Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Goals for 2010!

As 2009 draws to a close, it is time to once again sit down and set goals for the months and year ahead. With that in mind, here is an expanded list of my goals for the first three months of 2010.
Start my writing day by 9am each day and finish by 4pm. Aim is to edit 5 pages per day.

Finish editing SMU and ‘The Billionaire Lie’, was previously titled, ‘If I Were a Rich Man’ ready to submit in February.

- SMU submit to eHarlequin Spice Briefs or Noble Romance for CC.
- The Billion’s Lie submit to eHarlequin.

Have ‘Cruisin the Blog’ posts started by the Tuesday of each week ready to post by the Saturday evening.

Work on ‘Bookshelf Saturday’ throughout the month ready for posting by the last Saturday of the month.

Gather more information on the founding years and growth of the RWAus for Wikipedia article.
Saturday and Sundays – critiquing days as well as updates for Goodreads and Shelfair.
Blog each Tuesday and Thursday on my blogspot site.
Blog on first of the month on both my Heroine Diaries and Heroes Blogs.
Update Challenge and Novel Blogs the second Sunday of the month.
Blog on the 109ers Bootcamp Blog every three weeks.
Send updates to Kiki for RWAus website on Thursdays and Sundays.
Read at least one novel a week.
Exercise for 30 minutes each day.
Stick to my diet to lose 5kgs.

Edit ‘By Her Father’s Design’ was previously titled ‘Right Where I Need to Be’ and IT, ready to submit in March.
- By Her Father’s Design ready to submit to eHarlequin.
- IT submit to Noble Romance. For CC
The third Saturday of the month is NewMait Writers’ meeting.
The rest are as January!!

Edit ‘Tyler’s Return’ was previously ‘We Were in Love’.
- Tyler’s Return ready to submit to eHarlequin
The third Saturday of the month is NewMait Writers’ meeting.
The rest of my goals are the same as January, except for my weight which I hope to be at the stage I’ll just need to maintain my goal weight.
That is it for the first three months, I’ll have word counters in the side panel so you can see how I’m progressing.
Wishing you all a very Happy New Year.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Making Plans

From where I’m sitting at the moment, I don’t think I’m going to get a lot more achieved with my writing from now until the New Year. I’m lucky if I’m editing two pages a day, and that’s on hard copy, still have to enter it into the computer. With that in mind, I’m setting my goals for next year so I can work everything I need into my week.

Now, I’m not an early riser so this may take some doing, but I’ll give it a try. Here’s what my day will (hopefully) look like:

6.00AM – Put washing on, and then have breakfast

6.30AM – Check emails and respond to any that need attention.

7.30AM – Do Housework (Now that just sent a shiver down my spine, ewww). Hang out washing.

8.30AM – Have coffee and work on ‘Cruisin’ the Blog and Members News.

9.00AM – Start writing/editing day

10.30AM – Have a coffee break.

11.00AM – Back to writing/editing

12.00PM – Lunch

12.30PM – Back to writing/editing

2.00PM – Have coffee break.

2.30PM – Back to writing/editing or work on RWAus stuff.

4.00PM – Finish up for day.

There, see I’m all organised. All I need to do now is pull it off. Maybe I better start getting up early now so by the New Year my body is use to the early rises.

My goals for 2010 will be posted on the Bootcampers 109 blog on Wednesday.

Happy writing

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Editing Merry-go-round

Okay editing is not one of my strong points. I am too easily distracted. When I’m writing my first draft, I’m focused, nothing can drag me away from the computer when the words are flowing. So why, when I have all the words before and I know that they need work, a lot of work, can’t I sit still long enough to get the thing done?

I am also fighting the urge to start something new, yes; a new story has started to develop in my head. I should be making notes, but I know the minute I do that, I’ll start writing, I won’t be able to stop myself. I have no will power in that area. Maybe I need to join a ‘New Story Anonymous’ group or something. Arrrrrh, I hate this!

I’ve edited the same pages three times, Margie (see previous post) is doing my head in. I’m dreaming of power words. I don’t think my opening is strong enough even after the re-writes. I’m doing it all on hard copy hoping I will connect with the characters, that they will once again lead me in the right path. Something is missing and for the life of me, I can’t put my finger on it.

Okay, I’ve had a nice long bath and took some time to think. Here’s my decision. It I read each scene and make notes, like you would if you were plotting the novel from scratch, then I might work out what’s missing. It should also tell me if the conflict is strong enough for each character. You see, I think the conflictis there for the hero but maybe not so much the heroine, she needs work. Yes, that’s what I’ll do, it can’t hurt, and anything is better than going around on the merry-go-round I’m on at the moment.

Shall let you know how I go next week. Now I’m going to bed.
Happy Writing

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Editing: Do Not Disturb

For the next seven months I’m editing. I’ve put a ‘DO NOT DISTURB’ sign up at my Head Motel, so far all is quiet. CC is happy because at least two of her novels will be the first to be edited, that should keep her at bay for a month. So why seven months of editing? Easy, I have at least seven or eight novels finished sitting there waiting and I sure as hell won’t get published if I don’t edit what I’ve written. I also need seven months so I can work my way through Margie Lawson’s lecture packs.

I’m starting with ‘Empowering Characters’ Emotions’ and ‘Deep Editing: The EDITS System, Rhetorical Devices, and More’ you can also do these and others as one of ‘Margie’s Online classes’. I’m already feeling better about this editing thing and my even learn to like the process.
Since Tuesday, I’ve edited seven pages of ‘SMU’, now this is a novella, so I’m hoping to have this finished by the weekend. Then I’ll do some more work on ‘Rich Man’ and aim to have that finished by Christmas. I’m working very hard at being good and only working on one project at a time. None of this jumping from one story to the other. I have a plan and I’m going to stick to it even if it kills me. Yes, I have my calendar all filled in with which novels I work on and when, not jumping ahead. I wrote them in with a pen so I can’t rub them out if I change my mind.

Okay, this is not getting my editing done today. I’ve been updating our Horse Stud Site with the latest news. But now it’s my time, I’ll let you know how I’m going in a day or two.

Happy Writing

Monday, November 23, 2009

Knowing When to Stop

You know when we start our journey each year or in some cases every six months to undertake writing 50K in 30 days, we have all the rules we intended to stick by.

Just write, do not edit.

Ignore the outside world.

Writing comes first.

Make sure your family knows you will not be available. And so on.
Then one day you get a phone call to say your Mum has spent the night in hospital, but it’s not serious. Then you go down to visit and realise for the normal person a bit of vomiting may not be serious, but for your mother who weighs less than 50 kg, can’t afford to lose any more weight it could turn out a big problem.

This was my weekend, then things got a little more serious on Monday. My Mum had a fall, not that she hurt herself bad, but we have now been told her illness could have started to take a turn for the worse and progress faster than it had been. You see, my Mum has late on setting Huntington's chorea disease. For the past few months, my family and I have watched small things change within my Mum, now instead of the disease taking dolly steps it has moved into giant steps.

My point is that no matter how good you intentions are at the start of the challenge, sometimes life steps in and you have to accept defeat. Not reaching 50Ks is NOT the end of the world, the novel will be there for you when you’re ready to start again.

Sometimes you just have to know when to stop.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Mind over Matter

I’ve hit the 25K mark for NaNoWriMo, YAY. Unfortunately I’ve also hit the midway stumbling block. I spent most of today doing anything I could on the computer except write. Well except for 581 words. Better than nothing, yes, but not near enough, or anywhere near what I have been doing.

Here’s the thing, it happens every challenge. I get so far along, either in word count or in days/weeks and I hit the wall. Slow right down for a few days and then I’m right again, ready to write up a storm. Today I started thinking this is crazy, I expect it, I am convincing myself this is going to happen and of course it does. Mind over Matter. I am training my mind to believe this is how it should be, instead of fighting my way through it, pushing myself that little bit harder. So here I sit complaining about not being able to write, yet I’m writing this blog. I wrote my report for RWAustralia web team and my job description thingy. (Mind you these should have been done over a week ago.) Why can’t I write more on my story. I’ve opened the file twice and nothing! Not a thing, it’s like the characters have gone to bed and turned off the lights. Not even CC’s characters are coming out to play. I might have an early night and start fresh tomorrow, that may help.

I’m ‘Not happy Jan.’


Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Cosy Mystery for NaNo

So here I am at day five of NaNoWriMo and all is going well. Maybe a little too well. The story is coming together even with a couple of added point of views. My original idea was to tell the story from just my granny sleuth, however when I sat down at my computer on day three a second point of view character arrived. That character was my young Detective; I could live with that I thought. Instead of slotting in his point of view scenes in the original work, I decided to open a new file for him, so now I’m working between two files and one has to play catch-up. I should also point out the all my planning and plotting by this stage had been forgotten, didn’t even get a look in really. Maybe the fact that I had written it all down stuck a little because I did still have my original suspects and murder victim.

Come day three and I woke with a headache, not that this is uncommon for me but it did throw me for a while. Why? Because I had a third character wanting a point of view in the story. What could I do? Not much, if a character decides they know best, it is best to go along with them. So open file number three. Yes I’m writing novel between three files each with its own point of view. NOTE: These are in third person POV, I don’t think I do first person very well.

Anyway, today I’ve spent the day playing catch up with my two new POV characters. I think I’m almost there, which is a good thing, now do I continue to work with the three separate files or start a new file with all three POVs. Will have to think on that one.
So far in the story I have, one murdered tap dancer, up until today I had four suspects, this afternoon I gained another suspect and I can tell you I didn’t see this one coming. I have no idea what impact this person will have on the story.

My four amateur senior citizen sleuths are just starting to cause a little bit of havoc for my nice Detective and the manager of the nursing home. Oh, and said detective and manager were once married. Not sure where this is going to go either as they were not in my planning stage. Well they were but not as a once upon a time couple.
To date I’m 30% of the way through, which is great, I have a few non-writing days coming up, so I need to be in front. Word total 15,023 words. For now I’m happy, and I’m really enjoying writing something completely different.
The secret to my word count, is the internet on my laptop has had a major "Male Moment", so no connection, which means I have to come into other office to post comments, email etc. Easy really, no internet means lots of writing time.

Hope your NaNo Month is going well.
Happy Writing.

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Chorus sings ‘Get back to writing!’

My Guest today is Eleni Konstantine. Welcome to my blog Eleni.

Hey there, my name is Zoe and I open and close gateways to hell. Yes, I know you haven’t heard of me because my creator has neglected me since June. I mean come on, I know I look like Miss Average but this is a remarkable gift…curse…whatever you want to call what I have. Surely she should be concentrating on me?

Hold on there a sec, Zoe. I’ve been around longer than you. I’m Alex and I’ve been around since June LAST year. Yep I started out great too with my story almost nutted out. You see I am a Dream Tamer. I don’t just walk in dreams I change them. And because of that I am a wanted woman. And my hunter is my true-mate. Don’t you think that is a story worth concentrating on?

Xeni here, well actually it’s Alexandra in our world, but I’m in another dimension and Alexandra isn’t a common name. Xeni makes me fit in. I’m a Finder or a Seeker. People hire me for all sorts of jobs, and that keeps the household running while I find out what my true purpose in this dimension is. Our creator has not even worked that one out yet. Surely mine is the best story so far?

My, you ladies have a different way of conversing. I am Tasean, Princess (though don’t say that too loud) of Arestia. I have been promised in marriage to the person who wins the tournament. I hate it, but my father is right (please do not tell him); our Kingdom is too small and powerless to fight a war on many fronts, hence why we need a marriage alliance. Still I was not at fault for stumbling across a dragon who has lost her tribe. A misunderstanding has occured and while I go with the dragon willingly, my father believes I am under a spell. Not to mention the travelling minstrel we have just encountered. While he seems harmless enough and reveres dragons, there is something about him I am not sure of. I have been waiting patiently since goodness knows when. Sofian (that’s my dragon friend) tells me to be patient, but it’s not easy. Creator come back and tell our tale.

Tasean, you think you’ve been waiting long? Well let me tell you, I have been running around the creator’s head for close to 15 years. Yes that’s right, you read right – 15 Long Years. Yes she jotted down ideas, but didn’t actually start writing my story until this year!! I mean sure let my story percolate but come on… I’m Mel or as I found out Melonia. I’ve lived in the Earth dimension all my life…or so I thought. Instead I come from Beyond World. And I really want to find out what the deal is. So Creator, where the hell are you?

Ladies, enough!! You are being very rude. We are here as guests on Sandie’s blog. The least you all can do is say thank you to her for inviting us here to talk about Eleni-fest.
(Sorry Sandie and thanks Sandie for having us here, the character chorus say).
Good now hush up you lot so I talk with Sandie.

(Grumbling in background from chorus)

Sorry about that Sandie. You see my characters are bothering me. This is only the girl contingent, the guys are even worse!! You see they are right, I have been neglecting them and letting them percolate. Partly because it’s my process. Partly because I’ve been concentrating on Irini’s story (Mel & Tasean – hey no fair, we were here first).

As I was saying, but also since July, I’ve been editing, getting ready for the conference, sending partials and this past month, Eleni-fest has been happening. That is near the end. It has been a blast (although exhausting), but I’m itching to get back to my characters.
(Hooray! – the chorus cries)

And from the answers from my guests, it’s going to be hard work and harder work when (like that when not if) I get published. I’m sure my characters will help me out as well as my support team of my CP and Bootcampers who look over my work.

As a person with CFS, should I be scared of this hard work?

Actually surprisingly it doesn’t scare me. This past month I’ve gone further than I have in a long time with anything ‘work’ related i.e. writing related without the actual writing. But I can do it – and Eleni-fest has been squeezed into a month period with not much prep time, so I have been laying down the tracks just as the train is on the horizon. I hope with my stories, that I will have a little bit more breathing room.

It’s been a draining month but my need to get back to writing has been intensified. I’ve truly missed it. So I need to rediscover my process in the next couple of months…or a routine that will suit me. This all hours at the computer is not a good thing (doesn’t help also we are renovating ATM, so life here is stressful on another level) and I need to watch my energy levels. So I’m constantly learning about my process and re-evaluating.

I’m mainly a pantser.
(yes we know, cry the chorus)

But I do have notes of the general direction I’m going. Though different things happen and new characters emerge. It’s fun playing around in my fantasy worlds – whether they are completely made up or my version of our world.

All I know is that I’m looking forward to getting reacquainted with my stories and characters again, and learning more about the writing process. After all the philosopher Socrates said we are students during all our lives. And I agree – there is something new to learn everyday, to expand on, to work on.

Now, for your chance to win a mini-pack, please tell me which of the 5 stories above you think I should on concentrate next and why?

Zoe is from Gateway to Hell

Alex is from DreamTamer

Xeni is from Finder

Tasean is from The Lady & the Dragon

Mel is from Beyond World.

They are all jumping up and down trying to get your attention. Not very heroic you know!

LOL, Eleni, you characters sound like mine, so it's good to know I'm not the only one who has problems like this.

Eleni thank you and your ladies for dropping by today.

Comments will be open until 4th November 2009 for your chance to win this gift pack.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Am I CRAZY????

Well blogging each week didn’t last long did it. Not even one week! Well not on here anyway. So, what have I been doing that is so important that I can’t blog. Beside the fact I’ve been sick not much. Had some sort of stomach bug most of the week, which is not fun let me tell you.

The RWAus ‘Cruisin’ the Blog’ is going well, some of our RWAus members are very busy promoting their new or soon to be released novels. Speaking of novels, I’m not getting very far with mine. Editing has come to a crawl, writing has stopped altogether and the planning for my November NaNo novel, yes well let’s leave that one alone. The problem with the NaNo novel is I keep changing my mine about what I want to write. Do I do the second novel for CC’s Scarlett House series? Or do I go with the Cosy Mystery I have dancing around in my head.

Yes, you read that right, a cosy mystery for crying out loud. I have the setting, a nursing home. Okay I admit I got this when visiting my Mum one day, they have it all there, the old busy body who knows everything that is going on around the home. She’s great, would make a great nosy sleuth. A lot of the other residence would make great sidekicks. They all make me laugh when I’m talking to them, and the things they come out with, cracks me up every time. I can just see them all tottering around getting in the way as police try to solve the crime. LOL. Have you ever sat and watched the elderly as they interact with each other? How their eyes light up when someone new comes to visit and takes the time to talk to them? The other day when I visited my Mum, one of the volunteers arrived with her two young daughters, look on the residents faces as these girls went from one to the other was priceless.

Anyway back to my cosy mystery. Okay, the setting is the Spring Ball in the nursing home, one of the entertainers for the night is found dead in the change room. Suspects are the bandleader, a woman jealous of the dead woman. The organ player, he had an affair with the dead woman who had moved on to another lover. I should point out that the dead woman is in her late seventies but still very active.
Another suspect is one of the guests, dead woman fleeced her father many years earlier. The final suspect is the clown, who would suspect someone dressed up as a clown? I have to say, this is the first time I have had this much information about one of my stories before I even start to write.

Anyway that's what I've been up to, nothing exciting.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Finding Our Heroes

Where do you find your hero material? Do you mould your fictional hero after someone you know? Or is he a mixture of a number of men or women you admire? Of course the last one is, is he completely made up?

For me it depends on the hero I’m working on at the time. Most of my heroes are figments of my imagination. Not that I don’t have men in my life that would make great heroes to write about. I think for me anyway, I like to keep my men separate. The real flesh and blood from those that wander around in my head strutting their stuff. And believe me some of them strut.
Just lately I’ve been finding I’m looking to the normal Joe Blow on the street to tailor my heroes looks after. Now this new angle started the other month when I went to a horse show. Than a couple of weeks ago, I went to a Spring Ball at my Mum’s nursing home and there dancing with his Mum was my perfect young stud muffin hero. I have the perfect story to slot him into, well it’s a spin off from my first NaNoWriMo novel. I’m not sure if this will be the novel I’ll be writing for this year’s NaNo yet, will have to see which hero pushes his way to the front of the line. I have three new novels I can work on for November. Umm… do you think I’d get into too much trouble if I went around the streets taking photos of good looking strangers? LOL.

It was my anniversary yesterday. I’ve been married for thirty-three years to my own special hero. Now what makes Jim so special is that he puts up with me. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again. “If I’d married me, I would have divorced myself within the first twelve months.” He has the patients of a saint most of the time, I’m not going to say he perfect, but he’s pretty darn great. You know what? So was my Dad, it was not uncommon for my Dad to sit for hours waiting on my Mum to do shopping or go to church. I have to admit, I don’t think any of my heroes have patients.
Yes, this is me on my wedding day.
Well that’s me for this week, yes, I’m scheduling my own blog for once a week updates (well this blog anyway). This is part of my October is get organized month. Let’s see how long it lasts. I’m off to write a blog for Bootcamper 109, I’ve been a big slack butt in that area. (Hanging my head in shame.) I also have a post for the RWAus 50/30 blog, and my ‘Criusin’ the Blog’ & Members News for RWAustraila Blog. We have some great blogs coming up next week as well as some fantastic members news.

Until next time.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Father's Day

What did you do for Father’s Day? We had friends and family arrive. Spent the day chatting and taking photos. They had horses to wash (not me – I hate the smell of wet horsehair). I just took a few photos to add to our website. I think I finally have Natan Paint Horse Stub website sorted.

My son and his girlfriend arrived just before lunch. Laura is moving home this weekend YAY, Dan decided to help her pack by tossing her clothes into the back of his ute by the arm full. MEN!!!

Dan (DS) playing rally car driver & Laura (DDIL) riding Image.
While the girls rode their horses, the boys decided to play the only way boys know how, in mud. I don’t think they ever grow up. LOL. My son-in-law and grandson had a great time driving through the muddy water.

Clint (DGS) playing in mud & Clint & (DSIL) Colin after the mudfest.

Tammy (DD) riding Dude & Clint giving Dude a mud kiss.
Writing is going slow at the moment but hopefully will I will pick up the pace this week. I’ve been doing some research on artificial insemination for a new novel, yes I know, I need a new novel about as much as I need to jump in freezing water. Never the less, I have the story there, so need the information. I finished edits on CC’s novella, so she will be happy at least. Have now started on her second novel that needs editing. On that note, I had better get to it.

Happy writing.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Finding New Heroes

Didn’t get much writing done over the weekend, but I did find a new hero for a novel somewhere down the track. (below) Hubby with Natans Rain.
I went to a horse show yesterday with hubby and daughter, first show of the season and they came home happy with their day. Now I’m the first to admit that sitting (or standing) around a horse show all weekend is not one of my favourite pass times. I mean, I could be writing. But I thought I’d do the right thing and show my support. Here’s a couple of pictures of them in the show ring.
(below) photo of daughter with
Natans Dun Sliden. This is
her 2 year old gelding.
Now you may ask what this has to do with me finding a new hero. Have a look at the judge for the day. Hot!!! A couple of the girls decided to enter a few more events just so they could ride around looking at him. The picture isn’t very clear but you’ll get a good idea of what he was like. I have to say, if the show committee continue to rake in judges like this one, I just may have to go to more shows. LOL. Of course I’ll be there to support my family as well.

Plan for the week: Edit 'Rich Man' 5 pages per day is the goal. Plus add 500 words (at least) each day to 'Best Friend' or 'Surrender'.
Until next time.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Finding Time to Procrastinate

It's funny how one day you can have all the energy to write and edit, and the next you will do just about anything to get away from writing and editing. I had a day like that today. Not that it was a total waste of time, but I didn't spend anytime at all on my current work/s.

No, I had a wonderful time screaming at my computer as I tried to put a website together for our horse stud. Why did I spend my time screaming? Because my computer was taking forever to load pictures. Talk about old man syndrome. Here's a picture of our baby that was born last week. Natans Showman, he's by a stallion one of our friends own SC Showdown. Showman was the first foal of the season, not a bad start. Now we are waiting on Gem our older mare to foal, she's over due. Than her sister Tips is due at the end of September.
Anyway if you would like to have a look at our webs site here's the link: I still have some work to do to it, but it's not bad for the first day. Hubby is happy anyway, so that's a plus.
I'm heading off to bed, it's 3.30am and our Grandson is with us tonight, so I'll have to be up early. Tomorrow I'll put a few hours in on my writing, plus reading and writing reviews, drawing up interview questions, and more work on the website.
Bye for now.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Thank You to the Generous Sponsors of Clayton's

Yes, I know I was supposed to do this last week, but I’m a slack butt. Ask anyone they will tell you. Anyway, let’s move on. Last week I told you about the lovely women that donated their time to chat and run workshops for the Clayton’s Conference, this week I’m going to tell you about the wonder women that donated prizes for our contests, challenges and goodie bags.
First off, I’d like to thank Rachel Bailey and Bronwyn Jameson for posting notices in the RWA Heart Talks magazine and rallying the authors via the published authors loop. Bronwyn has continued to help me out over the last few months. Click on the books for links to the author's sites.

A Big Thank you to:

Please visit the sites and if possible support our sponsors by buying their latest book or novel. Also Wagtail Cottage for their support.
Thank you everyone once again for your support.