Friday, November 27, 2009

Fresh Start and Finals

Have had some good contest news lately with a final in a US contest (Launching a Star) and an aussie contest (High 5) with two different stories. Have my fingers crossed as I await the results.

I finished Stand In Groom in my own version of NaNo and i am completely in love with Ryan, such a tortured hero. So glad to give him the woman that allowed him to heal and makes him happy at last.

Now am working on revising Mummy Makes Three for Richmond. After the Emmy the judge expressed interest in seeing the revised story. I'm hoping I can do it justice. I wonder though if re-writing from scratch is better than changing bits and bobs here and there?

Oh, and my hero came up with 'Peaches and Cream' cupcake flavour, inspired my the lovely skin of my heroine...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


My heroine makes cupcakes and I'm thinking i need some more research into this very important topic.

So far in my story there's been a cheery choc creation, and one with coconut and apricot. The latest is the Vanilla Dream, a simple but beautiful cake with a surprising centre of rich, creamy custard.

What I need is another idea. Something a man might think of as a cupcake special. And it can be delicious or even a bit of a disaster.

Any thoughts?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Conflicted about conflict

Rach (who visited on the weekend - I had the BEST time, except for the toilet seat incident) posted recently about making the conflict clear in the first page for catagory... GULP! That's not really happening here for SIG.

The discussion was interesting. I think we all agreed we need to see on the page why these two are going to have a rough time getting to that HEA. If not on the first page then as soon as possible.

I'm thinking I don't have it as clear as I'd like early enough for my heroine.

Change it then - i hear you think.

Yea, well, it's the how that's got me wondering. Is it ok that she's, apparently, not as conflicted as him at the start? Can it be a lightish layer there, eg she's just broken up with someone and doesn't want to rush in, and then BANG it gets LOTS worse a chapter in?


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Prologues - good, bad or just plain lazy??

I've been playing with my story that did well in the Emmy, Mummy Makes Three. It has a prologue and I've been debating cutting it. I've read that prologues are lazy writing and they generally don't help the story.

In this case we have a lovers reunited story. The prologue is the dramatic birth of their child nine years before the story starts. All the crits I've had, only one person has disliked the prologue. Most feel immediate empathy with the mother giving birth.

What do you think?

Prologues - are they a waste? Is it a sign of laziness? Is it just the worst kind of info dump?

Am I just asking this question to avoid editing?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Crazy Busy

I've been busy!

The RWAus awards night was fun. picture me sitting in front of the laptop, madly checking twitter while chatting in the Clayton's chat room. I was thrilled with 2nd in the Emmy and want to congratulate Rach for her 4th in The Valerie Parv Award.

My attempts to get back into the writing went astray with Princess's 4th birthday. It's all done now and i have two weeks until we have visitors from Japan. Am planning to finish the partial for SIG and then some editing for HDP.

Editing seems so full of potential. Can I do the story justice? With time away I can see some ways to improve I just hope I can make it work like the vision I see in my head. I'm not sure where to start...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Slowly, slowly

Am making some very slow progress on SIG. Have had great excuses - cold, kids sick, waiting on a crit for HDP and most recently am nervous about the Emmy results sat night.

Wish I was going to the conference. Would be so exciting to be completely immersed in writing for days... bliss!

Claytons it is for me and some cyber nervous drinking and checking Twitter for the contest results. Good luck to Rach too!


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Starting again... INSPIRED!

So I've been struggling to get back into writing. I'm still ignoring HDP - wanting to let it sit - but despite loving my new characters I couldn't seem to get started.

Fortunately I received the inspiration I needed.

A goal... to finish (or write a big chunk of) Stand In Groom before a very special event on my writing horizon. On the 3rd of December 2007 i received an email from someone from the ROMAUS eloop who was doing the same online course as me. We discovered lots in common (except an ability to final in the same contest). At the end of September we will meet in real life for the first time.

Yup... Rach is coming to little old Adelaide.
How cool is that?!

Better get writing...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Research of the delicious variety

I have been playing with my new idea, Stand In Groom, and the heroine is a maker of fine cupcakes. This has involved much research on the net and drooling over many mouthwatering recipes.

My research went further today when hubby surprised me with a delicious chocolate with chocolate butter cream icing cupcake from a place near where he was working for the day. He'd listened to me tell him about my heroine - definite hero behaviour!

I think I'll have to make some of the delicious recipes I've found... just what my diet needs.

Anyone been forced to eat yummy food in the name of research?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


I've finally finished His Dark Past (happy dancing).

My question is how long to leave it before I start the edits? I'm thinking as long as possible. But at the same time i want it in shape as soon as possible.

Anyone have any fail-safe editing techniques? I'd love to hear how you go about it.

Fortunately while HDP is simmering my next story is calling. I need to have a bit of a break and refuel the well but I don't want to lose the habit of writing that the June challenge got me into.

I've decided to try my hand at a MH (with the contest in mind) but i suspect it will morph back into a Super/SSE since that's where I think I fit best. I think just approaching my idea as a MH has given me some different things to think about - a sexier opening for starters!

Anyone played outside the square? Success? Failure?

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


I did it. 44097 words added to HDP in June.

I'm thrilled.

Thanks to the organisers of the June Challenge. I know I would never have written that many words without it.

I was reading an article yesterday on the website of brilliant New Zealand author, Karina Bliss, where she talked about writing every day. I think that's what I'm happiest about. I wrote every day for a month, even though one day my total was only 82 words. And it might never happen again!

Now for a celebratory sundae!

Monday, June 29, 2009

End in sight...

So, there's about one and half days left in June. Which means there's that long to go in the 50k in 30 days challenge. I wasn't ever mad enough to think i could manage 50k but i did set myself the nearly as ridiculous 44k goal (roughly how long to get to 55k of the WIP).

Last night i arrived home at 7:30pm after a day at the in-law's farm with the kids and had a zero count. I was on target overall. I didn't want to give up with three days to go, but it was such a struggle to try for the 1467 words i needed. Somehow the lure of a sundae reward and some procrasitnating emailing with Rach made me start. And after a while the words flowed. VERY SLOWLY. But at 11:51pm i finished with 1468.

Now I have 2900w to go to reach 44000 words for the month of June. The end is in sight.

Must type more words...

Thursday, June 25, 2009


I've been thinking a lot about my hero recently. He's a loner. Is he too dark? Is he too in touch with his feelings? As my first 'bad boy' I've worked hard to achieve a balance.

But it seems to me the heroine trips us 'pre-published' up in a lot of cases. Can she be strong and likeable? Can she have vulnerability but not be weak?

It seems to me that for catagory our heroines have to be particularly aspirational. In HDP i have a heroine who didn't tell the hero that she was pregnant because he'd left town. Some contest feedback from another story and a friend's feedback on hers has me thinking that I'll need to work very hard to make sure her choice is justified. Did she try hard enough? Did she have a good enough reason not to hunt him to the ends of the earth?
I'm not sure. More thinking required. I think.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Words, Spiders and Sick Kids

I've been plugging away at the June challenge and despite having a day last week where 82 words was my only achievement i'm at 19708 for the challenge - only about 1k behind.

I'm not sure about the quality alas, but that surely can be helped in the edits. Am finding i picked a good story to try this with. Lucas and Gemma want to share their story with the world it seems. I've not been stuck too badly yet and i have ideas for the next scenes.

I had lots of distractions yesterday.

I have three sick kids (pretty sure it's not swine flu) and Princess nearly-Four is a puddle of woe wanting Mummy. She NEVER wants Mummy.

Then hubby casually mentioned there's a massive spider living somewhere in the car. Am I alone in being deathly afraid of spiders? The thing is, it was living on our gates and hubby refused to evict him from the property cos he wasn't harming anyone. (!)

AND he is still on the car cos hubby tried to 'shepherd' him away in peace. Not hero behaviour.

This is not time for peaceful negotiations!

So hubby is in the bad books and has been told it is time to find the spider and remove it. It's his 'save the cat' moment.

How i hope he comes through...

Thursday, June 4, 2009

For the love of a good... Laptop

Over the last few days I've been reading about Anne McAllister's new love, Charley and it's got me thinking about my laptop, Ender, and how much I adore him. He was new last year when I complained that if i wanted to write in the evenings I had to hide away on the desktop (hidden from kiddy fingers).
Now, with the help of Ender, Hubby and I can sit side by side working on our laptops (he's in IT and has geek stuff to do most nights).
Ender is also banned from the internet which means i'm not distracted by email or facebook. It's with Ender's help I've managed 5000 words already off the 44k I've aimed to do in June. I'm hoping the trend continues!

Monday, June 1, 2009

50k in 30 days

Yup, I'm giving this a go.
Aiming for the 44k needed to finish His Dark Past.
I was going to try last year but all day morning sickness saw me wimp out. I shall be stronger this time, i hope.
To everyone else trying this, welcome to the insanity and GOOD LUCK!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Had some great news this morning while changing Miss 5 month old's nappy (ah the glamour), I finalled in the RWAus Emerald award in the category section.

Will have all my fingers crossed.

Thanks to the lovely Rach for her last minute reading/critting when i made the second round. Mwah!!


Monday, May 18, 2009

Harley forums

This week, in the name of research, I joined a Harley Davidson appreciation forum. 'The Read Between The Rides'. My hero recently had a terrible accident on his Harley and I was looking for what his experience might do to his love of his bike.

General concensus was he'd never give up his bike.

I'm not so sure. I guess i can write him however I like but it was interesting to hear the passion of these bikers.

I know Jackie went above and beyond to ride in a helicopter for her heroine. Anyone else done some interesting research recently?

Saturday, May 9, 2009


I have bucketloads. I've started something new since i'm not thinking about the mss with SSE and i have no idea whether the chapter i've just written works at all.

You'd think at some point little things like this would become a tad clearer.


I have my best writing buddy lending her wise eye to it as i type but until I have her verdict I'll be questioning everything. The opening. The end chapter hook. Does it work that they don't actually speak until the end of the chapter.

Doubts, doubts, doubts.

Anyone else got some?

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Karma and Writing

So, when it came time to send my manuscript snail mail to SSE I researched madly and questioned Rach (who'd had the same issue) about how to actually package it. Eventually it lead me to using 2 rubber bands and some card backing and popping the whole thing in an envelope.

BUT i had no rubber bands.

So off to the nearest shops (the only ones in walking distance which means they get a work out cos 3 kids are easier contained in some kind of pram device) I went. Found a bag of rubber bands. And some kid clothes. And a new book each. And a TVD... yup it's a dangerous place to go.
When i got home, with 3 fractious kids by that point, i discovered I DIDN'T PAY FOR THE RUBBER BANDS. A complete oversight but terrible nonetheless.

Now, i couldn't head back immediately (the trip having taken 2 hours) and they only cost 49 cents. But i kept thinking and thinking and thinking. Then I used 2 of them on my submission. What's the chance of a positive response if i didn't pay?

Not likely... at least in my paranoid head.

So this morning i finally got back to the shops, two weeks after I sent my manuscript, and paid for the rubber bands. Phew, at least that's one obstacle overcome.

Anyone else as superstitious as me?

Monday, April 27, 2009

First blog

So here goes. I have joined the land of blogging. Not so sure i have anything to say.

Maybe a bit more about me - I'm currently waiting on a requested full with Special Edition. I entered the eharl online pitch comp and the lovely Susan Litman requested the full of Playing House. Much mad editing and polishing later i sent it on it's way to New York.

Fingers crossed.

It's probably not even there yet...