Wednesday, September 29, 2010

One day at a time will get you where you want to go

One day follows another, weeks slide by, then months, seasons change, and then it arrives. That day you when you look back and see where you came from. Way back there...
So, what do you see when you look back? How far have you come? How much have you accomplished since you last checked?
They say you can walk as far as you need to - you just have to line up those telegraph poles and go from one to the other and then the next and another and, if you walk regularly, consistently, unrelentingly, you'll get there.
Sometimes it doesn't feel as if we are getting anywhere so we need one of those days when you look back and see how far you have come.
How far have I come? Let's not count the years along the track, let's count the stories, the books, the publications... For me it's been quite a few short stories - some germinating back there, three complete books... publications? two little gems, one poetry anthology as a fundraiser for the North Pine Bush Poets with three of mine in it and where am I?
Finally, I've found my voice not in contemporary category but in historical. "An old fashioned voice" said one judge - and she was right. I just love historical books - well any books really but Georgette Heyer, Jean Plaidy, Irving Stone - I'm not fussy I just love reading great stories and hopefully someone will one day some reader will list my name there. In the meantime, I'm busy writing, trying not to think about my three chapters there in New York, waiting to be read by an agent who loves them and wants to read more.
Well I can dream can't I? I have to. That's how I know where to aim when I line up those telegraph poles.
So, where are you aiming? and how far have you come? are you getting closer every day. Yes?
Good on you. Don't forget to give yourself a pat on the back before you get going again...
Zoe Y

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pen Envy

What a beauty! I want I want!
As Kiss alluded to in the last post, we had a rather spritely discussion at the last Romantix meeting about pens. Kiss prefers to use black ink (in fact she said she can't write in blue, which is a little extreme. She CAN'T write in blue? Seriously?), while I prefer to write in blue ink (I CAN, however, write in black if I'm so required. I'm not insane). We both like a medium point as we're hard pressers (is that a term?) and would stab holes in the paper with a fine point (is that a sign of simmering latent aggression?) And of course neither of us like to write with felt tip pens because they're far too dark and there's all that blotting to deal with. Felt tip pen users, we don't know how you do it.

The remaining Romantix members remained fairly silent throughout this exchange, no doubt wondering why the hell we were talking about Ye Olde Penmanship in the computer age. I guess crazy is subjective.

So all this talk got me wondering--why don't I write in pen anymore? I used to write my stories out in long hand in my old school excersise books. My maths problems were done in the front while my creative scribbles were begun at the back of the book. Guess what reached the halfway point of the book first? I wasn't the keenest maths student :). Kiss shocked us all at the meeting when she told us she writes all her books out in longhand in spiral notebooks before retyping them onto the computer. It never occurred to me to continue writing in long hand once I got a PC. I'm a much faster typist than I am a hand writer. But then I type a lot of crap that gets deleted too, so I'm wondering if Kiss's method might end up being more efficient. I'm thinking of trying it.

What about you? How do you write the first draft? Do you have a weird fixation on pens? Any rituals that we would all think are bizarre?


Monday, September 20, 2010

Minutes from Romantix meeting 15/9/2010

This week, we welcomed new member Sarah to our little group. Sarah told us some interesting stories, which included her alter ego, Rhonda. Hmmm Welcome Sarah, and may we never encounter Rhonda early on a Saturday morning…

We briefly touched on writing subjects…and porn…and Letitia told us a story I will never repeat. However, apparently turning 40 has its good side. I look forward to it. I think.

Also discussed was Sami’s and my inability to write at the moment. Letitia put forward that it happens to every writer, usually between the 3rd and 5th book, and will soon pass. Sami and I aren’t quite so sure but we look forward to the day when writing becomes “good” again.

Sami wanted to know why some writers get worse than better. She has often picked up an author’s first book and loved it, only to be disappointed by the second or subsequent books. Sarah suggested the dreaded deadline scenario where writers had to finish the book quickly. Also noted was the word count issue, where writers had to cut books short due to word count.

Zoe tried to get the meeting back on track by showing us all GMC strategies. Unfortunately, porn crept in again. Sami forwarded that men are more visual creatures who need something to look at, where as women are sensory. In other words, women can read. Men need picture books. All seconded that motion.

Also discussed:

• Swearing in regency romances. Is there really a place for it?
• Violent heroes. Emotional, mental and physical bullies shouldn’t be in romance novels of any kind. Who on earth would want to kiss the man who holds a gun to her head? No one at our meeting, and of course, we speak for all romance writers globally. ;-)

• GMC. And no, I’ve decided I still don’t have goals, motivation or conflict in any of my books. My characters wander around eternally confused.
• 10 good reasons to write romance.

Jimmy Thomas Cover

Jimmy Thomas Cover

And, Jimmy Thomas. I've included a link to his romance cover website so you can all have a look. I'm not a real fan...I find his poses a little pretentious, but I've seen some of the covers he's on and I have to say, they look good.

What did I find especially useful about this meeting? The good belly laughs!

Have a great week.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Almost forgot!

Monday. My day to blog! I almost forgot. Hmmm, what can I talk about? I received some great presents for my birthday, thank you everyone, including a couple of gift vouchers. One for Amazon and one for Rosemary's Romance Bookshop. Squeeee!!! I've already spent the Amazon voucher. I bought 4 books, which cost around $25 and then $24 in postage. Doesn't seem fair, really. Oh well...I bought Unhallowed Ground and Ghost Walk by Heather Graham, Atlantis Rising by Alyssa Day, and of course, my token Teresa Medeiros book, Heather and Velvet. I'm excited! Should be some good reading, there.

I'm finishing off some judging, and doing a bit of writing. I've decided I need to lose 10kg by Christmas, and considering I had birthday cake for afternoon tea, I don't think my strategy is working. However, I have scheduled in 40 minutes on the treadmill. My ultimate plan is to walk half an hour of a morning before work (I don't think my alarm clock goes off that early), and 40 minutes of an afternoon. I've increased my fruit and vege intake, 5 serves of vegies and 2 serves of fruit a day, as the dietitians order, and the stray piece of chocolate cake hehehe

Oh well, off to the treadmill!


Sunday, September 5, 2010

Singing in the shower??

The shower is a wonderful place. The acoustics are great, so I've heard. I'm not a shower singer. I can't even bring myself to hum. I can't keep a tune. Nope. Not one.

So, apart from keeping clean, what else is the shower good for? Relaxing. Meditating? Well, I always find myself thinking in the shower. I get some of my best ideas when warm water is cascading onto my shoulders. The other day, I was so deep in thought that I couldn't remember if I washed my hair or not. I had to wash it again. Or for the first time. Who knows!

If I could spend an hour in the shower with a water proof pen and pad of paper, I would. Oooh! Maybe I could shower proof my laptop. hehehe Just kidding.

The bathroom is so peaceful, and it's where the most hideous of acts occur. Tehehe When the shower is running, I can't hear the kids fighting, or the bird squawking, or my phone, or the stream of emails...It's just me, the water, and my characters. Well, if Zachary Sterling stood in the shower with me...Ahum...I'd do some very thorough research! Ooops, strayed again...

Where do you all do your best thinking? On the toilet? Watering the garden? (That's a good one for me, too. It must be a water thing.) Cooking tea? How about when you're lying on a beach chair overlooking a glorious sunset, sipping white wine and being served fresh fruit from Gerard Butler's bare belly? Bahaha Ohhhh! What a sight that just conjured.

Well, that's enough from me. Enjoy your week!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Here's a Good'n

Word of the Day for Thursday, September 2, 2010

bilocation \bahy-loh-KEY-shuhn\, noun:

The state of being or the ability to be in two places at the same time
Well, I need me some of this bilocation business. Then I could be in with my toddler right now, discussing the meaning of life as she seems determined to do during what's supposed to be her nap time. I could have spent the morning writing as well as what I actually did, which is baking cupcakes to the soundtrack of Cherub's wails of indignation that the cupcakes weren't actually for HER. Instead they're for the Princess's school fair, which will block out some time tomorrow--that is to say ALL of tomorrow.

Wouldn't it be great if I could spend the day relaxing at the fair, enjoying the shows and the cake stalls (yes, those are my delicious looking cakes, the fairest of them all at the fair, if I can be so bold), and still have time to get some words on the page, post a blog, update facebook and twitter, AND cook dinner for the family, including mother-in-law who hubby has just decided to invite around, not to mention do the 2+ loads of washing I usually do on Saturday, feed the dog, actually stop and pat the dog which is an increasingly rare occurrence, clean the bathroom, tidy the kitchen table which more and more resembles the local tip and do the requisite 30 mins of excersise a day that the heart foundation or whomever those goody-two-shoes are recommends and insists is SO EASY to fit in to our daily lives.

Sure it's easy--if you've got the power to bilocate.

Sami (who just realised she hasn't organised hubby a father's day present yet.)