Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Jumping on the NV bandwagon

Ok - so I'm very late, pretty much just scraped in but I've just uploaded my chapter for the New Voices comp. It's called Sex and Sin City and it's set in, yep, you guessed it, fabulous Las Vegas.

Head on over to New Voices and have a read if you are not already brain fired.

Friday, September 10, 2010

What to do when your mojo goes AWOL...

Problem: Missing mojo
Solution: Immerse yourself in all the fab New Voices entries. None more so fab than those of my two fab CP's - Rachael Johns & Jackie Ashenden.

But seriously, Its been months since I've written anything, and still waiting on news re my revisions (14 weeks, but hey, who's counting?) and all the great entries thus far in the New Voices comp SHOULD HAVE been a sure fire way to get the creative juices flowing... well I got zip. OK - that's a lie, I have a single paragraph, but it's crapola.

So peeps - please divulge - anyone got tips for how to get the groove back?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I Beg Your Pardon

I never promised you a rose garden.

That's what my ms would say to me if it could talk. Actually, to be honest, I think it'd call me every name under the sun.

If you haven't guessed it by now, I'm having ms love issues. It is like a rogue child, and funny that, since it has a working title called The Prodigal Daughter.

My poor CP's have heard me rant on like a mad woman possessed by nutty writers syndrome (NWS) for far too long and I'm sure they'd be just as glad to see the bugger sent off as I will. And I am trying, oh so desperately to find the love that I once had for my hero and heroine, for their story and for their HEA.

So I ask of you - how do you find the love when all seems dead and gone?

Friday, April 9, 2010

Happy Cupcake & 5-5-5

Last month the lovely Lacey Devlin nominated me for a happy cupcake award. And yes, I am a slacker because it's taken me this long to come up with ten things that make me happy. So here they are:
1. My girls - as cheeky as they can be, I love them to bits.
2. My hubby - as cheeky as he can be, I love him to bits.
3. Light bulb or aha! moments when writing - love when all the pieces of the puzzle slot nicely together.
4. Reading a good book on a rainy day - actually reading a good book, period.
5. Coffee (more on this later).
6. Ice cream (again, more on this later).
7. Travelling. I LOVE flying - the longer the flight the better! (um only if I'm travelling business class).
8. A glass of a good Aussie red, wine that is.
9. Ticking something off my looooooonnnng to do list. Will get there one day!
10. Watching a good movie - esp if it has a HEA ending!

And yesterday, the ever so talented Jackie Ashenden nominated me for the 5-5-5. Five questions, five answers, five blogs. My answers are no where near as interesting as others, but here goes:

Question 1: Where were you 5 years ago?
1. Working in a mega stressful job travelling a total of three hours (round trip) to work - So not going back there again.
2. Planning what would end up being our last holiday before kids. Went to Bali, loved it.
3. Going to the gym three times a week (whatever happened to those days?).
4. Thinking of moving to France (for hubby's work).
5. Thinking of doing my masters in Commerce (hahahaha).

Question 2: What was on your to do list today.
1. Get kidlets fed and out the door by 8am (was out by 8:05am).
2. Have my 'me time' at my local cafe with the latest book I'm reading (a very good Blaze by Sarah Mayberry BTW).
3. Write 5,000 words (have another 1,800, but hey, the night is young).
4. Feed kidlets nutritious dinner (does pasta bake count?).
5. Get kidlets in bed by 7:30pm to get number 3 done (Got them in at 7:40pm, not bad.).

Question 3: What 5 snacks do you enjoy.
1. Coffee (the smell of it, the taste of it!)
2. Ice cream (especially chocolate or honey macadamia, yummmm!)
3. Apple cinnamon muffins.
4. Lemon lime tarts.
5. And as long as we counting drinks as snacks - red wine (hey, Jackie had chocolate martini's!)

Question 4: 5 Places you've lived. Ok, in the interest of not writing Sydney 5 times or listing 5 suburbs I've lived in, I'm breaking the rules (yep I'm a rebel!) and saying 'lived' means somewhere you have been for at least a week:
1. Sydney (had to put it in)
2. Paris (sigh, one of the best weeks of my life)
3. Honolulu (if only)
4. Phuket (if only I could remember it)
5. Denpasar, Bali (again, if only I could remember it)

Question 5: 5 things you'd do if you were a billionaire. I'm gonna get heavy cause number one is something close to my heart.
1. Find a cure for autism. It should NOT exist.
2. Find a cure for alzheimer’s.
3. Find a cure for dementia.
4. Find a cure for cancer.
5. Eradicate world hunger (or at least put a mighty dent in it).

As for the nominations, well I'm going to be lazy here and say - if you haven't been nominated as yet, then consider yourself tagged!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Shoot Me Now

I've been wallowing in my revisions for a while now (6 weeks, but who's counting) and all the time thinking how much easier to be to work on a new project. Well the age old saying of 'Careful what you wish for' couldn't be more appropriate because I have a new project.

Sort of.

Last year I had a couple of entries for the Presents contest. One was a Modern Heat entry (my targeted line) and the other one is way more Modern. I sent the Modern Heat entry off, and of course, it got nowhere, but that was fine cause in retrospect, it was total garbage. My other contender, the Modern I sent off to the Romance Writer's of Australia as my entry for their mentoring program - 5 Day Intensive. A workshop where an aspiring writer is paired up with a published author who provides critique on their manuscript.

I got word this morning that I got offered a place in the workshop. Am very excited that I have been given this opportunity, especially since this will be the inaugural intensive manuscript development workshop.

But I am also scared - big time. Why? Well I've only written three chapters of my manuscript (working title - The Prodigal Daughter) and I am only up to chapter 8 of my Modern Heat rewrites/revisions (working title Hot Nights). I have nine weeks to complete The Prodigal Daughter to my mentor and four weeks to complete and ship off Hot Nights to the ed I'm working with, so another 10 hours added to my day for a couple of months wouldn't go astray. Do you reckon if I stare at a pic of my hero's (the yummy Josh Duhmel as Tom and the scrummy Hugh Dancy as Adam) these manuscripts will just magically write themselves?
Argh! Shoot me now!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Shameless Eye Candy

No insightful or meaningful post here girls.  Nope - if you're looking to learn something - this is not the place for it.  What I do have however is some shameless eye candy... Allow me to introduce my hero Adam Bennett, aka Hugh Dancy:

Now, he is not my original Adam.  My first choice was Eric Dane (Mc Steamy) but after my revisions came through, Adam needed to be younger, about 30ish (he was 35).  Therefore, there was a need for a new hero and even though there are lots of yummy 30 year olds out there, I was totally clueless as to who to choose, until I laid eyes on Hugh.  He fits the bill and he's a hottie!  I still hope I can use Mr Dane sometime in the future. 

What's that I hear?  You don't know who Eric Dane is?  OK - you twisted my arm - here is another piece of eye candy. 

Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Teenage crushes - where are they now?

One thing that I neglected to note in my Kreativ Blogger post is my obsession with Jon Bon Jovi. Ask anyone of my friends and family and they will vouch for this. I was nine when I first heard the Bon Jovi anthem 'Livin' on a prayer' and ever since I've been hooked on this glam rock band that in a day and age where nothing lasts, they are a true testament to Darwin's survival of the fittest.

Now, these boys have been around the block and back, and all of them are pushing, if not already surpassed 50, and their lead singer is no exception. Jon is just a month shy (his birthday is March 2nd) of turning 48 and, I think, he still is hotness! Just look at the pics. Big hair pic is circa early 80's and the new one is a promo shot for their new video. I think, like fine wine, JBJ has gotten better with old age.

If I was writing a mills and boon in the eighties, I would definitely have tried to use him as hero inspiration, most probably as a bad boy, self made maverick from the wrong side of the tracks.

So come on - 'fess up, who was you're teenage crush? And could you use him for a hero today?

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Kreativ Blogger

Thanks to the lovely and ever so talented Rachael Johns for nominating me for the Kreativ Blogger. Now for the hard part. 7 interesting facts. Here goes...

1. I wrote my first story in grade 2 - it was about the then Aussie prime minister, Bob Hawke and the then opposition leader, Andrew Peacock. In my story they were birds and head of opposing tribes. I think Mrs Hawkins thought it was odd that a seven year old was writing about politics, but she told my parents that their daughter should be a writer. Bless her cotton socks. 

2. I had my first crush when I was 12 - that boy, or rather that man, is now my husband. Our paths crossed for the second time when we were 18, briefly dated then I went to uni and got consumed in studying. Fast forward two years and I woke up one day and realised he was the ONE. Only way to contact him was through a mutual friend, so I got her to get him to call me, and the rest as they say is history.

3. I'm fascinated with politics and comparative economic systems. I used to spend summers with my grandparents and when my aunt and uncle were still living at home - there was a lot of reading material. The summer I was 12 I discovered my aunt's Mills & Boon collection, but on the same bookshelf were my uncle's political and economic books - so I read M&B and books on Stalin, Marx and Churchill at the same time. Yes - I was a weird child, it’s no different as an adult.

4. I once had a teacher accuse me of plagiarising my book review. I was furious and took a lot of convincing to make her believe otherwise. In hindsight - I should be flattered.

5. I've never seen the movies ET, Mad Max or Star Wars. But am a James Bond freak and LOVE all of the Bonds except for Timothy Dalton and George Lazenby (what were they thinking?).

6. I've always loved chick flicks, but since having my girls, I refuse to watch or ready anything that doesn't have a happy ending. Not sure why, but means category suits me well. 

7. I'm an 80's music freak, which is a bit strange considering I was quite young in the 80's. I even know more than my hubby who can sing, play drums and guitar and fancies himself as a bit of a music buff. If you asked me how Bon Jovi chose the songs for their Slippery When Wet album, I can tell you.

Ok - so now for the hard stuff, passing the nomination. I think pretty much everyone I know has been nominated, but if you're reading this and you haven't - then go for it!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Making a molehill out of a mountain

Yes you read right - I didn't get mixed up. I have a problem (well actually, I have several, but that's another post altogether). I have a massive set of revisions that came through for my ms that's targeted at Modern Heat. When I say massive, I'm not exaggerating, and I really need to make a molehill out of a mountain. After coming down to earth and really reading the email it was clear that there are a number of issues that need addressing.

So where to begin? With lovely ed I'm working with suggested I map out my characters lives, from birth till now. I know that this is something others have done and recently, the wise Jackie Ashenden did the same for her current wip and has found it immensely helpful (thanks Jackie).

Why? A character map/bio gives you and really it’s the best way of getting to know your protagonists - their likes, dislikes, quirks, stuff about their childhood, past relationships, hopes and dreams all paint a complete picture of them.

But wait? We create these characters - shouldn't we know them already? Well... maybe. I know in the past I've certainly written some kind of background/description, but for this ms, I just dove into the writing without so much as a second thought as to WHO these people really where. Our characters are our foundations - if we can't get them write - the rest of the story will crumble, so really getting the bios right - is really really vital. Once you do and you really know your characters, the rest is as easy as pie...well, maybe not, but it’s certainly a good start on chipping away at that mountain.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Art of Simplicity

I noticed something whilst editing my latest ms.  I'm no fan of simplicity, well not in the first draft that is.  I tend to overcomplicate things, write flowery descriptions of things that last paragraphs when really, a sentence or two will do.  This wasn't the first time I did this, in fact, I'm pretty sure I've done it with every ms I've written, so you would think by now I'd know better. 

Recently I read a the first two books of Nora Roberts' latest series - The Bride Quartet.  I'd been a while since I'd read one of her books, but pretty much from the first word I was reminded of the elements of her writing that I've always admired, the primary one being simplicity.

Now, I'm a bit biased because I think Nora Roberts is a genius, but seriously, when she writes something, she doesn't need to rely on pages upon pages of description to get the point accross.  When she switches POV, and she does this a fair bit, we the reader are not left with whiplash.  On the contrary, we clearly know who's POV we're Why?  Because she does it with simplicity.  Yes, NR has mastered the art of simplicity.  Perhaps after writing eons of books I might get it right too.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Problem with Tom/What's in a name?

So I have an issue. I don't like my hero's name. Petty I know, but when I started writing my current MS, he was originally Nicholas Bradley, now he's Thomas Bradley and I'm thinking of changing it back, or perhaps, calling him something else. In the grand scheme of things does it matter what his name is? probably not, but I'm finding it hard to continue till I figure it out.

Am I alone on this? Has anyone else started an MS then changed the main character's names half way through? I generally change the look of the character or the image I use for inspiration, but not the actual name.

So here is Tom/Nick. Does he look more like a Tom or a Nick? And what's in a name anyway? Does it alter our perception of a a character if we can link their name to past experiences or people we know?