Thursday, 30 November 2006

another something....

Screencap courtesy of Diane and Tess at The Valentine Cat


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


Sex and Shopping - buy from

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


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 and 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...


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


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!]