Saturday, December 30, 2006

Ta-ra!



It's finished.

No not 2006. Well that's nearly gone...I'm talking my manuscript - the one that needs to go out the door next week. Sipping Bliss is done. Thank you lovely CP Nat for your invaluable help:)


So I've finished it. Just got a final read-through and I'm there - it can go. I'm very pleased.

I love the hero, I dig the heroine. I've done as best as I can. So what will be will be.


Happy New Year to all readers. It's been a rollercoaster ride in 2006 - I have a feeling 2007 is going to be fantastic for you all! Now go enjoy and follow your dreams.


jx


Here's some pics - inspiration came from these two for this book. Minnie Driver and Michael Vartan - an odd couple? I don't think so - in fact to me they were PERFECT!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Final Countdown

Yesterday was a very productive writing day on my journey towards doing the final rejig on SB. Today I'm aiming to finish it so that tomorrow I can do the BDPO (big darn print out) on Father's trusty printer which doesn't guzzle juice like mine! So that's the plan.

And my kindly...learned...sassy...and very wise CP Natalie (hey she's out with MnB as Natalie Anderson in May 2007 to watch out world!) is going to try to run her expert eye over it. Then next week it'll be all systems go to mail it out.

As I said - that's the plan. Now gotta go do it.

Oh and today (and yesterday) I am mostly listening to Take That - Patience. Guess who got a TT album from DH for Xmas?

J
P.S. The baby is getting bigger. He/she is keeping me awake - and has a particular fondness for partying from four a.m. They don't tell you this in the pregnancy books!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Happy Christmas One And All

Here's wishing you a Very Merry Christmas - the picture here shows a tree that has always been close to my heart. The fairylit Spangly Xmas tree on The Mound, Edinburgh. For years I've looked at it and smiled.


















So here's to a wonderful Christmas and a healthy and prosperous 2007. Many congrats to Julie Cohen whose new baby Nathaniel was born yesterday - that beats all sparkly wrapped pressies doesn't it? This year I got the best pressies ever too - this will be a very special Christmas. jx

Monday, December 18, 2006

Working Away Like An Elf!

In case you think I'm slacking...I'm working away writing.

So far I've repolished up to Chapter Eight. It's getting there - with a tiny final layer in my head I have to get down soon. Am going to bed early tonight to do some notes (because it's been waking me - and Jellybean too - naughty Jelly) at 4am!

So - to recap. Most of the Xmas preps are done and right now I'm busy with the manuscript. I so want to get this right. Hopefully so I've plenty time to fine tooth-comb every page before Jan. Wish me luck!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Title News!

Well it's here and I LIKE IT!

Taking The Leap is the new title of my Moonlit Romance book. Am I chuffed with it? VERY!

jx

Thursday, December 14, 2006

New Title!

My book that is being scheduled to be pubbed by Moonlit Romance *previously titled Daredevil Doctor* is getting a new name.

Can't confirm what yet but stay tuned.
Thanks to Nat for thinking a rather good one up!
Hopefully I should be able to confirm soooon - squeeeee!

jx

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Revise...revise...revise...

Space. Today I decided space and time are good things.

I hadn't read my full SB ms since I sent off the partial - I've had space and a manuscript holiday. We both needed a breather.

What a wonderful thing a bit of time is. I've come back to it afresh and nailed a problem right from the off - it's fixable. I've also come up with some layers...more depth. Time and space - good good good.

Almost as good as fabby crit partners who support and hug and help you even when they're under it themselves and are in the midst of writing their own stuff. Don't you just love it when you get your nose back to the writing grindsone? Do you enjoy manuscript holidays?

jx

Monday, December 11, 2006

Celebration!


In honour of today being special - because of getting a full request - here's a pic worthy of cork popping. Hmmm indeed.

Hurrah!

I'm happy to report that today I got a request for a full ms on Sipping Bliss - my Mod X set in Edinburgh and the Scottish highlands - from a Mills and Boon senior Editor.

I have to admit I was totally unsure about whether or not they'd want it - while I know the characters are Mod X through and through I was worried about the setting and the fact that in the first few chapters I haven't followed my usual 'rules'.

So to get a request is a reaffirmation that character and voice and emotion are ultimately what counts. She said hopefully!

It would be fair to say I'm so excited I could crush a grape. I could also lose all power of speech and bodily functions but I'll try my best not to. Instead I will do my best to calm down and keep focus.

It's time to roll up the sleeves, re-read, polish, polish, polish and then send.
OOOOh gosh - this Christmas is going to be a mega one full of hopes and dreams and wishes!

Judex

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Naughty...but very very nice!

My best friend in the world is very, very naughty. Look what she sent me because of my book news! Ahhh. I know she deserves a big, squidgy hug and then for me to tickle her until she falls over. Which I wholly intend to do the next time I see her. Hope it's soon.

On another note my cat is very very lazy (pictured below). Check this out...here is Tinker (a.k.a. the Twig Collector - because she does) napping on my furry rucksack! It's a cat's life. *Rolls eyes and shakes head* Sheesh!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Sleigh Bells Ring...Are You Bothered?

Today I bought an Xmas compilation CD. A boring fact but a necessity none the less. For years I used to enjoy nay look forward with great anticipation to listening to a bit of Bing, some Holly & The Ivy, a bit of Doris and a blast of Mike Oldfield and Greg Lake for good measure.

It should be said that my mother likes nothing better than a good roll around the carpet in festive celebration to Nat King Cole's chestnut's roasting. Mrs.

However my Xmas music joy has been hampered for several years now. A dear relative who will remain nameless to protect his blushes 'nicked/pilfered' my hallowed Xmas CD! The audacity! The sheer bloomin' cheek!

Result. Mince pies haven't tasted the same since...in fact the whole festive prep stuff of wrapping pressies (snore) and trimming the tree (just about bearable if I'm patient) weren't remotely acceptable without my prized music to ease the pain.

So...to stop further rambling - today normality is restored. I've replenished my supply of Slade, Greg Lake and Jona Lewie! Joy to the world and peace to all men! My baubles feel sparkly once more. Deck the halls with trite Xmas tunes.

jx

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

I SOLD!

No I'm not kidding.

There I was grumbling, being a moany pants...blah blah.

And I just got an email offering me a contract on DAREDEVIL DOCTOR - my Scottish Doctor with infertility, adoption and parachuting thrown into the mix!

Man I'm so excited. The publisher in question is one I had my eye on as all their books have character, fresh voice and loads of heart. I've loved their stuff so far.

More info/details once the contract comes through/once I know more...but for now all I can say is the publisher is called MOONLIT ROMANCE, my editor is lovely and I'm very thrilled!

Can't believe it! I'm so excited because I was even lying in bed last night telling myself that with Anya and Max I was really happy with the characters and the story. What joy that they can go into print. I'm so excited! Did I already say that? Well colour me happy I'm gobsmacked in a good way! :)

Jx

Fantastic Flutter!



I'm smiling lots today because a good writing buddy came good yday and sold to DESIRE!!!! Fabtastic eh?

I'm so so so so so so pleased for her as she's been waiting a good two years for this call and she really deserves it. She's also rather marvellous. Lots of good writing things have happened this year...first Nat, now Robbie...sigh maybe soon...there's always hope!

Another great thing is an old writing buddy and RNA Member Pip a.k.a. Phillipa Ashley got in touch via this blog and it was REALLY great to hear from her. If you haven't already checked out her wonderful first release DECENT EXPOSURE do so - very soon - for your own writing good. She's great - and I for just one am looking forward to the next one in 2007! Bring it on Pip!

On a down note the US pubber who's interested in Scot Doc unfortunately hasn't been in touch in a good six weeks. I sent in my revisions in answer to their suggestions and nothing...radio silence. I sent a polite enquiry email checking it hadn't gone astray either...have checked the email addresses a zillion times and still nada. AAAARGH!

My DH tells me I should just wait and not hassle them but it's still hard. Fortunately I've Christmas madness and jellybean in my tummy (who is getting bigger all the time - now got a visible bumb and I look FAT! Is it just me and my fat obsession that makes me unable to see a baby bump in my figure and instead just detect a visible mince pie fetish in pot belly form?) to take my mind off it all. Fingers crossed that maybe the handsome Scots doctor has not died a death and Scot Doc might live another day!
jx

PS Here's another gorgeous 'droolsome dad and baby' pic. THIS ONE HAS TO BE FAVOURITE - go on say AAAAAH! This one is in honour of Julie Cohen who is due her new bouncing arrival very very very very soon (and sobbing loads currently!)
PPS Can I just state on record - if I ever get pubbed by Mills and Boon, my biggest mightiest cool dream, then I categorically want this pic of hunky man and babe as my cover! It rocks!
PPPS Scrub that - I just want the man to keep in a tissue paper lined box!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Christmas Kisses


Call me a twitchy flibbertigibbet (not too easy to say without a good set of horse teeth in) but lately I've been flitting around with the writing and stopping mid stream because of pregnancy lethargy and finding life all a bit overwhelming.

YESTERDAY THAT STOPPED.

I just started writing a book...I think it could be good. If it keeps its act together behaves like a good little project and lets me occasionally squeeze it and tuck it under the chin it might just last the course. JOY. And best of all - it starts with a Christmas Theme. I've frequently yearned for a Festive Japery book. Imagine my delight that it's here and it's fun and not too yukky around the edges!

Call it the work of the Christmas pixies. But for the first time in months I'm having a really good time. Jx Go on - pull a Christmas cracker for me!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Lakeside Cottage - JD


I'm interupting the pics of guys with babies to bring you BILL PULLMAN. Primarily because my hormones are making me particularly susceptible to old Billy Boy right now. But also because I'm a hair's breadth from finishing Lakeside Cottage by Susan Wiggs (cue wistful sigh). It's a truly MARVELLOUS book. And starring in the role of JD, the sexy hero to die for, I've mentally cast Bill.
I'm going to be gutted to finish this book!

Friday, November 24, 2006

I Promised You Another One


Hunky man and baby TWO! Jude takes a big bow for this rather wonderful one - drooool!

P.S. Just had to say - finished reading Catherine Spencer's Modern Romance - The French Count's Pregnant Bride (brillo!) and currently got Susan Wiggs' Lakeside Cottage glued to my hand. It's so dashed good a read I can't even begin to tell you. I'm going to be gutted when I reach The End.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Hunky Men With Babies...


Okay...in honour of my newly outed as pregnant state...here's my new mission. To post as many pics of hunky men with babies as I can find. I know...call it hormones. But I have to take my pleasures simply at the moment.

Yesterday was worst day of morning sickness EVER!

Enjoy the pic. Watch this space for another one coming soooooon.

jx

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

MY ANNOUNCEMENT: LIFE CHANGING NEWSFLASH!

  • I'VE NEWS!

    Okay. Here it is. I’ve been waiting for this day for a whiley now…and it’s finally come. My news is…(nope I haven’t sold a book – still waiting for news on that one). I’M PREGNANT! And today I had my 12 week scan.

    Yep, I know, I can still hardly believe it and I have to keep pinching myself. My conception was through IVF in September (through those wonderful amazing people at Dundee ACU). It was our very first try at the procedure and the baby's due date is 30 May 2007.

    My road to pregnancy has been a long one with oodles of obstacles and bramble bushes to weather along the way. But we’re here – and we never thought we’d make it:

    We first tried for a baby seven years ago – there were never any successful conceptions. We read loads of fertility books and were pretty philosophical believing it would just take time and patience…after the years passed we started to realise it may not actually happen at all.

    We went through infertility investigations after year two of nothing – no reason was found, unexplained infertility was given as the answer. We decided not to go for IVF at this point because we were shattered with it all.

    In the middle of all this harrowing investigative stuff lots of bad things happened – I lost my Grandma, my Aunt, my Great Aunt and my husband lost his father unexpectedly on Christmas Eve. The following year our wee boy puss cat died day after Boxing Day of a ‘cat stroke’ which felt like the final devastating blow in a long line of ‘bad stuff’. I took it all really badly. This was truly a wilderness part of my life when we honestly thought nothing we were doing could possibly go right – negative cycle city!

    Through it all my writing kept me sane. Great therapy – and that’s why I’ll never give up! SO there.

    We actually came to terms with the fact we might never have a child naturally after four years – we started the long process of adoption preparation groups and went on to adopt a daughter. She finally came to stay with us at age two – life would never be the same (in a good way). She’s been our little piece of salvation!

    Our daughter has been with us over two years and we decided to opt for a last ‘what if’ try at private IVF. I’d always felt too emotionally spent to try this procedure and so had shied away initially. At the time this was the right decision for us but after adopting and getting through its own trials and ‘legal minefield’ we felt a lot stronger and wanted to try so that we could finally put it all behind us. Move on, close the chapter of baby trying for good.

    When we embarked on IVF we truly didn’t expect it to work. I was told I had a diminished chance of success because I have a condition they found called fibroids. We shrugged and were disappointed but had gotten halfway through so decided to just go for it. We were told as well as a diminished chance of success (one in ten, compared to one couple in four) if we wanted another attempt I’d have to have surgery which could further impair my fertility! But luckily – it worked first time (I know – pinch me now! Still can hardly believe it’s true.)

    I’m still on cloud nine, so is hubby because we never thought this could happen after all this time. We can’t wait to welcome another unforeseen addition into our family – and are delighted our dream’s come true.

    But through it all I’ll never forget the journey and the lessons I’ve learned, the great people I’ve met whose lives have been impacted by infertility, adoption – it’s been a long journey but a life changing one.

    I’ll never take this baby lightly. It’s truly precious.

    Fingers crossed from now on that it all goes okay.

    Jude – skipping with delight.
    P.S. Miracles do happen!!! They really do, even when you’ve given up hope like we had! It just takes faith to try and move forward when you’re ready.
P.P.S. Baby's nickname has bizarrely become jellybean (cos that's what he/she looked like when just a wee bub).

Friday, November 10, 2006

Movin' On Up


Check out my wordcount. It's not far off 8k. I'm moving again. Here's another surfer boy to celebrate.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Julie Cohen's First Page Challenge...Count Me In!

Amazing Modern Extra writer Julie Cohen recently blogged about her "first page challenge".

She posted the first page of one of her novels and indicated the 'reveals' about her characters, their issues etc right from the off.

Loads of other amazing writers have gone for it and taken part.

So I figured I'd have a try. Here's the first page of Daredevil Doctor...don't know if it measures up but I thought I'd step up and give the dice a throw...

ANYA FRASER picked up the magazine and shuddered at the parachute jump picture. It looked exhilarating – kind of – but a part of her suspected it was terror hell in freefall form. (Why is Anya so wary?)
The girl in the picture sported vast orange aviator overalls that billowed in the wind. Hardly a look her wardrobe had been waiting to emulate. And g-force cheeks weren’t something she was too keen to experience first hand anytime soon either. (What’s she being asked to do? Jump out of a plane a la the magazine girl?)
“That could be you,” said Katie’s voice on the other end of the line. “Wind hurtling past your ears, adrenaline pumping through your veins like you’re powered by pistons. And a rugged instructor strapped to you for added security. Now that’s what I call exciting. We could christen you the parachuting practice nurse!” (Why would a nurse jump out of a plane if she didn’t want to? What's she got to prove that matters so much she finds it hard to turn down her biggest scary prospect?)
Anya gulped.
That’s what she called a personal room one o one.
More like her breakfast whooshing through her system to make a prompt reappearance in mid air. No thanks. (And yet she's actually mulling it over - why would she risk the nerve-tussle?)
The wild haired female extreme sports enthusiast grinned out of the picture, arms across her chest in mid air descent. Her parachute firmly fixed to her back, her goggles framing a grimace style smile. Were her jaws wired to make it look appealing as opposed to revealing her abject terror? (Anya clearly can’t bear the thought of doing this – to her it’s her worst nightmare. So what will she do? How will she decline?)
“How many miles up did you say it would be?”
“Ten thousand feet, in tandem with an instructor.”
Hello ‘Red Arrows’. Goodbye bladder control.
Could there be enough chocolate in the world to persuade her stomach it could withstand a charity parachute jump? Anya doubted it. She pushed the magazine aside.
“I’m not convinced Katie. I’ll think it over. I wish you all the best with your efforts but…”
“I’ll work on you, you can’t decline yet. We’ll raise lots of cash. You can get the staff at the practice on board – a team of us, all raising much needed money for Adoption Support. Maybe we’ll fund an extra social work post? And we’ll get press coverage into the bargain. The support of your practice would be immeasurably valuable.”
There it was – Katie’s clever persuasive ploy. And that’s what made her so good at her job as co-ordinator for East Scotland Adoption Support charity. The organisation badly needed funds and the parachute jump would make a big difference. Plus East Scotland Adoption Support held a special place in Anya’s heart, because it had helped her through the early days, after placement of her own adopted son Callum. The boy who’d made her infertility and lost relationship battles bearable – the golden haired child of her dreams, her own little slice of treasure. Ahhh Anya's special cause is her son. We empathise with what she's been through because she's prepared to go the extra tough mile because she feels she's the lucky one. Voila character snapshot.

Back...but only just!

See my wordcount ticker. It's moving again - hurrah! Cue mexican wave for one!
Only a thousand words but it's progress. And after reading my wee novella through I love this story...so it's time to get back to it and produce!

And tonight I aim to scribble some more in the notebook just to prove that the pic of surfman and his dog worked. I'm coming up to a scene I'm looking forward to - sparring on the beach at sunset!!

37 per cent is good going. I'm holding on to that and that my lovely CP Nat (New Zealand's new MillsnBoon Mod X supmremo girl gave me a good kick up the writing butt today and urged me onwards!) I've even emailed the US Editor gone AWOL in a polite friendly way to check she got my revisions of several weeks past. Amazing what you can do when your nose is no longer scarlet and fugged up.

I'm out for progress. And my dreary dumps are behind me. I'm back. Now watch my dust!

Jx

Monday, November 06, 2006

I CAVED!

Okay. I haven't reached my 8k goal. I've had the cold, my nose is so sore it's turned bright red and is rivalling Rudolph and I've had ZILCHO writing time.

So instead of punishing myself by holding back on the scrummy man in a wetsuit pic...I've decided to post it now! As inspiration.

Lovely isn't it...
It's really working for me and my story. I particularly like the key on his back...hmmm...and the little touch of beard just visible (never realised I was a beards bird before!!!)

So for now...enjoy Mr ONeil surfer guy and his dog. And keep your fingers crossed it does the business and I start ploughing on with my beach story soon.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Hanging On!


I'm just about hanging on to sanity right now.

This picture shows how I feel.



Here's my reasons:
Haven't heard from US editor who's looking at my revisions - angst, angst, angst! Mental head pixie screams - 'she hates 'em'. Go hide in bunker so crows can't get at me!
I am full of a dire head cold - so is dear daughter, poor lamb. Both of us just need hot drinks and cuddles! With Mrs Doubtfire/Nanny McPhee on hand to deliver TLC.
I had a meeting with little one's school yesterday - and whilst very productive about my wee one's future development and the many issues this raises - I came away with a truckload of jobs all to be done imminently! Sheesh! I think they have sussed I'm rather good at writing scathing/sort it out letters so are giving me all the jobs!
I've HAD NO WRITING TIME! Boo hoo!
I'm waiting for two very important pieces of mail (of the very very urgent variety) and neither show signs of appearing.

Hey ho - just keep hanging on in there! Jx

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Things About Me

I am not permitting myself any further time talking about my Surfman in a Wetsuit story until I have reached at least 8,000 words. Sadly my wee daughter has a bad cold and isn't well so I can't get any writing done until she's recovered. In the meantime:

Thirteen Things about JUDY
1. After a lengthy Pans People obsession, at primary school my friends and I used to volunteer to do a dance for the class every Friday (!) We did everything from The Nolan Sisters to imitating our version of the can can wearing silky shorts. Strange.
2. In my youth the thing I wanted more than ANYTHING in the world and never ever got – was a pair of skin tight satin disco pants (like Sandy in Grease). Gutted but maybe there’s still time?
3. At primary school I was heralded as something of a genius poet. Sadly reading the poems back – I realise this was largely a hyped achievement because of my youth i.e. the poems stink.
4. At age four I did a ballet routine to a crowded concert hall whilst picking my nose.
5. I met Canadian singer Bryan Adams and gave him an easter egg when I was sixteen. It was early in his career and he was very pleased at the adoration.
6. I played the part of JOSEPH in the school nativity when the real boy Joseph backed out, wearing my dad’s dressing gown and a t towel on my head. Oh and I had a big stick too.
7. I was in intensive care in Belgium, during a school history trip, when I was thirteen. I got to fly home FIRST CLASS.
8. I’m afraid of spiders and once murdered a large one with a mop in the dark.
9. The only things I’ve ever won was a revolting lump of wood necklace encrusted with gaudy mother of pearl at a jewellery party. We parted ways swiftly. And a certificate for making a batik bag at school (second prize)!?
10. When I was in primary school I had two small toys – a turtle and a wooden elephant – that used to go everywhere in my pocket and I talked to them at break time.
11. I once had a spooky encounter from the spirit world involving my pet cat doing strange things.
12. I once auditioned for and was rejected by the dating tv quiz show Blind Date (my two best buddies were rejected also so my ego didn’t crumble too badly!)
13. I used to be in love with Donny Osmond and even had socks with his face on (I was only very young at the time).

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Too Darn Hot...


Okay..............

My MAN IN A WETSUIT inspired summer read is going RAAAAAAATHER well.

And I just had to post this picture.

Cos it's making me go gooooooose-pimply everytime I look!

It really is a crime to love what you do THIS MUCH!!!

jx

Monday, October 30, 2006

Summer Lovin'



Okay - so here's what happened...I saw this call for Summer read novellas and copied it to my CP. Not seriously...just for info. And then wham, bang, boom. I sit down at the old keyboard this morning and hey whatd'ya know...this whole story comes flying out. Chapter One complete. And I'm loving it.

So...don't want to cook my goose by crying out too early. But hopefully I've a wee project that will keep me going for the next few weeks with a view to submission. How exciting is that.

And Jodie and Angus are one feisty pair - see pic (phew! It's gonna be one hot summer read!)

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Gone With The Wind

The email has gone. The email containing the reworked manuscript is out of my outbox and into the big wide sent blue yonder inhabited by decision-making editors with the power to crush your writing ego in just one blow (big squeezy thanx to beloved CP for looking over - squigy cheek pinch to Nat).

All I can say is I did my best. Added the most convincing additional line of conflict for the heroine. And layered throughout. Let's leave it at that.

So all I have to do now right is forget about it...not recheck my email fifty squillion times a day...not pretzel myself like crazy that she hates it/it's too long/in the opposite direction than she wanted bla bla bla! Nuff already.

I know. It's at times like these I wish I did macrame...or had a serious knitting frenzy going down jx

Friday, October 27, 2006

What a difference a day makes...24 little hrs...


Well - last night I sat down and worked out my extra conflict.

And today I sat down and BICHOKed. Almost six thousand words - I know can't believe it myself. Tho my back is killing me (talk about bad PC posture!)









But my lovely CP is kindly looking at the tosh - sorry exceptionally crafted wordage - and hopefully by the end of this weekend I should have some sort of plan for writing back to the Editor with a way forward.

:)

Or here's hoping. Here's a nurse - snapping on her surgie gloves. Much as I snapped on my writing gung-ho-go-get-em-buster attitude today. Now it's time to go nap and forget about it for a while. Frankly I'm daredevil doctored
out!!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Ooooooooooh...now the work begins...


After Nat's amazing two rounds of revisions with M&B for her book (now spectacularly titled All Night With The Boss - hoho!) I'm getting deja vu.

Why?
Because Daredevil Doctor has been read by the lovely US pubber editor I sent it to. And she likes it - she even stayed up til 1am to read it (ahh lovely lady). She can't offer me a contract yet...(gasp) because she wants some more revisions...

Some more internal conflict layers and more internal conflict motivators to the ending. There will also be some work to get rid of colloquialisms (gash my Scottish roots!)

But all in all it's good news. I'm very pleased to have an ed excited about my book and wanting to see Daredevil Doctor in print. So Woo Hoo! But let's just hope I can deliver now! Must go mull it all over. jx
P.S. Here's Nathan - aka Max - the daredevil doc.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Hmmmm tasty...

This pic of James Denton (a.k.a. Mike Delfino) is for Linda. Becoz she loves him. He is rather fine it must be said.

And right now he's my inspiration for Gregor - star of my novella (working title Lost Promises). I know the title ain't too catchy but I'm still working on it. So far I've done 5k out of 30k. Hoping to get some more done tonight.

May Mike do the business in inspiring the words to flow.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Leaps of faith


My writing is taking some dressage steps at the moment - sideways tangents with an aim to publication.

Next year will be my fifth year of RNA membership. I joined because I wanted to be published. Maybe I should try other routes (whilst still trying ultimately for MnB!)

So I'm writing a novella. So far it's going okay. Why not try something new - better that than waiting and never developing in anything new? Here's a fab squirrel pic to commemorate the fact that there's a squirrel in Daredevil Doctor and currently it's being read by an Editor (no news yet - but my squirrel is under consideration and that's what counts!) jx

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Flash - aaaaaaaah!


My lovely brother - yep he can be quite zazzy sometimes - bought me a lovely, much appreciated gift. A FLASH drive. And already I love it. Why hadn't I got one already? Why hadn't I realised they are the writer's essential?
Now all my writing stuff is backed up easily, it's all accessible wherever I go. I'm very happy. My bro is a star. Maybe he'll get something nice for Xmas.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Two Babies And A Book Sale!


It's a BIG CELEBRATION day today because - cue drum roll purleease - my New Zealand Crit Partner Natalie (aka Saskia) sold to Modern Extra. Wowzer.

Yep and she well deserves the sale. Not only is the book great, the hero dreamy, the plot pacey etc etc - she did TWO SETS OF REVISIONS around the same timing of her twin babies coming into the world by emergency C section!

I know PHEW!

So Natalie - here's to you. You've sold and here's to a fabby writing career. May many of your future books grace shelves both close to home and far - and hopefully I'll still get to read them first (hehe!)

A toast - to my buddy's babies and her book!

jx

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Suddenly Action...


Well after rather a long time in life lately when not a lot seemed to be happening...right now it's action-a-go-go.

My CP had twins, then some terrific writing news that I'll blog about sometime when it's on general release. I have great personal news brewing that's keeping me occupied and interfering with daily life in a good but very tangible way. And then yesterday four days after a 'what the heck' submission query to a US publisher I get another mini move of positive news...a request for a full manuscript. Excited - you bet.

I'm crossing my digits and hoping they like it as much as they liked the partial. Watch this space and I'll tell you the outcome. But for now I'm happy that there's action in my writing life again.
jx

To celebrate here's a pic of a rather nice chap, the hero of the book that's under consideration - Nathan Fillian. NICE!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Double Congratulations

Just a quickie to congratulate my lovely NZ CP Saskia - now proud mummy to two extra little bundles. Twin daughters beautifully named Sylvie and Evelyn. They're special little treasures - here's hoping they're fit and strong and home with mum and dad and big brother and sister soon. jx

Kids and Kettles



Today my wee treacle bun daughter, grandma and me all trooped along to see The Singing Kettle - a much loved by kiddies magical song and fun show!!

Darling treacle bun unfortunately got totally FREAKY DEAKIED out by the loud music and blackout lights at the start and promptly hid behind the balcony barrier sobbing and looking v distressed. But worry not...luckily a small boy from our village, whom treacle has hero-worshipped for the last year was just a few seats along...happily this coincidence saved the day. Within five minutes of standing beside her idol all was well and she was clapping with great gusto to all the songs from Music Man to One Potato Two Potato.

It's nice when things turn out okay isn't it? Only up-shot of the whole debacle was - teacle toes is now obsessed/awe struck/kettle fixated/watching the DVD all day long and doing the actions at every opportunity possible. She even kissed her small miniature momentoe kettle five times before bed. Talk about a turnaround. Oh to be a small person again. :)

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Just Had A Great Idea...


Hey, I'm excited. I've just had a GREAT idea for a new book. And I mean - a cracker, a lightbulb. I'm very excited.

Yeeeha!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Jane Eyre - Hmmm!


I'm very happy. Last night I watched the BBC's new adaptation of Jane Eyre - and Mr Rochester is gorgeou-stafa!

I've also just read my excellent CP's revised book - and it's fab and I'm feeling tres proud of her for all her hard word and brilliance.

Then there's some mega personal news that I can't spill yet but that I'm turning quiet cartwheels about. It's not about writing - but it is good news. Watch this space for a few months but for now I'm keeping it to myself.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

It's Gone!


My latest Mod X manuscropt Sipping Bliss went in the post yesterday. Cue nail biting. And imagining I've made all sorts of mistooks therein (I haven't I've rechecked again). It's just the paranoia. Ho hum...time to wait and forget about it.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Here's My Character Basics for Writing A Book With Trish Wylie




Okay - here's the deal. I'm still intending to do Trish Wylie's Write A Book With Trish workshop - see below for link - highly recommended. Why not come and join in the fun???

My heroine is Kelly Love 28 Glasgow city girl and confirmed single girl. She runs an online dating club. I'm loving the pic of Kelly (played by Jenni Falconer) above - because it's so sassy and that dress will just have to feature at some point in the book (my oh my!) It's OUT THERE.

My Hero Joe MacKenny is a 30 year old Malt Whisky Masterclass Tutor. I LOVE the above pics of Dougray Scott as Joe - especially the near kiss moment with Kate Winslett. I mean talk about drooool! Just look at it! I also love the dancing pic. Makes me want to write a dance scene in just for the thrills.

So this is how the tiny creative nugget of Sweet Harmony is coming along so far. Two character sheets. Oooh how exciting.

Introducing Kelly Love





So yesterday you got my hero Joe.
Today my lovely heroine Kelly - aka tv presenter and cutie pie Jenni Falconer.
And I have to say what a perfect pair - I'm very happy. They're going to go brilliantly together (ultimately) but they're also going to spar like nobody's business - hurrah! I'm so looking forward to doing this...

And if you want to take part in
Trish Wylie's excellent Book With Trish workshop come along and check out the fun at her blog.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Dougray Scott


I'm mulling over a new story...Dougray Scott is featuring rather heavily in my ideas for the hero Joe. I know the hero a bit already because he featured as the heroine's brother in my previous book. So right now - I'm musing on Joe.

The Nurse's Longed For Family


Judy's Top Reader Tip - buy this book. Fiona Lowe's wonderful The Nurse's Longed For Family. Tis fab. I couldn't put it down. Loved the heroine, the hero, the setting. And a great little kid called Woody. Go buy it and read you must - says Yoda Judy.

Eureka!

Had a major lightbulb THUNK moment today.
My Sipping Bliss mss is finished - except there's something about the ending that needs more oomph and I've been pondering what exactly it is...
Then today I get the lightening bolt.
Foreshadowing the black moment....
And suddenly it all becomes a breeze.
So that's a new tip I've learned. How to give your emotional conflict the most possible resonance for its buck...foreshadow...gently but appropriately and make the reader feel the emotion, the moment, the conflict - what's at stake.
Wow - I feel like a real writer. And it feels good.
I'm now really excited about going away and transforming the scenes I have in mind with the foreshadowing emphasis - it's churning inside me all ready to spill forth. Maybe tomorrow...
I'm so hoping they like Sipping Bliss. I finally feel like it's coming together - but there's the always risk they just won't like your story isn't there?
P.S. Mega big congratulations to my lovely very own NZ CP - who has achieved the mega status of a revisions request. Wowza! Now go to it girlie.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

How Did It Know I Like That One?

You Are Dublin Mudslide Ice Cream

You won't remember any of this in the morning

Am I Quirky?

Your Quirk Factor: 54%

You're a pretty quirky person, but you're just normal enough to hide it.
Congratulations - you've fooled other people into thinking you're just like them!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

He's Finished! Ahhhhh!


Sipping Bliss is finished - yeeeha! The end is done in rough format but I'm looking forward to polishing it up. And it means next week I can relax and forget and not lie awake thinking about things to do with Cameron and Fran. Wot bliss...
And now I can do the big darn print out. Which is a stage I like.
And get the syno socked in prep for sending in a partial. Wot joy.
So here's a pic of Cameron. Just to commemorate today.
And now I can sit back and read Fiona Lowe's latest - ahhh!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

I Love Cam


Today I am loving my hero Cameron. I know that sounds cheesy - not because I've written him. Just because he's done some really nice things lately - and lusted largely after my heroine - and it's made me like him even more.

He's honourable, he's one of life's watchers although he'll happily do too when the chips are down, he's gorgeous, his body is TRULY FIT and best of all - he's amazing at hugs and kisses. I'm enjoying him.
And Michael Vartan still fits him a treat.
Here's to - hopefully - a productive weekend where two more chapters come to pass. jx

Saturday, August 19, 2006

The Real McCoy



I've just rewritten an intro...it's about whisky. And it inspired me to blog about it.

Yesterday I was lucky enough to go the RNA's Scottish Luncheon (as previously blogged about). It was very inspiring and I'm so glad I went.

As well as meeting some great new people, talking to other writers (big buzza buzz thrill) and getting some insights from pubbed writers...I got the chance to wander up and down Edinburgh's Royal Mile. Where my current book is set (in some parts). I really enjoyed it.

So today - prompted by my inspiring Edinburgh jaunt - I'm researching whisky...and my intro is back on track. Hurrah.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Cameron Angelo



Well - now you've seen Fergal. Nice isn't he? Though I have to confess he did start out life as Gerry Butler but he's changed a bit. Now on to the current WIP Sipping Bliss. This hero has gone through quite a bit of change (poor soul) cos he was in my very very first manuscript. One that's been rattled around a lot right from the very basic bones of the 120,000 (yes I did write 120,000 - misguided moi) that the very first version totalled. Anyway Sipping Bliss has been through changes (a major edit for MnB after professional editor advice; then after MnB rejected it after requesting a full manuscript, I rejigged it again for a contest; it got good scores but didn't final and I was advised to send it to other romance contests in future which I've now done).

Anyway it's now undergoing another transformation and the hero - recently called Callum - has just changed names again to Cameron and that is fitting him much better. As is the photo of the hero here. Michael Vartan a.k.a Cameron Angelo. Don't ask about the Angelo - blame it on his mother. And you'll just have to read the book for the ins and outs about that.

jx

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Fergal


This pic is for Nat.
For the simple reason it's inspiring me for writing Fergal beach scenes right now.
Don't know who he is, where it was taken but maaaaan is it working. And why wouldn't it - check out the abs!!