Thursday, 31 January 2008

It's like a hurricane out there...

Just look at all this mad wind over the British Isles! It's crazy out there! I've just been up to little town for an essential prescription, and I nearly got wafted off my feet... and I'm no sylph, I can tell you. When I got back I felt as if I'd been put through an industrial mincer and an hour later I'm only just getting over the shock of it.

Am really close to the end of In Too Deep now. Just a couple of scenes left to write. Strangely though, I'm still not in 'race for the end' mode, the way I usually am at this stage. I'm almost reluctant to push on... not because I don't want to leave my characters, but because this has been quite a tough book to write and I'm scared of it somehow. And I know there will be tons of editing, changing and layering to do. I think the lesson to be learned is to stop pantsing as much, and do more planning and working out beforehand. Then I wouldn't be changing so much on the fly and having to go back and engineer what's already been written in order for it to be consistent. I freely admit that I dove into this book without a clear idea of what it was... and that's just stupid!!!

In other news, plans are steaming ahead for The Big Adventure! I'm thrilled to announce that our little Mad Brit Erotic Romance Posse has officially increased to three, as Madelynne has now registered for the conference and will definitely be joining Saskia and I on the expedition! I can't wait! I know we three are going to have the wildest time! Saskia is going to have her hands full with us two nervous nelly flyers though... I haven't been on a plane in nearly 30 years and Madelynne has never flown! It should be veeerrry interesting! :)

Telly: nothing yet
Choc/Yummy: grapes .... :(
Mood: vaguely out of sorts but not too bad
Writing: not yet
Reading: some stuff for a buddy
RSI/FMS: not bad

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

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

I'm foofing about again....

I'm foofing around again. Wasting time. Fretting over issues and annoyances instead of thinking positive and getting on with IN TOO DEEP and finishing Professor Hottie's story. I'm so close to the end, within 5K of it... and yet somehow, I can't bring myself to round things off. It's because I'm brooding over stuff, sinking into powerlessness again... and it's very tough to shake this off when it gets a hold on me.

Telly: nothing
Choc/Yummy: carrot cake
Mood: powerless
Writing: none
Reading: Sanctuary - Eden Bradley
RSI/FMS: so so

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

Saturday, 26 January 2008

planning meeting....

Had a splendid and very jolly lunch with Saskia yesterday! It was part planning meeting for The Great Adventure and part our usual robust and occasionally a tad raucous discussion about writing and the erotic romance writing scene in particular. Have to say, we were both on splendid form and probably terrified a lot of the quiet living patrons of Cafe Revive in big town! LOL

Also tried on some trousers in BHS, with a view to building my wardrobe for the forthcoming trip, but was most displeased with the sight that greeted me in the harsh, unforgiving light of the changing room mirror. Was rather afraid that Captain Ahab would fling a harpoon over the top of the cubicle door, so vast were the tracts of blubber on show. I think it's time to start easing back on the quantities of chocolate that I consume, and to try and eat a bit more healthily. I don't want to be skinny or anything, because I'm not that uncomfortable with the way I look, and I dress crafty anyway.... but I don't want to be charged for excess @rse-baggage when I board the aeroplane in July!

And finally, is anyone interested in a Yahoochat with a bunch of fabulous Berkley Heat authors today? Including my fabulous buddy Saskia and many others?

Well, they'll be hanging out on the Joyfully Reviewed Chat Loop between 10am and 10pm EST. It should be fantastic... I'm looking forward to joining in the fun.

Telly: News24
Choc/Yummy: fruit :(
Mood: fat
Writing: not yet
Reading: Exclusive anthology
RSI/FMS: achy, due to being fat

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

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

me-me angst

Sorry, Lucy and Dakota... I will do those me-mes... but I'm just drowning in stuff to do at the moment!

Telly: Numb3rs
Choc/Yummy: various christmas chox
Mood: drowning in stuff to do
Writing: 1.2K In Too Deep
Reading: not today
RSI/FMS: exhausted

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

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

An awfully big adventure...

Those who visit this blog often enough will have gathered that I don't go anywhere very much. I'm a homebody, and I go to the supermarket, the fish and chip restaurant or the Toby Inn, and the pub. I sometimes walk up into little town to the shops, and if I'm feeling really ambitious or brave, I go to big town to meet my lovely writing buddy Saskia, or to Manchester to meet my other lovely writing buddy Madelynne and sometimes other writing friends too.

What I do not usually do is leave the country or get on aeroplanes...

But that's all going to change. Come the end of July, I'll be boarding a jet to San Francisco to attend the 2008 Romance Writers of America Conference! To say this is a big step for me is a massive understatement... the last time I flew, I swear the pilots were named Orville and Wilbur!

Luckily for me though, I'll be in the company of Saskia, who lives not too far from me, so we can travel together. And hopefully, if all goes well, Madelynne will be with us too! How cool is that? A mini posse of crazy British erotic romance authors... I can't say yet whether we'll take the conference by storm, but at least we'll be there, causing a little stir of some sort. Even if it's just all my American chums giggling at my broad Yorkshire accent!

Telly: Numb3rs
Choc/Yummy: christmas chox
Mood: sort of excited but distracted
Writing: not yet today, but soon
Reading: A Kingdom of Dreams - Judith McNaught
RSI/FMS: so so

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

Saturday, 19 January 2008

Bound Brits

Here's the dramatic cover for the Bound Brits anthology, which contains my BDSM novella THE RETREAT.

It's very striking, isn't it? Very hot... and I like it a lot. It's not awfully representative of the tone of my story though. The Retreat isn't about whips and chains and scene BDSM... it's more about intimate, intense, almost domestic discipline. Play that's very quiet and lacking in histrionics, a sweet little game between two people discovering their love.

Here's Ben... controlled, enigmatic, quietly powerful.

Bound Brits is out in February from Total-E-Bound

Telly: Numb3rs
Choc/Yummy: cake/celebrations
Mood: good
Writing: 2.1K In Too Deep
Reading: not much today
RSI/FMS: achy hips

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

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Parcel rage and greedy piggery...

Ack, I hate wrapping parcels, packing things up in padabags, labelling etc etc... It's an activity that induces a state of extreme rage in me. It's the securing that gets me, and the fact that modern sticky tape seems to be designed to only stick to things that it's *not* supposed to stick to! Try getting it to adhere to the surface of a padded bag, and you have to put *another* layer of sticky tape on to stick the first layer to the ****ing bag!!!! By the time I finished the three parcels I had to prepare this morning I was in a blind, towering fury, I'd nearly smashed up the contents of all three parcels and my throat was sore from screaming in frustration... at the b*ggering sticky tape!

Needless to say, none of the above is conducive to settling down and writing beautiful prose. Or even writing fairly horrible prose. Instead of getting on with what I was supposed to be getting on with, I settled in for an extended coffee break, half an episode of Numb3rs [with less Charlie than I needed] and more chocolate than I intended to eat. I had a nice piece of a Hotel Chocolate mini slab that I was going to eat half of... and guess what... I ate the whole piece without realising it. And now I feel like a fat, bloaty whale... bleck...

And even now, I'm not in the mood to write. I have a medical appointment this afternoon, and I won't be 'settled' until that's done with. It's only routine, nothing to really get het up about, but still I'm uneasy. And by the time I get back from that, it'll be nearly tea time and we've got fresh brussels sprouts for tonight, and they'll need peeling.

The one good thing in this is that it was persisting it down with rain up until a short while ago... and now it appears to be fine. Although there are some dark clouds on the horizon. And much as I hate and loathe them, I don't want those m***********g parcels to get wet when I go out with them!!!!

Updated to say:

It's absolutely peeing it down outside now! Will be drenched 30 seconds after stepping out of the door! My day just gets better and better...

Telly: Numb3rs
Choc/Yummy: Hotel Chocolat
Mood: parcel psychosis
Writing: not a bleedin' thing
Reading: A Kingdom of Dreams - Judith McNaught
RSI/FMS: so so

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

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

The challenge is over, long live the challenge!


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

Friday, 11 January 2008

lurgi again

I think I've got a lurgi again... not Ebola, as illustrated above, but some cold/flu/virus type thing that's going about. Have the usual cocktail of cough, bunged up head, aches and pains and various... and it might account for the fact that I was in such a bad mood yesterday. And today...

And it's so hard to work when I feel like this. I just want to lie down. But I have managed to get my The Retreat proofs checked and returned. Pretty smooth process, thankfully, given the way I'm feeling. The story reads quite nicely, and I do like my hero, Ben...

Think I may have 40 winks, maybe, now, and perhaps that'll pep me up so I can do some bits and pieces of work later.... hopefully...

ps. have a good thought for my moggie, Kuffer. He seems to be a bit under the weather today too.

Telly: Numb3rs
Choc/Yummy: various
Mood: low
Writing: proofs
Reading: nothing much
RSI/FMS: see above

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

Thursday, 10 January 2008

temper tantrums

I'm having one of those sorts of days again. Just feel swamped and aggravated and in that mood when if anything doesn't go exactly as I want it to, I'm likely to crush, mash, smash or grind it into bits.

I've been trying to get a few things organised, but the process of trying to get things into some kind of order just seems to create more disorder. I think I'm in some sort of twilight, inverse zone where the opposite of what I intend happens. Grrrr....

The only actual achievement today is finishing the second round of proof checking on ILL MET BY MOONLIGHT, and sending off the corrections to the editor. These proofs weren't too difficult a task, just one or two scrappy bits here and there, but now I've finished them, I've to start out on another set, for THE RETREAT. A cursory glance at the latter doesn't reveal anything too serious though, and it's only a fairly short novella.

When this is done though... I *must* get back to IN TOO DEEP!!!!! Again, I seem to have lost contact with it, but not too badly I hope. I keep seeing the next bit of it in my head, just a particular image that has really touched me somehow. I think it's in my mind because I'm watching a lot of Numb3rs at the moment, and Professor Hottie is quite clear in my mind.

Telly: Numb3rs
Choc/Yummy: lots
Mood: deranged
Writing: proof checking
Reading: nothing really
RSI/FMS: really bad fibro type aching plus cough

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

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

First of the Year!

Well, it's 8th January and I've broken my sales duck already!

I just heard that my short novella THE RETREAT, is going to be part of the Bound Brits anthology, published by Total-E-Bound on 25th February.

Check back for more news on this nearer the time, but while you wait, here's a piccie of delicious Ben, the hero of the novella.

Yeah, I know... it's Edward Norton in The Illusionist, but he's the guy I have in mind for the role. :)

Telly: Numb3rs
Choc/Yummy: hotel chocolat
Mood: good
Writing: not yet
Reading: ipcress file
RSI/FMS: so so

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

Sunday, 6 January 2008

I hate myself...

I have so much to do... and I wasted almost all of yesterday procrastinating and foofing around on the web. I'm just unbelievable! I could credit it if I was young and irresponsible, but I'm an old bird and I should be more in control of myself!!!!

The only thing of worth I did yesterday was a bit of my web work, but I did nothing towards either the Ill Met proofs or In Too Deep. It's bloody ridiculous that I can behave this way, but I do it again and again. It's no bloody wonder I don't achieve the dreams I have as a writer... and I deserve to fail. Because I am wilfully stupid!

So much for my informal NY Resolutions... I've smashed all of them and it's only the 6th of January!

Telly: going to watch Numb3rs on my exercise bike in a minute
Choc/Yummy: not yet but soon
Mood: disgusted with self
Writing: not yet, but proofs soon
Reading: Radio Times
RSI/FMS: rather tired and under energied

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

Saturday, 5 January 2008

Sitting around in rooms...

Could this be why I'm forever writing scenes where my characters just sit around in rooms looking at each other?


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

Friday, 4 January 2008

The Last Mince Pie

Well, I just ate the last mince pie of the Christmas season... and boy, it was nice. Still plenty of chocolate left though... :)

It's been quite a productive morning so far and it's not yet noon. Have done a bit of web design, and also a creditable 1.1K of IN TOO DEEP. Not bad stuff, a bit rambly, but at least it's words. I have to really buckle down at the moment, as not only am I trying to maintain the momentum with this book, I'm also catching up on around half a dozen sets of web updates that I couldn't do while I was chasing my THE RETREAT deadline, and a set of page proofs arrived this morning to check!!!!

These are for ILL MET BY MOONLIGHT, my novella in the MAGIC AND DESIRE anthology, which is published later this year. It's a long, long time since I looked at this novella, at least fourteen months! So reading it will be a bit of a novelty. Fortunately, it's not a huge checking job at 25K, but I still hate doing proofs... eek!

Telly: Numb3rs
Choc/Yummy: see above
Mood: okay
Writing: In Too Deep
Reading: The Ipcress File
RSI/FMS: not too bad

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

Thursday, 3 January 2008

It's Queen Bella Michelle's Birthday!

Swing by Romance B[u]y the Book today and wish Queen Bella Michelle a Happy Birthday!

If you're not familiar with Romance B[u]y the Book, give it a try... it's a wonderful friendly place to chat about romance novels, naughty thoughts and hawt, hawt men!

Telly: Numb3rs
Choc/Yummy: Celebrations minis
Mood: good
Writing: 1.5K In Too Deep
Reading: The Ipcress File
RSI/FMS: so so

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

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Gemini Heat - Black Lace 15th Anniversary cover

Isn't this stunning? There was an earlier version, which was okay, but didn't have quite the right vibe... but this is perfect!

Progress... of sorts

Well, I finally caught up with where I'd previously got to with IN TOO DEEP. What a marathon that was... and it's taken so long that I've probably forgotten a lot of what I was supposed to be recapping. But I'm bloody well not going back *again*, that's for sure! I've started to move forward and I'm going to continue to do so... although I think I'm going to have to try and think things out more, as I go. I'm not sure this hoping for the best and pantsing it approach is working all that well with this particular book. I'm sort of tying myself in knots with the characterisation and the motivation of one particular character. I should have nailed him better first, because the mind-games he's playing throughout the plot need to be more consistent...

But then again, people in real life *aren't* consistent, are they? So maybe this makes the book more realistic rather than less so... it's hard to tell. I only know that there's going to be more, much more editing and tweaking and rewriting and layering to be done after the first draft is finished. Ack!

I've also made a tentative start on the gigantic backlog of web work that's built up while I was rushing to complete THE RETREAT and enjoying Christmas. Now there's a task and a half, 'cos there's *loads* of it! I'm sure it'll move along pretty swiftly though, once I get stuck in.

Himself is back at work tomorrow, so hopefully, I'll start getting more done then. It's jolly having him around, and the hols have been fun, but somehow I can't seem to focus properly when there's someone else in the house, even if he's busy doing something in another room. I seem to need the whole house to myself to be able to work properly.

I'm determined to waste far less time in 2008! It's not so much a New Year's Resolution as a simple hope that I can do better and be a bit more disciplined and productive. Wish me good luck with that one, eh? I'll need it!

Telly: nothing yet
Choc/Yummy: nothing yet, but the Celebrations are calling, as are the mince pies
Mood: quite good
Writing: notes and thinking about In Too Deep
Reading: nothing yet
RSI/FMS: so so

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