D-day

Tomorrow I have to read this piece in front of my peers – assuming I decide on which one I actually want to read (spoiler: NONE OF THEM).  That little crack at the end of my last post about not being able to do it because of losing my voice is actually perilously close to being true, however.

Still, these are my options:

1. The first 1100 words of the were/vamp/human cracky thing I started writing which has since become 32k+ and isn’t quite so cracky after all.  (Even if the werewolves end up fighting a dinosaur.  No, seriously.)  I’ve also added another 1500 words from the middle, which deals with the death of an old man.  Cheerful pre-Christmas reading, obviously.

2. A section set in Vienna from a 55k romance-gone-wrong, in which a one night stand on a ferry to Holland ends up getting my protagonist kidnapped by a psychopath and dragged lengthwise across the entire continent to Croatia.  The moral of this story, kids, is never take good looking strangers with French accents back to your cabin.

3.  Ridiculous trope laden werewolf romance, written for Nano 2012.  Ugh, such stupidity.  Why am I even looking at it?  I like the wolf though – he has a dry sense of humour one doesn’t expect from a werewolf.

4.  Another piece of Kaihopara, where Anna arrives in New I’land with Jared and the captain of the airship, Hrafn.  This whole new world is seen through Anna’s eyes.

5.  Something I wrote for my eldest daughter, who was getting a little fed up with all the boring vampire stuff out there.  I said, what about vampire pirates and she went YAY!   So I did this.  #sorrynotsorry

And now it’s nearly 1am and I’m still sat here wondering what the bloody hell I’m going to read tomorrow.

Gods, I hate Christmas sometimes.

 

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More grumbles

Now I’ve got a bloody cough and cold. I NEVER GET SICK. Ugh.

So yeah, my blog posts are obviously reflecting my current intelligent state. Word count since last week = 0. In fact, I’m pretty sure the whole of December has so far been a write off (and the irony of that phrase isn’t lost on me either).

Listening to Sally Nicholls talk yesterday made me at once intensely jealous and somewhat relieved – she gets to spend all day writing if she wishes (in amongst school visits) and yet she only has a 500 word per day goal, and feels satisfied if she hits 1000 words a day. I would dearly love the chance to spend all day writing, or even a whole afternoon. I’m just going to have to carve out a corner for myself if I don’t want to lose the rest of my marbles completely.

I’m also going to admit to being a touch apprehensive about next week.  I know it’s only my tutor group and it may only be twenty minutes but I have to stand up in front of everyone and talk.  Not just talk, but read something I’ve written.  I don’t think anyone could have devised a worse method of torture for me if they’d tried.

I write because I’m a grumpy, socially-awkward introvert and, for the vast majority of time, I don’t have to interact with other human beings when I’m scribbling/typing away.  Don’t get me wrong – I love people.  I love watching people.  I love recording snippets of their conversations, of their lives, noting appearances and mannerisms and the delightful variety of idiosyncrasies that the human race exhibits.  I’m just not particularly skilled at talking to them.  Or presenting myself in such a manner that I come across as interesting and engaging, rather than just an adjective away from putting my foot in my mouth.  Keeping a lid on the eccentric crazy which inhabits a corner of my brain is also difficult.

Oh, hey, what if this cold doesn’t go away and I lose my voice?  :)

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No words

I have no words. Life, stress, Christmas – everything seems to be conspiring against me and what little time I’m getting to write just isn’t enough. I find myself staring at a blank screen and all that’s going through my head is the laundry list of stuff I have to do.

Ugh. Roll on January.

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MA stuff

One of the requisites of my postgrad is setting up a blog. Seeing as how I already have one, I have resurrected it. The posts go back a few years, but now I have a reason to update more regularly than once every six months or so :)

I’m adding a couple of new pages this evening, one for poetry (the bane of my bloody life) and one where I’ll dump excerpts of the stuff I’m doing for my portfolio.  I think that’s about all the sharing I can cope with right now!

Fellow Lincolnites, please leave me a comment with the url of your blog and I’ll drop you into the sidebar where you can find each other.

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New chapter

No pun intended, mind. But I’ve just enrolled at the University of Lincoln for an MA/postgrad in Creative Writing.

I feel a bit of a fraud, to be honest, sat here surrounded by all these beautiful young things with their whole lives ahead of them, but there’s a part of me that’s leaping up and down like a little kid. Learning stuff is ALWAYS awesome, and the fact I get to read and write, and talk about reading and writing with people who love the written word, is just too exciting to contemplate right now.

So I’m drinking coffee in this big Atrium and wondering what to do next. I might just go explore the library because there’s nothing like immersing oneself in one’s natural habitat.

Or I could just sit here and eavesdrop on the dozen fascinating conversations that are going on around me, right now. There’s so much material here, so much. People watching has got to be one of my favourite pastimes ever. :)

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Tropes and clichés

I’m getting the itch to write something new, as opposed to working on one of the ms I have lurking on my hard drive. For some reason, this has gotten me looking at the traditional romance novel tropes and clichés.

Most books contain at least one or two clichés, because by their very nature they exist in every day life. But the traditional Romance Novel (TM) is awash with them, simply because the very genre is based on a cliché. Boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love, something comes along and threatens to keep them apart, everything is terrible and nothing will be right again, and then hurrah it’s all fixed and they live happily every after.

I want to include a couple of fun tropes in this story, so I’m working on my MC whilst keeping some in mind, and we’ll see which one attaches itself to her.

. fake/arranged marriage
. secret baby/unplanned pregnancy
. accidental matchmaker
. mistaken identity
. ugly duckling grown up
. midlife crisis
. rich guy & secretary/nanny/employee

So many of these are a little creepy though – I always found the poor girl falling for the rich guy trope just wrong. She only wants him for his money, right? And he can buy anything he wants.

So yeah, maybe I’ll do this one the other way around. Rich girl, employs a gardener/driver/secretary. See how he likes being the kept man!

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Updates, updates everywhere

I updated WordPress. I then updated half a dozen plugins. Installed and updated Jetpack. Updated iOS on phone and iPad. Updated Sage.

If only I could update my brain so easily. Gah.

I’m also still trying to track down my manuscript. It was submitted to Harper Impulse last May. I got an email in October saying it had been sent on to the acquiring editor, and that was the last I’ve heard of anything. I really need to know what’s happened to it – whether it’s been cast off onto the discard pile, passed on for further reading or lost to a spam folder or accidental delete button. Sounds stupid, but those are my words out there. The manuscript’s original name was that of its lead male character, Corin, and I still think of it as that. Corin is out there somewhere, lurking in an inbox or junk pile and I want him back.

Whether I get him back in order to tuck him away regretfully into the ‘I tried’ file, or to wave him around in delight at the much-awaited ‘yes’, remains to be seen.

I just need that update.

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