a special craft, and you have to work hard to 'get it all in' in such a short wordcount [25K in this case] but I can see why so many authors like writing them. There's potential for feeling a sense of achievement in a relatively short space of time. And when you've got the attention span of a fruit fly, like me, that is a very good thing!

Words done so far today: 804

Friday, 27 October 2006

'home' day...

I've done no writing at all so far today, because it's been a 'home' type day. Which entails me making like a housey-house wife for the first time in a blue moon!

I admit it, I am the most disgusting undomesticated slut around the house, and have a high tolerance for disorder, clutter and grime. But every now and again, I think enough is enough, and I have a little 'do'... Not a great spring clean or anything, just a skim type clean up to stem the tide of the worst of the filth and grunge. So today I:
  • sorted out a mountainous pile of *clean* washing and put it away
  • did a major wash of dirty washing... the hamper was disturbingly full
  • flung Zoflora all around the bathroom and toilet, plus scrubbed at things with those scrubby cloths that are advertised on the telly
  • defrosted the fridge... needed it as the pong from himself's Camembert was doing my head in
  • flicked a duster around in one or two places that actually show
  • hoovered where I could get to ie. places not filled with clutter, and clutter that we are looking after for one of himself's mates
  • did all oustanding washing up
My reward for all this activity was the central heating finally going on! Actually, I could have had it on a lot sooner, as the pilot light was still on from last year, so all it needed was the thermo turning up. Any road up, it's lovely and toasty warm now and I don't have to creep around like a Michelin man with about eight layers of clothes on. Yippee!

In other news... I don't half love Blogger Beta, but I think my sidebar is starting to get a bit mental. Because I can put widgets and squidgets there, I've just gone hog wild with them, and stuck in every thing but the kitchen sink... [might actually find a pic of a kitchen sink and put that there too!] I think eventually I might weed out a few things and streamline it a bit, but for the moment I'm loving the ability to add interesting things to the nav/sidebar. It's like being let out of prison after the measly limitations of Bravejournal [not to mention the ****ing ads you have to contend with there, even if you pay!]

Speaking of my sidebar, please have a go at voting in my poll of what sort of erotic romance you'd prefer me to write... I've only got one vote so far - and that's from me for 'kinky contemporary'!

Words done today: 190

Thursday, 26 October 2006

paranormal issues

Am proceeding reasonably well, wordcountwise, with IllMet... but I'm also beginning to dwell on what it is about the idea of writing paranormal erotic romance that perplexes me. I find I'm writing too much story in proportion to the amount of sex. This seems to be the bugbear with paranormals to me, the 'paranormal tends to get in the way of the people'. Now if this were a paranormal romance, as opposed to a paranormal erotic romance... this would probably work better. But there has to be quite a lot of sex in one of these efforts, and so far I've spent much more time on the actual story and setup than I have on actual bonking or pervage. I'm really having to make an effort to get my characters into rumpo action... and it shouldn't be that way. It should be effortless, intrinsic, just there...

Anyway, I know I shouldn't really fret myself about it because this is just a first draft, a rough sketch, almost a cartoon for the oil painting [hah!] of the book. I'm just getting the bare bones down... there will be lots of opportunity for adding, subtracting, refining and enhancing. At this stage it is not.set.in.stone!!!

Words done today so far: 1315