Tuesday, 31 October 2006


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!!!


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

Wednesday, 25 October 2006

it's this one, Val...

I see him sort of like this, only maybe a bit younger, and with gold streaked hair... The all black outfit really speaks to me somehow.

having blahed on yesterday

about not getting anything done until the late afternoon, I've broken my writing duck surprisingly early today. I started writing mid morning and have done a mini chunk of IllMet already! I'm in Robin's mind now... which is a bit weird, because I'm not really sure what he is! How does a creature think, who doesn't have an actual brain most of the time? I suppose as he's my creature, I can make up the rules, but I'm sure there'll be people out there, if this thing ever gets to print, who'll pick holes with my mythos, even if I've the one who's cooked it up!

At the moment, it's getting a bit introspecty, so we need to get a bit of action next, and preferably some sexy action, so Robin's got to finish with the thinky, thinky, thinky for a while and start doing something... or more probably doing somebody, either Lois or himself! LOL!

I think the inspiration for this early-for-me start came from an episode of Law and Order: Criminal Intent I've just been watching, courtesy of the wonderful, wonderful Eliza. It will come as no surprise to people that Robin is very much about.the.Divine.Vincent... although probably a younger and trimmer Vincent than the current version, and with slightly modified hair and eyes. I may post a pic soon that gives a sense of what Robin looks like, if not a truly accurate representation. I have the perfect one amongst my collection of 10x8's.

Words done so far today: 1275

[ps. forgot to mention... have my supernumerary feline visitor on the bed again today ie. Tilly... he was biting my laptop a bit ago, to try and get my attention, but at the moment he's settled down for a kip!]

Tuesday, 24 October 2006

a strange writing phenomenon

These last few days I've been experiencing a rather weird phenomenon in my writing method.

Basically, I've felt like crap all day, and done virtually nothing productive... and then around 5pm in the afternoon, I've started writing or editing. I think it's a case of desperation setting in, more than anything. The horror and disgust with myself for wasting yet another day just drives me into trying to write something, if only a teeny tad.

Today I've been mainly polishing my first chapter of Ill Met By Moonlight [working title of my paranormal thingoid] and adding one or two more refinements/quirks to Robin's personality and paraphysical characteristics. I've also begun a bit that's told from Lois's POV too, trying to introduce her and give the readers a sense of what kind of woman she is. In the original version scrap, she was a bit 'hard', but she's coming across as softer and more sympathetic - I hope - in this new take on the story. She's still quite sparky though, but in a gentler and more wry way.

Words done today: 1098

for the sake of it...

Non-Working Monkey can't be doing with people who put photos of their pets all over the place... so here's a cute piccie of Mulder! :)

Monday, 23 October 2006

agh... nothing achieved...

Ack, now I've got stomach ache too! I don't know whether it's my usual dyspepsia, or this thing himself has had... either way, it's knocked creativity on the head today. Mostly.

I suppose I have been thinking about my paranormal novella idea a bit, and also refining certain aspects of the outline with the help of my critique partner. I bounced my ideas off her, she bounced them back with some great suggestions. I bounced the idea back, she liked it and offered another suggested tweak or two, and finally, thanks to her sure instincts, I think I've more or less got a plan for it. But now I have to write the suckah!

The hero is called Robin, and he might be a fairy, he might be some kind of spirit of the woods, or he might be something else altogether... I don't think it's really necessary to be too specific. I only know that he's tall and hunky and delicious and has dark hair frosted with gold, and extremely unusual eyes...

best laid plans...

Oh, I was going to do so much today... and I'm afraid it's not going to happen. Himself is off work ill and needs a bit of TLC and attention. Because I mostly work in the bedroom, and he's in the bedroom, I can't really do a lot workwise. I could go in my office, but that's just being mean and callous somehow... I feel I need to stay around him, for moral support as much as anything, poor baby.

An excellent site was brought to my attention today! The Erotic Woman is saucy but intelligent sensual site for women, so why not check it out!

Sunday, 22 October 2006

I've got a visitor at the moment...

Look who's just dropped in for a nosh and a snooze on the bed... It's Tilly, the cat who officially lives with a neighbour around the corner, but who also likes to make himself at home here.

Saturday, 21 October 2006

am I a cynical, money grubbing hyena?

Yes, am I one of those because I'm thinking about writing paranormals because that's what my publisher seems to be most interested in at the moment? Or should I stick to my high ideals of being a contemporary specialist... and get dropped by the wayside in the consequence?

It's a tough one. Mainly because I despise bandwagon jumping as a rule, and writers who think, 'oh I must have some of that genre, or that imprint, just because I can't bear not to have a slice of everything!' There are some about... there's one culprit that springs to my mind right now... But the thing is, I know I've sort of been a bit guilty of the same thing myself, because I've written for a whole bunch of imprints, and sometimes just because - like Everest - they're there!

But back to the paranormal thing. I suppose I can justify this in terms of sheer survival, but also, in that it's not new to me of course... There's good old Gothic Blue, that's due to be reissued next Feb, I think. I can't remember what prompted me to write that... it may have been editor encouragement then, too. But even then, I'd written a few paranormal shorts. In fact, come to think of it, my first ever, ever short story was a paranormal! A series of five stories in fact [if a trilogy is three, what's a bunch of five? I should know I suppose...] Yep, five short stories about zombies, of all things... These stories were never published, mainly because I never submitted them anywhere as I was just writing for pleasure at the time. And they were probably the direst crap anyway, but at that stage, just to write anything at all was a titanic achievement and gave me the most astonishing glow! Later, I did rewrite the first of these stories, and it was published... but only after a lot of reworking and refining.

And while I'm strolling down memory lane, I've just realised that my second attempt, still for fun, was a sort of sexy space opera, an ongoing futuristic thing about a woman with special powers and a hero who was sort of reincarnated from the zombie stories. In fact, come to think of it, she was too, so it was also a timeslip! So again, I was already writing the futuristics that are almost as popular as paranormals nowadays... and all this was back in the early to mid eighties.

So, basically, I'm not a cynical money grubbing hyena. Well, not totally... I'm just been nudged by editorial and market forces back towards my earliest roots as a writer! In my heart of hearts, I think my comfort zone is still contemporary romantic erotica, but maybe I can make room in there for something fanciful and out of this world too?

Anyway, after all this remeniscing and soul searching, I should actually buckle down to this paranormal wotsit of mine, shouldn't I?

Friday, 20 October 2006

this is so cute!

Isn't this book cute? It's an ideas resource... with a word, or a paragraph, or a piccie on each small page. Each of which is supposed to trigger an idea for a story, a book, or even a blog entry. Me being the sort of person for whom idea finding is hard, hard, hard, I was all over this little book like a rash when it was recommended by my writing chum Sylvia Day on a writing message board we both frequent.

Not that I've been waxing productive and imaginative at all today. It's been a complete bust, apart from a bit of webby stuff, despite my high resolutions of yesterday. Saskia will think I'm a totally useless waster!

Must do better tomorrow...

in the middle of the night...

I'm very, very tired this morning. Yesterday was a lovely but busy day, and I was looking forward to a good night's sleep to rest up so that I'd be fresh today and ready to do loads of work.

Ha! The best laid plans... At around four o'clock this morning, there was a commotion and himself got up to see what was going on. Two cats were on red alert in the kitchen, and we soon discovered that either Alice or Mulder had caught a mouse, brought it inside, and then released it into the wild of the house. Brilliant! Now usually, in domestic 'situations', himself is the best 'coper' and 'resolver' of problems. However, in this case, he had to stand aside while the Great Mouso swung into action, clad in the pair of gardening gloves she never uses for gardening. With luck, I was able to corner the little devil quite quickly, scoop it up, and run outside - in the pouring rain - to release it into the real wild!

Great stuff, but unfortunately, when I returned to bed, I couldn't switch off, and my mind ran in circles for a couple of hours, on writing and related topics, while both himself and Kuffer snored beside me. [Kuffer the cat snoring considerably louder than his human counterpart!]

And now, of course, with a hefty working day ahead of me... I'm knackered!!!

Thursday, 19 October 2006

a grand day out

Had a smashing day today! It was another of my occasional lunches with my splendid writing friend, Saskia Walker... in which we invade a local branch of M&S's Cafe Revive and generally terrorise the other diners and coffee swiggers there with our laughing and racy talk about erotic writing. Because Saskia and I swap emails incessantly, it always feels as if it was only yesterday since we actually met, and consequently we drop straight into a groove of jolly chat, with lots of jokes, feedback on each other's work, and a liberal amount of ripe, creative bitching! LOL

Because the life of a writer is usually a very solitary and quiet one, without much talking [unless you use Voice Recognition software] our super chatty lunches are sometimes a bit of a shock to the vocal chords and I do believe I've got a bit of sore throat now! But I wouldn't give up these get togethers for all the tea in China because there's nothing to beat having an author friend who you can meet 'in the real world' as opposed to online. Especially one who's as wise, witty and kind as Saskia - who is a rock to me in this insane and often irrational world of writing and publishing.

I'm already counting the days to our next lunch!


I was expecting a higher percentage on this one...

Your Sloth Quotient: 37%

You're a little lazy, but normally you're a very energetic and motivated person.

Don't beat yourself up over a little laziness every now and then. You do need your downtime!

Wednesday, 18 October 2006

so chuffed!

Just discovered another five star review for Entertaining Mr Stone at Amazon.com

Thanks, Robin! I'm so glad you enjoyed the book, and I appreciate you taking the time to say so. I've had so many dodgy reviews at the Amazons over the years that a positive one is always especially cherished and appreciated.


Just discovered another five star, at Amazon.co.uk this time! It's from 'Erotica Reader from the North'... Mmm.... Mysterious, but clearly someone who totally gets EMS and thoroughly enjoyed it!

As I said above, many, many thanks for taking the time to say you enjoyed my book! I'm all of a glow now... :)

my baby...

Am feeling a bit soggy and weepy at the moment, and it's not really due to the quiz result below. I just went up to the post office and posted the manuscript of Suite Seventeen off to my agent. And now I feel as if a child or close friend has gone away and left me. I always feel a bit blue at the end of a book, both when I finish the first draft and when I actually send it out into the world. First draft blues are because the story is told and even if I have to rewrite bits and add bits, the plot is essentially resolved and I've got my characters to their happy ending and they don't need me any more. Posting off blues are just as intense. It's gone. I won't be working on it any more. I have to leave these characters and get to know new ones. Okay, there's the proof checking, but by then, it's like a book written by somebody else in a way. The intimate connection is broken by that stage.

Suite Seventeen is a particularly poignant one to lose because I've been working on it a long time, and I've had some pretty serious ups and downs with it. It's been hard! But after a struggle, I feel I got there in the end and it's a pretty good book... and the feedback from my critique partner tells me that I'm not wrong in being quietly pleased with the outcome. Whether readers will like it... well, who knows? Different people look for different things in books, esp. in the area of romance, erotic romance and women's erotica... but hopefully, people will enjoy Annie's racy sexual adventure and the love she finds in the course of it. And I know that a certain special group of readers will hopefully appreciate the unique charms of Valentino in the light of the remarkable actor whose appearance and thespian skills inform him! ;)

In other news, I'm keenly scrutinising the weather as tomorrow - fingers crossed - is another of my splendid writers' lunches with my special author buddy, Saskia Walker... A little bit of rain or chilliness will certainly not put us off, but if there's a torrential monsoonlike downpour we may have to regroup and reconvene...

Yikes almighty!!!!

You Are 84% Bipolar

You have some serious ups and downs, maybe to the point of endangering your own life.
Consult a doctor to see if you may truly have bipolar disorder.
Are You Bipolar?

Actually, not a surprise as I was diagnosed with mild manic depression years ago, and these things don't tend to go away... It's not the big serious version of bipolar disorder though, so I'm able to deal with it and get on with life.

Tuesday, 17 October 2006

progress... slightly



eek, I'm mental hermaphrodite!

Your Brain is 47% Female, 53% Male

Your brain is a healthy mix of male and female
You are both sensitive and savvy
Rational and reasonable, you tend to keep level headed
But you also tend to wear your heart on your sleeve
What Gender Is Your Brain?

I'm not sure this is an entirely true result though... bits of it are spot on, but the words 'rational' and 'reasonable' are not ones that have ever been associated with yours truly! :)

wot a relief!

Got up this morning and sighed with relief as all the correct lights were glowing on my broadband Livebox! Thank heavens for that!

Having to connect via a dialup connection for a bit made me realise just how quickly I've come to take the speed of broadband for granted. I held out against going bb for ages, because my old Win98 desktop just wasn't up to the job, and I thought I was okay, what did I need bb for... but now I realise just what I was missing. A lot of the sites I visit nowadays are just impossible without the higher speed. Anything with movies or music, and even a lot of normal sites that are graphics intensive are just unusable on dialup. So hurray for broadband, even if it's crap broadband like Orange...

Still feeling a happy glow about my CP's response to Suite Seventeen. :) I've done the little bits of tweakage and I think now's the time to print the sucker off and send it to my agent to see what she thinks... It will be weird to have this one off the table because it's been in my life for a long, long time, as there was a long lead time with it... I must have been writing the thing on and off for almost a year now. I've done other things in between, of course. I've written a clutch of short stories, a novella, two partials and a few other bits and bobs... but now it's time to move on and get stuck into other stuff. Am working on another novella at the mo - the one that's mutating from first person to third - as well as reformatting a v. old novel that I'd love to find a brand new home for. I'd also like to get stuck into a proposal for a full novel, but I'm not quite sure what sort of thing to go with until I hear from agent/editor... It's such a relief to know that I've finally finished Suite Seventeen though...

Monday, 16 October 2006

the smooth with the rough...

This will be brief, for reasons I'll explain in a mo...

First the smooth... My absolute star of a critique partner has just got back to me about Suite Seventeen and she loves it! Wahey! She says that in places I've even managed to convey the emotions of the 'other' character in a first person narrative... which I think is quite a nifty achievement, though I say it myself! I feel so very very much better about the book now. I did subconsciously sort of love it, even when it was behaving badly, but after the high of Entertaining Mr Stone, I was so frightened that anything that came after it would be a let down. But it seems that Annie and Valentino's story works after all...

But there's always a rough, isn't there, and in this case it's my ****ing, ****ing broadband connection which went kerpuft at around four o'clock with no warning and for no apparent reason. Bastard thing! Bastard, bastard Orange for being so bastarding useless... I know they are, because there's a whole message board about the problems people have with them. I will give them until tomorrow morning, and then I will ring up and berate them... much good it'll probably do me. Now any writer worth their salt would think, goody, no internet distractions... but not me, I've spent hours trying various troubleshooting manoevers. None of which worked.... obviously. And I'll probably go on fretting and achieving nothing until I get it back!

So, folks, if things go a bit quiet here for a while, it's 'cos the broadband thing was a bigger problem even than I feared... Keep your fingers crossed for me, eh?

Sunday, 15 October 2006

Uh oh...

I don't predict much work getting done today... It's 11.20am, and I'm still in bed, sitting up, swigging tea and watching Moto GP with himself... And the motorcycle coverage doesn't finish until 2.15pm!!! As I've said before, I'm not a biker myself, but I do enjoy watching the races, as much for the droll commentaries as for the racing itself. I don't think I'll stay in bed and watch it all... I'll have to get up and get dressed in one of the breaks, but I still don't think I'll be getting much ticked off my ponderous to do list until tomorrow...

Am still thinking about that first person/third person quandary for my novella thingie. Have received some excellent advice on a list I'm on from a writer who does first exceptionally well... and she has also used dual first, and other combinations too. I started changing the text I have so far to third, and it was a right mare of a task, and I was convinced it was turning into a giant pile of poo... but... on reading back the bit I'd transformed, it didn't actually read too badly at all. I think the struggle was colouring my feelings about the outcome... if that makes sense. I think it's quite likely that I'll go with third throughout but I may experiment with first for the heroine and third for the sort of hero... I seem to 'hear' him in third, although I can hear her in both first and third...

So today, when I get up that's what I'll be putzing about with, as well as doing a bit more on a web site update job I have in hand. I say 'get up' in the loosest possible way, as a lot of the time, I actually work on the lappie while sitting up on the bed. But when I get dressed and switch into 'work' mode, those are the things I'll be doing...

Saturday, 14 October 2006

why does this not surprise me?

Your Wrath Quotient: 83%

You have the makings of a very evil dictator.
If you don't want to go that route, you should consider anger management!

I've won the pools!

Yes, believe it or not, I've won the football pools! But before you all get too excited, I'm afraid my prizewinning cheque is only actually for £27, so I won't be rushing out and buying any fast cars, mansions or yachts just yet. Still, twenty seven quid is better than no quid at all, so I'm ahead of the game already today... :)

I think my little win must have been a good omen too, because thanks to a suggestion from my angel of a critique partner, I've finally got a bit of direction on what to write next. She suggested I try a novella, 'cos they're shorter and not such a commitment, and I remembered an idea I had a while back, for which I already had a vague outline [very, very vague] and even a bit of text. Which isn't actually too bad, but I'm not sure about the POV/tense... For this story, short as it is, I think the reader needs to know the hero's POV, but, the stuff I've done so far is in first person present. [Can't believe this, actually... the text I have was written several years ago... and it's in first present... long before Mr Stone was even a twinkle in my libido!!!] Anyway, I think the thing should be in third person, past... but the first person stuff is very immediate. So, I have a question... or questions...

If you're a writer, have you ever written in two first person viewpoints? And if so, did it work to your satisfaction? And did reader feedback indicate that they thought it worked too?

If you're a reader, have you read any books written in dual first person lately - or ever - and did you like that way of doing things? Did it seem natural... or weird?

I'd really like to hear some opinions on this one, and would be very grateful for feedback.

In other news, my results for the How Gross Are You? quiz were not faked! I really am that disgusting!!

And finally, as there hasn't been much chocolate news in this new blog, here's a recommendation....

Tesco's Finest Swiss Plain Chocolate with Espresso Filling.... it's bloody fantastic! Get some!

Friday, 13 October 2006

in a similar vein...

You Are 60% Gross

You're more than a little gross, but probably no more gross than the average person.
Maybe it's time to drop some of those disgusting habits that could eventually embarrass you!

my little problem

Well, I did manage to throw out some magazines and papers etc yesterday, but there's a long way to go yet. The photo above of the 'problem' beside my bed isn't before... but after!

Thursday, 12 October 2006


Ack, I've done nothing today... well, not exactly totally nothing, but certainly nothing particularly productive and inducive [sp?] to the furthering of my writing career and progress. I've probably done less for the advancement of my career than Kuffer did yesterday on the washing... sigh...

Things I have done today:

  • paid in some cheques
  • posted some books to a buddy in thanks for a kindness
  • posted my Sex... with a Stranger story
  • did a mini bit on some web design... a very mini bit...
  • did some reformatting on a chapter of 'a very old book'

Actually, that looks quite productive, but in reality, it isn't when set aside the time spent lolling on the bed, reading magazines and surfing to purely entertainment web sites... including this one...

Stuff on my Cat

Now, I'm not sure putting stuff on your cat should be applauded... but I've done it. I occasionally drape a garment or two over Kuffer, or place the remote control for the telly on his side when he's stretched out. He doesn't seem to mind...

I've also been feeding a serious addiction of mine. I said when I went up into little town that I would *not* go to the newsagent, thus avoiding entirely buying any magazines. I bought two computer mags in Tesco last night, and so I don't need any new mags today. However, I am weak, I went in to a newsagent, and bought FOUR magazines. Two women's, one erotic, one computer... and the worst of it was, when I got home, I realised that I already had a copy of one of the women's magazines! Looks like my good buddy will be getting an unexpected little extra when we next meet together for lunch... One of my most recent resolutions was to pledge that every time I bought a magazine, I would put one or two of my existing mags out for recycling... but as yet, I haven't been able to part with the six [or a dozen] that I'm supposed to be turfing out today!

As I said, I.am.weak.

Wednesday, 11 October 2006


Kuffer asleep on washing
Kuffer doing his sleeping thing on fresh washing...


Have had some fabulous feedback on my Sex with Strangers story from my critique partner! I had a good feeling about this story... and her comments confirm my optimism over it. She loves it! Now all I have to hope for is that the editor likes it too! :)

Mini extract here!

Tuesday, 10 October 2006


Am feeling rabidly curmudgeonly, dyspeptic and malcontent this morning, so to save inflicting my bile on others... and give me more time to sharpen my machete and plan a terrible fate for all those that irk me... I'm presenting some fluffy loveliness instead

Cute Overload

Kitten War

Cat of the Day

Cats in Sinks


Monday, 9 October 2006

a minor moral dilemma

I've got a minor moral dilemma... and it goes like this.

Every so often, a person emails me, asking for advice and about my experiences in a certain area. They want my help... and I give it. I reply to the questions as best I can. But... this person never thanks me for the stuff I tell her. This person never even replies to my emails or acknowledges them. Last time, I hinted that I'd like a reply, however short, and all I got was the email receipt thingie... But, this person must receive the info I send because she keeps sending questions.

Now this is making me angry. My natural response is to help. And not just, I'll admit, out of the saintly goodness of my heart. I'm a great believer in what goes around comes around, and if you help people, someone will help you in return when the time comes. And when someone helps me, my reaction is to thank them, as any normal person's is.

I don't expect fulsome praise and fawning plaudits from this person, just 'thanks, that helped' would be sufficient. But I know I won't get it, so I'm wondering whether I should supply any info this time... I keep thinking 'why should I?'... but I suppose I'll crumble in the end, and send some info.

What would you do, gentle reader?

what happens in books when your memory is shot

Actually did more editing yesterday than I was expecting to. Especially when I spent a lot of the day watching World Superbikes with himself [some great racing though!] Am now part way through scrutinising the long, kinky scene, using both paper and screen editing... and I'm finding it's far more humane somehow. Definitely a love type scene... the growing bond between the two characters is really coming out, even though the action is very pervy. And I'd almost forgotten this, despite the fact that I only wrote it just over two weeks ago!

That's the problem with having a crap memory! I can't 'hold' the story of a novel in my head these days... I used to be able to once upon a time, esp. when I was engaged in my futile attempts to write Mills and Boon novels [only 55K] but nowadays, the RAM inside my head must have degraded or something, because five minutes after I've written something, I've more or less forgotten it!

Which can create inconsistencies if I'm not careful to scrutinise and edit work several times... although having a critique partner can be an enormous help in spotting the funnies. An instance I encountered in yesterday's editing was... Annie describes making a phone call to someone in the narrative, and then later, when talking to Valentino, she describes the same incident as an actual meeting!!! Ack, nearly a nasty accident there... And also there have been one or two minor occurrences of things being said or done or not said or not done that have impact on the story later on, but which I've completely overlooked...

You can pick up other things in 'repeat runs'... For instance, it suddenly occurred to me that Annie might have behaved like a complete bitch to a secondary character, Charles. But in the editing, it's possible to make her seem less so... by the simple expedient of inserting one, single sentence, that shows that in fact Charles was the one behaving badly.

Anyway, hope to finish this 'pass' today, and maybe do a few more little tweaks... and then hopefully I can send it off to my CP [her time permitting...] and also my agent. And they'll spot even more things that I've missed!!!

Sunday, 8 October 2006

not in the mood...

No progress to speak of yesterday. I felt rather under the weather, and the last thing I was in the mood for was the long, complex and somewhat ritualistic sexual set piece I had to edit... Plus, between the meds for my head, my sinuses and my stomach I was feeling pretty spaced out and unable to concentrate on anything, never mind polishing an intense scene of psycho erotic power exchange.

Feeling very chuffed with the initial responses to the extract of Suite Seventeen I posted over at Portia's Prose though... My chums of the VDO persuasion seem to be enjoying certain special little flourishes. :)

Saturday, 7 October 2006


Since I posted the excerpt last night, over at Portia's Prose, I've been thinking about more and more tweakage I need to do to Suite Seventeen. This is my process, I suppose, I slam down the main story without thinking too much about background [just to get something down] and then work through the ramifications and filter in stuff later to give it more depth. I was mainly thinking about Valentino's car last night... He has this amazing and very, very valuable classic supercar [there's a reason in the story why he comes to possess such a thing] but I'd not stopped to think about the insurance on such a vehicle, which would be astronomical... so I've got to come up with an explanation for how he can even afford to pay the insurance. I also got to thinking more and more about what Annie has been doing with her life to get to forty plus... She's got no kids... she probably hasn't worked for quite a while... other stuff... but I suppose the fact that the years have flown by and she hasn't a lot to show for them is actually one of the reasons why she's so open to a whole new world of experience with Valentino... so ready to shake things up so radically by getting involved with him. I'm seeing ways to lightly sketch in and hint at these background facets, but the accent is on dealing with them lightly rather than making a huge deal. Basically, I'm writing for entertainment. I want my story to have some emotional depth, quite a bit in fact, but I don't want to get heavy and bring readers down with anguished pasts and sob stories. I'm about giving people a fun read. I'm not about issues or making any kind of particular 'statement'. So I've to negotiate the tricky path between giving readers a true sounding experience and providing them with an escapist sex fantasy to tickle their fancies! :)

Having said all the above, it's Saturday and I'm not getting on all that fast. I'm pratting about mainly, although I have done my static cycling, whilst watching an ep. of Law and Order Criminal Intent... ooh, yummy, yummy Bobby! It seems weird to see him investigating crimes in New York when he should be either sitting in his office in Borough Hall, thinking up the next naughty thing he's going to do to Maria... or actually be doing something naughty to or with her! Probably in the back garden, so his neighbour Annie can watch them...

To be honest, I'm not feeling all that great this morning though. I feel as if a headache might be gathering... the sort that can morph into a migraine if I don't watch it. Will have to monitor the situation closely, and be kind to my poor old noggin... maybe take a pill of things take a turn for the worse...

Friday, 6 October 2006

Roll up, roll up! Excerpt!

New excerpt from Suite Seventeen... click here!

shout outs!

Just wanted to shout out to a couple of super people!

First... Jenny, who sent me a lovely email the other day, saying how much she liked my work and cheering me up on a day when I was full of doubts.

Secondly... Eliza, who is amazing, and she knows why! :)

Oh, and if I linked to you at my old blog, and you're wondering why there isn't a link to you at this blog... well, wonder no more! Just scroll down right to the bottom of this blog and you'll find virtually all the links from my old one. I also hope to be adding more when time permits...

a mixed day

Just what it says on the tin...

One of my royalty statements arrived today, and it wasn't quite as wrist slittingly piddling as I'd feared. Not much, but not so little that they simply sent the greengrocer's lad round with a bag of monkey nuts. Was reasonably satisfied... until started discussing royalty statements in general on a list I'm on... which caused me to look more closely at certain figures, and realise exactly how small a proportion of the price of a book the author actually gets. And how many books get 'returned'... Navy blue gloom set in again... and not for the first time, I started fingering my lottery ticket and chanting incantations. Was tempted to promise my firstborn to the gods of Lotto, but then remembered I don't have one...

So, back to paper editing my opus. Again, mixed. Some bits are okay, but I'm into an uncharted sort of region now. A bit of the book I've only 'written' and not worked over about four or five times. And consequently it's very rough, untidy, twittish and amateurish in a lot of places, and reads like it was a first draft of a first ever novel written by a poorly educated teenager. Oh, I think I'll be able to knock it into shape somehow, but it's going to need a couple more runs over this last 100 pages or so...

On the up side, the rampant indigestion and dyspepsia I've suffered for the last few days hasn't been so bad today. So at least that's in my favour... Wouldn't want to have bad guts over the weekend when Saturday is fish and chip night!

Thursday, 5 October 2006

doin' it old school...

Am still paper editing Suite Seventeen and quite enjoying the process... I say 'quite' because there are moments when I can't believe I've written something so amateurish and clunky. The good news, though, is that quite a lot of the stuff is pretty smooth, and there are pages and pages and pages when I don't have to do a single thing to it. However there are some untidy bits, and I'm in one of them at the moment. The character of Annie is sort of wavering a bit, and I've to firm her up and bring her back on point. Although, maybe the wavering is right? She's going through big, big changes, revamping her entire attitude to life and sex, and of course, she's just fallen head over heels for the most exotic, perplexing and perverse man she's ever set eyes on ie. Valentino! Anyone would feel a bit all over the place at a time like that, eh?

Wednesday, 4 October 2006

Sex and Music

Ack, apparently it's the US publication day of Wicked Words - Sex and Music today... and I'd completely forgotten! Aren't I useless?

Many thanks to publication day buddy Nikki for reminding me. I'll post later with some more stuff about this, but at the mo, I'm deep in paper edits of Suite Seventeen... and actually enjoying myself for a change.

Here's an excerpt!

Tuesday, 3 October 2006

best intentions... yeah, yeah, yeah...

I did quite well, for me, yesterday. I've decided that I've really got to shape up and make like a proper writer - instead of being a weak, self indulgent procrastinator all the time! I wasn't perfect yesterday, but I did improve on a lot of recent days. Achievements included:

  • checked proofs of Public Domain and sent changes off to lovely editorial assistant
  • perused and edited my story for the Sex With Strangers anthology [quite pleased with it too!]
  • printed off a few chapters of Suite Seventeen for a paper edit
  • set up my excerpts blog Portia's Prose
  • prepared a bill for a web client
  • read some more of Alison Kent's CIG to Writing Erotic Romance

And that lot is quite impressive if you're me!

Today I plan to get on with that paper edit of Suite... I did the edit of the SWS story on paper, and somehow, I found it easier to do that way. I got a clearer view of it. Not good for the environment to do it that way, I suppose. I'm going to allot myself a few chapters a day, so I don't frighten myself off doing it. My critique partner is away on holiday at the moment, so I can't send it to her until next week anyway.

Anyway, that's my main job for today. I may perhaps post a tasty morsel of the SWS story over at Portia's Prose, if I have time, and I'll certainly be reading more of the CIG, because even though I've been writing for years and years, it's still giving me insights into how I should be editing Suite... mostly things which I should be mindful of, but have lost sight of somehow... basics like goal and motivation and that old buggaboo of mine - conflict! God, do I hate having to 'do' conflict in books!!! I'd walk a million miles over broken glass and nails dipped in pus to avoid conflict in real life, so it just seems totally against nature to have to make up conflicts for my characters in my books... but dramatic storytelling is NOTHING without conflict... so there you are, I've gotta do it.

One thing I mustn't do today is continually keep checking MySpace to see how many friends I have. I've really got to get a grip there, and just go once a day to do my socialising and friend adding... It's a super place to network, but it's also a timewaster too. Big time! I've also got to refrain from continually visiting my Google Reader page to see which of my bloggy people has blogged... The posts will still all be there if I ration myself to one or two visits a day, and it'll be more of a treat if I have lots to read at once.

Anyway, time to start on my new, improved productive day! What are the bets on how long this latest of a million resolutions to do better will last?

Monday, 2 October 2006


Taste a bit of PUBLIC DOMAIN here!

Gawd help me!

****! I said I wouldn't waste time today... and I certainly shouldn't have done this one!!!

You Have Low Self Esteem 88% of the Time

You're definitely in a low place right now, but you also know deep down that you can get out of your funk.
Take a chance and make a new friend or try a new interest. Shaking things up will give you the self-esteem boost you need!

What time of day am I?

You Are Midnight

You are more than a little eccentric, and you're apt to keep very unusual habits.
Whether you're a nightowl, living in a commune, or taking a vow of silence - you like to experiment with your lifestyle.
Expressing your individuality is important to you, and you often lie awake in bed thinking about the world and your place in it.
You enjoy staying home, but that doesn't mean you're a hermit. You also appreciate quality time with family and close friends.
What Time Of Day Are You?

Thanks to Kate Hardy for this one... and do you know, this is exactly the result I would have hoped for. It's so me! LOL

And I didn't even have to cheat to get it!

Sunday, 1 October 2006

spotting the goofs

Well, I read through Public Domain again, and spotted a couple more boo-boos. I always like to read through proofs a couple of times at least, in case I miss some dreadful howler on the first pass. This is a big task with a 75K manuscript, but not so bad on a 4K short story. There are a handful of thingoids in PD that need dealing with... mainly because I sent a draft of the thing to the editor for a look-see at quite an early stage. Because it's not my usual type of story, I wanted to know if it would be acceptable, and if not, I'd write another... But it was acceptable, and I never went on to work it over any more, when under other circumstances, I might have done. The good news is that it was pretty much okay as it was... there are just a couple of repetitions here and there that I might have spotted on another round of editing. Otherwise, I don't think I would have changed it anyway...

That's about all I've done today so far, except for some pottering around on MySpace. Which is fun, but it scares me too. Not for the timewasting, which is bad enough, but for the fact that I feel it's a dangerous space, wide open for the nefarious activities of spoofers, hackers, crooks, creeps, nutters and general mischief makers. I think one needs to be very wary there, somehow... It's a great promotional opportunity for writers and other kinds of creative types, but it does merit some care and caution...

Well, I still don't know what project I'm going to do next. When Suite Seventeen is turned in, I'm out of contract, and that's a very depressing state of ungrace to be in. My editor has murmured about projects, but so far, not come to me with anything more concrete than that... and I feel that because I'm not proactively pushing stuff at him, he might forget about me and work with other writers who are hungry and eager and full of dynamic ideas. I suppose I must really discuss this with my agent, but in the meantime, I have various bits and pieces to edit inc. a novella and a short story or two, which could do to be polished and put out there. Nobody's going to accept anything that's still festering on my hard drive or in a heap of A4 in my office!!!

In other news, I've just started reading Alison Kent's how-to book The Complete Idiot's Guide to Writing Erotic Romance. I read a preview of Chapter 20 aka Getting Wild and Kinky and that was totally fabboo, but now I'm going to work my way through the whole book. This book is perfect for me, as I need to understand better how to meld romance and erotica more harmoniously, and raise the volume on the romance side of things to match that on the erotica side of things. It's also v. apt for me because as most people who've read my blog for a while [both here and at the old place] will realise, I am actually a bona fide Complete Idiot! :)

I think there's much to be gleaned from writing how-to books, even if you've been in the game for a while, like I have. There's always something new to be learned, or something that you need reminding of that you've forgotten. Or, and just as important, you can find affirmation in them, in that, you can find yourself going... 'Oh god, yes, I do that...' and you realise you're doing something the right way, or at least in a way that's one of the right ways to do a thing. I think that when I've read Alison's book - which I know is going to be invaluable - I'll dive into Janet Evanovich's book, How I Write. Obviously, I won't be writing romantic crime in the near future... at least I don't think I will... but I expect there to be a lot of great advice of use to writers of all genres amongst the pages.

Ah well... better get on with something, I suppose...