Wednesday, March 29, 2006

New Project Time

Not much to report over the last week. I’ve been feeling pretty exhausted, so I’ve let things slide a bit, but I’m now feeling much better for the rest, and the new exercise regime (combo of swimming, walking and dance mat). As of yesterday, I’ve begun researching ideas for a new historical proposal I want to write. My first book was a historical, but Black Lace stopped commissioning them for a long time so I moved on to contemporary. Hopefully, the shift back won’t be too difficult. Course, once I’ve a few details in place I need to start some serious planning. This is something at which I’m particularly crap. I find it nightmarish, nearly as bad as writing the synopsis, and actually, I’d much rather pants the whole book. The trouble with writing on the fly like that is I'm libel to write myself into a corner or take five years over the thing. Ah well, wish me luck. I may do a bit tonight, once I've made some headway on the ‘Teapots’ story.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Slow Progress

Never did manage to give myself any time off at the weekend. After deciding I was going to take Saturday evening off, I then switched the computer on and polished the add-in scene I’d drafted. I’m pretty happy with how it came out, and I think it fits neatly into the story and ties up a few lose ends, but I’ve also a sneaking suspicion that it could have been even better. My blasted laptop decided to crash part way through writing it, and lost everything. After much searching of temp files, I ended up starting over Now, maybe it’s me mythologizing things but when this happens (and it’s happened often enough, and yes, I have measure in place to try and avoid it) I’m always convinced that the first version was better. Having to reconstruct paragraphs of text really saps the immediacy you get in a first draft. And thinking erotic thoughts isn’t easy when you’re internally cursing the computer and trying to remember what you bloody well wrote.

Anyway, with that done, Dark Designs is now on hold until I get some feedback from my partner, so I’m trying to make some headway on my Sex and Shopping Story. I’m not sure how far I’m going to get with it. It’s a bit of random silliness involving teapots, but I do have another idea which is probably more commercial. The dilemma now is whether to begin the second story before I’ve finished the first. I know what I’m like, if I don’t complete one thing at a time, nothing gets finished.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Entertaining Saturday

I’ve been out today, meeting with the wonderful friends I made back in September 2005 on a screenwriting course. We meet up roughly every three weeks, mostly as a social thing, but a lot of the talk is writing related, and we do read each other’s work and offer thoughts and opinions. It’s a lovely way to while away a few hours on a Saturday, and still feel as though I’m doing something writing related. I normally come home really enthused about the whole writing experience, and full of ideas.

Unfortunately, today I came home feeling rather exhausted, nothing to do with the company, I've just been ill with various bugs recently and working long hours. Anyway, I didn’t expect to get anything done this afternoon, so, it’s much to my surprise that I’ve managed to sketch out a rough draft of one of the additional scenes for Dark Designs. It still needs work, of course, but I think I’ve managed to capture the right mood. I may see if I can tidy it up later, but I’m also tempted to give myself an evening off and use the time to catch up on some film or reading.

The other bit of excitement for today was the arrival of Entertaining Mr Stone, which Wendy (aka Portia Da Costa) kindly sent me. Wendy seems so enthused about this book, and the cover is so gorgeous, I’m just itching to snuggle up on the sofa and dive in. I’ve really enjoyed her previous works, so I’m sure I’m in for a wonderful bit of escapism. I’ll probably post my thoughts here once I’ve read it. But I must finish the current reading book first…

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Looking Up

Feeling much more positive today. After what looked like a total wash-out early on yesterday, I managed to knuckle down and do rewrites on five chapters of DARK DESIGNS, a fairly major achievement for me. It’s also left me feeling happier about the whole project. Previously, I’d reached a point where I was convinced it was dreadful and my editor was going to contact me and tell me never to send him anything ever again. Apparently, according to my partner, I get like this over every book, but I’m sure the others actually had proper storylines and decent characters, and weren’t just a load of inconsequential hogwash. I could be mistaken there…:-[) Anyway, after yesterday, I now think it’s maybe not too bad.

Today, I’m going to crack on and try to get to the end of the rewrites. That’ll leave me a month to polish and tweak, cull the word count a bit more (I always write long), and maybe find the space for a couple of additional scenes I really want to include. It’ll also give me time to put something together for the Sex and Shopping Anthology. I’ve some ideas jotted down, but characters seem reluctant to get down and do the deed, so I may need to approach it from another angle.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Deadlines & Displacement Activities

Not sure there’s anybody out there, but here goes…

This is probably the most insane time I could think of to start a blog. I’m only a month away from my deadline for my third Black Lace novel, DARK DESIGNS, and it still needs lots of work. I’ve a host of other projects (writing and reviewing) I want to work on, and at least a hundred jobs pending around the house. But, here I am. Instead of knuckling down to what I should be doing, I spent yesterday tinkering with blog settings and attempting to resurrect my currently offline website. And today, I’m sitting around waiting for the dishwasher repairman, so still no progress. But at least this is writing, and maybe it’ll get me to focus on what I want to achieve.

Okay, I’m determined to end this first post on a positive note. I’ve only recently heard that I’ve had a short story accepted for CREAM: The Best of ERWA Anthology. It’s my first non-Black Lace print publication, so I’m mighty chuffed. It might even inspire me to finish a few of the other shorts I’m working on.

Monday, March 13, 2006