Saturday, 31 March 2007

New GOTHIC BLUE review!

At the Erotica Readers and Writers Association site! It's another great one by author, journalist and reviewer Ashley Lister who always writes a review that's witty and entertaining in its own right as well as a great introduction to the book he's been reading.

The wonderful thing for me about Ash is that he completely 'gets' my writing. We're on the same wavelength about what we want to read in erotic fiction. I think this must be rare, because I'm sure no two people's reading can ever be exactly alike, but I think that Ash's and my taste in erotic writing must be very, very close.

Anyway, see what you think... here's the link!

GOTHIC BLUE by Portia Da Costa - review by Ashley Lister

Telly: Bette Davis bio
Chocolate: cake
Mood: good
Writing: 1K Smalltown
Reading: nothing much
RSI/FMS: achy

Don't forget Portia's Promos - new stuff being added all the time!

running about, waving my arms

Because I've got too much on my 'to do' list... and I slept in! It's after noon, and I'm actually only just finishing my breakfast... *and* I have to do my static cycling before I start on any jobs from my list! Woe is me!

Luckily, I'm feeling reasonably perky and as energetic as it's ever possible for me to be. Things are fairly positive on the writing front just now, although it's never wise to take the good stuff for granted in this business, as someone can always tip that veritable cartfull of manure on your head at any moment, with no warning. [and no, I don't have a piccie of manure!]

So, will keep this supershort, and maybe come back later...

Telly: nothing yet
Chocolate: breakfast cereal
Mood: goodish
Writing: not yet
Reading: my long to do list
RSI/FMS: fairly achey

Don't forget Portia's Promos - new stuff being added all the time!

Friday, 30 March 2007

quite a good day

Quite a good day today... wasted a bit of time, naturally, but actually managed to do some writing too! Managed to do about 1K of Smalltown, dipping into the first meeting between Sandy and Jay. Things are a bit spiky between them... Sandy is definitely not sure whether she actually likes him very much, because he's a bit high-handed, a bit wary and combative. But also devilishly attractive in a contrary, raw sort of way. At the moment, I'm not going for anything particularly high concept with this story... just two people, attracted to each other and doing the dance of 'I don't know you yet, but I'd still like to get it on!'

Have also had a few little bits of good news in the last couple of days. Nothing I can 'announce' yet, for fear of nixing it, but hopefully before long there'll be some modestly positive developments.

I've also just begun another little blog... Portia's Promos is for promos and mini reviews of both my own books and those of my friends and fellow authors. It's a modest start... just me and another author, Cassidy Kent, at the moment, but I'm hopeful that it'll develop and produce some mutually beneficial 'exposure' for me and other authors who I do swapsies with!

Oh, and don't forget to check out my rude little excerpt from Gothic Blue.


Telly: UK History mostly
Chocolate: Walnut Cake
Mood: good
Writing: 1.2K Smalltown
Reading: Jeremy Clarkson - Born to be Riled
RSI/FMS: generally achey

Don't forget Portia's Promos - new stuff being added all the time!

Roll up, roll up, excerpt ahoy!

Naughty excerpt of Gothic Blue - click here!!!

Thursday, 29 March 2007

Eek, agh, my baby left home!

Buddies has now gone to my editor! Fingers crossed everybody that he likes it... Like most authors, I feel a little sad when I say goodbye to a set of characters, having lived with them for quite a while and having got to know their quirks and foibles. But now I've got to learn to love a new hero and heroine... and do it pretty fast too! It dawned on me today that nearly a quarter of the year is over and all I've written is one poxy novella! And one, possibly two short stories... I really need to pick up the pace and stop being such a self indulgent wimp. There have been a lot of days in this first quarter year when I've done nothing... I've given in to fatigue [usually fairly mild] and I've given in to what's basically nothing more that glorified sloth! I've also wasted a lot of time online... I love online interaction on blogs and boards, but there's no need to check everything about seventeen times a day! No need to keep checking and checking emails and feeling 'frozen' because nothing arrives. No need to work myself into a paralyzing paddy because I read something online that upsets or annoys me... I've just got to push on regardless and immerse myself in the task and the pleasure of writing!

First job... work out a readable and enticing outline for Smalltown... ed. likes the idea of a PDC 'hot, sexy romance'... Now I've got to really sell the sucker!

Telly: Jeremy Clarkson
Chocolate: cake
Mood: pretty good
Writing: reformatting Gothic Blue for excerpts
Reading: Jeremy Clarkson
RSI/FMS: a bit sore

Wednesday, 28 March 2007


Managed to get through a day without a headache for a change. And worked really well, finishing the final editing pass on Buddies Don't Bite!

I've worked hard, damned hard on this novella. It needs to be good because it's in an anthology with ones by two other very good authors. Fortunately, my novella is likely to be very different in tone to the other two contributions, so with any luck, people won't be directly comparing them, as they're coming at the concept of vampire erotica from very, very distinct and dissimilar angles. I'm lucky, too, that not only have I had marvellous input from my magnificent critique partner, I've also had the benefit of critique from another wonderfully accomplished writer friend too. Double benefits! Both picked up on incredibly useful points, and with the suggested improvements from both these wise ladies, I'm feeling much more confident about the results. Especially when I sent it to my agent and she reckons it's AOK and reads 'incredibly well'!

Of course the acid test will be whether my ed. thinks it's what the readers will want! It's readers that are important, first, last and always...

Telly: football
Chocolate: cake
Mood: okay
Writing: editing buddies
Reading: magazines
RSI/FMS: bit achey

Tuesday, 27 March 2007

ack, my aching head!

Another migraine has struck, goddamnit! Various stresses, and ongoing viral bugginess really seem to be taking their toll... Fortunately this one wasn't really a nasty one though. It hit last night, just before himself and I were about to set off for a neighbour's anniversary dinner. Decided to still go, and was lucky that it wasn't too bad and didn't spoil a v. jolly evening. But once I got home, it really started to nag... and mix Imigran with my usual night time meds and you get night of the living dead... the next day! Put my head down again this morning, after making himself's sandwiches, and I didn't wake up again until nearly 11am!!!

Am still feeling a bit waffy, so I'm not sure much will get done today. It's heading for teatime now, and I haven't struck a bat, as they say...

But I have been thinking about Smalltown, and batting some ideas off a writing friend. Her insights have really helped me with the past event/angst issue I've been bleeting on about here in the last few days... and I've more or less decided what it was that happened to Sandy in her past, and how it relates to Jay, the hero. There's a element of 'regeneration' and healing in the story, but it's not so much Sandy that needs it, as Jay. There's a damaged hero element in the story that shares some similarities with TechnoGothic, I suppose, but the circumstances and the context are very, very different. I sort of like the idea that a hero can be alpha, but also have very specific vulnerabilities - either physical or psychological - that the heroine can help him overcome.

So, reader and fellow writers, how does the sound of an alpha male with vulnerabilities grab you? Intriguing... or just idiotic?

Telly: UK History
Chocolate: Cake
Mood: under par
Writing: thinking about Smalltown
Reading: nothing much
RSI/FMS: sore and weary

Monday, 26 March 2007

still mulling

I'm still mulling over the Smalltown idea, and that possible angst angle... It's something that stems from a 'category' romance novel I once wrote, that never got published. It would have been published if the publisher hadn't folded just before the deal was signed... so the plot must have stood up enough in that book.

Basically, it's that the heroine had a trauma in her past, some kind of assault that colours the plot to a certain extent. This doesn't 'have' to have happened to her... but the idea of it has been floating in my mind since that other book. This current plot idea could work if she's had a totally harm free life, and be dealt with a slightly different way, but this idea of a harrowing event in her past would bring a deeper layer of emotional significance. However, I don't want the story to veer too far into the heavy, dark, emotional trauma and wither-wringing area... I want the heroine to have dealt with what's happened to her in a fairly healthy way and to deal with the ghosts of her past in a way that allows her to remember them but at the same time face them without going to pieces. The event in her past affects her... but it hasn't crippled her ability to have fulfilling relationships.

Any of that make any sense at all? Thoughts?

Telly: Master and Commander extras/CSI:NY
Chocolate: no choc, walnut cake instead
Mood: okay
Writing: thinking about Smalltown
Reading: various
RSI/FMS: wrists a bit sore

Sunday, 25 March 2007

slothful Sunday, probably....

Don't think I'll achieve much today... not only have we lost an hour, due to the clocks going forward, but it's a MotoGP Sunday, so have been spending a few hours watching that, rather than focusing on writing and stuff. Just been watching the 250's... an absolutely cracking race, won by Jorge Lorenzo... and now it's time for the MotoGP itself. Must admit, I sort of root for Valentino Rossi, although himself doesn't like him because he thinks he's arrogant. The bloke probably is arrogant, but with his talent he's entitled to be!

I'd also like Loris Capirossi to do well... I have a soft spot for him 'cos he's older than a lot of the other riders and has been around for a long time. He always seems to have a smile for people, and he doesn't seem arrogant. Mind you, today, he'll have other things on his mind as his wife is about to give birth to their baby!

Apart from the distraction of motorcycle sport, there's plenty of stuff I need to get on with. My Sort Out Sunday initiative doesn't seem to be doing all that well so far... Have only really had one good day of it, so I could really do to get in a couple of sorting later today, if I get time. The place is still horrific, not really improved from any of the photos I've posted here in the past, so I really must keep at it, if only at a slow, steady pace.

On the writing front... I need to find some extra 'angles' for Smalltown. I've got a 'situation', but not a huge amount in the actual plot department. There is a somewhat emotional angle I could use, but I'm wondering if it might be a bit too angsty for what I was planning as a lightish, sexy book... What do you think, would a bit of 'angst' work in a PDC erotic romance? A bit of seriousness... a bit of a real issue in the heroine's past to be dealt with? I don't know... I'm don't know whether I'm up to it. I have no psychology qualifications... I don't know whether I can address this thing with the ring of truth... We'll see...

Have also been looking at some old short stories of mine and I've been wondering about finding new homes for them. But I wouldn't want to re-place them in the form they're in... I think they need revamping and improving before I send them out. I've been writing a long long time, and yes, I've lost some of the freshness and the verve that I had in the earlier days... but I have learnt a helluva lot too. I still make mistakes, but I think I'm generally a lot smoother and more polished writer than I used to be...

Telly: MotoGP
Chocolate: cake
Mood: okay
Writing: thinking about it
Reading: magazines
RSI/FMS: bit sore

Friday, 23 March 2007

I'm into cake at the moment

Mmmmm... nummy!

in the wee small hours...

I'm not going to be at my sharpest today, and that's a fact. I was woken in the small hours by one of the sounds a cat owner dreads in the middle of the night... the sound of a feline barfing for Britain. [the other is the commotion of a mouse chase] Got up to deal with same... and afterwards I just couldn't go back to sleep. My mind kept turning and turning on an issue that's troubling me profoundly at the moment, the same one that had me in tears a couple of times yesterday. So I got up, made some tea and read for a while... Which is unusual for me, because I haven't read any fiction for a while. Yeh, I suppose that sounds mad for a fiction writer... and I know it's a deficiency in me, but I'm going through one of those phases where books I read either depress me because they're so good, and I don't think I can reach anything like the standard.... or they're bad, and I get mad because I think if that crap can get published, why can't a bit more of *my* crap get published... Anyway, I think I'm going to try and do a bit better on the reading front from now on, and hope that it'll help me with the writing, which is very slow to the point of total immobility... which won't do at all. I've gotta earn some money somehow, esp. now that festering f*ck Gordon Brown has shafted low income childfree folk like myself right royally in the bottom. *Labour* government, don't make f*cking laugh! That self serving bunch of imbeciles don't give a shit about the average, ordinary working person in the street...

Holy moly, politics? From moi? Wonders will never cease...

Wednesday, 21 March 2007

ack, another one of those days!

Like a twit, I managed to turn the commenting off on the post about Watching The Detective, Gothic Blue and The Queen.... don't know how I did that, but it's back on again now if anyone has anything to say on those topics. :)

Today is a mess, as usual. Getting up routine all topsy turvy as himself was going to the dentist and didn't set off until late. Then I was foofing with some web stuff that was v. stubborn and wouldn't go how I wanted it. Then I forgot to have my breakfast. Then I got embroiled in thinking about some other stuff, and a tough decision I need to make about something...

And now I've got a naffing migraine coming, I think!

On a more positive tip, the Erotic Authors Association has a smashing new blog to promo books by it's members. Why not nip across to check out details of some v. hot forthcoming books indeed... Yours truly's Gothic Blue amongst them...

Telly: nowt
Chocolate: nowt
Mood: grumbly
Writing: nowt
Reading: nowt
RSI/FMS: headache, hipache, general malaise

testing testing

Ack.... comments trouble... just testing...

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

bits and bobs

Wahey, I discovered today that Black Lace's Wicked Words Paranormal Eroticashort story collection is already listed at! Obviously the above is not the actual cover... just me having a bit of fun with the title of my particular contribution... oh, he's such a bad, bad boy!

Good news on the Gothic Blue front too... My good buddy Ashley Lister has just reviewed it for the Erotica Readers and Writers Association. The review won't be up for a while yet, but here's a choice titbit from what Ash has to say... "Portia Da Costa does many things very well: plot, characterisation and (in the case of this title) she injects a credible suggestion of the supernatural in a realistic world." Suffice it to say that I'm mightily pleased with this lovely review, and I'll post a link to it as soon as it appears at ERWA!

As I've been feeling out of sorts today, I've been watching movies and telly instead of working [for a change... hah!] and chief amongst my viewing as been THE QUEEN, which I have out on loan from Amazon DVD Rental. I wasn't sure whether I'd like this film, and I'm not a monarchist, in fact I'm a bit anti if anything... but this film is just excellent! Helen Mirren is beyond awesome in the role, and I can see now just how richly she deserved her Oscar... Of course there's no way of telling just how 'real' this film is in terms of accurately portraying the Queen... but I certainly found myself feeling much more in sympathy with this 'story' version of her.

Telly: The Queen
Chocolate: Nestle Heaven
Mood: weary, fuzzy
Writing: none
Reading: none
RSI/FMS: sore hands due to lifting bags of books for charity collection

Sunday, 18 March 2007

I don't believe it!!!

As the late great Victor Meldrew would say...

Anyway, the latest episode in the fluid dynamics of my bedside area is that last night, on return from the pub, himself and I decided to watch Saving Private Ryan and partake of a bottle of beer to accompany [Cobra 0% alcohol for me] I drank most of mine, but about two inches were left in the bottom of the bottle when, during a particularly dramatic part in a particularly dramatic film, Alice decided she wanted to river dance on the bedside table and upended my beer bottle... all over the pile of dried out papers and magazines I had just returned to my bedside from their sojourn in the airing cupboard. Sigh... So it's all gone back to the airing cupboard. These documents and magazines are going to end up looking as if they've come out of an Egyptian tomb by the time I've finished, they'll be so discoloured and crinkled up and stiff.

Telly: Saving Private Ryan extras
Chocolate: not yet
Mood: resigned
Writing: not yet
Reading: not yet
RSI/FMS: so so

Saturday, 17 March 2007

recharging one's batteries

It's Saturday, and Tilly has just dropped in to recharge his batteries... LOL

No, that's not a power cable attached to his bottom, just the cable to the laptop adaptor, which is perched on the end of the desk. The Tillster saw a space - where my laptop sits when it's not actually on my lap - and parked himself there for a kip.

I've been busy this last two or three days with rewriting and editing Buds... the fantastic feedback my critique partner supplied has really energised my approach to this novella, and I'm seeing lots and lots of ways to bring it up to full PDC code. Am getting lots more characterisation of Zack, and better conflict and interaction between him and Teresa... building on the stuff in the story that's already pretty okay.

In other news, I think all the papers and magazines etc from the side of my bed have finally dried out, but I think I'll sort them out a bit more tomorrow when I do a partial Sort Out Sunday... can't do a full one, as I want to push on with this editing, and get the thing off my desk and on to my agent's!

Telly: Master and Commander [mmm.... Russell Crowe]
Chocolate: cake and scone actually
Mood: okay
Writing: editing Buds
Reading: Radio Times
RSI/FMS: not bad...

Thursday, 15 March 2007

that'll teach me...

No, this isn't me having done a fabulous clean out and sort out of the 'problem' beside my bed! This is the result of a stupid mishap with a full beaker of tea on the bedside table... sigh... tipped it over, didn't I? All over my bagful/heap of books, magazines and paper... and now 75% of said is in the airing cupboard, drying off. A few items escaped... but I've had to chuck a whole wodge of stuff too. Maybe it's a good thing out of a bad thing... and I've certainly learnt the hard way not to use unstable 'caffe latte' type mugs, and not to pile pillows up behind me, because they have a disturbing habit of tipping sideways towards full cups of tea!

On the general front, I've been feeling really cruddy again these last few days, hence the slim blog presence. Also had to do a major cleanup in the house, as himself had someone coming round to see him on a semi work type visit, so the place had to be tidy. I've also been thinking about edits on Buddies, suggested by my critique partner, as well as bits for my smalltown idea. But mainly, I've been fighting off the lurgi again, especially in the form of jammed up sinuses, aching limbs, and a constantly hovering headache/migraine.

In better news, Kuffer was at the vet last night, and he's responded well to his thyroid meds. He's actually put on a bit of weight! He's to be on the pills for another month, and then the vet will decide whether he needs and op, or whether his overactive thyroid can be managed with pills alone.

Telly: UK History
Chocolate: cake instead, actually...
Mood: mad with self for being an idiot
Writing: editing Buddies
Reading: Web User
RSI/FMS: generally aching

Monday, 12 March 2007

accretion... like a pearl, but not, obviously...

My 'smalltown' idea is starting to accrete... which is the process where a bunch of random bits floating about in my imagination start to draw themselves together by some sort of dim gravity, and begin to loosely fit together as something like a 'story'... I'm not quite there yet, but there's some promise. I'm getting names, a clearer locale, themes, snippettes... I'm actually getting a sensation of *wanting* to write this thing, which is a bloody miracle after all the interior resistance towards writing that I've been experiencing for quite a few weeks now.

Still don't know if my ed. will actually think this idea is suitable for the line, but it's worth a shot, if I can enthuse enough about the sexy, grown up romance between 'real' people angle. I think that's my strong area, whereas 'edgy', 'innovative' and 'high concept' aren't really me... Sometimes it's great to push yourself and go to new areas, but if it's really *too* much a stretch, I think it's worth continuing with a style/technique that you know you're good at... and just striving to do that thing even better each time!

Writers... what do you think? Do you strive to write 'different' just because that seems to be what the market wants? Or do you stick with what you know best, but instead try to up the ante, quality-wise, so your 'know best' output holds its own amongst the trends and fads?

Telly: UK History
Chocolate: Hotel Chocolat Excellence
Mood: not bad
Writing: brainstorming 'smalltown'
Reading: nothing much
RSI/FMS: not too bad

Saturday, 10 March 2007

things are looking up a bit...

Well, as I said in a comment below, I think I might have turned a corner away from a lot of the doom or gloom...

For a start, my neck's eased up a lot now. Still a bit twingey, but not excruciatingly painful any more when I try to look up, down or to the sides. If I'm careful, I reckon it'll be back to normal in a few days.

Still got a bit of cold, but don't feel quite as grotty as I did, and because my neck feels better, I can handle the viral stuff better.

On the home front, the supremely practically gifted himself has managed to fix both the central heating and the water heater. The only delay has been sourcing the parts, and the fact that himself has a demanding day job that takes up many hours and he has to do work on our gaff in the evenings. Of course, we could have paid British Gas or some plumber... but we know how much work is involved in these sorts of jobs, and we ain't paying silly money to someone else to do them.

One of the biggest things that's been worrying me is the frozen inertia on the writing front. I've been grappling and grappling with vague fragments of stories but nothing's been coming together as a real idea. It's all been like a nasty, murky soup of half baked notions and no real plot. So, being frozen, I've done nothing... and the longer I've done nothing, the worse I've felt. And the harder it's been to think straight about ideas... so... round and round and round again in a negative spiral.

But today, with heat and hot water and a less painful neck etc, I've been able to see things in a more positive light. I haven't actually started writing a new book or novella, but I did do a little necessary work on an older novella for which the proposal is 'out there'... my critique partner had made a great suggestion for improving the reader's perception of the hero, but I hadn't got around to doing it... but today I added a few paras that I really liked and which showed the hero in a more sympathetic light.

And I've been thinking about, and analyzing my dilemmas over new ideas for my regular publisher. Basically the books have now to be erotic romances... and therefore have to conform to reader expectations for romance ie. happily ever after, and in general, sexual exclusivity for the main hero/heroine couple. [yes, I know some people do write romantic menages, but I'm not sure that'd work for me] So, this cuts out a whole raft of writing variations, ones that work fine in erotica, but not in erotic romance. And then there's a further complication... feedback I've been getting is that the kinkier, twisted stuff is just not doing so well. Which cuts out yet another area where I do well as a writer... it's what I'm actually mildly good at writing!!! For other writers these restrictions might not be a problem... because they've got innovative, viable, high concept plot ideas to fall back on. But I haven't... my writing is of the plotless wonder variety, depending almost entirely on characterisation, emotions, situations rather than plots, and intense often pervy eroticism... so basically, with these 'cutbacks', I'm in a bit of a pickle!!!

However, today, I've just started thinking in a more romance frame of mind. Pulling together story bits that I'd thought of using for purely romance novels, but which could be given a more sexy treatment that flows naturally from the relationship... Storylines that probably wouldn't work for the category romances I once tried to write, but which might work for a grown up erotic romance that doesn't have to have a particular type of alpha hero etc etc... Which is paradoxically, a liberating concept rather than a restricting one. It's early days, but I've raced down a few brief notes for a plotline, and instead of going for a high concept location ie. exotic, paranormal, metro... I might write it from a small town perspective... because I live in a small town. I might even set it in a small town in the borough where some of my other books are set. It won't quite be in that 'universe' - because that's a pretty twisted perv universe - but there might be places where this new story could intersect safely with that world.

Sorry if that seems like an ill thought out ramble, but I had to sort of get it down and use this blog as a sounding board for myself... and at least I'm making up for the paucity of entries here lately...

Telly: Bear Grylls survival thing
Chocolate: excellence selection!!!
Mood: better
Writing: bit of editing, bit of planning
Reading: various notes
RSI/FMS: bit sore, not too bad

Thursday, 8 March 2007

still beset by it all...

Still ill, still unable to write or do much of anything... but himself has fixed the water heater, so at least something's improving...

And in an effort to perk myself up, I've ordered myself a Happy Easter Egg from Hotel Chocolat...

Tuesday, 6 March 2007

insult to injury

And it's not just that I feel poorly... Domestic malfunctions at Chez Portia are adding to the aggravation too... On Sunday afternoon, both the central heating and the water heater decided to pack up! So, no heat, no hot water... This is really the best time to have to cavort around the house with heavy pans of hot water, having a big crick in my neck... yeah!

Fortunately, himself is on the case, and should be able to fix the above mentioned appliances once he's sourced the parts. Hopefully he'll get some of the bits today, and get hot water back on tap within the next 24 hours. It's very, very useful having a chap around who knows how to mend more or less everything!

Sorry to seem such a downer... it's really quite funny in a grim sort of way that everything seems to go wrong at once. I suppose I could cite all this crap as my excuse for not writing, but it isn't really... I'm just in a state of writer's bleck at the moment. I can't focus my ideas, and even when I try to, those ideas are so bitty and stupid that I just give up on them. And everywhere I go, writers seem to be blossoming with ideas and they all sound like great ones... and here I am futzing around with scraps of horse plop that make no sense, or have been done a zillion times before and a gazillion times better by other authors.

Telly: UK History
Chocolate: Nestle Heaven
Mood: peed off
Writing: nil
Reading: the labels on medicines
RSI/FMS: back neck

Monday, 5 March 2007

silence isn't golden

Sorry I've been silent, but bronchitis and a trapped nerve in my neck are making life difficult and wearisome...

But I did receive a lovely review for Gothic Blue that has cheered me up no end!

‘Packed with sex and kink, this is a novel that still retains a mysterious and powerful air. A hint of the supernatural is mixed with a fun gothic setting as a tale of intertwining romances is told by Da Costa with aplomb. A highly recommended novel’ ~ Erotic Trade Only Magazine – Issue 44 March 07

Thursday, 1 March 2007

the thyroid kid

Well, just heard from the vet, and it's *definitely* an over active thyroid that's been causing Kuffer's weight loss and other symptoms. All his other blood results are normal. So this is very good news, as thyroid conditions can be treated, and in other areas, he's in good health for his age. He's got to go on some tablets for a couple of weeks [which should be interesting to say the least as he's impossible to 'handle' that way...] and then be assessed for thyroid surgery. Looks like the old credit card will be taking some hammer in the near future, but hell, it's worth it if my darling furry lad is going to be okay!

In other news, I think I've got a minor chest infection of some kind, and that's what's making me feel so crappy. Feel tired and under par and my chest feels awfully raw and congested... sounds like it's going around though, as both my critique partner and my agent are also suffering... although they both sound to be worse off than me.

Feeling rough isn't conducive to creative and original thought though... and I'm still struggling with ideas. Or lack of them... I have few bits and pieces bobbing about, but no solid, big, good to go plot ideas. They all seem to require huge amounts of fudging and forcing and contrivance to make them even remotely viable. I think my big problem is that as I try and 'work' these ideas, I'm constantly hearing what the future snarky reviews of them might eventually be... because astute readers can always pick up on plot weaknesses and the fact that stories have had to be 'mangled' rather than just developing naturally.

Telly: Tale of a Vampire
Chocolate: Nestle Heaven Milk Truffle
Mood: mixed
Writing: idea brainstorming
Reading: Jeremy Clarkson - Born to be Riled
RSI/FMS: so so