May 28, 2008

Guten morgen

Well, Guten tag to my aussie readers and guten whatever is appropriate to anyone else not in Germany.

Where I finally am after a trip that turned into the usual Mel travelling comedy of errors. My connecting flight from Singapore to Frankfurt was cancelled, so the airline put us up in a gorgeous hotel for the night. The Mandarin Oriental. Which is possibly the nicest hotel I've ever stayed at. Beautiful building and wonderful staff. Our flight finally left Singapore around 4pm Singapore time (6pm Aussie) yesterday (Tuesday) and got to Frankfurt at 11.10pm Frankfurt time (er, 7.10 am Wednesday Aussie). So I got to the hotel just after midnight after a very speedy drive on the autobahn (nothing like speeding in the dark in a mercedes taxi at 150kph to wake you up a bit). Sadly I didn't get to see much as it was dark, obviously.

Got to my room only to discover that my case was wet (and no, nothing of mine had leaked) so yay airline. Most of my clothes were quite damp but at least they've mostly dried overnight. Not what you need at the end of a 42-43 hour journey though.

At least with the stopover I'm not too tired, though only slept about five hours last night, plus four on the flight. The hotel here is an old castle apparently, and the suburb is one of the wealthiest areas of Frankfurt. It looks kind of like the sound of music, I'm up on a hill looking down to trees and gorgeous buildings and Frankfurt in the distance. Am going to go out exploring the grounds a bit more later. There will be photos but they'll have to wait until I'm home.

More as there is more to report, the conference starts this afternoon so it's going to be busy.

May 25, 2008


It's been a busy week. I'm off to Germany tomorrow for a flying work trip, so have been running around doing the usual pre-overseas trip stuff...buying currency, decanting things into less than 100ml bottles for the plane...making lists...doing laundry...trying to learn some basic german phrases (I did French in school). Add a haircut, dinner with the folks on Friday night and an all day Michael Hauge seminar yesterday (which at least counts as the writing work for the last few days) and it's been go, go, go.

Today I just have to pack. I'm trying to pack light which is not my strong point. We'll see how it goes.

Michael Hauge was great. I've heard him on some of the RWA conference tapes before but a full day was just brilliant. Particularly when I'm contemplating two wips that need revising and some restructuring. At least I'll have time on the plane to think about it!

May 19, 2008

Winged again

The girls seem to have gone into pondering mode. So much for a speedy revision process. They don't want to write, instead, they want me to watch the West Wing.

I don't know what fascinates me so much about the West Wing. I mean, I've seen every season at least four times (and some more than that) and yet, I start watching one and the next thing I know I'm up way past my bedtime, unable to resist pressing 'next episode'. The girls do it with West Wing the most but Buffy, Firefly, Gilmore Girls, Grey's Anatomy, Farscape and a few others are high on the rotation of "feed us a season or two NOW" demands from the muse.

Hopefully something brilliant will emerge once they've had enough. Until then, it's back to the remote control.

May 18, 2008

Red hot iron man

Toddled off to the movies this afternoon to see this:

It pretty much rocked. I've always been a fan of Robert Downey Jr (way back since I cried when he died in Less Than Zero). Let's just say I'm still a fan (and may be harbouring a wish to be Pepper Potts). The movie had a nice balance of action and story that was actually engaging unlike some comic films plus cute robots and a way cool suit. Sign me up for the next one, particularly if Robert keeps on looking like this:

Now it's time to have dinner before my weekly date with the other hot dude (aka McDreamy). I still haven't seen his movie...maybe they'll show it on the plane.

May 17, 2008

Sometimes it's the little things

Today I ate a Tim Tam (okay 2 Tim Tams)...and some chips! Yes, hooray, the evil diet is dead (or at least terminal, there are still a few no-nos). Of course, now that I've had my junk fix of things I've been craving (apart from cheese, I'm trying not to go crazy and eat everything I haven't been eating at once), I have to still be mostly good. After all, I still want to keep losing weight.

In other news it's been a jammed packed week of stuff other than writing, chief of which is a upcoming work trip to Germany! Only for a week but still, lots to do. Tomorrow is back to the revision, so more about that soon.

May 11, 2008

Reason's my mum is ace (yet slightly nutty)

1. The concept of a nailpolish called "I'm not really a waitress" makes her have hysterics for five minutes.
2. She can commentate the bird wars occurring in her vegie patch due to the bread she put out there.
3. She sends me text messages asking if I can eat such and such weird food she's found in her health food store while I'm on this crazy diet.
4. She once beat up a boy who was picking on her Sunday School class at a Sunday School picnic (have I mentioned she's tiny?)
5. She talks back to the cryptic crossword (and hey, she can DO cryptic crosswords).
6. The only books she ever objected to me reading were Interview with a Vampire and Lord Foul's Bane, both because she thought I was too young at the time. So she's probably got herself to blame for me writing urban fantasy lol (plus, I read them anyway). Otherwise she kept my book habit pretty well supplied while I was growing up.

Plus she looks pretty good for a sixty-cough cough cough year old : )

Happy Mother's Day, Mum (and all the other Mum's out there)!

May 08, 2008


I've never liked porridge. Not sure why, but something about the gloopy texture always put me off as a kid. Give me cold cereal all the way. Or toast and vegemite. Or yoghurt mostly since I've been working.

But with the whole crazy diet and the waking up early comes eating breakfast at home and I've been getting sick of toast with cashew butter or natural yoghurt with fruit. So when I heard someone talking about making porridge with fruit, I thought to myself, self, that sounds like hot bircher muesli, kind of. You like bircher muesli. So this morning I made porridge then zapped some apple and cinnamon in the microwave so it was lightly cooked and combined the two with a spoon of yoghurt. And it wasn't too bad. Quite nice in fact on this cold morning. Definitely filling. I'm sure it will be even nicer when I can make it with milk (yes, I can have natural yoghurt but not milk, don't ask) not water and maybe, shock horror, add some honey or brown sugar.

Porridge. Huh, who knew?

May 07, 2008

I am klutz, hear me...ow?

Anyone else have clumsy times? I'm usually relatively unklutzy (apart from my unerring ability to cork my thigh on the point end of my bedframe at least once a fortnight) but in the last twenty four hours I've broken a bowl, a glass and two jars of spices (oh tiled kitchen floor, how I hate thee). As an added bonus, I managed to whack my head on the bench when I was straightening up from picking up the biggest bits of glass from the spice jars (trust me, chili powder spreads everywhere). Ow.

I can't work out if I'm tired or just unco-ordinated. Maybe it's hormonal or something. Or maybe I'm distracted by this new heroine who's flashing in and out of my head giving just glimpses. A first line. A vague idea of what she is (and that's not particularly good) and her world. Glimmers and shadows. The girls being contrary as usual as I have to finish my revision, fix the witch book with at least two or three passes and write my other burning UF idea before I can get to this chick. That's without trying to get to any of the contemporary ideas. With so many voices in my head it's no wonder I'm going bump in the night.

May 06, 2008

Neil, before us

Last night Keri and I went to a literary dinner with Neil Gaiman who pretty much set a very high standard for how authors should behave at these things. He was funny and charming, read brilliantly (he has a great voice), talked intelligently despite the fact he's only been in the country a few days and has to be jetlagged and then signed for ages, taking time to talk to each person a little, pose for photos and pay attention to his fans. Plus he was signing stuff not just bought on the day and multiple items. I'd hate to be his signing hand but as I heard one person in the line say, the rest of him is annoyingly fantastic and talented : ))

Go Neil! If last night was anything to go buy you've just made many new fans and made the existing ones even more fannish.

PS No-one gets to borrow my copy of Stardust with NG drawing in it now!

May 02, 2008

I don't know about you

But this last week has just zoomed past. Suddenly it's May (MAY!!!) and the weather has turned very wintry here in Melbourne. I had to go out and buy a new winter coat and managed to buy one that's nearly identical to my old one (but two sizes smaller!!, go me).

I'm still revising away, it's taking a while because there's lots to tweak and I've had a couple of things on. May in general is looking busy, busy. I'm doing a course at WriterUniv with Margie Lawson, going to hear Neil Gaiman speak on Monday night, going to a Michael Hauge workshop later in the month, have a couple of social events on as well plus maybe some work travel. Still, I want to get this revision done, plus a synopsis for Witch so I can start working out the plot issues now that the very raw draft is done, plus my other UF idea keeps whispering to me. I need a few more hours in every day.

The good thing about it being May is there are now less than three months until Keri and I jet off to San Fran (which kick starts 6 weeks off for me, to which I can only say YAY and bring it on). We're actually going to book our tickets tomorrow. Oh and check out Keri's latest book, The Darkest Kiss, out now! It shall kick butt as her books always do.

The bad thing about it being May is that apparently I'm stuck with the crazy diet for a wee while longer yet (like all this month. WAH!) Apparently I'm to try corn/rice bread as long as it's yeast free rather than the rye. None of the supermarkets or the health food place at my local mall had such a thing. I did find a mix in the gluten free section but having tasted gluten free bread a few times, I'm not holding out much hope that it will be as nice as my rye sourdough. So if anyone can recommend recipes or brands of either loaves or mixes for yeast free rice or corn bread that are available here in Oz, I'll be grateful.