Saturday, October 30, 2010

Spooky!

It's pumpkin time (haven't done ours yet, but sooooon!)

Half-term whizzed by and is nearly over! Shock. And (rubs hands) I'm very excited that I'm about to start a brand new writing project. Yes, it's true and I'm so so so so keen to get to it. Can't wait.

Happy Halloween weekend. Enjoy.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Marmite Or Magic?




Funny bones are personal things. So whether this is your own personal marmite or magic, let one thing remain - the world would be a very boring place without courting the daft vibe for a moment or two. Even if it involves crimplene.
Either:
A Enjoy
or
B Hide in the wardrobe.

P.S. Can we get him on the X Factor as a late entrant?

Actually scrub that - if I could pick one person I'd want to win the X Factor it's this guy...he always gives me goosebumps, he is my revisions cure it all (and I'm posting just to prove I do have good taste!) He's also on my Christmas gift wish list.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Inspiration and Mischief

It's not every day a world famous fashion photographer asks writers to send him short fairytales.

But that's exactly what Benjamin Kanarek did to celebrate his fairytale inspired 'Tale of the Unexpected' images  for Harper's BAZAAR Hong-Kong. So I pondered the beautiful photographs, let my imagination take a flight of fancy et voila.

You can find my mini fairytale here - The Mischievous Kettle.  Benjamin's magical photographs will have you spellbound.

Courtesy of Benjamin Kanarek - the original photoshoot story here

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Aaaargh!

It's half term! Run for the hills!

No seriously. I love my kids to pieces. But...what about the writing, people? It drives mommy a leeetle bit bonkers when she can't get her fix. And tomorrow Daddy is leaving the house at five to work in London so we're talking hardcore. Pass the smelling salts.

I know I'm being pathetic but this is my blog so it's allowed.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Super Fast Acceptance

I'm gobsmacked to report that I sold a story last night. Only subbed it on Thursday. New Love Stories magazine accepted Sweet Surrender, the story of a tasty chef and the woman who's after more than his pastries. I'll post the publication time when it comes. I do like nice surprises. jx
P.S. Oh and I must just say a huge thank you to my wonderbuddy Suzanne (who persuaded me to press send). You rock SJ.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Yes It's A Craft(ish) Post

I haven't posted about writing proper for quite a while. And this has been remiss of me as I've been meaning to. Several things have struck me of late.

For the following reasons:

  • Lately I've been revising several manuscripts for different editors. I've learned loads from both. I respect both greatly because they've taught me such a lot in a short space of time.
  • I've also been looking at old stuff that I'd written and hadn't wanted to ditch. Seeing it with fresh eyes.
  • I've rewritten some things because the calling came to get 'em out again.
  • I've gotten my personal goals in order. Instead of wandering listlessly I'm feeling the confidence, the excitement and the love again!

This has led me to some conclusions:

I've definitely grown as a writer but even when I think I'm on an up curve there's still more to learn. And how!

The things my writing mentor told me in 2009 have held very true (and some) I just didn't 'get' some of the finer points. Happily I now do, boy was she right! It wasn't until one of the editors working on my book said the same things in a different way that the point finally clunked home. I have a strong voice, BUT I've been doing things to jeopardise its strength and thinking voice alone is enough. And just to prove I'm no sissy I'm not ashamed to admit my foibles - too much narrative, explanations, repeating myself, not moving on quick enough, not making things happen or thinking high stakes. This doesn't just impact on flow and pace. It loses readers people! Finally the editor in question SHOWED me how to cut, cut and cut again for great flow. She did it for me (with my words) and suddenly the lightbulb happened. It was light floodlighting a football pitch. So much for thinking I knew writing before. Definitely a 'doh' moment! Flow and finesse is what we are seeking...so be discerning in the edits, make it sing!

Funnily enough the book that helped me 'see the light' is one that was pubbed before as a novella in an anthology. The difference now is chalk and cheese!

The supplementary good news that tags onto the above is that I can take this and apply it in the future. It's helped me tackle my other revisions without being daunted. I can SEE and FEEL the difference on the page. I know this sounds like waffle but it's true. I now recognise I need to cut HARD. And it's not as painful as I'dve once imagined. It's a brilliant experience.

So in summary for several years I was encouraged by my dream publisher. It never came to fruition. Since then I've loosened the 'aspirational drive' got back to basics with what I want to do (e.g. write the stories that I love). I have no idea if I'll ever stand a hope of getting dream publisher's interest again...BUT I know I'm more equipped than I was. I can spot my foibles and flaws.  I can feel the difference. And I would never have bagged Fantasy Publisher as I was.


In summary, sometimes God gives us what we need, not what we want.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Secrety Fantasy: Being Bob

This weekend I am reading Blythe Gifford's truly wonderful book, In The Master's Bed. Saying it will last the weekend is pushing it. I'll be at The End before sundown! And it's a really fantastic read, highly recommended and rather hard to put down. More here.

Plus it's made me wake up that this book obviously taps into a secret fantasy I did not know I had e.g. disguising myself as a boy/young guttersnipe in the hope of being unveiled by Mr Hunky. Yes. It is true and I just hadn't realised. So, I am asking myself, where did the deep, dark 'playing panto boy' fantasy come from? :) I have a rather strong suspicion it's Blackadder. Especially as my favourite episode is when Edmund falls for his 'boy' Bob. Plus Bob in Blackadder Goes Forth is almost as satisfying too...

“ Let me put it another way, Bob. You are a girl. And you're a girl with as much talent for disguise as a giraffe in dark glasses trying to get into a polar bears-only golf club."

I rest my case. 

You can see Bob and Edmund here.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

French Fancy

If you haven't been over to Everyone's Reading yet then do do do.

Not only are these fabby freeread downloads from Mills and Boon but it's a proverbial choc box to choose from.

If you need more tempting then here it comes. There's Kelly Hunter's Exposed: Misbehaving With The Magnate. It's certainly a smackerel you can't miss. Let's just say he's called Luc...he's gorgeous, he's French, he's hot in all the ways that matter. Need I say more (waggling eyebrows). Go snaffle your quota immediately! Providing you like French hunks for free.


Friday, October 01, 2010

Buying Soundz

Yes I did go back to the supermarket (but I didn't self serve!)

Thanks to Rachel Lyndhurst (and the need to feed small girls who're having a playover later) I indulgently purchased Brandon Flowers' new album...couldn't resist. It's very good.

And the good times don't stop there. Because I bought Lady Antebellum too. Find out more about them at Wikipedia here. In my humble spring-onion I believe there are two hero worthy inspirations to be had here. Yus Mrs. And if you haven't yet heard I Run To You (shame on you) go buy it. And you will be doing karaoke within the day. I know I am. jx

See pics of Lady Antebellum here!