Wednesday, 31 January 2007

I am weak....

A short while ago I was searching for something in my office [see post below to get some idea of the horror of that concept!] when the phone rang... and it was a telesalesperson. Now, these unfortunates usually get short shrift, and a v. terse dismissal from yours truly, but this lad said the magic words... Hotel Chocolat!!!!

Things immediately warmed up. I'm a member of HC's glorious Chocolate Tasting Club, and naughty, tempting devil of a telesalesboy was ringing to lure me with the prospect of their latest Excellence collection. Now... I've been looking at finances, and my prospects, and I'd sort of decided that this year I'd be v. good and not overindulge myself... but it was hopeless... and now I have the above yummy scrummy treat to look forward to in a week or two's time...

I'll tell you all about them... in between sighs of delight...

in one of my grrrrr moods...

so what's new?

Yes, I'm feeling particularly curmudgeonly at the moment. In that frame of mind where I'm just feeling so out of sorts and out of step that I'd just love to go on some sort of rampage, telling folk just what I think of them, and beating some sense into them with a large frying pan! I'd love to commit some wild and destructive act, like throwing a lot of stuff around the house and screaming my head off! I know it won't do any good at all, and the causes of my acts of mayhem will not be affected by them... but I'd still like to do it. Just to let off steam...

Maybe I should get on my exercise cycle and pedal like fury? Exert some energy? I've already done my half hour, and I'll probably get saddle sore... but it might be one way to open the safety valve. I hate the way this anger just screws me up all the time... and it ****s up my writing too. It disempowers me... but I'm so prone to it. I always seem to be a bit cross about something... If it's not the stupid government, or the bad, bad people in the world, or imbeciles on the telly, it's the publishing scene and the stuff that I happen across in it...

I think I'm probably more suited to being a boxer or a lumberjack than a writer...

Telly: new CSI
Chocolate: cadburys biccies
Mood: see above
Writing: not yet
Reading: nothing yet
RSI: a bit sore

Tuesday, 30 January 2007

better today... and a meme

I'm feeling a bit better today... have even written a K of words! No particular desire to put my head down and sleep today... :)

Here's a meme that several of my good blogging buddies have been doing...

Contemporary, Historical, or Paranormal? Contemporary, then paranormal, I suppose. But I like to read thrillers too, like Thomas Harris, and also the James Bond books

Hardback or Trade Paperback or Mass Market Paperback? Mass market PB.

Heyer or Austen? Neither

Amazon or Brick and Mortar? Amazon

Barnes & Noble or Borders? Borders. We don’t have B&N over here.

Woodiwiss or Lindsay? Probably Woodiwiss.

First romance novel you ever remember reading? Can’t remember it’s name, but it was a Mills and Boon about an osteopath, could have been by Denise Robins.

Alphabetize by author Alphabetize by title or random? Total chaos!

Keep, Throw Away or Sell? Keep… although I must give some away to charity or my house will explode.

Read with dustjacket or remove it? With dustjacket.

Sookie Stackhouse or Anita Blake? Neither.

Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks? When tired.

Bridget Jones or Becky Bloomwood? Both, although I’ve only read two of the Shopaholics

It was a dark and stormy night or Once upon a time? *It was a dark and stormy night.*

Crusie or SEP? Neither.

Buy or Borrow? Always buy.

Buying choice: Book review, recommendation or browse? I read reviews, but take them with a pinch of salt when choosing books. Only recommendations from trusted reader friends.

Tidy ending or Cliffhanger? Er… happily ever after, actually.

Morning reading, Afternoon reading or Nighttime reading? Any time.

Series or standalone? I like standalones that are loosely linked.

Favorite book of which nobody else has heard? The Domino Trilogy by Cyrian Amberlake. Incredibly well written erotica.

Telly: UK History
Chocolate: Cadbury chocolate biscuits
Mood: okay
Writing: 1.1K Buddies
Reading: James Bond
RSI: not bad

Monday, 29 January 2007

this crap...

I feel as if I've got some of this crap in my system... or something. Himself has complained of feeling 'washed out' over the weekend, and now I think I've got the same thing. Exhausted, bunged up sinuses and whatnot, bit of a sore throat developing, I think. Basically, I just feel like getting my head down for some kip and generally 'avoiding' the day. Or maybe it's just an excuse to avoid Buddies which is drag, drag, dragging? Or an excuse to avoid all sorts of other things that are bugging me... all sorts of annoyances and general tittage and people being up themselves on the web for one...

Right, time for a bitta lunch... last night's home made pasta bizarro warmed over... which will probably make me feel worse than ever, because I cooked it myself!!!

Telly: nonsense
Chocolate: Tesco Belgian Milk
Mood: generally irritated and under par
Writing: about ten words of buddies
Reading: James Bond a bit
RSI: not bad considering

Sunday, 28 January 2007

bollocks, I wanted Grosse Pointe Blank!

Although, thinking about it, this result doesn't surprise me...

Your Life is Like

Being John Malkovich

I can't seem to get them to do it...

Hmmm.... my characters seem to be so busy talking and interacting and discovering stuff about each other and whatnot that I can't seem to get them to start shagging! And this is an erotic romance! They should be doing it all over the place!

I think this is one of the basic problems of erotic romance and esp. paranormal erotic romance... there's a lot going on in terms of relationship, and story stuff, and it's just as important as the sensual elements. It's hard to balance the two. In a romance, the relationship is paramount, with the sex as a carefully developed expression of it... In erotica, it's all about the sex and the sensuality, and if there's a love relationship, well that's wonderful because it adds richness. But trying to get an even mix of the two... now there's the true skill. Which some folks have in spades, but which I admit I'm still learning. And like every skill, it doesn't come easily. I have to work hard. I know I'll get there somehow. I mostly do... But I'll have to sweat for it, for every word.

I'm just hoping it'll be worth it in the end...
Telly: Twister
Chocolate: Tesco Belgian Milk
Mood: not bad
Writing: 700 words or so of Buddies
Reading: You Only Live Twice - Ian Fleming
RSI: was quite sore, but feeling slightly better now

Friday, 26 January 2007

I made another thing...

Cute, isn't it?

Telly: Eddie Izzard
Chocolate: HC
Mood: good
Writing: 600 words Buddies
Reading: last years accounts - yeuk!
RSI: not bad

in not un-Priscilla related news

You're Ed Exley!

Take the Which LA Confidential Cop Are You? Quiz
Also try some other quizzes.

Thursday, 25 January 2007

feeling slightly groovy...

Having temporarily given up on Snakes on a Plane, because it's stupid and predictable and not even Samuel L. can save it, I've switched to watching some Eddie Izzard comedy tapes instead. I got a whole batch of them from a charity shop a while ago, and I'd forgotten all about them until my critique partner mentioned Eddie, and I remembered I'd got them.

And Eddie is indeed groovy [one of his favourite words...] So funny, so wacko, so spot on observationally too in a twisted sort of way. And for a slightly chunky lad, he's pretty too... and of course, he appeals to me especially as he's a bit of drag queen too. Not in the Priscilla way... but in a sort of glammed up, but wearable sort of style. If that makes sense? He seems to like to mix and match women's and men's clothes, which I think is really creative, so good luck to him!

In other groovy news...

Have been pushing ahead on Buddies Don't Bite, and though I'm in a slightly puddingy bit of the story at the moment, I'm keeping it moving, and I think I'll be able to tidy up the stodge in the editing. We're getting pretty close to the moment of truth, when it dawns on Teresa that Zack really is the thing she's been telling herself is silly and doesn't exist... :)

Have also had a bit of publishing type news... can't really trumpet about it just yet, but things are looking good on the getting into print front for one of my current projects. I never dare count the sale chickens until I've signed on the dotted line, but there's strong hope on this one...

So watch this space carefully!!!

Telly: Eddie Izzard
Chocolate: Chocolate Reindeer
Mood: groovy
Writing: 1.2K Buddies
Reading: computer manual of accounts software
RSI: bit sore, not too bad

Wednesday, 24 January 2007

two useful things...

I haven't yet done any writing today, but I have done two useful things. Sort of...

The first is spread the pink pretty plague across another of my web sites:

It's a bit of a lash up, and the whole site could do with redesigning and revamping, but thanks to the wonders of CSS style sheets I've been able to change my colours and my font, as well as cook up a few quick title graphics in Photoshop. It's no great wonder of design, but it looks a bit fresher... and it's still got my honest to goodness, ah bless, home made look. I hate over designed, over glossy author web sites that are all branded and all that... yek! If God had meant people to be branded he'd have made them into tins of beans!

I've also managed to begin to understand my new accounts software! Hurray! And I think I'm going to like it better than Quicken, actually so yah boo sucks to you ratfinks at Quicken who don't think the UK is important a place enough to continue creating your software for... The 'other' software program is much prettier, and I think it'll be able to do what I want...

Watched the last bit of Priscilla this morning over breakfast, then cycled to a bit of Snakes on a Plane... er... not sure I'm too keen on this, as it's one of those 'spot the person who's going to die horribly' movies... oh, and a cat just got 'snaked'... and I don't like that at all!!!!

I might like it better when Samuel L. Jackson starts swearing a bit more!

Telly: Snakes on a Plane
Chocolate: Hotel Chocolat
Mood: okay
Writing: must do some soon!
Reading: instructions for my accounts software
RSI: not bad

Tuesday, 23 January 2007

Which 'Priscilla' Drag Queen are you?

You're Anthony Belrose, AKA Tick, AKA Mitzi del Bra!

Take the Which Priscilla Queen of the Desert Drag Queen Are You? Quiz

Also try some other quizzes.

my film of the moment

I love this film! I saw it the other night on Film Four and immediately ordered myself the DVD. I'm now watching it for the third time in a week. It's very rare that a film comes along I can watch again and again like this, but the divine Priscilla is one of them. I love all the three main characters: dignified yet ascerbic Bernadette, sensitive yet sarky Mitzi and gorgeous but silly Felicia. It's amazing that not one of these three top actors are either gay or transsexual, but they give the performances of their lives making you believe their roles.

I think I've probably got a bit of a thing for drag queens... Three of my books and at least one of my stories all contain glamorous transvestite characters. I love the OTT glamour and the metamorphosis of man into a high impact facsimile of a woman...

Here's the inspiration for one of the earlier Da Costa Drag Queens...

Who the devil do you think this beauty is? Easy really...

Telly: The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
Chocolate: Hotel Chocolat
Mood: good
Writing: 1.1K Buddies Don't Bite
Reading: You Only Live Twice - Ian Fleming
RSI: bit of soreness, not too bad

Monday, 22 January 2007

pretty in pink

As you see, I've been playing again. I just felt like a change of look, and as two of my other sites are now pink, I thought I'd give this one a pretty in pink makeover... I don't really know what's with me and pink at the moment... Maybe it's a commitment to romance somehow. Wearingwise, I stick to black when I leave the house and meet my public, but I do like pink too. And red. And purple.

Today I've been proceeding with Buddies, wading through another longish sex scene. Not sure if it's working, but my splendid critique partner has offered to take a look at it and help me out with a second opinion. This particular book is turning out to be a bit of a plot free zone, just shambling along from one sex scene to the next, with a bit of angsty stuff and back story wedged in between the bonkage here and there.

Telly: Nuclear Secrets
Chocolate: Hotel Chocolat Seasonal Goodie Bag
Mood: not bad
Writing: 1.4K words Buddies
Reading: You Only Live Twice - Ian Fleming
RSI: wrists a bit sore

Sunday, 21 January 2007

I missed Swan Lake!

Agh, I missed the programme on Swan Lake, and the ballet itself, both of which I was going to watch and enjoy this afternoon... this is due to himself tearing the house apart in a 'sort out' etc, and me being forced to participate! Grrrrrrrrrrr.....

So, if any kind and cultured soul in the UK, reading this, has taped these no doubt wonderful BBC programmes, would they be kind enough to lend me their tape? I would take the greatest care of it, and return it to you as soon as I've viewed it, but recorded delivery, or better. But I would so love to see this ballet, and the programme about it, as research for my heroine in TechnoGothic, who is an ex dancer.

Fingers crossed that someone out there can help me! There's a contact link in the navbar to the left, which leads to a webform to send me a message....

Thanks in advance!

achievement Sunday

Well, it's only 1.30pm and I've achieved quite a bit! Himself is muttering about 'doing things around the house' so I thought I'd better get my own tasks done first before I got roped in... So I've not only done my 30 mins static cycling, to music, I've also managed to get 1K words of Buddies done! A veritable miracle, no less, given how slowly this monster has been going of late. It was a pretty weird scene, in a maze, with Zack alone, musing on stuff... It's probably too slow, too introspective and too much of a back story blitz, but hey, it's words, innit? And any writing is better than no writing... I've also been jotting some notes for 'how it goes'... It's all a bit jumbled, and it seems that there's probably going to be far too much stuff to shoehorn into a short 25K novella... but again, hey, better to have too much and trim and refine it, rather than being woefully undercount and having to pad. I'll probably end up turning to my sweet, longsuffering CP for suggestions of where to winnow out a few words and paragraphs and bigger chunks here and there...

I have got quite a few jobs I'd like to get on with this afternoon, but I'm not sure if I'll get a chance... I don't mind though, because at least I've got the important stuff nailed and I can now not worry about getting railroaded into other activities!
Telly: 'Allo 'Allo
Chocolate: Tesco Light Choc Mousse
Mood: quite pleased
Writing: 1K Buddies Don't Bite
Reading: Radio Times
RSI: not much really

Saturday, 20 January 2007

oops, I did it *again*!

Forgot to post... or wanted to post, but got so waylaid and weighed down by 'stuff' that when it came to it I just didn't have the psychological energy to communicate...

Ack, 'stuff'... so much of it at the moment, and at just the wrong time. I want to be pushing ahead with Buddies, and striking while the iron is hot with one or two other projects/ideas, but always these complications of various sorts get in the way and take huge chunks of my time and mental pep. My brain has never been the kind that can multi task and compartmentalise, so if there's crap in there to do with one thing, it knacks up just about everything else as well. I just seem to be in one of those phases where everything seems to come with extra complications... something must be in retrograde or whatnot... I can't think of any other explanation.

I want to write, and when I do get a clear run, and find my writing heart, I can see inklings of ways to make Buddies work. But then a whole bunch of other 'stuff' will pile on in and I'm muddled again... eg. this morning, got a bill from an email service that's been cancelled, so have to sort that out. Then, upgraded Omnidrive and it stopped working and stalled my computer... nice. Great upgrade there. Not. Oh, and a zillion other things too... Got a new accounts program, and though I'm sure it'll be fun to use and work well when I'm used to it, it's gonna require time to learn and adjust to... [Thanks, you gits at Quicken for discontinuing your program in the UK... I'm sure I'm not the only one you've right royally f***ed up!!! I hate you bastards!]

And I need to develop some more book ideas. My agent would like to see a couple of more proposals from me, based on some v. flimsy ideas I sent to her a while back. But nothing exists of them but a paragraph or two, and suddenly I need to build two whole 'worlds' and completely rewire one of the plots to make it romantic, and give the other one a whole other, non romantic plot and conflict to make it viable.... Waahhh!!!!!!!!! Me brain hurts! I'm having enough trouble with Buddies... Think I'm really, really gonna have to finish the first draft of that before I launch into these other things... I really don't know how writers who juggle several projects at once, at different stages of development, do it! I've only room, really, for one set of story people in my head at once... otherwise it gets like a scene from Heironymous Bosch in there [many apologies for the spelling of that famous artist's name, I'm just wildly guessing...]

And I haven't done my static cycling yet, either! And I say again... Waahhh!!!!

Telly: some crap about cooking
Chocolate: Tesco Belgian Milk
Mood: hysterically aggravated and frustrated by 'stuff'
Writing: wot be that, I ask?
Reading: annoying post
RSI: so so

Thursday, 18 January 2007

oops, I missed a day...

Sorry about that, folks... I meant to post. But it just didn't happen due to a combination of lots of web work to do, and not feeling too fab, due to a mild migraine... pah! And fretting, I suppose, about Buddies, which I still don't feel at all confident about, despite my supposed breakthrough thingoid.

I just have this feeling it should be darker, edgier, more innovative or summink... And it's not. It's just the usual PDC style, with a bit of vampirism thrown in... and thrown in v. haphazardly because I don't ****ing well know what I'm doing! It still feels like a mess and a hodge podge and even though I sort of start to like it while I'm working on it, I dislike it intensely when I'm not. It veers between between being a plotless wonder, and something that has far too much backstory and whatnot to ever work as short 25K piece... I suppose I got over confident, with IllMet having come together so well and fitted nicely into the wordlength, not really needing much backstory at all... I was spoilt with that one, which really wrote itself in places... and I just assumed I could do the same thing with this one-liner idea I had for a vamp book! Silly me!

Am going to have to stop now as Tilly has just arrived and is attacking me in order to encourage me to feed him! I may return later...

Tuesday, 16 January 2007

I made another purty thing!

Ah hah! Is this the sound of a breakthrough?

Despite getting slightly embroiled in 'stuff' again today, I've been working on Buddies Don't Bite again today, and I think I might just have made a breakthrough... sort of...

I managed to put my finger on what the main problem with it was/is. Which is that in the first version, the heroine was a moron! Not surprising, really, as most of my heroines are based on aspects of me... They're almost guaranteed to be flakey, childish, self-centred nitwits with enormous chips on their shoulders! Fortunately, though, with these fictional me's it's possible to edit them and make them finer and more likable... even if it's a bit late now to change the woeful character traits of 'the real thing'! LOL

In BDB, Teresa started out as a whingeing wimp, but now she's becoming more philosophical, and wry, and self aware... Which I'm liking. She feels more 'right'... and now I think I've got to tweak [ooeerr missis] Zack a bit too, and bring him more into line with the new feel of the book.

And yes, revising and reading this afternoon, it felt much more like a 'Buddies Don't Bite' book. It's not a laugh out loud funny thing, but I think there's a very subtly humorous tone that might fit with that title. I think I may stick with it for the time being, but give myself permission to change it if I feel I need to...
Telly: Phantom of the Opera - movie
Chocolate: various
Mood: better
Writing: editing Buddies
Reading: Thunderball
RSI: slightly sore, not too bad

Monday, 15 January 2007

funny business...

Now, this vamp thing I'm supposed to be writing was in my mind first as a 'funny' vamp story... sort of lots of cute humour, not exactly Buffy style, but definitely a bit of a bloodsucking giggle. Needless to say, though, the best laid plans of mice and third rate authors never run true to course, and as I'm attempting to write it [hah!] it just doesn't seem to be turning out cute and funny at all... well, not very. [not that very much of it *is* turning out... this has got to be the slowest and most agonising production of mine so far!]

Thing is, I can't be funny to order. If I try to be funny, it comes out frivolous at best and clunky at worst [I've recently been told this... so it's the actual truth...] I *can* be funny, on occasion, but only when I'm completely not thinking about it and I'm in touch with my inner comedienne on a subconscious level. Otherwise, embarrassing, embarrassing, embarrassing...

So, need to rethink the tone of Buddies Don't Bite... And I'm wondering if a change of title might help... BDB suggests the lighthearted approach... maybe I need something just a tad more angsty? It's not going to be a total doom and gloom jobbie, and there may even be some wit and irony if I can get with the programme, but I've definitely got to go back and look at things again...

Any suggestions for a title? It's about a girl whose friend is a vampire, but she doesn't know it! But when they get to be more than friends, the truth sprouts fangs...

In other news, I've wasted most of the day again... on stuff. Fiddling with my Google Calendar and with Omnidrive, and uploading a new and extremely pink 'look' for my web site. I really don't know what the hell got into me with the latter... I've gone pink crazy, what with my MySpace too... It's not as if I'm particularly the pink and feminine type, as anyone who's met me will attest... Just one of yet another of my current mental aberrations, I think... I'm probably just going completely dotty in my old age!

Telly: new LOCI... swoon... thanks Eliza!!!
Chocolate: Lindt and one of those green triangle things
Mood: fed up with own procrastination
Writing: not a f***ing thing today... again...
Reading: Thunderball - Ian Fleming... slowly, but at least I'm reading something!
RSI: bit sore...

Sunday, 14 January 2007

my name is Wendy and I'm a writing avoider

I haven't done a bloody thing at my WIP for a week! Isn't that terrible? And it wouldn't be so bad if I had something else to show for it... but I don't really have all that much. I did some web work for clients, which was productive, and so much more fun now I have Dreamweaver on my lappie, and I did finally start work on bringing my '06 accounts up to date [agh, working on the old PC is a nightmare now... much more RSI from that than there is from dear old lappie!] but not a lot other than that, apart from fashioning a few home made book banners with newly installed Photoshop... oh, and of course, my MySpace redesign [out of necessity] and time spent exploring and refinding as many of my old friends as I can [again, out of necessity]. All that has disconnected me from writing, big style...

And I'm not sure today will be all that great for a big new productivity push either. Himself has some domestic reorganisation in mind, and yours truly will have to be involved in that whether she likes it or not... and once I've spent any length of time lugging around boxes, books, papers etc etc, writing is the last thing I feel like doing! Lying around watching the telly... or just vegetating like a zombie will be all I'm fit for...

But tomorrow... ah, tomorrow... I will do better!

Famous last words... ;)

Friday, 12 January 2007

look wot I made!

Isn't it pweddy?

Click on it to find out more....

In news other than me going bonkers!

Gawd, what a strange day yesterday... and this morning, a bit, too. So many things to be wrangled with... Enjoyed working on some websites though, now that I have Dreamweaver on the lappie... Makes things so much easier and faster! So that's something... But some of the other stuff.... eek!

Some progress on the MySpace front. Have already got nearly 100 friends... people seem very glad to get me back, and I'm pleased with my pretty new design!

Portia's MySpace

In other news... some very, very good news that I've been meaning to post for a few days!

Two bloggers have named me amongst their top reading finds for 2006!

One is Regency Author and Blogger Janet Mullany, posting at the Risky Regencies Blog and the other is reader and reviewer Rosario posting in her Reading Journal... To say I'm thrilled by these mentions is putting it mildly! I'm all of a flutter with excitement!

[And many thanks to Alison Kent for pointing me in the direction of the last one...]

I also discovered I'd got a couple of trackbacks from the excerpt from Continuum I just posted! One is from author Anais Nohant, who is a great friend of mine from MySpace and wonderfully supportive of my writing, and another is from Kevin Steel, a Canadian writer whose name I've inadvertently given to the hero of Continuum! I was most surprised to read Kevin's blogpost, but I found it really entertaining... He says he's not going to read Continuum, but I hope that he'll relent and give it a try some day... His namesake does have a lot of fun!!!

Thursday, 11 January 2007


Agh! I was going to write today... but it's just turned into one of those days... with stuff... endless stuff to sort out!

Bloody good job I'm not on any deadlines... sigh...

Wednesday, 10 January 2007

a bit of Continuum....

There's a new excerpt over at Portia's Prose... It's from CONTINUUM, my current release in the UK, which will be rereleased in America on 6th February...

First time with Kevin...

Do let me know what you think... and if you're a Kevin Bacon fan... well... the name isn't a coincidence! :)

bollocking, follocking hell!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As if I haven't enough to do... my bloody MySpace profile disappeared off the face of the earth overnight, taking my carefully nurtured fold of nearly four hundred lovely friends with it! To say I'm vexed is putting it mildly... and on a day when I had a pile of jobs I ought to be doing, plus a lot of irritation on other scores too, I've had to spend hours setting up a new profile!

Now it's not looking too bad, apart from one quirk that won't fix no matter what I do... and I've even got a small, gathering band of returned friends, bless their kindly hearts, but it's not the useful social network it was before... It'll take time to build it up again, and it'll just have to be a v. gradual process, but if you're on MySpace, and would like to be my friend, why not pop along and give me the old 'add'...

Portia Da Costa's Myspace

I would post a ton of other stuff and ranting, but it's mid afternoon, and I've gotta get something else, other than bleedin' MySpace tweaking done now, so I'll leave it for the time being...

Telly: Steal This Movie
Chocolate: lots!
Mood: vile
Writing: you jest
Reading: myspace profile tutorials and crap
RSI: not too bad

Tuesday, 9 January 2007

thanks for the memory...

Well, it seems to be working again... Blogger that is...

Anyway, am v. pleased with my technical prowess today, even if I haven't done any writing as yet. My one gig module of RAM arrived this morning, and I was able to install it myself, without need for calling on the services of 'a man'! Am most chuffed about this, and have been able to install Dreamweaver now, on my lappie, which is going to speed up web updating for both my clients and me...

In fact I've finally managed to update my main website...


Blogger seems to be acting a bit weird, and the bar thing at the top isn't showing for me...

Telly: Steal This Movie
Chocolate: Hotel Chocolat
Mood: OK
Writing: nothing today so far
Reading: Thunderball - Ian Fleming
RSI: not bad

Monday, 8 January 2007

suite seventeen

I've left it a bit late to post today, and am feeling tired, but the big news of the day is that I've heard back from the editor about Suite Seventeen and he enjoyed it! And said some lovely things about it! Don't think there'll be much in the way of tweakage to be done, if any... So that's a big relief!

I've also done final tweakery of Watching the Detective and sent it off to my agent, and another short story off to a very famous and highly regarded editor in hopes that she'll like it for a collection... so fingers crossed for those two, eh?

Sunday, 7 January 2007

chocolate dilemma

It's January, and the time of year when folk tend to think about weight issues. Both himself and I said, many a time before Christmas, that after the festive season, we'd both like to lose a bit... Not a resolution, mind you, just a guideline as Capt. Jack Sparrow would say... I should have started to trim back on fattening stuff now, but it's v. difficult when there are still loads of luscious goodies in the house. Not having had a total blow out over Christmas, and having indulged fairly modestly, there are still boxes of chocolates and biscuits and whatnot lying around the house... and some with 'eat by' dates that mean I'll have to partake of them fairly soon. All of which isn't all that conducive to healthy eating and the reduction of inches around my blubberous tum, hips, bum and thighs. This morning, I freely admit that I've just opened a rather large box of Hotel Chocolat's sublime Christmas Collecion... sigh... and gosh, are they yummy! I've only eaten two so far, and I'm going to try and only eat them in twos, but the fillings sound utterly heavenly! Champagne Sparkle, Plum Truffle, Praline Feast and Warming Rum Truffle to name but a few... mmmm.....

Oh, and on top of all this, we went out for fish and chips last night too. My waistline is doomed, I tell you, doomed!

I'm not very focused writingwise at the moment either... Still haven't edited Watching the Detective and am in 'oh, no, I can't look at it!' mode... Now this is all bollocks, because it might be okay once I open the file [or at least tolerable] but I'm just frozen with it for now... I suppose, mainly, that's because I'm stressed by various writing-related issues... promo, 'waiting', etc etc... all things that the true professional author takes in her/his stride, but which do my head in and provoke endless moaning and bellyaching... If I spent all the time that I spend stressing and complaining in actually doing something about these issues, I'd probably be a much more successful writer... but I yam wot I yam... and things ain't likely to change without a brain transplant.

Telly: Blue Planet
Chocolate: Hotel Chocolat Christmas Collection
Mood: irritated with self and stuff
Writing: **** all
Reading: Thunderball - Ian Fleming
RSI: so so

Friday, 5 January 2007

ack, everything in favour's against me...

A wasted day... cleaning up, sorting books, trying to get a memory upgrade for my lappie organised... did a nifty post here... then the broadband went down, and I lost it all! Grrrrrrr!

Still, Criminal Intent has just been on... and that's enough to calm the savage beast... or stir it up more than ever, if you know what I mean... nudge nudge... wink wink...

Isn't he pretty?

Telly: LOCI... nuff said
Chocolate: caffe latte chox... yum
Mood: not too bad, considering
Writing: nowt today
Reading: Thunderball - Ian Fleming
RSI: so so

Thursday, 4 January 2007

from Russia with love

Imagine my surprise when I opened a parcel this morning and found copies of one of my books in *Russian*! It seems that my 2004 title DESIGNED FOR SIN, published by X Libris under the pen name DOROTHY STARR has been translated into Russian and issued as a hardback... How cool is that? I've often exchanged emails with my writing buddy and web client Elizabeth Chadwick about the idiosyncrasies of her Russian book covers, but this is the first time I've had some of my own to marvel over...

Now those of you who read my books and know where my inspirations come from will know that DESIGNED FOR SIN is my Spike from BtVS book... but the Russian cover artist seems to have completely ignored my physical description of the hero and made him dark haired! Unless of course, he's been given a retouch in the translation... But hey, I'm not worried in the slightest because it's so ineffably splendid and nifty to have a book translated into Russian at all! I think this is my first ever Soviet title... and I'm chuffed to bits!

But that's not all...

Imagine my further surprise, when, while I was flicking through the book and showing it to himself [who was dead impressed!], I discovered that it's *illustrated*!!! Some of the line drawings leave a little to be desired, but there's an enthusiastic quality about them that's a lot of fun, and they do fairly faithfully represent scenes from the book. I've picked out one below that does indeed seem to suggest the correct colour for the hero's blond hair...

Issa hoot, innit! :)

Wednesday, 3 January 2007

excellent day!!!

Had a brilliant time today, meeting up with Saskia!

I love these regular get-togethers of ours, and I always return from them in a high good humour and feeling all positive and energised about writing. It's just solid gold to be able to have a long, jolly chat face to face with someone who's right on the same wavelength. I simply can't believe my luck in finding such a good friend, so close, to share my experiences of this mad writing life with...

Telly: documentary about squids
Chocolate: none today, but yummy caffe latte chox from Saskia for tomorrow, yippee!
Mood: very good
Writing: nothing yet
Reading: Practical Web Designer
RSI: not too bad

Tuesday, 2 January 2007


I'll keep it brief tonight... It's 10.50pm and I've only just finished working! I needed to get some words under my belt today, as I'm off on a jaunt into big town tomorrow to have lunch with my bestest writing buddy, Saskia Walker! Can't wait!

Have achieved quite a bit today, although it's taken me until evening to actually do some writing. Still working my way through Detective... but I think I'm into the endgame now. I just have to round off the conclusion now... Still not sure if it's a proper paranormal, or if it's 'edgy' enough and whotnot for the editor... but hey, it's a bit of a laugh, and maybe it'll come in for something eventually if not for the target anthology.

To do list wise.... well, I had 17 items on the list I prepared this morning, and I've done about ten of them... So that's not bad, is it?

Telly: Ray Mears' Real Heroes of Telemark
Chocolate: choc bic
Mood: good
Writing: 1k words of Watching The Detective
Reading: Radio Times
RSI: little bit sore, not too bad

Monday, 1 January 2007


Now, I don't normally drink due to medication issues, but I did take a nip last night to see the New Year in... and here's the poison himself and I partook of at midnight! Yummy stuff, quite sweet, but me not being a sophisticated drinker, it really hit the spot... :)

I'm not doing the resolution thing, but I'm glad to say I managed to do 1K words towards Watching the Detective today... which sort of augurs well for the year. I think it would have been a bad omen if I hadn't done anything at all today. It was probably 1000 words of crap, but words of crap are words that can always be edited. And I've got to keep remembering that instead of being afraid to write anything... First drafts are just that... *first* drafts. Even with stories... Sometimes, when the gods smile, it is possible to get a thing that goes right first time. But that's rare... and I mustn't be disappointed when it doesn't happen. When I first started writing, I did gazillions of drafts, so I mustn't be ashamed of the fact that it still sometimes takes a few...

Right, pep talk to self over...

Telly: The Great Escape
Chocolate: Cadbury's Chocolate Biscuit [just one...]
Mood: okay
Writing: Watching The Detective 1K words today
Reading: Radio Times
RSI: not too bad

felt like doing a blog thing...

The Movie Of Your Life Is An Indie Flick

You do things your own way - and it's made for colorful times.
Your life hasn't turned out how anyone expected, thank goodness!

Your best movie matches: Clerks, Garden State, Napoleon Dynamite