January 29, 2006

The trickle and the flow

So last night I took my own advice and cranked up the soundtrack for one of the books, curled up in my chair in a completely non-ergonomically friendly way and wrote a scene that had been kicking around in my head for awhile now. 8 pages in less than three hours. The most I'd done in one stretch for a few weeks now.

This book is a tough one, something very different for me and it's kind of like putting a jigsaw together in the dark. I've got all sorts of scraps and half scenes and bits and pieces. And no idea what happens.

I'm a pantser on the whole and for this book, I'm a definite pantser. I'm not setting myself any deadlines for the first draft to be finished, I'm just writing what comes. Which is fun but scary and a tad frustrating.

Plus the soundtrack picked by the girls is full of heartbreaking songs that make me all teary and wistful-ish.

I need to write something funny for relief. Luckily that's the other two wips. Well, one of them at least. The other one is something else again but with some lighter moments.

Of course, the flow stopped when I got near the end of the scene and realised that the scene occurs later in the book than I thought it did and it still had to create some problems at the end rather than completely easing things up. At which point we returned to trickle mode.

Today I've done scraps on three different books. No flow in sight. But I have written and that's the main thing.

So I totally deserve to go out for dinner in an attempt to stay in denial that the end of my four day weekend is nigh.

January 28, 2006


Having lots of story ideas is a good thing. Having four books talking loudly in your head, not so much. Usually I get odd snippets of characters from the next book or two in line but they're mostly content to wait their turn and whoever gets sick of waiting starts talking loudest and that's the book that gets written.

But at the moment, there are three books taking turns to swim up and shout at me. And none of them sticking around long enough to get more than a scene or two down before the next one demands a turn. Lots of snippets, each one wanting a different approach and three distinctly different genres. With two more lurking on the fringes throwing up comments. My muse, it seems, has ADD. Or else the girls are having one hell of a party down in the basement.

To which I say, party on but can we pick something? Or not. Whatever works for them. I just wish I felt like I was progressing, which is hard when you get bits and pieces all over the place and an overall sense of the book is just hanging out of reach. Frustrating but better than the alternative of deadly silence.

I guess I have to go with the flow. Even when the flow is more like white water than an easy, peaceful current.

And if you want to see a good love story with two great performances by the leads, head off to see Walk the Line. Joaquin and Reese rock!

January 26, 2006

Happy Birthday and SHUT UP!

Today is the orange cat's birthday. Australia Day. He's a patriotic cat (though he thinks it's national orange cat day). He's 11. It's a miracle he's made it this far.

I have two cats. The grey cat is a moggy. She's slightly fluffy, exceedingly gorgeous and quite flighty. Apart from being epileptic, which provides the odd moment of drama, she is content to sleep in the wardrobe or under my bed, hawk up the odd hairball, hang out on the back of the couch, smooch me when she's in the mood and occasionally chirp and meow at me if she thinks I'm late with the dinner. Normal cat stuff.

The birthday boy on the other hand is a - well, to put it nicely, NEUROTIC - burmese bought in a moment of something not quite sane. When we bought the grey cat, we bought another moggy kitten who a few months later turned out to have Feline Leukemia and had to be put to sleep (note to the world - sick kittens are BAD). Our logic in seeking a new companion for the grey cat went something like "well, a pedigree cat's mother won't have Feline Leukemia and therefore a pedigree kitten will not be sick and break our hearts all over again. So we asked at our lovely vet whether they had any pedigree breeders on the books who had kittens available and this led us to the orange cat.

When we met him, he was teeny and teeny wailing meows are cute. His mother was very vocal but the breeders said she was on heat (note to self - yeah, right). Every other person I meet who has burmese says "Noisy? No, mine aren't noisy". And I've since heard breeders saying the vocal thing runs in bloodlines. None of which we knew at the time. Which is how we ended up with a NOISY cat. Now don't get me wrong, I don't have an issue with him being vocal, it's kind of cute. The problem with the orange cat is that the vocal thing (and he is LOUD like a siamese crossed with a seagull) is combined with an ungodly tendency towards stubbornness. Or stupidity, I've never quite worked it out.

So if he wants something he meows. And keeps meowing. When he's telling you about something he keeps meowing. When he's whinging about something, he keeps meowing. Even when he's happy he sounds whiny. He has no equivalent of the very cute little happy-to-see-you chirping noise that the grey cat makes. And he's getting more stubborn as he gets older. Now that he's getting on a bit and doesn't like jumping the fence when there's a perfectly good human to open the door for him, he sits at the front door and meows to be let in. The other day he sat in the backyard approximately 1.5 metres from his cat door and because he could see me through the glass door, meowed to be let in. I don't think so. He got a glare, a "there's a cat door right there, dummy", and that was that. Now, he's very affectionate, almost doglike in fact. He loves people and wants to be with them. He's gorgeous. He's very sweet when he's quiet and purring but the meowing thing. Oy.

People talk about babies not sleeping through the night. This cat has slept through the night maybe 20 times in the last 11 years. Which means I've slept through the night that many times (and I wonder why I'm often tired : ) ). He doesn't sleep with me because he and the grey cat get territorial and pee on the bed when they're allowed to sleep with me. Plus he has an annoying tendency to want to sleep on your head. They sleep in their own room. Until he wakes up and yells. Usually somewhere around 3-4am. I get up, let him out (I know good kitty mamas don't let cats out at night but I don't live near a busy road, the wildlife consists of sparrows and starlings and magpies plus any bird or critter who doesn't run away when the 11 year old, not-too-bright, arthritic kneed cat stalking them does so while MEOWING loudly deserves to leave the gene pool, and kitty mamas need to sleep) he's goes outside for approximately 3 seconds just to prove he can, then comes in and sleeps on the couch in silence until breakfast time. Just like a man.

If I let him out all night, he'd invariably end up outside my bedroom door meowing at some point so this is our compromise position.

I love him but if they made a feline volume control, I'd be the first to get in line. He's going through a particularly yowly phrase right now, he has them every so often. Maybe he's celebrating his birthday. So orange cat, happy birthday, I love you and give your mum a break!

In other news writing = slow. Just little bits and pieces still. Weight = trending downward. But that was before last night's after work drinks which consisted of alcohol and lots of wedges. Not diet friendly. We foresee salad and exercise over the next few days.

January 15, 2006

I don't like Mondays

Or rather I don't like Sunday nights when the work brain seems to kick back in and present me with longs lists of things to do during the week. It's a virgo thing.

And there are never any good movies on Sunday nights to distract you.


Writing wise I've crept up to around 21 pages, 1 and a bit chapters of the new wip. Not great but not bad. And I have written every day this week. It's coming in fits and starts - bits of dialogue then the scene stalls and I have to go away and do something else before I can come back and fill it all in. So there's lots of polishing and expanding as I go at the moment. I wish the girls would settle on one process. They jump all over the place - some books I can do chronologically, some in bits and pieces until they reach a critical mass, one (and only one so far) from a synopsis. Some where scenes spring fully fleshed onto the page and others where I get the talking and it takes ages to visualise what else is going on.

It would be nice to settle on one way or another so I know what to expect but it doesn't work that way.

But this wip seems to be starting to take shape. I have a general idea what happens. It's a reunion story which is always interesting. I like the idea of what happens when the one who got away comes back. Of rediscovery.

In other news, I saw The Producers on friday night. Over the top, as one expects from Mel Brooks. Nathan Lane was fab but I wasn't huge on Matthew Broderick's performance. I'm sure it'd work great in a theatre but it needed to come down a notch or two. But there was some very funny stuff.

On the other goal front, much walking done (mostly in the name of getting the car serviced) but on the other hand, much chocolate eaten at critting and the movies. Hopefully the former outweighs the latter.

January 13, 2006

Another thing

What I should've said yesterday was that here are my two big goals this year. Write six days a week. Lose 10 kilos.
I'll keep you posted on both.

January 12, 2006

The stars are watching

So I write. I write romance in various forms and the muse has lately expressed an interest in throwing some fantasy into the mix so we'll see how that goes. I'm not yet published but making progess or so I like to think.

I've got a great crit group and some great writing buddies. And hopefully we'll all have a great 2006. Hopefully the stars are favourable. Speaking of stars...

So I have this friend - she shall remain nameless but she's the one who was born 8 whole days before me and therefore shall forever be older than me. Yay her. The other reason this is good is that we are very similar. The sort of similar where we can end up rolling on the floor laughing our butts off for ten minutes over just a look we exchange when no-one else in the room gets the joke. Quite possibly they don't get the joke because no-one without the particular type of weird virgo brain that we have would think there even IS a joke. She's the twin sister you have when you're not having a twin sister.

I never really believed in that whole astrology thing until I met her. Our lives are scarily similar even though we didn't meet until we were both over thirty. Apart from the whole she managed to get someone to marry her bit and I am still apparently free as a bird. We think the same a lot of the time even though she is, tragically, more inclined to sappiness than me. And weird coincidences happen to us ALL THE TIME. ALL THE TIME. I blame the stars. There was the time we both bought new track pants. For a trip we were going on. We shopped separately. We didn't discuss the fact we were going to buy track pants. And we bought the same ones.

Things like this happen frequently and if you don't believe me - how's this -

I was reading joshilyn jackson's blog. She's very funny. You
should check it out. Um, it's called Faster than Kudzu and I haven't yet figured out how to link so that's all you're getting. Because I was procrastinating madly, I was reading her archives where she mentioned a form of exercise called 'yoga booty ballet'. As if, right? I mean who would even think up such a thing??

I checked out the link and it exists (and it looks kind of fun). I knew the virgo twin was looking for a yoga class to do, so as a joke sent her the link.

And here's the reply I get back (bear in mind we both live in AUSTRALIA).

"I **AMAZINGINGLY** picked up a pamphlet for these guys while I was
waiting at a bus stop in LA outside one of their studios. The pamphlet is in my bedroom "

Them stars. They're spooky.

And now, given that my page count for today so far is approximately 2 paragraphs of editing, I have to stop playing with this and go write.

I give in

Okay, I give in. I'm going to try this blogging thing. With the aim of keeping on track with my writing this year. So let's see what happens.