July 31, 2008

The first day

I'm at the Marriott now, all checked in and settled. Luckily the hotel gods were smiling on me and there was a room ready as soon as I arrived around ten-ish. So I am well ensconced. You can even open the window which I love in hotels...too much air con is never a good thing unless it's a lot hotter outside than it is here. The room seems very luxurious after my other hotel which was nice but not five star.

Just pottering around registering etc today, giving the somewhat tired feet a break after mucho sight seeing and shopping the last few days. And letting the new book natter a bit more, it's been complaining of neglect the last few days. It would be cool to get it up to past the 10k mark before I leave but that will depend on inspiration and scheduling. I think my hero wants a POV. Given the heroine is in first, I'm not sure what to do about it...what do you think? Is duelling firsts weird? Should it be first for her and third for him? Should I try and get him to step back (though he is lovely and hard to resist)??

Later there's the literacy signing and I shall toddle around and try and resist too many books and take piccies of the aussies. Then hopefully catching up with various folks tonight before it all starts happening for real tomorrow (so far I have breakfast, lunch and a dessert thing after dinner booked).

July 30, 2008

Another 48 hours

Yesterday I shopped. Oh boy, did I shop. This place is dangerous for an aussie with a good exchange rate and a credit card : ) San Francisco, my wardrobe thanks you, my visa bill does not.

Then to halt the shopping process, I went out to Oakland to visit my friend Christy, who I haven't seen for ten years. There's nothing better than seeing an old friend and just being able to pick up where you left off and talk and laugh and feel like really, she's just been down the hall a little all this time. I tried to convince her to move back to Oz and she tried to convince me to move over here....maybe we should agree to meet in Hawaii occasionally. Oakland was pretty and much warmer than the city. I even managed to stay awake until almost midnight so I think I'm over the worst of the jetlag/trip recovery.

This morning there was maybe a leetle more shopping then I rendezvoused with Bron and Valerie and Louise and Carol for a trip on the ferry to Sausalito. Where it was also much warmer than the city (though SF has turned on a gorgeous day today until a little while ago until the fog started to roll in). Sausalito is picturesque and crafty and it was probably lucky we didn't have more time there or someone would've spent serious money...

I left them at the Marriott (which is starting to fill with romance writers at a rapid rate and I've run into several others of the aussie contingent already (waves to AA and Denise and Joanne and Catherine and Tracey). It's hard to believe I've been here four days already and tomorrow I change hotels and the conference begins.

Tonight I'm kicking back, eating very good rice paper rolls (which here they call, somewhat confusingly, spring rolls. The crispy ones we call spring rolls are 'crispy imperial rolls') from Out the Door which is the downtown outpost of The Slanted Door. So thanks for the recommendation from Aviva via Char : ) They really are good, they might have to feature again for a quick lunch or dinner at some point. I'm washing them down with MetroMint Peppermint Water which Christy introduced me to yesterday and is something I'm going to miss when I leave.

After dinner, maybe some (just to be crazy) of that writing stuff. Oh and repacking...good thing I brought an extra bag : )

July 29, 2008

If you're going to San Francisco

Be sure to pack warm clothes even if it's summer!

It's currently 12 degrees here (Celsius, that is). According to the age website, Melbourne is warmer! That's all wrong. It was lovely and warm Saturday when I got here but yesterday and today are cloudy and cool.

Yesterday I was tourist gal and did Alcatraz (very cool), Fisherman's Wharf, rode a cable car etc. Today I'm doing a bit of shopping this morning then going over to Oakland to see a friend who I haven't seen in person for almost ten years! Yay.

Tomorrow, I think will be more shopping and sightseeing then Wednesday I change hotels to the Marriott and the conference itself begins and I'll get to see some of my other online friends and the aussie contingent.

Jetlag-wise I'm doing okay (and about one thousand percent better than I was last year) so I'm definitely a fan of this coming over early thing.

More as it happens...

July 26, 2008


Well, I've made it from Melbourne to Sydney with no (knocking all available wooden services) delays or fogs or strikes to slow things down. My flight leaves in about an hour so the next time you hear from me, I'll be in sunny (though not overly warm if the forecasts are correct) California.

Wish me calm skies and a peaceful flight! I seem to be well up the back of the plane which at least puts me far away from baby territory. Anything else remains to be seen.

July 24, 2008

The flow

Turns out Mamma Mia is still fabulous. And still hilarious. And still makes me want to run away to a Greek Island and dance along a pier with my best friends and possibly Pierce Brosnan and/or Colin Firth. Le sigh.

As day one of a holiday goes, today has been pretty good. I've done all the errands bar one. I've done most of the housework. All of the laundry. Thought about what to pack. Did Mamma Mia. And then, I succumbed to the siren song of this book and sat down and now I have fifteen pages already and I really like it and it's all flowing beautifully. Contrary muses. I'm meant to be having a break. Not getting sucked in to another whole new world. But one argues with the flow at one's peril so I guess there will be more typing tomorrow and I guess I'll be taking a laptop with me to San Fran....

Making a list


Also, I leave for SF Saturday morning, so I'm sitting here working out what I have to do today and tomorrow with plenty of time for naps, writing and, finally, Mamma Mia again. I've done most of my travel running around already, so it's just packing (light in order to take advantage of the current fantabulous exchange rate when I get there), doing laundry so I can pack, a few other errand-y bits and pieces and making my house look respectable.

I'm hoping to get some writing done but I'm also a bit nervous because the story is currently a very bright shiny thing in my head and I keep smiling and losing my thoughts as I get flashes of it at odd moments. My hero makes me laugh and I haven't written a word of him yet. And the world is kind of intriguing to go with my intriguing heroine. Lots of crunch, to quote Jenny Crusie. Which all makes me a bit nervous that when the words go onto paper it won't be the bright shiny thing any more. In fact I know it won't be. No book ever is. But hopefully it will turn into a different shiny thing that will be just as good.

And now, off to work on that list.

July 22, 2008

No rest for the wicked

Usually the girls give (or demand) a bit of down time between books but for the last little while this one's been prowling around my head and the heroine hasn't been all that happy about being told to wait and kept right on whispering in my ear. So I guess I'll be starting this when I get a chance to do some writing and now that she's relatively hapy with the collage and the soundtrack. She's kind of bossy. Kind of screwed up and he's just pure sunshine...this could be fun.

PS For those of you counting alone, we're down to four more sleeps and, even more exciting, one more day of work!!

July 20, 2008

Update the second (aka Numfar do the dance of joy)

Done! All done! Every last bit. Done, done, done. But hopefully not like a dog's dinner. And it's come in at 396 pages which is about spot on! Yay! And possibly la la la!!

A final read through tomorrow for a last typo hunt and then it's off to Miriam. Which might result in still more revisions but for now I am done and can go to SF all clear conscience-ey. Plus, I can stop listening to the five Dixie Chicks songs that have been on constant rotation for this entire revision. I still like them but for now, I'm kind of over them.

Better still, I can start playing with some of the other books that have been slinking around the edges of my mind whining about when it will be their turn. Soundtrack creation. Collaging. Random scene writing. Fun stuff.

And hey, if you recognise the quote above, then you hopefully have been following along with Dr Horrible. Be warned, it is Joss. Who always brings a healthy dose of pain with the funny. Which I'd forgotten till he smacked me in the head with a reminder in Act III.

Today, however, no pain. Only the glorious sensation of done oh done.

The first update of the day

Thanks to the orange hell cat as he is being known this weekend, I was awake at seven. So I figured (after a suitable period of blearily eating breakfast and blinking at the computer screen) that I could try and get a chapter done.

And now it's completed. Yay. Given it's only ten, I'm going to go back to bed for some semblance of a Sunday lie-in on this cold, grey, wet day then hit Chapter Sixteen. Then I might be allowed Mamma Mia. Unless the girls get a wild hair on about pushing through...

July 19, 2008

Getting closer

Well, I got through another chapter today. I wanted to do two but somehow the day got sucked up in collecting my tickets for SF (yay), running secret errands with the VT (yay) and then you know, watching Dr Horrible (yay), learning how to use garage band to make iPhone ringtones (yay) and napping (working Fridays makes me tired - boo).

Plus these chapters are WORK. I added 9 pages to this one and probably cut two pages worth of stuff, so that's a solid chunk of work. I'd usually be happy with 11 pages on a full writing day. Plus I had to go back and thread a few things in some earlier ones. Each chapter I revise leads to some other tweaking as the muse goes "aha" and "eureka" and then issues orders. Which is how it is supposed to be.

I'd really like to go see Mamma Mia again tomorrow but am not allowing myself the treat unless I get two chapters done, which will leave me a little behind schedule but hopefully able to finish Tuesday. So I'd better take myself off to bed (seven more sleeps (yay yay yay) so I can get up nice and early.

July 18, 2008

Back again

I'm back. Why is it always so much colder in Melbourne than Sydney? Boo to weather. Um, Sydney was very busy and full of pilgrims wanting to see the Pope. We caught a glimpse of him in the Popemobile from the window of the hotel where we were conferencing. Popemobiles go fast : )

Apart from that, I got nothing.

Oh, except, if you love Joss or want to see why millions do go here. Only do it in the next few days before it goes away.

Also, my iPhone does rock. It was very cool to be able to get my email on the fly while I was away!

July 16, 2008


Well I'm a chapter behind where I wanted to be given life stuff last night. Hopefully I can set myself up with a few more chapters ahead on hardcopy notes by the time I get back from work trip Friday night but given I have to get up at "oh-you-are-kidding-me-this-is-not-a-real-time" tomorrow morning, I'm not sure how much is achievable.

Given it's a short weekend for me, I'm not sure five chapters is do-able. But we'll see...

More when I return. And now I have to go to bed to try and sleep. Gah.

July 13, 2008


This morning the girls woke me up with some very specific things to go back and add in to the chapters I've been working on this weekend.

So I spent most of the day doing nitpicky, tweaky stuff which is always time consuming (okay, so there may have been some playing with the new toy too). I added about four more pages and made my hardcopy notes on the next two chapters but both of them need quite a lot of stuff (this being the point where the book gets even more talking headish, if that's possible and also because of things I've changed elsewhere, quite a few scene's need to be slanted in a different emotional direction) and it's now Sunday night and I need some TV veging time. Sadly that means no actual increase in the chapter count today even though I did quite a bit of work. I am now over 90k so that's good news.

From here on in I'm hoping for a chapter a day Monday-Wednesday, maybe some notes Thursday and Friday (work trip) then a big push to get it done next weekend in time for a final quick read through/typo check before I send it to Miriam.

So if I'm not blogging much, it will be because I'm stitching a book together!

July 12, 2008

Run run run to a cinema near you.

So. Mamma Mia. Was FANTASTIC!

I'll admit, I'm an Abba fan. They were huge here in the seventies when I was a kid and my parents kind of imprinted the music on me and I've always liked them since. I saw Mamma Mia in the theatres twice but must admit, when I first heard they were making a movie version with Meryl, I kind of went hmmmm.

But it was wonderful. Yes, it's silly and over the top and Pierce Brosnan, god love him, cannot really sing a note, but it all works. I can't remember the last time I cried with laughter in a movie. Or heard an audience applaud at the end.

And Meryl can sing. Her version of The Winner Takes It All was heartwrenching. Colin Firth, can sing only a little bit better than Pierce (Stellan Skarsgaard is Pierce level) but managed to throw himself into it and pull off his usual slight stuffy Englishman out of his depth with an air of 'screw it I look like an idiot but I love it' that made him even more adorable than ever.

So if you want a movie that will make you purely happy at the end (just don't wear mascara), I recommend this one. I'll be seeing it again. And the first person who starts doing Sing-along Mamma Mia showings might just make a fortune!

The running out the door update

Over half way now on the revision, yay. I've added 33 pages in the first 11 chapters which gives you an idea how talking headish my first drafts get. I figure I'll add around another thirty in the last 8, which will get me somewhere near 97k. Good enough.

In other news, yesterday I scored an iPhone! Yay. Precioussss. Mine. All mine. But not in my pocketses, at least until I get a case. It is very pretty and shiny and does cool things. Go Apple.

And now, off to Mamma Mia because there is never too much Abba in the world! You can dance...you can jive...you know you can : )

July 09, 2008

The final countdown

Number of working days left before the big holiday is now officially in the single digit range!

Gimme a woo and a hoo! And you know, wave those arms in the air like you just don't care. Counting the days? Who, me?

Revision continues to play nice, dixie chicks still on infinite loop and winter still turning on the suckitudinous cold stuff. Which makes sitting in the chair revising a much easier choice : )

July 08, 2008


Can someone please explain to me why this darn book, which insisted on a long and arduous hunt for witchy demon techno music and was very picky about what it would accept in the course of said long arduous soundtrack hunt, suddenly insists on nothing but Dixie Chicks?

Colour me puzzled. But I don't argue, I just hit repeat on the iPod. And avoid the weird looks at work when I start humming The Bitter End.

In other news, despite its whiplash musical morphings, I'm so far quite liking what I'm reading and the revision process is moving along and has not yet (touch wood and all other anti-jinxing materials known to man) degenerated back into sucking.

Random objects of lust this week:

The return of the Time Phwoarrr! (Yay, ABC).

And also this

Want, want, want. Precioussssssss.

July 02, 2008

A day in the life

Whuh? Alarm? Nooooo, still cold and dark. Just fell asleep, I swear.
Stagger stagger. Breakfast. Shower. Clothing.
Very cold and dark.
Register universal complaint re suckitude of winter as climb into car.
Traffic jam.
Work. Type, type, type, answer questions, type, type, type. Busy busy busy.
Universal complaint ignored. Winter still sucking when leave work.
Traffic jam.
Type. Type. Type.
Chapter revision done.
Brain wrung dry on any semblance of intelligence.
Prop eyes open for necessary daily dose of fiction.