Thursday, December 13, 2007


Short story is done and shipped off (oh, the woes of not being allowed to send it by e-mail!)

Next up is to get back to Kieran's Kiss, and start work on the twisted version of Rapunzel I've been thinking of - caffeine deprivation causes strange thoughts to trickle through one's brain-pan.

Still haven't completed the trauma of Christmas shopping for everyone (more money!) and the car has to go in for a service, which means that for at least six months into the new year there will have to be some serious retrenchment (but no decamping to Bath unfortunately, as one will still have to work.

We have frosty weather, but no snow. However, I am going even further into the frozen north tomorrow so it may be a different story there.

Friday, December 07, 2007

18 Sleeps to Go...

18 Sleeps to Christmas!

Have I pur-chased all of the required cadeaux? No. I've still got some quilting to fit in for other people as well (which were going to be my money-saving presents, except that I'd forgotten about them so instead of having three months to do the accent quilting and turn various panels into wall hangings, I now have 2 weeks!)

Staff do tonight, so shiny new shoes will hopefully be worn (if the rain holds off - they're satin, so I don't want them to stain if it can be avoided)

London in 11 days! Yay! Visit some art galleries and museums, have a bit of a chill before the holidays begin in earnest.

Have just finished reading Dancing With Werewolves by carole Nelson Douglas - very interesting take on vamps & werewolves; a good addition to the paranormal stable; so I shall be reading her again. Also finished Lara Adrian's third Breed book Midnight Awakening - loved it. The only annoying thing is that the fourth one is not out until March next year. :pooh:

Friday, November 30, 2007

NaNo Countdown

Well. NaNo ends tonight, for another year, at 23:59...and I won't be a winner. :phhhbbbbbt:

But, I'm moving on with the novel(la?) so I won't complain; I'll just admire those who have done really well and broken through the 5ok mark.

On a sideways note, Sven is going well - and I'm on target for him! Yay!

However. I have noticed that, despite the outline, I am now on Chapter 5. I say despite, because according to the outline I should still be on Chapter 3. More has gone on than I'd planned out initially. Does that happen to a lot of people? You plan one thing (x will happen in chapter 2 and then y in chapter 3) and then find that a, b, c, d, and z also took place in chapter 3 and lo! chapter 5 has arrived? It was planned as a novella, but at the moment I'm at just over 14K and I've only just started ch.5 of the 12 I was aiming for. :sigh: I won't think about it now. I'll sort it out in the editing process.

It is interesting though, because I had thought that an outline would make the writing easier in the sense that I wouldn't deviate as much but I seem to have had aha! moments along the way, just the same. (Aha! they could do that, here, and then this could happen - which means this will happen and...what does it say in the outline again?)

It's nearly the weekend! Woo-Hoo! I am so tired. I need a holiday, I think. Well, only another 20 days, or so and then it's off to Londres for some exhibition viewing. Sort of relaxing!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Goals for the week

  1. Reach 20K on my WiP
  2. Make soup (and get to eat it this time)
  3. Tidy the back room downstairs - this is not my goal per se; it was assigned to me by chum #1 as she did the front room; and, to be fair, most of the stuff in the back is mine. I just don't have anywhere to put it. I need an attic, and some proper, old sea chests!

I do have some housework to do in my room as well, but beyond changing the bed and whipping the hoover round, that may have to wait until next week. (Furniture shifted/ shelves up etc.)

There will also be dog training/ walking etc. in there as well but hopefully I will have some time to myself to press on in both writing and reading.

Carpe diem and all that!

Mood #1: bit peckish - just about to have a coffee break

Mood #2: not too bad. Not brimming with joy and harmony, but I'm okay!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Tempus Fugit

I can hardly believe it's been a week since I last posted, it has been amazingly busy. Not speedy-rushing-around- busy, just constant 'where-has-the-time-gone-and-can-I-collapse-now. Please?

Tha Spa was great! I felt so relaxed (and full, the food was great) I didn't want to do anything for the rest of November! Hot rooms, steam rooms, ice scrubs (refreshing, but you did have to psych yourself up for it the first time, especially when chum #2 helped out by rubbing it all over my back when I was bent over doing my face! It was a bit...brisk, you might say!) Swimming, loungers with twinkly music and sparkly lights and a relaxation room with a giant fish tank - very nice.

Then it was back to work and busyness. :phhbbbbbt!:

Weekend passed in a blur, although I was very tired. Probably need to lose some weight, as I usually get tired if I'm too podgy, so- no more mince pie testing before Christmas. :sigh: Well, I have a load of vegetables (and I still have 2 huge pumpkins) so I shall make soup this weekend. Healthy, keeps the cold out, uses veg up if it's a bit too 'tired' to be steamed.

Writing progress - not very shiny. Unfortunately, I have yet to master the art of writing in my sleep, but I shall work on that. Until then, I'll just have to slog on. It's unlikely I'll achieve the winning of NaNo (not unless I have a raging case of insomnia between now and the end of November) but I'm still Sven-ning so everything is still moving forward; it's just that rather than it being a case of 'Gallop apace ye fiery footed steeds' (apologies to Will S. for potential misquoting - I'm not looking it up this morning) it's more a case of 'Plod on you faithful plough horse, for yea there is hot oat mash at the other end of this wacking great field of malodorous mud' - or some such.

I need more coffee, obviously.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Rain, progress and tangents

First, the rain.
It is wazzing it down. And I was trying (unsuccessfully) to change out a bust headlight bulb in the rain. Left-hand side of the car? No problem. Right-hand side? There's a hose thing in the way, and I can't get a grip on the retaining clips for the bulb with it there. But, I'm worried that if I undo it, I won't remember where to re-connect it when I'm done. So I'll be having a wail at my little man as soon as (or at anyone who does know what goes where and can put it back again without having a case of OCD all over Henry's innards).

I have managed to do 11,727 words on NaNo (16,874 with Sven - woot!)

I went for a coffee break, thinking I'd write a few more notes on KK or plan a short story due in December, and instead ended up starting a sideways take on Rapunzel. It's partly because I'd been thinking of doing something for Eternal Press' Twisted Fayrie Tales theme. Which was due today. But with doing NaNo, I didn't get the idea formulated. I had a vague notion of the 'twist', but it wasn't until today that I had that fleshed out, and knew how it started. I may work on this tomorrow. Don't know, at the moment, where it could go when done. But, I like the idea so we'll see how it goes.

I'm at a spa with mater and two chums tomorrow (mater's birthday) and although I will take a book, I know that if I don't take any paper/ writing implements I shall be climbing the walls before we get to the three-course lunch, and forget most of the good things I think of. (Eden Hall Day Spa, Nottinghamshire. Chum #1 says it's very nice & she's not very girly in the way of spas and titivation, so high kudos from her. Will let you know if I feel relaxed when I get back!)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Progress is being achieved

It is 23:59 as I write this and I have just topped 10K which for me is pretty good! I am feeeling chuffed (although I will soon be going to bed as I am also feeling knackered - very busy two weeks at work with one thing and another).

Sven is going better for me than NaNo, but at the heart of it NaNo is fun and any progress achieved is a good thing, even if I don't hit or top 50K. (And hey, there're two weeks to go and miracles can happen, so who knows?) (Edited to add: not meaning to say that Sven is not fun, it's just that Sven is going on until January, so there's less personal time-management trauma for me!)

NaNo = 10,123

Sven = 15,270

In other news, we may have snow tomorrow (if the weather decides we are high enough). Certainly, on the map, it looks as though we will get it; luckily we have plenty of coal. Even so, one of my tasks tomorrow will be to go into the woods and gather sticks for kindling, just to help get the fire started. This is the third night in a row we've had the fire lit, so I think this is it for the winter and it will be in now until about March.

Luckily, we don't need to light one during the day. It gets banked at night and as it burns down the ash covers the embers so that when we come to light the fire again at 17:00/ 18:00hrs the following night, we've still got glowing embers to work with, and the house is still warm as well. (Although with that, it helps that we now have people living on both sides as that keeps the house warmer).

Well, after that boring update, I'm for a quick Blogroll then off to bed.

And, before I forget (again!) Amanda - the whole album Black Parade is great! Very dark in tone, but melodies are mostly upbeat. My favourites are: The Sharpest Lives, Sleep, and Famous Last Words.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Downhill slide to the weekend

Wednesday has been and gone, and now it's a relatively slow slide to the weekend and - hopefully - a more prolonged writing period. I'm up to 7,303 words for NaNo, which, in comparison to others is quite modest. It's also lagging behind the projected word-count for the 15/11, but I'm not worried. It's going up; I'm building on the outline I've written, and the way it's going it may be a novel rather than 2 novellas, so I may have to make a decision later as to whether it works as a novel or whether I need to split it.

I haven't outlined Phelan's book yet, but most of chapter 2 was devoted to him and Alexei. With it meant to be Kieran & Tamsyn's book this time, it may be that I've devoted too much to A&P. I'll keep going for the moment and see if it's better divided later, or kept as is.

Monday, November 12, 2007

William Shakespeare

Come, you spirits
That tend on mortal thoughts! Unsex me here,
And fill me from the crown to the toe top full
Of direst Meriadoc.

Which work of Shakespeare was the original quote from?

Get your own quotes:

Friday, November 09, 2007

What a day!

Meetings, meetings, no lunch, enquiry desk, lunch at 15:30! I think I shall go home now, while it's still daylight outside. I shall (finally) be able to do some writing when I get home. So much for doing some in my lunchbreak. phbbbt!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Progress Update

Update for Sven/ NaNo

I have written 3,505 words of Kieran's Kiss. As far as NaNo is concerned, I'm about 7,000 words behind where I should be. As far as I, personally, am concerned...yeah, baby!

She are flowing like rivers of hunny. Me liek hunny. Srsly.

No, really. It's going well, and I'm enjoying it. I'd spent so long planning that damn thing that I was a bit worried that I wouldn't be able to get into the writing, but so far so good. I've just been hindered by work and an inability to get up an hour earlier or go to bed an hour later (if I try, it's not a pretty sight!)

So, forward motion is being achieved! (And congratulations to Zette, who has already sailed past the 50K mark)

Progress is being made!

I managed to do some more on NaNo last night when I got home, so, although I'm still behind I'm further ahead than I was so that's a bonus! Hopefully, I'll be able to get some more done over lunch today as well and gradually inch the word count up (while bravely resisting the urge to tweak something 'just before I forget!')

Been at work for 30mins and I'm tired already!

Need. More. Coffee.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Quick lunch...

Back at work - oh, my God, what a morning. Haven't stopped since I got in. Just stopped for some pasta now (rigatoni with Sainsbury's chopped tomatoes with oregano - comes in a carton - v. nice) and then I've got two more meetings this afternoon as well as having to work on a worksheet for some students that I won't be seeing, so it'll have to be fairly comprehensive.

And I'm behind on NaNo :o(

Dog Whisperer came on Saturday, basically, the dogs aren't confident in us being the alphas so they're doing the job; so now we have to convince them that we are it. Going ok so far - they've thrown a few paddys. BB is the best, because he's the youngest I think so is more amenable to change. The girls are being cows at the moment - hopefully this will improve. Soon.

Anyway, more work on NaNo to do (while trying to avoid surfing the interweb - the perils of broadband!)

How are y'all doing? How's Sven going for those who NaNo not?

Thursday, November 01, 2007

NaNo Has Begun!

Okay, to be a bit more accurate it 'officially' started 9 hours and 3 minutes ago, but I was in bed because I was to tired to stay up. In my defence, if I was travelling down to London just by train today, then I'd have given it a bash. But I've got to drive most of the way and then get the Thameslink (curse you! Striking Midland Mainline! Grrrrr - :shakes fist:). I will be parking at the house of the grandmother of the chum, and I can crash there on the way back if I'm late...just thought I'd better pack a bag as well then. Nuts McGee, I'm a bit disorganised this morning.

So, NaNo wordcount will be updated on Friday (once I've typed up all of the handwritten notes from today; and then hopefully most, if not all, of the rest will be typed directly onto the pc.

How are you doing? If you're not doing NaNo, how much is Sven making you sweat?

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

All Hallows

Well, tonight is All Hallows, not only is it for 'Trick-or-Treating'/ pumpkin parties and jollification, for some it's also a time to remember the dead.
According to a BBC article - here - in the early Christian tradition, souls would be released for 48 hours on All Hallows to walk the world. It is also said (although I can't find a definitive source, but I believe this stems from the Celtic tradition) that the walls between the worlds thin at this time of year, to allow spirits to pass through - I do remember, as a child, lighting a candle on a windowledge for the dead. Although I'm not sure if that was so they'd know where to come or where to pass by? (It's a mystery!) Don't know if anyone else does this now?
It seems like a nice idea to me, to do it this way, almost like an annual wake for those who've gone (but not as solemn as All Souls). A sort of European Day of the Dead?

Samhain is also seen as being the end of the harvest (hopefully a successful one). With all the rain we've had this year, at the wrong time, there may not be as much celebration for the harvest we've had (or there may be more, I suppose, in thanks for what didn't rot/ refuse to grow/ get washed away).

I had good crops in the allotment (apart from the peas - buggers wouldn't grow this year at all) so I am thankful, although I still need to do more next year to supplement the food bill. Hopefully, next year will be a little less bizarre, weather-wise. Hmmm. Maybe I should get some corn-dollies?

So if you're celebrating Halloween, All Hallows, Samhain or any of its variants, I hope you have a good evening and a lovely celebration! (And I hope you don't meet any Nightmares or bogles on the road home!)

For all those doing NaNo...00.01hrs = Bum In Chair, Hands On Keyboard! Good Luck!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


I've chosen titles for the NaNo novellas, although they're probably (most likely) working titles at the end of the day. I wanted to have a series title followed by the individual book title, but I'm obviously feeling too dense this morning because I can't come up with one, so that's on the backburner for the moment.

Book I: Kieran's Kiss

Book II: Phelan's Fate

As I said, they'll probably change (and that's if they don't get put straight into a drawer, never to see the light of day, while I work on something else!) But I wanted something in the title field other than - Err, :frowns furiously: ????? Wha?

Mood: Hokay!

Temp: Warm, I'm on the sunny side of this building

2 days to NaNo & counting!!

Well, girls and boys (lords, ladies, non-human bipeds, lycnathropes and all major and lesser blood-drinkers etc. and so on) we've got just under 48 hours to go to NaNo (if my maths is correct, which is not a given ^o_o^ ). Final plan is still 'in progress', but almost there (yay!)

Some excitement this morning, as a fire drill was deemed necessary. Not too bad standing in the sunshine, but in the shade it's was a tad...brisk! And the siren was insanely loud, but we had to pass under it twice so we walked with fingers in ears down the stairs.

I've got a reader interview up on Nalini Singh's weblog, so go and have a look! Check out her books if you haven't already. Her paranormal romances are excellent - Slave to Sensation; Visions of Heat; and Caressed by Ice (and I'm waiting with bated breath for Hawke's story, even though it's not the next one. :sigh:)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Monday update

No new words, but I'm starting to set scenes out on notecards, just to make sure that they flow and mesh as they should. I have a horrible feeling I'm going to have some GMC issues that I need to iron out in the next three days, as reading back over what I've outlined, it seems to be a little wooly there. General motivation = ok. Personal motivation = dithering much?

Well, I'm taking Thursday (and possibly Friday) off - I'm meeting some chums down in London, mid-afternoon on Thursday. But it does mean that I can start NaNo just after midnight without having to worry about getting up at 06:00hrs to go to work! (Let's hope I can stay awake that long!) But at least I should be able to get my head down over the weekend and get cracking (and actually get some decent wordcount up on Sven and NaNo)

I also have a cold, which is annoying. Everyone seems to be off with ailments at the moment; either bum knees or colds/ flu etc. Thank God for hot lemon & honey (or hot cider if you don't have to go anywhere!)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Jobs (half) done!

Okay - it's 13:10hrs - the stew has been in the slow cooker for about an hour and 10 minutes; the computer table has been tidied (and dusted - oh. my. goodness.) and the washing up has been done too!

I am putting of the IKEA visit until tomorrow, as I've got a few things to do while the house is quiet and I've got it to myself (housemate is working today)

Unfortunately, there is no cake to go with this amazing sense of well-being, but one can't have everything. ;oD

Music: none - for some reason if you try to listen to music on the pc and go on the internet at the same time, the music wobbles as if the batteries are running down. Most bizarre.

Mood: Upbeat - I am steadfastly ignoring the rest of the house which also needs the domestic touch of Thor.

Friday, October 26, 2007

It's Friday!

The end of the week has come! Yay!

Ahem. Will calm down now. I've had two late nights at work this week, and didn't get home until nearly 23:00hrs last night because I had to phone the Dog Listener before I left work. She will be coming out to see BB and the rest of the pack in November, to teach housemate and moi how to be - not just top bitch - but top dog overall. At the moment BB thinks "I'm the MAN! So I'm in charge, yeah! I'm gonna bark-a-lot and protects my wimmins." Grrrr.
So, that's the behaviour we're going to knock on the head, so to speak. Part of the training will be around how wolf packs interact (and as we have a pack of border collies, who are quite close in attitude, apparently to their wilder cousins, this will be useful). I will update when we have been trained.

On the writing front, managed to iron out (in my head) a few wrinkles that had been bothering me. Got halfway through an outline of chapter 10, but I know I'm going to have to go back through the outline and tweak - I'm also going to put the scenes on notecards so I can shuffle them around more easily (thanks Amanda for reminding me about the notecards option!) I was going to attempt the post-it route, but to be honest, I don't have anywhere to put them up as, if there's a space on a wall, I try to cover it with a bookcase full of books. Anyway, I have bought notecards; I have plenty of highlighters so I can colour-code which scene is in a particular character's POV; and I've nearly finished the outline - I hope. Have I forgotten anything? Hmm. No doubt anything I've forgotten will make itself known pretty quickly and I can tweak it later if it doesn't stop the writing dead in its tracks!

Listening to: Monster by The Automatic

Temp: 22.3C

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Slow progress over the weekend...

I was visiting my father and I had some kind of bug that's been going round, but, back in the saddle now, so hopefully I can bring it back up again from today!

Chimney's been mended, but apparently we need a completely new one (and the roofer thinks, looking up and down our street, that most of the houses need new chimneys and roofs as we've all still got the originals - which are now over 100 years old and look it, what with bits falling off etc.!) So that's a joy for our landlord to deal with!

Half term this week, so not too many students around (also meant the drive to work was gloriously quiet)

Sad note: England lost the Rugby. Sigh

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Autumn has definitely arrived (and winter's on the way)

How do I know this?
1. there was frost on the grass
2. there was floating mist above all of the fields/ ponds/ trees etc.
3. I had to scrape the windows of my car before I could drive to work this morning

Is this a problem?
Well, I'm still waiting for the chimney to be fixed (half the chimney pot in the chimney, the other half on the roof - no fire allowed until mended, so says the chimney sweep). No other form of heating.
So, wooly nightdress, socks and a hot water-bottle; and the dogs are allowed on the bed to act as additional hot water-bottles (although that doesn't always work as sometimes I wake up wondering why I'm getting a draft, and it's because I've been shoved to the edge and everyone else is curled up cozy as you please!) phhhbbbbbt!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Final update for tonight

Okay! I've manged to do: 1,117 words of outline since 5pm. Not a lot, but I did do work work in between so not bad really.

Now I have a headache and want to go home and lie down! It's dark. And raining. (It is, in fact, a dark and stormy night! heh heh heh

And there's hardly anyone here - don't they have work to do?

Edited to add: Completely unrelated, but I have fallen in love with My Chemical Romance's Black Parade album. Never heard anything by them before, can't believe I missed them! They're great.

Partial update...

Okay, so far I've managed - in between more work, work - to do :drumroll please: 653 words! Not too shabby, although not a patch on yesterday. But, I am outlining rather than writing at the moment so I'm looking at it in a positive light.

(Although, reading my outline I have a horrible feeling it's going to be crap - but, crap that's written (rather than just thought) can be re-written to be better, half-full tonight!)

Nothing so far...

It's 17:25 and I've just had a chance to sit down and check e-mail etc. It's been really busy at work today (and I won't be finishing for another four hours) but, hopefully I'll be able to add to my word count before bed. I've also got tomorrow afternoon off, so as long as I don't have to hunt down railway models for my Dad, I should be ok!

Mood: Hot, tired, but not so dizzy now I've had something to eat.

Music: It is as quiet as a...library? heh heh heh

Monday, October 15, 2007

Update for Sven

Okay - 3,150 words on outline done today. Not bad, but it may drop off tomorrow as that will be really busy. But off to a good start!

Crack that whip, baby!

Sweating with Sven starts today! 93 days (70 days + holiday etc. allowances) to take us through to January.

Check out the Seventy Days of Sweat blog for details of who's taking part, and, if you haven't already signed up...what are you waiting for?

Anyone who's also doing NaNo can use some of the spare days now, in preparation for the absolute insanity.

Good luck to all involved!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Gearing up for Sweat & NaNo

Not a new exercise regime, per se, but I'm doing prep work for the Seventy Days of Sweat Challenge (i.e. 93 days including holidays) and the 30 day challenge of NaNo which falls in November.

Chapter outlines are going well, but I'm breaking to do a short story and then I'll be back on the outline of novella #1.

Mood: Tired - done a few student sessions today & I'm going home now.

Music: Hindi Sad Diamonds from Moulin Rouge: disc one

Office temp: 21.9 deg. C

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

What Archangel?

The Archangel Within (An Archangel Quiz)

Pretty Picture

Uriel - "God's Command" or "The Fire of God". Complacent, quiet, strong willed, loyal and short tempered you are most like Uriel. You are most likely someone who hates incompetence (people who make excuses/etc). You are into the belief that a persons actions speak louder then words, hence your quiet nature. You may seem cold and distance yourself from others, possibly because you are afraid of getting hurt or you have been hurt before and under the bias that everyone is out to get you. However once you open up, you are not so bad. You are very loyal and have a strong sense of justice that borderlines on vengeance due to your temper. You are most likely highly stubborn and can be, at times, as unmovable as a mountain when it comes to standing firm on the topics you care about (or petty issues).Biblical Facts: Uriel guards the gates of Eden and presides over Tartarus (Hell). His stern gaze is said to send chills through angelic brethren, human, and demon alike. When he enters battle he makes a ferocious war-cry which is enough to make any demon wet themselves.
Take this quiz!

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Friday, October 05, 2007

Had to re-do the site

Everything displayed ok in Firefox, but in IE half the sidebars were at the bottom of the page and I don't know enough about code to know what to look for, how to recognise it and then how to fix it when I found it.
So I went over to the 'guided' format. So far, so good. We shall see!

Sven Says...Sweat Some More!

Yes, the second round of Sweating With Sven is up on the site.

Check it out and sign up!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Happy October!

Well, October has started with a little bit of a chill in the air. The rooks are calling and people are beginning to light their autumn bonfires to clear some of their gardens/ allotments. I love this time of year. You still get some sunshine, but the sun is a little paler and there's that nip in the air that says frost is coming.

Apparently, the UK is set to have a colder, drier winter this year so we'll have to go out wood-gathering soon to supplement the coal for the fire (no central heating - welcome to the 21st Century in the north!) But, regardless, I do love this time of year.

The Fresher's have all begun to settle in, and second and third years are making appointments for research help which is good. The last two weeks have been nightmarishly busy, with quite a few late nights, but hopefully that will tail off a bit now and settle down into the normal schedule. Especially important as I want to do the second Sweating with Sven and also, hopefully, NaNoWriMo as well. Not that I'm insane or anything.

Mood: I still have a bit of lergy, but generally...I'm OK.

Listening to: Save Me by Remy Zero

Temp in Office: 19.7˚C

Friday, September 21, 2007

I can has lergy nao?

Four days.
That's all it took this year.
Four days to get the Freshers' Lergy from the new students.
I am so unamused.
Head stuffed, head aches, hot-cold-hot. I would like to lie down for a few days but it is not to be. :mopes:


Music: Final Battle from Van Helsing by Alan Silvestri

Friday, September 14, 2007


Via Marjorie M. Liu via [info]hradzka

1. Go to

2. Put in Username: nycareers, Password: landmark.

3. Take their "Career Matchmaker" questions.

4. Post the top ten results.


Desktop Publisher


Industrial Designer


Technical Writer


Cartoonist / Comic Illustrator


Interior Designer




Fashion Designer


Graphic Designer





Well, writer's at number ten. I suppose I should be grateful it's on the list!

Autumn has arrived!

On my drive in to work this morning, the country lanes had russet leaves drifting down on them. The trees are grimly trying to hang on to the last breath of (a relatively disappointing) summer, but I think they're losing more leaves than not. When I take the dogs out for their morning walk (06:15hrs!) there's a little bite to the air. Not unpleasant, but you wouldn't go out in just your shirtsleeves any more and there's always a mist rising off the ponds and the fields as they begin to warm.

What does this mean to me? The start of a new academic year and the appearance of students old and new, most of whom don't want induction, instead they want to sign up for various sports and find out which room their modules are being taught in and where the best part-time jobs are going. Ah well.

In another couple of weeks things will start to settle down and the pace of work will die back from franticly hectic to just busy. We shall see!

On another note, I have a few short projects to complete (first draft) this weekend and, as I have most of the weekend to myself, I should be able to do it in relative peace and quiet. (Apart from the howling hounds, of course!)

Mood: Fed up of waking at 05:45hrs, but generally okay.

Music: None. The office door is open and such is frowned on. Will have to dig out the iPod.

Temp: 22.9˚C (but it is a very grey day)

Friday, September 07, 2007


I've submitted my short story 'My Sister's Bones' to Nothing But Red. (2,997 words - unless you include the title)
There's a three day wait for an acknowledgement, but, as I sent it on a Friday afternoon I may not hear until further into next week.

But, it's done! Gone!

Ghosts and Monsters next!

Edited to add: have had an acknowledgement on the NBR piece. Nothing to do now but wait until November when I'll know if it's in or not! Onward and upwards!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Round 3

Okay, tertiary line edits are done and three of the lovely ladies at BW Forum are reading through to make sure it scans well (especially important as the end was written first!) I now need to start planning Gloves for Mslexia as that's due on the 14th of September and it has to be posted rather than e-mailed. There are also a couple of shorts/drabbles I want to do for the run up to Christmas (I know, it's only August, but time flies!)

Nearly hometime which is great because I just want a nap - not enough fresh air today. I slept in and have been slightly wrong-footed ever since. Early night tonight, I think. If I'm home in time I'll go and fetch the dogs with the housemate, otherwise it'll have to be a bit of weeding to restore the equilibrium.

Listening to: What Shall We Die For? from PotC3 by Hans Zimmer (not that I like this soundtrack or anything!)

Mood: Tired, but okay

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Round 1

Okay, round one of the edits is over. I have managed to edit out 638 words, during lunch, but I still have 332 to go if I'm to get this down to 3K. They say they'll 'consider longer on a work-by-work basis' but I'd rather meet the guidelines if I can, so round two will commence this evening. (I have no doubt there are areas that need paring down!)

Mood: okay, nearly home time.

No music, just the wind whistling round the office windows.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Almost done!

3,970 / 3,000

Right then! A fair bit of editing needs doing and I need a closing couple of sentences and a title as well, but then it's done. Is it literary? Is it crap? Is it literary crap? Hopefully, not the latter two but I shall ask an impartial reader to have a scan before I embarrass myself by sending off something completely dire!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Sweating with Sven is going well...

I've been working on my sub for Nothing But Red. It's not meant to be more than 3K and I've already written 3,308 so I'm going to have to do some major editing and cutting when I've finished. Although I'm working on the second third of it at the moment, I have written most of the end (I wrote that first thinking it was the beginning!) so I shouldn't be writing masses more that I then have to pare down. The idea's a good one, I think, but I'll need the editing as the execution needs a good polish (or three) and then I'll have to get on and do the Gloves sub for Mslexia as time's a marching on that one too.

Listening to: I see dead people in boats from PotC3 by Hans Zimmer
Mood: Productive
General air of wellbeing: I'm hot, I'm cold, I'm hot...I think I have a cold.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

The Sun is Shining!

It's a glorious morning, which makes up nicely for having been up at 02:30 because BB was ill - I had to clean the extension, the dog, and because he'd got on the bed for a cuddle before I realised he'd been poorly I had to then strip the bed and change that as well! Back in bed for 03:30. I will pay for that later, I'm sure.

Writing's going ok - not done more on the novella, but I've been working on a piece for Nothing But Red, and that's going well so far (although it can't be said that I'm whizzing along right now).

Office/building move number two went well although the stock is still being unpacked and interfiled (and we've been told that we need to lose another 100 shelves of stock because it won't all fit! How we're going to achieve this fairly I have no idea, at the moment I'm envisaging piles of books at the ends of each bay of shelving). ***Everything's. Going. So. Welllllll!***

I haven't updated the 'I have read' list in the sidebar since I went on holiday in June, the list is quite large now, hence my putting it off but if I get some free tinkering time this weekend I'll have a stab at updating it. At the moment I'm reading Heart Dance by Robin D. Owens and loving it. Saille T'Willow is a lovely character and it's annoying that I have to wait until lunchtime (or worse, until I get home) to read more. I'm also re-reading my Lois McMaster Bujold SF - I'd forgotten what a great character Miles Vorkosigan is, very humorous wit.

Mood: Quite chipper, actually

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Long time, no blog!

Okay! Stressful two weeks. Lots of preparation for two office moves/ building moves - done now, just sorting out where things are going, when crates will be collected etc. Also, BB had his nads off last week so that was traumatic for all concerned and he's still wearing a 'do not lick that' collar so he's not happy!

I am just so tired! And hungry. I've done no writing since my last post, but I'm hoping to get back on the ol' horse now that the worst of the trauma is over (I hope!)
Time for a banana though I think!

Saturday, July 21, 2007


Why is it, that when you've got going and you're doing ok, the dogs keep mithering for attention? Then they go and bother the housemate who then mithers that they're bothering her!


At least the cat has left me alone so far!

Progress 2

I haven't done as much as I would like but I have worked on the outline and I'm writing more on the main piece now.
I'm trying to do a bare bones outline on each chapter and so far I'm not that far ahead of the actual writing. I've found that trying to plan significantly ahead didn't work. I had to write something to begin with to discover where I was going to outline. Which doesn't make much sense to me, but if it works who am I to complain?
I'll be switching over to long-hand shortly as this is not the most ergonomic of layouts and my arm's hurting now so I shall print what I've got and run with that.

Plans for this evening: write more; read Plan B by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller; have a bath with candles, incense and relaxing music - possible Ludovico Einaudi and chill. (And maybe come back online to visit some of my WG's)

On iTunes: Church of Glass from Oscar & Lucinda

Mood: Shiny

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Okay! 6% - not bad (not as good as some others - Lauren Dane I bow down before your productivity!) but not bad. I did an out-of-sequence scene earlier and have finally started at the beginning! I will work on this some more tonight and see how much more I can do.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Sven says...sweat more!

Didn't get off to a good start - only 1,000 words but, I was away at the weekend and there wasn't much opportunity to write.

This week it's just the EDJ and I'm not going anywhere this weekend apart from taking the dogs out!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Signed up!

Okay, I've just signed up and have had a quick estimate of how long 'x' number of pages should take me (worked out using Donna Caubarreaux's Writing Goal's Workbook available via her web page)

Initial piece is 30K novella.

12pt Courier (at 250 words per page)
4 pages per day = 30 days to complete = 1000 words per day
5 pages per day = 24 days to complete = 1250 words per day
6 pages per day = 20 days to complete = 1500 words per day

12pt Times New Roman (at 285 words per page)
4 pages per day = 26.25 days to complete = 1140 words per day
5 pages per day = 21 days to complete = 1425 words per day
6 pages per day = 17.5 days to complete = 1710 words per day

When you look at the numbers, they don't actually seem that great/ challenging. When you're sitting in front of a computer or have notebook in hand getting those words (and good ones at that) can be extremely frustrating!

On NaNo: Blush Response from Bladerunner
Temp in office: 22˚ C
Mood: Oh my God, what have I let myself in for?

Some helpful images for the coming 70-odd days!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Seventy Days of Sweat...

...with Alison Kent.

Sign up now (closing date is Friday the 13th July) for Alison Kent's Seventy Days of Sweat - a multi-author commitment to write between 4 and 6 pages a day (depending on the length of your book/ novellas) reporting back on Alison's blog at regular intervals to let all the participants know how you're getting on.

The challenge started on Sunday the 8th of July and runs until Thursday September the 20th - 75 days, but that's so that those who are attending RWA don't have to write then.

So far, 213 people have signed up - who's next?

I'm still thinking about it - I'm usually a coward about putting my commitment out there, but I am thinking seriously about it. If only because - with so many other people looking on, commenting and participating - lack of commitment would become blindingly obvious

Edited to add: What the hell - I'm going to do it. I want to get this novella done.

**In other news, I have paggered my back (again - this time it's the prolapsed disc) which has resulted in shoulder/arm pain on one side and an investment in paracetamol and super-strength anti-inflammatories. The worst part is being unable to sleep well at night because there is no comfortable position - only one less painful than any of the others. Hours to get to sleep and then I keep waking up so by the time I have to get up for work it's autopilot. I wouldn't mind if I could put the 'not able to get to sleep' period to good use, but I'm so knackered that I can't even think straight. (Okay, whinging over - time to think shiny, happy thoughts!)

On Nano: Snow White Queen by Evanescence
Temp in office: 24.3˚C

Mood: Tired, and not feeling shiny right now.

Monday, July 02, 2007

I'm baaaack!

Yes indeed - the holidays are over. No more leave for me until the 1st of September, but I may not be able to actually take any leave until the end of October/beginning of November. The perils of working in an academic environment!

The holiday was great - absolutely gorgeous farmhouse (I slept in a four-poster bed!). BB loved the garden, which was huge and fully enclosed (although he barked at the cows in the next field) and I had some great walks along the coast.

I didn't write anything (not even a postcard) and on the one hand I feel bad about it, but on the other hand I read 20 books in 9 days and slept a lot. All in all I feel much better, even though I've spent the better part of today catching up on all of the e-mails that arrived in my absence and planning what I'm going to be attacking in the next couple of weeks at work. (Publications, publications, publications. And moving libraries. Yay!)

Still going through all of the feeds on my Bloglines index, so there may be something of more interest to post than "what I did on my holiday" (but knowing me, I wouldn't count on it and you've probably already come across it yourselves anyway by now!)

Side note 1: Many thanks to the wonderful Anya Bast - I won a copy of Witch Fire by participating in the comments on The Bradford Bunch blog that she contributes to. I can't wait to read it!

Side note 2: The latest issue of Mytholog is now out. Free reads, so check it out!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Okay! One and a half days until I'm on holiday and surgically separated from the Internet.
Oh. My. God.
I can cope. I can!

Just tidying up my workspace in case I get moved to my new office while I'm away. I have (now irrelevant) paperwork going back to 2001 - the recyclers are going to love me!) I will leave the windowledge until I get back, no point in overdoing it!

I'm really looking forward to the holiday. I'm going to do some writing, but I'm also going to take the opportunity to catch up on some trilogies I haven't read yet. Ah, books.

Liaden Universe

Support Steve Miller and Sharon Lee by reading their work in progress - Fledgling - set in the Liaden universe. It's a side book that takes place parallel to the main action in the book (not yet written) that is to come after I Dare. You can also listen to each chapter via podcast, the links are on the Fledgling page. So far, they're up to chapter 19, which was loaded on the 18th of June.

Read, enjoy!

Monday, June 18, 2007

On this day...

in 1815, the Battle of Waterloo was fought.

I read a fair number of novels set in and around this time period and it's not unusual for any given character to refer to the 'war' or for a hero to be scarred by his experiences on the Peninsula. Even if you don't read any of the accounts written by eyewitnesses of the time the cold, hard statistics are enough to provide a rough (and horrific) idea of what it may have been like.
According to the British Battles website:
The British, Belgians, Dutch and Germans lost 15,000 casualties or 1 in 4 engaged. The Prussians lost 7,000. The casualties of the French army are estimated at 25,000 dead and wounded, 8,000 prisoners and 220 guns lost.

This may not seem many in light of modern warfare's capability for destruction, but for one day's fighting when your main weapons are cannon, rifles and swords (and horses!) it's quite a sobering achievement.

Friday, June 15, 2007

It's raining, it's pouring...

It is, in fact, wazzing it down. Fully accompanied by thunder and lightning and flickering fluorescents. Hopefully the power won't go off as I've only got another 27 minutes to go. Driving home is going to be sooooo interesting as every nutter and his uncle decides that driving rain, standing water and the perils of aquaplaning are no reason to avoid driving at 95 miles an hour. Sigh, sigh.

One more week and I am on holiday! yay! But, on holiday I have no computer so any writing I do will have to be done by hand and then typed up when I get back. Oh noes!! How easily we are lured by the joy of tech.

The shifter novella is taking shape, although I need to get more speed on.

Music: none

Weather: Biblical

Dream of the Day: One day I will have a laptop of my very own.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Samhain & Kensington get hitched.

Jane, over at, has learned that Samhain and Kensington are set to create a new imprint - this to be announced at BEA sometime today. The new imprint will consist of 1-2 releases a month, both available in trade and mass market paperback editions.

Click here for the full post.

Even with only 1-2 releases a month, it will be interesting to see whether this makes a significant difference in the number of Samhain books available in stores. I'm presuming that Samhain will also continue to release titles in print, apart from the new imprint, so perhaps we'll see more titles (some/ any Samhain titles) in UK bookshops? (Apart from Murder One in London which is already very good about having print titles from Samhain, Ellora's Cave, New Concepts and others). My local Waterstones (formerly Ottakers) is small but also appalling in its range of stock; my local independent tried to be too like them in order to hold onto the market and now is just as bad and we won't mention WH Smiths at all. Grrrrr. (Borders - please don't go!)


Listening to: Drink Up Me Hearties from PotC3

Temp in office: 23.1˚C

Mood: Tired and cranky

Friday, June 01, 2007

Aaar, matey!

Well, I've seen Pirates of the Caribbean 3 and I love it! Will definitely be going to watch it again. Not only is there (lots of) Captain Jack Sparrow, but Chow Yun Fat is playing Sao Feng! Haven't seen him in anything since Crouching Tiger so it was good. (Puts me in mind to watch all of the Hong Kong movies with CYF that I bought years ago - so long ago they were only available in VHS not DVD format. Thankfully, they were subtitled rather than dubbed. I hate dubbed films. )
Anway, I digress. Although I did/do love PotC3, I have to say that I love the soundtrack more (by Hans Zimmer). Gorgeous, sweeping music that makes me want to have a sailing ship of my own and stand at the wheel whilst sailing east of the sun and west of the moon!

I am in fact listening to it right now - and we loves it, we do. Ahem. The theme melody that runs through the previous two soundtracks is present again, but there are some new variations that really get your heart racing especially in the tracks: At Wit's End, Up is Down, and Drink Up Me Hearties. The (brief) first track Hoist the Colours is quite emotive (and horribly addictive in the sense that it's short enough and rhythmic enough to get stuck in your head for days! It's been three days and I've still got the words running through my head!)

Listening to: Singapore from PotC3

Mood: Quite chirpy, thank you!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Have you got that Friday feeling?

I haven't... yet.

Partly because BB keeps waking me up, wanting to go outside at ohGodo'clock in the morning - so much so that I had to shut him downstairs at 0430 this morning because I just had to sleep, and it was the third time he'd woken me up. B was never like that as a puppy, maybe it's a boy thing?

The other reason for my lack of Friday Wootness! is that I'm working tomorrow until 13:00hrs. Erk! But, I am off for the Bank Holiday and not back at work until Thursday - yay!

I've decided I'm going to have a stab at the Cat Shifter novella for Samhain so I will hopfully get a good run on in those few days. I'll outline this weekend and then go from there.


Monday, May 21, 2007

Simon & Schuster come under fire...

The Authors Guild has alerted its membership that S&S's new contract language would mean that the publisher would 'retain rights to a book for the entire length of copyright' (Milliot, PW, 5/17/2007)

Following on from this, the AG reports that S&S have backtracked slightly, accusing the AG of overreacting but also saying that the rights reversions issue will be looked at on a book-by-book basis.

Read your contracts carefully, talk to a contracts lawyer (or your agent) if you don't understand something and don't sign something if you don't understand what everything means or you're not happy with what's on the contract.

Thanks to Alison for the heads-up.

Also, for a different take, have a look at Juno Editor/ Paula Guran's blog entry on this.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Last day before the weekend

I'm off tomorrow (work, that is) while the car is being done to and then I'm off to the pater's all things being equal.

I had an unpleasant series of thoughts last night. I'd finished typing up what I'd done so far on the short I'm working on and then thought of how it could go better in first person, with completely different characters and set in a completely different country! Does this mean it's not going well? ;-) Sigh. I'm not changing it. I'll finish it, then if I think it's unmitigated crap I'll either do a re-write or stick it in the drawer of 'work to draw lessons from, but that should never see the light of day'!

On a happier note, the visit to my papa's will mean plenty of reading time so I can get stuck into Lara Adrian 's 'Kiss of Midnight' (and hopefully the new Jayne Ann Krentz (The River Knows - writing as Amanda Quick) that I swore I wouldn't buy in trade size, but would wait for the mass-market version will arrive tomorrow, in trade format, before I go.

Side Note 1:
There've been posts and comments pinging their way across the blogosphere about the e-publisher Triskelion and their un-invitation to attend RWA here. Quite a bit from both sides of the debate at DearAuthor (all the entries are from the 16th of May) and the comments on SmartBitches are quite interesting as well.

Side Note 2:
Jessica over at BookEnds, LLC has put together a (brief) sub-genre encyclopaedia to 'give you a better idea and understanding of what publishing professionals are talking about when they mention a specific sub-genre.' Click here for the full post. (the comments are pretty interesting too.)

Birthday Tribute to Alan Johnston

It is 66 days since BBC correspondent Alan Johnston was abducted by a group of armed men in Gaza. Thursday is his birthday.

- By John Williams, World Editor, BBC News, Jerusalem

Read the whole entry here

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Tired, precioussss.

So. Glorious, relaxing Bank Holiday + 2 days?

Well, initially.

The BH itself went well. It was the two extra days I took that completely left my control. Pseudo-nephew no.2 was ill and I was recruited to hold the fort while p-n no.1 was collected from school. Then I helped out round the house and got home late.

Following day, same pattern (but I started earlier) although I did manage to read half a book and do another page of my short.

My respect for those who run their lives round children has increased. Hats off to you ladies & gents!

My state of knackeredness was not improved by BB - who decided that he wanted to go outside 4 times on Monday night, Tuesday night and Wednesday (I'm dreading tonight - but it's not as if I can ignore him - I'm the one who has to clean the carpet if I do, so getting up is the lesser evil (but eeeevil it is - the only time you should be up at 04:40hrs is if you've stayed up (to read/ write or party), you're going on holiday or you've got a hot date. Toilet duty - no.))

Le sigh.

I will try to post during the weeks that follow (weekends will be out as I'm away and Internet access is unlikely)

Donning super-attributes to

attack recalcitrant storylines!

Link courtesy of Patti O'Shea's blog - create your own superhero(ine) here

No music today, no temperature (warm inside, windy outside)

Mood = shattered, but more about that later.

Friday, May 04, 2007

All authors are not (apparently) created equal

Going round the blogosphere in the last couple of days have been posts about the treatment of Laura Baumbach (NB: site is for over-18's only) at the RT (Romantic Times convention) in Houston.

Laura seems to be getting a lot of support from authors and readers across the blogosphere (irrespective of whether they like m/m romance or not); unfortunately, she apparently didn't get the same support from the organisers of the convention. The ones she'd paid good money to.

On a different note, more insanity sprang up at the start of the week - directed at Karen Scott. You can read's take on it here.

Have the Sith Lords taken over, or something?

On Nano: Track 15 of Enigma's MCMXC a.D. (yes, I loaded it onto iTunes without being online/ typing in the track titles - I was in a rush ok?!)

Mood: Tired because BB got me up four times in the night, but looking forward to the Bank Holiday Weekend (#1 for May!) I won't be back at work until Thursday so that's cool.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


I am looking forward to the Bank Holiday weekend - 3 1/2 days and counting! I need more bookshelves so furniture will have to be moved round to make way.

I'm tired at the moment, because I'm still recovering from Sunday night (or rather, Monday morning). A lady lives across the road from me, and she has a habit of locking her man out so it's not overly unusual for me to be wakened (or kept awake) by him wailing her name, swearing, and demanding to be let in while pounding on the front door/ back door/ windows. Sometimes, I get to hear the police asking her to open the door. Sunday night/ Monday morning I was kept awake until c. 02:30hrs and the police came twice. It could have been worse - she didn't actually say anything this time, normally she screeches back like a fishwife.
Unfortunately, the yelling made B.B. want to bark so I had to keep telling him to be quiet (especially now that we have neighbours on both sides).

So, now I'm tired. Hopefully I'll have caught up by Wednesday as I have a half day and visitations to make and I want to work more on my short.

Computer Update

I have discovered why the pc is sooooooooo sloooooooow.

Apparently, it only has 256MB of RAM. My father was amazed that the damn thing actually got as far as allowing itself to be turned on, let alone ran programs. It is a miracle of hardware. (Thank you Compaq - you are obviously gods among computer manufacturers!)

So that will have to be taken care of soon. Yay, more jobs.

Temp in office: 22.7˚ (still no window control)

On Nano: Spaceman by Babylon Zoo

Mood: Tired, hungry (it's nearly lunchtime and breakfast wore off hours ago)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Writing compared to making love...

Robert Gregory Browne from Murderati wrote a post on the 18th April about Reaching the Climax and how writing can fit into the pattern of Seduction, Foreplay and Climax. It's an interesting piece, and the comments add to that by highlighting some of the potential differences between male and female readers and what they want out of a novel i.e. more inclined to go for the 'relationship' rather than requiring a mind-blowing climax to every novel. (More forgiving of performance issues perhaps? lol)

Let's talk about sex. Those of you who are uncomfortable with the subject, feel free to bail out now -- I'm likely to get pretty raunchy.

Still with me? I thought so.

When we make love, most of us have a particular goal in mind: that moment when our entire body seems to stem from one central point, every nerve-ending tingling wildly as fireworks assault our brain.

That moment, of course, is orgasm, and anyone who has experienced one (or two or three) -- especially with a willing and enthusiastic partner (or two or three) -- knows that it can be an exquisitely pleasurable sensation.

But are all orgasms created equal?

Of course not. The quality of our orgasms is directly related to the quality of the fun and games that precede them, not to mention our emotional bond with our partner, and our willingness (or unwillingness) to surrender ourselves fully to the moment.

So what, you're probably wondering, does any of this have to do with writing?

Check out the links for the full post and thanks to Alison Kent for posting about it.

On Nano: Tia Dalma from Pirates of the Caribbean II

Mood: Just had lunch, followed by chocolate, so really, I feel quite... shiny!

Temp in office: 25.1˚C (and the windows are still not in our control!)

Monday, April 23, 2007

Monday has arrived again.

Okay, weekend recap!

Went well in the allotmenteering sense (runner beans, squash and sweet peas planted); the reading sense (re-read Glass Houses and Touch the Dark and then read the Dead Girl's Dance and Claimed by Shadow - I wish I could forget I'd read them so that I could re-read them all over again I enjoyed them so much!) Weekends are too short for a bibliomaniac.

Didn't get much writing done, but had a couple more ideas for short stories so we'll see what will come out of that.

I'm off this afternoon as I have a little talk to prepare for this evening, but if I can get the prep work done in short order then I'll have the house (and the computer) to myself.

On Nano: Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean II

Mood: Quite chirpy, and looking forward to lunch. Mmmm - lunch.

Friday, April 20, 2007

It's nearly the weekend!

And what joy do I have in store?

Murderous trees (I will finish you off now that I've changed the start), digging the allottment and stripping the bathroom walls. Bathroom - wallpaper - steam... not a good combination.

I am also going to finish re-reading Glass Houses by Rachel Caine (the Morganville Vampires - love them!) so that I can read The Dead Girl's Dance.

I have also just (last night) finished reading Lover Revealed by J.R. Ward. Now I want to re-read the series so far. If it weren't for the money to buy books and paper for the printer, work would be a serious PITA! (whinge/ whine/ moan - I'll stop now!)

On Nano: Ikke noget

Mood: Glad it's the weekend (but I don't want to do digging or DIY - not shiny, no it's not.)

Monday, April 16, 2007

I'm baaaack!

And it's Monday. phhhhht!

Ah well, can't have everything. Managed to get a good start on a 'hungry trees' story (I seem to have issues with murderous trees at the moment - I'd better cut down on the cider and try something else!) I'm wavering on the voice of the narrator so that will need to be tidied in edits as sometimes he comes across as a normal 17-year old and sometimes as if he's swallowed a dictionary!

Sun is shining, I'm indoors wanting to be outdoors, but, nose to the grindstone and off to do more work.

Temp in office: 24.3˚C (and we can't open the windows!)

On Nano: None, I'm boring today.

Mood: Okaaaay.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Brief return...

and then I'm off again!

I'm taking annual leave for the rest of this week. One's chum has a job interview tomorrow morning (for her own job bizarrely enough, and at an ungodly hour of the morning as well which seems a bit cruel and unusual) so once that's done we will be consuming chocolate, taking the dogs out and basically having a bit of a jolly.

I've got a couple of shorts (flash/ drabble pieces) ticking over in the back of my mind that I want to tease out, and yesterday I had (what I thought was) a great first line. (Bathtime is just full of inspiration!) So that's all jotted down and waiting for continuance.

I have had great difficulty reading in the last couple of weeks, re-reads or new books. I just can't concentrate. Where I have managed to read a couple, instead of taking me 2-3 hours as per usual, I've been taking 2-3 days. And not caring! It's just not right. I hope I'm not going through another down phase. The last one lasted for about three months and it was awful - I didn't read anything, didn't buy any new books. Maybe my brain just needed a rest, but it was quite - distressing is too harsh a word, but it was along those lines. (Although, one book I did manage to read was Ray Bradbury's Zen in the Art of Writing[1877741094]. Lots of mini-essays & very good).
I shall visit my papa this weekend, so perhaps the quiet at his house (and lack of interruption) will help. We shall see.

Enough whining! The sun is out. I'm off this afternoon, and there is work to be done.

Hej, hej.

On Nano: Nothing - it's still in my locker.

Mood: Lergified (again!), but relatively positive!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Submission, and the holidays

Okay, I subbed (yesterday) to Mytholog - a drabble piece for their Summer issue. Closing date is 14th of May so I just need to wait and see what they say.

And...the holidays are here! Term paused last week so no late night tonight (yay!) or next week; and the little darlings will be back the week after. But in eight minutes I will be off for five days! And one of them is my birthday! (I won't say which one, suffice to say I'm still in my thirties.)

On the NaNo: Nothing. Absolute silence.

Mood: Happy, happy, happy!

Monday, April 02, 2007


Had a rejection from Mslexia about my flash piece 'Car Park' so I shall have to check out some other markets to submit it to, as well as work up a couple of new pieces and submit them around.

In other news: I've got Broadband - sort of. Had to get a wireless adaptor because the phone line and computer are in two completely different rooms and the ethernet cable's too short. The BT setup won't recognise the adaptor so we're supposed to set up a wired connection first and then go to wireless once that's done (although obviously the problem with the wires means we can't do this).

However. The (Belkin) wireless adaptor found the Broadband Hub no problem and connected to the Internet. So we are and we aren't connected if that makes sense? Or we are and we shouldn't be? Perhaps we need a little man to come out and have a look to make sure we haven't mucked something up.

Ain't technology grand?

On the Nano: Every little thing counts by Janus Stark

Mood: (Temporarily) confused by tech

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Okay - I've added the writing links (from one computer) to my space (I hadn't realised I had so many either) and I've modified the tags as well. I've got some links on another computer to put up there, and I haven't included all of the author links because that list is huge, but at least I'll be able to access the sites from wherever (whereever? where-ever?) when I need to.

Haven't done any more on Mirror of Andras - need to do some more on that tonight as I've had an idea for a slightly different direction to take it.
Mood: Tired, but ok

On Nano: Beyond the Pale by The Mission

Friday, March 16, 2007


Just had to put this quote up - I came across it on Marjorie M. Liu's blog. If you haven't already, read Marjorie's Dirk & Steele series. Wonderful paranormal stories with new twists on the paranormal theme.
Start at the beginning with Tiger Eye

Go. Read. Enjoy.

"If I lose the light of the sun, I will write by candlelight, moonlight, no light. If I lose paper and ink, I will write in blood on forgotten walls. I will write always. I will capture nights all over the world and bring them to you." --
Henry Rollins

On Nano: Taking Over Me by Evanescence

It's Friday!!! Yay!

Well, Friday has landed - and I'll be going home in just over 2 1/2 hours. No work this weekend! I've managed to read a couple of books this week, as well as write more on the Mirror of Andras short story. It's going to need monster edits when it's done, but it's better to acknowledge that now than have it preying on my mind. Otherwise I'll end up editing and re-editing what I've written without getting any further forward. :(

In other news: Samhain Publishing has just got RWA recognition, so congratulations to Samhain and all of its authors!

Mood: Pretty damn upbeat y'all!

On the Nano: Right Here Right Now by Fatboy Slim

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Three columns or not?

I'm trying to decide whether it would be a good idea to add in an extra column to the blog so there isn't so much scrolling to be done, or to try another template or ...I don't know. I've gone to a couple of sites - one lauding the joys of doing it in px and the other of doing it in %. I've saved a copy of the existing template so I can alter with (relative) impunity (and I can always remove the edits if it all goes pear-shaped) but still - there's always that moment of panic when you do something to your blog/web page and things disappear or go squiffy.

I may try it tomorrow.

Friday, March 02, 2007


Okay! I've tidied up the sidebars a bit and added in a few more blogs etc. that I visit (I haven't put the blogroll from Bloglines on there because that would be insane - I really need to pare them down a bit!)

It's Friday!!! Yay!

I want to work on my flash piece (150 words) and also a short story (3,000 words) this weekend - get them written up and then into editing. Then I will start up with the bears again - I haven't been ignoring them but other stuff came up that I needed to get submitted so... back again.

I read, on Wednesday, Linnea Sinclair's new novel Games of Command and it is fantastic. The characterisations of Kel-Paten and Sass were great, but I have to say that Kel-Paten stole the show as he struggled with his burgeoning emotions for Captain Tasha Sebastian; emotions that, as a cyborg, he shouldn't have. I really felt my heart clench when he thought he'd lost everything and this is certainly going to be a favoured re-read along with Gabriel's Ghost, An Accidental Goddess and Finder's Keepers. Secondary characters were interesting, and the furzels were great. For a review that's more articulate than one from me try here. But basically: Go, read, enjoy.

Want to learn more about Linnea and her books (yes, you do!) go to her website here - she's very kindly put some free short stories up for people to look at as well.

Mood: Upbeat

Listening to: L'Esprit des Gabriel from the Da Vinci Code

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Books I've read...

I will be updating this area (and the blogs area too) when I have a moment. I've got a lot on at work catching up after knackering my back, and I haven't been reading much new material lately (buying - yes; reading - no!).

Instead I've been re-reading some of my comfort reads. You know the ones - you don't have to concentrate too hard and they leave you feeling as if you've had a great big hug, you're wrapped in a warm blanket and you've just drunk a huge mug of hot chocolate (that didn't make you feel sick) all at once. Which would probably be really messy if you did it all at once in real-life but as this is just a metaphor* it's ok. No spilt hot chocolate or first degree burns.

*Who knew that there were so many elements to the metaphor - we won't go into when I last did grammar but I'm sure we didn't cover all of these then.

Flash in the pan?

I've lately been sucked into the joy-of-flash. Flash fiction that is.

I've entered two pieces in the Binnacle ultra-short competition, submitted one short piece to a magazine and now I'm working on 3 short pieces (well, really one short at 150 words and 2 ultra-short at 50 words apiece) for another writing competition that closes on Friday.

Considering the fact that I have problems finishing longer (i.e. novel-length) pieces, is the allure of flash the fact that it is so short and therefore it's rather difficult not to be able to finish a piece? Although shorter, it is certainly no easier to write as you are condensing as much of the essence of the story as you can into that brief collection of words and I find I have to remind myself that just because I, the writer, knows something - it doesn't always come out in the writing itself.

For example:

your character sends a radio signal to the sun, which takes c. 8.19 minutes to get there. (You just know I looked that one up don't you?) In your flash piece you may refer to that without taking the time (or using the word count) to explain that when your character says "Eight minutes there and back again, but how long between?" he's referring to the there and back again time of the signal and that he's wondering how long it will take the machinery at the other end of the signal to act on the instructions.

I know that's what I mean, because it was running in the back of my mind at the time I wrote the piece - but I've found that with flash pieces (especially those that come in under 200 words) that if it needs explaining (and my writer friends felt it did!) then you should leave it out/ change it - because in short pieces you don't have the 'room' to explain and a WTF?! moment half-way through a 150 word piece is not necessarily a good thing! (I've also found that, short pieces or not, it's extremely useful to have people you trust to ping ideas off as they can point out those WTF?! moments so you can check whether you want to leave them in or not).

I am enjoying writing flash and the feeling of achievement that finishing and submitting them creates can't be denied.

Even if they don't get selected for anything, even if they don't make a shortlist or warrant a 'thanks for your time' - the act of completing and submitting has done wonders for my self-confidence.

I can do this. Next time it'll be for something a bit longer, and the time after that for something longer still.

Mood: Productively happy

Listening to: Kelly Clarkson - "Behind these hazel eyes"