October 29, 2007

To Nano or not?

I can't make up my mind whether I should Nano or not. I have three books I could work on. On the other hand, I need to do the Wolf 2 revision pass. Nothing is really leaping up and down and saying "write ME, write ME" at the moment, so maybe trying to nano might kick the girls into gear. Then again, the other couple of times I've done it, I've written nothing in December afterwards.

So I'm torn. I'd like to kick the productivity up a notch. But don't wanna burn out.

Two more days to decide I guess....

October 28, 2007

Even the weekends are going fast

So Friday there was a visit to the chiropractor which made me verrrrry sleeepppy the rest of the day and I ended up veging and napping before going to see the Indigo Girls (who rock) with the VT.

Yesterday there was shopping with the Mum which was fun but expensive.

Today I need to do my tax return. Which involves sorting the paperwork that hasn't been sorted in um, awhile. Plus daylight savings started today which means I'm running an hour later than I thought I was. Sigh. And also means I'll be tired and bumping into things at work. I'm not good with the first week of daylight savings (as evidenced by the fact that I got up when my bedside clock said 8.30, sat down at the computer to check email, checked the clock on the computer a little time later, say it said 9.47 and thought "man, that hour went fast" rather than "man, I forgot to put my alarm clock forward an hour".

Captain Mal rules

Yay. My favourite spaceship is mine all mine....

Which sci-fi crew would you best fit in with? (pics)
created with QuizFarm.com
You scored as Serenity (Firefly)

You like to live your own way and don't enjoy when anyone but a friend tries to tell you should do different. Now if only the Reavers would quit trying to skin you.

October 24, 2007


from Sydney. Sleepy. Proved I shouldn't get up at 5am by tripping on my one front step on the way out the door on Monday and kind of spraining my ankle. But laughing at this:

You Should Be A Virgo

What's good about you: you have a quiet determination and aren't swayed by emotions

What's bad about you: you are an insane perfectionist and easily find faults in others

In love: you are obsessed with making your partner happy

In friendship, you're: helpful and giving - eager to be a true friend

Your ideal job: poet, flight attendant, or natural healer

Your sense of fashion: casual, upscale, revealing, conservative - you look good in all of it

You like to pig out on: a well prepared five course meal

I guess I was born at the right time of year. Though the thought of being a flight attendant or natural healer gives me the heebie jeebies.

October 20, 2007

Wheels turning

Lunch was cancelled yesterday : ( due to lurgyness of friend : ((. So instead I went to Patchwork on Central and used their design wall to lay out my quilt (with thanks for the advice of the lovely ladies who were sewing there and Lynn). Then I sewed it up, the girls not wanting to do much writing. My brain needs some decompression time from the busy, busy, busy of work lately.

So now we have this:

I've also done lots of washing and grocery shopping, off to Sydney for work for three days at the start of the week, so need to be organised.

Melbourne is turning on some glorious weather, so this morning the VT and I went for a spin along one of the bike paths nearish to my house which was fun and pretty and we shall do more of it once our out of shape butts and thighs recover. Still, we managed an hour easily enough. And I'm very happy to report my new bike is much more comfy than the old one, so there's less soreness than otherwise could be expected.

This afternoon there has been thinking about the revision (which involves muttering to myself and squinting at the manuscript). Hopefully typing will follow.

October 19, 2007


Wow, that week went by FAST. I don't even remember what happened except for weird changeable weather and lots of working. Oh and I bought a new bike. To replace my old, never very comfortable bike with the cunning plan of actually going for the odd ride because it's not painful. Just to give ourselves another exercise option. We shall see.

Today it's a beautiful spring day, sunny, mild. Am off to lunch with a friend down by the beach, so I need to do some writing first...sorry, this is possibly the world's most boring blog post.

Given the week has flown by I haven't achieved much actual writing but I've been thinking about my book and even found my antagonist first person brain dump telling her backstory I did ages ago which is helpful given there's not enough of that in the draft at the moment. Now it's time to start hacking and slashing.

October 14, 2007

What I did on the weekend.

Mostly this:

I like it. And I learned stuff from it, which is good. It's s ice and summery for napping. Though I'm thinking a darker border might be good to give some space around all that pattern. Will have to wait until I get a chance to take it into a fabric store and try some things. And I've cut the strips for the quilt I originally wanted to make (well, the main part of it) so progress (only 9 months or so since I decided I wanted to try it lol). Of course I still have to do backing and get it quilted and do binding etc but it's a step.

Thanks to the VT for the gentle nudge : )

Plus all that sewing time cleared the head and let the subconscious work away on the revision so I'm hoping some stuff will have sorted itself out when I tackle that this week.

October 12, 2007

Structural defects

All the hail the speedy beta reader. For she has returned Wolf 2 with comments that confirmed a lot of the things I was thinking already. In response the girls have shoved that book back into front and centre of my brain (I'm dreaming about it, they're talking in my head a lot, I'm getting snippets of the next book), so it looks like I'm taking another pass before I get to play on anything new. And then really, really, really, I have to leave it alone because there's still the possibility that stuff will need to change if someone buys Wolf 1 and wants changes.

This pass I want to look at structure (which, for me, is a change - I'm a very pantser/instinctive writer and that applies to how I structure things too). Ever since the always brilliant Jenny Crusie spoke at the RWAus conf in August about four act structure, I've been wanting to try some of her ideas. Not sure why the four act idea appeals to me more than any other structural stuff I've read before but it does. The girls are interested. And given that usually the thought of revising and structuring stuff sends them screaming into the night, I'm just going with it.

So over the last day or so I've been working out what I think my turning points and Acts are and this morning used the wonder of Scrivener to compare the lengths of said Acts to Jenny's guidelines (basically Act One should be around a third of the book and then each Act gets shorter from there).

Now this book has always felt "long" at the start to me. So I was expecting to see that it was taking me too long to get to the first turning point and maybe even the second. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. My first two acts are roughly 27k, the third is closer to 37 (though it feels faster) and the last is really short. And yes, my last six chapters are still talking head-o-rama so that will fix some of the length of the resolution somewhat but will also bloat Act 3 more. D'oh.

Which makes me think either I haven't quite got the turning points right (I think this is also called wishful thinking because I'm pretty sure I have), or else we've got some filling out to do at the start and some chopping and changing later on. Thank goodness for Scrivener. And Curio.

I know the act length is somewhat flexible and that rules are, to quote a pirate, really more like guidelines (in a segue I found that line in a Pratchett today, one written well before POTC), but I want to give it a go and see what happens. Which makes me wonder whether one of the girls has a secret inner accountant or whether I'm just in uber-virgo mode. Either way, it's going to be interesting...

October 08, 2007


The quick first revision pass of Wolf 2 which was meant to take a week or so took somewhat longer. I finally had to take the muse to one side and give her a swift smack and re-explain the concept of quick polish to get it into first read shape which she was interpreting as "nitpick every line to death". But it is done now and in the hands of the trusty first reader. Which means I have to play with something else.

Choosing something should be fairly straightforward, particularly as I was planning to play with a particular scary book. But when I did an inventory I have something like eight wips in various stages of first draft, revising and thinking about. That's books that have all been worked on this year. Gah. I'm not counting very messy first drafts of at least three other short contemps I have lying around somewhere. Eight. How did that happen? That's the problem with ADD muses. And trying to write more than one thing. You freak out occasionally when you count up the wips...and then have to convince yourself that freaking out is probably another way of avoiding the scary book.

So for the next few weeks I'm trying to limit myself to mainly the scary book with digressions to my next Blaze idea and my other urban fantasy idea when things get to scary. I have the soundtrack...which is weird for me. Lots of instrumental stuff amongst the songs. And lots of world/new age/vaguely middle eastern/oriental sounding stuff. Dead Can Dance and Vas and even Secret Garden. Plus some drone and cello courtesy of Adam Hurst and Sarah McLachlan, David Gray, Robbie Williams and Rufus Wainwright. That should confuse the muse nicely. I'm not quite ready to collage it yet. I have the pictures - or the start of them. Some placeholders which are in the ballpark but no real urge to do much more than shift them around the page a bit. More avoidance.

When you're trying something new and you've been thinking about it for a long time and have a big shiny thing in your head, sometimes it feels like standing on the edge of cliff. And the rocks down below are big and sharp. And somebody forgot the net and safety harness. There will no doubt be whining but I'm going to do it anyway.

Letitsuk, hear my prayer : )

October 07, 2007


Everyone in Australia who loves great romance should dash out and buy Kelly Hunter's latest book Sleeping Partner.

Because it rocks. Much like Kelly herself!

October 06, 2007

A digression

I think I've mentioned before that I have a small thing for musical guys. And just because I just caught the tale end of The Sideshow on the ABC and heard Paul McDermott singing and was reminded all over again what a beautiful voice he has (plus the man, imho is hawt...not in the classically handsome way but he has the wicked twinkle)
here's a little treat.

Paul and the other two Doug Anthony Allstars singing one of my fave songs, Throw Your Arms Around Me by The Hunters and Collectors. And given that that setence may mean little to the non aussies...the DAAS were a hilarious comedy, cabaret trio in Australia in the early nineties. I was lucky enough to see them live a few times. Their stock in trade was slightly subversive, always wicked musical humour but every so often they'd stop and sing something straight and inevitably bring the house down because they were so damn good. Sadly DAAS broke up and since then I've never understood why Paul hasn't recorded albums but luckily he pops up on TV and in theatre fairly regularly here and has another group GUD.

Still, we don't get to hear him often enough, so thank you YouTube!


Saturday is always a good day. There has been washing and exercise achieved. Before 9.30 am!! And I'm off to lulus at Chris's house, which also involves a trip to the tarot reader so we can all find out what's coming up in the year ahead. I'm hoping for Nathan Fillion (sorry, been on a firefly jag) and maybe a book sale or too but we shall see : ))

I wonder if she would've foreseen my sudden urge for a haircut. Maybe I shouldn't wander around the mall when I'm bored on a Friday night and am feeling a little over my old hairdresser. Net result, I've lost about four inches of hair (and my hair was only mid shoulder blade sort of length), gained some quite short layers and my head is much lighter due to the hairdresser employing the time honoured technique for dealing with my fine but helluva-lot-of-it, sometimes wavy, temperamental hair, namely texturising the crap out it. I have successfully employed the product this morning and now have flippy, kicky, piece-y hair. Slightly too short perhaps but that will rectify itself.

Last night I dreamed about one of my wips, so maybe all that hair was weighing down the girls....

October 02, 2007


Sometimes everything feels like hard work. Revising. The day job. Exercising. Keeping all the balls in the air.

Sometimes the only thing to do is keep your head down and keep slogging and try and remember that at some point it will feel easier again.

One damn foot in front of the other.